Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Sunday, August 03, 2003

How to play the British
This article discusses how to play the British Civilization and links to various strategy websites for additional information.

Let's start by taking a look at the British Civilization bonuses:
  • +25% Commerce Cap

  • Receive double income from taxation

  • Ships created 33% faster

  • Receive Foot Archer upgrades for free

  • Forts and Towers +2 Range

  • Anti-aircraft units and buildings 25% cheaper and 33% quicker to build
+25% Commerce Cap

One of the best bonuses in the game, the +25% commerce cap bonus enables you to have a bigger economy than your opponent. And one of the better aspects of this bonus is that it makes your economy grow in just about the right proportions to your natural city development. For civilizations without economic bonuses, COM1 research gets you only to a cap of +100. The British will get to +125. With a normal civilization, two cities with 5 farms each will produce +120 food, so you won't be able to fully utilize your second city's full potential until you've been able to research COM2. And once you do research COM2, you'll probably have to build a third city to get up to that cap of +150. The British player, on the other hand, will be conveniently capped at +125, enabling him to make full use of his second city and lumber camp before further economic development.

Because of this economic development, it is generally beneficial for British players to advance to an earlier Classical Age with a build similar to this:


At this point the British player has three main strategic branches:
  • Attack immediately with heavy infantry. You can probably catch your opponent as he is putting up his third city or getting ready to raid with his own troops. If you're choosing this route, then it might be better to skip the SCI2, and CLASSICAL upgrades, and instead do MIL1 and attack with barracks troops. This would be similar to a +150 attack, but you're at +125 instead. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this, because it goes against the strengths of the British civilization, but that's precisely why it's effective – because they do not expect it.
  • Go MIL2 and raid with stable units, while continuing to build econ. If you've both hit Classical Age at about the same time, you're likely to already have a slight econ advantage over your opponent. Some light raiding may be enough to tip the balance even further in your favor. Horse Archers, followed by Heavy Cavalry, are excellent raiders.
  • Go CIV2, COM2 and push with borders and economy. The precise order of these two researches depends on the player and the situation. If rares are available, then COM2 first might be a better choice, but it is usually a good idea to get down that third city before your opponent is able to push your borders back. You can research CIV2, and then research COM2 while you're building the third city. Additionally, you're likely to get raided by the opponent so raid defense must be factored into account.
Receive double income from taxation

The taxation bonus is small in the beginning. You don't earn that much from taxation initially. So 2x a small number is still a small number. However, as you gain more territory and research the taxation upgrades, you'll quickly be capped at your wealth maximum from having so much wealth. So the British player should do a couple things:
  • Get taxation upgrades as soon as they are available
  • Strive to push borders and expand territory as much as possible. Techs, buildings and wodners that increase territory also serve to rapidly increase your taxation - at twice the rate they do for other civilizations
  • Build wealth cap increasing wonders, (Colossus, Pyramids, and Taj Mahal.) to maximize the benefit of this bonus over time
  • Translate the wealth advantage into knowledge as rapidly as possible by maxing out scholars and researching university techs
Ships created 33% faster

This only really has impact on water maps where heavy fighting occurs. It's not that valuable. Anyone else could just build a second dock (or even a third dock) to out produce you. Winning battles like that really comes down to the underlying economy production, because you're rarely able to keep even one dock at full capacity. So the value is merely the incremental wood saved.

Receive Foot Archer upgrades for free

If you use archers, then you'll like this bonus. If you're not a big user of archers, then this will have little impact on you. The British archers are not siginificantly better against the typical archer counters than their non-unique brethren.

Forts and Towers +2 Range

Static defenses don't serve too well in defense in this game, but they can be useful in certain situations. Having +2 range on those buildings could be useful, but I wouldn't build a strategy around it. Some players use towers and archers together to create a strong defense from raiding, then use those archers later on in the game when they upgraded to Blackwatch.

Anti-aircraft units and buildings 25% cheaper and 33% quicker to build

Not very handy. If you need this as British, then you're probably doing something wrong. In this case BHG seems to be trying to model the historical civ "bonuses" to the game. Britain was a hard target to raid by air, so this gives them some advantage. It's just not that helpful when applied in game terms.

The British invented radar during WWII, so they were known to be difficult to air raid because their fighters were always in the air waiting for the raiders.
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