Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Sunday, January 18, 2004

SPOTLIGHT GAME: TuF_Astator vs. nydar
This is the first game from the finals of the BHS Lite. Both players were Aztecs. This is truly an amazing display of pure generalship. Starting from as early as 3:48 in the game, Astator builds up and maintains a huge economic lead ... but ends up losing the game in the end. Why? Generalship. Randy fights with and preserves everyone of his individual units, maxmizing their combat potential, but never fighting a battle he can't win. And losing a lot fewer units than Tator. What end up being so amazing about this game is the HUGE disparity of economic and military results. Midway through the game, I'm watching and wondering "How can Tator possibly lose?" He had a lot bigger economy and a larger military. He even had superior positioning, having placed a town right near nydar's capital. During much of this stage of the game, nydar, had only +50 food income. +50!!! WTF?!

Here are some of the stats:
Total resources gathered

Astator nydar
Food 19654 14537
Timber 28768 20730
Wealth 14323 10640
Knowledge 16879 15279
Metal 20892 16815
Oil 17336 7878

Total 117852 85879
That's a whopping differential of 31,973 total resources. Ahhh, but insightful readers might note that Aztecs plunder from corpses and wonder what kind of difference that might have made. Well...
Total resources from kills (estimated since we can't tell unit kills from building kills)

Astator nydar
Kills 158 288
Plunder 60 60

Total 9480 17280
Even accounting for the Aztec plunder, Tator was ahead by 24,173 resources. That's still a huge difference. As you know, I'm a huge proponent of the "Econ Wins" school of thought; how could Tator have lost?!

Well, many of those losses were expensive ships, since much of the battle occurred on the water. To replace each unit lost, Tator was probably having to spend over 200 resources each. When adding up the cost to replace lost units, you can see that nydar actually comes out slightly ahead in the resource department. Botton line: he did more with less. He had a worse economy, but he was more effective with his units. Eventually, that added up to him having a bigger army by the end of the game. In fact, nydar was almost capped out at 200 units, while Tator had trouble reaching 100 units the entire game -- despite having built an early Colossus and having a huge economy.

So by Generalship, we mean that he killed more units and lost fewer units than his opponent. Troops would want to fight under his leadership. (Note: this is exactly the kind of player you want to hook up with if there ever is a co-op tourney. Imagine my econ with Randy aka nydar doing the fighting. Scary! Yes, that's right -- my micro SUCKS.)

So why was nydar so much better? I mean, these are both elite players, how was this so lop-sided? Well, for one, he managed his army and navy almost to perfection. His world class micro skills are still in top form. He made sure the counter units were attacking the enemy units and he retreated units before they died sending them back to heal up. Secondly, he had some key rare resources that were particularly effective on this map: Copper (+20% dock hit points), Citrus (ships heal at sea) and Whales (sailing ships move 20% faster). Tator had equal access to whales but never got them. I'm sure he won't make that mistake again...

Anyway, this was an amazing game to watch. People will say nydar got lucky (as they did last tourney he won). I say watch and learn from a master gamer.

UPDATE: Game 2 is worth watching, but is less remarkable. Randy maintains his superior Generalship but never gets behind economically. He ends up with 111 kills to 77, and almost completely controls the sea. Good games guys.

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