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Many players understand defense as building defense structures around and waiting until enemy comes. It is the most widely spread delusion, which leads to a boring game and loss.
Before you start to defend yourself, you need to understand the meaning of defense. Defense – is a set of actions which don’t allow enemy to bring damage. Hence, if you want to defend, then you need to know the means of attack. Enemy can attack you with the following:
- Land units;
- Aviation;
- Super weapons;
- Diversions;
- Defense structures (by building them on your base or around your base).
There are means of defense for each attack type. However, all defenses are united with the same algorithm: preparation – reconnaissance – action. Preparation is building units and preparing plan B (for the case if you fail). Reconnaissance is not spying inside enemy base only. You also need to monitor all exits from enemy base and use another sources of information. Action is any set of actions directed to break enemy attack.

Defense from land units

Let us consider defense from land units. Preparation part is capturing supply source far you’re your base. If you fail to defend your main base, you can go there and build another base from scratch. It is better to build supply center, construction dozer and war factory there beforehand. Recons must be deployed near enemy base. You must know about attack as early as possible. As for actions, there are many variants. Here are some of them:
- Attack enemy forces and destroy them before they reach your base. This strategy fits very much for nuclear and air force generals.
- Make diversions in order to weaken enemy attack. You can use hijackers, terrorists, mines and other means. Attack force will not be defeated. But weakened enemy will be easier to counter.
- Destroy or damage enemy attack with general’s powers. This strategy is the best for super weapon general.
- Direct your forces to defense line in order to strengthen it. Enemy attack will be destroyed by joint efforts of both defenses and mobile units. It is the best for laser general because his turrets are weak against infantry.
- The most impertinent way – attack enemy base in order him to stop the attack and return back for defense.
- Ambush your enemy. When he reaches your defense line and starts fighting, attack him from the back by mobile forces. This way is the best if enemy has artillery behind. So, you destroy artillery first and save your sefense structures from destruction.

Defense from aviation

Defense from aviation is different. Since aviation is fast, it is pointless to build up in another place. Enemy will find and destroy you quickly.
It is also pointless to deploy recons around enemy base. Even if you see planes in time, there will be no time to react. You need to detect airfield building instead and start building AA units. When enemy airfield is completed, you must have first AA defense.
If air attack was started, it can be only 2 counteractions: to destroy enemy planes or to destroy enemy airfields. You can also combine these actions. 

Defense from super weapons

Defense from super weapon is very similar to defense from aviation. There can be no any maneuvers with land units. But super weapons are not as dangerous as planes. None of them (including Nuclear Storm) can destroy a good base. Therefore, it is possible to build up and recover lost buildings. In order to avoid significant damage, you need to place buildings far from each other and double them. You can read more about base building in Base Building Basics article.
You need to perform super weapon reconnaissance if you play versus Stealth general only. He has mobile Elbrus launchers, which stay undetected when they fire. So, you need to detect and destroy them in time. Other super weapons become visible when built. So, their location is known.
What should you do to defend yourself? There can be only one action – destruction. It is usually made by your general’s powers, super weapons or aviation (Aurora bombers fit this role the best of all).
If enemy has launched his super weapon then you still have time to lower your losses. Experienced players launch super weapon at mobile forces. So, you can hear warning sound and move your forces to random directions quickly. You will hardly save everything, but this can lower your losses in some cases.
Super Weapon general needs to be mentioned separately. She has unique defense – SDI cannon. This weapon destroys heavy missiles, bombs and shells. So, it is possible to protect your base versus Nuclear Missiles, Elbrus Storm, Strategic Bombing as well as many general’s powers. Some general’s powers, such as A-10 strike or Artillery Barrage can be also stopped by Shield Generator. No other general has such defenses.

Defense from diversions

Diversion – is enemy actions directed to weaken you. They are usually used to slow down your production or weaken your defenses before attack. Here are the most widely used ones:
- GLA disables power with saboteurs and attacks;
- China steals your money with Black Lotus;
- Cyber general steals your money with Leech drones;
- Black Lotus or regular infantry captures your buildings;
- GLA kills vehicle drivers with Jarmen Kell or with Assassins. Disabled vehicles can be captured later and used against you;
- Burton sneaks through a hole in your defenses and destroys your base from inside;
- Demolition general explodes something with his mine deployment abilities;
- China steals your money with Cash Hack general’s power.
There are 2 types of diversions: preventable and unpreventable. The first 6 diversions pointed above are preventable because it is possible to kill enemy spy and don’t allow him to do anything. In order to defend successfully, you need radars or land mines. Radars will detect enemy, which will be killed by your defenses. Mines can perform both roles – they can detect and destroy enemy spies without any help.
The last 2 diversions are unpreventable because they are made by general’s powers. There can be only one defense from them – destroy enemy command center.

Defense from building up

Defense from this kind of attack is described in another article - Mirror counterstrategy.