There are many strategies that can be very effective in TA due to their use of it, while they would be hopeless in other games. For example, the constant-rate-TankRush. This is executed by building a series of factories each producing tanks (or suchlike) and setting their orders to some path that will harry your enemy's resources or defenses. Quite possibly each factory is based somewhere obscure on the map but the units may all converge. Given a supply of resources and a few guarding maintenance bots this operation can be completely automated and left to it for an hour or so. Executed well, this can occupy a great deal of your opponent's time while you forget it completely and set some other strategies in motion.
Although I name it as coming after the metal and energy of TotalAnnihilation, it is applicable to other RTS games, though only proportional to the degree that MetaOrders (like commanding groups, setting orders for all units to be produced from a building, guarding buildings and units...) and large armies are supported. Thus is has little relevance in Dune II (respected ancestor tho it is) and a lesser importance in games based upon FranticClicking, such as CommandAndConquer. WarCraft 3 has some support for MetaOrders (in particular its sub-group system) but limits armies to being of a medium size.
Actually, given the simplicity of the ArtificialStupidity in Dune II, there are a number of approaches to minimising the use of TheThirdResource. My two favourite ones are placing rocket launching vehicles on the ArtificialStupidity's attack route and building missile turrets in its base. Carryalls are also very helpful here. -- Senji
StuartFraser recently came across a copy of Dune 2000 in a shop for a fiver and bought it. Westwood have tweaked the AS and game rules sufficiently now that neither of these strategies work. Not that this actually makes the game hard, but then I only bought it because I like Westwood's FMV segments anyway.
ChrisHowlett is ashamed to admit that, when he played Dune 2 back on the Amiga some 10 or so years ago, he never completed the third mission for any house...
I've never completed the last mission for any house :-( (and getting that far took forever)
I bought it on Monday; currently on Atreides 7, Ordos 5, and Harkonnen 4 but then I'm wise to the tricks that Westwood's AI tend to use (I've finished Command & Conquer 1 and 2, plus Red Alert from both sides. I may at some point buy and defeat the later games in the series) and aware of how to beat them. That said my first attempt at Atreides 7 did have to be abandoned when I slightly underestimated the AI's response to an attack on the harvester (he had HOW many Devastator tanks?)
I remember discovering the most curious thing about Dune 2. I first had it on the A500, got to the last level with Atreides, but their death hands just never missed, I battled on just holding my own for about 3 hours, but never getting a good attack running. Then I upgraded to the A1200, suddenly most of the deathhands missed and I was able to complete the game with all three houses without a great deal of difficulty. Our best theory was that some bit of optomising code was asking 'do I have the available power to work out scatter? If not just let it hit', but it's not very convincing. --NR