The Dutch are probably the most unique civilization in Age of Empires 3. They are also the least used civilization other than Russian and The Portuguese. In this guide, I will try to get more people to play with the Dutch and appreciate their true power. All of the strategies in here can really be used at any HC level, but some will be changed according to level. This is the 1st time I have ever written a guide, and some peopleís guides that I look at to give me ideas are TGE (TheGoodEvil), and Ceres629. I hope more people will want to play as the Dutch after they read this guide.
If you are playing as the Dutch, there are several things you have to look out for. 1st of all, Cuirassiers! These are really hard for any civilization to counter, and they will completely destroy a Dutch army. If you think Ruyters can defeat them, you will have to have them outnumbered 4:1. Also, a good German FF mercenary rush will absolutely KILL dutch unless you can FF and get mercenaries out yourself, but you will still be outnumbered. Second, ALWAYS use envoys. You can make 3 of these things for only 225 food, and it is essentially spies, because nothing attacks them. You can see what your enemy has, find the best spot to send some cavalry to raid villagers, etc.
The Dutch are probably the best turtling civilization in the game and one of the best boomers when you get to level 25. This is because inside your thick shell of walls, towers, and cannon, you can have 8 banks constantly pumping out coin. If you are lvl 25, you can get the tulip speculation card, which makes your banks produce coin even faster! This means you donít have to worry too much about miners. Sure, itís a good idea to always have some miners, but if your enemy has control of all the gold mines, you will still have a steady income of gold. Most enemies assume that once your mines are take, a Dutch player cannot survive. I have seen MANY opponents think ďhmm, Iím playing a Dutch player, better tower up all of the mines,Ē and send parts of his army to defend mines etc. However, all you have to do is wall in 8 banks and 2 factories, and you will be good to go, probably getting even more gold than him.
Essential Concepts for Turtling with Dutch:
Try not to have to build walls around trade routes, because it will leave a hole in your wall. If you are forced to, have a cannon ready to kill everything that comes through the hole in 1 shot, and have some towers etc ready just incase. You donít want your fort to be too big, but also not too small. If it is too big, people will be attacking you from all sides and it will be hard to defend. If it is too small, you will be very cramped, with not much room for mills etc, and if someone gets mortars too close, all of your buildings could fall with just a few shots. I usually only have a 1 layer wall, but if the game is getting past 1 hour, I will make a second layer for insurance. You have to raid in the Colonial age with 10 skirmishers. If you can kill maybe only 4-5 villagers, it will deal a tremendous blow to his economy because that is essentially 400-500 food he has wasted.
The Strategy: A Dutch Boom
Recommended Home City Level: 25
Bank of Amsterdam/Rotterdam- DO NOT send these under any circumstances until you are in the Industrial age. It is a waste of a shipment earlier on because it is just 1 extra bank, and you will probably not need that little extra gold then. Send the Unique Church card 1st.
Unique Church Card
2 Heavy Cannon
1000 gold/1000 wood.
Start out by sending 3 villagers over to the closest mine. Send the rest to the crates in the order gold, wood and then last food cratesÖmicromanage the villagers. Then send 3 more to the mine for a total of 6 at the mine, and the last one chases hunts closer to the TC. All villagers produced go straight to hunts. Have one of your mines make a house at some point, but NEVER have any idle TC time. Send the 3 villager card as your 1st shipment.
Once you have 17 villagers total with the 3 villager card, age up. During the age up, I move 2 miners to wood and 2 food gatherers to wood. Pick the 500 wood politician to age up. Once you get to colonial, send the 4 villager card straight away if your opponent is NOT rushing. All villagers go straight to wood now, and transfer the 2 miners from before back to gold. Get a barracks up ASAP and make 10 skirmishers. 3rd Shipment should be 700 wood. If the enemy is rushing, I would advise having 1 age 2 military shipment, but the best thing to do is NOT TO USE DUTCH AGAINST OTTOMAN RUSHERS. There are hardly any ways to defend against this. Anyway, by about 10 minutes you should have about 26 villagers- 10 on food, 6 on gold, and 10 on wood. You should also build a bank ASAP with the wood you get from the 700 wood shipment. Once you get your 10 skirmishers, head over to the enemy town. Try to find villagers further away from the TC with your explorer during the transition to the colonial age, such as hunters. 1 volley from 10 skirmishers will kill 1 villager. Unless it is French of course. If the enemy has troops, bump and run back to your base.
As soon as you get 1200 food and 1000 gold, you should advance to fortress age. During the transition, make lots of skirmishers. The more the better! By fortress age you should have 20 skirmishers and 2 banks. The politician to age up fast should be used. You should hit fortress around 12 minutes, with 25-30 villagers and 2 banks. Keep on making villagers in fortress, sending them to food and wood. Start your wall now. Look for natural things to use as walls that canít be destroyed, such as cliffs or native villages. Make banks each time you can. 4th shipment should be 700 gold (this should be way before fortress age). Once you get to fortress, you have a choice. If your enemy is booming, you could get up a fort, or you could continue your boom with the 1000 wood card. Once hunts within a reasonable distance from your TC are gone, come back and build mills. With the 1000 wood you can build 2 mills, and another barracks. Once you get your fort up, (which I like to do 1st card in fortress, start making LOTS AND LOTS of Ruyters. Get an artillery foundry up ASAP, and send the 1000 gold shipment. You should have 4 banks by now (about 15-20 minutes). Make 5 falconets, 20 skirmishers, and 20 Ruyters. Then go and attack the enemy. This force is very strong. If the enemy is heavy on infantry, the cannon will destroy them. If the enemy has cavalry such as hussars or lancers, the Ruyters will kill them. If the enemy has cannon, Ruyters slaughter cannon. You should be able to hurt his economy pretty badly with this force. During this time, you should send the Unique church techs card and make a church. Keep on pumping out villagers until you are at the 50 limit, which I usually hit around 20-25 minutes. I have 20 on food, 20 on wood, and 10 on gold. Research coffee trade ASAP and get the other 2 banks up. You should be in a nice walled fort with 2 barracks, 2 mills, 1 stable, 1 fort, 1 artillery foundry, 1 church, 50 villagers, and army attacking the enemy, and be making more army. Get to industrial as fast as you can, I usually get there around 20 minutes. Once you are there, research mercantilism. This should give you 2 shipments, send the 2 factories over. Set one to food and one to wood. Make more and more Ruyters, Falconets, Skirmishers, Halberdiers, and Culverins. It really depends on what the enemy is doing to decide what you will make. You should have a LOT of extra gold by now, if your ally needs some, by all means give it to him. This will give him more troops, and give you a higher chance of winning. The last cards you send are up to you. I advise having your choice of military and mercenary cards in there other than the ones I listed above. You should really have won the game by 30 minutes. Not many players can defeat a force of Ruyters, skirmishers, and falconets. Also have some skirmisher combat cards. The advanced arsenal card is also very helpful for skirmishers, aim is to have lots of VERY STRONG (at least guard strength) at the fortress age with only veteran skirmishers. Basically, you HAVE to have your base well defended, you HAVE to always raid your enemies villagers, and you HAVE to not only rely on this build order. This will only take you so far. Also, if there is ANY water on the map, CONTROL IS VITAL! Monitors will crush your economy by killing your banks. If you can control it, fishing ships will be getting you even more resources, monitors will be destroying his base, and with all the wood you will have coming in, it will be easy to afford ships.
Make your own decisions judging by what kind of player you are playing. A rusher is hard to defend against, maybe build a wall a little early, but the skirmishers should be enough of a defense. A boomer can be raided constantly. Someone massing cavalry will lose to your Ruyters, which are cheap and take up only 1 population space. Someone with lots of infantry will lose to your cannon, and someone with artillery will lose to your culverins. Once the Dutch have their fortress with walls and lots of banks, they are an UNSTOPPABLE ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE! You can mass falconets (O.K., not mass but make 10-15 or so) which are really unstoppable because Ruyters will MOW down any cavalry like hussars heading towards you. You will NEVER be short on gold. Again, this is my 1st guide, so donít criticize me too much.
Proud Author of the Guide to Booming/Turtling with the Dutch:
Back to Age of Empires III after about 6 months off!
[This message has been edited by Battle Master (edited 02-14-2006 @ 08:56 AM).]