Foreword: Before I begin, let me explain to you the profile of “defensive player” that I’m presuming. A defensive player is an individual who in the EARLY GAME does not attempt any offense, but rather he/she focuses on building an immensely fortified city (fortified with buildings/ siege weapons) in a situation where they don’t have an ally. After the major fortifications are established, the individual will then either attack with harassing units or slowly but surely engulf the map by expanding their fortifications.
Now that’s established, let’s get to the good stuff!
Secret #1 Sacrifice
That’s right, you have to give something to get something and defensive players do just that. Defensive players use their resources to produce watch towers and catapults during crucial moments of the early game instead of producing units. This means they are immobile and can be easily harassed if have peasants venturing out of the base.
Secret #2 Timing
When I say timing, I mean the periods in which an exposition is either ready or still vulnerable. An exposition can be, and usually is, a superior unit that changes the flow of the game; Crusaders are a great example. Because of the way they allocate their resources, defensive players almost ALWAYS have delayed timing. Instead of 15-16 Crusaders they may have them comfortably at 17.5 – 19 minutes. This means you can “get away” with using cheap and weak units because the defensive player is literally vulnerable and has no counterattack potential.
Secret #3 Pufferfishing
If you’ve been living under a rock and not under the sea you’re entire life then you don’t know anything about the puffer fish. They are a spikey variety of fish who puff themselves out making themselves appear to be much larger than they actually are, in an attempt to deter predators… and it friggin works. Okay, you probably know where I’m going with this. Defensive players position the bulk of their defenses toward the angle of your attack, creating the facade that their whole base looks like that. On the contrary, after watching several a demo of defense players I can confidently say that isn’t the case; their whole base doesn’t look like that. In fact if you take out that front defense (early game) they’re basically defeated, or if you attack them from a different direction they soil their pants and give you creative excuses for why they quit. “Oh dude, my internet sucks. ” “My wireless mouse died.” “My mom called me but now I’m back [two minutes after the fact].” Lol 😀 [Take note that this isn’t entirely the case in the mid or late game: see Secret #2]
Secret #4 Turtle, Turtle
What’s the deal with the animal analogies? Ha ha I promise that it’s completely by chance. Anyway, turtle, turtle. Simply put, defensive players build TIGHT. They don’t take up very much room because if they did it would be way too expensive. Just watch some demos of defensive players and see what I mean. How can you use this to your advantage, you ask? CONTROL THE MAP. By that, I mean control the rare resources: Gold, Stone… and Magic Gateways if you roll that way, I won’t judge you. Lol. Most likely, if they mining these resources away from their base they have little protection and their mobile units are far enough away to not be a threat. And it’s unlikely that they will send much of them out in time.
Secret #5 Where is everybody?
Get this, defensive players tend to be horrible scooters. They may have no idea where your base is, where the all the gold and stone are, or where to get the best cheeseburgers in all of Keanor. Now I want you to think about how you feel when you most of the map is black? Get my point? Good. So you may say that a particular defensive player is quite good at scouting. So what. There’s a thing I like to call fog of war and it can be a real pain in the derrier sometimes. So if the defensive player scouted once but using their units to defend a small space then they don’t have accurate picture of the map. What if you minded off gold/stone rocks? What if that relatively empty area has been colonized or occupied by an enemy? Take advantage of this! You may even try attacking from different angles just for the psychological effect. 😉
Secret #6 Siege Weapons
Yes, the defensive player’s worst enemy. If siege weapons and defensive players could be personified into a celebrity couple it would be great if I could give a great example (lol). Too bad, so sad. Instead of rushing madly into your doom why not send in a singe archer/horsearcher/pikeman/chariot/cloackedninja to get the layout of the land. Once you have that done, command your catapults to wreak havoc on towers and THEIR seige weapons. Have your army surrounding these siege weapons to wade off any mobile units that try to destroy them. This secret is a game-ender for sure.
Secret #7 “Don’t meet me halfway”
If there’s a relatively large distance between your base and their base for your army to cross, build your barracks just less than halfway between the two bases. Build your workshops/ taverns 75% of the way there. This will drastically cut down the amount of time it takes to reinforce your war brooding! 😛 Caution on this one because you run the risk of it backfiring in case they’re not playing as defensive as your think and can spawn those game-changing units on demand. Example, defensive player spawning Crusaders and sending them directly to your barracks and then your workshops, taverns, and army. Use your best judgement. If it’s a good call, you have NOTHING to lose.
Secrets #8 No Barracks, No Special Building, No Service
This one took me a while to learn but I’m more than happy to share it with you. When you’re attacking and you’ve made it through enough of their defense to start hitting their core, go for the good stuff. This means, don’t stop for lumbermills, farms, houses, that’s all foreplay. Go for the goal, knock out the barracks, and their special building (i.e. Mage Tower, Cathedral, etc). And I know what you’re thinking “, No. No. I’ll go for the houses because then they won’t have enough population room to build more units.” No dude, trust me. Go for the goal. Once you trash their barracks, and special building they can’t do jack squat to you. They get no service! That’s how the game works, ladies and gentlemen.
Secret #9 Know when to quit
Well actually, what I mean is know when to retreat or abstain your units from an unfavorable engagement. Say for instance that your population is at 96/200 and it’s about 15:00 minutes tzar time. Do not think that you can beat a defensive player. For one, much of that population is actually peasants and secondly you MIGHT have enough to take out the watch towers and some ballista but after that you’re up the creek with no paddle and you will watch the sloppiest counter attack wipe you out. Instead, what you should do is wait and build your numbers. In another example, say you tore through a lot of their defensive structures and some barracks and are left with like 10-15 mixed health, mixed composition units. They still have barracks, they still have peasants to build a watch tower and wall it off, they still have workshops to build a ballista (ouch!), or what if they have the Mercenaries technology and hire a perfect counter in one click. You’re screwed! So again, it’s a judgement call, however, instead of potentially losing 10-15 seasoned units, you can heal them up and join them with a more formidable army to vanquish your enemy. Why? How? For a couple of reasons but mainly because if you attack and lose all your guys you will have less numbers and it will take more time to rebuild army that size leaving your defensive buddy plenty of time to rebuild his defenses.
Secret #10 “I’ve got you now!”
Again with the timing. If you let a defensive player play the game he/she wants to play then you’re toast. It will get to a point where they have impeccably staunch static defenses, guarded map control, well-conditioned units, technology superiority, and a whole lotta disposable income. While you’ll have alright resources, no map control, and an scared army. Once it gets to this point try to come up with your most believable excuse for leaving the game or take it like a man/woman and cry later. lol So use these secrets to foil the plans of any defensive player and have lots and lots of fun while doing it.