Spanish Shipment Rush- Sourced from Age Comm- TAD Patch 1.00

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Spanish Shipment Rush- Sourced from Age Comm- TAD Patch 1.00

Post  ~Admin~Kestrel~ on Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:11 am

The Spanish Shipment Rush (SSR)

By MrMilo

A quick note before the guide: I'm going to experiment here by keeping this thread unlocked so people can ask questions or leave comments about the strategy. However, I'll keep a close eye on it, and if things get a little out of hand, I'll lock it. Please keep things clean so we can have a good discussion about strategy! =)

Different takes on Spanish rushes that revolve around the Musketeer and Rodelero have been around since the early days of Age3. The SSR is a little different from those, making use of Spainís War Dogs and 8 Pikemen shipment. I first encountered a variation of the SSR playing against Flookyís Spain in The WarChiefs, but Iíve tweaked it to my own liking. In this guide Iíll explain the strategy and my thought process when I execute it.

The basic concept of the SSR is to make the most of Spain's shipment bonus, fielding at an army (sometimes at the expense of expanding your economy) of 15 Musketeers, 13 Rodeleros, 8 Pikemen, and 5 War Dogs a little after 6:30 into the game. Youíll want to use this force to run into your enemy's base early in the game, although you should definitely attack before 6:30, slowing down military production and putting their economy on hold.

This strategy does not work well against every civilization. In general, it is more easily countered by civilizations with access to Musketeers, or Musketeer-like units. The SSR is particularly effective against Aztec and Germany, although it also works well against Sioux, China, and even Portuguese on some maps.



The Strategy:

Getting Started:
As always, collect your food crates and one wood crate while tasking villagers to hunting. I like to build a house immediately after I have 100 wood. This gives me XP right off the bat and eliminates the possibility that I will forget to build a house a little later on! When possible, send one villager to the outside of your town (after itís been scouted) and start herding a second group of hunt towards your town center.

Pay Attention to Your Crates:
A nice thing about this strategy is that you can do it no matter your configuration of starting crates. However, you still have to be aware of which extra crate you have (Spain always starts with 200 food and 100 wood, and is given one extra crate of either food, wood, or gold). If you start with an extra food crate, you should aim to advance to the Colonial with 15 Villagers (including the 3 Villager card), if you start with an extra wood or gold crate, aim for a 16 Villager age-up. When you have the 800 food to advance, choose the 500 food politician.

Focus on Food:
Youíll want to have continuous villager production in the Discovery age, with everyone going to hunting. You also want to focus your Explorer and War Dog on food treasures. Grab any lightly guarded treasures (one Coyote, one Bear, two Monkeys, etc.) no matter the resources, but fight hard for food treasures to insure a quick advance time. Once youíve clicked up to the second age, go for any resource or XP treasures. Donít build any extra War Dogs until youíve started advancing.

Scout well:
Because you want to disrupt your enemyís resource gathering when you start attacking, itís important that you know exactly where those resources are. After youíve scouted, try to figure out what resources will be most important too him Ė usually gold is less important when defending against a rush Ė and where you want to apply pressure. Thinking about this beforehand will allow you focus on other things (such as eco management, unit production, micro, etc.) when you attack.

Organize Your Economy for a Fast Attack
While advancing to Colonial, your main focus should be on gathering wood. By the time you advance you should have built an extra House (total pop space of 30) and have 200 wood read to start building your forward Barracks. Villager distribution will vary depending on your starting crates and treasures, but generally at least 7 villagers are required throughout age-up time to achieve this goal. Organize your other villagers to start pumping Musketeers from your Barracks and Villagers from your TC. This generally means 3 or so villagers on gold, although many maps provide easy-to-capture gold treasures, decreasing your need for gold at this early stage.

*Note: be aware of your opponentís explorer/WarChief/Scout location when you send a couple of villagers forward to build your barracks. Try to hide those villagers so your rush will be a surprise.

Start Military Production
Once youíve advanced, start building your forward Barracks with two villagers. Youíll usually have a shipment waiting, which should immediately be used on 8 Pikemen. As you gather your 500 food, you can also start building extra War Dogs. Redistribute your villagers at this point, making sure that you have enough wood not to get housed (take into account how many shipments youíll be getting and how quickly your military is dying) and enough food and gold to try for constant Musket and Villager production. I suggest trying this out in a couple of single-player Skirmishes to find what proportion of your economy should be on each resource. Your priority at this point in the game is attacking, so if you have to choose between economy and military production, forgo making villagers for little stretches at a time (but donít abandon making them altogether!).

*Note: if you have collected herdables, this is a good time to eat them all up, giving your production an extra boost.

Attack!
When your Barracks is complete, start building Musketeers, and as soon as the first batch comes out, use your Musks to pick off villagers outside of your opponentís town. As soon as your 8 Pikemen arrive, you should be able to send yet another shipment; go with 7 Rodeleros. As your 8 Pikemen reach forward base, attack the enemy full on. Try to find his Barracks, and try to take it down with your Pikemen (also a good target if the Barracks is well defended is houses), focusing your Musks and War Dogs on enemy military. Your third Colonial shipment should be 6 Rodeleros.

Adapt:
After your 6 Rodeleros have arrived (around 6:30) you should have made, in total so far, about that force of 15 Musketeers, 13 Rodeleros, 8 Pikemen, and 5 War Dogs. After this, you must adapt to what your opponent is doing. If your opponent seems to be building little military and is either booming or Fast Fortressing, you should be as aggressive as possible. In this situation, I like to send 700 food as my next card, allowing me to keep up constant production and replace any War Dogs that might have died. If your opponent has built a large defense with towers and walls, it might be a good idea to stop military production and head to Fortress for Falconets. Here, I would put the majority of my villagers on food and ship the 700 gold card.

Whatever the situation, you need to keep your mind on aggression, because you likely have a larger force than your opponent, and youíve invested in your military more heavily than your economy.

Finally, you should keep in mind that this is not a perfect guide. Depending on the situation, it might be best to send your Rodelero cards before your Pikemen card, or after a while to start building Crossbows instead of Musketeers. Try to understand why what youíre doing is working or isnít working, and adapt.



Important Cards:
Your first four cards will generally be:

3 Villagers

8 Pikemen

7 Rodeleros

6 Rodeleros


Other good cards to have in your deck:
Not all of them will fit, so you should fiddle around to see which combinations you like best for maps and civilization match-ups.
Discovery Age

Economic Theory (boosts all gathering rates by +10%
Schooners (if a water map Ė reduces fishing boat cost by -60%)

Colonial Age

700 Food
700 Wood
700 Gold
600 Food
5 Villagers

4 Villagers
2 Outpost Wagons
5 Spies
Hand Infantry Hitpoints
Hand Infantry Attack
Advanced Arsenal
2 Caravels (if a water map)

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