Persian First dock strategy
The Sheriff introduced me to a fascinating
quick-castle strategy shortly after coming to work
at Ensemble Studios. It involves the unusual
tactic of building a dock before a lumber camp,
making a few fishing boats immediately, and
delaying the construction of a mill until well
into feudal age.
The Persians are the civilization to use for this
strategy. Their +50 starting food lets them get by
with just four shepherds for the first few
minutes, freeing the other villagers to cut wood.
Their +50 starting wood lets them build two houses
(60), a dock (150) and a fishing boat (75 for 285
total) after collecting just 35 wood - far faster
than any other civilization.
Like the Mayan Eagle Warrior-Rush, this strategy
has more than one use. For example you can go for
a very fast castle-age time of 14:xx with only 3 -
5 fishing boats, and then attacking with five
light cavalry. Another alternative is to put more
villagers on wood, and create more fishing boats,
for a mid-16's castle with a population of 45-50
villagers and fishing boats. Either can be deadly.
Buildorder 14:xx castle age-time and Light-Cavalry
01.) First four villagers: build 2 houses, get
02.) Next six: cut straggler trees. Use one to
build dock and third house.
03.) Make three fishing boats (stragglers
permitting) before building a lumber camp.
04.) Add a couple more on food, do not stop for
05.) Once the lumber camp is up, go with about six
on wood, others on sheep/boars.
06.) Add a boat or two as wood permits.
07.) Put your last three villagers on gold. Get
loom just before or after going feudal.
08.) Go feudal with about 22 villagers and four
boats. Still no mill.
09.) In feudal transition, add barracks, then
stable/blacksmith in feudal. Go castle.
10.) Build mill, prepare for attack
If you're not planning a light cav rush, you may
want to add the mill a bit sooner for more
efficient berry gathering.
Unlike the KLEW, which reaches castle age at a
similar time but sacrifices the strength of the
economy, this strategy leaves you ready to rock!
At 14:xx, you should have already paid for an
attack force of five scouts and the upgrade to
light cavalry, and have the resources to drop a
second and third town center for protection and
Buildorder 16:xx castle age- time:
01.) Villagers 1-5 build two houses, go to sheep
(Using five makes it harder to run out of food).
02.) Of the three remaining queued villagers, put
two on cutting wood, send the last toward the
03.) Loom after villager 8, this improves the odds
of your builder surviving a wolf attack.
04.) Have the builder make a dock, then a house.
Keep putting new villagers on wood until you have
05.) Make a total of three fishing boats, then
save wood for a lumber camp.
06.) Once you have 10 woodcutters, make the lumber
camp, and put all new villagers on food.
07.) Resume boat production ASAP. Make a mill if
08.) Watch your food stockpile, when it hits 500,
go feudal. Shift some of your food villagers to
09.) Send a villager or two to a better fishing
spot, add a second dock.
10.) Saving enough wood for a market and
blacksmith, make as many fishing boats as you can
while researching feudal.
11.) When you hit feudal, queue another villager
or two, have small groups build the market and
blacksmith, then resume boat production.
I developed a somewhat easier-to-execute variant
of this strategy, it hits castle age in the low
16's, with about 25 villagers and 15 fishing
boats. The build order is much simplified, but not
Although the Persians aren't generally considered
to be a fast civ, you'll have to admit that a
pop-31 castle age in the low 14's is awfully fast.
The boost from just four fishing boats, made early
in the game, turns into a huge economic and
military advantage if you can quickly attack
before your opponents can create a castle-age