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Destro's Ultimate Guide to Build Orders

By Birk - 13th December 2010 - 17:16 PM

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So you want to be amazing at Supreme Commander 2, right? Problem is, the other guy always has a million more tanks than you. Chances are it has something to do with your Build Order; one of the most fundamental choices you can make which affects you right from the moment your ACU warps in to the moment you see your enemy go boom.

First off, what is a Build Order?

The Strict Definition: A Build Order is a tried-and-true template of how you put down your critical first structures and in what order, usually fine-tuned for maximum efficiency for whatever type of strategy that particular Build Order is intended for. These almost never change, or only have one or two very similar variations on the original.

The Loose Definition: In addition to the Strict definition, a Build Order can also be considered the general guideline of what you may be going for strategy-wise (such as a minor experimental) and the structures and researches you build/research to get there, typically also fine-tuned for maximum efficiency. A build order in this sense is usually far more flexible than a Strict one, letting you take detours to grab a counter, or sometimes even change your strategy entirely on the fly.

Now for the actual Build Orders themselves:
(THESE BUILD ORDERS GENERALLY APPLY TO ALL THREE FACTIONS!)

______________________Standard Build Orders______________________
Summary:These are your general, all-purpose Build Orders. These work for most maps and team sizes, and can be easily adapted to whatever strategy you're aiming for.

Note:Pictures were taken with extra mass to demonstrate how the Build Order would be queued up. You will not be able to afford everything in the pictures right away. Also note that the buildings are listed in the order in which they are built, and are should always be be placed in the closest available spot to the builder assigned to build it.

Two Factory Build Order

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Description:The most generalized of all Build Orders, the Two Factory Build Order (commonly referred to as the 2fac or TwoFac) isn't really strong in any areas, but it isn't weak in many either. Generally, this is the Build Order that most beginners should start with.

Breakdown:
ACU:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
-----1st Extractor----1st Factory------2nd Factory------1st Power-------2nd Power
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-----6th Extractor

1st Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
---------------2nd Extractor----4th Extractor-----Assist Factory

2nd Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image OR IPB Image
----------------3rd Extractor----5th Extractor-----Assist Factory(Don't assist the same factory with both engineers)-----------7th Extractor

Analysis:
This Build Order is tailored to getting a decent ground force out within a decent amount of time. In terms of sheer numbers of land out within the first 5-6 minutes, this is only beaten by the Triple Factory. You'll have plenty of land units to throw around and accomplish whatever it is you need, which is what gives this build its versatility and generalist status. The OR between factory assist and the 7th extractor for engineer #2 signifies that you may choose one of those options depending on your situation. If you need more tanks and don't plan to expand right away, go for the factory assist. If you want to expand a bit, get another extractor instead.

Three Factory Build Order

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Description:
The Three Factory (3fac or Threefac) Build Order is the true rush Build Order in Supreme Commander 2. If you want as many tanks as possible, as fast as possible, this is the Build Order to use. Designed for maximum tanks, this Build Order sacrifices expandability and long-term sustainability for immediate results.

Breakdown:
ACU:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
-----1st Extractor----1st Factory------2nd Factory------3rd Factory

1st Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
---------------2nd Extractor----4th Extractor-----Assist Factory

2nd Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
----------------3rd Extractor------1st Power-------2nd Power------Assist Factory(Don't assist the same factory with both engineers)

Analysis:
The first thing you need to know about this Build Order is that it's an all-or-nothing gambit. That being said, it can be extremely strong, and is particularly strong on small maps, or when your opponent is nearby. It is also more effective against builds that do not emphasise a large number of units early in the game, as you are more likely to be able to overwhelm them.

You want to be constantly pushing and attacking your enemy, trying to rip apart their production and economy every chance you get; the longer they're able to build up and consolidate the extra mass income they're getting, the better they'll be able to match your production (your primary advantage) and fight back, until you can no longer sustain your push.

It's also possible to delay your first few tanks and get a 5th mass extractor instead. This will allow you to sustain your production better and give you a economy surplus but will also make your attack less effective.

Air Build Order

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Description:
A Build Order very similar to the Two Factory Build Order in many ways, except this Build Order includes air units from the very beginning. The standard Build Order to use in most 1v1s and smaller team games when going for air.

Breakdown:
ACU:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
-----1st Extractor----1st Factory------2nd Factory------1st Power-------2nd Power
IPB Image IPB Image
-----7th Extractor

1st Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
---------------2nd Extractor----4th Extractor-----Assist Factory (Air Factory)

2nd Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
----------------3rd Extractor----5th Extractor----6th Extractor-----Assist Factory (Land Factory)

Analysis:
The Breakdown is almost exactly the same as the Two Factory Build Order, except for your ACU and second engineer. Instead of two land factories, your ACU builds an air factory as the first factory, which then proceeds to construct air units, and your second engineer must get a third extractor if you want any surplus mass to spend later on. Chances are you are going to be at a severe land disadvantage because you have only a single land factory early on due to the air factory using up a large portion of your resources early on.

For the most part, you will be playing defensively on the ground with your smaller army. You will, however, have air units at your disposal, which can be used to bomb enemy land formations and mass extractors, and just cause general havoc wherever you want on the map because of their superior mobility. After the enemy starts building too much Anti-Air, you can even just shut off your air factory and build more land factories to catch up on the land front. As long as you still have some air units left to threaten him with, heíll have to continue building anti-air, using up precious resources!

Research Station Build Order

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Description:
Also commonly known as the 1RS BO, the Research Station Build Order is a medium-risk, medium-reward type of Build Order. It trades a small disadvantage at the beginning for an increasingly large advantage the longer a game lasts.

Breakdown:
ACU:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
Research Station---1st Extractor-----1st Power------1st Factory------ 2nd Factory
IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
-------2nd Power------3rd Power------7th Extractor

1st Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
---------------2nd Extractor----4th Extractor-----Assist Factory

2nd Engineer:IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image
----------------3rd Extractor----5th Extractor----6th Extractor-----Assist Factory

Analysis:
The Research Station Build Order provides you with an ever larger advantage over your opponent in the field of Research Points (RP) the longer the game lasts. You get a single Research Station from the very start, and continue accumulating bonus Research Points throughout the match. The steep price of this early Research Station will put you behind in unit production at first, but itís a one-time cost for unlimited amounts of extra Research Points.

If you can defend yourself against the enemyís superior forces for a small amount of time, you can easily catch up to your opponentís production level. The key here is that once youíve done this (caught up to his production), you will gain a noticeable advantage over him due to your forces being more highly upgraded, and therefore more cost-effective. The amount of time where you are still vulnerable to the opponentís superior numbers is actually quite short, and on anything but the smallest maps they often cannot even reach you before you being to approach full strength.

The Research Station Build Order also has the advantage of being extremely flexible for countering enemy strategies. If you avoid spending your Research Points until you need them, (which you should), you will have extra Research Points to spend towards the counter of whatever units your opponent is making.

Guide by Destroyer224.
Images by Destroyer224, UncertainCat and The Word.
Edit by YawningAngel.