Discuss: Russia Early Eco

Hi there. Been trying to climb up the 1v1 ladder with Russia and have been stuck at around 1250-1300 ELO at around a 56-60% win percentage (playing purely Russia cause I don’t have that much time to play and invest time in other civs atm).

But mainly in my experience, these wins have just been successful all-in Age 2 rushes against people who aren’t really good at defending them, or somehow magically surviving the early Age 3 onslaught then slowly grinding out a slugfest to outscale them later.

In honest actuality, when paired up against someone who is actually comfortable defending the rush and has their FF timings down, it really feels like heavily disadvantaged for Russia (usually I just cross fingers and hope that I somehow make a great, cost-effective trade in Age 3 and then survive).

What I think makes it difficult for Russia is the weak early eco in Age 1 and 2. I’m no expert at all, but I feel like age-up timing is just a tad bit too slow to bring on actual rush pressure and that Russia’s ability to mass is strongly inhibited by the lack of a decent early eco.

On average, I am able to click to Age 2 at around 3:10 and 14v doing the basic herding every 10 seconds. Despite doing everything I can do quicken age-up timing, other civs usually age up faster and consistently have like around 20-30 seconds to do whatever they want in Age 2 before Russia can even click to send their first wave of rush units (usually I’m around 5:30 with 5 Cossack and musks with a very close FB). However, the enemy’s 2nd shipment (usually 700G) is already almost sent by the time Russia even gets to Age 2, and there already is a decent head start in collecting that gold.

I understand that in the current meta, rushing is not as effective as to enable more interesting Age 3+ play. But that ~15-20 second delay at 5 min effectively neuters Russia’s ability to make anything happen in Age 2.

Using 14v age-up (instead of 17v to speed up the rush), the eco is also scarce at the beginning of Age 2. If you want to make military units, then there will be inevitable idle TC time and you don’t really comfortably simultaneously train settlers and military units till like 20-23 villagers (which is actually much too late as the enemy is usually already in or in transition Age 3 by then, meaning your rush failed).

Although Russia does have the nice benefit of a 3 settler batch production, one drawback of these batches is that you have to wait for the entire batch to be trained in order to start collecting. This actually hurts Russia initially. Compared to other civs who normally produce villagers 1 by 1, those newly created villagers can instantly be put to work, gathering resources while the next villager is being trained. Unlike Russia though, you miss out on collecting between batches. Although this 3v ##### production is very effective for scaling later on (especially with 3 TCs pumping out settlers), it’s harmful in Age 2, where you are supposedly “strong” due to missing out resource gathering between batches.

Other civs are able to keep up with/easily surpass Russia economically, comfortably achieving 15-16v before/during transition awhile ALSO aging up faster, WITH the standard way of that new villager being able to gather while training more. Despite Russia basically having Medicine for free (cheaper and faster vills), Russia ages up with a few less villagers, leaving Russia to start age 2 with ~100-150 less resources hitting Age 2. In post-game, the villager production graph and resources gathered graph usually show Russia lagging in the early on, struggling to stay on par economically.

As a result from this stunted eco, Russia cannot effectively fulfill its intended design to overwhelm the opponent with a sheer mass of cheap and weak units. Sure, every civ who tries to rush faces this idle TC problem. But the awkward age 2 idle TC problem cripples Russia harder due to the 3v ##### drawback as described above (i.e. not gathering res between settler batches).

So if Age 2 doesn’t work, I guess you gotta compete with a FF, right?

The same problem is still there (slower eco = slower age up timing for Age 3) along with the added complication of not having powerful Age 3 gameplay anyways (it’s not like sending Spahi or Urumi or something tide-turning to base a strategy around off that). On top of aging with a weaker eco, you almost must buy a unit upgrade as well to keep up (200W + 200G), opposed to some civs automatically get their decent, veteran age 3 units by merely aging.
Although the workaround for unit upgrades this was the adjusted 350W / 350G tech from the church card, this setup is still way too slow upon hitting Age 3 (cause I’ve tried many a times). Where do these resources come from???
I have to invest 150W to build the church, use a shipment to send the card, (when I should be sending 2 falconet first in Age 3), then somehow gather 350W and 350W for that tech, and then on top of that, train units en masse.

The setup simply takes too long for effective FF play. (I’d suggest sending a free church along with the church card to maybeee entice the use of the Westernization tech, but that’s another day.)

Essentially Russia is a slow crawl with a starved rush and a stunted FF that can’t effectively fulfill the original intent of overwhelm the opponent with a sheer number of weaker units.

Therefore, I think that a slight help with the early eco would help Russia best.

I believe that maybe an extra 1-2 villagers will smoothen out a lot of this.

  • Instead of a 5 villager start, start with 6
  • Add a villager to Distributivism, as it is one of the most commonly used cards in Age 1.


Assuming that the extra villager gets put to work to hunt (.84 food per second) and walks 10 seconds out of every minute to another hunt, that’s 50 seconds of gathering, meaning an 42 extra food every minute for Russia in Age 1. Assume that that extra villager gathers for about 2 minutes after collecting crates, that’s about 84F extra gathered in Age 1 before aging up to 2.

This is less than giving Russia an extra 100F crate would surely help with age-up timing (as discussed before, Russia’s age 2 rush is neutered by that time gap), while enabling a little more resource stockpiling during transition to 2. This would smoothen the awkward idle TC food gap for Russia between choosing constant villager production or military units in early Age 2. With a 90 second age up time to Age 2, that’s about an extra 63 food for Russia to enter Age 2 with.

If Distributivism also added an extra villager (which comes with the 1st shipment halfway into Age 1), then having the 2nd extra villager constantly gather a minute before age up and during age up (assume like ~2:30 min) is like an extra 105F for Russia when hitting Age 2.

This effectively gives Russia like 170 extra food to start Age 2 with at like 20 seconds earlier. If this is too strong, then only add 1 villager (instead of 2) and you’d have Russia start Age 2 with ~60 more food at 20 seconds earlier.

Assuming the 2 extra villagers keep hunting at an average rate of ~42 food per minute, staying 5 minutes in Age 2 would yield an extra 420F by like 9 min, which essentially equates to an extra batch of units in the span of Age 2. It’s not too game-breaking to throw another single batch of units to supplement the rush, but it certainly does help.

This even helps Russia keep up economically and assists with the FF timings of other civs (due to softening the early 3v drawback as discussed above). Other benefits would also mean that by Age 3, Russia can open Age 3 with an extra batch of military units, or comfortably select a unit upgrade, or even open up potential FI strats without the need to upheave/rework current gameplay. A slightly improved early eco really opens up a little more opportunity for Russia.

Tell me if you think this is a bad or good idea, or whether a different idea should be proposed (or not).

  • Bad idea (I.e. Russia is fine)
  • Good idea
  • Russia needs an early eco buff, but not this
0 voters
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Russia is definitely underpowered like Malta is. The problem is, if the rush is buffed too much it can be unnecessarily oppressive.

My suggestion on another post is much simpler and plays right into the fact that Russia is a “do things in big batches” civ.

Three small non-game-breaking changes that will help slightly with timing and give a very tiny eco advantage early on:

  • Give Russia a 500f crate as opposed to five 100f crates. This will ensure that first batch of settlers will spawn 2-3 seconds earlier.
  • Reduce settler food cost by 5f to to 255f. This make each villager cost an even 85f and the scaling on this is minimal.
  • Increase poruchnik starting HP by 15 to 135. This will make them have more HP than a rusket but it’s actually an age 3 unit so that’s fine and needs to scale slightly better than it currently does. This will still leave them at the same breaking point if CM is used to defend.

These changes will only affect things slightly and hopefully put Russia right where it needs to be.

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I agree that the rush should not be too oppressive, but I do think that the rush is in need help (mostly in terms of timing).

I like the idea of the 500F crate and -5 settler batch cost reduction. It saves ~15F to guarantee a slightly faster age up.

However, even with slightly cheaper villagers, I think the eco problem is still big at hand. Even with by saving 5F with every batch, by the time you get to 20-23 villagers in the middle of Age 2, you have probably saved 25-30F, but at this point, Russia is starving to either compete with other civs gathering for a FF, or scraping enough for an extra batch of units in the already-weakened rush.

I feel like there is still the need to scrape up a few more resources to compete effectively.

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