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Topic Subject:Comprehensive Guide- The Basics of Age of Empires III
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OpenWar
Skirmisher
posted 02-08-07 08:57 PM EDT (US)         
I've seen a lot of posts on various fansites about basic little things so I have decided to amalgamate them all into 1 compact guide. I would also like to make a better looking/better informed post than the "General Tips" post here.

Micromanagement
If you can micro properly, you can win a lot more battles and have a much more effective economy. Here are some general micromanagement tips:

Economy Management Tips: Shift+Clicking

  • When you are in the early stages of the game (Discovery Age especially) you will want to move as fast as possible. If you hold shift and on many separate things your villagers will automatically move to the next work item without having to be told. Many people neglect to do this (or just don't know how). This can save a prodigious amount of time . So-ESPECIALLY as the British, you can tell your villagers to build this house, then cut this tree- instead of having to:
    A: Click the Idle Villager Button
    B: Scroll over to the place you want the villager to go
    C: Click the thing you want your villager to do
    ...you can have you villager build the house and automatically cut the tree without having to manage him.
  • British manor houses spawn settlers when built. It is much easier to set a gather point from the houses onto a gold mine or trees or other resources than have to select the villager. The villager will walk straight out of the house straight to work.
  • Idle Villager Time- AVOIDED!
    Often when fighting a battle or micromanaging skirmishers or hussars to kill settlers, you will have 10-20 settlers completely idle wasting away doing nothing. You can avoid this Lets say that you have a group of gold miners. If you are going to enter a battle with only 400 gold left in that mine, you should shift+click on that mine and then another so that once that mine is finished, the villagers will automatically walk to the next mine. This avoids the horror of villagers doing nothing while you are micromanaging your troops.
  • Town Centers
    Basic tip, you should group your town center(s) into group 9 so that no matter where you are on the map you just press 9 and then click the villager button (or press V). This is better than pressing T in my opinion because you avoid having to take your eyes off the part of the map you are currently looking at- it will select the TC and not make you have to look at it.
  • Holding shift while clicking on the market icons (selling wood for gold, etc.) will let you buy and sell in groups of 500. Don't sit there clicking the button thousands of times. Do it 5X as fast and hold shift.
  • Surround your Town Center with houses. This is ultimate rush protection- less units can get through to the town center and it will take longer to get it down.


    Military Management Tips

  • Counters:
    A lot of people do not know several counters to specific units. Here are some:
  • Although a lot of people do not currently play Germany, Anti Infantry counter War Wagons.
  • Grenadiers and Abus Guns are light infantry- not artillery.
  • Minutemen OWN Petards
  • Culverins are simply amazing units. They own falconets and field guns like nothing else (except cavalry ). They also have immensely long range so you can see the enemy coming and destroy their cannon so your infantry has a chance! They are very underused
    See this guide for unit counters:Jaafit's Guide to Unit Counters
  • Tactics
    Bump and Run: A nasty little tactic that will obliterate your enemies army. 5 skirmishers can defeat an infinite number of musketeers or units with a shorter range than them as long as there is land behind them. Move back, shoot a unit, move back, shoot a unit...etc. Very easy to do and extremely effective.
    Raiding: Keep a separate group of cavalry, skirmishers, or natives close to your enemies base to kill his villagers off while they are attacking your main army. Guaranteed damage.
    Grouping: In a big battle, keep about 10 halberdiers surrounding your cannon- you will slaughter his cavalry and your cannons will still be alive. Keep your soldiers grouped for maximum effect.

    Hotkeys

  • Barracks or Blockhouse: Control+B
  • Stable: Control+S
  • Artillery Foundry: Control+A
  • Dock: Control+D
  • Market: Control +M
  • Church: Control+C
  • Capitol: Control+Z
  • Factory: Control+Y
  • Town Center: T
  • I find it easy to group my barracks as group 9, my stable(s) as group 8, and my artillery foundry (or foundries) as group 7.

    General Tips

  • Scout like crazy. If you know what they have, you can counter it. If you find some villagers, you can kill them. Scouting IS the most important thing to do in Age of Empires III.
  • Shoot huntable animals toward your Town Center. It saves walking distance and keeps your villager safer from enemies trying to raid you with their mean cavalry.
  • Save your HC cards. If there is nothing good to get at level 22, save it for level 25. Lots of good card options become available at level 25!
  • Constant Villager production- Never stop! (Until you get to the max you want- standard booms go to about 60 or 70, but a lot of games get up to the max).
  • Research the LOS technologies at the church- HUGE boost in sight.
  • DO use surgeons, priests, medicine men. They easily pay for your units and means whenever you enter a new battle you will have fresh units. And the expensive falconets will live longer!!!!!!!
  • Check on the opponents deck. It will help you to identify what he is doing. To check, click on MENU --, Player Summary --> Your enemies flag. This will get you a picture of his deck (and the name of his deck too- sometimes very revealing!).
  • Research market technologies early- colonial age. Get the tier 1 upgrades.
  • Tower up gold mines/herds/your forward base. These help a lot.
  • Always raid a LOT. He won't be expecting it. During a big battle, send 10 cavalry behind his base- you will do a LOT of damage- and as his attack horn is going off elsewhere it is unlikely that he will notice your raiding.
  • Kill his villagers- they ARE his colony.
  • Gather treasures. They boost your economy, give you experience, and give your opponent less treasure. Anything free is a plus .
  • Always make soldiers in groups of 5 if possible- same amount of training time as a single one.
  • Learn your hotkeys!
  • To find your explorer, press /.

    Treasure Hunting
    Treasure hunting is extremely beneficial to any Age of Empires III player. A lot of players neglect treasures as being useless, but they provide a large boost to your economy (and sometimes units) if you can gather enough. The most amazing treasure is to pick up a "Boots of Arkantos" that increases the Speed of the unit that picks them up by 30%- which, if you pick them up with a villager means that ALL villagers will move 30% faster. This means more resources, faster escape, and a much better economy. Here are some tips to defeating certain guardians:

  • Coyote:The easiest guardian in the game: 2 ranged shots and 1 hand attack to kill. Don't waste a sniper shot on them.
  • Wolf:Stronger than the coyote. 3 ranger shots and 1 hand attack to kill. Again, do not waste a sniper shot on them- you can take on about 3 safely.
  • Crocodiles, Cougars: Stronger than wolves- and they attack faster. Sharpshooting these is OK but still not needed. You can take on 2 or 3.
  • Jaguars: Quite powerful- you can only take on 1 at a time and sharpshooting is a good idea here.
  • Black Bears: Weak bears- you can sharpshooter these. You can probably take on about 2 or 3 at a time if you use bump+run tactics.
  • Grizzly/Polar Bears:Much stronger than black bears. Polar bears have HUGE HP but low attack, Grizzlies are strong too. Sharpshooting is advised.
  • Outlaws: Strong. Riders, pistoleros, and bandits are all hard and have a strong ranged attack (but their hand attack is crap). You can hand attack these and win easily.
  • Carib Blowgunners:Strong ranged attack, but only 5 hand attack. Melee these and snipe if there is more than 1.
  • Pirates: Extremely powerful. Don't attempt to attack these unless you have sniper and some back-up troops.

    Tactics to Gain Treasure Easier

  • Bump-and-Run: Your explorer will lose a lot of HP from units if he just charges into treasures. But what if he could take on the guardians one by one? Here is how: There is an "Invisible line" surrounding the treasures. Upon reaching this line, the guardians will retreat backwards. If you can shoot a guardian, then move back, then shoot him again, and then move back until he starts running away, you will know where the line is. Use this to: Shoot the furthest out guardian, move back, shoot as soon as he has reloaded, and then stand on that line to just hand attack kill. This will make it a lot easier (especially against coyotes). Mokon's Guide to Treasure Hunting has this and more in detail.
  • Using Terrain: Get behind trees, cliffs, or stone walls to make the guardians have to run further. This should allow you a lot more ranged shots and probably the death of the guardian.

    I got some help from Mokon's Guide to Treasure Hunting as some help here. Just avoiding plagiarism !


    More to come...please suggest some civilization specific ideas/strategies- I will include them .


    Links to other useful guides
    Jaafit's guide to unit counters
    F1RE_FLY's Guide to "How many shots kill that unit"
    Scot_Free's Guide to Church Unique Technologies
    Flammifier's Politician Effects Guide
    Random Maps Guide- Describes all the maps in detail!

    I'm still adding more...
    If there is something you think should be included, tell me!

    A BIG Thank-you to all the people that responded, gave me new ideas, and especially to Stonewall for stickying this !! Did I break the record for being the youngest forummer (about 1 month) to have a strategy stickied?

    Tiny bit more to go.




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    [This message has been edited by OpenWar (edited 05-06-2007 @ 07:40 PM).]

  • AuthorReplies:
    jbarguil
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-08-07 09:13 PM EDT (US)     1 / 55       
    Great job, itīll surely be very helpful to new guys! or even old ones

    I MADE IT!!!
    I posted in a closed thread after a mod!

    Meet the bagpipe performer!

    OpenWar
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-08-07 11:15 PM EDT (US)     2 / 55       
    I will be posting some more this weekend

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    empireVeljanoski
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 05:55 AM EDT (US)     3 / 55       
    nice very good maybe next time put some tips and things on few particular civs
    OpenWar
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 08:12 AM EDT (US)     4 / 55       
    Thats a great idea Empire!
    I shall post some hints for civilizations that I am good at
    I was just going for the general idea...

    But more to come this weekend!


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    Medio
    Skirmisher
    (id: Mediolanus)
    posted 02-09-07 08:18 AM EDT (US)     5 / 55       
    Can I write some things for the Germans? I've been playing them for a while and while they're hard to play, they're certainly not unplayable (unless the opponents does an iro ff, but I'm working on that).
    ManningAfricanus
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 01:15 PM EDT (US)     6 / 55       
    Great info, especially the economy micro parts. I had no idea that shift click could be used in so many ways. Also, to check out your enemies deck in game got to the menu, player summary, then click his flag. I played for the longest time and had no idea you could check out his deck in game.
    MordainThade
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 03:52 PM EDT (US)     7 / 55       
    One of my first recommendations to newer players is to learn the hotkeys needed to get to the various buildings ASAP (i.e. T for Town Center, ctrl+*fill-in-blank-here* for other buildings). Newer players seem to try and remember where they put a building and scroll around trying to find it... HUGE time saver just to hotkey around the map (especially if military is also in control groups).

    Also, for this game (exempting the special case of auto-block-trained Russian infantry), creating one military unit happens in the same amount of time as creating five military units; if at all possible, always make military in groups of five. If you can only add one or two to the queue, do so to get them started, then add additional ones before their spawn time elapses to get the most out of that cycle for the building.

    Related to the above, never waste resources on multiple military buildings unless they will be in use simultaneously; i.e. you have enough resources to create five of "X unit" and surplus to either upgrade or make more than five at a time.

    Pay attention to what your enemy is making, and don't make the military that your enemy can easily counter... even if its what you had planned on doing in the first place. Example: Even if you are British with fully-upgraded Musketeers(i.e. all Barracks, Arsenal, Advanced Arsenal, and Church cards), if your enemy is coming at you with massed Skirmisher-types and Cannon, you will basically be tributing him XP; though your Hussars may not be fully upgraded at this point, they will still be more effective versus your enemies armies.

    The bottom line for newer players is to practice^3... the most important skills in this game are being able to accurately predict what you will need to get what you want at a given time period, and being able to adjust your plans (and thus, your expected gains) based on your opponents strategy.


    Mercy has no meaning to me.
    Common Sense and Common Courtesy should be renamed; neither are very common anymore.
    OpenWar
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 05:12 PM EDT (US)     8 / 55       
    Added some more, more to come this weekend Feel free to comment in anyway you want..

    With enough replies, it'll be post of the week! That would be awesome.


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    Dregon
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 05:35 PM EDT (US)     9 / 55       
    nice guide, i never thought of shift clicking a gold mine before a battle
    crazykid
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 05:43 PM EDT (US)     10 / 55       
    haha the one about training in 5 and not 1...IF YOU DON"T FOLLOW ANYTHING ELSE ON THIS PAGE ! follow that lol

    EDIT: Do you remember how it was back in ther older strat games? It's weird now because Im so used to having five pop out and when I play a different RTS game, its only one. What other games allow you to create more than one?

    [This message has been edited by crazykid (edited 02-09-2007 @ 05:45 PM).]

    jbarguil
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 09:05 PM EDT (US)     11 / 55       
    maybe it should be stickied...for a guy coming the first time to the AoEH Forum, this is more helpful than all the advanced strategies around!

    I MADE IT!!!
    I posted in a closed thread after a mod!

    Meet the bagpipe performer!

    OpenWar
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 09:23 PM EDT (US)     12 / 55       
    Wow thanks!
    Yep I'm just like...3 weeks old
    I'll be submitting some more soon- I'm working on some FF Mercenary strategies at the moment

    My AoE3 Stats
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    StonewallJ
    Seraph Emeritus
    (id: Conquistador34)
    posted 02-09-07 10:59 PM EDT (US)     13 / 55       

    Quote:

    maybe it should be stickied...for a guy coming the first time to the AoEH Forum, this is more helpful than all the advanced strategies around!


    Well, this is really what the "General tips" thread that is stickied already is for

    If you want Open War, post some thing you think should be in that thread and we'll add them. Good thread though, some nice advice

    I like the antithesis of "Comprehensive" and "Basics"


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    Angel Walker
    Skirmisher
    (id: Just a player)
    posted 02-09-07 11:13 PM EDT (US)     14 / 55       

    Quote:

    Well, this is really what the "General tips" thread that is stickied already is for

    No one has posted there since November though


    ESO - Walker

    >> Napoleonic Era --> Visit their Homepage!
    "Holy *****" > Thunder (Ensemble Studios)

    Retired from AoE3. But I do play AoK HD in Steam now and then.
    OpenWar
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-09-07 11:51 PM EDT (US)     15 / 55       
    Hehe I think you should just replace it
    Jk, but you could if you want to

    My aim was to make a better looking/better informed guide than that one
    Having seen so many posts about little basics on this site and others, I decided to put all the answers in 1 post.


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    Ultimate Newbie
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-10-07 03:57 AM EDT (US)     16 / 55       
    All that is good stuff mate, well written. A handy resource, almost as useful as Wood .

    Thankyou kindly .


    The Optimist believes that we live in the best possible world. The Pesimist believes this to be true.
    Battle Master
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-10-07 10:03 AM EDT (US)     17 / 55       
    Very nice guide, had a lot of stuff about shift+clicking that I didn't know and some useful links.

    Thanks!
    This should be stickied in the TWC Strategy Reference section or something...its a very good post, maybe itll make front page?


    Proud Author of the Guide to Booming/Turtling with the Dutch:
    http://aoe3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=15,28760,0,10

    Back to Age of Empires III after about 6 months off!

    jbarguil
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-10-07 09:23 PM EDT (US)     18 / 55       

    Quote:

    Well, this is really what the "General tips" thread that is stickied already is for

    I didnīt remember that, lol..
    but its a little out-of-date, Elpea is kinda away?


    I MADE IT!!!
    I posted in a closed thread after a mod!

    Meet the bagpipe performer!

    Medio
    Skirmisher
    (id: Mediolanus)
    posted 02-11-07 03:44 AM EDT (US)     19 / 55       
    Hmm, any 4 unit combo is a good one.

    Well, here are some German tips:
    - Scout well! you are a weak civ, you are supposed to react on your opponent.
    - Some cards are Uhlan bugged. Do not send these cards! check out [url=aoe3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=1,32787,,all] to find out exactly how it works and which cards it affects (scroll down to my post).
    - In normal situations, you want to get out of Colonial ASAP. However, 90% of the time you will get rushed, so always build some defence.
    - Germany gets slower shipments. Choose them carefully.
    - The Germantown Farmers card gives you a nice eco boost.
    - Revolting with Germany can actually work. The trick is to have some spare food/wood AND the Germantown farmers card already sent (you can't send it after you revolted), so you can build SWs after you've done it. Always revolt to Argentina; These howitzers rock.
    - Use your free Uhlans for raiding, and when you can't raid, treasure hunting!. These pirates go down pretty fast.
    - Don't be afraid to try something unorthodox. Outlaws actually work very well as Germans.
    - Falcs+WWs make a nice combo, but usually it is better to build the counter to your opponents units.

    OpenWar
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-11-07 10:55 AM EDT (US)     20 / 55       
    OK, I can incorporate those German tips...

    Its nearly done


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    OpenWar
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-14-07 12:39 PM EDT (US)     21 / 55       
    added a bit more

    My AoE3 Stats
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    jaafit
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-14-07 12:45 PM EDT (US)     22 / 55       

    Quote:

    Use Envoys! Most amazing scout unit ever. You can make 3 of these for 225 food. They have a huge LOS, and nothing attacks them without being told.


    Corrected: Use Envoys! Most amazing scout unit ever. You can make 3 have up to 5 of these for 225 food at 50 food each. They have a huge LOS, and nothing attacks them without being told.

    agecommunity quote of the month Ok i have payed for this game for al my moneythat i get in a month so when i go online isee these 9 year old kids that beat me that have played for 2 weeks and i have played since release of vanilla so im pretty pissed of that es dosent want to do anything about the balance of the game.
    StonewallJ
    Seraph Emeritus
    (id: Conquistador34)
    posted 02-15-07 08:19 PM EDT (US)     23 / 55       
    Ok, I'll replace it. Good job Much better now too.

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    Smear
    Skirmisher
    posted 02-15-07 08:41 PM EDT (US)     24 / 55       
    If you need some sioux tips you can use my sioux strat guide, The general tips part of it has what your looking for in terms of overall tips for a civ i think

    overall a very nice guide that will help alot of new people.


    "Smear's WarChief tumbles through the stage, leaps off of it right onto Mokon's car in front of the stage."
    Full Guides:
    ~Sioux Survival Guide: The Last Stand
    ~The Tashunke Shank: A New Hope
    Mini Guides:
    ~Sioux vs French: Napoleons Downfall
    Medio
    Skirmisher
    (id: Mediolanus)
    posted 02-16-07 02:12 AM EDT (US)     25 / 55       
    You forgot the most important part of treasure hunting, the hit-and-run you always do (you do that, I hope?).
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