Empire Earth - Random Map Guideby introspection
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Before you even start a Ran-Nano game, make sure you're armed with at least four civilizations ("civs") (one for each time the unit relationships get more complicated [one for pre-middle, one for ren-ind, one for atomic, and one for digital-nano]). Each civ should have attack, hit points, range, armor, and more importantly, cost reduction upgrades for the units corresponding to that era. Focus on cheaper units (e.g., footmen rather than cavalry) as you will be able to build more of them faster. Some other general recommended civilization upgrades are building and tower cost reduction, and if possible, although expensive, citizen cost reduction.
The Importance of Game Settings
Once you are in the game, take note of the settings (is "Reveal Map" on?, Can I use my custom civs?). Noting what the game settings are beforehand can really help, as you can plan what you will do when the game begins. Let's quickly go through the game settings.
The game variant can be set to either tournament or standard and effects only the quantity of resources required to advance (to the extent of my knowledge, anyway). Tournament mode will require a smaller quantity of resources to advance each epoch, while if the game is a "Standard" game, many, many more resources will be required for you to advance (To advance from Pre to Stone in standard mode requires 1122 food, while in tournament mode, it requires only 170; to advance to Copper from Stone in standard mode requires 1584 food, and 844 of both iron and gold, while in tournament mode it requires a mere 350 food and 200 iron and gold).
The map size can make rushing a difficult or easy task for you and/or your opponent. A small or tiny map means less distance to travel for rushers, and thus there will likely be more rushing with these size maps - especially if there are more than two people. A medium or large size map means that you will probably have to spend a small amount of time finding your opponent before you can rush him, unless the map is filled with a complete eight players. Rushing is less likely, although still very possible in these size maps. In huge or gigantic maps with less than eight people, it is much wiser to focus on a more economical playing style, as it will days several minutes for your opponents to get to your base. A good strategy here is to build a small army at your home base and create a second base closer to your enemies where travel time decreases for your forces.
Resources and Tournament - Low. If they're not, then don't follow this guide. This means that you'll start with 200 food, 175 wood, 210 stone, and no gold or iron. 200 food is enough for four citizens (or five with the civ cost reduction), which you should start building as soon as youâ€™ve picked your civ. 175 wood is 50 short of the standard 225 (16 short of the 191 if you have the civ upgrade, which is a huge help) required to build a barracks or stable, which you will be doing as soon as possible. 210 stone is enough to build one tower (again, a civ upgrade can make it cheaper [donâ€™t rememberâ€¦155 or something]), which you will also be doing. Having no gold or iron means you will have to mine it (duh!), and lots of it because all military units require either one or the other, or both.
The map type should be either plains, highlands, or continental. The ending epoch is the Nano Age. The starting epoch is random, and can be any epoch including the Nano Age (if theyâ€™re not, ignore this guide). The game type should be random map (if itâ€™s not, thatâ€™s weird). The unit limit should be 1200 (if itâ€™s not, ask the host to change, and if he doesnâ€™t, make sure heâ€™s not trying to screw you with it somehow), but as long as itâ€™s above 400, youâ€™re fine. Iâ€™ve never had a unit limit problem in one of these games. The difficulty level does not matter, as it only applies to computer players. The game speed should be above normal, or else your just wasting time. â€śVery Fastâ€ť may seem a little fast, as itâ€™s two and a half times the normal speed, but if you play it often, youâ€™ll get used to it. Wonders for victory should be off.
As youâ€™ll learn if you plan to read the rest of this guide, â€śReveal Mapâ€ť is actually quite important, as it determines how you should begin the game. My theory is that â€śtrue expertsâ€ť should play with it off.
If â€śCustom Civsâ€ť are on, use your custom civ. If theyâ€™re not, quickly choose a civ corresponding to the starting epoch, keeping the game variant in mind (my recommendations being Byzantine Rome, England, United States, and Rebel Forces).
Teams and speed should be locked, and there is no cheat codes option if youâ€™re playing online.
The Very, Very Beginning
If "Reveal Map" is off, the second the match begins, grab your citizens, press "ctrl+1", and hit the "L" key to make them explore while you choose your civ. When your done choosing your civ, queue up as many citizens as you can at your Capitol, take three-fifths of your citizens and put them on the nearest forage patch, and send the other two-fifths to the nearest tree.
TIP: Always take note of what age you started in and what resources are nearest to you before picking your civ, but don't waste any time doing this, as time is of the utmost importance.
If "Reveal Map" is on, the second the match starts, take three-fifths of your citizens and put them on the nearest forage patch, and send the other two-fifths to the nearest tree, then pick your civ. After you've picked your civ, queue up five citizens at your Capitol.
Make your Capitol really point the forage patch, and after the first citizen has been built, switch it to the tree. This way, you donâ€™t waste any time selecting the citizen and telling them where to go. Do this until you have six foragers and four lumberjacks. As more citizens get built search for an iron or gold patch and assign them to mine it.. Always keep some citizens queued up at your capitol. Once youâ€™ve gathered enough wood to build a barracks, build one (or an archery range or stable depending on the resources you have available) with two lumberjacks. One that is complete, take one of them and build a tower, sending the other back to his former job. Once you have enough resources to build a military unit, do so, even if it requires cancelling the construction of a citizen. Once you have three to five units, attack. As more citizens are constructed, send some to hunt animals, mine, or chop down trees. When you have enough wood, build a settlement next to your mine, if you think itâ€™s necessary. Continue to expand your little town economically while you rush your opponent.
When rushing, aim for your opponents economy and avoid towers like theyâ€™re the plague. Towers are often placed in the front of an enemy base, so going around the back could be the key to snapping the backbone of their economy. Killing off three or four of his or her food gatherers can really damage them because they have now lost three citizens, lost the food they had gathered, and lost the food the could have gathered. Killing citizens on their way back to the settlement/town center/capitol can really be a great feeling, because thatâ€™s fifteen to thirty (depending on the population of the structure [when a citizen brings fifteen of any resource to a full capitol (a settlement populated with 50 citizens) thirty of that resource will be added to your stockpile]) of a resource gone down the drain.
When you are moving your troops into position, donâ€™t just move them, attack-move them. To do an attack-move, select your army, and hold down the control key when you move them. Youâ€™ll know youâ€™ve done it right when instead of green, the positions which you told them to go to will be shown in orange. The advantage of an attack move is that your troops will attack anything that gets in their line of sight as they move. This way, if your opponent is sending a rush to you, and you see them on your way to his base, your units will automatically stop him and get the first shots off.
The idea is not to leave long periods of time between your attacks. Try to make them frequent and small ones, as opposed to one massive assault. Set your barracks rally point in their base if you have to! Just be sure to keep up the pressure and leave no time for recovery.
I cannot stress how important it is to have a constant flow of citizens working on the constant expansion of your empire. As you get more citizens, populate your settlements into town centers so that you can build more than one citizen at a time. Find, claim, and guard as many mines as you can afford to control. Gather tons of wood and use it to build farms as your forage patch depletes and all the animals become extinct. When you can afford to do so, build a second barracks, or a new military structure and pump out double the units. Get stone, build towers, and surround your city with walls to prevent infiltration or surprise attacks from behind. It is these kinds of growth that make a good player a really, really good player. With a strong economy supporting a large army, youâ€™re virtually unstoppable.
When deciding whether to epoch up or not, I recommend doing so just after a failed enemy attack when you have at least one and a half times the necessary resources (standard game variant) or two and a half times the necessary resources (tournament game variant). This will assure you that you will not be caught lacking resources to build units required to fend off an enemy attack while advancing because the enemy is not likely to attack and you have plenty of leftover resources.
Press F11 to see the game clock. See how quickly you can muster up a decent army and try to beat that time the next time you play. If you can do it within five muntes, then you know youâ€™re really good. Personally, these RMs are my favourite type of game to play on Empire Earth as deathmatches seem like the only strategy involved is military, and not economical. A player who can find a good balance between economy and military is definitely an expert player and you just canâ€™t learn that by playing a deathmatch. A player who is prepared to start in any epoch is an expert player (or a player with lots of time to make custom civs) and again, you just canâ€™t learn that in a one epoch deathmatch.
I hope this guide will not only increase your skill level, but increase your desire to play RMs, too.