Help me creating my own playstyle

Hey all,

I’m playing this game for 4 months now and i really love it. Haven’t really touched ranked yet cuz im a bit struggling with my playstyle. I used to play Cumans full feudal scout rush, it seems to work, but while im fighting against a good opponent and he reaches castle age my defense falls off. I also have trouble with doing my eco and scouting. Like when there is nothing happening i know that my opponent is planning something, but i cant scout/find him while i’m doing my eco.

I tried Malay so i have a bit of everything and i can try different builds so i know what i want. Most of times i try to turtle and do light cav raids, while i prepare a forward castle/siege push with Monks and Battle Elephants which works fine, except when my opponent is aggresive early game and i didnt scout his archery range.

So with all those things, what should i do? Should i just do the rambo Cumans things (also possible for me with Mongols and Tartars) or should i just tower everything go archer/pike def every game and try to win with sneak light cav raids and slow push wins (Like Vikings (not good because they dont have husbandry but they are cool, Malay, Ethiopians or Vietnamese?).

I know some guys here will say, do what you enjoy most. For me in this case, i enjoy both, but i just can’t scout and eco early game at the same time. And i refuse auto scout. So any tips/suggestions are welcome!

Have a great day all!

Well, i know you dont want to hear this, but: Do what you enjoy the most.

If you want to improve quickly, here are a few tricks. Keep in mind im nowhere near professional in this game, so those are not 100% certain to bring you success, its just what i noticed helps me when i learnt the game.

-Play the same two openings every time. One for open maps (e.g. 20 pop scs) and one for closed (e.g. 24+2 FC). This will result in you learning where the bottlenecks are, and once you know this, you can adapt.

-Play only one or a few civs. The less you have to think about your options, the more you can think about the game.

-Have a plan for the entire match. Your plan should never be “ill mass scouts and if it doesnt work im dead”; rather, you should have a goal on how to play the match all the way to late imp. The plan doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be there.

For civs to play, i would recommend you start with byzantines. They have a nice edge in defense (more hp on buildings, good vision) and they FORCE you to learn the counters; you can’t rely on just one strategy, but you need to make the most out of their cheap halb/skirm. After that, try to learn a cav civilization (franks is the easiest one by far to play).
After that, think about which playstyle you enjoyed more and play similar civs to slowly branch out your knowledge.

Maybe its intersting to you to watch Day9 learn the game. He is by no means a good Aoe2 player and does many, many mistakes. However, its interesting how a pro from another game approaches learning something new.

Hi, in my opinion you just have to train, make experience and become more confident in multitasking.
You can play skirmishes vs the AI just to improve specific aspects of your early game management, trying to scout while you build your economy. Using build orders can help you a lot in the beginning, since you already know what task a villager have to do.
You can even give your scout multiple point to scout, just by pressing Shift button. For example, you can hold shift, click 5-6 pin-point around your town center, and the scout will follow by himself the trajectories you gave, meanwhile you can manage your vills.

If you can’t manage early eco and scout in the same time, it’s even harder to do it in feudal, castle and imperial age when you have to ingage battles and maintain your eco in the same time. Maybe this i s the reason why you fall behind in the castle age.

P.S. I wouldn’t go Light Cavalry with Malay, the cavalry armor sucks and they have no access to Bloodlines

1 Like

Going full feudal is kind of a kamikaze move. if the other guy reaches Castle Age you’re dead, especially vs ethiopians (awesome xbows, free pikes). Don’t make so many scouts, once you see spears defending stop the scout production and try to go up to castle age yourself.

light cav with Malay is a bad idea, the Malay stable is probably the worst in the game, the only thing they have that’s okay is the discount for elephants, and even that is a very easy counter if the other player knows a bit about how to counter elephants (monks, pikes)

towers are only useful in feudal age, in castle age even 2 knights can bring them down easy lol

i think what you should do is try to go up faster and pressure your enemy with a few units at a time to harass him/her, instead of going with “all in” strats xD But hey, you do you! :wink: if you enjoy that, keep at it :slight_smile: Also, go ranked!

there is a contradiction in this statement, if the Feudal Scout rush seems to work, your opponent shouldn’t be to Castle Age first (unless you go for 2nd TC). Generally speaking, you make 3 Scouts as an opening and add more or stop depending on the damage you find, how many walls the opponent has, the amount of Spearmen he did etc. It can also pay off to add Skirmishers/Archers to counter Spearmen and walls which are the worst nightmare of Scouts.

This is something that comes with experience, you should force yourself to periodically click the hotkey of the TC/production building and click the villager creation/unit creation hotkey. With time, it becomes natural and you keep idle time at a minimum. I have all TCs grouped under “5”, for me clicking a villager is 5, Q sequence, you do this as you watch the army. Normally you task new villagers to wood or gold with the gather point, periodically when you see you are floating too much wood or gold, you take villagers from the woodline and retask them to farms. You don’t need to drop off resources when you create economic buildings (farm, mill, lumber camp, mining camp, TC) because villagers drop off resources to your stockpile upon completion even if it’s the “wrong” type of resource. So it’s very common to take a villager with 6 Wood and make him create a farm, upon creation he deposits the 6 wood and starts farming and the wood is not lost.

You should probably pick 3-5 civs for a start to learn, I recommend against Cumans and Malay as they are very gimmicky civs that you should play once you have a better grasp of the game, because their power spikes and strategies depart from the classic cases of “spam a lot of archers or a lot of knights” which are very easy to macro behind and execute. For example, a strong thing for Malay on land maps is a 16-min Elephant all-in, but you need a VERY good macro to hit the 16 min mark, a good number of farms to get the Elephant mass needed and probably a Market to buy additional food. It is paramount to get enough Elephants to pressure enemy TC and to hit the 16 min mark to not deal with Monks counter so you need solid opening, taking little damage in Feudal, dropping farms at the right time and in short this is less error-friendly than something like flood Crossbows which basically requires you only to send as many to Gold as possible at basic level. Of course Malay have also fully upgraded Archer-line but if your plan is to go Archers you wonder why you didn’t pick a stronger Archer civ like Britons.

More beginner-friendly civs are Franks, Ethiopians, Britons, Magyars, Berbers, Mayans, Lithuanians. You should also learn at least 2 openings, better if you learn all of them but you should know how to do a 20 pop Scout opening and 21 pop militia/men at arms into archers. Ideally you learn also other openings like Skirmisher opening or pre-mill Drush FC but those are more advanced and are not required until like 1400 elo to win.

In general, learn to use hotkeys, at first you will be slow and lose a lot, then suddenly you will start winning.

Also when managing eco, aside from the gather point to Wood which is pretty much the “standard” because wood is what you use to expand your base, you should periodically check the bar above, there are numbers below each resource that show how many villagers are gathering each resource. You should learn, depending on the strategy you are going for, how many villagers you need on each resource. This is something that you can EASILY overdo, chasing every idle villager and trying to have a perfect eco. It’s better to have 90% balanced eco and focus on army than have 100% balanced eco and lose 10 Crossbowmen to a Mangonel because you just HAD TO retask that 1 idle villager. Remember that a VERY important resource that you don’t see displayed is your attention/micro time. Everything costs attention, very often it’s not worth to devote attention to 1 Knight raiding your base, you just Attack Move a Camel in his direction and resume doing what you were doing. After 1 min or so, you check that you indeed killed him. Being efficient at this type of things can get you 1600-1700 easily.

Overall a quick table of how many villagers you need to do some things is:

  • Archers: each archery range requires 4 on Gold and 2 on Wood to maintain constant production, remember that to get Crossbowman and Bodkin Arrow upgrades as you get to Castle Age, you also need like ~300f and ~200g, so try to save those resources while aging up (during the aging up you should keep creating Archers that later become crossbowmen so to accumulate the 200g required for upgrades you might want 9-10 Gold villagers, also don’t forget the FIRST gold mining upgrade it’s VERY important, while the 2nd one is more of luxury upgrade that generally one gets in Imperial Age)

  • Knights: each Stable requires like 5-6 on food and 7-8 on Gold to maintain constant production. Vs Archer civs you want to rush the +2 armor upgrade IF you see they have a big army (15+ Crossbowmen) but don’t do it before you have like 5-7 Knights. You generally do Bloodlines as you age up.

  • Skirmishers: you need to know that it’s very hard to get the Elite Skirmisher upgrade, it’s 230w and a VERY long research time. Save wood to get it because chances are if you are forced to do Skirmishers, there is Crossbowmen pressuring your walls so don’t reseed farms or something like that and disable the button. You also wanna rush both Bodkin and the +2 armor, as a rule of thumb Skirmishers trade about 1:1 without the +2 armor and they trade very well to the point that Crossbows will go back once +2 armor kicks in. You want to keep Archery Ranges for Skirmisher production at about a 1:1.75 ratio to his Archery Ranges flooding archers, so let’s say he is flooding Crossbowmen from 3 Ranges, you probably need 2 Archery Range skirms to defend that. Often you won’t be able to scout how many ranges he added at home but it’s very often very obvious how many ranges are being used based on how fast reinforcements come. Also care that at some point they will add Mangonels vs your Skirmisher play so you need to have a plan for that and have the foresight that your Skirmisher vs Archer play won’t last forever. Last you must know that Skirms take A LOT of wood to produce, since some of the wood you need to re-seed farms and add important buildings (siege workshop, university…) you probably need 15-20 wood villagers to justify Skirmisher play.

Siege Workshop: requires a lot of gold to make Mangonels, but you generally can pause creating the gold unit you are making (Knights, Crossbow) to squeeze in Mangonels. However you need, again, extra wood villagers to keep production going. Probably again 15-20 wood villagers to afford near constant production

  • wood villagers: nearly throughout the game, you need 10 for your eco and everything above that is for military. 10 wood villagers can service re-seeding farms and adding important buildings like houses or university at the “right” pace. You generally add these 10 wood villagers in the early Feudal age and adjust accordingly (for example, if you are doing Archery Range play, you need 10 for eco +2 for constant archer production).

There are a lot of other strats like Light Cav flood which requires you to spam farms but I tried to list the absolute basic units you will use and give some idea of how the eco looks like for those units.

Oh also you should know that the big difference between the 2 meta units in Castle Age, Knight and Crossbow, is that Knight requires food while the other doesn’t. This means that if you are playing Knights, you want to slowly add Farms and TCs. As the Crossbow player, in contrast, you want to task villagers to Wood and Gold as the ~16 farms you should have at the start of Castle Age are more than enough to allow constant villager production from 1 TC (~6 villagers required) and the occasional Knight and Pikeman you will mix into your composition. It’s very normal for the Crossbow player to hit Imperial Age before the Knight player which is a pain because Arbalest blob with 6+4 attack is very hard to stop with Castle Age Knights, so your task as the Knight player is to abuse mobility as much as possible to make his eco idle and hit Imperial Age at the same time as the opponent.

Arbalest not requiring food is the big reason why Crossbow is considered superior to Knight as a unit, because the big bottleneck to hitting Imperial Age is the 1000f, which is hard to hit before the archer player when every Knight costs 60f.

Again tho, the Knight player is not incredibly behind in these considerations, Knights trade resource-efficiently vs Crossbows after you get the +2 armor, and you have the mobility aspect so you should try to raid as much as possible. This is 1700+ elo stuff anyway, below in general Archer players aren’t efficient enough to hit Imperial significantly before you or know how to capitalize on that advantage.

Anyway to stress this again because this is the most important thing u need: learn to multitask with hotkeys, you should be comfortable doing some “routines” like clicking “1” which for me is melee units, seeing how they are fighting, if it’s a good fight you keep microing, if it’s a bad fight you make them run back and immediately click “5” (TC hotkey), you don’t watch your army run back, you manage eco for 10-20s and then you re-click “1” or “2” (2 for me is ranged units), see if something changed. This is how you play AoE2, now if there is a big fight happening don’t click “5” and leave the fight, even if you don’t make villagers for 1 minute it’s more important to micro a big fight than have 3-5 extra villagers. But really get in your head where you should be looking at every time, it’s not always at army, if it’s 2 Knights with +2 armor fighting your 10 Crossbows, you know that Crossbows win that fight and lose like 3 units, if you micro it’s true that you probably lose 1 or 2 less but overall it’s better to lose 2 more Crossbows and place 5 more Farms and a University than have 2 more Crossbows and no University.

1 Like

If you enjoy full feudal scouts, maybe learn this?

There are a lot of good advices on this topic, but I have a few more :

1/- Learn a classical build order (e.g. 22-23 pop archer, maa-into-archer, 20-21 pop scout into archer etc.) and not a meme one (full scout feudal). When opening with scouts, you want (most of the time) to i) add skirm or archer to counter spearman or an archer mass, or ii) stop creating scouts (when secured at home) and go to the castle age quickly, to transition into something else (knight for example).

2/- You should practice your opening/build order against the AI (it could be the very easy one, and you can resign when you have reached your goald). You should work to minimize your TC idle time (you can reach only one or two secondes of idle time if you become familiar with your opening). You can measure your TC idle time by comparing the time you reach the feudal age with the theoritical time it takes to make X villagers/loom and feudal age upgrade (AOE2 Feudal Age Timing | aocpip). For example, for a 21 pop (20 vills and the starting scout), the theoritical feudal time is 9:40. WIth a little work, you should reach 9:45 at least.

3/- Do not try to push deers with your scout, If you struggle with multitasking. When the game start, find i) your two boards and 8 sheeps (4 from the start and 4 additional one) ii) your main gold, the two secondary gold and the two stones in your starting area) ii) scout arround your base to see how you could wall efficently iii) find the oponent base and identifiy where you could make damage (e.g. berries, wood, gold).

1 Like