40 Strategy Tips for the Beginner
- Don't Rush to the second age unless you really have a reason. Getting the second level of each of the library techs before going to the 2nd age seems to be a pretty good idea. I sometimes skimp on the 2nd science and 2nd military depending on my civ.
- Get the 2nd city up fast, but don't sacrifice good position for speed. You're going to be stuck with that city for awhile so make it count.
- Don't get into a wonder fight with a Maya competitor. It's just a waste of resources.
- Early on, don't forget that building stuff gives you an instant resource bonus. A good one to know is that the temple gives you enough money to get the second science tech.
- Ruins are great. Don't underestimate them. The Spanish should definitely get the 2nd science fast by going science, build temple, second science. To get the most ruins, I send my scout(s) out near the enemy base and manually scout with waypoints. I send a single civvy out on auto-scout around my base. That combo seems to work best for me.
- If you get raided or rushed, don't panic. Early on, the defender has the advantage. If he has come REALLY early, then he has probably sacrificed his economy in a major way. You'll have to micro. I find that single-click garrisoning (configuration) is very helpful in getting civvies out of the way.
- Use Tab. Tab is the friend you never had. Flipping through the possible upgrades is almost too easy with Tab, and the benefits are enormous.
- All Techs are good Techs. If you are following a strategy to reach a certain type of capability in the shortest time, then you might want to get a certain tech before you get the others. But it is almost always a good idea to go back and get the others later, as soon as you can afford them.
Never stop teching. The constant villy production has been
replaced with the constant tech production. Somewhere in the
2nd age, I build my second lib, and I try to always have at
least 1 tech being researched if not 2. Battles take my
attention away, but as soon as I get a break, I hit G for
library (using the left-handed hot-keys) and try to get a tech.
The order I use is roughly:
- If I cannot produce any more units: military
- If the blinky bar is blinking in 2 or more areas, I go Commerce
- If science is less than current age, then science
- Be a good teammate. Do not hog all the resources. If there is a scarcity of mountains and you have them all in your territory, be prepared to share; your teammates can build stuff in your territory. If you have them all, then share resources.
- Die slowly. If you are outclassed or double teamed, then die slowly. This is actually easier to do in RoN than in many RTS's. Keep getting those towers and forts up in front of the enemy. Engage the enemy from behind your own cities. Capturing a city should be an expensive proposition for the enemy. Do hit and runs on siege and supply wagons. When the enemy starts to move towards you, the siege and supplies are almost always vulnerable. I have held off doubleteams of lesser players indefinitely when I was prepared. I found this much easier than in AoM or AoK.
- Build cities when dying. Sounds wierd, but it makes sense. When you are dead, you are dead and that is that. In RoN, you are dead after several minutes when your capital is gone. You are dead immediately when all your cities are gone. So, if you are dying, give your teammates a few more minutes by building more cities, maybe even behind their lines. If you were able to save most of your peasants, that is several more minutes of resources. You can also build military cheaper (because you probably have less), buildings are cheaper for you, and you still have pop-cap that the enemy has to worry about.
- Ok, this is old hat, but, if your teammate is being double-teamed, a good way to break the double-team is to send your army towards one of the enemies (the capital is good for getting attention fast) Marching your army over to defend takes forever and leaves you completely open. What I do is try to get the attacker's attention and simultaneously send over a few peasants to build military buildings to help the teammate.
- An ounce of prevention...: Get 1 or 2 towers up pronto. Not only can you research attrition, but a few well placed towers make raiding darn near impossible.
- Do not forget observation towers near the border. People like to build their military buildings near the border, and an observation tower can give you some warning if someone is trying to build a city or fort near your border. If it is not destroyed, it also helps in battle by illuminating spies. As an added bonus, when you get to industrial, you get AA upgrades free. And the observation towers are much cheaper than AA.
- Scouts are your friends. Upgrade the scouts and have a few standing around hismilitary so you can see what he is up to. Almost noone keeps their military hidden, so this lets you know what you are up against so you can prepare. You can also use them to take out generals before they become a problem.
- Alt-click is a siege attack. Learn it and love it. When you attack a fort, just take the whole mass, alt-click, and watch the enemy break against your formation. Spies are great in this situation. Even good players who bring scouts tend to leave them behind when trying to attack siege with their horses. It's a good way to beef up your cavalry.
- Raid. Every civ can raid decently. There's a big argument about whether you should use the Cav-Archers or the Heavy Cav to raid. I prefer Cav-Archers. The best is to go around the side, nail some peasants or caravans, and then hightail it out of there. You can usually hit them a couple times before they get towers up or station counter-raiders near their peasants.
- I feel that mixed-armies are more important here than in other RTS's. In AoM, I would go with a 2 unit army + siege and that seemed to be the best. In RoN, I tend to have 3,4, or even 5 unit type armies. I always have a general or 2, Supply Wagons, Spies, and scouts as well. A general plan is to have siege for the buildings of course, Heavy Inf to protect the siege, Heavy Cav as a Mr.Fixit solution, Light Cav to get to their archers, Siege, and supply, Archers to handle Inf protection, and sometimes Light-Inf if I know they are going to be heavy into Archers. Even so, I tend to pick 1 type as my backbone, and then the other go into support roles. I personally prefer Heavy Cav, but I will go Heavy Inf if I think that he is heavier on buildings than on units.
- Wonders. Everyone should be building at least 1 wonder and probably 2 in longer games. The Collossus is truly awesome. Also, when you see someone else putting up a Wonder, then you know where they have lots of almost certainly unprotected peasants running around. You can really ruin a guy's day by wiping out the entire corp of Wonder-builders. Egypt is a Wonder-spammer. I would suggest that if you are playing against Egypt, that you try to get raiding capability as soon as possible. If you see him doing a wonder in the first age, then you know: a) lots of expensive civvies are there and b) He has dumped a ton of resources into the wonder. If you can, start building the wonder yourself while raiding. It will really piss him off.
- Mongols are a 1 note civ. They rush-raid. It is all they can do. Get 2 towers up, A few archers by each city, followed by 1 heavy inf to protect against the expected light cav, followed by light cav. It's a little expensive, but when the Mongol's do their rush-raid, they completely screw their economy. You just have to defend a little bit and you will almost always win.
- Use Garrisoning as an offensive technique. You can pop units into buildings and have them pop out the other side. If you use archers like this near a city, you can become truly annoying.
- When you go into age 2, get as many universities up as possible. Get as many scholars as possible. Sell everything you can to get more money to get scholars. Why? Because Knowledge is the one thing you cannot buy directly, so you need to make sure you have as much as possible coming in from the earliest point possible. Because money is so important for getting scholars, improving income indrectly improves knowledge income.
- Repeat, get universities immediately after reaching Age 2.
- Industrial is a real pain. All of a sudden, you have oil. First off, buy as much oil as you can if it is not too expensive already. The first person to buy oil is a winner, the last person is a loser. You are going to have to get people onto oil as fast as you can. Hotkeys are essential here. Get those idle villagers to the oil fields as fast as possible.
- The refineries are different than the granary or the sawmill. The refineries affect the oil income from all oil wells, so get those suckers up as soon as they are available and get them in each city.
- For almost all civ's: All cities should have: a marketplace, a university, and a refinery.
- Rare resources are gifts from God. As soon as you get a market up, start getting merchants to the goodies. I tend to just spam without thinking, but the efficient-minded person will take the rares that supplement what he is doing at the moment as well as his strategy. For instance, it makes no sense to take a rare that provides metal when you are still in Age 1. Well, I take them anyway, because I'm spamming rares.
- The peacock rare is pretty awesome. Even if you don't go much for rare's the population bonus makes this a must-have. Let me say this: Bantu + Collossus + Peacocks = Rule-age.
- Carriers. Oh.My.Gawd. These are the BMF's of the sea. If you are playing a map with just a little bit of lakes, then make a port and send out 1 or 2 of these bad boys. The planes on these mothers take out just about anything. The fact that the carriers come fully loaded means that you only have to wait for 1 unit to be developed and then you have a floating can of whoop-ass at your disposal. And correct me if I'm wrong, but the carrier itself takes up 2 pop spots and the planes take up 0 spots. Drool. But be careful. A Sub will sink your ship in 2 hits. So if you think you might see resistance at sea, bring some cruisers to the party. Incidentally, if you are meeting resistance in the air, the cruisers do a good job of shooting down everything from the air as well.
- Nukes and the market. If you are going to use nukes, make sure you get your trading done at the market, because it will be blocked for a few minutes after you do the radioactive nasty on someone. If you think you might want to shoot off a bunch of nukes, then get the oil *before* shooting the first one off.
- If you are a partner of a nuke-happy bastard, then you want to do your business at the market as soon as possible as well. If your partner shoots off a nuke, you're blocked from the market as well.
- 1 Conventional missile + 1 Enemy library = Tons of lost resources for lost research. If you know where his libraries are, park a few conventional missiles close to the border and bring em down just as he's developing something expensive :>
- Do not under or overestimate the Statue of Liberty. The Iron Lady comes in real handy if you have the extra resources. It's not worth avoiding the upgrades if you are involved in fighting though. The freedom from attrition is very nice, and the oil saved on unit upgrades from Industrial on out makes her a very good Wonder. I almost always build her myself.
- You all probably know about the flare ability. I have it mapped to keypad +, but I think it's Insert by default. Hit the button and then click on the map and it does a flare. Did you know you can draw pictures with it? If you hold down the mouse button and move the mouse, the 'flare' will show up as a picture. So you can show circles, or lines of attacks, or even write a message!
- Speaking of holding down the mouse button, if you have a group of units and you want to position them, Right-click to move them, but hold down the button. If you move the mouse around you can get them to face whatever direction you want.
- Going on about formations: If you hit the left button while holding down the right button, it will cycle through different formation types. If you use the mouse wheel while holding down the right button, you can change how deep the formation goes. So you can choose to line them all out in one gigantic row, or have them in a long column, or something in between.
- Use your generals. At the very least, use decoys to give you a few free 'hitpoints' during a battle. If you are on your own territory, use the entrench. A very nice trick is to make the decoys, then send them over far away from where you want to attack. Make sure the enemy sees them (a few fake cannon shots help), and wait a moment until he has committed himself away from where the battle will really be fought, then make your true attack.
- Do not neglect airpower and defense. Bomb your enemy's cities and build air defense to protect your cities. Take out lumber and libraries, and fields. This is raiding, modern style.
- If you think you want to pick up the post-Info techs, and you think that your enemy might try to prevent you from doing so, then consider building the Supercollider. Those end-game techs take FOREVER to get and are extremely powerful. World-government + Sneak Attack on enemy capital = Game Over. The Nuke shield is exceedingly useful. Be careful though. I've noticed that the open sea is still fair game..
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