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Topic Subject:Defence in RM hill country
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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 01-28-04 06:41 AM ET (US)         
Hi all, I've been spending whatever free time I have these days trying out a type of terrain new to me, the hills. I've read some of the tips in the MP strategy pages already, but I still find these maps rather tricky to handle.

Ok, I play against the CP and wallop it everytime. However, I frequently have enemy villies infiltrating into my side of the map. It doesn't kill me, but it's extremely agitating, especially in the earlier stages of the game. I usually explore about half of the map ("my side") by mid-Tool. I've uncovered important resources and all 22 of my villies are working hard to gather wood and food for a decent Bronze timing. That means all my resources are being stockpiled for age-advance. I have practically no military except for a couple of pathetic bowmen. I only start booming out my army when I reach Bronze and have researched the wheel (I love CAs ).

I don't know if Bronzing in 16 to 18 minutes in hill terrain is ok?... If it's bad, are there any tips to improve the timing? Should I start off with more villies or something?

Anyway, back to the topic of defence. Before I reach Bronze, I see a couple of enemy villies exploring my territory. That makes me rather panicky since I have to get a few of mine to stop work and get rid of him before he uncovers my whole base. I also start worrying that the enemy army might pay me a visit soon. Fortunately, the CP isn't good enough to do that, so I always win in the end.

However, I'm sure that good players would have their army overrun my base in no time. I've thought of setting up defences like walls and towers, but they're practically useless. I can't possibly dedicate so many of my villies on stone mining. Moreover, walling and towering is time-costly. It'll definitely kill my economy and prevent me from going to Bronze.

Are there any tips and suggestions for a better form of defence instead? I don't want the enemy to sneak into my base through a gap in the flank and start creating havoc while my troops are far away at the front. Neither do I want to dedicate too many of my villies on walling.


D XUAN
AuthorReplies:
peter
HG Alumnus
posted 01-28-04 11:45 AM ET (US)     1 / 263       
As long as you beat 'em you're doing fairly well I'd say.

Dry maps are of course slower that wet ones, after all there's less food to be found. So your timing isn't so bad, but that's just my opinion.
In AoE a few bowmen may be enough (depends on how many enemies you take on though), in RoR they'll probably be owned by slingers. Walls and towers are no good in SP games (their effect is mostly to slow down your advance) but in MP you may want to build walls.
The best defence is of course to keep some military at home when you attack your enemies. Have them near your villagers and you should be fine.

FireLegion_56
Clubman
posted 01-29-04 00:26 AM ET (US)     2 / 263       

Quote:

22 of my villies


Is that all the villes you make. I usally make 30 to 40 villes.

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Dr Lorenzo
AOEH Seraph
posted 01-29-04 01:16 AM ET (US)     3 / 263       
20 is usually sufficient.

DR LORENZO
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QwertyUiop
Clubman
posted 01-29-04 04:34 AM ET (US)     4 / 263       
You can't really make 40 villies in a single player (50 pop cap game). Obviously more are needed for online, where 200 pop is the norm.

[/Qwerty]
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 01-29-04 04:55 AM ET (US)     5 / 263       
But the exposed flank is usually so huge that the opponent might have his whole army sneak into my base. A few bowmen certainly doesn't sound sufficient here... What about towering close to the villies, or would that slow down the economy?

FireLegion, I could make more, but the population limit doesn't allow it. Sometimes I wished the limit isn't just 50 in SP. Makes it a little boring sometimes.

I've also got another question. When I exhaust the food resources on my half of the map, should I start hunting and foraging close to the enemy base, or should I turn to farming instead?


D XUAN
peter
HG Alumnus
posted 01-29-04 06:19 AM ET (US)     6 / 263       
Hunting and foraging means you have to look for good sites - and you spread out a lot. If you're good at monitoring ten or more sites you could certainly try but I prefer to start farming - if your villagers get under attack and you lose a lot the gain of not building farms is largely lost. Research Domestication to make your farms last longer.

What difficulty level are you playong at and how many enemies do you take on?

Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 01-29-04 07:49 AM ET (US)     7 / 263       
Yes... I would think farming is quite a good option. I usually have plenty of wood in my stockpile. I am playing at just Hard, usually against 1 CP. I only tried out fighting 2 CPs recently, and I even lost once today! I find fighting just 1 more CP very exhausting. I couldn't Bronze until 20+ mins today.

I have a feeling I wouldn't be able to cope with 3, but I haven't tried that out yet. The only map type where I can handle 3 or even 4 CPs is on Medit, but even that's rather tedious.


D XUAN
peter
HG Alumnus
posted 01-29-04 08:03 AM ET (US)     8 / 263       
I see - what size? I can remember how terrible large and especially huge maps were when I learned to play. The enemies seemed to pour in from everywhere. But that's long past now.
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 01-29-04 08:20 AM ET (US)     9 / 263       
I play at the standard large. I seldom change the map size, only to huge when I'm playing against 3 or more CPs, which is very seldom. I'm just a newbie. As a matter of fact, I still cannot finish a couple of AoE campaign scenarios. The final Greek one and the first Babylonian ones are rather difficult for me... I was also murdered in the Roman campaigns. I've sort of given up on the campaigns and am practicing how to start from scratch in RM. Basics first.

D XUAN
peter
HG Alumnus
posted 01-29-04 08:59 AM ET (US)     10 / 263       
I never really finished the last one in the Greek campaign - I felt it was all wrong anyway, it's not as if Alexander was destroying world wonders all the time. And the timing idea in the scenario never appealed to me. Winning the first one of Babylonia is a kind of watershed - just like most of its sequels; it's really a rather tough campaign. But also much fun.
Dr Lorenzo
AOEH Seraph
posted 01-29-04 11:41 PM ET (US)     11 / 263       
Fun, pure and simple. Not the greatest maps, but fun

DR LORENZO
AoEH | Woad Creations Alumni
I of course meant bastard in a positive way! - Kor
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Lorenzo is kind of like that relative everyone knows about but won't talk about. - Crimson Knight
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FireLegion_56
Clubman
posted 01-30-04 00:58 AM ET (US)     12 / 263       
first one of Babylonia I thought it was quit fun. When i was a newibe. It helped me createring streagies. Cause you start with a perist.

Greek campagin.
Some of it was good. But other parts were broing. And also got some histoical facts wrong. But hey. Its kind of hard making a history fighting a game.
But the scerione wonder was hrroible. Not many reasources. Just grass. And your dam enemys were behind walls in a city. While. I was just 3 villes and a town center.

The japan campagian was the best campagin in my opoine.


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Dr Lorenzo
AOEH Seraph
posted 01-30-04 01:11 AM ET (US)     13 / 263       
Enemies of Rome was the best, methinks.

DR LORENZO
AoEH | Woad Creations Alumni
I of course meant bastard in a positive way! - Kor
I just sort of chop away at it when it gets long enough. The ladies love it. - Obese, on shaving
Lorenzo is kind of like that relative everyone knows about but won't talk about. - Crimson Knight
We already knew about the mass murders and gang rapes and ethnic cleansings, but now they've resorted to ENCRYPTING PEOPLES ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS! - drahnier
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 01-30-04 01:10 PM ET (US)     14 / 263       
On land maps, age times are the same except for minoan, and iron is slower since by bronze you're stuck with farming.

8 tool, 11 bronze = persia (but weaker bronze and slower iron)
8 tool, 12 bronze = shang
9 tool, 14 bronze = roman, palmy, assy, yammy, phoenie
9 tool, 16 bronze = the rest

If you want fast times, expand instead of farming. Practice hunting too - farming is by far the slowest food, especially once you consider the villie time for chopping and building.

If the cp villies bother you, put up a single tower just outside your town, towards the center of the map, and watch them die there over and over. Or, if you really want to chase them, train a scout.


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peter
HG Alumnus
posted 01-30-04 05:25 PM ET (US)     15 / 263       
Those numbers may work for experts - but even then I doubt theor validity for all map types. And for the very simple reason that not all maps are equally rich in resources, especially food. Inland maps are quite poor - I've played dozens of them and on all of them I was lucky to find a second berries site not too far from base. Quite often I had to make do with only one. In AoE I've had maps with persia and not a single gazelle group within two screens from base - obviously that kills the hunting bonus pretty effectively. Conti maps on the other hand are very rich in berries bushes - you can often find clusters of two or even three fairly close together. That means that your Tool anf bronze times are only slowed by the fact that you can train only one villager at a time.
Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 01-30-04 07:34 PM ET (US)     16 / 263       
All strats describing exact times to the second rely on a perfect map with a perfect situation - not even having to spend one extra second finding the resources should they not be nearby, for example. Since this rarely happens, if ever, in a real game in the real world, they can be no more than guidelines on what an 'expert' would be able to do with all the resources nearby and a good map without obstacles to them. Any delay, anywhere, in the exact stopwatch time for any task, will eventually add minutes to everything. So if someone says you should be able to bronze in 11 minutes and you do it in 12 or 13 don't get too anal about it, in the end it's more destructive than constructive.

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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-01-04 10:06 PM ET (US)     17 / 263       
Oh well... I'm definitely far away from those timings. I tried a 1 vs 2 in hill country yesterday and only ended it after a gruelling one and a half hours. I tooled at 15 mins and bronzed at 30 mins. But that was because I started the war too early. I offended the 2 CPs by killing their exploring villies, and they set their clubmen and archers on me. Had to use up all of my food on pumping out clubbies and archers to defend.

Like I said, I can't defend really well in hill country. It wasn't until quite some time before I was able to locate choke points and wall or defend them. Before that, I frequently had enemy archers and clubbies appearing out of nowhere and harrassing my villies. In the first 25 minutes of the game, all 3 of us were stuck at Tool age. I didn't really dare to expand much because I wouldn't be able to defend those areas. The only real "adventure" I had was to send 4 brave villies right across the map to forage near the enemy base. After the berries were gone I rushed them back to base to farm.

Defence here is really sucky... I had to keep walling until I had advantageous choke points to defend. That limited me to only 2 berry and hunting areas in my base. I had to start farming rather early (late Tool).

Just posting on my progress with the game... I've improved quite a bit since I started (of course ) but I still couldn't beat "Land Grab" of the Greek campaign at very hard. Never mind... back to the hills. If the enemy is aggressive, should I only defend my territory until the opponent has exhausted their resources to a certain extent? Or should I sent a group of scouts (in Tool age) to seek out their base and butcher a few villies? I've never tried out the latter, and it doesn't sound like a very good idea?...


D XUAN
Dr Lorenzo
AOEH Seraph
posted 02-01-04 11:33 PM ET (US)     18 / 263       

Quote:

I didn't really dare to expand much because I wouldn't be able to defend those areas

You sound very much like me.

Your war epics are great fun, DX


DR LORENZO
AoEH | Woad Creations Alumni
I of course meant bastard in a positive way! - Kor
I just sort of chop away at it when it gets long enough. The ladies love it. - Obese, on shaving
Lorenzo is kind of like that relative everyone knows about but won't talk about. - Crimson Knight
We already knew about the mass murders and gang rapes and ethnic cleansings, but now they've resorted to ENCRYPTING PEOPLES ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS! - drahnier
peter
HG Alumnus
posted 02-02-04 05:59 AM ET (US)     19 / 263       
Killing enemies' villagers is the key to success. It's sad but true. Attack in Tool with smal forces to keep your enemies' troops busy in their town instead of yours and you'll son feel you're doing much better.
Dr Lorenzo
AOEH Seraph
posted 02-02-04 11:30 PM ET (US)     20 / 263       
Killing defenceless villies has always been a surefire tactic

DR LORENZO
AoEH | Woad Creations Alumni
I of course meant bastard in a positive way! - Kor
I just sort of chop away at it when it gets long enough. The ladies love it. - Obese, on shaving
Lorenzo is kind of like that relative everyone knows about but won't talk about. - Crimson Knight
We already knew about the mass murders and gang rapes and ethnic cleansings, but now they've resorted to ENCRYPTING PEOPLES ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS! - drahnier
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-03-04 09:09 AM ET (US)     21 / 263       
But the problem is that the enemy has plenty of archers and axemen. Scouts (for their speed in surprise raids) are expensive and very weak. Including the costs of attack and weapon upgrades (225 food), that's extremely taxing on my resource stockpile. Moreover, until I Bronze, I won't be able to heal them. I also don't like the idea of pumping out so many archers for attack?... very expensive and probably worsens my age-advance timings.

However, I do have to agree that taking the initiative is much better than passive defence. It's just that I do not have the resources to launch an early pre-emptive strike in Tool.

I played 1vs2 again on hill country yesterday, and this one took even longer than one and a half hours. However, my age timings weren't so bad for a n00b (14 mins Tool and 19 mins Bronze). The problem was that I kept on defending an area I thought was "advantageous". It was indeed advantageous for my defence force, because they were on elevated ground (at least 4 levels) above the area where the enemy has to first pass through. They usually get eliminated before my infantry get to exercise their sword-arms. However, as this went on, the CPs eventually Bronzed (though I Ironed too) and had STs to attack my troops. Aarggh... Now I can't really defeat them (they can easily outboom me because there're two of 'em).

I do realise the importance of initiating an early attack, but I do have a problem deciding... Do I reserve all my resources for a quick Bronze (which isn't very "quick" for me ) to start booming Bronze units, or do I boom Tool units and start attacking at least one of the CPs then?


D XUAN
Adamant Hoplite
Clubman
posted 02-03-04 12:14 PM ET (US)     22 / 263       
Hmmm... map size plays a factor here, but personally (and bear in mind that taking my advice yields a success rate of 45%) I think you should try and harass both enemies, but do not go for their armies. If their armies pass by you, then create military units in your area, and defend there (obviously not amongst a pile of villies). When their armies moved out, attack their villies. All the while your villies are still gathering the resources, they will have to waste resources to create new ones, plus having a significantly diminished resource income. Really, it all pays out in the end.

The danger of Bronzing when a Tool-army is approaching you is, of course, destroying your TC before you actually Bronze, or emerging from Tool with a severed economy - both of which are worse than a bad Bronze time but a firm Tool base.


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wedsaz
Clubman
posted 02-04-04 05:12 PM ET (US)     23 / 263       
DX, skip clubbers and scouts, food is precious on land maps since there's no fish. Instead, make a pack of about 5-6 bowmen w/armor, and use them as one.

With slow units, you can't raid as easily. Instead of harrassing both opponents, I'd suggest seriously maiming them one at a time by attacking their food supply. Go into the 1st town, kill military units, villagers and farms (in that order), then move on to your other opponents.

Defensively, walling is good. You should also build more archery ranges than you think you need, and get archer armor, so that if the enemy is at the gates you can train many archers in a short time, so you can have the option of defense without spending precious food until you need to.

I think farming in late tool is fine. Get the woodcutting upgrades, but not the farm upgrades (they're not worth the food cost). Make lots and lots of farms, to increase your food income, instead of letting your wood pile up. And keep making villagers in tool, even if you bronze late.

Oh and yes, like peter and phill phree said, the age times I gave are for experts in a good environment, although that's at least half the time on any map type. Add maybe 1 min tool / 2 min bronze for inters, and the variation is even bigger when it comes to problematic starting spots (forest berries, no wood nearby, that sort of thing).


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-04-04 08:37 PM ET (US)     24 / 263       
Ok, I tried 1vs2 again earlier in the morning and finished both CPs off in 40 mins. It was actually all by accident. I had my exploring villager move too far and came upon one of the CP's base too early. I started walling a little and sent 3 archers to murder some of its villies. I was in late Tool (I Tooled in 13 mins) while both CPs were still in Stone age.

When I Bronzed (in 18 mins) I pumped out chariots and chariot archers like mad and butchered all of the villies belonging to the CP that I accidentally located. I then proceeded to raid the other CP and killed all its villies. My STs did the job of clearing up the enemy buildings. Easy enough...

By the way, do armour upgrades yield protection against enemy archer attacks at all? If they don't, then what if the enemy launches massed slingers against my archers? That would be real nasty...


D XUAN
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-05-04 03:27 AM ET (US)     25 / 263       
I played my first game on the Zone just now. It was a 1 vs 1 RM hill game with another newbie. I guess he's new to the game too, because I was able to beat him flat almost without putting in much effort.

I couldn't check the age-timings, because the game was so fast-paced (set at x2) that I became very busy micromanaging my units. It all seemed rather quick though. I boomed 39 villies in all and my total pop was rather low- just 65/100 when the game ended. Should I usually try to produce as many units as I can till I reach the limit in an MP game?


D XUAN
Dangrimm
Clubman
posted 02-05-04 04:35 AM ET (US)     26 / 263       
Yah, its good to have units constantly being made until you hit cap. You also usually finding yourself much better and quicker because you are expecting anything.
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 02-05-04 12:06 PM ET (US)     27 / 263       
DX:
Armor upgrades don't protect against archers or slingers, only shields do that (and archers don't benefit from them).

Massed slingers are murder on archers, but axemen and scouts don't fare much better. However, massing slingers is a big investment, whereas making a small pack of bowmen is not. So, with some practice, you should be able to bronze by the time he finishes massing those slingers, and cavalry cuts through slingers like a hot knife through butter.

Congrats on your first zone game!

Aim for 60-80% of your pop to be economy (villies+FBs), and the rest can be used for military when there's a war - don't make military until it's time to use it (whether for defense or attack), meanwhile use those resources to grow your econ.


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-06-04 12:26 PM ET (US)     28 / 263       
Hmmm yes, I still had plenty of resources left over at the end of the game. I stopped producing units towards the end, probably accounting for the low population...

Wedsaz, what if the enemy sends a hoard of troops storming into my base? I doubt I would be able to stop that if I am not actively producing enough troops. I mean, if I play against an expert on the Zone, I wouldn't stand a chance if I'm just going into Bronze with no military units and he's already pumping out CAs and Cav furiously, would I?


D XUAN
peter
HG Alumnus
posted 02-06-04 04:32 PM ET (US)     29 / 263       
One way to survive that is to spread out so that if part of your town is leveled you can keep production going elsewhere - again that means you have to be aware of what's going on everywhere where your villies are busy. And you should have some military for an emergency. Starting to train them when you're rushed won't help because the few units you will get one at a time will be hopelessly outnumbered.
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 02-06-04 05:29 PM ET (US)     30 / 263       
DX:
That's why you need walls, many military buildings, and the techs required for your defensive units. The walls give you some time, and the buildings let you use that time to train the army you wouldn't otherwise have. By the time he makes a hole big enough to squeeze his army though, you'll have too many troops for him to ignore, and more being trained during the battle - whereas his reinforcements are much further.

After you defend successfully, you should still have quite a few troops left since you kept training more. Take your army out through the hole in your wall to go attack *his* town, and patch up your wall right behind your troops. Rushers usually bet everything on the first attack, so if you stop it they are very weak after that.

Compies are better than CAs for defense - they train faster, and hit harder. Speed isn't much of an issue when the battle is so close to your military buildings.


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-07-04 09:08 AM ET (US)     31 / 263       
I realised that I'm easy to beat if the enemy tool-rushes me. I usually don't produce any military units except 5 bowmen until I reach Bronze. However, I seldom wall either. Think I'll start taking defensive precautions in the future. I really need to be soundly beaten before I learn a lesson... Maybe I'll have to play against the CP at very hard... Another day.

I like compies too. I use them for town defence while my CAs are on the attack. I seldom send my compies or impies to the front.


D XUAN
CenturionZ_1
Clubman
posted 02-13-04 05:37 PM ET (US)     32 / 263       
Gosh...*tries to revive old RM knowledge*

Whatever you may say, offense is the best defense. You must boom to bronze quickly whatever. Bronze is much more beneficial than stone or tool. The biggest error people can make is building CAs for defense. CAs are villie killers and not army killers. That the job of compies and towers.

Try luring an army to 'killing zone' of towers. Whatever the case is, try painting the map with archery ranges and just boom compies and CAs.


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wedsaz
Clubman
posted 02-16-04 12:40 PM ET (US)     33 / 263       
CenturionZ_1:

Quote:

offense is the best defense

The best defense is a successful offense.

"How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?" - Verbal Kint

The best offense however, is a successful defense.

There's nothing worse for a rusher than seeing a defensive army (compies+camels) march into his town after watching them "melt" his offensive army. At that point, it's far too late for him to counter-offensive, since his army is dead and you're in his town. If by some chance he wins the defense, you can have another compie horde ready before his new CAs reach your walls.

Quote:


Whatever the case is, try painting the map with archery ranges and just boom compies and CAs.

Easier said than done. You need an economy first, and if someone sends a few scouts to your town, you need to know how to defend against that before bronze or you're talking about a handful of CAs (easily cut down by bowmen) instead of a horde.

Winning wars is all about risk management. If you skip tool warfare in favor of a faster bronze, you're risking getting tooled, and you need to be ready to at least hold your own.

A wall, leather for archers and some archery ranges go a long way. (stops small amounts of axers, scouts, bowmen, camels and CAs) Now if I can just remember to take my own advice next time I play... (do as I say, not as I do)


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-18-04 08:55 AM ET (US)     34 / 263       
Well, well... I had another go at RM Hill again against two CPs. I seldom play AoE now, but it seems my skills didn't become much worse.

The problem though, was that the enemy (or rather, enemies) constantly harrassed me in Tool age with bowmen and clubbies. I had to pump out archers almost non-stop from my three archery ranges to defend and counter-attack. Gah, it soon broke out into an unintended Tool-age war. I couldn't reach Bronze until something like 30+ minutes. Fortunately, I was there first before the CPs. After I was there, it was a matter of chopping them up with my chariots and cavalry.

The big problem here is, I'm always running out of food because I can't find many food sources around my base and had to start farming rather early. Also, I didn't wall at all because my villies were already having their hands full busying with chopping, hunting/foraging as well as mining. I only had one spare villie building things like temples and siege workshops. Couldn't really bother with walling anyway, since I was so busy fighting.


D XUAN
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 02-20-04 05:04 PM ET (US)     35 / 263       
Mining? Temples and Siege Workshops?!?

Early in tool is usually the best time to start walling. Even if you don't wall in completely, any border that you wall is going to be much easier to defend, so that you can focus on the borders with no walls.

...

Yes, cavalry does very good work against tool units.

In RoR there should be two berry patches (~900 food each), and two hunting spots (~600 food each) within about one screen from your town. That's a total of 3000 food, or 60 villies, tool costs 10 villies and bronze costs 16.

...

Can you post screenshots of your woodies and farmers somehow? I want to see what your layout looks like, I might help streamline your economy.

Also list what techs you researched, and when.


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peter
HG Alumnus
posted 02-20-04 05:22 PM ET (US)     36 / 263       
Siege Workshops won't help you a lot if you're fighting so much and if you're a beginning player. Managing stone throwers really takes experience. Cavalry is much better for starters - and slingers or archers, depending on what your enemy sends to you. Also remember that hill country is one of the hardest map types.
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 02-20-04 07:32 PM ET (US)     37 / 263       
Good civs for hills

Roman - Cheap farms, cheap towers, definitely a tool age powerhouse. No compies, CAs or camels, so you have to rely on cavalry or CCs.

Hittite - Their archers do double damage vs slingers, so you can blindly mass bowmen without worry. Good selection of bronze units (missing only compies), a safe choice on any map or setting.

Shang - Cheap villies save you some food, good walls, full selection of bronze units. Shang is always a good choice in RM, regardless of map.

Phoenie - If your woodie management isn't so good, the extra 3 wood they carry can make a big difference. Full selection of bronze units.

Persian - Only if you learn how to hunt effectively. Their hunting bonus can give you a lot of resources by the time you enter tool, and their weaknesses don't appear until mid-bronze (no artisanship or chariots).


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 02-21-04 10:41 PM ET (US)     38 / 263       
Ok... I've just got a couple of screenshots up. I don't quite know what you want to see though, so I only have 1 from the game and one from the achievements screen at the end of the game.

http://www.xeenslayer.netfirms.com/AoE/aoerorscreenshots.html

In the first screenshot (you asked me to show you my woodies, so here they are ), I have basically three groups of villies. One of them is in the screenshot- my woodies. The other group is at the western edge of the map hunting. The third group is further west foraging because I've exhausted the first berry patch already. I have 21 villies and 2 clubmen in all here.

The 2 CPs launched their slingers at me in mid-Tool. Adding to the fact that I soon exhausted the two berry patches and two gazelle groups, I was almost always low on food. That sort of explains my rather slow Bronze timing. I had my hands full and couldn't really scout for more resources well.

Food was always a problem in that game (which was last night). In the end I had only 8 techs researched... very low, I know. In case you're interested to know, here they are:

  • Leather armour for archers
  • Axeman
  • Watch Tower
  • Wall
  • Woodworking
  • Toolworking
  • Wheel
  • Improved Bowman

    Can't say I did well for this game. Too few Bronze-age units in action. I usually do a little better. I'll see if I have time for another game and hopefully more screenshots.


    D XUAN
  • Duan Xuan
    Clubman
    posted 02-22-04 00:40 AM ET (US)     39 / 263       
    Ok, I just had another game and took 4 screenshots:

    http://www.xeenslayer.netfirms.com/AoE/aoerorscreenshots.html#RMHill2hunters

    I didn't have such good Bronze timing here either, but at least I had a more decent attack. I sent a few impies to harrass yellow first. Then I sent a group of 1 scout and 2 cavalry to massacre yellow villies. Afterwards, I sent this group to attack red with another group of impies, chariots and a ST.

    On the topic of defence, I walled, but not much since the front was too wide. I decided to use archers to defend instead. I didn't really focus on defence here since I found out that both CPs had already sent spies to uncover the whole of my base. I couldn't possibly defend against two simultaneous attacks anyway, so I attacked instead.

    I can't figure out why my Bronze timing here is slower than in the previous game. I made sure that my villies were always occupied, especially those gathering food. I reached Tool earlier here though. I can't remember what exactly happened in Tool to slow down my Bronze timing.

    Anyway, I just noticed something odd from my timelines. I don't know if this is normal? I always have a huge population compared to both CPs in Stone Age, resulting in a "dip" in the timeline. Afterwards both CPs catch up and I don't have much of an advantage in terms of manpower. I suppose this is due to me stopping villager creation. Should I continue booming military units and go for an early rush, or slow it down and concentrate on Bronze attack instead (as I did in both games)?

    *edit* I can't recall when I researched which technologies, but here they are:

  • Toolworking
  • Metalworking
  • Woodworking
  • Artisanship
  • Infantry leather armour
  • Archer leather armour
  • Wheel
  • Small Wall
  • Watch Tower
  • Improved Bowman

    D XUAN

    [This message has been edited by Duan Xuan (edited 02-22-2004 @ 00:43 AM).]

  • peter
    HG Alumnus
    posted 02-22-04 05:05 AM ET (US)     40 / 263       
    Those timelines look a lot like mine, except I use to have one more enemy (on a large map). Don't worry about slowing down - that's the result of a 50 pop game. If you boom a lot larger you can have your villagers grab resources for training a huge army and bronzing at the same time. With just over 20 villagers you just can't do it that fast.
    I noticed that you destroyed al of your enemies in both gammes - so what's really your problem? You feel you're doing badly if you lose 5 units in a game?
    Duan Xuan
    Clubman
    posted 02-22-04 05:45 AM ET (US)     41 / 263       
    Well, sort of. The CP is peanuts. If I can't even defend well against them, I can't imagine what would happen if I play on the Zone. I'd probably get a good beating up. I mean, I just hate it when the opponent discovers the whole of my base with just one stupid villager and I can't stop him with my fancy Bronze-age units. I have such problems even when I wall. If I can't even stop the CP from infiltrating and penetrating my defences, I won't even survive the first 20 minutes in a Zone game.

    D XUAN
    Adamant Hoplite
    Clubman
    posted 02-22-04 06:46 AM ET (US)     42 / 263       
    Hmmm - that's very nice, Duan, although I could see the main thing now is to balance out your woodies and foodies, and though I haven't actually played Highland maps that many times, I'd say your Shang Tooling time could be slightly earlier, about 1/1:30 earlier, I'd say. For example, in your very first screenshot in the first screenshot post, you have too much wood - 450 as you hit Tool will suffice. More than that means some of the woodies can actually be placed on food.

    To many expert players, this game is an exact science - the difference between 1 more woodie or 1 more foodie can be huge... and it can speed up or slow down significantly Bronze time - and even may mean victory or loss. It's a scary prospect... But - you're well on your way.


    _,~`Adamant Hoplite`~,_ - The Imaginary and Fantastical Hellenic Sovereign King
    380 Health, 52 Attack, 30 Hack Armour, 12 Pierce Armour, Very Fast Speed, Inconvertible, etc, etc, etc.
    "The people of Hellas shall rise - Hellenes, sharpen your Kopis, raise your Dory, wield your proud Hoplon in gleaming sunlight - time has inevitably arrived to cast down the corrupted Imperials."
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    Duan Xuan
    Clubman
    posted 02-23-04 06:14 AM ET (US)     43 / 263       
    Yes, I know... I did better in the other one playing as Roman. My Shang Bronzing time was better though.

    Maybe I'm not scouting well enough. One of the reasons why I stop sending woodies to gather food is because I can't find any other food source. I usually have two exploring villies but it takes quite a while before they discover some important resources. It's usually my scout that does the most exploring. I use waypoints to make my villies walk in a semicircle around my TC, but they don't discover much except for maybe a new berry spot or gazelle group. A quarter of the time the villi is extremely unfortunate and gets eaten up by two lions...


    D XUAN
    wedsaz
    Clubman
    posted 02-23-04 01:12 PM ET (US)     44 / 263       
    I agree with AH, you could have a lot less woodies.

    Once there's room for a new wood pit between your old pit and the forest, move your woodies aside and put one stuck right on the forest. Reducing walking distances will increase your wood income a LOT, and everything depends on wood rates.

    Stone is cheap, you should still wall even if you can't block the whole front. You can reduce it and keep your bowmen together, they are more deadly as a group. Also, you can defend against simultaneous attacks more easily if they're in the same place.

    I think you can do without the clubbers, and associated techs. If you get attacked by slingers, use your villies against them - you have superior numbers. Clubmen, axe, toolworking, armor for infantry - that's a lot of food.

    I explore with my villies as a group. It's probably not as efficient but if (when) I meet a lion, I eat him instead of the other way around... The loss of a villie that early in the game really doesn't help your economy.

    Oh, and stop chasing the CP explorers. So long as he doesn't build anything in your backyard, he's not important. If he stops to build, kill him.

    CPs don't make enough villies initially (dip), and instead fill their pop with military later on. That's why they're so slow.

    So, to sum it up...
    1. pit early, pit often
    2. wall early, wall often
    3. stick(s) together
    4. no clubbers on land maps
    5. every villie counts
    6. ignore decoys

    peter:
    Shang can do 12 mins bronze fairly reliably, on any map, with under 25 pop, in several different ways. Half the civs can do it under 14 mins in some way or other. So the slowdown isn't necessary.


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    Dangrimm
    Clubman
    posted 02-25-04 02:45 AM ET (US)     45 / 263       
    I think you can take on many more comps, the thing to remember when vs. comps is that they are unable to realise if you are building close to their base or not. To prove my point, go into a 1vs1 rm game, highland, as soon as it starts, walk over to the enemy base, and plant a barracks right next to the town center. The villies just work round it, and all you must do to pretty much stop the enemy ageing is make a couple clubbers. In huge maps, this is harder, but the same rule remains, instead of planting ranges in your base, explore a lot early (the enemies are usually loscated near the edges of a map), find the enemies, and plant your military buildings very close to their base. If the computer happens to have realised what you are doing and destroys your buildings just outside ther base-no biggy, your economy is not hindered at all, and you can freely return within a minute or two and rebuild near the enemy base again. If you really want to be a smartass, just wall your enemy in, making sure you wall him in from any goldmines is especially important, then upgrade age as fast as possible, upgrading walls as you go (babylonian is best for this), the enemy cannot bronze, because he has no gold,and you are free to absolutely flatten him as you please.
    wedsaz
    Clubman
    posted 02-25-04 01:07 PM ET (US)     46 / 263       
    Dangrimm:
    The barrack or wall strategies don't work so well vs real players. So if you ever want to play on the zone, you'd better practice other strategies.

    If you do wall the comp's TC, make sure to leave a space between it and your wall - villies can spawn two tiles away.

    The CPs can bronze and make chariots without gold, and possibly still kick your ass.

    CPs are really dumb you know. Tool early and put up a single tower, their exploring villies will die on it. Then they take a villie off something else to replace him, and he goes straight to your tower to die on it too. By the time you bronze, they may not have any villies left.


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    Duan Xuan
    Clubman
    posted 02-27-04 03:40 AM ET (US)     47 / 263       
    Ok, three new screenshots from my latest game. Now I'm taking on 3 CPs (I began to find 2 CPs too easy, hehe... ) on a large map.

    http://www.xeenslayer.netfirms.com/AoE/aoerorscreenshots.html#RMHill3foodies

    I forgot to take screenshots during the earlier stages, so I only got a couple from 30+ mins onward, which is basically just clearing up opponent bases.

    I didn't have much of a problem with defences at all here. I walled well (I found quite a few advantageous choke points) and left just a small gap which was guarded by a handful of compies (or were they still improved bowmen only?). My age timings are still slow here (can't imagine why ) even though I reduced the number of woodies to just 4. I had the rest all foraging or hunting. After I Bronzed I started attacking the CPs, starting from Red (first CP to Bronze), then Yellow and finally Brown.


    D XUAN
    Dangrimm
    Clubman
    posted 02-27-04 04:13 AM ET (US)     48 / 263       
    Quote:The barrack or wall strategies don't work so well vs real players. So if you ever want to play on the zone, you'd better practice other strategies.

    Didnt u read my whole post, i sed when playing vs. "comps", not humans,playing vs. either actually requires much different strats.

    wedsaz
    Clubman
    posted 02-27-04 05:03 PM ET (US)     49 / 263       
    DX:
    Yeah, the early screenshots are what I'm looking for.

    Walling is good. You can also block sections with houses and other buildings you need anyway, before you even reach tool.

    Your age timings are still slow, but proportional. There must be some consistant inefficiencies. Are you mining anything before starting the bronze upgrade?

    How do you hunt? Got any screenshots of that?

    (looks at screenshots again)
    Remember - pit early, pit often. If there's room for another pit between your current pit and the forest, build one there.

    Also make sure none of your villies are idle.

    Dangrimm:
    Did you read the whole thread? I got the distinct impression that DX wants to practice for playing vs real players.

    Also, playing vs computers doesn't require different strats. Bronzing in 12 and cav rushing works against both CPs and humans. (at least up to inters - veterans usually defend a little better)


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    Adamant Hoplite
    Clubman
    posted 02-27-04 05:48 PM ET (US)     50 / 263       
    I agree with wedsaz - timing still a bit slow, but at least it isn't distorted. Now, you may want to practising micro-managing your economy. As you probably saw, you still left large gaps between forests and pits, as well as having villagers idle. Remember, beyond Tool, where your army, unless you completely ignore chariotry and seige weapons, will consume wood like &^$%^&% (), as well as being crucial for farms.

    _,~`Adamant Hoplite`~,_ - The Imaginary and Fantastical Hellenic Sovereign King
    380 Health, 52 Attack, 30 Hack Armour, 12 Pierce Armour, Very Fast Speed, Inconvertible, etc, etc, etc.
    "The people of Hellas shall rise - Hellenes, sharpen your Kopis, raise your Dory, wield your proud Hoplon in gleaming sunlight - time has inevitably arrived to cast down the corrupted Imperials."
    AoEH | Zeus Heaven | MEO | Hoplites | The Allerian Empire
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