A Guide to Nomad
Are you one of those people that start every game
with pressing HCCC as fast as possible? And order
villager 1 and 2 to make a house? While sending
scout to find sheep and letting villager 3 build a
2nd house? You want to try something new for a
change, but you are too lazy to start all over
again? This guide to Nomad might be something for
Due to the start without a scout or Town Center
and villagers separated from each other, Nomad is
completely different from any other "regular"
maps. Nomad is probably the only map where you can
get a fast Feudal- and Castle-Age time while not
using any sheep or boars.
This guide will explain the map and current
strategies. The value for expert players might be
limited, but Nomad-beginners and intermediate
players will - hopefully - find something of use
2.) The Map:
2.1) Map Layout:
Nomad is a water map. You either get one big
island with lots of water around it, or a
Nomad has lots of resources: You get all the land
resources (sheep, berries, boars and deer) plus a
lot of shore fish and deep-sea fish. With this
variation of resources you can get fast feudal-,
castle- and imperial-age times depending on the
combination of food you use to advance. Here is a
list of the resources (note that placement is
randomly) given on a tiny Nomad map:
Sheep: 16, in groups of 2 - 4.
Boars: 6 (!), often in groups of 2 or even 3.
Berries: 2 patches
Deer: Large amounts of deer, in groups of 2 - 8.
Stone & Gold: 6 patches.
Shore fish: Since its a water map, Nomad has
plenty of shore fish.
Deep Sea fish: Large amounts of deep sea fish
especially in the map corners.
3). Civilization Choice:
Every game the decision for a civilization is an
important one. The civilization determines your
basic way of playing. When entering a Nomad-game
the first thing you should know is that Chinese
and Koreans are considered to be overpowered, and
therefore banned in most games. Now lets have a
look at the most common civilizations for Nomad.
Chinese: Starting with 6 villagers is obviously
a HUGE advantage. You will be able to find a
"sweetspot" for your Town Center faster, your
first Town Center will be up faster and so on.
Add the other bonuses for Chinese and then you
realize why nobody allows Chinese players on
Nomad anymore - its just unfair.
Koreans: Korean villagers have an increased Line
of Sight, which enables you to see more (and
find a suitable location to settle down faster).
Their stonecutting and tower bonuses arent that
good for Nomad but come in handy. So why are
Koreans banned in most of the Nomad games ?
Wel,l thats because of their War Wagons.
Celts: Since Nomad is a water map a lot of boats
(and wood !) are needed. With their woodcutting
bonus Celts have a strong advantage, not to
mention the very good tech tree. They are
undoubtfully one of the better civilisations for
Nomad (damn good for grushing). Its my personal
Huns: No need for houses makes Huns a popular
civilization for Nomad. They can spend the wood
on boats instead to get a faster time. They are
also the best choice for knight rushes since
they are faster than Franks. One more thing: On
Nomad Huns dont have the -100 wood penalty.
Vikings: Cheap docks make Vikings a welcomed
partner. It's a bonus that comes in nicely. Free
Handcart and Wheelbarrow make them even better.
Together with cheaper galleys, Vikings are a
very effective grushing civilization. Not to
mention their Champions later in the game.
Japanese: Japanese are the best boat booming
civilization in AOK. Their fishing ships work
faster and have more hitpoints. Dark Age -
buildings cost 50% less. Galleys have an
increased Line of Sight. What else do you need
for boat booming ?
Mayans: As explained for Chinese having more
villagers at the start is a huge advantage. You
will be able to find more in the same time and
build your original Town Center faster. Longer
lasting resources (+ 25%) is an advantage on any
map. Unlike Chinese, Mayans arent banned.
Persians: With their + 50 food at start, you
will have less idle time for your Town Center
early in the game. Note that Persians dont get
the 50 wood extra on Nomad.
Britons: On Nomad you can gather a lot of sheep
or none at all, depends on how lucky you are. If
you are lucky and you find a lot of sheep then
Britons have a remarkable advantage. But I
wouldnt count on that for picking your
Goths: Large packs of deer can be found on Nomad
and also groups of boars. Their hunting bonus
will help them. But like Britons this advantage
is only given if you find those deer and boars
fast enough and close enough to your Town
Mongols: Exactly the same as for Goths, their
hunting bonus only helps them if you find the
deer which is never certain.
4.) The Game:
4.1) Town Center Placement:
A very crucial phase in the game is where to place
your first Town Center. Koreans, Chinese and
Mayans have a big advantage here because of either
increased Line of Sight or more villagers. Where
you place your Town Center and how fast you plant
it down can decide the game. So whats the deal
about ? Always place your Town Center next to a
forest (touching or with a small space) so
woodcutters dont need to march far. Wood is
essential on Nomad because you need boats to
gather food. Of course you will be able to go for
a fast Feudal-Age time with land food only but you
will have to pay for this when going to castle:
the boat boomer will always be ahead of you. So
dont neglect the sea. Every strategy or
explanation in this guide is based on using the
sea as your primary food- resource to get through
the first two ages.
So we are going to look for a spot next to a
forest. What i always do is sending all 3
villagers in different directions to scout the
map. Once you found a "sweetspot" the two closest
villagers build a Town Center instantly. The third
goes to a corner or a shore with lots of fish to
build a dock and a house. Always make your Town
Center with 2 villagers. Only if the 3rd is near
them send him to help before he starts with the
dock. The faster the Town Center is up the faster
you can start gathering resources. Below is a list
of what I would call "sweetspots" for Nomad:
Forest with 1 or several boars nearby
Forest with gold nearby
Forest with stone nearby (if you find another
sweetspot first then go for that)
Forest with berries nearby (berries are slow but
better than nothing)
Forest with 1 or 2 Shore fish nearby (perfect:
wood to the left, fish to the right)
Forest with deer nearby.
One thing you should always keep in mind: Never
scout too long. I always try to start building my
Town Center before the 2:00 minute mark so that it
will be build around 4:00 minutes. If your
opponent finds his spot sooner and you are still
running around the map with your villagers you
will get into trouble sooner or later.
In 1 vs. 1 - games Town Center placement is even
more important than in team - games but
nevertheless: Start building the original Town
Center before the 2:00 minute mark. And always try
to build near gold, nothing is more irritating
than not to find gold in time. Another option for
Town Center placement is going blind meaning
starting to build Town Center at the first forest
you see. The advantage of that is that you
probably have your Town Center up (and can start
pumping out villagers) while the opponent is still
building or even searching. This way you might
have a 1 - 2 minute lead compared to your opponent
but it is very possible that you dont have any
resources nearby besides wood.
If you havent found any resources at the 2:00
minute mark, stop searching and build that Town
Center blind - dont make it worse.
4.2) Town Center is up:
What now ? One villager builds a dock and house in
a corner or on a shore with lots of deep sea fish
possibilities. The other 2 (3 in case of Mayans)
become woodcutters so you can make boats as soon
as possible. Make more villagers now.
4.3) First food:
You got your Town Center and your dock and you are
making more villagers. Which kind of food should i
gather first ? One thing is for sure: It has to be
gathered fast. And this depends on your Town
Center placement. You have probably found some
sheep while your where scouting so they can be
your first source of food. I suggest 3 or 4
villagers on sheep, and then the rest goes to wood
for boats. If you have placed your Town Center
near shore fish then take this at first, even
before sheep because shore fish is faster than
sheep. If you have placed your Town Center close
to boar(s) go for sheep (or shore fish) first to
get a steady villager production and then lure
boar(s). If you are next to deer go for sheep (or
shore fish) first, then deer.
You where unlucky and you havent got any fast
food nearby ? Your sheep didnt make it to your
Town Center or you went blind and didnt find
anything in time ? Dont worry, you wont have the
fastest time but if you send all villagers to wood
and make boats then you will still be in the race
for a decent Feudal-Age time (clicking feudal
around 14-15 minute mark if Town Center at around
Never have more than 6 villagers on food besides
your boats. I only use 6 villagers for boars, and
that is for a short period only. Having a lot of
villagers on food puts a strain on your wood flow.
So you wont be able to make as many boats as you
should. You will need 10 + boats to have a fast
transition from Feudal- to Castle-Age or to have
the necessary food to get the upgrades and
continued villager production when going for a
Because you have to start building your Town
Center as soon as possible, you know very little
of the map and location of the resources like gold
and stone. Scouting is very important since you
need to find that gold you need if there wasnt
any gold near your Town Center. One of your
initial villagers will have to be your scout to
find resources and opponent(s) until you have a
proper scout. Your scouting villager is also the
one whos going to build your first dock and
house. The villager will scout and build houses
when necessary. Add a second villager to build
houses and scout when you have a second dock up. I
suggest you get a "real" scout just before you
advance to the Castle-Age, or anytime you have
some extra-food. If you are planning to stay in
Feudal-Age for a while (grushing or other feudal
attacking). You can use the two house builders to
build additional docks and also as forwards.
Time to talk about the different strategies that
you can use on Nomad. I cant give you exact build
orders because Nomad is just too unpredictibly.
What i can (and will) do is to give you general
ideas, but then you will have to figure it out
yourself. Your game-layout will be different in
many games depending on where you placed your
original Town Center.
The race to Feudal-Age is the same in most games
and the most common (and best) way to achieve this
is by boat booming. Using few villagers on land
food (5 - 6) and the rest on wood and pumping out
boats from 2 - 3 docks. A "normal" Feudal-Age time
with this is around 15:00 minutes. This is a very
solid startup since you have a population of about
40 villagers (boats) gathering resources. You can
get faster times (for example by using a lot of
land food) but then you will have to sacrifice
your economy more and it doesnt guarantee you a
Other than on Arabia or other maps that force you
to advance you as soon as possible Nomad always
offers to boom. If your opponent decides for the
boat boom while you try to flush, his economy will
be much stronger (he has about 15 boats fishing
while you have none at all) so your advantage of
being Feudal-Age faster will turn into a
However, when you are in Feudal-Age its time to
make a decision on what you are going to do next.
If you scouted enough (see previous section) and
located docks and villager activity you can plan
ahead. Lets discuss the different options:
Galley Rush: Since a lot of players boat boom a
Galley Rush can throw a lot of sand in their
plans. When you and your opponent are
fishing very close to each other you dont have
any other possibility than to grush him. Its
either your fishing ships or his and 15 fishing
boats or 0 fishing boats is a big difference.
Galley Rushing is not that recommended if your
docks and his docks are far apart from
each other. Going for a Castle-Age attack might be
the better option in that case.
Flush: A very popular strategy in regular games on
land maps but again it has to be said: Nomad is
different. If your opponent is boat-booming he
will have a continued food flow that you cant
deny when attacking him with archers and towers on
land. This means he will be able to keep up his villies production well
defend. Also his base could be spread out. His
gold and stone miners could be far away from his
base and your archers would run around not
spotting it. My suggestion is that you grush first and then flush as a choice.
Castle Age jump too much.
Knight Rush: If you think your boats are safe for
a while then you might go for a knight rush and
spend more wood on the buildings needed for
Castle-Age upgrade and maybe a few more boats. The
faster the knight rush the better, so dont spoil
too much food during Feudal- and Castle-Age and
have 3 stables. If your boats are still untouched
when you start to upgrade to Castle-Age you will
more than likely have a lot of food when you hit
Castle-Age and will be able to launch a heavy
attack immediately. You can take out his base
quickly if you have 1 or 2 rams with your knights.
This strategy has been very popular in the
beginning of Nomad-play but nowadays many players
make several pikemen to defend against Knight
Rushing. Anyways: Keep pressure. Try to raid the
opponent whenever and whereever possible while
booming or preparing for a late and more powerful
Castle Age attack.
Boom: Nomad is a very good booming map and many
players boom on Nomad. Extra food from fish ships
when going to castle and your heavy woodcutting
give you the opportunity to plant down several
Town Centers at once and queue a lot of villagers.