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How to play in Arabia

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rated_R_
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Join date : 2010-07-28

How to play in Arabia

Post by rated_R_ on Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:12 pm

Arabia is an entirely landbased map - there are no sizeable

bodies of water, the only water being in the form of oasis

style ponds that dot the

landscape in one version of the map.

TERRAIN AND RESOURCES

Arabia has two quite different styles that could eventuate.

The first is a stereotypical arabian landscape, with palm

trees and oases, and golden sands.

The other is a somewhat different version, with lush grass and

oak forests. However, they are reasonably similar in general.

Arabia is a very hilly map in general, especially in places at

a distance from the original starting positions. This makes

the placement of new TCs

sometimes a very difficult task, and it is often impossible to

place a new TC at intermediate gold mines.

Cliffs frequently break up the landscape, giving a natural

obstacle to consider pallisading/walling against, either at

home or at intermediate points.

A very signficant point about this map is that it is very

open. It is often not practical to wall in your town due to

the very high cost of it. This makes

early attacks much more threatening as it is often very

difficult to prevent the enemy from entering your town without

significantly hampering your

economy.

While the lush green style map often has nicely shaped wood

making woodcutting reasonably efficient, the stereotypical

arabian map frequently

provides the nearest wood as that surrounding an oasis. This

can make woodcutting very inefficient as once the immediate

wood is consumed, the

villagers must walk much further to continue working.

Each player can expect to find 6-8 sheep, 2 boars and a herd

of deer nearby, as well as at least two gold mines and a stone

mine (perhaps more).

The placement of these mines, due to the nature of the map, is

quite significant. Arabia is not as generous in terms of

resources as other maps in

general.

OPENINGS

The obvious lack of water means openings rely entirely on what

the player can draw from the land. This opens up the game for

a number of different

openings that are not as viable on water based maps.

Because of the inherent open nature of the map, most openings

on Arabia are all about speed. It is very difficult (not to

mention time consuming and

costly) to wall out an enemy, which leaves players open for

rushing tactics.

Since there is no option to dock doom and overtake smaller

economies, openings on Arabia become an issue of how one

distributes their villagers,

and how many they choose to create.

A typical landbased opening would involve roughly 29

villagers, harvesting all available natural food, with

moderate farming beginning in feudal. This is

perfectly viable, arriving in the Castle Age in 17.xx with

moderate resources.

A variation of this would be a similar population with a

strong tendency toward farming in the Dark Age.

There are also several variations of rush viable on the Arabia

map. One is the flush, with the aim of reaching feudal very

early with roughly 22

villagers and crippling the enemy's economy so that even if

they reach castle, they are too far behind to be effective. Several civilizations are

capable of this, with the Chinese being the fastest.

An alternative to this is a fast Castle rush. This involves a

food intensive opening, switching to wood and gold so that

when you arrive in Castle you

have enough resources to drop offensive TCs in the enemy town

and protect them with a knight or two while acquiring rams

soon after to level the

town. The target castling time is in the mid 15.xx range, the

idea being that the rusher can drop a TC and put the heat on

the rushee well before they

castle. Chinese would be effective in this also, as well as

Britons with their very cheap TCs.

A third option is a mid/late Feudal brush followed by a

substantial Castle Age attack. The rusher will begin the Dark

transition with a few less villagers

than usual, and construct a forward barracks, followed by a

range in feudal. The forward base produces a few archers and

spearmen to harrass the

enemy woodcutters, followed by gold miners if this becomes

towered. A reasonable early castle time will place knights in

the enemy town by the time

the enemy has a range up producing skirmishers.

Whatever variation of the above openings is adopted, speed is

very much a key. Early booming in the Dark Age is very risky

indeed against a good

rushing player, and in general not a good idea.

PRIORITIES

Dark Age

Scout your surrounding area

Knowledge of the territory surrounding your starting position

is essential when deciding your tactics. You have to know

where all your different

resources lie, and how easy to defend they are. Are your boars

nearby? Is all your gold in one place? Is your gold between

you and your enemy, or do

you have gold placed behind your TC? Near or far? Do you have

many natural features that make your position able to be

walled?

All of these things are important to how you play the map. For

instance, if your gold is all placed together, a strong attack

at that point will cripple your

economy, so it is imperative that you take defensive measures

against that.

Decide on your strategy

If you hadn't already decided when you went into the game, you

really have to know what you plan to do in Dark Age so you can

tailor your economy

suitably. If you are planning to rush, you will want to go for

a food heavy early economy, whereas if you plan to go for an

aggressive Dark Age farming

opening, you will want to go fairly heavy on woodcutting.

Deciding where and, more importantly, when to attack is

essential.

Pallisade what you can

If you have regions that you can pallisade off easily, then do

so. This will reduce the number of paths that forward builders

and/or enemy troops can

take into your town, making it easier to detect them. The less

ways in, the better, it becomes much easier to defend.

Scout your enemy base

If you plan an early attack, knowledge of the layout of your

enemy's town is essential. You basically need to know the same

details that you discovered

about your town - where do the enemy resources lie, is all his

gold in one place, how many ways into the town are there than

you can exploit. From

this you can formulate your plan of attack.

Place outpost housing in the expected path of forward builders

You can often surmise where builders will aim to build by the

layout of your town. People will generally build to the side

or rear of your town, so place

housing in these regions to pick up any villagers who might be

intent on establishing a forward base on your doorstep.

Scout your home base once more

Keep your scout moving around areas where your enemy could

build up. If you discover forward builders and can't prevent

them from building, you

will at least know where they are and what to expect, so you

can make countermeasures.

Send your own builders forward

If you plan an attack within the 20 minute mark, then you

really want to get your builders deep into enemy territory in

the Dark Age, establishing a

strong forward base.

Feudal Age

Employ/adjust your strategy

By the time you reach Feudal you will realise whether or not

your chosen strategy will still be viable, or whether you have

to alter it. For instance, if

you were planning a fast feudal attack, but had trouble

securing the early food you needed, you might choose to abort

in favor of a faster castle time

rather than risk the late attack.

If you are planning to carry out a flush, then you will spend

a substantial amount of time in Feudal hurting the enemy

economy. If you aren't planning

to spend a substantial amount of time attacking in Feudal,

then heading for the Castle transition as quickly as possible

is a priority.

Tower/stone wall outside your vulnerable resources

If you have resources that are open to attack, placing a tower

on them is a safeguard against an archer raid. You only have

enough stone to place one

until you mine more stone, so place it carefully. If you can

protect your gold while providing some cover to your

woodcutters, that is perfect. If

possible, try to tower outside the resource, between the

resource and the enemy rather than between your TC and the

resource, as it makes it more

difficult to place an offensive tower over the resource

without being discovered first. If possible, placing two

towers will provide even more cover, and

will eliminate the problem of having no murder holes,

preventing enemy troops from standing at the base of your

towers, unhindered.

If you find your gold goes get towered, don't forget that a

substantial number of villagers can break down a tower

alarmingly quickly. If the enemy

does not have a few archers in support of the tower, bring

your nearby villagers and knock it down.

Continue scouting

This should be continued to keep a look out for late forward

builders, and to locate intermediate resources if they haven't

been uncovered. Either way,

keep your scout mobile, using patrol if you don't have time to

set waypoints all the time.

Initiate your attack

Unless you plan to delay your attack until the Castle Age,

attack your enemy in Feudal. If your enemy has yet to reach

the Castle Age, or at least

prepare for an attack, you have the opportunity to put a

serious crimp in the enemy's economy with a few upgraded

archers on stand ground among

their woodcutters.

Castle Age

Drop multiple TCs in your town

If an attack hasn't arrived by Castle Age, then it is likely

that a knight raid is just around the corner. Defensive pikes

are a good idea, but placing TCs

near every resource of value will provide adequate protection

for your villagers while preventing building in the area by

the enemy.

Step up your woodcutting operation

Since you would not have had a substantial woodcutting

operation in place, you will likely reach Castle with only

enough wood for another two TCs or

so (unless Briton), so your woodcutting has to be increased to

provide wood for extra TCs to boom from, and to create the

large number of farms

required to fund your boom and army.

Boom, boom, boom

With multiple TCs in place you can start creating many more

villagers. As mentioned above, most new villagers should be

cutting wood, transitioning

them to farms as soon as possible. Increasing your economy as

quickly as possible is a high priority if you expect the game

to progress to Imperial.

Claim the intermediate resources

There are always some isolated resources placed around the

map, waiting to be claimed. As soon as possible, attempt to

build a new TC at each that

you have located. These extra resources could make a huge

difference in the late game, and placing the TC claims the

territory, giving you a platform

to mount an offensive from. These bases should be expanded to

include several of each kind of military building from which

you will create your

attacking force, so you don't have to wait for your units to

walk the length of the map to attack.

Imperial Age

The late game in Arabia is basically about maintaining your

economy while on the offensive. There are no real high

priorities once you hit Imperial

besides the obvious goal of breaking down your enemy's town

with trebuchets.

With no alternative routes via water to the rear of bases, the

only way to attack is straight across the middle, whether it

be through the center of the

map, or along the outsides, so games will often come down to

who controls their forces the best and employs the best

tactics while keeping their

economy in more or less on piece. Hopefully it is you ...

CONCLUSION

Arabia is a map favored by many for its open, aggressive style

of play. With nowhere to hide and little chance of cost

effective walling, it is brutally simple in

its nature - it encourages fast, fierce fighting. One of the

few maps where rushing is not only viable, but dominant, it is

a much different experience

from other maps.

    Current date/time is Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:47 am