Gothsgood in their time, unappreciated in AoK. Yes, the Goths arent played as much as other Civs. Why? Some people say theyre unbalanced. Some say they arent good. Others say theyre great. So, youre asking me. Who is to believe? Are the Goths good? Average ? Excellent ? That is what Im going to elaborate on in this civ guide, the first in a long series.
So, who are the Goths ?
The Goths originated from the Island of Gotland in the Baltic, and then split into two distinct tribes as they moved south across Central Europe. The Visigoths (West Goths) settled in the Romania region. The Ostrogoths (East Goths) settled farther east on the north west coast of the Baltic. The Visigoths were driven away by the Hunnish invaders, and escaped south across the Danube River. Their numbers were estimated at over 60 000, quite a large population. They defeated a Constantinople army, and settled south of the Danube before pushing into Italy and sacking Rome, then moving into Gaul, modern France. They were given a part of Gaul, and from then on they extended their domination to Spain and Portugal.
The Ostrogoths broke away from the Huns, and followed into Italy; eventually completing its conquest in 493. However, their kingdom did not last long after the death of their greatest leader, Theodoric. The Byzantines pushed in, under the lead of Belisarius, hoping to regain what was the old Roman Empire. The Ostrogoths were finally defeated in Italy, in 552.
The Visigoths rule lasted longer, and in the late fifth century, Clovis, first Christian Frank Emperor, drove them out of modern France, over the Pyrenees. When Clovis died, France split up and the Visigoths were left alone, until Islamic armies from North Africa destroyed the last Gothic kingdom.
In Age of Kings, who are the Goths?
In Age of Kings, the Goths are different. The main reason they arent often chosen is very simple, but not a very plausible one. The Goths indeed lack Walls, compromising their defensive capabilities. They also lack an economic bonus, apart from the bonus against boars.
But lets stop talking about all the negative sides. Underneath these failings is a well-polished and useful civ.
Unique Unit : Huskarl
Team Bonus : Barrack 20% faster
Infantry 10% Feudal Age, -15% Castle Age, -25% Imperial Age.
Villagers +5 attack against boar.
Infantry +1 attack against buildings
+10 population Imperial Age.
How Can All These Bonuses Be Used?
Some of the bonuses the Goths bear seem rather useless to the less experienced players. But the more experienced ones have likely experienced with this civ and got the grasp of them.
The Goth Unique Unit, the Huskarl, is an infantry unit with extremely high pierce armor. Before Elite upgrade, they bear 6 pierce armor, and possibly 8 with the armor upgrades. Unfortunately, the Goths dont have the last armour upgrade, which takes the edge of their cheap infantry. As for attack, the Huskarl has the standard 8 (12 Elite) of Infantry Unique Units, upgradeable to a whopping 12 (16 Elite). Overall, this unit is extremely powerful versus archers, but can be killed by standard swordsmen.
Well, what can I say? 20% faster barracks is a great advantage! Extremely useful it is, to have fast barracks. It means you can basically have a larger army in less time than the opposition. For example, in the time I takes him to create 10 Infantry Units, you will have produced twenty percent more, 12. And two extra units can really turn the tide of a battle to your favor. Or even if it doesnt, an army of twelve like that can take on 10 with one armor upgrade and possibly survive, if the situation is handled correctly, that is.
Probably the main economic bonus the Goths have. With a much cheaper infantry, the Goths can outnumber their foes greatly, and at a cheaper price. In Imperial Age, the Goths have only 15 gold and 45 food to pay for a champion, compared to 30 gold and 60 food for other civs. Thats a considerable difference, and combined with the infantry creation speeds, makes the Goths on of the best infantry civs.
Infantry Attack bonus
Yes, Gothic infantry also get an attack bonus against buildings. +1 to be exact. Now, +1 attack bonuses may seem very weak, but rest assured, it isnt. A standard champion bears a total of 13 attack without upgrades. Thus, an army of 10 causes 130 attack with each blow. A Gothic champion army of this magnitude will cause 140 attack to buildings with each blow. On a larger scale, this bonus is much more stunning. Take a huge Infantry Army, of 50 champions. Multiply 140 by 50, and you get 700 attack total. And that is without attack upgrades. With, a Gothic Champion has a total of 17 attack. Now, an army of 50 champions causes 850 damage.
You may ask what the point of all this math is. Creating 50 champions only costs 750 gold and 2250 food. All of these resources are very little on the large scale. And for quite a low price, a Gothic Infantry army can easily take down most buildings with little or no loses. As for units, that isnt a problem, as no unit can attack fast enough and with enough strength to kill a single champion without falling before.
Boar Hunting Bonus
Ive seen many people disregard this bonus, as in the beginning it may seem quite useless. But fear not, that is not the case. Although the bonus may not be as useful as the Vikings or the Franks, it is still useful in the early stages of the game. +5 attack is not a little thing. Normally, it would take at least 6 villagers to kill a boar, and it is not certain you will escape without casualties. With the Goths, it barely takes 3 villagers to do the grizzly job, and they can easily come out unscathed. Now, you may say, what is the use of killing a wild boar with fewer villagers? Well, the answer is pretty clear. If you can kill a boar with three villagers, you can kill two with six. In other words, youll get a larger food income than other civs when you find boar. As boars usually travel in packs of two, you will usually always find two boars by your base, for a total of 680 food in half the time it would take other Civs. Usually, with Goths, I build my first mill, not by berries, deer, or shore fish, but by boar.
The population bonus
This bonus is very useful in low pop games, but in high ones it is ridiculous, as it doesnt give the Goths a particular edge. In a 75 pop game, having ten extra villagers or units can turn the tide of a battle in your favor. When the pop gets higher, ten more units is ridiculous when compared to the sheer size, strength and numbers of some units.
So if you intend to use this bonus on a high pop game, think again. If the pop is low, then a minimum of success is to be expected.
So, weve overviewed each of these bonuses. What is the Goth's Strong Point?
By the nature of all of these bonuses, I think it is fairly obvious to discern that the Goths really shine in matter of Infantry. Combine a creation speed bonus, a price bonus, and an attack bonus, and you get a killer force. Unfortunately, this is the only bonus the Goths really have to distinguish them from other civs. Their navy is average, as good as all the others with no bonus, their cavalry is good too, and they only lack one archery unit. In matter of siege, theyre okay, only missing the Siege Onager and Siege Ram, and of course, Siege Engineers. And as everyone knowsthey dont have any walls or towers.
Help! No walls or towers! What am I going to do?
The lack of walls and towers is indeed something serious, and apparently the main reason people dont choose them. But, as we all know, turtling isnt always successful. But although walls arent always a solution, they are sometimes the only way of defense and can put you at a serious disadvantage on some maps, such as Baltic, Mediterranean, Black forest, and sometimes continental, because they dont have a chance to block off choke points. This is where we use what we call, the Wall of flesh. As its name suggests, the point of this is to use your units to form a wall. Basically, it involves using your units to defend from invading enemies rather than walls. On occasions, this is very useful, such as when you need to move your defense to attack a trebuchet, or other.
Weve gone over the civ bonuses now. But what about technologies ?
All Civs, the Goths lack some technologies and have some that few civs have. Unfortunately, the former is dominant, and the Goths dont have some important techs.
To give you an idea, here is a list of all the techs they dont have :
Gold Shaft Mine
Plate Mail Armor
Elite Cannon Galleon
Now, if I felt like it or had the time Id go over each of these, but I doubt much people would want to wade through twenty or more pages of useless explaining of things you probably already knew.
I will though point out the techs that will put you at disadvantage.
If you quickly read through these, youll see the Goths dont miss much, apart from, of course, defensive buildings. Not many civs get Paladins, and only six get camels, so the Goths dont lack much in the matter of cavalry. As for archers, not many civs either get the Arbalest (seven), so their archers can be just as good as any others. The siege is okay, only lacking the Siege Onager and Siege Ram, but unfortunately also Siege Engineers. And that +15 attack the villagers have against buildings is useful sometimesspecially on forward bases. In matter of monks, they also are put to challenge with the lack of the three most important upgrades, the one that boosts conversion range to +3, the one that lets you convert enemy monks and the one that lets you convert enemy siege units. But monks are mostly used for healing, and on that side they are okay. If you really insist on monks, get a Teutonic ally
The navy is the same as other civs, with no bonuses but no bad misses either.
As far as economy, they only miss Gold Shaft Mining, and surprisingly are a very good civ for economy late in the game.
To sum it all up:
Defense: bad (-)
Infantry: very good (+)
Cavalry: okay (neutral)
Archers: okay (neutral)
Siege: okay (neutral)
Monks: bad (-)
Navy: okay (neutral)
Economy: very good (+)
Add together all of the plus and the minus, and you get (+) + (+) +(-) + (-) = 0 (neutral).
So overall, the Goths are an okay technology civ. I will use this type of rating in all my guides from now on.
Finally ! Weve Finished Going Over the Goths themselves ! What next ?
Well, weve gone over the Goths as a civ so far. Bonuses, etc, all have been discussed in detail. But read again, and youll see that there arent any strategies. Thats what we are going to discuss now. Goth specific strats.
Before moving onto Strats, lets examine the different aspects of the civ that can help strategies.
By now, youve probably noticed, or guessed, that the Goths strength relies on their infantry. They have an attack bonus, and are cheaper.
Logically, cheaper infantry would mean less gathering of resources, less time spent on buildup. Yes, youve noticed less time. And less time means more speed. Yes, thats the key word. Rush. The Goths have cheap infantry, with an attack bonus. So you can build units faster than the opposition earlier in the game. Unfortunately, you must use this opportunity right away, as later on the bonus is harder to exploit in rushes.
Next, the +10 pop limit. Now, this can either mean more villagers, or more units. The choice is hard to make, but can change everything
Rush? Whats a Rush?
Youve probably heard the term before; you probably know what it means. Most people do, but then again, some dont. So, Ill say what it is, to make sure people reading this dont get lost later on in discussions on the rush.
Rushing is, as the name might suggest, something that is done early on, and quickly. Its actually a fast attack, with military units, and has for objective not to destroy the enemy (the Town Centers make it impossible sometimes), but to seriously affect his economy. If you can kill ten villagers, he will be 500 food behind, and you will even be able to make his progression to Feudal of Castle Age impossible without more villagers. In AoK, losing 5-10 minutes can sometimes be crucial as to the outcome of a game. With 10 less villagers, the enemy will have at the time 33% less resources than you this is assuming he has thirty villagers, and of course if your rush succeeds. Some rushes are more effective, where the enemy panics and looses control of his villages, thus also his economy, and simply forgets to garrison the Town Center. Other times, the opponent may detect the attack by the means of an outpost or scouting, and sometimes there are also telltale signs such as very rapid progression through the ages, and military buildup right from the Dark Age.
First Goths Strategy: The Infantry Rush
So now, weve discussed that the Infantry is to be used earlier on, and participate in an effective Rush. Of course, saying this is much easier than it is to put to effect, and requires much skill and practice before it becomes a natural and helpful task.
Your first objective, as with all civs, is to rapidly get 500 foods to go to Feudal Age, with approximately 30 villagers. As usual, go for sheep. But scout around your base first, before going for berries. Look for boars. If you find them, build a mill by them and immediately get loom, and then send three villagers on the first boar, and three on the other. This will get you 680 food fairly rapidly. Instead of building a dock, lumber camp, or mining camp; build a barracks as the second building to advance to Feudal. When you hit the Feudal button, immediately start pumping out infantry. Youll have 150 gold, and itll only cost you 135 gold and 270 food to get a small army of 5 militia. Of course, this wont get you very far. You should by now have an excess food supply of around 400-800, and all this should be used to finance the rush. Build five more villagers (250 food), and set them all on gold, with the initial ones on food and five on wood. This will soon get you a steady supply of resources, enough to have the barracks constantly at work. If you are ever halted by house problems, upgrade to Men at Arms (100 food, 40 gold), instead of waiting for the house to be completed. When you have around 10 Men at Arms, send them all to the enemy base, that your scout will of located, with two to four villagers. Just out of reach, but not too far from the enemy, build a barracks or two, and pump out infantry, using the initial ten to defend. When you have 15-20, attack. Remember: your main objective is economy; so instead of going for the Town Center, go for villagers. When the Town Center becomes too crowed and dangerous, attack the houses and other building that will slow down the enemy progression if hes still Dark or Feudal, destroy his buildings that will help him advance. But as a rule of thumb, go for houses to disrupt his production.
On rare occasions, you may be able to totally destroy the enemys town. If this is the case, and you have an opportunity, take it. If not, dont try, as a failed Rush is a Rush turned against you, and is lethal.
Oh, I forgot to add that it might help to get the attack upgrades and armor upgrades at the blacksmiths before launching your attack.
Thats nice. But what happens if youre on the receiving end of this attack?
As you know, you wont be the only one dishing out pain during a game. Other people may well of read this or another guide, and know just as much as you do.
Like all strategies, there is a way to make them backfire and turn against the enemy. And theres always a way to cock that up and speed up your doom. Either way, youre going to need to counter this.
Lets first analyze the situation. Youre either in Dark or Feudal Age. In these Ages, youll have a Town Center, possibly one or two military buildings, and maybe a Tower, and walls. Youll have some gold, stone, wood, and food, though not in huge quantities. Here, Ill only analyze a way to counter the Goth Infantry Rush rather than a general one.
As in all games, the best way to victory is prevision, or to be able to tell what the enemy is going to do. To do so, youll have to have an idea of where his base is, and be able to regularly check up on him. Personally, I park my scout next to his base, out of his sight, as soon as Ive got as many sheep as I need (often around 12 or more). This way, I just need to run in once, take a look, and pop back out again. There will be telltale signs of what the enemy is going to do, and in the case of a Gothic Infantry Rush, they can be hard to find. Basically, they are an early military buildup, early gold-mining operation, more than one barracks, and a blacksmiths. These things can help to tell what the opponent is planning on doing, for obvious reasons. When youve discerned these signs, the first thing to do is to counter it. Build counter units for the units, in this case, Infantry. In the early ages, only one possibility is opened to you: archers. Unfortunately, they are quite expensive. Build as many as you can, and leave them ungarrisoned. Meanwhile, build a Tower within firing range of the Town Center (you dont have murder holes yet), and if you can spare the resource, block off choke points with walls, using as many villagers as you can to get the job done faster. By now, youll have a good enough defense to get out of this with very minimal loses.
Unfortunately, not often do people get warning signs of a rush, and are caught by surprise. In this case, there is only one thing to do, and that is to run, and hide. But before carelessly garrisoning all the villagers, try to get a villager to escape, and make sure you have enough wood to build another Town Center and a Barracks in the case you get your initial based razed. When the Infantry gets within firing range, select the targets manually, and first target the units that are closest to the Town Center. Sometimes, your Town Center will get destroyed. In this case, instead of foolishly sending all the villagers to the same spot and to the other emergency builder, send them all in different directions, with a larger group going to the way you really want to go. This will not save all villagers, but will much more than if you run them off to the same place.
My thoughts on the Goths Infantry Rush: Ive used this technique more than once, and on most occasions have been more or less successful. But the few times the Rush backfired; I was in major trouble and instantly lost the game. So before pulling of this technique on the Zone, practice it first against the computer.
The Additional Ten Population Limit and its uses
So, how can these ten extra units come in handy? Logically, theyd be useful to fight against the strong disadvantages the Goths have. And in this case, it is of course Defense. Now, these are only my opinions, and I find them to be correct most of the time.
Firstly, these ten units can be either Military units, or villagers.
In the case of military units, it would seem logical to make Infantry. Unfortunately, ten extra infantry units dont change the tide of a battle much. And besides, they do nothing for defense. My opinion is to invest in Archers, to garrison permanently in TCs, Towers, or Castles. This gives you a reliable and permanent defense. And remember, youll always be ten units ahead later on, so having idle units isnt going to hurt.
The next option is to build villagers. What do ten extra villagers do? Later in a game, ten extra villagers isnt much, as very often income is excellent, sometimes excessive, and often one type or resource runs out and you end up with lots of idle and useless villagers. So weve established one point that is that they would be useless for resource gathering. But then againtheyd be quite good for forward builders, wouldnt they? Really, this is the only area I have found a point for extra villagers.
So really, Id advise you to go for Military Units, Archers, to fill up the ten extra population limit