Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy
Thursday, December 04, 2003
The initial scout pattern
WhiskeyPete asks yet another great question. Or rather a set of questions. What is it with this guy?!
Let us assume for the questions below that you are not going to rush, you are not looking to perform and all out border push, you are not looking to perform very large amounts of raiding as quickly as possible. For the questions below assume you will do a standard build with small variations as needed. Nothing extreme. Even if you see your enemy build 2 wonders before classical you will not jump on them with an army.As a quick answer: 1 & 2 - it depends, 3 - yes, 4 - yes, 5 - yes, 6 - it depends, 7 - no, but it depends, 8 - it depends, 9 - none, 10 - it depends, 11 - doesn't make sense, scouting and rares are not mutually exclusive.
UPDATE: As a long answer...
1. Is the current list of functions of scouting I have complete? No. On island maps you want to be sure to scout out the islands, for the rares, but also so you can get to them to them quickly. Also on land maps, you want to just plain uncover certain portions of the map so you can see where the key terrain is. Key terrain is terrain that gives an advantage to the side that controls it. It could be a rocky area where your infantry gain a bonus, it could be high ground on SW Mesa, etc.
2. Is the priority of these functions correct? It depends on your goals, your civ, and the map. If you are Spanish, ruins are more important. If you are Bantu, you want to find a good place to lay your 2nd and 3rd cities. On African Watering Hole, you just want to push on the center, so no real city scouting is needed, but on Himalayan, you need to find a good source of trees as soon as possible to either build forward or backward, depending on your strategy. Find what works for you in various circumstances. It also depends on your opponent. If he is Mayan, stay out of his area, or be very careful.
3. Is the use of villagers to scout economical? Yes. It requires significant micro, but it is useful. There always comes a point where you will stop making villagers for a moment, so it is sufficient to only account for food costs for the villager(s) in question. Example: I (sort of) played a co-op game with El_Capitan, and asked him to make me a villager for scouting. Prior to Medieval Age, I managed to collect 4 ruins worth a total of 250 resources, paying for the villager cost almost 10 times over. Doing this requires good micro to avoid making errors on your city management.
4. Is there a pattern of scouting that you believe will net more ruins than others when on a random land map? Yes. Do not cross your path, avoid slow terrain, avoid being too close to mountains, forests or the edge, which limits your LOS.
5. Are there set patterns to where ruins are located based on map type (i.e. do you do a circle pattern on old world but in the med you zig zag, or is it more specific than this?) Yes. Use the all visible feature and generate a bunch of maps, you can see the patterns that ruins are laid out in. On some maps, like old world it's random, but even there, you can generally always find a ruin in the corner. Worth a villager if you can manage the micro. On other maps, there are specific layouts, e.g., colonial powers has NO ruins on the mainlaind. You can do the research on your own.
6. Assuming you place your second city badly because of poor scouting doesn't it still hold a certain amount of strategic value (as in most forward position) so how large of a loss is that? It depends. If the enemy is likely to raid you, you will want to ensure your cities are close by the resource gathering areas (e.g., wood, mountains) and you will want to build towers in those exposed areas. 90% of the time I just build toward the center to gain maximum territory, but that's just me.
7. Is there a set time to cut-off ruin gathering and just focus on scouting the enemy? When is it? No. I constantly scout out the map, ruins are still valuable, even in the later ages, and scouts are cheap. If you feel the need to scout the enemy, make an extra scout. After raiding, Light cav make great scout units as well, although they will not detour to pick up ruins. However, if you feel they are going to rush you, you will definitely want to scout them out early. If they are Mayan, you'll want to scout the terrain around them so you have better intel later when its difficult to enter their territory.
8. Is searching your opponents side of the map first a good strat? It depends on opponent, civs, and the map. If your opponent is going to scout you first, you might wanna get your ruins and then scout his place to get his as well. If they are Mayan, stick to your area. Just figure it out on a case by case basis.
9. How many ruins are needed to recomp getting sci2 right out of the gate? None. You're going to get it anyway and the real problem is getting enough wealth. This usually prevents all but Chinese or Spanish from getting it quickly. If you can get it without delaying - get it. But don't wait too long.
10. How many ruins are needed to find to justify building an early barrack and second scout? It depends on your strategy, when would you otherwise make a barracks? If you make one at 4 min, making one at 3 is not such a big deal. But waiting too long means there will be fewer rares to get. Personally, I never get a second scout early, but that's just me.
11. Is the benefit of any rare worth putting off scouting your opponent? If so, what rares? Scout can't get rares, so I'm not sure about the question. It doesn't seem relevant. You won't know what you've got for rares until you've scouted them and after you've scouted them, you can move on. Scouting and rares are not mutually exclusive. Your merchant will go to the rares later.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
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