Why cant I win a single game?

Others have already given some good advice. Here’s mine, based on the video you posted. I happen to main Ethiopia in DE and I’m one of those old timers who’ve been playing since vanilla AoE3.

  • Get out of the Exploration Age faster. With Ethiopia, get your ~13 vils and then age. Keep everyone on Food until you click up to Commerce, then adapt. It is standard to sell one cow for ~150 Wood then get a House and the first hunting upgrade from the Granary (which also attracts hunts and gives a 10% gather rate buff near it)

  • Overall your deck is not too bad, but Era of Princes is rarely ever very useful, and Lalibela Rock Church is something I’d use only in very long team games. Also, remove 700 Food and add 700 Wood. Shipments are absolutely a resource in this game and Wood gathers much slower than Food, so a 700W shipment is worth significantly more than 700F. I suggest either Trinity or inf. 4 Cows as your first shipment. Follow that up with 4 vils or 3 Abuns in Commerce, or just send Trinity twice. Overall for 1v1, prioritise unit or resource shipments over upgrades, unless the upgrade is particularly powerful.

  • You and your opponent both floated way too many resources. If you’re not saving it up for something, use it! Especially to train units. Also, don’t forget to sell a cow as soon as the sale value reaches 500 of either resource, and also don’t forget to train cows if you have extra Coin. They are very important for the African civs.

  • Send a cheap unit to go and scout what your opponent is doing every now and then and adapt accordingly. This goes hand in hand with knowing the counter system. You probably have an idea of what counters what by this time, but take some time to get to know your civ’s units and exactly what they are strong and weak against so that you can train the right units when you see your opponent training a lot of something. If you hover over a unit’s portrait after selecting it, you can see what it is tagged as, and you can then train units with multipliers against those tags.

  • Don’t lose heart! This game can be confoundingly complex due to the variety of different age-up options and cards there are, even just for your own civ. Keep playing, and keep watching your replays to see what you could have done better, and soon enough you will find it a very rewarding experience, I’m sure. Also feel free to ask for advice as you have done here, and perhaps take a look at some games featuring Ethiopia on Youtube or Twitch to see how other people are playing them.

Good luck!


Because you have about 20 ranked games played. You need to play more and with mostly 1 civ until you figure out the basics.

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It is honestly normal. Every RTS is different you can’t expect to be good in one because you are good in another. When I started aoe3 I was an experienced average aoe2 player at 1000 elo but in aoe3 I lost a lot of games too, stuck at 700 elo for a few weeks. Eventually my elo keep improving right now I am 1500 on aoe3, 1350 on aoe2 and 1000 on aoe4. It’s all different but you will eventually match with similarly skilled opponents.

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Don’t worry about it, eventually you will sink to whatever ELO it takes and you will win 50 percent of all of your games at that ELO level. The only person who should ever care about ELO level is someone who is attempting to make money directly or indirectly from being perceived as a ‘pro’. This could include game streamers, because for some reason a lot of people don’t like watching games from people if their ELO is too low. They could watch a game and find it enjoyable until they find out the ELO of the players is low and then suddenly they don’t like the game anymore. Most casters don’t want to cast games from anyone not in the top 100 even though lower ELO games are often times more exciting and fun to watch.

Also, you have to remember that there are very very few ‘noobs’ playing AOE 3 1v1 ranked. A few sore winners like to scream ‘noob’ when they win, but my suspicion is there aren’t many noobs. I would guess that many have played the original AOE 3 which came out in 2005? Another thing I noticed, is that often times people just stay at whatever ELO level they settle at, no matter how long or how ‘good’ they become at the game. Why? Because the speed at which you are physically capable of moving the mouse plays a HUGE role in your ELO rating. And that was mostly determined by your genetics when you were born. A pro RTS player can play AOE3 for the first time and destroy someone like myself who has 1300 hours on DE alone and probably another 1000 hours on the original AOE 3.

You will be happier and enjoy the game more if you completely forget about ELO and just play civs with cool units or cool strategies and ignore ELO and ‘the meta’ completely. After all, do you really want to be a sheep who copies whatever OP civ and build someone else has figured out and repeats it over and over again? Or would you rather figure out your own strats and units and pick weaker civs and see what you can figure out/win with?


Yes, I agree… play the game and that’s it… no one is going to die for being better or worse than another player…

sorry but must basics like shift clicking are not learned by playing, its more than just playing, its going to youtube, ask expert people and then play

Yes, I was main Hausa but I love the sebastopol mortar so switching to Ethiopia

Yeah thats true. But finding the will power to keep going on a 10+ game losing streak is hard. I also been switching Civs a lot

Did you see how I sent all my units to his forward blockhouse when it was building and still couldnt kill it. Kind of annoying but if I had held on longer and just grinded out a few more battles I could have got my sebastopol mortal up and won, but I get frustrated easily when my opponent doesnt fall over and die with the slightest hint of resistance :laughing:

I just watched your game and it’s not that bad at all. You could easily have won that game but you don’t seem to know unit counters. Russia just made strelets so you could have won easily by making like 10 shotel warriors which are your cavalry type unit. You also had max value at the livestock market so you could have sold your cow for 500 gold and have made shotels.

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Yes, it’s a whole thing when that happens to you…

The African civs are the hardest to learn and play well, in my opinion. And the sebastol mortar, while looking super cool, is in my opinion one of the worst units in the game, along side mantlets (which also look super cool but suck). I would call it the ‘disappointment mortar’. Maybe if they cost less or there was a way to replace it when you inevitably lose it quickly in early fortress. I would certainly be a lot more inclined to play Ethopia more if the ‘cool’ units they have access to like mahouts, howdahs and sebastol mortars were made more viable somehow. Maybe a card to allow constructing the mortar in fortress which splits the cost between gold and influence, like is done with maigadai?

Just don’t be a lamer and pick Otto like some huge percentage of players do, pick a civ you actually think is cool and stick with it. Personally I think Dutch is easy for newer players while not being OP, because it is fairly straightforward to get a great eco just by building banks.

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In my opinion it is decent. It still has the same siege dps vs buildings as 2 falconets (even higher vs walls). Since it does not need to unpack I’d say it’s easier to run away from culvs. Obviously it does not do comparable damage to infantry as 2 falconets but it still can one shot most infantry units with more range. A lot of Ethiopian unit comps have fairly low siege (except gascenya comps) so if you don’t have the shipment it can be tricky to deal with heavy turtle play. Since it has more range than a fort it can deal with a fort easier than falconets would. I think it is hard to deal with a fort in age 3 without the shipment.

everybody forgot you can heal their artillery, and 30 range is a big deal in fights
its not a culv or 2 falc vs infantry but it helps the neftyena/jav comps very well threaten forts and such adnthat comp doesnt need cannon spam to push through


I don’t know how you can say it is decent when you admit it does the same siege as 2 falconets but less damage to units. The tradeoff for being worse vs units is that it doesn’t have to unpack? (But is still slower than packed falconets based upon visual observation only, could be wrong). And falconets can be made at an artillery foundry. So it is an inferior unit which cannot be replaced. Hmm certainly sounds like the worst artillery unit in the game to me… Healing is cool, but in my experience it is extremely difficult to keep a sebastol alive vs an opponent determined to kill it (which most are, because it LOOKS like its good).

the problems you listed arent that important in like mid level play and up

You can technically make remake falcs but in say a 2 falc timing base timing vs a sebastapol base timing the longer range is much more dangerous towards buildings. and after such a timing you arent rebuilding ur falcs so replace ability doesnt mean much

its faster then an unpacked falc (2.5 vs 1.6) which means you can micro it more and micro matters a lot mid level up

and most of the time people are determined to kill it, which also makes it the perfect bait for good trades. If you opponent is diving a well defended mortar with healing that is a chance to just wipe their army.



Hope this response finds you well. I reviewed the exhibition in question. Please find enclosed our preliminary analysis.

Per prior discussions we understand this is the client’s first game as the Ethiopians. We recommend the following to increase game knowledge (GK) and general execution:

  • Consider utilizing the selected civilization for a longer duration prior to soliciting feedback, to increase the efficiency of our analysis to differentiate between superfluous errors and substantive areas of improvement.
  • Recommend further studying of the game’s counter system. We identified the level of shock infantry recruitment into your unit composition was insufficient through the duration of the game, given the opposing army composition of only Streltsy.
  • It is best practice to train villagers from the town center. From game-time 9:10 to 11:58 no villagers were trained. The client may consider investing in their economy to remain competitive in the current market.
  • It behooves the solicitor to implement rudimentary build orders and shipments. While we encourage unorthodoxy it is prudent to remain grounded in established principles such as sending a 3 villagers or similar shipment if available. Villagers (and in your case, abuns) can be tasked to natural resources to increase economic output. An early investment pays dividends down the road.

While we are generally impressed by your competent demonstrations of real-time strategy (RTS) mechanics and motifs, evidenced by the aforementioned rank of gold 2, as well as your apm, your performance may be heightened even further by implementing the suggestions listed above.

We thank you for your business and trust in our quality assurance program. Please review our previously attached service package for any additional contracted work.


Callen & co.


Footnote 1: The shipping of the “Trinity” card (exclusively available to Ethiopia) in the Exploration Age may be used to curtail potential instances of unorthodoxy by the presence of 1 (one) Abun, which is delivered alongside 2 (two) Villagers (see Disclaimer 1).

Disclaimer 1: The 2 (two) Villagers provided by the “Trinity” card (exclusive to Ethiopia) in the Exploration Age are non-members of the clergy and are provided for non-liturgical purposes only.

This thread is just hilarious ngl.

I am so bad I cant believe it :sob: