Just bought the game, downloaded it and will play it (again, as you will understand).
1) I was browsing all war game sites, to find a new good game. I saw that COTA was similar to HTTR, so thats how I started to get interested into it.
2) I was interested in HTTR but I never bought as there was no demo available for it. I was not going buy COTA/HTTR without playing it. I must play the game myself before handing over 500 KR of my hard earned money for a game that could be a RTS Stratego in new clothes. Lets just say that I found a "demo" of the game on the shady side of the Internet.
3) I could not test it before I bought it. If there had been a demo for HTTR, then I would have played it and most likely bought it. But now I wont buy it as COTA seems to have a few good features that are missing in HTTR. Sorry.
4) I have never heard of RDOA. I never saw that HTTR came from a game named RDOA. I couldnt find the demo, as there was no link (or text) to it.
5) Generic, games that I like: SilentHunterIII, Max Payne2, Operation Flashpoint, Call of duty, Swat 4, Thief serie.
For promoting the game, I have only ONE suggestion. Make a demo available for it. It could just contain one scenario, a few units but could be playable by both sides. To give newcomers like myself a feeling for the game, how it works, etc. It shouldnt be too hard, size is no longer a problem. Most of the times, I need to get my hands into a game before deciding if I should buy it. There are many crap games (especially WWII RTS) out there, which in my eyes arent worth 40€ (or 10€).
By not having a demo available, people are going to find other ways to get ahold and test it (like I did). Then the chance of getting the money for a game they already have is much lower. Please, I do not consent on piracy, Im a software developer myself, BUT I think most of the times people want to try something out before they buy it. Im not proud of what I did, but it got me to actually buy the game. So, please make a demo available. If it is HTTR, COTA or the next title, wont probably matter as the game mechanics/engine is the same.
But I did like the Virtual tour of HTTR, and missed that COTA didnt have one.
Having media tutorials would be very nice, if they would be made in game. Similar to the virtual tour, but recorded in "real-time". That would really show me why this game is different from the rest. And of course, those tutorials would be nice for newbies such as myself.
I would also suggest that you bring the three games into one site. Now it is not very apparent that COTA is a succesor to HTTR (and RDOA). I think this is more important in the future when you are going to deliver more operations. If there isnt a strong link between the games, they will canabalize on each other.
Making manuals downloadable, would be nice. I can not see any reason for not having them public.