AOE-II How to improve my level? (1750 Voobly)

Jan 11, 2015
23
4
8
21
Colombia
#1
Hello guys, after a lot of training i can reach the 1750 ELO rate on voobly, now, I want to climb to 1800/1850+ and I need some advices on what things or aspects I need to work to get better and reach my new goal.

I'm looking for a real good way to improve.

Thanks in advance.

Link to my profile: http://www.voobly.com/profile/view/124073251
If I need to add more information ask for it, please.
 

UnknownRayne

Active Member
Jul 6, 2010
339
88
28
#3
I see that from your matches you play Arabia. Which, I am in a position to offer some suggestions.

There are a lot of things to work on, so I would only list the top 5 as I wouldn't want to overload you (not to mention construct a huge post).

I will assume you also have a decent grasp of eco BO for tactics like drush fc, maa archers, 21 pop and etc. If not, this should be worked on.


1. Understand the Importance of Time

This is the most important element of aoc. Nothing is more important than time because many things are tied to it. A player may be weak for a short time, a mistake that you can exploit will only last for a time, an advantage may only last for a short time, an important unclaimed hill is only unclaimed for so long, losing units carelessly wastes time (usually placed on the defensive if not dead) etc.

At 1750, I don't think you have a strong grasp of this, so this is the place to start imo. You should figure out how to waste as little time as possible when you are playing. I did give some general examples of it above, and if you think of your losses or even wins, something should be found that I believe you understand.

Like maybe your opponent hit Castle Age 1-2 minutes quicker than you and things got difficult, time would be a huge factor of course. Then you just find out what was tied to it. Bad economy control? Idle tc for too long? Produced too many food units which didn't really help you much/wasn't needed? Some to name.


2. Focus on Weaknesses and Make Plans From Them

I remember how I planned when I was around your level. I would ask you to consider how you plan when you play and if it is focused on anything you would consider 'weak'.

In my experience, whatever plans can be considered objectively best must be based on weaknesses, and the more the better. There is not only one way to accomplish this as well, just one reoccuring theme which is something is weak.

Whatever defines weak can be solely based on your perception, so just have confidence in your ability to say what is and is not weak.

When I played, I always took a look at hills, resource positioning (all resources, but usually gold and stone), and whatever enemy was doing and if they just seemed vulnerable somewhere.

Some specific examples could be like maybe they had a huge hill past tc with main gold below it. This would be a heavy strategic point (map weakness as I would call it) and any way I could control the hill benefits me. Whether it is forward, trush, drush maa fwd, and etc are all fine tactics. Whatever I would feel comfortable with, should be done strictly on this weak area.

Recalling a specific (and something of an important game for me) game I had years ago, my opponent was doing some kind of 21 minute Castle Age with xbows and I just caught wind of it. But, I notice they aren't walled and have no tower on gold yet to defend (and just made ranges at 15 minute mark when I had both of mine a minute earlier) and just 3 scouts. Here, it would be good to focus on the tactical and strategic weaknesses which are: no walls, late ranges, no tower defense, small army. I remember having 5 scs, 3 pikes, and some archer/skirms. I attacked 1 minute later (had a close distance as well) and the game was finished at the 17th minute mark.

If you don't focus on whatever is weak and plan against it, your plans won't be very strong in my eyes. This is something you must figure out yourself, I can only give those examples to perhaps help pave the way.

Also, if you don't see anything that is weak with your opponent, I would then just suggest minimizing on how he can take advantage of you. Something always appears in my experience, so you should be on the lookout for error.


3. Assume Your Opponent Sees Everything Wrong with Your Map

This is pretty big to me. It is important that you imagine your opponent knows everything that is wrong with your map and also knows what to do about it, even if he is at home luring deers or never sees your map weaknesses.

The reason is that whatever game you play, you should only take into account the best plans or whatever you consider best. This should make you a better player in time if you are constantly on the lookout for the most effective ways to win (even when you are watching expert games).


4. Understand/Use Hills

This one can't be overstated for Arabia. I know that when I was your level (actually when I was at 1950-2k even), I didn't have a good understanding of hills.

Its quite imperative that you understand how important hills are, because the deadliest plans can come from them (and once king of the hill, sometimes the person is king until the end). Sometimes its placing a castle on them, resources like gold are below the hill (castle on hill is more attractive), or just doing a mangonel push from here and you will have difficulty defending. Forwarding in feudal can be mentioned as well.

I am sure you have some experience from this whether you are aware of it or not. Like you had a huge hill past your tc with main gold + a secondary gold below it, opponent did a forward, and things became difficult. This is an extreme and obvious example, but may prove my point for you the importance of hills.

Whenever you have hills like this, your prime objective in the game should be not allowing opponent to take control of it if possible. Maybe drush maa works for you, maybe drush + ranges at home, maybe trying forward as defensive measure etc, all on how you want to play it.

And then, you just build on your understanding of hills and what to do outside of that... however you see it.


5. Resource Positions

Perhaps a weird-looking last topic, but this and hills are tied to weaknesses for this post. They can also be the opposite, strengths, like when you have back gold, wood, stone (once you have this, you can do pretty much any tactic at will).

But here, it should be focused on how to take advantage of them, because a lot of players don't do this very effectively in my experience. Or if a player knows how to take advantage of bad gold placements for instance, its very limited/misexecuted with some big mistake.

My general rule has been that the sooner you can take advantage of forward golds, or a combination of grouped forward res like 1 gold + 1 stone, 2 golds, 2 stones, and so on, the better (I did make a brief mention of this above in #4).

It doesn't always work out that way though, so you should try and think how you could do it throughout the game if its possible.


Outside of these 5, I would say that see how hills and resource positions apply on the entire map. If you want to get 1800-1900, you can play only by your map or only opponent's map. But if you want to get further, you need to figure out what your opponent will do from your hills and resource placements, while figuring out what to do about his. It has to be both.

Some of this stuff may look weirdly written (is it?), but this is the way I approach aoc. Its important to me that you have some core of your ideas, like weaknesses, and then see how it branches off from there, which is why I made it #2 and not like #5 after I wrote how hills and resource positions can be a weakness. Hills and resource positions would be the branches of weaknesses (can be opposite too, strengths), and other things can be that way as well (as what you want to do about them with drush fc, scouts archers, at the risk of being overly redundant).

I am not sure if this is written well enough for you. If you have some questions about what I wrote, I can answer them.
 

Unknownevisu86

New Member
Oct 13, 2011
29
0
0
#4
What an excellent post Rayne.. provided that you have time and will for that, you should definitely write more post like this :-)

I have a question for you. What do you think are the main differences (at execution, strategy, tactic level), between different rating ranges, starting let's say from 1600 to 2500 ?
 
Jan 11, 2015
23
4
8
21
Colombia
#8
First to mention, thank you a lot Rayne for that amazing post.

This is a really helpfull post for me. I don't was paying enough attention to that aspects of the game, so now, I will do it, seems to be the good way to go to get better on the game.

Hills are a very interesting mechanic, actually I need to work more on them because they are a very important strategyc/tactic point of the game.

By the way, I need to mention some weaknesses I have found on my game, maybe you can help me with some more advices over these:

1. I'm trying to perfect my Build Orders of everything, the most of them go to castle pretty fast "20-22 mins", so in some cases I had problems when my enemy go full feudal, so idk how to read when my opponent go for full feudal war.

2. I have a big problem in when to make a castle, because I don't know when it hurts to much my economy, maybe now with your suggestion about hill control I will read when to take advantage of it.

3. I'm trying to learn how to fight on imperial age, because that is my worse weakness in my opinion. I think I know every civ on the game, so I can do a good mix of units, but the map control and the raid kill me so fast.

4. When to take the relics in defensive games (I understand this ones like when the feudal war finish and both players go to boom war) and the offensive games (1 tc for one of both players)?. the lack of gold on late imperial age drop a lot of games for me.

5. How to play when you are on economic disadvantage?

6. How to play when you are on military disadvantage?

Maybe some of these questions sounds a little bit silly, but I need to clear my doubts.

Again, thank you.

Hope you can help me with these new questions.

Thanks in advance.


@Poxo, Thanks for your answer, I guess I climbed to 1750 doing that, I'm only looking for a more important topics to focus my attention.

@evisu86, Thanks for the answer.

Buy an older 2k brother who can tell you when there is a hole in your wall.
Idk Where to buy it.
 

MoroccoGregstein

Active Member
Mar 18, 2012
361
86
43
Morocco
www.youtube.com
Voobly
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1761
Wins
502
Losses
550
Streak
-1
#12
First to mention, thank you a lot Rayne for that amazing post.

This is a really helpfull post for me. I don't was paying enough attention to that aspects of the game, so now, I will do it, seems to be the good way to go to get better on the game.

Hills are a very interesting mechanic, actually I need to work more on them because they are a very important strategyc/tactic point of the game.

By the way, I need to mention some weaknesses I have found on my game, maybe you can help me with some more advices over these:

1. I'm trying to perfect my Build Orders of everything, the most of them go to castle pretty fast "20-22 mins", so in some cases I had problems when my enemy go full feudal, so idk how to read when my opponent go for full feudal war.

2. I have a big problem in when to make a castle, because I don't know when it hurts to much my economy, maybe now with your suggestion about hill control I will read when to take advantage of it.

3. I'm trying to learn how to fight on imperial age, because that is my worse weakness in my opinion. I think I know every civ on the game, so I can do a good mix of units, but the map control and the raid kill me so fast.

4. When to take the relics in defensive games (I understand this ones like when the feudal war finish and both players go to boom war) and the offensive games (1 tc for one of both players)?. the lack of gold on late imperial age drop a lot of games for me.

5. How to play when you are on economic disadvantage?

6. How to play when you are on military disadvantage?

Maybe some of these questions sounds a little bit silly, but I need to clear my doubts.

Again, thank you.

Hope you can help me with these new questions.

Thanks in advance.


@Poxo, Thanks for your answer, I guess I climbed to 1750 doing that, I'm only looking for a more important topics to focus my attention.

@evisu86, Thanks for the answer.

Buy an older 2k brother who can tell you when there is a hole in your wall.
Idk Where to buy it.
Thanks for this excellent list of weakness points because I also share the same struggle as yours. I hope some expert player would answer them for us.

On the other hand, my reading to opponents that go full scouts or full feudal seems to get better game after game. Last week on my smurf account, I have beaten a 19++ and two 18+ players who did full feudal shenanigans. After I watched the recorded games, the secret was that I scouted them at 15 - 16 mins. For example, I saw blacksmith at 15 mins and only 2 vils on gold which means full scouts 100%. Also at 16 mins accidentally stumbled upon a second stable, archery range and so many farms and also 6 vils on gold which is obviously a full feudal. My reactions were as follow: Towering gold, queuing spears, getting some walls or finishing them up, making archers to defend my gold along with spears and villagers too. Surprisingly that worked very well, the 19++ guy who did full scouts died to my kts and the other 18+ guys died to my xbows/ca with early balistics. The pinpoint here is to overprotect your gold and stay walled.

I hope this was helpful to you and I am looking forward to other answers to those weaknesses.

Thanks
 
Jan 11, 2015
23
4
8
21
Colombia
#13
Thanks for this excellent list of weakness points because I also share the same struggle as yours. I hope some expert player would answer them for us.

On the other hand, my reading to opponents that go full scouts or full feudal seems to get better game after game. Last week on my smurf account, I have beaten a 19++ and two 18+ players who did full feudal shenanigans. After I watched the recorded games, the secret was that I scouted them at 15 - 16 mins. For example, I saw blacksmith at 15 mins and only 2 vils on gold which means full scouts 100%. Also at 16 mins accidentally stumbled upon a second stable, archery range and so many farms and also 6 vils on gold which is obviously a full feudal. My reactions were as follow: Towering gold, queuing spears, getting some walls or finishing them up, making archers to defend my gold along with spears and villagers too. Surprisingly that worked very well, the 19++ guy who did full scouts died to my kts and the other 18+ guys died to my xbows/ca with early balistics. The pinpoint here is to overprotect your gold and stay walled.

I hope this was helpful to you and I am looking forward to other answers to those weaknesses.

Thanks
Hello Bombjack, this post is really helpfull for me.

Seems like you are a huns player, so that way to play looks actually solid. I need to try to do it. In the first post is the link to my profile, if you want, add me! We can play some games together.

Thank you a lot for your help.
 

MoroccoGregstein

Active Member
Mar 18, 2012
361
86
43
Morocco
www.youtube.com
Voobly
Ladder
RM - 1v1
Rating
1761
Wins
502
Losses
550
Streak
-1
#14
Thanks for this excellent list of weakness points because I also share the same struggle as yours. I hope some expert player would answer them for us.

On the other hand, my reading to opponents that go full scouts or full feudal seems to get better game after game. Last week on my smurf account, I have beaten a 19++ and two 18+ players who did full feudal shenanigans. After I watched the recorded games, the secret was that I scouted them at 15 - 16 mins. For example, I saw blacksmith at 15 mins and only 2 vils on gold which means full scouts 100%. Also at 16 mins accidentally stumbled upon a second stable, archery range and so many farms and also 6 vils on gold which is obviously a full feudal. My reactions were as follow: Towering gold, queuing spears, getting some walls or finishing them up, making archers to defend my gold along with spears and villagers too. Surprisingly that worked very well, the 19++ guy who did full scouts died to my kts and the other 18+ guys died to my xbows/ca with early balistics. The pinpoint here is to overprotect your gold and stay walled.

I hope this was helpful to you and I am looking forward to other answers to those weaknesses.

Thanks
Hello Bombjack, this post is really helpfull for me.

Seems like you are a huns player, so that way to play looks actually solid. I need to try to do it. In the first post is the link to my profile, if you want, add me! We can play some games together.

Thank you a lot for your help.
Very good guess! I have just pm you my profile so you can look up my games. Just add me to your watch list and so will I. And then I can play you with the same account unrated without stats OR rated with a completely different account. I'm sorry, I don't wanna be recognized LOL
 

UnknownRayne

Active Member
Jul 6, 2010
339
88
28
#15
What an excellent post Rayne.. provided that you have time and will for that, you should definitely write more post like this :-)

I have a question for you. What do you think are the main differences (at execution, strategy, tactic level), between different rating ranges, starting let's say from 1600 to 2500 ?
If I come across any topics like this one when I visit forums, I don't mind helping out a bit.

I never reached 2500 myself, so I can't talk like I reached it. I do have a lot of experience against 2300/2400s though, so I have some idea.

Are you asking me to list the differences between 1600s, 1700s, 1800s and etc as I see it? If this is the case, I could write what I think about it.
 

United StatesJoshuaR

Known Member
Oct 11, 2013
258
122
58
#16
Curious about sensitivity/acceleration. If I have acceleration off, no matter my sensitivity, I can't even click on a villager without ten tries at it. Is having sensitivity OFF something only FPS players do (though I can't imagine how one can aim a gun if I can't aim a pointer at a villager), or do you expert AoC players also turn sensitivity OFF for RTS games?
 

UnknownRayne

Active Member
Jul 6, 2010
339
88
28
#17
1. I'm trying to perfect my Build Orders of everything, the most of them go to castle pretty fast "20-22 mins", so in some cases I had problems when my enemy go full feudal, so idk how to read when my opponent go for full feudal war.

2. I have a big problem in when to make a castle, because I don't know when it hurts to much my economy, maybe now with your suggestion about hill control I will read when to take advantage of it.

3. I'm trying to learn how to fight on imperial age, because that is my worse weakness in my opinion. I think I know every civ on the game, so I can do a good mix of units, but the map control and the raid kill me so fast.

4. When to take the relics in defensive games (I understand this ones like when the feudal war finish and both players go to boom war) and the offensive games (1 tc for one of both players)?. the lack of gold on late imperial age drop a lot of games for me.

5. How to play when you are on economic disadvantage?

6. How to play when you are on military disadvantage?

Maybe some of these questions sounds a little bit silly, but I need to clear my doubts.

Again, thank you.

Hope you can help me with these new questions.

Thanks in advance.
None of these questions are silly. All of them are good questions to me.


#1:

This is one of my favorite questions, being a hardcore Feudal Age player.

By full feudal, do you mean lots of scouts and archers, or just many and only ranged units? Whatever the case is, I would say that this is something to be aware of especially if the former.

Full feudal is one of the strongest ideas (if not the strongest in my experiences) against players who opt for a 21-22 min Castle Age. That's just generally. The key for maximizing its power is all about hills and the positioning of main gold. I am not sure if players at your level are completely aware of this though. I know I wasn't at first.

Whenever I planned an all-out feudal attack, I always took a look at 3 things primarily: main gold position, if there was a hill by it, and if they could wall me out. I can't stress the first 2 more than the last one. Because, if their main gold is below a hill, can't wall me out, and even if they have a tower on gold, this flashes a neon sign infront of my eyes saying, "Go full feudal with scouts and archers."

Even with the tower on gold and if they have archers and some spearmen, your units will be uphill (huge fighting bonus). With scout armor for a lot of scouts, good micro, and attacking at the right time (another big factor), this should mean an easy victory. I have done this countless times myself with those 3 factors, and seen players like Viper, Daut, Riut, and slam have very entertaining and similiar wins.

If you are doing a 21-22 min Castle Age, as that is how you want to develop your style, I would say never do it when you are open, when your main gold is below a hill, and if you can't wall. Also, if you are on flatland and can't wall, you still run the risk of getting trampled if the player knows how to play full feudal.

The only exception is you know that your opponent just won't come at you with many scouts and ranged units, which shouldn't happen often at your level (I am surprised of your mentioning of it).

Now, a good case for doing 21-22 min Castle Age would be, your main gold is ON a hill (tower/archers/spearmen on here can stop a full feudal if you are aware of it), and you can wall a bit even if you have to get creative about it. I would also say even if you are open, as long as main gold is on a hill, just keep everything on the hill and don't really leave base to attack until you are Castle Age if your opponent tries full feudal. You must know when to be defensive and when to go on the offensive. I can't put enough emphasis on that.

Make sure you can wall some whenever you try your 21-22 Castle Ages is my bottom line suggestion. When you are more experienced, you can take the risk of doing it without walls.


#2

This is a tough question. A lot of factors apply to the whens and when-not-to make a castle.

I have seen a lot of players aware of these factors to a degree on some of the streams I have visited, so I would write a few of my rules for it.

Rule 1: There must be a hill.
Rule 2: There must be a resource nearby (usually gold cries out for a castle by it).
Rule 3: There is both a hill and a resource nearby.

These 3 are just enough for countless situations for when and where to place a castle. Castles belong on hills and by gold is just a simple way to put it, and best to follow this like a law. Whenever you see stuff like this at any time in the game (even if Dark Age), one of your prime objectives should be to place a castle there.

But you did also mention when this hurts your economy. That makes this trickier, so I would say this. If it is a normal game, meaning back-and-forth action, if going on stone to make a castle would delay your military production I would say only go on stone if you feel sure its not going to harm your ability to mass units. Or if going on stone places you in ANY danger for that matter, whether it harms ability to mass vills/army/get important upgrades, it is not the best time.

I don't feel that is a good enough answer for you, but I can't think of a better one unfortunately.

The only way to find out what harms or doesn't harm you is just through constantly trying things out. That is something you must figure out on your own (and every other player for that matter).


#3

I am not sure I understand what you are asking me here. Can you rephrase?


#4

To be frank, I don't completely see relics tied to the mentioning of "defensive, boom games", and "offensive games", though there situations where it would apply. As for trouble with gold in late Imperial, that sounds like a different issue.

You can start collecting relics anytime you feel before going Imperial Age (usually when you make monastery as requirement) as long as there is nothing going on (or if you have the speed). That is a rule for me. If there is heavy military action, lot of pressure and skeletons on your doorstep, buildings on fire and so on, relics are the last thing to worry about. Take care of the action, put out the fires, and bury your dead. Then you can get the relics. Whenever there is a critical moment in game (or that you think is critical) that is where you focus all your energy until it is done, quite simply.

An exception to this is, what if you have a monastery shortly after you hit Castle Age with monks to convert knights? Then, as long as nothing critical is going on, you can go for relics immediately. That is how I have always decided when to go for them.


#5

This is another tough question for me, and economy was one of my fortes. I am also not entirely sure what you mean. Can you give me an example?


#6

This is an easier question to answer. There are a lot of cases however, so I may not be able it to your satisfaction. You can give me a specific example if you want. But this goes back to me mentioning that you have to know when to be defensive and when to switch to the offensive.

If you ever carelessly lose units, you are on the defensive until things even out. You can't really attack your opponent unless you kill some of his units yourself to even things out. If you try a sneaky counterattack, just know the risk can be very huge. You already lost units, so unless you are stonewalled, its not the best course of action in my eyes. You may find his units charging towards your base after you try to attack him.

The opposite applies as well. If your opponent ever gives you some free units, if you were ever on the defensive, now would be the time to switch to being offensive. Your opponent is suddenly in a weakened state, so it is best to make the most of it while time allows. Siezing control of the game and controlling the game is an unquestionable advantage, as you are seeing everything he is doing if you are assaulting his base. Thus, you can plan easily and comfortably, I would say.

Is all this explained well? Anything you need me to elaborate more?
 

Unknownevisu86

New Member
Oct 13, 2011
29
0
0
#19
What an excellent post Rayne.. provided that you have time and will for that, you should definitely write more post like this :-)

...

Are you asking me to list the differences between 1600s, 1700s, 1800s and etc as I see it? If this is the case, I could write what I think about it.
Hello Rayne,
basically yes. I guess this would really also help people to know what should be really improved based on their levels.

For example, one of my thoughts is that between 1600ish-1800ish AOC is more a matter of build orders perfection and general basic execution (do not waste unit, good dark age micro), and that more deep strategic / tactical skills are relevant only in upper ranges of rating. But still i would like to know what your opinion is, even regarding those lower rating ranges.

What is still obscure to me is what really distingueshes the top players (2400+) from very good players (2100). For example, Viper seems to have very easy times in beating everyone under 2300..

Since we are in topic, another thing I've noticed from very good players, is how they seem to always have a balanced economy not only in early stages of the game, but throughout all the match. It's like they have a "feel" of how resources should be distributed based on the strategy they want to do, and what surprises me is that they really never switch to economic mode in the minimap to "count" how villagers are distributed. Stil they are able to have always what they need, and to save for age / tech upgrades. It's like they have a "perpetual" buil-order. I think this skill passes sometimes unnoticed, but the ability to perfectly balance the economy, even under pressure, is crucial IMHO.

What do you think ?

Thank you
 
Jan 11, 2015
23
4
8
21
Colombia
#20
None of these questions are silly. All of them are good questions to me.


#1:

This is one of my favorite questions, being a hardcore Feudal Age player.

By full feudal, do you mean lots of scouts and archers, or just many and only ranged units? Whatever the case is, I would say that this is something to be aware of especially if the former.

Full feudal is one of the strongest ideas (if not the strongest in my experiences) against players who opt for a 21-22 min Castle Age. That's just generally. The key for maximizing its power is all about hills and the positioning of main gold. I am not sure if players at your level are completely aware of this though. I know I wasn't at first.

Whenever I planned an all-out feudal attack, I always took a look at 3 things primarily: main gold position, if there was a hill by it, and if they could wall me out. I can't stress the first 2 more than the last one. Because, if their main gold is below a hill, can't wall me out, and even if they have a tower on gold, this flashes a neon sign infront of my eyes saying, "Go full feudal with scouts and archers."

Even with the tower on gold and if they have archers and some spearmen, your units will be uphill (huge fighting bonus). With scout armor for a lot of scouts, good micro, and attacking at the right time (another big factor), this should mean an easy victory. I have done this countless times myself with those 3 factors, and seen players like Viper, Daut, Riut, and slam have very entertaining and similiar wins.

If you are doing a 21-22 min Castle Age, as that is how you want to develop your style, I would say never do it when you are open, when your main gold is below a hill, and if you can't wall. Also, if you are on flatland and can't wall, you still run the risk of getting trampled if the player knows how to play full feudal.

The only exception is you know that your opponent just won't come at you with many scouts and ranged units, which shouldn't happen often at your level (I am surprised of your mentioning of it).

Now, a good case for doing 21-22 min Castle Age would be, your main gold is ON a hill (tower/archers/spearmen on here can stop a full feudal if you are aware of it), and you can wall a bit even if you have to get creative about it. I would also say even if you are open, as long as main gold is on a hill, just keep everything on the hill and don't really leave base to attack until you are Castle Age if your opponent tries full feudal. You must know when to be defensive and when to go on the offensive. I can't put enough emphasis on that.

Make sure you can wall some whenever you try your 21-22 Castle Ages is my bottom line suggestion. When you are more experienced, you can take the risk of doing it without walls.


#2

This is a tough question. A lot of factors apply to the whens and when-not-to make a castle.

I have seen a lot of players aware of these factors to a degree on some of the streams I have visited, so I would write a few of my rules for it.

Rule 1: There must be a hill.
Rule 2: There must be a resource nearby (usually gold cries out for a castle by it).
Rule 3: There is both a hill and a resource nearby.

These 3 are just enough for countless situations for when and where to place a castle. Castles belong on hills and by gold is just a simple way to put it, and best to follow this like a law. Whenever you see stuff like this at any time in the game (even if Dark Age), one of your prime objectives should be to place a castle there.

But you did also mention when this hurts your economy. That makes this trickier, so I would say this. If it is a normal game, meaning back-and-forth action, if going on stone to make a castle would delay your military production I would say only go on stone if you feel sure its not going to harm your ability to mass units. Or if going on stone places you in ANY danger for that matter, whether it harms ability to mass vills/army/get important upgrades, it is not the best time.

I don't feel that is a good enough answer for you, but I can't think of a better one unfortunately.

The only way to find out what harms or doesn't harm you is just through constantly trying things out. That is something you must figure out on your own (and every other player for that matter).


#3

I am not sure I understand what you are asking me here. Can you rephrase?


#4

To be frank, I don't completely see relics tied to the mentioning of "defensive, boom games", and "offensive games", though there situations where it would apply. As for trouble with gold in late Imperial, that sounds like a different issue.

You can start collecting relics anytime you feel before going Imperial Age (usually when you make monastery as requirement) as long as there is nothing going on (or if you have the speed). That is a rule for me. If there is heavy military action, lot of pressure and skeletons on your doorstep, buildings on fire and so on, relics are the last thing to worry about. Take care of the action, put out the fires, and bury your dead. Then you can get the relics. Whenever there is a critical moment in game (or that you think is critical) that is where you focus all your energy until it is done, quite simply.

An exception to this is, what if you have a monastery shortly after you hit Castle Age with monks to convert knights? Then, as long as nothing critical is going on, you can go for relics immediately. That is how I have always decided when to go for them.


#5

This is another tough question for me, and economy was one of my fortes. I am also not entirely sure what you mean. Can you give me an example?


#6

This is an easier question to answer. There are a lot of cases however, so I may not be able it to your satisfaction. You can give me a specific example if you want. But this goes back to me mentioning that you have to know when to be defensive and when to switch to the offensive.

If you ever carelessly lose units, you are on the defensive until things even out. You can't really attack your opponent unless you kill some of his units yourself to even things out. If you try a sneaky counterattack, just know the risk can be very huge. You already lost units, so unless you are stonewalled, its not the best course of action in my eyes. You may find his units charging towards your base after you try to attack him.

The opposite applies as well. If your opponent ever gives you some free units, if you were ever on the defensive, now would be the time to switch to being offensive. Your opponent is suddenly in a weakened state, so it is best to make the most of it while time allows. Siezing control of the game and controlling the game is an unquestionable advantage, as you are seeing everything he is doing if you are assaulting his base. Thus, you can plan easily and comfortably, I would say.

Is all this explained well? Anything you need me to elaborate more?
Hello again Rayne.

Thank you again for your amazing answer to my questions. Right now I have a better idea on how to deal with those situations I refer above.

Now I will rephrase you the questions I dont wrote correctly, maybe you can help me on that, I put an example for each one.

3. I want to know some basics about how to fight on imperial age, because I drop a lot of games at that stage, I think I only need some advices like how to put buildings, how to balance the eco, and when and how to take battles, how to defend properly from a raid. I hope I'm not being very annoying with this but I just trying to clarify the question.

5. When I say "How to play when you are on economic disadvantage?" I mean when your opponent for example goes first to castle age and start booming before you, or when you lose some villagers and you know the eco of the opponent goes better than yours (whatever age). Hope you can understand me.

Now I have some maybe weirds questions. I will be fine with a short answer for everyone.

- When it's better to go for drush + archers?
- When it's better to go for archers?
- When it's better to go for scrush 21 pop instead 22 pop?
- When it's better go for M@A instead drush?

I hope I don't seem very noob asking for that 11.

Actually the other answers are amazing for me, really it helps so much to me, now I know what factors should influence on my decition, by that and by all effort you put on it. I need to say: Thank you a lot! I really appreciate this.

Again, Thanks in advance.
 

UnknownRayne

Active Member
Jul 6, 2010
339
88
28
#21
Hello Rayne,
basically yes. I guess this would really also help people to know what should be really improved based on their levels.

For example, one of my thoughts is that between 1600ish-1800ish AOC is more a matter of build orders perfection and general basic execution (do not waste unit, good dark age micro), and that more deep strategic / tactical skills are relevant only in upper ranges of rating. But still i would like to know what your opinion is, even regarding those lower rating ranges.

What is still obscure to me is what really distingueshes the top players (2400+) from very good players (2100). For example, Viper seems to have very easy times in beating everyone under 2300..

Since we are in topic, another thing I've noticed from very good players, is how they seem to always have a balanced economy not only in early stages of the game, but throughout all the match. It's like they have a "feel" of how resources should be distributed based on the strategy they want to do, and what surprises me is that they really never switch to economic mode in the minimap to "count" how villagers are distributed. Stil they are able to have always what they need, and to save for age / tech upgrades. It's like they have a "perpetual" buil-order. I think this skill passes sometimes unnoticed, but the ability to perfectly balance the economy, even under pressure, is crucial IMHO.

What do you think ?

Thank you
Sure, I can do something like that, but I need a little time (have a draft currently saved). I need to go over some games in my head I had when I was 1600 and so on, and what portions of games I have floating in my head at various levels to give the best answer.

Indeed, Viper makes very high-rated players look like nothing a lot of the time. The one thing I learned from playing players like him is that you can't really make a mistake against them. Players like Viper, Riut, and Daut specifically in my experience have ultra-high vigilance, aware of mistakes the moment they occur. They know how to take advantage of them quickly as well. But aside from this, they have a lot of other well-toned abilities with micro, macro, strategic and tactical understanding which puts them further past you after whatever mistake you make. Its impossible to keep up after that I would say, unless they make a similiar mistake and you know how to take advantage of it. Game goes back and forth then. Map factors are also much, much bigger in these games as I forgot that.

Well, I would say every player counts where vills go where and when only in Dark/Feudal Age, but once Castle Age comes, you are almost completely "winging" economy. I count how many vills on are each resource in Feudal Age just by eye. I am sure nearly all other players do also.
 

Unknowncqayft

New Member
Feb 1, 2015
11
0
1
#22
Indeed, Viper makes very high-rated players look like nothing a lot of the time. The one thing I learned from playing players like him is that you can't really make a mistake against them. Players like Viper, Riut, and Daut specifically in my experience have ultra-high vigilance, aware of mistakes the moment they occur. They know how to take advantage of them quickly as well. But aside from this, they have a lot of other well-toned abilities with micro, macro, strategic and tactical understanding which puts them further past you after whatever mistake you make. Its impossible to keep up after that I would say, unless they make a similiar mistake and you know how to take advantage of it. Game goes back and forth then. Map factors are also much, much bigger in these games as I forgot that.
Can you elaborate more on the mistakes that players commonly make, and what to look for to see these mistakes?
Thanks in advance
 

UnknownRayne

Active Member
Jul 6, 2010
339
88
28
#23
Hello again Rayne.

Thank you again for your amazing answer to my questions. Right now I have a better idea on how to deal with those situations I refer above.

Now I will rephrase you the questions I dont wrote correctly, maybe you can help me on that, I put an example for each one.

3. I want to know some basics about how to fight on imperial age, because I drop a lot of games at that stage, I think I only need some advices like how to put buildings, how to balance the eco, and when and how to take battles, how to defend properly from a raid. I hope I'm not being very annoying with this but I just trying to clarify the question.

5. When I say "How to play when you are on economic disadvantage?" I mean when your opponent for example goes first to castle age and start booming before you, or when you lose some villagers and you know the eco of the opponent goes better than yours (whatever age). Hope you can understand me.

Now I have some maybe weirds questions. I will be fine with a short answer for everyone.

- When it's better to go for drush + archers?
- When it's better to go for archers?
- When it's better to go for scrush 21 pop instead 22 pop?
- When it's better go for M@A instead drush?

I hope I don't seem very noob asking for that 11.

Actually the other answers are amazing for me, really it helps so much to me, now I know what factors should influence on my decition, by that and by all effort you put on it. I need to say: Thank you a lot! I really appreciate this.

Again, Thanks in advance.

3.

Don't worry, its not annoying at all. Questions are simple for me to answer. And I also had a lot of questions at your level as well.

To begin, the important thing to understand about Imperial Age on Arabia is that all of your plans, particularly in the entirety of Castle Age, come together when you are transitioning to Imperial Age, while its being researched.

If you haven't covered your weak areas on your map (hills and bad resource placements), or you aren't controlling the game so your opponent is on the defensive, it is going to be a rough Imperial Age, if not a completely lost game. [And by covering, I mean like there is a castle defending it, army is somewhere around these areas (this is not best answer, but to mention), or stonewalls.] This is why players across all ratings need to understand hills and resource positions, on the entire map. It will affect the whole game as it goes on and on.

With that being said, you need a thorough understanding of this. I can't give the answer you are looking for (we both know what you want to hear), other than you have to play and just watch how experts protect their hills (and take advantage of enemy hills). Some player (rate is irrelevant to say, I remember a 1700 with an uncanny strategic understanding) knows something about hills that you don't and you are likely to run into one. On bad hilly maps, the ones you lose, you have to be objective in your analysis and find out where things got difficult and try to prevent it next time around.

Like its mid-Castle Age on your bad map, everything seems fine, playing good so far. 3 tcs booming, haven't really lost units, a fine economy. Maybe plans of Imperial Age soon? But surprise, your opponent decides to make a castle on a hill close to your base (we can say gold is close too because castles belong here) that you overlooked the importance of, and it feels like he is putting you in the corner, with a siege push w/ ranged units. Suddenly the game looks desperate, you can't counterattack really, so you resign once he hits Imperial Age.

For this example, obviously you should feel the importance of the hill after the game as it crippled you despite everything being 'fine', as your opponent knew and took advantage of it. Quite simply, the best (and perhaps most traumatic) learning experiences are the ones where you are completely dominated. These ones stick with you no matter how bad your memory is, and form some understanding as long as you are objective about it, meaning you don't mentally block it out. You then try & continually build on this. That's for forming understanding of hills and resource positions.

Defending properly against a raid is something related to above. If you have well-placed castles on your map, your opponent is unlikely to assail you with raids. The point of raids is targeted at weak spots in your base, unprotected areas. You just have to be looking at your base in late Castle Age, before Imperial Age. What is weakest? What isn't defended? What can you do about it? What do you want to do about it? Castles placed in these weak areas or stonewalls accomplish your defensive objective, and then he can't raid with hussars without losing them/barely killing a villager. Then you can focus on what needs to be done, until he tries ramming those areas you protected. Best to be on lookout.

As for how and when to take battles, this is the easiest question by far for me to answer. We are talking about Imperial Age however. Basically, go by what you feel. Probably the cheesiest answer ever given, but the truest here. If you feel a fight favors you, go for it. If you feel it doesn't favor you, don't. When you feel its right after 2nd, do it without hesitation. Whatever the outcome is, the important thing is that you are forming and cultivating intuition, putting it in a truer form. This applies for all fights, not just Imperial Age. Some fights you win I might not, and the opposite. Follow your instincts.

As for balancing economy, what do you mean? I would say what I said above, after Feudal Age, Castle and Imperial Age economy is winged, meaning you do it without thinking or counting how many vills are where. That's something you just try to do. Make sure you never have like 2000w and 700f before Imperial or like 700w, 1500f, 100g and so on generally speaking. Just have to continually try and have some equilibrium, constantly massing vills/units, getting upgrades without any super excess res. If you ever have like 300w, 300f, 1000g, that is the only resource that is ok being unbalanced. Any other is a no-no, really.

For examples, if there is a resource you have in excess, just shift the villagers to the resource you need. Have 1000w and 100f -> start farming with lumberjacks. 300w and 2000f -> take a random number of farmers and make them lumberjacks for wood if you need wood for rams. That's how you balance res in Castle/Imperial Age. And if you can do what you want with these shifts, mission accomplished.

I think that covers this topic? Or need more?


5.

Opponent going to Castle Age and or booming before you is a separate discussion to me, but I understand. You have to find out what went wrong and try not to allow it again. Usually, you want to match what your opponent is doing, meaning you hit Castle Age around same time for this case. If you don't hit Castle Age at least 30s - 1m later than opponent, the only justification for this is to take advantage of some tactical or major strategic weakness, generally speaking (or a mistake on your part). That is a separate discussion too.

For losing your villagers in an equal situation (lets say you hit Castle Age at same times), this depends and is very tricky. Sometimes sacrifical tactics, if this is one of your experiences, can harm the player sacrificing units in exchange for some villagers. If not the case and you just lost villagers carelessly and opponent retreats, I would go back to what I said about knowing when to be defensive and offensive.

If opponent sacrifices his army to get villagers from you, 2 things happen: you are either completely dead and can resign, or you are alive and this is something of an all-in. Your opponent would have little to no military so you need to take advantage of this timeframe. Whatever the case is, charge all your units to enemy base and hope he isn't stonewalled is all I can say. No matter what, this would be the time to take the offensive, try evening things out, killing some vills from him. If he isn't walled, he should die if your micro is good.

If lost villagers "for free", it depends. I know a lot of players try some counterattack, to kill villagers at opponent's base. It can work fine. But, for me, this situation meant I had to go on the defensive until opponent lost some units to my army (which happened in almost every case). This is pretty much the same answer to you asking me how to play at a military disadvantage. Same principle applies in my eyes.

And if you lost too many villagers, you are probably dead and can start a new game.


For your Feudal Age tactics, its important that you must base them off strategics. This is something that needs to be established, so you know when it is good, when its not good.

All those tactics listed (except maybe 21p over 22p) are based on the exploitation (opponent's map) and are preventative measures (your map) of hill and resource control. This is what you should base those tactics off of. If you have a safe map, meaning back gold and wood, you can do probably anything and not die, because your map is so strong. With that in mind, here's what I think about all you listed.


Drush + Archers:

Drush is one way of preventing a forward on your map generally speaking. Bad gold (forward gold towards center of map) and some nasty hills by tc make this a sensible choice. Definitely "oldschool" as MAA seems to replace this.

With that in mind, you can do archers regardless of your main gold position. The main idea is written above as far as I am concerned, then archers are good if you control them well and if your opponent has lot of hills, archers will shine with hit and runs (exploitation).


21-22 Archers?

Is this something you were asking with when its fine to go archers only? If yes, this can be quite risky, and I was never really good with 21-22p archers only, so I can't give much on it. There have to be many hills around opponent's base by their wood and gold I would say, where your archers will fire ontop of hills.

The players who do this best are slam, Viper, and Erhan (retired?). I would advise trying to find their games when they did this if you are curious about it (may be quite a search).


21p Over 22p Scouts

Dogao phrased this best many, many years ago. "21 sc is just +1 sc than 22 sc." There is not a real better way to put it, so it doesn't matter too much.

I only worry about when 21 sc is better than 22 sc depending on your Dark Age. Late sheeps like 45s? 22 sc is more ideal over 21sc to mention. Eco will be stronger, and you won't have (or shouldn't have) many delays in scout production.

And outside of that, when scouts are fine should be based on hills and resource positions (gold and wood matter here). If all gold and wood are forward, its risky but you can survive (better options unless you are ballsy). If you have back wood at least, its fine. Make sure that if you are forwarded, you can use one of your 3 golds (stone may play a factor). Any more mentions brings up a separate discussion, so I would end it here.


MAA Over Drush

This goes back to my paragraphs with drush + archers. MAA is in some (emphasis on word some) ways just old wine in a new bottle.

MAA is a way to prevent a forwarder from taking control of your gold and some hills by resources like gold (pretty much both).

It is also a strong against scout users but this is never the reason one decides to do MAA. It is all based on the position of your gold, like its forwarded w/ or wo/ hills by it.

I think that about covers it. If there is anything about what I wrote, let me know.
 

UnknownRayne

Active Member
Jul 6, 2010
339
88
28
#24
Indeed, Viper makes very high-rated players look like nothing a lot of the time. The one thing I learned from playing players like him is that you can't really make a mistake against them. Players like Viper, Riut, and Daut specifically in my experience have ultra-high vigilance, aware of mistakes the moment they occur. They know how to take advantage of them quickly as well. But aside from this, they have a lot of other well-toned abilities with micro, macro, strategic and tactical understanding which puts them further past you after whatever mistake you make. Its impossible to keep up after that I would say, unless they make a similiar mistake and you know how to take advantage of it. Game goes back and forth then. Map factors are also much, much bigger in these games as I forgot that.
Can you elaborate more on the mistakes that players commonly make, and what to look for to see these mistakes?
Thanks in advance
The most common mistakes I see across all skill levels are with battle decisions (taking fights), allowing certain hills to be claimed, and with expanding economy (not sure if this can be called a mistake, but something I have observed).

As for how to see them and take advantage of them yourself (and avoid them)? Well, a teasing but true answer is experience, observation, and establishment. Someone sees and knows how to take advantage of something you don't. And to add, often you only see what you want to see if that's not being cryptic.

So long as one of your goals as a player is to improve, you should be objectively analyzing not just your losses, but your wins. You try and figure where things fell apart when you lost (the very beginning you feel, and more), and what you did right when you won (also where you think there is improvement). Games are pretty much won through some form of error, so its important to establish what is an error. Keyword is establish.

Whether you felt it was a fight, poor handling of economy (can't see opponent do this, but will see your own), someone controlling a hill before you (where things can really crumble), or just a bad tactical decision. But this should be done from both sides, yours and opponent.

If you keep doing it this way, establishing what is a mistake, you should see similiar situations everywhere you go after some period of time (the time varies for you, so can't say how long it would be). Whether its playing, spectating, watching expert games, you should see the same base theme, a mistake. How to take advantage of it is up to you, and if you are watching an expert, you should try and replicate it yourself.

And from what I understand in neurology/psychology as well if I have my information correct, the more you do something/try to do something, eventually it gets "internalized" in your subconcious. Where seeing and exploiting a mistake for an instance here happens smoothly and naturally. That's when you know you have studied things well and integrated it into your play correctly.
 

UnknownRayne

Active Member
Jul 6, 2010
339
88
28
#25
It has been a while since I was 1600 - 2k evisu86, so I am not sure how things are today, but can't be too different.

This is how I see skill groups from memory of me playing at various skill levels on Arabia. I believe you made mention of what should be improved at what level, so I would offer suggestions after compiled list if any come across it and are interested in improving their Arabia.

I will also say this won't list some things such as foresight, emotional control, and stamina as I can't say too much about them from opponent side. They are related to some of the things I have listed, which I think are understood.


1600 - 1700

- Has small knowledge of eco BO for Feudal Age tactics (Castle Age ones may be absent; they were for me); Finding subsequent counters to tactics needs to be developed
- Has not figured out what is really important on map yet/what to do with them frequently (hills and resource placements)
- Erratic economy control overall (I remember having 600 wood or 500 gold at 15 min mark); idle vills can be listed here starting in Feudal Age
- Big room for micro improvement; taking bad fights can be listed (blacksmith upgrade timing is off sub-listed?)
- Big room for macro improvement (something is always idle)

There are maybe one or two things I missed, but this may be overwhelming if a player tries to improve all these at once vigorously. So it should be enough if I make the lists consistently like this.

I would suggest first focusing on improving one's knowledge of eco BOs for Feudal Age ideas because its the simplest thing to improve. Just have to watch an expert you like, copy where and when they put vills, and make it your own. You should try doing this only for a few ideas to make the task easier. And if said ideas keep scoring you wins, you are in the right place.

Next, is that you have to focus on the erratic economy. You can't have really high resources floating so early on which I am sure are still 1600 issues, so this needs to be worked on. Good thing is this is related to (if not exactly same) as what I wrote in above paragraph. As long as you follow the villager BO your favorite expert has for favorite tactic, you should never have this issue anymore. And for your favorite Feudal tactics, make sure you know the best upgrade times for military units. I didn't know that a lot.

Last two things are micro and macro. I know I have lost at least 4 scs to 1 spearman, or 10 archers to 3-4 skirms (usually because I stood still). Best to not do those yourself, but no high-stress on improving micro.

For macro, just try not to have things idle too often. If you don't remember/know after game what was idle, then you need to rewatch to see what was.

I know I broke and maintained 17+ after focusing eco BOs/economy generally, with a bit of micro and macro.

Hills and resource positions are way too advanced, so I would not advise exerting all energy towards learning about them at 1600. But if one is very ambitious, by all means. I would also say you are likely to encounter this somewhere though (usually with someone forwarding you), so see what you can learn about them without too much stress.


1700 - 1800

- Has a decent knowledge of eco BOs for Feudal Age tactics (this is probably the hugest leap from 1600 from what I have observed); Castle Age tactics like castle drops (castle placements for that matter) have yet to be developed; Has some idea of counters
- Has an idea of hills and how resource positions come into play, but very limited
- Economy is still unstable; likely biggest room for improvement lies in Castle Age economy; idle villagers probably lurk only in Castle Age/Imperial
- Micro with melee and ranged still have room for improvement; many bad fights likely still taken; Blacksmith upgrades not an issue
- Macro is better but things like military buildings are idle often; tc not too idle in Feudal Age but different story in Castle Age

To first mention, I don't know how many 1700s have this and how often forwards occur now (or what its like with the whole maa plan), but I know I wasn't the only one.

Usually at this level, players have what can be called a "forward freakout", meaning they just can't seem to find out how to stop it. This probably keeps many stuck in the 1700 range who have it. Or if not stuck, it brings them back to the 1700 zone if they pass 1800 once forwarded. It was such an issue for me when I was 1700, that I actually had a -15 streak on my name from forwards after breaking 1800 for the first time.

So to those who have this issue, I would recommend finding a way to crack it.

After this, Castle Age economy is a big thing to name. I believe this is where 1700s need to put most of their energy in to improve, making sure its balanced throughout Castle Age for what you are doing.

Eco BOs for early-on tactics should be onspot most of the time (or mine were at least). If you have any extra energy you could see if there are things to improve.

Hills and resource positions are something to start focusing on for sure as well. Whatever you think you can pick up on and how this affects the game. However, when I was 1700 (all the way up to 1950 at least), I didn't focus here too much.

Micro is something to focus on a lot to mention (this is one of the biggest differences from 1700s and 1800s in my past experiences). But below is more important.

Macro was one thing that helped me get past and stay past 1800. There is always one military building in Castle Age that is idle, so best to check this stuff yourself. Try to make sure things are running nonstop as much as possible.

Working mostly on economy and macro is what pushed me past the 1800 barrier with a touch of micro. With micro, it was mostly not losing units carelessly or just standing there when I was losing a fight.


1800 - 1900

- Has a good knowledge of eco BO for Feudal Age tactics; things are pretty on cue for when they transition into Castle Age from Feudal Age (there is a difference in this); has some knowledge of how strong tactical ideas like castle drops/siege pushes but still soon; Imperial Age should be where they are weakest and how things like where you placed your castles come into play
- Understanding hills/resource positioning is still limited (this is probably the thing that improved the least, from my experience)
- Economy is better in a way that you rarely have the 600 - 900 gold issue in Castle Age which I have seen a lot/not much excess resources; still lot of room for improvement with when to get other economy upgrades after bow saw and maybe hand cart (likely the biggest issue that carries to 2100 range)
- Micro is visibly better (hugest improvement in my experience); bad fights aren't taken as much as before
- Macro is a lot better too, but usually one military building or one tc is idle at some point

Personally, the place where I lacked most was with Castle Age tactics like getting castle dropped and siege pushed; I had no idea how to stop them for a while.

This is the route I went when I was in this range: focusing more on the strategic and tactical side of Arabia, so I would advise the same. It was all about understanding just how does a player decide to do a castle drop, siege push, drush, forward, and what they were basing their plans on. Eventually, I saw a pattern, centering around the placement of gold and hills that were around my base. This is unquestionably what players in this range should focus on, the theme of how players play.

Focusing on micro and macro is critical here, so just like earlier levels, more stress on this.

Economy should be worked on as well, if one is able. As long as you don't have excess resources in all ages, consider it good. Its mostly touching up on when to get economic upgrades like hand cart, heavy plow, gold shaft mining.

I remember that when I was mostly focusing on trying to understand how players play, I didn't just break this range, but I went into the 2100 range, though I wasn't quite there in skill.


1900 - 2k

- Knowledge of eco BO for Feudal Age tactics is fine; Castle Age tactics are understood well, but usually oversights (seen tons of these specifically with castles); Imperial Age (actually can't recall a lot)
- Hills/resource positions are understood well (this is where the most errors occur in this range however)
- Economy is fine overall (usually unsure of when to get some economic upgrades as mentioned before)
- Micro is fine overall; bad fights taken too often (?)
- Macro (may be something idle at wrong time)

The biggest thing to improve I would say lie with hills and resource positions. This is where a lot of players in this range miss. They do indeed understand strategical concepts like grouped golds, grouped stones, hills, and a combination of such, but very often I have seen these missed/overlooked (while also doing myself), and too often neglected in substitution of relentless aggression.

Relentless aggression can be good, but if a player can defend and understands weak areas of map and how to plan from them, the aggressor should be outclassed if their aggressive ideas aren't centered around such areas and remain centered. I can't overstate understanding hills and resource positions enough and planning from them.

While on the subject of aggression, I would say too often bad fights are taken at this range as well. Working on taking the right battles with above 2 paragraphs should make any player in this range break and stay past 2k rather easily.

Economy, micro, and macro should be fine generally speaking, so not a real issue.

I would stop here, as I think this is enough
 

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