Not so long ago robo posted on reddit a power strategy for mongols doing 3 archery ranges. With mongols I think it’s a bit easier, since they get the amazing hunting bonus, and having less on food enables more villagers on wood. I wanted to do something similar with the chinese. Unfortunately they don’t get any dark age bonuses to help them. The only bonus they might get if lucky, that they can be 1 villager ahead compared to other civs. I have been struggling with this strat a lot. I managed to beat hard barbie with it, but I don’t know if it would work against a real player. It’s futile to try this against hardest barbie, since thanks to the cheating he’s always able to out-mass me without a hit to his economy. Not to mention it hits feudal age at 9:30 with chinese.
First, let’s look at the key points of the strategy. The goal is to reach feudal age very fast and put down 3 archery ranges ASAP and start pumping archers. This is not possible without having a very fragile economy and also lots of TC idle time. Hence with the greater military the player must do damage, otherwise the opponent will be way ahead with economy. It’s not enough to just fight enemy military units, the opponent will still be way ahead economically. Ideally focus on killing villagers.
So why the mongols in the original strategy: you can get away with having less villagers on food and put them on wood and gold for the ranges and the initial surge of units. The dark age with chinese is hard as it is. I couldn’t even find a proper build for chinese to start with. So I kinda made up one based on the strategy for the mongols.
Consider a 23 pop build with chinese (since they should be theoretically 1 villager ahead). You might be able to do this with 22 pop if close deer. Let’s start with some math – you need 1300 food to create 16 villagers and click feudal age. Theoretically 4 sheep (400F), 2 boars (680F) and 2 deer (280f) = 1360 should cut it even with some rotting. Since we are trying to minimize the number of villagers on food similar to the build with mongols, instead of berries I went for deer.
Roughly the build order:
6 to berries then sheep
1 to build house then wood
1 to sheep (make it seven)
1 to wood (2 on wood)
4 mill then on deer (3rd builds a house)
1 to boar (8 total)
6 to wood (8 in total)
2 to gold
If everything went well, you should be able to click up around 7:45-8:15. Right after clicking up move 2 boar eaters to gold and the rest to wood. Leave only 2 on food. Go forward with 3 of the deer eaters. Economy balance should be something like 13 on wood, 4 on gold 2 on food 3 forward.
Upon reaching feudal age put down 3 ranges as soon as possible. When that’s done, move 3 wood choppers to gold. New villagers should go on food (you should still have 4 sheep left), so you can continue vill production again. This is the hard part – balancing eco, while still pumping out as many archers as possible and still do enough damage so you are not behind. It might be worthwhile to research fletching earlier than the wood upgrade to do extra damage. I have been struggling with this a lot. I’m not even sure, this strategy would work against a human. Still, it’s the first time I beat hard barbie in feudal age, so it might work at my noob level :).
If you have any suggestions, please let me know!