Generals when EA Games bought Westwood (the original creator of the Command & Conquer series) and failed to uphold the tradition.
The game balance between the forces of the Allied and Soviet armies differed from other games at its time. Like the 'rock-paper-scissors' balancing of modern games, Red Alert required each player to use their side's strengths in order to compensate for their weaknesses. This stood in contrast to games such as Total Annihilation or Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, in which both sides had units with similar abilities and relied instead on outnumbering or possessing a better balanced force than their opponent.
Players acquire credits to purchase structures and equipment by mining for ores and minerals (as the valuable, yet hazardous Tiberium in the regular C&C series has not yet been discovered in this timeline). Rare gems generate more credits and are faster to mine, but unlike ores, do not regenerate within the map. Players can gain more credits and increase their buying power by building more ore factories and ore trucks.
The Soviets' vehicles tend to be more durable and powerful than Allied vehicles, but are often slower moving and more expensive. The Soviets also have superior defensive capabilities against both ground attacks (Tesla Coil) and air attacks (Surface to Air Missiles), but are at a disadvantage on the sea. The only offensive naval unit the Soviets have is the submarine, which cannot attack land-based targets or aircraft, so it is useless unless the opponent builds any sea units, and while it is normally invisible except when surfacing to attack, it can be detected by destroyers and gunboats. When heavily damaged, it is not able to submerge. The Soviets' secret weapon is the Iron Curtain, a device that renders a selected unit invulnerable to attacks for a short period of time. In online play and computer skirmish, they have access to two of the Allied side's infantry: the Rocket Soldier and Tanya, a commando capable of easily killing infantry and destroying structures. They also have a wide selection of air units for assault (MiG-27, Yak-7 and Mi-24 Hind) and map revelation through spy planes, and could deploy infantry by air through paratroops or by the Chinook transport helicopter (the latter only present in multiplayer). The Soviet "tank rush" was a popular strategy online, involving building many heavy tanks and overwhelming the opponent with sheer numbers.