Some RoN Strats and Tips

Just a quick summary of different strats to raise the bar for the Qt3 games.

Ancient Rush
Almost impossible to stop if your unprepared (so scout well!) and deceptively easy to pull off. Only requirement is a small land map.

At the start of the game only research the first military tech, and nothing else for a while. Fill out your farms and woodpit, then make a foward barracks. Make 5-6 hoplites or equivalent and send directly to your opponent’s capital. Start making slingers or bowmen if you have any gold income. Sack his capital for 500 of each resource. Its almost an instant win under any situation. Done correctly and you can steamroll a couple of enemies this way by adding extra units with the free resources you gain.

Best used with the Japanese although the Romans and Germans can both do it with some extra oomph. However any civ can pull this off easily.

counter: watch % territory; if hes not making a 2nd TC prepare for the rush by holding off aging and getting a tower for each TC you’ve built requires 1 mil tech. A temple is not enough - ive learned from bitter experience. Every game ive lost online was to an ancient rush.

Ranged Cavalry raiding
Simple but always effective. Make 4 or 6 ranged cav and run them around the ‘other’ side (where you and your opponent have not build up) and disrupt his econ. Run back to a TC or Fort to heal. Later use a general with Force March to speed extraction and for the armor bonus in case of Light Cavalry. Don’t worry about attrition, it will never be enough to kill them as long as you keep moving and garrison them afterwords to heal (and get the first forge tech at least).

What shouldn’t be a fatal distraction often is and ive broken many stalemates by this tactic. It not only reduces his economy at a crucial moment but costs him precious food to replace lost villagers right at the time you are harming his food income, as well as a nightmare in control. Be absolutely sure you can hold your opponent on the ‘real’ front as when he sees you raiding he’ll be confident your army is weaker than his and attack. Geography and towers are extremely important here, as is my next tip…

GeneralCraft
As soon as possible start adding generals to your army, and always upgrade them with the appropriate tech. This is an absolute necessity. Enlightenment Age battles are often between armies made up of the exact same kinds of units, and having 4 more armor can mean a difference of 20% damage reduction or more. Use force march to chase the lagging elements of an opponent fleeing the field. Decoy is often used during battle as well to add some ‘meat’ and soak up a bit more damage.

Ive honestly never used entrench or ambush in a real game. They might go well together actually (use hold fire here i think).

Rare resources
All rares are good but be sure to look for rares that compliment your specific civ bonuses. Look for Papyrus for China, Salt for Japan or Rome, Gems for Russia, Horses for Mongolia, ect. i won’t go through them all.

There are five pure rares that provide 20 of one resource, which might be worth remembering. Cotton provides 20 wood, Copper 20 metal, Relics 20 knowledge (very nice), Bison 20 food, and Diamonds 20 wealth (excellent). Many top players think that Diamonds are the best rare in the game, but imo more about using rares to compliment your strategies.

Although its desirable to get every rare possible one does need to prioritize since merchants do become rather expensive after the first few. Don’t hinder your economy to grab rares whose bonuses you can’t exploit for some time.

Researching the Taxation techs at the temples increases your rare income. This includes fishing.

Ok … sleepy; anyone find this helpful? I wont clutter the board with fanpage material if its inappropriate.[/i]

Good tips, thanks for the ancient rush in particular. I was wondering if it was possible to pull it off since you can’t build too close to an enemy, and you might suffer from attrition. Will have to try that…

Ive honestly never used entrench or ambush in a real game. They might go well together actually (use hold fire here i think).

I’ve not used Ambush either, but entrench can be very effective in a defensive position. Particularly if you can take and assimilate an enemy town and get your army in a bottleneck between your new city and enemy reinforcements. Entrenched it’s like waves breaking against stone. Also good for just general defense of your territory, but there’s a certain satisfaction in digging in and preventing against your enemy retaking his city.

In the interest of appeasing the fierce wumpus I will toss some ideas on the RoN nations in this thread rather than make a new one:

So far, most of the nations seem to have some useful abilities but some are more useful than others. Here are my preliminary thoughts:

Nations that don’t seem that great: Mayan, Korean - the bonuses seem kinda underwhelming to me. Both are essentially defensive powers but they don’t get any major economic boost to help them “turtle and boom” - all they do well is turtle. I suppose you could try town-center border pushes with these powers but that seems easy to defeat with a few siege weapons.

Nations that are easy to play: Japanese, French, Egyptians. The Japanese get a nice farming boost and cheap farms which lets them get going economically easily and quickly. Combined with good, cheap infantry they are a good power for early offensives and are generally the easiest offensive nation to play. The French are a good mixed nation: they have a decent timber bonus, which helps them in the early timber short ages. They get free generals and free siege weapons when building castles and factories, which lets them easily create diverse armies. And of course the free healing with supply wagons lets them sustain offensives and makes them very easy to manage. The Egyptians are a strong economic power, with extra farms and a farming bonus. They have some good early units (Chariot, Camel) and in general its easy to play a “build and defend the Wonder” strat with egyptians.

Powers that are hard to play: Chinese, Nubians. Neither of these are bad powers, but they require a little skill to use well. The Nubian market bonus is really only useful if you are trading resources, and especially if you have long term economic plans to offset production bonuses and shortages. Used effectively you can have a massive Nubian economy by the midgame, but its also easy to get distracted by the market. The Chinese instant-peasant bonus is quite useful for early econ and expansion but requires some experience to make use of. Overbuilding peasants can be a real waste. Both of these can be pretty good with careful handling. The Chinese can be fun for a Medieval offensive b/c they get firearms earlier than anyone. Its fun to see your Fire Lances shooting up the poor pikemen as they struggle to close :).

So far I don’t have a single favorite nation but some do seem best for certain strategies.

For an econ/Wonder strat, the Incas, Egyptians and British are all good, with Egyptians being easiest to play and British having the greatest long term potential. The Incas are an interesting dark horse - if you make good use of the gold bonus you can pump up your econ AND military earlier than anyone else (nobody else can afford lots of heavy cavalry as early as the Incas can). Also the Incas are very good at rebounding from a trouncing.

For a rush/offensive strategy I think the Japanese are the best, although the Aztecs and Mongols are good too. The Aztecs can be really fearsome once they get some momentum. The Mongols in theory should be good but they tend to run low on gold to build ranged cavalry. Maybe I need to ajdust my econ :).

Also, now that I know how to give resources to allies, I am thinking that both the Nubians and Incas might be great on teams. By giving others gold or other resources they can really help you out of a tight spot.

Lastly, for island maps the Spanish ROCK - the reveal map bonus and free heavy ships is pretty damn useful.

I haven’t really analyzed the various special units - I use em when I can but nothing has really jumped out at me as dominant, although the Japanese heavy infantry do seem pretty damn good (and cheap!). The Germans seem to have the best overall set of special units: great early heavy infantry, plus great late game armor, and to boot a special machine gun and light infantry. The British have some good special units too, as do the Russians. The Greeks seem to have gotten shafted - Greek heavy cavalry? Yes, I know Alexander had the companions and the Byzantines had the Cataphractoi but the dominant military theme when I think of Greeks is infantry.

Rambling now :0

Dan

The Mayan advantage is that you don’t have to defend against the rush. If you’re going up against somebody that you know is going to rush you they are an excellent choice.

They are a reasonable choice in a big free for all game, too. If you’re constantly going to be getting hit with waves of attacks their increased city strength and firepower might make the difference between hanging on to your territory and losing it.

Also the Mayans build Wonders twice as fast, which while not quite as good as the Egyptian ability to build wonders an age early, can still allow you to build your favorite wonders in a tight game.

That said, I never play them.

The Greeks seem to pretty much suck as far as I can tell. It’s pretty hard to get a substantial lead in technology with or without them due to the exponential cost of each age’s research. Also, like you said, their special units are probably the worst in the game.

Oh, don’t listen to Sharpe. He never wins…

The only problem with the Ancient Rush is that if your rush gets repelled, which it will by any good player, you just lost the game. Seriously. What the fuck are you going to do if your entire strategy consists of rushing early on, it gets countered, then the guy who countered it is a level up on all the techs and an age and has an obvious advantage?

[size=2]Please note, I’ve yet to have someone Ancient Rush me, except Tom who’s tried to on numerous occasions with the Mayas and Bantu or Jibbajeebawoo’s or whatever, and it wasn’t really an ancient rush, but still. I command attention![/size]

If you rush and are repelled you’ve lost and you deserve to lose.

I’ve been ancient rushed a few times. I’ve noticed whenever I’ve repelled one that the rusher isn’t even a good enough sport to play the game out. They just immediately quit.

What I’ve often seen is that the rush costs both players essentially same amount: the rusher wasted all those resources on troops, but the rushee has had their economy disrupted enough that it all balances out.

Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, sometimes one player does get the upper hand.

That is one advantage to playing the Germans or the likes: The resource penalty that you take from building an army to destroy theirs is nill because of the resource bonus you get from the nation.

Nubians are one of the best nations imo, you just use the market whenever you need and almost ignore the cost of exchanging resources. Very nice early when you need lots of food or wood to make multiple expansions.

Inca are probably have the strongest economy in the game as wealth is usually the scarcest resource, and everything good in the early game costs wealth.

Koreans aren’t a good choise if you enjoy 2 hour games with drawn out fights that never get anywhere, but in 1on1 games they are easily one of the strongest. Since your always limited by the commerce cap you can’t just build more farms and increase your food income as in the Age of X series, and those free villagers quickly add up to several hundred food.

Ancient rushes are attacks within the first 5 minutes; if your unprepared for it and its exectuted half decently, you lose, there isn’t a way to come back. If you are prepared (have a tower or a barracks) its not always fatal, but against a good player getting either can set you back while he expands.

I’m a big fan of the French. They seem fairly well rounded, and the supply wagon healing is a big bonus (throw in Versailles and you’ve got an army of the undead, constantly regenerating themselves). Their lumber bonuses can really help out on water maps, especially the fishing boats that you can churn out later in the game to use up all that extraneous wood. The bonus also is a big factor in early A.I. development, which has won me a game or two.

My opening moves can often be sluggish, as I tend to start out by researching 4 of the 5 first age techs, and then going about the business of fleshing out my infrastructure (usually this causes a 4 or 5 second delay in my second or third peasant, but isn’t crippling, and sets me up for an easy Age at my leisure)

I dunno. I’ve been doing well thus far, doing fairly well on gamespy, so I guess that’s something… or is it?

I’d love to get a definition of “scouting well”

Just a guess Mayer, scout to find the enemy capitol quickly? Also find their defenses and what type of unit they’re making.

-Off Topic-

I’ve noticed something disturbing about the “Tougher” level. I’ve played 4 games in a row against 7 AI and lost each time to a Allied victory of some kind (territory or Wonder). I think (think) there’s something unintentionally broken here. What happens is, once I start beating up the enemies my Ally breaks the alliance and starts fighting me. No matter how well I’m doing, two other AIs band together and gain the above victories as a result.

Each time I’m well ahead of the pack. I’m reseaching the four bonus techs and my victory is clear (except for Territory and Wonder). Each time, I’d have won had my Ally remained my Ally. I think at higher difficulty the AI not interested in an Allied victory any longer. Each time my Ally isn’t powerful enough to win on it’s own and as a result, loses along with me (heh, usually at my blood stained hands). Maybe this is intentional, to make things much harder, but it’s pretty damn annoying too.

(No, each time I haven’t used Nukes yet)

The Chinese can create an INSTANT army with “to arms”

Lot’s of way you can use this to your advantage… :wink:

Funny, that’s the exact same thing all the “zergling rush” people used to to when they failed.

Funny, all the people who Zerg-rushed were Korean.