Halo Wars 2 – Understanding the Phases of Real-Time Strategy

Learn more about the three phases that make up Halo Wars 2’s gameplay.

Real-time strategy (RTS) games are all about planning and being strategic. If you want to be successful in your endeavors to take down your enemies, you’re going to need to understand the three main phases that make up the core of Halo Wars 2’s strategy and gameplay. In this article we’ll go over each phase and discuss them in detail to help you better understand how each phase affects the game, and how you can use each phase to your advantage.

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Early Game – Establishment and Exploration

The first phase of any RTS is to explore and establish your main base. You don’t want to spread yourself too thinly during this era, as it will make your bases easier for the enemy to attack and destroy. Instead, you should send out scouting units, decide where you want to establish bases at a later time, and even take note of any resources around the area. This phase is extremely crucial to your survival capabilities later in the match, so make the most of the early game to prepare yourself for the mid and late game phases.

Mid Game – Expand Your World

Expansion is a key part of the mid-game experience in Halo Wars 2, and other RTS games out there. If you want to properly prepare yourself for the oncoming onslaught of enemies, you’ll need to properly set up your defenses. Use the locations that you scouted and marked during the early game to establish new bases and places of defense, then begin funneling units to these areas. You’ll want to stay on the defensive for the mid-game era, as the enemy may begin to push back depending on how closely your bases are to theirs.

You’ll also want to start scouting the enemy’s fortifications at this point, to get a better idea of what you will be facing in the end-game phase. You should also take a moment to set up different groups, so you can easily swap between them and issue orders in the end-game era.

End Game – Take Them Down

The end-game is when everything hits the fan. War breaks out around the level, and you’re going to find yourself moving troops around quite a bit. All the hard work from the early game and mid-game phases comes together in a beautiful culmination of blood, guts, and glory. While many believe this is the only phase that matters, what you do in the early and mid-game phases greatly affects the outcome of everything that happens in the end-game phase.

Using your groups and expanded bases, take down the enemy and rid the level of their fortifications. Start small, and attack on various fronts to keep their troops separated. If you find yourself struggling, pull back your troops and go on the defensive. Sometimes the only way to win is to bleed them dry.

For more tips and guides head back over to our Halo Wars 2 guide. You can also find articles that will help you get every Skull in the game, as well as guides that will teach you how to play Blitz

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Josh Hawkins
Josh has been exploring fantastic worlds and getting lost in video games for as long as he can remember. Starting out on the Super Nintendo with Super Mario World, and ending up in the world of next-generation gaming. He enjoys digging into the story and lore of massive RPGs, as well as getting lost just trying to make that last jump in any platformers he gets pulled into, as well as everything in between. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Entertainment.