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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » The Best Defense Is a Good Offence
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Topic Subject:The Best Defense Is a Good Offence
Caesar Constintine
Clubman
posted 06-05-01 06:46 PM ET (US)         
True, completely. (search for the word 'defenc' and you'll get that more than once...)

But first, an example:
But what if that thin line between being on the offence and giving the enemy fire, and that non-stopping production of units
gives way...
All of a sudden 50 horse archers come speeding down your overstretched front ripping a space into your sphere, doing allot of economic damage, you now cancel production of many costly units and prepare for a "bulge" to push back this insersion into your territory. The counteroffence fials, now you are ruined, millitarily and economically. You fall back unto the tree line, fall back your mining operation, and your left over tool units... You retreat unto the very heartland while your enemy reclaimes square by square, acre by acre valuable land, fortifing it with towers, and horse archers and bringing in the villies.

What are you to do?
What is the best defencive strategy, or tower defence that you can think of?

The best I can is towers places unevenly squares apart able to cover one another, and walls surrounding afew of them. I think it would also be good if you have a mobile army of cav.s and cav. archers to kill heavy seige before it gets your towers, this will dely invsion- but not stop it.

Oneday, I'm going to learn to spell, one day...


*The might of Carthage, victors from the Cedars of Lebanon to the Pillars of Hercules,
the great traders and the worlds greatest navy.
Prepare to be defeated!
*We are Macedonians, we don't convert that easily.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Constintine (edited 06-05-2001 @ 06:48 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 06-05-01 08:38 PM ET (US)     1 / 17       
I find that the best offense is a good defense. It stands to reason that if your opponent cannot win, then he will surely lose. If he wastes massive amounts of resources in futile efforts, then he will lose even faster.

Speed is even more important for an effective defence than it is for offence. You must be ready before your opponent can attack, or you'll never be ready.

An effective attack usually costs much more than a well prepared defence. You know your defenses suck when they cost more than what they can stop.

Delays are to your advantage, the longer your units and the opponent's are fighting, the longer your larger economy can continue growing and advancing technologically.

It's also important to know what the attacker will be using, because that helps you prepare more appropriate defences. Luckily, more attackers are extremely predictable so their civ bonuses will usually match their attacking units. For example you're unlikely to see a yammy player attack with hoplites, or a minoan player attack with scouts.

Therefore your defence must be:
1. timely
2. cheap
3. durable
4. effective

So really it depends what you're trying to stop.

For your horse archer example, based on past experience I'd recommend elephant archers. They are available in early iron, have a good food/gold ratio, are extremely durable, and have enough range to shoot back at horse archers. Overall they perform well against any archery unit, and even helepolii.

Once you have enough elephant archers to stop the enemy horse archers, it's time to get walls up. Yes, walls. They won't kill any horse archers, but they will hamper their ability to strike freely so you can concentrate your forces in those places you do leave open. Make your wall in several layers, with space between them so catapults can't take them all down at once.

Once the walls are up (at least 3 layers), it's time to prepare an attack - preferably with units you already use for defense, so if things take a bad turn you can continue producing them at home but stop sending them out.

This is pretty much the same strategy as I used with compies vs CAs, adapted for EAs vs HHAs because it's basically the same problem.

BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 06-05-01 09:35 PM ET (US)     2 / 17       
The reason it is better to be on the offensive is that none of your economy is at risk. The offensive player can limit your lands occupied, limit resources, meanwhile booming an economy out of harms way.

So I say the best defense is always a great offense.

Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-05-01 09:41 PM ET (US)     3 / 17       
I always felt dodgy about that quote - I feel it is more to do with timing than anything else. If you are quick enough to hit someone before they can defend themselves, fine, but you can also walk into a trap.

As far as AoE/RoR goes I'm with Blitz - speed is everything - hit first and hit hard.


My Karma ran over my Dogma

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wedsaz
Clubman
posted 06-05-01 10:12 PM ET (US)     4 / 17       
BlitzkreigComin:
1. Whatever economy you invest in attacking is at risk. If the defender can stop your attacks at a lesser cost, he's hitting your economy.
2. If you occupy 3/4ths of the map, your opponent can strike anywhere in there so you have to be ready to defend any and all of it, or you'll take the villie loss. Meanwhile someone with a compact economy only has a small area to defend, so he can probably do it with a wall and a single bunch of units (or the military buildings to train them on demand).
3. The defender can boom while you forward build, and can continue to boom while you fight his defences. If he gets even just 4-5 units into your large unprotected land, he'll run around killing dozens of villies before you can catch him, and at very little cost.
 
The best offense is a good defense; initiative is expensive.
 
Note however that this only applies if the defender is ready; most players on the zone, even legendary experts (except matty - he was a defensive player), are not.
Caesar Constintine
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 07:34 AM ET (US)     5 / 17       
Thanks ya'll
I'll take what everyones siad into account, and use them in many differant situations.

My problem is, I'm a defensive player... And I can't break it- Defense is good, but not when that's all I do. I only go on offense when I have a large vastly superior force and a great economy (but the enemy can do some major damage, and expand their spheres, and overrun my forces before then)...

I'm hoping playing a game like Cossacks will help- in that game your are constantly bombarded with the enemy- little time for defense. And play more RM and DM where I do Tool Rushes, and quick attacks like that.


*The might of Carthage, victors from the Cedars of Lebanon to the Pillars of Hercules,
the great traders and the worlds greatest navy.
Prepare to be defeated!
*We are Macedonians, we don't convert that easily.
BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 12:35 PM ET (US)     6 / 17       
wedsaz:

I disagree about the cost of initiating hurting the offensive player. Most games I win these days I have more losses than kills, but my losses are mostly military and I have big economies feeding the military.

If you are spending resources on defending, and I am spending resources on attacking... I don't see where you get an advantage.

I also don't see any advantage to not forward building, but rather staying home and "booming".

BTW Nobody can be competitive being defensive in RM anymore... not even Matty. True the "legend" experts are gonna wall in Tool wars, but they are also gonna forward build and attack to win.

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 01:13 PM ET (US)     7 / 17       
BlitzkreigComin:
The cost of initiative comes in several parts.
1. If you forward build, those villies aren't gathering - at home your builders can go back to resources. You've got the economic edge right there.
2. If you don't forward build, you have to build up your military in advance so those resources can't get re-invested in your econ. Also your reinforcements are far, while the defender's are close by so he'll tend to have greater numbers even while training at the same rate.
3. Military units tend to cost more than defensive units. If you're fighting someone's defensive units, you're losing resources faster than he is - even assuming you lose the same amount of units. That means your stockpiles will deplete faster, so you'll run out of resources for military long before he will.

Also there may be a slight misunderstanding here. I agree it's usually best not to stay defensive, but I find it's often advantageous to be defensive for the first few fights and only attack once your opponent spent his stockpiles fighting your counter-units.

For example, if you know someone will bowman rush, it can be advantageous to keep your forwards at home for a bit and use slingers to fend off his bowmen, and take out his forward buildings+villies - then you attack him, because he can't hurt you anymore and probably can't defend very well either.

The key to that of course, is to be ready before the attack. That means being in the right age, the right units researched, and the buildings to make enough of them on short notice.

So basically with a good defense you attack not his villies, but his resources directly - without leaving home!

I guess I'm not exactly disagreeing with the quote 'the best defence is a good offence'... I'm just insisting that it has to be a good offense, and sometimes when you just can't mount a really good offence (like when both sides are about equal), you're better off with a good defence and letting your opponent be the one to waste his resources, attacking only but always when you can do so effectively.

Caesar_Constintine:
It's important to attack too, as soon as you know your opponent can't defend. That can mean attacking first - but only if your opponent can't defend effectively.

Also a handful of units can be enough to do the economic damage, you don't need to send 50 CAs. 4 camels and a scout dumped from a transport will kill his villies very nicely if he has no army, and it's only a small loss if he does have one.

Phill Phree:
Exactly, a good defense is a trap. It has to be ready in advance, but the advantage is on the defender because of time and resource considerations.

If you must hit first, the the 'hit hard' part is very important. An rush that gets destroyed before getting to the enemy villies is a defeat. A rush that costs more to kill villies than it costs to replace them (plus the lost productivity in the meantime) is also a defeat. Only a rush that kills more villies than its own cost is a victory.

Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 06:12 PM ET (US)     8 / 17       
Wedsaz - for sure - he who rushes in and all that. There are many good examples of that in history.

I know I am not the best to comment here but it seems to me that players have evolved a lot since matty's day. They have become very good at pushing forward while watching their asses. That seems inevitable as people gain more skill and experience - they've been caught out before, right? So the trick would seem to be to have a healthy mixture of both - know when a rush is gonna hurt you and when it's gonna hurt them. I suppose if you have the reflexes of a machine and are a good dancer it's not so much of an issue cos then you can do what you like. As far as this game goes, regardless of tactics, it seems to me that the faster you are and the better you are at micromanagement the more times you will win. Strats are useless if you are not quick enough to implement them cos a faster player will just walk all over you.


My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 10:55 PM ET (US)     9 / 17       
Phill:

Fact: RoR is more of a "Clickfest" game than a military strategy game. There really isn't a lot of time to allow you the opportunity to study out your town, and design any elaborate defense or offense. It is difficult to get units in formations and plan big battles.

RoR comes down to finding your berries faster, pitting faster, docking faster, booming bigger, finding opponent's economy before they find yours, and advancing through the Ages bigger and faster.

All good players have programmed themselves as to how to react to any situation they encounter on the battlefield. There is no time during the game to think about what you have to do, because as you are thinking and studying... the opponent is growing and getting stronger.

This game is raw speed and power... and usually the first person to have an initial attack on an opponent's economy will win. Maybe the defender will defeat the initial army, but the aggressive player will take all of the land they can and grow their economy at exponential rates while their opponent is in "defensive mode".

Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 10:59 PM ET (US)     10 / 17       
That fits what I figured. I didn't think there would be much time, if any, to plan defences these days - Cheers.

My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

[This message has been edited by Phill Phree (edited 06-06-2001 @ 11:01 PM).]

Caesar Constintine
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 11:06 PM ET (US)     11 / 17       
True, but the good thing is that you can spend all fo the time in the world making a defense fortress in the Map Editor

*The might of Carthage, victors from the Cedars of Lebanon to the Pillars of Hercules,
the great traders and the worlds greatest navy.
Prepare to be defeated!
*We are Macedonians, we don't convert that easily.
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 06-07-01 00:00 AM ET (US)     12 / 17       
I agree, there's no time to plan defenses when you've got CAs in your town. When the first attack arrives, it's already too late.
 
Then again, there's no time to plan attacks either. You have to know in advance what you're going to do, whether you're attacking or defending. You have to have practiced it, know exactly what to do in any given situation, how to adapt to the map, etc. If you wait until the enemy attacks before making a defence plan, it's not going to work.
 
However I find that to some extent a good plan with large military advantages can make up for a lot of lacking speed. You can often afford to be a bit slow, but you can't afford to make mistakes. (that's been my problem on the zone lately - I keep making stooped mistakes )
Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-07-01 00:15 AM ET (US)     13 / 17       
Cheers, Wedsaz, I find that very encouraging, having tried when I can to improve my meagre skills prior to finding time for the zone, and getting very frustrated when I forget to do something or make a mistake. Nice to know I'm not alone ;-)

My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 06-07-01 00:38 AM ET (US)     14 / 17       
Phill Phree:
Planning and avoiding mistakes is something that can be improved by patience too, whereas this nimble-fingered clickfest stuff can be hard for us old folks. We're not obsolete!
Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-07-01 01:16 AM ET (US)     15 / 17       
Lol, I'll put the Zimmer frame on hold then ;-)

My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 06-07-01 02:25 AM ET (US)     16 / 17       
Phill Phree:
*confused* Zimmer frame?

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Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-07-01 03:10 AM ET (US)     17 / 17       
Um, what we call a walking frame for old people, you know? Being about twice your age and all ;-)

My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

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