An Overview of the DRush
In a DRush, what you basically do is keep the opponent "occupied" with militia while you wall off ALL of their Gold and then Stone. Also, you can kill a number of villagers, hurting his economy all the more. While they are attempting to beat off your Militia with what they have, you have a BOOMING Dark Age economy, unchecked by advancing to the Feudal Age. If it goes excellent (typically only this good against lower skill players), you can make your opponent retreat to the safety of his TC, and stay/build quite close to it-in or just about in range of it. You want to remember that your first priority is to wall off their Gold/Stone-make sure to use Militia to protect your forward villager(s).
You actually WANT your opponent to advance to the Feudal Age so they don't have that food available to help defend themselves, and as long as they're goldless, you have them cornered-even with the lowly Militia.
An important thing to remember: you are a bit vulnerable if the DRush doesn't go well, or if the enemy has some gold miners WAY out somewhere and IS getting gold. Hence, it's good to have a little defense when you're first attempting this. Probably the easiest way is to play Highland or Rivers and wall off the one or two Choke points. Note that when trying this the first time or two, it's probably better to just forget about defense at your town, until you get the hang of DRushing.
Note that you have to be REALLY careful if you DRush in a team game, because you could have your enemy's ally come over to run all the fun. They could either attack your town (which would be DEVASTATING) or come over to their ally's town, and clobber your army with archers and/or Men at Arms (M@A)-because they probably WILL be getting gold unchecked. So be REALLY careful in team games. (Of course, the team bonuses really help sometimes... such as the Goth's 20% faster barracks, the Mongol's Scouting bonus, or the Chinese extra food farms. Let your ally know you're going to DRush, and if your ally is someone you know, perhaps both of you DRush.
As I mentioned, you're defenseless at your base for a while here, but as long as the fight is going well over at their town (in a 1 on 1), I doubt they'll have the time or the resources to attack you. You may want to lay a barracks and build a few Militias at your base just in case, but do it a little later on as to not hurt your DRush attack. Do that at LEAST at villager 30, preferably a bit higher, like 40 or more.
Later on, you need a LOT of food-so you'll need a LOT of farms. However, 4 gold miners pretty much supply all the gold you need until you're starting to research/get to the Castle Age etc. (unless you build and use over 2 Barracks).
Rolling Back the Night (Scouting)
Have your Scout run in circles around your TC first thing. You need to find at least 6 sheep, at least 1 boar, and a Gold mine. However, a stone mine, the 2 more sheep and your second boar is VERY preferable. Your 2nd Gold and Stone mines are nice to know, but hardly necessary-good scouting of the enemy's town is MANDATORY for this strategy to work. So as soon as you find your goal of stuff by your TC, immediately head over to the enemy. Find his TC, but try to stay at least a little ways away-you can't afford to loose your scout, as you had better call off the DRush if you do. After finding his TC, go in circles around it. You MUST find his two gold piles at the VERY least, and the 2 stone piles are almost mandatory too. As soon as you find those, scout a little further out and try to find his "far" gold pile- that is typically a good place to lay your barracks, and a good one to wall off first. Remember, you CAN'T afford for your forward vill or Barracks be spotted until you have at least a militia, and preferably 2 or 3.
The "DRush" Build and Initial Militia Use (Updated 3-7-01)
I HAVE to say that I seldom use specific builds... it's just not the way I play. However, for the ones that _DO_ play that way, here is a rough build order that I do. You'll need to change this a little as appropriate depending on what resource you need at the moment. Well, here it is:
1&2: Build [the same] House
3: Build House, then another House
1-3, when done: Sheep
Loom here if you won't have enough food to build another villager if you dump your Shepherds.
Loom here if the same case occurs. I usually loom here.
8: Sheep if you need the food (it can be hard to get 8 shepherds to work on the same sheep though), but build Lumber Camp and then chop wood with this one otherwise.
9: Wood (Straggler or by the Lumber Camp)
10: Wood (Straggler or by the Lumber Camp)
11: Wood (Straggler or by the Lumber Camp)
Around here (give or take a villager), take two Lumberjacks and turn them into forward builders, sending them towards the enemy's gold pile closest to you. Make SURE not to be spotted-go in a semi- circle around their TC if necessary. Start palisading off the enemy's stone and gold until you have enough wood for a barracks (may be right off the bat when they get there).
As soon as you have enough wood, have 1 lumberjack build a house and then go back to wood. As soon after that that you have 100 more wood, have a lumberjack built a mill and go to wood.
12-14 (about) Berries. Build a Lumber Camp when you have enough wood.
Form there on for the next 15-20 villagers: Wood
Lure your Boar as appropriate to have your Shepherds eat that as soon as their done with the last sheep (Luring it sooner causes you to need to have the hunters drop off their food sometimes to keep building villagers). If you can find it, lure your 2nd Boar and eat that too. When your hunters are done with that, have them all build farms. If you don't have enough wood, put the rest on wood.
From that point on, put all villagers you build on wood. Keep taking villagers off wood and having them build farms as you get the wood to do it (later on, take 3 or 4 at a time to save micro-management). Do this until you have 18-24 farms (Move berry pickers to farms when they're done). You'll probably want to build a secondary mill after about 16 farms. As soon as you get that many (and perhaps sooner) you'll want to start leaving some villagers on Wood, so you get some in stock for when your farms start expiring (some probably already did-leave the woodchoppers in that case and rebuild the farm ASAP.
For your Forward Builders:
Build a Barracks next to the enemy's "far" gold or stone (gold strongly preferred) pile closest to YOU (and preferably the furthest from them). Palisade it off first if you don't have the wood for a Barracks. Immediately start building Militia when the Barracks Finishes.
When they're done with the barracks, wall up the gold you're next to (if you didn't already) and send your forwards to the next gold pile, this one much closer to the enemy TC (one of their "main" piles) and as long as there is no one there, start walling it up. If there are vills in sight range of there, go to their other gold pile.
Meanwhile, send all the Militia you build to wherever your forward villagers are, and use them to defend them until you get about 4, and then start attacking the enemy villagers nearby your forwards. After about 4 militia, start sending the others to the 2nd gold pile, to "cover" it until your forward villagers get to it.
As soon as you finish walling up the 1st "main" piles, split up your Forwards. Send one to the 2nd "main" gold pile and send the Militia to defend this one (Gold is the most important), while the 2nd goes and palisades up one of the "main" stone piles. When the vill walling off the gold is done, build a barracks with him/her right next to the gold pile he/her is at. If you don't have enough wood, have him/her palisade up the 2nd "main" stone pile, and then build the barracks. The other vill walling up the Stone goes to palisade up the 3rd and final patch of stone.
When the gold waller and the 4 Militia defending it reach the 2nd "main" gold pile, leave the 4 militia to defend the vill, but send all militia there and all new ones to attack enemy villagers, and that's what they do for quite a long time. Just remember to keep them out of TC range.
You may want to have the forwards do one of a few things when they're done with all that:
- Mine Gold
- Chop Wood
- Build another barracks or two and last, but certainly not least (and most interesting):
- Proceed to wall up the enemy's town, so that no villagers (or anything else) can escape. It can be hilarious if the enemy decides to Delete his TC and Run... but forget to get where they are going first. They get stopped by a palisade and slaughtered by Militia. This is probably the best "later" use for your forwards
As a general rule of the thumb for your economy meanwhile:
You need 2 villagers on gold to keep one Barracks going. 4 for two, etc. (You may need 5 for 2 Goth Barracks)
You need about 6 villagers on food to keep your TC building villagers, and about 6 to keep 1 barracks going. So you'd need about 12 to keep 2 barracks going, and so on (probably 7 for a Goth Barracks)
That should let you build up a surplus though (Except maybe a Goth), but it doesn't hurt to use more, as you can basically always use food, but don't take too many people off wood later on because you'll have to rebuild your farms sometime.
Keeping the Home Fires Burning
Meanwhile, back at home, keep putting villagers on wood until you get that forward barracks up, and until you have 100 more wood after that. At that point, move 3 villagers over to your gold pile and build a Mining camp, and have them mine.
Get a total of about 3 or 4 villagers on Wood, and then put them on berries until you have 6-8 there. At that point, set the TC gather point to wood and keep on building... you won't move that for quite a while. Once you get the wood, start building farms one after the other as you get the wood, taking the villagers off the berries until there is 4-5 left. At that point, start taking villagers off wood as soon as you have enough. Keep doing this until you have at LEAST 20 farms, preferably more like 24 or so. You'll probably want to put up a Mill in an empty area for more farms eventually.
Keep building villagers non-stop and putting them on wood taking them off when you have enough. It may pay to take a few at a time, because you'll be micromanaging your attack a lot during this time. At villager 25 or so, put 1 more villager on gold. At villager 35 or 40 if you're going REALLY heavy on Militia, you may want to put another on gold, but this is seldom necessary.
Put about 3 villagers on stone in the villager 40-50 range, so you have some once you Feudal.
Getting (and FORGETTING) the Feudal Age
Updated on 7-26-2001 due to the Patch
For any civ but the Goths and Japenese:
This is something to be done VERY late. Basically FORGET about this until you have a good enough economy going that you can keep pumping out Militia Non-Stop from both barracks without a flinch by Upgrading. Inotherwords, when you're staying around 700-800 food even when constantly building Militia. This will typically be around 40- 50 villagers, sometimes as many as 60. In a few cases (i.e. you start the attack late) this can be as low as 30-35 villagers (this is seldom)... but remember, as long as you're keeping them down, don't be afraid to hold off the Feudal upgrade.
But there are exceptions to every rule: If the DRush is going bad, or the enemy actually makes it to the Castle Age, Feudal Immediately.
Of course, M@A are a LOT better the Militia, so once you have a good enough economy to upgrade without slowing your attack at all, go for it, as it can't hurt. Plus it makes you at least a little safer in case the enemy IS getting gold (or is doing a lot of market trading).
For the Goths and Japenese:
Now, these guys play a little different now with the Patch. The change, of course, is: (Goths): Infantry cost -35% starting in the Feudal Age
(For those wondering, yes, it says -25% in the patch readme, the in-game tech tree, etc, but it is actually -35% in the game).
(Japenese): Infantry attack 25% faster starting in the Feudal Age.
Okey, with those changes in effect, this has MASSIVELY bosted their Feudal Age attack. Hence, this makes the Feudal Age MUCH more valuable, and hence, more important to get, and get sooner with these guys. However, keep in mind that they are _NO WORSE_ then they were in the Dark Age - hence, don't OVERdo the getting to the Feudal Age - it can still wait. I would recommend waiting until you can get two barracks going and have enough left over to make the Feudal Age Jump. IMO it would be ok to wait and stop producing Militia for perhaps 30 seconds to a minuite, tops, to make the jump if you really want it bad, but I wouldn't do any more then that. And, again, keep in mind you're not really and worse for the wear by Staying in the Dark Age - so if you need a constant stream of Militia to keep the DRush going, then by all means, wait before Feudaling.
As a general rule of the thumb, don't Feudal until you're satisfied that you are in control of the battle enough to take a small hit in Militia production.
Hitting the Feudal Age (HARD)
Updated on 7-26-2001 due to the Patch
When you get about 75% of the way to the Feudal Age, start saving up resources. Keep few Militias and farms queued up... and most notably try to have at LEAST 300 wood, preferably 400-500. A few seconds before reaching the Feudal Age, take all the Militia out of the queue of one of your Barracks except the one that is building.
When you reach the Feudal Age, there are a number of things to do. Do them in this order because you probably won't be able to do all of them at once. Here goes:
- Start Researching Men at Arms (M@A) as soon as you can at your "idle" barracks-this is the most important thing.
- Take a lumberjack and build a Blacksmith.
- Research Horse Collar.
- Research Wheelbarrow.
- Research Double- Bit Axe.
- As soon as the Blacksmith is done, research either Foraging or Scale Mail Armor. I usually go for Foraging because you can kill villagers faster.
- Depending on how much food you have and how many Militia you have alive, you may want to take all the Militia out of your second Barracks and research Squires or Tracking.
I sometimes get Gold Shaft Mining here, but unless you're really ROLLING in the food it's probably not a very good idea, as the food could be better spent. You've got to keep your TC building villies once you're done with WB, plus constant M@A production at two Barracks.
With the kind of economy you should have going, you can start researching the Castle Age upgrade within just a few minutes if you really want to, but you have to go easy on the M@A if you do, in which case I wouldn't recommend getting the Blacksmith Upgrades-but M@A is still a MUST.
NOTICE: If you're a Goth, I'd recommend laying down another barracks or two once you get over the inital "Feudal Frenzy", as you'll be able to afford to keep them going now that the Infantry is 35% cheaper.
Attacking... in the Dark Age
When in the Dark Age with your Militia, remember to ALWAYS try to keep out of range of TC fire. The "Stand Ground" stance is pretty helpful there. Try to kill as many Villagers as you can, but don't get carried away with it. For instance, when chasing a lone vill toward their TC, if it's almost dead, let one Militia keep chase, but retreat the rest of your army. If it's only 2/3, 1/2 or less injured, give up the chase.
Keep harassing his villagers, and keep your army moving around the TC once you get about 7-10 Militia, so you can try to gang up on his lumberjacks. That can REALLY hurt him, because that's half of his resource income there (no gold or stone).
Remember that idle villagers are no better then dead villagers for the time they're idle. In some cases, it's worth sending in one militia to stir up some trouble. If you can get him to have 15 villagers idle (i.e. in the TC) for about 16 seconds and you would have had him waste as many Villager Seconds as it costs for the Militia (not counting overhead). However, with your better economy, it would pay for itself a LOT sooner then that. (I think it would be about worth a Militia if you could hold up 15 enemy villagers for 6 seconds if you had just a 45 villager economy).
I need to mention here that Militia walk the just about (if not) exactly the same speed as villagers, making it hard to chase them down. However, Celt Militia are 10% faster, and hence are much better for killing villagers. This is not something to be ignored, as it helps quite a bit.
Put simply, you want to keep him from Gold and Stone primarily and kill villagers when you can. You don't want to do an all-out attack in the Dark Age.
The Big One . . . in the Feudal Age
Once in the Feudal age and once you get the M@A upgrade (And a blacksmith upgrade if you wish), you should have at LEAST 30 M@A. Get up 35-40 M@A and attack the Enemy TC. I've heard that 30 M@A can take out a fully loaded TC, although I'd have to say that that would be VERY close at the least. I'd only attempt that as the Goths, Japanese, or Vikings. Under "normal" conditions (i.e. Celts) I'd recommend at LEAST 35 and preferably 40 or more. It's better to win by a bit, and loosing can be horrible, as you'd totally need to rebuild your army. (You would still probably have the initiative though, they're not going to recover immediately from that).
Once you get the appropriate number of units, head in for an Attack on the TC. Have ALL of your units attack the TC. If he has a spearman or two around that come to attack you, have just one M@A attack each, and get back to the TC ASAP. I think it'd probably be best to totally ignore Skirmishers.
You should probably be able to take out his TC, and once you do, kill villagers like MAD, as they're probably going to run all over the place.
If they kick out some people to repair the TC, go after them immediately. Only send 2 or 3 M@A if they only use 2 or 3 repairmen, but if they use a LOT, immediately have all of your M@A attack the villagers. Even if you do loose, you should have killed a number of vills at least.
Some Notes and Specs about Militia, Man-At-Arms and Buildings
There is some undocumented things about Militia, Men at Arms (M@A), and some buildings that I feel should be mentioned here. I'll start off with Militia, the stock force of your Army:
Age Available: Dark Age
Built at: Barracks
Cost: 60F, 20G
Build Time: :21
Rate of Fire: 2.06 (Seconds/Attack)
Move Rate: 0.90 (Tiles/Second)
Melee Armor: 0
Piercing Armor: 1 (Changed form AOE 2: It used to be 0)
Range: 0 (Melee Attack)
Attack Bonuses: None
As the Goths, they get +1 attack vs. buildings, which would be 5 attack (minus armor).
Age Available: Feudal Age
Built at: Barracks
Cost: 60F, 20G
Research Cost and Time: 100F, 40G, :40
Build Time: :21
Rate of Fire: 2.06 (Seconds/Attack)
Move Rate: 0.90 (Tiles/Second)
Melee Armor: 0
Piercing Armor: 1 (Changed form AOE 2: It used to be 0)
Range: 0 (Melee Attack)
Attack Bonuses: 1+ Attack Bonus vs. Buildings
M@A Get a 1+ attack bonus vs. buildings for a total of 7 attack minus building armor. If you're a Goth they'd get +1 more, making it 8 attack total, minus armor. With Forging, it would be 8 non-Goth and 9 for a Goth.
Town Centers have 2400 HPs and, what concerns us:
2 Melee Armor.
That means that an un-upgraded non- Goth M@A would do 5 damage per hit, and a un-upgraded Goth M@A would do 6 damage per hit-20% more. That's better then the Japanese 10% faster attack, and probably better then the Vikings +10% more HPs (Which would be either 4 or 5, depending on how it rounds). With Forging, it would be 6 attack for a non-Goth M@A and 7 for a Goth M@A, which would only be about 16.7% more, but still nothing to be ignored.
The two important things are that M@A get a 1+ attack bonus vs. buildings, and +2 as a Goth. The second thing is of course the Goth attack bonus for Militia-it's 50% more against a TC (although you shouldn't be using Militia against a TC), and 25% more against most other buildings.
Here is a quick list of Dark and Feudal Age buildings, and how much Melee armor they have:
Archery Range: 1
Fish Trap: 0
Lumber Camp: 0
Mining Camp: 0
Palisade Wall: 2
Stone Wall: 8
Town Center: 2
Watch Tower: 1
Keys . . . Hot Ones
Another important thing I need to mention here is to remember to use the Hotkeys to, say, build villagers or Cycle through your Barracks and build Militia (I need to learn to do the 2nd part of that . So here they are:
To Cycle through TCs and build villagers:
H (Select next TC, or your only one when you only have 1)
C (Build a Villager. Hit multiple times to queue up multiple villagers.
You'll often want to build quite a few, in which case you can use Shift-C to queue up 5, or Shift-C-C-C to queue up 15).
To Cycle through Barracks and Build a Militia-Line Unit:
Ctrl-B (Cycle through Barracks, or your only one when you only have 1)
S (Create Militia-line unit. Hit multiple times to queue up multiple Militia- line units.)
You want to make sure you queue up Militia at your barracks evenly, so don't queue up too many at the same one at once unless you have the resources to and still have enough for other Barracks/Villagers. Shift-S or Shift-S- S-S does work, but use with caution
When the OPPONENT Feudals
Probably the most important thing to remember when the opponent hits feudal, is that they are almost DEFINITLY going to build a tower right then. So as soon as they hit the Feudal Age, bring your Militia to the edge of the TC range to watch for the tower. Remember that they're almost CERTAINLY going to built it in range of their TC. In this case, it's worth loosing a few (quite a number actually) Militia to stop them from completing that tower-and destroying it.. As long as they don't get a market, they can only lay one tower. Even once they DO get a market, they'll spend a LOT buying Stone for another if they do.
If the enemy DOES finish their tower and it's nowhere near dead, retreat out of range of it and "rebuild". Plus, remember that you're going to need a considerably larger force to take his town. Probably at LEAST 10 more M@A, perhaps 15 or 20 more, as the Tower and TC will almost certainly both be loaded when you attack, and they'll join together to take out your units very quick.
If they DON'T put the tower in range of the TC (i.e. by their wood operation), then you should be able to destroy it without too many losses, because it will have a minimum range (no Murder Holes). Just leave a bunch of guys at the base of it attacking it.
The Top 10 Rules of DRushing (In importance order)
- Keep building villagers. DON'T forget this. A lot of this working is that you have a better economy then him, to make up for the heavy losses you're probably suffering.
- No matter when the enemy advances to the Feudal Age, you stay in the Dark Age and keep the heat on them. Having 70, 80, or even 90 total population in the Dark age isn't too much (as long as they're in the Dark or Feudal Age).
- STAY OUT OF SIGHT RANGE with your Forward villager until you have a Barracks and a few Militia to defend him/her. Getting seen will most likely make this fail, and you will be the one behind in economy then (assuming you loose the vill and barracks (wood).
- Do a COMPLETE scouting job. Missing a Gold pile can easily totally kill you.
- Don't get housed. 5 and even 10 pop slots can get filled up REALLY fast with 2 barracks and a TC pumping. Once you have 20-30 vills, devote one to house building alone (don't go overboard, you still need wood for farms). I have a hard time with this one.
- Keep the majority of your army out of TC range. This is hard, and probably impractical to always do perfectly, but do you're best at it. You can loose you whole army in just seconds if they automatically walk too close and you don't notice it soon enough.
- Be Ruthless. Every villager you kill puts you one villager ahead and them one villager behind. Not only that, kamikaze attacks with just one (or _MAYBE_ two) Militia can actually really pay off if you can keep a number of villagers idle for a while, or can kill a villager or two.
- Beware of Markets-while trading is costly, they can still supply the enemy with "sufficient" gold to get them to the castle age, plus build archers. But you're probably staying ahead of him if he has to buy all of his gold, and ESPECIALLY stone. (It'd cost almost 200 food or wood for 100 stone, and it would only get worse and worse).
- Be cautions of civ "exceptions". For example, the Persians have 2X HP TCs, making you have to wait quite a while to take it out, possibly the Castle age w/ rams. The Byzantines it will be at least a little stronger. The Teutons have a HUGE TC sight range, and the Saracens can afford to do market trading. Be very cautions when against these civs, in some cases you may want to call it off.
- You probably need twice as many Militia then M@A to successfully take out a TC, so basically NEVER go for an all-out attack in the Dark Age. 60-80 Militia might be able to do it though .
Civilization Attributes That Help in a DRush
Updated on 7-26- 2001 due to the Patch
Here is a list of all of the attributes of each civ that would be helpful in a DRush. Listed in Alphabetical order and only civs with useful bonuses are mentioned, and only the useful bonuses are mentioned. I was recently shown that each civ's Team Bonuses applies to itself even in 1 on 1 games, so you can sort of count those as regular attributes, however I still marked them with italics to specify that they're team bonuses. Inotherwords, it'd probably be best to use a Celt and a Goth in a 2 on 2 game if you're both going to DRush.
Eagle Warrior (better Scout)
Military units created 15% faster (EXCELENT when cooped with the Goth's Bonus)
Free Loom (Basically equal to a free vill (time-wise) and 50 gold - quite good)
Villagers carry +5
25% faster working Shepherds
Town Watch Free (Very minimul advantage when you hit the Feudal Age)
Infantry move 15% faster
Lumberjacks work 15% faster
Sheep not converted if in 1 Celt's LOS (helpful for sheep stealing)
Start with +3 Villagers but - 200 food, -50 wood
Technologies cost -10% in the Feudal Age (saves a LITTLE once you get there)
Town Centers support 10 population (Saves 1 house early on)
Team Bonus: Farms +45 Food
Team Bonus: Barracks 20% Faster
Infantry +1 Attack vs. Buildings (I think this is _THE_ most helpful attribute - Militia do 50% more damadge to a TC)
Villagers +5 attack vs. wild boar, hunters carry +15 meat
Infantry Costs -35% in the Feudal Age. (VERY helpful once you're in the Feudal Age)
Don't need houses but start with -100 wood
Mill, Lumber Camp, Mining camp cost -50%
Infantry attack 25% faster in the Feudal Age (VERY helpful once you get to the Feudal Age)
Villagers +3 LOS
Team Bonus: Wall cost - 50%
Start with Eagle Warrior (better Scout)
Resources last 20% longer (EXCELLENT Dark Age economy bonus-probably the best)
Team Bonus: Scout +2 LOS
Hunters work 50% faster (The fastest gathering of anything in the game, even upgraded wood gathering)
Start with +50 Food, Wood
TC works 10% faster in the Feudal Age (Helps you economy that much more once in the Feudal Age).
Builders work 30% faster
Farms Cost - 33% (VERY helpful due to the number of farms you need to build)
TC +5 LOS (Saves @ Home Scouting)
Gold Miners work 20% faster
Infantry +10% HPs in Feudal Age (Helps when attacking the TC)
WB Free, instantly when you reach the Feudal Age.
That pretty much sums it up! The "main" civs I would recommend to use (in "excellence" order) are:
A DRush Civilization Review by Pete Troll
Please note: This is a Pre-patch review - some parts may not be applicable anymore - including my comments.
Here is a short review of the civs with helpful bonuses by Pete Troll. Edited for spelling, English, typos, etc. by AOE_Danny. Some comments were added by AOE_Danny too, those are in Italics. The ones totally in italics are AOE_Danny's, and not Pete's.
Japanese - Half price camps means you can get your barracks earlier - and you can spread out over the map later. That way the small archer attack the enemy might be able to put together can't close you down. It also means that you can take 3 forwards, and after they put up the barracks for 50 wood 2 become miners, while the other walls stuff up. That way if you lose the waller you have 2 spares.
Celts - Except for REALLY early (i.e. under 5 lumberjacks), the Celt wood bonus actually does help quite a bit. And their faster infantry bonus makes your Militia MUCH more effective at chasing down villagers (and running away from the TC .
Goths - send 4 forwards very early, they can build the barracks, also 4 of them can comfortably take the opponents boars (nearly 700 food if you get both!!!! - really hurts them).
I don't know about sending 4 forwards, unless you turn 2 or 3 into lumberjacks or gold miners or the such after a few mins, but that costs another extra 100 wood, which isn't cheap that early. It depends on if you want to take the risk. Of course, the 20% faster barracks being a massive bonus goes without saying-it's even 33% faster then the Aztec's bonus.
Huns - Their lack of the need of houses is VERY helpful, and save a lot of trouble if nothing else. Outposts work excellently as substitutes, with a larger LOS, less builds time, and even cost less then houses. Sure, they cost a little stone (twice as much as 1 wall section), but you're probably not going to need much stone anyway, even once you reach the Feudal Age-and you should have no problem getting it if you do, with your economy.
Aztecs - Villager carry +5 making them more efficient - also military is produced faster - very handy when you only have 1 barracks up.
Yes, but again, go Goths if you want the extra speed-and their Militia are much better against buildings. However, if you're having trouble on the Economic side, this may not be a bad choice.
Britons - Faster shepherds means you can spare a forward from your early sheep eaters.
Yes, and also means you get the Sheep food sooner, freeing your villagers to other tasks. Considering that you can often steal some of the Enemy Sheep, this may not be a bad choice.
Byzantines - The 10% stronger Barracks helps a little, but it helps out Palisades the most. Actually not something to ignore, but it's not going to make the difference of the game most likely.
Chinese - The extra villagers REALLY helps. And the Chinese essentially save 30 wood (10 Pop TCs)-but the -50 wood more the makes up for that. The farm bonus, on the other hand, is just HUGE, especially with all the farms you build with this strat.
Mayans- The resources lasting longer is helpful - also the EW is marginally better than a scout.
Yep, that resource bonus is just HUGE. It especially helps with their shepherds, Boar/Deer hunters, and berry pickers, but it does help some for the lumberjacks (less walking distance longer).
Persian - Start with 50 food and wood extra helps - especially the wood.
Yes, the extra wood REALLY helps getting up that 1st Barracks quick. And a Stronger TC never hurts...
Spanish - Their 33% faster builders makes quite a difference when palisading-and you need to wall up that Gold/Stone FAST at the start. And that's to say nothing about the help with Barracks/all the houses you need, and even farms.
Mongol - Super scout enables you to get over and scout your enemy quicker. [Slight editing-out by AOE_Danny] The hunting bonus means that you can send 4 forwards and steal their deer.
Again, I dunno about sending 4 forwards, but I have to admit it could be REALLY helpful, plus if you could steal even one of their Boars... As for at home, this lets you put a lot more villagers on wood, and that lets you get the Barracks up FAST. I think everyone knows how fast the Mongols can get a few hundred food at the start of a game.
Turks - The Turks 20% faster gold miners is NOT something to be ignored. They can pretty much keep 2 barracks going with 3 miners.
Teutons - The Teutons 33% cheaper farms is HUGE! It lets them get farms MUCH quicker, needed a LOT less lumberjacks, which converts to a LOT more food.
Koreans - The Koreans villagers +2 LOS helps a ton for the Forwards, and can easily make the difference of being seen and not, which could totally effect the outcome of the DRush.
Vikings - The Vikings are pretty good for the "final" Feudal attack, and they get Wheelbarrow free when they reach the Feudal age, but these are actually pretty small bonuses for a DRush.
The Franks and Saracens have basically no bonuses that help at all in a DRush.
[In]definitely... Staying in the Dark Age
A Variation Where You Stay in the Dark Age by Pete Troll
As a slight alteration of this strategy, some people that do this like to stay in the Dark Age basically indefinitely and REALLY put on the heat with Militia in the hopes that you can overwhelm them in strength of numbers over firepower. Even if they go to the Castle Age and get some Knights or XBows. Even going as far as getting up a large enough army of Militia to attack and destroy the enemy TC.... and that takes QUITE a lot.
This strategy guide isn't specifically for people attempting to DRush this way, although it would still be very good-just pretty much ignore the Feudaling/in Feudal parts, and "replace" them with this part. Now on to this variation:
If you do this, of course you will need to constantly expand your economy at home, and build another barracks for every 11 to 12 villagers you build. (6 or 7 on food, 2 on gold, and 3 or 4 on wood). You can really amass a HUGE number of Militia this way, but you never get to upgrade them to M@A.
Needless to say, if you wish to do this, you will need to be REALLY careful about the civ you choose. I would DEFINITLY recommend the Goths for this, as they have the 20% faster barracks, and more importantly, the +1 attack vs. buildings. If you attack their Town Center with 50 Militia, they would do 150 damage per hit, as compared to 100 by all other civs-a HUGE difference to say the least.
To sum it up, just always stay in the Dark age and just keep expanding your town and economy evenly-and of course, building lots and lots of Houses . Also remember to keep building Barracks, and keep scouting the map to be sure he isn't building somewhere else.
As a general rule of the thumb, put 2 villagers on gold, 3 or 4 on wood, and 6 or 7 on food for every barracks. Until you get enough houses to hold the pop limit, you'll probably want to put 4 villagers on wood for every barracks, unless you have a large extra of wood (remember it will take a LOT to rebuild all of your farms).
If you reach the pop limit in a 200 game this way, you might as well advance to the feudal age with your extra food (which is to say nothing about how good the other player would have to be to still be alive at that point