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Pro Strategies: fast castle with saracent

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Pro Strategies: fast castle with saracent

Post  Smurf_QQ on Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:22 pm

As castle times get faster and faster we begin bumping up into the theoretical limit at how fast you can be and still have sufficient resources to attack your enemy. As was demonstrated in the castle time challenge, practical castle times can be as 12:00 or lower, given sufficient time to micromanage events. However castling too fast leaves weak and unable to develop sufficient military to take advantage of your speed.

It makes sense that there is some optimal time for castling that allows speed but also sufficient economy. So far that optimal time was around 15:30 or so.

However, while puttering around at Microsoft, Sheriff has been working on some killer new strategies to whomp on his fellow testers. One of those strategies is his Saracen monk rush - which we now reveal to the rest of the AOK world. This new strategy seems to lower the boom on the old thoughts of size of economy necessary to support an offensive, especially when castle times are now two full minutes below the old times. In real games, defeating real opponents, Sheriff has achieved castle times of under 13:30!

This article explains the general concept, contains a recorded game example in action (against real opponents), and the follows with some broader implications for AOK strategy. Sheriff's step-by-step actions are presented at the end for those that cannot review the game or want more detail.

The concept is basically four-fold:

At first, we Feudal early with only 19 villagers.

Secondly, using the market, we can improve the Saracen's early economy by trading our initial stone for wood and food, improving our castle time significantly. This is why we use Saracens: their rates are better.

Next we mine stone almost exclusively, trading it away for gold, which we can then use to buy some extra wood for our castle buildings. Again, this is why we use Saracens: their rates are better.
Monks converting

Finally, we use monks, en masse, which have no counter this early in the game, and allow us to focus most of our entire economy on gold.

How can we improve this strategy?

Fewer or more villagers do not seem to improve performance significantly. Fewer villagers do not lower time to castle and more villagers delays the assault.

Other civilizations are possible choices for this strategy, but it would have to be modified to account for poorer market-trading performance. For example, Chinese should be able to get to castle very early and they could also make only monks. It is important to have both sanctity and redemption, however. Using other civilizations - we might call this the MUSH (for Monk rUSH)

In team games, having a Byzantine ally makes this strategy amazingly effective. Your monk army is nearly invincible, since the Byzantine team bonus is 3x faster healing

If the enemy defends with tower, we can quickly switch to producing rams.

How can we improve counters to this strategy?

Towers are the only real defensive measure. Monks have a range of 9 and towers have a range of 8. It is possible to keep monks away using a few towers.

The SMUSH economy is very lean and there are no defenses at home. Making a few archers and sending them to the SMUSHers base could devastate him, especially if you do it early enough.

In team games, your ally can castle rush the SMUSHer and crush his economy. In team games it is vitally important that your ally also rush the other opponent to prevent aid FROM coming and hurting you.

What this means is that against a SMUSH, you will either need to defend with towers, or attack with feudal units. Units defending at home are likely to get converted and used against you. His monks are a poor target unless you can wipe all of them out. You are better off attacking his base.) Since towers are generally a losing proposition when used at home in defense, attacking with feudal age troops will most likely be the best defense.

Sheriff's step-by-step plan is very simple and can be executed by almost anyone. Your performance may vary based on the map, number of resources, your opponent, and other evils that befall you. Note that this is not against a computer; this is a real game with real opponents with real lag. You will notice many mistakes and areas where he could have improved.

The Plan

* Villager 1: Build house, then mill then gather berries
* Scout moves around in concentric circles identifying sheep, berries, and 2 boars. Then scout out wood, gold and stone
* Villagers 2 & 3: Build house, slaughter sheep
* Villagers 4 - 6: Slaughter sheep
* As many villagers on one sheep as possible
* Villager 7: Gather berries
* Villagers 8 & 9: Slaughter sheep
* Move your next sheep closer to the villagers so they can start on the next one immediately
* Villager 10: Gather berries
* Villager 11: Build house, gather berries
* Villagers 12 - 14: Chop wood (stragglers)
* Villager 15: Lure boar #1
* Villager 16: Gather berries
* 10 villagers slaughter boar
* As many villagers on one boar as possible
* Villager 17: Gather berries
* Villager 18: Lure boar #2
* 2 choppers go build lumber camp
* Villager 19: Chop wood (forest)
* Scout enemy locations with scout
* 10-11 villagers slaughter boar

7:36

* Click Feudal Upgrade
* 3 boar eaters move to wood - rest go to finish sheep

9:46

* Reach Feudal
* Immediately begin market
* Use one villager (berries) if possible, unless you have enough food
* Sheep villagers move to wood
* Trade 200 stone for gold, then buy 100 food and 100 wood
* Build blacksmith

11:12

* Click Castle Upgrade
* Note - we have not gotten any upgrades
* 2 forward villagers move out
* Sheriff doesn't use scout to escort villagers - I'd recommend this based on no loom

12:27

* 9 villagers move and begin mining stone
* Now we have 2 forward, 2 on berries, 9 on stone and 6 on wood
* Build a couple houses
* Sell stone at market and buy just enough woof to build to monasteries (350 wood)

13:52

* Reach Castle
* Immediately build 2 monasteries
* Watch how he hides and guards his two forward villagers
* Train 2 monks
* Train extra villagers as food allows
* Begin converting enemy villagers
* Train 2 monks
* As berries run out, use some wood to make two farms
* When the sell price of stone drops below 100, move all miners to gold pile
* Research fervor and sanctity to get converting speed and hit points
* Research redemption as swiftly as possible
* Use converted villagers to mine stone in enemy town
* Build siege workshop to finish off TC

By Out4Blood

Rec: Download here: ... n.mgl.html

Smurf_QQ
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Re: Pro Strategies: fast castle with saracent

Post  wB hofman on Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:34 pm

ok thx
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Re: Pro Strategies: fast castle with saracent

Post  Alpha_ on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:19 am

If this strategy is executed by a good player would be deadly
But it could sink by an error
It is very difficult to control monks
Any carelessness they die easy for some mangonels
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Re: Pro Strategies: fast castle with saracent

Post  patriot on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:40 am

i have on record in 3v3 game and guy in middle do this strategy, if i find record i will post, is really powerful, and feudal army is really easy to convert.
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Re: Pro Strategies: fast castle with saracent

Post  Alpha_ on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:48 am

I've seen a saved game with this strategy,
1v1 with The_Sheriff
Seeing he had done that seemed easy,
But I never tried.
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Re: Pro Strategies: fast castle with saracent

Post  Alpha_ on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:48 am

11

tongue
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