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Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition
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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » Defending the Tool Rush.
Topic Subject:Defending the Tool Rush.
posted 05-22-01 07:28 AM ET (US)         
Hello, I've had a few tough games where I have been tool rushed lately and while usually not killing me totally, it has put a serrious damper on my economy. Namely my game with KGB_Death_Angel. Anyone know of some usefull tips, tricks or strategise I could use to defend? Been thinking that maybe Hittite would be better for me because of tough bowmen and long-range SS but mainly because there not Gold dependant =). Please reply I need all the help I can get here =).

FYI, always looking for someone to play intermediate lvl play throughout the day, just Email or ZM me Shiny_411 and
posted 05-22-01 01:25 PM ET (US)     1 / 14       
Defending the Tool Rush is a very complicated and long-debated matter. I'll try to give you short analysis.

Everyone seems to agree that on land walls and bowmen are among the best anti-tool defenses, and some maintain that running your villies from large armies (except scouts) to avoid losing them before your own army can do its job is also wise. Axemen are too long to research, both scouts and towers are usually too expensive to be worthwhile. Slingers do well vs bowmen and towers (though tower rushes are extremely rare), bowmen do well vs axemen and scouts (and other bowmen), and walls do well vs anything but slingers. That leaves slinger rushes, probably the best defenses are either boning them (but you'll lose villies, which could cost you the war) or running (you'll lose your town, and you're vulnerable to a follow-up scout rush).

On the sea, probably the best tip I can give you is (unless you have a *lot* of docks) don't build your warboats right in front of the enemy's! If two warships fight your warships coming out one by one they can kill 3 of them, so just imagine if they have 6-7 warships around your dock! Instead, build your warships at docks away from the sea battle, so you have a chance to mass them before fighting. Also, massed land units tend to be more powerful than warships, so try to use them when possible; you wouldn't believe how effectively a pack of compies can sink a trireme fleet.

I think yammy is actually one of the best civs for defending from tool rushes, and deserves and extended explanation.

1. they have a bit of an econ bonus, enough to get them to bronze faster than most civs

2. their villies can run from bowmen/axemen/slingers, saving your econ while your army does the fighting

3. cheap scouts - you can use them to hunt down enemy forwards, or to launch a pre-emptive strike

4. tough fishing boats - while this seems useless, it gives your scout ships 33% more time to rescue them, and/or 33% more of them will survive the raid

5. tough scout ships - I still think it's not as powerful a bonus as the cheap minoan scout ships (which means +40% hp and +40% firepower) or the hittite range bonus (which helps a lot in large sea battles), but combine it with the tough fishing boats and it can be a good defensive advantage.

6. cheap cavs - cavs rip through tool units like nothing else, and since yammy has cheaper ones, it's easier for them to get enough gold using trade boats to end the tool fighting for good, and of course kill tons of villies while they're at it

Other good civs for tool defense might be:
. shang - fast econ, tough walls
. assy - fast-firing bowmen, fast villies like yammy
. roman - cheap buildings, cheap towers
. phoenie - some wood to spare, esp once you get woodworking

Mid-range civs for tool defense:
. babylon - extra stone for slingers, tough walls/towers, but slow to bronze
. sumie - tough villies, better farms if you're kicked off the sea
. hittite - nice bonuses, but only really useful once you mass those units so an early strike can still wipe you out, and slow to bronze
. mino - nice boat bonus if you make extra docks, and usually lots of extra food for a land army - but usually slow to tool because the boat food takes a while to start coming in
. palmy - armored villies you can't easily afford to lose, a powerful econ to produce a tool army (esp wood for navy!), trading bonus can help get some gold very easily in team games for cavs/camels/compies in bronze if your gold mines get captured
. persian - +66% hunting rate can give a serious boost, but if you spend too much on a fight you'll lose your speed advantage - usually best to make only a few units at each step and continue moving up the tech tree, unless you *have* to fight

Civs that aren't that good vs tool rushes:
. mace (LoS is nice but imo not enough)
. choson (great tower bonus but only once you have many)
. egypt (no tool bonuses)
. carth (no tool bonuses)
. greek (no tool bonuses)

posted 05-22-01 02:08 PM ET (US)     2 / 14       

KGB is a good player to practice Tool Age Warfare with. I consider KGB to be one of my best friends on the Zone. You should be able to defend his attacks because they usually are in mid-late Tool Age.

First of all let me say that Reveal maps sux and resux against good players. Everybody knows where everyone else is on the map and you can set up forward bases on top of your opponent easy without having to do any exploration. You can't get any idea with exploration percentages either.

Anyways here are some tips:

1) You have got to know what is going on in Stone to survive a Tool Age attack. Villager highs, exploration percentages, and military highs all clue you as to what is going to happen.

2) Wall off small areas to keep villagers safe from Scouts and Axers. Next to coasts are ideal where Scout Ships can protect also. Make sure to leave a couple builders outside the wall to build some rax/ranges/stables to defend. A wall alone isn't enough.

3) Make your opponent play rock-paper-scissors with you. Most Tool attacks start with clubbers/axers. You counter with a tower and bowmen. He counters with Slingers. You counter with Slingers (and Cav hopefully). Somewhere along the line he has to decide how to spend his resources and when to Bronze. Don't let a few axers win the game for him.

4) Get some units over to disrupt his economy. Never send smaller amounts than 4 Axers or 4 Slingers or 4 Bowmen or 3 Scouts. If he chooses to bone as a defense these amounts will cost him lots of villagers.

5) Grow your economy. Boom from your TC whenever possible. If you are going to be in Tool Age.... accept it and build a big army and economy. Just don't build a few military units and do nothing with your economy.

6) Always run your economy if endangered. Create an organized confusion appearance. If Axers walk into your woodies, send small groups of villagers in different directions. Make your opponent micromanage to get any kills at all. Remember that Axers have a terrible LOS and that you can oftentimes get 1 Axer to chase 1 villager across the whole map while the rest go back to work.

Your objective in running an economy is to run to the safest place for them and get back to work quickly. Sometimes the safest place is your city if you get defenses built, other times the coast. Sometimes you can wall in a new found sweet spot. Or worst case is you run to your allies town. Just be sure you are invited and tell them you are bringing Axers with you.

Things not to do:

1) Nothing... Don't laugh I see it all of the time. Last night Popov and myself beat some good players. I was Persia and had 5 clubbers win the game because my opponent never built any defense. I always wonder why? Run to the problem and fix it.

2) Hit Bronze button and think all will be well in 2:00. 800 food can build a big enough Tool Age army to win most games. You will never be alive when you Bronze. I played someone two days ago that Bronzed in just over 13 minutes in a 1v1 with me. Problem was I started to attack at 10 minutes, and they had 1 villager and no gold collected when they Bronzed.

3) Assume the rusher has a good economy. Most times the rusher has no food, wood, or stone because it is all on the field. He probably sacrificed villager numbers to get a faster time also. Sending a little attack can instantly change the dynamcis of the game.

When I rush I use all natural food sources (sf, berries, eles, deer). There is a point in Tool when these are all used up and you half to go from 15-18 on food and 2-3 on wood to the opposite to get wood to farm and fish. This is a very vunerable time for rushers at home.

Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
posted 05-22-01 04:35 PM ET (US)     3 / 14       
Good points about exploration %, I'll have to remember to keep an eye on that next time I play on the zone.

Quite true about the rusher being vulnerable when they switch to other sources of food, I hadn't considered that. I think it'll help me a lot.

I'm not sure about using a single tower vs axers though, it doesn't do much damage and they can probably just ignore it, which would make it a waste of stone and build time.

posted 05-22-01 04:37 PM ET (US)     4 / 14       
thanks for the replies. I read some stuff at GX and I learned a few thing that I haven't been doing...

1. I really neeed to watch achievements more so I can see exploration largest army ect. ect. barely ever do this.

2. Dock blocking help but I still need to look for forwardd villies.BUT Dock Block on his side so he can't dock block you.

3. Its obvious if someone has largest army in Stone that he's gonna Axer rush. I know this is obvious but I didn't see it at first =).

4. Been making some sweet walls with that barracks/Granary I don't always build at the beggining.

5.Onething that worked Quite well for me in a game today was to build a small wall of houses/wall/2 barracks (ran outa stone) and crank out slingers since only slings/bowmen can shoot over and with my bigger economy I *should* be able to win this war or atleast drastically slow them down.

defending against SS has really never been a big problem since there is ALWAYS a war on the sea =).

FYI, always looking for someone to play intermediate lvl play throughout the day, just Email or ZM me Shiny_411 and
posted 05-22-01 08:30 PM ET (US)     5 / 14       

Really the only time a tower fits into the equation is when I am very late to Tool and walling is no longer an option. I have noticed that players will send their axers to the tower allowing me to complete Archer armor and get a few Bowmen trained while Axers are chasing villagers and attacking a tower in the middle of my woodies.

It really only costs 50f where I already have 150 stone and I won't make Slingers initially.


One thing I didn't mention is that Assy and Hittite can't stop a large group of Slingers in Tool. Anytime you go up against one of these two civs, build Slingers and get their market upgrade. For this same reason, I would discourage you from using Hittite to beat Tool rushes.

posted 05-22-01 08:44 PM ET (US)     6 / 14       
Oh, a decoy! I should have known, sneaky as you are.

Is it worth getting the market upgrade for a slinger rush?
Wouldn't you be better off making 15 slingers instead of 10, and getting extra hps not just firepower? (downside: +100f)

I remember seeing an article at GX showing screenshots of assy bowmen defeating slingers, 6 vs 5 or something like that, probably because of the extra range and hps I would think. I might look for it later and post a link.

posted 05-23-01 03:57 PM ET (US)     7 / 14       
Ok, found it. They were showing 5 assy bowmen defeating
3 slingers with 2 bowmen left standing. According to my
simulation script, hittite could do it with 4 bowmen
vs 3 slingers with 1 bowman left standing.

The URL is:

HG Alumnus
posted 05-23-01 06:54 PM ET (US)     8 / 14       
Nice site that.
posted 05-23-01 09:23 PM ET (US)     9 / 14       
Nice do you take screen shots??
AOKH DM Champion
posted 05-24-01 06:19 PM ET (US)     10 / 14       
Doesn't matter, slings train faster and come out of a stone age rax. If you try bows vs. a big slinger user you're going down. Matter of fact, if you try any tool unit vs. a big slinger user, ur going down.
posted 05-24-01 07:03 PM ET (US)     11 / 14       
I disagree.

Slingers are weaker than bowmen vs other tool units such as axers and scouts, doing less damage and dying more easily. Also, they don't do so well against bronze units, especially stable units.

Slingers only train 3 seconds faster than bowmen, out of a building that won't help you in bronze (swordsmen are notoriously useless in bronze).

Slingers are stone-dependant. If you need more than 10 upgraded slingers, you have to know in advance so you can mine stone, which is useless in bronze. With bowmen you can take it out of your boat/farming budget, and any wood you don't spend on bowmen can go back to your econ.

To sum it up, slingers don't do well against axers in small numbers, and their stone cost becomes a serious liability in larger wars. IMO slingers are useful but not perfect.

posted 05-24-01 11:02 PM ET (US)     12 / 14       

RomanGladius is right and in a big way. Massed Slingers can't be stopped by Bowmen. I don't know what you are basing your information on, but it is not Zone play.

A good rusher will do the Stone Mining upgrade, then have 3 villagers max on a stone mine. This will feed 2 Rax booming Slingers easy.

A mass of Slingers eat up Assy-Hittite bowmen. I know cuz I always Slinger Hittite and Assy players to death. I always have numbers on my side to start, and I never attack with less than 6-8. If they don't get Stone Throwers and Cav quick... they are dead.

I do agree though that a group of 4 or less Slingers without the added attack and range is useless. Even villagers can just bone them and go back to what they were doing.

posted 05-25-01 00:34 AM ET (US)     13 / 14       
actually wedsaz... there is the affective roman broadswordman rush... scary to see masses of them in your town at 16 minutes
posted 05-25-01 01:33 PM ET (US)     14 / 14       
Of course massed slingers can't be stopped by a few bowmen. They can't be stopped by a few slingers either, or a few anything in tool.

The question is, what happens when it's the other way around? Can a few slingers stop massed bowmen? Both experimentation and math seem to suggest they can't.

You always have numbers on your side to start? Then your victims couldn't win using slingers, that much is certain. So really the fact that assy/hittite lack slingers makes no difference against slinger rushes. Their bowmen may not counter slingers, but neither do other civs' slingers.

I wrote a script that simulates the results, blow by blow. 10 slingers w/stone mining lose to 13 hittite bowmen. That's a lot more significant than defeating 4 unupgraded slingers.

Anyway, don't use it if you don't want to, but I for one will be experimenting more with hittite/assy tooling.

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