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RoN Strategy for Beginners
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Rise of Nations Heaven » Forums » RoN Strategy for Beginners » Raiding in a different light
Topic Subject:Raiding in a different light
posted 11-25-03 03:25 PM EDT (US)         
I want to continue to look at raiding, but in a little different light.

  1. First and foremost, what is the purpose of raiding?

    I believe we are trying to disrupt an opponents economy, throw them out of their rhythm, disrupt their normal build plan, make them spend more resources than you to defend against the raid, etc.

  2. Why is most raiding restricted to early classical?
    I'm very rarely raided throughout the game. Possibly if the opponent is the Mongols I will be raided from classical on, but otherwise I have that first Horse Archer raid and nothing more. I believe the horse archer raid has both quickness and also less risk as an advantage. After early classical the chance that towers/castles/military units are present make raiding more risky and thus few players continue to raid.

If the general population agrees with these two questions, or more accurately my answers to these two questions. That would mean we expect a certain amount of raiding at classical and other than that the ancient age is one of economy building only, with the exception of course of an ancient rush. I would also tend to believe that raiding is only going to occur during the classical age and later ages will be devoid of raiding.

If you are the lesser player in terms of ability to carry out your strategies/thoughts such as I am in RON currently, you need a trick. I'm hoping with experience that my execution of strategy and the knowledge I have on RON will improve until then, I need a trick. So, a person like me needs something that the other opponent is not expecting. Raiding seems like it may be able to fill that purpose.

Until I see a person hit classical, I'm not worried about raiding, are you? I won't have any military, unless I hit classical before my opponent or I believe an ancient rush is forthcoming.

Why don't we see more barrack type raids?

  • Can happen earlier than Horse Archer Raids

  • Greater possibility to catch the opponent off guard or have them over react(think it's actually a rush to take a town vs. raiding)

  • You wouldn't be spending precious gold that can be used for scholars
  • You can quickly( barrack units are created faster than stable units) create direct counters for your opponents reaction force. For example with a horse archer raid you bring along heavy cavalry to counter the light cavalry even though pikemen is the preferred counter. With a barrack raid you are able to have the exact counters for all units except slingers.


  • Slow as in for most nations the archers/pikeman/slingers that would be used are much slower than Horse Archers

  • You use food/wood at an early age when that could be used to build your econ ( However econ excuses are a bit void in my mind as you always have the choice between military or econ)

  • Greater chance that your units will be destroyed, with a Horse Archer raid you can bring your units back to heal.

So, why not?
How many citizens to you have to destroy to equal the econ costs for 1 of each barrack type unit not taking into account any mental mistakes this early raid may cause?

Let me hear your opinions.

Have fun out there,


posted 11-25-03 04:45 PM EDT (US)     1 / 23       
Another reason for raiding is seeing what opponent is up to.

The payback formula is 1 merchant, 1.5 peons, or 0.5 caravans per HA. Maybe 250 villager seconds of townhall meeting time is another break even metric. If you get that, then its paying off, not counting the resources for early mil2 and barracks. But that part is usually a wash since you force the opponent to do the exact same thing.

I don't know what you are thinking of raiding with barracks units, but it doesn't sound very promissing. Are you bringing quite a few? They're pretty slow at whacking peons, and if you are bringing a swarm, it will be more expensive and time consuming than HAs.

Fogel Xanadu
posted 11-25-03 05:03 PM EDT (US)     2 / 23       
Rax raiding in ancient is pretty useless in my opinion.

Archers and Slingers get slaughtered by villies. So what does that leave? Heavy Infantry are slower then archers/slingers and aren't ranged, so they aren't very good for a raid. unless you make 3 or 4, you're only going to disrupt one villie at a time, as the opponnent can just out micro you. If you make 3+, well, you now have an ancient raid, don't you?

And raiding past classical is still very viable. You need to do two things to pull it off though.

1. you need to keep your opponent well scouted. He can't put towers/castles everywhere. And if you notice he does, that means he doesn't have wealth or metal to build an army to counter an attack.

2. Wait till your opponent attacks, or you attack him. He'll be too busy concentrating on either micro'ing an attack or a defense to notice some horse archers killing his villies all the up by his cap. And if he does bother to micro a raid defense, whether it be garrisoning or sending cav, thats less cav your army is fighting and less villies he has gathering resources to build reinforcements. It also gives you a slight micro advantage in the battle as well.

posted 11-25-03 05:04 PM EDT (US)     3 / 23       
Hmm, I thought archers were stronger than horse archers.

If so, wouldn't they take down a vil that much quicker?

Speaking of which, is there anything out there with accurate unit info?

I know there is info at ronheaven here, but I believe it is beta 2002 info and not quite accurate. I also heard about a style sheet, however I don't always have access to a machine that has RON installed and I still want to look at the data.

GodSpiral, as for the viability of barrack raiding, can you think of other pros/cons for the barrack raiding?

Right now, it's a general idea, it may be a very bad idea but I would like to list out pros/cons and go from there. I know the idea is contrary to what people normally do and or even think of doing, so I was trying to determine if we maybe have a preconception or have tried to implement a barrack rush improperly. I believe if we can get a list of pros/cons we can then look at the list and try to determine where and how to best implement the strat. Then by testing we can get an overall feel for how it will work.

Then again it may be useless and not be worthwhile to ever use.

Have fun out there,


posted 11-25-03 05:15 PM EDT (US)     4 / 23       
Dang Fogel, you slipped in that comment during my reply.

Well, put on how to execute raiding after classical.

I've sent my vils after slingers but never after archers. I may have to try that, I always thought archers would tear em apart.

Anyone have any data on the hp's/damage that a vil does compared to ancient barrack units?

If vils can beat every barrack unit out there in ancient besides HI then I agree a barrack unit raid would be useless against a good opponent.

It takes what, two vils to kill one slinger? What is the price differential on that? How many vils does it take to kill an archer?

Thanks for the input

posted 11-25-03 05:16 PM EDT (US)     5 / 23       
Whiskey have you seen the defending raids article at RoNU? It covers most of the basics for defending cavalry raids.

As far as infantry raids (which sounds fun), Bantu can do it well having faster units, also japanese, roman, and aztec. Light infatry is a great early raid unit, since it has no hard counter until classical (cavalry). HI can take it down but is slower. Trouble is LI have a hard time killing citizens and merchants.

Raiding earlier than classical is going to slow your economy quite a bit. Nations with free infantry (preferably LI) can pull it off best. I say give it a whirl!

posted 11-25-03 05:28 PM EDT (US)     6 / 23       
Yeah, those articles are a big help half_lotus for defending against your normal horse archer raid. Those articles are where I first figured out how to defend against raiding.

I want to figure out some different type of raiding that can happen in those first two ages. I'm hoping this will help make that happen. So is there anything out there different that will work, that is effective?

Seems everyone keeps going back to lack of speed on barrack units or lack of power.

Is the speed factor too great to overcome, why?
Untill I get home I can't test out the power of archers against vils, for some reason I don't quite buy that they get beat up on by vils. Not sure why, I'll most likely be proved wrong in just a few hours.

posted 11-25-03 06:20 PM EDT (US)     7 / 23       
Archers don't do much to citizens. I'd guess 10-12 shots to take one down (3 archers = 1 unit), but I'm guessing from memory as I haven't seen early archers hitting citizens in a while.

I do know that Horse archers have a big bonus against citizens merchants and caravans, and that they can kill a citizen in 2 shots.

Fogel Xanadu
posted 11-25-03 09:29 PM EDT (US)     8 / 23       
2-3 vils can take out an archer easily. I do it all the time. archers can't kill villies as fast as horse archers because horse archers have the counter bonus against villies. it says so in their counter list. It doesn't include heavy cav, and I've seen a horse archer take out a heavy cav in 3-5 shots. thats pretty impressive.
posted 11-30-03 09:25 AM EDT (US)     9 / 23       
I'd just like to point out that raiding in later ages can be phenomenal - though just like all other things, it has to be done right. A mass of scout cars - perhaps twenty - set on raiding can tear through citizens and merchants, not to mention traders, with ease.

Enemy attrition is often heavily reduced with the smelter upgrades, and by the later ages, you should be able to see the enemy mines/rares etc.

It's not something you should forget about, but it's something you shouldn't rely on. Late age villager replacement is very easy, but even a sneak attack through an undefended area with half a dozen can reduce your enemy's economy - and that's less troops he can throw at you.

Rapscallion We don't bite We've been known to play games, sometimes.
Dano the Mighty
posted 11-30-03 08:16 PM EDT (US)     10 / 23       
I think you're onto something, Pete. Anyone remember AoC? Well the skirmisher and spearman were slaughterd by villagers, yet spear and skirmy was the dominant strategy.

Why? Because in order to fight, villies have to stop producing. And if you stop them producing you are winning. I'm trying it with Bantu atm, merely because they are faster, but the speed differential isn't that important; vils lose by chasing!

I've been barracks raiding as my main strategy for a while now. It works. Maybe not against everyone, but I'm not a player with great skills. It allows you to dictate the game, which is always good.

The other thing is you can still run through the techs that'll cost you knowledge in ancient, so can keep up a decent economy. Combine this with the fact that you are throwing your opponent out of his normal game and hey presto!

Maybe when a top player takes it up they'll come back and say "WhiskeyPete was right all along".

[This message has been edited by Dano the Mighty (edited 11-30-2003 @ 08:18 PM).]

posted 11-30-03 08:26 PM EDT (US)     11 / 23       
Running through the techs in ancient doesnt work well because you miss out on the upgrades. Also, how do you afford to do that if you are spitting the odd raiding rax unit? Surely it's a pure case of investing in military early to disrupt his econmy more that you slowed yours, I don't think there are any economic pluses for you in that strategy.
posted 11-30-03 09:01 PM EDT (US)     12 / 23       
I've done a bit of raiding in GP lately, just after launching my main attack, the reason being that the alarm is blazingly obvious if nothing else is happening but may be missed if it is sounding already. I send 2-3 dragoons alone to different gather points. If only one is undefended it can still be devastating if not spotted. I cleaned out half an opponent's industrial economy with one armoured car once. But players with good micro (unlike me) will defend much better and I am usually too busy to organize it anyway in that case.
posted 11-30-03 09:15 PM EDT (US)     13 / 23       
Yeah _Ru_Losing tried that ancient raiding crap on me, but I was going to classical to HA raid him so when he hit with archers and light inf, I was building a stable, one LC took them all down without slowing down production, so unless your pure booming ancient raid sucskssss

- - - - _Au_RaveN - - - -
Fogel Xanadu
posted 12-01-03 01:47 AM EDT (US)     14 / 23       
Haha, losing tried that on me once. I didn't even need a stable, my villies mopped up his slingers/archers.
posted 12-01-03 01:56 AM EDT (US)     15 / 23       
Heavy infantry counters cavalry, and all infantry is faster than villies.
Dano the Mighty
posted 12-01-03 10:04 AM EDT (US)     16 / 23       
Exactly Lotus.

War, you don't need to slow your economy that much to attack. The only upgrades you'd normally want in ancient that cost knowledge are 2nd Com and 2nd Science. I sometimes get 3rd Science if it's a water map. The advantage of doing that is a fast medievil, so you wouldn't get the upgrades until medievil anyway.

posted 12-01-03 12:06 PM EDT (US)     17 / 23       

Ok, so I tried this strategy a few times and overall if not used in combination with a quick classical and HA raiding it has not seemed to work for me at all. I should ammend that, against players of a equal or greater skill level than me defending against a barrack type raid is pretty easy.

As a few noted, one HC or LC can clean up the raiding units if a HI is not included in the raiding force.

However, I still think a variation of this may have some advantages. The intel or scouting allowed by these units helped quite a bit. The economy is slowed down by resource spent on building an early barracks and building a few units however I think if I can improve my control I may be able to take out enough enemy units to make it worthwhile. I think the early barracks helps me be ready for a rush and it also allows me to start building an early army if it looks like my opponent is going to boom boom boom.

So, I hope a few others can try some variations or see if having some military in the early ages is of any advantage. Possibly only a few nations will be able to take advantage of it, maybe not.

posted 12-01-03 02:49 PM EDT (US)     18 / 23       
one word "Bantu"

with them you can troop raid very successfully VERY!


posted 12-01-03 03:56 PM EDT (US)     19 / 23       
Does the speed really help the Bantu enough to make raiding with them successful? Aren't the units still pretty weak compared to cavalry units?
posted 12-01-03 04:52 PM EDT (US)     20 / 23       
I'd like to see some HI take down farms for raiding. Japs would be perfect. Also dont forget to go for merchants and the caravan, its not all about wood cutters. =)
posted 12-02-03 08:48 AM EDT (US)     21 / 23       
"Does the speed really help the Bantu enough to make raiding with them successful? Aren't the units still pretty weak compared to cavalry units?"

The units are still weaker as compared to cav units, but the speed factor can really help. A small force of LI + HI raiders moving very quickly can cause a huge panic for most opponents.

posted 12-08-03 06:12 AM EDT (US)     22 / 23       
An excellent raiding unit for modern and beyond is the helicopter. By that time you usually know where all rare resources and oil are. You can have a heli hop from one resource to the next killing merchants and oil drillers, especially around the outer edges where defenses are slim/none. It takes only a small ammount of your attention. If you forget about the heli it will usually sit there unhurt for quite a long time. Most players, myself included, seldom check these outer resources to send out another villiger or merchant after the original is killed.
posted 12-08-03 02:11 PM EDT (US)     23 / 23       
Yea - I totally raid with helos. They kill off the vills working on the oil platforms really fast. Very annoying to have to send new guys out there to work.
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