In my quest beating the hardest barbie, with the britons I wanted to try a new build/tactic. Britons have strong scout rushes and drush to fast castle, but I already did scouts with the huns and drush+fast castle against hardest barbie is suicide – for me at least. Because of his cheating the initial amount of units in early feudal is staggering. No, no fast castle yet. I wanted to try drush and flush tactics. In a mirror setup it’s not the strongest strategy with britons, but in a non-mirror setup the faster working archery ranges (20% faster ranges team bonus) makes this strategy viable, I think.
This strategy is based on a build I found in chris’s book: drush then get to feudal as soon as possible and start pumping out units from 2 ranges. Against barbie with britons there is a slight alteration to the overall build order, but I will write about that in the end. I will try to describe the strategy without actual numbers first. Early dark age the goal is a very fast drush. After the drush is on its way, time to get to feudal age asap. After clicking feudal age the economy has to be re-balanced dramatically – send enough on wood and gold if planning on going archers. Once in feudal age there are several possibilities what to do, based on the opponent’s moves. Lets consider two most common situations. One: opponent is going scouts or drush fast castling. Second: opponent is doing archers/skirmishers mostly, maybe a few scouts. In the first situation it’s safe to go archers along with a few spears maybe – this means sending villagers to gold and leaving less on food. In the second variant if the opponent did fast feudal (like barbie most of the time), initially the player has to defend – this means a few rounds of skirmishers in feudal age. In the second variant sending villagers to gold is delayed until feudal age is reached or after half-way to feudal. It’s important to have a few on gold in early feudal age to be able to afford fletching, which should be done after about 4-5 rounds of archers or skirmishers. So basically in the second situation the player plays really aggressive in dark age, defensive in early feudal until he is able to get out a larger number of units and then agressive again.
So the basic build with britons looks like this:
- build 2 houses
- 5 on sheep
- 4 on wood
- 1 boar
- 1 sheep/boar
- 1 house + mill
- 1 boar/sheep
- 3 mill (- last one builds a house send for the second boar in the meantime)
- around 6 minutes send one villager to build a barrack and a house and at the same time send another villager to gather 10 gold
- rest to food – boars, sheep and whenever the player can afford it, build a farm – up until 4 farms or 5-6 if planning skirmishers initially
- around 28 pop (24 villagers + 1 scout + 3 militia) click up.
With britons it’s usually easy to get up at 28 pop, with other civs either deer might necessary or one-two extra villagers. The only difference in the dark age build order with others civilizations is the 5 on sheep 4 on wood 1 boar, would look like 6 on sheep 4 on wood with other civs. The earlier wood choppers for britons mean faster barracks – faster drush.
Once on the way to feudal, the economy has to be re-balanced – usually 12-13 on wood 4 on berries 4 or 5-6 on farms and 2-3 on gold and the rest based on the effectiveness of each resource. Right after clicking 5-6 villagers should build the second lumber camp as well. If going skirmishers gathering gold can be delayed a bit, leaving a few more villagers on wood.
In feudal age research double-bit axe, horse collar, put down 2 archery ranges and start pumping out skirmishers or archers, slowly transitioning into archers only. Very soon a blacksmith has to be built as well. (The right timing is roughly one of the archery builders builds a house and then the blacksmith). By the time the blacksmith is up 100 food and 50 gold should be available for fletching. After this point it really gets very situational. Some options are pumping out a few archers only for raiding to go fast-ish castle age to get the +1 range for britons and crossbows; or keep doing military and add ranges if the opponent is staying in feudal.
Now, quest time. If you only cared about the build order, you can stop reading now :). Against the hardest barbie I had to defend very hard in early feudal age. His ~30 skirmishers and archers at min 14 is way too much to handle with archers only and I didn’t want to do scouts as well. This means I have to do at least 5-6 rounds of skirmishers and do fletching asap (otherwise barbie just micros away), and micro like a motherf*er. After the AI is pushed back, I usually get a military advantage until mid castle age, when the AI thanks to it’s faster castle time (the cheater!) and larger economy starts to get back and kills me in imperial age. I still have to improve on my castle age times and the focusing on the economy as well. At least for now my matches against hardest barbie look like this:
I recover, push back then fail to boom enough or fail to do enough damage and just die. But that’s not the fault of this strategy. The build order works really well. I just have to improve in later ages. It’s funny how I went from only boom no military to mostly military and ignoring economy. I just have to find a good balance :). In the quest next up are byzantines – full trash mode ON!