On the Road to Expert 8: Repel the Rush

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

DAY 8:I took the weekend off: I'll take next weekend off too as I'm going on a retreat. In ROR repelling a rush was near impossible without troops of your own. Not so in AOK, with Town Centers that fight back and can garrison your villagers in Safety, rushing has become a situational strat at best. But the rush really only loses its viability if you know how to defend properly.

Even in AOK you will need to build some troops to defend against the rush. And I still advocate building some sort of small harrassing army immediately after you castle. But defending against a larger army and coming out ahead is quite possible in AOK. There are several things you need to do and understand to repel the attack.

- timing of attack If the attack comes in feudal, run and wall like in ROR. Get to castle if you've got gold, fight him off if you don't. If its just infantry garrison your TC and lure them in if they try and stay away (sacrificial lamb vils, attack the infantry with the vil if necessary). But with a large comprehensive attack.. run a build elsewhere. Like a tool attack in ROR a feudal job can't be everywhere at once... feudal rushes come too slow (unlike scouts in ROR, AOk scout rushes are doomed to failure against anyone good.. loom and the fact that upgrades only increase armor by one mean vils easily defeat them. Also, Proper radar housing placement is esssential... don't let them build all around you and cover all your exits.

If you get to castle, immediately build as many town centers as possible with your available wood. Ideally you want at least 4 Town Centers in your original town by 22-23 minutes if you want to repel a rush. These should be your original town center, a town center on wood, one on your gold, and one on stone and wood preferably. Hopefully these TCs will for sort of a square, inside of which is the best place to be farming/resource gathering. REMEMBER TO BUILD YOUR TCS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE RESOURCE (ie towards the opponent/outside of your town. This is important, you want them to hit your TC before they hit your guys... it gives you more time to garrison your men after you hear the attack bell. Your barracks should be in your town. Make sure you always have a few pikes/spearmen handy to deal with any errant knights... they're the only thing that can really hurt you. Best case scenario is they come at you a few troops a time with no seige. Simply garrison until they're out of range, then click the back to work button. Ringing town bell is incredibly inefficient as more than likely it will sweep through all your TCs in a chain reaction and all your vils will garrison. This is not what you want. Your goal is to repel the attack at a lower resource cost than it cost them to send it.

Middle Case Scenario is that they come at you with a few troops and rams. If its knights then send in your pikes/spearmen and you'll wipe a larger force of knights with the TC helping pump arrows into them. If you face infantry/archers and seige, garrison your TC and kill as many ram defenders as possible before sending in your pikes. If you kill all defenders quickly pop all your villagers out and have them kill the ram. Also produce a few knights to kill that ram quicker if a decent amount of troops are involved. But try not to spend anywhere near as many resources as they did on the attack, which shouldn't be hard. When the attack is over have maybe one or two vils repair the TC and the rest go back to working.

Worst case Scenario: Huge castle attack, many knights/infantry and lots of seige. Run like heck, produce appropriate counter units and in general just try to make them take a really long time to do what they have to do. Delay, Imperial, Destroy (DID). Imperial first and whoop their castle @$$.

YOUR JOB in this strategy is to make as many Town Centers as wood allows, gradually spreading from your Town, leapfrogging from resource to resource (though as many tcs behind the enemy on his reserve resources as you can build is great, too). Your best bet is too make villagers, villagers and more villagers. If your opponent is spending his money on troops and you are spending yours on villagers its like money in the bank.. with time you'll reap the rewards.. so keep those villagers that arent attacked working (IE NO TOWN BELL). Build town centers, town centers and more town centers. Remember to upgrade with fletching and bodkin arrow for more range and a better attack. Also GET WHEELBARROW. Previously I didn't advocate this but I did some tests and for whatever reason farming gathered food approximately 17% faster (the effect WASN'T as pronounced with Hand Cart for whatever reason )

- importance of an early forward base. You wouldn't think that an early forward base would be what you wanted to repel a rush, but in fact its EXACTLY what you need. Have you ever heard the phrase, the best defense is a good offensive ? Well it applies here, except you're forward base actually has two purposes:

1) Produce small, essentially diversionary attacks. A couple of knights, some Xbows who stay close to your forward TC, these are the things you want to do. Keep them just slightly occupied, but don't spend much at all, and concentrate on stone/gold.. you aren't going to stop them from farming for long with the strength of TCs.

2) You want to build 1-2 Town Centers with your forward builders. Along with your forward buildings this will often make the enemy attack there first. Buildings take a long time to go down though in AOK, and while they do you'll find out exactly what they're attacking with. Meanwhile you produce nothing but a few counter troops and boom like mad at home. When those troops come (whose basic composition you already know) they'll have very few routes to choose when attacking you with those troops. Time is your friend ;-)

Once imperial your best bets are: Cavaliers/Paladins: Man these suckers take down just about everything. Mass Champions: Infantry don't need too much help taking down buildings, and if you already got some of the infantry upgrades they're a very good buy, especially for vikings, japs, goths, and teutons. Trebs/Pikes: A slow moving army that razes all in its path it can be very effective.. but bring along villagers and build towncenters (and repair trebs) near those trebs to kill infantry and to a lesser extent archers. Works great especially with a complementary unique unit (like British Longbows and Chinese Cho Nu)

--Viability of trading Some people think that the best way to survive a rush is trading, but I'll tell you right now its NOT. If you're forced to trade then the rusher has accomplished his purpose of subjugating your economy-- whether it works full force or not the inefficiency added by trading more than makes up for the attack. Try not to trade ever except late game.

I play a 1v1 cases, where I essentially attack only as a diversion, and defeat his rather large castle attacks with a combination of a few knights, mangonels and the aid of my TC, using far fewer resources. Note my many mistakes including poor scouting of the edges of the map which hid two small goldmines (caused in part by a refusal of my scout to go down there even when i waypointed him there (since it was a long unconnected peninsula ) Also I didn't spread out throughout my area enough.

Jihad's 1v1 cases game

Methos shows Bigbang_III how to hang on and go imperial... According to Blue_myriddn this one isn't a great example of my strat, but its worth watching anyway, though watch mine first to see the basic strategy.

Methos and Bigbang_III