August 19, 2014 at 14:27 #113804
I’m starting this to expose, discuss and develop new strategies for AoW3. I firmly believe that the game is rather very well balanced already and that we only need to brainstorm and test strategies to overcome the rather limited metagame the MP community live in today. Not only this will allow beginers and the community as a whole to become better faster at the game, but this will also eventualy underline possible imbalances in the game in a way more objective fashion. But remember the thread is about strategies, not balance. Some balance concerns might appear, as always in this kind of discussion, but they should not be discussed here, the only things to discuss here is how to overcome any threat in game with the tools availables in game.
This aim to become a complete handbook, so strategies can cover any aspect of a game, from leader customization to race selection to strategy in itself.
I’ll start with general headlines of AoW3 strategy, but first, some definitions.
A game can be spliced in three general chronological parts : early, mid and late game. Early game will generaly last between the first 20 and 30 turns. During early game, you will mostly scout and clear sites. Mid game generaly is the following 20 turns where you now have armies, you are engaged in arm race, and you are trying to kill your ennemies. Late game is all the rest of the game : advanced research start to kick in and cities are large enough to chainproduce whatever you need ; it will often be raining spells too.
I will now describe early game strategy and say some words about the priest and summoner metagame.August 19, 2014 at 15:02 #113815
General architecture and advices for early game.
In early game, the most important thing is exploring, or scouting, for two reasons : intelligence and resource gathering.
Intelligence is all the knowledge you need : you need to know where cities are to know where you can expand ; you need to know where your ennemies are and keep eyes in these direction to forsee attacks ; and you need to know the geography to know the paths on the map between cities. I’ll talk more about paths another day.
Resource gathering is all the free treasures available to pick on the map as long as nobody already picked them.
It’s the most important in this phase because treasures are there for the first to pick them ; because intelligence is here to stay, so the sooner you know things and the sooner you can prepare for the following of the game ; because it’s the cheapest thing to do : scouts are the cheapest units, and the highest threat are independants and not players ; and because you are not yet in a hury for survival (well, you always are, but here you have the most time to prepare for it).
The second important thing in early game is expansion : you need to build your economy. For this, you need to build things in your cities to produce faster ; you need to clear sites for them to give you resources ; and you need to conquer more cities, because cities are the cornerstone of AoW3 economy.
By scouting, you should know where cities are, and more importantly they should have declare war or not with you. War is the least interesting, because your only option is now to conquer the city. With peace, you can be offered quest to get the city by slaying some independant or razing some towers ; you can buy the city ; or you can declare war to them and conquer them.
In this phase, fighting will most of the time be seen as a worse solution, because by fighting you risk loosing units or at least injure them, and you’ll then need time to heal their wounds. During this time, your armies won’t be able to clear sites, so the longer they stay at full life, the more sites you will be able to clear. Site clearing is the other important part of the expansion : site clearing net you a lot of resources which allows you to sustain your economical growth.
This point is important because you can’t yet take an edge over your ennemies by fighting them, and because you won’t be able to use your shiny new units and spells without a good economy to support them. You need these cities.
Development is the last important aspect of this phase of the game. There three aspect of strategy : economy, military and research. You need troups to protect yourself and expand, you need economy to build more troups and develop, and you need to develop to survive the arm race. Development here means developing cities and creating armies. Proportions will depend on your strategy, but you will need both.
Early game is the most important slice of a game, because it determines directly your options when you enter mid game. Many times the outcome of the game will be determined by this phase alone eventhough you might not have met your ennemies yet.August 19, 2014 at 15:16 #113820
More practicals now : the priests metagame.
Priest metagame means that players will often use priests as the core of their armies.
A priest strategy revolve around the facts that priests are a T2 units with magical ranged attack and often heal. Magical ranged attack makes them very powerful against lower tier units (T1 and T2), and hence powerful for site clearing. Heal means they will drasticaly reduce the downtime between fight by healing your units and improve a lot your units survivability in tactical combat. Finaly, being ranged means they will be very effective at defending cities with walls.
A second perk of priests is that they are built with a shrine, a cheap building which also makes your city produce 10 more mana. Buidling a shrine you hence have the double benefit of increasing your mana production, which sustain your spells and summons, and allowing you to build these powerful priests.
For these reasons, many players will go this route and produce priests to support their armies and protect their cities, whatever their class. This allow them a cheap starting develpment and an effective site clearing without really losing on power.
But priests still have drawbacks : they are weak melee units (the forge priests is almost an exception, he is tough, yet he will still die to any T2 fighting unit) and they are slow and walking.
As of this day, one should be prepared to face such a strategy because it is considered the most effective one eventhough I doubt counters have really been investigated.August 19, 2014 at 18:44 #113896
Regarding the priests metagame.
one of the reasons I will always build some priests is: because they remain usefull the entire game. Where archers are usefull early on, they loose their effectiveness late-game and thus they force you to replace them with something else.
I agree on their drawback, but their usefullness by far outplaces that.
A second drawback is that their damagetype can be fully resisted and thus you cannot use them to attack certain units(only closecombat is always possible). As long as you are aware of that and use the priests combined with other units to counter such situations, you will be doing fine.August 19, 2014 at 18:55 #113903
Priest metagame will hopefully bee dealt a setback by pushing Priest build to temple, decfreasing mana gain, and adding the decreased mana to Great Temple.
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