Q: What is a FLUSH
A: A FLUSH is a highly specialized strategy that has two goals
1. Get you to the feudal age fast. 2. Provide you with an econ set
up to strike with towers, archers, and some spearmen. It was
developed around mid-October by a secret society that went under
the name "the Feudal Blitzing Team", but the strategys primary
shaper was gutter_rat a notorious Tool Age rusher from Age of
Empires I. A FLUSH can be done with any civ but works best with
the Chinese, Persians, and Mongols. The strategy gets you to the
feudal age between 9:30 and 10:45 and involves attacking with a
main force of archers, and towering up your opponent while
continuing to make villagers at home. More information can be
found on this strategy here:
Q: Hey wait a second that isnt what I thought a FLUSH was?
A: Yeah I know J There has been a lot of "talk" about FLUSHes of
late, but in many cases what was done really wasnt a FLUSH. There
are a lot of different Feudal Rushes out there. You can go for a
stronger attack that comes later, or a weaker one that comes
earlier. A variety of units can also be used such as Men at Arms,
spearmen or skirms. The goals of the attack can be changed as
well. A tower with archers/spearmen over a players gold pile while
you scoot to the castle age is a popular and effective tactic.
There are a lot of options open to a player during the Feudal Age.
Q: Why should I bother attacking in the Feudal Age
A: I know what you are thinking; with the "Mighty TC" why bother
using anything but rams and knights? Well there are a lot of good
reasons, but the simplest one is that if you are attacking,
generally you are winning. This is true for several reasons:
You are calling the shots, the other player is reacting to your
It is hard to run a good economy in the middle of a battlefield
Garrisoned villagers are non-working villagers
You start taking territory over early
Often you get the element of surprise
The key here is that you get the jump on the other player. Your
"plan" goes into effect before his does and this gives you an
increased opportunity to spoil his plans. Another important thing
to note is that out of those 5 reasons are directly economical.
This should be an important reminder that while running a Feudal
Attack, you should always keep your economy working.
Q: This stuff is old! Why is it suddenly so popular?
A: The biggest reason is that it is very effective against the
standard strategies that are being used on the zone right now.
Heres a quote from one of the top Feudal rushers out there which
will give you some insight:
"Weird how people first bitch that the feudal rush is too weak cuz
of tc and now they [complain] about it being to powerful. Flush
(or better feudal rush) is not unstoppable, it makes short work of
the "traditional" fast (14-18 mins) castles. Cuz most/all people
played like that other people developed a strategy that can defeat
it easily. Now new strategies will be developed doing strong vs
flushes but they probably will have a hard time dealing with plain
fast castle boomers." - DevilZ_Aarsvark
I am going to take that a step further. I think that one of the
larger factors of success for Feudal Age attacks is the prominence
of early farming (~ 7 to 8 min). What this means is that a
players wood budget is kept very tight in these optimized fast
castle strategies. This increases the odds of crippling someone
when you hit their wood supply because suddenly they will not have
the resources to build anything new. This can be deadly.
Either way, Feudal Attacks (FA) are rising in prominence because
they work. They provide an effective counter for the common
strategies that are out there and will often win you the game. As
the FA becomes more and more prevalent, its place on the cutting
edge will be usurped by a different strategy.
Q: Ok, so how do I do a Feudal Attack?
A: There are 2 key principles to success in a FA: Speed and Unit
Speed: your attack needs to arrive FAST. There is a very small
window of opportunity that you can strike in. This means
feudaling between 9 and 11 minutes in general. While you can
still mount a successful Feudal offensive if you arrive at the
feudal age past 11 minutes, your chances of success start to
diminish. Sending forward builders in the dark/feudal transition
or earlier is a must. Additionally you must make a significant
impact on your opponents economy fast. Dont hesitate too long
to get that 1st tower up or to move in on those villagers with
your troops. If you wait too long, your opponent will have the
opportunity to stockpile enough resources to escape your
assault. On the other hand, make sure you have a force that
wont be decimated by a pack of angry villagers.
Unit Control: This is where the men are separated from the boys.
It takes A LOT of skill to properly move your troops so they
dont get eaten alive by the TC and to make sure they are
completely covering your opponents territory. Careful
micromanaging of your force will make or break your strike.
Watch some of the top players handle their troops and you will
get a feel for this. However, there is only one way to get
better at this and it is by practice.
Q: Can you be any more specific on how to do a FA?
A: Sure! While the basic principles of speed and unit control are
the key elements there are some other essential components. The
first thing is that you are not going to build as many dark age
villagers as you probably would. Another thing is that you are
going to go a little heavier on the food then you may think. In
general, you are going to live off the land and skip the farming.
Grabbing both boars and as many sheep as you can eat is a must.
For some basic ideas, gutter_rats build order for the FLUSH is a
good place to start.
Here are some other things you may want to keep in mind though
regarding your economy.
Econ upgrades are secondary to villager and military production.
Get them if you can and when you can.
Make sure you leave some villagers on food production and spend
that food to increase your villager population. Setting the
gather points on berries is a great way to keep food coming in
without much attention. After they are gone you will most likely
have to start farming.
Dont use it to make more villagers. Shoot for villager populations of
40+ (dont forget your population marker will not be entirely
accurate since it includes military units)
Get a market up and use it to get yourself to the castle age if
need be. Keeping a good handle on your resources and your attack
can be tricky. Often you will end up with an excess of gold and
wood. If you have 500-600 gold and need more food to hit the
castle age, use the market and buy it. Strategic timing can be
more useful than the cost of using the market.
Here are some other things you may want to keep in mind though
regarding your military.
Archers rule the Feudal Age battlefield. They cost no food and
this means you can keep expanding your economy.
Most of the time Men at Arms arent worth the money
Spearmen mixed into your force is a good idea for several
reasons they cant be countered by skirms and they add more
units to your army. Look at it this way, a Feudal Age army of 8
is better than an army of 6. Since you have to build a barracks
anyways, use it to make more troops.
Keep your troops on the move. Idle military units are about as
worthwhile as idle villagers. By the same token, keep expanding
your army to cover losses and increase you military dominance of
Towers they are a crucial element to a good FA. Use them to
cover resources, claim land, and waste skirmisher. Build them so
they cover each other if possible. Putting one up over the
shadow of the TC is a good idea, but make sure it is out of
range of the TC. Skillful use of towers is critical to the
success of your FA.
Q: How do I stop a Feudal Attack?
A: There are several things that you can do to make yourself a
tougher opponent to take down with a FA. I put them into 2 classes
1. Good ideas for any game. 2. Specific responses to a FA.
Class 1 good ideas for any game
Early scouting of your base: There are 3 general phases to early
game scouting. First you look for your local resources (boars,
sheep, gold, wood). Second you check out the enemys base and
the land in between. Third you rescout your own home for enemy
activity. The faster you get jobs 1 and 2 done the better shot
you have at spotting trouble before the FA starts. So practice
your early scouting and get efficient at it.
Early food gathering: Going food heavy early gives you great
flexibility. If you have gathered 500F early you have the choice
of when to age advance. Should you need to rapidly do so should
you expect a FA there is nothing to stop you. However if you
have to wait for the 500F to come in you lose valuable seconds
of defense time. Getting food early is often as simple as
putting more focus on boars and sheep early on and less focus on
farming and berries.
Intelligent base layout: Do you have your gold&wood operations
right next to each other so that one tower can shut them down?
Do you have resource centers towards you enemy so that they
dont have to go past your TC to get to them? If so you may want
to rethink how you are setting up your dark age buildings. In
general, getting the resources located in the back of your base
is a good idea; they are that much harder to hit. Additionally,
when possible a lumber camp at a large forest is much hard to
tower than one in a smaller forest.
"Radar houses": Make sure you know what is going on in your home
town. Placing towers at the edge of forests, a few tiles away
from gold mines, or in the path between you and your opponent is
often a good idea.
Class 2 specific responses to a FA
Feudal ASAP: Two of your strongest defenses against most FAs,
the skirmisher and the tower, are only available in the feudal
age. Get there fast so you can use them.
Aggressive scouting. Figure out where the attack is coming from.
Odds are they are going for your wood since this is the more
crippling blow so scout around your forest. Knowledge of what
the enemy is up to in your base is critical. Mass your force
before you defend. If you attack with individual units they will
be chewed up. Use the internal rally point to keep you units in
the military building until you have 4 or more of them and then
spring them on the unsuspecting opponent. Often a Feudal
attacker will spread his units out to try and cover more ground.
Take advantage of this to knock out his force piece by piece.
Focus on wood. At this stage of the game, wood is much more
precious than gold. Gold will NOT be the thing that will get you
out of this attack, but wood will.
Make sure you make a
priority to secure this. Gold is actually secondary since it
doesnt provide much use in defending the feudal age rush until
you arrive at the castle age and can produce knights. Remember
if you need to you can always sell other resources to get gold.
Counterstrike. Most Feudal attackers go all out offense and have
very little if anything at home. Once in castle, a force of 3-4
knights can seriously cripple your opponents feudal age base.
If there is a good place to wall him out do so. This one can be
kind of tricky and situational, but some of the top players have
been being creative with palisade placement to make them that
much harder to hit with a FA.
Build an Archery and a Market as your 2 Castle Age buildings.
Why do this? Because you are going to be on a tight wood budget
and will need only the buildings that will benefit you the most.
Sure you may want a stable later to produce knights, but for
right now you want an archery to make skirms. The market is
crucial because it is often VERY tricky to keep your economy
managed during an attack like this. Use the market to get
yourself out of a tight spot.
If you are going to fight him in the Feudal Age you will need
stone to make towers so start gathering it.
Of course getting the 150W to build a
blacksmith can be tough!