Rise of Nations: Barbarian Rally tips

If you ever decide to explore the game without the multi-player aspect, then you are bound to check out the Conquer the World campaigns which are a part of the single player campaigns that one can play.

The Barbarian Rally is a scenario type which is described as follows –

Barbarian Rally: Take control of a neutral territory in one of the early turns in the campaign and then defend your city against a constant onslaught of barbarians. It’s a defense mission, so increase the defenses around your city with towers and the like. Produce military units to remain close to your city and intercept the invading forces. The invaders increase over the course of the mission, so expect to be nearly surrounded in the mission’s concluding minutes.

I am playing in the Tough mode, so was expecting an early onslaught, the good part about this scenario is the resources that you are given. Be wise to utilize them properly. To reach the classical age, you will need to research 9 technologies, which is a resource hogging strategy. A better idea is to go into defensive mode and be prepared.

This strategy worked for me –

  1. Build towers, the more the merrier
  2. Definitely go for one more city, you will need the gold that you get out of the trade for building archers
  3. Build 2-3 archers per tower and city, garrison them
  4. Next go for a mix of HI and LI
  5. Garrison soldiers to heal them
  6. Keep a watchout for siege weapons and take them out on priority
  7. Build an outpost, not only will it increase the size of your city, but also it will reveal hidden enemies (Contributed by Ameya Mane)
  8. In the end of the game, you will be swamped … take all your villagers and put them on repair mode. Especially the towers and the capital

Rise of Nations: Egyptians are wondrous

wonders_egypt1

In my earlier post, I had said that strategies in game have to be civilization specific. This is the first of that series. Today I was playing 1 v 3 Tough on British Isles, being Egyptians, I decided to go on the front foot from the word go, and while I was battling on the opponent’s islands, I was building wonders and booming steadily on mine. The key to Egyptians dominating is based on exactly this point, wonders. To illustrate this point and to take screenshots, I ran one more game this time 1 v 1 Tough on a random map.

Egyptians have multiple benefits which can be used right from the start. One of the foremost is the 7 farms per city benefit. Not only do the farms generate food, but also they generate a small trickle of gold. So right at the start of the game, aim for 150 food and 150 gold (this is the time when everyone goes for Sci 2). As an Egyptian, you can start building the Hanging Gardens (+50 Knowledge). By the time you are finished building this, you would be aging to Classical age. Now, the HG comes in handy, with generating an extra +50 knowledge, you can age faster, gather more knowledge.

Having an early access to all wonders one age before they are available to you means that you get to pick and choose the best of them. In the image below, I have built Versailles and Statue of Liberty by the Enlightenment age.

wonders_egypt2

In a standard game, a tough computer opponent would have attacked you at least once, and would have started on some wonders to compete against your wonder streak. That also means if you get the Terracotta Army and gather free Light Infantry (LI), then you have resources, wonders and an army, whereas your opponent has only 2 of those 3.

In this game, I built some 8 wonders (Hanging Gardens, Colossus, Terracotta Army, Versailles, Statue of Liberty, Red Fort, Forbidden City and Taj Mahal), and all of them before they were accessible to the other opponent. I won this game through a simple wonder victory.

The Egyptians are a flexible lot, as long as you actively target specific wonders, you can be very lethal. Some of the best games I have played as a strong economy and an unbeatable army have been as Egyptians. The right strategy for this civilization is to do a delayed rush (aim for during the 3rd age). By this age, you will have a trickle of LI’s from the Terracotta Army, 4-5 HI, 2 siege weapons and some Egyptian cavalry (camels) and you are set. Go for the nearest city, with the spoils you boom. With the booming resources, build wonders. Rinse repeat.

Rise of Nations: Strategy should be civilization specific

Any season player will tell you that the choice of civilization will make or break your game. This is all the more true in multi-player games. When our lot started playing, we quickly realized that certain nations are way much better than the rest. Soon, some of us developed their styles around certain civilizations. Amongst the entire lot, one of us could never figure out which is his best civ. He used to play the same with any civilization … soon it dawned on the rest of us, that this is the way the game is to be played. You need to be as good or as effective with any civilization. What needs to change is our choice of strategy.

For example, if you are Aztec, then you have to be a war-monger. You cannot stay in peace. If you are Greeks, then you have to boom and race ahead in terms of ages. So on and so forth. Some civilizations are well rounded. The Americans, Dutch … Indians … I think they are very well balanced to suit any strategy.

I know some of you may not agree, but I think the winning player is the one who can choose the right strategy with the right game play style with the right civilization. That’s the trick.

Rise of Nations: Delayed rush

In continuation to the earlier post on Rise of Nations, I realized that rushing strategy changes once you are on a sea map. The complications are there because you need to go Sci1, Mil1 and Com1 (to build a port). That means time management has to be absolutely spot on. The ante of the gamble rises because by the time you have a sizeable army and navy to support the crossing, the opponent has gained significant advantage by booming.

sea_rush_1

So one of the main decisions you have to take is – do you sacrifice economy or the element of surprise? Sea maps are generally long drawn out battles, and the quick rush at the start can really turn the tables. This is even more applicable against the AI. The moment you are across, the first thing should be to capture a city. That becomes your military base. All military upgrades you do on your home base, all unit production on your military base. Here is how I go about the delayed rush –

  1. Build two villagers and set them on timber
  2. Research Sci1, then Civ1 (I try to strike a balance between speed and economy)
  3. Build a farm, keep churning more villies
  4. Build the second town and go for Com1 the moment it is feasible (54 food, 54 wood)
  5. Focus on wood, build one more timber mill
  6. Build a dock and some fishing ships, one to explore, the other (1-2 to fish)
  7. By this time you are ready for Mil1, research and build a barracks. Note: Do not stop churning out villies, putting them on wood and farms
  8. Aim for Classical age and while you are aging start building units at the barracks. I generally squeeze 3HI + 1 archer before I age.
  9. The moment you age go for the senate. Research Despotism, this gives you 25% cheaper barrack units.
  10. Now start churning barrack units. Atleast 3HI + 2LI. So you should be having 6HI + 2LI + 1 archer.
  11. By this time, your fishing ship would have found your opponents shores, take your army (with the patriot), and head towards the shore. This should be around the seventh minute or so of the game, by which not many players have put together a navy. How to tackle with the navy we will deal later.
  12. Board the shores, and head for the nearest city. Attack mercilessly, and take it down.
  13. Search for enemy barracks and take it out as well. Wait for the city to assimilate.
  14. Once the city is yours, then convert this into a military base. Barracks, Stables, Siege … the works.
  15. A temple and a fort would also be advised. This gives you more space territory. More territory + attrition is a good defensive tactic.

Now use your home base as an economic powerhouse, and the military base as the hammer and nail to drive into your opponents heart.

If you see the screenshot I have attached, I was playing against Americans, had managed to put two cities and launch an attack on the enemy shores. Found the second city, and took it. Then used it to take the capital and then the third city.

Variants

I have seen some folks wait for even some more time to research Mil2, and get some siege engines in place. That is also effective, but then to launch an attack you will also need some naval support to engage with the opponent’s navies.

Rushing in Rise of Nations

Rise of Nations: Rushing

Rushing in Rise of Nations

This is for all gamers who play Rise of Nations (and/or Thrones and Patriots). One of the most effective strategies is rushing early on in the game. I shall put it down with pros and cons that I have experienced in the last 18 months of playing the game.

What is a rush?

A rush is done by immediately launching into an attack and striking the opponent before he realizes what just happened. He might be building the 5th farm, getting ready to age, and boom! in comes your army from the darkness and takes his capital. Yeah … that’s what I am talking about.

How is it done?

Pretty simple really. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.

  1. Research Mil1 (some civs already come with this, you are lucky then). An alternate is to go Sci1, Mil1 (but I feel you end up loosing precious timber)
  2. Start scouting and build 2-3 villies and put atleast one on farming
  3. Build a barrack and start churning out Heavy Infantry (HI). Use the scout on auto, and HI created on micro to search for more ruins. Fastest way to build your resources.
  4. Build atleast 4 HI and start heading towards the general direction of your opponents capital. Ignore other cities, you will get to those later. If you are not able to find the capital, then only go for other cities.
  5. Keep the unit queue in your barracks active. I aim for 6HI + 2LI (light infantry to take out archers). For speed you can do 5HI + 1LI as well.
  6. The minute you find the capital, use all soldiers to attack the capital. Beware of towers and archers.
  7. Keep an eye out for the opponent’s barracks. If you have been fast enough, then he should be constructing it right now. Use one HI to tear the construction down (but this is not your priority, the capital is)
  8. That should do, you will get the capital sack (+500 resources). If you think that you can hold onto this city (i.e if you have suffered minimal damages, then continue churning more LI (2-3) and some bowmen. Then age. If you think you are going to loose the city, then start razing resources (timber first, farms next, temple, market, university in that order)

Counter

You can counter a rush. Here’s how –

  1. Go Mil1 and build a barracks
  2. Build a tower behind your capital. With behind I mean, keep the capital between the tower you build and the direction from which you most expect the attack from.
  3. In the barracks build 1-2 archers
  4. Focus on booming and aging to the next age. Post which the first research should be attrition in the tower

Pros

  1. If done properly, you can now use the existing resources as a launchpad for the next opponent. I have seen players do double and triple rushes even taking out 3 players in a go
  2. War happens far away from your capital leaving you with a busy resource churning capital
  3. In the least it cripples the opponent and makes him ultra-paranoid

Cons

  1. If countered well, you are left with a crippled economy and defenseless. It takes a good player to come out of this situation
  2. If you are attacked by another player when your army is attacking someone else, then its bye-bye capital and without a city almost immediate loss

In the screenshot I have attached, I was playing a 1-1 Arena match against a Tough comp (piece of cake). I started out with enough resources and a good civ (Turks – faster assimilation). I was not able to find the capital, so I took the city I could find (see the minimap). Then I got to see the border of the capital and moved towards that direction. By this time the Brit had made a barrack (+1 free archers). Fortunately I had 2 slingers to take on the archers. All is well :). By the seventh minute I had taken 2 cities and game over.

Seasoned players, feel free to chip in.

Vipul says (and I agree) –

If you see that the map is a sea map and you have already started plans for the rush, then you need to change strategies a little bit. You need to go for a delayed rush, and switch from pure rushing to delayed rush and booming.

Rise of Nations

Rise_of_Nations I started playing Rise of Nations during my post graduate days as a student. The second year of post grad was filled with high energy bursts of activity followed with lazy days of meandering nothing. Lazy is an understatement here. Anyways, I found the game interface slick, experience interesting, but the sad part was that the computer always ended up kicking my a$$. I was playing the game the way I used to play AOE. That was’nt enough. Why should I build another town when the one that I have is well secure? In the midst of placements, and general frolicking, I soon gave up the game. I started playing the game again almost 4 years later, this time with friends who were a whole decade younger to me.

The multi-player environment followed by the zest to get better and better (not to mention the competitive levels of the other players, you know who you are :-)) egged me on to find more stuff about this game. In fact TIME magazine has done a piece on this game and how it enables elder people to slow their mental decline. Next time someone asks me why I play this game, I simply say – capacity building ;-) (I hone my multi-tasking skills!)