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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » Analyse Of The Dutch Economy... Explained!
Topic Subject:Analyse Of The Dutch Economy... Explained!
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posted 02-17-06 11:39 AM EDT (US)         
Right to start off most of the maths in this thread are based on others findings as it has been a long time since I have strained my mathematical ability. Dutch are unique as they are the only civilisation that bases their economy on gold instead of food. Let us take a closer look at Dutch's economical aspects:

- Villager's cost gold.
- 50 Villager limit.
- Can build banks that generate gold at 2.6/sec (350f/350w).
- 8 Bank limit.
- 50 extra pop cap for military.

At first glance, it seems that replacing villager's with banks, allowing the Dutch to field a larger army is a great bonus. This is until we focus on the drawbacks that make this possible. As later calculations will show there is no free population space, any civilisation can stop expanding their economy at a breaking point which will draw them level or above the Dutch gathering capabilities. To keep things simple all the comparisons are based on normal settlers. Ottoman's slower economy is supposedly balanced with a stronger military and French settler's will prove even more efficient than gold villager's.


Apart from Ottoman and French, every other civilisation excluding Dutch pays 100f for settlers. Dutch pay the equivalent but in the form of gold. The basic gathering rates of a single villager collecting food and gold are roughly:

FOOD - (Huntable) ~ 0.78/sec
GOLD - (Gold Mine) ~ 0.60/sec

So in terms of expanding each economy, it takes this long for a villager to gather enough resources for another villager:

0.78 x 129 Seconds = 100.62 Food
0.60 x 167 Seconds = 100.2 Gold

This roughly leaves 40 seconds or so difference which can depend on many factors such as walking time, distance away from TC, distance to the next source etc. However from this we can see that food is already much more efficient for the basis of an economy. Faster queuing of villager's and the larger abundance of food on the map plays a great part in seperating both economies.

Food also can be herded closer to the TC while gold mines are not always next to the town center. Assuming there are at least 8 huntables in a herd that works out as:

8 x 400 = 3200 Food; whereas gold mines are only 2000 gold. So we can take it for granted that expanding a food economy will be much quicker than the gold one. If games were an all out boom, that is another 12 villager's more and much faster. Although currently the game is all about Age3 FF and getting access to more powerful units, though still it shows the food civ will continue to expand much quicker.


It is obvious from the overlook that the Dutch gold economy is lacking due to gather rate and the sparseness of gold mines nearby increasing villager travel time. I believe this is where banks come in to reduce the gap between the two economies.

The food economy already has the advantage with:

- Faster queuing.
- Quicker gather rates.
- More food on the map that can be manipulated (moved).

Banks make up for:

- The lack of nearby mines, allowing for a constant supply of gold.
- Closes the gap on the number of villager's produced in the food economy, as banks count as 4 villager's built at once.
- Increases the Dutch's gold gathering capabilities.

This makes perfect sense now as banks were intended to help the Dutch catch up due to the lower gathering rate of gold. At the same time, giving the civilisation some uniqueness and distinct advantages including:

- Constant unraidable gold supply (artillery doesn't raid).
- Only civ with a gold based economy.
- Field larger armies late game with a bigger military pop available.


Now lets take a look at some of the stats of banks to help us understand how well banks allow Dutch to close the gap on food fueled economies. The gather rate of banks is 2.6g/sec which roughly translated is 4 villager's gathering gold from a mine with the first gold upgrade.

Here are the settings for both scenarios:

~ Bank

2.6 x 60 Seconds = 156 Gold/min

~ 4 Villager's (1st Upgrade)

0.66 x 60 Seconds = 158.4 Gold/min

There isn't much difference between the two. Let us just say the extra 2 Gold/min is traded for a safe, constant supply which is certainly an effective tradeoff. Now for the setup costs (using the total resources as the comparison):

~ Bank

350f/350w = 700 resources.

Build Time = < 25 Seconds

~ 4 Villager's

400f + 150 Upgrade = 550 Resources

Build Time = 25 Seconds/Villager

Ok, so with 150 resources setup difference let us look at some calculations to show how long each method takes to become profitable, taking into account the benefits a bank brings to counter the bigger cost and higher gathering time for the wood. As I want to keep the comparison simple we will look at the total of gathered resources to match the cost of setup:

~ Bank

156/min x 4.5 Minutes = 702 Gold

~ 4 Villager's

158.4/min x 3.5 Minutes = 554.4 Gold
158.4/min x 4.5 Minutes = 712 Gold

So if you can take better care of your settler's, the cheaper setup will bring in more benefits than building a bank. Taking the 150 resources extra to get the bank and the 150 or so extra gathered makes 300 resources extra for the food economy player to spend to their advantage. FF strategies further increase this advantage as raiding is rare to non existent/effective early on and the game is about shipping units and clashing in a battle.

This makes 8 banks x 300 = 2400 resources extra for them to spend if the Dutch player goes on to build the full limit of banks. So with the current trend of gameplay Dutch are falling behind majorly. This is where shipments again play an even more important part as the food economy speeds past the gold economy.

To get access to 99 villager's there is only an original cost and housing cost. You get 4 banks to build to begin with then have to use 3 shipments to access the other 4 and also sacrifice military speed for a +2 bank limit from the church. Again to the age of FF, you won't be building more then 1-2 banks in Colonial before advancing to even stand a chance of competing with an eqully skilled player, who is putting to good use the extra resources he has with his faster, more efficent food economy and better more poweful shipments.


As the game is currently all about using free shipments to beat your opponent, speed is key combined with a weak economy to get access to these shipments quickly. Dutch economy falls down even more as they have to use 3 of these shipments just to enable them to maximise their economy even before the cost. So you have used 2 banks at most in Colonial. This means the 3 cards you will use are the equivalent of Age3 shipments. You could even say banks 7-8 are Age4 shipments which completely annihilates the Dutch economy. For arguements sake lets say they are Age3 shipments. For simplicity I will calculate the extra advantage as resource shipments.


3 x 1000 resource cards = 3000!


1 x 1000 resource card = 1000
2 x 1600 resource card = 3200
Setup cost difference = 2400

This added to the deficit from the setup costs difference is 5400 resources. Assuming that 2 of these cards could be played in Age4 this could add up to 6600! It roughly takes 265 villager seconds to pay off a bank and start making profit. Think of how many villager seconds a food economy that has 99 villager's gains over the gold economy with these extra shipments and a cheaper setup cost.

265vs x 8 = 2120 Villager Seconds

This is just for the 8 banks you may use to TRY and equal a food based economy. Try catching up if they ship 1000 wood or something similar. So whether it is 5400 or 6600 resources deficit, most Dutch player's can't afford to waste shipments on the extra banks allowing them to build at least 6 of the banks just to compete with the free units and mercenaries being produced by your opponent.

FF Age3 Warfare

So the most powerful strategy at the moment is definitely the Fast Fortress. Getting to Age3 as soon as possible to make use of powerful units to overwhelm your enemy is difficult to counter in Age2 so the only option is to advance as well and try and counter fire with fire. Now I don't think the situation could get any worse for the Dutch economy as we are already miles behind but wait it does! Not only do Dutch not get access to Jaegars arguably the best mercenary in the game, they don't have very strong Age3 shipments.

While economies are weak from around 13 villager's to 17 or so, mercantilism is used a lot in combination with free units and mercenaries. While these shipments battle it out, with most villager's collecting gold for mercs or the mercantilism tech itself you have to balance your economy for building houses continuing to build units to supplement your army. Going back to the original calculations we already know food gathers much more quickly than gold.

Dutch's main units combined with mercenaries of their own = extremely gold intensive. Banks eventually kicking in help for the lack of gold mines available nearby, but they are so behind due to the wasting of shipments and setup costs for their economy it is impossible to compete with an equally skilled player. (Note: This is comparing Dutch with the strongest civlisations in the game, I'm sure the other weaker civlisations are in the same boat but not extensively as this in economy, but in other areas).

So you have so many villager's gathering gold and so many on wood but for instance let me suggest both economies have 5 villager's on their expanding resource which is either food or gold, which would normally work out as more once you have upgraded your gathering rates:

0.78 x 129 Seconds = 100.62 Food x 5 Villager's = 503.1 Food
0.60 x 167 Seconds = 100.2 Gold x 5 Villager's = 501 Gold

Back comes that 40 seconds difference, now with weak economies the food economy is again shown to be able to expand a lot quicker. This is even more so possible now the Dutch army is very gold intensive, especially with falconet's. This leaves the Dutch player to make another sacrifice to build villager's to keep up with the food player's better economy or to forget that and continue to build military units to compete. Even at a slower rate the food player will be able to expand as unit shipments provide cover for cannons which don't cost food allowing them some opportunity to continue expanding their economy.

With their extra 3 shipments the food player doesn't need to enable them to maximise their economy, they could have shipped in wood or gold or even more units. Giving them a more powerful army, more cannons and more map control. Allowing you less natural gold as Dutch and making you rely more on a deficit in banks that is already keeping you behind economically. This leads to your economy being harassed earlier giving them a further advantage, especially if they have Jaegars and an anti-cav unit.


Without an economy already suffering being able to field more units would be a great advantage, though somewhere along the line the Dutch player has to compromise. The food economy player can field just as large an army by finding the breaking point between these Dutch compromises = uniqueness in no advantage whatsoever! From the beginning to the end of the game Dutch are always behind. Meaning any equal skilled battle is enormously in your opponent's favour.

People who don't play Dutch and say dutch have a great economy are insane. Even when FF isn't a prominent strategy if it gets fixed in 1.05 and extra starting resources give Dutch a quicker start. In some way or another the basis of a gold economy will still suffer major blows.


posted 02-17-06 12:24 PM EDT (US)     1 / 72       
I did a sort of profread of this but one thing you must remember about the Dutch military is that its very heavy on gold.

I never build 8 banks only 6 and 1 plantation. You need very little food with the dutch so I have 2 farms with 7 vills on it. You never have to put factories on gold production either which allows you to spam HC's which can be extremely deadly. You need almost 0 wood once you get any wood upgrades you need. The Dutch eco late game is Unmatched I dont care what anyone says or Math theory tries to prove. The 150 pop army PWNS I do think the Dutch should get royal guard skirms though.

Rarcut I think me and you need to get together and play some games and share some recs with each other. I feel Im one of the top Dutch players out there. Im sure some of the experts would be much better then me if they played Dutch but they dont so **** them

P.S. You forgot that Banks greatly out produce plantations and one of my best Dutch strats I try and get Map control to Force them to do so very early.

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posted 02-17-06 12:35 PM EDT (US)     2 / 72       
What is your ESO nick? Well their economy is unmatched at being shite. The whole article is proof. If you actually read it you will see I state their army consists of heavily costing gold units.

I too only have 6 banks to build and 1 plantation, as I need two more cards just to stand a chance of competing with an equally skilled player.

Plus I further disregard your knowledge on Dutch:

8 banks = 8 x 4vils = 32 vils

8 banks = 1248 gold/min

32 villagers on plantations = 1382.4 gold/min

Dutch gather the most gold almost always as their economy is fueled by gold. Yes plantations cost 800 wood but no card whereas banks cost 700 resources and a card so their setup costs are pretty equal. However right now the game is a shipment war so not using a shipment makes plantations a better choice. Dutch economy sucks this is clear evidence.

Well I say your an idiot I have played 300+ games and know for a fact this is the truth! So go buy a straight jacket.

[This message has been edited by RarecuT (edited 02-17-2006 @ 12:39 PM).]

posted 02-17-06 12:43 PM EDT (US)     3 / 72       
I can't argue with the maths, and while most of what you say is true, from experience I find that the dutch economy to be pretty good.

Some point worth considering -

- your point on being able to queue villigers faster with food is a bit mote - so long as you are constantly producing villugers, it is irrelevent how many are queued, and with 4 villies on gold I have never had a problem having a constant rate of villigers popping out. This leaves everyone else to go to food, which since it is not being spent on more villigers will accumulate quickly. I never found myself behind in aging up to colonial.

- By building a bank while aging up, you are effectively producing 4 villigers, something that only the british could compete with.

- hunting takes a fair amount of micro management to keep them close by, and there is time lost everytime a new animal needs to be culled. once a gold mine is reached, they work constantly until it is dry (no doubt food is still quicker, but I would assume by a smaller margin that what you have).

Aside from that, I just have never had a problem with getting the eco going and keeping up. In fact, I feel that I get a better spread, whereas with other civs I could end up with tonnes of one resource and running low of another. This is more likely down to the fact that there is less to micro with the dutch, rather than a natural bonus, but it is still a factor.

Still, very useful information to consider.

posted 02-17-06 12:46 PM EDT (US)     4 / 72       
Setup cost and 4.5 minutes payback time along with sacrificing cards is a huge deficit. 4 villagers isn't enough on gold hence why all good players put 5 villager's on gold to start. -_-

This is showing you why Dutch economy sucks compared to food economy based civilisations. There is no arguement.

posted 02-17-06 12:53 PM EDT (US)     5 / 72       
As I've stated, 4 on gold has always been plenty for me to keep a constant supply of villigers. Perhaps you are not taking into account the starting gold and treasures?

The card does not need to be sacrificed at that point, only once you have 4 banks up do you need to use a card, and if the fighting gets to a point where you need to maximise your colonial/fortress military shipments, then more than likely your opponent has less than 50 villigers also, so they have no eco advantage over you.

While the maths you've shown is certainly useful information, it can only take you so far, and I would trust in game experience more. I havn't played dutch enough to make any conclusions, but so far my instincs tell me it can have a powerful eco, and with the extra army spaces that makes it a pretty tasty civ.

posted 02-17-06 01:02 PM EDT (US)     6 / 72       
This is what I hate to do when it comes down to it, the only way explaining it to some people is to compare experience like you say. What is your ESO nick? I have played 300+ games solely as Dutch, I exclusively play them and against top players in the game 2k+. The article discusses the issues when matched against an opponent using his civlisation to its maximum potential.

What I have written in theory is from what I have seen in game. If I wrote out a civ to civ matchup with Dutch, things get a lot nastier.

posted 02-17-06 01:17 PM EDT (US)     7 / 72       
6 settler on gold when you start with 2 crates and not many gold treasures
5 settler on gold when start with 3 crates or many gold treasures
4 on gold when both starting with 300 gold and many gold treasures

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Furby killer should be crowned leader of AOE forum ~ [SW_GD]Teutonic

The Enslaver
posted 02-17-06 02:36 PM EDT (US)     8 / 72       
U guys wrong , ensemble said in fact dutch is op , but none have found the good strat with them.
posted 02-17-06 02:36 PM EDT (US)     9 / 72       
wow, looks like u beat me to it. ive been trying to explain to my clanmates that the dutch eco is crap, esp when u have to try and raid a player before they go ff because u cant really go ff yourself. thx for putting this out there.
posted 02-17-06 02:38 PM EDT (US)     10 / 72       
Hey enslaver.Open your manual.Ottomans are the hardest civ to play aswell! OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGgg
posted 02-17-06 03:00 PM EDT (US)     11 / 72       
@enslaver, thats excactly why dutch suck, because ES thought they were OP they nerved dutch, and some more nerving, and a little more nerving, and now they are UP

"such a kind fellow!" ~ ķįŋğ_Ćħŗĩ_ĬĬ

Furby killer should be crowned leader of AOE forum ~ [SW_GD]Teutonic

posted 02-17-06 03:24 PM EDT (US)     12 / 72       
All of the post is 100% true, Dutch economy sucks...
posted 02-17-06 03:48 PM EDT (US)     13 / 72       
the dutch econ GROWS quicker, alot quicker IMO, between 6mins and 20 mins, the unique dutch econ brings considerable advantages, but of course there are also disadvantages, otherwise dutch would be a screw

[This message has been edited by Morningthaw (edited 02-17-2006 @ 03:48 PM).]

posted 02-17-06 03:51 PM EDT (US)     14 / 72       
Read the post, it does not grow as paying for banks takes a while to pay off.
Earl Samsca
posted 02-17-06 06:34 PM EDT (US)     15 / 72       


Read the post, it does not grow as paying for banks takes a while to pay off.

In a sandbox no rush game, bank booming beats all but British manor to estates booming. Try it and see.

Its irrelevent to the real game.. but still true.

posted 02-17-06 06:38 PM EDT (US)     16 / 72       
Banks still have to pay off their 700 resources..which takes a few minutes....a few valuable minutes
(id: LO12DS_Frylock)
posted 02-17-06 07:05 PM EDT (US)     17 / 72       
ok i think we get the point now... but i really dont care, i'm hooked on dutch and i'll keep playing them

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posted 02-17-06 09:14 PM EDT (US)     18 / 72       
I always chuckle when I see another Dutch guide. They happen to be my worst civ, and half the threads in the strategy forum are about them.

Thanks for clearing up some stuff about banks though. I am enlightened

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posted 02-17-06 09:31 PM EDT (US)     19 / 72       
rarecut, i've played with,and vs., dutch a fair amount at 2k~ level (not as much as you, but i dont believe this invalidates my opinion) - they are a difficult civ to handle early on, but - while i am well aquainted with the math (you missed out the XP points you get for building banks, this alone means your calculations are invalid) - they DO boom fastest initially. the time it takes to gather wood is irrellevent when you ship 700 wood card, it takes the same amound of time to arrive as the 700 coin & food cards.
Cy Marlayne
posted 02-18-06 05:21 AM EDT (US)     20 / 72       
Dutch is my 2nd favorite civ, but I play better with them than my 1st favorite civ, Spain. It's true that Dutch are slow to start, but the fact of the matter is that once you get your first bank up, you can go ahead and start moving gold villagers to wood and food.

An effective Treaty game strategy that I've tried for booming is putting 4 Settlers on gold until I got to Colonial, then put all new Settlers on food and wood until I can afford my first bank. After I get my bank up, I put 3 of my gold Settlers to food or wood, and I continue to gather food and wood until I can get all 4 regular banks up. After I get my 4 banks up, I put all Settlers to food and wood and continue to gather those resources until I need a few Settlers on gold to advance again and again. -- Doing this will get me to Imperial almost as fast as I can with British or Portuguese.

This is for booming and may not be relevant for standard gameplay.

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[This message has been edited by Cy Marlayne (edited 02-18-2006 @ 05:23 AM).]

posted 02-18-06 10:05 AM EDT (US)     21 / 72       
I posted this at Agesanc yesterday

I don't know about all that math... seems too much like math and not applied enough,

For instance to make 1 plantation you need at least 7vils (in terms of gather rates 7 vils provide the most coin return in a plantation) and 800wood... to make 2 banks you need 700food and 700wood and that equals about the same gather rates as the plantation. on average there are 4-5 plantations made, sometimes upwards of 6-7 depending on the game and player.

The thing is Banks can be made right away and provide those vils without TC time, banks also provide a hefty amount of xp and in essence 6 banks would pay for 2 more bank card shipments and still get the 2-3 shipments from mecantilism once the other 280xp is applied from the 2 banks you just built.

Dutch can have their economy maxed out and in full production in some cases 10 minutes before other civs... that gives you a good clean early advantage to produce your cheap ruyters and win the game.

I don't have enough time to blueprint all the civs booming abilities but I'd say that Dutch in a pure boom competition that lasted 25 minutes would only be outboomed by the civs noted as strong now i.e. spain, germany, french and by outboomed I mean only 2-4k resources (this is without fish)

Of course its all in the game and who's playing, before the FF craze I would have said Dutch was bested economy wise only by french, but with the FF strats used now it's very hard to realize the booming potential of Dutch.

Dutch economy if viewed in the sense that you are looking at them look flawed but in actual gameplay the maths aren't the same. maxing an economy out in 10-13 minutes is a HUGE boost to total resources gathered and options at hand. I think Dutch may have some problems VERY late game like 35-45 minutes but in normal circumstances Dutch are just about even with everyone and in a few cases better than more than a few.


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posted 02-18-06 10:48 AM EDT (US)     22 / 72       
for one let me say yoyr maths is bolics as you have carried ont he assumption that if settlers have a 0.6 gather rate for mines they will dof or plantations wer eit is in fact only 0.5 so banks will gather much faster of course there is upgrades but they cost resources as well so try factoring that into your argument
posted 02-18-06 12:27 PM EDT (US)     23 / 72       
lol, the Dutch are far from being equal to the big four. I have hella respect for those 2k+ Dutch guys (where you face nothing but Spanish/Germs/French at high levels).

Good for them that they can win a few games.

In the end, I really realized the Dutch are nothing for me when I kept losing with them (I tried finding a strat to force my opponent to stay in colonial or lose, and I have lost about 10/15 games in the process, lol). The Dutch don't have a FF-KO strat, so FF vs. FF and you'll lose most of the time.

I still wouldn't mind playing some people from aoe3h unrated with the Dutch (or rated, whatever). Dutch are a real powerhouse in colonial.. I tried the Hussar/Skirms combo + 8pikemen from cards.. It looked great, but the "great" shipments in age 3 kept raping me.

I lost quite some games with the huss/skirms combo cause I kept losing my 8 pikemen whilst trying to destroy houses. I think that if you just raid from a distance, and keep your army alive... you might stand a chance though.

Since I changed back to Spanish (5 games), I've won all my games (3 vs. 1900+ and vs. 2 noobs).. Something I had quite some trouble with when I played Dutch.

Edit: There are some 2k++ Ports as well, but they are still UP.. right?

[This message has been edited by Y3AH (edited 02-18-2006 @ 12:30 PM).]

posted 02-18-06 02:10 PM EDT (US)     24 / 72       
i agree w/ what tge is saying, but the problem is surviving the first 12 min of the game while protecting your boom. when you know merc will be rolling in to town at 9min, you have to try and stop it before it happens, because u wont be able to compete. i find spanish ff for lancers is even worse because u wont be able to get to age3 for your ruyters. quite simply, your eco is too fragile early on to support military and your more expensive villager production. its the same problem i find for russia. the mid-game eco advantages arent relevant when everyone goes ff against you, regardless of mercs.
Cy Marlayne
posted 02-18-06 02:11 PM EDT (US)     25 / 72       
Where can one find proof that the maximum coin return can be gathered with 7 vils?

Also, does this work with mills as well?

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