It was a long weekend. National Day was on yesterday and I took leave on Saturday. I was supposed to spend time with my son. However, a significant portion of my waking time was spent in playing Age Of Empire 3. The only comfort is, my 5-year-old son also likes to play. Of course, at his age, his only interest is to build things. He kept asking me to give him a villager to build what he wants.
In order not to waste my great talent in playing this game, I am going to explain my strategy to you. Let me begin with my preference.
This game was designed for the player to advance in their technology status. As for me I am not interested. So, I always opt for the highest stage. My interest is in fighting, not moving up the technological ladder.
It is a game of war among nations. Players can choose to represent any of the selected nations. My favorite is the Ottoman. There are 3 reasons for this:
1. It has lower cost for farms. When I played as British, needed 800 units of wood to build a farm. As an Ottoman, I only need 400. I can build up my food production base at half the cost.
2. The villagers are free and they are produced at regular interval. This means I can channel all my food supply into building up my army.
3. It is the only nation that comes with a really big cannon. I love the way it blasts off my enemies.
I choose Hard. I cannot win at the Expert Level.
This game allows land and sea battle. I don’t like the sea part because the ratio between a man to a ship very unrealistic. Therefore, I avoid any terrain with naval warfare.
I started off with the Great Plains. Now, I love Yukon because my enemies there launched extensive attacks on me. So, I basically amass my army and cannons to wait for them. Once they come, I just blast them.
There are 3 types of resources needed by the players. They are food, wood and coins. These resources are available throughout any terrain. Food can be gathered at shrubs and by hunting animals. Wood can be gained by chopping the trees. Coins can be mined from silver mines.
My strategy is to centralize my resource gathering process. The reason is simple. By focusing my economic activities within a small area, I can defend them easily. In contrast, if I am to spread out my people to gather resources, I am subjecting them to the risk of being killed by my enemy.
This is how I am doing it.
For food, I build farms instead of hunting. Each farm can accommodate up to 10 farmers. So, I have 10 people working on a small plot of land, which I can defend easily. As long as they are alive, my food supply continues.
For coins, I prefer to build plantations. Plantations are the equivalent of farms for coins. Like farms, it can accommodate up to 10 people working for coins. It shares the same benefit but for expensive than farm.
Unfortunately, there is no centralized location for wood. I have to send my wood cutters out to the forest to cut the trees.
There is also the market. The market allows the player to convert one form of resource to another. This is a real help to me especially when I am under attack. When I am in a battle mode, I will train soldiers fast. I will need a lot of food. If I run out of it, I will click on the market to use my coins to buy food. If I am also low on coins but I have lots of wood, I can sell the wood for coins and use them to buy food.
How I begin the game.
The game starts with a few villagers, some resources and an explorer. The villagers will automatically collect the resources. I will send the explorer to walk around the perimeter of the map. The map is circular. My purpose is to locate the enemy’s base, which is always at the other end of the map.
On the home front, once the villagers have completed their collection, there will be enough wood for a farm. So, I build a farm, mine silver and chop trees. As the villagers come at regular intervals, I just put them to work. When I have enough wood, I build my first barracks and followed by the market.
When the explorer finds the enemy base, I will move him out in the direction of my base. He will be stationed some distance away from the enemy base. I will explain the reason later.
When I have sufficient food and coins, I will create my first team of militias.
Every town centre comes with the choice of militia. It can only be clicked once. They are the cheapest and fastest to train. The downside is they are very weak. They can be easily killed. However, they are useful in the beginning of the game.
I send them to join the explorer. There had been many cases where my explorer met his counterpart from the enemy. They will then start to shoot each other. They also have the same fire-power. Having the militia will tilt the balance on my favor.
Then, when it is time to select resources from the home city, I opt for a batch of Janissaries. The Janissary is the foot soldier for the Ottoman.
When I played the British, the cheapest soldiers are the pikeman. They may be cheap but effective against the enemy’s calvary. So, I had the pikeman blocking the calvaries which the redcoats will fire on them.
Unfortunately, the Ottoman does not have pikeman. On the good side, the Janissaries are capable of fighting in close and far distances. At close quarters, they will take out their sabers to slash the enemies. When they are far away, they can shoot with their muskets.
I will send my first batch of Janissaries to join my explorer and militias outside the enemy’s base. Why do I do that? I am laying an ambush the enemy’s fortress cart.
Let me explain something about the fortress. Every player has access to one fortress which they have to request from their home city. A fortress has 2 functions. First, it has defensive cannons. It can shoot any enemy’s soldier that comes near. Second, it can train any type of soldiers.
I like my fortress to be near my home base where it can protect my town center, farms and plantations. My enemies like theirs close to mine. When that happens, I will amass my army near my fortress to defend against their attacks.
Here is the problem. The enemy tried to shoot my soldiers and retreated. When my troops chased them, they got too near to the enemy’s fortress. Then they got blasted out of existence. I have to manually remove them before that happens.
This is why I want to get rid of my enemy’s fortress before it was build. This is the reason why I lay an ambush right in front of their doorstep. I want to wait for the fortress cart to pass through to destroy it. When the fortress first arrived from its home city, it is in a cart mode. The player will select the desired location for the fortress and send the cart there to build it.
A fortress may be very powerful but when it is in the cart mode, it is extremely vulnerable. All I need is to shoot it once and it is history. This is my mission for my ambush team. The additional Janissaries are to fight off any enemy soldiers that get into the way.
After I have destroyed the enemy’s fortress cart, I will withdraw my ambush team back to my base to prepare my defenses for the coming assault.
That will be in Part 2.