Tooth and Tail – A Study in Micro/Macro

OK so I haven’t been able to complete the original plan…


However I am impressed at Tooth and Tail and I do want to get this down on screen.

The key thing that I like about this game is it brings the most complicated part of an RTS and simplifies it while giving a decent strategy level.


The key thing is the difference between micro and macro.  The key thing is two specific parts of the term; Micro meaning “minute in scope or capability” and Macro meaning “very large in scope, scale and capability” (terms from dictionary.com).  RTS players use these terms regularly as a way of defining the type of play in a game even using a sliding scale in some cases to define whether it is more micro or macro.

However, in Tooth and Tail, there is one problem with that definition, they are effectively one and the same; you can either move everyone together or all of one unit type.  Choosing where to place one unit type so that they are optimal is normally Micro however because you find yourself controlling all the units of the same type when you do it, it becomes a Macro part of the plan as placing them incorrectly will actually have disastrous consequences.


Lizards and Ferrets can clear out air and ground units BUT can be ripped apart by turrets and AoE (Area of Effect) as they would be forced into range to be effective.

The Freight Union Artillery are great at long range BUT can easily be wiped by faster units or air units due to their slow rate of fire.

The Chameleons have Stealth meaning they can get close and hit hard BUT they have no air capabilities and they are weak if they get engaged for long periods.


These are three examples of normally micro tasks… and they would be… if it wasn’t for one issue… the respawn of units; the moment one dies, it is automatically produced from the warrens at cost.

This means that every unit that dies will immediately affect your income; the Tooth and Tail as it is called and there.  A Micro error has a direct impact on the Macro, especially if you lose units faster than you can generate income.


OK so this isn’t the answer to the original question… but maybe there is something here that can answer the question… this could be a two parter.

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