Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Saturday, April 24, 2004

RoN T&P Demo: Bugs or Change in Gameplay?
UPDATE: It looks like a few gameplay issues aren't really changes, but bugs from the demo, and they're not going to be found in the retail version. That's good to hear. =)

So I downloaded the demo and noticed a few odd things. I played 4 games so far, twice with the Persians, and twice with the Russians. Here's what I've caught so far:

1. Persian's unique HI are expensive! Don't expect any HI rushes when going against them, because you should easily be able to fight it off. The unique HI are not very good at taking down buildings. Things to try with the Persians (since they obviously can't rush, but an Ancient Age raid with 2 unique HI vs. Citizens might be deadly with that range): Do a 0/1/1/1/ Fast Classical to build the Senate and get the Republic line of government. Either try to build the Hanging Gardens and boom, or research MIL 1 and later MIL 2 to start an aggressive Persian 150 assault or raid on your opponent. Your library should look like this: 2/1/1/1, for the 150. Pretty nice, eh? The only bad thing is that if you don't get Com 2, you won't be able to trade at the market. The great thing about them is that anyone trying to rush you, you have 2 Capitals, and your free Senator Patriot gets 1 free Bribe, which should slow down that rush... and it provides healing! I've not tried sacking a Persian Capital, I will have to figure out if sacking any Capital gives you the Capital sack, or you have to take both Capitals to get any sack. If anyone knows, then share the info!

2. The Russians have gotten a nice boost. However, they have to research attrition in order for attrition to be doubled! Actually, I think it's a good balance, since with the Republic government, they can now have a good economy. Remember my old USSR strategy? It works really well with them since they save about 100 Food by not having to research COM 1, and invest them in 2 Slingers to help search for Ruins.

3. Hanging Gardens is overpowered. Look for it to be the Wonder of choice in every competitive game. Coupled with the Republic Government, you become a cross between the British (with the extra commerce) and the Germans (with the cheap Granary, Lumbermill, and Smelter upgrades).

4. African Wateringhole. I used to love this map because of the strategic placement of the rare resources around the center body of water. Now, the rare's are arranged similarly to every other map in the game. Not only that, but African Wateringholes now have Whales in them! I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.

5. Supercollider no longer has instant research for unit upgrades. This means a slower route to ICBM research, that's pretty much it.

6. Something I found annoying. When you don't have enough resources to build a building, it no longer makes a DING sound! UPDATE: Demo bug.

7. Another annoying thing. I always complained when they made the "P" key a second hotkey for pausing the game. I mean, if someone wanted to pause the game, the "pause" key was enough! Well, they made the Senate build hotkey "[". For God sakes, take the "p" hotkey for pausing the game out of there! It's now stuck between the hotkeys for the Siege Factory and the Senate. They don't need a "p" for a pause hotkey, or the Windows function key for any mainstream game. If anyone wants to get out of the game mode, Alt-Tab should be sufficient!

8. Senate Goverments: Despotism and Monarchy bonuses should be switched. There's more usefulness in having cheaper Stables units in Classical Age because it would benefit raiding. Once Gunpowder Age hits, I'm sure the cheaper Barracks units would come in handy as well because of the switch to Gunpowder military. The way it is, the only good thing to come out of Despotism is building up Slingers to upgrade to Arquebusiers. However, you'll be paying an arm and a leg for the unit upgrade, that's for sure. Not only that, when you get Monarchy, you'll already have a handful of Heavy Cavalry (or Mahouts), otherwise your early attack with Arquebusiers will get eaten alive without any support against enemy cavalry. Another thing, someone with +50 Commerce will more than likely outboom you, and have a larger army to boot. The only good thing I can see with Despotism is if you're the Japanese or Chinese.

It looks as though the best line to take is Republic, Democracy, and then Socialism.

9. American's are looking so overpowered. If you thought Maya was bad, I can predict how ugly the Americans will be. SCI 1 research is free! That means you can get your first 2 Farms built without waiting. All you have to do is research COM 1 or CIV 1 and go for a fast Classical. When you get there, build your Senate for a free Republic government, and then an instant Hanging Gardens when you have the resources. Build your Universities with the free Scholar, and before you know it, you have enough to go for a fast Medieval by going 1/2/1/2 or 1/1/2/2 and making sure you have 5 buildings to make all of them into Large Cities. I bet that the Americans will be able to do all that within 6 minutes. No one will be able to rush or assault them early effectively. And to make matters worse, when they get to Gunpowder Age, they can just entrench their unique Gunpowder Infantry units. This makes them last longer in battle, and it's a purely defensive stance. They'll be getting +3 Food, Timber, Metal and Wealth resources for each one they have, to boot! Makes me proud to be an American.

10. Aztec Ancient Age Rushes and Raids will be crazy! They will also be 2nd best in Ruin scouting next to the Spanish. Basically, you get MIL 1 researched for free at the start. Don't go SCI 1, just queue up Citizens and make your first barracks near your Capital. Have a Citizen find a good 2nd Timber spot and fill up your Timber. You should have enough to research SCI 1 before your Barracks is made and you get your free Slinger. You now have a Scout and a Slinger looking for Ruins within 30 seconds into the game. Either go for a Kamikaze, Delayed, or feint with a Drunken and just boom... or raid. Either way, this will make the Aztecs interesting. Instead of an Aztec Kamikaze rushing your Capital in 3 minutes, you'll now have one at around 2 minutes! Ain't that great!

11. The Nubians with Republic government. They will be by far the best Nation using a 150 attack. Library would look like: 2/1/1/2 in Classical, and mabye even Medieval! The reason the 150 would work great with them without Com 2 is because they can already trade at the market. However, the French 200 might be something to look forward to as well.

Well, that's it for now. More to come when I actually get the full version of T&P. As for the gameplay, expect less diversity, but a faster paced game. Booming will be faster, and attacking will be much more aggressive. However, booming will be much more favorable in this expansion.

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