A 'rush' is basically using speed and surprise early-game with the aim of crippling your opponents' economy before they can react/defend themselves. The result of a successful rush is a huge advantage to yourself: your economy and military will be far superior to those of your victims, meaning that you'll have the leeway to dominate Early, Mid, and Late-Game.
This 'Solo Rush' strategy follows the basic principle of the 'Rush', and it's flexible enough for you to use your own intuition to adapt to the situation at hand. The strategy also assumes that you're effectively playing as a solo player (meaning, you either have no ally, or your 'ally' is an incompetent half-wit who won't do anything to help you), hence its name. It also assumes that you're not skilled enough at The Conquerors to win on your own against 4-5 other well-developed, competent players once the match reaches the Mid or Late stages (and therefore, not very willing to uphold a 'truce'). I recommend spending a few matches practising the basic build order and associated timings, as at first the sheer speed and focus you're expected to carry them out with may be overwhelming especially if you're new to RTS games.
This will almost guarantee a win against most players, as most Conquerors players (especially the new and inexperienced) are unaccustomed to rushers and will most likely ragequit as soon as they lose one or two Plants early-game. In the case of experienced, actually good players that know how to properly counter rushers, have an alternate game plan to fall back upon just in case. If your solo rush fails, unless you're a really skilled RTS player or have good contingency planning, you'll probably be severely behind most if not every other player in the server. Use this strategy if you're confident that your opposition isn't prepared to counter it.
How to rush Edit
1) The first 3-4 seconds: Build a Nuclear Plant between your Command Centre and Crystal Edit
Your decision-making under pressure during the first 5 minutes will decide the entire match for you. How quick you are in the first 5 minutes decides whether you win or lose.
Before the match starts, put a finger on the 'G' key. In case you're new to game, this hotkey selects all of your units near where your avatar is currently standing. The moment you're teleported to your CC (Command Centre) at the start of the match, press 'G' (thereby selecting your 3 starting Light Soldiers) and then immediately command your Light Soldiers to stand next to your starting Energy Crystal in a spot that's between the Crystal and your CC. Immediately afterwards, build an NP (Nuclear Plant) BETWEEN your CC and the Crystal. Build the NP as physically close your CC as possible without sacrificing more than one second.
How fast you manage to build your NP, and how far it is from your CC may decide how the whole match will go for you. If you can get your first NP started faster than everyone else, you'll gain an early edge over everyone else even if they are also rushers! Ideally, the construction of the NP will start within 3-4 seconds of match start. The NP should be close enough to your CC that, in case of rushers, enemy Soldiers will be unable to attack your NP without going within range of your CC's attack. Do note that on some maps, for some starting locations, your starting Crystal may still be too far away from your CC for you to build an NP in a safe location.
I usually build an NP first instead of a PP (Power Plant) because I always assume that a savvy, experienced player will counter my Rush by destroying 1 or 2 of the Power Plants I'll be making in the minutes after. With an NP, the loss of those PPs will be softer in impact, and building an NP removes the necessity of having to spend more money going back later on to upgrade the PP in the Mid stages.
2) 4-8 seconds after match start: Split up your 3 Light Soldiers to go the 2 nearest other crystals to your CC Edit
Use waypoints (Ctrl + Left Click) to save time and effort if you have to. As soon as your first NP begins construction, immediately move your 3 Light Soldiers to the nearest other Crystal to your base. While they're on the move, deselect 1 or 2 of the Light Soldiers and move the remaining selected Light Soldier(s) to another nearby Crystal.
While your 2 different groups of Light Soldiers are en-route to their respective Crystals, get ready to build 2 PPs in quick succession. Build the PPs at the Crystals as soon as your Light Soldiers enable you to. In the first 20-30 seconds of the match, you should have an income of $45 per minute.
3) First 4-5 minutes after match start: Keep building PPs until you get an income of at least $85 per minute Edit
After building your first 2 PPs, keeping travelling around, building PPs wherever you can, even at your ally's crystal. As soon as you place one PP down, begin moving to the next unclaimed crystal (that isn't currently targeted by an opponent). Try to get there before you can afford $65 to buy another PP. To speed up the process, split your Light Soldiers into 2 to 3 different groups and send them to simultaneously claim multiple different crystals. Avoid engaging other peoples' Light Soldiers. If you don't outnumber them, withdraw to another crystal or link up with another friendly Light Soldier.
Build up your economy until your p/m is $85. If you suspect that an opponent is gonna rush and start PP-killing, your p/m can be as low as $65-75 before you move on to the next step. If your opponents are actually idiots that aren't doing anything, you can afford to have a p/m of $105. Afterwards, save up until you can afford $150 for a Barracks.
Ideally, you should be able to reach a p/m of $65-$85 within the first 5 minutes of the match.
On Water Maps - Part 1 Edit
Once you've built all the plants you can on your island, get that Naval Shipyard up and running. If there is oil, construct Oil Ships first. Oil Rigs will serve you well. Move your Light Shoulders so that they hug the water next to your Naval Shipyard. Build a Transport Ship, select it, and then press 'N' to load your Light Soldiers immediately after it's built. Quickly hop from island to island while building PPs. Be quick. Aim to get to new crystals before you can afford another PP even if the next crystal's on another island.
4) 5-7 minutes after match start: Begin the rush. Build a barracks. Recruit Heavy Soldiers Edit
If your ally has already got a Barracks ready, use it instead of building your own. If not, as soon as you can afford a Barracks, build one next to your PP that is closest to your enemies' bases and/or plants. This is to save travel time for your soldiers; it makes a huge difference if they can get to where they're needed quicker! Unless you have to, don't build the Barracks at your home CC; at this stage, your CC is perfectly capable of protecting itself against rushers: in the first 20 minutes of a match, the damage of Turrets, CCs and HQs (Headquarters) are buffed to the point that a single CC can easily solo 10 Heavy Soldiers at once. This is specifically to deter rushers such as yourself.
When the Barracks is constructing itself, send your 3 Light Soldiers to attack an exposed NP or PP belonging to one of your enemies. Preferably, the target shouldn't be too far away from your new Barracks. If the Plants' owner notices and builds a turret, congratulations, you've baited them into spending valuable money on a soon-to-be-pointless turret rather than another Plant! Before the turret is finished, just move your soldiers to go destroy another, undefended Plant. Easy as.
Start recruiting Heavy Soldiers from your Barracks, and send them to help your Light Soldiers in destroying Plants as they're being trained. You can either create a big group quickly destroying Plants one by one, or splitting them up into smaller teams to attack multiple Plants at once.
At this point, most players would be too busy saving up to buy their next NP rather than a Barracks to retaliate with. In the first minutes, they'll most likely have up to 2 NPs and barely enough to afford another one or a Barracks with their incomes of only $40-55 per minute. I recommend waiting for your most 'dangerous' opponents, if they haven't caught on, to build their 3rd NP before you start PP-killing en-masse. That way, they'll have barely any money to spend on a Barracks or enough Heavy Soldiers to effectively retaliate against your onslaught. They simply won't earn enough money on time, as their income growth most likely won't be as good as yours!
If you are being PP-killed, destroy the plants of your PP-killer while replacing the ones you lose. Assuming you've built your first 3 plants as fast or faster than I detailed, you shouldn't worry because you'll always economically be a step ahead.
On Water Maps - Part 2 Edit
Before building your barracks, be sure which enemy island you're going to invade next. Build your barracks by your PP physically closest to the enemy island: you're going to prepare for a D-Day style invasion. Build 6 Heavy Soldiers, and then transport them via Transport Ship to an enemy coastline far away from enemy troops/defenses. If your opponents aren't paying attention, and their Naval Shipyard has nothing protecting it, destroy it along with the Construction Yard that's likely to be next to it. If you suspect that your opponents are going to spot your invasion, get straight to PP-killing.
After destroying your first PP on the island, build your own. Save up for another Barracks, and build it next to your PP. This will be the start of your new forward base from which you will conduct a brutal campaign on the island. It is important to build forward bases so close to enemy territory because afterwards you don't need to waste VERY precious time and money building new Transport Ships to manually load/unload reinforcements. Do note that your opponents WILL notice your new base, and WILL throw everything they have to destroy it within the next 10 minutes.
4) 7-20 minutes after match start: With your strike teams of Heavy Soldiers, keep going around the map destroying other peoples' Plants. Along the way, build new PPs Edit
By now you should be the dominant player. Most, if not all, of your opponents, have been crippled to the point that you can easily dominate them in the Mid-Late stages of the match. If someone's escaped your net, built a barracks, and a sizable amount of Heavy Soldiers, be prepared to defend your Barracks at all costs. If the odds are so against your favour that your Barracks is going to go down anyway, build what soldiers you can and just continue your PP-killing/building campaign as normal. Build another one somewhere else.
If the enemy army does go straight for your Barracks, and you know you can save it, pull back as many Heavy Soldiers as you can spare to defend it, or train new ones if you have the space. If you have at least $100, be prepared to build a Bunker between the enemy army and your Barracks + defending soldiers. As soon as the enemy army starts charging towards your Barracks, build that Bunker in their path so it draws their fire and soaks up most if not all damage while your own soldiers destroy the enemy with barely any harm done unto themselves. If you can't afford a Bunker in time, use your own soldiers as shields to draw fire away from your Barracks. It must not fall, at any cost. Be confident in waging a war of attrition, as your superior economy means that you can afford to replace losses far better than your opponents.
Don't forget to keep up the PP-killing. Don't let base defense distract you too much; your opponents may as well be using such an attack to distract you while they rebuild their economies! Don't let them do it!
On Water Maps - Part 3 Edit
Assuming your forward base has survived the initial landing, continue to assert your dominance over the island. Destroy every exposed/lightly-defended enemy plant on the island that your troops can physically reach. Replace them with your own. If the enemy is sufficiently-crippled to the point that it's going to take ages for them to build up a force that can stand up against you, go to another island and cripple whatever enemy plants are there. Build another forward base there if you can. Don't be afraid to fight on many different fronts at once; this is a valuable skill you must learn. Don't be scared to fail; if you do dun goof, there's nothing wrong with that as long as you know what went wrong. Just come back later with a bigger invasion force and don't repeat your past mistake.
5) 15-20+ minutes after match start: Do whatever you like for the remainder of the match Edit
You should now be the dominant player of the match with everyone at your mercy. The chances are, half the server have already ragequitted the game in the first 15 minutes alone. Getting PP-killed is actually that aggravating, especially for those that have no idea how to properly react to rushers. Fortunately for you, most Conquerors players are unused to rushers, especially rushers that have plans like this one.
Do not attack enemy bases until after the 20 minute mark, otherwise your army will be massacred. After that, you can go ahead with finishing off your opponents. Finish the game in whatever way you'd like to finish it in, as there aren't that many people that could stop you at this point.