Aoc strategy timeline / history

Unknown9mil

Member
Oct 11, 2011
947
3
18
#1
Hey I was thinking about how this game has evolved over the years and I think it would be cool and helpful to have a written history of the dominant strategies in aoc and maybe add it to aoczone's main menu where the Best Aoc Players link is.

I like looking for trends and it would be interesting to see if the strategies recycle themselves by one strategy developing in order to counter the previous, or if they develop from raw to refined in a linear fashion where the current strategies are actually the most effective. Also it could be helpful to stimulate interest in the game by people who once played aoc multiplayer to reminisce about the good ol days of aoc, as well as help them catch up with the current strategies if they want to make a comeback. It may also be useful in developing Aoe FE the new expansion, I really dont know much about its developers, but if they only take into account the way that the game is currently played, they might assume that the current dominant strategies are the best possible strategies (which is not necessarily so) and they might develop the new expansion to balance out the current dominant strategies only.

I only started playing aoc multiplayer in like 2003 and took a lot of breaks from then to now so below is what i've come up with off the top of my head. Also my perspective is very limited because its only a 1v1 arabia perspective with focus on feudal age.

Gaming client: Microsoft Zone
From Aok to Aoc- Teuton tc rush in dark age, Teuton tower rush in feudal age, Frank fast castle forward, Celt fast castle with seige and fast castle then boom to imperial were the dominant strategies. Britons, Chinese, and Mongols were used.

Aoc 2001-2002: Experts using Chinese and occasionally Mongols adapted to the release of Microsoft's 1.0c patch In 2001 which changed the balance of the game by adding 1 piercing armor to villagers, giving scouts +2 attack in feudal age, and more. I think Kmkm popularized the Hun flush and skirm/spear forward during this time. 24-25 pop feudals where experts massed skirms was dominant. When players hit castle they massed knights from 3 stables and boomed with TCs spread out all over the map. Some players including Rahl and H3LLR41S3R developed the drush and used it successfully, producing militia in dark age from a forward barracks and walling resources. Fun games were played in the zone ladder room. Major financial contributers Bill Gates and WCG sponsors easily provided more money in this 2 year period than all other tournaments in the next 10 years combined.

2001-2002 Tournament winners
Microsoft's International Tournament:
1st place Grunt, 2nd place Kaohen​
World Cyber Games 2001 in Seoul, South Korea:
1st place Kmkm, 2nd place Grunt​
MFO Clash of the Titans:
1st place DevilZ_High, 2nd place Arch_Koven_​
FOPT Summer Cup:
1st place EvilBlitz_NG, 2nd place Mimmox​
FOPT Reef's Rumble:
1st place aluba007, 2nd place Capoch​
Path of the Conqueror:
1st place StorM_Panther aka KS_Haws, 2nd place StorM_Rising​
Arablet Cup 1:
1st place Arch_Koven_, 2nd place: Chris​
Arablet Cup 2:
1st place Halen, 2nd place Grunt​
World Cyber Games 2002 in Seoul, South Korea:
1st place Halen, 2nd place Ken​
Legion Alliance Cup:
1st place Halen, 2nd place Pepin (aka???)​
Legion Cup 1:
1st place Grunt 2nd place L_Clan_Apple​
Legion Cup 2:
1st place Chris 2nd place Tamock​
MFO Long Live the King:
1st place Capoch, 2nd place L_Clan_The_Chobo (aka???)​
AOC $4,000 tourney:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Capoch​

2001-2002 Popular clans
Arch
cF
CNS
DaRq
DjiNN
FodA
Fruits of the Poisonous Tree
Gx
KS
Legion Clan
MaD
Mystic
Myth
pG
riZen
SeVeN
StorM
Zealots of Death


Aoc 2003-2004: Still 24-25 pop feudals with Huns but experts were using scouts + archers instead of mass skirms and occasionally doing 22 pop to go scouts or to forward. When a forward was detected the defending player usually tried to wall the enemy buildings. Full feudals were popular with players often castling at 30+ minutes. Maps were left open and players were aggressive. In castle, knights were an option but people would quickly switch to ca + pike to push. More players were drushing with mesoamerican civs including Arch Vile who is one of many that recieves credit for popularizing it. Olympus PPoC reaches 23++ rating with drush only, further developing it by building the barracks defensively as opposed to forward. On water maps experts usually went feudal with 24 vils plus 4-5 fishing ships to grush, which often was an all out feudal grush. Land Nomad map became popular. This was the time period when chinese players joined the greater gaming community after playing on the chinese server and we saw experts like windy, playboy, bt4, and iori come out of nowhere. FOPT_Strawberry is an organizational contributor and L_Clan_Arablet sponsors major tournaments with money out of his own pocket.

2003-2004 Tournament winners
Arablet Cup 3:
1st place Chris, 2nd Bender​
Master of AoC:
1st place Yanzi, 2nd PPoC​
TvK Tourney:
1st place Yanzi, 2nd Daut​
MFO's The Conquering Hero:
1st place Capoch, 2nd place Storm Extacy​
FOPT Anniverary Cup:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Halen​
FOPT Arabia Masters:
1st place WIndy, 2nd place Daut​
CERPIO Gladiator Cup 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Rami​
CERPIO Gladiator Cup 2:
1st place PeEl, 2nd place Daut​
UD Return of the Champion 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place 2scared​
Ares Cup MVP:
1st place IORI, 2nd place Melody​
FOPT Simply the Best:
1st place: BT4, 2nd place IORI​
Legion Cup 3:
1st place Rami, 2nd place Capoch​
Bsk MVP 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Grunt​
AOA Rakeshty:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Chris​

2003-2004 Popular clans
Ares
Arg
Berserkers
Cath
CNA
CNS
Crime Scene Investigators
Easy to Win
ELT (what did that stand for?)
Fruits of the Poisonous Tree
Killing Generation of Brazil
Legion Clan
LOLITA
Myst
Olympus
PL
poison of Zone
i2eign
Roman Units
StorM
SWJ
ThuG
Unholy Disciples
VietNam Strategy
Wolf
Zilla

Gaming client: Gamepark
Aoc 2005-2006: Competition to master meso civs is high and they are used about equally often as Huns are. Drushing becomes widespread and counters the Hun flush. Forwards are incorporated and attacking in all ages becomes common. In castle age EW are generally preferred to Xbows. As players use Aztecs more frequently collecting relics becomes important. The Hun flush didnt change much, 22 pop to 24 pop feudals with archers and scouts and 22 pop forwards, but full feudals were becoming less popular as people preferred to castle and go CA. Arena map grows in popularity. L_Clan_Arablet is still the major sponsor for Aoc. The LN community raises money for a tournament but L_Clan_Bolt ends up stealing it.

2005-2006 Tournament winners
China Hero Cup:
1st place BT4. 2nd place SWJ Cloudy​
GGL Aoc Playoff:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Daut​
GGL AmeriCup:
1st place Daut, 2nd place PeEl​
Bsk MVP 2:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Daut​
Bsk MVP 3:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Chris​
Back to Almaty Tournament:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Rukie​
Arena Masters Tournament:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Wrath​
AYN Cup:
1st place bvirus, 2nd place Rami​
Handicap Tournament:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Dreams​
Legion Regicide Imperator:
1st place Chris, 2nd place PeEl​
UD Return of the Champion 2:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Dreams​
AocGroup 1v1 tourney:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Daut​

2005-2006 Popular clans
Arg
ArgoNaut
Berserkers
Crime Scene Investigators
FOX
Killing Generation of Brazil
Hot Young Masters
Legion Clan
Myst
PL
poison of Zone
Rulers of Rome
SWJ
The Skull Collectors
Thug
TsUnami
Unholy Disciples
VietNam Strategy
Zealots of Death
Zilla

Gaming client: IGZones
Aoc 2007-2008: Players using meso civs continue to develop their drushing skills and Celts become recognized as a legitimate drushing civ, but choosing Huns beings to make a resurgance. Unlike in the past, Hun players are beginning to prefer the added strategic options available in castle age to the rock-paper-scissors simplicity of feudal age. Games are often won or lost in castle age. Full feudals are rare and full castles become the norm with Hun CAs being the dominant unit. Rams are used more frequently than mangonels. In comparison to earlier years, players have adopted a more defensive playstyle in order to prevent raiding and typically wall with buildings in tandem with palisades. Double Arabia map is featured in Brain Champion Cup and becomes a fan favorite although 1v1 arabia tournaments happen less often than in prior years. Canary donates money to fund BCC1, BCC2, and BCC3.

2007-2008 Tournament winners
Arablet Cup 4:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Ding​
Brain Cup Champion 1:
1st place Ruso, 2nd place Chris​
Indus Anniversary Tournament:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Wrath​
Brain Cup Champion 2:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Ding​

2007-2008 Popular clans
Ares
Arg
CNA
Eok (Whats this stand for?)
Hot Young Masters
Indus
Legion Clan
Myst
poison of Zone
Rulers of Rome
SlipKnot
TWP (What did that stand for again?)
VietNam Strategy

Gaming client: Voobly
Aoc 2009- present: Experts continue to use meso civs to drush but the phenomenon has spread to include drushing with Huns. The Hun drush to FC and immeadiate massing of CA followed by upgrades becomes realized as perhaps the most overpowered strategy discovered in the 12 years of Aoc's strategic history. Players drushing with meso civs also usually FC but make archers along the way and upgrade them to Xbows to raid, rather than massing EW. Mangonels and monks are used more often than in the past. The formerly open arabian maps often become closed off by palisades in dark or feudal, followed by stone walls later. In recent strategies, drushing is still viable but fast feudals with 22, 21, 20, and even 19 pop followed by raiding with scouts is trending. Later in feudal they usually mass archers and build eco to go castle around 22 mins where they can upgrade to xbow, and mass CA. ironically this recent strategy is much the same as the 2003-2004 24 pop fuedal scout+archers strategy. On water maps many go feudal with 22 vils and 3-4 fishing ships to grush. MegaRandom and LightRandom maps are popular. Best of 21 challenges begin amongst the top 5 players in the world. Players of all skill levels, including top experts, begin streaming games and highly anticipated matches are frequently streamed with live commentary. Dreams and ZeroEmpires develop State of the Empire, a streamed talk show about Aoc with top experts as guests.

2009-present Tournament winners:
Gods of War:
1st place Alive, 2nd place Cain​
Master of the Huns 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place RiuT​
Brain Cup Champion 3:
1st place RiuT, 2nd place Daut​
AokH Open:
1st place Jordan, 2nd place sletten​
DyT 1v1 Tournament:
1st place RiuT, 2nd place Alive​
Portal RTS-BR 1v1 Combate:
1st place Dogao, 2nd place Ny4JyN​
CivCup 1:
1st place Jordan, 2nd place Dogao​
Masters of Arabia:
1st place Tim, 2nd place Viper​
Best of 21 Chris vs Daut Challenge:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Chris​
Best of 21 Jordan vs Daut Challenge:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Jordan​
Best of 21 Viper vs Jordan Challenge: TBA
Best of 21 Dreams vs Dogao Challenge: maybe 11

2009-present Popular clans:
aLc
Arg
BuzZ
Chinese Kung Fu
Confederate States of America
CSC
Dragons y Tigers
Hot young Masters
Immortals
JPN48
Kotowari
Last objective never executed
Malevolent
poison of Zone
Revenge of the Knight
Rulers of Rome
SlipKnot
StorM
The Wanderer idle Knight
TyRant
VietNam Strategy
Viper
white Wizards
XJL

Summary:
The early days of Aoc were dominated by massive skirmisher battles in feudal age with micro often winning games. Mixing archers in with skirmishers to improve attack versus villagers and scouts led to the scout + archer full feudal era. As time progressed experts realized that while masses of knights were effective for raiding, Hun CA were much more cost effective for the purpose. Early pioneers of the drush such as Arch_Vile and Olympus_PPoC proved to be ahead of their time since the drush has developed into a viable option no matter what the civ, the map, or whether the game is a 1v1 or teamgame. However when the drush was added to the Hun strategic arsenal many players in the Aoc community became unhappy to see that once highly strategic matches of slight economical advantages, map control, raiding, and resource denial between the brightest analytical minds in the gaming world was being reduced to a race to mass the most CA. Since then even newer strategies have developed from a new generation of Aoc'ers using fast feudals and scouts to raid a drusher's economy. With a new expansion in development, Aoc's strategies will inevitably continue to evolve.

If theres anything incorrect in here please let me know. Also please check if my estimates for the dates that gaming clients were used is correct.

I took info from RTS League hall of fame, aoczone ofc, voobly, ms zone ratings and this fansite that fallingstar hooked me up with: http://lch.free.fr/aoc_history/aoc_expert.html. Tried to make it as accurate as possible
 
Jun 15, 2008
7,671
1
38
26
#2
Really hope to see someone redoing the classical skirm-from-home strategy, but i doubt it, since walls just make them really ineffective so often
 

UnknownCondoM

Active Member
Mar 25, 2010
3,919
0
36
#3
Pre-1.0c aoc was mostly Chinese and sometimes Mongols. Usually archer/skim flushes. Archers were OP back then because vils had -1 pierce armour. Scouts were pretty useless because they didn't have the +2 attack.
 

Latvia8th wonder

Well-Known Member
Mar 21, 2010
2,504
125
68
28
Voobly
No_Re_I_Go_Eat_
View profile
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1976
Wins
351
Losses
309
Streak
-4
#4
emm ur wrong about some timings, i have never played in igz and i was around when all started drush, so it cant be igz time when drush became popular, all drushed since moh, wich was in voobly played
 

UnknownDanigc

New Member
Mar 28, 2012
102
0
0
#5
In AoK -> Teuton tower rush
AoK -> Frank fast castle and make a castle on enemy town
AoK -> Celt Fast castle and make a lot of siege
 
Jul 16, 2008
155
0
0
#6
really cool idea bro!! I really hope that some experts will jump on board and give some more in depth analysis on strat progression. Someone like chris could add alot to this.
 

UnknownBuzZ_Quiller

Known Member
Jul 18, 2008
3,441
0
46
#7
Good job. However, Chris did not use stone walls, he kept his old school style for a long time, stone walls came when the Asia (Vietnan and China) players used it with good results back in BCC2 I think. Chris eventually had to adapt to this new style, he always played aggresive with few walls I think.
 

Unknowntimtim

Active Member
Nov 17, 2010
2,882
0
36
#8
In AOK Tc rushes was a common strat. Especially with teutons while they had +2 range. And chris walled before that if i am not wrong.
 

Unknown9mil

Member
Oct 11, 2011
947
3
18
#10
8th wonder said:
emm ur wrong about some timings, i have never played in igz and i was around when all started drush, so it cant be igz time when drush became popular, all drushed since moh, wich was in voobly played
thx any input on when hun drush became popular?

BuzZ_Quiller said:
Good job. However, Chris did not use stone walls, he kept his old school style for a long time, stone walls came when the Asia (Vietnan and China) players used it with good results back in BCC2 I think. Chris eventually had to adapt to this new style, he always played aggresive with few walls I think.
yeah it was rare when chris used stone walls on arabia but i recall a few games in early aoc where he used them. You're right the chinese and vietnamese popularized them but i was thinking that more than a few people would recall chris using them every now and then

also when did the chinese community join ms zone? For a while they were isolated on their own server, anybody know?

thx for the input i'll update the post. Looking forward to hearing from aoczone staff too
 

UnknownFunito

Known Member
May 23, 2008
2,297
97
48
#11
Drush had always being popular since 2003, but fulgore made it became popular with huns (2009). Its hard to tell who created strats, its like saying who invented x style of music, usually that kind of things are credited to the ones that made them popular, but most probably this guys copied them or took the main ideas from other guys.
 
Apr 22, 2011
481
0
16
#12
reading that article turns me nostalgic, today the ara 1v1 is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boring, every player goes 22 pop scout rush, some arch and fast up to castle, but when a player like funito goes drush fw "he always do the same strat, he doesnt know any other strat" (its just an example 111), and doesnt daut, viper or jordan do 22 pop scouts when they play serious. my dream is a patch without walls, its more funny to watch those big feudal wars, towers, etc.

nice topic
 

MexicoSouFire

Well Known Pikeman
Mar 11, 2011
2,601
138
78
29
Mexico
#13
you don't need a patch you just need a tournery with that rule anyways, if u dislike walls it is because you don't know how to play vs wallers but sometimes walling kills the player letting most of his resources outside, aoc is about strats, skirms were OP long long time ago then sc's was the strat that used micro and the first basic combo with archs wich is better that just doing skirms and spears,anyway we just explode 30% of all aoc playing arabia most of the time few waters maps but we can hardly change the settings, regicide is one of the coolest settings for playing aoc i think in all this years aoc got very old but we weren't able to explode it properly, example for dm'ers is really fun to play since dark age but you play dm you have to play green arabia post imperial wars so boring!!!
 

Unknown9mil

Member
Oct 11, 2011
947
3
18
#14
reading that article turns me nostalgic, today the ara 1v1 is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boring, every player goes 22 pop scout rush, some arch and fast up to castle, but when a player like funito goes drush fw "he always do the same strat, he doesnt know any other strat" (its just an example 111), and doesnt daut, viper or jordan do 22 pop scouts when they play serious. my dream is a patch without walls, its more funny to watch those big feudal wars, towers, etc.

nice topic
Yes this is exactly my point, well one of them: to make players nostalgic about the game and perhaps make people who onced played it and have since quit come back and try again, maybe even use their skill to develop new counter strats to the current ones. How great would it be to get igloo, peel, capoch, etc to come back if even for one tournament?
 
Apr 22, 2011
481
0
16
#15
im not talking about my gameplay, im talking about the game, but its my point of view, today 90% of ara huns wars are played the way i wrote before, even drush has been forgotten.
 

UnknownDanigc

New Member
Mar 28, 2012
102
0
0
#18
ok ty D: I thought it was symbolic. who was arch besides de koven and vile?
You are the most suitable to answer this.
Vile raped you always :P
 

UnknownCondoM

Active Member
Mar 25, 2010
3,919
0
36
#20
If I remember correctly (probably not 11), Arch was Vile's clan with a bunch of other top players. Koven sort of just invited himself and it died shortly after.
 
Oct 11, 2011
947
3
18
#21
Hey im almost done here but i need a bit of help. theres a bunch of questions throughout the post about tournament winners. could someone fill me in on what year each of the WCLs were played? and apart from the chinese only tournaments in 2007-2008 were there really only 3 tournaments?
any help is appreciated thx
 
Aug 9, 2012
2,032
0
0
#23
chris did do stonewalls , he did everything , but in old old recs in the golden days of aoc 1.0c there are a lot of chris games of him doing 22p fwd / 24p fwd 24p/ skirm spear, and stonewalling in feudal, RL isnt saying he did it always, but as far as i can rememeber, chris was one of the first top players to start stonewalling in feudal*...it was rare but im sure in the OLD chris 1v1 ara packs u will see it. i can remember him doing it while doing a 22p fwd.

i havent read the whole post, but 5HA (the poster) is UD_RL_ my bffe from zone he was 2k+, we progressed from 17xx's to 195+ /2k together in UD. i think some ppl werent around for much of the golden days of aoc (2000-2004/5) imo, but he was. and was active when the styles were being created and perfected and so was i
 

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