The Proper Use of England
"The English are a good civ to try out once you are well acquainted with the game and itís mechanics, and I would not recommend them for the player who does not like micromanagement."
In Empires: Dawn of the Modern World, you have the opportunity to take control of many world powers, one them being the English. The English civ is a very unique one, with a simple economy to manage, and units that require intense micromanagement to be fully effective. Essentially, the simplicity of the English economy allows players to focus more of their attention to the micromanagement on the battlefield, which will suit a certain type of player, and bother another. The English are a good civ to try out once you are well acquainted with the game and it’s mechanics, and I would not recommend them for the player who does not like micromanagement.
First off, let’s examine the bonuses that the English have:
English Gardens (Citizens are MUCH stronger): This bonus makes England the civilization of choice for “villy rushes”, i.e. attacking at once with your villagers, which I will explain later. The English villagers are the most hardy in the game.
Exchequer (Extra starting food and wood): This is a good bonus as it allows the English economy, which by nature has a slow start, to get a headstart, and helps with any rushes you would like to do.
Imported Foodstuffs (The ability to construct food warehouses): England is the only civilization able to construct food warehouses, little buildings which automatically generate food. So instead of you having to build farms and put villagers on hunting and foraging, your food comes in automatically, and your income increases exponentially as you build more of these food warehouses.
Masons Guild (buildings construct automatically): As you can see, a lot of things happen automatically with the English. This bonus can be quite wicked if doing a wall or tower rush, as I will explain later. Though the buildings do construct rather slowly, it is better in the longrun because you can plants down tons of buildings at a time and not one villager is needed to construct them.
Royal Geological Society (you can see all your resources around your town center): This doesn’t seem like much of a bonus, but it is. It eliminates the need for scouting, which saves you valuable time and resources in the beginning of the game.
Welsh Mining Camps (Automatic mining buildings): Build one of these on top of a goldmine and you’ve got instant gold income. In the beginning of the game, it might be better if you instead put some villagers on your first gold mine (it really depends what type of opening you are trying to do), but for late game, these things are invaluable.
Ballistics (Ranged units can hit moving targets): An excellent bonus. Makes the crossbow unit very useful, and make England a good choice for raiding.
Bombardment (Artillery can fire over walls): Eh, I play action mode only, so I don’t come across too many walls. But for the EB players out there, I assume this would be a great bonus, good for hitting those gold mines too close to the walls for their own good!
Capture Equipment (Ability to capture enemy artillery): If you hit enemy artillery and there’s no other enemies around, the artillery will convert to your side. This is an awesome bonus which I always use to the fullest extent when playing a siege reliant civ like Korea. Korean firecarts usually stay in the back while the rest of the units do the dirty work. All you have to do is send one knight around back and tap each one of those firecarts and you just stole their entire artillery line!
Flagship (ability to make one ship stronger): I haven’t had too much naval combat experience since I am a plains player, but I do know that when ever I am in a situation that requires naval combat, I am quite thankful for this bonus! The flagship has a special ability to shoot a scatter shot which can really cause some damage.
Secret Service (ability to temporarily lift fog of war in certain spot): This is England’s form of scouting. You just have a be good at guesstimation and you should be able to periodically scout your enemies base without risking any of your units!
Spike Pits (traps to impale your enemies): Once the big bad koryo spearman rush was fixed in v1.01, these kind of lost some of there value, but I stil have a bit of fun with them. If you find yourself at the mercy of a rush unprepared, these things can definitely save your behind. Place in choke points into your base or around your buildings. sCa^eLe was known for his “funnel” strategy in which he made it so that the only way to get to his villagers was through narrow alleys between his buildings, which were of course lined with spike pits!
Now, let’s talk about how to run the English economy, and how to get it started. You begin with a food warehouse, so you already have a steady, yet slow food income at the beginning of the game, so unlike other civs, food is not your first priority. Send your first villager to erect a goldmine over your nearest gold pile, and then build a settlement by wood, and keep pumping villagers on to wood, and builda barracks or stable (depending on your start preference) and then build 2 more food warehouses, an armory, and another goldmine, and then it’s open to you from there. If you know your enemy will be rushing, then send your second villager to your nearest stone pile and gather 10 stone, send him back and build a tower by your wood pit.
That’s basically it, I wasn’t kidding about the simplicity of the English economy. HOWEVER, There are many variations depending on the situation, which I will get into later when I explain about build orders. Wood is the ABSOLUTE lifeline to English economy. It builds your food warehouses, it builds your goldmines, it builds some of your units and it builds your buildings. I can not stress enough at how vital wood is. In late game, you will be dotting the map with mining camps everywhere. I advise you place one swordsmen or some military unit at each goldmine to protect it from raiding. Mining camps are expensive, and not a good thing to be replacing all the time, so protect them as much as you can. When I am playing against England, the first and foremost thing in my mind is taking down his mining camps, and you should try your hardest to stop me from doing that.
Now that you understand the English bonuses and how to get their economy going, it’s time to discuss how to use their military properly. I will go over each individual unit in the English arsenal.
Longswordsman: This is the basic unit of England, and one you’ll be using a lot. An excellent unit for rushing since they are basically villager-proof, and readily available at a low gold cost. The need for longswordsmen wears off later into the game as more powerful units become available such as crossbows and vicars and oilies, but for the first 15 minutes of the game, this is the core unit of your forces.
Longbow: Only useful when it’s needed. If you are going for ranged units, I suggest saving wood by now building Longbows and going for armory and then crossbows. However, especially when facing an aggressive early Korea player, these units are needed. They are the best archers in the game, using the bonus that England has that makes them never miss a target.
Highlander: An anti-swordsmen unit. Expensive, but is worth its price. I rarely make these because when I am facing enemy swordsmen, I usually counter with my own swordsmen or with crossbows if I have them. These are good for raiding against Korea (because they have weak villagers), send two of them into a goldmine, do the whirling thunder power and that will take them out.
Crossbow: This is THE unit for England. Abuse these little things to your fullest. Not only are they absolutely lethal to all melee units, with flaming arrows, they are quite good at demolishing buildings as well. The poison arrows power makes micromanagement vital to use these units to the fullest. I will expand more on this later.
Vicar: If the crossbow is THE unit for England, this is the secondary THE unit for England. These things can turn the tide of a battle in an instant. An army of crossbows + vicars is unstoppable, simple as that. They convert enemy units to your side and heal them as well. They are the ultimate support unit, mass them to the best of your ability.
Knight: The basic cavalry unit of England, the only one they get. They are very susceptible to arrow fire, which lessens their use as raiders somewhat, but not totally. They are good at taking out (and taking control of) siege weaponry of an enemy army, and are good for hitting abandoned outposts. Hit and run is what they are good for, and for taking out swordsmen in combat.
Oil Smithy: This is the third deadly unit England has to offer. The area damage and the amount of damage these bad boys do makes them worth it. Better than that, they cost food and gold, not wood, thus making them easy to produce for England, who is always short on wood. Do you see it all coming together? Vicar + crossbow + oil smithy = win for England.
Trebuchet: I find these really too costly to be efficient or of good use. But if you can afford them, they are quite good at demolishing buildings. They are only good in direct combat if they use their diseased cow, which causes pestilence among enemy troops.
Gunpower Age and Imperial Age units of note:
Regimental Drummer: A nice support unit, gives morale to your units for a defense boost. Definitely a good thing to throw in, make one for about every 30 troops you have.
Battlefield Surgeon: Takes the Vicar up a notch. These things can actually resurrect dead units, and heal them as well, making them an excellent “scavenger” unit for after the battle. If it revives and enemy unit, it is converted to your side. Mass these along the back of any army.
Now that you know of the main military units of England and what their strengths are, here’s some build orders for you:
The LS rush:
First villager, build gold mine and barracks, then a settlement between wood and forage patch, put him on forage patch. Second villager, go to forage patch. Third villager, go to forage patch. Fourth villager, put him on wood, and all villagers from then go to wood. The second you have the resources, build that longswordsman and rally him into your enemy’s base ASAP. Make sure they have shields up as they enter, and if you encounter melee units, put those shields down. MICROMANAGEMENT IS KEY! Since England has such a simple economy, you have the time to do this. Give them the run around. You have a train of 5 militia on your swordsman? That’s cool, run him over to the corner of the map while they follow, leaving your enemy unprotected while his army is chasing one unit. Back off, hit from a different angle, and harass, harass, harass. Make him pull out his hair, lose focus and lose his grip on running his economy. Most games are won with the initial rush, if not then followed up by crossbows + vicars. Build foodwarehouses and goldmines as you get the wood for them, and always keep pumping swordsmen right to the enemy base.
This is an old strategy that not many people use too much anymore, which is perfect, because that means you’ll catch your enemy off guard with it. First villager, build gold mine, and stables, then settle between wood and gold, and put him on gold. Put your second villager on gold, and then put the rest on wood. The object of the knight rush is to annoy your opponent to death and slowly over run him. Hit and run is the main thing you’ll be doing. Knights are weak, yet fast. Do not try to stand up and fight. Once you see his forces moving towards you, scatter, back off, and then attack again swiftly, and then back off once he comes for you. Done well, this has the potential to defeat any civilization. As long as you don’t let your opponent mass ranged units (which if he does, you didn’t put enough pressure on him) then eventually fallback and go for vicars + crossbows. If you did succeed in not letting him build up, then just keep making more and more stables and just over run him. Make him never want to see another horse again.
General building order:
If LS rush: Goldmine -> Barracks -> settle between wood and forage -> foodwarehouse ->armory->goldmine->church->foodwarehouse
If Knight Rush: Goldmine -> Stables -> Settle between wood and gold -> foodwarehouse -> goldmine -> stables -> stables
The villager rush: This is perhaps the most potent thing an English player can pull off. Remember, English villagers are the strongest in the game. First villager, builds a gold mine, and then heads to the center of the map. Set a rally point right outside of your enemy’s base from your TC, and constantly stream villagers there. When the first villager reaches center of the map, start a barracks, and then send him into the enemy’s base, followed by all the rest of the villagers you produce. Start harassing and wasting your opponent’s villy seconds. Go for food first, but if they are making a barracks, kill all gold miners first. As soon as he reacts and attacks back, retreat a little bit, and when he resumes gathering, go back in for more. As soon as your barracks is completed, make a swordsman and send him in for the final blow. Usually they resign once they see the swordsman, with shield up. You may wall in his Town Center if you’re feeling really evil. Keep making swordsmen and villagers and press on, he will give up before about 8 minutes.
How to use the crossbow: You must be proficient with micromanagement to use it to the fullest. Send one crossbow against one spearman. You shoot the spearman, now he is poisoned, and thus walks very slow. Since he is a melee unit and is walking very slow, he is now a perfect target. Shoot him until he comes too close, then fall back a bit more so he can’t hit you, and shoot him some more. This is called kiting, it should be done with all middle age ranged units, but the crossbow because of the poison power is best at it. Use your flaming arrow power on siege weaponry, or whatever unit you see as the biggest threat to you. One crossbow can take on over 15 melee units and not be touched if the player is good enough at kiting. Practice, practice, it may seem awkward at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Vs. Korea: Longsword and knight rush is useless against korea since they have the best spearman, which counters both knights and swordsmen. So you can either villy rush or do the LS rush build without rushing, but instead of putting your first villagers on forage, put them on wood to make longbows to counter Korean spears, and switch to swordsmen if he makes swordsmen.
Vs. China: Rush! Any type of rush will do, but do NOT let China build up untouched in the beginning of the game. It is so easy to kill a Chinese player early game, and it’s suicide not to rush them.
Vs. Franks: LS rush. French militia will lose to swordsmen 1 on 1, and swordsmen counter their archers, so you’re good to go. Hit his forage patch first and knock out his food supply. Follow up with crossbows ASAP to counter and throwing awemen he might be able to get.
Vs. England: Do not villy rush, it will fail against another England every single time. It is always hard fighting your own civ, because they can always mimic your moves, and there’s not always an easy answer. I would watch your opponent early game and do your best to counter whatever he does. He makes swordsmen, you make knights; He makes archers, you make swordsmen. It will be a race to crossbows + vicars, so try to get there first.
That’s pretty much all you need to know. Good luck on the battlefield, and remember, you won’t become perfect overnight, practice is the key. England is my favorite civilization, and I hope that I have helped you enjoy them! Cheerio!