Mali vs English on open land

Mali has a low win rate across the board and especially so vs the defensive/ultra aggresive civs (mongols english rus ottoman).

I wanna focus on the scenario of mali vs english on open land and what to do given what we scout.

This is a single scout opener scenario. 2 scouts is not bad just a touch slower on timings. This is not a single BO scenario but rather a preferred BO that’s ready to adjust.

  1. Split your vils 1 to gold for pit and houses and 5 to wood, new vil on sheep.

  2. Once your scouts brings in your 3 or so nearby sheep go straight!!! to english base to find out if its a drush or not. (If you spot a mill its not a drush…however if you spot no mill no barracks…he’s likely going for a fast feudal push).

  3. I make those 5 wood villagers deplete all 150w of the first straggler tree and play an option off what i see the english doing. If he’s drush and my gold is up front i build a tower near my TC that covers the houses that would be exposed. If hes built a mill then i know its likely a later age up and i take my 5 wood villagers and task to the closest deer and take the other 50w and make a mining camp.

  4. I love trade (maybe too much?) And I’m not a fan of the masa quarry… plus the tower comes with arrowslits so i can slow build with 2 or 3 and cover whatever is exposed to longbow pressure. Also building the tower also tells him i want trade…just not when?

5a. If english is doing the standard lb tower stuff then i open stable behind my TC. I suggest stable over archer range bc javelin throwers take too long to que from a single production to match the power of the english lb production landmark. And making 2 archer ranges leaves you open to a horseman switch or free of the switch which keeps you turtle. Meanwhile the sofa can handle 3 archer per sofa and eat maa and just has spears to worry about.

5b. If english is positioning for a fast castle then you could open up archer range bc he won’t spam endless lb, but just enough to do some poking around. In that case the few javelin throwers can trade vs lb and kite the spears. You can tell if its fast castle or not by checking for how many vils he has on gold especially if you DO NOT see a barracks. Even of you see a barracks, if you see 4+ villagers on gold and no maa?? Its some semi fast castle thing.

5c. If you sniff out a naked fast castle that had no drush, then food wise you should be ahead given you have 5 on deer and you too should fast castle with the garrison landmark. Once in castle your donso warriors combo will eat his knight and maa anything. And 10 javelin throwers should be more than enough to micro his longbows. Plus your overall eco is stronger than english until he reaches Imperial.

This is all my lil brain has worked out so far just need to execute and scout scout scout!!!

Good write up. I think sofas should be an auto include in every Malian build, they’re just so good. When English add spears to their LB(if they’re doing a feudal all in), you can force them to stay home due to raids,or are even better at raiding than horseman or knights in castle, forcing the slow English to either turtle or base trade.

Imo mansa is more flexible than the tower (which can be avoided, especially with LBs) especially on open maps where trade is going to be so susceptible to raidin or cost so much to wall up.

Malian trade is strong enough that you just buy cows for food, you don’t need that food from trade, nevermind that you can use the garrison for your infantry needs so your food requirements are much lower (again demoting the tower and promoting mansa)

Finally mansa can give you stone. Which lets you upgrade towers or TC behind feudal pressure. Nevermind the late game prospect of “infinite” castles