|Dbl-Left-click||Select all same units on screen|
|Ctrl-Z||Select all same units as already selected|
|Ctrl-B||Select all engineer-units|
|Alt-Right-Click||Move to Attack|
|Ctrl-Right-Click||Move in formation|
|Ctrl-Alt-Right-Click||Move to Attack in Formation|
|Shift-Ctrl-Alt-Right-Click||Move with slowest unit|
|Shift-?-click||Change movepoint to patrol point|
|Hold-Right, move mouse||Set group in formation facing direction|
|Hold-Right-Click-Left||Set next formation|
|Shift-TAB||Save current view|
|TAB||Cycle between saved views|
|Ctrl-TAB||Remove saved view|
A lot of games allow you to combine the efforts of construction units to help build objects more rapidly, but Supreme Commander places a higher emphasis on assisting than most games do. Almost any unit in the game can assist any other unit or structure (by selecting the unit that will assist, then right-clicking on the friendly unit that it wishes to assist), with a variety of effects. The most obvious use of assisting, though, will be to have your engineer units and your commander assist factories as they create units. Some units can take a long time to make, but if you have an engineer assist the factory, it will add its own constructing power to the factory, allowing the factory to build its units faster. You can have as many engineers as you like assist a single factory, but keep in mind that each additional engineer will take up more resources as the units are built. You can also have engineers assist units like tactical missile launchers as they construct missiles.
You can also have engineers assist other engineers! If you want to quickly build a lot of structures, like anti-air defenses, you can have a single engineer queue all of them up, then have another nearby engineers assist the first one. That way you can add jobs to the queue of that single engineer as needed, instead of having to select every engineer in the area, which oftentimes drags other nearby engineers away from their jobs in the base.
Spy planes and scout planes are other useful units for assisting. If you have an army of artillery units or battleships marching along and see enemy units on your radar, you can have spy planes assist the units in the front of your formation. They'll rotate in the air above the units and will be able to see much further than the units themselves will be able to do so, allowing you to prioritize your targeting to take out the most dangerous enemy units first.
Speaking of bases, youll want to take note of the energy and mass adjacency bonuses when youre constructing your base. When you build a structure that uses mass or energy next to a structure that makes mass or energy, the buildings will link together, causing the amount of mass or energy thats needed to be reduced. For instance, if you build a shield generator, which requires a large amount of energy, next to a power generator, the amount of energy that the shield generator requires to run will be reduced. The amount of the reduction depends on the size of the source, and on how many sides of the structure you build sources. For instance, if you have a large energy-draining building with a single, Tech 1 power generator on one side, youre only going to shave off around two percent of the total energy requirements. If, however, you build a Tech 3 power generator on each side of the building, the structure will see its energy requirements cut by around 75%, which is a big bonus for structures like mass fabricators and Tech 3 radar systems.
Perhaps most useful, though, is the adjacency bonuses afforded to you by mass and energy storage units, especially mass storage. When you build storage units next to a structure that produces mass or energy, the production unit will see its output boosted, sometimes by quite a bit. For instance, take a T3 mass fabricator. It normally produces 24 units of mass, but each mass storage unit that you build next to it will increase this by one. Since you can build up to 12 mass storage units on its borders (three on each side), doing so will let you cheaply increase its output by 50%, up to 36 mass units per second. This trick also works for mass extractors, increasing the output of a T3 mass extractor from 12 to 18. It won't very well on lower-level extractors, though. Power generators can also be boosted in efficacy by ringing them with power storage structures, but power won't generally be as big of a deal for you as mass will.
Keep in mind that one building can supply adjacency bonuses to all bordering buildings at no reduction in effectiveness. For example, say that a power generator reduces the energy cost of an adjacent radar dish by 25%. If you built another radar dish on the other side of the power generator, it would also be reduced in power consumption by 25%.
All of these bonuses are simply that. Whether the power generator in the previous example is helping out adjacent structures or not, it will still generate the same amount of power. There aren't any penalties involved for buildings that supply these bonuses, in other words.
Patrolling is another aspect of RTSs that Supreme Commander emphasizes more than other titles. When you tell a unit to patrol, it will move between two or more points on the map automatically. This can have a number of uses to you, but for the most part, the units you want to patrol are air units. If you need to keep an eye on what your enemy is up to, a patrol of scout planes can be just what the doctor ordered, as theyll continue to fly above any avenues of attack until they get shot down. Offensive units will automatically attack anything that comes into their patrol lanes, as well, so ringing your base with patrolling fighter jets can help shoot down incoming bombers before they reach their targets, even if your attention is on a zone halfway across the map. Your engineers can also be told to patrol, as well; they wont attack anything in their path, but they will reclaim any debris that they see, as well as repair wounded units or structures.
Unfortunately, most land units that you tell to patrol will eventually just stop in their tracks. This appears to be a bug, and will hopefully be patched at some point. We generally find it better to have a central location for your military units, and move them towards the enemy when they approach, instead of having them patrol around your base in the hopes of encountering them. Land scout units can be able patrollers, though, especially if your radar coverage isn't as good as you like, or you suspect the enemy of approaching with stealth field generators or something similar.
One of the final basic aspects of Supreme Commander is transporting. Transport units are built at your airfield, and can be used to quickly transport your ground units across the map. Unfortunately, using transports can be a bit clunky, so here are some tips. First off, if you want to build units at a factory and instantly move them far across the map, set the factorys move destination where you want the units to go, and then have a few transport units assist the factory. As units pop out of the factory, theyll automatically move into the transports, which will then drop them off at the designated stopping point, then return for another load. Be sure that you have the right number of transports assisting the factory, based on the type of units youre building, the speed of construction, and the distance theyre traveling. Having too many transports assigned to a factory will cause them to load very slowly, as the units disperse between all of the transports. Having too few transports assigned to a factory will cause units to pile up around it, instead of moving out to the destination. The quicker the construction times of the units youre building, and the farther the distance to the destination, the more transports you want to assign to the factory.
Another way of moving units via a transport is by ferrying. If you click on a transport, click the ferry button, and click on a destination point on the map, a small purple ferry icon will appear on the ground underneath it. If you select ground units, then right-click on the ferry icon, the transport will start shuttling all of those units to the destination. This works well for small groups of units, but if you want to ferry a large group of units in multiple transports, youll need to use assisting. Begin by having a large group of transports assist a single transport, then use that single transports ferry command to point to the destination. This will result in a single ferry icon appearing on the ground, but all of the transports that are assisting will pick up units and ferry them alongside the assisted transport. Unfortunately, the AI of the ground units can get a little mixed up when attempting to board the transports, but you can solve this problem by moving them away from the transports a bit, then clicking on the ferry icon. This will force the transports to come to them, eliminating the AI bottlenecks that cause problems.