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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » TBTS: Early Scouting
Topic Subject:TBTS: Early Scouting
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posted 08-25-99 00:05 AM ET (US)         
Well, I'm going to take Mark up on his offer and post the first installment of "The Bearded Tim Show" (aka TBTS, see previous reference in BTs APC Strat Guide if you're still clueless). In an effort to help the rebuilding of the forums, this will hopefully be a series of topic discussions to help learning players (not just because I wanted to know how to do these things right). I'l try to keep the episodes progressing through the things that happen in every ROR game.

Anyway, welcome to the inauguration of "The Bearded Tim Show". Today we will be discussing early scouting methods. One thing that I'm almost always guilty of is missing that one all important shallow, eventually leading to 10 axers runing through my town at 11 mins, while my explorers went up against lions hepped up on goofballs and lost. First, I'll describe what I do, and then all you guys can tell us how to really do it. There are, of course, previous threads about scouting, so if you wish to reference one of these then by all means go ahead.

There are two cases I see in games: playing a connected land mass game (hell, inland) where there really aren't shallows, and then games with land masses connected with shallows (med, cont, coastal, narrows), islands is totally different since there is no dock-blocking or finding the enemy early anyway. Lets take the inland type games first. Maybe this is my downfall right away, but I usually start scouting with vil 10 (after building the house). I like to get the first 6 on berries for food production, and get the next 3 on stragglers to start getting wood for houses at least and a pit later. I usuall send vil 10 toward the enemy, later to be joined by another vil depending on when the pit goes up. I usually stagger these vils around so that they generally go toward the potential enemy location, but can sway to and fro to find any resources along the way. Once they find the enemy they are the ones to put up the rax (or two) and further forward buildings (eventually even a new TC should the forward base still be standing). Other vils go exploring when new resources are needed, such as finding a forest for a wood pit, or new berries, or gold, etc. I'll have them search in circular patterns around my base to reveal as many resources as possible.

The shallow connected case is a bit more interesting. Again I start exploring with vil 10, and send him toward the enemy, but he will almost always find a coast first. I let him follow the coast looking for good dock spots along the way. If he finds a shallow, and it's not already dock-blocked, then I'll go ahead and send another vil, and have them dock block the shallow and continue on that direction for a forward base. Once the wood pit is up, and its time to start docking, I'll have 2 vils wander around the coast to build docks. Along the ways, again, they may find other shallows (to enemies, I usually don't worry about the ones connected to allies early). If they do find a shallow, again, if not already dock-blocked, I will try and dock-block that shallow as well and build on the other side. I may then have to have more vils search the remaining coast for other dock spots or shallows.

So here's the questions I have. Is it better to just send 1 vil exploring and hope he can survive wildlife attacks so that there's 1 more vil gathering rather than not? Do I really need to start sending the 8th or 6th first, instead of the 10th (this might be a no-brainer, not sure)? Is it always a good idea to dock-block any shallow, or just plant a radar house and prepare for defenses? When dock-blocking multiple shallows, is it good to put forward bases beyond every one, or leave some blocked but save the vils for local gathering? Is it a necessity to scout out the entire coast-line as soon as possible, before even searching for the enemy? How come I miss 1 shallow in the pocket position and still get tooled when my partner on that side is left alone? How come I'm still rambling on about this?

Well, now that that's done, you can rip apart my strat and knock some sense into me. I would assume others will learn from these comments as well. And remember, any guest that has something constructive to say is welcome on TBTS.

P.S. For some deranged reason, Mark (he really is a sick muther) wanted me to post a pic so I dusted one off.

- Bearded_Tim

[This message has been edited by Bearded_Tim (edited 08-25-99).]

posted 08-27-99 05:09 PM ET (US)     26 / 35       

Nice work on the explorer testing. If it weren't for you, there'd be almost no actual strat discussion in this thread.


So what does your wife look like. Is she wearing a gold bikini? Plus, you need to take a lesson from Sting about roughing people up. You don't go looking for them, you just call them out to fly to your town so you can kick their ass (wait, I bet that's why O'hare is so crouded all the time).


Are you still here? I sense a bit of regressing coming on.

P.S. For some actual strat discussion in this post, all I can say is that it would seem for booming, early scout vils just hurt your pit time. I could see that if you're very intent on tool rushing someone, that you might want to start scouting earlier to guarantee against being dock-blocked out.

- Bearded_Tim

posted 08-27-99 05:28 PM ET (US)     27 / 35       
I know this reverts back to the 9th post or something like that, but Hemlock, is the Redd Green Show the one aboutthis guy that lives out "in the country" and does a lot of things along the lines of fishing and hunting? I think I saw that once on vacation in Utah. My family now uses the phrase "that's as lame as The Redd Green show." Hahaha. Ok, go back to the discussion now, it's a good one.
posted 08-27-99 07:12 PM ET (US)     28 / 35       
Just saw the pic. Eek. The bastard son of Luke and Chewie. (Hmm...weren't they both male? More mysteries of the Cosmos.)
posted 08-27-99 10:45 PM ET (US)     29 / 35       
Hey now gedn, that was just an ugly rumor. If anybody was gonna "bump uglies" (there is no better instance to use this phrase) with Chewy, it obviously would've been Han (he just hit on Leia to throw everybody else off). Why else do you think Han had a natural dislike for 3PO (obvious jealousy), since 3PO knew as many positions as dialects.

Just needed to clear a few things up.

P.S. Yes, hemlock, the gator trick is pretty good. What do you guys think about radar houses on the enemies land? Use them to see what's up, or keep then tucked away as to not alert the enemy too early? I would think radar houses are useful on your own land, but you wouldn't want to tip off the enemy unnecessarily (gotta keep some strategy talk here).

- Bearded_Tim

(id: S_Hemlock)
posted 08-28-99 05:10 PM ET (US)     30 / 35       
I agree with you in principle Tim, but since I use my explorers to build houses, I find it much more difficult and time consuming to try and "hide" them, especially when I'm not sure where the enemies are.

[Edited the previous paragraph for clarity.]

Just last night I was playing in a game where an opponents house tipped me off that he had already crossed the shallows. I sent another villie over to look around and found a barracks and an archery. If I hadn't seen the house, I wouldn't have known about his forward base until he attacked me. (I still lost, but at least I knew I was going to lose. )

I may start having my woodies build houses at home, or maybe devote a single vil to putting up radar houses around my base.

Incidentally, here's the screenshot from my wood time tests. I apologize for the size, but if I reduced it any further then the fog of war turned black. The numbers I originally posted are within a few seconds of the numbers I recorded... not enough of a difference to bother changing them.

[Edited to fix the link.]

No other success can compensate for failure in the home.

[This message has been edited by S_Hemlock (edited 08-29-99).]

posted 08-29-99 09:17 AM ET (US)     31 / 35       
hi I used to try to do a lot of early scouting. It takes up to much of my time and made me slower. For food yes! I worry if the next food sourse is not revealed..well not worry more like.. hmmm "gamers annoyance"

Now I build houses in the places the enemy may foward build (wide open spots, hilltops, edges behind me) if I have a foward builder he may build a house or two next to my military buildings. I try to hide anything near an enemy. good morning and how come I am the only player that gets housed! why do i ALWAYS forget the houses!!

posted 08-30-99 04:20 PM ET (US)     32 / 35       
Any how BeardedTim.. you're off the hook. My wife has returned to me saying that she will now remain with her REAL man. She still thinks you're a cutey.. but she was muttering something about failure to perform in the clutch and disfunction ?!?

Frankly, I'm clueless as to what she means ?!? Any ideas..BeardedTim ?!?.. any how she's back and no hard feelings OK ?


posted 08-30-99 09:52 PM ET (US)     33 / 35       
Now everything's falling into place. Your wife really is great at the art of persuasion (you bought her story hook, line, and sinker). The only part I didn't like was her ramblings about a Mr. Thimble ... well, it's not important. At least you'll be busy trying to get 5 good players together (can't have any bad players to bring down the game) on those Thursday nights when your wife's at "poetry night".

- Bearded_Tim

posted 08-30-99 11:19 PM ET (US)     34 / 35       
Better drop it neil . . . you'll never one-up a quick-witted celeb like BT! (And you "boys" thought he was nothing but a pretty face!)


Oh yeah - STRATEGY!

I usually like to send #9 out explore for and build a pit if no sweetish spot reveals itself earlier. Then #11 joins him to dock/explore/house after house #3 is built. Is this why I lose so often? (Be gentle!)

posted 08-30-99 11:49 PM ET (US)     35 / 35       
Viewer writes in:

Every time I try to do this kind of exploring I end up loosing either 1 or 2 vils to a lion. As a result of this, I am now scared to death of lions even at the zoo. Mr. Beard - do you or anyone in your audience have any tips for not getting eaten? and when I am being eaten, how can I get that lion to stop? You cant just sit there a micro manage your scouting villagers to make sure they dont get eaten - if you do you cant keep your eyes on your camp. I'd appreciate an answer before the comercial break :-)


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