Single Player DM FAQ

Single Player Death Match

Single Player DM FAQ

By Centy

Welcome to the Death Match Frequently Asked Questions guide. This is not supposed to give you a full run through of death matches but instead to guide you on the way. We cannot make you perfect but we can get you on your way, then it’s just practice.

Why should I play death matches?

Many people don’t play death matches because they think it is all about building armies and there are no strategies in it. They think that they’re only for people who find coping with micro-management in random maps hard. This is not the case. There are a lot of strategies in death matches and it is generally great fun. My view is if you want to have all out battles and don’t want to have to micro-manage everything; death matches are for you. Not that there is no micro-management. You still have to practice to play death matches. It’s also great fun if you hate low resources. 

I’m just starting playing DMs (death matches). Have you got any hints on how to start?

Well I have many, firstly pick the right civilisation and the right unit to concentrate on building. Also be wary of settings. Hittite is a good choice because they have the best range of DM units, including string catapults. However, prepared to be called a rookie when you play them.

So what to I concentrate on building?

Well this is a frequently asked question. In fact there is no answer to this. It all depends on what you want to build. However there are eventually 5 main units people build in a land DM. They are the catapult, the helepolis, the armored elephant, the legion and the scythe chariot. Really scythes are only ever built to stop catapults (unless you are Egypt) and legions are only built if you are either Choson or Rome. Basically the three main units you will see are elephants, catapults or if you have no catapults, helepoli. Also Towers are very important. It all depends on your opponent. Use catapults/helepoli against Towers and/or elephant combo and elephants against any non-ranged unit. However, it is best to use both siege and elephants or siege and something else, otherwise you are done for. NEVER depend on 1 type of unit alone. 

OK, I’ve built houses and a city but when I build a couple of units, 50+ elephants attack me! What am I doing wrong?

You’ve forgotten that in Pop 200 DMs (as they usually are) you need to mass build. As most DMs are reveal and Iron Age start, you can do this with ease. When you start, Villager 1 must build at least 15 houses. Then click you TC and click build Villager (or press C) around 20 times. Then Villager 2 should build another TC and Villager 3 should build either stables or Siege Workshops far forwards (probably 15 tiles) and just plop down the foundations using the SHIFT key. After you have 7 foundations, one Villager should be born. Make him build one more TC and after he has finished that one, another TC close to a wood source. Keep Villager production up at all times. Then build a Market, government centre and granary. Research guard Tower, ballistics then ballista Tower. Then research helepoli/heavy catapult/armoured elephant. Now you should build massed Villagers and massed stable and Siege Workshops. Build loads of farms for an elephant strategy and have tonnes of woodcutters for a siege strategy. Always have +10 gold and stone miners. After you surround you city with stables and Siege Workshop build 1-2 eles/helos/cats from every stable/Siege Workshop. You should have by now 70 Villagers and an army of 50. Now your main base is ready. 

Thanks, now I can hold out for the first few minutes but after a while my opponent overwhelms me with constant waves of eles/cats and I can’t keep building an army. Now what?

Well, you are in trouble. Believe me the mid-game is where experts are sorted out from the rookies and inters. Basically you need to expand quickly. You should have 10+ Villagers doing nothing. Make them build TC all over empty spaces of the map before your opponent builds there. Try to expand towards your opponent (you may need to guess his position) and always get the first attack in. Remember not to build too far forwards otherwise you leave a gap where your opponent can attack from within. That would be a tragedy. With your outlying TCs, don’t over defend them because then you will lose in the main battle. As long as you have a barrier of units between you outlying TCs and the opponent you’re safe. Try to put farms and woodcutters around these TCs. These outlying resource bases are not for building units. You already have a unit production. They are to stop your opponent expanding and give you more resources. If however, you are having trouble, try to build more Siege Workshops and TCs. And if all else fails, gather all your units and attack his usually weak main base where his original TC was. The rest is practice. 

What about 2v2 DMs or 3v3 DMs?

The start is identical but the expansion part in the mid-game is lessened. You must hope you have outboomed your opponents and you have a strong ally. After you slowly destroy one opponent’s city, you can use his base for more land and resources. Remember still to expand, and preferably into your ally’s land. This way you intermingle cities and make it harder to destroy one specific player. 

So what about Stone Age starts and Sea DMs?

Most sea DMs are large islands and is impossible to expand land base without being destroyed. Basically you need to cover your island’s coastline with docks and build nothing but juggernaughts. Then once one island is cleared build docks around that island. Still, remember the normal DM start but just remember that Transports can carry catapults. You can land some units onto the opponent’s island and cause havoc. 
In Stone DMs you just have to get to Iron then everything is similar. Build very few Villagers in Stone and Tool but build the normal amount in Bronze and Iron. Remember the tech tree and which building opens other building. Start you army in bronze and expand in Bronze too. The only things you should build in Stone and Tool are Villagers, houses and resource pits.