Mechanics of the Boom
"Empires by nature is a very fast paced RTS, and without shooting TCís and military units being available right at the first second, Empires really does favor the aggressor in combat. Often it may seem like a rusherís paradise, but itís really not."
Ever since the earliest days of RTS games, there have been 2 chief strategies in some way shape or form: Rushing and Booming. Rushing involves pumping out units as fast as possible and harassing your enemy at the earliest time in order to defeat him. Booming is the exact opposite, it’s when you focus on your economic build up for the first portion of the game, often forgoing military supremacy until the very end when you can amass tons of units and destroy your enemy. And that’s what I will talk about in this article.
Booming in Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is much different from any other RTS games. Empires by nature is a very fast paced RTS, and without shooting TC’s and military units being available right at the first second, Empires really does favor the aggressor in combat. Often it may seem like a rusher’s paradise, but it’s really not. But you do have to use your head and be ready to take some risks.
Constant Villager Production
This is what makes a boom a boom. In the beginning, all you should focus on is constant villager production, and never stopping. When you start off, you need a minimum of 4 villagers gathering off your berry tree for constant villager production, meaning you will always have at least 50 food for the next villager. It’s the standard HCCCC opening. But after that, never queue up more than 3 villagers at a time, since it is a waste of food. The pop cap is massive in Empires, so you never have an excuse to stop making villagers.
The key to stopping rushes when you are trying to boom in Empires is the tower. Without it, you are almost guaranteed to die to a rusher. Send your second villager to gather 10 stone so you have enough for a tower, and erect it in the best position possible, ideally having it protect as many resources as possible. If you have good placement, and a 2 settle start, you might be able to have it cover all three of your vital resources.
Empires version of booming
Since Empires is by nature a faster paced game, you will still be making units relatively soon in a 1v1, but in team games, you might be able to boom your economy up until 20+ minutes without worrying about military if your teammates are good enough. In a 1v1, you will ideally be making units at 8 minutes F11 with a rocking economy. If for the first 8 minutes, you focus on nothing but economy, you will go far. Where as in an Age of Mythology 1v1 game, you might be able to hold off an army with no military for up to 20 minutes if you age well, in Empires, you’ll last 10 minutes maximum. So relax and boom, but do it quickly. Armies can amass very fast in this game. If your opponent is booming as well, try to offset his boom by raiding…
When booming and facing another boomer, it’s all about raiding. Choose your fastest unit you have in your arsenal, and hit his villagers wherever you can find them. To understand how important raiding is, first you must view the game in terms of Villager seconds. Let’s say each villager takes 15 seconds to make. For each enemy villager you kill, that puts you 15 seconds ahead of him economically. It’s like for each villager you kill, you’ve just wasted 15 seconds of his villager production time.
Stay away from his tower, and hit his villagers hard. Food gathering villagers are your priority to kill, then gold, then wood. Don’t be afraid to retreat with your raiders temporarily, but never let them sit idle, they should always be hitting something. Making two groups of five and hitting the base from two sides is always more effective than making one group of ten and hitting from one side.
One of the biggest advantages the boom in Empires will give you will be the ability to out-age your opponent. When I boom, I keep a small raiding and defense force and always get to the next age as soon as possible, and then build a massive army and attack. You might be able to get to the next age in under ten minutes if you really focus. Aging and defense should be your primary goals while booming. But do NOT waste resources on aging if you have an enemy knocking at your door. Your age advancement won’t do you much good when your city is in flames. Units > Advancement, always remember that. But if you feel you have good enough defenses and have the resources, go for the age jump.
Push for the middle of the map. You should have a large amount of forces now, and you should try to make a forward base and hold the middle of the map. This allows you access to more goldmines to further your boom. Don’t forget to grab those university techs, as they help you greatly and you will have lots of resources to spend them on.
Sometimes it is better to tech than add if you find yourself low on two resources, research the improving tech for that one resource and keep adding villagers to the other. Always grab new economic techs as they become available, they are priceless.
NEVER, EVER HAVE IDLE VILLAGERS!
Now that you have the concept of villy seconds, you know that having an idle villager is just as good as having a dead villager, since it is not producing for you, all it is doing is wasting pop cap and slowing down your production. Always cycle through any idle villagers you have and assign them to whatever resource you need most.
That’s all you really need to know in Empires to pull a successful boom. Play with your head and go for the gold. Raid and kill. Pull back and age up. All things you need to do to boom. Good luck and have fun!