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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » Sumerian strategies
Topic Subject:Sumerian strategies
posted 12-01-98 06:34 PM ET (US)         
Sumerian Strategies

I decided to post this guide here after reading the Palmy guide. I dont have enough time to revise it for RoR right now, but look for the revisions sometime (hopefully) soon.
Ok, here it is. The Sumerians are not all that specialized of a civ. Their catapults are ok in deathmatches, but Hittite catapults are better and Hittites get other better units too. This is not to say Sumer cannot win a deathmatch, but itís probably not anyoneís first choice. On random maps, they do not show any more promise. They are ok, but they cannot rush other than in Stone and they only have a middling Iron. So what would make you ever want to play them?
First, while the Sumerians are not all that good at Tool/Bronze rushing, they are not bad either, and their Stone rush is probably the best in the game. (Unless you are playing a very good Shang.) They can pull off a decent chariot archer attack. Their centurions could use metallurgy (and iron/tower shields), but otherwise do not lack for anything. And their double farm production means lots and lots of elephants. (No e.a.ís, sorry) Lastly, they are probably the civ to play if you get rushed a lot, due to their extra villager hit points.Letís say you want to do a Stone Age rush. The trick is to build exactly 12 houses, no more or less, and get to Tool as quickly as possible. Use your villagers to scout for wood and berries, and elephants if possible. Have one build six houses, and when he is done another six. Once a house is up start training vils. Meanwhile you should have found wood and food by now. Use three villagers to scout for the enemy. The waypoint system works wonders here. Have about four villagers on wood for the houses and granary, and the rest on food. Do not bother hunting gazelles, they take too much time for too little food. Elephants are ok, but your main source should be berries. (If you can manage it fish are good too but do not bother if they are too far away.) You should not, for any reason, build more than one storage pit. Time is of the essence here, and storage pits take too much. If your opponent is Tool for more than one minute before you attack then you are probably screwed.
By now you should have found the enemy. If you can, try to find his houses. Now that you have 12 houses, you should be collecting only food, and lots of it. You need exactly 2350 food if nothing happens to any of your vils. So start sending all your vils up to the enemy as soon as you have enough food gatherers to make your total population 50 real villagers (about 20 attacking villagers, 10 or so on food, which will be put on military duty once you have the required food). Once you get there, go for enemy vils. If you kill them all or some escape, it is time to attack their houses. Also buildings that let them advance to the next age should be high on your hit list. Afterwards, kill any villager that pops out of the town center, and send about half the survivors back to your base to get your economy going again. This works best with small maps. Also recommended is to either have at least two good allies or only be playing one person. Even if you are successful, this strategy means death in an ffa with 3+ players.
If you wish to play a normal game with Sumer, then the normal starting out procedure. When you are Tool, build one market, one stable, and three archery ranges, in that order. If you do not have enough wood, then do as many as possible. Research Woodworking, this is a very high priority with Sumerians, who need lots of trees. My suggestion is for Sumerians to have 6 or 7 villagers on wood. Also needed are cavalry armor, toolworking, and if you can manage it archer armor. When you have the wood and are out of fish/berries/elephants, start building farms. Bronze ASAP. When you are Bronze, research the wheel as soon as you get it. My suggestion is to assign a temporary number to your market, check on your bronze completion rate, and when it gets near hit the # and put your mouse on the wheel spot and click until you see it starting. Build the ranges if you have not already, and start building c.a.ís as soon as you have the wheel. The other useful techs are Artisanship and Nobility. If/when you have the wood, feel free to plunk down more ranges.
When you have six c.a.ís, send them to your enemy to kill his villagers and houses. Ignore towers for now, and keep building c.a.ís. You need to build a government center, academy, and siege workshop, in that order. Train about three hoplites for town defense. Once your biggest/nearest threat has ceased to be one, you have a choice. You can either totally cripple or maybe even destroy them for the rest of the game, or you can move on to another and repeat the process. What to do depends on the # of enemies and allies and their power, as well as your economic situation. Every situation is different, and I cannot possibly cover them all. Therefore, my only advice is to use your own judgment and listen to any allies you might have. Your first farms may or may not be exhausted by now; you should try to watch this and rectify the situation as it occurs. You should have enough food to Iron by now, if you do not keep getting it until you do.
Once you are Iron, you have a lot of choices. While Sumer does not have the best Iron in the game, it has a good enough one to let you decide what you want to do. My suggestions are the following four. You can build up a massive force of centurions, fully upgrade them, and send them on a rampage. Due to your probable excess of food, you can either mine, take, or trade for gold, and build a nice big force of elephants. The key here is big force. A few elephants will probably get slaughtered. A lot of them will crush anything in their path. The third is more docile, but requires partners. You can either wall in yourself or let them do it, put up a few towers, and have 50, 100, or 200 villagers all farming and tributing it to your allies. If your neighbor is Palmyran, Greek, or Minoan (actually any civ with coinage will work but these are the best) you can do a nice trade off: give them food, they use part of it to trade for gold, they give some of it to you, and the process repeats. The last strategy is to train horse archers, give them all possible upgrades, and send them off to kill any enemy mobile units. These guys are the fastest unit in the game, so they can take on any unit except for e.a.ís and win, or even those if you have enough. Just hit and run, and no one will ever be able to touch you. They take too long to destroy any buildings besides houses, however, so use catapults to help you with those and any boats or e.a.ís you might encounter. Once you are sure that all land forces are dead, build a few triremes to search out any transports that might exist.
Some miscellaneous advice about Sumer follows. First, unless you are playing 1v1, do not build priests even to heal your own guys. Yours suck, so just have the ones belonging to your allies heal you so some real use can actually come out of them. Also, do not bother building towers. Walls are all right, if you really need them, but unless you are doing the farm thing you will have enough fast archer units to come to your rescue if you are attacked. And if you build even a few hoplites your safety is all but assured. This goes double if you have any allies, and triple if they are Babylonian, Shang, Choson, or Roman. Once you get to Bronze, you can delete your barracks as you will not need any slingers anymore and you get sucky units from it otherwise.
Last, this guide is just that: a guide. If you think that you have a better idea for a particular situation, or even any situation, use it. I may or may not like it, but if it works for you, thatís all that matters. Even if it does not work, at least you learned something. This was never intended for anyone to follow it exactly. Improvisations are good. I would appreciate you emailing any you have to me. Who knows, maybe I might think that they are a good idea and revise this to include them. Remember, Age of Empires is only a game. It was meant to be enjoyed, and if you play it to impress or for any other reason you cheat yourself. Good luck and good gaming to all!


posted 12-01-98 07:10 PM ET (US)     1 / 13       
"The best stone rush in the game"

Wow! I'd like to say enough said about your guide but lets see.

Why do you want to build so many houses early? Is this the H.U.D. strategy guide? Build em as you need em. Unfortunately for Sumerian they really don't do anything very well. I've never been a big farmer so i don't really care and their cats aren't as good as hittite.

Lastly if I'm worried about villy HP's I'm probably in real trouble anyway.

Sumerian = Good vanilla civ in general, one of the better in iron, but I'm not sure if they warrant an individual strat guide

posted 12-01-98 11:26 PM ET (US)     2 / 13       
o you are so wrong....

yes hittes are better but sumerian make up for it with 50% rof. And the vills work and a ok pace and there milatary in bronze will let them advance to iron and kick some real good ass.

I've won most of my games w/ them. Hittes kinda suck in reg games but kick ass in DM.

But never say sumerian are pointless, i'd rank them in the top 5 civs if not top 3

posted 12-02-98 07:00 AM ET (US)     3 / 13       

Against Sumerian, only salvation is Hittite, another Sumerian - OR you are damn fast and screw them very early.

I never play Sumerian, however I tried them against a Minoan the other day. I had just lost a game against a Minoan and I wanted to crush them real bad...

I based my economy on food to go Bronze, some gold right from Stone and lots of wood.

I made it to Bronze as fast as I could (he Bronzed first, but he still had to upgrade / produce / walk) so I had 5 Siege workshops up and 5 Stoners coming up when he arraived into my town (his Scout arrived much sooner)...

I had half of the villie population abandon town and set a wood operation a bit away from main town, just in case and set up a new gold operation that I saw on the way - most of this going already when I was being attacked. he had two ST with the Compies, because he did forward build.

When the first ST popped up (almost at the some time, I immediatelly lost two, but other 4 were in the making. The 3 left were able to kill one of his Stone Throwers and most Compies.

That Sumerian ST/Cat ROF bonus is terribly effective against the Composites!

When his second Compy wave arrived the other 4 Stoners were just ready and this was the turn of the tide... He sent in some Cavs too and they partially succeeded, but meanwhile, with a little food and the plenty wood, I managed to train chariots and equalize. The Compy menace was dominated and now I could wall in, progress to Iron and use my elephants and cats to overpower him.

I have tried the same recipe with Hittite, but they always managed to succeed - 150 HP is good when you talk about Cats - but not enough when you consider ST. For ST, the ROF is much more important.

I have come to look at Sumerian another way since...

I'll tell you another story, then.
Decided to push the ROF superiority to the max, I promply chose Sumerians for another game.
Got into another 1x1 and was immediatelly tool rushed - but hey, my villagers beat the mild tool rush with only a 4 loss. I was lucky with berries this time (2 very close by, 1 Granary for both), this compenasted for it. Without this luck I might not have succeeded at all. 3 elephants were also in reach (took me a while and a lost Villie to attract them to position, but this gave me a so-so Bronze.

He was in bronze too and getting an army ready to come - Cav, I guess. I walled in as I could in Tool, finished the walls in Bronze and again had spread my woodies away from main camp, so wood was ok. Sent a party of 3 Vils and a Scout to near his base, made 4 Siege Workshops there.
While the ST were in the making, his Cavs hit my walls, only to be received by some chariot archers in the back - saving wood and not much food. He promptly moved to forward build Siege (I saw the 3 villies pass by with my forward scout...).
Meanwhile, the 2nd brew of ST was in the making. Soon I had 8 ST plus 4 more coming.

I hit his town with the 8 ST and man, this was nice!... He came at me with Cavs, Scouts, peons... The ST (12 in total) destroyed everybody and everything real fast!...

He finally managed to destroy them (by coming back with his attack party) at great loss, and proceeeded to rebuild somewhere, while his remaining two or 3 cavs tried to destroy my forward Siege shops.

I quit going Iron, made my own Cavs and CA and went for his Villies - found them and killed them - he resigned, end of story.

Sumerian are good - in the proper hands. If I could do this, imagine what a good player can do with them!...

They're certainly not the very best, but a very decent Civ.

At least, that's what Your Old Friend here found out...

posted 12-02-98 10:13 AM ET (US)     4 / 13       
What am I missing?

TC produces 3 peons/ minute. How am I supposed to build 50 peons before my opponent is IRON?

50 peons takes a min 17 minutes min! My Shang opponent WILL be iron by then!

posted 12-02-98 10:34 AM ET (US)     5 / 13       
Ok I re-read it, it looks like maybe you meant 30 peons. 10 gathering 20 attacking.

Still this is at 10min mark at a minimum. Most will have tooled already. The ones who haven't, will by the time you walk 20 peons to them.

I like the idea of a peon rush, but I think the better idea is: first 6 on berries, #7 scout for enemy 'cutters, #8-12 chop enough wood for houses and new TC. Ok at 4min mark start walking peons 13+ towards enemy 'cutters. As soon as you have 200 wood in reserves, send ALL your peons to enemy 'cutters and attack! Kill his 'cutters! Delete your TC and lay down a new one next to HIS wood. At this point your opponents head will explode. Go look for HIS food gatherers, Kill them! Take his food! Bone his TC to dust. Game Over.

I did this in a 3 way FFA, a newbie insisted on 2.0 speed and Reveal map. He died before 10 min mark.

posted 12-02-98 11:20 AM ET (US)     6 / 13       
If you're going to villager rush, you must do it quickly, which means that a large villager rush is pointless. The best villager rush I know of with Sumer is to scout early, put just enough guys on wood to quickly build two houses and a Rax, put all guys on food, pump out a total of 16 villagers and Clubbers and attack with 12 of them at once. The rest stays behind to gather food to produce more vills. This way, you can have the equivalent of 12 clubbers attacking his berrypickers/woodcutters after 6 minutes or so. Can be very deadly, but of course you have to find your enemy right away to pull it off.


posted 12-02-98 12:07 PM ET (US)     7 / 13       
Yeah... the rebuild-your-TC thing works wonders. This poor guy is trying to rebuild from a vill rush and those damned sumerian villagers keep popping out right next to him!

Also, any Minoan who lets a Sumerian build 5 seige workshops (1000 wood) and then 5 stoners (900 wood) and then 4 more (720 wood) should've ironed long, long ago. (2620 wood just spent on ST, ouch!) Great Rof is nice but the comps should still mow down 75 HP after 1 or 2 cat shots.

Now does everyone understand my signature? I'm always pro-compie

-Nineveh, "Minister for Compy Equality"
ICQ 16407576

posted 12-02-98 01:21 PM ET (US)     8 / 13       
The number of Composites in each wave (the max available to shoot) is very important. In my example, I counted about (+/-) 12. That was still feasible. When I do Compies I often use 20+ - that might be a little tougher.

The Math you did not do is this:

Compies in Iron = Lost investment.
Some people say they are good at protecting Cats, but I doubt.

ST in Iron = Catapults!...

That's also my tactic with Hittite - if I have to make ST, I don't bother, they will be turned into the mainstay unit later, so it's an investment, not an expense.

I often build the Combo CA + ST to counter CA Civs. Like when we face Compies, the mass is very important, anything less than 5 ST plus a few of whatever companion unit is there just won't cut it - you must have quite a few ST to cause real harm (because of the ROF, 5 Sumerian ST = 8 or 9 of any other race).

It is not possible to go Iron under attack (or it does not pay off). Any maths that ignore this will be pusished with defeat.

If someone is using the food and Gold to train Compies + St he's not advanced into going Iron.
If someone is training units for defense, then going Iron is just a far-away goal.

Using Wood + Gold only is less harmfull to the Iron Age upgrade than training units that require food...

[This message has been edited by Your_Old_Friend (edited 12-02-98).]

posted 12-02-98 03:03 PM ET (US)     9 / 13       
Some excellant comments here, although I just want to comment on how someone (I forgot who) stated that Hittite Cats are better the Summie Cats. I seriously disagree with this. I think Hittite overall is a Much better race then Summer now in RoR, but as far as just cats, theRate of fire is a much better bonus. The only time Hittite HP bonus comes into play is when the cats are being attacked. Allot of times Summer Cats can destroy the units before they ever get to them, and by doing so save themselves from friendly fire as well. Summer Cats also excel at laying seige to a fort. They will walk through walls and towers in no time, destroying buildings in seconds.

posted 12-02-98 05:57 PM ET (US)     10 / 13       
well, reading the posts, i must say this is pretty amazing. First topic too. I used to play Sumerian as my all-time favorite civ. Still are in Aoe, but I think Palmyrans will win my vote in RoR. As I said in the end of my guide, you certainly should improvise. Also, a note of clarification on the stone rush: While i believe you probably should build all 50 vils, I didnt mean wait until you had 50. Rereading my post, I think a better number would be about 10-15 to start attacking. Any more will take to long as people have noted, any less and it will not be effective. What I mean is, you send 50 vils over at one time or another. obviously, (at least to me ) you should only do this when you have only one opponent. I doubt it will be as effective against Palmys either. As always, suggestions are welcome. I do not claim to be an expert at AoE.

Another point of interest to myself was that although i did not mention cats as a main attacking force, a fair amount of posts have been written on them and their cats. Heres some statistics to let you know the exact benefits of sumer and hittite cats.

First, Sumer cats have fire rate increased by 50% (or 150% total above the norm.) Next, Hittite cats have double (200%) hit points. If both were 200% better, then they would be equal. since they are not, hittite cats will kill sumerian cats. this does not mean hittite cats are better. It only means that they are better at certain things. Sumerian cats are better at destroying stuff (at least if it isnt fighting back, havent tested vs e.a's yet) Hittite catapults are more likely to survive being attacked by cavalry, as they can fire on their own w/o killing them.

About the houses, NoSoup4U was right, i was wrong. build them as you need them. Its just that i generally hate seeing that "build more houses" text, so i like to build them right away. However, in a rush game this wastes valuable time in the short run, and there is no long run to worry about and make up for it. I stand corrected, and apologize for any games i made anyone lose.

As always, i look forward to your constructive comments/criticism.


posted 12-03-98 00:06 AM ET (US)     11 / 13       
Wow, I really hate to say this and I know I'll deservedly get flamed for it, but that was the worst "strat" guide I have ever seen. You'd have to be a moron to play that way.

I'd be tool and maybe even partway to bronze before you even showed up with vils near my town, on any map bigger than small!

If you are going to stone rush - I think BoP has it as close as you can get it. Although getting enough villagers over to opponents town to make a difference is very tough. Laying down a TC next to my just laid pit or my berry patch would kill me (with laughter at I hope)! I love that "your opponent's head explodes." The game might be over then.

Hopefully, I'd either be tooling, or you didn't send enough. Don't forget, I'll make 3-5 extra villagers while you mosey on over to my TC.

I think I am gonna post some wild, hairy smelly "strat" guide and see how many goofballs play like that!

posted 12-03-98 00:41 AM ET (US)     12 / 13       
the sumerians are not that bad of a civ to warrant a rush of your entire village...but i do like the idea of building a new town center right near the other civs wood pile.....but the sumerian farms produce a lot of food w/ minmal man power....4 farms of sumerian = 8 of other civs...minus research that can probably be better spent since most games are relativly quicker then a computer game. that frees up a lot of manpower for bigger armies and more gold, stone and wood for the horse archers being the best charcters in the game...? RoR depends on a lot of water in the new boards i would like to see you get an army of horse archers and cats past a large fleet of tiremes supported by cats behind and some scrubs up front to bait the approaching army...i know i slaughtered a huge army of horse archers w/ about 10 tiremes in about 15 seconds trying to cross a land bridge....i think the sumerians are a great civ if not for their food production alone but you get good warships, c.a and h.a, and good siege for surviving build in strong ally towns early so if your main vilage is in trouble you are not at a total i would like to see a large army move past a coastal town defended w/ lots of tiremes....the farm production will give you an added advantage in woodchopping where if it comes down to a resource can build loads of c.a and tiremes w/ queing.....

posted 12-11-98 03:45 AM ET (US)     13 / 13       

[This message has been edited by Abraxas (edited 12-11-98).]

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