Why do people prefer short grunt-rush matches?

I and my gaming group have played AoE 3 for many years, but we exclusively play against bots, and tended to play team treaty. A few months ago, I got more interested in how to play more effectively, so I searched up some guides. I noticed that, the resounding majority of the time, matches were resolved very quickly, with one player FFing the moment they fail to defend their base from harassment, or vice versa, one player FFing the moment their all-in opening gambit doesn’t work. To I and the rest of my group, the enjoyment of Age games comes from the 1-2 hour epic power struggles, not some cheap 5 minute win. In Age 4, I’ve begun thinking about playing ranked pvp, however, I know almost for a fact that people are going to be doing some silly moment-they-can grunt rush, in hopes if dismantling my economy. While I understand that it may be meta, is it fun?

Conversely, I feel there’s an argument to be made for not FFing the moment you get overrun. The way I see it, and correct me if I’m wrong, players are likely going to optimize their early game grunt rushing as much as possible, with late game being but an after thought. Couldn’t a player with a more balanced skill set be able to still win, in spite of the early game harassment?

In truth, my overall main question to all you grunt rushers out there is, why? The early game is so static that it becomes less about strategy or tactics and more about mindless execution. Is that really fun? For anyone? And is it really fair to yourself or your opponent to surrender if you lose the early game? I may have only played against bots, but I’ve still seen an incredible amount of comebacks. Even outside of Age, in similar games that rely heavily on who can get a resource advantage first, I’ve seen incredible upsets and outplays. The game that readily comes to mind is League of Legends. A lot of players may be convulsed to FF quickly because their team isn’t doing that well, but for as many games as I’ve forfeited, I’ve played just as many where my team (Or the enemy team!) has been able to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat, be it from the enemy messing up, or my team making great strategic and mechanical plays. Age is no different in this regard. It may be seen as a waste of time to continue what’s seen as a lost game, and you’d rather get on to the next game, but if you’re really worried about long games, why’re you playing an RTS? \

My apologies that I don’t have quite the same experience in the RTS genre as many other folks do, but even with the limited knowledge I do have, Age is more macro, aka long term, focused than other RTS games, which tend to be more micro focused. Age and most any RTS still require solid foundations in both, but if Age’s whole thing is a focus on over-arching macro, why do people FF so quickly? Why would you play Age of Empires at that point? I’ll reiterate, my RTS knowledge and experience is limited, but conversely, I have much more experience with nearly every genre under the sun, and that experience is telling me that there’s something fishy with how people play Age. I’m asking all of this not to be rude or attack anyone, but because I’m genuinely curious and confused. Thank you for your time.


sorry, i am managing a baby, family, work etc, i dont have time to sit all day play games. i just get 20-30m in a week. so i just try to play one match and get it over with as fast as i can without hurting anybody’s feelings.


Even so, your situation does not account for everyone’s. People who play Age a lot more often will still use the same cheap tricks, so while you may have good reasons, and surely many others have similar ones, I’d still wager that the majority of players using such tactics don’t have quite the same time restrictions.


First, the ultimate goal of this game is victory. And a strong rush against the enemy going to the later game without any preparation is just the way to win.

Second, if you defend the 2age enough, you can play the later game you want.

Third, in this game, some civ have strengths in the early game, and some civ have strengths in the late game. If this difference is not recognized, all civs must be eliminated.

Finally, to advise, you have two ways to enjoy the later game.
One is to make appointments with acquaintances and play, and the other is to run the early and mid-term games well and lead the later game.
Ram will go to your TC if you just focus on the development of age without thinking.


I prefer to play in early game, personally I think there is a lot of strategy to it!

When 1 unit makes all the difference as opposed to post imp when 1 unit dying doesn’t matter as 40 more are already in que!

The thrill of trying to do the most damage to get the 1 percent advantage without over committing.

This is what I enjoy about the game! I often go very all in on age 2 and rarely go to age 3 or 4


It’s hardly a “cheap trick”, it’s just people doing what they think will give them good odds of victory. It’s where the meta naturally ended up. Don’t blame the players, blame the game.

From a competitive standpoint, it’s not a game fundamentally about building up your big glorious civ and having big glorious battles with the other player. It’s a game about having your civilization still alive at the end while the other player’s civilization is dead. Any way you can accomplish this (short of egregious glitch exploits IMO) is fair game, and given that there are military units in every age, I like that it’s possible for the game to end up as a fast-paced feudal war OR a mid-paced castle war OR a slow-paced imperial war. A 5 minute win isn’t “cheap”, it’s “incisive.” One player decided to invest in early aggression and it paid off for them because the other player wasn’t ready to fight. If you want to live past the feudal or early castle age, I think it makes sense that you have to earn it by being able to defend your town at any point (as needed, informed by your scouts of what threats actually exist).

As for whether people are too quick to forfeit, I don’t have an opinion on that topic yet. I don’t think your League of Legends comparison is totally fair. I’ve played a fair bit of Dota (with some interesting comebacks) and I’d speculate that crazy comebacks come about mostly because of the volatility of trying to coordinate with 4 strangers. There’s a lot less volatility in a 1v1, so I think it’s relatively more reasonable to resign in 1v1 when you feel like you’re just too far behind to come back, although yes there’s still the hope of making some kind of clutch plays (and/or the other player choking) and getting a comeback, sure. So my current speculative stance is “people may be too quick to resign.”

My biggest beef with your post is you belittling rush strats (calling them “silly” and “grunt rushes” to try to make them sound dumb and mindless). I think the desperate fights with limited amount of early low tech units are neat, and the higher tech units feel a lot more earned when you had to fight for survival to get there in the first place instead of just getting to walk there for free because everyone thought it was rude to fight too early. So it doesn’t seem “cheap.” It seems “natural.”

now when a given strategy with a specific civ is simply too effective (e.g. tower rushes with mongols, i hear), THAT’S when things officially get mindless, because (worst case) all you have to do is follow the strategy and you’ll have an unopposable advantage. This isn’t how rushes are intrinsically though. Rushes intrinsically aren’t a cheap way to gain an unfair advantage. They’re just the most straightforward form of aggressive play, which can be scouted and fought back against.

If you meet a ton of players who rush and then forfeit if their rush fails, I do see it as reasonable to complain about not getting to play the later part of the game where you’d get to make later-game units and really take the fight to them. Instead, you only got to experience the early part of the game, because they resigned figuring they couldn’t win the later part after their failed rush. That understandably feels bad for you. It may be a natural outcome that 1v1 in this game has a lower likelihood than 2v2+ of making it to imperial age, because of the natural extra power of rushes in 1v1. That may just be how things are.


A group of friends I have used to only play vs AI in any new RTS game that came out and they’d all go for late game Eco, or awesome base appearance, etc., however, in AoE4, seeing how the AI are so easy that you can beat 3 Hardest by yourself on the first try, and there being no Ranked wall keeping you from multiplayer quick matches, I managed to slowly lure these friends, one by one, into Quick match games with me.

At first they were nervous about the environment always changing with different opponents or frustrated with strategies always needing adaptation, but now Quickmatch and early games have become their preference and AI matches have fallen by the wayside. Game length has fallen from 2 hours to 30 minutes in many cases and they’re having a lot more fun games as a result.

Generally, you won’t be getting a full experience in your RTS game without playing against other human opponents on a somewhat competitive (casually trying to win) level.


one answer for your whole statement: TREATY MODE. AND as if we didnt have enough with op units, mega bombards, age of siege and age of pro scout, they had the NERVE to remove it or not adding it yet… treaty mode is the key to stop the rushing you are talking about, its 20/40/60 minutes to build eco and forces and then play the late game (for hours maybe if players are good) i had by force to become better in FFA mode because i was tired of getting rushed, so i learned china and russia and now i can do longer and better matches (even in the nasty water maps yeah -.-)


This is the cool thing about RTS. It is bound by rules, rules that people can and should exploit to win if they want to be good players. However you can always take a more relaxed approach and play with friends and family as if you were playing with dolls, making some well organized and aesthetic base, making sure your women do “womenly” jobs (for the time period) and the men do the “manly” jobs, giving little voiceovers to units and having them have a story, etc. :smiley:


Exactly. Its everything about a cheap trick and inappropriate players. Its a game about making a large group units and having fun warfare with the other players. always custom lol no bum rush games. There are are several things you can do to deter illegal rushing in your games. turning off wonders is one of them. Another is leaving at the earliest hint of an illegal attack.


I actually disagree at least with wording. Early game rushing 95% of the time comes down to tactics and micro while late game fights usually come down to macro and strategy (nitpicking I know).

Some people rush because it’s strong (especially now with Mongols) and relatively simple to pull off with following build orders etc.

I do remember one pair of people I played against 2v2 twice and both games they ram rushed us as French/English and had the gall to call us out for playing lame or cheesy strategies like booming or raiding with knights in castle age.

Myself kind of have the irony of both disliking treaty games and enjoying boom-type strategies. IMO Age is heavily about timing pushes and I actually enjoy usually defending early rushes. (although it’s lame when they leave early)

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Inappropriately timed grunt rushing is all about acting inappropriately. In some circles its viewed as cool to grunt rush.

Man , you are just like me.

The thing is that this game doesnt have a competitive mode , yes i know there is a ladder with the ELO ranking . But that means that competitive players will need to fight in the same room as people that just want to chill.

I recommend playing against the AI if you want a game that last 3 hours.

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Idk how cheesy and “innaproriate” rushing is considering pro players do it all the time. Frankly the game is horrendously balanced for treaty games. Delhi and England are tragically terrible civilizations if they don’t get a feudal lead (English are arguably the worst civ post feudal and generally rely on getting some big advantage out of TC landmark and/or longbow aggression, while Delhi is pretty bad if they dont win with fishing boat archers or at least get sacred sites in feudal)

Meanwhile any game that reliably goes past 25 minutes has China being quite OP as we can see in the current 3v3 and 4v4 meta where Chinese imp or fire lancers just completely dominate the game.

Also this doesn’t even take into account that HRE/Rus or Delhi will be able to get all 5 relics every game if there is treaty (or the vast majority in single player)

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Certain civs will absolutely dominate the others if they don’t have to worry about early aggression and can boom and/or age rush.

HRE, for example, can fast imperial into Swabia and just boom their vills super fast and super cheap. You had a treaty, so they just took all the relics they need.

i dont give a flying profanity about specific civilizations there’s no firearm forcing people to play if there’s an OMG! ! high power horse civlization lol. people that actually play properly with all the features in the game know that all 8 civilizations are fine and nothing has too much power. it only becomes a problem with the bum rushing mode.

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illegal rushing= you dont get points. i doubt any of the people into the grunt rushing have over 600 hours into the AOE 4 game since release in late october as the appropriate people that dont do grunt stuff often have.

Booming is easy mode if you don’t have to worry about any aggression. You can focus all your attention on playing sim City until you can spam military. It’s more like even though you have 600 hours in the game, you are just bad at handling the other half of the game and get salty about it. Except mongol tower rush and probably FL mass in TGs, any aggression can be fend off putting you into an advantage. Scouts aren’t only for sheep collection…

If you want to play treaty mode in custom games, feel free. I was responding in regard to the questioning about rush tactics. Treaty mode doesn’t have a place in quickplay or ranked with the current iteration but feel free to make custom lobbies to do whatever, just don’t get mad if someone plays aggressive in a regular game.

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i doubt the grunt rushers have as many hours into the game., get one to post their steam if you find one.