…back before massive DRM, system requirements measured in gb of RAM, and when EA could “balance” the game by making USA Air even better.
It all started pretty simply, as I spent about an hour and a half getting everything ready… And then waited. Francisco was the first to arrive, and people kept coming after that. On the realization that it was pi day, there was pie. All was good…
And then the gaming began. In a quick 3v, the forces of Francisco, John, and I came out victorious over Tony and Liana… But, they put up a surprisingly good fight for being outnumbered. Of course, Francisco’s Emperor spam foreshadowed a nearly unbeatable tactic.
We even beat 3 Hard AIs in a massive comp-stomp while playing our favorite factions. I had 19 particle cannons. However, in “random” grudge matches, we did not fair so well.
Eventually, we got Jorge in the game… Jorge and I versus John and Francisco. In a game to go down in history, Francisco invaded my base through a I choke point I didn’t know existed and drove me out of my starting base… Which put me on the run for the rest of the game. I built up twice in Jorge’s base, before eventually making it back almost where I started. In the process, I built three strategy centers (and almost a particle cannon from my third offshoot), and we brought John down to a dozer. In the end, Francisco finally managed to vanquish me, and some lucky planes revealed Jorge’s secret hideout. Francisco, however, was slowly moving towards the same fate as John and, probably (if I had lasted another 3 minutes or so), would’ve ended up suffering the same fate. Thus, it was truly THAT close.
The next two matches were much more one-sided, as Jorge and I found no way to counter Francisco’s Emperor spam. One game ended in me quitting, as it was over before it began (Jorge didn’t have radar and thus didn’t know about two chokepoints; he was quickly invaded)… And the other was ended my a mismatch error, though only after Jorge and I were pretty much gone.
After a strategy talk over the phone, my ally and I hatched a deviant plan. I realized that Francisco’s “unstoppable” Emperor spam was because of our starting cash of $50,000. Both he and John quick tech’d, giving them a huge advantage. As I usually played with less starting cash, I was also playing conservatively, which cost us early. We adjusted accordingly.
In the starting minutes of the next match, I quick tech’d with as much skill as I could, not saving money – I began with a three rockvee rush, and crippled Francisco early. I took out two war factories, a barracks, a propaganda center, I believe I got an empty internet center, and was after his command center when I quickly went back to my base to order my dozers. When I returned, my rockvees were gone – sadly, I picked the wrong time away. I believe Francisco said it was tanks…
But no matter. Francisco was driven into John’s base and John was not fairing well playing as GLA. I had a particle cannon built (maybe two?), and another on the way, and Jorge was building a scud storm… And then another mismatch error. We ended up trying a comp stomp after that, but we were thoroughly thrashed. We called it quits after.
Though were were done with Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour, the gaming was not done. Liana and I finished off Resident Evil 5, and played some Mercenaries mode, before the events of my last entry unfolded.
Overall, I had an excellent time. This was, by far, one of the best LANs we’ve ever had. I’d say it ranks up there with Empire Earth in the scale of epicness. In the future, I want to do another ultimate comp stomp (and win), plus a huge match… From what I’ve read, the best way to stop the mismatch errors is to play online, so maybe that’s what we’ll do. For sure, though, there will be more Zero Hour at our LANs. Keep it installed.