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News Archives - June 2006

Banks...in Discovery?

700 resources is not easy to come by in the first age, especially 350 wood. But how about spending 2100 resources in the first age! Sound crazy? Possibly, but it can work.

Popping three banks up and having 26 settlers is what forumer jaafit has been working on. He has that at the seven minute mark and can speed to fortress just three minutes later. Still sound insane? Well, with the right cards you can beat a rush:
I send the explorer upgrade first, then 3 vils, then colonial militia, then improved buildings. Meanwhile I'm cranking out vils and banks until I have 3 banks and 26 vils at about 7:00. Then I focus on getting from Discovery to Fortress, which I usually reach by 10:00.
So use the explorer card to get some helpful food and wood treasures. And improved building will make it difficult to take down any banks with ease. Meanwhile, colonial militia will help beat out any powerful rush.

Here is an example of what jaafit did in one game:
8:00 Colonial Militia TC scares away 13 pikes (lost 2 houses)
9:00 Colonial Militia TC kills 2 falcs, scares away the pikes
10:00 22 minutemen beat swiss pike thanks to a wall
11:00 22 1-HP MM lose to highlanders/rods
12:00 22 fresh MM (from a 200w TC) plus 2 falcs beat highlanders/rods
So that extra cheap tcs will help out to defend with all that extra colonial militia. Yes, it is a little risky, but if you can survive it, you’ll have a great economy. The sooner you get banks up, the sooner the coin stockpile will rise. So read the thread to see all of the discussion.

Fort Wars 1.5

The famous RMS, Blood Map, Fort Wars is now in version 1.5. Several changes were made to improve it even further. 1.5 is out now because of the patches that ES made caused some stats to change, and now it has less lag in the beginning!
- AOE3 patch 1.07, June 26 2006
- Removed Wardogs due to techs causing problems.
- Fixed several exploits.
- Obfuscated script with a program written by Matei to prevent hacked/editted Fort Wars versions.
- Switched 50 coin and 25 coin heavy infantry units.
- Super Speed cost goes up by 5.
- Speed upgrades decreased to 0.1 delta from 0.5
- Take out 3 ad 5 upgrade awards to speed up load time. Shift 1250kills 5 ronin... award down to 1000 and change to 3 ronin, 3 GC, and 7 lakota
- Grenadiers cost 1 more pop, Organ Guns cost 2 more, and cannons cost 3 more pop.
- Cannons have 4 less range and 8 less LOS.
- Reduced starting lag by spreading it farther apart.
If you have not yet downloaded Fort Wars, either join a game where someone is hosting it on ESO2 or download it directly from our Download Section. For further information, visit the Fort Wars thread. Version 2.0 will be on its way soon.

Bruce Shelley Interview

Recently, FiringSquad.com interviewed senior designer Bruce Shelley. They discuss many things such as the Age of Empires III success, Ensemble Studios production, Microsoft, and possible future releases.

In it, Shelley mentions Age of Empires III bounced back to the number 5 selling PC game in the United Sates, and it’s almost a year old! It is still doing great and the X-pack is due to be released in the fall.

The key component of this interview was the discussion of Ensemble Studios creating something other than an RTS. There has been speculation because they have been looking to hire people with skills in the MMORPG area, not RTS. Unfortunately, Shelley does not wish to discuss anything they are willing to release. Only that Ensemble has a few people working on "prototypes" for the time being. However, he seems to confirm that there will be some game to be released other than an Age series game:
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Ensemble Studios and its plans for the future?

Bruce Shelley: Our studio is growing and will soon surpass 100 employees, which is causing some changes in our culture. We are excited about doing some new games that are not in the Age series. By later this year we hope to be able to talk about at least one new game.
Seems interesting, so keep an eye and ear out for when they reveal their new project. Check out the full interview here.

A Double Rush

Getting slightly bored with the standard Fast Fortressing 1v1s? Well why not play a 2v2 every once in a while, pair up with a clan mate and duke it out with others. Heck, you even have a nice Build Order available for you if the civs are Spain and Russia and you feel like rushing.

xMatt the Greatx wrote up a nice strategy for a strelet/cossack and pike/rodelero rush in a 2v2. It is not too difficult and has devastating results. Him and his partner have beaten many players of higher skill than him with this strategy (Recorded Game included).
Basic Overview:

This is a basic double rush abusing the power of the strelet/pike combination. Strelets come on board EXTREMELY fast and the opponent has little time to react. I have never, EVER, lost a forward base war, and ultimately the game, using this strat, even against players much more skilled than myself
(Including 3 major generals, 6 brigadiers, and many, many colonels out of 14 games played).
And if you are not interested in a 2v2 strategy, Matt writes up a wonderful guide to forward base placement, you should give that a read as well. So go and read his strategy!

New World Tournament Announcements

Round One of the New World Tournament came to a close the other day. The many games played on New England may be released in the near future. We will begin to release some of the recorded games when both players in the match are out of the tournament. Unfortunately, some were no shows and were forced to forfeit their game. Make sure you contact your opponent.

But now, Round Two is underway. All games are to be played on Yukon. Make sure you search if your opponent has already made a thread here or make one yourself. Communicate with them and post on the forum so the admins will not have to decide whether or not you were actively seeking your opponent out. Also, upload the recorded games on our site here, not at your own site or elsewhere.

Finally, if you have any questions post it or e-mail an admin. Good luck!

Forum Party June 25th

Our weekly forum party will be held today (Sunday) at the regular party times of noon and 7pm EST.

There is no theme this week.

Not sure what a forum party is? It is simply when forumers meet up on ESO2 and play some friendly team games together. Sometimes the games are divided into teams that the players agree on, or sometimes people are willing to have random teams. Still wondering the details and times for your area? Just read the thread.

Dutch Turtle/Fast Industrial

While the Dutch are still considered UP, forumers still love to discuss them and compose strategies. This is no different for LO12DS_Mist, he made a strategy for the Dutch that keeps them protected with outposts and a Fort while getting to the Industrial Age fairly quickly.

It is slightly different than most FI strategies. Mist uses the Exlporer card for improved treasure gathering but also for the Dutch Town Centers can be made for only 199 wood. Usually the Dutch do not need multiple TCs because of the 50 settler pop limit, but lining one on the coast, or near some key resources will surely help you out and provide some defense.

You do not need a high home city level for this strategy either, here are the required cards:
-Stadhouder(explorer upgrade card, age 1)
-Advanced Arsenal (to reverse the speed penalty on infantry)
-700 wood
-700 coin (can also use 700 food instead, experimenting with this)
-4 outposts card (age 3)
-Hire Black Riders
-Both Factory Cards
-Fort
-Unique Church
And that's just the beginning, read the rest of his strat, give feedback, and watch his recs.

HeavenGames Convention

HeavenGames is considering an event to celebrate game modification and scenario design. The event would contain a whole variety of activities, and would be the perfect place for designers and modders alike to showcase their latest work. The event however is based around you, the forummer - so we need input! We would like to know your thoughts on such an event, and whether you would participate. All suggestions can be posted here, or sent to Blood Phoenix. Thanks!

RIFF - Russian Imprisoning Fast Fortress

Have you been looking for a Russian Fast Fortress? Fast Fortressing with Russia can be difficult. They have a slower start and need 270 food before they can make another batch of villagers. Plus, they do not have a villager card in Age I. Forumer poita uncovered a strategy that will allow you to get to the Fortress Age in under 8 minutes with three shipments waiting for you. Not being able to send villager cards is a set back, so what do you do? Well just do not send a card in Age I, or Age II for that matter. That’s right, you do not even need the 700 coin card and will have military shipments ready to be sent right when Age III is hit.

Moreover, the cards are not overly important. Just a few military shipments in the Fortress Age will do well. It is a very flexible strategy with any cards really (sample below). Unfortunately, for this strategy to be successful, you need a level 60 home city. But it is worth it!

Here’s how you start off:
Discovery Age
Plan: Get 20 settlers and do a lot of herding. Send no cards.
Build order:
-All settlers on food, get 3 settlers queued ASAP.
-Send 1 settler to the wood crate(s) and 1 to herd, leave others collecting food crates.
-Build house; leave the gold crate; all settlers on food.
-Herd! You need lots of huntables nearby in case of a raid/rush.
-Keep queuing settlers, sending the last 2 batches to gold
-Advance (500 food) and distribute 13 settlers on gold and 7 settlers on food. This should give you around 900 gold and 700 food when you arrive in colonial.
So read it and try it out. If you do not have a level 60 home city yet, he gives you a few pointers. Recorded games are included as well! Good luck.

New World Tournament Brackets

Our New World Tournament brackets have been prepared and posted. You may now see who you will play against in the first round or if you have a bye. Also, seek out others you may have to play in future rounds.

So first, find who you are playing. Second, see if your opponent made a thread in the New World Tournament Forum. If not, make a thread for the times you are available. Make sure to use the search function at the bottom of the forum so you can search for the author (your opponent's HG id) or for the thread subject (your name in the subject).

The first round will be played on the New England map.

So look at the brackets and keep an eye on the announcement thread.

Observer mode map set

Ever wanted to play the standard Age of Empires III maps in observer mode? Well now you can! Forummer pftq and our very own Mokon with help from Realn have come up with a set of maps with observer mode enabled for up to 5 additional spectators.

How? The two players who are going to 1v1 take up slots 1 and 2 on ESO, with slots 3 to 8 available for spectators! The game must be in FFA mode and will not be a rated game.

Download the map set here!
Also check out the scenario design forum thread here, and pftq's guide on how do to achieve it here!

Forum Party June 17th- No Ports for You!

On Saturday our weekly forum party will be back in action. Forum parties are when forumers gather together on ESO2 and play a few friendly team games. Sometimes there is a map theme, sometimes not.

This week will be different again. Instead of having a map theme, no one will be able to use their Portuguese home cities. That’s right, only the other seven civilizations can be used, no spyglass or mulitple early tcs. This may happen more with other civilizations, so keep an eye out. It is a different twist (although done once before) so feel free to read about it and discuss in the thread.

Eye Candy Screenshot Winners (Round 5)

Swift Sampson
Our final Screenshot Competition (for a while) was won by none other than Swift Sampson for his shot "The Carib" (Seen on the right). Congratulations! Swift will be receiving a HG t-shirt or hat, his choice.

Second place went to Omnicron1 for Lincoln Island. Third went to Steel_Cat for Big Booty. Once again, there were so many astounding shots in this competition, it was difficult to vote for only three. Plus, the speculation of who created what shot added to the fun because they were submitted anonymously.

Great job everyone.

You can congratulate the winners here.

New World Tourney Sign Ups End Friday

Our New World Tournament sign ups will be closed on Friday, June 16th at 6 pm EST (forum time).

If you have not signed up yet, do so here. And keep an eye on this thread for any announcements and present standings.

Good luck to all and have fun!

SkWizZ New PR Signatures

SkWizZ now has over one hundred different designs for an ESO related signature. Many stats are displayed on the signature such as ESO rating, wins, loses, win %, and if you are on or offline. With so many designs, you are sure to find one that fits your liking.

Also, their ladders have been updated. So you can check out who is the best in your country and view the Power Ratings of players.

So check out the sigs and visit the thread!

Got an Idea?

Summer is here and it's work time for us at AoE3H! Now with more freetime in my hand, I can do a lot more updates and our staff can have the chance to fix those annoying little mistakes all over the site. Got a complaint, suggestion or idea? Tell us!

At our site we have people in charge of every section. Here's a list so you know who to give all the juicy ideas to:

News: Have to report some news? You can always email either me (Elpea) or Stonewall.
Scenario Design: Ideas for our Scenario Design Section? Our design expert Luke M is ready to hear, you can email him or contact him at our Scenario Design Forums.
Modding/Scripting: Want to create something new for AoE3? Our modding expert Argalius is ready to help you with answers to your questions as well as ears for your ideas. Drop him an email or post at our Modding/Scripting forums.
Strategy Discussions: I am nowhere near in skill as our internal Age3 expert, Mokon. He'll help you with strategies, tips, or anything you need in order to kick some butt on multiplayer. Drop by our Strategy forums or email him.

To find out more about what everyone does in the site, visit our staff page. If you don't know who to contact, you can always contact me through email, MSN or whatever you choose to use ;).

Poll Round Up

For our last poll we were wondering what civilization you thought would be the final Native American civ included in The War Chiefs Expansion Pack. Here is what you thought:
-Inca: 1298 votes
-Aztec: 2065 votes
-Cherokee: 1621 votes
-Other: 982 votes
Seems that most of you believe the Aztecs will be included as the final civ. I guess we will have to wait and see!

Now we want to know what game you will buy from Ensemble Studios if they decide to make these ones. So vote!

New World Tournament Announced!

Age of Empires III Heaven is proud to announce it's first big cash tournament, the New World Tournament. We have $1000 in cash prizes to be given out to the top 4 players plus HG caps and t-shirts. You can find out more about the tournament here!

You can sign up for the tournament in the signup thread in the new World Tournament forum. Good luck to everyone entering!

Forum Party June 11th

Our weekly forum party will be held tomorrow (Sunday) at the regular party times of noon and 7pm EST.

There is no theme this week.

Not sure what a forum party is? It is simply when forumers meet up on ESO2 and play some friendly team games together. Sometimes the games are divided into teams that the players agree on, or sometimes people are willing to have random teams. Still wondering the details and times for your area? Just read the thread.

Net Neutrality Article on CNN

I'm sorry to bring this up again to you guys, but I feel it's important for all of us. Imagine playing your next RTS game and experiencing major lag because the small company couldn't afford to pay big bucks so you'd have easy access to the free multiplayer?

If you still don't get what the buzz is all about, CNN has an article by Craig from http://craigslist.com that explains it all in simple terms. Please help us save the future of the internet and HeavenGames.

And please stop by our forums to discuss net neutrality.

Net Neutrality

"Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign." -- Source http://savetheinternet.com.

So why am I bringing this up here at Age of Empires III Heaven? Well, Net Neutrality is very important to you, and to us at HeavenGames. If Net Neutrality isn't aproved, your access to sites like HeavenGames could be slower, or in worst cases, impossible. Big companies would make small sites such as our own HeavenGames pay a lot of money to allow you, their subscribers, access to our content. As you probably know HeavenGames is a humble network and it could be impossible for us to afford such thing.

This is not only important for HeavenGames, but for the entire foundation of the internet. We need to keep the internet "free" and rid of evil losahs. Visit http://savetheinternet.com and find out how you can help on aproving the Net Neutrality bill, and keep HeavenGames, amongst thousands of small sites operating!

Final Age of Kings Heaven Forum Party

With the Zone coming to an end on June 19th, AoKH forumers thought it would be a good idea to have one last forum party on the Zone. It will be held on June 17th, a Saturday at 4 an 9pm EST. Go to the Argincourt room and meet up with fellow AoKH forumers. It will be the last forum party on the Zone, so show up and make it a memorable one! Will you be able to show up? If so tell them and have fun at the last AoK forum party!

Forty Settler British Colonial

We all know the standard fourteen settler age up for rushes and seventeen for booming or Fast Fortresses. But, is this the most effective way to boom or have a decent economy? What about having forty villagers by the time you reach Age II. Crazy? Possibly, but it does work. This strategy constructed by Stophon4 has you turtle and manor boom at the same time. But all in the Discovery Age! It may seem a little outlandish, but the outcome is astounding.

Walling and longbows are key for defense. You can line up your manors so they construct a makeshift wall too. This strategy will fool the opponent to thinking that they are winning, but all of a sudden your score will start shooting up, and as you reach the Fortress Age, you will have no problem producing Falconets, Longbowmen, and any other military you will need.
First you need to send 2 vils to hunt, and divide your villies up between food and wood crates. After you collect your crates, build one (and only one, even if 300 wood) house. Have 5 vils go to food while the other one buidls the house. After the vil finishes building the house have him go to food. The free vil from the house can chop wood, along with every other vil that comes out of the tc, at least until you advacne to colonial.

Your first card should be cheaper manors, once this is shipped, start building manors. Try to build them in a way that they form a wall around your base. You must find a balance with your wall, between having too much area to protect and having too little space for your vils to gather. Keep building manors around your base. Your new shipment should be comign in, I like to ship 3 vils, but its your choice. Around 4:30ish switch like 4 more vils to food. You want to lcick up around 5:30-6:00.
Remember not to build the manors until you have Virginia Company sent. This strategy will give you a killer economy. Read the full strategy and download recorded games here.

Fastest Population Challenge

vGamingOnline is hosting a fastest population competition in which whoever gets to the 200 population limit the quickest wins three-hundred dollars! So what’ll it be? Strelet spam? Military and boats? Age III and Age IV Mercenaries? You find out! According to AgeCommunity, Black_ice_Spain has the fastest time with his speedy time of 11:19! But it has already been beaten! Think you got what it takes to win?
3.) Fastest Population Challenge Rules.
- Any map except 'Hispanolia' and 'Caronlina' can be used.
- Any Home City is allowed.
- Any Civalisation is allowed.
- You may play your game offline or online.
- Your game must be vs Computer on sandbox.
- Your game must be recorded.
- Screenshots must be taken of the time to post in the screenshot forum..
- You may submit as many entry's as you want.
First read further about the competition then discuss it on our forums.

Russian Strelet Strangle

Another Russian rush has popped up in our Strategy Central forum. Syncope posted a simple to read, easy to follow guide to his Strelet Strangle. A sample deck and two recs (so far) are provided. This strategy is meant to severely cripple your opponent. But, what if they get to the Fortress Age? Well, no problem here, you have Strelets and Cossacks in his base by now. Cossacks will take out any cannons while Strelets possibly Musketeers are there to kill any other military shipments. What if it fails? If the rush happens to fail, no problem once again, Syncope says just get to the Fortress Age instead of sending wave after wave of infantry to their death. Ship Oprichniks to take out cannons and villagers.
Drop down another TC, grab map control, and don't let him expand. From there it's really on you, adjust to the situation. Always keep scouting. Advanced church will help you a ton in the right situation.

In conclusion, stay on the aggressive, make sure he doesn't escape from his TC, and keep constant military and vill production. Remember, timing is key!
Try this strategy out, it works, and do not forget to scout! Read the full article to fully understand how to perform it.

Strategy Section

We are proud to unveil a new portion of our site. This section is Strategy Central. It is a compilation of great strategies for Age of Empires 3 posted here at Age of Empires 3 Heaven. As of now we have wonderful strategies such as Swinger's Portuguese Turtle Boom and Beatnik Joe's Black Watch Kick. So hurry up and start reading those strategies, they will be sure to help out your game! Once you check it out, discuss the new section. Enjoy!

Forum Party June 3rd

Our weekly forum party will be held tomorrow (Saturday) at the regular party times of noon and 7pm EST.

We'll go with the Unknown again for this week, but Standard Maps is open to be selected as well.

Not sure what a forum party is? It is simply when forumers meet up on ESO2 and play some friendly team games together. Still wondering the details and times for your area? Just read the thread.

GGL Mini-Tourney

With our constant support and votes for the Global Gaming (GGL) poll, they will most likely choose Age of Empires 3 as their new miniature tourney!
GGL-Unholy:
You age guys are very vocal and we appreciate that... I think you may have just put our wheels in motion.

Congrats!
Great job everyone, and thank you for voting. Discuss the tourney on our forums.

ESO Ladder Season Ends

The Ladders on ESO2 has come to a close for this "season," with awards being distributed to the winners. ES has decided to cut down on the number of ladders this season. They got rid of the more miscellaneous ones such as most treasures and fastest age up:
Our ladder season has come to an end today and medals are currently being awarded and verified. We have trimmed the number of ladders for the new season, eliminating the miscellaneous ladders as well as most of those that were based on experience. We felt that these ladders were not particularly exciting to participate in and we will continue to make refinements our ladder system in the future.
So good luck with the new season.