Age of Empires II (2013)

Age of Empires II (2013)

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AoC Advanced Noob Guide-v2.9
By [LTP]PsychoMantis_
Advanced Guide to Economic Builds and Strategy, Overall Guide to AoC Random Map
So you have decided that you are not going to be able to learn AoC in a couple weeks?......READ THIS

UPDATE!!! Notice this guide was written in 2013 mostly some information may be inaccurate but this can still teach the mechanics and has lots of very usefull information
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Introduction to AoC
Hi everyone!!!

The Writers:

My name is Mike, I have been playing the AoE series since 1998.
I started in Age of Empires: Rise of Rome and then moved to Age of Empires II: Age of Kings in 1999, and finally to Age of Empires II: Age of the Conquerors in 2001.

My nick names are [LTP]SprinteR, [LTP]PsychoMantis_ , and RoR_Sprinter
I've had various nick names over the years(probably over 200) ranging from 1600-2000+ rated
Favorite Civs: Mayan, Mongols, and Britons.
I normally play on www.Voobly.com

Note: I do not play here anymore, but i will keep updating the guide







...And my name is Dave, I've been playing this game since 2001.
My nick is [Zenith]NuCL3aR and my favourite civ is Mayans.

Also information gathered from
L_Clan_Chris aka [RVK]OrCuS
slam
_Ares_
The_Sheriff
Lightning_CN
Halen
kkab
_DauT_
AoCZone

Over 5000 forum topics searched and 19 years of experience with AoE (16 with AoC).


Introduction to AoC


The Conquerors is a game that defined an age, when it came out on August 24, 2000
and rocked our world. It is the ULTIMATE RTS game.

No game has ever topped it in Micro/ Macro control on economy, military with 18 civilizations to choose from giving the game thousands of unit counters. The shear numbers that you have to control and keep an eye on is intimidating and overwhelming even to the TOP asain experts out there( lol but no seriously those guys can do calculus with there fingers n shiz) . With a community of over 10,000 players which are still playing the original game(www.voobly.com) and currently over 15,000 playing the HD version(www.steampowered.com) it is due to grow even bigger as the weeks go by. This game has been re-released with new improvements and features not affecting the original game mechanics that we all have loved for over 16years.


This guide will go over ALL aspects of Age of Conquerors Random Map it take about 30-minutes to 1 hour to read. you will benefit from this guide. it has the potential to make you a top gamer if you follow the guidelines.


Note: read the tips and tricks section.
Getting Setup
Getting properly set up is a very important part to your AoC gameplay

Scroll Speed and Resolution

Make sure you set a scroll speed that you can control, you need to be able to scroll through the map quickly but not so quickly your jumping 10 screens away on one scroll, this is very important in getting around the map quickly and smoothly.

You want a resolution were you can view as much as possable, its very important, dont set it so large that you have a hard time keeping track on things or to low to were you cant see enough.

Hotkeys
What you will want to do is to take a look at the hotkey section, and read over all the villager build commands to learn some basic hotkeys.

You have to use what you’re going to be comfortable with, some high skilled players like The Viper have remapped their entire hotkey section. But this is pretty much up to you.

You will need to learn all the basic hotkeys and some very simple ones that I can help you with.

My setup looks like this:

Tab = idle villager
Spacebar/Mouse wheel up = idle military
Mouse wheel down = last notification

Those are some simple hotkeys that you can set to keep track of everything that’s going on.

Starting Hotkeys:

When you press "H", it selects or scrolls through the Town Centers you have.

Normally when you start a game you will start out by pressing "H" and then the villager build command "C".

Example: pressing H+CCC will trigger the Town Center to create three villagers. This is a lot faster than clicking the Town Center manually and selecting villagers.

Or you can press "H" and then press Shift + C.

Shift will create multiple of any hotkey. or create multiples of 5 when creating units.

So let's say you want to build multiple houses in a game of Death Match, select a villager and press B+E. Then hold down "Shift" and left click multiple times to assign multiple locations for houses to be built.


the "G" key will Garrison selected units into a building and the "W" key will put them back to work.

this is a very quick trick so you can drop off food at the Town Center very quickly with civilizations that need it like the Aztecs or Chinese. The same can apply when you want to quickly get boar meat.
Note: you can also select villagers, click your town center and then click your sheep/or boar, this should be done quickly though. its the main drop method used by an average, to pro level player.



I use most of the default hotkeys so you'll be able to use these ones too.

Now you can press V or B to build any building, you don't have to use the exact letter you can use either one.

B+B = Barracks
B+A = Archery Range
B+L = Stables
B+K = Siege
B+P = Palisade Wall
B+W = Stone Wall
B+V = Castle
B+T = Tower
B+J = Bombard Tower

B+Z = Lumber Pit
B+G = Mining Camp
B+I = Mill
B+D = Dock
B+S = Black Smith
B+M = Market
B+U = University
B+N = Town Center


These are very common ones used, the hotkeys get much more in-depth and can be customized completely. You can even set your own hotkeys to each and every building.

Having a quick and effective way to use hotkeys in games will make sure you keep moving at a good pace in any situation.

By pressing and holding down Ctrl, you can then press any number from 0 to 9 to assign the currently selected unit or units to this number. You can then just press the assigned number and it will select those units. Pressing the same number twice, will move your screen towards those units. You can re-assign any number as many times as you want. These numbers are very useful, and you will want to use them.

I usually number my first scout 1, Town Center 2 and Dock 3 (if I have one).

Playing space and gear


Now this is a very common part in all games. Obviously some people will have a better setup than others, but the most important part is to be able to use what you got and be comfortable with it.

Make sure you have a enough space cleared so you can use your hotkeys and mouse decently and be able to relax while you play, it’s hard to think when you’re uncomfortable and tense.

Some players have money to get good gear, but some don’t, if you don’t have the money to get good gear to use, the best thing would be a light weight mouse to move it quickly and lighted gaming keyboard to use the hotkeys in the dark if you don’t remember them all by heart.
Communication
In Game Communication is very important

when most games start the best thing to do when in a team game is tell your allys the following;

Civilization
Plan

you need to let them know these two key items because the following reasons;

When they are pocket-
they will need to know if they need to rush
they will need to know if they can boom

When they are on Flank/Wing-
they will need to know if they need to wall and build defences
they will need to know if they can rush


because in most cases what happens when a flank rushes and pocket booms the flank will be left unprotected and most likely die because they will not have proper defences to hold vs 2 players


ALWAYS let your partner know whats going on some simple things to tell them are;

Enemy location- send a signal flare to were the enemy town center and resources such as wood, gold stone are located this can be very important in coridinating an attack with your partner

mainly you want to signal your enemy flank and pocket when you find there base, this lets your partner know the distance between you and your enemys and your allys.


Enemy Units- telling your ally what kind of units your enemy is producing is key to knowing what you will need to create to counter there attack

Economy- let them know how good or bad your econamy is and if you will be able to hold up vs and enemy attack, your partner may be able to help you out and send you some much needed resources to defend.

ALWAYS USE YOUR FLARE
  • You can use it to let your allys or partners know whats going on and were to bring there army,
  • keep on using it so if your enemy has knight's running around your base your ally will know the exact spot those knights are at.




Type or Speak?


Obviously if you have a headset and microphone this is the best option to keep your ally informed of whats going on, typing can slow you down and distract a new player.

I cannot count how many times I have lost military or seen someones entire army slaughtered before my eyes because of someone typing or typing myself.

some good programs to use are Ventrilo, TeamSpeak and Skype
Abbreviations and Terminology
Abbreviations

Ara = Arabia
GA=Green Arabia
FR= Full Random
RLM=Random Land Map
BR= Blind Random
KOTH= King of The Hill
Reg= Regicide
LN= Land Nomad
BBT = Bombard Towers
BBC = Bombard Cannons
Brits = Britons
BS = Blacksmith
Byz = Byzantines
CA = Cavalry Archers
EW/EEW = Eagle Warriors/Elite Eagle Warriors
Halb = Halbadiers
Arbs=Arbalest
Skirms=Skirmishers
Husks=Huskarls
HC = Hand Cannoneers
Kts = Knights
M = Me (later in game means "Market")
M@A = Man-at-Arms
Sara = Saracens
TC = Town Center
Tecs = Aztecs
Teuts = Teutons
Viks = Vikings
X/Ping = Flare
Xbow = Crossbow
FC=Fast Castle
Up=Advancing to the next age




Terminology

APM-Actions Per Minute, commonly abbreviated as APM, is a term used in the real time strategy field of cybersport which refers to the total number of actions that a player can perform in a minute.

Actions per minute is the number of actions (such as selecting units or issuing an order) completed within a minute of gameplay in real time strategy games, most notably in StarCraft. High APM is often associated with skill, as it can indicate that a player both knows what to do in the game and has the manual dexterity to carry it out. Software has been developed to analyze players' APM in these games.[1] Beginners often have low APM counts, typically below 50. Professional e-athletes in South Korea usually have average APM scores around 300, but often exceed the 400 mark during intense battle sequences.

Micro/Macro-

Micro is when you control a single unit, some player's will also use this term when controlling groups of military/naval units with advanced control using formations or attacking one unit at a time with a group to kill more effectively.

Macro is when you control large groups with low maintenance, such as putting farm seeds in your mill, placing multiple lumberpits/gold mines so you do not have to check on them as much. it is also used when you are producing multiple units or buildings such as making 10 units at a time as opposed to 1, or laying down 10 buildings at one time to have villagers continue building as opposed to 1 building.

Rush - Rushing is when you focus on attacking your opponent (usually early) at the expense of economic growth. This does not mean you stop all economic activity; you simply focus your resources on attacking the enemy first, then on your economy second. Please note endgame fighting is not classed as a rush.

Boom - Booming is the opposite to rushing. You focus on economy first, and attacking second. Sometimes booms are done with absolutely no combat, sometimes they're done with some combat. However, as soon as you reach a point where more than half of your resources are devoted to fighting, you're then rushing.

Grush - A grush is a galley rush.

Flush - A flush is a feudal rush and can involve any feudal age unit. sub variants include: M@A Rush, Tower Rush, Scout Rush/Scrush, Archer/Skirm Flush, Pike Flush

Scrush - A Scrush is a scout rush, used at around 9-11 minutes and onwards, scouts can cover ground super quickly so this is the main strategy of choice when it comes to many land based map players making anywhere from 3-10 scouts and normally combined with archers later on( around 15 minutes normally, sometimes sooner)


Forward - Having villagers build military buildings just outside an opponents base.

Mush- A mush is a monk rush its when you use primarily monks, and is normally used with a fast castle.

Trush/Toflow- A trush/toflow is a tower rush/flush, it's when you primarily use towers to attack, normally there done between 9-11 minutes to catch enemys off guard and take over there resources such as wood or gold.


Krush - A krush is a knight rush.

Drush - A drush is a dark age rush and primarily involves militia (although a Town Center variant does exist).

Douch3- A douch3 is a dark age town center push. when you delete your town center in the dark age, sending all villagers to the enemy town center and building your town center directly next to it, all though most pros will do it within 2 farm spaces. you then garrison all villagers and attempt to kill there town center. other strategies would include not deleting the town center until you reach feudal age and then building it so you can have access to military units all though then it would be considered a Frouche. ( i had to change the "e" to a "3" because steam will not let me write the word lol)

TC Push- A TC(Town Center) push is when you build multiple town centers and garrison archers or villagers to use it as a miniature castle, this can be especially deadly when you have mass archers and are able to fill 3 or more town centers. this is an old tactic and is not used much anymore.

Clump- A Clump is when you have 4 or more castles in one screen or very close to each other. now there are many variants to this, many believe a clump can be any area that has a huge defensive force, that includes castles, bombard towers, towers, mangonels/ bombard cannons/ trebs/ walls protectings a certain spot to make it very hard to siege or take out.

Quick Imp- This is when a player primarily booms and goes to imperial age within 30 minutes, this is normally used with azteks and mayans to do elite eagle warriors.

Sling/SlingShot - A sling is a strategy used in team games. One player (or sometime multiple players) will send all their spare resources to a teammate. This allows that teammate to focus exclusively on building military. Alternatively, if a teammate needs some resources, they may ask you to "sling" them some food or wood etc.

Audi- An Audi is simply a troll remark made by pro players to tell players they played a horrible game or failed big time. there used to be a player named Audi who seemed to always play really good but then failed at doing everything.- this is a completely serious game term that has been used for years and years by pros.( example: PsychoMantis played like Audi or had an Audi)
Interface
When you start a game you'll see multiple tools you can use to view you map

heres what you need to use

  • Time- press F11 to view time, you need this so you can make sure your ontime with your build time and strategies
  • Score- press F4 to view score charts, this is needed so you can view idle villagers, military count and overall scores make sure you keep this on
  • Flare-is in the corner, this tool is a must have
Choosing your Civilization
Lets go over a couple things when choosing a civilization

Many games people choose random civilization.
When you are allowed to pick what you want you should consider some things.

What map are you playing? Does your choice benefit the team?

It's a water map should I pick Vikings for the cheap dock team bonus, and the cheap boat cost? Yes you should!

My partner has Vikings already but I can choose;
Japanese: +50 LoS(Line of Sight) to Galleys-Team Bonus
Saracens: 20% Faster attack speed on Galleys
Koreans: to have the ultra strong turtle ships, there towers upgrade automatically too.
Celts: 15% Faster Lumberjacks


A good land map team combination is Mayan Huns Chinese Mongol.

+20% quicker stables
-50% walls
+45 food on farms
+2 line of sight on scouts

You don't always need to pick one that is focused towards your team.
You can also pick one that counters the enemy teams choice(Example: Goths vs. Brits= Huskarls vs. Archer)


Also Remember, use your benefits!!

Brits only need 5 on sheep, and town centers are cheaper
Mongols have good hunters, eat as much deer or lure boars early to go up quicker
Sacrens have a market bonus, you can sell resources
Mayans have cheaper walls
Celts have quicker lumber jacks, less villagers are needed on wood early on
Japanese have cheaper mills and lumber pits you can use this to avoid villager bump on certain areas
Tuets have cheaper farms, you can make more farms!!
Franks get all mill upgrades this gives you more food over all when farming!!
Vikings have the best economic boom in the game, they get wheel barrow and hand cart free!!

anyways yeah make sure you know so you can use this to your advantage


You should pick out a couple ones that you like the most and get used to using them.
This will make the game more enjoyable when you know what you can do, and what you can build.

Huns,Mongols,Mayans, and Vikings, are commonly used because they are all very versatile.


Eventually you will learn each one, but it will take time and dedication.
When you do, you will then know each bonus, along with all stats to each civilization.
General Map Details and How to play your map
General Map Details


Arabia

Arabia is one of most popular maps in the game. There are two variants to Arabia: Yellow Arabia and Green Arabia. Green Arabia features bigger forests and has little to no water, whereas Yellow Arabia has smaller sized forests, oases and larger open expanses.

Archipelago

Archipelago is around half water, half land. However, whether that land is one solid mass, or various islands, is random. In team games, enemies will sometimes be on the same island, whereas your allies are on another. There are also small islets to be found.

Arena

On Arena, players start protected by a wall and forest, with the outside of the map covered with forest. The map is completely flat.

Batlic

Baltic is a large sea surrounded by land. However, on Baltic, some of the land around the edges can be very narrow.

Black Forest

Black Forest is another popular map, predominantly because it's easy to wall. Each team is separated from the other by various small chokepoints in the forest that surrounds the map. In team games, a path leads you to your allies, so any chokepoint with no path is one to your enemy.

Continental

Continental features two large areas of land, which are connected by a smaller land mass in the middle, with water surrounding the land masses. Sheep are plentiful on Continental.

Costal

Costal is a large island, surrounded by water. Everyone is on this island, including your opponents.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake is almost identical to Baltic except for one major difference. In the middle of the water is a large, hilly island, which has lots of gold on it.

Fortress

Unlike Arena, Fortress is a map where you are surrounded almost entirely by stone walls. You also start with farms and a barracks. Fortress can sometimes feature large amounts of water, which usually favour one player over another. Because of this, players will usually agree to simply not use water, or will play a custom Fortress variant, which features no water.

Ghost Lake

Ghost Lake is similar to Mediterranean in structure, except the water is ice. It can't be built upon but can be walked on. Extra sheep will usually be found on the ghost lake.

Gold Rush

Gold Rush features huge (and I mean huge) piles of gold in the middle of the map, which is also home to various packs of wolves. Each player starts with some gold, but not a lot.

Highland

Highland features rivers which separate players, with each river having a small crossing. Sheep are plentiful on Highland.

Islands

Islands is a popular water map. Each player starts on their own island and there are also a various amount of unclaimed islands, the amount differs depending on the map size and players involved.

Mediterranean

Mediterranean is similar to Baltic except that the sea is smaller, and the land around the edges is larger.

Migration

On Migration, each player starts on a small island that has some sheep, deer and berries (but no boar). In the middle is a much larger map, with plenty of resources on it.

Mongolia

Mongolia is an open map but is filled with cliffs.

Nomad

Nomad is unique in that players do not begin with a town center or scout. You do, however, start with the resources to allow you to build a town center immediately (as opposed to Land Nomad, where you do not). Nomad is similar to costal, whereby water surrounds a large island.

Oasis

Oasis features a small sea in the center (with lots of fish), which is surrounded by large forest on all sides. Sheep are plentiful on Oasis.

Rivers

Rivers is similar to Highland in that players are connected by small crossings over rivers. However, the water aspect in Rivers is more predominant than in Highland, with islets to be found in the larger expanses of water.

Salt Marsh

Salt Marsh contains lots of marsh, small seas and huge forests.

Scandinavia

Scandinavia is a snowy map, which features two small strips of water either side from each other, and land in between the two. Scandinavia has no berries but has more deer to make up for it.

Team Islands

Team Islands have two islands; the one with you (and your teammates) on it, and the one with your opponent(s) on. Water seperates the two.

Yucatan

Yucatan has large forests, plenty of food and can also have rivers separating players.

Land Nomad

in this map you start with enough wood to build a lumberpit, you need to scout with villagers to make sure you got good hunt and resources and try to build a town center as quikly as possable, this map test your adaptation skills.

Michi
This map divides each team with a huge tree line, most players will cut through the tree line at 45 minutes with siege ongars, this is a pure boom map.




How to play your map


Each map has its advantages, and disadvantages, your goal is to work with the advantages and try to avoid the disadvantages. An example is Arabia, in general this map can be a very open map, so walling correctly is usually a hard task to do.You can get raided very easy, and the wood can sometimes be miles away putting you in danger, you have to be a 100% pro waller to wall a very open based map when you get one.

My advice would be to wall just the key points where your economy can get raided, use your buildings as walls, and put up a tower on your gold when you suspect a rush, dropping a tower to have protection is more important then having the stone to build TCs in castle age, because you can just place a couple villagers on stone to get it back.

Use your scout you dont want to leave a spot untouched, here is your main goal to what you want to analyze.

Hills
- they can win or lose a battle, i have won over a thousand matches just because i positioned my army on a hill.
hills give +25% attack down-hill and -25% up-hill
they can also kill you, when your base is surrounded by hills it can be hard to make town centers, you'll need to wall as much as you can.


Choke Points
- Wall your choke points, you dont need stone walls on them right away palisides are ok, enemys are always thinking about new ways or suprising ways to attack, they are just like you, they are going to try and attack you were you wont suspect it and suprise you when your unguarded in certain area's. Choke points can also be used to attack- such as running into a small lake/wood area to protect archers, or between builidings.

There are a vast majority of maps that you need to wall certain spots

  • Highland, Rivers, Salt Marsh; wall the spots connecting the land masses over the rivers
  • Baltic,Oasis, Crater Lake; wall the sides on each side
  • Continental,Mediterranean, wall the land area connecting
  • Mongolia, Black Forest; wall the choke points to divide you or your team and protect bases
point is, where ever you can wall, wall it when you get the chance, this gives you more chance to survive and less chance to get raided.


Resources
You want to evaluate were they are located and how they can be protected

A lot of times you will see a wood spot were archers can hit your villagers, you will think your villagers are good to go because your walled, WRONG!! archers can kill those villagers without even noticing, a bad lumberpit spot can make or break the game.

Gold can be towards your enemy making it vunerable to attack, you want to tower it, when you know your enemy is going to rush it, mass army at your gold spot, or drop a town center on it.

You should always protect your key resource spots with a town center or a castle when your trying to expand to resources near your enemy or facing there position.
The Most Important Unit in the game.
Some say it the cobra car, or the monkey boy, I say its the villager

The Villager

This unit is the foundation on why we survive, they build, attack, and defend.


Why its so Important to keep them and avoid losing them

  • Economic life line
  • builds everything needed to create all other units
  • builds defences (walls, towers castles, town centers)
  • can be used to push enemy bases
  • can defend early rushes (towers,militia ect)
  • can destroy buildings
  • used to expand your power and map control

even losing one villager to a wolf,wild boar, or scout during dark age can decide the game.

The key to winning the game is by destroying player economy

DO NOT LOSE THEM

Scouting
Scouting is the one thing you will need to learn how to do.
You can number your scout 1 so you have quick access to him.
Almost all maps have a scout other then Nomad,and Land Nomad.

When you start the game the best way to scouts is by going in a big circle or a U shape, side to side revealing the map, since you are a newer player this is what you should do

Once you get more experience you can use a couple sheep to scout aswell because you will have better unit control


You should always keep you scout moving throughout dark age and feudal age.
Later in the game, you can still use a scout, or just use mounted,or quick moving units to keep an eye on whats going on.

  • scout resources and choke points as I said in previous sections
  • scout your enemy see what resources he has
  • you can turn the tide by knowing what the enemy is building
  • you can steal boar with experience
  • many players do not research loom early on you can use this to your advantage and kill a villager or two
  • when being chased by an enemy scout you should get the highspot on a hill and attack back, keep moving him uphill should your enemy try to get more uphill than you.
  • if you can't move him patrol him!!!
  • know thyself, know thy enemy- The Art of War
Dark Age
The dark age, what do I do in the dark age?

the most important key is scouting and economy at this point

You will need to scout out your resources, choke points and your enemy


those are the most important

First off you want a basic plan , what is your ultimate plan, are you going to drush?
Go to castle? flush with scouts archers/skirmisher's?Rush with Galleys?

Build your economy to what ever plan you have in mind

some common builds are
  • LAND
  • 20-22 pop- normally this is used for fast scouts, archers, and tower flush -9-11 min feudal time
  • 25 pop- this is a defensive build normally used for big feudal wars- 11-12 minute feudal time
  • 25-29- normally used for a fast castle, pocket players average this 11-13 minute feudal time
  • 25-35 pop- this is normally used to do fast castle or a drush( some population count because militia) -11-15 minute feudal time
  • WATER
  • 26-28 pop- normally used with grush
  • 30-32 pop- normally used with boom/castler

Chris once told me he believes 22 pop is optimal for arabia


With scouting your enemy:

You can tell what there doing when you see certain villagers on certain resources and this will only come with experience and time

When you see them completely walled out it most likely means they are going to castle, in team games it might be a slingshot and I will explain that in the game terminology guide.


You can tell what you enemy is doing depending on score yes I said it, with experience you will be able to tell what your enemy is doing depending on there score and with good scouting

A drush will have +50-100 points then your score past 7 minutes because making a barracks early on will increase score.
A boomer/castler will have a higher score past 9 minutes than a rusher.
A fast castler will have a lower score past 9 minutes than a rusher.

Also i would like to add that if you see a barracks being put up between 7-8 minutes your enemy is going to drush 99% of the time the other 1% is that they may be a noob lol.


The score changes vary so you can't really judge what there doing later on unless your scouting well but when a person clicks to the next age they will drop in score and you will see it with experience



I said this in the "how to play your map" section already, you will need to see how exactly your going to play your map at this point ,and what resources are the most valuable to protect.(forward gold, thin tree line to use lumber pits etc)

You will need to wall, always wall in certain spots in 1v1, in pocket you can stay more open because you are a long ways away walls are not as important in pocket as they are on the wing
but they are important when your going to do an imperial boom in pocket, also this depends on the map, some maps require that every player walls.

Protect your resources you should plan out were your going to place certain items like lumber gold, and dock

You should always choose the back gold and the back wood to use and on a closed water map you should choose spots farthest away from water to avoid being attacked by navy.
You should dock backwards when you want to boom/defend,and dock forwards when you want to attack.

See what your enemy is doing and then try to comply with your best strategy to counter them or try to be quicker at what your doing then they are!!!
Feudal Age
Back to planning, as I said already in the previous section your plans are very important.
This is the age were you will put them into effect depending on what you planned already

Most commonly players will ether research some economy upgrades and military upgrades or build the buildings they need to go up to castle age

When your going straight to castle, other than making a couple villagers, maybe some walls,and a couple buildings, you will not have to worry to much. You might want to research some economy upgrades.Keep in mind each economy upgrade you do will make your castle time slower.


I CANNOT STRESS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO SCOUT DURING THIS AGE

YOU NEED TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT YOUR ENEMY IS DOING SO YOU CAN MAKE PLANS




Feudal Age Warfare

When you reach this age I usually always get double bit axe and horse collar at the mill( or gold mining on water to increase galley production) right away when I'm going to be doing a rush strategy or a big feudal war.

At some point you will want to get "Wheel Barrow" when you suspect your going to be in this age a while.Most player's will get "Wheel Barrow" before 20 minutes.

Normally you want to be long gone and out of the feudal age by at the LEAST 25 minutes, but some hardcore battles can happen here and some people may not reach it until 30 minutes

So just try to aim with that goal in mind that you want to be up to castle age between 20-25 minutes IF you have to be in there longer make sure your complete economy/military upgrades are set .


BUILD YOUR BLACKSMITH AS SOON AS YOU CAN
You need army to upgrade so make your army buildings first than your black smith
( example:6-10 archers go to attack, fletching should be researched by at least 16 minutes if not sooner, this is the expert mentality, always look for the edge on the enemy)

At this age, normally a good player will get:

"Fletching" and then "Padded Archer Armor" later when there doing archers(fletching also upgrades galley attack, however padded archer armor does not upgrade galley armor).

"Bloodlines" (+hp) and/or "Scale Barding Armor"/"Forging" when there doing scouts.

"Scale Mail Armor" in extreme cases to upgrade infantry


You'll want to try and hit enemy resources as soon as you can
try to always be attacking when you can surprise attack gold,wood,or sea economy, it can cripple an enemy's unit production or castle time

Keep working on your economy and building military, most good players will not make mass skirmisher's or spearmen because they use both wood and food it will slow there castle time( you need wood to make farms and food to reach castle), and usually make archers because they only use gold and wood. but dont let this scare you from not making skirmisher's and spearmen, normally in most flush cases you will see a player mix there units.



Common Strategic Offence

Keep in mind that you may choose to create more than the stated numbers to adapt to the current situation.( example: both players go archers/skirms/spear, but keep creating them to push into player economy)


3-5 Scouts Created and Attacking 10-13 minutes- (May Transition into Fast Castle 16-18 minutes)

6-10 Archers/Skirmishers Created and Attacking 12-15 minutes(May Transition into Fast Castle 16-18 minutes, normally creating Archers during castle process to upgrade to Xbows)


Combo- 3-5 Scouts Attacking 10-13 minutes 6-10 Archers/Skirmishers Attacking 14-16 minutes
( Archers may have some spearmen added to defend against scouts 2-4)

When you choose to go either of the above


Towers Created and Built 9-12 minutes, normally covering foward gold, lumber pits behind forest, stone mines, maybe berrys/farms.
( you can create as many as youd like,)

Combo- Archers/Spear Added 13-16 minutes


5-10 Man at Arms Created and Attacking 9-13 minutes( normally starting units 3-5 upgraded from militia after drush)

Combo- Normally Archers or Fast Castle


5-10 Galleys Created and Attacking 12-15 minutes( normally the average player will end up creating 15-30 during galley wars)

Combo- Fast Castle Transition into War Galleys 16-20 minutes

Common Strategic Defense

Keep in mind that you need to Micro your units in most cases,

Spears kill Scouts
Scouts kill Skirms/Archer
Archers kill Spear/Man at Arms/ Scouts
depending on upgrades Scouts will kill Archers its really about the army size ect, Mass Archers can kill most scout armys, unless its vs Mass Scouts
Skirms kill Spear/Archers
Man at Arms kill Spear/Skirm



VS Scouts 3-5
2-3 Spearmen is ok
vs mass scouts archers should be combined to save more food

VS Archers/Skirm
Scouts+ Archers

VS Scouts/Archer/Skirm
Same to Counter, Spear+Scouts work too

VS Man at Arms
Archers

VS Towers
Villagers- you can quickly rush and destroy a tower being built if you catch it early on.
Towers- when you see a tower being put up automatically throw up a tower to defend if you cant kill it with vills, at a safe distance, if you feel your enemy is going to be dropping multiple towers you should mine stone so you can drop tower to protect strategic vantage points such as Stone, Wood, Gold, those are the main goal a Tower rusher is after


VS Galleys
Galleys
Towers on Docks( only use in extreme cases, may not even be usefull after a certain point, use this only if you are going to try and keep your sea, i normally wouldn't recommend this for feudal age but it is an option)

DONT FORGET TO UPGRADE UNITS



You'll want to reach the castle age as soon as you can because this age can be dangerous to stay in too long on team games,
Goals of Flushing and Grushing
Goal of a Feudal Rush aka Flush


When opting for a fuedal rush, you are obviously wanting to gain an advantage because these reasons.

- Slowing an enemy economy: when you rush someone early on it puts there economy at a disadvantage by killing enemy villagers early on they lose the ability to produce military units.

- Ending a game early on: by rushing you may be able to end a game right away, lower skilled players will almost always be slower and less effeciant in defending a rush.

- Protecting your own economy from being destroyed: the last thing you want is someone else flushing your economy and killing villagers. like i said above, you will then lose the ability to produce military like your enemy.

- Gaining map control: by flushing you can stop an enemy from collecting resources close to there base, losing resources such as gold, or stone needed to build towers can ultimately end the game.


- Stop or Slow an enemy Castler: when you suspect an enemy may be trying to pull a quick one on you by going to castle right away your goal will be to take out his gold and/or slow his castle time by preventing him from creating buildings needed to go to the castle age.


[LTP]PsychoMantis_



Goals of a Galley Rush aka Grush

When opting for a galley rush, you are obviously wanting to take control of the seas for a particular reason or another.

- Control of deep sea fishing : The power of the dock boom has be witnessed many times, controlling the fishing sea is controlling huge economic power in a game.

- Destroying enemy buildings or units near the shorelines : You often start very near the shores on Rivers, Islands and Continental. An important force of galleys in feudal could harm enemy farming, sometimes even mining or wood cutting. Also, a galley rush opens the door for Cannon Galleons later on if available.

- Controlling crossings : Simple, if you win the river, your opponent will not be able to cross to attempt a land Feudal Rush using transports or through walking if you walled your crossing.

- Migration : Migration can be cruel and an above 13-14 minute Feudal Time if very possible, which makes transporting until 15 hard to do in those cases. A galley rush could totally prevent your enemy from landing the main isle – death.

Lightning_CN
Castle Age
Boom or Attack?

in this age you may have to adapt, you might not be able to always build your economy untouched and have to make some sort of defences, lets take a look at booming and attacking in general.

Note: even when your not booming try to get economy upgrades asap, very important to your survival,

Booming section-

Most good players will start dropping town centers and researching things like "Heavy Plow"at the mill, and "Bow Saw" at the lumber pit right away

Do not get carried away, you can lose your momentum real quickly when you make town centers that you can't provide food to produce villagers.

You'll want to make sure you have many villagers on wood so you can make farms, keep your economy balanced so you can keep on producing villagers non stop. Do not build a town center you know you can't keep producing villagers constantly with.

Building just 1 extra town center is okay when you first hit castle age if you have around 500 extra food and wood then you can make 2 town centers, remember at this point its all about adapting.

Also remember where you make your town centers is vital to surviving, you want to make sure they are always protecting your key resources like, wood, gold, and stone.


Research "Wheel Barrow" if you haven't got it yet, and "Hand Cart" when you get the chance this will give you even more production output with your villagers.

You can make some monks to convert enemy knights trying to raid
Wall up spots were you can't protect with your town centers
You can also place some pikemen in those unprotected spot to help you protect vs... Knights, or a couple mangonels for ranged units.

Once you've hit about 80-90 population you should be able to go up to imperial age, and plan on making an army.


Attacking Section-

Here in castle age you also have the option to do a smaller boom and mass a good sized army

You can make :
  • Stables- to create knights/ or camels
  • Archery Ranges- to create CrossBows or Cav Archers
  • Castles/Siege Workshops- to create Castle units or create rams/mangonels/scorps

You can just use your existing town center and be fancy,trying to maximize your military output
most of the time thats what a pocket player will do to keep 2-4 stables producing knights, 2-5 archery ranges producing cav archer/xbows or to start producing castle units should they choose to make a castle right at the start of castle age.

I believe 2-3 town centers are optimal while keeping pressure and attacking.

Some really interesting strategy's can come out of this age like doing an Aztec siege/monk rush or doing Spanish missionary's and conquistadors mixed

You now have access to unique and strong units
I come out of a pro community,so if its a unit made in the castle,and it can't beat knights,then its usually not made. Everyone in my community is really big on using knights, and they are used in mass.

Also I would like to add that Mass Cav Archers and Xbows are also very popular, but not used quite as often as knights because civilization benefits

Late castle age is changed up a bit because you've have more variation,and a bigger economy to pump the trash units( pikemen,elite skirmishers,and light calvary are considered trash) or siege needed to support unique castle units.


I'll explain some upgrades you should get to help your military out in castle age



Bodkin Arrow- should you choose to go with Crossbows, Plumbed Archers, Calvary Archers, WarWagons or War Galleys.
This upgrade will give your ranged units more range and attack damage its vital to be used against heavy armored units like knights or to be used with your war galleys to pew pew lasers.

Ballistics- this is a very important upgrade to get with you ranged units so they can hit units on the move or while running away and trying to doing the run, stop, attack and run method
also its important to get so your mangonels don't hurt your walls or other units when trying to attack an enemy, also this is used to upgrade your galleys.

Thumb Ring- now not all civs have this but its gives your archers 100% accuracy and makes them pew pew lasers.

Chain Barding Armor and Iron Casting- should you choose to use knights/ calvery + 2+2 knights can be a very very strong unit,and in mass its almost always certain to do TONs of damage.

Squires- should you choose to make some pikes this is what your going to need to have them really own calvery units, it makes them move quicker, it works with anything that's a melee unit so remember to get this when your making those types.

Masonry- this can help strengthen your buildings so they don't get lost to enemy units or siege as easy


Murder Holes- now this is a really cool tech when you want to drop a castle directly onto your enemy's gold or town center, it allows the castle to shoot directly at its base( or towers)
making them stronger overall ,and when you Add Masonry(stronger buildings) in ZOMG this can be a HUGE problem when you build a square wall behind your castle and put a couple mangonels inside it, the castle will go untouched until imperial age its called a clump.


Heated Shot- Now this is a HIGHLY under rated tech- when your playing a water map you can use this to protect your dock or to drop a tower onto an enemy dock they do 125% MORE DAMAGE(100% more damage with castles)To enemy ships.

Careening-I seriously see this underused, most players rarely get it right away, i tend to get it almost instantly this gives +1 armor to ships, its highly valuable in sea battles, this is a mistake I have seen even 2k+ players make all the time.

these are not all the upgrades you can get but I'm just telling you, upgrade or die.

Now like all ages raiding is key to killing your enemy, I just recently watched Viper vs. Daut on Yucatan in there best of 21 match up and I seen almost everyone in the live stream saying daut sux viper is going to win gg 2-0,but what happened? Daut Raided him and eventually won due to vipers lack of economic boom.

Why? Because when your raiding constantly, and constantly keeping pressure on your enemy's base that means they are stuck trying to kill you and get you out of there base while your base goes virtually untouched, and your economy sky rockets while their villagers are garrisoned in there town centers.

you can basically usualy always end the game in the castle age with a decent boom and massed army but theres always imperial age should it move to that area in the game
What to Expect in a 1v1 Huns War/Arabia
--------------------------not completed-----------------------

Dark-Imp lol
  • Drush+FC- normally you can or your enemy will go up make xbows and/or Cav Archers pretty common, you can use a super quick archer/scout rush and try to break in through there walls or hit there main resources right away, or you can block the drush and adapt to what ever strat you see them doing just hit the economy quickly or match it.
  • Scout+Archers+Spearmen-countered with the same style/ drush/quick castle+walls ect ect
  • Toflow+Archers- countered with good scouting, villagers, skirms, scouts
  • Xbows, Cav Archers and/or Knights- can be countered with skirms/pikes+monks(with knights)/ mangonels( with ranged)
  • Heavy Cav Archers- countered with Skirms/Cavaliers/Pallys/Same thing
    Arbs,- kills villies right away used vs halbs, villagers, champs, Can kill Pallys but needs good micro, depends on pally mass. countered with Skirms/Heavy Cav Archer/Cavlers/Pallys/Ongar
    Cavaliers, Pallys- countered with Halbs, Scorps/ Heavy Cav Archer( with good micro)
  • Light Cav/Hussars-used to raid normally or go vs elite skirms,siege-scorp/mangonel or used against monks countered with Halbs/Arbs/Heavy Cav Archer/Pallys/

-----------------------not completed---------------------------
Imperial Age 1/2
Goals in Imperial Age
  • Production- you want to be to your max population before everyone else
    Produce AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, keep working on your economy keep pumping military units never stop, work on this constantly, your goal will be to have 200 pop by 40 minutes or sooner, if the game is at 40 minutes and you have less than 130 pop you are clearly in bad shape.

  • Booming out More- most will have about 4-6 town centers,a common build is about
    40 wood 40 farm 30 gold 10 stone-120 pop-------->
    with relics you can do 80pop and still collect the same amount with 5 relics eliminating the need to have many gold, you can produce bigger armys this way too in late games or also make it so you can have 10-20 trade carts with a big army as well 100 military 100 economy
    .
  • Build Mass Buildings!!, I think this is super important, if you watch a pro games they will have around 10 or more of the same building to keep production in tip top shape, buildings like Stables, Archery Ranges, and Barracks can be used as a pushing tool as well, if you have a forward base and alot of buildings, this can stop an enemy dead in his tracks, be used to raid, and ultimately becoming a road block to help avoid being seige or raided by the enemy.

  • Raiding- raid raid and raid some more, send out strike teams to multiple locations, kill villagers Siege Castles or fortifications with your main army, take out town centers, aim for villagers when possible

  • Trading, and Collecting relics

  • Reinforcing your base overall, Stone walls in key Area's( unless your goths than you can research masonry/architecture and build mass house walls).

    Making Castles, Town Centers, and Military buildings to protect big economy area's

  • Covering Ground, taking key resources, and moving forward in the map, gaining map control, locking down resources to avoid enemy moving there way to them, blocking your enemy and slowing him from covering ground
Imperial Age 2/2
If you haven't collected relics yet you should do this immediately, you will need the gold trust me.


In imperial age you gain access to just about everything, in previous sections I have pretty much explained tactics and strategy but I'm going to give you guys a list on some really cool units to produce



  • Cavaliers/Paladin's- upgrade to them as soon as you hit imperial this can give you the edge on many armys
  • Elite Eagle Warriors- Upgrade to them right when you hit imperial but don't research the attack and armor upgrades until you pumped about 30 or more just +1+2 is good right now
  • Elite Plumbed Archers- Upgrade them and build as many castles as you can so you can pump them constantly
  • Elite War Wagons- these can be great vs. Calvary and eagles, weak vs. Massed halbs so best to mix them with some hand cannons and bombard cannons
  • Halbs- you will end up needing these when your under constant calvary pressure
  • Arbalest - make sure you get all the upgrades to make them pew pew lasers
  • Elite Mangudia/Heavy Calvary Archers- make sue you get Parthian tactics so they can kill halbs better
  • Elite Huskarls- use them to raid try to avoid army, then devastate economy, upgrade there barrack upgrade and speed to pump them or barrack units ultra quick
  • Elite Woads- Mix these in with heavy scorps and seige rams and your sure to win the game
  • Elite Cataphracts- get trample damage as soon as you can, mix them in with heavy camels and hand cannons when you can
  • Hand Cannons- Use these when your vs. ultra strong melee units like champs, eagles, huskarls, jags, tuetonic knights,they can also massacre halbs
  • Elite Janissary-same as above but mix these in with hussars and bombard cannons so they don't die to skirmisher's and ongar's.
  • Elite Berserkers- Mix these in with halbs/arbs/skirms or do hit and run raids with them, they can heal over time so try not to lose them, they can last a long time
  • Elite Long Bows mix these in with halbs and ongars to protect them or use them to devastate economy spots that are open
  • Elite Mamelukes- these can devastate calvery, halbs,skirms, many other unique units, you can do hit and runs with these without worrying too much, weak vs Arbs/archer units, champs tuetonic knights
  • Elite War Elephants- you'll want to upgrade there speed and mix them with some hand cannons so they don't die to massed halbs, use them to siege and destroy
  • Elite Conquistadors- Mix these in with missionary's to do hit and runs and heal on the go
  • Elite Chu Ko Nu's- these can kill just about anything when you get rocketry use these to decimate army, make light cav or cavs to protect them when needed
  • Elite Jaguar Warriors- Make these to help raid with eagles
  • Elite Tarkans- do hit and runs with these, just go kill town centers and some villagers and run away
  • Elite Axemen- use these when you have to help your paladin's vs. mass halbs, they can also destroy buildings quickly
  • Elite Tuetonic Knights- use these to destroy your enemy's town, they can kill almost anything other then massed hand cannons
  • Elite Samurai- these can be used vs. every unique unit, but its best to mix them in with other units so they can close the gap/distance on ranged uniques they also have ultra quick creation speed
  • Elite Long Boats- these are super cheap and can help turn the tide on water, try to have 10 docks pumping them when you come to a bad situation
  • Fast Fire Ships- these can help you out when your in a tough spot- these kill galleons quickly when massed
  • Heavy Demo Ships use these vs. massed ships , try to sneak them in when your main navy is attacking
  • Cannon Galleons/Elite- use these to kill enemy land structures and castles,
  • Elite Turtle Ships- these can be nearly unstoppable once massed and destroy land structures too
  • Bombard Cannons- these can be used in many situations, I like these better then trebs but there expensive so don't lose them!!
  • Trebs- use these to kill castles and town centers- you can sneak about 4 in when your raiding and kill some town centers without enemy noticing right away or use them in castle war situations
  • Bombard Tower- use these to help push the enemy back and siege his base make sure you have treadmill crane
  • Hussars- use these to raid enemy economy you can set 5 stables and there there waypoints to 5 spots at the enemy base and just send them out to raid without worrying in big long battles, can also be awesome to use vs. skirms and enemy trade
  • Champs- mix these in with halbs/pikes they can destroy and enemy town real quik or be used to kill enemy melee units other then super strong ones, they can also be used vs. mamelukes
  • Ongars/Siege Ongars- you can use the siege ongars to cut through enemy wood and give him less resources or use them to kill massed enemy range units or trebs etc
  • Heavy Scorps- these can own almost anything when mixed with unique units, they can shoot through multiple units so its best used to kill enemy army's-celts and chinese upgrades= gg
  • Capped/Siege Rams- these can be awesome and with celtic/mongol upgrades they hurt A LOT
  • Saboteurs- make about 5 and they can kill a castle real quick, make sure you send in units to take the castle returning fire so they don't die- they can be used in may situations like killing walls or gates and town centers quickly, they can also be created in castle age. they are really surprising because people don't always expect people to rush in with them.


Ok so now that you have the units you also need to make sure you got the upgrades,
research the unit upgrades you have in the castle.

Also remember ranged units need "Chemistry" at the university to complete there attack strength.

Calvary archer units need "Parthian Tactics" to help kill halbs and it also gives them armor.

Get "Siege Engineering" at the university to give your bombard cannons, ongars, and trebs more distance.

Architecture and Hoarding can help massively in castle wars so make sure you get them when you are in that situation.

Sappers is a good touch to add to your villagers, remember when an enemy is trying to drop a castle on your economy you can just rush it with villages to kill it when you don't have the army to help out.

Spys can help out when your trying to kill those annoying guys who run even when the game is over.


I'm not going to explain imperial age war to you because thats just something you will have to learn on your own, there is no real big tips and tricks I can give other then raiding and massing army and then seiging, it comes with time and experience. My best advice would be to learn Death Match aswell, that will help you learn most unit counters and big war tactics a lot quicker than RM can.
Note: DM can also help you with Macro, and Speed.

But something to help out your economy would be to make sure you also have seeds in your mill so your farms don't run out, and you don't have to micro the idle villagers.

Always keep hitting the idle villager hotkey during this age, you want to hit it about 20-30 times a minute when possable, I know its over kill but at least you will know.

Idle villagers can stack up quickly here because your so focused on your enemy at this point
Just make sure you got the wood, gold, mill upgrades and your good to go, also remember to keep on making lumber pits and gold mines when you can.

Market and Trading
I ment to add this into the castle and imperial age sections but decided it deserves its own section.

Market-

The market is a very important key building here are some reasons why.

- You will need the market to get Cartography, in team games this is something you need to get as soon as you can, because all though i do love being directed into unrevealed territory and not know what units are there when my ally is using his flare like a madmen, this will give you his vision, eliminating the need to be directed as much

- You need gold!!!!!, most commonly other resources will stack up and gold resources will be running low, when you have the chance sell food and wood as soon as possible, in team games other players will be selling there extra wood and food, ultimately dropping the market value on there gold exchange rate

- You can use this to buy extra resources in late games incase you are running low, in most cases, you will always see the stone at a high exchange rate because ones the stone is used on the map the only way to get it, is through the market, you need stone to build towers, bombard towers, castles, town centers, and out posts.....

- You will need the market to help your teammates!!!, there have been probably more than 500,000 games won because people sending resources to another player, you can use this to help your partner gain an advantage, when your partner is in trouble in late games, and they do not have certain resources to produce military to defend or attack.

- Make sure you research "Coinage"= reduces tributes to 20% fee, and "Banking" later on to send tributes for free. "Guilds" to reduce the resource exchange rate to 15%


Trading


In late games past 30 minutes Trading is key to winning those extra long battles, in death match people start trade really early because gold is always needed to create the best units. once the gold on the map runs outs you will be in bad shape without trade.


-Build your markets as far as possible, the longer the distance the more gold is gained

- Protect your trade routes, you can do this with a huge wall, asking your teammate to help you wall helps, pro players will normally place castles at each trade point to prevent an enemy pushing there trade route and destroying the return markets. keep in mind it does not need to be walled but it must be protected in someway when you see an enemy trying to raid it or destroy your markets

- Make sure you research "Caravan" to make your tradecarts and tradecogs move 2 times faster

- When you see that each side is even past 30 minutes and the game is going to be a long one, or when you only have one gold spot in your base left, start trading right away

-Trade cogs are good to use in water maps were you cant have a long distant land trade. Keep in mind that you will also need navy to protect the trade.
Walls or No Walls?
Now this has always been a big topic in the expert community.

As far as I can remember people have been debating and fighting about walls.

WHY? WHY NOT?

I lean more towards walling, thats just my style and I have always believed it helps

I think what it all melts down to is player style, each player has his own style and normally as they grow and learn more about aoc while developing there skills they may or may not use walls, lets take a look at the good and bad points of walls




House, and Building Walls


Placed correctly they can double as walls, and why not, this may be the simplest form of walling

Good point-

blocking enemy army from getting in and harming villagers and important resources

Bad point-

the enemy may end up destroying a key building trying to get in your base during important research time, such as Elite Eagle Warrior upgrade, or Paladin upgrade.. maybe even something important in the university, or black smith being researched.


Palisade Walls



Good Point-

Slows the enemy from harming villagers, getting in your base and causing damage, sometimes may prevent enemy advanced in general with double walls


Bad Point-

Takes time to setup, taking your concentration from economy, may use needed wood for farms, buildings or units. may also slow up time.



Stone Walls



Good Point-

Stops enemy advanced completely without seige, huge protection to economy

Bad Point-

Takes time to setup, taking your concentration from economy, may use needed stone for town centers, towers, or castles



with a walled enemy you have three choices

1. Break in quickly, hoping you have a good enough army to harass and damage there base

2. Boom and try to counter there army until you can seige. This can be used to your advantage
you can gain map control and take over the extra resources on the map

3. Wall your own base and mass army like they are.

Normally the reason why a person should wall is because it gives you more time to focus on economy and you don't have to micro army as much.

this pisses people off who are ultra aggressive and have high micro skills forcing them to play the macro side of the game and mass army.

Also thats why I point out through out the guide over and over again to always wall and wall as much as you can, because this is a noob guide, even though many experts will find this usefull, my main goal is to give the noobs a fighting chance and a headstart on things to come.



when you wall you don't need huge walls, just walling small in key points is ok, you can make bigger walls later on if you want.

Advice from a current expert 2200 rated in the expert community( not steam)


<slam> how you should wall
<slam> for example
<slam> a noob may decide to throw a stone wall across the whole map
<slam> the walls, whether palisade or building, should be very in efficient in that: you are building the least/minimum
<slam> but are also covering enough resources/area that you need
<slam> walls + building walls can be planned starting even at the first 3 minutes of the game
<slam> during the beginning of scouting
<slam> around 3 minutes you should already be able to discover angles in which you can wall from the edge of the map/ and or using trees etc
<slam> the planning can start early
Recorded Games and Build Order Instructions....
Recorded Games
Recorded games are one way to learn how to play correctly, see mistakes you make, and review reasons why you win or lose a match.

You need to watch your own recorded games, watch expert recorded games when you can get access to them, in AoEII HD there are not many expert recorded game websites out yet

By watching what an expert does, and how they re-act to certain situations is key to learning
you can learn more in one recorded game being played by experts than you can in 500 games played when you are a new player.

Things to look for in a recorded game, Yours and Expert view:


Watch Economy, and Town Setup

You-see what you are doing to build an economy, and what you may be able to do better the next time you play. Maybe you didnt have enough on wood, or didnt have enough on food or gold.

Expert- Watch how they are building economy see how many villagers they have placed in a certain spot and what times they start making buildings or gathering resources, look at the way they setup there buildings, Building placement is very important, houses, economy buildings, military buildings, farms..


Watch Military


You- Watch the way you defend or attack, what could you have done better, maybe by walling 1 little spot you could have stopped an entire rush, or by making a castle to stop a big army from desroying a town center.

Expert- Watch how they defend or attack, look at the way they re-act to certain units, and how they control there military units. see what they commonly use


You- Look for the reasons why you won or what you did better then the enemy, or why you lost.

Expert- Same as Above


Watch Upgrades

You-Look for upgrades being researched, maybe you forgot something important like upgrading wood or a units attack.

Expert- Again look for upgrades being researched, see what times they are researched and note when they research them, try to analyze why they researched a certain item at that time.




Build Order Instructions

Remember that a build order only gives you a general idea on economy structure, you will always need to adapt and calculate each and every map.

Build orders are the easyest way to learn how to make a decent economy and military.

Keep in mind that you will need to adapt to each map you play, you will not always get your build order down 100%. you will not always hit the exact times as stated in the guide.

with these build orders it would be best to write them down or print them out on a peice of paper.

another method would be to remember it by heart, not all but some, you can pause the game and keep reading over the build order to keep on track.

I recommend you play 2-5 games with a buddy on an all visable map until you got the build order down as much as you can get it. than practice it on a normal reveal map a couple times before using it in action. a pro will not need to do this as much as a newer player these are just some tips so you can learn them easy.
General Build Orders, Land
Land- Wing 22-25 pop feudal

HUNS

6 to sheep
3 to wood( make lumber pit)
loom
1 to boar
4 to mill berries or hunt deer when there close
1 to boar
3 to boar/ sheep
rest to wood
you can make 2 farms with the hurt boar luring villagers( 3 with if you make 3 extra villagers for 25 pop)
when the sheeps and boars are eaten you WILL have 500 meat you can go up
send the idle villagers to build a second lumber pit you can send 3-4 to gold if you want to make archers with the 25 pop build

NON HUN
you can do the same strategy as huns except all you need to do is take your first 3 villagers( 6 with chins) and build two houses( build 1 house with chins)
then you will need to build a house with each villager you send to boar 10th villager 15th villager

this will get you to feudal 10:30-11:30



-----------------------------------------------
during this transition you need to make a barracks and maybe another house and some walls to cut off key raiding points, if you are dark age rushed you'll want to make these right away(palisade walls)

when you do reach feudal you need to research economy upgrades right away( double bit axe, horse collar) and build military buildings, stables, archery ranges, black smith

during feudal you will want to scout your enemy and see what he is making, and what resources he has as i said already, if he makes a stable hes going to make scouts, if they have archery ranges there going to make archers/skirms, and you'll know about the archers if you see villagers on gold

calculate the best way to to go about attacking and surprising them will be.

work on your economy your goal will be to make an army, and reach castle by 20-24 minutes that means you'll need 800 food 200 gold with an army at around 18-22 minutes

Land Pocket 28-32 pop feudal

6 sheep
4 wood
1 boar
4 mill- berries or hunt deer when there close
loom
1 boar
3 sheep boar
5 to wood
4-5 gold or stone

the boar/sheep villagers make farms

now i know this is 28-29 pop, you can make more villagers and send them to wood or farms what ever you feel is best but 32( 3 villagers +1 scout) should be the max nothing more

ok now the reason i said 4-5 gold OR stone is because with mayans and spanish you will need to do stone if you want to make a castle and do plumbed archers(mayan) or conquistadors(spanish)

technically you can do this with any civilization but its not recommend, the reason you would do it with mayans is because they don't have calvary and plumbed archers are the best option

they run very quickly almost as quickly as cavalry they can also be made quickly you can have almost 10 before someone with a stable has 4 knights
there armored
there ranged
and there very good with hit and runs raiding

spanish conquistadors are a very strong ranged cavalry unit and can match a knight rush and protect your allies from knights or camels, this is a good choice when your enemy pocket has a camel and knight civilization



now when you get to feudal if you decide your going to drop a castle, you'll want to wall and make a black smith and market you will need to sell 200 stone to have the gold to go up

if you put villagers on gold and not stone you'll want to make barracks in fedual transition and then a black smith and stables during feudal just take some wood villagers to make the buildings

during the castle transition
you will also want to do one or two military upgrades, padded archer armor with conqs fletching with plumbs, bloodlines(+20 hp) or armor for calvary
decide weather or not you want to make another stable to do a 2 stable knight rush or do 1 stable and then have wood to build another town center


with this strategy you should be up to feudal age between 13-15 minutes and up to castle 16-18 minutes






General Booming Build Order

Villagers 1 - 3 make two houses, go to sheep immediately after
Villagers 4 - 6 go to sheep
Villager 7 makes lumber camp, then goes to wood
Villagers 8 - 11 goes to wood
Loom
Villager 12 makes house and then lures boar; sheep eaters kill boar
Villagers 12 - 14 go to wood, make a second lumber camp
Villager 15 makes mill, then goes to berries
Villager 16 goes to berries
Villager 17 makes house and then lures boar
Villagers 18 - 19 go to berries
Villagers 20 - 21 go to boar, the 2 weakest villagers on boars make farms
Villager 22 makes a house then a farm
Villager 23 makes a farm
Villagers 24 - 26 go to gold or stone *

Go to Feudal Age

During transition, finish sheep and send 4 villagers to deer if they're nearby. If not, just make farms but make sure you have 325 wood when you get to the Feudal Age. Sending a few to berries is an alternative, if deer isn't nearby.

When you hit the Feudal Age, make a market and blacksmith with 3 wood villagers. Make 2 more villagers.

(* = If you went for stone, you will need to sell 200 stone to have the gold to go up. If you went gold, buy 100 stone as soon as you can after clicking the Castle Age upgrade)

Villagers 27 - 28 go to wood.

Go to Castle Age

During this transition, move all your deer villagers and all but 3 of your berry villagers, to wood. Get Double Bit Axe as soon as possible, then Horse Collar after. Assign one villager to do nothing but build houses a little farther from your base. If that villager keeps making them constantly, you should never be housed.

Once you get to the Castle Age, research Wheelbarrow and make two town centers; one next to gold, and one next to wood. If you have enough wood, build a fourth next to your stone. If you can make them between, for example, wood and stone, do it. Research Bow Saw and Heavy Plow as soon as possible.

From here, just keep making villagers from each town center and put them to work. Whenever you have 100 wood, take a wood villagers and make a farm. Keep building houses, get Hand Cart at around 21 - 22 minutes and build a fifth Town Center as soon as you can (although this is optional).

Booming, like any strategy, requires some common sense and improvisation. Each civilization has different attributes that change the way you boom. Aztecs start with loom, so you can squeeze in an extra villager before going up to the Feudal Age. Persian Town Centers work faster, so focus more on food if you're Persia and initially just put 2 town centers up. A good booming tip to remember is that it's better to have 3 active town centers than 5 inactive ones. Don't put vast amount of villagers on wood if you're going to run low on food.

You want to aim to click the Imperial Age upgrade at around 28 minutes. Whilst advancing, keep making villagers until you have around 130. Also start building military and getting upgrades.
General Build Orders, Water
Water Wing 26 pop

water is almost exactly the same as land except all you are doing is moving the mill villagers to wood and building docks

6 sheep
5 wood
1 boar
1 dock- make 4 boats
3 wood
1 boar
3 sheep/ boar
2 wood

this strat is a 1030 feudal time which means you need to press the feudal button at 830

boar/sheep villagers
you'll want to send 4 villagers to berrys( without mill do not build a mill yet!!)
3 to wood- build another lumber pit
4 to gold
do this when your sheeps and boars are gone

go to feudal you will have enough meat

now remember with huns you don't need to build the extra houses

you'll want to make another dock when you get the wood so you have two docks during the time transition

when you get to feudal you'll want to pump some galleys from your docks, you should have enough to make at least 4 gallys, 90% of water maps your gonna need to make galleys, there are very few water maps were you wont need a navy.

you can build a mill as soon as you want to but do it when you have the extra wood

you'll want to upgrade double bit axe and gold mining right away as this will be a key to making mass galleys

don't forget you need food too so you will have to decide weather or not you should keep making fishing boats or to make farms on your land area if the sea isn't safe

your goal will be to have a navy 10-20 galleys( you will have to make at least 3-4 dock just to be good to go)

go kill enemy fishing boats or galleys

you can research fletching as soon as you get the wood to make a black smith
+1 attack for your galleys

now here on out like i said already you need to adapt make your navy and research economy upgrades and try to get to castle as soon as you feel comfortable, you need to produce villagers until you can reach the 800 meat 200 gold mark while doing upgrades and making navy

tip: you can use an extra fishing boat early on to scout the waters and see if the enemy will be making galleys, you can tell by the amount of docks they have but don't worry because almost 99% of the time the enemy will make gallys

on a closed water map, like team islands or islands you can use your scout to lure your boar as the scout wont be needed but never use it on an open water map or land map to lure boar, its just stupid





Water Pocket 32 pop

6 sheep
5 wood
1 boar
1 dock- make 8 boats
3 wood
1 boar
3 sheep/ boar
5 wood- make another lumber pit

when sheeps and boar is done send 5 to berrys
5 to gold
1 to wood

now you make a black smith and market when you get to feudal and then a mill when you get the extra wood
go to castle when you have 800 food 200 gold

don't do economy upgrades until you press the castle button( double bit axe/ gold mining)

now water pocket can be tricky heres what is so tricky about it


for one, the enemy pocket can be doing galleys instead of going straight to castle, you'll have to decide or ask your wing partner if he can hold until your castle

with the enemy pocket and wing going galleys they can gg your wing ally right away so you'll need to know, mostly this is a communication issue, you'll need to ask your wing partner about this or you will have to scout with a boat to see.

another issue can be with good players they might do a quick castle to have the advantage, mostly they will do something like a 27 pop castle and then send fire ships which can be devastating unless you have massed war galleys.

mainly while your castling you'll want to make gallys so you have at least 10 before you reach the castle age then you can upgrade them to war galleys right when you reach castle

remember to research fletching and bodkin arrow to give the war galleys +2 attack, you can also research careening for +1 armor and ballistics to make your gallys shoot more effectively.
Advanced Build Orders, Land 1/2
Mayan Castle Rush (for pocket)

LOOM FIRST!

Villagers 1 - 4 make 2 houses, then eat sheep
Villagers 5 - 7 to sheep
Villagers 8 - 11 to wood (first makes Lumber Camp)
Villager 12 makes house and then lures boar to Town Center; all sheep eaters kill boar
Villager 13 to Boar
Villagers 14 - 16 to berries (first makes Mill)
Villager 17 makes house and then lures boar to Town Center; all current boar eaters kill boar
Villager 18 to berries
Villagers 19 and 20 go to Boar, the 2 most unhealthy boar eaters make farms
Once boar is eaten, finish sheep
Villagers 21 - 23 to deer (first makes house on the way, then Mill)
Vilagers 24 - 26 go to Gold (first makes a Mining Camp)

GO TO FEUDAL AGE

During transition, send 3 of your sheep villagers to deer, 1 to wood and the rest to berries. Although the berries will get pretty crowded, while most of the berry bushes remain, it shouldn't be too much of a problem for now.

When you get to Feudal Age, make 2 Villagers, use 3 of your wood Villagers to make a Market and Blacksmith (2 Villagrs on the Market, 1 on the Blacksmith).

Villagers 27 - 28 go to Stone (make a Mining Camp as soon as you can.

GO TO CASTLE AGE

Now it's time for some villager redistribution. You'll want 10 villagers on Stone, 6 on food (2 farms, 4 berries), 5 on Gold and 7 on Wood. It's important to not forget your deer hunters and as soon as you hit the Castle Age upgrade, you should have finished or nearly finished your deer.

In order of importance, get the following upgrades:

Double Bit Axe
Fletching
Padded Archer Armor

By the time you reach the Castle Age, you should have most of the stone you need for a castle. The second you get 650 stone, take all your stone miners and make a castle that protects your gold or wood; preferably both. Once the castle is made, put 4 of the builders back on stone, 4 on wood and make farms with the others. You should have enough resources coming in to make Plumed Archers constantly, Villagers and also make farms. From here, you want to amass about 5 Plumed Archers and then hit your opponents villagers as soon as you can. Plumes are fast, cheap and they're made quickly, so you should be fine with keeping up with the opponents Knight Rush. If you're going slowly, then make walls.

From here, it's the standard boom. I'd suggest to not stop making Plumed Archers until you have about 60, which will essentially mean you don't stop making them at any point. Hit your opponents hard; kill their villagers mercilessly.

In a perfect world, with zero lag, no mistakes and the perfect map, you'd get to the Castle Age at 15 mins 15 seconds. However, there's always some lag, we all make mistakes and I'm still yet to play a perfect map. So, if you can get to the Castle Age at any point before 16 minutes, you're doing well.

Archer/Tower Flush

Villagers 1 - 3 makes houses then eat sheep
Villagers 4 - 6 go to sheep
Villagers 7 - 10 go to Wood (first villager makes Lumber Camp)
Loom
Villager 11 makes a house then lures boar, sheep eaters kil boar
Villagers 12 - 14 go to berries (first villager makes mill)
Villager 15 makes a house then lures boar
Villager 16 goes to eating boar
Villagers 17 - 18 go to boar, 2 unhealthy vills from boar make farms
Villagers 19 - 21 go to wood
Villagers 22 - 23 go to stone (first villager makes mining camp)

GO TO FEUDAL AGE

During transition, send three healthy villagers towards your opponents base, 4 to gold (building a mining camp) and once your sheep are eaten, 2 to berries Once your 3 forward villagers reach near your opponents base, build a barracks as soon as possible, as well as 2 houses. Use one wood villager to build some key walls. Beware that forwarding will result in an aggressive response from any decent player, so be prepared to switch back and forth between your base and your opponents.

Once you reach the Feudal Age, build an Archery Range and make 3 spearmen. Next, build a tower near your barracks and Archery Range and start making Archers from your Archery Range. If you don't have enough gold, make Skirmishers. Try to build towers over gold and stone mines or near lumber camps. Use your Archers to protect your villagers and attack any stray villagers.

Build a second Archery Range as soon as possible. If you need to, make some spearmen and send them back to your base. Economically, put your next 3 villagers on stone and another 4 on gold. Thereafter, put your villagers on wood and make farms whenever you can. Get Double Bit Axe as soon as you can, and Horse Collar sometime thereafter.

Keep moving through your opponents base, towering key spots. Depending on how scrappy things get, you may find that you can not keep up with defending at home, as well as attacking them efficiently. In this circumstance, don't be afraid to move your wood and gold mining to around your towers. It might sound extreme, but I have won matches where both me and my opponent forwarded and I basically moved to his base, or somewhere random on the map. Naturally you want to avoid this though, and the best way to do that is to be ultra aggressive in the opponent's base so they can't concentrate on anything properly.

Aztec Boom (for pocket)

Villagers 1 - 3 make 2 houses then eat sheep
Villagers 4 - 7 go to sheep
Villagers 8 - 11 go to wood (first makes a Lumber Camp)
Villager 12 makes a house then lure boar, sheep eaters kill the boar
Villagers 13 - 14 go to wood
Villager 16 makes mill and then goes to berries
Villager 17 makes a house and then lures boar
Villagers 18 - 20 go to berries
Villagers 21 - 22 go to deer (first makes mill)
Villagers 23 - 24 go to gold (first makes Mining Camp)

GO TO FEUDAL AGE

During transition, send 2 of your boar eaters to hunt deer and finish your sheep with the others. If you finish sheep before getting to the feudal age, either make farms (but make sure you have 325 wood when you get to the feudal age) or send them to berries or deer, which ever is nearer. Also make one house with a wood villager.

Once you get to the Feudal Age, make two villagers and put them on wood. Make a blacksmith with one wood villagers and a market with two wood villagers.

GO TO CASTLE AGE

During transition to the Castle Age, distribute your villagers accordingly:

4 Berries
6 Farms
3 Gold
13 Wood (make a second lumber camp)

Also research double bit axe and horse collar.

When you reach the castle age, make a town center by your wood and one by your gold. You want to have one town center making vills for wood, one for gold and one where all villagers make farms. Keep this up until your wood starts to pile up. When it does, take 3 - 4 from wood and make farms.

Keep this up until around the 24th minute. Make a Monestary and University and go to the Imperial Age as soon as you can after that. Stop villager production temporarily if necessary. You want to aim to reach the Imperial Age at around 29 minutes. During the transition, make Barracks, make Eagle Warriors and research the Infantry Armor upgrades. Also start to send villagers to stone (from the Wood town center).

As soon as you hit the Imperial Age, upgrade to Elite Eagle Warriors as quickly as you can. Get the final Infantry armor upgrade and then attack with the Eagle Warriors you have as soon as possible. Keep making villagers and Elite Eagle Warriors and keep raiding your opponent. Get the attack upgrades and, once you have enough for a Castle, get the the Aztecs unique technology.

Elite Eagle Warriors, this quickly, are very powerful. Hit villagers continuously until you can make some Battering Rams to finish the job off properly.
Advanced Build Orders, Land 2/2
Halen Rush Tactics
Huns--

Villagers
1-3 Straggle wood around base, place them on sheep once you find them
4-6 Sheep
7 Lumberpit
Loom
Lure Boar with a sheep villager
8 Sheep
9 Wood
10 Boar- place all shepards on wild boar as soon as you can
11 wood
12 lure boar #2
13 wood
14 build mill- then go berrys
15-16 berrys
17 sheep
build 2 farms with the most hurt boar villagers
18 sheep
19 wood
20 build lumberpit #2
21-23 wood

press feudal under 9' 20''

once all sheeps and boars are gone build 2 more farms then place rest on wood

build barracks and then stable once you reach feudal

Daut Drush/Castle


2 vills chop wood, set town rally point to tree
3 vill look for sheep + scout
when sheep found, send vill back to tc, send back sheep, ring town bell, rally vills to sheep
up to vill 7 to sheep
vill 8 lumbercamp
vill 9 lumberjack
vill 10 lumberjack
vill 11 lure boar (research loom
sheep vills, drop meat, become boar men
vill 12 lumberjack
vill 13 build mill on berries
vill 14, lure next boar
vill 15 berries
vill 16 berries
vill 17 barracks
vill 18 hunter
vill 19 get 10 gold (when barracks complete, build 3 militia, send with scout to kill one villager at a time, dont let them die
vill 20 lumerjack
vill 21 lumberjack
(boar hunters to kill sheep now)
vill 22 berries
vill 23 berries
vill 24 berries
vill 25 berries
vill 26 berries
vill 27 build gold mine
vill 28 gold
send sheep villagers to get deer/berrys
vill 29 gold
(advance to feudal)
3 vills to gold
One food villager build black smith, two other food villagers build stable
advance (castle) in 17 :15 - 30
4 vills advance and build stable+archery range
build farms where necessary
upgrade lumbercamp +gold mine + farms
attack lumbercamp with knights
Advanced Build Orders, Water
Grush- with Vikings


Villager 1-2 - Build house, then sheep.
Villager 3 - Build house, then sheep.
Villager 4-6 - Sheep.
Villager 7-11 wood
Villager 12 - Make a house, then hunt boar.
Loom
Villager 13 - Build dock, then house (make 4-5 fish boats,)
Villager 14 - Wood.
Villager 15- lure boar
Villager 16-23 sheeps boars
Go Feudal
Put all food vills on wood except 5 that go to gold.
Build more docks/houses with 1-2 vills.
Reach Feudal.
Make gallys, que vills, get lumber upgrade asap.
Keep making docks until you got 5.
make a black smith then get fletching
Keep putting villagers on wood until you can handle 5 docks then make 6th. Put some more villagers on gold before putting them on berries. Get farm upgrade and start making farms. Go castle when you can. Keep making gallys.






FireShip Rush


Villager 1-2 - Build house, then sheep.
Villager 3 - Build house, then sheep.
Villager 4-6 - Sheep.
Villager 7-10 - Build lumbercamp on a good wood spot.
Villager 11 - Make house, then hunt boar.
Loom
Villager 12-20 - Food
Villager 21 - Build second lumbercamp on a good wood spot.
Villager 22-25 - Build gold mine and mine gold.
Go Feudal
Keep all food villagers on food just send 1 to wood
Reach Feudal.
Build Market/Blacksmith,
Villagers go to gold.
Go to Castle as soon as villagers are done
Put all food vills exept 5 on wood.
Make 3 docks with 2 vills.
Make 2 houses.
get double bit axe.
Build fireships from 3 docks all the time.
Make villagers when you can.
Put them on food first then either gold or wood whatever you need.
Common Strategies/ Unit Counters
Most strategies can be used with just about any Civilization you choose
were marking the common and uncommon strategys used with them to show you what you may or may not have to come up against more then likely, this will give you an advantage in knowing what you should create to counter the enemys attacks.

- Aztecs -

Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Common

Feudal Age
Archers, Skirmishers - Common

Castle Age
Pikemen, Archers, Jaguar Warriors, Eagle Warriors, Monks - Common

Imperial Age
Elite Eagle Warriors, Siege Rams, Trebuchets - Very, Very Common
Monks, Elite Jaguar Warriors - Common
Champions - Uncommon

- Britons -

Feudal Age
Archers, Skirmishers - Very Common
Scouts, Archers - Uncommon

Castle Age
Crossbows, Pikemen, Battering Rams - Very Common
Knights, Crossbows - Common

Imperial Age
Arbalets, Halbadiers, Trebuchets - Very Common
Elite Longbowmen, Elite Skirmishers, Cavaliers - Common

- Byzantines -

Feudal Age
Spearmen, Skirmishers - Very Common

Castle Age
Pikemen, Elite Skirmishers - Very Common
Camels - Common
Knights - Uncommon

Imperial Age
Halbadiers, Elite Skirmishers - Very Common
Elite Cataphracts, Bombard Cannons - Common
Hand Cannoneers, Paladins - Uncommon

- Celts -

Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Common

Feudal Age
Archers, Spearmen, Skirmishers - Very Common

Castle Age
Knights, Battering Rams, Scorpions, Mangonels - Very Common
Pikemen, Woad Raiders - Common

Imperial Age
Elite Woad Raider, Siege Onagers, Siege Rams, Heavy Scoprions, Trebuchets - Very Common
Paladins - Common

- Chinese -

Feudal Age
Spearmen, Skirmishers/Archers -Very Common
Scouts - Common Very Common

Castle Age
Knights, Crossbows, Battering Rams - Very Common
Pikemen - Common

Imperial Age
Elite Chu Ko Nu's, Cavaliers, Trebuchets, Siege Rams - Very Common
Light Cavs - Common

- Franks -

Feudal Age
Scouts - Very Common
Skirmishers, Archers - Common

Castle Age
Knights - Very, Very Common
Throwing Axemen - Uncommon

Imperial Age
Paladins - Very, Very Common
Elite Throwing Axemen, Hand Cannoneers, Bombard Cannons - Common

- Goths -

Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Common

Feudal Age
Archers, Skirmishers, Man at Arms, Scouts - Common

Castle Age
Pikemen, Huskarls - Very Common
Long Swordsmen - Uncommon

Imperial Age
Elite Huskarls - Very, Very Common
Halbadiers, Champions - Common

- Huns -

Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Common

Feudal Age
Scouts - Very, Very Common
Archers, Skirmishers, Spearmen - Very Common

Castle Age
Cavalry Archers, Knights, Battering Rams - Very Common

Imperial Age
Heavy Cavalry Archers - Very, Very Common
Hussars, Paladins, Siege Rams, Trebuchets - Very Common

- Japanese -

Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Common

Feudal Age
Skirmishers, Archers - Very Common

Castle Age
Crossbows, Elite Skirmishers - Very Common
Knights - Uncommon

Imperial Age
Elite Samurai, Hand Cannoneers, Trebuchets - Very Common
Halbadiers - Common
Champions - Uncommon

- Koreans -

Feudal Age
Archers, Skirmishers - Common
Scouts - Uncommon

Castle Age
Crossbows, Mangonels, War Wagons - Common
Knights - Uncommon

Imperial Age
Elite War Wagons, Hand Cannoneers, Siege Onagers, Bombard Towers - Very Common
Bombard Cannons - Common

- Mayans -

Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Uncommon

Feudal Age
Archers, Skirmishers - Very, Very Common
Spearmen - Very Common

Castle Age
Crossbows, Plumed Archers - Very, Very Common
Elite Skirmishers - Common

Imperial Age
Elite Plumed Archers, Elite Eagle Warriors, Arbalets - Very, Very Common

- Mongols -

Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Uncommon

Feudal Age
Scouts - Very, Very Common
Archers, Skirmishers - Common

Castle Age
Knights - Very Common
Magudai, Light Cavalry - Common
Cavalry Archers - Uncommon

Imperial Age
Elite Magudai, Siege Rams, Hussars - Very, Very Common

- Persians -

Dark Age
Drush (with Town Center) - Highly Uncommon...but hilarious
Drush (with Militia) - Uncommon

Feudal Age
Scouts - Very Common
Archers, Skirmishers - Common

Castle Age
Knights - Very, Very Common

Imperial Age
Hand Cannoneers, Paladins, Bombard Cannons, Hussars - Very Common
Elite War Elephants - Uncommon

- Saracens -

Feudal Age
Scouts - Very Common
Archers, Skirmishers - Common

Castle Age
Knights - Very Common
Camels - Common

Imperial Age
Elite Mamelukes, Siege Rams, Hussars - Very, Very Common
Heavy Camels - Uncommon

- Spanish -

Feudal Age
Scouts, Skirmishers, Archers - Common

Castle Age
Knights, Conquistadors - Very Common
Monks, Missionaries - Uncommon

Imperial Age
Elite Conquistadors, Paladins - Very Common
Bombard Cannons, Bombard Towers, Hussars - Common

- Teutons -

Feudal Age
Towers, Scouts - Very Common
Archers, Skirmishers - Common

Castle Age
Knights, Castles - Very Common

Imperial Age
Paladins, Bombard Towers - Very Common
Siege Onagers - Common
Elite Teutonic Knights - Common

- Turks -


Feudal Age
Scouts, Archers - Very Common
Spearmen, Skirmishers - Common

Castle Age
Knights, Jannisaries - Very Common
Camels, Light Cavalry - Common

Imperial Age
Hand Cannoneers, Elite Jannisaries, Bombard Cannons, Hussars, Bombard Towers - Very, Very Common

- Vikings -
Dark Age
Drush (with Militia) - Common

Feudal Age
Spearmen, Skirmishers, Archers - Very Common

Castle Age
Crossbows, Knights - Very Common

Imperial Age
Pikemen, Arbalets, Siege Rams, Trebuchets - Very Common
Champions, Elite Berserkers - Common


Unit Counters
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High Skill Refining, Getting a Partner and Clans/Teams
to high skilled players advancing in skill is what your all about, trying to be the best player you can is what your all about.

High Skill Refining
Refining your skills can be a daunting task, just take it from me. I have played over 15000 games over the years and my skills always go up and down.

your best bet in getting your skills up is playing 1v1 constantly, most high skilled experts play around 300 games a month minimum, some players play 100+ a week.
if you can get your game play count down to about 10 games a day that will be an weekly average of about 70 games played, you'll soon see your micro/macro skill increase by far.
Players at the top level don't need to play as much to retain their skill level because they have huge experience, but in most cases even the very best need to do hardcore training to get the speed,micro,and macro in shape.

researching recorded games is a must, talking over tactics and practicing a few various strategies overall is whats gonna boost your skill.

practice 1v1 with the same set strategy over and over again until you got it down so good no amount of flushing or tricks an enemy can do is going to throw you off.

for example some basic 1v1 strategies you should learn are

Basic Scout/Archer Flush-
This is the primary strategy used by every single top expert in the game now days, feudaling around 10 minutes, rushing with scouts then rushing with archers 14-16 minutes.

Basic Drush-
This is the second primary strat used on land maps. when people started drushing it wasnt very popular until top experts started using it regulary, people seen the HUGE effect it had compared to the normal flush. all though this can be stopped by using small wall tactics and a very fast feudal age its still a very deadly strategy that at least 60% of the player population in the expert community doesn't know how to defend

Basic Grush-
This is the primary strategy used on water maps that have alot of water, some water maps with less water like rivers, and salt marsh, you may want to do a basic flush instead, remember its all in scouting and adapting.


these will help you get down your early game play, which is much needed, but like I have said time and time again adapting and practice is much needed.

for Imperial Age warfare you'll want to learn Death Match, sure you can learn unit counters in Random Map, but in Death Match you will be able to learn what tactics are needed in late game warfare much faster.

just remember practice makes perfect, or at least makes you better if anything.



Getting a Partner

Why? Why should of you all players have to play with someone?

Because.

thats why.

getting a buddy to play with you is key to advancing, mostly you want someone around your skill level to help you advance and you help them advance, the reasons are so you can both critisize each others game play, you want to tell them what they think there doing wrong and you want them to tell you. because you will not always see things that others will.

training and viewing each others recorded games and game play is key to helping to hone your skills and advance to the next step. you dont want your partner to take it easy on you, have them tell you EVERY thing they can see wrong with what your doing and try to work on it.


Clans/Teams


to advance in skill you will also want to join a team, they will have players that you can play with often and work on your team game skills, having some buddys that know your style and game play always helps, its easyer to play with them and win matches because you are better coridinated to there game style so it will be easyer to know what there going to do and when to attack.

your team may also play in tournaments and events, this helps you be able to practice playing under pressure because you are more passionate about your team winning.
Patrolling and Formations written by _Ares_
Patrols:

Patrolling is accomplished via pressing the “patrol” button in unit commands, and then left clicking on the location you want your units to patrol to.
The default hotkey for patrolling is ‘Z’.

Why patrol?

To begin this it’s best by asking this question:
Q. What’s the main difference between 40 ranged and 40 close combat units?
A. The 40 ranged all attack at the same time.

On the other hand, the 40 close combat units will all wander and try to attack, but only those that are next to their enemy will be able to.

What patrolling does is make units go “on top” of each other. That way on the same space you can have 3, 4, even 5 close combat units, attacking the same 1 enemy unit. Put simply, using patrol makes your close combat units much more effective.

Patrolling in practice:

Patrolled units will generally “target” the first enemy unit that “attacks” them. That’s why sometimes you will see patrols go by each other – the units simply did not detect the enemy, and therefore did not target anyone.

There are 4 stances that units have – Aggressive, Defensive, Stand Ground, and No Attack.
You can patrol units using any stance.

In order of strength, patrolling goes like this:
Aggressive > Defensive > Stand Ground > and last is obviously, No Attack.

Therefore, aggressive is the main stance that you will use in most of your gaming.

Defensive patrolling you can use when you want your units to stay around 1 general spot.. BUT if they see an enemy, they will chase after him anyway, so this one is not pointless… just hard to explain and takes practice to know when to use.

Stand Ground patrolling is how I first discovered patrols. I thought it was the only way you can patrol until I accidentally changed stances haha.
When I was beginning 1v1 CBA wars, I started to think that it was useless: Every time I used it vs any other stance I would get ♥♥♥♥♥. Later however, I found a really cool way in which to use it.

Finer points of patrolling:

And now, we reach the finer aspects of patrolling, of which I think there are only two. The first, and possibly foremost point of which (and for which I am both loved AND hated among the CS community) is…. (drum roll please): runners.

Runners are units used solely for the purpose of distraction. In close combat wars, they “lure” enemy units away to give you a numbers advantage. In ranged wars, they are used by taking advantage of the bad accuracy of ranged units. A few runners are patrolled in between your army and the enemy, and are replaced when they die. All runners use No Attack stance.

No Attack patrolling was also my COUNTER to runners, when they started being used against me.
I would use No Attack stance, patrol with all my men, and when I got past the runner, and close to enemy, I would switch to aggressive stance.

This still remains as one very effective way in which you can use it.

The second point is the cool part I mentioned earlier – Stand Ground patrolling, which has three uses.

a) Instead of No Attack, I later began using Stand Ground stance. The reason for this is – in stand ground, your units still “target” the enemy units. So when you change them to aggressive, they already KNOW who to attack, where as in No Attack stance they must first target something.

b) Since they don’t attack until you tell them to, you can get more units closer to the enemy before you switch stances. This is just advanced micro; with time most should begin to see it.

c) This is a continuation of b, but here goes:
If my ally needs help, I will send my units(close combat) to him on stand ground patrol. This way they don’t get distracted by every single enemy unit along the way, AND if they get ambushed, they are already on patrol, so it’s simple to switch to just switch to aggressive and get the most effective use out of them, even in a situation where they will die anyway.
Navy Patrolling written by _Ares_
Navy Patrolling:

Attacking:
When chasing enemy, but your units on stand ground stance, and constantly re patrol. This will make the units even more clumped, and they will move more smoothly (WITHOUT REGROUPING WHICH SLOWS YOUR CHASE DOWN).

Stand ground stance is for them noticing/attacking less things such as docks (which keeps them more ordered), and every time they DO attack something meaningless, or even say 1 enemy ship, re patrol right away to keep them moving forward.

The anti-ballistics trick I showed you works here too.
Another anti-ballistics trick is: Micro one boat on the side. When the enemy boats fire, RIGHT AWAY you move the boat into a different direction, causing them to miss.

The reason why ballistics can be countered is: it predicts where the unit will go based on it's current path. Next it sends a arrow/cannon ball TO THE PREDICTED point. If you move your unit back, when they shoot 2 tiles forward, you'll make the arrows miss.

Defending:

When defending do really tight close patrols, by patrolling units close together. Do 15 re-patrols like so: (U = units, X = re patrol point)

UUUU -------------- X (this kind of distance, in game)

When you do this, move them so that they will be facing the most likely enemy attack front. Ie, don't do something like this: (E = enemy)

||| EEEEEEEEEEEE |||
VV EEEEEEEEEEEE VV



_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU

In the above situation, your units will get ♥♥♥♥♥ as he will have more vs less, EVEN THOUGH you have the same starting #'s.

Retreating:
Brahma asked this question, and I can't believe I did not address it-
You retreat in two simple, but VITAL steps:
1. STOP your units (X hotkey for me)
2. put units on NO ATTACK STANCE (O hotkey for me)

Then just click wherever you wanna go.

Reasons for this:
Patrolled units go to the point you PATROLLED them to. Stopping them releases the units from this "obligation". They no longer do anything and wait for next order.
No Attack Stance - Sometimes units will fight back if attacked. Probably a bug in AoC. No Attack Stance prevents that.

Here's the main guideline for all fights by which I play: (Not only navy, but everything)
1. Make all your battles More vs Less.

if you have 40 champs vs enemy 30 champs, and you fight, you will have 20 CHAMPS REMAINING, NOT 10. Numbers are EVERYTHING.

say you have 20 boats. he has 10 boats by your 20, and another 30 coming in support a screen away, FIGHT THE 10, then gb as soon as you see the larger army.

in big fights, try to come in from a front, like shown above. 40 vs 40, make it 40 vs 20. IF only for 5 seconds. that will give you the win.

2. If you think you lost, GB.

NEVER fight losing battles. ALWAYS save units. Each unit you save can then be later used to outnumber enemy.

Keep this in mind: When enemy is fighting you, it's because of (a) he thinks he won or (b) he has no other choice [protecting his and pockets fish; his vills, etc] IF it's A, think about GB. UNLESS you think you won the fight.
They Taught me a Lesson by Chris 1/3
This section was wrote by L_Clan_Chris, Arguably the most skilled player in AoC history.
Note, this is public information the rest can be found in his book on amazon


"There have been quite a few times I've felt like I've noticed that my adversaries have been extremely quick, strong, coordinated, and intelligent.

Isaac Newton said, "If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." I have always liked to take very key aspects of these giant’s styles and intertwine them with my own.


Over the years, I have felt this way against these giants (presented chronologically): _IamCat,
Anycall_PD1, Aluba007, RD_ChampioN, Arch_Koven_, _IamKmkm, Grunt, Halen,
_DauT_, Ruso, Alive, Ding, Feeling, and now Kyo.

I am going to briefly cover the small (in my opinion, major) things that have fine tuned my style of thinking into understanding AoC a little better. Each and every one of these players has demonstrated their abilities by giving me a sound whooping at least once (every one of the games discussed are categorized as a severe destruction of yours truly).

Push Push Push

The game with Cat

It was mid AoK, where everyone would fast castle and boom to imperial age. TCs were cheap, feudal rushes were assumed ineffective, and castle was more of a lay over to imperial. In my game against Cat, I assumed this would be the same as any other game. It was a china war, I started upgrading to imperial age at 30 minutes. I had nothing other then my initial scout, a castle in the center of my base with a siege shop nearby. I walled in a mangonel by the castle, but cat did a full out castle push. 10 rams, 20 knights, I probably killed about 6 of the rams by repairing my castle and using that mangonel, but I was still utterly overrun. I was dead by 36 minutes.

Morale: Well executed castle age attacks hitting at an opportune moment can give you a huge edge over a "straight boomer".

Mix it up a bit

Anycall_PD1

In the game with anycall, I used a castle push strategy similar to what cat used on me. Anycall responded with a castle and some solid unit defenses, he used kts to continually focus rams while letting his castle shoot my army. He pretty much sacrificed his entire defending cavalry army to take out all my rams, and sent the other half of his army to raid my base. He killed loads of villagers. That game taught me why a "defensive offense" is sometimes better then a "pure offense." This can apply to the feudal, castle, and imperial ages!

Morale: It's typically better to have a balance between offense and defense than pure offense or defense.

Who Needs Villagers

Aluba007

So I've taken up the "defensive offense" style, but this was another game fought mostly in the castle age. I decided that defending and imperialing would be my best choice. Aluba showed me why it's extremely necessary to gauge the particular situation and continually adapt to it. The details aren't necessary, but the main thing I took away from this game was how army management can make a huge difference. I remember watching the game from his perspective and noting that his economy management was particularly poor in that instance. I figured out why I was completely destroyed. The key to the game: raiding. This was my first true run in with the multi angled raids, in many many spots, at the same time. He had roughly 25 knights, it was an extremely open map, one tc, while I had 3 tcs, probably twice the number of villages, a vastly higher score, but yet I still managed to lose (and quite bad). When I met up with him in WCG 2001 in Korea he mentioned that he used to number groups of his kts from the numbers 1 through 9. In that game I am sure he had at least 9 groups of knights. He would just scroll through the numbers, attack at the same time, and as soon as I responded to any he would retreat them, watching his army instead of his economy. His knights also had +2 armor while my ranged attacks were unupgraded. From this game the main things I took away were:

Morale: Well executed raiding can be extremely effective, and fletching is a must for TCs if your enemy has +2 armor knights even if you aren't making ranged units.

Looks can be deceiving


RD_ChampioN

Armed with awesome raiding tactics, I decided to try out this part of style addition on a player known as RD_ChampioN. I don't think I've been as hilariously destroyed, ever. I raided excessively with knights. He straight out boomed, except he used a very smart cost effective weapon, one that I can't believe I overlooked: monks. That's right, those old guys in the robes, yelling gibberish and costing an excessive amount of gold, are extremely cost effective. At the end of the game, there were 54 conversions. Yes, 54. The funniest part was that they were mostly knights and he used them to kill me. He didn't make any other unit in the whole game. As a small army where it is easy to control monks, there aren't really too many good counters, which is why monks can often be seen with certain arena castle age push strategies. (at the time of this game I wasn't aware that light cavalry are more resistant to monks or of their attack bonus)

Morale: An army of slow old men speaking gibberish can be a huge plus to your army!

* * * * *
Fast forward to the time of feudal fighting, but before the patches, so archers are built faster, vils had less piercing armor, skirmishers had no attack bonus againt spears, and a large mass of skirmishers could kill anything.

Bring it, boy!
Arch_Koven_

He had a "I see you rushing, I won't bother trying to defend with towers and walls, lets fight!" style, especially in early feudal age. I rushed him with a 9:50 4 vil china feudal rush. I made 2 ranges near his base, and some spears. He feudaled at 10:10. This was the time when archers were predominant, so fighting with villagers could be extra dangerous because 5 archers vs less armor vils meant a lot of 'blood in the streets.' I had the hill, he spotted me. Within 10 seconds there were 10 angry villagers, with 2 militia and a scout storming my 4 villagers, 2 spears and 1 archer. 2 minutes later: my entire army dead. 6 of his villagers dead, all my production buildings walled, with 4 of his archers marching towards my base. I resigned, and I was impressed.

Morale: There are times when being a manly man can be the best, or your only alternative to losing.

Who needs villagers, Part II

_IamKmkm

If you've ever gone up against a kmkm rush, you know why it's effective. Strategic hills, controlling the game and the resources, and an offensive tower at your disposal make rushing a lucrative option. You know its kmkm, you know hes rushing, and sometimes it felt like there wasnt a solid thing you could do about it. Even iron-manning it like koven didn't necessarily work. He would choose hills, use 5 villagers forward, and if you rushed his buildings, he would stop making villagers, and he would put all of his resources into army production. After he won the fight (which was almost always), he would use hit and run tactics combined with excessive towering of key resources. Games against him were often less than 15 or 20 minutes.

Morale: if you can take an economic hit to gain a large militaristic advantage, it can pay off. Hit and run is very effective and cutting off key resources can be very useful.
They Taught me a Lesson by Chris 2/3
Cost Effective Suicide

Grunt

Grunt is an interesting character. If you’ve ever met him in real life, you can tell that he’s friendly, sharp, and easy to have a good time with. What doesn’t meet the eye is his competitive nature. When you play him in friendly games, he will not play his best. Once tournament time rolls around, however, he is always on his A game. This, combined with owning a PC café giving him a lot of spare time to practice, has let him win more large tournaments in varied RTS games than any other that comes to mind. In this particular game, we were adversaries once again in a team tournament well known around here as the WCL. The map: land nomad. The situation: our team having a much larger combined economy than the enemies, the upper hand, all of us in castle age with a spread out economy. Their team was feeling the heat from our pushes. Then, grunt imperialed, with a small economy and nothing but a couple dozen eagle warriors. He managed to have enough resources to upgrade them to elite. If he fought our army straight up, the game would have been lost for them. He played much smarter then that, sending a couple elite eagle warriors to every TC he could find. He didn’t even bother looking for stray vils, or good spots to hit. He focused on his economy instead. At one point we must have had 80% of our villagers locked up in TCs shooting eagles. He tried to never fight our army, only our economy. This strategy turned the game and caused us to lose.

Morale: El dorado eagles are cost effective when being shot by TCs filled with villagers. Unfortunately for the defender it is still a smarter decision to garrison vils then let them die.



The Makings of a Fortune Teller

Halen

Another teamgame, Arabia, typical civs on both sides (china, mong, hun). Halen on the same side as me, him mong, me china. I understand that late game mongol is a powerhouse, so I use all my power to push halen – in feudal and castle. He plays well, defending properly, not too much of an advantage either way. He makes sure to do pure defense against my pure offense, but he manages to use less resources defending than I spend offending, by building a castle dead center between his 3 town centers, and using camels to stop my knights. Once the castle is up, I immediately sent my army to his next door neighbor (incidentally koven), because I know I can’t do any more damage to halen. His knowledge of the game allowed him to predict what I would do before I do it, so he sends his camel army at the exact same time, to the spots I was planning on hitting.

Morale: It’s impossible to predict the future, but it is very often easy to predict what a rational person would do in some situations.



The Knowledge Mafia


_DauT_

I would have to say that DauT was one of the first ones to constantly find when and where my feudal rushes were before any initial fight. He scouts, then scouts, and scouts, then scouts again. If I didn’t know better I would have to say my villagers are consistently shouting “I’m here, come kill me, I’m right here!” with the amount of times they are found. Scouting is even more necessary than predicting the future – because if you see what your opponent is doing now, you have a much better idea of what could happen in the future. In the particular game I am thinking of, I opted for a very fast feudal – in the range of 9:30, on a typical Arabia map. Daut had one main wood pile, and before this particular game that used to be my favorite thing to do: tower the single wood piles! It was sitting there attracting me like a giant pot of gold attracts leprechauns! My plan for the map: use 3 forward vils, tower the only noticeable wood, whilst stone walling my town and then hiding a stable until daut was forced to use another, far away, forest. Mass scouts killing far off unprotected wood vils. I thought it was ingenious, but wow, I was mistaken. Not only did daut notice my 3 unprotected villagers and kill them with his own vils before I even had a chance to start the tower, he also predicted that I would try to wall and sent all of his scouts to the edges of my base, where he killed another 4 villagers.

Morale: Predicting what your opponent will do is a good thing – seeing what they are actually doing is better. If you go through an intersection without looking, there is a chance you will get killed – the same applies here.



A World of Peace


Ruso

Sometimes I wonder if Ruso is secretly Canadian. The extent to which he will go to not fight you is sometimes unbelievable. We are playing a game of war – and he will do nothing but try to stop the war from happening. Such is the case in a 2vs2 tournament where Geek and I faced off against Ruso and Rukie. The map – Arabia, with huns and Aztecs on both sides. The situation: a relatively open map where both Spaniards chose to wall. We had a sizeable advantage, with much larger armies and clear map control. At one point in time I had 40 castle age eagles banging on wooden buildings. Houses, blacksmiths, markets, palisades, a university, and a siege shop. I made sure to focus as many different spots as possible. My experience tells me that usually after a couple minutes someone will miss a spot or two and allow your entire army to flood through their undefended base. Not Ruso though, he smartly added to his building walls, for at least 5 minutes. I probably pushed 4 tiles worth of walls, and I still couldn’t break through, and we ended up losing as he was continuously slinging rukie allowing him to kill geek, then me.

Morale: It is sometimes very advantageous to decide not to fight at all, but to let your enemy hack at cheap buildings and walls. If only that was true in real life so we could have worldwide peace!

The Map is MINE!

Alive

If you’ve played against both Ruso and Alive, you feel like they are mentally related. Alive very commonly tries to keep you on the defensive at the beginning of the game, while walling in and going for a quick castle. In one particular game, I did what I often do, focus on a defensive defense style with tactical offense. There was relatively little action throughout the feudal age – even early castle age, with small skirmishes going back and forth. We opted for two very different strategies. I often go to imperial age with roughly 90 vils and rely on my defense advantages to let me survive the transition – followed by a heavy push the second my units are upgraded. He opted for a full out castle push. It was a huns war – I had mass CA while he had lots of CA and knights and was continually adding to them. I also tried to save resources for army by not mining stone. The result: I had a very strong more upgraded defensive army, but I could never truly get on the offense, because of his larger economy and tactical castles. This caused me to be eventually gold starved and lost because of it.

Morale: Take your enemy’s key resources, even if you can’t use them, as long as he can’t either, you have positioned yourself for success.


There are only 2 types of units in this game, and I will use them both!


Ding

The game: a mongol war from one of the more recent 1vs1 tournaments. It was on Mongolia, we both walled and boomed, typical of a Mongolia game. We had relatively close armies, but I made the mistake of making units other than mangudai and trebuchets. With only those 2 units – and castles, I was utterly destroyed. He used tactics noted above, such as map control and good army control, but I believe that the capitalization point of the game was that he focused his entire economy on producing the two most useful units for the situation.

Morale: Know the situation, and understand what will work best to destroy your enemy.

They Taught me a Lesson by Chris 3/3
The Height Advantage

Feeling

The game: an Arabia 1vs1, a huns war, where feeling pushed initially, towering my main gold pile, and making 2 archery ranges there. We had some skirmishing, both lost a few villagers, but around mid feudal I had a very tough situation to deal with. We both had mass ranged armies (roughly 35 skirms/archers), but I think that in that particular situation it was extremely difficult to win. I had an open map – and maybe even a better economy – but he had the full advantage of deciding where and when to fight. On Arabia there are often lots of hills. In this one there were two hills that I had to make sure to defend in order to keep my economy safe. If he managed to get on either one – I would lose. I knew this was the case, and closely watched his army. He sent roughly 25 ranged units to one side, leading me to bring my entire army because I thought this was his as well. Then, as I got closer to his army, and farther away from the other hill I needed to defend, he ran with his 25 unit army. At the other location, 10 archers promptly arrived shooting the better half of my farm villagers dead.

Morale: The split is a brilliant strategy. It causes your enemy to have a tough time reacting, and is also very useful when you lose water and you are trying to kill enemy fishing ships.

Kyo Knows Best

Kyo

The game I am sure you all know is the very recent Goths vs Mayans game posted in this topic. I chose to use palisade walls, boom, and try to use my civilization advantage to my benefit. I was wrong on several accounts, and Kyo was there to show me how very wrong I was. I thought palisade walls took a single point of damage against archers, and that they would last much longer. I didn’t realize that plums shoot fast, and are effective, at taking down wooden walls. Kyo utilized strategies presented here such as suiciding army to kill villagers, controlling the map, and scouting your enemy. He walled in a very key section of the map where there were several gold piles. He used the mayan advantage to ensure he gathered all the relics. And he knew that a pure offense would force me to play pure defense because of the way my gold was laid out. I thought huskarls received the same bonus that champions do against eagles, and I believed that mayans had no reasonable counter to them. He knew otherwise.

Morale: Know your units, unit bonuses, and have a general idea of how the game will play out. Trust your adversaries. Since he was confident playing mayans against Goths than I should have had more of a reason to wonder why that was so. You can also learn from Kyo by seeing that he used many of the tactics learned above. This is why I think Kyo will have the potential to be a major player in the future.


* * * * *
I have enjoyed AoC for many great years, especially in times of fiercest competition. I think it is one of the most trying games in terms of strategic outlook, style of execution, and the random maps. There are many skills that have yet to be fully developed. I have seen several games that have been near-perfectly played for the situation, but they are rare, which means we all have the chance to improve ourselves.

There are many players that have taught me other things throughout AoC that I haven’t mentioned here, but these instances are the ones I have been most impressed by.
Tips and Tricks
  • When pressing loom, if you quickly click to make a villager, as soon as finish researching loom, the town center will immediately begin making that villager, with no delay. Especially useful if you're Mayans. This can be used in other buildings too, if you want to make a unit immediately after researching something.
  • Build docks either behind your base or in the corner toward the back of your base. This makes your docks easier to protect on most maps there will also be more fish in the corners and at the back of your island.
    Note: when you play vs. Vikings with another civilization it's good to dock backwards because they will have more production than you, Also in some maps this option will not always be available, when you are trying to rush normally docking foward is the best option,and keeping a single dock in back to move ships to in emergencys.
  • Shore fish are harvested slower than Sea fish, try to keep and eye on your fishing boats so they do not gather towards the shore on a sea map.
  • Build mining camps one tile away from the stone or gold. This gives more space for villagers to mine and move around. Do not do this for lumber camps, though.
  • Never fight uphill. You will lose.
  • Defend hills that overlook your base by building on the hill or building a wall around it.
  • Use houses and buildings as walls.
  • If you're playing Islands or Team Islands, use your scout to lure your boar (if there isn't too much lag.) Which leads me onto...
  • If you want to steal someone's boar, or lure your own with your scout, the best technique to do so is the zig-zag method. Attack the boar twice, then retreat in a zig-zag pattern. This prevents your scout getting too far ahead of the boar and it losing interest. Stealing boar isn't easy to do, however, so only do it if you can concentrate on your economy at the same time as doing it.
  • If you suspect that your opponent is mining gold or stone, but you are unable to get your scout to their base quick enough, just build the foundations of palisades around their gold or stone mines. You can see enemy units when they walk over foundations you've built.
  • Similar to above, if when scouting you find a wolf that is in between you and your opponent, build one palisade foundation on top of the wolf. Check it every 30 seconds or so and if the wolf is gone, trouble is on the way.
  • During big assaults on opponents, if your opponent is using mass ranged units, use battering rams. Instead of attacking buildings, simply move it into the group of ranged units. If your opponent isn't micromanaging properly, his units will attack the rams and not your units, and since most ranged units are like wet paper towels when attacking rams, it will take some of the heat off your main units.
  • If you have a lot of ranged units and your opponent starts using mangonels, switch to the staggered formation, get right up next to it, switch back to line formation and kill them. If you're fast enough, use the split formation and you may avoid all damage from the attack.
  • Never use your town bell. Garrison villagers manually instead.
  • On water maps, use a fishing boat to scout your opponents docks.
  • If you can, wall.
  • As soon as you have more wood than you can spend, buy farms at the mill. Keep buying farms until the queue is full. I always hotkey a mill, so every few moments, I just press the hotkey and re-queue the farms.
  • Make new lumber camps once your villagers start walking more than 3 tiles from lumber to the camp.
  • If your villagers accidentally kill a sheep before you can stop them, put 2, not 1, villagers on it. The amount of meat that rots from 2 villagers eating sheep instead of 1 is much less.
  • Always eat a deer with 4 villagers, they eat the entire deer, making it so the meat doesnt rot.
  • In the Imperial Age, make Hussars and raid opponent villagers. Don't micro them, though. They are simply meant to harass everything that goes near them.
  • During Galley fights, take a ship and move it up and down between the lines of galleys. If your opponent isn't microing properly, some of the ships will try to attack the galley moving and because moving objects are harder to hit, it will give your other galleys a chance to kill them without taking damage. Please note that once your opponent has ballistics, this no longer works.
  • If you notice some villagers wandering to cut wood from the opposite side of the forest to where the lumber camp is, build another camp that side.
  • Straggler trees can be built on once they're destroyed.
  • Put villagers that got hurt luring/shooting boars onto farms next to your town center so you can garrison them quickly, and protect them when the enemy raids.
  • Collect relics as soon as possable, the extra gold can make or break a game, by imperial or late imperial age you should have every relic you can get, also and extra monk helps out which leads me onto...
  • Make monks!!, you dont need them right away but these guys are important to help grab the relics, heal units, or convert enemy raiders early on.
  • Microing villagers is important, you should try to divide them correctly so they do not bump into each other, this can be pain staking to newer players so try not to worry about this too much, just practice doing it when you have the chance. an easy start would be to have 2 villagers on each side of your lumberpit on seperate tree's...thats just a start though, it gets harder to control with the more you have, and that leads me onto.....
  • Look at your villagers working when you have 3 or more villagers just stopped because they cant access a resource you should move them to another resource.
  • Always check enemy units when you see them, this is so important there should be an entire section devoted just to this. You will need to see what upgrades they have, you have +1 attack they have +2, gg. check the health on enemy units when you can, attack the unit with the lowest health first.
  • you can repair boats with villagers, you do not see people doing this very much- dont ask me why because i dont know- but its very usefull
  • build houses on the shore line in water maps to catch enemys trying to land or to view enemy navy approaching strategic locations
  • you can notice when something is building in explored territory when you see patching in the terrain
  • you can scan land areas with a farm to see if anythings being built.
  • you can prevent your scouts from going crazy and attacking random villagers when scout rushing by putting them on stand ground and selecting 1 villager at a time to attack this helps you not lose your scouts so easy to tc fire, keep them scouts from getting killed!!!
  • when attacking with archers/ hand cannons keep them on stand ground alot of the time, this helps you attack in a more organized fashion and prevents them from spreading out in an attack.
  • keep your resources low during dark age, preferably below 100 wood, and once in castle below 200-300 resources unless your going to go to imperial age, don't stack up resources, spend them as soon as possible, a famous player named "The_Sheriff" once said, the first to spend there resources wins
  • upgrade town centers with fletching to give them laser power
  • Never have an idle TC until LATE game
  • Constant training in 1v1 or team games can pay off
  • Use light cavalry to kill monks
  • it takes 3 villagers during feudal transition and 5 more when you reach feudal age on gold to keep 2 Archery Ranges producing Archers (8 villagers)
Mentality
An important thing in AoC is your mental game.

you need to be relaxed in calm in all situations.

think about what your doing, dont panic, take a step back look at the situation, what are you going to do next?

do you have idle villagers?

do you have upgrades on your economy and units?

are you scared you may lose because the enemy is putting pressure on your base and you lost many units?
think about quick solutions to your problems, i could be as easy as a quick wall, garrison, or cheap counter units.

is your base well protected?

do you have every spot covered ?

sometimes you may have to escape your base entirely, ive seen players run across the map with 100+ villagers and restablish there base, in a team you may be able to help quick wall your partners base and have him hold until you can move.

good players are like bugs they are hard to kill.

you can wall areas and move to another its easy.

do what ever it takes to survive.

you need to understand that this game takes complete concentration, every second counts.

when you start a game out its normally comming up with a simple strategy even when the game is not launched when picking civs.

you know there civilazation and yours, what can yours do better. and what can theres do better.

when you get attacked by a rush dont panic, just think on how to counter that rush.
everything in this guide should help you on what to do with any rush that comes out you so think back to it and say oh hey i can do that!

i have almost no resources and a huge archer army is attacking my base, build a mangonel!

the point im getting at is never allow the enemys pressure to make you defeat yourself. if you put it into your mind that your going to lose you have already lost.

maintain composure and take a look at the bigger picture.


remember the little things, small changes in what you do and how you do it can give you an advantage, such as villager walk time, getting resources the best possable way through your control and management.

timing is everything, planning is everything, being relaxed in a bad situation is everything.


the way i changed my play style is to pretend nobody is there and yet know that they are. when i try a build order or boom on map i know nobody is going to attack me on i play alot better because im not scared and not tense i have the ability to think over everything i want to do, i learned to put that into action when going vs an enemy, you will play at 100% concentration this way.

relax. think. execute

GG Rec Games
Section Devoted to Good Players

VP= Voobly Page

Rec Games comming soon.....



Alive
VP[www.voobly.com]

BlinG

Bacgiofro
VP[www.voobly.com]

BT004

bvirus
VP[www.voobly.com]

Chris
VP[www.voobly.com]

Cyclops
VP[www.voobly.com]

DauT
VP[www.voobly.com]

Ding
VP[www.voobly.com]

Dogao
VP[www.voobly.com]

FeAge
VP[www.voobly.com]

Goodboy
VP[www.voobly.com]

Grunt
VP[www.voobly.com]

Halen
VP[www.voobly.com]

Jordan
VP[www.voobly.com]

kkab
VP[www.voobly.com]

kmkm

PeeL

RuiT
VP[www.voobly.com]

St4rK
VP[www.voobly.com]

Ruso

slam
VP[www.voobly.com]


_SuperMen_/Hassan
VP[www.voobly.com]

TheViper
VP[www.voobly.com]

Tim
VP[www.voobly.com]

VG Palidine
VP[www.voobly.com]

Wonder
VP[www.voobly.com]

Wrath
VP[www.voobly.com]

Yellow
VP[www.voobly.com]
Useful Links
Conclusion
7/24/2013
Thanks for reading my guide, It's still not completed, I'm sure within a couple more months I will have thought about everything to add into it, and correct any mistakes I've made, maybe add some more build orders, and some recorded games.

Special thanks to-
RoR Clan: I was in this clan from 1998-2007 and learned to love the game through bonding realationships and memorys
RoR_BlackKnight/RoA_Flash for training me in 2000-2001
L_Clan_Chris/Halen/slam/HyM Che: for giving me the chance to play with top gamers, these guys were always really nice to me, even though at some points I would only be 15xx and other points i would be 1800-2k, they never cared.

Nomatter how much you read this guide, it can only give you an general idea, this game is all about adapting to each situation and reacting as quickly as possable, kkab said " its not about how many mouse clicks you have, its about knowing what to do at the right time"

want to become decent- play 100 games a month and study
want to become good- play 200 games a month and study/watch recorded games
want to become great- play 300-400 games a month study/watch recorded games, and only play with people at your level or above.

And the most important thing, relax, and enjoy the game!!
< >
85 Comments
Red Dragon Sep 1, 2019 @ 3:57pm 
Great guide. However, if you are smart enough to master AoE2 at this level I'm sure you can master the proper usage of "their" and "you're" in order to not sound like some illiterate pleb. I believe in you!
IamJeo Sep 3, 2018 @ 10:16am 
still good
Quit From Online Game Addiction Feb 5, 2017 @ 6:10am 
Nice guide ha. Let me learn first :steamsad:
Nightstalker21 Jan 30, 2017 @ 8:10am 
Roger that ! I've absolutely no idea when I'll play the game again (I uninstalled it yesterday, need all my free time to work actually) but I'll keep that in mind and keep you informed ;) Thx for offering your help anyway.
[LTP]PsychoMantis_  [author] Jan 30, 2017 @ 5:30am 
I am so slow and out of touch with the game i would need at least 100 games to get a decent speed again lol, but i would not be against watching or spectating a couple of your games and analizing your gameplay.
Nightstalker21 Jan 24, 2017 @ 9:03am 
TY very much PsychoMantis_ for this very complete and interesting guide, very good work !! I've been using your guide and watching videos/replays of Zero Empires, TheViper etc. for a long time and they helped me very much to improve my gameplay. I mostly play with friends when playing against humans (since Voobly version, and after with the HD one, but as aidenpons said sooner, "I've a real life beside AoE II" and PC games in general...) so playing even 100games a month is faaaar too much for me, but at least using your helpful guide completely changed the few hours spent on AoE II :) Big TY again !!! It would be an honnor to meet and play against you once online (even if I'll certainly loose :D :D but I'd certainly learn many new things too)
[LTP]PsychoMantis_  [author] Nov 12, 2016 @ 12:37am 
yes
Sir Phantom Nov 8, 2016 @ 9:46am 
Excelente trabajo, PsychoMantis. Una guía realmente útil. Muchas gracias. ¿Se puede imprimir?
[LTP]PsychoMantis_  [author] Jun 21, 2016 @ 12:01pm 
oh thanks man i never got a chance to upload those lol
[ϟ]Shadow May 23, 2016 @ 2:23pm 
AWESOME GUIDE!!! THE BEST IVE EVER SEEN!!,

Pd: waiting for those recorded games :3