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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Strategy Central » BWKiC - A British Fast Fortress Strategy
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Topic Subject:BWKiC - A British Fast Fortress Strategy
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Beatnik Joe
Skirmisher
posted 04-11-06 03:07 AM EDT (US)         
BWKiC - The "Black Watch Kick in the Crotch"

This is an article describing a British Fast Fortress strategy. It includes a build order and 5 4 recorded games. (And yes, it works great in 1.06. Edit: nerfed in 1.08!)

Patch 1.08 \ Warchiefs update Beware the rush! With the FF nerfed and out of favor and the rush much more common, a straight FF is risky and requires careful planning. You may now find the strategy better to pull off in team games or in situations where you must counter an opponent's FF. For the time being, the FF is quite out of fashion, so be careful -- most games you'll get rushed. But hey, who knows? Maybe the FF will be back in business next patch!

Patch 1.06 update (with 1 recording!): Oh, it is on! 1.06 brought several British bonuses \ enemy civ nerfs that should improve this strat even further! I certainly won't start shouting "OP" just yet, but let's just say that this patch fills me with a sense of well-being. My belief is that aggressive BWKiC may now be correct in many situations. I believe Britain can now be played extremely aggressively. I think our patience as British players has at last paid off!

1.06 Single-Player Recording
Here's a recorded game from 1.06! This is against the Sandbox AI to demonstrate BWKiC v2.0. It features:

  • 6:57 Fortress time
  • 8 Black Watch + 2 Falconets at 7:41 (faster than 1.05!!)
  • 17 Black Watch + 2 Falconets at 9:47 (*)
  • Me managing to lose 1 Highlander to the Sandbox AI. It's worth watching just to see this n00bidity in action. It's so bad it almost takes skill.
    (*) - It would have been 17 Black Watch if the AI hadn't killed one. So in reality it was 16. But 1 was with us in spirit.

    I'll try to post the build order for this soon, but I will mention that I went with 1 less villager and used Ossian's enhancement of producing vills during colonial.

    Main Article:
    Having trouble with the British? Eaten alive by that Spanish fast fortress? Wondering what keeps you coming back time and time again to such an underpowered civ as the Brits? Maybe it's time for a little help from the Black Watch!

    I've tried colonial warfare, I've tried to boom... but both approaches seem doomed in the current FF and shipment-dominated gameplay. Playing with Brits was destroying my record and there seemed to be no way to make the wood-heavy, sluggish Brits get off the ground. What was wrong with them? What was wrong with me?

    But giving up is for people who actually care about their record. Not I! To paraphrase Mokon, you get a lot further if you blame yourself than if you blame the civ.

    So I sat down and I studied the Brits, wondering what could make their Fast Fortress competitive. I noticed that they had the following things going for them:

  • The 2 falconet card, an excellent card indeed.
  • The opportunity to create 8 Black Watch highlanders from the church VERY quickly. Highlanders are great anti-cav units and all-around bruisers.
  • The Black Watch will always be delivered, even when you don't have enough houses. (This is critical!)
  • The Black Watch are delivered in seconds, unlike conventional merc shipments, which take 1 full minute.
  • The Thin Red Line is also available from the church.
  • Excellent economic recovery due to the manor boom.

    It is this combination of highlanders and falconets that is the basis of BWKiC. With good luck and a good map, you can get this lethal combination out anywhere from 7:20 (on Carolina), but typically around 7:45-8:15 in the heat of battle.

    To pull this off, you MUST get a trading post ASAP, and you must perform a solid fast fortress. The advanced church must be shipped during the age to fortress, and the falconet card must be shipped as soon as you hit fortress. Even though you will not have sufficient housing, you can still research the Black Watch, and miracle of miracles, they still show up (presumably to sleep in boxes under an overpass.)

    That's it -- the rest is all based off of that. There are 2 styles of BWKiC -- the aggressive style and the defensive style. In the aggressive style, we will sneak a forward tower to the enemy base and attempt to bring this highlander + falc combo right to the enemy's door as close to pre-8:00 as possible.

    First some warnings: this aggressive approach is not always effective against Spain or Germany -- you may sometimes prefer the defensive BWKiC. And above all, never attempt this strat on a map without trading posts (i.e. bayou.)

    Without further ado, here is my typical build order for the aggressive BWKiC: Note: Will be updated for 1.06 as soon as I can.


    1. 3 vills to hunts and 3 to food crates. Note that if animals are close enough, you do not need to herd on your first shot. Queue villagers!
    2. Collect wood crates once food crates exhausted. Once done, move 1 crate collector to hunts. You now have 4 hunters total. (down from the 5 recommended in patch 1.05, due to extra food crate.)
    3. Remaining crate collector must build a house. Set your TC gather point to wood. You will now begin gathering wood for a trading post.
    4. All new vills go to wood until you have the 250 necessary for a trading post. Build the trading post ASAP with your explorer (as he is fastest at this.) EVERYONE now moves to food, including TC gather point.
    5. First card: 3 villagers
    6. Stop producing villagers at 16 (down from 17 in patch 1.05) (including the ones from your card.) Eat, eat, eat. Strongly consider eating some livestock (i.e. sheep and cattle) if you feel it will speed you up here.
    7. Age up as soon as you have 800 food with your chosen politician. For aggressive BWKiC, we will choose The Governor for 1 tower + 200 gold.
    8. Make sure you have 100 gold before reaching colonial. If you do not, task 3-4 villagers to it until you do, then have them go back to food.
    9. Queue 2 more villagers during the transition to colonial (for a total of 18.) Many thanks to Ossian for this great suggestion!
    10. As soon as you hit colonial, play your 2nd card: 700 gold. Gather this gold, along with the 200 gold from aging up ASAP. Place your aggressive tower near the enemy base in a hidden spot.
    11. Go to fortress. I prefer to age up with The Admiral of the Ocean Sea, who gives you 400 wood and a caravel. Queue one and only one villager to the town center. (We don't want to max our pop -- we still need to ship falconets.)
    12. During the transition to fortress, place roughly 10 on food and 8 on wood, depending on your needs. Your goal: 250 wood a bit before fortress, and 1000 food shortly after that.
    13. As soon as you are able, play your 3rd card: The Glorious Revolution (advanced church card.) As soon as you have 250 wood, build a church (before you hit fortress.)
    14. You have now hit fortress age. You should have another shipment ready (thanks to your trading post.) Ship your 4th card: 2 Falconets.
    15. Call the Black Watch from your church. Do NOT do this before you have shipped falconets. You will be over pop limit, but you can still call the Black Watch (it's magic!) Set the shipment arrival point to your aggressive tower. Also, try to get your caravel either fishing, whaling, or perhaps even harrassing for an econ boost.
    16. Attack with 8 highlanders + 2 falconets (if performing aggressive BWKiC.) Optional: Research The Thin Red Line at the church for extra hitpoints at the cost of speed. Great for a defensive BWKiC, a toss-up for an aggressive BWKiC.
    17. Begin pouring on military shipments of your choice while house booming at home. Keep 5 villagers on food to constantly produce from TC and build houses quick as you can! All new vills go to wood until you no longer wish to house boom. Quick production of houses will generate XP and drive your future military shipments. Build those houses! Tune your shipments to your enemy -- 5 hussars, 11 longbowmen, 11 musketeers, and 6 grenadiers are your main choices. Research wood upgrades when you have the time.
    18. From there, it's up to you! You should have a jumping economy at this point.

    When attacking, you must use the highlanders to protect your falconets! They are great anti-cavalry. You will often see me goofing this in the recorded games, but do as I say, not as I do!

    The BWKiC can also be used defensively (the preferred play against Spanish.) This involves choosing the 500 food politican (The Philosopher Prince) instead of the tower politician, shipping everything to your TC, and laying your fort as soon as you can. The 2 falconets and 8 highlanders work to protect your home base until the fort goes up. I especially like to use Thin Red Line here to get uber-Highlanders. From there, shipping 1000 gold for culverins is a good option, but there are many others that will work.

    Thanks to Ender_Ward for (unwittingly) prodding me to release this article. You should also check out his thread Experimenting with British FF, which inspired me to get off my tuckus and finally publish this thing.

    Here are all the recorded games I could gather of this strategy in action. Be forewarned that I am not the world's best player by any stretch. Watching me manage my econ and my explorer may even horrify you. If so, please enjoy a laugh at my expense -- I don't mind! Rejoice in the knowledge that you are better than me!

    (Note: These games are currently from 1.05. I'll try to get some updated ones.)

    Game #1: Aggressive BWKiC vs. French on Texas -- Ownage, but useful to see the build. It also shows the power of placing your highlanders \ falconets between straggler villagers and the town center.

    Game #2: Aggressive BWKiC vs. French on Rockies -- Ownage, good for a clear view of the strat.

    Game #3: Aggressive BWKiC vs. Russians -- Note that I do not do a proper job of protecting my falconets AND forget to send out shipments in a timely fashion. In spite of all this n00bness on my part, it's still a comfortable (if embarrassing) win.

    Game #4: Aggressive BWKiC vs. Germany -- Bad protection of falconets and sub-optimal raid protection, but a win is a win.

    Game #5: (removed) This was the wrong recording... sorry!

    Pretty neat, huh? Now imagine what a good player could do with this. Good luck and have fun! If you have some success with this strat, I'd love to see any feedback or a recorded game.

    Thanks to stalwart British experts like PresSure, eskudero, and gl0rious for sticking with a tough civ and providing great recordings for the rest of us. It is appreciated!


    Strategies:
    - BWKiC - A British Fast Fortress strategy
    - The Aztec Scout Slam- An Envoy Rush, Native-Style

    [This message has been edited by Beatnik Joe (edited 11-26-2006 @ 09:16 AM).]

  • AuthorReplies:
    dpark2
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 01:07 PM EDT (US)     51 / 219       
    All I can say is that this strategy does not really work against a good Spanish player or Germans.

    The problem of this strategy is that your 2 canons are the ones which will take down your enemy'c tc but it's just 2 cannons. Even tc's fire can kill 1 cannon before it is taken down.

    And after losing 2 cannons, what will you do with your 8 highlanders? They can be owned by just 8 skirms or Port's age up bonus 7 Cassdors.

    This strategy can surprise your enemy, but too risky.

    And Joe, don't ever let your vills play around wihtout doing anything. I watched two of your recorded games and while you were attacking with 8 highlander and 2 cannons, sometimes even 10 vills were just stadning around, not working. I think in order to be sucessful on using this strategy, You must build a rax or stable and start producing longbows or muskeeters.

    Otherwise, after your initial armies are all killed, you will end up with only a bunch of vills.

    [This message has been edited by dpark2 (edited 04-12-2006 @ 01:13 PM).]

    Myll_Erik
    Seraph Emeritus
    posted 04-12-06 01:09 PM EDT (US)     52 / 219       
    Yea, stagger is good - I usually put my mercs in groups of 3-4 anway and used CRTL groups to send them in at different angles all in staggered formation - if he doesn't focus his cannons you can actually kill the lancers/2 fals/10 pikes with only one highlander dead...

    Veni, Vidi, Vici
    Trample the Weak - Hurdle the Dead!
    "It's kind of a...persnickety magic." Atzy
    End of Nations!
    End of Nations Community Manager
    Ender_Ward
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 01:11 PM EDT (US)     53 / 219       
    This strategy does not work offensively, I found. Defensively, though, it works wonders. If your micro is decent, Lancers/Uhlans do NOT get through 8 Highlander and 2 Pikes to your 2 Falconets (in my version I almost always age up with 5 Longbows and 2 Pikes).
    And because of the LOS advantage when defending in your own base, your cannons take out his cannons, and not vice versa. Indeed, he should lose a cannon before he even knows where yours are. Just don't go "out" to meet his forces. Defend at home. If you lose houses doing that, great! You'll rebuild and get more villagers.


    "One wants to be loved, failing that admired, failing that feared, failing that hated and despised. One wants to instill in other people some form of emotion. The soul shudders before emptiness and wants contact, no matter the cost."

    [This message has been edited by Ender_Ward (edited 04-12-2006 @ 01:12 PM).]

    Adam42
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 01:11 PM EDT (US)     54 / 219       
    By the time even one of the falconets are down a shipment will have arrived (5 hussars, or possibly 6 'nadiers) which will own those skirms, annd siege. It's not like you send in 8 landers, 2 falcs and expect to win the game with it.
    dpark2
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 01:24 PM EDT (US)     55 / 219       
    By the time the next shipment is arrived, your enemy's shipment is also arrived.

    IF both players tried FF, Spanish can reach Fortress around 7:00 minutes, and have 10 pike + 2 cannons + lancers or Rodels. And for the next shipment they can ship more lancers or just simply build a rax and keep producing skimrs while being attacked.

    By using Port, I can age up at least before 7:30 and have 3 organs + 7 cassdors + 6 droogons before 9:00.

    Attacking with only 8 highlanders + 2 cannons will never take down your enemy's tc and 6 nadiers can be easily countred even by 8 Rodels.

    Beatnik Joe
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 01:31 PM EDT (US)     56 / 219       
    dpark, Spanish is a very fast civ, so I recommend the defensive variation of this strategy under most circumstances for them. I also wouldn't recommend going straight for the TC with unsupported falcs in almost any circumstances. I like softer targets such as villagers, buildings, and other military in order to gain XP. You can move on the TC after you've done more damage and shipped some grenadiers. When fighting and house booming, XP generates very quickly so these shipments build up your fighting force as you go.

    justiw, if you're hitting fortress at 8:30, it sounds like something might be a little bit off with your FF. Would an offline, more "pristine" demo of this strat be of any use?

    Ender, good thoughts on the 5 longbows + 2 pikes poli. Before your comment, I'd always considered him too craptacular to use (especially since his units mean you need another house.) I will reconsider this.

    Rodgers, thanks for the recaps! Good job against the Portuguese. Sounds like a tough match with Spain -- against a player that outmatched you by over 300 points on cuetech! There are a couple of tactics that I've found useful when playing defensively against Spain.

    If he has falconets, try to position yourself so that your TC is between his falconets and your own. Your TC has great range and can return fire at the falconets, buying you some time. Just keep an eye on its health. If he comes in somewhat close with his cannons, don't forget that minutemen get an anti-artillery bonus! If he brings in pikes to do further TC damage, the highlanders and your own falcs will kill them extremely quickly. Ender_Ward's observations about TC line of sight apply here as well. Some other players have also posted some good ways of meleeing falconets in this thread, though I have not yet tried this out.

    I also like the "defensive" stance for the highlanders when defending the cannons. This keeps them in nice and tight if he charges the lancers in. One lancer will surely die at the first Highlander volley. You can switch to melee at the appropriate times and the lancers die at an amazing rate to the Highlanders.

    Try to get a look at what he has in his forward base with your explorer. If he's built an artillery foundry, some culverins and\or your fort can help you here. If you manage to get some culverins, don't make too many and make sure they are well-protected at all times! Shipping 1000 gold is an option, though I usually go for the fort first. I'd be interested to hear what works best for you.

    [This message has been edited by Beatnik Joe (edited 04-12-2006 @ 01:49 PM).]

    Destiny_Devil
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 02:02 PM EDT (US)     57 / 219       
    IMO going for tc first would be beneficial ebcause it prevents shipments unless they have an outpost in which case dotn bother going for tc first. hurt his eco alot first and get houses.
    Tordenskiold
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 03:34 PM EDT (US)     58 / 219       
    Well, I tried it out online and lost 4 straight games

    So that's the end of British for me - I move on to Germans.


    TORDENSKIOLD(1690-1720)

    During the Great Nordic War (1700-1720), he was commander of the danish navy, which defeaded the swedish army at Kristiania (modern Oslo). After the war, he was killed in a duel on Nov. 12, 1720 just outside Hamburg, Germany, during a travel to England.

    ESO: TORDENSKIOLD
    Zhadow
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 03:41 PM EDT (US)     59 / 219       
    What was the reason of ur loss? who were u playing and what did u do wrong and what was the key to ur defeat?
    Tordenskiold
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 03:47 PM EDT (US)     60 / 219       
    Germans - Hackapels with a few doples kills my entire army, then Jaegers to kills all settlers.

    Russians - Cossack shipment chase me off hunting before I reach Fortress = No food for Black watch. Followed by FF, massed Stretles and Cannons.

    Ottomans - just rush with Jans

    The usual stuff that kills British as easy as scratching your behind


    TORDENSKIOLD(1690-1720)

    During the Great Nordic War (1700-1720), he was commander of the danish navy, which defeaded the swedish army at Kristiania (modern Oslo). After the war, he was killed in a duel on Nov. 12, 1720 just outside Hamburg, Germany, during a travel to England.

    ESO: TORDENSKIOLD
    Twinleaders
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 04:14 PM EDT (US)     61 / 219       
    can't wait to try it gj!

    I guess brits will always have trouble vs. spain FF, no matter what they try...

    But at least they may stand a chance with this strat. =D

    lrd_dmsdy666
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 06:13 PM EDT (US)     62 / 219       
    Torden, has it ever occured to you that this strat is fine and u just suck with brits?

    I could use the help of a single-player rec game of the defensive to get down the basics. In your explanation, the gap between the meat of ur strat and the defensive options didn't match up too well with me. The 1player game will help clarify the entire def. version until you can get an online rec game so I can see it against a human person.


    Stephen Harper's theme song is Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto!
    Ender_Ward
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 06:39 PM EDT (US)     63 / 219       
    Ha, a ridiculous but nontheless interesting thing to do, if you're going for the offensive version (which I don't think works, at all, not until British start up alot faster) is to age up with the ...

    *drum roll*

    3 Iroquoi Mantles and 2 Native Scouts politician.

    *grin*

    You wanted more seige power to take down the TC fast? You got it, hehe. Then send in the 6 Grenadiers. Those Mantles are pretty bad, but better than a ship that can't reach the TC with it's fire, and better than 2 Pikes and 5 Longbows who barely have any seige ability.
    The mantles also soak up TC fire better (40% range resistance).

    Not that I recommend doing the offensive version, I just don't believe it works, but if you ARE doing it, and want more seige power to take down TC/military buildings/houses, those Mantles can provide it.


    "One wants to be loved, failing that admired, failing that feared, failing that hated and despised. One wants to instill in other people some form of emotion. The soul shudders before emptiness and wants contact, no matter the cost."
    Beatnik Joe
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 07:20 PM EDT (US)     64 / 219       
    Destiny_Devil, you've definitely shown that you can win games by going straight for the TC, so more power to you on that! Like they say, there's a season for all things. If it's working for you, go for it! Your black watch - highlander - grenadier sequence worked great at TC smashing if I remember from your recording.

    Ender, your suggestion about the mantlet politician made me laugh out loud. That may actually be a good idea! I can't give my opinion until I've tried it, but that is some funny stuff... nice idea. I think I have never used that politician in my life!

    Hi lrd_dmsdy666, I'll try to get a recording of a defensive build order if I get some time tonight. I also hope a "clean" build order might give some idea as to target times.

    Tordenskiold, it looks like agecommunity didn't properly record the Ottoman match for some reason, but I believe I see the 2 others up there. Looks like you've perhaps had a couple of wins since your post here as well.

    One thing I did notice is that your fortress times consistently came in much higher than you would want (8:29, 8:41, 8:24.) Those times really need to be under 8 minutes and on favorable maps, even at or below 7 minutes. Is there anything in particular that slowed you down? Your 8:24 on Texas, for example, could certainly be sped up by eating cattle. I'd recommend that you use every trick you know to maximize speed. Any time that you lose getting to colonial (and thus to fortress) will be critical. Let me know if I (or the players much better than myself reading this topic) can provide some advice.

    [This message has been edited by Beatnik Joe (edited 04-12-2006 @ 07:23 PM).]

    steve09
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 10:32 PM EDT (US)     65 / 219       
    hey joe i love this strat. it works great. ive been trying to find a good ff strat for the brits but i could'nt find one. so i thank u for that. and for all of u who think this doesnt work, do u have a better idea? i am 5 and 1 with this strat. although, i like the 300 food instead of the 3 vills cause it speeds up the advance by about 15-30 sec. thanks alot joe. sweet strat!!
    Yobbo
    Skirmisher
    (id: Yobbo_ )
    posted 04-12-06 11:07 PM EDT (US)     66 / 219       
    Yep, this is a good anti spanish ff attack strat. Excellent vs swiss pike rushes. But i like to stay in colonial as long as possible for the eco win with brits so i don't do fast black watch usually.

    This strat may become useless tho if 1.06 nerfs ff.


    If all things are relative then cannibalism is just a matter of taste...
    My AoE3 Stats
    ZinkOxide
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-12-06 11:17 PM EDT (US)     67 / 219       
    This is countered by my strat I posted in another topic.

    I won a thread!
    CROSS REMOVED BY REQUEST OF MODS
    Blood weighs more than tears.
    Ender_Ward
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-13-06 00:44 AM EDT (US)     68 / 219       
    Guys, seriously, the offensive version does not work (defensive one does, and pretty well).

    I dropped from 1986 to 1934 on cuetech before I had to accept it. Granted, my HC being only level 11 is a factor, but frankly I had all the cards needed by level 10 (saved 4).

    The problem is that even if you take out the TC, your units die before you can truly do anymore damage. And a decent - good player will NOT be knocked out of the game just by losing his TC. So what do you do then? Do you try to finish him off with your crappy British fortress shipments of regular units? Do you wait for Mercs? Do you go for as many Falconets as you can manage and then knock the guy out?
    Anything you do, Spanish will get their Highlanders and Swisspikes out, plus a couple or more Culverins by the time you can attack with anything sufficiently dangerous. And Germans will get their own Mercs, Uhlans and Skirmishers out oh and they will also build Falconets.

    If you try to take advantage of the (small) setback your opponent suffered with his lost TC and boom your heart out, sure, you can do that. But your Opponent will do the same. You both reach Industrial (hurray! oh wait ... you're British) at which point your opponent has access to Heavy Cannons or Great Bombards while you have ... Rockets. Yay! The curse of the British, and we got to Industrial for it?

    So set the Factories to generate gold and build Field Guns, right? Good luck with matching up Field Guns versus Great Bombards and Heavy Cannons ...

    So ... what other advantages do British have? Longbows are pretty good in large numbers ... but say hello to Heavy Cannons/Great Bombards.
    Redcoats aren't bad, especially versus Spanish ... but say hello to Heavy Cannons and Mercenary armies.
    Hussars are pretty good even while you're stil fighting in Fortress ... but say hello to Swiss Pikes, Rodeleros and Highlanders.

    Sure, you have your awesome economy that'll kick in some 8-10 minutes down the line, however, in this Age of Shipments, the Mercs, Lancers and Uhlans and better, faster unit shipments are killing you NOW.


    ~~~

    The defensive version, however, allows you to fend off that Spanish/German FF attack and then boom. Remember that having a line of sight advantage is HUGE. Being able to use buildings as choke points in your base is HUGE. It allows your relatively small force of 8 Highlanders, 5 Longbows, 2 Pikes, 6 Minutemen and 2 Falconets to defeat a larger force.

    Hell boom while you're waiting to defend. However, if it's 9:30 and no attack has come yet, you better start building additional Falconets and some Culverins FAST, as well as shipping in and/or training more meatshields, that's Muskets, cause your opponent is obviuosly gathering a force for a knockout punch around 11:00-12:00. So SCOUT and make sure he is. If he's booming, YOU deliver the knockout punch.

    And like Mokon said, never go for a pure manour boom. Use that manour bonus as a given. Build a house, get a villager. But never put more than 1/3 of your villagers on wood. You need that gold and food for troops and TC trained villagers. Manours can only give you 20 villagers. Manours + TC training, especially from multiple TCs will give you 40 or more in a pretty short timeframe.


    "One wants to be loved, failing that admired, failing that feared, failing that hated and despised. One wants to instill in other people some form of emotion. The soul shudders before emptiness and wants contact, no matter the cost."

    [This message has been edited by Ender_Ward (edited 04-13-2006 @ 00:46 AM).]

    Beatnik Joe
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-13-06 02:36 AM EDT (US)     69 / 219       
    Well, all, looks like patch 1.06 has been announced! I'm expecting a nerf to the FF, which is likely to hurt BWKiC directly! Has BWKiC been nerfed into oblivion? Could this be the last night for my fledgling strat? Stay tuned, we shall know tomorrow! Let's hope they nerf all FFs except for this one. I'll check out the patch and provide an update with some thoughts. I've got my fingers crossed.

    Thanks, Steve and Yobbo! I'm glad that you enjoyed the strat. Good luck!

    Zink, your Russian 75-villager Russian strat is, indeed, da bomb.

    Ender, thanks for the thoughts! I took a quick glance at your matches over the past couple of days and noticed two British fast fortresses. The Dutch one was interesting -- how did he manage to outboom you? Had he launched a large-scale counter-attack? I continue to believe that the offensive version is very effective against the slow civs. A very-achievable 7:15 fortress time to Highlanders at 7:30 and falconets at 8:00 is pretty punishing. You become a pain in the butt at 7:30, and a real force at 8:00.

    There's one more thing I'd encourage you to try out, even if in single player -- while performing the offensive version, try to perform a full-out boom at home and note how quickly the shipments start rolling in as those houses get laid down (at 30 XP a piece) AND you do violence to the enemy. In the offensive play, I generally like to keep the highlanders and 2 falcs as safe as I can. From there, you can be a pain with them, keep harrassing, and let the new shipments help reinforce your attack. A full-tilt boom like that can put you at 50 villagers by 13-14 with no vill cards (even faster than I had previously believed!) Edit: Let me clarify that in practice you may want to limit your manor boom to a certain point. These times are just an example. Not choosing to boom is perfectly valid, but when on offense I like to use a manor boom to drive my shipments and supercharge my economy. I don't do this to the same extent when defending.

    Anyway, glad to hear that the defensive version is working well for you. If you've got a recording or a favorite sequence of shipments, I'd love to hear about it.

    BTW, I'm going to hold off on any new recorded games until 1.06 comes out.

    [This message has been edited by Beatnik Joe (edited 04-13-2006 @ 10:51 AM).]

    Destiny_Devil
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-13-06 08:08 AM EDT (US)     70 / 219       
    I choose my shipments depending on whats happened so far e.g. if I defeated his army and need seige I'll go for nadiers if he is training musks still I'll go for lbows and so on.

    and ender ward your argument is very one sided is it impossible for the british to use counters or something?

    rodgers24888
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-13-06 09:32 AM EDT (US)     71 / 219       
    This has renewed my love for the British. Thanks for the tips, I do seem to be doing it better, although I'm playing team games so it isn't rare to get some crap players on the other team. It's great because after the intial attack you can keep your economy going (not manor booming was very helpful - this helped me have resources if I needed to build an army and concentrate on attacking.

    This strat suits me perfectly as I like to play team games. And backed up by my friends lancers and pikeman and falcs we have a pretty good army that's quite hard to beat.

    I tend to always use the thin red line and try to get my other highlander shipment because 19 black watch and 2 falcs are class.

    Let's see what happens after the patch and whether this is still a good strat. Once again thanks for sharing.

    Myll_Erik
    Seraph Emeritus
    posted 04-13-06 11:16 AM EDT (US)     72 / 219       
    I usually have more success with the offensive than the defensive...maybe instead of focusing on that TC, forget about it and hit his villagers/houses. Depending on who I'm playing I usually kill some houses in case he tries to ship something pop heavy (mercs/falcs). If I cant find any vills/houses I generally try to take map control and start getting my army more balanced to my opponets. And I disagree, you really need lvl 25+ to get the kickass deck combo...but thats my 2 cents...

    Veni, Vidi, Vici
    Trample the Weak - Hurdle the Dead!
    "It's kind of a...persnickety magic." Atzy
    End of Nations!
    End of Nations Community Manager
    Beatnik Joe
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-13-06 11:38 AM EDT (US)     73 / 219       
    Hi all! If this list of patch changes for 1.06 is accurate, my initial take on the situation is that BWKiC has been buffed in this patch.

    Here are items which I consider to be BWKiC buffs:

  • British start with +1 food crate (booya! This is great.)
  • Germans now start with 3 settler wagons and no settlers
  • Spanish start with -1 settler
  • Spanish Pikemen4 (age3) change from 14 to 12
  • Spanish Redoleros4 (age3) change from 10 to 9
  • Spanish Lancer (age3) change from 6 to 5
  • Most mercenary shipments lowered in number delivered and lowered in cost. For example, highlanders now cost 1000 gold and deliver only 9. This is huge.
  • Spanish politician changed from 10 pikemen to 8
  • Marksman changed from 7 skirmishers to 6
  • Longbowman autoattack range increased to 20 (more a general buff)

    Slight nerfs:

  • British longbows4 (age3) change from 11 to 10
  • Musket card for 11 -> 9 (thanks Destiny_Devil for spotting this)
  • Grenadier3 (age3) change from 6 to 5

    I can live with these nerfs. Not bad at all. And no, before you even ask, I did not sell my soul to ES for these balance changes.

    Anyone else getting a warm, fuzzy feeling right now? I know I am. Any thoughts? I am loving what I see so far.

    Oh and Rodgers, congrats on your recent wins! I think good times may be ahead.

    Erik, I'm right there with you on the execution of the offensive version. The way you play it I've found very effective while keeping your army in generally very good health. If you ever happen to catch any recs while playing I'd love to see them.

    [This message has been edited by Beatnik Joe (edited 04-13-2006 @ 04:19 PM).]

  • justiw
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-13-06 12:28 PM EDT (US)     74 / 219       
    Ideed, this may become the next OP strat...

    I have been messing around with this and I came up with an interesting modification to the strat.

    Build all 20 pop worth of vils in discovery. Yes, you want to hit pop cap. This means you won't be building any villagers in colonial age.

    This allows you to have an excellent economy when you click age up. Your economy is good enough to get 1200f and 1000g without needing resource cards. I was aging up with the 2 pikes + 5 lbows politician because...

    ... you can completely skip the 700g shipment and replace it with 700w!! No more pop problems, and 3 more villagers + the church without ever chopping any more trees.

    Also, building those 3 houses gives you an extra shipment a bit faster. I prefer 11 lbow (soon to be 10 in 1.06).

    Now you can focus your villagers on coin for mercs as soon as you get the 1000f for your BW. Or you can go with a more standard economy and try to win conventionally. To me it seems that shipping highlanders is the way to go.

    It is a little bit slower than the original strat because you delay your initial age up time. I was getting to fortress at 8:00 without any major treasure hunting, and my admittedly crappy micro. You get 2 shipments immediately in fortress age, plenty of villagers, and just barely enough pop space from the 3 extra houses. Your next shipment can easily be more highlanders and you should be able to immediately start queing vils. I think this method is much more powerful than the other, but it would not beat the speedy spanish or german FF's even if played defensively because it is slower.

    Try it out and let me know what you think.


    Counter the attack, then Counter Attack!!!
    Destiny_Devil
    Skirmisher
    posted 04-13-06 12:48 PM EDT (US)     75 / 219       
    the musk card has been nerfed aswell from 11 to 9, my times are starting to get better aswell. I made a thread asking whats the bets way to get treasures so I'm gonna try the tricks on there out and hopefully i can really improve my fortress time.
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