Chinese Archer Rush- Help

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by SKS, May 31, 2010.

  1. SKS

    SKS Chieftain

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    Hey guys, I'd like some help concerning China's early-game archer rush.


    I know the idea, throw up veteran archers in as large of a volume as possible and fling them at the enemy, but I don't understand the finer details. In particular, I want to be able to perform this strategy with the CIV China.

    If anyone could give me a quick outline as to how this strat works, that would be great.
     
  2. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    How it works is a function of the level and the opponent and timing. If you are fairly close a few archers can do the trick. You can often catch a low level civ with an empty or nearly empty town.

    If they have only the one town, you put them out of the game. No need for vets in that case. Levels that start with units need great care. Civs that have Bronze Working as a starting tech will be harder.

    You would want to chop a barracks to get vets for those. How soon you go and how many towns they have determines what you need in terms of numbers.

    If you get a couple of promotions and go early 4 to start is enough and send new archer to the battle as they come out.

    It is really not the best strategy for normal games, it canbe used in lower level AW games were you just want to eliminate or at least cripple the nearest civ.
     
  3. SKS

    SKS Chieftain

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    I was actually reading that it has become quite the staple for China players, as China is most functional as a warmonger. Fortunately, I've independently developed a warmonger inclination by myself, so no loss there.
     
  4. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    Were are you reading that as I have not seen any posts about it. Are you talking about MP gmes?
     
  5. SKS

    SKS Chieftain

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    Actually, in Ision's review of China. He mentioned something about himself changing China's rank from 2nd tier to 1st on account of China's efficiency in performing the ultra-early archer rush, despite their UU arriving an age later.
     
  6. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    So you read one person making one remark and that is a "staple"? I have not seen it mentioned by anyone in a long time and only a few times on either CFC or Poly in all the time III has been around.

    So I would say it is hardly the rage, but it can be done under the right circmstance. I recently did use Germany for an archer rush. I doubt I have done it more than 5 or 6 times in all these years. It can be risky.

    The evaluation of civ is very dependant upon the game settings. Playing a game for Space on mid levels is one where some nations are better, playing the same level as AW and it may no longer be a real good choice. Playing a pan map or an island map will again alter the rankings.
     
  7. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    First of all: welcome to CFC! I see you already started reading the Military Academy, a very good resource for improving your Civ3 skills.
    Despite being quite old, I still think that Isions civ reviews are very good and give you a good picture of each civ's strengths and weaknesses. However, perhaps you are over-emphasizing Ision's point here. I think he didn't mean to say "whenever playing China, go for the ultra-early archer rush". I think his review needs to be interpreted as "China is the perfect civ for playing the ultra-early archer rush, if the other prerequisites for an archer rush are fulfilled."

    An archer rush will not always work, even when playing China. If some basic pre-conditions are not fulfilled, an archer rush may end in disaster. In those cases it is much better to slowly build up a sound infrastructure instead. The pre-conditions that come to my mind are:
    • You need to have a close-by neighbor. That implies a non-archipelago map and at most standard size. (On larger maps it would take ages for your archers to walk there, and by that time the opponent probably is sufficiently defended to fend off the attack.)
    • That neighbor better not have Bronze Working as a starting tech, otherwise your archers would take heavy losses against his early spearmen. The neighbor also better not have a 2-defense unit like the Zulu Impi, the Babylonian Bowman, the Enkidu or the Javelin Thrower. And if your neighbor is Greece (3-defense Hoplites right from the start), you may as well forget about an archer rush...
    • The difficulty level should be at most Monarch. On Emperor the AI already starts with too many extra units, which makes the success probability of an archer rush pretty small. (Of course it also depends a bit on starting locations. If you have an excellent start and the neighbor has a poor tundra start, an archer rush may still be successful on higher levels. But in this case the question is: why bother? The poor towns of the AI will not give you much benefit and it would most probably be better to invest into a sound early empire development instead. Otherwise you may find that even though you rolled over one neighbor, the neighbor on the other side gets a lead on you and rolls you over with advanced weapons a couple centuries later... :D)

    So as is always the case with all strategies: it also depends on the circumstances, not every strategy is aplicable in all situations.
    However, after having said all the above, I must agree with Ision: if all circumstances are right, then China is indeed a very good civ to implement the archer rush. They can build archers right from the start, and they have industrious workers to prepare a road towards the enemy quickly.
     
  8. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Welcome to CFC, SKS!

    vmxa and Lanzelot have pretty well covered the ups and downs of an ultra-early archer rush. Any militaristic civ can go with an archer rush, but China is one of my favorites for this. Your chances of success are very dependent on the map and neighbors. Obviously, difficulty level also plays a role. At Emperor, a very early archer rush gets dicey against just about anyone, just because they'll research and build faster than they did at lower levels. On monarch and below, if your nearest neighbor is Greece and a goodly distance away, find another plan. If your neighbor is somebody without IW and their capital is only 6 tiles away, you've got a different ballgame, though.
     
  9. SKS

    SKS Chieftain

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    Actually, I wanted first and foremost an outline.


    For example: how will my settler expansion be affected by my rush? What is a good build order for my first city? How many archers is enough for 2~3 enemy cities? How many cities should I build? when should I build my first barracks?
     
  10. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    I gave a short run down in SFN08 around 200 post into the SG of how I archer rushed the Dutch with the start they were playing. I think used 5 archers to take out all 4 towns. I lost 3 of them, but hey they had a few spears.

    I got some luck in that I got elites, but they were playing as Germany so you get promotions. It was said that it was very lucky. I said was about so so. I could have done worse and I could have done better.

    I did not get an SGL or an MGL in the run and they did get an SGL in their run. Truth is it could have gone a bit better, but it could have gone much worse. 60% losses is not super lucky on warriors and archers a spears, when they are all regs and yours are vet and become elites.

    I used elites as much as I could, so 2 archer died never being elite. I think they had maybe 8 units total, some were caught in the open. I would say it is a risky thing, but they were AWM and had only one civ at that time.

    That means they were in no danger of getting over run, even if it fails. So to me you take a reasonable risk for a great gain and no real danger, if it fails. Taking out the closest civ in AW is very powerful.

    Expansion will suffer a lot. It is only worth it, if removing the nation is going to pay off. You fall behind in research and expansion. The payoff comes, if they would have been a big threat like Az or Zulu with cheap very early UU. If they have you cut off by being in front and you are in corner.

    The longer you take the more likely they will get a unit that will be a problem, namely spears. If you start with trees in a few tiles and a food bonus, you can irrigate to get out a second worker.

    Chop a barracks and start making the archers. If they are close, send 3 archers. You may catch them with only a warrior. Then follow up by sending archers out as they are done, that is what I did.
     
  11. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Well, that's a bit easier to ask than to answer. The RNG gods can be very capricious, so a half dozen archers might take a couple of enemy cities, or it might take none, and that doesn't even take map size into consideration. With all of that said, I'd offer the following, and ask you to bear in mind that most if not all of my archer rushes have been played on standard or smaller maps, standard number of opponents, Emperor and below.

    You need to get several cities up before worrying about the rush. On an archipelago map with lots of water, you might get by with getting 3 or 4 cities out before cranking out archers. On a continents, 60% water, try to get 5 to 8, depending on terrain. During that time, you'll still need to build a couple of warriors for exploring and MP duty and workers. By the time you get about half of those cities down, start looking for places to slap up some raxes, maybe in 3 or 4 cities. Chop to speed up the raxes up and then start on the archers. As to how many archers you need, well, I wouldn't send a stack of less than 6, if I could avoid it. Now, I've had some really cramped maps where I had to send out smaller forces, or had to build a few regs, but I wouldn't recommend it. Best bet is 8-10 archers, and maybe a couple of spears to accompany the stack. Obviously, you hope that your neighbor has no spears.

    How will this affect expansion? It will slow down settler production, but that's why you need a couple of cities that will continue to produce settlers and workers while a few cities are dedicated to archers. Many cities won't survive being captured, and will autoraze, and even if they do survive, you might want to raze a couple for slaves, if you can. I would say that expansion winds up a little slower than in most of my (relatively) peaceful expansions, but if the rush is successful, the damage done to the AI usually means they'll never recover before I kill them off.
     
  12. Mursi lives

    Mursi lives Warlord

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    Welcome to CFC, SKS! :)

    I played many archer rushes at demigod level and a couple at deity. Here is what those games teached me:

    . The question you should ask yourself before starting an archer rush is "Do I have enough space to expand peacefully? If the answer is "no!", archer rush is probably a good idea, even if your civ is not designed for early wars. In one of my last DG games, I succesfully played an archer rush with England :D.

    . At demigod level, a good build order is: 2-3 cavemen for scouting, rax, 4-5 archers (or better if you are scientific: 1 spear and 4 archers) and attack while building a setller.

    . The ennemy cities are to be captured, not (auto)razed. You need them to compensate the fact you are not REXing.

    . After you capture a city, hit the F4 key: the ennemy civ may well offer you free techs or free cities for peace.

    . When you are planning to trade peace for techs or cities, kill as many ennemies units you can but let a single one live in your territory (or in what is about to become your territory thanks to the trade). After the peace is signed, send each turn the message "get that f!*#king unit out of my territory or declare war!". The AI is stupid enough to throw away the peace treaty it just bought :rolleyes:.

    . If you are scientific, start reasearching IW the very turn you decided to follow the archer rush strategy. Swords are perfect continuation for archer rushes.

    . The F7 key is your friend: it lets you know which city you dont want to capture immediately. (The AI never cancels the build of a GW).

    . Demigod is the level where archer rushes are the most profitable: the AI starts with 2 settlers and a weak military. IOW it will have 4 poorly defended, cities when you get your archer stack. :)
     
  13. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Excellent ideas, Mursi! I never dared an archer rush beyond Emperor, being afraid of the many extra starting units. But looks like it can indeed be implemented.
     
  14. SKS

    SKS Chieftain

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    So compare, say an Indian versus a Chinese or Aztec Archer rush, what would be the approx. difference in volume, quality, and speed of the rush?


    Again, should I get some scouting warriors out before I go for a barracks? Should I build a settler before starting my rush? Do I and should I have to nab a barracks, even a 1/2 priced barracks, before I start the archer production?
     
  15. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    I would expect a Chinese archer rush to be faster than an Indian one, because of China's traits: faster workers and half-priced raxes. I also *suspect* that it will be faster than an Aztec one, but the Aztecs have agri going for them, which just might outrun the industrious trait. Yes, you should get a couple of scouts and a settler or two out before starting the rush. You want to be able to keep expanding and planting cities while the rush is going. If your neighbor is very close, you might have to use reg archers, but definitely build raxes if you can.
     
  16. SKS

    SKS Chieftain

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    See, I was reading on how Ision said "One of the most effective AA warmonger strats despite Riders coming in middle ages" paraphrased. And I wanted to really know how to pull this strat off and why China is so suited for it.
     
  17. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Well, I don't know when Ision's article was written, but if it was written very early on, it might have been written before industrious was nerfed. IIUC, industrious workers used to be double speed, but they're only 1.5x speed in C3C. Even with that, though, China gets the cheap raxes, and faster workers. Other tribes have cheap raxes, and other tribes have ind workers, but only China has both.
     
  18. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    I seem to recall they were done for C3C. I never read them and it took a while for him to finish them. Jags have two things going for them 1) two moves 2) 15 shields. So you can spam them out faster and they get there faster. They can retreat. The bad thing is they have attack 1.

    I never tried them, but it does not take much for you to run a few games of each and see how it goes. None of it will be real conclusive as a few trials could be off the deviation of norm.
     
  19. Mursi lives

    Mursi lives Warlord

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    Scouting is essential: before starting the rush you need to know where your closest neighbours are and who they are. If they are too far away, don't rush. If your only close rival is Greece, Babylon or Carthage, don't rush.

    Barracks are also essential: There is a huge difference between veteran and regular archer, same as between redlined veteran and dead regular ;). Whatever strat you play, a good rule of thumb is to never build regular units except artillery units and the 2-3 warriors you send scouting at the very begining.

    Building a settler before rushing depends of the difficulty level.
    At demigod, it's a clear "No!": there is no time to lose and since your rivals will expand quickly you should consider that your archers are your settlers.

    At lower level, i would say "yes" because killing an ennemy too early would not be beneficial. You would merely capture the capitol and the real winners would be the other rivals who REX during that time.

    At deity, the AI start with strong military (that is the big difference with demigod) and the key to win early wars is to get allies, which means getting writing and embassies. Btw, hat also means that roman and scandinavian trait combos becomes very interesting at deity level. Anyway i would consider immediate attack only if i start alone with a single rival in an island.
     
  20. Nergal

    Nergal Prince

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    I've had to do it later on due to lacking iron my preference would be vet spears and archers, maybe cats if possible. Other than that I agree with pretty much all the copmments, Greece and Carthage have the best defensive units in the early game.
     

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