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When I said "very few kinky and abusive game strategies" have yet emerged in Supreme Commander, I should have mentioned the Support Commander thing.

Support Commanders are slightly miniaturised versions of your own, initial, eponymous, Supreme Commander, except they've got about twice the hit points. Unlike the fake Commanders from Total Annihilation, Support Commanders really are quite useful, in their intended role as super construction units with a punchy gun.

They are also, like your main Commander, upgradeable in various ways.

One of those upgrades makes them produce quite a lot of mass and energy.

You don't "build" Support Commanders, you "summon" them, through a "Quantum Gateway" that is not meant to be a factory. You therefore cannot get construction units to assist the Gateway, to reduce its summoning time. Right-click the Gateway with a construction unit selected and nothing happens.

But there's a loophole. If you use the manual "assist" command (by clicking the icon or pressing I), rather than just right-clicking the Gateway, construction units will assist a Quantum Gateway.

In good old Total Annihilation, the fact that aircraft carriers make a lot of energy caused people to build huge rafts of the things, tucked away in a corner of the map somewhere where they could sit there looking ridiculous and powering the player's empire.

In Supreme Commander, people currently do the same thing with speed-built and upgraded Support Commanders. They're even better than the carriers - they make mass, too, they can help with building, they're tough as old boots, and their death explosion isn't powerful enough to cause horrible chain reactions.

Support Commander Fest '07

So bases end up looking like Support Commander jamborees, with dozens of the buggers all over the place.

Presumably this'll be addressed in a patch soon. In the meantime, losing players often end up sending their flocks of Support Commanders in as last ditch assault forces, even using the old and particularly cheeky reclaiming-the-enemy-battleship-from-underwater trick.

The above image is from this recorded game, in which battleship reclamation is only about the third cheekiest thing that happens. Though almost nothing happens at a very good frame rate.

You'll see why.

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