Traditionally one thing I have always loathed with such a level of intensity you could cut it a with a knife, is the "XXX Rush" phase. XXX being whatever is the principle structure of each strategy game. I have always been of the view that the Rush phase was more a product of a minimum investment of programming hours to "fix" that, in favor of flashy wizz bang programming, than a reality of 'difficult' to programme. I think Stardock have finally nailed the "Colony Rush" with TA. There was an improvement on that angle in DA, it was however more a slow down that eliminating it. TA seems to have at last nailed the horror.
I still remember one of Brad's comments re Immense maps "......you people are insane", and I am one of the annoited insane
My own experience and thoughts are therefore based on gigantic/immense maps, where arguably the dynamics can be different - especially on Immense. I'd be interested to hear other's views who play on smaller maps, if they get the same perception re the Colony Rush.
Lots of great well deserved noise surrounds the success of TA, but for my money the elimination of the colony rush is an unsung triumph no other gaming house seems to have a achieved. There is an initial colony phase, of course, cant avoid that - but the stupid mechanical "rush like helll or be doomed" seems to have disappeared in gigantic & immense, replaced by a more intelligent strategic choice of actions - and thats what Strategy games are supposed to be about. But thats my view based on Immense.
Other's views on smaller maps ...... ?