Empire Earth - Building A Civby Lord Hyzhenhok
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The key thing to remember is that you might as well resign if you are caught in a custom civ game lacking one on your hard drive. You will have to pick all the bonuses while you waste precious time, unless by a miracle you can pause the game. If you just forget about your civ, you lost tons of bonuses. So you should have at least some custom civs, even in the case of an emergency. Depending on your type of game, you should have certain bonuses to your civs.
For Random Map Games:
Have at least one economic bonus. It is best to go with 2, usually Hunting/Foraging gathering and either gold or iron mining. If you are lucky, you may even be able to get 3 economic bonuses and still get the other important things in.
Have bonuses for 2 types of the RPS circle. For example, I might have bonuses for Javelin Throwers and Short Swordsmen in early ages, and Tanks and Infantry in later ages. Which ones in the circle is entirely up to preference, though I suggest one cost gold and the other iron, and one of them match your economic bonuses. Concentrate on attack and HP for both, and maybe cost reduction for one. Other things like speed for slow seige equipment may help.
Try to get miscilaneous things that will help you tremendously. Cheap buildings and villagers that cost less if you plan to rush, strong walls and high powered towers if you boom and play defensively. You usually will have extra points to spend on these because after the 2nd or 3rd civ point under the same category, the point prices become ridiculously high. This advice will help greatly if you ever find yourself stuck in a match with Custom Civilizations.
Forget enirely about resources, because by the time you start mining them, you should still have thousands of resources. Instead focus on military unit bonuses. Lots of bonuses for 2, maybe 3 different categories, covering 2 or 3 of the sides of the RPS. Take advantage if a catagory includes units which are not the same part of the RPS, such as Ranged Cavalry which covered Cavalry Archers and Persian Cavalry, Pierce and Archer types.
Also, Attack, Hp, build time decrease bonuses are musts in DM. Armor is also useful. After that you will not want to waste 20+ civ points on a bonus.
For things besides units, get bonuses for your towers, and make sure you have the Building Time Decreased. After that, you should have a sound Deathmatch civilization.
No matter what or how you play, a good custom civilization up your sleve should help greatly, if you openly play Custom Civs or someone turns it on while you aren't looking.