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UEF Strategy: Victory through Specialization
The UEF is a very specialized faction. Their units do not usually include multiple roles, but rather focus on one specific role which the unit is meant to excel at. There are some exceptions, like UEF ships and land units once upgraded, but this remains true with their air and early land units.
This becomes an important part of UEF strategy, which often focuses on picking a specific path and moving forward with it alone. This strategy guide covers three common UEF strategies which new players can use to gain an edge.
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Choosing to go with a Rockhead/Demolisher rush means playing aggressively from the very start. Because Rockheads and Demolishers are slow land units, this works best on smaller maps. It essentially consists of building a small army of about 10 Rockhead and 10 Demolishers and pushing towards the enemy before the four minute mark. This is not set in stone - you can try and go in earlier with a smaller force or later with a larger force.
Your goal should not be to attack the enemy's main base (unless he is obviously weak and easy to defeat) but to attack his outlying mass extractors and other buildings. It is virtually impossible to protect them all this early in the game, and destroying even two is a major setback for your opponent. That's 400 mass down the drain, plus whatever income is lost while the enemy tries to get new mass extractors up.
As the game progresses, focus on land tech upgrades with Linked Anti-Air as a goal. Along the way you'll gain damage upgrades as well. This is important because it will help protect against air attacks, which are the bane of every land-based strategy. Once you have linked anti-air, go for the health upgrades.
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Gunship rushes have always been an effective strategy in the Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander games. The Broadsword is the UEF gunship, and to be honest, it isn't anything special. I would in fact say it is the worst gunship because it doesn't gain the huge damage boost that Cybran gunships can research nor can it get flares like Illuminate gunships.
Still, its a gunship, and it can do a lot of damage. It is easy to gain access to and start building within the first three or four minutes of the game. I suggest, generally speaking, that you focus on your economy until three minutes in which researching towards Broadswords. As you near four minutes you should start an air factory, which is about the time you'll have Broadswords. By using your commander to accelerate production and building a second air factory you can have around 10 Broadswords at about five minutes in.
An unprepared enemy won't stand much chance. The main thing you need to watch for is enemy fighter/bombers, because your gunships are not upgraded yet and fighter/bombers will ruin their day. Ground based AA units can still be threat as well, but remember that mobility is on your side. It is trivial to destroy outlying metal extractors if the enemy's base is fairly secure.
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Transport Pie Surprise
While using land is great, it can be hard to really surprise your opponent no matter how good of a land player your are. The Rockhead/Demolisher combo is powerful, but slow. An enemy who is paying attention to his radar will see your units coming and can prepare a response.
That's where the transport comes in. Relatively easy to research, the air Transport can take fifteen land units and drop them wherever you want. This is powerful on larger maps where the Rockhead/Demolisher rush is too slow to be effective because players on those maps often don't pay attention to their defenses believing that they will see an attack coming before it hits. I've seen players who were trying to tech up become almost completely demolished by fifteen Rockheads/Demolishers delivered via transport on Setons.
There are two problems to watch for. One is that it can be hard to land your transports against a player who has gone heavy into air units early. I suggest building one Wasp and sending it to scout the target. Second, the enemy commander can ruin your day. Most players will solve this by simply running rings around the commander - he is slow, and distracting him also prevents the enemy from using him to build. Risk takers can counter this by transporting their own commander to the enemy base. This can result in defeat, but if the enemy isn't prepared you can throw them completely off guard.