I want to ramble about Desert Strike HotS, which I believe is made and published by Tya. I think it's the most polished version so far, so without further ado, I'll give my thoughts.
First of all the game has a fixed income in the beginning, which the 6 players use to construct an army that will be repeatedly sent in turns against the army that the opponent is also building with said income.
It plays out like a normal tug of war except the team who is past the middle gets 15% more income.
A player can also construct gas refineries, which give +10% income, while freezing your income for 30 seconds + 30 seconds for every refinery you already have. This is an interesting mechanic and imo one of the most strategic aspects of the game.
The typical player mentality is "control mid". This stems from the idea that it's a slippery slope, and the longer you hold mid the harder it is going to be to lose it. Which is usually true until you factor in the gas refineries, which have both the opportunity for faster income, while having the setback of losing income.
So let's say Team A is pushing Team B over the mid, if we follow the "control mid" mentality, Team A should slowly reap the advantages of having mid and eventually kill Team B.
Team B goes STRAIGHT to mass gassing. Depending on Team A's total army size compared to Team B's, Team B could either make it to full gasses, or die before that happens. Let's assume Team B did make it to the 3 gas limit (4 if the game is over 20 minutes, but the game is a lot different by that time). Team B now has a 30% income boost while Team A has a 15% income boost from mid. (EXTREMELY unlikely situation ingame though, just an example). Team B is now the team with 15% income advantage. Team B slowly pushes back Team A while making up for their lost income. Team A realizes this and they want to close the income gap.
But, if Team A were to gas, they would lose their income and give Team B an even bigger advantage.
What is the difference? When Team B was gassing, the risk was losing the game from losing income, the reward was having an income lead. Team B also knew that the losses they took from gassing, team A will also take the same losses from gassing.
When Team A was gassing, the risk was losing the game from losing income, the reward was being on equal income with Team B
This is a highly unlikely situation, but you get the idea.
What some players do when they control mid, is they gas immediately, nullifying their mid advantage and giving the opposing team a chance to push back.
What others do though, is try to collect their advantage, then gas when they think they're ahead enough to. I THINK this is the correct move for most cases (you can close the game out), as I'll try to explain
Let's say we have income = 100 minerals/second
Team A has an army worth 15000 minerals, and Team B has an army worth 14500.
Team A pushes Team B over to mid, giving them a 15% boost.
Team A now gets 115 minerals/second
How would Team A know when it's time to gas?
Gassing gives 10% more income, so if they hold mid after gassing, they get 125.6 minerals/second. This is for a net benefit of 11.5 minerals/second
Assuming this is their first gas, and the income pauses for 30 seconds, they lose 3450 minerals if they invest in a gas.
Team A has to wait until they have earned +3450 minerals more from holding mid, which is giving them +15 minerals/second more. So they have to hold mid for 230 seconds or more for them to safely gas.
At that point, Team A will have an army worth 41450, and Team B with an army worth 37500.
Team A wants to gain more from mid, so they wait 10 seconds more, where
A = 42600
B = 38500
Then they gas, 30seconds later, it looks like this:
A = 42600
B = 41500
Great! Everything according to plan! Team A now has 25% lead AND is pushing B back?
Let's assume the same scenario. B gasses THE MOMENT they lose the lead, which would be the point in time the armies were 15000 vs 14500
It would look like this 30 seconds later.
A = 18450
B = 14500
B took the gassing risk they took above, and let's assume they were skilled enough to stay alive.
Let's skip forward to that "break even" point when A should gas minimum.
A = 41450
B = 36500
This looks EVEN WORSE for B than it was before, but let's wait until A chose to gas, which would be 10 seconds later.
A = 42600
B = 37600
Then A gasses, 30 seconds later.
A = 42600
B = 40900
Again, still worse.
Let's assume in that situation, Team B went all the way to 3 gas.
A = 15000
B = 14500
Team A after gas point:
A = 42600
B = 29141
Team B must be literal gods to still survive at this point (this is one in a million if the game is late enough), but let's ignore that.
Team B now has 15% income lead, and can close the gap slowly. So A decides to gas to 3 too, which would make them lose 150 seconds of income.
A = 42600
B = 49091
Team B now has the lead! And can push Team A back.
Now we can point fingers at how it got to 15000 vs 14500 in the first place, or how A could have gassed in unison, and the fact that there are 3 players in each team which complicates the matter even more, but I'm just sick of people bashing me when I gas when behind.
This brings another thing to the table: the fact that you can't see your opponent's gasses (unless you spend on a scan, which I do :p). This makes it a lot more intriguing and fun to play like Hearthstone :3
I'm sure as I play and understand more of the game I'll write more of these, so stay tuned!
(edit: I'd also like to thank that one player who interested me by doing exactly the stuff I'm writing about, and actually ended up carrying me in that game )