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    Multiplayer FAQ by Da Ass Man

    Updated: 09/29/02 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Death Match FAQ
    
    System: PC
    
    Author: Da Ass Man
    
    Disclaimer: This FAQ may only be used at gamefaqs.com unless the 
    permission is asked for and granted. If permission is not granted, 
    legal action will ensue.
    
    ******************
    Tables of Contents
    ******************
    
    1.	Updates
    2.	Introduction
    3.	Multiplayer vs. Computer
    4.	General Start Off Strategies
    5.	The Units
    6.	The Unique Units
    7.	Commonly Played Death Match Maps
    8.	Trade Routes
    9.	Economy
    10.	Population
    11.	 The Market Trick
    12.	 Aztecs
    13.	 Britons
    14.	 Byzantines
    15.	 Celts
    16.	 Chinese
    17.	 Franks
    18.	 Goths
    19.	 Huns
    20.	 Japanese
    21.	 Koreans
    22.	 Mayans
    23.	 Mongols
    24.	 Persians
    25.	 Saracens
    26.	 Spanish
    27.	 Teutons
    28.	 Turks
    29.	 Vikings
    30.	 Advanced Strategies
    31.	 Team Work
    32.	 Thanks
    33.	 Contact 
    
    
    ***********
    1. Updates
    ***********
    
    Version 1.0 - 9/27/02 - The very first version of this FAQ, it's 
    looking very comprehensive but I'm going to wait for user feedback in 
    the form of questions and eventually add those in an updated version of 
    the FAQ.
    
    ***************
    2. Introduction
    ***************
    
    Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is a game of strategy, speed, and 
    constant vigilance, especially in Death Match, where a massive army can 
    hit your base while your still making a castle. Death Match requires a 
    massive knowledge of the various units, how they should be used, what 
    should they be combined with, and at what point you should use them. 
    
    This FAQ will do that and teach you a whole lot more. While the best 
    way to learn about Age of Empires is through experience, this FAQ will 
    teach you a whole lot you didn't know. The best way to be a great 
    player is to pick one or two civilizations, become very good with them, 
    and branch off. One important note is that this FAQ is intended to 
    primarily be used for people playing Age of Empires online, since the 
    computer is incredibly easy when compared to online competition, but 
    don't worry, this FAQ will also be useful against the computer.  
    
    *******************************
    3. Multiplayer vs. The Computer
    *******************************
    
    As I earlier stated, Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is meant to be a 
    multiplayer game, as that's when it's most challenging and most 
    rewarding. The differences between the computer and a human opponent 
    are gigantic, the computer will often send weak attacks and not build 
    up an army until 15 minutes in the game. A human opponent will attack 
    you 3 minutes into the game, will raid your economy, steal your 
    resources, and generally scheme with his allies to attempt a massive 
    double team. The computer rarely does this, so if you are looking for 
    optimal challenge and fun, online play is inevitable.
    
    *******************************
    4. General Start off Strategies
    *******************************
    
    The most important time in a Death Match is within the first ten 
    minutes. A good player can have the game won over a slow player in 10 
    minutes, a great player can have the game won in four. Therefore, to 
    become a better player you must learn all of the tricks of the trade, 
    from hot keys, to clustering, to clumping, getting resources faster 
    (the latter 3 I discuss in advanced strategies). There is so much 
    riding on how fast your start off is, so practicing it against the 
    computer is a great way for getting better. There are a few things you 
    need to know:
    
    -	Send your scout to your enemies base early, ideally, it should be 
    the first thing you do. If this proves difficult, use the hotkeys 
    and consider changing a couple of them to make it even easier. 
    Change the idle militia key to "M", then at the very start type 
    "M" then "," (which changes the scouts stance to aggressive),  
    then use the mini map and click on where you think your ally will 
    be.
    
    -	Your enemies base 99/100 times will be near a berry bush. Berry 
    bushes can be hard to distinguish on a mini map at first, but 
    once you learn to see them fast, you will be deadly. Look for a 
    far away berry bush, and send your scout there. You will kill a 
    few of your enemies villagers and be on your way to a great 
    start.
    
    -	Your enemy will use his scout too! That is why you must quickly 
    build a defense, usually set one villager to a house, one to a 
    barracks, and one to a stable. Only if you feel you must get 
    something up very fast should you ever put more than one villager 
    on a building, because the 2 villagers do not build twice as 
    fast, they actually build a little slower. 
    
    -	Know your enemy! If he is the Huns, he is going to rush, if he's 
    the Celts, he's going to build up siege. Unless he goes random, 
    make a mental note of what civ he is going to be.
    
    -	Queue your town center full of villagers, this should be the 
    second thing you do, after sending out your scout.
    
    -	Put all of your villagers to good use, this is important, if 
    anything, just put the ones you can't think of on a castle, or on 
    a town center for resources. 
    
    ************
    5. The Units
    ************
    
    For the sake of saving time, I will only mention every fully upgraded 
    unit, as Post Imperial Death Match is the most common style of Death 
    Match played. I also left out the boats, as Death Match is rarely 
    played on water maps:
    
    Halberdier - This guy is anti-cavalry and nothing else. Most online 
    players will try to get these in large numbers, so make sure that if 
    you have cavalry, that you make something to counter this (archers or 
    champs will do). This guy is also good if you just need extra men to 
    throw into battle. Otherwise, halbs are a waste of time.
    
    Champion - Referred to as "champ", this unit will destroy halberdiers, 
    often much better than a pack of archers will. Aside from that, he's 
    usually a nice addition to have to your army if you feel that you've 
    got archers and cavalry covered.
    
    Eagle Warriors - These are perfect for sneaking into an enemies base 
    and then attacking his trade carts or villagers with. They move fast, 
    don't get hurt much by arrows, and are quite small, so easy to move.
    
    Hussar - Almost everything in the game counters these, only use them if 
    you have more food than you know what to do with. Otherwise, use it on 
    siege and small numbers of archers. Everything else will eat these 
    alive.
    
    Paladin - The ultimate unit, fast, hard to kill, and dealing out lots 
    of damage. They are quite expensive though, so watch your budget when 
    making these. Never use these on halberdiers or camels, as these are 
    it's counters and will eat Paladins alive. On small numbers of siege, 
    these work well too, but be careful as moving a whole pack of these can 
    take lots of time (allowing the enemy to hit you a lot).
    
    Skirmisher - These are very under-rated, they are great for archers 
    since they cost virtually nothing, but they can also be used to take 
    away an enemy's focus fire. See cavalry archers? Use these and watch as 
    your enemy wastes thousands of gold.
    
    Arbalest - Not as good as unique archer units, but these still can be 
    useful and can throw most people by surprise. They destroy infantry and 
    cavalry archers and mamelukes, but nothing else. Steer clear of onagers 
    and skirms, or you will kiss these goodbye. Slightly expensive.
    
    Cavalry Archer - Another infantry destroying unit, in large numbers, 
    these are very difficult to stop. Only onagers or large numbers of 
    skirms with paladins will do the job. Although they are expensive, they 
    are well worth the cost, as they are fast and can get a job done 
    quickly. Be weary of halberdiers though, as their attack bonus works on 
    cav archers.
    
    Hand Cannonners - One of the worst archery range units, it is 
    expensive, takes a long time to get in large quantities, and sucks 
    against other archers and cavalry. Despite that, it is extremely good 
    against infantry. Going against the Japanese or Vikings? Use these 
    things. They do much damage already, but they have an attack bonus 
    against infantry, meaning they'll kill Huskarls and Teutonic Knights in 
    3-4 shots. Still, there are so many counters to infantry, why would you 
    need these?
    
    Scorpions - Alone, these are horrible, in mass numbers, the only thing 
    that can stop them is onagers. They basically shoot out a bolt that 
    will damage anything that hits them, so 40 of these against 40 paladins 
    is basically a massacre, as the paladins will have more luck running 
    away then attacking. If you see lots of scorpions, never attack unless 
    you have onagers. Otherwise, you are wasting your army.
    
    Onagers - These things have lost their touch since Age of Empires 1. 
    They can't take out defensive buildings like castles or bombard towers, 
    but they are much better against militia, shooting multiple boulders at 
    the enemy. A large army of scorpions can be defeated only by onagers, 
    but if you have onagers of your own to protect your scorpions, you will 
    probably win the game with that army alone. 
    
    Rams - Rams must be used up close on buildings, meaning they are bound 
    to be attacked by the enemy, even so, they can kill many buildings 
    really fast. If you have wiped out an enemy army or if he has lots of 
    bombard towers and castles that are undefended, make lots of rams and 
    you will watch as his base falls apart. The more the better. One time 
    my ally made 50 rams, he wiped out 6 castles in about 30 seconds!! 
    Better still, Rams are excellent against other siege. A ram can kill a 
    scorpion, treb, onager, or another ram in two hits!
    
    Bombard Cannons - These are cannons that are pushed by little guys. 
    They pack a wallop and are good offensively or defensively. Use them on 
    buildings and move them out when the enemy tries to attack, or put them 
    in the back of your army and have them attack the forefront. Either 
    way, they will work. The downside is they are expensive and easy to 
    kill, so protect these with your life. Never build these without 
    building some sort of militia to protect them. They're just like trebs, 
    but without the delay of having to pack. Just remember, use these on 
    regular enemy units and watch them drop.
    
    Petards - Petards basically are guys with bombs that run into buildings 
    and explode. In Death Match though, the only things worth using them on 
    are castles, but they will never make it in a million years, as the 
    enemy army and castle can easily kill them. Pretty much worthless since 
    they cost gold and won't accomplish much. Interestingly, if one Petard 
    attacks another, the one that attacked will be killed and the other 
    will have survived.
    
    Trebuchets - Commonly referred to as "trebs." These are the best siege 
    in the game, as they have the furthest reach and do the most damage, 
    but they are slow as they launch only one rock at a time at the enemy. 
    They are expensive but well worth it, and in many situations the only 
    thing you can possible use. Use these if you want to bring the enemy 
    out of his defensive shell and force him to attack. A group of 
    trebuchets can be devastating.
    
    ***************
    6. Unique Units
    ***************
    
    Aztec Jaguar Warrior - There is much debate over whether or not this 
    unit punches the enemy or strikes it with a weapon. The Jaguar Warrior 
    is the ultimate warrior in wiping out units, doing close to 30 with 
    each strike. He's not even that bad against cavalry, but halberds are a 
    much better alternative. He will win against the likes of Japanese 
    Samurai and Teutonic Knights depending on if he gets the first strike 
    in.
    
    Briton Longbow Man - This is one of the few units in the game that can 
    squash it's counter if in large enough numbers. Whenever playing the 
    Britons, at least 40 longbow men is a must. It's much better off to 
    overkill with 60-80 though. Their only counters are onagers and 
    skirmishers, with cavalry being somewhat of a counter too. Due to their 
    range, they can actually kill these things before they ever even fire 
    off a shot though, so concentrated fire is a must. Still, be weary. If 
    you are fighting these, get ready to make more skirms and onagers than 
    you could ever imagine.
    
    Byzantine Cataphract - This beast is the ultimate in destroying 
    infantry. Anything will be kill in about 3 hits, sometimes less. Due to 
    his trample damage however, he rocks them even more. One cataphract can 
    take out 5 pikemen and 3 halberds, camels do not have an attack bonus 
    against them, and even paladins don't have a bonus against them due to 
    their trample attack. This means that Cataphracts have no weakness 
    besides siege. Cats should be a huge part of your offense and defense, 
    build your army around them and you won't regret it.
    
    Celt Woad Raider - Due to the Celts tech tree the Woad Raider is 
    average infantry, comparable to a very fast champ, which is a good 
    thing. You will not need these things however, except for quickly 
    hitting an enemy base, still though, you're best off not even making 
    them and just going for siege when you are the celts.
    
    Chinese Chu Ku No - A very strange unit compared to other archers, it 
    will fire multiple shots instead of just one. The Ch Ku No's only 
    problem is it's poor range, as it's arrows do much damage alone, but 
    when combined, you've got a difficult defense to break.
    
    Frank Throwing Axemen - Perhaps the worst special ranged unit, the 
    Frankish throwing axemen aren't completely bad, as they do annihlate 
    Pikemen and most infantry, but everything else destroys them. If you 
    see Teutonic Knights, run.
    
    Japanese Samurai - This unit is anti-unique, meaning it has an attack 
    bonus against all other unique units. That being said, most unique 
    units will crush this anyway, for various reasons. It is a little above 
    average when put against champs, but other than that, there are few 
    uses for this poor guy.
    
    Korean War Wagon - The best ranged unit in the game and one of the 
    reasons the Koreans are banned from so many games, these things will 
    destroy any other ranged unit, as well as infantry. There large pierce 
    armor and huge amount of hit points make it difficult for even their 
    counters to beat them. 
    
    Mayan Plumed Archer - An extremely useful unit, although it will get 
    defeated against an equal number of Longbow men, Mangundai, and Chu Ku 
    Nos, it's cheap price and excellent mobility make them well worth it. 
    These things are perfect for raiding an enemies economy.
    
    Mongols Mangundai - The best calvary archer in the game as well as 
    regular archer, these things have an amazingly fast rate of fire, not 
    to mention an attack bonus against halberders. An infantry army will 
    get crushed by these. Perhaps the best thing is that they have an 
    attack bonus against siege, meaning that mass rams or trebs will get 
    annihilated. Onagers aren't a problem either, except in large number. 
    Just watch out for skirmishers and paladins.
    
    Persian War Elephant - The most difficult unit to kill with an 
    incredible 620 hit points. These elephants in large numbers will 
    destroy anything if used correctly, counter or no counter, and I'll 
    teach you how to do just that, just look in the Persian section.
    
    Saracen Mameluke - These things are hands down the best unique unit in 
    the game. With the ability to shred calvary, all forms of infantry 
    (even Eagle Warriors), skirmishers, and buildings with their ranged 
    attack, they are well worth the expensive price. Just be weary of 
    archers, onagers, and scorpions and everything will be fine. This is 
    easy since the mames can move quickly. Facing a Persian? Just mass 
    these and watch the Dumbos drop.
    
    Spanish Conquistador - Perhaps the only thing that does not make the 
    Spanish a top 3 civ is the Conquistador. It's expensive, slow to 
    attack, and does what every other ranged unit does for much cheaper. 
    It's not a bad unit, but there are much better, and the Spanish are 
    more of a well-rounded civ anyway. Beware of archers and calvary.
    
    Teutonic Knight - These things are devastating. Don't make too many, 
    but they are very necessary, as they will shred all mounted units and 
    infantry, with the exception of Jaguar Warriors, which is a fairly even 
    match-up. Most players will build an offense around stopping these 
    however, so be careful. Teutonic Knights with siege will take you a 
    long way. Steer clear of archers when using these.
    
    Turks Janissary - A ranged unit that really only excels against 
    infantry. It has a very damaging attack, but is slow to fire and has 
    very low hit points. In large numbers it can be hard to kill, but the 
    same is true for virtually all ranged units. Your best bet is to make 
    no more than 15 of these and use them to protect your bombard. Onagers 
    and archers can waste Janissaries, so be on the lookout.
    
    Viking Beserk - This is arguable one of the worst unique units, along 
    with the Samurai and woad raider. Your best bet is to talk with your 
    ally and have him not build infantry so he can fill the holes of your 
    weak unit. It is useful for Goth rushes however.
    
    ***********************************
    7. Commonly Played Death Match Maps
    ***********************************
    
    Believe it or not, most Death Match players play only a few types of 
    maps. The five listed here are the main ones you'll find people 
    playing, it would benefit you to learn them well.
    
    Arabia: A map filled with sand and very few tries. There are some 
    patches of water, but they are fairly small.
    
    Black Forest: A map that's cover with trees, you will have to use the 
    non-forest paths primarily, but cutting through trees with siege 
    onagers is a perfect way to make a surprise attack.
    
    Blue Arabia: Like Arabia, but on green land, with no water, and more 
    trees, but not too much more. This map allows for your enemy to hit you 
    from virtually any side, so be careful and watch out for sneak attacks.
    
    Green Arabia: Like blue Arabia but more trees still. More opportunities 
    for sneak attacks too. Your best off building a castle in the back of 
    your base.
    
    Oasis: A big lake surrounded by trees fills the middle of this map, 
    meaning that battle takes place on two fronts, one on one side of the 
    lake, the other on the opposite side of the lake. This map usually 
    leads to long games, as it is difficult to completely sweep the map. 
    Especially since the enemy can cut through the trees, take the middle, 
    and establish a defense of many boats.
    
    ***************
    8. Trade Routes
    ***************
    
    The most important resource for funding your army is without a doubt 
    gold (except for the Persians). Since gold is finite on the map, you 
    will at some point have to start using trade carts. Obviously the 
    earlier the better, but it's also important to build markets for the 
    carts to trade at far away from each other. The further the better, 
    when it comes to markets, just don't make them TOO easy for your 
    enemies to reach. It is also important to make sure no sneak attacks on 
    your trade happen, as many games can be determined by having trade (in 
    fact, this is how most games are won). Building a castle by the trade 
    route will do you good. In the raiding section, I will teach you how to 
    stop enemy trade. One last important note, you can't trade in 1v1 
    games.
    
    ***********
    9. Economy
    ***********
    
    Death Match economy is almost important as the army, as the player who 
    can constantly pump out troops fighting against one who has a large 
    army but poor resources, will be victorious, counter or no counter. 
    This means you must put a strong focus on your economy, obviously the 
    earlier the better. For this you will usually want:
    
    20-30 peasants on food
    20-30 peasants on wood
    30-40 trade carts
    10-30 peasants on gold/stone
    
    These numbers differ at various point in the game. For example, if you 
    are just starting off, you will want more peasants on gold, 
    approximately 40. This is important, especially if you try to steal an 
    enemy gold mine. In this event, take peasants off of wood and food and 
    wait til you are below 5,000 to start on those (if the gold mines are 
    still around). You want approximately 100 peasants at all times, as 
    this will allow you to fund an expensive and formidable army at all 
    times. 
    
    I said you should start your economy early, but at what point did I 
    mean? Experts usually start theirs around the sixth minute mark, but 
    anywhere in the first ten minutes is alright. It is important to 
    establish your economy fast and at points when you will not have to 
    worry about your enemy, as focusing on your eco will give the enemy 
    time to do his own economy, or launch an attack. For this reason, it is 
    good to build an army as fast as possible and attack your enemy, so he 
    is unable to start his economy. Unless your attack fails miserably and 
    you spent a lot of gold, it will serve you well to delay your enemies 
    economy as often as possible.
    
    ************
    10. Population
    ************
    
    Unless you are playing as the Huns, your population should be the 
    primary focus within your first five minutes of the game, this means 
    building houses and making infantry to defend your base and to attack. 
    For this, you should place one of your starting three villagers on a 
    house. Never place two, as placing two does not build the house twice 
    as fast (this is true, contrary to popular belief). It's best off to 
    build a house almost exactly at where you peasant is standing. Never 
    build far from where your villager stands as that will gain the enemy 
    valuable time. I personally have destroyed people who tried to build 
    their houses nice and neatly next to each other simply because I made 
    an army in the time that they took on their house. I can't stress 
    enough that building close to where your villager stands is important. 
    Also, don't stop building houses. You will want to have a population of 
    200 at the 8 minute mark, 6 minute mark for experts. The best way to do 
    this is have every new villager that comes from your town center build 
    a house. 
    
    ******************
    11. The Market Trick
    *****************
    
    The market trick should be used only by fast players. It basically 
    involves making the market your very first building, then, once it's 
    up, sell a moderate amount of food and wood for gold so you will get an 
    overall average of about 3,000 more than your opponent for the mere 
    price of having to start wood and food a little bit earlier. In 1v1's, 
    this trick can sometimes determine who will win the game. The downside 
    is that your enemy has a few more buildings up before you do, so to 
    counteract this, immediately start making an expensive army, stuff like 
    Paladins, Camels, Calvary Archers, and Eagle warriors. Make many more 
    stables, archery ranges, and barracks, to get that large army quickly.
    
    **************
    12. The Aztecs
    **************
    
    The Aztecs are the best infantry civ in the game, with the best champs 
    and best anti-infantry unit. You will find that you can use champs on 
    cavalry instead of pikemen at times, meaning an army of champs, 
    onagers, trebs, and some jags will go quite a long way, as long as you 
    have enough onagers. The Aztec champs are cheap and have so many uses 
    since they deal so much damage that you should always add them to your 
    army. If your enemy is the Brits or Mayans or Huns, the use skirms as 
    well as onagers for the archers.
    
    Their extra damaging Eagle Warriors are great for raiding an enemy's 
    siege, as well as interrupting their economy. Put a great focus on 
    using the Eagle Warriors on where the enemy wouldn't expect, as their 
    speed and attack are deadly. Don't add them to your primary army 
    though.
    
    Since Jags are a useful but not vital part of your offense, you can 
    build your castles offensively with the Aztecs, so build them near 
    critical gold mines and near the battle front. Also, use trebs and rams 
    with the Aztecs often, as they don't have much else that can stand an 
    attack from a castle or bombard.
    
    ***************
    13. The Britons
    ***************
    
    The Britons are hands down the best ranged unit civ in the game. They 
    have, however, one of the worst start offs, as other civs build faster 
    and their scout is easily killed. Once a Brit is fully established 
    though, he is virtually impossible to stop. Your offense should revolve 
    around Longbow men, trebs, and maybe some onagers or cavaliers, but 
    primarily trebs and longbow men. You will want to make your enemy 
    regret building castles with about 10-15 trebs. That many will take 
    down a castle in less than 10 seconds. As for longbow men, a decent 
    swarm is 60, although I prefer 80. With this many, most units won't be 
    able to even touch the longbow men, as their range is superior to 
    anything else in the game besides trebs. 
    
    As for your start off, you're going to want to make halberders and 
    champs, but don't make them take up too much of your population limit, 
    so consider sending them off to die at your enemies base, but slowing 
    any attack he might send at you in the process. 
    
    If you're facing a Brit, an early champion rush can work wonders, as 
    few Briton players make cavaliers. Other than that, mass onagers and 
    skirmishers, but don't expect the counter to wipe them out, as longbow 
    men in large numbers can be difficult to kill with anything you use.
    
    ******************
    14. The Byzantines
    ******************
    
    The Byzantines are a fairly defensive civ, but have an all around good 
    offense. Their countering units, camels, skirmishers, and halberdiers 
    are all 25% cheaper, so an army of those and of Cataphracts will 
    dominate any non-siege and non-bombard using team. Goodnight Aztecs and 
    Mayans. Remember, don't get lazy, you've got good counters! That being 
    said, if you see siege, obviously make some of your own, and use 
    bombard to establish small bases close to your enemy. A good army would 
    be cataphracts, camels, skirmishers, onagers, and a few trebs. Nothing 
    will stop that, short of just a ton of siege. So bring a few villagers 
    along to build bombard in the event of mass siege.
    
    Other than that, there is not much else I can say on the Byzantines, 
    just make sure you use a good amount of variety and don't neglect 
    resources.
    
    *************
    15. The Celts
    *************
    
    The Celts have the best siege in the whole game, making them the third 
    best civ when used correctly. Everything has more hit points and fires 
    20% faster, meaning in an onager battle, your onagers will fire first, 
    kill theirs, but if yours do get hit, they will survive thanks to the 
    hit points. All you need now is enough scorpions to make sure your 
    onagers won't be killed by any non-siege. 40 will usually do, but I 
    prefer an over kill amount, but 50-60 will also help. Now all you need 
    is a few trebs for buildings and you've got an unbeatable army (most 
    people won't allow the Turks to be played, nor the Koreans, but the 
    Celts are alright). 
    
    This being said, the Celts Woad Raider pretty much sucks compared to 
    most units. It's speed is the only thing that salvages any dignity, but 
    there are much better units that do the job. The Celts Paladin sucks 
    due to an insufficient tech tree, so do the Celts archers. This means 
    you will primarily be going for Halberdiers, after all, the only 
    possible thing the enemy can use to stop your siege is a massive amount 
    of cavalry, but the scorpions will eat that alive. With the halbs, it 
    won't even be a contest. As long as you have something delaying the 
    enemy from hitting the siege for a few seconds (while the siege hits 
    back), you've got nothing to worry about. Even villagers protecting the 
    siege will work, believe it or not.
    
    As I've said, the Celts use siege and Halberdiers, so wood is your 
    worry, and it's a big one. You'll want about 40 villagers on wood, 
    don't worry about food, as the Halberdiers don't use much. Put 10 
    villagers on it if you'd like though. Other than that, trade some food 
    in for gold.
    
    ***************
    16. The Chinese
    ***************
    
    The Chinese start off with 6 villagers instead of 3 and their town 
    centers house 10 population, so the Chinese are the second best anti-
    rushing civilization (keep this in mind against the Huns), but also 
    remember that this extra start off can give the Chinese a deadly rush 
    (camels, cav archers, and rams). Start off with 2 villagers on houses, 
    and the other 4 individually on whatever you want. The Chinese have a 
    somewhat diverse playing style, but it's hard to match certain types of 
    units together, so go on the offensive and this won't be much of a 
    problem. 
    
    The Chinese have the best scorpions in the game after the Celts, so add 
    these to your offense, with a few onagers for protection. After that, 
    you will want an army of champs, camels, and cho ku nos. Use castles 
    defensively and bombard defensively or offensively, since you won't 
    have many castles (you're using the stone for bombard), and you can 
    place the bombard in lots of places. Chu Ku Nos will destroy most 
    archers, so you won't have a problem there. The main difficulty will be 
    with onagers, so be careful.
    
    When playing the Chinese, NEVER rush, as it will almost never work.
    
    **************
    17. The Franks
    **************
    
    The Franks have the best cavalry in the game, but with all the counters 
    to cavalry in the game, that doesn't mean much. Nonetheless, Frankish 
    Paladins combined with Champs to prevent possible counters is a pretty 
    formidable force. Add onagers and some trebs, and you've got an army 
    that could easily win you the game. 
    
    In addition to great paladins, the Franks have cheap castles, which 
    means you should be using at least some castles offensively. One trick 
    is to rush in with paladins while your villagers stand behind and 
    quickly work on castles close to the enemy base. Castles are the 
    ultimate in defense keep in mind, better than bombard because they can 
    produce units to defend themselves, so definitely put those cheap 
    castles to good use.
    
    Other than that, you shouldn't need to worry about much if you 
    substitute champs for throwing axemen, since they are roughly the same 
    price, but champs do more damage and can take on camels (a paladin 
    predator). Just be weary of the Teutons who eat throwing axemen for 
    breakfast with their large army and the Saracens, whose camels 
    annihlate Paladins. Throwing axemen should do the job for mamelukes.
    
    *************
    18. The Goths
    *************
    
    The Goths are the second best rushing civ, next to the Huns. The Goths 
    Huskarls come out incredibly fast and can come from your barracks (very 
    useful), meaning that the real challenge is to build houses fast 
    enough. For this reason, always keep a keen focus on houses, as a 
    barracks queue full of Huskarls will pump them all out in about 90 
    seconds. Huskarls themselves are slightly weaker than champs, but are 
    nearly invulnerable to archers with their high hit points, meaning that 
    if you are going against a non-archer civ, you must attack early and 
    beat them with your large numbers, but if you face an archer civ, take 
    it slow if you'd like. 
    
    I can't stress enough that it's easy to outnumber an enemy with 
    Huskarls, so always make sure  that you do, unless you are moving slow, 
    then you will want other things in your army like halberdiers (which 
    come out very fast too), and siege, and maybe a few archers. Just make 
    sure you get more food than usual, as pumping out those guys can prove 
    costly. Since arrows do very little to Huskarls, if you see a castle 
    undefended, by all means swarm it and take it out! It's easily done. 
    Don't skip siege though, the Goths are an in-your-face civ, attacking 
    hard and often, so trebs work, but rams are probably the better bet.
    
    Keep in mind that Huskarls will work just fine as long as your enemy 
    doesn't use Paladins or cavaliers, or if he doesn't use a unique 
    infantry unit (but you should have some archers along to stop that 
    anyway). So you will waste civs like the Mayans, Brits, Saracens, 
    Chinese, and Mongols usually. If you're facing a Goth, make lots of 
    champs, but be careful, as Huskarls are very fast and aren't much 
    weaker than champs. Also make lots of cavalry. 
    
    ************
    19. The Huns
    ************
    
    The Huns are a must-rush civ in death matches, making them unique from 
    other civ. They have the weakest siege of any civ, anything besides 
    rams and trebs is inexcusable, no matter what the circumstances. The 
    advantage the Huns have over other civs however is that they do not 
    need houses, making it incredibly easy to amass a huge army while your 
    opponent constantly needs to stop production due to population limits. 
    Take advantage of this at all times.
    
    Start Off - The very first thing you should do is send out your scout 
    to the enemy base. Then build either a market, or make stables and 
    archery ranges. Go for a combination of Paladins and cavalry archers, 
    or trick them into thinking you will come with paladins and mass 60 
    cavalry archers and storm in. This works phenomenally well since the 
    cavalry archers are cheap, they move fast, and in such a large quantity 
    so early can't often be stopped, even if you have the counter.
    
    If you try to rush and fail, you will lose as your enemy will more than 
    likely just build lots of siege and you won't be able to counter since 
    Huns siege is horrible. Never use Tarkans unless you know you're going 
    to win, as they cost as much but are worse than Paladins. Their attack 
    bonus against buildings is useful, but your enemy will kill your 
    Tarkans in the process.
    
    Lastly, always save some gold so you can pump out a cavalry archer 
    brigade, as they can work wonders on an enemy that makes mistakes, like 
    leaving trade routes open or leaves infantry by themselves.
    
    ****************
    20. The Japanese
    ****************
    
    The Japanese are the second worst civ in the game, only the Vikings are 
    worse. Why? Because the Japanese have bad cavalry, siege, and archers. 
    Their fast attacking infantry is nothing special, especially when 
    compared to a Teutonic Knight. The only real purpose it would be for is 
    against Elephants (halberdiers), and maybe against a Goths player. The 
    Samurai are a horrible unit, much like the Vikings Beserk, many unique 
    units counter them. They are expensive for infantry as well. 
    
    In fact, the only really useful thing for the Japanese are the 
    trebuchets, which I must admit are incredibly powerful. They fire 
    extremely fast, as well as pack/unpack. For this reason, a Japanese 
    army should be fast, be able to stop onagers, and should hit with 
    surprise. When I do play them, I go for about 20 trebs, and watch a 
    whole town disappear in less than a minute. 
    
    Basically, a Japanese army should consist of Samurai, some Halbs, and 
    cavalry archers. You will need onagers to protect against siege too. 
    The rest of your army should be trebs, make plenty of them. Trebs, 
    actually, in large quantities can stop lots of onagers. Just space them 
    out into two groups and have them focus fire on large areas.
    
    Other than that, good luck, you'll need it. Your eco should be well 
    diversified.
    
    ***************
    21. The Koreans
    ***************
    
    The Koreans are the best civ in the games hands down. Why? Three 
    reasons, they have the best bombard in the game (tied with the Turks). 
    They have the best onagers in the game. Lastly, they have the best 
    ranged unit in the game, the War Wagon. Combining these 3 is an 
    unbeatable strategy, the only thing one needs to win with when playing 
    the Koreans is an early rush defense.
    
    Now then, the basic strategy with the Koreans is to build many bombard 
    towers quickly, approximately 20-25. The back these up with about 20 
    onagers, 40 halberds, 2 trebs, 2 bombard cannons and about 15 War 
    Wagons. Nothing in the game will stop this defense, as trebs are 
    destroyed by the Koreans long-range onagers, rams will get killed by 
    halberds and onagers, and anything that tries to break through the 
    defense will get squashed by a combination of bombard, war wagons, and 
    onagers. All you have to do is place your onagers so they aren't all 
    together, so a group of paladins won't do a suicide run on them and 
    slowly push on the enemy until you are at the his base. The game is all 
    but won. 
    
    Now that I've said that, you can actually use any 2 of the 3 Korean 
    "super units". Onagers with bombard towers, Onagers with War Wagons, or 
    War Wagons with bombard will all work just fine. The only difficult 
    part is getting the resources to replace your army, but this is a death 
    match, so that shouldn't be a problem, especially if you started on 
    resources early.
    
    If you are facing a Korean, you're best bet is to double team his ally, 
    so you won't even have to face him for awhile, since he will be 
    building up that super defense I told you about. Other than that, rush 
    him as soon as possible, as the defense is impossible to take out once 
    it has started.
    
    **************
    22. The Mayans
    **************
    
    The Mayans are the least expensive civ in the game, there are instances 
    when I play them in which I never have to start food or wood. Given 
    that, it's best to sell wood and food early, put 20 villagers on each, 
    and never have to worry about those two resources again. Gold will be 
    your only problem, as you will not need to worry about stone since the 
    Mayans only need stone for castles.
    
    The Mayans have an anti-archer oriented cast of units, the Eagle 
    Warrior and the Plumed Archer are at the top of the list, as both can 
    destroy archers (hint: want to beat a Britons easily? Go mayans!). The 
    plumed archers can also eliminate all infantry easily too, meaning the 
    only challenge, but a huge challenge indeed, for the mayans is cavalry. 
    If your enemy has weak cavalry, you will win. Even with the Eagle 
    Warriors attack bonus against mounted units (which is very weak), 
    you'll have a hard time. This means if you see the enemy has stables, 
    you must make halberdiers. The enemy can go crazy with cavalry and can 
    over run a huge army of Eagles and Plumed archers, so be careful. 
    Halberds can slow down a very fast mayan army however, so either attack 
    early when cavalry isn't winning due to the number game, or make 
    halberdiers and wait for the eventual army. 
    
    Eagle Warriors are definitely one of the top units in the game, aside 
    from their rich skills in raiding economies and wiping out archers, 
    these guys are much better than cavalry at taking out siege. With their 
    extra hit points, they can take much abuse, run in and close the gap 
    quickly with siege, and wipe it out due to their bonus hit points. 
    Always heavily guard your siege when playing a Mayans or Aztecs player.
    
    Lastly, the Mayans actually have decent siege, so in times of 
    desperation, go for scorpions if you think the move is right. Their 
    onagers aren't bad either. The Mayans are a fast team though, so 
    establish your siege quickly if you think you will need it.
    
    ***************
    23. The Mongols
    ***************
    
    The Mongols are probably the best ranged attack team in the game after 
    the Koreans. The downside is that this ranged attack takes much time to 
    build up. The big counter to ranged attacks is calvary, so make sure to 
    build some camels, not too much though. A few champs will do you some 
    good too. As for siege, the Mongols have the fastest moving siege in 
    the game. Although it's considered by some a dirty tactic, siege can 
    easily win games. Some make sure you've got a couple of scorpions, 
    onagers, and definitely use the Mongols rams, as they are fast and 
    lethal. One tactic is to use rams on enemy siege units, as they can 
    kill any siege in two hits! 
    
    Your most important part of the offense besides siege is Mangundai, 
    abuse these babies as they are the best part of the Mongols offense, 
    wiping out almost anything. Just make sure you put a couple of camels 
    in front of them to defend them.
    
    Since the Mongols are mainly a wood and gold civ, you should either 
    sell your extra food for gold, or make a few hussars brigades to 
    surprise opponents and take out their siege. The extra bonus hit points 
    for the Mongols hussars are a little helpful, but hussars still suck.
    
    ****************
    24. The Persians
    ****************
    
    The Persians are one of those teams that has a great unique unit that 
    you just want to exploit. Elephants in large numbers are hard to stop, 
    their only counters are halberds, mamelukes, and scorpions, so if 
    you're facing a non-saracen team that lacks in the counter, definitely 
    go with Elephants. More than likely however, the enemy will prepare for 
    your elephants with many halberds and scorpions together, this double 
    counter will thrash elephants, so you will sometimes want to use 
    calvary archers or hand cannonners, a bombard cannon or two, a few 
    onagers and maybe a few scorps, depending on what resources you have in 
    excess. Personally, I prefer elephants with onagers, cavalry archers, 
    and a few bombard cannons. It's important to make sure you bring trebs 
    or rams along to, as elephants are good siege, but those things do the 
    job much better.
    
    One strategy I often use is called "The Elephant Factory", it starts 
    off with your first villager building 2 houses while your other two 
    make a castle. From there you make 5 more castles (6 in all) before 
    making anything else and just constantly pump out elephants. Within 10 
    minutes, you'll have about 80 elephants, an army that is hard to stop 
    unless you made a counter from the very beginning. Not even a large 
    army of pikemen will stop this, only siege and mamelukes. Once the 
    castles are up, make about 55 farms, put 25 on wood, and put 30 on gold 
    in some fashion or another. One last tip for the elephant factory is to 
    include rams, as once you wipe out the enemy defense, you can send in 
    the rams to destroy everything else and use the surviving elephants to 
    wipe out another enemy.
    
    When playing as the Pers however, no matter what strategy you use, it's 
    important that you use elephants correctly. This means pulling them 
    back when halberds come but sending them in when you see Paladins, 
    other infantry, or archers. Elephants take so much abuse that castles 
    aren't much of a threat, but always make sure you have some siege to 
    take down those castles quickly. If you see bombard, make rams, and 
    many of them, 15 rams will destroy A LOT.
    
    ****************
    25. The Saracens
    ****************
    
    The Saracens have two of the best units in the game, the Mameluke, and 
    the Saracen camel. I've explained the Mameluke in the unique units 
    section, as for the camel, it has 170 hit points and is the perfect 
    rushing unit. One on one, it will kill any regular unit in the game - 
    anything! This means that you simply need to out produce your enemy to 
    win. If you kill his villagers while rushing, this is an easy task, 
    making the Saracens the third best rushing civ in the game. Not to 
    mention that they have a trade bonus in which they get more gold for 
    trading in wood and food, take advantage of that early and often. 
    
    The only thing that can present a problem with a Mameluk army is 
    onagers and archers, so counter this with onagers of our own. Mass 
    them, like 25, and with Mamelukes, you've got quite an army. A bombard 
    cannon here or there doesn't hurt either.
    
    This type of army is expensive and hard to build early, so go for 
    camels early on, as I said earlier, a Saracen camel rush can work 
    wonders.
    
    If your enemy is going Saracens, the best counter is either the Teutons 
    or the Mayans, with Teutonic Knight and Plumed Archers respectively. 
    Otherwise, calvary archers, halberds, and onagers will do.
    
    ***************
    26. The Spanish
    ***************
    
    With the extra quick building time and powerful villagers, the Spanish 
    are the best anti-rushing civ and fourth best rushing civ in the game. 
    There are so many advantages to the Spanish, it's no wonder they are so 
    commonly played. They've got an excellent tech tree, so diversity is 
    important, but make sure that you add a little bit of siege to your 
    army, primarily onagers and bombard cannons. Don't forget to build 
    bombard on new establishments though, as the Spanish do it the fastest. 
    
    You can pretty much go into a game and improvise when you see you need 
    something new to your strategy with the Spanish, but a quick attack and 
    then defending the newly gained area will work well. Due to their extra 
    fast gold mining, being aggressive is a much better thing, and it 
    allows you to keep your population focused on militia. Don't forget to 
    take advantage of their 33% more profitable trade though too. The 
    Spanish are powerful with defense or offense, or both!
    
    ***************
    27. The Teutons
    ***************
    
    The Teutons are a beginner team but not much more. The difficulty in 
    playing the Teutons is that their units are good, but fairly expensive 
    and thus difficult to combine. A great strategy is using Teutonic 
    Knights and siege, but it takes an extremely long time to ever even 
    start this, and your opponents will be able to attack if you go slow. 
    Many like to build halberders early on, but they can take up much of 
    your population if you want to effectively use them, but that means you 
    won't have enough for Paladins, siege, T. Knights, and bombard. Others 
    like to go for bombard and siege, but still, that will only work on 
    slow enemies, and it won't gain you any ground. For these reasons, the 
    Teutons should be avoided once you begin intermediate play. 
    
    Aside from effectively using the Teutons in a speedy and cheap manner, 
    they are a great civ. Teutonic Knights rip up infantry and calvary, try 
    to make a point of it to always have 10-15. One time I killed 50 
    Halberds with 7 Teutonic Knights. Their power is amazing.
    
    On a final note, take advantage of their bombard and above average 
    siege. 
    
    *************
    28. The Turks
    *************
    
    The Turks are the other team that is usually banned from the zone, as 
    they have some of the dirtiest strategies imaginable. Your start off 
    should consist of one bombard tower up fairly early to protect against 
    a possible rush and then quickly grab a large chunk of the map and 
    build bombard non-stop. If you can get up just one bombard tower, you 
    will usually have established the land you wanted, so try to steal a 
    gold mine and trap the enemy. You will want to buy stone as well, so 
    sell wood and food, and make sure you have plenty of gold. Don't stop 
    mining stone on the map either, the more the better. 
    
    Once you start building bombard towers, the only thing that will stop 
    it is if the enemy either runs around it, or uses trebs and rams. To 
    stop them from running around it, make sure you circle their base with 
    bombard. As for trebs and rams, make sure you make many bombard cannons 
    and champs, as the turkish bombard cannons have a very long range and 
    waste trebs, and mass champs will destroy rams. About 40 will do you 
    good. Keep building bombard, at least 30 towers, but if you have stone, 
    by all means make more! One you feel that you've squeezed the life out 
    of your opponents resources, move in for the kill, take out his castles 
    with bombard cannons and build towers close to your cannons to protect 
    them. Since you aren't making much else than bombard and champs, make 
    at least 15-20 bombard cannons. When things look bad, simply pull them 
    back and let your bombard protect them. An easy and commonly used 
    strategy that can even frustrate experts. Nothing else is needed for 
    the Turks.
    
    ***************
    29. The Vikings
    ***************
    
    The Vikings are the worst civ in the game, most people only play them 
    when they get them by random by accident. If you do get them, prepare 
    to take a beating. The Vikings have no one unit that will give them an 
    edge over another army. Decent cavalry, decent archers, and good 
    infantry, but what will infantry do since there are so many counters to 
    it? 
    
    Some are duped into believing that an army of Viking Beserks will 
    thrash another army, then heal itself, and then be as good as new. The 
    problem with Beserks is that almost every other unique unit counters 
    them, and for those who don't have a countering unique unit, they're 
    probably using something that would counter them anyway. All the 
    archers destroy berserks, mamelukes, cataphracts, samurai, Teutonic 
    Knights, and Jags all dominate Beserks. That leaves Woad Raiders and 
    Huskarls. Now, the Celts player isn't going to use Woad Raiders anyway 
    because they stink, and the Goths player, well he is the only one you 
    will have an advantage over. 
    
    The extra hit points for infantry is the only thing going for the 
    Vikings, but that won't help. All you can do is make siege, some 
    berserks, and try to get an economy that gets lots of food, and hope 
    you don't get beaten too badly.
    
    ***********************
    30. Advanced Strategies
    ***********************
    
    This is the most important part of this whole FAQ. I will list the key 
    terms and strategies:
    
    Clumping - Build 6 castles, a house, and barracks along with your town 
    center in a circular manner so nobody can get in. There is a good 
    article about how to do this on www.mrfixitonline.com
    
    Clustering - A start off in which you build everything closely around 
    your town center, as it optimizes the ability to get buildings up 
    faster, get an army faster, but it also is a great  defense against 
    rushes, as most people will try to pick off your villagers but will 
    have a hard time navigating through your base.
    
    Rushing - One of the most common strategies on the zone. It is used 
    even by rookies, but is deadly with an expert. It entails attacking 
    your enemies base as soon as possible so you can kill his villagers so 
    they won't get many military buildings up, so you can easily overwhelm 
    his army. This is one of the most important strategies in the game as 
    it is always used in expert rooms, and is usually found in intermediate 
    and rookie rooms. To rush, you must send your scout out as soon as 
    possible to harass the enemy villagers, you must then build military 
    buildings and queue them to the enemy base so they get their ASAP. Here 
    are a few tips for rushing
    
    1.	Try to kill villagers that are building houses, this way you can 
    halt the enemies chances of creating militia.
    2.	Send your scout out as soon as possible.
    3.	Ask your allies to give you resources when you need them to 
    support the rush if you are doing well.
    4.	If your ally is willing, tell him to help out by sending stuff to 
    the enemy base, especially his scout.
    5.	Never rush with just one thing, unless you are the Goths. Come in 
    with two things, as they will probably not have your counter, but 
    you will definitely have theirs. 
    6.	Use something fast and come in with large numbers!
    7.	Keep killing villagers, don't let them build new buildings!
    8.	Consider massing cavalry archers, because if their initial army 
    can't beat them, they will definitely lose.
    9.	Be careful, because your enemy may escape with one villager, this 
    could eventually lead to him building a new base.
    
    Anti-rushing - there are a few ways to stop rushes, most people just 
    build lots of halberdiers, but this will get crushed by everything. 
    Three really good ways to stop are rush are:
    1.	Have one of your first villagers immediately work on a bombard 
    tower.
    2.	Send your scout to the enemy base to see what they are coming 
    with and build your counter accordingly.
    3.	Have a villager in a hard to reach spot start on a castle.
    
    Tunnel - On maps with lots of trees, use a siege onager or a couple and 
    have them aim at the trees and clear a path. This is a rookie tactic, 
    but is pretty powerful when done quickly. Your best bet is to clear a 
    path to a part where there is minimal defense.
    
    *************
    31. Team Work
    *************
    
    Certain civs go well together, like the Celts and Persians, because the 
    Celts need wood but don't need food, and the Persians need food, but 
    don't need wood. As a result, these two teams can trade each other the 
    resources they don't need and can greatly help their ally. Other teams 
    like this are:
    Mongols and Persians
    Britons and Persians
    Mayans, Persians, and Celts
    You get the idea
    
    Another tip is to do double team attacks, in 2v2, quickly double 
    rushing one enemy so you can eliminate him. This means that one person 
    on the double rush team will be open for an attack, but this is 
    nullified by the fact that you won't take as much abuse as the person 
    double rushed. Another way to nullify the attack is by clumping, this 
    way the enemy can only get into your base with siege.
    
    **********
    32. Thanks
    **********
    
    Thanks to Microsoft for making this game, CjayC for hosting this FAQ, 
    the NMK clan, DOA clan, the godlike clan, and ChrisandNick_0 for 
    providing so many laughs.
    
    ***********
    33. Contact
    ***********
    
    Have a question I didn't answer? Have useful advice? Find a mistake? E-
    mail me at whose_your_daddy_1999@yahoo.com