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Let's Play Command & Conquer: Red Alert - The Aftermath


TaxOwlbear
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Welcome to Command & Conquer: Red Alert - The Aftermath! Aftermath is the second expansion for Red Alert. Unlike the first one, it adds actual new units (as opposed to modified old units). The new missions here are still most unconnected, though the PSX version adds an overarching plot... sort of.

 

I found the Aftermath missions to be more difficult than the main campaign but less frustrating than Counterstrike. The loss conditions are less punishing and while knowledge of the maps definitely helps, it's not de facto required to beat most maps. Anyway, let's get started and reclaim that harbour.

 

Allies Mission 1: Harbour Reclamation

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Love watching these. Are you recording losslessly? Noticing some drops in quality in videos now and then, but I assume it's YouTube encoding/bitrate. Could you try upscaling to 4k and uploading a video of that?

Thanks. :) Yes, the artefacting and random quality drops appear after uploading. Even with games with old, Youtube bombs the quality, though it's worse with modern 3D games (e.g. Doom 2016 and Far Cry primal looks awful on Youtube).

 

I played around with higher resolutions to get a higher bitrate, but it didn't help much. Rendering in 1440p doubles the rendering time compared to 1080p but doesn't lead to quality increases that are IMO worth the time. Rendering in 4K sextuples the rendering time. The rendering time for half an hour of footage in 1080p takes my machine about 90 minutes (triple the video length as a rule of thumb). Rendering in 4K takes eight to ten hours, and the file sizes are gigantic. It's not feasible right now.  :(

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Yeah I had the same issue with ra1, but if I upscale 720p to 1440p and 1080p to 4k then the drops in quality disappear. It seems to be much worse in Red Alert 1 than in TS or YR, probably because of the grass texture on temperature maps..Another thing that is really noticable in ra1 is the color shifting because of the color compression, the game looks more lifeless.

 

Youtube gives 1440p 3x more bitrate than 1080p and 4k about 6-8 times more bandwidth than 1080p.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwsMyLyJXxU (turn on 1440p and 4k in this video)

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I think that new players don't know about Aftermath.

Or don't know how to speed up aftermath after selecting it.

Personally, I love Aftermath. I like the Tesla Tank, Tesla Troopers and Missile Sub.

But that would be about it.

The Allieds don't gain much, except for the Chrono tank. Which is rather weak in direct combat, compared to it's price of 2400.

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Aftermath also changed a lot of core things, such as:

 

Build Speed Cap

Certain units/structures had changed properties, the most obvious one being the Turret

This and some of the new units broke the tank-spam meta somewhat, and hence most RA players didn't like it. (I mean, uncrushable tank busters, like ok)

 

 

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This mission features a rarely-used building: The fake arms factory. Fake buildings are something I never really bothered with, though they did come back in Generals.

 

As for he mission itself: When I played it for the first time back in the day, I thought it was the hardest mission ever. Then it turned out that if you destroy the Soviet radar, they get less (no?) reinforcements and attack less. A LOT less.

 

Allies Mission 9: PAWN

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The Allieds don't gain much, except for the Chrono tank. Which is rather weak in direct combat, compared to it's price of 2400.

 

I like the Chrono Tank, but it feels kind of gimmicky. The $2400 are indeed a lot - it's the price of three Heavy Tanks! I think the Chrono Tank also suffers from micromanagement requirements. Can you teleport several of them at once? They would be much more useful if they could pop up in the enemy base all at once, and not one by one.

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This mission introduces (sort of) a later staple of Red Alert: The Tesla Trooper (called the Shock Trooper). While rather expensive and still with the weak defences of an infantry unit, the Shock Trooper has a couple of advantages. Its electric attack is good against everything that doesn't fly, and a Shock Trooper can't be crushed by a tank.

 

As or the mission itself, it's one of the easier ones. For the most part, you wander around zapping civilians. The only danger are Allied anti-infantry weapons that make short work of you Shock Troopers, but you get additional weapons to take care of those.

 

Soviets Mission 2: Shock Therapy

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Interestingly, this is actually the follow-up to the last Soviet mission where we nicked the stealth transport. This time, we use it to blow a lot of stuff up. You can actually neutralise large chunks of the Allied presence with Volvok alone, but the reinforcements you get later make it a lot easier. Watch out for the ships, though, or you could end up in a situation where there's Allied ships left with no way to take them out.

 

Soviets Mission 4: Test Drive

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