From what I have read and some experimentation, I've found something that might be viable. The results are possible bronze times anywhere between 11:30 minutes and 12:30 minutes for shang
on conti, def res, no reveal.
I know that wedsaz will jump in and say that 11:00 minutes is possible with shang or persian - but please don't - I'm still experimenting and will hopefully shave off more time.
I just thought that I'd share with you an idea for a quick bronze that allows you to make 2-3
cav immediately after bronzing. It doesn't always work because of map conditions.
Here's the strat and afterwards I'll comment on pros/cons and ask for comments and other ideas:
Settings: conti, def res, no reveal. I use huge map since usually I wind up in 2v2 games (the
amount of res on a huge map may differ from that of a large map so I don't know if this strat
will work for large map). Civ is shang.
1) Hit H and C.
2) Grab 1 vil and make house.
3) Send the other two vils towards the edge of the map.
4) Hit H and then C until res exhausted.
5) As the two vils approach the edge of the map, send each one in the opposite direction along the perimeter of the map. You are looking for a cluster of shorefish. If you find a cluster of 3 or more then you are in business. If by 30 seconds you do not see many shorefish then I recommend abandoning this strat and going for the usual berry start.
6) Send the 4th vil out looking for forest. Send the 3rd vil which built the house in another
direction looking for forest as well.
Hopefully by now, you have found enough starting shorefish, a nice forest and the berry path (for later). With luck you found the gold mine as well.
7) When you find that cluster of shorefish pit by it and assign all 4 vils to the shorefish. Send the 5th vil to the shorefish as well.
8) Continue to make new vils and houses (as necessary) but stop at 16. New vils cut stragglers and then pit by forest.
9) As you get close to having enough wood for a second pit, send a vil out along the map border looking for more shorefish. Any cluster of 2 or more is good. Pit by new shorefish.
10) Leave 4 vils on wood and transfer the other woodies to the new shorefish. Move along the perimeter and look for new shorefish clusters. The first cluster of shorefish should be used up by now.
11) You should have 12 vils on shorefish and 4 on wood. When you have enough wood, make sure to build a granary using one of the 4 woodies.
12) If you have enough shorefish and you found them early enough then you should be able to hit the tool button anywhere between 6 and 7 minutes.
13) After you hit the tool upgrade, start shifting vils from shorefish to wood. The idea is to now start to make a dock and a few fishing boats. This is the really hard part because you need to balance the incoming food with enough wood production.
14) Have a vil build the barracks at around 40-50% tool.
15) It is tricky but I have been able to manage it so that once in tool I have roughly 300 wood and almost 800 food. You have to balance the number of fb's and the number of vils assigned
to shorefish, making sure that you have enough woodies. The numbers depend on the ratio of food to wood. Usually I keep about 5 vils on shorefish and then move them to the berries afterwards. A good way to estimate the wood/food ratio at tool arrival is to look at the TC's tool % upgrade and match that against the amount of wood and food piles that you have, adjusting as necessary.
16) Make two groups with the woodies and have the first group make a market. The second group
makes a stable.
17) Hit bronze upgrade. You should be able to do this somewhere between 9 and 10 minutes.
18) Take two vils and send them towards the middle of map. If you can manage it then search for the enemy base. Build a stable. If you find that you have execess wood, build another stable. These two guys will build new houses as required. Make sure that you have housing for at least 2-3 cav right after bronzing.
19) Back at home, take 4 woodies and build a pit by gold and put them on the gold.
20) You should have bronzed somewhere between 11:30 and and 12:30 minutes. Hit Ctrl-L and cycle through the stables and make cavs or camels depending on your gold pile.
21) Send those cavs/cams to the enemy base and wack as many vils as possible. Ignore any towers or tool army. Go for the villies. This is critical because your econ is fragile and you need to really hurt your opponent's econ.
22) While you are harassing the enemy with your cavs/cams you need to capitalize and catch up
with your econ. Keep on making vils, expand your econ as in other strats.
Pros: usually on the zone, by the 12 minute mark most players (even a lot of good ones) haven't even tooled or have barely tooled. If this is the case and you find their vils fast then they are screwed.
Cons: this strat is heavily map res dependent. Don't do it if you can't find shorefish early or you will wind up with lousy bronze time AND sucky econ. Also the success depends on a lot of tricky juggling and also very good scouting. I never claimed that this strat is easy to pull off. My problem now is doing adequate scouting. This is CRITICAL. Once in a 2v2 game I bronzed in 13 minutes and no one else was tool. I then proceeded to squander my advantage looking all over the map for the enemy as they ran away from my 4 camels. I wound up getting only a few of their vils - needless to say, as a result I couldn't keep up with their booming econs in the mid-game. Anyway, that's it. Sorry for the long post. I know that this strat (as all others) is not perfect and has it's advantages and weaknesses. Just thought I'd pass along my experimentation. Comments, suggestions, advice welcome.
I have practiced this strat about 30 times against the computer. About 1/3 of the time I found good shorefish and continued with the strat. The other times, I abandoned the strat. With good shorefish, my bronze times were 11:42 to 12:20 minutes with 3 cav right in bronze. I have tried it only a few times on the zone in 2v2 situations and because of lousy map conditions and the usual zone lag crap, got more like 13 to 13:30 times.
My problem now is doing adequate scouting. This is CRITICAL. Once in a 2v2 game I bronzed in 13 minutes and no one else was tool. I then proceeded to squander my advantage looking all over the map for the enemy as they ran away from my 4 camels. I wound up getting only a few of their vils - needless to say, as a result I couldn't keep up with their booming econs in the mid-game.
Anyway, that's it. Sorry for the long post. I know that this strat (as all others) is not perfect and has it's advantages and weaknesses. Just thought I'd pass along my experimentation.
Comments, suggestions, advice welcome.