AOM: What side do you like best?

I’m curious which side people like to play? I haven’t played as anyone other than the Egyptians, because I don’t have to since I’m not reviewing this, and instead I’m just trying to work through all the possibilities and upgrade paths for one side. So far I like the whole Tornado thing. The Norse are supposedly so tough to play, but I actually think the Egyptians aren’t so hot, either. A lot of people in m/p seem to play the Greeks.

I’d say the Norse are easiest for me, especially in multiplayer. It’s just a matter of getting the timing down. I like the Greeks too, a lot, but it’s for sentimental reasons becasue I don’t ever do well with them. I just love the Cyclops. I’m considering looking up the cheats and playing a DM against somebody where we agree to only make two comparable Myth units and churn them out. Cyclopses versus whatever they decide to make. Wheee!

I’ve played the Egyptians enough to be familiar with them, but they didn’t grab me. Not for any good reason really, it has something to do with their myth units I think, they aren’t exciting to me, as shallow as that sounds it’s true.

My biggest complaint about multiplayer is the Archer/Slinger/Axe-tosser early rush that I’m facing more and more often lately. It’s even turning me off random multiplayer completely. Why would I want to win a game of Age of Mythology BEFORE I field any cool myth units? I don’t even want to learn how I can do that, but I need to learn how to counter it. I just hate it when games like this become less instinctual and more “follow these steps to victory!”. Sigh.

On the other hand, I’ve played some real scorchers all the way past the Myth Age with a couple players. Games featuring hordes of myth units, well timed and devastating usage of good old God Powers. Even times where a God Power has changed the flow of the battle!

Greeks are just new-Age civs (get it, new…age /cough) and are the ones who play most like the civs in previous games, which is why so many new players start with them in multi. Norse are a tricky but flexible mix of workers and dwarves. Egyptians have huge potential to either be botched or successful. Some points to help you decide:

Greeks have the easiest time with gaining favor, so they’re your choise if you want myth units as your primary force (which btw is impossible in 1on1 games). Greeks have the most flexible early military as well.

Dwarves mine gold fast but all other resources slow. Dwarves are cool because they use gold and they can be trained in lieu of humans whenever your low on food. Most good players eventually have a dozen or more dwarves just for gold mining.

Egyptian workers work 10% slower than the other civs’ villagers at gathering resources. When you empower a building it actually adds 20% extra resources every time a worker drops off a load, and it might increase their gather rate by 20% as well (but im not real clear on this). IE, you get 20% more gold if you empower a mine for its duration. The idea is that you get a net 10% bonus on whatever resource you want but a 10% handicap on all the others.

Build the small monument to villagers the first thing off the bat as Egypt to start your favor income. Monuments gather favor slowly but youve got at least 6 minutes of dead time at the start of the game. You get barely 6 favor per minute, per monument, fyi.

Why would I want to win a game of Age of Mythology BEFORE I field any cool myth units?

Why would you want to play for 30 minutes when you could win the game in 15? :).

Why is that “shallow?” It’s a game, and they don’t grab you - totally fine. Games are supposed to entertain you. It’s not like you didn’t like Dead Souls because the cover was crappy.

Right, but you empower the mining CAMP, not the mine itself, correct? I know that for most resources you need to build collecting buildings, but early on you can get away with empowering your town center to get the bonus for everything that is collected there. That’s also why it’s great to find three gold mines all very close to one another (as happened to me in several games) because you can empower one mining camp and get the bonus for three mines.

I don’t like the Egyptians because I don’t like their monster units. It has nothing to do with the style of play, the depth, their abilities, the music, the unit responses, the mythology, the buildings, the strategic options, the God Powers - all of those definitely grab me.

The only reason I don’t play them, Bruce, is because I don’t like their monsters.

And besides, I only said: “it sounds shallow” but the more I think about it, it is shallow.

I’ll agree with that. The egyptians have lame myth units. That poison lizard and the laser crocodile totally suck. As does the sphinx. I never messed much with their mummy unit, but I’m guessing it sucks too.

I like the scorpian men, and the turtle is great for bashing ships.

The scorpion man reminds me of something I’d see in C&C, so I hate it by proxy-- even if it doesn’t actually suck like, say… a psionic dolphin would.

I guess there is some hope that C&C Generals won’t be a total waste of time like the last umpteen games they’ve released. Color me skeptical.

The mummy is pretty good. They fling poison and death all around them, can’t front on that. I like their giant snapping turtle, but I haven’t played a map where sea units really made an appreciable difference. Even that one with the big lake mid-map.

I like the Norse for their Giants mainly, and the metal boar is pretty cool too.

The Greeks have Cyclopses, Centaurs, Hydras, Chimeras, Minotaurs, and giant metal people - and they have a multitude of heroes. Can’t beat that.

Egyptian and Set are my two personal favorites.

I like the Set’s quick infantry and control they have over animals.
Egyptians infantry as well, especially the speedy camel’s.

Egyptians are my favorites. I love the crocodiles.

Can I just get some frikkin’ crocodiles with frikkin’ laser-guns on their heads?!!!

Even that one with the big lake mid-map.

I just played that as my first ranked map. Man, the pace of this game is positively glacial compared to WC3. First, you have to build several dozen villagers… sigh. It takes a long time to get to a point where any combat can even occur!

We were also subjected to that cheesy “build all axemen” strategy. They must have teched right for it, because one player had a sizable force of champion axemen by our first encounter, which wasn’t terribly far into the game. That strategy was working, too; our mixed force was decisively beaten.

Ultimately, we won, because my ally was an excellent mixed force builder, and because I built almost all all siege weapons based on what I saw them doing… the ridiculous number of walls and towers they constructed were comically ineffective against siege. Plus, they couldn’t fight a two front war. My siege destroyed their wonder with 4 minutes left, and then it was all downhill from there.

Anyway, it was a long and rather boring game. Also kind of laggy, oddly enough, but that might be because the other players were on modems.

I really miss the fluidity that WC3’s town portal brings to combat. It’s all too easy to trick an inexperienced player into running his army after your feint attack, and once he’s far enough away, he subsequently has no chance to get back to town and prevent your main force from causing serious damage.

I don’t see myself playing a lot of multiplayer in AoM. The ratio of busywork (read: gathering resources, managing your umpteen bazillion buildings and workers, making sure you “age up” fast) to combat is way too low, and the combat is more of a building contest than one of actual tactics…

Well, I would play again, but seeing as how there are all of 737 (!) players on @ 2am on Saturday night… well, let me put it this way: staring at the “expanding search criteria” isn’t the most fun game I’ve ever played.

What the hell?

I play as the Norse because it was the first side I started with and in my obsessive way, I’ve persevered with them. The myth units are pretty bogus, so I don’t really build them ( that, and the fact that favour isn’t a regulary increasing resource) so I concentrate on the grunts. Axe throwers tend to be prevalent because they don’t require food to build. The food is better off being put into upgrades. I like the Norse spells too- increasing the amount of animals to hunt, burning down enemy forests and freezing their forces. I hardly ever use the major norse spells- Ragnorak is used when I know I’ve won the game, and Fimbulwinter seems too weak against entrenched 4th epoch players.
I like the ox carts becuse it’s less clicking to gather resources and the fact that I can use my armies to build barracks, hill forts and towers just outside an enemy base without worrying about herding a work crew of peons to do the duty.

For those of you saying the Eyptian myth units aren’t exciting, or whatever phrase you’re using for “not fun”, I present the Anubites and Avengers. And although they’re not myth units, I sure do enjoy an Ape of Set rush early in the game as a harrying tactic. Nothing like a pack of hooting monkeys to break up the other guy’s villagers.

I don’t know which race I’m partial to. I’m still trying to get a handle on the Norse, so I guess I find myself playing them most often. The Eygptian’s economic strength is really tempting, though. And although it may not be obvious, other players hate it when you play Isis and lock out their god powers.

 -Tom

Yeah, I love anubites, and Isis are my civ of choice right now. They’ve got access to all the best Egyptian myth units (anubites, petsuchos [crocs] and mummies), as well as all the best God Powers (prosperity, ancestors, son of osiris and meteor). The monument protection from God Powers is, as you say, also excellent, especially at this early stage when many people aren’t aware of what is stopping them as they often just give up and don’t use their GP. I played some guy who was using Hades yesterday in an hour long game, who complained bitterly that kept trying to cast earthquake on me, but couldn’t.

Wumpus, if you are finding the normal game too slow, I recommend trying either the Deathmatch or the Lightning gameplay modes. Both of them get you into the fighting very very quickly. The AI is quite competent at playing both of those modes, so you can quickly get a sense of what they’re like.

Population on ESO right now is around 1000 most nights. The game has only been out a little over a week so far and isn’t even out in most of the world, so we’re pretty happy with those numbers. But quick search is definitely something that gets easier with more people online. The quickest way to find a quick search game is to look for a 1v1 on “Random” map type, Supremacy (basically, all the defaults).

Am I the only guy who likes the Set’s?

I’m all about Norse. I love the mobility their Ox Carts provide. My only gripe is their difficulty against the other two sides when they rush with ranged units early on. I’ve countered this effectively in my last couple online games using cavalry (Raiders) though. I’ve only played Odin online so far. I want to exhaust each side in turn and I feel like I’ve still got tons to do with Odin.

I saw a wild tactic the other night. I was playing another Norse player. The guy got to the second age about 30 seconds after me. Not more than a minute later he’s already hitting Heroic. Another six minutes later, around the 14:30 mark, he hits Mythic. BOOM… instant Ragnarok. All of a sudden, even though I was fielding a strong army, it was over. With some 50 Ragnarok Heroes against my lack of countering units, I couldn’t hold on. It wasn’t my best game and by the 14:30 mark, I’m usually pretty prepared for a fight, but this one completely surprised me.

Thinking about it, I could probably duplicate it. He’s probably using all food and gold production with just enough wood to meet the age requirements. Ragnarok is of course a God Power so it’s “free”. I didn’t like losing, but it was a neat way to lose.

–Dave

My weakness in the game seems to be my need to research all the food/wood/gold upgrades. It can really set you back. But then I’m sure there are plenty of real world civs who, when they met the technologically inferior visigoths, huns, or mongols, could say they made the same error.