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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » General and Strategy Discussion » Are different strategies viable for expansions after the conquers?
Topic Subject:Are different strategies viable for expansions after the conquers?
posted 11-21-18 01:54 AM CT (US)         

Very old school player here. I mostly played AOK:TC. Recently, I started watching youtube videos, and I purchased the new expansions. Back in my day the way things went was:

Land Map is open
Choose Huns (maybe Aztecs or Mayans if you feel like something different)

Map is mostly water
Vikings (or Celts if you're feeling adventurous).
Galley rush

Are there different viable strategies for the new expansions? I ask because most youtube games go fast castle, with little or no feudal / dark age combat. Is the flush no longer as viable?

Again, in the Conquer days on an open map if you went fast castle that was considered amateur and the Hun flush would own your base before one hapless knight emerged.

Thanks for your answers.
posted 11-21-18 07:42 AM CT (US)     1 / 13       
Most games are drush fast castle now with light fuedal pressure with archers and scouts at most. All-ins in fuedal are considered too risky I guess. Its a shame but the good old days of forwarding with 30 minute fuedal wars are kinda over. Too easy to wall up too even though wall building times have been increased.

Have you been watching nili aoe or the vipers channel?

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
posted 11-24-18 06:13 PM CT (US)     2 / 13       
Even before the new expansions came out, the game meta had developed to the point that extended feudal age warfare was not the main strategy, and Huns took a back seat to Aztecs for 1v1 Arabia dominance.

With the new expansions, there are 13 new civilizations total, along with tweaks here and there to make various strategies viable. For example:

Walls now take longer to build, and are weaker before castle age. On the other hand, the addition of palisade gates has made quick walling to block incoming troops easier than ever, even in the dark age.

Infantry, as a whole, have been buffed slightly. Longswordsmen in particular have increase HP, and the new castle age tech arson increases the attack bonus of all infantry vs. buildings. This does not make bad infantry civilizations good with infantry, but it does make infantry a borderline viable strategy for a few civilizations, such as Vikings, Celts, and the new Malian civilization.

In the water meta, one of the biggest changes is the addition of fire galley and demolition raft in the feudal age. Upon researching war galley, all three ship types upgrade to their castle age equivalents. This means that Vikings are actually at a disadvantage on water, initially, as they usually cannot mass galleys quickly enough to fend of fire galleys in the early stages of feudal. Good planning, strategic use of demolition rafts to weaken multiple fire galleys at once, and hit and run tactics will allow them to gain the dominance from late feudal onward, but they are not the be-all-end-all water civilization they once were.

One of the new civilizations, the Portuguese, is very strong on water. Their ships have more HP, and all their units get a gold discount.

Another meta change is that castles are no longer required to produce turtle ships or longboats. A Korean who can rush to the castle age can make turtle ships right away, and destroy any fledgling feudal navy in short order.

The latest expansion, Rise of the Rajas, has a new unit for the four new civilizations: the battle elephant. Like the eagle warrior, it is a unit for a small number of civilizations, each with a different flavor. Significantly weaker than the war elephant, it still packs a decent punch, and is cheaper and easier to mass, being made at the stable.

And one of the biggest changes, for certain maps: Onagers can cut trees now. Only Turks and Huns now lack the ability to cut, and the supremely expensive siege onager upgrade is no longer necessary to bypass enemy walls in imperial age.

Overall, the game is probably a little more balanced, but it plays faster too. Turtling is much harder than it once was, extreme combos were tuned down some, and weaker civilizations were given minor tweaks to help them where needed. For example, Franks now have a berry-gathering bonus.
posted 11-24-18 11:02 PM CT (US)     3 / 13       
The current state of the meta and it's evolution is very interesting.

While the early days of AoE2 were all about trash flush (those byzantine floods were something), the meta evolved gradually to standard archers/scouts, specially when loomed was buffed to give villagers +1/2 armor instead of +1/1, rendering skirmishers a lot weaker vs villagers.

Huns were the most popular civ for Arabia 1v1, not because they were the strongest, because they were the most fast paced and versatile. In comparison, the two best 1v1 civs, Mayans and Aztecs, had a very linear play : drush+wall FC into xbow or plumes, miniboom into fast imp and eagle flood. The FC was possible because of the extremely strong early bonus these civs had, specially for drushing.

As time went by in the mid 2010s, drush FC had become quite prevalent, helped by the reduced lag and faster players, quickwalls becoming quite strong to defend from early flushes like scouts or maa, and archers being too slow to break in before the enemy is walled.

And then the HD Expansions started getting played competitively, about two years ago. With walls taking longer to build, lower HP on buildings and increased bonus damage vs buildings from man at arms, drush FC became pretty rare. Maa and scouts openings are now the standard, followed by archers and/or skirms.

The cheaper upgrade cost on elite skirmisher and cheaper husbandry has also made unit composition a lot more versatile. While in AoC you would often stick to one unit in castle age (xbow or knights generally), it's now quite common to go skirms + knights or xbow camels.

Fluctuat nec mergitur.
posted 11-26-18 04:47 AM CT (US)     4 / 13       
Why wouldn't any game go for infantry? It seems that competition is just knights and archers. Which isn't a game.

What I suggest is taking more maps where you can actually start playing the game, not competing. Say games where there are 50 Champions and 50 Halberdiers.

I also feel sad that nobody plays Turbo Random or Death-match, or even those that do only play maps with guaranteed win factor involved.
posted 11-26-18 05:20 AM CT (US)     5 / 13       
Infantry has its place in the game, in early feudal and then in imperial. But it's just too expensive and not effective in feudal/castle age, where knight and xbow give a lot more value.

Except for eagle warriors ofc, who are viable due to the low food cost and fast speed.

Fluctuat nec mergitur.

[This message has been edited by TriRem (edited 11-26-2018 @ 06:43 AM).]

posted 11-26-18 05:36 AM CT (US)     6 / 13       
Ethiopian Halberdier Rush for the win

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posted 11-26-18 08:25 PM CT (US)     7 / 13       
Infantry does have its uses:

As most civilizations, pikemen and halberdiers will be your mainstay against cavalry attacks. Halberdiers are probably the most common infantry unit produced in late imperial age due to the massive attack bonus against mounted units.

Eagle warriors are great, for the three civilizations that get them. They are fast, have high pierce armor, are relatively cheap, and are extremely annoying to counter.

Condotierri can be extremely good, depending on the circumstances.

Goths, Japanese, and Celts see frequent use of their UUs, often in combination with halberdiers.

Teutons, Ethiopians, Malay, Vikings, Aztecs, Franks, Malians, and Incas may use their unique units, depending on the situation.

Malian champions, having 8 pierce armor, are excellent for a large number of tasks.

Some civilizations, when facing massed eagle warriors, huskarls, or trash, may opt to use champions as a relatively effective counter, if they have nothing better to use.

Malay 2-handed swordsmen, costing no gold, are often seen in masses when the gold runs low.

Later on, the swordsmen line has many downsides and few upsides. They are relatively slow, not ranged, and not particularly powerful. They are easily countered by hand cannons, paladins, arbalests, heavy scorpions, onagers, many unique units, and more. They are generally effective only vs trash, eagles, and certain unique units. It is often a waste of resources to mass them.
posted 11-27-18 09:00 AM CT (US)     8 / 13       
I feel slightly like a broken record saiyng it, but I will say it again: If your opponent does not have access to Paladins or another similar heavy cavalry unit that can walk all over infantry( Like Elephants, or the Boyar. ), with many civilizations, you can consider to use Champions over Halberdiers as archer support. This is because, while Halberdiers -Are-better against cavalry, Champions are more versatile and counter more of the typical archer counters. Also, your opponent will usually need to invest significantly more resources into counter Champions then it would into countering some other units, as while Champions, true, have many counters, most of these counters cost much more gold then the Champions, what makes then great at attriction warfare. I also feel like it would be a crime to mention "Usefullness of sword-line infantry" and "The Goths" on the same post and not even bring up the fact that Gothic champions are, well... Amazing, especially at previously mentioned "Attriction warfare", is pratically a crime.

This may be a unpopular opinion, but I find myself using Aztec Champions far more often then I use the actual Jaguar Warrior. This is mostly because they are cheaper and easier to mass, although they do counter more-or-less the same units and the Jaguar Warrior is significantly better against other infantry.

[This message has been edited by Draco_Wolfgand (edited 11-27-2018 @ 09:04 AM).]

(id: Bart Pimpson)
posted 11-27-18 09:22 PM CT (US)     9 / 13       
Champions have a big attack for their cost. 13+4 for 20 gold is pretty great - the trick is to get them into fights, swarm the enemy with numbers, and not lose too many to archer/HC fire.
This may be a unpopular opinion, but I find myself using Aztec Champions far more often then I use the actual Jaguar Warrior.
Why is this unpopular? Jags suck.
posted 11-29-18 09:02 PM CT (US)     10 / 13       
Jaguars are superior ONLY when facing infantry. In every other situation, champions are better.
posted 12-21-18 11:01 PM CT (US)     11 / 13       
Thanks for the meta updates guys, it is interesting to see how the game developed over time at high level play.

Glad to see that champions are still appreciated, they were always one of my favourite imperial age units.
posted 12-22-18 10:35 AM CT (US)     12 / 13       

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posted 12-22-18 06:16 PM CT (US)     13 / 13       
Hey Simfish, long time no see. And yes it is fascinating to see the game still played nearly 20 years later, meta still developing, youtubers like Spirit of the law getting over 100,000 subscribers focused on the game and casting of the expert games popular on twitch and youtube.
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