Ability to execute the strategy presented in The
Frankish Cavalry Rush. You can't villager boom in a typical
multiplayer game if you can't get to the Castle Age quickly.
Who should read this
Anyone who hasn't used non-fishing boat villager booming extensively in
Age of Kings.
What you'll learn
How to make a huge number of villagers in a short time, and how to parlay
this into a win. You'll also learn concentration and multitasking ability.
Game Type: Regicide
Other Players: 7
Map Type: Gold Rush
Map Size: Large (8 player)
Reveal Map: Normal
Starting Age: Castle Age
Computer Players: 7 all set on
Random Civ. all on team 1
Team Together: Checked
Team Lock: Checked
All Techs: Unchecked
Record Game: Checked
I chose regicide to make it easier to kill the
computers, and to give me a castle for early defense. This is a Castle Age
start, so I can start my boom right away. I chose Gold Rush so that I
wouldn't need to worry about running out of gold; besides, it's a fun map
type. The "lock teams" is on so that one of the seven computer
players (CPs) doesn't try to ally with me.
These are wonderful settings to practice against. You
should be able to beat the 7 computer players every time with this
The recorded game (optional)
You may wish to download
the recorded game (677KB) that was use to make this lesson. Because of
the size, I suggest downloading it after you finish reading the lesson;
I've included a link on the last page just for that reason. I didn't use
signals in this game, but I think if you watch it and see how frantic the
action is you'll understand why.
Booming is a strategy where a player diverts a large amount of
resources towards building up his economy, so he will have more resources
at a later time. Booming is a gamble: you risk being overrun by a player
in the present so that you can kill him in the future. Booming is an
essential strategy for team games because it's difficult to knock someone
Here are some of the benefits from booming. Assume
you're getting resources at twice the rate your enemy is:
More military units. This
is easy to understand. Consider this: Pike men stop Knights at ECN (equal
costing numbers, about 2 pike men per knight). But can they stop knights
if both sides have equal numbers? The answer is no. Even if your enemy
always has the perfect counter unit for your army, they can't stop you if
you have twice as many resources to work with.
More military upgrades.
Superior troops have a huge advantage in AOK. If 6 Imperial age cavaliers
go up against 6 castle age knights, 4-6 of the cavaliers will survive the
More economic upgrades.
You can compound your enemy's predicament by buying economic upgrades.
Your villagers will gather even faster, giving you an even larger edge in
the 2 categories listed above.
Easier recovery. Because
you have more villagers spread out more around the map, you are less
vulnerable to an attack at any one point. Also, you typically have many
spare resources handy and many villagers to rebuild quickly if a base gets
Booming has potential drawbacks:
Vulnerability while building
villagers. When you boom, you divert resources to villager/TC
production, and if your enemy spends the same resources on military units,
they will be able to attack you.
More economic management.
Your concentration is a resource too! You'll be spending more of it on
economic management, which means less concentration for planning,
strategizing, and tactics.
Note: Before reading on know that "TC"
stands for Town Center
Now, let's move on to the game ...
Light the fuse!
Your goal in the early phase
of a boom is to produce villagers as quickly as possible.
1.) Pause (F3)! The first few seconds of the game are a frantic time, so I'm
going to pause to simulate the delay that occurs in the first few seconds of a multiplayer game.
2.) Begin with the usual H-C-C-C-C (H selects your town center, each C creates 1 villager).
3.) Use Ctrl+1 to give your scout a control number. You can center view on him later with the keystrokes 1 + spacebar.
4.) Since the game is paused and there's no hurry, I'm going to use waypoints to set my scout's course.
Select your scout, hold down the shift key and then right click on a number of
points that you want your scout to visit. When you're ready for the last point, left go of the shift key and right click on the final point.
5.) While you're at it, press F4 (show scores) and F11 (show game clock).
6.) Unpause (F3). To simulate real game conditions, I'm not going to pause anymore.
7.) Let's make a town center. Since we're going to need a lot of food coming in to keep constant villager production from 2 TCs, I'm going to build
it by berries.
8.) Don't forget to garrison your king in your castle.
9.) Set your Town Center's gathering point for a sheep (hotkey H-I).
10.) My second town center is finished, and I've queued 4 villagers. I've also set this TC's gathering point to berries. The 2 villagers by the tree are going
off to build a mill.
Sparks are flying
Your goal is still to produce
villagers as fast as possible possible. Your biggest challenge will be to
keep a balance of food and wood and TC time (TC time is a resource too!).
1.) The scores are a powerful asset while you're learning booming. As you can see, I have
one of the lowest scores right now, because I've been neglecting military.
As my boom progresses, I'll move to the top. A simple rule of thumb for team games: if you aren't at or near the top, make
more villagers. If you've already got many villagers queued but you're not
moving up, build another TC.
2.) Remember the mill that I built so that I could research the farming upgrades? As luck would have it, two boars were nearby. I stopped construction of farms and started hunting.
3.) Start building houses as you approach 30 population because a housing delay can really hurt your villager
4.) H-C H-C H-C. Each H-C hotkey sequence selects a different TC (town center) and queues a villager there.
It's crucial that you don't forget to keep up with villager production! Always
remember the most important rule of booming: H-C is your friend
5.) Your pop should be nearing 30 around 4 and a half minutes into the game. Also, start shifting villagers to wood.
6.) What should I do with these lazy hunters?
7.) ... build another TC by stone and wood. Notice that I'm already moving to the top of the score. It's 6 minutes into the game, and I have 37 villagers.
8.) 6:39, 3rd TC finishes. Queue up villagers at this TC, then set this TC's gathering point for
stone. You'll want Castles for defense.
9.) Keep your scout roaming around near the center of the map so that you can find
the gold in the center of the map.
10.) When your natural food sources run out, start farming. If you've played your cards
right, you've already researched the farming upgrade and you should have enough wood to build farms. If not, shift more villagers to gather wood.
11.) Build a 4th TC, this time by gold. Set it's gathering point to gold and queue up villagers.
12.) 8 minutes into the game, you should have almost 50 villagers.
Your boom is well underway.
The CPs only chance is to start attacking now or it will be too late. You
must build castles and longbowman while you continue to make villagers
constantly from your TCs.
1.) Build a lumber camp at some point so that you can get the woodcutting upgrades.
2.) Time to take control of the center by building a TC and a Castle. Notice how the score ga is widening.
3.) Research hand cart.
4.) Remember to expand your agriculture sector when your food gets low. I have 65 villagers at this point.
5.) Start one more round of houses. Soon you'll be making castles, which support 20 people, so population won't be a problem.
6.) About 13 minutes in, I'm starting to crank out longbowman.
7.) Since we plan to use many Castles for defense, now would be a good time
to build a university so that you can research murder holes. (the building under construction in the screenshot below
is a University)
8.) At 14 minutes, I already have a good stake in the center.
9.) At this point you should be pumping out longbow men from 2 castles. Construct a
Blacksmith to upgrade them.
10.) Did I say that you could stop villager production? NO! HC, HC, HC, HC, etc. This is a boom,
although we're doing other things, you must keep producing villagers.
11.) Quick check: Are things getting too difficult to manage? Make sure that you are ...
Setting gather points for your TC's to resource spots. Do
this using the hotkey H+I+left click on a tree/mine. What about food?
Forget food. When it gets low, grab a bunch of villagers, lay down a
mill or a TC and then a bunch of farms.
Building multiple buildings using the shift key. For
example, to build a row of houses, select a villager, then press
"B" followed by "E". Next, hold down the shift key,
and left click on the spots you want to make houses at.
Jumping to events using the home key/middle mouse
button. You can cycle through the last five events this way.
Jumping to a spot you want to see by left clicking
that area on the minimap.
Using hotkeys always! If you don't know what
something's hotkey is, hover your mouse over the button to see. Force
yourself to always use hotkeys and you'll learn them in no time.
Selecting buildings using Ctrl + (building hotkey
character). For example, you can cycle through all of your castles with
Control grouping large groups of units that you want
to order in unison. Select these units, then use Ctrl+(a number from 1
to 9). Select this group by pressing the number.
Centering view on a selected unit using the spacebar.
Double clicking to rapidly select all units of that
type on the screen
Use gathering points for all of your buildings.
Act deliberately and decisively. Once you issue an
order, move immediately to something else.
12.) Construct a 3rd and 4th castle. One should go in the center and another should defend your main base.
13.) If you haven't already, get the gold mining and woodcutting upgrades.
14.) Get Ballistics when Murder Holes is done.
15.) The game is just under 19 minutes in and look at how wide the score gap is! My
pop is 129/185. If you've made it to this point unfettered, the game is practically in the bag.
The computers are coming!
You're in solid position now,
with a well defended base and control of the center, and you're advancing
into the Imperial Age. You must fend off attacks from all sides lest your
attackers deny you victory!
Does the boom ever end?
There are two limiting factors to booming: the pop cap and your management
ability. A good rule of thumb is to stop villager production when
villagers occupy 60% of your pop cap or you can't manage them any
more, whichever comes first. Since it's hard to figure out your exact
villager count, I suggest slowing villager production to 2 TCs at this
point, and continue making villagers and soldiers until you hit your pop
cap. If necessary, you can always delete villagers later by selecting them
and pressing the delete key.
1.) I'm going to shift perspectives here. The computers will attack in different ways every game, so I'm going to
walkthrough this particular game.
2.) I'm planning to build four stables to counter the computers onagers and skirmishers with
light cavalry. (I'm thinking gold conservation. However, gold is not a issue on this map, so in retrospect heavy cavalry would've been a better choice).
3.) Rams now. The computers are now attacking more frequently.
4.) I'm in the Imperial age! Once I manage to fend off these attacks it will be time for some Trebuchet action!
5.) Here's a case where the Town Bell is not that useful. If I hit it, over half of my
peons will stop working even though only a few are in jeopardy. In a case like this, it's better
to drag a box around the villagers and use G+(left click on the TC) to quickly garrison only those villagers.
6.) I could sure use a spoonful of sugar to help this medicine go down... good thing my army is nearby (off the top of the screen)
7.) While all of this action is going on, don't forget to continue
military unit & villager production. Ctrl+V will cycle through your
castles and T will train a longbow man. As you can see, I'm starting to
amass a decent sized army:
8.) Continue upgrading your troops during the action.
9.) I finally remembered my market at 28 minutes in.
10.) Time to upgrade to Elite Longbowman
11.) While you're at it, start upgrading your light (or heavy) cavalry.
12.) Keep pumping out longbows and villagers.
13.) Reinforce vulnerable areas with Castles. Computer players have a
terrible time taking them out.
14.) Your position is relatively secure and it's only 30 minutes into the
game. Time for some regicide!
Let's KO the computers
With your base secure, all
that remains is to kill your enemy's Kings.
From this point onward, I'm not covering every management detail. You
should be able to keep your economy running while you attack.
1.) When you're playing Britons, you just can't get
2.) This game was bogging down my computer and the speed was fluctuating, so I turned down the game speed to "slow" to smooth out the lag.
3.) Take your light/heavy cavalry, longbow men, and trebuchets out for a spin. I recommend giving your Cavs
control group 1, your ELBs (Elite Long Bows) control group 2, and your trebuchets control group 3
4.) One king down, 6 to go. Notice the huge resource accumulation—this is typical during a booming strategy.
5.) From here, I systematically moved around the map with two longbowman/trebuchet
armies killing kings. Treason proved extremely useful for this. It turned out that
I didn't even need to bother with very many light cav as the computer players never got a decent sized
armies of mangonels together.
6.) finished up the other 5 kings in short order.
7.) Whew! 1:03:05. Sure seemed like a lot longer
That's it you have
just successfully done a Briton Villager Boom!
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