Age of Empires II: HD Edition

Age of Empires II: HD Edition

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A Guide to Booming Efficiently via a FC Strategy
By never lucky
A followup to the Fast Castle, this is designed to increase your efficiency when looking to advance to Imperial with a decent time and stable economy.
 
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What is "Booming"?
In RTS games, there are usually two major parts that constitute gameplay. Your economy, and your military. There are also two concepts known as "micro" and "macro". Some of the best players in the world are known for their incredible micro, while others are renown for their good macro. Booming constitutes of solely focusing on your economy while incorporating both micro and macro. I still haven't answered what it is, huh? Well, imagine this scenario (dramaticized for effect)

Player A decides to make Knights in Castle Age, neglects to build any Town Centers

MEANWHILE

Player B decides to boom, and comes in with a little surprise...


Of course, it'll be very unlikely this would ever happen, but it is in essence what booming is. Its building a stronger economy (and better army) while avoiding any fights until the tides have turned. I'll try to teach you an efficient boom that will improve your economy skills, but practice makes proficient, so no guarantees. :D


Civ Rankings for Booming
In my years of experience, I've found a few civs that have a significant advantage heading into Castle Age if I chose to go the boom route. These are quite arbitrary, I know there will be disagreements and qualms of why I chose X civ over Y civ, but bear in mind, it's simply my opinion. I hope we can all agree that the civs I chose at the top are for the most part, correct and reasonable.

Top Tier

Vikings
  • Wheelbarrow, Hand Cart free.

Britons
  • Shepherds work 25% faster.
  • Town Centers cost 50% less wood in Castle Age.

Persians
  • Start with +50 food, +50 wood.
  • Town Center, Dock 2x HP; work rate +10% Feudal, +15% Castle + 20% Imperial

Aztecs
  • Villagers carry +5
  • Male Aztec villagers work faster (or female, I forgot). Most likely a bug.
  • Loom free (minor)

High Tier

Celts
  • Lumberjacks work 15% faster.

Huns
  • Do not need houses, but start with -100 wood

Teutons
  • Farms cost 33% less.


Mid Tier

Franks
  • Farm upgrades free (require Mill).

Mongols
  • Hunters work 50% faster.

Chinese
  • Start with +3 villagers but - 200 food and -50 wood. (I hate it so much...)
  • Technologies cost -10% Feudal, -15% Castle -20% Imperial
  • Farms +45 food (team bonus).

Spanish
  • Builders work 30% faster. (Town Centers, Mills, Lumbercamps, Mining Camps etc).

Mayans

Japanese
  • Lumbercamps, Mining Camps and Mills 50% cheaper
  • Fishing ships work faster 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% in Dark -> Imperial Age (only applicable when fish booming)

Low Tier

Goths
  • Hunters +5 attack vs. Wild Boars, Hunters carry +15

Turks
  • Gold miners work 15% faster

Poor Tier

Byzantines
  • Advance to Imperial costs -33%

Koreans
  • Stone miners work 20% faster

Saracens
  • Market trade only 5%
Town Center Placement
Building your Town Centers in suitable places is one of the most important part of a boom. I'll show you a few tips and locations which are efficient but it's pretty much common sense.

GOOD LOCATIONS

A large forest and primary gold pile, adequate space for farming. Rate: 5/5

A large forest and a secondary gold pile, good for farming. Rate: 5/5
A large forest and a stone pile. Prioritize if you intend to make Unique Units. Rate: 4/5

A good forest and taking advantage of the deer you didn't eat. Good idea! Rate: 3.5/5

Multiple forests but no additional resources near. Rate: 3.5/5

Your primary gold pile, but no wood although excellent for farming. Priortize wood first. Rate: 3/5

Primary stone pile. Wood > gold > stone. Avoid unless it's your last Town Center. Rate 2.5/5.


BAD LOCATIONS

Sure, you've got trees and a secondary resource, but that black area is a big no-no. Rate: 2/5

Berries are slowww. The faster you finish em, the better. Why go through that again? Rate: 1.5/5

Fits like a glove, but claustrophobia is bad. That relic hurts too. Rate: 1/5

I fail to see the purpose of this other than for farming. Rate: 0.5/5

Rendition of above. You're just asking for it, huh? Rate: 0/5
I Got That (Boom Boom Boom)

[If you had no idea what I was talking about]

Okay, you've made it this far, let's get right through it. I'm gonna assume you just fast castled with 500+ wood/food and 200 stone and you're looking at a 4 TC boom.

1. Did you remember to build a couple houses? 30/30 pop is bad for booming ya know.

2. Immediately queue some villagers, not 10, 2-3 is good, put the gather point on wood for now.

3. Grab your 4 Berry/Foragers and tell them to build a suitable first Town Center. They're likely to be done or have been done by now so it makes sense to put them back to work!

4. You should always get your Lumbercamp upgrade whenever it's available. If you have enough wood for 2 Town Centers and Bow saw Axe, get it! (275x2 + 100 = 650 wood). If not, wait until you've laid down 2 TCs and then get it.

5. Your second Town Center should be built by another 4 villagers, likely taken off of wood. Remember all those good locations we discussed? It still applies here.

6. You should be able to buy 100 Stone from the market now, it costs 161 gold usually, so make sure to buy it before your allies do! (and enemies too since the market is a global economy based system).

7. If you are able to build a 3rd Town Center immediately after building your first two, congrats! Either you have Brits, Celts, Vikings or just had a good start or you've done some great Lumberjack micro. If you weren't, follow step 8 onwards.

8. I cannot stress how important Wheelbarrow is. As soon as your second or third TC are finished building, get that tech! Try to research it before the 20 minute mark. It'll go a long way, oh trust me.

9. Try not to build any farms between your second and third TCs (third and fourth overall). The faster you build all your TCs, the better. Building farms delays that last TC which is meh. Space your TCs out; don't put them all in one sector unless you have like 3 gold piles, 4 forests and 2 stone piles all in the same exact place. You need your TCs for farming.

10. When your TCs come up, make sure to put them all on wood. It's the most important resource for a boom since you cannot do anything good with gold (unless you buy food from the Market, blech!), or stone, at least early on. Keep 1-2 villagers queued in each TC, and make sure they're always working!!! Keep a few villagers on gold, like 2-5.

11. As soon as you have 60 wood, grab a Lumberjack (or more) and tell them to build a farm around your TCs or leftover Mills. You want to make sure that you don't have more than 60 wood (40 for Teutons) for more than 2 seconds at any given time. It'll be hard at first, but you'll become a machine at pressing B + F with practice.

12. Since you're booming, your population will rise significantly and as a result, you need to pay attention to your Population count. Send 1 villager to the corner and tell him to start building houses in a row. Avoid clutter. Booming efficiency relies a lot on farmland (like in real life) and cluttered houses don't help. If you have OCD, even better! Here's what I usually do with my houses in the start.

13. Sending that villager out of the way is good since nobody will use that space anyway. Here's an example of what I mean (ignore my overzealous ally, I had aegis on :D)

14. Is your wood below 60? You'll initially have some trouble keeping all of your TCs busy with villagers, but it will stabilize. Your wood should stabilize first. This means you'll always have wood to build farms with.

15. Once your food stabilizes, prioritize Heavy Plow first. Farms are good, right? More food and +1 carry rate is goooood. This should be ~22 minutes or so.

16. At 23 minutes, you should have 40 farmers, give or take a few. Depending on your civ and strategy, you might need more or less. Brits don't need that much food, but if you're Persians... keep churning those farms out.

17. At 22-23 minutes, you should start focusing on gold. Put 2 TC gather points on gold (separate ones plz!!) and get the first Gold Mining upgrade. Also get Cartography once you can if you're playing a Team Game.

18. At 24-25 minutes, you'll hopefully have a good balance going on, and at this time, aim for your second TC tech (Hand Cart). I usually get at 22:30-24:30 or so, but if it's your first few times trying this strategy out, you might be delayed. No worries.

19. 25-26 minutes onwards, you can focus on stone. I didn't advise mining stone earlier because it's incredibly slow to mine unless you're Koreans and it's not worth spending villager seconds on when food, wood and gold are more important. Get your Stone Mining tech now if you need to.

20. Aim for 100 villager population by 26:00 if you are doing a full boom. If you're going for a Fast Imperial (27-29) minutes, it's okay to advance with 80 population around 24-25 minutes.

21. Did you remember to build your 2 Castle Age buildings? Start building them around 25 minutes onwards. I recommend Siege Workshop + University but I personally prefer Monastery since it's only 175 wood vs. 200 and I can grab relics. Your choice, but most people like Uni + Siege Workshop for the upgrades in Imperial Age.

22. You should be able to click up at around 26-28 minutes. It'll give you an Imperial time of 29-31 minutes, which is good for a full boom since I can guarantee you'll have a great economy. Don't forget to keep your TCs busy even while advancing. Get your Blacksmith upgrades now for necessary units and be smart about it, for example, don't get horse armor for Vikings cuz that's just silly. If you were going to boom, make sure you can take advantage of your civ's strengths. Making Viking Cavaliers/Light Cav isn't efficient and they'll get wrecked by Castle Age Pikemen.

23. If you were off by a few hundred gold or so, sell some wood or food. If you were off by a few hundred food, don't garrison, but instead just wait for the food to trickle in. Nobody is perfect and sometimes I can't even get 30:00 Imperial times on a consistent basis.

24. Hmm, I forgot what I was gonna say. Oh yeah, since booming is kind of like an art, you need to ask specific questions. I tried to make it as detailed as possible but I've definitely made mistakes or left things out. Contact me on Steam or whatever if you didn't understand anything here.

25. Crush your enemy with 40 paladins at 35 minutes. Oh yeah, that feels good.

Credits blah blah blah etc
Once again common knowledge so whatever, I don't mind if you share this elsewhere on the net. Just don't claim you wrote it yourself, that sucks. Not that I'd find out unless I found it somewhere but ehhh just use your own moral judgment.

I'd like to thank a few people for teaching me how to boom when I was a noob. Very unlikely they'd read this guide cuz they're still light years ahead of me, but I gotta give credit where it's due.

blackSSvomit AKA dmt AKA evnmydogtokesit
Heaven_Melody AKA _Asura AKA Hell Green
Hello Kitty AKA Beermageddon
KANI AKA Sam Kani lol
HEAT, a friend I know in real life
bigboned
_7th_Heaven AKA MewMyers AKA Okami
Alvaro AKA 22LaPollaPls
[_skL] Husky and KilTro (rook)

And a bunch of other people who gave me tips over the years. Thanks guys.

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15 Comments
Warden++ Sep 25, 2016 @ 7:36pm 
I tried this, and I got rushed by huns... 3 times. Makes it kind of impossible to boom.
Davinci Sep 15, 2016 @ 3:19pm 
defenseless against a rush. Not a good strategy
Gipo Mar 7, 2014 @ 8:08pm 
Thanks, this is very helpful. I was looking for a strategy to boost my economy and speed up my game. I'm trying to readjust my strategies so I don't fall behind on higher difficulties, that and AoE III has softened me a bit.
Evolutionlancer Feb 25, 2014 @ 8:45am 
Good guide!
never lucky  [author] Feb 18, 2014 @ 7:33am 
Sure, but you're still gonna advance to Feudal at 12:xx minutes on normal speed, not 6:xx minutes for fast speed. The speed is relative to to the gameplay. It just means you have less real time to do everything like lure boar, micro army and keeping town centers in production, but as long as you can keep up, you'll have the ~ the same advance times.
ZzZz898 Feb 18, 2014 @ 1:38am 
Everything works 2x faster.
never lucky  [author] Feb 17, 2014 @ 11:51am 
What do you mean it would be two times shorter? I play on normal mostly, but fast speed is a nice change of pace.
ZzZz898 Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:58am 
Are you playing on fast or normal time ? cuz on fast it would be 2 times shorter...
KRONIK Feb 16, 2014 @ 3:40pm 
Yeah cool ! thx
ۣۜ๖badoneۣۜ๖ Jan 29, 2014 @ 11:42am 
Cool thx, just need to try and get my booms better, best so far is imperial at 33 min mark. Not bad for the first time though :D