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RoN Strategy for Beginners
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Rise of Nations Heaven » Forums » RoN Strategy for Beginners » My Tip of the week - upgrading units
Topic Subject:My Tip of the week - upgrading units
posted 12-08-03 04:24 PM EDT (US)         
Most of you know that you can skip ages when upgrading units, and can save $ that way.

You may also have noticed that sometimes its really expensive to upgrade and other times not so much. This post will help you understand when the upgrades are expensive and look at whether its worth it.

The big jumps in upgrade costs are for light and heavy infantry and heavy cav in ages 4 and 6. In Age4, LI owns HI, and get a big boost (~50%) in firepower, and another boost in range so its a big upgrade but worth the expense. HI and HC on the other hand, only get a 10% boost in firepower and HP compared to age3 so if have a reason to use and upgrade them in age3, then leaving them unupgraded in age 4 can be attractive.

Upgrading from age4 to 5 is always cheap, so if you have many units and are using them, its worth the boost. In Age 5, HI also gain ranged ability, without extra cost (over age 4). Also, they are much cheaper in this age, and not that much weaker than they are in age 6, so if you are tight on resources, then age 5 is the sweetspot age for HI. (Not sure how they do against tanks though)

In age 6, Everything is a lot more expensive to upgrade. Tanks start to rule, as they gain range. Light infantry doesn't really gain any real bonus.

Some other notes: Archers, Light cav and horse archers are never expensive to upgrade. Light cav and horse archers are very strong against their counters, and "hold up" ok against other units, but are weak compared to heavy cav or gunpowder+ infantry. Still if you have 1 or 2 of these unupgraded by age 4 upgrading them is going to make them "productive" against other age 4 troops.

Fogel Xanadu
posted 12-08-03 09:47 PM EDT (US)     1 / 6       
Its never smart to leave your troops unupgraded if you're gonna be in a fight. While you show that your cav upgrade only gains 10%, any unit that fights a unit an age ahead of it takes 33% more damage, and probably does less damage, but I'm not sure on the latter
posted 12-09-03 04:57 AM EDT (US)     2 / 6       
There is a sliding scale of damage depending on the age difference and the cahnged that between patch 2 and 3, it's in the xml rules.

I recommend skipping upgrades, it's a damned fine tactic. Your strategy is all about building up to a point in time when you want to do something, skipping upgrades until you need them is far more efficient. I always mass an un-upgraded army, then when I reach the age I want to attack in all I have to do is upgrade and send them in, the numbers are already there. Upgrades are pretty quick so you can even order the troops to attack and upgrade them on the move.

If you get attacked before you are ready, you have the numnbers but they are weak. Just keep them garrisoned in city/fort/towers (you do this anyhow, don't you?) while you upgrade them.

posted 12-09-03 05:06 AM EDT (US)     3 / 6       
I usually plan my attack so that I get the upgrade to Arqubusiers (spelling?) when my army is half-way to my opponent.

From there on, I try to content him with that, and upgrade to Oil, where I can use the excessive Inca-Wealth to leech the market for speed-Tank-production

If anyhow possible, I try to avoid all other upgrades...

Master of unnecessary knowledge...
posted 12-09-03 08:06 AM EDT (US)     4 / 6       
I didn't think the handicap was that high for just 1 age difference, Fogel. From memory, I thought that disadvantage applied to 3 ages difference.
posted 12-09-03 10:02 AM EDT (US)     5 / 6       
Lets say I am aimming to boom to medievil and then attack, I make a few units while I boom for early defensebut once i hit medievil i want to attack.

Is it cheaper to make your army first then upgrade them or is it cheaper to upgrade your army first then make them?

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posted 12-09-03 10:33 AM EDT (US)     6 / 6       
There was some math done here before,2490,0,10

That was prepatch 3. The conclusion from that was that its always cheaper to upgrade first then build later.

On the other hand, in midieval, I have never found an upgrade cost to be shockingly expensive. So I'm unsure if it is still mroe expensive. So given that its safer to have troops hanging around just in case something happens, I'd go with that route.

Edit: oops, looking at the math link over again, and trusting it, in age 3 it doesn't affect cost at all if you have troops before upgrading them. In age 4, it gets very expensive to upgrade, but the total spending would still be the same either way, because age 4 units cost more, and most of the reason for the high upgrade costs is because you have to pay the difference in costs for all your existing units too.

Having archers upgrade into LI, or Cavalry into mechanized is extra expensive because they use different resources, and you have to spend for much of your upgraded units new resource. When resource types change, then if the only consideration was minimizing costs (<-bad idea), then it would be cheapest to say wait until age 6 before building cav, upgrading to tanks and then building them.

[This message has been edited by G0dSpiral (edited 12-09-2003 @ 10:57 AM).]

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