Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Americans... are they overpowered? Hanging Gardens... is it overpowered? Combined, are they overpowered?
UPDATE: I got my hands on the gold version of T&P, and tried out my pre-formed American strategy. It doesn't work, I was wrong. The Hanging Gardens really doesn't help until later as far as capping your economy. You need too many Sciences for it to start being effective. However, Americans are a free Delayed Power Rush Nation. Meaning you can do the Delayed Power Rush with them every time while continuing to boom faster than the other player. Once you make it to around a 7 minute Medieval Age, you can afford to plop down the TCA. That's even if you don't sack the Capital. If you do sack the Capital, chances are when you make the quick Medieval, the Capital you just took will become a large City, pretty much winning you the game... and if you're mean, you can insta-build the TCA at the enemy's Capital when you reach Medieval Age. =p
No, I have not played the T&P beta, nor the T&P gold version. I've only played the T&P demo. No, I have not played the Americans, because you can't play them in the demo. However, in my head, I already have them figured out.
Here are their bonuses seen from the T&P demo:
The Americans have the Power of Innovation.
1. First Wonder is built instantly (excluding Space Program or Supercollider), provided no other nation is also building it
2. Governments are free
3. Start with free Science technology
4. Receive 1 free Scholar at each new University
5. Aircraft and Carriers are 20% cheaper
6. Recieve two free bombers at each Airbase from Modern Age
7. 25% cheaper military ground unit upgrades
8. Receive +3 Food, Timber, Metal, and Wealth for every non-Scout Barracks unit (except when garrisoned)
Okay, first off, that's 8 bonuses! Compare that to the Inca, where the Inca only have 3 bonuses! Despite the Americans being overpowered, I believe players are going to have a blast playing them. Remember, the Americans have the Power of Innovation, and if you want to see them being overpowered, you have to be innovative with them!
Right off the bat, you get SCI 1 researched for you for free. That saves you 15 seconds, 120 Timber, and 50 Wealth. You start with 200 Food, 200 Timber, and 100 Wealth. Keep that in mind. Say you start with a 5 Timber spot, you'll need to make 3 Citizens to fill them up, and 2 Citizens to make your 2 Farms. Your first Citizens costs 25 Food, then 26, 27, 28, and 29... that's 135 total Food. Your 2 Farms will cost you 52 Timber and 56 Timber... that's 108 total Timber. You get +20 completion bonuses for each Farm built, so you get 40 Food back. Therefore, after your first City is filled, and your economy is at +60 Food, +60 Timber, +0 Wealth, your total resources should look close too 135 Food, 122 Timber, 100 Wealth. Now, with your first Ruin you find with your Scout, get your first Ruin for +50 Wealth. Once you have that, research COM 1. It will cost you 54 Food and 54 Timber. While waiting for that, make another Citizen heading to the largest 2nd Timber area you can see (which will most likely be a 6) and build a WoodCutter's Camp (that's 30 Food for the Citizen and 70 Food for the WoodCutter's Camp, totalling 100 Food spent). By the time you have it fully researched and your 2nd WoodCutter's Camp built, you should have 0 Food, 117 Timber, and 150 Wealth, and still accumulating resources. Make sure all the Ruins you now find will give you Food. Make another Citizen and build your first Market, then your first Temple. You'll get +30 Wealth completion bonuses for each of them. Now, say in 1 minute you find 3 Ruins with your Scout, each giving you 50 Food. You should have accumulated 120 Food from resourcing. Your Resources should look like 270 Food, 80 Timber, and 220 Wealth. Go up to Classical Age. 22 seconds should pass.
If you've done everything flawlessly, you're in Classical Age at about 2 minutes, or 2 and a half minutes. You'll have 75 Food, 115 Timber, and 230 Wealth. Don't make anything else. You've just taken advantage of the free SCI 1 technology! It gets better.
Now, you should soon find another Ruin. And when you do, you'll have enough resources to build your 1st free and instant Wonder... which is going to be the Hanging Gardens. You're now getting +50 Knowledge. You've just taken advantage of the first Wonder built instantly! It's nearing 3 minutes, and a rush can kill you in about 30 more seconds. Therefore, to be on the safe side, the very next thing you're going to do is research MIL 1. If you want to take a risk and research CIV 1, it's all up to you. However, by that time, you should find a ruin to give you +50 Wealth, letting you build your Senate. Quickly pick Republic, and by the time anyone rushes you, you can bribe the first Heavy Infantry. If you don't get rushed, you at least have a 2nd unit with a good Line-of-Sight to help scout for Ruins near your territory. You've just take advantage of the free Government!
Let's say you scouted for Ruins on your way to see what your opponent was up to. This way, you get to see that he's not rushing, because you see their borders. Instead of getting MIL 1, you're going CIV 1 and going to boom with just 2 Cities. Once you get your 2nd City up, 10 Farms, 11 Wooders, 1 Caravan, and 6 Metal... get MIL 1 and start making Heavy Infantry and Foot Archers. You've just taken advantage of the +3 resources for Food, Timber, Metal, and Wealth for each non-scout Barracks unit! You should have enough Knowledge accumulated to get SCI 2, and you can start building your Granaries and Lumbermills. Once you get them done, you can easily research them to increase Food and Timber production because they'll be so cheap. You've just taken advantage of the overpowered Hanging Gardens!
Now, build your 2 Universities. You get 1 free Scholar for each of them! You've just taken advantage of receiving 1 free Scholar for each University built! You should have enough resources to easily get COM 2. Your resources should almost cap at +200 each for Food and Timber in about 5 and a half minutes. Go ahead and go Medieval Age. Anyone attacking you then, will be attacking a Large City, and they'll be facing your Heavy Infantry and Foot Archers which are also feeding your economy. They can't attack you, they can't outboom you, what can they do exactly? I don't really know.
With all that Food and Timber, I'd just keep making Slingers to prepare for an assault in Gunpowder Age, which should come around 10 - 12 minutes. If you wanted to upgrade your military units, it'll be 25% cheaper (You've just taken advantage of the 25% cheaper gound unit upgrades!). Why bother? You can keep booming at a faster rate, and use your military to raid enemy Citizens instead of a costly war. Not only that, when you wait until Enlightenment, you get your unique Enlightenment Light Infantry which you can entrench. Your economy will always be capped, because the Hanging Gardens cheapens your Granary, Lumbermill, and Smelter upgrades. Couple that with the Democracy Government which given to you freely saves you close to 300 Metal and 240 Knowledge (You've just taken advantage of free Government, again!) which you'll get free in Gunpowder Age, your upgrades will be cheaper!
You can build 4 other Wonders that will further help you boom, help your defense, help your offense... basically, help you win no matter which way you're looking at winning.
The Colossus in Classical Age
The Terra Cotta Army in Medieval Age
The Red Fort in Gunpowder Age
The Versailles in Enlightenment Age
Anyways, you should win by the time you reach Industrial Age. If not, you'll have one heck of a large ground army, coupled with a Socialism Government which given to you freely saves you close to 1050 Wealth and 700 Knowledge (You've taken advantage of free Government, again!), your Air Force will be 40% cheaper and 20% faster to build (You've just taken advantage of 20% cheaper Aircraft and Aircraft Carriers!). Not only that, once you build Airbases in Modern Age, you'll be getting 2 free Bombers (You've just taken advantage of getting 2 free Bombers starting in Modern Age!). Now, since you don't really need Air Power in Industrial Age, you can afford to wait until Modern Age. If you can't win in Modern Age, I'm sorry, but I'm either wrong about the Americans and the Hanging Gardens, or you are not a very good player. =p
I know I'll be having fun playing the Americans and building the Hanging Gardens, but as far as balance goes... they're way too overpowered! The only thing I can see working against them is a Kamikaze or Delayed Power Rush, or a very fast HA and HC raid. However, if you fail in any of those endeavors, you're seriously boned! There's no outbooming them once they reach Medieval Age. The only chance is someone doing an equally fast and aggressive Medieval Age attack against them, because once they reach Gunpowder Age, it's pretty much over.
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