Game Playing Tips By Sandyman, Ensemble Studios

Heaven’s Reference Pages

Game Playing Tips By Sandyman, Ensemble Studios

Omnivac Speaks! – Favorite Tribe

Okay, both priests get all the techs, meaning Egyptian priests will always have their +3 range advantage. To me, it’s a priority, so I find myself alot of time with priests (range 16) against priests who have only a range of 10. Monotheism is a must also, to convert enemy priests and make more priests for me. I always have the advantage because I start Wo-lo-loing before the others. The best priests are Egyptians, no doubt in my mind.

I like cavalry too, especially horse archers, but to me chariots are very important because of their partial invulnerability to priests. They’re the greatest priest-killers, where one-on-one, a chariot will almost always have time to kill the priest before being converted. Wiith that in mind, if someone use chariots against me, I have better chariots. The units I’m lacking, I’ll get from others.

Offensive is always hazardous, but if I decide to go defensive. Good luck!

The Assyrians villager bonus is great. But so far, I haven’t seen anyone exploit it to the fullest, or maybe it doesn’t make too much of difference at all. I counter it with lots of storage pits to cut my walking time, especially if there’s assyrians or yamato players. The difference is only in the beginning until my reserve of wood is high enough.

So far in about 10 games with the Egyptians,

Never I have lost my city to invaders. I’m definitely not the best AoE player and I know someday I’ll meet a better player and he’ll splatter me, but until then, I’ll stay in my illusions that I have the best defense anyone can come up with and that I am impregnable as soon as I reach the Bronze Age. The only way I loose at this stage is because of the artifacts/ruins/wonder. 
Early rushes don’t worry me, unless in a 1-on-1 match. With more players, the only thing that it do is cripple me, as well as the attacker vs. all the other players. Using villagers rush slow you too much vs. other players that gather ressources. If using low-units rushes (Clubmen, Axemen, Bowmen), then I have time to have my own units and defend myself, and in the worst case, the same apply as villagers rush. You get two crippled players early on vs. all the others. Nonetheless, I’ve seen no one use an early rush against me so far. 
2 times, I had players quit on me. I’ve been victim of one of the greatest verbal attack of all time (Hi Exodus. :)). I think he was very annoyed at me, and was tired of building me units. Must have to do with the 103/50 when I clicked on my houses. My record in multi-player games. Exodus taught me new words and expressions in english, and even some, I haven’t the faintest ideas what they meant. 
So, all this to say that I’m comfortable and confident in my strategy, and that the Egyptians are the best to achieve this. I’m also totally ruthless and merciless. Sometimes, in the chat box, there’s a player who asks hey guys! Don’t be too hard. It’s my first game, etc… Past experiences, in other games, have showed me that sometimes this guy is the winner of the game, because everybody cut him some slack, and anyway he knows how to play, and was maybe a little affraid to play against humans. There’s also the smart-a$$ who is a good player but like to deceive everybody else in thinking otherwise. Nonetheless, I state clearly that if he’s in my path, I’ll crush him. To me, it’s the best way to learn, and it’s the way I learn. When I get crush, I determine why and make corrections to my strategy. I don’t whine like some in making new rules like priests can’t be more than 10% of your army and such non-sense. Everybody play by the same rules, so it’s up to them to make the best of it.

As for the Assyrians, Leo, I find that it suit a more agressive player than I am. I would fall sometime in my old patterns and wondering why didn’t I took the Egyptians. Playing more with one civ, you become better with it and know what can be done with it. You don’t have to always check the manual and then find out that can’t build such unit, or research such technology. Unless you have a mega-memory, which is not my case. I prefer to always know where I’m going right from the start. I also make it a point of honour to play the Egyptians even against all odds, so I’ll play them anyways in a small islands map even if it’s not the smartest move, strategy-wise. But when you win, man, you feel great.

See you on the Battlefield!



Sandyman’s Response

Egyptians are a fine race. I find that the Assyrians are best earlier in the game. Their villagers let them get a head-start, and their basic archers are terrific. They’re really the only race with a chance at an archer rush vs. reasonable opponents. That said, Assyrians are definitely a Tool Age/Bronze Age race, and lose steam in the late game. Why? They lack a lot of the cool infrastructure. This means that their late-game units are inferior — their cats & helepoli have less range (no Engineering), their horse archers lack alchemy, their cataphracts lack nobility & the good armor. And their barracks units don’t have any shields. At least they have ballista towers. But no cat triremes *sob* Also no elephants, which are terrific in the early Iron Age.

Anyway, the way to play Assyrians, IMO, is to wield your power as strongly as possible in the Tool and Bronze age, so you can get an unbeatable edge over your opponents, because once the iron age rolls around you’re going to have to beat your foes with quantity instead of quality. Of course, your fine priests & good fortifications will help you hold off the enemy in that age.

There is no doubt that Egyptian priests kick butt. The +3 range, combined with Afterlife, makes them the longest-ranged unit in the entire game. The main problem with Egyptians is their lack of offensive oomph. They get NO superunits at all! Well, except jugs & ballista towers. If you get your Wonder started before theirs, they have serious problems because it’s hard for them to destroy you. And if you go after them, their lack of any decent siege units means you can knock down their walls with impunity, then send in your chariots to eat up their priests.

Unless (as often happens), they kick your #####.

You ask if I have the same type of analysis for all the civs. You bet. Example: the Greeks don’t come into their own until the height of the Iron Age. Until then, they are pretty weak, with no archers, no chariots, no elephants, and no racial economic bonuses. They are also a very gold-heavy race — take away gold, and the Greeks blow toads. But if they can collect up some gold and make it to the middle Iron Age, then they are a fearsome force, with ballista towers, a super-navy, and their destructive cats + helepoli escorted into battle by almost-unkillable phalanxes or centurions.

All the races have their own height of power.

Assyrian = Tool/Bronze 
Babylon = Bronze 
Choson = All 
Egypt = Bronze/Iron 
Greek = Iron 
Hittite = All 
Minoa = Bronze 
Persia = All 
Phoenicia = Bronze 
Shang = Tool/Bronze 
Sumeria = Tool/Bronze 
Yamato = All 
Note that every game & strategy has exceptions — in an island game, the vaunted Hittites lose a lot of their power, for instance. Also, an “all” race is usually not as good as the specialists in their own time frame. For instance, the Yamato isn’t as tough in the iron age as the Greek, nor are they as strong in the bronze age as the Assyrian. Still, they’re a contender, and one of my favorite civs.