Other Questions

Heaven’s Single Player Help

Other Questions

If I have several enemies, what’s the best way to take care of them?

The best order to take care of them depends on their strength in the different ages. You can leave civilisations with a weak Iron Age (for instance Babylonia) to the last, especially if your civilisation has a strong Iron Age. If you can’t counter the fast Greek Hoplites, it’s better to make sure they never get them, meaning you should destroy Greece before they enter the Bronze Age in that case. If you can’t counter the fast Persian Elephants, make sure Persia doesn’t make it to the Iron Age. And so on.

However, it’s always better to destroy some enemies than none at all simply because you’re at a loss which one to take care of first. 

I don’t really like the fighting bit of the game – I’m more a type for building a civilisation. What’s a good way of playing then?

Well now, of course the obvious thing is to win by building a Wonder and keeping it up for two thousand years. You can be very defensive then. Mind you, it may be so badly damaged that only ten hit points are left, you will still win as long as it’s there.

You can also play on island maps – that generally involves less fighting. And you can take several allies and let your allies do the fighting. Then your allies can take care of the enemies and you can play a defensive game.

You can also abandon AOE and get SimCity. 

I tend to get defeated every time – what can I do to win?

Difficult to say offhand what can be the cause of that, but there are several things to consider:

  • You may have taken on more enemies than the map size allows for. Two enemies on a large map can be a piece of cake when the same enemies on a tiny one can be a real pain. The larger the map is, the more enemies you can afford to have.
  • You lack the killer instinct.
  • You wait too long with your attack. War Elephants are harder to kill than Axemen and can inflict more damage, but if you wait with attacking till the Iron Age you also give your enemies the time to build a good army. Being in the Iron Age before the others doesn’t mean you’re safe. A small Iron Age army won’t do against a large Bronze Age one. Some civilisations aren’t really strong in the Iron Age, for instance Assyria and Babylonia. Waiting with fighting till Iron if you have one of those is not wise for that reason. Find the age in which your civilisation is strongest and attack in that age.
  • You’re too optimistic about your development. You may get away with neglecting your defence till you reach the Bronze Age in a nomad start game, neglecting it after that is courting disaster. Just the fact that you got plenty food and gold and your enemies seem to be still asleep doesn’t mean you should upgrade to Iron so very soon.
  • You take enemies that you haven’t learned to counter yet. If you have no clue as to countering Hoplites, you’d better first find one before you take Hoplites breeding enemies again. If you can’t manage Stone Throwers well, don’t take Sumeria or Hittites for a while till you learned to cope with them.
  • You may have neglected your economy. If you don’t train enough Villagers, you can’t gather resources fast enough to keep up with your enemies. Do you train at least sixteen of them?
  • Do you research enough technologies? Remember that enough is more than too many. If you spend so much on technology research that you can’t train an army you’re going to lose. If you research too few you’ll lose too – simply because you lose your units too fast due to lack of armour or attack strength.
  • You may be playing at a difficulty level or on a map type or size that you haven’t mastered yet. There’s a considerable difference between the Easy and Moderate levels because the computer players tend to be much more aggressive at Moderate than at Easy. At Hardest the computer players get more resources than you, so you can expect to have a hard time there. A larger map size may be difficult to play at first because of the overview.
  • It’s also possible that you give in too soon. If you’re suddenly under attack and you aren’t prepared for it, you may feel you’re a damn fool to get surprised like that and give up. If your town gets attacked when you’re not prepared for it, that doesn’t mean you’re already defeated. If you have lots of resources (and you probably have), you can rebuild somewhere else and fight back. If you spread out your Villagers you can escape with some that your enemy isn’t aware of.

What are good civilisations to begin with?

The best choice seems to be a civilisation with a good mix of economic and military bonuses and preferably bonuses that you can use right from the start. Generally a ‘fast’ civilisation – one with which you can reach the Tool Age rather fast.

Assyria and Yamato are good choices with their fast Villagers (they are also good at running away from enemy attacks). Shang is considered as very strong and good for early rushes (because of the cheap Villagers). But if you don’t intend to rush early and also don’t intend to build walls (one reason for that might be that the computer can’t build them) you may find them a difficult civilisation to master. One reason for that is that you may be at a loss as to what units you should build.

Some civilisations only have good bonuses for later ages (Hittites, Egypt, Greece, Babylonia for instance). You can wait with those till a good way of building up has become second nature to you. 

– Can you give me some more hints about picking a civilisation?

You can think of the relation between the bonuses of a civilisation and the map size or map type.

Yamato gets cheap Stable units and HAs, so the map size isn’t a big problem for Yamato. Their fast units can get anywhere fast enough. Civilisations with bonuses on slow units are better off on smaller maps – unless you want to run your Villagers all over the map to build close to the enemy, something I almost never do (if I have Villagers build in enemy territory they’re converted Villagers).

Another issue is the map type. A civilisation with good bonuses for ships can’t profit from those bonuses on a map with no water at all. It’s fairly obvious that you can run into all kinds of problems if you take a civilisation with no naval bonuses against enemies with naval bonuses on a water map.

Last but not least the age in which you start. Some civilisations’ real bonuses only come in the Iron Age; for instance Choson’s strong Long Swordsmen and Legions (their Towers can offer some protection but Tower building slows down your economy); Persia (their hunting bonus is countered by a farming penalty in AOE). If you start in Iron that shouldn’t be a problem but if you start in the Stone Age it takes a while before you can profit from those bonuses. 

What’s the difference between +3 or +30% (or +2 and +20% for that matter) resource gathering in the civilisation bonuses and Market technologies?

The difference is that not only the carrying capacity is involved but also the gathering rate. Babylonian Villagers mine stone faster than other civilisations’ Villagers. Egyptian Villagers gather gold faster and Persian Villagers gather food faster from hunting. In fact all technologies at the Market increase the gathering rate as well as carrying capacity (the farm technologies however only increase output, not gathering rate or carrying capacity). All information you can ever want about gathering rates etc. can be found on mrfixitonline. The Coinage technology increases output of gold mines as well (they yield 500 g after the technology is completed – it won’t show in the status box however).

You can profit from them if you act wisely – raw gathering rates don’t help very much if you don’t take the walking into account. It’s obvious that gathering food by shore fishing gives you food faster than by gathering berries. That means you need one Villager less for food gathering at the start. Of course that only matters if you can find that shore fish soon enough. The sooner you can begin gathering food, the better it is.

The other numbers (unit speed for instance) can be more important. You’ll see that the heavy horse archer is actually faster than his cheap brother – a fact not found in the documentation. You can also find how long technology research takes – important if you want to hone a strategy down to seconds.

It’s obvious though that if you’re an optimistic soul and don’t prepare for war these numbers aren’t going to save you.

I want to have allies – how do I manage that?

You can do that by setting team numbers.

Why do most computer players turn enemy at the start? Can I ever cajole enemies into turning ally?

The computer players start as one team and are allied. Their diplomatic stance to you is set to neutral and some players will turn enemy at the start, some later in the game. All computer players will turn on you sooner or later, unless you assign team numbers. That’s also the only way to let computer players fight among themselves.

The CP generally respects the maxim ‘once enemy, always enemy’, but in some instances I’ve seen an enemy turn neutral or even ally – most often when almost nothing was left of it anyway (only a Granary) and even once after it was defeated. It may also turn ally if you attack it – something I came across very rarely – but if you hit one of their units after that, as you almost certainly will, they’ll turn enemy again. 

Time and again I find that Villagers of other civilisations are passing through my town or I come across them in the middle of nowhere – what the heck are they doing?

They’re exploring. Be sure to expect their army soon after if they’re developed far enough for that.