The Flush - Revisited

Article written by Steve
Originally published on 04-15-2004 ; updated on 08-17-2014
Tags: Military Archives

Why is this here?

It appears that most people lack the knowledge of what a Flush is, what a Flush does, and even more, why a Flush wins games.

What is "a Flush?"

The term, "Flush" stood for "Feudal Rush" when it was invented a long time ago, back in AoK. Nowadays, the "Flush" isn't just a "Feudal Rush," it's the strategy that defines how the game is now played. Everywhere you go in Zone Rated RM, you'll see a Flush, be it Huns or not (the Huns are the most popular civ to Flush with). Why? With Spears/Skirms going down your throat and disrupting your economy and killing Vils every now and then, you're going to be behind economically. There is one real counter to a Flush: you must Flush the other person.

Where did it come from?

Although you could credit many people for inventing it, and changing it over the years, the first real strategy article on the Flush was made by gutter_rat. He used a strategy in which he would choose Chinese (this was back in AoK, where the Chinese were the best civ), get a 12:xx minute Feudal time (with 26 Vils, which is actually SLOW when you compare it to the Flush nowadays), and start attacking the other player with Archers and Towers.

How did it change?

For one, Towers. Towers are slow to build, and stone is slow to mine. Your Vils could be better put elsewhere (especially the forward Vils), on food or wood. Gold is also slow to mine; Flushers rarely mine gold at the start of Feudal so that they can get more food and wood. Instead of just Archers and Towers now, it's Spears and Skirmishers, two good units that cost NO gold or stone. Massed Skirmishers (at least fifteen) and a few Spears can give enemy Vils headaches.

Previously, the first Flush only used one Range. However, now, it is common to see the Flusher make two Ranges immediately upon entering Feudal. Also, the Flusher researches Double-Bit Axe immediately (more wood), and gets two Spears out of the Rax that was built during the transition to Feudal. As always, the Flusher will keep up 100% Vil production. Later on, the Flusher would get a Stable, and get Scouts to harrass Vils, as Scouts are the fastest unit in Feudal, and get +2 attack (for a total of 5 base attack) in Feudal. A Blacksmith is also important when fighting in Skirm wars. Skirms with Fletching have an advantage over Skirms without Fletching.

When the Flusher starts mining gold at around the 15:xx minute mark, he's able to get Bloodlines for his Scouts, making them extremely effective killing units that can take on Archers, Skirms, and even MAA. With gold flow, he can get Archers, and when Archers are FU, they don't do that bad against Skirms (however, when Archers are not FU, like at the start of Feudal, they do horribly against Skirms).

A typical Flusher now Castles at around the 25:xx minute mark, when his food flow is stable (yes, he's still making Vils all the time), and after he's researched Wheelbarrow (which is priceless for a good economy).

The Flush has also sped up. With a 24 pop Feudal (23 Vils and a Scout), you can easily get an 11:xx minute Feudal time.

Civs?

Usually the "faster" civs are good Flushers. "Faster" civs are the civs that have an economy bonus in Dark that REALLY helps.

Huns - No Houses. You save 30 wood and 25 Vil seconds (the amount of time it takes to build a House) every 5 pop (every House, basically). That gives you at least 30 wood every 5 pop (although the Huns do start with a 100 wood deficit), and with the 25 Vil seconds saved, your Vils can be getting more wood instead of building Houses. This is why the Huns are used as the Flushing civ. No Houses also means that you'll never get Housed. Nifty, huh? Coupled with the fact that their Scouts get out 20% faster because of their faster Stables, the Huns can easily dominate the rest of the competition.

Mongols - Faster hunting. With faster hunting, the Mongols can use less Vils and Flush faster. With more food coming in faster, they can also get some Deer, and perhaps, get Scouts right away with a Stable and a Range instead of two Ranges.

Aztecs - +5 carry. When Vils carry more resources, they would dump their resources slower, but in more amounts. Why is this a bonus? When you have a Lumber Camp crowded with ten or more Vils, a normal civ would have to put up with the Vils only getting 10 wood and taking more trips back to the LC. However, with the Aztecs, the Vils take less trips back to the LC, so that the chances of the Vils bumping into each other is much less (Vils that bump into each other slow your resource collecting down). Not to mention that the Aztecs get free Loom; speeding you up a little bit more for a faster Feudal. The Aztec farmers also appear to Farm 11% faster, due to the +5 carry bonus and some weird bug that allows them to not move around as much (thanks, Intimatum). Not to mention that the Aztecs have faster-working military buildings (15%).

Mayans - 20% longer-lasting natural resources, cheaper archers. Although the resource bonus doesn't mean that resources are collected faster, it's still useful in that your food (Boar, Sheep) lasts longer in Dark. For those of you who don't know how the bonus works, it's like this: a Mayan Vil collects 10 wood from a tree. The Tree is left with 92 wood, although the Vil is holding 10 wood (he takes the maximum amount that he can carry, but only strips the resource of 80% of what he took). They also get cheaper archers.

Britons - They gather food from Sheep faster, which is a notable bonus. They also have 20% faster Ranges, which is good, but at the start of Feudal, this bonus doesn't show its complete advantage, due to the fact that you'll be short on food or wood early-Feudal. However, later, this bonus starts to really shine, as you get more Skirms (or Archers, if you've switched) than your opponent.

Having listed those civs, the Aztecs and Mayans are at a HUGE disadvantage without Scouts. A few Scouts will single-handedly destroy a bunch of Skirms without Spear backup. Once the Flusher Castles, the non-Meso civs have Knights, the most powerful Castle-age unit. The Meso civs get EWs, which pale in comparison to Knights; Knights cost 60 food and 75 gold, and when FU in Castle, they are these monsters with 120 HP, 12 attack, and 4/4 armour. EWs cost 20 food and 50 gold, and when FU in Castle, they are these hyperactive boys with 50 HP, 9 attack, and 2/4 armour.

There are other notables with other non-Dark bonuses, like the Byzantines with cheaper Skirms.

Can't you stop it?

Towers?

For 25 wood and 125 stone, you get a non-mobile "Archer" that stands there. When you build a few Towers around your wood, gold, stone, etc. you are not invincible. Towers can be easily avoided; Scouts can still come in, kill some Vils before they garrison into the nearest Tower, and run away again. Towers also have a minimum range; you can have them fully-garrisoned, and they won't attack units standing at the base of the Tower (until you get to Castle, make a University, and get Murder Holes, that is). While your Vils are stuck inside the Tower, they're not doing anything useful; your economy is slowing down.

Can't I garrison other units in my Towers?

If you intend on building Towers, don't garrison them with Archers or other units. They're not really going to help when Scouts are at the base of the Tower, hacking away. Also, your Vils have NOWHERE to go unless you ungarrison your units (which would be ranged; melee units are useless in Towers), and if your units are Archers, that's bad when you plop them out in front of a group of Scouts.

Walls?

Here's where a difference is made. Palisade Walls are actually good; a Flusher will use them himself in order to wall up some chokepoints. They're fast to build, and they only cost two wood per section. However, stone Walls are also good, but don't turtle yourself in. Stone Walls are stronger, but they cost five stone per section, and take a little longer to build. Although Palisades may die to Scouts, Spears, Skirms, or Archers, Palisades still give you a fair warning of where the enemy units are, so you can move your Scouts/Spears/Skirms/Archers in place to take his units on.

Build Order

Huns

A typical Hun Flush goes like this (build order by Myll_Slaghter):

3 Vils: Either help Scout, or chop a straggler (tree by your TC).
TC: H-C-C-C-C. Queue up 4 Vils with the 200 food you get. Don't use H-Shift-C; the game might not recognize the Shift and only may queue up 1 Vil.
Scout: Start Scouting for Sheep in circles, and be sure to not overlap areas where you've already Scouted, as that wastes time.
4 Sheep: Once you've found them, send two Sheep to the TC, and send the other two Sheep scouting, helping the Scout (you're not going to lose your sheep, trust me) in opposite directions (for example, if your Scout has gone north-east, send one Sheep around north-west, and the other south-west). The other two Sheep are to be placed directly onto your TC; one Sheep will be processed by your three Vils (get them to dump off their wood first), and the other will stand by waiting.
Vils 4-6: Sheep. Whenever a Sheep is done, move another Sheep nearby it. Keep only six Vils to one Sheep, make sure that you don't kill an extra Sheep. Always only keep two Sheep on the TC; one being harvested, and the other, alive, standing by.
Vil 7: Lumber Camp. A Flusher needs wood.
Vils 8-11: Wood (by the LC).
Vil 12: After he's made, hit Loom, and get the Vil to wait by a Boar. When the Loom is 80% done, start luring the Boar.
Vil 13: Mill your Berries (you'll need that Mill for Farms).
Boar: When the Boar is chasing your Vil back to your TC, garrison your lurer, and get all the Vils on Sheep to drop off their food, and then shoot the crap out of that Boar. That bastard needs to die.
Vil 14: Sheep (the one that was being harvested). Ungarrison your lurer to that Sheep, too, so that you have two on Sheep.
Vil 15: Berries.
Vil 16: Lure the second Boar.
Vils 17-21: Boar. Move the wounded Vils (you should have four wounded Vils from the Boar luring, the two lurers, and the two Vils that took the "hits" while your lurers were garrisoned safely in your TC) to Farms. Make the four Farms by the right-hand side of your TC; tests have shown that the right-hand side of your TC gathers food from Farms slightly faster.
Vil 22: Make a second Lumber Camp, either on another forest if your first forest is small, or on the same forest, if the forest is big (but farther away, don't put the LC right next to the first one).
Vil 23: Wood (by the second LC).
(Vil 24): Optional. Wood.

Now, garrison all your food Vils around your TC (Sheep, Boar, Farms) so that they drop off all their food. If you have 500, hit Feudal. Then press "W" to send them back to work (they do it automatically).

Once they have finished, move all your Boar Vils except for two to wood. Those two will make a Barracks. Make the Barracks so that it faces where your enemy is (hopefully you've Scouted him out by now, so that you know where his 7 gold-pile and his wood are).

Once you hit Feudal (11:xx minutes), queue up 2 Vils at the TC (and keep the production up 100%; Vils before military, until you research Wheelbarrow when you get enough food), research Double-Bit Axe (faster wood; you WON'T need any more Vils on wood, unless your wood Vils die to enemy units), make two Spears at your Barracks, and with the two Vils that made your Barracks, get each of them starting on a Range.

Make Spears, Skirms, and Vils all the time. Send all your Vils to food (some on Berries, but most on new Farms). Make a Stable ASAP, and get a few Scouts. When you're done your Berries (with 6 Vils at around the 15:xx minute mark), send those Berrie Vils to your gold (make a Mining Camp). Get Bloodlines when you have enough gold, and when you have enough wood, get a Blacksmith (for Fletching and other upgrades). When the gold is coming in, move to Archer production from your Ranges instead of Skirms.

Once you get enough units (around 10 Skirms, 2-3 Spears), start harrassing his wood, and if he's mining gold or stone, stop him from doing so.

Continue to make Vils, and research Wheelbarrow when you have enough food after all your other units (Scouts, Spears, Archers) have been queued up (always queue up two units). It's a tech that's insanely good for Farming. If wood permits, add one or two more Stables in Feudal. Castle when you have enough food as well (but always keep queueing up Vils and military units). Before you Castle, put your newly-made Vils on gold (you might need a new Mining Camp, even if it's on the same gold pile; put the Camp at the other side of it so that Vils don't have to bump or walk long distances back to the first Camp); you'll need lots of it in preparation for Castle. During the Feudal/Castle transition, try to build more Stables so that your total Stable count is four. Research cavalry techs at the Blacksmith (Scale Barding Armour, Forging).

Once you Castle, queue up Knights at each Stable; this is the most powerful Castle-age unit. Keep making Vils, and put new TCs on gold and stone (preferably gold and stone piles close to a forest). Boom up to 120 Vils; this game is about economy. Get more TCs to get your Vils made faster.

Other civs?

It's basically the same build order, but you have to build two Houses at the start (read my post about House Starts if you don't know what to do), and also add Houses when you're at 13/15 pop, 18/20 pop, and 23/25 pop (it changes when you're Spanish though, so read the post I just linked you). You'll need two Vils in Feudal constantly making Houses.

That's it!

That is the basic Flush. Hopefully you'll see why this strategy is the most effective one out there today.