English strat vs other civs

Ok so I made a post in the past about French being OP at least vs English. I still hold this opinion that the Knight itself needs a nerf as tower diving and taking no loses feels a little too powerful to me. However this is about English current meta and how they should be playing vs other civs and various maps.

So Hera made a build guide for English that in my opinion is great however it does need to be adjusted slightly.

While yes English is a great civ to go all in early and get a massive amount of pressure in the Feudal age English as a whole is a very hard civ to play (at least for me, figuring out if I need to go ram rush or play a longer game, which for the English civ itself is very difficult).

Also with Aussie Drongo casting games of pro’s it highlighted certain issues with builds and civ match ups. Specifically something I was already aware about that one Hulk in the middle of a water map and its gg for English. So after watching that game I’m curious if English can take out the shipyard before the ship gets out. If not that drastically changes what build order English need to do on that map.

So to the build. Hera has English going Council Hall and Barracks. For the obvious reason that most people who play vs English will look to counter longbows with horsemen. The build allows for a small army of longbow and pike’s at around 6mins, which to be honest simply is not enough. In my opinion this build is strictly defensive and arguably not an ideal defensive. My reasoning is if there is a window to go ram all in English needs to get the upgrade for this sooner rather than later as late ram rushes simply don’t put enough pressure on a players builds to be any good. You need to be ram rushing before they are able to fast castle. For this reason you need to for go the Barracks and mass longbow. For this reason also it is highly dependent on you, the player, to decide what to add after Feudal.

If you go farms, wheelbarrow, this is strictly a long game play as wheelbarrow can be added later in Feudal when being aggressive vs stubborn players to ram rushes.

So english has one of 3 options in my opinion.

  1. Council Hall + Longbow + Blacksmith to end that match ASAP and punish any greedy builds (note that barracks is added on later, mainly because you can’t support nonstop production from a rax and hall anyways) Against stubborn players you add production buildings when your resources warrant to ensure the W. Castling behind this is sometimes an options however I feel always producing more units in this position is always the better option.

  2. Council Hall + Barracks + Wheelbarrow to aggressively defend vs civs like the French. In my experience its almost impossible to push them off gold to any real substantial effect and you’re always on the defensive covering your own resources. For this reason I’m contemplating removing the rax from the build and simply using Longbows + Palings around resources to deter knight atks and then just castling behind the def and ignore Feudal aggression at all. Especially on maps with water in the middle if I can’t destroy the shipyard fast enough. Goal being to age up with the The White Tower and secure a place for a dock and fishing. This build I feel is also good for this also and securing a dock in Feudal on some maps. Or for Preventing sacred sights from being used and preventing Holy Roman from getting relics (relic prevention here is easier said than done). Obviously this build in my opinion should be more eco focused as you’re expecting to play a long game vs your opponent so Imperial age should be the goal or some sort of Castle age aggression.

  3. Council Hall + Wheelbarrow and play hard eco for an Imperial age game. Making as little units as possible and just booming with two TC and farms.

Its the balance of knowing which strat you need to use on what map vs what civ that makes playing English a lot harder than people may think.

As I only play English I don’t really know other civs strat or how they think vs English. I’m simply learning to see where a player makes a mistake and capitalize on it with a fast ram rush. As this seems to be the majority of games it makes playing English doubly hard as you don’t get to practice long games that often and just punish players early. However this said the odd time certain things still throw you off.

If anyone can share what civs game plans are vs English or what there Game plans are for there civs anyways that would be great. I know its circumstantial to some degree however could use some insight to other civs short of spending countless hours learning a new civ and build order and then learning to see the nuances of that civ.

I wanted to add a few things as food for thought. Basically thoughts vs certain civs.

English vs Mongol

This match up is incredibly hard for me. I never know what exactly my window is here mainly because I’ve played vs so many different opening vs Mongols I never know what they’re going to do. This said if they go archery range and don’t pick Mangudai then its an easy all in ram rush and to the point of throwing a second archery range and massing longbows. Either way you have to protect your resource lines with some sort of good walling and consider a rax if they get a stable. Also some maps allow for Mongol to set up an early trade and is very hard for the English to deal with it seems. Again I feel the default here is to go for the ram rush. What makes this one hard is the fact maps have two market locations they can send traders to and its almost impossible to cover both sides.

Vs Holy Roman Empire

It seems they can get off an extremely early castle and the rax council hall simply doesn’t do enough dmg. So either getting off an earlier ram rush without the rax or building for a macro game rushing caslte and then getting units to relics and backing into a monastery seems the right play.

Vs Delhi

It seems like they like double TC builds and for go any unit production buildings and get towers. For this again I feel the fast ram rush is needed.

Vs Abbasid

Again a double TC seems standard here and getting off early rams seems the goal. So atk upgrade and follow up rax after Blacksmith seems ideal to close the game out before the second TC allows them to boom.

Vs French

I’m feeling going for an eco play is best and King’s Palace for caslte is ideal. Protecting farms with archers and resources with Palings.

Any map with potential for a shipyard I would choose The White Tower and get fishing up. However these maps get interesting as you have to see what your opponent is doing and either punish they’re shipyard and ram rush or fast castle.

With this in mind I think playing a standard Council Hall, Blacksmith, Mill is best for any strategy so that your opponent doesn’t know which of the three strats you’re about to go and is left guessing. Always throwing the Barracks on before castle age or for added Feudal protection/aggression. That you either for go blacksmith upgrades for eco ones and look to play the long game instead.

Vs English

This I feel is map dependant. Basically it becomes a game of who has more longbows or who gets to castle age first. I utilized a fast castle ages ago vs an english mirror and the player insta dropped once I did that. If I don’t fast caslte however I feel the play is massing as many longbows as possible to the point where you ALWAYS get another archery range up and keep up mass longbow production.

Vs Chinese

Chinese has some weird plays. They have the Cheese using there Feudal age building aggressively. Which in my experience is stonewalled using your own villagers to kill theirs. Note here you have to pull enough to kill them and use them in two groups to atk different villagers at once to kill them fast enough to stop the building from going up. Then you have to keep villagers gaurding it until you age up as they WILL try again to finish the build. So you have to use scouts to make sure you’re not about to get cheezed. If they don’t cheese they tend to want to get I think its the Song dynasty for the archers which can be easily overpowered with mass longbow. So its an easy ram rush all in.

Vs Mongol

As per the above vs the Chinese. Mongols can do the same sort of cheese with towers. Again the same response is needed. Simply pull villagers to deal with any pikemen and if you have them longbows with scouts. Stopping the tower from going up is the goal.

Vs Rus

About the only civ I would warrant going Council Hall, Barracks is vs the Rus. Using the pikemen and archers to prevent them getting Deer carcass. In this also the standard double scout in Dark Age is mandatory here and you scout around your base first for sheep and then combine the scouts and kill any wolves and deer you find. Having them together is clutch in order to deny bounty for the Rus player.

Also for maps where players like to wall the middle. I find going double scout and leaving a scout in the middle is ideal. Where you end up pulling a few villagers to prevent the wall from going up at all. In some cases you can use pikemen for better torch dmg to quickly destroy the wall and I feel only in lower elo’s would this really work. Goal is preventing the wall from going up at all. So the villagers used to stop the wall are used for an aggressive tower early in preparation for a ram rush.

Something I didn’t even think of either is the highly underutilized siege tower. I’m curious if this can be used to hop over wooden walls and even stone walls. If so this makes the English ram rush a TON more viable and not even having to worry about a wall to begin with other than the small offset of building the tower to get over the wall and then begin harass of your opponent.

I wanted to add something of note here also.

Obviously the best way to deal with English is towers and Horsemen and walls. All of which requires resources and build time keeping your opponent in Feudal age. Which is exactly what you want as English however is exactly what you need to do to counter them also.

So for this good scouting of your opponents base after aging up is clutch as you need to find out if they have built a Stable.

If a stable has been built you can expect to have a Feudal Age battle on your hands and will require a rax in order to continue aggression. In which case you should still be prioritizing the ram upgrade or archer atk upgrade.

Later ram rushes can still be utilized provided a player has committed to battle in the Feudal age. Plus if they haven’t than you can typically overwhelm them and get a ton of villager kills as they attempt to kill rams with no need to worrying about harass or you steam roll production buildings and houses until 3 rams are up and targeting a town center.

Note that Stables require getting a rax up ASAP. While also depending on how it plays out and the response of a player you almost always add on the rax a little after to support an army with either Men at Arms or Pikemen.

So something to note. Keeping Scouts alive and Rams alive is clutch as the English. If they pull a lot of villagers pull out rams and repair them. You build rams as resources allow.