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The Flush

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The Flush

Post  patriot on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:40 pm

The Flush
Article written by Steve
Originally published on 08-22-2004; updated on 09-20-2009 by Luke
Introduction
Purpose
It appears that there are many people that lack the knowledge of what a Flush is, what a Flush does, and even more, why a Flush wins games. This guide is here to educate them.
What is a "Flush"?
The term, "Flush" stood for "Feudal Rush" when it was invented a long time ago (possibly about five to six years back), back in the days of 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 a Hun Flush or not (the Huns are the most popular civ to Flush with). Why? With Spears and 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 only one real counter to a Flush: you must Flush the other person.
Where Did it Originate?
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, who then posted it at MFO. He used a strategy in which he would choose Chinese (this was back in AoK, where the Chinese were the most unbalanced civ and quite possibly the "best"), 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 a few Archers, while building offensive Towers overlooking that player's resources.
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; there are not many Flush types that mine gold at the start of Feudal. Without mining gold or stone, the Flusher maximizes on food and wood. Instead of just Archers and Towers now, the Flush has turned its army into mainly Spears and Skirmishers, two good units that cost NO gold or stone. With the changes of the 1.0c patch, namely, +2 attack for Scouts in Feudal, Many Flushers also use Scouts as well, which only cost 80 food. Massed Skirmishers (at least fifteen), a few Spears, and a couple of Scouts 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. There are also Stable and Range Flushes, and that will be covered later. 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, if the Flusher did not have one, he would get a Stable, and get Scouts to harrass Vils, as Scouts are the fastest unit in Feudal, and get +2 attack automatically (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, due to +1 attack, and most importantly, +1 range.

When the Flusher starts mining gold at around the 15:xx minute mark, he's able to get Bloodlines for his Scouts (although many choose to not research it, in favour of getting earlier Archers and more 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 perform quite horribly against Skirms).

Depending on the conditions in Feudal and the intensity of the fighting, a typical Flusher now Castles at around the 25:xx to 30: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 needed for any 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 considered to be the best Flushers. "Faster" civs are the civs that have an economy bonus that starts in Dark.
Flushing Civs
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, and also means that you can direct more of your attention towards fighting and/or your economy instead of having to build Houses. 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 also get Scouts right away in Feudal with a Stable and a Range instead of two Ranges.

Aztecs - +5 carry. When Vils carry more resources, they would drop off their resources slower, but in larger quantities each time (they are not gather their resources slower, however). Why is this a bonus? When you have a Lumber Camp crowded with many 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 reduces the chances of the Vils bumping into each other (Vils that bump into each other slow your resource collecting down). Not to mention that the Aztecs get free Loom; speeding you up an extra 25 seconds for a faster Feudal, or even an extra Vil. 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 to Intimatum for this info). Not to mention that the Aztecs have faster-working military buildings (15%).

Mayans - 20% longer-lasting natural resources, cheaper Archers, extra Vil. Although the resource bonus does not mean that resources are collected faster, it is 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 is 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). The extra Vil also speeds you up a bit, and remember to Loom first with the Mayans. They also get cheaper Archers.

Byz - Cheaper Spears and Skirms (saves resources). Stronger buildings as an added bonus (somewhat). They save a bit with the cheap Spears and Skirms. They have a cheaper Imp upgrade and great units in Imp, provided they can get there and with some gold lying around. Lack of Bloodlines hurts their Knights. Out of all the civs to come, this civ is the most played out of the ones without Dark bonuses on Arabia.

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 simply hyperactive boys with 50 HP, 9 attack, and 2/4 armour. Mayans and Aztecs do a much better job of Drushing with Militia and Vils, and then opting for a 20 minute Castle.
Civs Not Normally Seen Flushing (Anymore?)
There are other notables with other non-Dark bonuses that many might not choose for Arabia, but can still Flush if Arabia had come up as the map if you were choosing Random, Blind Random, or RLM. Some of the civs here were civs thought to be good at Flushing long ago (the Britons), while others are very notable in recent play.

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. However, the lack of Bloodlines for their cavalry really hurts. Having to rely on Pikes and Crossbows in Castle may not be as beneficial as Pikes and CAs for a Hun, and the Britons' Knights are not as strong without Bloodlines.

Celts - Having seen some play lately by Zilla clan members, the Celts have a faster woodchopping ability. It can almost match the Hun bonus, but again, the Hun does not have to denote Vils to building Houses, and furthermore, the Hun does not have to denote his attention to building Houses as well. With speedy infantry as well, they can even decide to MAA Flush (not the greatest idea, but still), with MAA running quite quickly. No Bloodlines, however.

Vikings - Free Wheelbarrow makes all the difference. With this, they can match a Byz player. Sure, the Byz saves resources on their Spears and Skirms, but the Vike gets a boosted economy which makes up for the "normal" cost of Spears and Skirms. Surely, a Byz player can research Wheel early to try to nullify the Vike's civ bonus, but the Vike gets about three Vils in that time. The Vike comes back again in Castle with Hand Cart. Economy is the game, and these bonuses are something usually overlooked. No Bloodlines, however. No Hussars, but LCav are still floodable, and if they have some gold, Champs look like a great option.

Japanese - A while ago on the AoKH Forums, someone did prove that the Japanese would save more wood than a Hun in Dark with their LCs, Mills, and Mining Camps that only cost 50 wood. However, they lose this bonus when building Houses, and having the psychological effect of having to build Houses. Still, this is a useful bonus and it does save wood.

Spanish - Faster building, and Blacksmith upgrades only costing food. Faster building saves Vil seconds, and also allows for faster resource gathering. Cheap Blacksmith upgrades save gold. The Spanish have a great time in Imp as well, and they also receive Hussars.
Can't it be Stopped?
Towers?
For 25 wood and 125 stone, you get a immobile Archer that stands there. When you build a few Towers around your wood, gold, stone, etc. do not think you are 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 will not attack units standing at the base of the Tower (until you get to Castle, make a University, and get Murder Holes, that is, or unless you're Teutons and get free Murder Holes upon entering Castle). While your Vils are stuck inside the Tower, they're not doing anything useful; your economy is slowing down.

Having said that, however, Towers may not make you invincible, but at least provide your Vils with a save haven until you are able to drive away your opponent's units, or until your opponent decides to move his units elsewhere.
Can't I garrison other units in my Towers?
If you intend on building Towers for some defense, don't garrison them with Archers or other units. They are not really going to help when Scouts are at the base of the Tower, hacking away. Also, your Vils have no place to go unless you ungarrison your units (which would be ranged; melee units are useless in Towers as they do not add arrows), and if your units are Archers, that is rather 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 are fast building, and they only cost two wood per section. However, stone Walls are also good, but do not 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, Archers, MAA, or even Vils, Palisades still give you a fair warning of where the enemy units are, so you can move your units into place to take his units on.
Flush Variations
Commonalities
If you have not forgotten by now, the Flush tries to build up to utilize Scouts and Archers, and that is very common in most Hun Flush variations. Although most Flushers choose the Huns, the strategies and build orders listed below should work for any civ (however, I think the 22 pop build is only really applicable to the Huns and possibly the Mongols).

Double-Bit Axe is also always researched, and many also try to get a Blacksmith and Stable ASAP.

Also remember that these build orders are not set in stone. Feel free to modify them to suit how you play. These build orders are merely guidelines.
24 Pop
The 24 pop Flush is probably one of the easiest to learn, along with the 25 pop Flush. It is also very adaptable, and can be used both aggressively (forward build your military buildings) or defensively (build your military buildings at home). This form of Flush usually uses two Ranges.
24 Pop Build Order
3 Vils: Either help your Scout look for Sheep, 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 looking for Sheep in circles, and be sure to not overlap areas where you have already Scouted, as that wastes time. Number your Scout to Ctrl + 1. You will then hit 1 to select your Scout, or hit 1 twice to select it and centre your view on it. Number your TC to Ctrl + 2. You will now hit 2 to select your TC and queue up Vils. Why not use H? H selects your TC, but also centres your view on your TC. You want to be able to queue up Vils while watching your Scout. If you need to view your TC to change where your Vils will go when trained, to force drop some food, or watch over things, just hit 2 twice.
4 Sheep: Once you have found them, send two Sheep to the TC, and send the other two Sheep scouting, helping the Scout (you are 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 if they had chopped a straggler), 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 do not kill an extra Sheep. Always only keep two Sheep on the TC; one being harvested, and the other, alive, standing by. All the others can either be scouting or standing by close to your TC, but not close enough so that your Vils on Sheep might decide to eat two Sheep at once, but also not far enough to have your Sheep stolen by your opponent.
Vil 7: Lumber Camp. A Flusher needs wood. If you have not scouted out a suitable forest yet, put this Vil on a straggler instead so that no time is wasted.
Vils 8-10: If you do not have an LC yet, get Vil 8 building it. If you do, send all of these 3 Vils to the forest at your LC.
Vil 11: After he has been trained, hit Loom, and get the Vil to wait by a Boar. When the Loom is 80% done, lure the Boar.
Vil 12: Mill your Berries (you will need that Mill for Farms). Vils 13-14 Go to Berries along with Vil 12 after the Mill is done, and keep them on the Berries closest to your Mill.
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. Plus, for being barbaric, you get good, fast food. If you have a Sheep left over rotting away, it might be a good idea to put one Vil on that Sheep until it is done, and then send him back to Boar.
Vils 15-19: Boar. Once your first Boar hits 175 food, lure your second Boar with a full health Hunter on your first Boar (drop off his food at your TC first, in case he dies).
Farms: At this point you should consider Farming. Pull the wounded Vils off your first Boar, and make Farms by the right-hand side of your TC. Tests have shown that Farms put on the right-hand side of your TC actually gather food faster. Slowly pull off the wounded Vils off the second Boar as well (so you should have four wounded Vils in total from both Boar) and put them on Farms as well.
Boar: Once you have finished your Boar, split up your Hunters onto Sheep.
Vil 20: Build a second LC by another forest if your first forest is small, or on the same forest is large (but place the LC farther away so that both LCs are not touching each other).
Vils 21-23: Wood right by the second LC.

The easiest way to remember this build order is basically 6-4-1-3-5-4. 6 on Sheep, 4 on wood, 1 to lure, 3 on Berries, 5 on Boar, 4 on 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" (default hotkey) to send them back to work (your Vils will go back to what they were doing automatically).

Move all your previous Boar Vils to wood, except for a couple. If you still have Sheep left over, use two or three Vils (that were previously the Boar Hunters) to harvest them. If you plan to play defensively, send the first couple of Vils I talked about to make a Rax facing towards your enemy. If you plan to play more aggressively (more micromanagement intensive, as well), take four Vils and send them towards your enemy, building your Rax closer to him.

Once you hit Feudal (11:xx minutes), queue up two 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 might not need any more Vils on wood, unless your wood Vils die to enemy units), make two Spears at your Barracks, and if you played defensively, with the two Vils that made your Barracks, get each of them starting on a Range. If you were forward building, get two Vils to start a Range each with your four forward Vils.

Make Spears, Skirms, and Vils all the time. Send your new Vils to food (some on Berries, but most on new Farms), unless you need wood, in which case, send them to wood for a bit. When you have enough wood, get a Blacksmith (for Fletching and other upgrades). Make a Stable ASAP, and get a few Scouts. When you are done your Berries (with six Vils at around the 15:xx minute mark), send those Berrie Vils to your gold (make a Mining Camp if you have not already started mining gold). Get Bloodlines when you have enough gold. 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 is 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 is a tech that is 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 is on the same gold pile; put the Camp at the other side of it so that Vils do not have to bump into each other or walk long distances back to the first Camp); you will be needing lots of gold in preparation for Castle. During the Feudal/Castle transition, try to build more Stables so that your total Stable count is three or four. Research cavalry techs at the Blacksmith (Scale Barding Armour, Forging).
25 Pop
25 pop is like 24 pop, but with an extra Vil. That Vil makes enough of a difference between a sub 11-minute Flush and an 11-minute Flush. It also can collect extra wood. Most 25 pop Flushers prefer to build a Stable and a Range for Scouts and Skirms immediately, and then opt to build the second Range later. It is good for playing defensively, but at the same time, attacking fast with Scouts to put early pressure on your opponent.
25 Pop Build Order
It is more or less the same build order, with an extra Vil on wood. Another easy way to memorize this build order is 6-4-1-3-5-5. 6 on Sheep, 4 on wood, 1 lure, 3 on Berries, 5 on Boar, 5 on wood.
22 Pop
Chris (L_Clan_Chris) can be credited with the idea of the 22 pop Flush. At the time of writing (well, mainly updating) this guide, there were many recorded games in various tournaments in which the 22 pop Flush was being used by a few of the top players in the world, with much success. Iori (_MyST_IORI_) is one of them.

The 22 pop Flush relies on Feudaling with 21 Vils and a Scout, and sending four Vils to your enemy to forward build a Rax, a Range, and a Tower (usually on his wood or Berries, but Towering his stone is not uncommon). With a Spear or two and a Skirm, you would attack your opponent with your units and your four forward Vils, disrupting him. The second Range comes when you have the wood, and after your Vils are done building it, they usually go off to mine your opponent's gold or stone.

Although this build is very strong and quite fast, it is also micromanagement intensive. If you are not very familiar with the Flush, it is not recommended that you attempt this. You will have to go back and forth between many locations all the time.
22 Pop Build Order
I am now going to simplify this because it is somewhat based on the above build orders.

Vils 1-6: Sheep. Remember to Sheep scout, to keep only two Sheep for processing, and what not.
Vils 7-9: Wood. Build an LC with Vil 7 if you have found a suitable forest. If not, straggler.
Now: Hit Loom, and when it is 80% done, get a Vil on your Sheep to drop off its food, and then lure a Boar.
Vil 10: Sheep (since one Vil left to lure).
Boar: As always, garrison the lurer when the Boar is on the right spot on the TC, and get your Sheep Vils to drop off their food and kill it.
Vils 11-13: Mill with Vil 11, all three Vils go to Berries.
Boar: Keep tabs on your Boar. When it is at 175 food left, lure your second Boar with a Hunter already on your first Boar (drop off food first, like again, in case it dies).
Vils 14-15: Boar.
Farm: Make a Farm with a wounded Boar Vil (drop off food first).
Vils 16-17: Boar.
Farm: Make a Farm with a wounded Boar Vil (drop off food first). Two Farms now. Get up to four Farms with wounded Vils soon.
Vils 18-19: Wood.
Boar: Your last Boar should be about done at this point. Send four Hunters out as forward Vils. Put the rest on your Sheep.
Vils 20-21: New LC, wood at this LC. As said before, can be on a different forest or the same one. Send three of your food Vils to this new LC, as well.

An easy way to remember this one is 6-3-1-3-4-4. However, you also have to realize that 3 Vils are moved to wood after they finish the Boar, and 4 are sent forward.

Garrison all food Vils and click Feudal, then send them back to work. Build a forward Rax, and when you hit Feudal, get a Range up. Get Double-Bit Axe, and get Spears and Skirms, along with your Vils, attacking your opponent. Tower his wood from behind if you can, or get his Berries. Make sure to make a second Range sometime soon, and you should mine his gold or stone using your four forward Vils. Making a Mill and harvesting his Deer is also not a bad idea. However, if your opponent is playing well, move your forward Vils back home, as you do not want to lose them. That would set you back a lot.
Non-Huns?
The previous build orders were optimized to be done with Houses. However, these build orders can be applied to other civs as well. Obviously, every other civ has to build Houses at the start. While most of the other civs have to build a House with two Vils and another House with the other, there are exceptions to that rule. Since the Spanish build faster, they can build a House with one Vil, and the other House with a second. The third can help scout or chop a straggler. The Chinese obviously do not have to build a House at all until pop 8. Always build a House 2 pop ahead of your max pop (for example, 13/15, 18/20), unless you are Spanish, in which case, you can build a House 1 pop ahead as long as the current Vil is not over 30% done at the TC. The Aztecs do not have to Loom, but because of the +5 carry, you will need to force drop food a lot during the early stages of Dark. The Mayans have to Loom at the start because they are at 5/5 pop, and the fourth Vil can scout or chop a straggler.
Feudal Tips and Trick
Now that the introduction, the playing styles, and the build orders are out of the way, here are some useful Feudal tips:
Sheep Scouting


In the game shown above, the player managed to find all eight Sheep early on, and sent four (yes, count them, four) Sheep scouting. The red circles in the screenshot indicate Sheep, while the green circle designates the player's Scout. There is a huge difference in Sheep scouting and not Sheep scouting. Just look at the amount of map you could have explored. Even with two Sheep, there is still quite often a major difference.
Scout Using Farm/House
This was an old trick known way back in AoK. You could select a Vil working, and select build House (but not actually build it or even lay down the frame), and then hover it around the map you have already scouted, seeing if you can build or not. If it turns red on plain ground and stays red for a couple of seconds, you can be confident that there is an enemy building there, or that he has idle Vils there. If it turns red and then becomes available to build, enemy Vils just passed by.

Huns do not get Houses. You can use a Farm, but that will only notify you of where enemy buildings and/or building frames are. It will not tell you where the enemy Vils are because you can always build a Farm under an enemy Vil (but you cannot build a House on top of one). The Mining Camp is the next best thing. Sure, a Mill or an LC works fine too (or any building, for that matter), but the default hotkeys are close together (B, G). B, B for a Rax works too, but you might not have the 175 wood available to hover a Rax around the map.
Cherry Pickers
If your opponent attacks your Vils on Berries, garrison them or fight back (if you are confident you can win). If you garrison them, do not send them back to work. Instead, put them on Farms. They are already wounded, and another attack on your Berries might prove quite fatal to your Vils.
Walling
Walling Your Opponent's Buildings In

As we can see in this image, the opponent's Rax is all walled up, save the corners. As I could not invest an extra ten seconds to get a better image, I would advise you to wall up the corners as well. In walling an opponent's building, the units he trains from it cannot move from it. He would have to destroy the walls in order to get his units out. Either his Vils can do it (wastes time, when they could be collecting resources), or have his units do it while you can run around his town killing things. This could even force your opponent to make new buildings. Walling your opponent's military buildings in with your forward Vils can pay off in the long run.

Walling Your Opponent's Resources In
There is no accompanying image, but it is exactly the same thing as above, just with your opponent's resources. Take your forward Vils, and wall in his gold or stone. If you manage to get his main seven gold pile, you will have completely annoyed the hell out of your opponent. That main pile is important because gold will be important later on, and when he has to destroy your walls to use his main gold, he is investing time into it. Not to mention that the main gold is normally the closest gold pile, and that it would fit more Vils around it than the other couple of four gold piles, and the bits of gold piles scattered around the map.

Using Walls for LOS
Yes, you can use walls for LOS, or even as a reminder for wolves. Here is an image where a Palisade frame is placed on a wolf (but not built), to serve as a reminder when the player decides to forward his Vils:

You can also put walls around your opponent's gold or stone piles, and not build them. The frames serve to give you LOS, and you can see his Vils mining his gold or stone, as well:
Wall frames for LOS are also useful behind your wood, in case forward Vils build a Tower:


Although there is the possibility that your opponent's Vils might not be seen (there is a chance that they will not walk over any of the frames you laid out), it is still worthwhile to do this sometimes.

Defending With Walls

This screenshot is taken from the championship match and the clinching game of the FOPT "Simply the Best" tournament, with Melody (_MyST_BT4) able to clinch the championship (which he does) against Iori (_MyST_IORI_). This is taken from Iori's side, and as you look to the far right of the image, there is a green circle I put there. Not only does Iori wall a chokepoint to his wood (below the circle), he also walls the chokepoint leading to behind his wood. This is a very smart play as he prevents Melody from dropping a possible forward Tower behind his wood, rendering it useless (and Iori would need to relocate his Vils on wood, and also need to build more LCs).

Bad Walling

Likewise, there is also bad walling. Taken from the exact same game as mentioned above, this is from Melody's side (For those who are wondering, I have friendly/foe colors on, mainly in 1v1s, especially when a player picks white/grey as their color, to easily distinguish a player from gaia. This is why both Melody and Iori appear as "blue" in both screenshots.). He wants to double wall his stone, but some of the second diagonal wall was unnecessary (unless Iori mined his stone for a while...). Melody prevents his own access to his own stone (his base is to the right), and he could have just double walled at the sides of his stone pile to prevent Iori from coming in. Melody later had to delete the walls to use his stone (sort of a waste).
Towering
Offensive Towering

Offensive Towers are amazingly useful. You can Tower your enemy's wood and force him to relocate his wood completely. It is frustrating, time consuming, and resource consuming for your opponent. Also, wall your Tower in, either with Palisades, or even stone. They prevent your opponent from hacking away at your Tower's base and it forces him to destroy your walls to get to your Tower. Many people only wall the four sides of the Tower, and this leaves the Tower open to attack from the diagonals. True, it will take your opponent longer to destroy it due to the fact that he can only attack it with four units at the Tower's diagonals, but he will still kill it with his four units untouched. Walling all along the Tower is a good idea if you do not plan to garrison inside your forward Tower later on.

If you are on the receiving end of this and the Tower is being built and you have noticed it, you have to make a choice, based on the situation. If it is close and you can easily send units and Vils there to kill the builders, do so. If not and you are worried that it will be up before you can kill the builders, you need to make a choice between relocating right now, or making your own Tower to counter it (and then garrison five Vils inside to kill your opponent's Tower).

If you are on the receiving end of this and the Tower goes up, relocate your Vils if the Tower is Towering your wood, gold, or stone. As for Berries, you probably will not find another patch of Berries, so get them Farming instead. If the Tower covers your Farms, if you are not planning to destroy his Tower very soon, or if your opponent has walled up his Tower, delete the Farms being covered by his Tower, and relocate your Farmers to new Farms, or even another resource. Why? When a Vil collects all the food from a Farm, if there are currently Farms being untended, that Vil will go to them first. Deleting your Farms being covered by an enemy Tower prevents you from having to do more micromanagement, and can possibly prevent Vils from dying.
"Lame" Farm Killing
Some people might consider this "lame" since they are nothing but a bunch of crybabies. Having said that, here is a background on this: if you destroy an opponent's building frame, he does not get his resources back. You only see an opponent's building frame when he actually starts building it. However, this is not the case with Farms. They are at 1 HP the moment they are laid down on the map. If you are scouting your opponent, and he lays down Farms with no Vils in sight building them yet, use your Scout to attack his Farm. Your Scout destroys it because the Farm is at 1 HP. Guess what? Your opponent is down 60 wood (40 wood if he is playing Teuts).
Opponent Castled
If your opponent Castles, you should not be too worried unless you are clearly losing the game. You should proceed to make a Rax or two to get more Spears for your army, and as well for defending your town against Knight raids. Keep making Archers, as massed Archers beat small numbers of Knights. Just target each Knight with every Archer until they are all dead. Massed Crossbows (once you hit Castle) do a great job of killing Knights. Crossbows can even stand up against Mangonels, if there is little lag and are micromanaged well. You can shoot the Mangonel with your Crossbows, run closer to it while dodging the Mangonel's shot, and then shoot again, run, shoot, etc. Don't worry if your opponent Castles faster, even Feudal armies (blue) can beat smaller Castle armies (red):


Castle
Ah yes, what the hell does a Flusher do in Castle?
Girl Knight Power!
Come Castle, you have access to Knights (or EWs if you are playing a Meso civ...). Whether you pump them from two Stables, three Stables, or four Stables, these things can beat any other unit 1v1 in Castle, save the Camel, Mameluke, TK, and Elephant. Three of those units are UUs and require Castles to build. A Camel can only serve to kill cavalry, as it cannot raid well (little armor, little attack). I would say training Knights is an extremely good idea.

Use them as a part of your army to kill things. Use them in small groups to raid your opponent's Vils. These monsters can do so much work, all for a very reasonable cost. Just keep them away from massed Pikes.
TCs?
As always, you would want to boom, and aim for at least a 120 Vil economy. Put TCs on your gold, wood, and stone. It is even better if you can put a TC on both gold and wood, or stone and wood. Boom as much as possible, while making military units. Gold is quite important in Castle, as it enables you to train the stronger units (Knights, CAs) compared to weaker ones which cost no gold (LCav, Pikes, ESkirms).
Later in Castle


By the time you get to late Castle, gold is getting more and more scarce, and you might have already spent much of your remaining gold to click the Imp button. A good combo to consider later on are Pikes, CAs (note that for basically any civ other than Huns, CAs are rather expensive), with Rams. Rams kill the buildings, Pikes protect you from Knights and/or LCav, and CAs can kill enemy Pikes, CAs, and Vils, amongst other things. Knights are not "profitable" at this point due to their higher gold cost in comparison to CAs (at least, of the Huns), and that many people will have started pumping Pikes.
LCav Raiding
LCav raiding also starts now. Build a few Stables on the outskirts of your opponent's town to the side of the map, and queue up LCav and set the gather points into his town. Your LCav will chase after Vils, and although they may die to your enemy's TC or even Pikes standing around, if you can kill Vils, you are accomplishing something. If you are forcing him to garrison (thus distracting him), you are accomplishing something. If you are forcing him to keep Pikes at home (thus wasting population space), you are accomplishing something. LCav are fast-moving, and expendable for an 80 food cost. LCav raiding has been proven to win games.

As for countering LCav raiding, you do not want to have to garrison your TC all the time against LCav. Scatter some Pikes around your town to stop LCav. To actually stop them from raiding, go to the source of the problem: the Stables.
Imp
If you have reached Imp, you have already played quite a long game. In early Imp, you might have gold left over, but that will be all gone soon if you are fighting all over the place. In late Imp, however, you might want to get a couple of Relics and spend your gold mostly on Rams.


Add Siege Workshops to the Stables you build in Castle for LCav raiding. With LCav raiding your opponent's town, and Rams knocking down his TCs, your opponent is in a lot of trouble.

If you have lots of gold to spare (I doubt it, and by "to spare", I mean lots of gold left over after you research the Hussar upgrade), you should get Hussars. Otherwise, spend the gold on Rams. Hussars do make a difference when fighting battles with them, but if you have your CAs (and if you upgraded them to HCAs earlier in Imp), they should be fine with a meat shield of Pikes/Halbs. Hussars and LCav do not make too much of a difference while raiding. Halbs might be a useful upgrade depending on the situation. However, Capped Ram is a must-need upgrade for your Rams, making them much more effective, for only 300 food. Siege Ram is another great upgrade, but with a 1000 food cost, if you are low on food, you are putting that food to better use on LCav.

If you are playing a civ that is not blessed with good HCAs, but has Champs, go for Champs, Pikes/Halbs, and ESkirms (for your opponent's HCAs and/or archers). Champs are an amazing unit for only 60 food and 20 gold (cheaper if you are playing Goths) and do an amazing job. They are also quite pumpable. With Pikes/Halbs and ESkirms backing them up, you will have no real problems with cavalry or archers. Continue to use Rams against enemy buildings. Also, continue to LCav raid (possibly even Scout raid if you are playing the Teutons) to put the pressure on your opponent, as well as hitting his economy.

Keep fighting, keep playing, and do not give up. The game is almost done.
Conclusion
That is the Flush, from Dark to Feudal to Castle to Imp. Hopefully you will see why this strategy is the most effective one used today, and hopefully you enjoyed reading this.
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Re: The Flush

Post  wB hofman on Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:03 pm

hei I learned fast castle but i not stay in castle 16:00
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Re: The Flush

Post  COBL_Gaucho on Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:57 am

/cool/
/I'll try/
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Re: The Flush

Post  Olof on Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:39 pm

I specially like the idea of giving the TC a number key - I never done that before Smile I often use a hotkey to go to TC, but that automatically put the towncenter in center of view - which might be a disadvantage when you want to task your scout.
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Re: The Flush

Post  Olof on Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:40 am

Here is an recorded game by me showing the pop 22 scout rush. It is not perfect but its decent. You buy feudal upgrade around 8 minutes and hit him before 13.

You can download it here

If you happen to start with the Chinese civilization you actually do almost the same pop 22 feudal rush. You can see such a recorded game here.
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Re: The Flush

Post  patriot on Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:46 am

Here is an recorded game by me showing the pop 22 scout rush. It is not perfect but its decent. You buy feudal upgrade around 8 minutes and hit him before 13.
very good done but is 21 pop not 22, or actually with out scout is 20 Very Happy
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Re: The Flush

Post  Olof on Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:29 pm

very good done but is 21 pop not 22, or actually with out scout is 20 Very Happy

Yea you are right it´s a pop 21 rush Smile I think it´s easier to say pop 21 and not "villager 20 rush" since that way you don't have to count away the scout.
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Re: The Flush

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