Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Sunday, November 09, 2003

SPOTLIGHT GAME: HalfLotus (Roman Aggression) vs. PCA_Mell
HalfLotus posted a new Roman Aggression rec at Rise of Nations Universe. This time is against someone decent. And this time it loses.
Well every strategy has its foil, in this case it's Turks with gems. There's a replay at RoNU. With his free catapults, my towering/sieging was for naught, I should have taken a different approach. The raiding went well, I might have been able to outboom him. I was able to catch up later, then made a significant strategic error which cost me the game.
Download the game here.

UPDATE: Okay, I watched the game. This was a great example of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory.
In one game.

I'll give my comments on the game below. But I encourage everyone to watch this game. It has several instructive elements:
  • 2 variations of a SCI1, COM1 start on Australian Outback. One with CIV1, one with SCI2. SCI2 seems like the better route to go as it gave HL more ruins and he had an earlier Classical. It would have been nice to have seen a SCI1, COM1 vs. a SCI1, CIV1 start, but we'll save that discussion for later.

  • Example of 1-city raiding. HL has pushed this as a good strategy for Egypt. Well, boys and girls, it works quite well with other civs also. Using fishing to boom his food income, he does an early Classical and hits Mell with HAs. Mell made the mistake of going barracks first, but deletes it, and gets a stable up; however, not in time to prevent losing a few villagers. He rushes Mell with 3 HAs which do a decent job of keeping Mell's econ down below HL's. After the raiding, HL has about a +125 advantage on Mell. He manages to keep this up through most of the game. Unfortunately, he puts it to "bad" use.
  • Example of the Roman Aggression strategy in action. This ends up nearly costing HL the game, because his push doesn't go anywhere and he ends up losing all of his forward buildings to Turkish artillery. As we mentioned here, I think the weakness of this strategy is using the forts to push the borders, making them easy targets for the enemy. Of course, this is even worse if your enemy happens to be Turkish, but you can bet everyone else will be making artillery as well. HL probably could have sealed the deal if he had placed his third city in front of his fort and military buildings. His superior numbers would have prevented Mell from capturing the city and the city would have prevented the artillery from getting close to the fort and mil buildings. With no city, the arty just mows through the buildings and creates a big hole in the middle. I think he probably would have won this game fairly easily if he had just pressed his post-raid advantage in a more conventional manner. HL pretty much admits this in his above quotation.
  • A great example of Border Flanking on the part of Mell. Mell builds first a fort and then a city on the edge to flank HL's border and get close to HL's capital. It's a risky strategy given his weakness in the middle, but it becomes important later on.
  • An outstanding example of using ambush to surprise the enemy. HL does not upgrade any of his troops until he reaches Enlightenment Age. This means he loses pretty much all of the early battles. But once he reaches Enlightenement Age, he upgrades all of his troops just in time to ambush Mell's Gunpowder Age army. HL routs Mell all the way back to Mell's seond town. HL sacks the town and does a great job ripping up Mell's econ. But...
  • Meanwhile, Mell had sacked Rome (launching his attack from the border flank) and assimilated it, then built a tower and sent all his troops there to reinforce. HL doesn't respond until it's too late. (Maybe he didn't see it? Or was that the "significant strategic error" he mentions?) Game Over. Mell wins with better strategy, despite being down in military and economy.
I've now watched all the games of the Roman Aggression strategy, and while it still can be argued either way, I think the strategy requires some improvement. I like the idea of pushing hard with the fort, but I think that an early third city HAS to go somewhere in front to protect the fort. It's really too easy to take down a naked fort. Also, the other recorded games were against players who were so bad, a simple Ancient rush or normal boom would have won more easily, so it's hard to say the "strategy won it."

Anyway, this was a great game to watch. GG fellas!

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