Franks drush+fc castle drop

french castle

With chinese I did a strategy, that would have been completely useless against hardest barbie. If done right, that strategy would work wonders against real players. With franks I wanted to win again against hardest. And this strategy with franks probably works better against hardest barbie than against real people. Hardest barbie just gets scared when they see a frank castle. You can see a lot of yellow wet spots on the grass while they retreat when the castle is up.

First, let’s start with a wider picture about franks. They get cheaper castles and have really strong cavaliers and paladins. Their knights are nothing special, except the +2 LOS. That +2 line of sight helps with raiding. You might even see crossbows sooner than they see you if they don’t have fletching. Franks are kinda weak in dark and feudal ages. Better skip those. With these in mind, here comes the plan.

Let’s drush and do some minimal walling, do a fast castle and drop a defensive castle. Barbie, due to his cheating, gets out incredibly fast a huge feudal age army – almost unstoppable. The drush serves two purposes: distract barbie’s army and villagers long enough, while I reach castle age and drop that castle. The castle is essential to defend against barbie. Without going scouts and doing damage early, it’s really hard to keep up with hardest. So I’m in castle age, with my base relatively safe. Time to raid. A lot. Otherwise barbie just overwhelms with army and cheated resources used for insanely fast upgrades. So I constantly raid with two groups of knights. This is extremely effective against barbie, but it should be equally effective also against real players, who doesn’t wall. Behind this I boom to imperial age as fast as possible, while still raiding. Once in imperial age time to push with castles, trebs, paladins and throwing axeman as backup. It’s a really costly army, but also very strong. I’m not sure if I’m getting better or barbie can’t handle this strategy, but it was almost an easy game against it.

Let’s look at the build now. With franks only 2 villagers in dark age and 2 in feudal age are enough on stone to gather enough resources for a castle. There are probably two variants to follow up this build. Either do a double stable or adding more villagers on stone once clicking castle age for faster TCs to boom. Here is the rough build until clicking castle. It is probably a bad idea to follow this to the point, I never do…

6 on sheep
4 on wood
1 boar
1 house+mill
1 boar (8 on boar, 1 building a mill and 4 on wood)
3 on berries (last one builds a house)
1 barracks
1 gold then wood
1 on berries
(you should be at 20 pop – 4 on wood, 1 on stragglers, 5 on berries, the rest under the TC)
4 to wood (make 8 at lumber camp, do militia in the meantime)
2 to gold
2 to stone
also start building farms and push (or mill) deer
2-3 on stragglers then farms until you are able to click up (go more vills if you plan to wall more
(at the time of clicking up, you will have around 5-7 farmers, 5 berries, 2 gold, 2 stone, 8 on wood, rest on stragglers, deer or under the TC)
Feudal Age
send 2 new villagers to stone then click up and send 1 more to gold

Now you can either send more to stone or more to gold to afford more TCs or 2 stable knights. Once in Castle Age, drop a defensive castle, constantly raid and try to boom. Go Imperial age, research cavailer and paladin and mass army with throwing axeman. And that’s basically it. GG


This was my game against hardest barbie. I’m not sure, but this might be the first time I beat hardest latish in imperial. Anyways, next up goths!

  • Tramadol

    Hey there. Your aoe2stats has been invaluable for me as a noobish player. Especially with the African Kingdoms unique units. Just thought I’d drop by, say thanks and ask if, under «Archers», where it says «Persians and allies» it should say «Saracens and allies». Thanks again for your time.

    • aocpip

      Hi, nice catch with the saracens 🙂 Fortunately the mistakes getting rare, thanks to feedback like yours. It’s going to take me a bit more time to update this time, though. I’m preparing a facelift, but tomorrow it should be there.

      The ethiopian bonus applies only to foot archers without skirmishers. Cav archers are not effected. Same for genitours (they are also classed in the game as cavalry archers).

      • Tramadol

        It’s a pleasure to contribute. I found it through AoCZone, it’s been a blessing so far. ‘Hidden bonus’ just seems such a silly concept.
        I’ve been checking the genitour because of a post on Steam forum. It may be considered a ‘cavalry archer’, but camel archers have no bonus against them, and to skirmishers/elite they seem to only count as archers, so I wondered.

  • Tramadol

    Damn sweet facelift. I’ll suggest a part for «Foraging with Franks», concerning their new bonus, in the Expansion section.

    • aocpip

      It was there under the name “Forage bushes with franks” but I will change it to foraging :). that will make more sense

      • Tramadol

        Don’t know if it’s annoying if I leave my suggestions here; if so, just let me know. Here are some more:
        – Skirmisher and elite skirmisher also could also use «Persians and allies» switched to «Saracens and allies» .
        – Add llamas and goats (or just call them «herdables» or something) to sheep/turkey/cow. Consider something else for deer, zebras, and other wild meat.
        – Some players have run tests on a few aspects you mention, namely SpiritoftheLaw (available on youtube, he’d probably wouldn’t mind if you mention him) with berber and slav farming (as well as many other things).

        • aocpip

          sure, I will fix those things, when I get home. Tad bit busy lately :/
          I don’t follow SotL, I only see occassional videos linked on reddit. If you have a link to those tests, preferably with recordings to control check, just email me ( :).