Crappy Bronzing Revisited

A Guide to Villager Booming

You’re finally (after nine chapters) in Bronze. Sure took you a while to get here didn’t it?:) I’m not going to go into details of how to stop Cavalry Rushes and annoying Chariot Archers or even those dreaded Composite Bowmen. Too many variables, way too complicated, and probably deserving of entire chapters in themselves:) And this guide is way too long already – I’m probably only going to deal with the bare essentials from now on (which in CD’s long-winded manner probably means a few more chapters hehe).
Research Improved Bowman or Wheel the moment you hit Bronze or both, depending on what you plan to do. If you originally intended to build Cavalry, don’t wait – do so and send it to terrorise the enemy. I’m going to leave the military specifics behind here, and move on to Villager Booming.
The first thing I’d like to say about Villager Booming from Bronze onwards is that it isn’t a true Villager BoomTrue Villager Booms build most, if not all of their villagers in Stone and Tool. Some people call this the powerup method – a legacy term brought over from the days of Warcraft II. Blizzard pretty much disappointed me with Warcraft II so I prefer the term Villager Boom but I mention powerups so that if you hear it mentioned you know they are talking about the same thing.
The concept of Villager Booming. The idea is to build up a huge economy – with three broad aims:
The first is to be able to support a large military. This includes being able to swiftly replace military losses and maintain constant pressure on the enemy.
The second aim is to outresource the enemy. If your economy is larger than your opponent’s, you will be in a better position to afford military losses. A related theme here is denying resources to the enemy – basically strip mining the map of resources (particularly gold) so that your opponent cannot make use of those resources later. 
The third aim is to severely curtail the ability of the enemy to destroy you. A large sprawling economy with multiple TCs in many parts of the map makes it difficult, if not impossible for the enemy to make a dent in your economy. The enemy cannot be everywhere at once, and without Siege Weapons it takes a long time to destroy a TC. Therefore if the enemy spends its time attacking a subsection of your economy, the rest of your economy continues unfettered – and if it tries to move from place to place and leaves a TC behind – all you need to do is to produce a fresh villager from that TC and continue production where you left off. This annoying (and highly effective) tactic was first popularised byMaimin_matty and is aptly known as infestation.
Stockpiling resources also makes it difficult for the enemy to eliminate you as you have reserves from which to draw on in order to rebuild your economy.
Well, that sounds good – now how do you go about doing it?
Build as many villagers and boats as possibleVillager Booming is pretty straightforward – you want to continuously HC and BF from the moment you hit Bronze – building them non-stop.
How many villagers should I build? Keep building them until you hit the population limit. I generally stop when I reach about 55-60 villagers and boats though – beyond this, micromanaging all of them is a pain and I generally have more resources than I know what to do with. Too many units also lags the game and often freezes my computer. But if you can micromanage 100 or more villagers, go ahead and build them – the more the merrier.
More than 50 villagers! Won’t that mean I won’t have room to build military? Well, I play with a 75 population limit (the right balance IMHO), so this isn’t usually a problem. But you can get around a 50 population limit by deleting units until you have 49/50 and then simultaneously building more villagers and military units from your 8-9 TCs/docks and your 10 or so military buildings.
The good thing about fishing boats later in the game is that once you run out of fish (or you have to put more than 1 fishing boat or ship per patch), you can delete them to make room for more military units or villagers.
The food-wood relationship. Whoa there. You’ve probably realised by now that you’re going to need a hell of a lot of food to Villager Boom. Just how do you go about getting it? The thing you need to appreciate is this – if you have a lot of food, you can get more villagers. If you have a lot of villagers, you can get more wood. If you have a lot of wood, you can get a lot of food.
Therefore, you should aim to have a small reservoir of extra food to draw on at the start of Bronze. Extra as in beyond what you need for continuously producing military. So long as you start with a little extra food in early Bronze (maybe 100 or so), you should be able to build villagers almost non-stop. Getting this little extra food shouldn’t be too difficult if you already have a dock up and running. If for some reason you haven’t docked by now, do so.
Wood is the key. Your new villagers should initially go on wood, and in turn the extra wood you get should go into more fishing boats. This way you’re booming from both your dock and your TC. Once you get more wood than you can spend (not hard if you’ve researched Woodworking), build a Government Centre.
Start ‘infesting’ the map. Build new TCs all over the map, next to berries, wildlife, forests, gold, stone, whatever. Put your fresh villagers on food or other resources, and keep making fishing boats until you have one fishing boat per fish patch. 
Research the Tool/Bronze market upgrades. You’re not going Iron until you get 50+ villagers anyway, so you may as well research the Tool/Bronze market upgrades for whatever resources you are collecting. Upgrade to Fishing Ship too if you can. These economic upgrades have a huge impact on your gathering rate especially when you have 50+ villagers working. The only thing you shouldn’t bother with (unless you have too much food) is Domestication.
Start farming. Once you have more wood and new villagers than you possibly know what to do with, start farming – from every granary and TC.
Now, some players don’t believe in farming because the food comes in too slow and because they are inefficient. They are right – it is far better to first use up all the available berries and wildlife on the map before starting to farm.
But (there’s always a but) farming in Bronze is still good for a number reasons. First of all, when you got more wood than you know what to do with, farming isn’t such a terrible waste of wood. And hehe, 10 or more farms isn’t slow:) Each individual farm may still be slow – but collectively, food gushes out like a broken water pipe (240+ food every minute?). Third – when you have 50+ villagers, farmers are also hell of a lot easier to micromanage.
The middle ground may be hotly contested. Assuming you’re playing an equally skilled opponent – the area between you is likely to be no-man’s land. Foraging or hunting in the middle of the map may not always be possible.
You need more than 1000 food in Iron. Most people don’t realise this but going Iron is not just a matter of getting 1000 food and 800 gold. You’ll find that Iron technologies suck up food really fast. For example, Guard Towers (300 food), Alchemy (250), Triremes (250), Craftsmanship (240), Coinage (200), Catapults (300) and Ballistics (200). I like to be able to research as many technologies as I require when I hit Iron andstill churn out military – I don’t believe in going Iron and then having to wait for sufficient resources to research a key technology. All this requires a lot of food, and farming is probably the fastest and least time-consuming (in terms of micromanagement) method of getting it.
It’s for the same reason that I don’t believe in Iron Jumping. Ok, let me take that back – as a matter of personal preference, I don’t believe in shooting for Iron until my resource levels stabilise – sufficient to defend myself and to engage the enemy in Bronze, and be able to bust outupgraded Iron units within a minute or two of hitting Iron. With Iron Jumping your economy isn’t always as strong, although you do have the advantage of being the first to field Iron units. But in my mind, too many things can go wrong – the only time I would Iron Jump is if I’m playing an islands map. But then again, this is a matter of personal preference – certainly Iron Jump if you’re comfortable with it.
Well, that’s it. Crappy Bronzing from Stone to Iron. I hope you’ve found it useful.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14