Stone Age


Heaven’s Single Player Help

Stone Age

 

I don’t even know how to begin – should I build a Granary or a Storage Pit first?

The first thing you should build is in fact a house – you need to get more Villagers fast and you need houses for them. When you’re totally new to the game every Villager you make seems to deplete your stock of food but it’s important to remember that the more Villagers you have, the more they can gather in the same time. It’s not so bad if your wood cutting Villagers have to walk some distance with their wood if your other Villagers are producing enough food to allow you to train a new one as soon as one appears at the TC. If your food gathering Villagers spend lots of time walking so that your population grows very slowly, it’s a very different matter. So once you have a house, the first building should be near food – berries or wildlife. If you find several shore fish spots close together that’s a good starting point as well. (Once you get better at the game you can abandon shore fishing because the CP doesn’t use it either. Because shore fishing is the fastest way of getting food, using this looks like cheating. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with shore fishing if you’re new to the game – it’s a nice thing to watch – or testing a new building strategy for multi player games. In scenarios it isn’t so bad too.) 

How many Villagers should I train before upgrading to the Tool Age?

It’s hard to say in general, but sixteen seems to be the minimum in single player. Training more involves a risk as it keeps you in the Stone Age longer so if you can’t train them in a continuous flow training more will mean that the computer player(s) can reach the Tool Age well before you and start a Tool Rush.

On the other hand, some players never train more than sixteen when playing against the computer, so it can also be a maximum. Beginning players shouldn’t train any less. In a nomad start you can try to get twenty before advancing to Tool. When you’re more experienced you can cut down the number to see if you can still beat the computer with less Villagers. 

Where can I find food or wood?

Both should be available in your neighbourhood – but it’s possible that there’s no good forest near.

At the start of the game, send out your Villagers to explore the surroundings of your base. It’s a good idea to put them into a group by selecting all of them and assigning them a number by pressing Ctrl+1 or another number. When you found a sweet spot (wood and wildlife) or berries you can select the whole group by pressing 1 so you won’t have to find every single Villager. Assigning a number to a Villager you send out to explore is a good idea too; it helps you to find him back. If you have patch 1c (1a for ROR) installed you can also press the idle Villager key (.) regularly to trace Villagers who’re taking it easy. 

How many Villagers can I put on stone and gold mining?

Zero. You won’t need gold before the Bronze Age unless you have to pay tribute which won’t ever happen in RM games against the computer. As to stone, you shouldn’t spend too much of that on Towers and walls in general, though they may come in handy on the smallest maps. While you’re building up your economy, don’t spend Villagers on gathering resources you can’t use right away.

How long should I stay in the Stone Age? 

That depends a bit on the map type. Good players can get a fair amount of Villagers and enter the Tool Age in some 10 minutes or earlier. The computer players often enter the Tool Age after 15 minutes and sometimes even much later. That means you should certainly be in Tool after 15 minutes.

When I let my Villagers hunt gazelles very soon they are walking all over the place and it takes forever to collect food that way.

The best way to hunt gazelles is to first kill the lot and after that to build your Storage Pit as close to them as you can – but make sure all gazelles can be reached. Then let the Villagers gather food from them. Put as many Villagers on food gathering as you can – the meat rots so the more Villagers are gathering food the less you lose. (Thanks to the AOEH Academy for this.) 

Shouldn’t I get some Clubmen for defence?

No. You should save food for Villagers and advancing to the Tool Age. Clubmen only have more hitpoints. That means they aren’t worth training. If you get under attack by enemy Clubmen you can fight them with Villagers. You probably have more of them. That also means that you can wait with building a Barracks until the end of the Stone Age.

This even holds if one of your enemies starts attacking early – something that often happens on small maps but I’ve seen it on huge and gigantic maps too. Getting to the Tool Age fast helps more than getting Clubmen yourself – you can give your army armour and then Clubman rushes are pointless (provided you keep your army near your Villagers).

If you have Sumeria there’s really absolutely no reason to build Clubmen in the Stone Age because their Villagers have as many hitpoints as the Clubmen. 

What’s the best kind of food to gather?

Shore fish. It’s gathered fastest. In ROR the gathering rate was lowered but it’s still the best even there. If you can find two or more SF spots close together it’s always worthwhile to build a pit there. However, it isn’t a good idea to spend much time at the start to find them – begin gathering food and switch to SF when you find it. Remember that there may be no good SF at all near your base and in that case you’re wasting your time looking for it. 

 

It seems the computer is always faster than me – what can I do about that?

The computer is better at exploring and micro managing units. The most difficult thing to learn is to co-ordinate activities right at the start so that you can set off at a good speed. All strategies basically begin with the following steps:

1. Train a new Villager at the TC.
2. Let two Villagers build a house.
3. Send the third exploring.
Etc.

The big thing is that you have to do that fast as well. You must also make sure you don’t forget one of your Villagers – at first you’ll find idle Villagers all over the place, which slows you down very much of course. Pretty tall order, ain’t it? Best thing is to do it slowly at first. If you really suck at it, try nomad starts. They’re easier (on the larger maps that is).