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How to Make Your Economy Boom in Age of Empires 2
This guide tells you a way to make economy in Age of Empire 2.
Have you ever wondered how the other guy get castles while you're still working with Militia? It could be as simple as their economy being stronger than your own. This is one way to make sure you always have the resources to do what you want in Age of Empires 2. This particular strategy works best on land maps (because you do not need to build a dock and navy), and assumes no civilization advantages and disadvantages of technologies and resources.
The typical civilization starts out with 200 food, wood, gold, and stone, and that is what this article is based on, as well as no rushing in any age.
Method 1: General Advice
Always be creating villagers. Villagers are the key to a great economy, as they gather resources and build buildings. In fact, if for any instant that you are not creating villagers from your town center, then that is valuable time wasted, especially in the Dark Age (your performance of the first two minutes of the game on any civilization can determine whether your economy is superior to other players).
Do not ignore your military! This guide should not be used for full game-play! Success in the game is from a strong and well-developed military, but in order to do that, you need a strong economy. Beware of rushers that will invade your civilization in the Feudal Age, early Castle Age, or late Castle Age. If you neglect militaristic development (unless you are in wonder race), you will lose the game.
Method 2 : Dark Age
When the game begins, there are a few steps that must be done in very quick succession:
Immediately create 4 villagers from the town center, depleting all 200 food. The default hotkeys are H for town center and C to create a villager (only after selecting the town center). Thus, the fastest way to do this is to press H and then press shift-C. The shift selects 5 at a time. This pattern is perhaps the most important hotkey pattern in the game.
Have two villagers build two houses. This will temporarily increase the population to 15, allowing more villagers to be created. Do not have one villager build one house each - both villagers build one house at a time in order to keep the steady flow of villager creation. Once the two houses are completed, have the two villagers build a lumber camp near a forest (your scout should have already found at least one by now).
Select your scout and scout around what is currently visible to you. Finding the 4 initial sheep is critical in the Dark Age - the earlier they are sighted, the better. Occasionally, one of the sheep may already be visible in the fog. If this occurs, have the scout go to where the sheep is. The 4 sheep will be converted to your colors and you can continue scouting for the other 4 sheep (in pairs) that are farther away, the berries, two boars, deer (not available on some maps), gold mines, and stone mines.
Have the other villager chop wood near the town center.
When the 4 sheep arrive at the town center, have all but two of them place themselves right outside the town center, and two of them placed at the town center. Have the newly created villagers gather food on one sheep at a time (divide the shepherds roughly in half if you run out of room, which will be inevitable). Also, deposit the wood the other villager has chopped and have him gather sheep as well.
Research Loom once the four villagers have all been created. Loom allows villagers to survive a wolf on its own (essential at higher difficulties, as the wolves become very aggressive) and to have greater health during a boar lure. Your goal is 1:40 when you click Loom (1:45 on multiplayer due to lag).
During this time, the villagers may eventually exhaust one sheep's food. Simply select all of them and gather the one that is at the town center, not the other two right outside it. Make sure that you are keeping exactly two sheep at the town center so that the villagers do not have to walk in order to deposit.
After Loom is researched, keep creating more villagers. You may have to brute force the shepherds (selecting all of them and deposit) in order to reach the 50 food requirement. Make sure that you keep an eye out for your population reaching 13 - you'll need to build another house.
Build a mill near the berries with one villager that is not chopping wood. This will satisfy the two Dark Age building requirement for the Feudal Age and will provide your civilization with a secondary, slower but steadier food source. Eventually, as more villagers are created, more can be allocated to the berries. Once the other 4 sheep (in pairs) are found, repeat the procedure with the 4 initial sheep.
Lure boars. Boar luring should be done when the sheep are almost exhausted of their food. Select one villager and attack a boar. Once the boar is running towards the villager, have him walk back to the town center. Once the boar is near the town center, have the villagers still gathering sheep (If there are any sheep left. The villagers should be idle if not.) deposit, and attack the boar.
Keep an eye out as the villager may die. There is also a risk of the boar returning to its initial location. Beware of this as time will have been wasted. There are two boars to hunt. When the food count for the first boar reaches about 130-150, send one villager (NOT the one used for the first lure) and repeat the luring process.
When the two boars' food run out, hunt for deer. 3 villagers should hunt one deer. They are easily killed, but cannot be lured.
Keep creating villagers until you get to 30 population. Keep building houses until you can support 35 population. Some new villagers should be allocated to wood, which is very important from the Feudal Age on. You should have about 10-12 villagers on wood.
Build a mining camp next to your gold pile located near your town center. While you don't need gold to advance to the Feudal Age, it is important to start in the Dark Age (or at least while researching Feudal) because you won't be in the Feudal Age for very long. Some civilizations start out with -100 gold, and it is highly recommended to get a head-start on gold. No more than 3 villagers should be allocated to gold.
Farms are the primary source of food later on, but can be made in the Dark Age. 60 wood is the requirement, and you'll need to create some farms because your deer and berries will be exhausted of food. Farms are based on wood, and you may even need to allocate food-gathering villagers to chopping wood. Farms, ideally, should be located around the town center, as they can garrison, but if you run out of room, farms can be located around the mill.
Research the Feudal Age. To wrap up, your population should be 30.
Method 3 : Feudal Age
When you hit the Feudal Age, there are a few things that need to be done in very quick succession:
Select three villagers from wood and build a market.
Select one villager from wood and build a blacksmith. This apparent asymmetry is due to the fact that the market is built much more slowly than the blacksmith. Once the market and blacksmith are finished, the 2 Feudal Age building requirement will have been completed, and the villagers should be sent back to chop wood.
Create 1 (at most 2) villagers from the town center. The created villagers should be sent to chop wood.
Do not research anything yet.The food and wood (indirectly) are critical to the Castle Age requirements. Any villagers gathering food that are not on farms (except for berries) should already be on farms by now.
Your scout should always be scouting, especially in a 1 vs 1.
Get to 800 food. Due to the massive food gains during the Feudal Age research, 800 food should not be far off. In fact, once the market has been built, your civilization should have 800 food and 200 gold (that is your goal). If you are only creating one villager, you may have to brute force 800 food in the market.
Research the Castle Age. The Feudal Age is a "transition" stage - using this strategy, you don't stay in Feudal for very long at all.
During the Castle Age research, research the technologies from the mill and lumber camp. When you do research the Castle Age, your wood supply will probably be very low. As the research goes on, 275 wood should be a goal for your villagers. Build a mining camp next to stone. Two villagers from wood should do this task. Stone is important for town centers and for your castle later on. Your population should be 31 or 32 during research.
Method 4: Castle Age
As with previous ages, there are a few things that should be done in very quick succession:Select three villagers from wood and create a town center in a strategic place, preferably next to a forest and a gold or stone mine (if all three are found next to each other, then that is ideal). If you do not have enough wood, make sure you stock up 275 wood, and then build the town center. Building more town centers is extremely important to your civilization as you can create more villagers using both town centers. Town centers, along with the 275 wood, also cost 100 stone. If you need to, trade resources in the market. In the Castle Age, you'll want to build 2 to 3 more town centers for optimal growth.
Create more villagers from your town center. In order to continue with the steady flow of villager creation, you'll need to remember to frequently build houses with your lumberjacks. New villagers should be allocated evenly to food, wood, and gold, but it is important to have about 8 villagers on stone.
Research heavy plow. This costs 125 food and wood, so you may have to wait a while before researching. Additionally, as you get more wood, you'll want to reseed farms using the queue in the mill. There are other technologies that can be researched. Examples include Bow Saw, Gold Mining, and Wheelbarrow. Remember when you are researching Wheelbarrow, it is common sense to make sure the other town center(s) keep on creating more villagers.
Build a university and castle. Universities have useful technologies, both related to the economy and military. When you have 650 stone, build a castle using four villagers from stone mining. If 650 stone is too far out, especially if you are getting rushed, a monastery may be built (or a castle age military building), fulfilling the two Castle Age buildings requirement.
Keep expanding your civilization. Keep building more farms with your newly created villagers. Reseeding is important, as manually reseeding is annoying and, when you're micromanaging your military during rushes or simply all-out attacks, very frustrating. The town centers being created should prevent you from having to build another mill.
Unlike the mills, more lumber camps should be built. This is especially important in the castle age, as rushers will target lumberjacks that are normally found outside the town center vicinity (when you garrison, the lumberjacks will not head to the town center). Lumber camps should also be built because forests will be cut down, and new lumber camps will decrease the walking time that is gradually being increased.
Villagers should be allocated to mining gold. Thus, more mining camps should be built. If you are not steadily allocating villagers to mine gold, then the 800 gold requirement suddenly becomes a much harder target. The allocation to mining gold is especially important in the Castle Age because that is when you should be developing your military. Most military units will cost gold (for some civilizations, it is even more critical as their militaries are expensive). Mining stone is a much lesser priority as stone is primarily only used for towers, town centers, castles, walls, and Murder Holes.
A monastery may be built to create monks. The relics, which can only be picked up by monks, provides a constant stream of gold to your economy and is an excellent source of gold when there is a lack of it (and when trading in the market becomes very inefficient).
Trade carts are an excellent way to get gold if you are playing with at least 1 ally. The farther away their market is away from yours, the more gold the cart gets per round trip. Additionally, researching Caravan doubles the speed of the carts. Beware that these carts are highly vulnerable to attack by cavalry units.
The population will vary once you research the Imperial Age. As the game continues, more and more of your resources will be used for military units, upgrades, and technologies, and less on the economics. Keep in mind that your population should still be increasing during Imperial research.
Research the Imperial Age. The time when you click the research button will vary. Assuming you are not rushing and building a military (which you should be doing, except in the wonder race mode), your goal is 25:00. Ideally, you'll want to use your very first town center to research as the land around it will have been developed. During the Imperial Age research, you can research Handcart from another town center (Wheelbarrow is prerequisite).
Often times, you will ignore your population limit. One villager should frequently be building houses as the game progresses (not necessarily the same villager, however).
Method 5 : Imperial Age
From now on, the military will dominate gameplay. As such, you should continue to research new military technologies, upgrade units, and to create more units for a well-equipped army. There are a few things that should be done for your civilization, however:
As with previous ages, keep creating villagers! The ideal civilization contains around 100 villagers. Against hardest AIs and human opponents, do not cease villager creation, as villagers will die from attacks and raids. Allocate villagers according to your resources - if you have, for example, 7000 wood and only 400 food, it would be a good idea to use some lumberjacks and create more farms, as well as reseed in the queue. Wood on land maps generally becomes less important than food and gold in the Imperial Age.
Research Crop Rotation, Two-man Saw, and Gold Shaft Mining. Stone Shaft Mining is optional, but not a necessity, and resources can be better spent on your military. Treadmill Crane is also a useful technology that is found at the university.
Hotkeys should be learned and used. This way, it is much more efficient for the player to develop his/her civilization by using the left hand for hotkeys and the shift button, and the right hand for scrolling and mouse actions.
As stated above, don't neglect your military! Military buildings should be built, military units upgraded, and technologies should be continually researched according to your needs.
Defensive strategies should also be implemented. For example, when you hit Feudal, you will want to build a watchtower next to your lumber camp to fend off Feudal rushers interested in slowing down your wood production.
The research requirements for the ages are the following (there are exceptions for a few civilizations): Feudal: 500 food, 2 Dark Age buildings Castle: 800 food, 200 gold, 2 Feudal Age buildings Imperial: 1000 food, 800 gold, 2 Castle Age buildings (or 1 castle)
Realize that, during single player, when the screen is black (right before the game starts), you can press H CCCC (or H shift-C). You should hear the town center sound when you press H, even if you cannot see anything yet. If you wait to do this combination right after the black screen, then the 1:40 goal is impossible to attain (you will end up near 1:45 to 1:48).
If at any point you are being rushed or attacked, press H and then press B. This will garrison villagers into any nearby garrison building (town center, castle, tower).
Every civilization is different, with their various pros and cons. For example, the Chinese start out with +3 villagers but -200 food. It is a good idea to experiment with every civilization and to get a good feel of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
The goals stated in the article are for everyone to achieve. Many of them are difficult for inexperienced players, but it is important to always try to aim closer to it.
Make each villager build a house at the start of the game to maximize continues villager production.
Beware of the rushers. The three types of rushers are the Feudal rusher ("Frusher"), early Castle rusher, and late Castle rusher.
The typical Feudal rusher finds and scouts your city early on to find your lumber camp. They will then typically send archers, spearmen, and skirmishers (rarely men-at-arms) to harass lumberjacks and slow down production (NOT to kill villagers). As it is still early in the game, slowing down production is very harmful to your economic development. A watchtower can only partially solve the Frusher's harassment.
The early Castle rusher is by far the most dangerous. They are a civilization that creates about 6-10 knights and a few battering rams. This time, their goal is to kill villagers near the lumber camp, mining camps, and outlying farms that surround mills, while destroying the town center using the rams. Pikemen should mitigate this threat, along with a few camels (if you are a camel civilization or the Byzantines). Infantry or knights can stop the battering ram threat (not the town center because battering rams have substantial pierce armor).
A common strategy in Black Forest online, especially as Aztecs, is a monk rush, where monks and mangonels (or less commonly, rams) are used to invade. Making several scouts is the best way to repel this.
The late Castle rusher has a similar goal, but with a much more developed army. Units used vary and depend on the civilization.
You must be able to recover enough so that you are able to get back on track. If you do not recover fast enough, you will lag behind your opponents and allies. (If your production is very slow in the Feudal Age, the game is pretty much over. Your enemy has succeeded.) If you do recover, then the entire rush will be of little cost to you, and of large cost to your opponent. A counter-rush is one way to take advantage of this temporary weakness.
Dark Age rushers (Drushers) exist only in high levels of play (and very rarely below) and is not commonly used because of the severe limitations of the Dark Age military. Typically, they would send around 4 militia, as well as the scout cavalry and some villagers to harass your villagers at the lumber camp and gold mine. Because drushing is uncommon, you don't have to worry about rushers until the Feudal Age.
Summary Hello readers, I hope that this guide can help you understand how to make the economy in this game.