Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Monday, December 15, 2003

What's a good civilisation for a Beginner?
Black Watch asks What's a good civilisation for a Beginner?
I'm a 'newbie' to this game, as I've been constantly hooked on AoK since it came out, and I really am not good at choosing civs to play, I can't stand random, just not reliable if I don't like a civ and it randomly selects it.

I'd just like to know 1 or 2 civs to try out in the beginning, so I can get better. ie: the Mongols in AoK:TC were considered an Expert civ (last time I checked) and I just want to ease into the game, no hard-to-manage civs, I mean.

Any help is appreciated.
Before we answer that question, it's good to think about what would make a good civilization for a beginner. When learning a game I like to use a nation that requires little micro and has minor bonuses, so it plays conventionally. To learn RON, it's a good idea to play initial games against an AI with nation bonuses turned off, this way, when you do have bonuses, you'll notice their impact.

I'd recommend several civs to learn with:
  • British. They require little micro to be effective and their bonuses make it easier to play. Two of the difficulties beginners face is dealing with the commerce cap and maintaining good gold income. Also, there natural development is more in line with the commerce cap increases. 1 city = about 60, 2 cities = 120, 3 cities = 180. These increases step nicely with the +125 and +187 commerce caps.

  • Mayan -- Mayan require very little micro, even at the expert level. They have good defensive bonuses and make a good starter civ for folks.

  • Japanese -- my best advice for people who really want to improve their game is to play Japs and rush every game. Rushing is pretty straight forward and easy. Through rushing, players will see: 1) how deadly it can be, and 2) how to stop it. They can then move on to +100 attack and +150 attacks, improving their repetoire as they get better at managing their economy. They will also gradually learn important micro skills as they get better.
Nations I didn't mention are also playable, but for raw beginners, I'd stick with the top 3.

Nations I would avoid are:
  • Spanish -- require intense micro and sophisticated manipulation of ruins. However, the revealed map is very good for beginners, but you can toggle that in the settings so that any nation plays with reveal map.

  • Greeks -- they require a completely differetn approach from the "normal" civs. It's difficult to get adjusted to them. They can be very powerful if used in the right situation, but not for beginners.

  • Nubians -- a fun civ to play, particularly in large map team games. Nubians great economy relies on rare resources, somethign that new players might have difficulty taken full advantage of.

  • Aztecs -- these guys require aggressive play to make use of their bonus.

  • Bantu, Chinese, and Koreans -- these guys all have "weird" bonuses that require substantially different play. I'd save them for later.

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