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Map of the Week #2 - Open Palms

By Birk - 19th February 2011 - 05:08 AM

Palms is arguably the most popular 1v1 map for Supreme Commander 2. Open Palms offers the most diverse strategies and no faction is at a significant disadvantage on this map.

Build Orders


Because there are so many different options for this map, there are many build orders that can be done. For basic landspam, check out the build orders from the Spring Duel Map of the Week guide. However, the teching options are not the same on this map as on Spring Duel. Landspam will only get you so far, eventually you will need to build a minor experimental, tech towards Teleport or make other transitions in order to gain an advantage. Therefore, if you are playing as the Cybrans or the UEF, you will want to tech towards the Megalith or the Fatboy, respectively. If you are playing as Illuminate, teching towards Teleport is better than teching to the Urchinow because the Urchinow does not do very well against Fatboys and Megaliths.

Build Orders for an Air/Land combination (for all factions)

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This build order focuses on getting the Air factory up first. The benefits of this are early scouting, easier raiding and an easier time of maintaining air superiority. The disadvantages of this are (initially) weaker land forces and no surprise snipes on the enemy ACU.

When researching Structure Decrease Cost for both Cybran and UEF, additional Mass Extractors can be built; however, this sacrifices Research Points towards military techs. This is more of a note for Cybran players since it takes four research points compared to the UEF's one.

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This Build Order focuses on establishing a formidable land force before moving into the air. The advantages are a better land army and the element of surprise when you go for your first airstrike. The disadvantage is that you may not have air superiority and have to fight to earn it. The air factory is the fourth factory to be built and will take a bit of time to accumulate the necessary resources. It is a must for Cybran players to research Structure Cost Decrease for this Build Order.


Research path for UEF
In order to utilize their bombers effectively, UEF players should tech to Cluster Bombs.
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Research path for Cybran
Since Cybrans do not get an Area of Effect upgrade for their fighter bombers, they are really only used for bombing single targets with lots of health. Cybran players should meanwhile take this research path in the land tree:
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Research path for Cybran (against UEF)
Cybran players should research in the Air Tech Tree and switch to full air before the experimentals come into play. Megaliths are not as good as Fatboys and will eventually lose in an even fight. There is no set path for the Cybrans to research when playing against the UEF, but I have outlined a good order with which to start.
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Research path for Illuminate
In order to utilize the Weedoboths effectively, Illuminate players should tech to Persistent Scorch Bombs.
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Going air on Open Palms, especially when playing 1v1, can be risky business if you don’t know what you are doing. Properly managing bombers and a land force at the same time takes loads of practice and requires exceptional micro skills. Generally, the point of building air units is to hinder your opponent’s expansion (by bombing Mass Extractors and Engineers that are in the open) as well as making quick bombing runs on groups of enemy tanks in order to destroy enough so your land force is superior in size (made far more effective by the cluster bomb or scorch bomb upgrades). However, another key point when going air is knowing when to stop. Ground based anti-air will destroy your air power and is not to be taken lightly. On the same note, if your opponent is building anti-air and you switch back to full ground, your opponent is then wasting resources.

When playing a 3v3 game on Open Palms, the players not located in the center will spawn in relatively close proximity to one another. This opens the door for a point defense rush. The most common point defense rush is where you forgo building anything at your starting location and travel over to your nearby opponent and place three point defenses within range of their starting base. This is an all or nothing gamble. It is possible, however difficult, to defend against a three point defense rush and if you are successful in defending against it, your opponent will be out of resources and easy pickings for a follow-up assault.

This map is open for so many strategies; I couldn’t possibly describe them all without your eyes bleeding out, so I will name some of the more common ones that I have seen. Shotja rushes (for DLC players) are a common land-only strategy. The ratio of Shotjas to tanks could range from 1:1 to full Shotjas. The one thing that is in common is your opponent will utilize a four factory rush build order. This means that if you can survive the initial wave, you will be in an economically superior position.

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Another strategy is an ACU Rush Feint. This is where your opponent goes through all the moves of an ACU rush (typically as Aeon) but in the meantime he is building something else out of your radar range for a surprise snipe. A fleet of bombers is most common, however minor experimentals or a simple land army can be built as well.

A Transport Rush is another tactic your opponent can try. Its objective is to severely cripple your starting base with a well placed drop. Usually the transport is loaded with Mobile Missile Launchers (or Loyalists if Cybran) to maximize building damage. Sometimes an engineer is put in as well to quickly repair the transport.

Finally, sometimes your UEF opponent will tech the AC-1000 minor experimental instead of the Fatboy for a rude surprise. This research path for teching to an AC-1000 shows three options.

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The first two include upgrading your range or training for your tanks before going for the AC-1000. This makes it easier to defend against your opponent's land, but means it will take longer to research the AC-1000. The third option is forgoing researching in the Land Tech Tree and going straight for the AC-1000. This means that you will research it earlier, but your defending land army will have a harder time.