Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Thoughts on the "Roman Aggression" Strategy
I spent some rare Rise of Nations time playing around with HalfLotus' new strategy. I also watched his recorded games. Or should I say game? Unless I somehow messed up in the downloading, both recordings were of the same game. Anyway, it's clear from the recording that his victory came from extremely poor micromanagement on the part of his enemy, and not due to better strategy. In fact, watching the game, I felt like he was losing up until the part where his opponent threw away the game. So credit to HalfLotus for winning with good micro, and even more credit for winning with a "bad" strategy.

Why did I say "bad?" And why did I put it in quotes?

Well, first off, I like to separate out the quality of the strategy from the quality of the execution. They are two distinct yet inter-related aspects of the game. In Real-time Strategy games, all strategies require execution. Rise of Nations is no different. You could have a bad plan and still execute it really well and get a victory, but does that redeem the original plan? On the other hand, if you continue to win with a strategy, can it really be that bad?

In watching the replay, I felt the CLASSICAL before SCI2 was a waste of knowledge. The anticpated notion that a delayed SCI2 was saving some critical food was dispelled by watching the game. The early MIL2 and subsequent HA raiding (ONE HA!) was easily fended off by the opponent, who only needs MIL1 and Light Cav to hold him off. Mining was delayed to enable both MIL2 and CIV2 (to get that third city up). I think the early CIV2 is still a good deal, but I wouldn't ignore the need for COM2. I think you should grab COM2 and CIV2 and drop that third city. Get mining going and then research MIL2 when you're ready to drop the fort. The way the game actually progressed, HL was behind on Knowledge AND Wealth for much of the game. For shame.

Anyway, we're holding off final judgment until we see more recorded games. We expect HL will refine his strategy in the future.

UPDATE: Wow, either the Rise of Nations Heaven Forum is down, or I hit a sore spot with HL. (Answer: probably both! :-) He's posted a number of great rebuttal comments in my comments section that give further specifics on his approach and philosophy for this "Aggression Strategy." Now, regardless of who's right, this is a worthy conversation to have; hopefully it will help improve this strategy and make it actually viable even better!

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