In the barbie quest I just couldn’t be bothered to play against the hardest right now. Somehow too demotivated to play against it. This drush+fc works like charm against the hard barbarian, though.
With huns the 22 pop is almost guaranteed to work out without major issues. Not so lucky with following build orders with aztecs. It is really hard to follow a build order with them and not change a single thing. Way too many variables: easy to lame a boar or get lamed, need to always drop off resources, lag, boar timing, closeness of wood etc. It’s a good civ to train to be flexible with the build orders.
So a rough build I use that should work most of the time for 5 militia drush+fast castle:
7-10 lumber camp then wood
11 lure boar
12 house + mill then berries
14-17 berries (build a house with the last one – 5 on berries) – around this time lure second boar and build the barracks with a villager
19-21 wood (7 in total around the lumber camp)
22-27 stragglers then farms (7 farms in total) – after boars are finished send 3-4 to mill deer
28 mining camp
Right after clicking up send 3 more to gold making it 4 in total on gold (see this article for math). If I want to wall as well or want to be safe with the build, I add 2 more villagers usually (1 to wood and 1 walling). So this should be a 34-36 pop build (28-30 +eagle scout+5 militia). I have also seen a few players go 36 pop with 5 on gold and man-at arms in feudal age. It delays a bit castle age, but still should give a comfortable 18 minute uptime.
In feudal age I just add two more to gold. The balance after clicking castle age should be 7 on gold, 13-14 on wood rest on food. In castle age I go two archery ranges. After a while I build either town centers or siege workshop based on how it is going with the crossbows. Around 30 minutes I start transitioning into eagles and focus on going imperial. After imperial just spam elite eagles
This strategy probably won’t be as simple unless there is a big skill difference. Aztecs have also other options – go castles and jaguar warriors, arbalest and eagles, champions and arbalest, etc. Anyways – here is the record of me taking it easy with hard – link. Not my best play – forgot sending more to wood, sloppy army control losing too much crossbows, slow to boom, no attack upgrades for eagles. Still an easy game against hard barbie. If anybody could point out any more mistakes or has advice, I would appreciate it.
The downside of this build that it requires either stealing a boar, pushing or milling deer. But still, if it works it can be a good time between 16:40-17:30 to castle age. Another issue with the build as mentioned earlier, that it requires the player to adapt much more than other builds I tried before. For me at least it was harder to have a perfect build and do proper damage with the militia. Quite a lot of multitasking right after 5 minutes in-game.
Hope this is useful. If You have any suggestion, corrections, better builds, please let me know! Next up britons…