Villagers cost 35 food (after the patch 40 food and Shang
starts with 40 less food). This makes Shang one of the fast
Shang has all important Market technologies.
Shang has all Temple technologies. It can counter enemy priests
with CAs and Chariots.
Shang gets all Bronze Age units and technologies. An advantage
is that you can surprise your enemy. You can make a good defense
with their strong walls with double hit points. The Iron Age
is not so good (all Iron Age Government Centre technologies
are missing for instance) so make sure that you prevent an
Iron Age war.
The infantry is reasonable but doesn't get any Iron Age upgrades.
The Slingers are mediocre, they don't get any Iron Age upgrades.
The Academy units are nothing special. All Pit technologies
Shang gets good archery with full range but without the Iron
Age attack upgrades.
All Cavalry upgrades and the Scythe Chariot are available.
Most siege weapons are available but they lack range in the
No Ballista Tower but towers get full range. All walls are
available and they have their hitpoints doubled.
The Iron Age navy is poor. In ROR Shang still has Fire Galleys.
Best in Age(s):
Once you realise the importance of your economy you'll appreciate
that Shang is really strong if you use the advantage that
the cheap Villagers can offer. Because their Iron Age isn't
really good, most fighting should be over by the time you
get there. The CP is often slow and is equally slow when it
comes to attacking.
This is a great rush civ, especially the pre-patch version.
Description: What's this? The best RM civ is the worst
DM civ. Now I see ES's logic in balancing the civs. It looks
like Shang is going to be a tough civ to play. If you end
up selecting this civ accidentally and being allocated it
in Random civ don't worry, just prepared to be battered
if your opponents got, let's say Carthage and Hittite. There
siege lack Alchemy, Engineering AND Ballistics, making their
helepoli very inaccurate. I guess you are going to have
to pull off a scythe/HHA rush.
Multiplayer: Practice a lot. You must get 50+ HA by 4 mins
and rush HAs constantly. Your gold is going to disappear.
Play Shang like Yamato but forget Yammy's HHA rush because
Yammy has the bonus of faster villagers allowing them to
forward build quicker and rush quicker. Otherwise, hope
and pray you aren't rushed.
Best when: You can pull off a 50+ HA rush in 4 mins.