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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 » A short commentary on Methos' opening guide
Topic Subject:A short commentary on Methos' opening guide
posted 01-13-99 07:17 PM ET (US)         
So GX FINALLY posted Methos' excellent article on opening starts... Hurrah! (

Methos hit the nail on the head and I have already referred several advice-seekers to the site to help them with their openings. Only, one (small) addendum I would like to add.

If you play at all conservatively, you can tell within the first 10 sec what opening you will likely be using. Once you uncover the extra villager view squares in the immediate vicinity of your TC, you can tell your fate.

An absence of both berries and stragglers/forest means you ought to try a food pit/shorefish pit first. Lacking that, a forest pit is next best. You might lack food for the later villagers, but you'll be able to make that up quickly chopping wood and getting a granary down next. Nothing slows a tool/bronze time down worse than having NO WOOD for 15-20 tiles.

Berries in view means you can feed directly from TC, as Methos described Matty doing. (I can't believe he's never seen this before).

Forest/stragglers in view means you can be more creative with wood supplies (i.e. dock first) or scout longer for a sweet spot.

Finally, I heartily recommend COLLECTING berries for a bit BEFORE plopping a granary down. This does not slow production down at all, allows you ample scouting time to locate the BEST granary position, and prevents the "OH CRAP" opening, where that scouting villager uncovers a FIVE shorefish/forest sweet spot mere seconds after you hit BG...

posted 01-14-99 12:22 PM ET (US)     1 / 7       
I agree entirely its a great article. Might not meet with the full approval of dock first enthusiasts but its a great summary for beginners / intermediates.
Is it me or didn't there use to be a lot more ocassions in AOE when a berry and indeed sf to TC start was possible?


posted 01-14-99 12:56 PM ET (US)     2 / 7       
this article is a must for any intermediate player. i consider myself to be intermediate and the knowlegde has greatly enhanced my game. i was unaware that a large part of my entire game lies in the opening. i now am looking at the beginning of each game and trying to decide which opening i should use. i encourage any player who has 15 min tool or 20 bronzed to scrutinize this article because it will dramitically reduce your times and put u in a better position both militarily or economically. even players who can tool and bronze quickly can learn how to increase their villager count and resources and still tool or bronze in the same amount of time.

icq 25804848

[This message has been edited by kibi (edited 01-14-99).]

posted 01-14-99 12:59 PM ET (US)     3 / 7       
I read and enjoyed the article, it made some good points and suggestions. The interesting thing to note was that I was already doing most of what it said anyway, and I suspect most other players with a lot of experience where doing it as well.

Whe I start a game, regardless of the civ I have, I look for the SF/forest spot first, a plain vanilla SF spot next, a good place to drop a dock third and berries last. I almost NEVER go granary first these days.

Most common seems to be the 2 or 3 SF pit 1st, then the pit next to the forest, then a dock and then a granary. I never play Shang (protesting how unblanced they are) and I find that with any civ I can usually click on tool by 9 and bronze by 12 (when I don't do a tool attack). This put me squarly on bronze between 14-15 minutes every game, with 16-20 real vills and 10-14 boats out of one (and sometimes 2, but rarely) docks.

I don't see how people get these 13 minute tool times with 35+, with anywhere from 24+ real vills and 15-20 boats. How can they do it and still bronze so quickly?

You start with 3 vills, so to tool with 24 you have to build 21; this takes 420 seconds, or 7 minutes alone to simply build the vills! This leaves about a 1 minute window to get that 500 food to click on tool, after which you must immediately build the two buildings and click on bronze to get that 13 minute time.

Menthos said to watch your wood so you don't have too much of a surplus, but what is a surplus? I try to hit tool with 300 so I can build the two buildings to go bronze, but once I hit that bronze bitton I want to start stockpiling. I'll need wood for buildings, upgrade, ships, units, etc. Is there any such thing as too much wood? It often seems that no matter how many vills I have on wood (and I often have all but 1 or 2, who are off mining gold) in early bronze I'm hurting for it.

I wanna hit that 13 minute bronze with 35+ plus too! And I don't want to use Shang to do it!


posted 01-14-99 02:05 PM ET (US)     4 / 7       
Not having a stockpile of wood is a rule of thumb preached by Methos and seasian. Seasian has always been the biggest proponent about NOT having a surplus of ANY resource.

On the other hand, Matty in general defies this rule of thumb nearly every game. He generally (I speak from experience in playing nearly a hundred or so games with him) likes to stockpile resources throughout the game - making only so many troops as are needed to keep the enemy contained or away from his villagers.

By stockpiling resources, he can advance through the later ages faster and will have a much larger working economy. At any time he can also pump out military units en masse with his extra resources.

I remember vividly the gasps of shock as Matty piled up nearly 10,000 wood and 4,000 gold versus Seasian in the first game of their final match. He never did get the scythe upgrade (says he forgot 'cuz he was too nervous) and beat seasian by sheer weight of his economy. This was a LONG iron age game on a large hell country, BTW...

posted 01-14-99 02:09 PM ET (US)     5 / 7       
re: A_Wilder_God's comments about early bronze times with other civs.

If you make 24 vills, you should be hitting the tool button AS SOON AS the 24th vill pops out. To do this you need to go heavy on food. Most players put too many vills on wood, thus slowing their times down.

Wood is important, but if getting to tool/bronze fast is a priority, then food is MORE important. All you need is 4-5 vills on wood and you'll have enough to get your 300 by 10 min mark or so.

The rest are all on food, so when you hit tool, you've got around 800/300. Build the buildings with 5-6 vills each and click bronze... but watch out for that Roman/Shang axer rush!!

posted 01-14-99 02:20 PM ET (US)     6 / 7       
Okay, at one point, i was bronzing in about 12 minutes with EVERY civ i played with (key words: "I played with" i don't play a lot w/ persians, greeks, babs, but most any other civ is okay). but that was with 20 vils, and i found that that style did not suit me very well. my opps were all resigning by about 17 minutes b/c of my initial 6 CA's that came running through their towns when they were only just getting to bronze (usually before that). so i started reading up on powerups, and now i bronze in about 15 minutes with minoans and a huge powerup. about 25 vils and about 20 boats, often more than that b/c i have so much wood, and i'm still pumping out boats when i get to bronze (remember that minoans don't get ca's, so no huge wood drain there). I'm sure that if i were not so intent on busting out so many FBs i could cut my time down by a minute or more. Of course my fave map is medit, so i'll be going from there. I drop a granary first unless i'm shang, in which case i'll pit first on the sea.

first 6 on berries, 7th head for the ocean, 8th and 9th on wood, 10th on house then wood, 11th-13th wood, 14th house, 15th wood (don't ask me why i take so darn long to collect 120 wood or whatever it takes to build a stinking pit), 16th goes for the pit (hopefully) on the sea with about 4 sf beside a forest, then all my woodies go to the pit. 17th-20th goes on the fish, but usually by this time, i've docked with my first explorer somewhere. 21st-25th or however many i feel i can safely make goes on the wood, and i never have a problem with wood again. as soon as my first 6 berry guys get down to 1 bush left, they make their way usually to another spot of 5 sf (4 will do, usually no less) or if that's not available, they go for the second berries, which have usually been found, or ele's by forest. these are the guys that i use to mine gold when i start my bronze upgrade.

even with 2 docks, i'll almost always be getting more FBs. of course there comes a point when one dock is going to run out of nearby fish (using the 1 FB per hole rule) and only the 2nd dock is pumping out the fish. normally, i'll experience a slight pause in FB production b/c i need about 400 wood (300 for the building, and 94 for the first scout ship), but once i'm sure i can get it, the FB's start coming out again. thus i end up with about 20+ FBs before i ever hit the bronze button.

then comes the wonderful 2:30 window where i just sort of stockpile resources. after i get my first scout ship, i save 75 wood for the woodcutting upgrade, then it's back to producing scout ships, up to about 5 or so. Berry guys (who should've turned into fishermen by now and maybe finished) gets on gold. that 7th peons that went exploring will start another range, and then another, then build however many houses it can before i hit bronze, then another range. research wheel, improved bowman, upgrade fish boats and war galleys, run out of wood at this point, but it doesn't matter b/c all the important upgrades have been done and i've still got a crapload of food which i, of course, make a more peons with who go on wood (not the same pit. build another and efficiency increases, as i've recently learned and experienced).

research composite bowmen, build more houses, begin pumping out your improved bowmen from your other ranges, build more galleys and take out opp's fleet. food still shouldn't be a problem yet. i have about 500 food in store at all times. wood might become a problem as the galleys are being pumped out, but if you've got two work areas going, it's just a few seconds delay.

by the 20 minute mark, i usually have an army of about 9 composites and a navy of about 6 galleys (this is because i'm fighting for the sea too and some of my other galleys have found their way to the bottom of the ocean). by about 25 minutes, my compie's are tearing up CA's left and right. if my explorer hasn't died to lions/gators, it will have built a third, maybe fourth dock by now, and boats are being transferred.

okay, of course wall is researched somewhere in there too, and i really don't watch my times once i get to bronze, so these are just from the games that i did happen to look up to see how i progressed. gov't center for me, btw, comes after i get my wood fairly stabilized due to my warring ship production.

well, i have to eat lunch now. i've got a great example of how this works, not just in a normal game, but where i got tool rushed by shang. i'll post that after i satisfy my stomach. of course this wouldn't happen if i were minoan and had 20+ FBs, now would i?

i still maintain that if someone compiled about 5 of my posts, they could potentially make a novel.

posted 01-15-99 07:13 AM ET (US)     7 / 7       
one can quite easily achieve 40 peon 13 min tools and if u do this you are practically guaranteed a 40+ peon 15 min bronze. Simply pit or dock first build two at least two docks. The boats supply the food for more vills, the vills chop wood. For every one vill coming out the TC every 20s one ship comes out of each dock. You triple the rate of pop increase of a non-docker. By the time you have 24 vills you have plenty of food to tool.
Works best with Phoe/Min then Assy/Yam but is perfectly possible with genuine slow civs.

As a rule of thumb I consider 50 pop in 15 minutes to be a good start.
Of course none of this protects you from a tool or even bronze rush.


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