Lol I know im replying to this late. Ive played a couple of games with the zulu on my cousins account and Ive come to the conclusion that the Zulu Impi warriors + overrun bonus a lot of times equals the most over powered start in h2h. I really think they are the best counter to the Americans.
Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal
I agree with this. I think the impi rush is usually the most overpowered start, in the right hands. Though the American horserush is probably equal or better in most games. I'd say it's probably a draw, on average. But the Americans have so much better of a continuing game, the Zulus can't keep up if the game gets away from them.
Originally Posted by GhOsTSidRev
But I still think the Zulu are probably the best counter to the Americans. I've been using them a lot lately to smash on the plethora of American players in H2H right now. I haven't lost yet with the Zulu vs. Americans. It's too easy to pick up caps, and the American horsemen don't really pose that much of a threat. Usually I have 3 impi armies to their single horsearmy. If they spend the time making additional armies, they'll need to be quick, because if the impis find their cap, they can make easy work of Washington.
The main thing for the Zulus to do is to not make the expansion easy on the Americans. This usually relies on getting to their cap quick, or controlling the map in the American terriorty. It's difficult to cover all the American escape routes once they get to Code of Laws, but hopefully you'll be able to pick up a few caps, get lots of gold, neutralize the American rush, and start to build an early advantage. After that, it's just about slowing the Americans down however you can while keeping you foot on the pedal in expansion and tech.
It's actually not that hard most games. As the Zulu typically pick up well over 200 gold on an average game, and pick up 1-2 caps early. Killing the horsemen isn't too hard, especially since your impi armies should all be vet or elite.
What's really nice about stopping the American expansion is basically forcing them off the mainland. If they want to defend with single archers or militia on the mainland for their future cities, you can usually pick those off. They shouldn't be able to pick off your impi armies with an advantage till they get to catapults, as long as your impis are on hills or forests. Fortied impi armies aren't all that easy to uproot.
If you can force the Americans onto islands, where ppl typcially don't defend all that well, then you can usually make a good estimation where they are trying to expand to, get a galleon from 1st to navigation, and then load of some units and get some easy cities.
This has worked for me so far. I'm not saying it's easy. Americans are never a pushover in the right hands, but the Zulu really can create a lot of problems for them.
Last edited by danthechan; 09-11-2009 at 01:34 PM.
Im starting to think that the Americans dont completely own h2h. Anyone agree? I noticed killing their horse rush before they get a cap or gold can set them back enough to go for bombers. So for instance the chinese horse rush comes out as soon as turn 11. Good enough to compete against the American horse rush. Aztecs horse rush i cant remember but its similar to the americans. 8-10 turns I think. But Id say the aztecs and chinese have a better shot at getting 100g before the horses come out. 2 Zulu armies in 8 turns. So im betting these civs have a great chance at stopping the horse rush before it becomes successful or just make it harder for the americans to move around and allowing empty cities. I also say expansive civs have a chance. Romans and chinese (no rush). Morte established it with the Romans. Any thoughts?
I'd say killing your enemy's horse army is always going to be a good plan. If nothing else, that's 60 gold he can't recover. Whether it wrecks his game is another matter. I play all kinds of guys who don't seem to know anything other than the horserush. If he's got a cap already, got some gold in the bank and starts spamming cities fast (i.e. knows how to play past ancient), you could still be in trouble.
Originally Posted by GhOsTSidRev
I beat what seemed to be a pretty decent American player with the Zulu recently by taking all the other caps, pressing him a lot (made him spend all his gold) and expanding a lot. This was a FFA, but wound up being easier than H2H because the AI never walks its initial settlers right up to you. He couldn't keep up and I had knights long before he would've had them. This works well, but you have to have good proximity and a good map. When I tried the same thing against Morte in a FFA, he was the farthest from me and another nearby American player tried to horserush me, so I had to stalk his horse army and kill it and then go get his cap. By then, Morte had a bazillion gold, the Chinese cap and was in the settler spam phase. I tried pressing him and took out his horse army as well eventually, but there's only so much impis can do against someone who can rush archers for 10 gold and settlers for 20. I guess this game might've gone a little bit better for me had it been H2H because I probably would've gotten more gold and should've won two caps instead of one.
Well, if there's a candidate for a civ that "completely owns" H2H, it's the Americans. That's not saying that they cannot be countered, but it is very difficult to stop a good American player. For all the American players that are currently in the top 10 (there were as many as 7 of the top 10 earlier this week), maybe half of them play them extremely well, and the rest of the American players are hit or miss as what they really can do with the Americans. A lot of the American players still are just skilled at the horserush, and not so much the later parts of the game, where the Americans are even stronger.
I've found the two best ways to counter the Americans are:
1. Rush them early, while they are still getting horses out, or at least press them. Killing their horsemen can be a part of this, but they are usually weak on defense in the early game, if you can find their cap, it's often empty or weakly defended. I've beat a few top 10 American players by seeing their horses coming, finding their borders, rushing a galley, and simply galley dropping them.
2. Teching past them at a fast rate and defending. Pressing is still part of this, because if you let them expand out, you really have to have a dominant tech game to not let them get back in the game.
I see horsemen as just a "symptom" of their power. They have a powerful start, but it's not what makes them powerful in the long run. The Americans have a really fast horserush, and the ability to make multiple horsearmies faster than any other civ on a consistent basis. Killing a horsearmy can be a good thing, but what happens when you put all your resources into killing a single horsearmy, and then 2 more come riding in?
Without a taken cap, and some killed horsearmies, a lot of these players are lost, so it is a good point. Because of the high frequency of taking several caps with the Americans, a lot of American players will overreach with their rush, and try to press the issue a little too much, and this is to everyone else's advantage, but you're still gonna need a little map help sometimes for this to go well for you.
After that, containment is not an easy task. Once the Americans get 5 techs and Code of Laws, it's tough to stop their expansion. Even if you take away a lot of the mainland, they can just head for island after island. Their cities just grow up like weeds. The great thing about this, is that those cities are easy to take, so a well disguised surprise attack is bound to pick up a few cities. It's easier to hold onto the island cities that you can take, because mainland cities for the Americans will often have 3-4 cities around it that the American player can just use to take back by rushing horsemen out in a single turn and taking the city back.
When I have been successful against the Americans, I just try to slow down their expansion, maybe giving them a route to expanding that is a little slower, maybe taking a city on one side of the map, and then hitting another somewhere else. Anything that can be done to slow them down without breaking the bank to do so. A random press can be a lot more effective, because it will make them think about every direction, and throw them off their game to hopefully give me enough time to expand and tech past them.
If you can get to tanks or bombers at a very fast pace, then you can usually just steamroll their cities.
It's not an easy task, but the thing you have going for you is American complacency, much like Chinese complacency. They are often set in their ways, daring you to beat their formulaic strategy:
1.They will horserush,
2.and then expand,
3.and then stay in the Medieval for a little while to expand more,
4.and then hit you with a knight rush or try to tech up.
Slowing down all of the phases is key, but if you can get a few of them you have shot. If you just let them do whatever they want, they will come and kill you are beat you in several different ways.
Stopping the horserush can be step 1, but it's not always possible. Slowing them down is very important, probably moreso than trying to contain their Ancient Era game, though they kinda go hand-in-hand. If you don't do anything to stop their horserush, they can run over the map, and then it's extremely difficult to stop their Medieval game.
The other half of the equation is doing well for yourself. If you are having to fight for your own safety, this can be a problem. You need to be able to stop a horserush, which shouldn't be a big problem in a lot of games, but then you need to be prepped to press them or prepped to stave off an early knight rush, which can come en masse. You need to be able to do this and still tech up and expand well. Getting the tech lead while they hang back is a key thing, hopefully getting riflemen and tanks.
If you can get bombers, that's great too, but Americans can deal with bombers pretty well by just having single units over and over. If I can hold off a bomber attack in 500AD with the Zulu by just having half priced riflemen, then the Americans can do this with even more ease.
So, I guess I wouldn't say they "completely own" H2H, maybe just "mostly own"
Really? I thought more players knew about the power of America beyond the horse rush, especially those in the top 10. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised because Ive never really had much respect for rank since I made the 10 spot on ffa way back when I was still newb(like a month into the game), and knew I was newb.
Originally Posted by Grayson
Bring single bombers and single knights or knight armies.
Originally Posted by Grayson
The most common flaw I see in some highly-ranked players is lack of flexibility.
Originally Posted by TyShine
Like the plan is: horserush, get a cap, get a settler out of each cap, get CoL, get 20 cities, get 20 knight armies, kill everyone. This will win most games.
But then this guy brings his horse army to somebody who knows how to defend and counter, loses the army, doesn't have 100 gold yet, doesn't get a cap. The Americans can still be extremely strong from even this bad position, but you have to know how to improvise and do more with less. Some players, despite good rank, don't have that and will just stagnate and not really know what to do.
Thats why they should go random like you did, and me to a lesser extent. I like to pick my civs more than go random most games, but I like to make sure I play as them all and try different things.
Originally Posted by elthrasher
Do I have a bold sense of adventure or am I just indecisive? I can't decide...
Originally Posted by TyShine
But yeah, playing random or choosing a bad civ can really help you develop skills for playing from behind. For me these days, it's not so much about trying to develop those skills, although my goal would be to have a shot with any civ against any player (I know this isn't very realistic). It's really just about the fact that so many of my games are so easy, playing a power civ is just boring.
I played random for a while, but then I started the French crusade and found that it helps to play the same weak civ in a series, gives me more chance to "tune-in" on their (weak) abilities better. So I think I will go through each civ in a campaign style to learn them each how to play. When I mastered them all, I can go back to playing random. But so far I only have the "feel" for a limited number of civs: Aztecs, Japan, Americans, Spanish, French. I am so-so with the Chinese, Zulu and Germans and inexperienced with all others.
ps: before Grayson calls me too humble again , I'll state that I am pretty good with the first set I listed, and can beat average players with the second set, and of course I can beat noobs/kittens with any civ.
Last edited by Zso_Zso; 10-21-2009 at 05:52 AM.
Meaning having maybe 10 single bombers and 10 single knights to all attack the same turn? I could see this working for a bit. Timed well it can work sometimes. But, those knights would need to be well positioned.
Originally Posted by GhOsTSidRev
But, past that, it may be tough for you to take them out, if they can get enough time to have 3 single units in a city, then it'd be pretty hard. Not because they could army up, but just that it would take so long to kill them off.
Tanks have been more consistent for me in facing the Americans, mainly because they won't have much to kill the tanks, and you can start taking cities faster, with less timing-dependant tactics.
Bombers work well in a lot of cases, especially early bombers. If nothing else, they can keep you safe all over the map. But, the Americans probably have a better chance of surviving a bomber rush than anyone.
Yeah, you're probably right about that. I think people should play whatever is fun. I don't like to choose, so I go random. I started playing random before I even really had a sense of which civs were better than others (and back then some folks on this board were saying Japan is the best civ).
Originally Posted by Zso_Zso
I am embarassingly bad with the Spanish sometimes. If I were going to work on a civ for a while, it would be Spain. I don't know what my problem is. I can do okay with the Russians having basically no bonuses (if I don't get a horserush map), but I get Spain and don't find whales right away and I'm just lost. It should be basically the same thing.
Sorry, I guess we're going pretty far off topic, but I think a well-rounded knowledge of the game and experience in playing a weak civ from behind is probably a good tool to have when it comes to taking down power civs.
Off topic.. That is for Romans..
Well said, Morte.
Originally Posted by MorteEterna
If I face an American player when I'm as the romans (happened 4 times last 2 months), I try to guess what GP he has, and how he plays.
-If the turns take the same amount of time as mine to make my first warrior, he settled/sold the GP, so I have a bit more time to make an extra city.
-If he gets a tech fast (HBR) and gets an ai cap, I set up defenses (and counterattackers) while expanding away from him.
(By the time he has a second cap, you'll have an idea of where he is)
If he's staying low on techs for to long, I beeline to democracy and keep expanding to about 6-10 cities.
Then I go for lots of gold and settle close to his frontlines in order to keep annoying him (Americans in medieval usually galley/galleon spam for militia, but I disrupt that proces by attacking all over his empire)
Of course, if I know the player
(let's just pick a random name....Hellogoodbye123 )
I go for a horserush as well, beeline for university, and go for bombers.
Of course, always keep bugging your foes!
Your highly exaggerating the amount of bombers and knights needed. You need maybe 1 bomber wing 3 single bombers and a couple knights like 3-6. Bombers can come sooner than tanks. If I could get either or before the americans it doesnt matter to me. If im worried he can get flight than tanks. Other wise bombers because they cant get attacked other wise. They have great range. Im saying take this approach if you have the advantage after crippling them than gain a tech advantage. Other wise if its close than the American player has the advantage in military production.
Originally Posted by Grayson
hey.. remmeber like those 2 times i bomber rushed you, with france!.. and you still had those archers..lol i stole you leader too lol
Originally Posted by sn1p3rk1ll3