Different strategies

Heaven’s Reference Pages

Different strategies

By Staffa

After my stint at #1 on cases, playing over a 100 games 1v1, many against excellent opponants, some new thoughts have come to me on what seperates the winners from the losers when everyone does close to the same thing.

The different major styles of playing…..

1. Tool quickly, find your opponant, build on him, wall up and harrase with tool units while bronzing, hopefully they will have been forced to relocate and this will cause them to be weaker and once in bronze you can dominate the map. This is a high risk tactic imo, if it works, you win rather quickly and easily, if it fails, you have some major problems. Your military buildings are on the far side of the map, your offense failed, and you have no defense, even if you walled, an expert will get past your walls very quickly. 5 chariots transported into your land when you just bronzed with your only ranges on the other side of the map is hard to deal with. This method of playing needs a good map and a damn good walling spot that can be protected against transport, if not its to risky imo. And remember, its easy to wall your wood cutters, but food is something much harder to wall away from water.

2. Bronze quickly with 22-24 regular peons, build 3-6 ranges between you and your opponant, find your opponants ranges and attempt to dominate the ranges militarly, ignoring your opponants peons untell you have solid military control. Once your in control of his buildings and he ceases to build chariots there, fan your chariots out finding his new ranges to dominate them again, and start harrasing his peons that are not walled, peon boom yourself while doing this. attempt to keep pressure on your opponant at all times, and start working to build stone throwers crash his walls and erradicate him. Always keeping an eye on ironing. This btw is how de_anza and atsq play almost every single game. This strategy has no major flaws imo, its very defensive at the start and thus handles tool rushers quite well, and its methods doesnt allow for a good lead to go away when your improving your econ while possing a large army between you and your opponant. The problem with this strategy is that its HARD, its very very very very hard to do. Keeping the balance between improving your economy with market upgrades, new peons, gov center/new tc’s controling all that while trying to dominate the military is a damn fine balance. Your opponant is forced to do as you do, and it becomes a struggle of who has the better econ, you are both pumping chariots madly from 3-6 ranges, which drains your economy and tests it to the limit, if you are attempting to get market upgrades and peon boom at the same time, which you have to do or you will lose in the long run, you could starve your military and watch your 10 peon lead disappear to his 30 chariots. The art is in balancing between the military dominance, and growing your econ effeciently(read no farms).

3. Find a good dock spot, boom with boats and wall your woodies away from the water, your entire peon economy is gathering wood and you are almost untoachable on water with your massive fleet. You have a much larger peon base, and with time you should be able to dominate your opponant militarly. Problems, very vunerable to early attacks, especialy on the sea. You have invested alot of wood during the tool-bronze age building fishing boats, and defending your boats during the tool early bronze is mighty close to impossible against an opponant who didnt spend all that wood on boats. You spend 400 wood on 8 fishing boats, they spend 400 wood on 3 scout ships, and they have 3 scout ships and you have 0 fishing boats. Now your way behind and find it hard to catch up. This is how alreadyinuse plays almost every game. Very dangerous if they can survive tell mid/late bronze, but very weak tell then.

4. All out tool rush, tool with 16-20, find your opponant and hit him with everything you got. This stragey results in some nice 30 minute bronze times with quite a few victories. If your opponant walls, np, build a transport, just keep moving forward, for if they put that 800 food into bronzing, you are way way way ahead of them in so far as military potential goes. But if your opponant can wall up and hide from you, all that potential is gonna disappear very rapidily when he bronzes and you dont. This is what shang was born to do, for shang can do it on any map with ease. Dont forget your economy, if you manage to hurt your opponant, but didnt kill them, they will rapadily recover, you should keep building peons, dont let your own peons idle while you manage your scouts. Attempt to find cheap sources of food and bronze, remember that eventualy he might strike back so wall up and play smart. 

5. Bronze quickly with a strong 24 peon economy, find your opponant build on them and hit them in bronze, harrase their peons, avoid fighting their military. Your opponant will attempt to remove your buildings, keep building chariots and having them run off and hide then find his peons and hit them again. Keep buildings new ranges on his side of the map and continue harrasing and annoying the hell out of his econ while you boom to a 60-70 peon econ iron and slaughter your demorolized opponant from buildings on your own side. This is assuming your harrasing buildings never manage to finish him off. Chariots can be very effective at hit and run tactics on peons, they dont have to kill the peon before running, hit him a few times, run away, a chariot is smart, if left to find its own target, it will hit the peon with the fewest hit points. So you wound a few peons, run away, come back and kill 3 peons in 3 hits. If you find this happening to you, and you are dominating his buildings but he is still harrasing you, its rather important that you harrase him to, for you can not allow his economy to grow unchecked. Also, while walls wont always make you immune to this, as often you can hit wood cutters from the other side of a forest, it is far more effective when the opponant isnt walled up. 

6. Bronze, build gov center, and cover the map with tc’s while attempting to keep your opponant busy with a small military. Once you have 10 tc’s all over the map, with no walls in site, your peon losses will be horrendous, as you have no protection, but you keep fleeing between your many gathering spots, your opponant finds he cant cover them all, and while you lose a peon or 2 each time u flee, u can build 10 peons in the time he can build one, and your econ soon overpower’s your opponant. This strategy is effective if allowed to go on to long, also vunerable to walling the map into sections, and if you can wall up against this strategy, your steady econ can ussualy overcome your opponants erractic one. But in general the entire map can not be covered, for splitting a 20 chariot force into 10 pairs to cover the map, will result in losing chariots at a very bad ratio to the 8 chariots that stay together and kill off your pairs, or harrase your peons. Also, while all this petty fighting is going on, its hard to notice half the tc’s that are built, and most of the spread out economy tends to be safe through ignorance. This strategy is hard to finish off, as it is very good at surviving, but its also very messy, and you gotta be fast at getting your peons to flee and keeping them alive while fleeing. Expect TheBother to pull this one on ya.

Some final words.
Every strategy has its strengths and weakness, some are better suited to some maps then others. For instance, dock booming is best suited to maps with water, which tend to be coastal/island maps, and a few inland maps. Covering the map with tc’s tends to work on maps that are just one big landmass surrounded by water, it tends to be less effective on inland maps that have a couple of easily walled crossings that seperate the map into my side and your side. For this strategy requires mobility, which is easily cut off by walls. On the other hand, building on someone and harrasing them while booming works better on a map that is split into two sides, making it easier to wall your own economy safely off while keeping him busy trying to protect himself.

Each game has a tempo, one person does something, and the other responds, the person responding is generaly losing, and their object is to switch things around. There are a few ways to change the tempo of a game, when you are on the defensive, you can divert a few chariots from your army and transport them to your opponant, this will force him to respond to something you did, and hopefully you can then reaquire control of your own land and attempt to keep him on the defense. You can iron, keeping fighting a holding action while ironing, then overwelm your opponant. Or you can fight a holding action, while building on your opponants land and massing a big army, hoping he is attempting to iron, thus as he irons, your 6 st’s and 15 chariots come crashing unexpectedly through his home, if the build up is enough this can be devestatling fast. And generaly a newly ironed civ that has been fighting while ironing is feeble and vunerable to a powerfull bronze age civ. Sometimes you want your opponant to have the tempo as it can give them a false sense of security, after all when your opponant is defending, and your ironing, the last thing you expect is 6 st’s and 15 chariots to come crashing through your walls from a different direction. 

Oh well, this is long enough.