Choose your tribe - Stone Age - Tool Age - Bronze Age - Attack - Part 2
Choosing a civilizationWhen looking for a good tribe, you are usually looking for ship bonuses and want to be able to get at least Triremes. The Hittite tribe is an exception, but you will have to win by the Bronze Age . In a small island map, their +4 range is devastating, though. The best tribes at sea are the Greek, Minoan, Persian, Phoenician and Yamato tribes. For fierce ocean combat, you want to have juggernaughts, too - only 6 civilizations can get them, so make sure that at least one player in your team has them. Catapults should not be sneezed at, either - you cannot fight against juggernaughts with stone throwers, and it will be impossible to gain an access to the sea after a lost sea battle without catapults.
Stone AgeIn the Stone Age, you are not supposed to build a granary first (with low resources). It is crucial that you start chopping wood immediately and build a storage pit as soon as you have found a forest, preferably with another resource (animals or a mine) near the forest. The second building (other than houses) should be the dock (or a granary if you cannot find a spot with fish soon).
Do not build trade boats of course, but a few fishing boats. Make sure your dock is right next to fish so your first fishing boats can gather fish very quickly. A good rule of thumb is not to build more fishing ships than there are spots with fish that you have discovered (maybe one more for scouting, but these boats make poor scouts). Three boats are a good number for producing food, use more later or if there is plent of fish.
Keep in mind that you will have to put more villagers on wood than on land maps, and building a granary can be delayed until you have started the upgrade to the Tool Age if there are enough animals to hunt and fish.
Tool AgeYou should have built a granary by now, because the market will enable you to get the woodworking upgrade which is crucial at sea. Produce more villagers, research the tower upgrade and build a tower near your dock. The tower will help you to defend yourself against early attacks (preferably it should be near the guys that are chopping wood).
Build some scout ships, assign a number to each one of them (CTRL+number) and spread them through the map. Do not forget to check their position regularly (ALT+number). The woodworking upgrade should be researched when you have ordered your first scout ship. Build at least three of them, because an early attack can wipe out all your fishing boats. Research the farming upgrade as soon as you see that fish and berries can no longer satisfy your food demand; make sure the upgrade is finished before the farms are. Upgraded farms will last longer, saving your wood for ships.
Scout ship: 120 HP
Attack: 5, range: 5
Now it is time to build several docks, if your production had not allowed this at the Tool Age. Getting the right upgrades as soon as you hit the Bronze Age is crucial. Research in this order: war galley - wheel - artisanship - others (e. g. fishing ship). Do not miss the second farm upgrade when you have excess food (you will gain wood in return). Since war galleys are twice as strong than scout ships, this upgrade is the most important one (if you lose your fleet, you will get behind and lose the game eventually). You will again need much wood for buildings, so make sure you have saved some wood up during the upgrade.
War galley: 160 HP
Attack: 8, range: 6
If you have not attacked your enemy before, it is now time to do so. You should have scouted the sea by now, and can start building up a strong invasion force (use two transports if possible). For a hit and run attack, use a scout and many cavalry units (and chariot archers). If you want to take out the entire town, use a stone thrower or two and a few hoplites to protect them (and mix them with other units). If your army is under attack, get back into the transport and kill the attackers with your ships - I know this is unfair but very effective :)
Harassing your enemyBefore the Iron Age with its nifty Triremes, you cannot do any serious damage with your war ships. Forget about the buildings first and concentrate on eliminating the enemy fleet. Then go and kill all the fishing boats/ships, thus seriously slowing down his food production. If you have achieved that, attack as many troops that are near the cost as possible. Prevent the enemy villagers from gathering resources there. The only buildings that you should attack are houses and farms, because they can be destroyed easily, even with scout ships.
If you have made it that far, a land attack should wipe the enemy out. Wait until you have some stone throwers if there are several towers; try to eliminate unprotected parts of his city, though, and prevent him from expanding. Protect your land units with your war ships (they are as good as archers).
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