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Beginner Guide by Immortal GJK

Version: 1.01 | Updated: 08/08/2004

A beginner’s guide to: 

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Red Alert Two

Written By:  Graeme Kirkwood
       Immortal GJK

(#1) Legal Stuff
Copyright 2004 Graeme Kirkwood

This FAQ may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use.
It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without
advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a 
part of any public display without permission is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders.

If you wish to use this FAQ on your website you may e-mail me at 
Wallyk@btinternet.com. Include the URL of the site you would like to use it on 
and I will look it over and decide if I will allow it to be posted at that 
location. If I do give permission for this guide to be posted in a certain 
location that does NOT mean that I am giving permission for it to be posted 
in any location, just at the location specified.

You may NOT use this guide in such a way as to gain profit by charging to 
see this FAQ, selling copies of this FAQ or any other way.

Version History

July 31st, 2004.
v 0.8

Started writing this FAQ including Legal Information.
I have done just about all the questions I have but more to 
come soon (I hope).

August 1st, 2004
v 0.9

Realised that my page was 89 characters per line, not 79.
Finished FAQ but i'm looking to add more questions soon.

August 2nd
v0.99 (!)
Almost done! I just need to add a few more things...
(This version finally made it onto GameFAQs!)

August 8th
Finsihed my FAQ (at last) as well as some minor updates

(#2) Introduction
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, this guide is made to help beginners
with their strategies etc and to answer some of the many questions which
almost anyone, even beginners, know the answer to. 

(#3) Table Of Contents.

(#1) Legal Stuff - Copyrights etc.
(#2) Intro- Just above!
(#3) Table of contents- here!
(#4) Hints and tips- I lay down the Basics.
     (#4.1) Scouting
     (#4.2) Cash Flow
     (#4.3) Improving cash flow
     (#4.4) Power
     (#4.5) Reapirs
     (#4.6) Strengths and Weaknesses
     (#4.7) Weakspots
     (#4.8) Making Weakspots
     (#4.9) Defense
(#5) FAQ - aka. "Beginners say the darndest things!"
(#6) Common abbreviations - A list of some RA2 words and their abbreviatoins,
     Both in-game and on Boards etc.
(#7) Mission Guides - How to compete the first three missions for both sides.
(#8) Credits - All hail the people help this guide into being!

(#4) General Hints and Tips
This section covers the basics of tactics and gaming. These tips alone will
probably be enough to see you through the early levels of the game and
skirmish battles against easy enemies. Of course it is up to you to decide
your own strategies and choose your own style of play but this section will
lay down the basics for you.

At the start of every game there will always be a certain amount of 'shroud'
which restricts your vision. It is usually a good idea to scout the area
surrounding your base. This way you might discover the locations of useful
things like ore / gems patches, tech-buildings, crates and more. Attack dogs
make good scouts as they are fast, cheap, available early and have a good 
range of vision. The allied spy sat uplink automatically reveals the whole map
when constructed.

(#4.2) Cash Flow
Money makes the world go round. So it stands to reason that cash is very
important in RA2. You begin each mission/skirmish with a fair amout of cash
in the kitty. The main way of collecting money is mining (i'll talk about the
others later). To do this you need three things.
1) An Ore miner.
2) An Ore Refinery.
3) Ore / Gems.
In many missions you will already have one of these constructed for you but
assuming you are starting from scratch you will first need a Construction Yard.
Once the CY is ready you must construct and place a Power Plant/Tesla Reactor.
You can now build the Refinery.
Once you have built and placed a refinery you will automatically receive an Ore
miner. This vehicle will locate the closet patch of ore/gems and begin to 
harvest from it. As it harvests minerals they will dissapear. When the miner 
has a full cargo of minerals or you order it to return to the refinery it will
drop off its load which is instantly converted to cash.
Just as you need a steady supply of income, so does your opponent.
If you can target their Miners you may be able to stop their cash-flow to stop
them from producing units or structures.

(#4.3) Improving your Cash Flow

As well as basic mining there are other ways to gain cash. Once you have a
refinery and War Factory you can construct additional miners to speed up ore
gathering. Bear in mind that this will also deplete your Ore field faster.

Ocasionally crates may appear on the battle field. They look like large wooden
crates and any unit coming in contact with this crate will 'open' it. 
All crates are beneficial and as well as such things as promoting units
automatically they may also give you a cash lump-sum. This can be very useful.

Oil Derricks are a type of tech building which, once captured provide a steady
cash flow, as well as $1000 when they are first captured.

Power is neccesary to use structures like the radar and defenses. Power is
provided by the Allied power generator ($800, 200 power), the soviet
Tesla reactor ($600, 150 power) and the soviet nuclear reactor 
($1000, 2000 power). If your opponent has strong base defenses see if you can
shut off his power. This will shut down most defenses and will even halt the
progress of Nukes, Weatherstorms, Chronoshifts and Iron Curtains.

(#4.5) Repairs
As buildings take damage they can be reapired by selecting the spanner icon
on the side bar and then clicking on the structure to be reapaired. This
process take time and will only stop if you select the spanner and click on
the structure again or if the building reaches full health.
A faster method is to send an Engineer into the building, repairing it to
full health instantly and for free.
Reapiring normaly costs money.
Not all buildings can be reapired.

(#4.6) Know your Strengths. Know your weaknesses

Many units are effective particularly against other unit/structure types.
It is always useful to know these strengths. Like wise many units are weak
or useless against certain things. For example, the Iraqi desolator is 
VERY effective against infantry, less effective against tanks and useless
against miners and structures. The German Tank Destroyer is very effective
against tanks and other armoured vehicles but very weak against infantry
and structures.

(#4.7)Look for a weakspot

Going 'through the front door' when attacking an enemy base is not usually the
best idea. Always notice where defenses are positioned and try to find a way

(#4.8) Failing that, make a weak spot.

Allied harriers, soviet V3 launchers and many other units are effective
'skirmisher' units. Eight harriers can destroy an enemy War Factory. Twelve
can take out a Constuction Yard. V3 launchers and Prism tanks can outrange
most enemy defenses to destroy them from a safe distance. There are many ways
to destroy an enemy base but they don't always need a huge attack force. Used
properly a small group of units can do as much, or more, damage than a large
force. Good targets are: Constuction Yard, War Factory, Barracks, Naval Base,
Miners/refinery and Radar. Destroying any of these can leave an opponent near
to crippled, especially Construction Yards.

(#4.85)Rush Tactics

A rush attack involves contructing a base, securing funds and training a
well-balanced army as fast as possible and attacking your opponent before
they can defend properly. This is only really practical in a skirmish game
because in most Campaign missions the enemy already has a secure base.

(#4.9) Defence

In Campaign mode especially the enemy will usually use the same few
paths / entrances to your base. Always try to keep these guarded at all times.

Many civilian structures can be garrisoned by GI's or Conscripts. When a
building is garrisoned its appearence will change, some windows will become
boarded up, barbed wire will be placed and sandbags will appear. The units
inside can fire out of the building at enemies and are very effective.
You can abandon a building by 'deploying' it but your soldiers will
automatically do so if the building's health enters critical.
Different buildings can hold different amounts of men and the more there are
the stronger the garrisoned building will be.
Garrisoned buildings cannot be repaired in the normal way, only by engineers.

From the Armoury Tab it is possible to build many defensive structures.
The first are pillboxes/sentry guns. These are effective vs infantry but not
so much against anything else. They can defeat a lone tank if they are
constantly being repaired during the fight. They Require no power to run and
cost $500.

Next are Patriot missiles/Flak cannons. They cost $1000 and consume some power,
which they cannot operate without. They are Anti-air weapons and also capable of
shooting down missiles (but not nukes).

Lastly are Prism towers/Tesla coils. They are strong against land and Naval
based enemies. Tesla troopers can power up tesla coils, making them stronger
and allowing them to function without power. Prism towers which are close
together can power each other up, combining all their power into a single shot.
These structures cost $1500 and use a substantial amount of power.

In skirmish mode the French can also constuct the Grand Cannon which has huge
range and power. It costs $2000 and lots of power.

I don't expect that there
will be anyone who would ever ask all the questions listed here and most 
people will find some of the questions pretty ridiculous, but I have heard
ALL of these questions asked at some point, believe me.
The purpose of this FAQ is to answer a lot of questions which I have heard
asked about this game time and time again, on Gamefaqs message boards and
other places. These "noob" questions are often laughed at by more 
experienced players when they are asked and they are often the cause of a 
lot of aggrovation. People who ask them are often told to "Go read an FAQ!" 
or "Look at the other topics on this board!" but usually this means ages
of sifting through FAQs and hundreds of posts on message boards to find 
the answer. That's why I am writing this guide to help out anyone who has 
the kind of question that isn't always answered in the manual and, while 
some may think the answer pretty obvious, can really bug you.

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Frequently        Asked         Questions

Here we go...

Q: "I'm stuck on [mission]. Please help!"

A: Read the Mission Guides section. If the mission you are stuck on is not
covered then you will have to refer to another guide.


Q: "Why can't I make my conscripts deploy all those sandbags and the gun
like GI's do?"

A: Because the very nature of the Conscript is that they are nothing more
than drafted men, given a gun and basic training. GI's are better trained 
so they are able to deploy, but that makes them more expensive. 
Conscripts CANNOT deploy.


Q: "Ok, so I know Tanks suck against infantry, and I know Tesla troops gun's
are good against tanks but why is that no matter how hard I try, my tank jus
wont run the Tesla trooper over?"

A: Because thats the way they made the game OK? Tesla troopers are meant to be
anti-tank so Westwood made Tesla troops immune to being run over. Live with it.
Or try using attack dogs/Terror drones etc along with your tanks.


Q: "I just started a skirmish but I can't build anything! All I have are these
tanks and stuff... What can I do?"

A:I've heard this so many times...
The unit in the middle is your MCV (mobile contruction vehicle). Deploy it
either by selecting it then clicking on it again or by selcting it then
pressing the deploy button (the one the looks like four triagles around a dot).
It then becomes the Construction Yard and allows you to begin building.


Q: "I'm playing campaign mode and I really want to get [insert name of unit]. 
I have built everything I can but I still can't get them! What is wrong?"

A: For some units you will have to wait until later in the game to get them.
Even when you have all the buildings available you may still not get certain
Also, the Allies cannot train Soviet units and vice versa unless you capture
the appropriate structure(s) from the other side.


Q: "My power keeps on shutting down! That woman says something and then all my
power goes offline and I get a little countdown. What is happening and how do
I stop it?"

A: The message is probably "Building infiltrated" which means that an allied
spy has infiltrated your base entered a power generator/tesla reactor/nuclear
reactor. Spies can disguise themselves as your other units and your own units
wont attack them. The only way to stop this is to place attack dogs around
your base. Attack dogs detect spies and attack them automatically.
Alterntively, if you see a unit which appears to be yours but you are unable
to control it then it is probably a spy. Hold control (ctrl) while you 
have an attacking unit/structure selected the clock on the spy to order your
unit to force fire on him. 


Q: "What is all that black stuff on my screen? Do I have a virus?"

A: It sounds wierd I know but trust me, this has been asked before by several 
people. The black stuff is the shroud. It is all the area that you have not 
explored on this map. When a unit moves close enough to it the area around him
will be revealed. The area is its vision range. 
When you leave the area again you will still be able to see there.


Q: "My shroud just suddenly reappeared, I can only see the area around my 
units/ structures!"

A: That means a Spy has just infiltrated your Radar/Airforce Command HQ.
Stay calm and explore the area again quickly. If your enemy has done this 
they may well be planning a suprise attack!


Q: "Some of my units have upside down v's next to them. What does that mean?"

A: Those are rank stripes. In real military terms the ranks are: 
one stripe = lance corporal
three stripes = sergeant
In game they are called:
one stripe: veteran
three stripes: elite

Veterans and elites are both stronger, faster etc than normal, but elite units
can also self-heal (restore health automatically). Your units can become first
veteran and then elite by killing/destroying enemy units/structures.


Q: "What are Tech-Buildings?"

A: Tech-Buildings are neutral buildings present on some maps. They can be 
identified by the spanner logo on a yellow flag which always flies from them. 
The tech buildings are:

Oil Derrick

They must me captured with an Engineer. They cannot be constructed.


Q: "So what do they do?"

A: Airports provide, every four game minutes (240 game seconds), the option to
drop infantry paratroopers anywhere on the map. For the soviets these will be 
conscripts. For the Allies they will be GI's. America automatically recieve
paratroopers as their superweapon.

Hospitals are like a sort of repair bay for infantry. Send a wounded infantry 
unit into the hospital and they will emerge in a while with full health.

Outposts are basically a repair bay armed with missiles, so they can defend
themselves from enemies.

Oil derricks provide a steady flow of cash once captured
(about $200 per game minute i think) plus a $1000 lump sum when you first 
capture them.


(#6) Common Abbreviations.

Something many people struggle with when new to a game and/or a board is
abbreviations. When a long, commonly used, word is abbreviated, usually to
its initials (e.g. Construcion Yard becomes CY) or a shortened version of its
name (e.g. Apocalypse Tank becomes Apoc). The following is a list of some
abreiviations commonly used when discussing Red Alert 2.

Apocalypse Tank: Because of the length of its name it is frequently shortened
to Apoc.

Conscript: Mostly called Conscripts a few people call them cons or 'scripts.

Construction Yard: Often shortened to CY or Con Yard.

Demolition Truck: These Libyan special weapons are basically a nuke on wheels.
They are usually refered to as Demo Trucks.

GI: This is the name used in-game but it is an abbreviation of General Issue.

Kirov Airship: These soviet units are almost always just called Kirovs.

MCV: This is the name used in-game but it is an abbreviation of Mobile
Construction Vehicle.


(#7) Mission Guides

The first missions of both allied and soviet campaigns are pretty easy,
especially when compared to the later missions, however they are great ways to
build up your skills and learn the ropes. This section of the guide will guide
you, step by step, through the first two missions of both campaigns.
Allied Campaign.
Mission 1. Operation: Lone Guardian.

Destroy Soviet Dreadnought Fleet
Establish Contact with Fort Bradley
Keep Tanya Alive

At the beginning of this mission the statue of liberty is under attack by
Soviet Dreadnoughts. Tanya decides to destroy them herself.

As soon as you begin the mission, Tanya enters the water of the Harbor.
Order her to swim over to the Dreadnoughts and plant C-4 on them. This will
sink them automatically. Once all of the dreadnoughts have been destroyed
a V3 launcher will destroy the statue from behind and after a short message
from Premier Romanov you can take control of both Tanya and the GIs
surrounding the statue.

Move all your forces over the bridge to the west. Once you reach the other
side of the river you will encounter more soviet conscripts. Kill them and
collect the two GIs they were fighting. Follo the road you are on North-East
until you reach Mc BurgerKong, the building with a gorrila on top. More
paratroopers will arrive so select all of your GIs and order them to enter
Mc BurgerKong and Garrison it. Once the enemy troops are all dead, 
double click on the garrisoned building to release your GIs again and head
south-east, still following the road. This will take you to Fort Bradley,
an Allied base. It already has most of the structures you will need, except
for a Barracks Lt. Eva will now contact you to tell you to destroy the enemy
supply base to the south. Construct a Barracks, train an Engineer.
One this unit is ready you will receive a description of his capabilities.
Now order him into the small huts next to the damaged bridge which leads to
the south. The cursor will turn into a spanner icon. Once the engineer has
fixed the bridge select Tanya and order her to cross the bridge. Ignore
the V3 launchers and head to the West side of the enemy base. DO NOT go near
the Sentry Guns at the front of the base. Use Tanya to C-4 enemy Structures
and shoot infantry but don't waste your time attacking the V3 launchers as
Tanya's guns are weak against Vehicles. You can shoot the barrels which
are scattered around the base but don't stand to close as they explode
when shot! When all buildings except the Sentry Guns are destroyed order
your GI's across the bridge and destroy the guns. To make themselves stronger
the GIs can 'deploy' large guns and sandbags. Once they are in range of the
Guns deploy all of the GIs at once by pressing D on the Keyboard or the Deploy
button at the bottom of the screen.
When the Guns are destroyed the Mission ends in victory!

Allied Campaign.
Mission 2. Operation: Eagle Dawn

Re-capture airforce academy chapel
Destroy all Soviet forces
Keep Tanya alive

At the beginning of this mission you will have Tanya, three Engineers and
two GIs. Almost straight away some Conscripts will march up the road so
send Tanya to the east of your tiny camp to destroy them before they harm
your Engineers. Follow the road north-west until a squad of Rocketeer units
arrives. Now order Tanya to swim across the small river which is near the
enemy base. This way Tanya will avoid the Sentry Guns. Enter the base and
destroy the two Flak Cannons but DO NOT destroy any of the other buildings
as you will need these later. With the flak cannons gone your rocketeers
can swoop down on the base and destroy the Sentry Guns. Once all the guns are
gone order your troops into the base. A squad of engineers will parachute in.
Use them to capture all of the buildings in the area, including the Chapel.
Don't let your troops destroy the harrier jets or the harvester, they become
yours once the buildings are captured.
Order your Rocketeers to explore to the south-east of your base and you will
soon find the enemy base. The front is heavily guarded but you can explore
around the base. Towards the rear of the base is an undefended area containing
some power generators. Destroy these with rocketeers then head deeper into the
base and destroy the other power generators. Now that the power is down the
enemies Flak cannons will be offline. Destroy them and a huge army of GI
paratroops will be flown in. Use them to eliminate the remainder of the base.
Now you must search the map and destroy all enemy units. Once you do so then
victory is yours.


Soviet Campaign.
Mission one. Operation: Red Dawn.

When the mission starts you will see soviet paratroops dropping on Washington
D.C. They change the flag over the iwo jima victory monument to a Soviet flag
and then they head south to the new Construction Yard which has just deployed.
Now that you have a base you gain control of the units. Start constructing a
Tesla reactor. Once it is done place it and start constructing a refinery.
As this refinery is building send your men north-east along the road. This will
take them to a small group of allied GIs. Garrison your men inside a nearby
building to protect them and kill the enemy troops. After this wait until the
refinery is finished (if it already is then you can place it before now) and
then place it and build a Barracks. Once this Barracks is done, build an
Engineer. Keep him safe for now. March your men along the road and into the
small allied base. Destroy the GIs inside but do not harm the structures.
You will receive reinforcements. Now you may destroy the two Pariot missile
launchers with your Conscripts. When one of your units destroys one of them it
will become Elite. This is displayed by the three stipes next to him. Remove
him from the squad temporarily and destroy the other Patriot launcher. You will
now have at least two elite Conscripts. If you had left the conscript who
destroyed the first launcher in your team then he may have destroyed the other
as well and since he cannot reach a higher promotion than elite then it would
have been wasted. Now that the base is secure you can send in an Engineer to
capture the allied barracks. This will give you acess to GIs, as well as a
base. Double click on the barracks to change it to Primary. Anything built
from the infantry list will now come out of this Barracks intead of the other.
Train enough Engineers to capture the rest of the base and then do so.
To the North-west is another bridge. Train an Engineer and order him into the
small hut by the bridge to repair it. Now you can march the rest of your army
across the bridge to the enemy base on the other side.
As you approach the base you will be notice that it is defended by pillboxes.
These defenses will kill off your infantry so garrison the nearby buildings
quickly to make short work of them. As you enter the base you will receive
more reinforcements. Again destroy all enemy units but do not harm the
buildings (but destroy defensive buildings like Patriots). When the new
reinforcements arrive order the engineers to capture the CY, barracks and
Airport. This will give you even more reinforcements. Use these new engineers
and some others built from the new barracks (don't forget to set it as
Primary) to capture the remainder of the base and one to reapir the bridge
leading north-west. Cross this bridge to receive some tank reinforcements.
You will also see a truck. Destroy it to receive a powerup crate. Every time
you see these trucks, destroy them (there is also one near to your first base).
Now take your whole army and march north-east towards the pentagon. When you
reach the entrance to the area in which the pentagon is you will again have
to take out two pill boxes. Garrison the nearby buildings until the pillboxes
are destroyed. Now- attack! The pentagon must be utterly destroyed. You will
receive some tank reinforcements fom the north. Just focus all of your
firepower on the Pentgon, one section at a time.


Soviet Campaign.
Mission two. Operation: Hostile shore
Force a landing
Destroy all enemy forces 

The Mission begins with General Vladimir's command ship destroying some
GIs and a Pillbox along the coast, then your forces land. Quickly destroy the
defenses with your troops. When all of the defenses have been cleared out
you will receive an MCV. Deploy it into a Con Yard and begin building a
Tesla Reactor. You can destroy the Allied structures or wait until you
have a Barracks and train Engineers to capture them. You will come under
attack a little but you should be OK. Make sure you build a Refinery and
Barracks. Now you will gain acess to the Naval yard. This structure must
be built in water and it builds your ships. Once you have it built, build
a Typhoon attack sub.
Now General Vladimir will contact you, telling you to attack the allies.
Well.... Don't! Vladimir will attack and then run away (coward). Now you will
receive a large number of Typhoon attack subs. Use them to destroy the allied
fleet. If any of your subs are damaged you can send them back to the Naval
Yard. Order them to enter it and they will be repaired.
Once the allied fleet is destroyed, explore along the coast line until you
find an Inlet down south. This is where the allies have their Naval Yard,
along with a few destroyers. Sink them all and destroy the Naval Yard.
Now you must destroy the rest of the allied forces. Take a squad containing
at least 20 conscripts and 8 tanks and head south (you may need more
dependening on difficulty). You will encounter a lot of allied tanks and GIs
but you should be OK if you fire on the enemy units with all of your men at
once, concentrating on one before moving on to the others. Once all allied
units are destroyed, you win.
(Also note that there are mny crates lying around, many hidden behind
buildings, as well as two oil derricks in the north)


(#8) Credits

Thanks go out to:

Me, Immortal GJK, for writing this FAQ.
Westwood: For making the game.
My girlfriend for being, well, my girlfriend.
thegrimre4per for being my mate and giving me the drive to write this.
GameFAQS for being the best game guide site around.
JHeyes / PyroFalkon for their Time Study FAQ where I got the info on
how long it takes for paratroops be ready.
Beginners everywhere, for asking the questions. We were all beginners once.

If you wish to add anything to my FAQ like a good tip or a correction or 
would like to see a certain question on this FAQ then email me at
I will be sure to credit you.

As a side note I doubt that just about anyone will use this guide much,
if at all but if anyone does, Thanks.

Currently this FAQ is to appear ONLY on:


if you see it elsewhere the email me at Wallyk@btinternet.com

The most recent version will always be found on 

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