Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Resource equalization during early rushes
Over at Heaven's Forum, I posted a new article on Resource equalization during early rushes.

It's useful to look at the differences in economy during the rush period. These will be rough because I'm not in front of the game. They can be easily be verified, however, if someone has sharp disagreement.

Let's assume the rusher is able to sack the capital in 5 minutes. We can break apart the first 5 minutes into segments:
  • min 0-1

  • min 1-4

  • min 4-5

  • ruin differential

  • sack bonus
Min 0-1
Let's assume equal development up to about the 1 min mark. Let's also ignore ruins for the moment. So for the first minute, both civs get max farms and wood (max 5 for the Jap). So we're looking at +70/60 for a Jap and Egypt and +60/60 for other civs (+10 or so for the other civs that have resource bonuses: Romans, Greeks, etc.) So during the first minute, resources are about equal. So ignore this portion.

Min 1-4
During the next 3 minutes (6 econ periods) the rusher is no longer developing his economy, but rather spending resources on troops and walking them to the enemy. His econ stays stagnant at +70/60 or +130 total. The defender continues booming, making a second city, getting a market and maybe some rares and upping his econ. He's likely to be at +120-130 food (10 farms + 2 cities + a rare maybe) and +120-130 wood (10 choppers + 2 cities + a rare maybe) and around +20-40 wealth (a caravan + a rare maybe + Roman bonuses if there). So he'll be on a ramping glide path up to about an econ of +250-300 resources per 30 sec. The incremental difference between the civs will be equal to the area under the line, which is roughly a triangle. Therefore resource delta = 1/2*h*w = 1/2*(250-130)*6 = 360 resources up to a max of 510.

Min 4-5
During minute 4 (2 econ periods), let's assume (for the sake of argument) that the defender doesn't have to sacrifice ANY economy to defend. Let's also assume that the attacker doesn't gear up his econ in anyway. (During this period, I'll usually research SCI1, CIV1, and COM1, to be ready to spend the bonus resources on going classical and getting the level 2 techs.) So the defender will get the full benefit of the differential from 4 min to 5 min. Therefore resource delta = h*w = (250-130)*2 = 240 resources up to a max of 340.

This is more complicated, but the defender will get 50-65 for each ruin, while the attacker will get only 25, but will get a few extra ruins from sending troops through the middle of the map. Average extra pickup I've experienced during this is anywhere from 2-4 extra ruins. So let's say 5-7 ruins for the defender, and roughly 5-8 for the attacker. Defender would have 250-350 bonus resources in first 5 minutes and attacker would have 125-200. Total differential could be anywhere from 50 to 225 resources.

Sack bonus
Sacker gets 500 in food, timber and wealth. For +1500 resources.

Adding it all up
So the resource deltas are:
  • min 0-1 = 0

  • min 1-4 = 360-510 to defender

  • min 4-5 = 240-340 to defender

  • ruin = 50-225 to defender

  • sack bonus = 1500 to attacker
Assuming worst case for defender, attacker ends up with 850 more resources after 5 min. Assuming worst case for attacker (but he still takes capital), attacker ends up with 425 more resources after 5 min.

Even after this, of course, the game is not yet over. A wise attacker will either 1) finish off the other town while holding the capital (difficult) or 2) gear up economy after sending initial wave of troops and slingshot his economy with the sack bonus. The good attackers will also be razing as many enemy econ structures as he can before he loses the capital. This effectively puts post-sack econs at about par. Meanwhile the defender needs to retake the capital and rebuild his economy.

Can an attacker still lose after sacking a capital? Of course. But it seems to be worthwhile given the resource equalization impact. When I get an opportunity, I'll confirm through additional games the resource numbers that I see.

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