The basic principle is the same as the C&C game, in that you create a base, harvest tiberium and crystal to build more structures, including power stations to create power, silos to store tiberium and crystal and accumulators to store power. You then create factories, barracks and airfields allowing you to create vehicles, troops and planes for attack and defence. To obtain upgraded vehicles, troops, planes you have to carry out research, which needs cash and research points, which can only be gained by attacking, ensuring that you cannot sit back and wait for cash to come to carry out research. It gets you fighting quickly. When you initially sign up there are advice and tips help bubbles to help you understand what you need to do next.
You can’t trade goods with other team members, so in that regard you fly solo. The team element comes in grouping close to other alliance members so that you can launch co-ordinated attacks against enemy alliance members. You can extend support to other team members if you have certain facilities built (a bit like extending your shields), providing artillery support and ack-ack support, etc.
When you attack them you rob resources from them if victorious. You can’t totally destroy them, but you can kill their base allowing you to take over its position on the map so that they have to retreat to another location. You can also manually move your base about so that you can follow others around the map. There are loads of bases run by a cpu controlled enemy called the Forgotten. You can attack them to start getting additional resources to help you build up your own base without fear of retaliation. Some of them also have supply crates which contain mystery bundles of goodies like tiberium, crystal, power and cash, all of which will become necessary.
You have a limited number of attacks you can do at a time, to make sure no-one can continually trash someone and you have to take time out to recoup your attack points. Like all these browser games you can spend real cash to buy extra goodies to shorten build periods, that sort of thing, if you want. The strategy is quite complex in that you have to weigh up carrying out attacks being feasible with the possiblility of running out crystal to repair your vehicles and not leaving enough to repair your base in the event of a counter attack. You can watch replays of yours and other team members attacks to see what worked and what failed. It improves your base and defence building and placement strategy.
There’s much more to it than this but it will you a basic idea of what’s involved There is an in-game e-mail system and when you are in an alliance a separate alliance only forum so you can discuss attacks strategy and tips. Interested?