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
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
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
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
A variation of this would be a similar population with a
strong tendency toward farming in the Dark Age. An analysis of
this written by Lord_Captn_Kidd
can be found on MrFixitOnline, but it is also viable, and
produces an arguably stronger Castle Age economy (at the very
least it is much simpler to
micromanage, allowing more time for scouting and building).
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.
There is a guide to this written
by gutter_rat on MrFixitOnline. 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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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 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 ...
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.