Civ Strategies: Byzantines

Aug 1, 2017
23
17
18
#1
Happy Monday everyone, and welcome to week 5 of the Civ Stragies discussion. This week we'll be talking about the Byzantines.

A friendly reminder: The goal is to have a deep insightful strategic/high level discussion. The questions below are there simply to get you thinking and the goal is to get at what the current meta is for each particular civ.

- What are the Byzantines best early, mid, and late game strategies?

- What do you think are some of the Byzantines' biggest strengths? What strength do you really try to take advantage of when playing this civ? What are the Byzantines' really good at?

- What do you think are some of the Byzantines' biggest weaknesses? What do you try to exploit when fighting against this civ? What are the Byzantines pretty bad at?

- Given their lack of bloodlines, what should they do as a pocket? Cheap camels? Or Knights? Or a mix?

Feel free to throw out anything else you feel may be relevant strategical info regarding the Byzantines.
(Also, any feedback on improving the format of these discussions is very welcome)

Previous Civ Strategies:

Aztecs
Berbers
Britons
Burmese
 

United KingdomHyunAOP

Longswordman
Nov 4, 2014
775
567
108
26
United Kingdom
Voobly
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1637
Wins
9
Losses
4
Streak
3
#5
Pocket Indian camels can't melt Cataphracts. Straight facts. Did kt/camel into cata as pocket and Indians was deaded
 

NetherlandsHenkdesupernerd

Well Known Pikeman
Feb 5, 2017
212
277
78
25
Netherlands
Voobly
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1649
Wins
31
Losses
24
Streak
-4
#6
Actually I played a game of 1v1 arabia yesterday and had no idea how to play byzantines. Im currently 1650-1700rated on voobly.

I played versus the spanish. My map was pretty and i was able to wall a large corner

I had some general ideas of possibilities:
- forward with vils to build forward racks and ranges and towers (i went up 22pop which was to early i think, and the forward kind of failed because I wasnt able to produce enough archers and skirms to defend the small amount of vills I send forward)
- wall up and defend while booming (I asked myself: how strong is the byzantine boom and would delaying the game to imp benefit me?)
- i didnt mine much stone for castles but byzantine i could use siegeram and bombard canon to push.
- byzantine monks are nice to counter conqs or knights from the spanish. I snuk out to take some relics while being defensive for the whole castle age.
- cheaper imp made me reach it quickly and in early imp I decided to push.
- i went for halb+skirm+siegeram. I also upgraded my monks but I did not make many. I didnt really know where to invest my gold into..
- I pushed with skirms halbs and siegeram and won the game.

The playstyle was very defensive and eco-oriented with walls and defending counterunits (skirms, pikes, monks, mangonel). I did not receive much pressure in this particular game.

I dont feel I played really well that game (my feudal rush failed and i didnt have map control during castle age). However somehow I was left to boom and the opponent did not have a good response to trash+siegeram in (early) imp.

Some questions I would ask myself/others here:
- what other feudal rushes are viable
- what gold units should I invest in to go with trash?
- when do you add cataphracts? And what about camels or paladin?
- byzantine dont have real eco bonus, do they risk getting outboomed and should they feel confident giving up map control and delaying the game to late game with their defensive style? (They do have cheap imp and acces to amany eco upgrades, so I guess it is ok?)
 

Germany7Sense

Active Member
Oct 24, 2013
600
24
33
#7
If I get Byz in 1x1 the following things come to my mind:
- byz does not have any eco bonus
- they don't have blood lines
- they are PRETTY good at archer line for numerous reason:
cheap shkirmisers
FAST IMP (easy to go arbalest + rams)
- They can also do tricky things with monks, which usually only works only in closed maps
- cheap camel is also veryx good anti kts

In most of the cases I would go drush + fc and xbow boom with them OR massing skirmisher + spear and wall to take map control, and the fwd in castle age with my upgraded army.
 
Apr 13, 2017
19
6
18
Very very high
#8
Yeah I was pretty much going to touch on what 7Sense said. I Like to go byz sometimes for flush too though. Just because I can make a lot of skirms and it can be overwhelming if you micro well enough. Hit and run gold hit and run wood. gg oh yeah i like the monk tree but they suck late game in my opionion
 
May 18, 2017
542
166
58
16
Florida
Voobly
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1563
Wins
211
Losses
239
Streak
-3
#9
One thing I found interesting is that Elite Cataphracts are incredibly efficient units vs Imperial Camels once they are fully upgraded. In mass battles, catas win easily, even with equal cost (where imp camels are cheaper). So theoretically catas could be really useful in TG when there is an Indians (or Goths or meso civ) opponent?
 
Apr 13, 2017
19
6
18
Very very high
#10
I just got done with byz on a 2v2 they were pretty good camel and skir i even mixed cav archer and they weren't too bad. but their late game uni techs could be better and better cav. however I would reccomend learning byz they can boom.
 

Ireland_Melkor

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2011
1,290
131
68
#11
In 1v1:
Byz always want to turn the game into a skirmisher war-> therefore they can have a relative eco bonus. This is done by fwding or doing men at arms or drush into fast skirm. You want to keep your eco at the limit and keep your opponents there too. This way its harder for the opponent to get into a position with massed scouts + archers. The longer the game goes when its brutal skirm micro the better. You need to make sure that the first skirms you make are aggressive at attacking the opponents farms or woodline, if you think he wants to switch to scouts (or if hes any civ that gets bloodlines).

In tg:

On flank its pretty standard routine to go archers as flank, and then switch into 3 tcs to min 31-33 imp.
Sometimes you can start with men at arms or dr into arch. But rarely into skirm. If you start with skirm as flank you need to make sure to do some fast damage otherwise it will be a liability later when its kts + arch vs kts + skirm. There are some situations where its ok, like when both flank and pkt are making archers. Or when you are 1 tc monk skirm pike or something. Perhaps also if your pkt is camels and you are skirm but its very risky.
Much safer to use byz eco skirm bonus super early to kill some quick archers then switch to xbow.

As pkt you basically always have to start fully with kts. This is not too bad a thing since byz have such an easy time getting to the imperial age. In an ideal situation you can be imp far earlier than enemy pkt with bloodlines in which case you trade cavalier with 120 hp with kts 120hp.
Its usually a bad decision to go camels early because camel xbow will get crushed by xbow kt. However if you are upping and you think you have a while before the flank gets imp then going full camel can work once you get the armour in the 5 minute window before arbalest comes into the game. In this window your super cheap heavy camel will wreck everything, and this is where byz shine as pkt.
There are times where it can be more of a boom game where going straight into catas is worth it, but its not common.
Usually its best in the early camel window, to start setting up trade quite fast, so that when the games becomes harder for your combo you have more resources to deal with it.
The other option is to reach imp do some quick camel and then do full transition to halb skirm or something , but it can be very risk since those units are slow.
When I am byz pkt needing to carry vs arbs/paladins/halbs I would set up big trade min 33 while scouring the map with camels, and then switch to paladin camel to fight the palding arb (which is tough with byz), and then switch to cata later. If its pala + halb you are fighting then you dont bother with paladin and get cata straight away (and maybe add halbs)
 
Aug 1, 2017
23
17
18
#13
In 1v1:
Byz always want to turn the game into a skirmisher war-> therefore they can have a relative eco bonus. This is done by fwding or doing men at arms or drush into fast skirm. You want to keep your eco at the limit and keep your opponents there too. This way its harder for the opponent to get into a position with massed scouts + archers. The longer the game goes when its brutal skirm micro the better. You need to make sure that the first skirms you make are aggressive at attacking the opponents farms or woodline, if you think he wants to switch to scouts (or if hes any civ that gets bloodlines).

In tg:

On flank its pretty standard routine to go archers as flank, and then switch into 3 tcs to min 31-33 imp.
Sometimes you can start with men at arms or dr into arch. But rarely into skirm. If you start with skirm as flank you need to make sure to do some fast damage otherwise it will be a liability later when its kts + arch vs kts + skirm. There are some situations where its ok, like when both flank and pkt are making archers. Or when you are 1 tc monk skirm pike or something. Perhaps also if your pkt is camels and you are skirm but its very risky.
Much safer to use byz eco skirm bonus super early to kill some quick archers then switch to xbow.

As pkt you basically always have to start fully with kts. This is not too bad a thing since byz have such an easy time getting to the imperial age. In an ideal situation you can be imp far earlier than enemy pkt with bloodlines in which case you trade cavalier with 120 hp with kts 120hp.
Its usually a bad decision to go camels early because camel xbow will get crushed by xbow kt. However if you are upping and you think you have a while before the flank gets imp then going full camel can work once you get the armour in the 5 minute window before arbalest comes into the game. In this window your super cheap heavy camel will wreck everything, and this is where byz shine as pkt.
There are times where it can be more of a boom game where going straight into catas is worth it, but its not common.
Usually its best in the early camel window, to start setting up trade quite fast, so that when the games becomes harder for your combo you have more resources to deal with it.
The other option is to reach imp do some quick camel and then do full transition to halb skirm or something , but it can be very risk since those units are slow.
When I am byz pkt needing to carry vs arbs/paladins/halbs I would set up big trade min 33 while scouring the map with camels, and then switch to paladin camel to fight the palding arb (which is tough with byz), and then switch to cata later. If its pala + halb you are fighting then you dont bother with paladin and get cata straight away (and maybe add halbs)
Great insights! This is exactly the kind of stuff I love to see. Thanks for taking the time to write such a lengthy and detailed post
 
Likes: Tocaraca
Dec 14, 2013
300
102
48
28
Prague
Voobly
Ladder
RM - Team Games
Rating
1980
Wins
446
Losses
273
Streak
-1
#14
Cataphracts even castle age ones are extremely effective vs eagles and goths. And since there are 3 civs which can mass eagle warriors in castle age in WK then byzantine cataphracts are way more useful now. If you know the enemy is gonna mass eagles then go for cata and wreck him. Not long ago I played a 2v2 arabia with goth and aztec vs byz and brit. The combination of brit xbow/arbalests and byz cata was absolutely devastating for infantry civs.
 
May 18, 2017
542
166
58
16
Florida
Voobly
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1563
Wins
211
Losses
239
Streak
-3
#15
Cataphracts even castle age ones are extremely effective vs eagles and goths. And since there are 3 civs which can mass eagle warriors in castle age in WK then byzantine cataphracts are way more useful now. If you know the enemy is gonna mass eagles then go for cata and wreck him. Not long ago I played a 2v2 arabia with goth and aztec vs byz and brit. The combination of brit xbow/arbalests and byz cata was absolutely devastating for infantry civs.
I like this idea. I'm wondering if it works that well in 1v1, coz of Monks? Catas get countered super hard by Monks, I feel like catas would drain your res and then get converted. But, they do outrun eagles, and destroy them in combat. I personally prefer Boyars coz they are much cheaper and move slightly faster
 
Dec 14, 2013
300
102
48
28
Prague
Voobly
Ladder
RM - Team Games
Rating
1980
Wins
446
Losses
273
Streak
-1
#16
I am not sure since I don't play 1v1s as much as tgs but I think that combination of cheap byz skirms with cata might work vs eagles and monks.
 
May 18, 2017
542
166
58
16
Florida
Voobly
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1563
Wins
211
Losses
239
Streak
-3
#17
I am not sure since I don't play 1v1s as much as tgs but I think that combination of cheap byz skirms with cata might work vs eagles and monks.
I was thinking that too. You don't need to get Forging or Iron Casting for your Cataphracts since they kill EW in 4 hits regardless of the cata upgrades, and you don't have Bloodlines either, so you can just get defense ups and then prioritize all your Elite Skirmisher upgrades. I'm not sure but I think it might work especially since the food cost of the catas is kinda offset by how cheap the Byzantines' imperial age is
 

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