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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:
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 04-30-04 02:54 PM ET (US)     201 / 263       
Duan Xuan:
You tooled late. A minute or two earlier might have helped.

3-4 towers in his town would stop him from reclaiming it until mid-bronze, especially if he's assy or hittite (no slingers).

If he abandons his town, scout rush him - he can't fight them effectively if he's all spread out, and every villager you kill during that exodus is gonna be hard to replace.

Looking at your ally's race and the timeline, he was probably blindly shooting for a bronze CA rush. He should have followed up your attack with assy bowmen or something.

Radar housing or radar walling would help you keep an eye on what's happening outside your wall.

You fought long in bronze before ironing. Bronze isn't kind to romans, they have archers and you don't. I know blitz disagrees with this, but if you didn't almost kill them in tool, turtle up, build your econ and iron early. However I think blitz would agree with this statement: don't do it without a strong econ, two scythes won't stop an army of CAs.


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-01-04 12:51 PM ET (US)     202 / 263       
Hmm, I had 2 2v2 games today. I only took screenshots for the first game, since I forgot about the second one...

Screenshots here.

The first game was a nomad-start game. I chose Macedonian for their exploring bonus (better LoS) and decided on a hoplite rush as soon as I could. However, I made plenty of stupid mistakes in this game.

First, I built my TC in the wrong place. Anybody in the right mind would build it beside a food source. Not I. I don't know what made me build it beside a forest with no food... As a result, I was stuck with 5 villies for quite a few minutes before I was able to get my first granary up. Fortunately the others weren't very much faster than me, so I managed to pull off a 16+/17 min Tool (terrible, isn't it? ) without being attacked. I did a lot of exploration early and located everyone else in Stone.

Since Tool rushing wasn't allowed, I couldn't take out green (my biggest threat, and closest to me) in Tool. I figured he was probably villi-booming but had no military. So, I went to Bronze and started pumping out cav, scouts and of course, hoplites. I really had plenty of resources when I reached Bronze. And as usual, the complacent me thought that I was going to win the game for sure.

Indeed, I caught green completely off guard when I attacked his woodies with my hoplites. It turned out that it was only his forward chopping base. The slow hoplites were unable to locate green quick enough. I sent my cav/scout combination to harrass orange, without much results. Finally, green threw a mass of compies and STs at me. I still can't remember how I could have been so slow in attacking his base. I would really have won for sure, grrr... I resigned soon after his compies finished off 80% of my villies.

I've been practicing with Phoenie for a few times against the CP and haven't seen any significant improvement in age advance timings... Looks like its wood cutting bonus doesn't help me much. I tried it out in my second game.

I must admit I was pretty slow in Bronzing here (16+min). I think it was because I was only on to farming and ele-hunting in mid-Tool, thus reducing my food income. I located red pretty early but unfortunately for me, he reached Bronze much earlier than me. He breached my walls with STs and charged his CAs in. I escaped to my partner's base and was about to build up again when the opposing team launched an all out attack on the two of my partners. We all decided this couldn't go on, so we resigned.

I think I'll have a go at my Assy CA rush again... I'm more comfortable with Assy compared to Phoenie.


D XUAN
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-01-04 07:32 PM ET (US)     203 / 263       
Duan Xuan:
Good autopsy on the TC placement. Do better next time.

With mace cavs, I don't think adding scouts is necessary.

Against minoan's compies+STs, use mace's cheap STs - they will flatten both archers and siege.

It was worth a try, but if phoenie's wood bonus doesn't make any obvious difference, forget them.

Another thing to try (with assy) would be to scout only enough to find your resources, see if you can bronze faster with those extra villies in your econ. If it works, you can explore with your CAs later on.


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-01-04 10:44 PM ET (US)     204 / 263       
Mmm yes, I forgot about Macedonia's cheap STs. Should've mass-produced them... And the reason why I made a few scouts was to hunt down green's scouts and fleeing villies. I was particularly afraid of his villies infiltrating my base. Not what I want at that stage of the game when I thought I was going to win...

D XUAN
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-02-04 02:23 AM ET (US)     205 / 263       
Had three games just now.

1st game:
Because of the very fast game speed (2.0) I wasn't able to micromanage well at the start of the game. Hence I ended up with a bad 16-17min Bronze. Surprisingly I was there first. I started the usual proceedure. I pumped out CAs from 3 forward archery ranges and sent the first batch immediately out to hunt down for the opponent. I found yellow and started attacking his woodies. The CAs produced later on joined in the killing spree and I massacred yellow's villies. That forced him to escape. I wasn't very worried about him and went on to attack brown, getting all of his villies. My partner (red) seemed to be rather passive in that game. He walled in and his army (CAs and STs) weren't into the heat of the fighting at all until I was almost done with both opponents. Meanwhile I hit Iron and found the remnants of yellow. I pounded him with my STs and tada! Game over.

The 2nd game wasn't so nice and easy though. I partnered with ares_SEE again. This time MCREAL had a new partner who was from Korea. This new player was obviously much better. He was the first to reach every age. He was playing Minoan, so I expected him to be using compies most of the time. When I just started to pump out my CAs, he was already attacking me with his mass of compies. My CAs were totally crushed. Since I didn't wall up well enough, his compies marched into my base without any opposition. Well, that was just so frustrating. I hadn't even started to mine gold and set up a second TC when he busted me. I resigned, much to the annoyance of my partner, who kept yelling and calling me a fool. I must say, I'm just no good at defending, especially against massed compies. The rest of the game was fought mainly between my partner and yellow. It was pretty interesting to watch, as both of them defended and counter-attacked each other. I didn't stay to watch the end, but I guess my partner was defeated...

My third and last game wasn't much better off, though I won. It exposed my weakness in defence again. And again, it was against massed compies... I was slow to Bronze here because I couldn't really find many food sources around my base. Fortunately, blue (who Bronzed first) was slow to attack. I was expecting a hoplite rush, so I massed produced CAs. I attacked his base immediately but was stopped by his compies and STs, much to my annoyance. It was then that I realised that he was coming to get me. I was defenceless. My base was in the middle of the desert and I couldn't find any good choke points to wall. I decided to run my villies elsewhere to rebuild and sacrifice my main base. While he was having fun laying waste to my base (and probably thinking how weak I was), I took a detour and went to his base again to kill his villies. This was pretty successful as I managed to get most of his gold miners and woodies. Because this force was rather small, I lost it after a while. Never mind, I started pumping out chariots to coordinate with my partner's attack on blue. Red wasn't a problem at all, because he was a newbie. We kept on attacking blue's base. I murdered most of his villies with my chariots again. It was sort of an all-out fight. Blue kept attacking me and destroyed my new bases but I was slightly stronger. In the end we decimated his base and claimed victory.

Although I had 2 wins and 1 defeat today, only the first game was decent. The last two showed how weak I was in my defence. They also made me realise that I don't know how to handle massed compies.

So, how should I counter a compie-attack? Also, how early should I start mining stone? I don't always do that unless I feel very unsafe and need to wall a lot.


D XUAN
Dangrimm
Clubman
posted 05-02-04 03:46 AM ET (US)     206 / 263       
Massed compies can be a hard bunch to fight against, especially when massed. I think you best best would be either to tool rush, or, if your suspect he is going compies, go for massed slingers until your able to create those precious ST's and CA's. In the iron age, which you should strive to jump to quickly if your enemy has compies, you can easily walk through those annoying minoan compies with a few catapults-which is actually quite fun, because minoans find it hard if their compies are slaughtered.
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-02-04 09:29 AM ET (US)     207 / 263       
Ah... I decided to have a try at using massed compies and let others have a taste of it as well. I played two games again just now, one with Minos and the other with Assy.

The first game (screenshots) I had was quite a success for me. I was able to boom my econ rather well, though my Bronze timing wasn't satisfactory. I massed produced compies. Meanwhile, my ally (green) went all out for a CA rush on both opponents. By the time I was really ready with my massed compies and a few STs, much of my enemies' economy had been destroyed. I didn't really get involved in the main action, much to my regret. I did, however, get to see how my massed compies murder red's massed CAs and STs.

The second game I had was really a lucky victory for me. Again, it was all thanks to having a good ally. I Bronzed rather late here and became the target for a CA rush by blue. Just as I was getting my first few CAs up and running, blue charged in with half a dozen CAs. I realised couldn't hold him out so I evacuated my villies just outside my ally's base. I rebuilt a couple of TCs and started chopping and farming to get a new army up. Meanwhile my ally took on red and blue. I didn't want to be a burden, so I helped out a little by patrolling his borders and destroying enemy forward bases. This game wasn't much action for me either. All I did was attack enemy forward bases and hunting down stray villies with my CAs. Pretty soon both of them resigned and we won. This is the first game I kept up after abandoning my main base. I must say that my opponents were a little too slow in reacting to my evacuation though. They could jolly well have sent their army after my villies and defeated me.

This game just gets more and more fun.


D XUAN

[This message has been edited by Duan Xuan (edited 05-02-2004 @ 09:54 AM).]

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-02-04 03:50 PM ET (US)     208 / 263       
Duan Xuan:
As Dangrimm correctly pointed out, cats are murder on compies. So are scythes. If you have either of those options, use it and compies go bye bye.

HAs and helos win the battle but cost more than the compies you're killing. EAs win due to raw hps, but that can be long.

In bronze, STs are the best unit against compies with any civ. If you need more time, unupgraded slingers or plain chariots may slow them down but you still need STs.

Massed broadies are about equal to compies in open terrain, but don't handle obstacles well and require a lot of research. Don't bother unless you're aiming for legions anyway.

...

Many players never mine stone at all. If they have good choke points their initial stone is enough, sometimes a house-wall will finish it off, and if it's really too open they don't bother trying.

For me there's three good times to mine stone.
1. To tower rush, you need to start while tooling.
2. If you need more stone for your wall, 2-3 villies in tool but put them back as soon as you have enough.
3. In bronze when you're expanding, usually one stone mine will be near wood or some other resource and you can get both with your new pit or TC. By then your wall should be built, so just 1 villie on stone for radar walling.

...

Shang, yammy and persian have compies but are faster than minoan on hills.

...

Never ever ever give up. Sometimes you're in bad shape, but not as bad as your opponents think.


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-03-04 09:38 AM ET (US)     209 / 263       
But wouldn't that require massed STs? For instance, in game 22 I managed to pick out a few enemy STs one by one with my Minoan compies. I only suffered one or two casualties. Of course, it would be a different story altogether with catapults, but STs?...

I had a few games with RomanGladius just now on the Zone. I lost all of them of course, but I could see that his skills were pretty rusty too.

Anyway, here's one game I watched before that, between two Punic clan members. It was sort of an eye-opener for me to watch how others play, especially inter/expert players. Later on RG confirmed that I needed to change my starting strat. I usually have 5 villies on berries, which breaks villager production on and off... I think I'll go for 6 now. Also, it taught me new ways of hunting... I see the importance of eles as a main food source and I wonder how is it that I never thought of it before. 2 eles alone give 600 food which is enough for Tool advance. I must do more ele-hunting in the future. Watching this game sort of convinces me that I can do it- achieve 9min Tool and at latest consistent 13-14min Bronzes, though not yet.

So, after that I had a few games with RG.

The first game we had was simply terrible... RG lost 2 forwards, 1 to the lions and the other to eles (yeah, sort of unbelievable ). I lost 3 (or was it 4?). There was someone watching us play, and as you can imagine, he thought that RG was a rook like me. Yeah, it was just so bad. RG decided to end my suffering and our embarassment with a slinger rush on me. Since I forgot to press the Bronze upgrade button, and my econ was so weak, I decided to just resign.

The second game was considerably better than the first for me. I got a better Tool timing, partly because I decided to do some serious ele-hunting for food. I was in the midst of Bronzing when his scouts and slingers attacked my woodies. It certainly wasn't the end of the game, but I resigned because he had scouts (which would find my fleeing villies anyway), and I thought that his econ was far more superior to mine. I suppose I'll just have to wall earlier next time to avoid resigning outright to a Tool rush.

There was also a third game that we had, but I forgot to take the screenshots. It was a medit game anyway. Argh, I sent my explorers the wrong way and allowed him to infiltrate my base. It was extremely careless of me... He ended it all with a clubbie-rush on my woodies. I couldn't possibly have retaliated against that. All my wood went to the sea (scout ships) and I figured that I would have lost anyway if I continued. RG could easily have pumped out more scout ships while I couldn't, due to wood shortages. No way I was going to hold out against that.

The 3 games with him made me realise how effective a Tool rush can be in hitting your opponent's early econ. Too bad many players don't allow them.


D XUAN
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-03-04 12:56 PM ET (US)     210 / 263       
Duan Xuan:
No, even a few STs mixed in with your CAs helps. If he shoots at your STs, your CAs do enough damage to equalize the battle.
Obviously it's better if you bring at least 4-5 STs, and it's better with a civ bonus - mace, hittite, sumie.

Ah, the old missing berry effect. That wouldn't help your tool/bronze time any.

A wall wouldn't slow down slingers all that much, they get a bonus vs buildings (esp walls and towers).

A slinger-scout rush costs a lot of food. The best thing to do against that is bronze first, as it'll be a while before he can catch up.

If you're in the midst of bronzing when you get tooled, don't resign yet. Run to preserve as many villies as you can. You could have slaughtered whole his tool army with 2-3 cavs and then went for his villies.

Of course tool rushes are effective. Why do you think those players don't allow them? Hehe.


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RomanGladius
AOKH DM Champion
posted 05-03-04 03:34 PM ET (US)     211 / 263       
I was definitely pretty off and rusty in all three games as you can see from the timings. The first game where I lost a fwd to an elephant (wtf??) really screwed me up. Since someone was watching on my side, I wonder if he sent my fwd elephant hunting, cuz I sure as hell don't tell my fwd to attack elephants all the way across the map...

Game 1. Well we were both pretty bad here. You still had a shot since I assume you were on your way to bronze. Since you had 26 or 28 vills (I forget) sacrifice your vills at the pit I was attacking (to stall my army) and run with all your other vills somewhere else and wall. I had scouts so I could catch the pesky fast Assy vills, but I think you coulda done this before I could catch you.

In this first game I actually forgot that I was playing an "all rules" game. I was going for bronze until I remembered that I could tool rush, so I just dropped a rax and a stable

Game 2. Same as above. I think you were on your way to Bronze by the time I attacked, so run and wall. Either that or stay and fight in tool (but that's hard with Assy on hills)...Again I wasn't going for an "all out" tool rush--I tooled with 26 or 27 villers--I just decided to stick my rax and stable in your base by your woodies and see what would happen. If it didn't work I had a wallable spot and could go to bronze not too long after you so I wasn't worried since you didn't mine any gold (opponent's time to brz + 75s for the wheel + 40s for the first CA is good enough to kill most people that are running...)

I thought you said you saw my explorer(s) in this game? Run after them (with only 1 vill on each), you're Assy.

The second game was actually much worse than the first for me, if you look at the timeline. I tooled a minute later and with 2 less villies. I couldn't find food (even as Mace and whatever % exploration) for the longest time...

Game 3. You definitely woulda won this if you sent your scout ships over to my dock early--you had a 1.5 or 2:1 advantage on the sea. From there you could cover my docks and wall your vills on both sides of the forest near the sea and use your boats to cover any tool units rushing in.

The reason I was so behind on boats in this game was because I had NO starting food. My berries were walled in by two forests and a ruin...I literally could not even pick the berries. I searched and I also had no gazelles to eat. So I went with the only option--dock first while chopping from forest, which isn't exactly the strongest option as Hittite on large medit. But it was my only option. I probably should have cut off reals earlier to get to Tool earlier...

Docking (or SP'ing without food) first leaves you way behind on real vills but gets you a lot of food, so I pretty much had to prepare a land-first attack. Since I have less real vills, there's no way I can win the sea war, esp. vs. a Mino, so you definitely shoulda ran your villies to the sea. I had a bunch of clubbers but you had a bunch of boats--the latter wins on Medit. Besides, I was Hittite, no slingers--wall by sea and you'll be okay.

Anyway, ggs--don't give up too easily! And if the rules allow for it attack in Tool, especially in 1v1

Also, I think Hittite usually massacres Mino on large medit. Hittite will own the sea in Tool. Except on screwy no-food maps...

[This message has been edited by RomanGladius (edited 05-03-2004 @ 03:49 PM).]

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-03-04 05:46 PM ET (US)     212 / 263       
RomanGladius:
Maybe the spot you clicked in the dark had an elephant in it, that sort of thing happened to me once in a campaign (thus no coop).

Hittite warships are the mino compies of the sea. Once they reach critical mass (7-8 or so IIRC) nothing can touch them until juggernauts, and that's far far away. Especially without fish.

I agree with the rest, especially more food/less wood for wood-first start. It's a tool rush build unless the sea is uncontested.


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Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-04-04 08:54 AM ET (US)     213 / 263       
I had 3 team games on the Zone today... Well, I just seem to have quite a lot of spare time on hand these days.

First game was a success for me. I had my usual timings (15+min Bronze) and charged my CAs at brown. His ally had disconnected so it was a losing game for him the whole time.

Now, it's the second game onwards where I'm getting significant improvements in age advance timing. In this game I Tooled in 10min and Bronzed in 14+min. If you can still remember my game with Persian, I was so happy getting this Bronze timing. It's nothing very fanciful for me now. I had a few games as practice against the CP and managed to get a few 13-15min Bronze timings, with the average being 14min. Looks like I've got some significant improvement in my timings. In this second game, I had 26 villies before reaching Bronze. I couldn't really get a good CA rush because my opponents had walled in already. I did manage to kill a few of their villies but as time went by enemy CAs began appearing by the dozens and I couldn't really keep up with them. Those boomers just overwhelmed me with their economy, and I resigned after a while.

The third game gave me a 13min Bronze. I have never achieved this before on the Zone, so I was rather excited about it. The problem though, was that I went for a villager high of 25 and lost 1 to eles while hunting. As a result, I had only 24 villies when I reached Bronze, so I frantically pumped out more from the TC. Unfortunately for me, this game was a one-sided beating. The opponents were all at least good rooks. I am only an average rook while my two allies were low rooks. Because I was first to Bronze, I became the target of attack by all three of my opponents. I was facing a bit of wood shortage so CA production was on and off. When I was ready with my first force of 4 CAs, I ran right into blue's forward archer base. He had at least 8 CAs there to slaughter my army. He then came in with more to attack me. I fled my villies to grey's base but I knew at that moment that the game was over. My brown ally was also under attack by yellow, so we resigned.

You might be wondering, why I did so badly for my third game. I shouldn't have faced wood shortages, actually. It's just that I spent 200 wood on a government centre right away after reaching Bronze.

I just don't know when to build the government centre. Should I built it ASAP and then go for multiple TCs? That would definitely hurt my CA rush because I would run low on wood (which I did in that game). However, if I go for more CAs first and build my government centre much later, I would be slow to boom because I can't get multiple TCs up and running right away. As you can see from the timeline of the third game, both blue and yellow were good Bronze boomers. Their population swelled when they reached Bronze. I just wonder how they get their multiple TCs up so fast while maintaining such a fast CA rush on me.


D XUAN

[This message has been edited by Duan Xuan (edited 05-04-2004 @ 08:57 AM).]

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-04-04 04:41 PM ET (US)     214 / 263       
Duan Xuan:
Try shang with 1 less villie on berries initially - put him on wood or scouting.

It might be good to find your opponents before you reach bronze, so you know whether to bring an ST along for wall-busting. For assy, a bowman might be best - good LoS, you don't need extra buildings, and you're not taking a villie off your econ.

In the third game, it looks like your allies weren't much help. If brown (choson) had tower rushed yellow (assy) who was right beside him, I'm sure it would have changed the dynamics of the game. If grey (egypt) had bronzed in a decent time, that would have helped too. Instead, you were in a 3v1.

When it comes to multiple TCs you have two choices.

Build your GC asap and make multiple TCs. Use them as wood pits, have them make woodies as soon as they're built. As a result, you'll have a wood surplus instead of a shortage.

Or, wait until your first wave of CAs is killing woodies, then spend the wood for a GC and TCs. This makes your first attack faster, but if you meet a wall then you may be outboomed.

Scouting in advance may let you know which to take - boom if you see a wall, rush early if you don't.


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PL Guderian
Clubman
posted 05-04-04 07:01 PM ET (US)     215 / 263       
You have a lot of advice to share, Wedsaz... Are you sure these work?
BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-04-04 07:35 PM ET (US)     216 / 263       
LOL

Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
Dangrimm
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 00:55 AM ET (US)     217 / 263       
Quote: Build your GC asap and make multiple TCs. Use them as wood pits, have them make woodies as soon as they're built. As a result, you'll have a wood surplus instead of a shortage.

Ok, wedsaz, take this fod example 1 GC + 3 TC's (small boom)= 780wood....wouldnt this give you a wood shortage?

Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 06:09 AM ET (US)     218 / 263       

Quote:

You have a lot of advice to share, Wedsaz... Are you sure these work?

Like I said before, I will test out anything and see for myself whether they work or not. Do you have any advice to offer, Guderian? If you don't have anything worth saying, don't.

Quote:

Ok, wedsaz, take this fod example 1 GC + 3 TC's (small boom)= 780wood....wouldnt this give you a wood shortage

Precisely what I was wondering. I just can't figure out how good boomers do it so nicely while maintaining such a good Bronze rush.


D XUAN
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 12:45 PM ET (US)     219 / 263       
PL Guderian:
Some yes, some no. If the latter, I say it "might" be good, "try" this, "maybe" that.

Dangrimm:
Yes and no. The new villies you make can get that wood back fast, as they chop right there and right in the forest - no walking. You'll have to interrupt your CA factories long enough to get the TCs down, but your opponent probably won't know when that is so long as you keep it short.

Duan Xuan:
You could try booming right after making your first batch of CAs. Your second batch will be late, but if you don't meet much opposition then you will have both rushed and boomed.

Don't forget to research writing at the GC, so you can see what your ally should be telling you.


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BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 12:54 PM ET (US)     220 / 263       
Duan Xuan:

Building the Government Center is a game time decision that really depends on how things are going. The safest way is to focus on booming from 3-4 ranges, and when wood becomes a surplus build a GC. This sometimes can be 5-6 minutes in Bronze.

When you have opponents that constantly build GCs and boom on you in early Bronze, you should practice your early Bronze Age attacking. 26-28 villagers can't support booming from 3-4 military buildings as well as building a GC and even one more TC. They are vunerable because you should have at least a 3-1 military advantage. You then just have to capitalize "in the moment".

You will become a very proficient Hills player if you focus in this priority:

1) Stone Age economy
2) Tool Age economy and defense
3) Bronze Age booming from at least three military buildings ASAP.
4) Micromanage your early Bronze Age army so that they never stand still. Sounds simple but is very necessary. Raid villagers ASAP, attack smaller groups of military ASAP, run and regroup against larger opponent armies. Be aggressive not passive.

As these skills increase, you will become a great Hills player. Building GCs and multiple TCs are secondary to execution in these four skills. These four skills will allow you to dominate Bronze Age action.

For your benefit, start tracking (and posting if you would like to) these items:

1) When you reach 18 villagers in the Stone Age, go to Achievements and see how many villagers everyone else has. Screenshot it.

2) About 30 seconds after clicking the Tool upgrade, go to Achievements and see how many villagers everyone else has. Screenshot it.

3) About 30 seconds after clicking the Bronze upgrade, do the same thing. Observe Tool times on Timeline.

4) Note the time of your first attack against enemy economy. Note what your opponent countered with. Note what you did once counter units showed up.

Tracking these four events will tell you a story. This story will let you know exactly where your skill level is at.


I think it would be educational to post a reply to these examples. It can open up to a great discussion.

Example 1: 4 player Hills. You are Assy. Partner is Egypt. Both Opponents are Hittite.
Tracking #1- You 18, partner 17, first opponent 19, second opponent 18.
Tracking #2- You 27, partner 25, first opp. 26, second opp. 23.
Tracking #3- You 28, partner 27, first opp. 29, second opp. 26. Fastest Tool time was second opp. -- one minute better than yours. Your pard and first opp. were 30-45 seconds after yours.

Answer these questions:

1) What do you do (if anything) in game with Tracking #1 info.
2) Who will have the strongest Bronze Age army first?
3) Who will have the advantage if there are no attacks on economies at the 20 minute mark?

Example 2: 4 player Hills. You are Assy. Partner is Hittite. First opponent is Shang. Second Partner is Assy.
Tracking #1- You 18, partner 19, Shang 20, Assy 17.
Tracking #2- You 26, partner 28, Shang 20, Assy 26.
Tracking #3- You 28, partner 17, Shang 20, Assy 27. Fastest Tool Time was Shang by two minutes. Other three players within 30 seconds of each other.

4) When do you first communicate with partner?
5) How do you win this game?

Example 3: 4 player Hills. You are Assy. Partner is Yam. First opponent is Hittite. Second opponent is Mino.
Tracking #1- You 18, partner 16, Hittite 17, Mino 17.
Tracking #2- You 26, partner 20, Hittite 28, Mino 26.
Tracking #3- You 27, partner 21, Hittite 27, Mino 27. Fastest Tool time was partner by thirty seconds over you. Both opponents were 30-45 seconds slower than you.

6) How is your early Bronze Age game plan altered (if any)?

Let's begin a good discussion with this and hopefully I can lend you some new insight into the game. There really is plenty of information here to debate critical game play decisions.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 02:22 PM ET (US)     221 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:
Neat quiz. Can I answer too?
BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 02:29 PM ET (US)     222 / 263       
Sure.... I think this will tell a lot. I promise to be a good boy my first response to you also. LOL

Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 03:27 PM ET (US)     223 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:
Well, I expect I'll learn nearly as much as Duan Xuan. I've seen a lot of CA rushes, but mosly from the other side of the map, so I don't know much about what goes on behind it. I do know all about what mino fears, however...

1. #1 tells you whether someone had a bad start.
2. 2nd enemy bronzes first, with enough econ for CAs.
3. Unless enemy team doing slingshot, you do.

4. Early and often. If you haven't by now, you're late.
5. Shang tooled ally, so will be slow to bronze with weaker econ and no mil bonuses. Assy is the greater threat now. Your ally may have food+wood he can't do much with, have him stay in tool and trib to you so you can take out assy and then shang.

6. Ally tooling hittite. Early bronze plan altered by cheering for your ally. Other than that, focus on mino as normal.

BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 03:52 PM ET (US)     224 / 263       
C'mon wedsaz I'm looking for a totally in depth analysis here. Let's explain everything we can gather from this info. Players can learn so much if they know what to do with this information.

1. What do you do with that info if someone has "a bad start"? Did someone have a bad start?

2. What info tells you the second opponent Bronzes first and will have econ for CA's?

3. At 20:00 you might want to look at this again.

4. Be more specific please. When would you communicate and what might you say?

5. I don't think a sling shot is possible or helpful. There are some better options that I would choose before that. What might those be?

6. Is cheering for your ally going to be enough? What info do you know about the rush situation?



Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?

[This message has been edited by BlitzkreigComin (edited 05-05-2004 @ 03:54 PM).]

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 04:58 PM ET (US)     225 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:
1. If an opponent is behind by 4-5 vills, like say he got forestberries, he's gonna lag behind the whole game. Finish him off and it's a 2v1. If it's an ally, things are looking ugly - maybe tool rush time. As it is, your partner is a bit slow (maybe lost villie to a lion?) but still with the pack, so no change.

2. He's a minute faster with 20+ vills. He won't be able to sustain the rush, but can take the fight to your town and his ally may keep it there.

3. *ponders for a moment* You're right. Lots can happen in this scenario, keep both eyes on the game. Still, if nothing happens by 20:00, I think it'll last into early iron.

4. Once I see shang tool early, my ally needs to be on his toes for a tool rush. Once he's down, inform him of the new plan and keep his hopes up so he won't resign.

5a. I'm talking about a bigger army not a faster bronze. 4-6 extra CAs in the first battle can mean breaking through to assy's woodies, and then you can hit shang. Rushing shang first leaves assy too strong. My next pick if ally can't or won't trib is to chariot rush assy, but that's vulnerable to delays compared to than plain larger numbers of CAs. I'm really curious as to what you would do in this case.

6. Hittite is down only one villie late in tool, so it's either a slow rush (slingers?) or a failed one. If it's failed then ally may switch to cav rush but hittite will at least have migrated or spent resources to repel it, whereas mino seems untouched and I can't let him get huge. Once mino's dealt with, I can turn back to hittite if there's anything left of him.


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BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 05:23 PM ET (US)     226 / 263       
After Duan Xuan and others that want to participate post responses, I will give a lot more in-depth explanation as to what I would do. As for now, I would like to keep focused on what we know and what we can do about it.

1) I see nobody behind by 4-5 vills for a "finishing off".

2) Somebody Tooled one minute faster. What did he do in Tool? Do you think he will be the first to Bronze?

3) Let's not get ahead of ourselves with Iron talk, at least not yet. If something hasn't happened by 20:00 what does that tell you about your strategy -- as well as where you think you stand against your two opponents.

4) What would be your new plan to keep his hopes up so he doesn't resign?

5) Are you recommending receiving Hittite trib to fight Assy opponent -- then work on Shang later? Interesting (not my first or second choice)......

6) Is there a good possibility that your ally can Bronze rush if he had a failed Tool rush? You propose to fight the Minoan opponent and then help Yam partner (presumably in Tool) against Bronze Hittite. Hmmmm..... interesting.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?

[This message has been edited by BlitzkreigComin (edited 05-05-2004 @ 05:41 PM).]

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 06:20 PM ET (US)     227 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:

1. Right. Nothing to see here.
2. Given his civ, he has no slingers to break any walls. He's unlikely to be tribbing, or he would have picked an econ civ. There's a good chance he can bronze first, and imho his best move given his civ and the stats I'm seeing.

3. Hehe, ok then. You should have rushed earlier, but it's too late now. Without going iron, you should be bigger than hittite but you've got an uphill battle vs their bonuses. Egypt ally should do better than you this late in bronze.

4. I'd suggest building his new TC between me and assy where he can simcity safely. If his town is still relatively safe, he can leave woodies there but new villies should be at the new location. He stays tool and tribs what he can spare while rebuilding his econ, so I can protect him.

5. That's right. Even with the 25% tax, it would be like having an extra 12 vills (plus 2nd TC) and the same bronze time, which I think would be enough to overwhelm assy. After a strong tool rush, and with only 20 vills, shang probably won't bronze early nor strong so you should be able to switch to him before he can get much of a bronze army, thus overpowering two opponents.

6. Maybe he was going for a cav rush all along, and send a couple clubbers to slow hittite down. OTOH If it's a large rush and hittite repelled it, what he spent on it may give me enough time to deal with mino. Yammy can also do more with a small bronze than #5 ally, like make cavs to take down hittite's STs, leaving me with a straight CA fight that I have a chance to win. Well you'd have a chance anyway - I'm hopeless with CAs.


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BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 07:08 PM ET (US)     228 / 263       
wedsaz:

1) There is always something to see.....

2) Interesting.... not what I would say, but interesting.

3) So you are saying the advantage at 20:00 goes to...?

4) Tell opponent to move his TC to your land and trib you. Once again, very interesting.......

5) Have partner trib you to overrun Assy, then mop up Shang. Hmmm.....

6) You see signs of Cav rush? Hmmmm. Assy CAs useless? Hmmmm.

I feel like I'm gonna be a professor here in a bit giving a great discourse. Keep the responses coming. Hopefully others will post soon to see what they would do.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 08:00 PM ET (US)     229 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:
1. The opposing players are ahead by 1 villie each. There's nothing to see, but nothing is something, it tells you that you can safely continue on your normal path.

2. Yes, I know that's not what you would say. We see things differently, which is why this is so much fun.

3. If you stay and fight in bronze, the advantage goes to the hittites. I know it's not what you'd do, but I'd have my egyptian ally iron and make scythes, tribbing to him if necessary.

4. That's worth a try too, I've seen it happen, but not as likely. I was talking about your own half-dead ally, who if he's a good team player won't mind playing simcity so long as you tell him when to bronze and get writing so he can see that victory he paid for.

5. Different, isn't it?

6. I've seen cav rushes on 20 vill econs, with a small tool attack to get the opponent off balance. Assy CAs are far from useless, but both STs and compies chew them up. Bring your own STs, and use yammy's cavs or your chariots (not CAs) vs hittite STs.

BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-05-04 08:26 PM ET (US)     230 / 263       
wedsaz:

1) I am willing to wait and discuss after more people comment.

2) I am a little suprised you feel that someone that Tools with 23 villagers and then makes 3 more before upgrading is the strongest player going into Bronze. Questions I would be asking myself would be "Why did he get to Tool quickly and then make three villagers?" I would rule out Bronze Cav rush and question why he didn't make more villagers in Stone to have a stronger CA econ. Hmmm.....

I have a good idea what his situation might be like, and I know how I would find out, but I'll wait for more responses first before I blabber out what I would expect and what I would do about it.

3) I am willing to wait and discuss this after more people comment also.

4) My biggest question is under what circumstances would you tell your ally to abandon his town totally and come to yours. What factors do you consider before telling him to trib you and come build in your land? What resources do you think he will have? How will him losing villagers to a Tool rush pay for a victory?

5) Different? Yes. Effective? Now that is the question. There are a lot better solutions that this though.

6) 20 villager Stone Age with an economy to build a small Tool army to attack and then a Cav rush? Big expectations there..... I think there ought to be some thought as to what your partner's situation is really like-- and what, if anything, can/are you going to do about it.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
Dangrimm
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 01:32 AM ET (US)     231 / 263       
Man, all that just put me to sleep, I think I enjoy the practical application rather than the theory, as they say you can only get better by practicing.

But if practice makes perfect, and nobodys perfect, why the hell try? :P

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 02:18 AM ET (US)     232 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:
2. He either ran low on natural food and needed to tool so he could farm, he's tool rushing without slingers against someone who walled, or he's shooting for a really fast bronze at the expense of lasting power. Of those three, the most dangerous is the fast bronze if you let him leverage it.

4. I weight what he can bring to the battle by bronzing, versus what the same resources tribbed to myself can do. He lost 1/3rd of his villies, and probably some resources defending so at best he'd have to spend food for bronze, archeries, CAs, and still have a weak bronze. On the other hand with those resources you can afford adding at least 4 CAs (160f 280w) for your first attack, and pumping another 1-2 more every wave - enough for a swift victory. When I said "victory he paid for", I meant with tribbed resources - clearly it would have been better if he kept the villies.

5. Perhaps, but I don't see them - I look forward to seeing your answer to this situation. All I see is your assy opponent is about equal, and your ally is weakened, but your shang opponent is gonna be slow to bronze too. If you beat shang but let assy grow, you die. If you beat assy, you'll still be ahead of shang and with better mil bonuses, but you need a boost to do that and your ally can provide it.

6. 4 clubbers w/armor = 275f. Bronze, 2 stables, 4 cavs = 1040f 300w 320g. Look on opponent's face when your clubber rush turns into a cav rush = priceless. As with the other cases, I'll want to know how you see this situation.

I think that in all 3 examples, the numbers say you're gonna die. First and last to faster, bigger, stronger hittites and the 2nd one to double teaming. I'd try anyway but you know how stubborn I am.


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wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 02:33 AM ET (US)     233 / 263       
Dangrimm:
Practice gives you skill, theory gives you a plan. You need some of both to get anywhere.

"Do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 06:29 AM ET (US)     234 / 263       
My, my... what a very interesting discussion going on here. I'll answer your quiz later, Blitz. I've got a lot of work to do today and I've only just come home.

D XUAN
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 07:55 AM ET (US)     235 / 263       
Ok, in reply to Blitz's little quiz, here are my answers. I don't have much gaming experience (since, if you remember, I only got the game last December) so my answers are just based on what little experience I have gained from my games on the Zone.

Quote:

Example 1: 4 player Hills. You are Assy. Partner is Egypt. Both Opponents are Hittite.
Tracking #1- You 18, partner 17, first opponent 19, second opponent 18.
Tracking #2- You 27, partner 25, first opp. 26, second opp. 23.
Tracking #3- You 28, partner 27, first opp. 29, second opp. 26. Fastest Tool time was second opp. -- one minute better than yours. Your pard and first opp. were 30-45 seconds after yours.

Answer these questions:

1) What do you do (if anything) in game with Tracking #1 info.
2) Who will have the strongest Bronze Age army first?
3) Who will have the advantage if there are no attacks on economies at the 20 minute mark?

1) All appears to be going well. Personally I'd just continue with my usual strat. It is, however, notable that my ally is 2 villies slower than opp1. I wouldn't be very bothered by this little problem though.

2) I would say that I'll be the one having the strongest Bronze army up first.

Let's take a look at opp2. He Tooled first with 23 villies but made only 3 more in Tool. That's a little odd. He's probably running low on food and produced 3 more villies to work on food production. He probably doesn't make more due to food limitations and he wants a reasonable Bronze time. Considering he didn't do a Tool rush (no decrease or slow growth in ally's villager production), he's probably having a jolly hard time with his econ. I'd rule him out as the first to get a strong Bronze army.

My ally wouldn't be very strong, definitely not stronger than me in terms of econ, assuming that we are of equal skill level. He has fewer villies and thus a slightly smaller econ. His Bronze timing also makes him lose out to me and opp1.

Opp1 has a pretty good econ, but has just 1 more villager than me. That's only a slight margin, but considering he Bronzed more than half a minute after I did, he would probably be slower than me. I can always make more villies in Bronze. By the time he Bronzes I'd have at least the same number of villies as he did, but I'll be faster.

So, to conclude, ally has smaller econ, opp1 is too slow and opp2 has too small an econ. I'll be the one with the strongest Bronze army up and running first.

3) I'll also say that if I played well, I'll have a slight advantage. I Bronzed first and can get a Bronze army up first. If I didn't attack anyone, and nobody else did any raiding, I'll be able to boom my econ pretty fast and well. For me, I'll have gotten my CAs to explore a huge chunk of the map. I'll have built a GC by now and gotten at least one TC up for wood-chopping. With superior exploration and a slightly faster economy, I'm on my way to booming. If military action doesn't get too fierce (no breaking into my main base), I should be able Iron latest by 40min.

Quote:

Example 2: 4 player Hills. You are Assy. Partner is Hittite. First opponent is Shang. Second Partner is Assy.
Tracking #1- You 18, partner 19, Shang 20, Assy 17.
Tracking #2- You 26, partner 28, Shang 20, Assy 26.
Tracking #3- You 28, partner 17, Shang 20, Assy 27. Fastest Tool Time was Shang by two minutes. Other three players within 30 seconds of each other.

4) When do you first communicate with partner?
5) How do you win this game?

4) Mmm? How could you possibly see the villager high drop? Ok, I guess you mean my ally's population from the timeline decreases sharply.

I usually communicate with my ally (or allies) as soon as the first minute of the game to give them a rough idea of my start and ask them about theirs. As I move into Tool I assess the situation and give them a rough idea of what attacking strat I'm going to use and on who.

However, I assume you mean about communication with my partner after seeing Tracking #1 and #2? I'll probably not take much notice of the results of #1. #2, however, will really smell like a fish. Everyone else is booming except for opp1. I'll definitely warn my opponent immediately of a Tool rush, and of course, start pumping out a few clubbies. It's better to be safe then sorry.

5) I should have walled by now. I'll ask my ally to enter my base and start chopping wood. Like Wedsaz, I'll ask him to trib wood to me. I'll then do more farming. It's not a good idea, IMO, for him to continue operations outside my base without any protection. If either one of the opponents find him, opp2 will definitely get his CAs there to finish him off. It'll then be a 1v2 situation with me losing. Opp2 is just too big a threat (about the same speed and econ as I have) to be ignored. It's better to get both of us into Bronze safely before we discuss anything else. After that I'll take care of the military first while letting my ally recover. I'll get two batches of CAs. The first batch will go straight for opp1's base to murder villies. If opp2 doesn't respond by sending his CAs to help out, then opp1 will be done for. If he does, then the second batch will go for opp2's base and start killing woodies. Hopefully we'll cut them down to a size more easily dealt with.

Quote:

Example 3: 4 player Hills. You are Assy. Partner is Yam. First opponent is Hittite. Second opponent is Mino.
Tracking #1- You 18, partner 16, Hittite 17, Mino 17.
Tracking #2- You 26, partner 20, Hittite 28, Mino 26.
Tracking #3- You 27, partner 21, Hittite 27, Mino 27. Fastest Tool time was partner by thirty seconds over you. Both opponents were 30-45 seconds slower than you.

6) How is your early Bronze Age game plan altered (if any)?

6) My partner probably isn't doing a very successful Tool rush. But considering that his attack doesn't have much impact on enemy villager count, my guess is that the opponents both prepared for the rush by producing their own units. They can't be very strong if so. When I reach Bronze, I'll go for opp1 first. It'll take some time for opp2 to get more food for their only feared unit- compies. Wiping out the weakened opp1 first will be a better option. We can handle the compies later on.

I'm wondering how you would answer your questions, Blitz.


D XUAN
BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 12:18 PM ET (US)     236 / 263       
Duan Xuan:

I realize that you don't have a lot of gaming experience, that is why I am trying to help you speed up the learning process. Experienced players handle every situation different than less experienced players do -- learn what the pros do and you will be a pro soon.

1) I look at Achievements a lot during every game I play. I make sure that I get to Achievements by 18 vills at the latest. It seems that at 18 vills things aren't hectic -- micromanaging slows down since by now you have hunters already harvesting eles/gazelle -- that is why I say at 18 vills -- also it is a benchmark of where you are in early Stone Age micromanaging compared to the other players.

If you are consistantly 1-2 vills behind, you can immediately look back and know why -- slow berries, housed, etc. That is the area you know you need to improve. When you are consistantly ahead you know that your early micromanaging skills are as good, or better, than other players in the game.

I also use this info to talk to my partner. I will ask if he knows who he is by. I also ask if things are going OK over there -- just to get a sense of how things. If we find out my partner is by the first opponent, I will just let him know he is two villagers behind so he can plan accordingly.

2) Duan Xuan I am excited you see what I see. If you can see this information while you are playing the game, you will win this game from this little information alone! You will have the strongest army and you will know who to attack first -- opp2! He has econ problems and you can feel confident sending 3-4 CAs as soon as they are born. I would expect those CAs to kill villagers farming. This could/should lead to easy win.

3) This is tricky. If at 20 minutes you haven't attacked a Hittite with 29 villagers -- the advantage grows his way as time ticks. You had a missed opportunity if you Bronzed earlier than him and left him alone to develop a larger economy. I personally would be concerned about the Hittite -- knowing that he probably is going to be harder to kill now. Also good players can get into cruise control booming if economy is left untouched -- you probably will have a hard time keeping up with him. Don't ever let anybody go 20 minutes of a game without you attacking their economy.

4) I would see information going to Achievements at my predetermined times. As soon as I see a Shang player stop at 20 villagers --- the internal alarm goes off because I know what is coming. I ask my partner who he is by if we haven't determined that as soon as I see someone stop at 20 villagers. As soon as we determine the Shang is by him, I ask him if he is advancing to Tool yet.

I communicate with my partner letting him know I am going to destroy Shang rush with Chariot Archers when I get them. I let him know when I am Bronzing. I find out if he is walled and what Shang is attacking with. If he isn't walled and Shang only has Clubbers/Axers, I tell partner to come to me. I also note and share with him that he is only 3 villagers down (20-17) from his opponent.

5) Winning this game happens like this: Hittite partner runs to me. I send him through my base to a forest on the other side of my houses/TC/army. I make sure that I have no villagers in that path. I make sure I have walls up between myself and Assy opponent.

Here is the key decision: What do I do now? This decision could determine the outcome of the game. I don't hesitate at all with this because I know what I have to do. I send my initial wave of Chariot Archers (4-5 max) along the path of my partners run. I kill every Axer I come across. I spend very little time searching for enemy military, just kill what I see. This path sends these CAs to my partners base, hopefully exposing Shang barracks. I shouldn't lose one Chariot Archer if micromanaged correctly. I then send these same Chariot Archers to Shang base --- these Chariot Archers are very busy, not idle one second. I look for granary/pits for easy villager kills. I want to kill at least five villagers and make him repit his woodies -- this is minimum goal. If I accomplish this, my Hittite partner has econ lead back from Shang.

This also causes my Assy opponent to make a critical decision. He has heard his partner tell him that my CAs are all over him. Where does my opponent send his initial CA's? I want him to send them to Shang's base. If he does, we win. If he sends them to my base, I have CAs being born nonstop and I send back my initial CAs for support also. I shouldn't get overrun with first or second wave. This should allow my Hittite partner the time to get to Bronze. This tactic also gets Shang to stop making Tool army, and play simcity to get to Bronze.

6) I alter my Bronze Age thinking because I know my partner has a failed rush against a CA civ and will be in a world of hurt soon. I check Achievements to see if Minoan is mining gold and how much he has collected. I reason quickly if he has gathered either too much or not enough (over 400 or under 100). If he has, I attack him first. If he is between 100-400, I want to find his Archery Ranges to attack Impies. All this is done with first 4-5 CA's. I look for easy Minoan villager kills, etc. I hope Hittite CAs once again go to Minoan base.

My CA's from my base start going to Hittite base, and I still stay aware of Minoan Impie/Compie situation. My partner will need to wall up and hide -- get to Bronze to offer help.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?

[This message has been edited by BlitzkreigComin (edited 05-06-2004 @ 01:30 PM).]

wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 01:29 PM ET (US)     237 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:
Ok, now I see where you're coming from.

1. Makes sense.
2. Tooling earlier with this number of villies (20+) means opp2 could get market techs earlier and thus bronze with more wood and gold than you. Since he's hittite, he could go heavy on STs early on. Of course, that's unlikely since he probably doesn't know he can do that.
3. Agreed.

4. Although a tool rush is a strong possibility, so is a cav/camel rush. Shang can bronze in 12 mins and 20 vills is about the right number. High exploration is probably a tool rush, whereas gold mined would indicate a bronze rush, so keep your eyes open.

5. If shang had slingers (likely vs hittite) or walled (I would) and assy goes after you (I would) while your CAs are across the map, you are dead. Even if you do kill shang while assy kills you, then it's assy's superior econ vs your half-dead ally's.

6. You're the fast civ here. You can take out mino before he bronzes if you bring STs, and if your ally is in decent shape then it's down to 2v1 against hittite.

Of course, I'm sure the quality of AoE zone play did drop considerably, in which case your way would be more relaxing and still bring victory.


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BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 02:42 PM ET (US)     238 / 263       
wedsaz:

2) You are in the realm of becoming "totally" unrealistic here. If someone gets to Tool and doesn't have econ to immediately go Bronze he is in trouble. The biggest mistake he could make is mine for gold and do any market upgrade before hitting the Bronze upgrade. These kill Bronze times horribly! How can someone speed up a Bronze time by waiting to research a market upgrade and then have villagers be able to utilize it in Tool? C'mon, do you really believe that?

It is absurd to think someone with these problem can Bronze, then immediately spend resouces on Seige Workshops and Stone Throwers. Let's not argue about this.... I think it is obvious.

4) Shang 12:00 Bronzes with 20 reals are a thing of the past. They are too risky, too map dependant, and just not as effective as a Tool rush. Once again, let's not spend time debating and having players waste their time thinking 20 vill Shang Cav/Camel rush can win on Hills today.

The bigger part of this exercise is communicating to find out what the enemy has, how your partner is doing, and what you are going to do about it.

5) One reason I want to send Chariot Archers through my partner's land is to find out the scope of the problem there. Rushers do different things, and you need to find out what is going on. Most of the time, players don't want to commit to total Tool warfare. They won't mass a huge Tool army because they will be stuck in Tool for 30 more minutes.

I like to find out what he is spending his current resources on, and it is fast and easy to do scouting with CAs on your way to his base. If you find his barracks, you will find out what army he has, as well as what other military buildings he has. If he is starting to mass slingers and still has a pop of 20, I know how I can deal with that.

I will always go to Shang's base. Most players on Hills have a hard time walling villagers in 100%. Wide open spaces and very tight economies usually force rushers to leave some villagers exposed. Rushers rely heavily on hunting as well as foraging from their second berry patch. These hunting and foraging areas are always outside their base. It isn't practical to be able to wall in a large enough area wall to get multiple hunting locations and a couple berry patches.

Don't be foolish enough to think that you -- and your opponent-- will have every villager protected with a wall on Hills every game. You sacrifice too much to do it unless you get a rare map with lots of chockpoints -- which Hills is known for its open spaces.

Usually players will wall in woodies inside forests, house block/wall/granary block farmers or villagers close to their TC, maximizing their stone so they don't have to dedicate 1-2 villagers on stone. There is always a group of 5-6 foragers/hunters somewhere you can kill. That is what I am looking for.

Expecting to die from opponent Assy with first few waves takes him to be lucky and me be extremely foolish. By the time he sends CAs across to my side, I will wall areas making him run through my ranges. He has to run through my ranges, find my villagers, and kill them while I have my CAs attacking his and my new CAs being born close to the battle. I only send my first 4-5 Chariot Archers out and they can be back to the big battle whenever I think it is necessary. I will never be extremely overmatched.

He also has to deal with a partner with low morale. His partner just got raided and has to be frustrated his partner didn't help. My Hittite partner will be in better shape and we have time on our side now.

6) Once again your borderline in fantasy land. There is no good ST rush option unless you are Mace. If an Assy makes STs as his first military unit of the game he is not the brightest player---- to say the least. Early Bronze economies don't allow for a big enough ST mass -- not even worth thinking about.

I don't want to argue about "you are sure that the quality of Zoneplay is down in AOE/ROR since you played". The quantity of games is down significantly, but it is proven fact that quality can't even be measured it is so far ahead of the old days. Ask anybody that has played "both eras".

Your glory days were in the beginning of RTS. Civ bonuses were where good players would exploit lesser players. Any well-executed strat would be effective because opponents had weaker micromanaging skills and no experience as to good counters. That is why you cling to your Minoan fastboom and Persian hunting strategies. You could exploit those civ advantages and that was enough to win. These strategies are rendered useless today.

The experience that is useful is learning what great players do when they encounter different in-game situations. These three in-game examples are just very generic things that will happen in almost every game players play in.

I know from my personal experience how to handle any and every situation that is thrown at me in any RM game. I think it is important in the growing process for less experienced players to know how to handle these situations, so they can see things they can do different in order to win.

I also think it is important for you (yes stubborn wedsaz) to realize your responses to these examples. I would be curious for you to go back and rethink what you have written for each situation. What is your final answer for each question?


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 03:47 PM ET (US)     239 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:

2. I see what you mean, and you're right. I was thinking that he could bronze early on natural food but have to farm for anything after that, but I agree he can't spend on market techs early if he does, so he'll be weaker either way.

4. It could win today, but the level of skill required probably isn't justified when a tool rush will do just as well. Times change.

5. Seeing as how you're scouting and trying to maim shang rather than sending a force large enough to outright kill him, I can see how you wouldn't be too weak vs assy. But, wouldn't land food be all gone by the time you get CAs (in which case shang could protect wood+farms)?

6. Even one ST can take down a wall rather quickly. You won't need as many CAs since you'll be fighting villies not compies. If you move fast you can cripple mino before he can mass compies, then he'll never regain enough econ to be a threat. Only add more if you can't hurt him enough.

My final answers then.

1. Things are fine.
2. I'm first strong bronze.
3. Shouldn't have let enemy get this strong. Iron can help.
4. Times change. Shang is tool rushing.
5. I stand by my trib and overwhelm plan.
6. Hit mino econ hard before he gets compies. Odds are he'll be farming like mad by now, kill woodies and farms. Probably need at least 1 ST to break through.

2 and 4 are changed, I was being overly cautious.

Minoan fastboom works in AoE, where assy is still widely used even on wet maps. I did it twice a few years back, even as rusty as I am I still won. One of them even tried to boat rush me, to which I did my standard plan B. RoR wet maps are full of navy civs, so that's different.

Persian hunting can give you at least 3 mins of bronze before your opponents, even 3 cavs and 1 ST would be enough to annihilate them in that time - it would be more effective now that everyone goes for big bronzes.

Duan Xuan:
Don't mind my disagreements with blitz here. His way will get you to inter faster, and you can decide for yourself who is right about expert level play once you get there.


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Andrea Rosa
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 04:47 PM ET (US)     240 / 263       
This discussion is really amazing!

Andrea Rosa
My only fear is to be left without beer

AoE Last Resort | Quake II: Citadel
BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-06-04 09:30 PM ET (US)     241 / 263       
wedsaz:

Glad to see we are making progress here in this discussion.

4) The debate Shang Cav rush vs. Cav Tool rush is actually simple. Here it is:
a) The most important component of a rush is attacking enemy villagers that are unprotected and before opponent can build counter military units. What can Shang Cav do that Shang Clubbers/Axers can't do at least four minutes earlier? Those four minutes give opportunity for opponent to wall/have larger econ/time to attack and disrupt your economy/etc earlier.
b) Cav don't have much upside to Axers in terms of rushing. Their line of sight is as poor as Axers, they require a lot of micromanaging for each villager kill, and it is very easy for an opponent to scatter villagers in every direction saving a majority of villagers. Cav speed can chase down villagers, so fleeing players have to scatter villagers more careful-- but their LOS still stinks and it isn't that hard to get away.
c) Think about it--- if you had your choice when would you want to start killing enemy villagers that are unprotected --- ASAP! Clubbers can start being made as soon as you have 500 food to Tool--- that can be before 7:00 if executed properly. Cav won't be around for another five minutes! They can start attacking in a group of 4-5 within 30 seconds of entering Tool with armor coming in seconds with no counter from opponent villagers available. No walls, no defense, nothing. A group of 4-5 Axers can kill every single opponent villager they find if there are no counter units. 20 villagers boning 4-5 upgraded Axers equal 20 dead villagers, and that is their only defense.

For Cav to be great raiding units, they need to be in a group of 4-5 minimum with a Scout to accompany them. For this group to be effective you need around 24 villagers in Stone and their initial raid won't be considered a rush.

5) Chariot Archers always find villagers on natural resources. Rushing players can't farm -- they just can't -- it is way too expensive and slow. They have to go from natural food source to natural food source to maintain an economy.


I also hope others don't get too caught up with our disagreements. We have disagreed with each other in every strategy thread here since early 2000. Why change now? I just think I know how to get somebody to my knowledge level quicker than I got here --- and I could compete with anybody that ever played this game in RM team games--- so it can't be too bad of advice.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
JK_daddy
Clubman
posted 05-07-04 00:57 AM ET (US)     242 / 263       
hi all just a few thoughts
i think these discussions are great,coming here certainly sped up my knowledge of the game.Wedsaz certainly has great theoritical knowledge but the game ROR is more about adapting ur strategys to fit what the random gods throw at u.

Wedsaz ur comments are appreciated but the standard of RoR is actually stronger now than what it was when u played...just like in any field , pple are running faster lifting more swimming faster well its certainly the case in ROR

Strategies have been dissected exploited and used over and over and nowadays the very best players are extremely good so it kinda caught my attention when u spoke earlier about calling these players "inters"

All i can say is that ive played blitz he certainly knows what hes on about but ive never played u wedsaz so anything u say doesnt in my eyes carry as much weight.U need to come play .... im damm sure u smurf... why else would someone hang around here offering advice when they havent played the game in yrs?

[This message has been edited by JK_daddy (edited 05-07-2004 @ 00:58 AM).]

Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-07-04 08:26 AM ET (US)     243 / 263       
Ok, let me post a game I had two nights ago on the Zone. It was a 1v1 on Hills with a person who said that he was an inter. I lost, of course.

Screenshots here

I was rather slow to Bronzed in that game though I had quite a few eles to hunt (about 3 or 4 close to my woodpit). I couldn't Bronze in time because I had to wait out a few seconds for wood to reach 150 before building my second Tool age building (an archery range). In the end I hit the Bronze upgrade at 12:20, thus giving me a 14:40 Bronze (the advance takes 2:20, right?). I was still slower than my opponent, but rather surprisingly, he hadn't charged his CAs at me yet. When I got the wheel done, I pumped out a few CAs and charged at my opponent. I caught him about to finish walling, killed his builder and charged in. My first wave was massacred by his defence CAs. Fortunately, I had sent two forward builders to build a TC and a few ranges and siege workshops closeby.

I pounded his base for a few minutes, but it wasn't very successful. Soon, he attacked my wall with lots of CAs and a few STs. I began to run out of food (forgot to do extensive farming, argh) but was starting to do some real demolishing in his base... I was still too slow. My villies were caught and killed. My attack force was destroyed by his superior army and I resigned.

I'll have a game or two on the Zone later on, and post the tracking screenshots. I'll post what information I gather from them. I'll be interested to know what you all make out of them too. I think this is all becoming really interesting.


D XUAN
BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-07-04 11:31 AM ET (US)     244 / 263       
Duan Xuan:

Here are a few things I notice with your last game:

1) You attacked first which is very important-- good job. However, think back to your initial wave of CA's, how did they die? If they engaged in battle against a larger group of CA and you didn't run them away -- that is something to improve. Never ever engage military in a losing battle. Run your CA through his town (if he isn't repairing the wall yet) exploring with his CA chasing you. Don't stop-- just find out what is going on -- Then run your CA back closer to your Archery Ranges where you have an advantage in numbers.

2) What kind of demolishing did you do to his base? If CAs were standing still shooting dead wood (buildings), their time wasn't spent effective. They need to be finding and killing villagers.

3) Where did your two forward builders build the ranges/TC/seige workshop? Was is closer to his base or yours? Why didn't you build them by your original 3-4 archery ranges you used for your initial attack? I am wondering what game situations were happening to cause you not to keep all of your military buildings together.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-07-04 12:23 PM ET (US)     245 / 263       
Hi Blitz. My first attacking group comprised of just 5 CAs. I found the enemy walled up and ran all the way north, just in time to breach a gap in the newly laid-out walls. I immediately rushed my two forward builders close and started to build up there for a faster attack. You can see from the map a bunch of blue buildings in the north. That's my forward attack base, complete with a TC and farms. I couldn't run my CAs away first because I didn't have enough backup being made at home. My first few archery ranges were way back just outside my base. I couldn't turn back to regroup since it would be pointless. I did try to charge into his base to explore but what can 5 CAs do against over a dozen enemies? When I massed more CAs and STs, my attack was more successful but I still couldn't win in the end.

My STs did kill a few enemy gold miners, but they were mainly killing CAs and destroying archery ranges and barracks.

And yes, you are very right. I noticed too that my buildings are very far from each other. I thin out too much, I think, but I really don't know if this is good or not. Usually when I am under attack, the enemy can't find my other resource areas yet, so I have ample time to flee my villies elsewhere to rebuild. I try to build new bases in isolated spots on the map, which are the odd blue dots you see here and there on the map.

Ok, I had a 2v2 just now on the Zone and was beaten. I thought it was a real shame to lose that one. Screenshots here.

I did try to take the tracking screenshots as Blitz suggested, but I really couldn't remember to do them. The first one I took was tracking #1. I only remembered to do it when I had 19 villies instead of 18... ok, not much of a a difference. Yellow, however, had 2 more villies than me. I attributed this lower villager count to the fact that I had a forest berry start. I warned my ally (red) about yellow. Both red and gray were obviously low rooks. Their villager high gave them away. If Tool rushing was allowed, I'd have killed gray immediately. Although yellow was booming, I wasn't very afraid of an early attack yet, because he had just 2% exploration.

I thought it wasn't a very big problem, so I continued with my usual procedures. Somehow I was slow to find ideal food spots. Throughout Stone age I never found a single elephant to hunt, much to my disappointment. The gazelle spots were pretty bad too (one on the hills and the other stuck on the cliff between gold and stone mines).

After that I forgot to take screenshots of the achievements screen just after Tooling and Bronzing. I only remembered to check it out a while after reaching Bronze. By then I was convinced that red and gray were both weak players. Gray, however, was probably going for a cav rush (cav attack, to be more correct ). I later found out that my hunch was right, as I met cav resistance when I raided his base later on. I warned my ally to watch out for gray's cav, since they were both very close to each other.

My threat was yellow, who Bronzed one minute before me. A 16min Bronze isn't good, you know. I just happened to be off-form today. I walled a bit and got 4 ranges up rather soon. I sent my first 3 CAs to attack yellow but he had plenty of CAs in wait for me. Ack, I returned to regroup but was still outnumbered. I must have forgotten to wall off some choke points, and yellow CAs came rushing into my main base soon. I ran all of my villies almost everywhere. I got a few TCs up but all were discovered and attacked by yellow. I continued pumping out lots of CAs and managed to kill off half of gray's villies and most of yellow's CAs. Just as I thought I could turn the tables, in came HAs. I resigned after seeing all my CAs murdered by those dreadful Iron age units.

Half of the game was spent running my villies all over the map, settling down, chopping and farming for a couple of minutes, then running again.

Looks like there're still some things I need to do to get more consistent age advance timings... I don't want to lose to rooks like that again. I still can't believe that none of them (especially yellow) boomed villagers from multiple TCs. Really makes me feel ashamed losing to players like that... argh. I'm mortified.


D XUAN

[This message has been edited by Duan Xuan (edited 05-07-2004 @ 12:24 PM).]

BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-07-04 12:51 PM ET (US)     246 / 263       
Don't be ashamed or mortified because you know why you lost and what you need to do better.

Your assumptions turned out to be correct, and you realized that your slow Bronze time game yellow a faster time with bigger econ.

Keep practicing and your Stone Age and Tool Age micro will improve. Then you will be ruling the freaking maps!

Good luck.


Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
wedsaz
Clubman
posted 05-07-04 02:28 PM ET (US)     247 / 263       
BlitzkreigComin:
4. Cavs can kill bowmen. They're faster than even assy villies and can keep up with a scout. 2-3 of them with a scout can do a lot of damage, and 20 villies is enough.

A stone thrower, or slingers from that barracks you have to build anyway, can breach a wall.

However, clubbers are easier, so if they get it done... *shrug*

5. I know farming is slow. However, two berry patches and two hunting spots gives you about 300 food. Minus villies, tool and bronze you're left with about 500 food. Seems to me that isn't enough for more than an initial rush, and would be done gathering by bronze.

JK_daddy:
A lot of people left this game, especially the really good ones. I find the level of competition lower than it used to be, and it seems things got a bit more relaxed. I'm feeling that strategies are adapted to that rather than the faster paced play of my time.

Sometimes changes goes in circles too, with some new elements at every turn of the wheel. I'm thinking it's a rock-paper-scissors thing, and I've got some ideas for the next spoke of that wheel. Variations on things that beat variations of what's being used now.

Duan Xuan:
I agree with Blitz. Don't get mortified, get better. You know what you need to do now. improve your stone and tool micro.

Also, in that first game, you resigned early. You could still have won. You had nearly as many villies as your opponent! I've recovered from less, and I'm sure Blitz did too.

You were low on food but had far too much gold. You should use more STs if you're gonna mine so much gold. It would have helped your army while you reorganized your econ to produce more food (and less gold).

By 30 mins into the game, you could have farmers a safe distance behind an inner wall so your food production continues even if you get attacked. You could have radar walling so you know what's coming from where before they even reach your outer wall.

Blitz knows more about doing CA rushes, but I think I still know plenty about stopping them. Now if I can just get back on the zone so you can kick me around like a soccer ball...


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RomanGladius
AOKH DM Champion
posted 05-08-04 05:46 AM ET (US)     248 / 263       
Well, if it's 1v1 I would definitely go with some sort of tool attack. Waiting for cavs is a mistake in RoR in most games. Useful but 80% of the time in 1v1 I will tool attack, especially on hills. Your attack will be faster and with a couple scouts you can chase down villies just as well. Remember, running villies are as good as dead ones if you keep them running.
Duan Xuan
Clubman
posted 05-08-04 11:32 AM ET (US)     249 / 263       
I lost another game badly just now. You can see the screenshots here. As in my previous game, I forgot to take screenshots when I was in the midst of Tooling. I also remembered to do take a screenshot of the economy achievements screen when I was at 21 villies.

I have bad timings here again. Part of the reason was poor hunting skills. I lost 2 villies to eles and had to replace them in the TC. That's 100 more food. I was only able to reach Bronze in 15+min, enough to kill myself, now that I'm playing with players of higher calibre. I couldn't manage my economy properly... I had too much wood at first and too little food, resulting in a slow Tool. Yes, I should've moved those woodies to food gathering. When I was in Tool, I had too much food and too little wood for my second Tool building, argh. I actually had as much as 1000 food when I clicked on the Bronze upgrade.

I walled here and there, but there was one side where the gap was too large to be walled or blocked. That was where green charged in with his CAs. I only had 1 CA up and was completely helpless against the attack, so I resigned (my ally had resigned slightly earlier for no reason).

The screenshots I took earlier on in the game warned me that I was the weakest player amongst the four of us, and I would definitely be the most likely target of attack by the others. I couldn't really do anything though, and had to hope for the best when I reach Bronze. Unfortunately, the few minutes I was slower by cost me the game.


D XUAN

[This message has been edited by Duan Xuan (edited 05-08-2004 @ 11:35 AM).]

BlitzkreigComin
Clubman
posted 05-08-04 12:45 PM ET (US)     250 / 263       
JK_daddy:

I remember playing some very fun 1v1 Conti games with you. Did we ever play many team games? I can't remember.

wedsaz:

Telling JK_daddy that you find the level of competition lower is funny I think (to say it politely). You haven't played with the top players of today, or the top players of two years ago, and probably not the old school legends.

For that matter, please tell me the players that you think are the greatest AoE/RoR players ever. Don't be vague if you are going to criticize "today's players from the past few years".

You judge people's skills without ever playing them. That is hypocritical and funny don't you think?

There have been so many great gamers come and go through RoR. I remember being so curious trying to figure out where players from 2001-2003 (where I played in the "elite" circle daily) ranked versus players like Methos, Stalin, Sherrif, Matty, Iketh, Staffa, Celestial_Dawn, Out4Blood, Clan_Leo, Koven, Ikaruss, etc.

I was very excited to play games with Stalin, matty, Out4Blood, and others just to see if they were some invincible legends that were far superior than anybody ever to play this game. I found out what I already thought--- they were great players of their time.

If you are going to evaluate, then rank these players for me please: maimin_matty, Stalin, Sherrif, Out4Blood, Clan_Leo, Sun_Cam_Popov, hill_berries, Water_1_God, Http_Merlin, LORD, eXiGe, RFR_Gold, dakotou, UnbrokeN, _dream_star_.

Thank you.



Can you survive the Blitzkrieg?
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