What time do you guys start building an army?

I always seem to be 100000 steps behind by the time I start building my army. I was just playing now and I got wasted by a guy who had a score WAY higher than me. Like 2k more. I was building my army, Had about 20 Cavs, 15 Hal, a few castle units and this dude steam rolled me with his army which was about 50 more units than mine. When should I focus on building an army? What time in most ranked games do you guys start worrying about soldiers?

As soon as I hit Feudal, I start getting a few Archers, usually.

That’s hard to answer. It depends on when you intend to do combat. In open maps it is generally considered essential to have military before Castle Age.

On a competitive level if you intend to build the primary amount of your units in Castle, then you should drush your opponent with Militia before they reach Feudal age, buying you time to finish fast castling / walling and allowing you to use the Castle Age tech advantage while they deal with your 2-5 Militia / M@A.

However, it is also incredibly common to build military starting in Feudal Age. There are a few ways to do this, you could build archers non stop from as many Archery Ranges as you can handle while still getting food to age up. You could build a ton of scouts. You could even build 2 Scouts, and have them join your normal Scout and just use them the same way the Drush works to hassle your opponent while you finish aging ASAP.

On closed maps it is more common to fast castle. Black Forest you should be building Military as soon as you arrive in Castle age, and don’t stop. Arena it’s pretty common to build a couple of scouts in Feudal (for map control, preventing Castle Drops, and getting relics by sniping enemy monks), while fast castling otherwise.

In all cases, any time you just try to eco boom, you are vulnerable to someone who just tries to attack you instead. Try to scout your opponent early, repeatedly, and consistently. You want to know if it is safe to do the strat you are doing. Otherwise, adapt.


Aggro (aggressive or aggression) builds punishes greed builds. So if I play greed (booming) I start making army as soon as I scout enemy is aggro (number of Town Centers, number of military buildings, amount of army and its upgrades). Scouting and trying to know whats going on in the game is really strong.

I would say, learn how to boom (make only economy) properly, it is easy. Then learn how to play 1 Town Center (aggro) and then mix both depending on what you scout or think its going on in the game.


Do you manage to hold up to archers? I have not seen/done a straight archer push since years. I love the old meta btw.

Now everyone goes militias, maa, scouts before archers :frowning:

1 Like

I tend to use the Feudal Archers defensively, and they just murder M@A and Tower Rushes. I usually wait for Castle Age to attack (Crossbows) or do a Feudal Tower + Archers Rush.

Scouts can give me problems, but every other Feudal rush dies to defensive Archers.

1 Like

Working on it. I still see other players boom way faster than me.

1 Like

This depends entirely on your skill level / Elo and on your enemies.
If you are below 1000elo you should focus on villager production. There is nothing to gain in raiding your enemy and killing 2 Vills while your TC is idle for 5min…
Wall up, don’t idle your TC and go fast castle into Knights.
-> when you are able to produce vills constantly and go up in Age fast you can try a simple offensive build order with one army / unit type:
Militia / Scouts / Archers. Or alternatively you scout your enemy and try to find out what he is producing and just make a few counter units…

Once you have gotten really good at managing your eco and an army at the same time you can go into the more complicated build orders like:
Man-at-Arms into Archers into Crossbows with an archer civ or Scouts into Skirms into Knights with a cavalry civ…

1 Like

You should watch the replay and analyze, what you did wrong.

How often is your TC idle?
How often is your vil idle?
Walking distance of your vils?
How often you get housed?
Ressource overflow?

Try to optimize, at least solid build order for dark age is a must have.

1 Like

Just pick Persians and TC rush at 18 vills, no army needed

1 Like

Whenever I feel like it. But civ bonuses can influence the chances of me opening in the Feudal Age or Castle Age, and how much I commit to aggression vs. economy.

First off, great question!
Let’s see if we can break this down into some helpful questions & tips to follow. I will assume that you are discussing a normal online match with a Random Map type & Conquest victory condition.

  1. Are you playing a team game or a 1v1?
  2. Is it an open map (i.e. arabia) or a closed map (i.e. arena)?

These two questions will be your determining factors for when to build an army.

First off let’s address the elephant in the room - are you following a build order? The bottom line is if you are playing online almost anyone who is decent at the game is following some type of build order to maximize efficiency and be able to win as quickly as possible. If you aren’t, then I am afraid it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to be able to compete against any of these people you are playing online.

If you want to just play the game for fun and don’t want to worry about build orders, that is totally fine! Enjoy the game and have fun :slight_smile: just recognize that you most likely won’t be winning a lot of games online that way.

Now, that being said, let’s address questions 1 & 2 above.

There are two main build order strategies that are used: a FLUSH (Feudal Age Rush Build order) and a Fast-Castle (Fast Castle Build Order). If you are playing a 1v1 - you most often will need to do a Flush (which means building a military in the feudal age). If you are playing a team game, it will depend upon what position you are in correlation to your allies. If you are in the pocket (you are in the middle and your allies are on either side of you) then you should go for a fast-castle build order and build a military in the castle age. If you are on the flank (you are on the right or left side of your ally next to the enemy) then you should most likely go for a Flush. That being said, in light of the second question, if you are playing on a closed map (such as arena) or a map that is easily wallable (such as black forest) going for a fast castle is the preferred strategy regardless of your position on the map.

Now, remember this … this is a starting point for you. There are a lot of different build orders and a myriad of reasons why to use them at a particular time with a specific civ. That is the beauty of the game. What I have given you above is not a silver bullet to always follow and you will magically win your games. These are merely guidelines to get you started, and as you play the game you will get better at executing strategies and learn better when to follow those strategies!

TLDR: I would recommend that you first learn a Fast Castle into knights build order. It is the most versatile strategy and a great launching point for after you have learned it into other feudal & dark age rush strategies that are much more difficult to execute.

Here are some helpful links that very clearly explain and show how to learn and use these Build Orders:

Fast Castle (into Knights)
Flush (pop 22 Scouts)
Drush + Fast Castle

As always, if you have specific questions about how to execute a certain strategy or counter a difficult strat - there are a lot of people online here who have played the game a long time and are happy to help :slight_smile:

1 Like

You need to know what your opponent is doing to answer that question. If your opponent is building military, you’ll either need to match it or fortify to keep it out of your economy until you’re ready to fight it. If your opponent isn’t building up military, you need to make a decision between booming to keep up with his economy or to make military to try to raid him and slow him down.

You cannot evaluate this without scouting your opponent. Scouting to see what they have, what they’re building, seeing what they’re gathering and where they’re going is vital to understand what you need to do. If you see an excess of gold villagers (more than two or three) you can be certain they’ll be making some military since the Gold is practically only used for military units and military upgrades. If they’re heavy on stone, you can bet you’ll either be seeing towers or a castle, at which point you need to keep an eye out for forward villagers.

Really, that’s all there is to it. Setting yourself up to build military based on a distinct time of the game will lead you to lose games against players who scout what you’re up to and counter accordingly. Build orders for rushes have you building a military to aggress with, and for those builds the window for making military is clear. When you aren’t rushing, you need to be scouting. That’s the only way you’ll know when to build military.