On the Road to Expert 3: Upgrades

Article written by DaRq_DarkJihad
Originally published on 11-11-1999 ; updated on 08-17-2014
Tags: Basics Archives

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This is for a basic 30 ish vil strong castle. If going for a feudal rush or very early castle rush you may wish to skip the economic upgrades early on. Also I use a BLACKSMITH, and a STABLE as my two requisite buildings to advance. The next building is usually either an ARCHERY RANGE or another STABLE. After that it depends, but its often A SEIGE WORKSHOP, then multiple town centers, then A MARKET, then UNIVERSITY, then CASTLE, then a MONESTARY later to pick up relics. Obviously more military buildings are mixed in here, but you need to evaluate your situation to determine which and how many. These are the upgrades I recommend, in the order i recommend:

1. LOOM: At 50 gold this tech is rock-bottom priced. Get it at the first opportunity (either break in villies or just before feudaling) and save yourself alot of wolf kills. Also helps kill enemy scout that harrases your forward builders.

2. DOUBLE BIT AXE: This upgrade rocks.. like woodworking in ROR this upgrade is ESSENTIAL for a healthy wood intake. Get it right after you click upgrade to castle.

3. Gold Mining: Also good, as thorfinn pointed out this is like getting an extra villager on gold. Realizing that it costs more than one villager, its still essential because it gets around the fact that your economy precastle is essentially TOWN CENTER limited... make every villager count. GET This but not until after Double Bit AXE

4. Scale Barding Armor/ Fletching Arrow: Get both of these as soon as you have the resources... you should be able to get at least one while transitioning to castle... Armor is for the knights, Fletching Arrow both helps your archers and increases town center, ship, and castle firepower (and range)

5. Wheelbarrow/Horse Collar: I tend to get wheelbarrow right when I castle, however, and I agree, you might want to evaluate your resource distribution first: If you've got alot on wood get it.. and if you don't pop out a villager or three first, since it only increases villie speed and capacity, not actual GATHERING speed, which means if theres little to no walking it has little to no effect. Throw in horse collar if you don't have too many farms up and are planning on building more soon.

6. Cartography: A Must in team games, I most often don't build a market until like 23-24 minutes but when I do i research IMMEDIATELY.. its really nice for team games

7. Bow Saw: Always can use more wood for more tcs and seige 8. Other Blacksmith Upgrades: Make sure you get the upgrades for whatever troops you're using. Also make sure to eventually get Bodkin arrow since again, it strengthens your TCs/ CASTLES/ and Ships. The primary upgrade for my troops might come even before wheelbarrow (ie padded archer armor or whatever)

8 Murder Holes/Ballistics: Research these once you get a university up, its pretty much worthless to build a castle without murder holes (which is one of the reasons i think building a castle early is a mistake). Get ballistics next, or get it earlier if using a primarily archer strat.

9 Gold Shaft/Stone Shaft mining: Get them, but they are kinda expensive early, I generally wait until mid-late castle when i have a few extra resources

10 IMPERIAL AGE- Get this now, you've got enough upgrades:

11 Other upgrades: Eventually get hand cart and town watch. MAYBE get two man saw which is really overprices for its benefit-- wait till late. Get guilds if trading extensively. As always FULLY upgrade your troops... especially get Bracer and Blast Furnace which apply to multiple troops/ types. Get Siege Engineers at some points, as well as masonry and treadmill crane... you need to decide these for yourself. Also chemistry if using bowmen or planning on gunpowder weapons. Conscription is nice too. Sappers if you have too many villagers.

12 UPGRADES TO SKIP: SPIES/TREASON-- Don't get this unless your opponents down to their last few men.

HEATED SHOT: This is totally worthless in 99.9% of all games.. completely ignore it

COINAGE/BANKING: You shouldn't need to tribute too much...

CROP ROTATION: Get it late game, but don't skip completely it eliminates pointless farm rebuilding micro.

TRACKING: Infantry are still blind but now chase things faster than them further

ALL MONK UPGRADES: A waste of resources: Initially I thought redemption might be a good deal but nope.. those monks convert buildings slower than one villager builds them... Save yor gold.

Whaddaya Think?

Notes: I was a bit short on time when i wrote this so heres some edits: Though I left town watch till imperial in fact in 100% of my games i got it at some point in the middle of castle... so i guess thats shows how much i like it :-) Also I missed all the military building upgrades in imperial/castle: Husbandry.. ok but not essential - wait till imperial Light Cav... again ignore till imperial if not mongol knights are just as good and golds NOT in short supply in castle Squires: Yes, if you're using infantry its nice. Pikemen: Yes, but evaluate situation and get when needed Infantry Upgrades (Ie men at arms longswords): Dunno, look at where you are and what you're doing Heavy Scorps: its ok but damned expensive and these things are EZ to counter.. they do work nice behind pikes for paladins. Onagers/Seige Onagers/: Get Onager: Say bye bye to archers and skirmisher, also good for smashing trebs. Bombard Cannon: Get it if you got it, also nice for smashing trebs. Capped Ram/Seige Ram: If you've got alot of these running around from castle this upgrade is great, otherwise definitely skip seige ram... maybe get capped ram Hand Cannoneer: Maybe.. these guys aren't significantly better than regular archers because they are so inaccurate at long range. Ships: If you're fighting ship wars get war galleys and shipwright otherwise, don't. Careening and dry dock are nice if you're transporting troops. Paladin/Cavalier: YES these guys rock, Paladins even smoke Pikemen especially cause of the population limit...... Arbalest/Crossbowmen: Get it if you're using them Heavy Cavalry Archer: Simply put these guys SUCK.. don't even waste your resources making cav archers, let alone researching Heavy Cav Archers. Elite Skirmishers: A must if you're fighting with them Fortified Wall/Guard Tower/Keep: Generally I'd have to say no, unless you've got significant numbers of stone walls... which u shouldn't, they hinder expansion.

Saved Game: Notice the upgrades i got and those i missed (murder holes ESPECIALLY) Watch carefully:

Upgrades saved game.
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