SSSIís new RTS game, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World (DMW for short) brings refreshing new gameplay elements and tactics to the stale genre of RealTime Strategy Games. In this overview, I will give you a basic overview on the game, and some hints and tips for you to become a better DMW player. I have divided this into three parts: Which civ is right for you, Basics of economy, and Basics of military. If you are a veteran RTS player, most of this info will be rudimentary, stuff you knew back on AoK. Yes, this is very similar to some games like Age of Kings and Empire Earth, but as we will see, this game has unprecedented depth which no other RTS game has displayed.
Which Civilization is Right for You?
Medieval - Imperial:
Korea: Korea as of now is the most popular civ for online play, and a favorite for competitive ladder play. They start off with 7 villagers, which is great because that really helps you to get your economy going fast, and you know what that means: Rushing. Korea is THE civ for rushers, if the build order is done correctly, they can get out a Koryo spearman out in 1:40 and it will be in your base by 2:20, and thatís not a nice thing to see. Korea also gets a major economy bonus, for every enemy villager you kill, you get on free at your Town Center! After long conquests in enemy territory, youíll look back to find your TC surrounded by villagers ready to work for you! Korea also has the best scouting in the game, a falcon with incredible Line of Sight. Overall, if you want a fast, micro heavy rush game, Korea is for you.
Franks: The Franks are a great beginner civ, they start off with 5 villagers and have possibly one of the best economic bonuses in the game: Free Farms. Thatís right, you can swamp the entire map if you so please with farms, and it wonít cost you one stick of wood. A popular thing to do with Franks is to immediately build a farm around your forage tree at the start of the game, this saves you 50 wood for building a settlement, and after your forage tree is used up, you have a prebuilt farm ready to go! A great military bonus for franks is that they are able to walk through trees! One of the most annoying strategies anyone can come up with for the franks is a quick archer build up, and then hiding them in your woodcutting trees as the archers shoot your villagers one by one. Itís very easy for a Frankish player to get a good sizeable army up quickly, and the civ is very newbie friendly. Overall, if you want a good easy yet powerful beginner civ thatís popular with the pros as well, go with Franks
China: China is perhaps the hardest civ to get the hang of, but once you have them mastered, they can be unstoppable. They start out with two mobile TCs, and no villagers. Now, this might sound like a handicap, but remember, Chinaís vills are very strong, and are cheaper and produced faster than any other civís villagers. China at first, with their mobile TCs, is very awkward, but soon enough, youíll see how powerful they are. They have an awesome economy, and with their cheap vills, they can basically keep all their TCs queued up with villagers. Not only are their TCs mobile, but their barracks are as well. This is a major advantage, as you can move your barracks right into your enemy town, and start pumping whatever unit you please. China has a very powerful economy, and a player should have no trouble getting tons of resources quick. Overall, China is the choice for the player who wants to boom.
England: England is another newbie friendly civ, with the easiest to manage economy in the game. In fact, you only need villagers to cut wood, nothing else. For food and gold, you make Food Warehouses and Gold Mines which automatically extract the resources for you. Even the buildings build themselves for you! All you really need to do to build up a mega economy is just keep pumping villagers onto wood, and make as many Food Warehouses and Gold Mines as you can. England starts with 1 villager, and it should be noted that English villagers are some of the strongest in the game. England is a very good booming civ, and they have some very deadly siege weapons. Overall, if you donít want to focus on your economy too much and instead focus on your military, England is for you.
World War I - World War II:
Russia: Russia is one of those civs that makes tons and tons of weaker units to wear you down, and that is shown in the conscript, the weak, but extremely cheap and easy infantry of Russia. Russia starts out with 7 villagers, and their villagers are some of the cheapest as well. From that, you can tell Russia can pull off a nasty boom. Russia may be the most flexible civ there is, both rushing and booming with them is viable. Their T-34 tanks is the 2nd strongest in the game, and they have other powerful units such as the sniper and Katyusha BM-13. A really cool thing a Russian player can do in desperation is force some of their villagers to become suicide bombers and attack the enemy, and these are surprisingly effective. Overall, Russia is a flexible civ with many possible strategies.
France: The first thing youíll notice when you start up a game with the Franks is ďWow, I can see a lot of the map around me!Ē and thatís because all the French units have an incredible Line of Sight. The French have many economic bonuses, which include, like their predecessors the Franks, Free Farms, the ability to put more than the usual number of workers onto each mine. The Frenchís specialty is not brute force, but more cunning cleverness. The French units are by no means the strongest units in the game, and their tanks are some of the worst. But the power of the French army lies in their special abilities of each unit. For instance, that oh-so-weak Renault Tank has a nice little suprice for infantry: When the power is activated, the tank becomes a human bulldozer, killing any infantry it runs into. The French also have the wicked Sabateur, perhaps the most annoying unit in the game. The Sabateur can collapse enemy gold mines, demolish buildings, and plant time bombs which can be devastating. Itís also invisible, but once spotted, itís pretty much instantly dead, so to use this unit to its full extent, youíre going to have to be careful and quick. Overall, if you see yourself as the chuckling deceptive general, France is for you.
Germany: Germany is a great militaristic civ. They may not be the greatest economic wise, but they have the most powerful military in the game. To help compensate for their poor economy, all German settlements are free! This really helps you get a good start and saves some wood. Also, Germany collects wood at a faster rate than other civs. They also have access to some of the most powerful University techs in the game, which include Blitzkrieg, which makes your enemy take more damage, and Battlefield Deception, which makes enemy units shoot at each other. Overall, If you want a powerful crushing military to command, Germany is for you.
United Kingdom: The UK is, like its predecessor England, a very easy civ to work the economy with. First, the UK have the most powerful Navy, and is able to designate one of itís ships as a Flagship, and that ship becomes very powerful and is able to use a special power. UK villagers are the strongest in the game, but are also produced the slowest. As with England, the UK economy is exactly the same, making Food Warehouses and Gold Mines which provide a constant flow of resources. The UK military is pretty good as well, they get the Command, which is an invisible raiding unit, the Medic, which can raise fallen soldiers from the ground, the amphibious tank, which can go in the water and fire phosphorous tank rounds. Overall, if you want a good military to control, and not worry so much about economy, UK is the way to go.
United States: Unlike in real life, the United States seems to be the current underdog of the game, but that doesnít mean theyíre not deadly in the hands of a good player. The U.S. starts with 2 villagers, and has one of the most powerful economies in the game, they have access to tons of economic upgrades, and at a very cheap price. The U.S. also has the best Air Force, including the C-47 Skytrain, which can paradrop troops into enemy territory. They are also the only civ in the game with access to a nuclear bomb which is dropped by a B-29 Superfortress. The U.S. also has one pf the most powerful infantry units, the Ranger, which is capable of calling in Air Strikes which can totally devastate the opposition. However, the U.S. tanks and standard infantry arenít very powerful, and the U.S. requires a lot of micromanagement to be successful. Overall, if youíre an experience played, and you want a challenge, go with the U.S.
That covers it for the civilization section, and keep in mind that all civs have their pros and cons, and that itís really a matter of player preference and how you want your game to unfold.
Basics of Economy
When you begin your game, the first thing that a good player will usually want to gather is the most important recource in the game, Food. Now, there are many different types of methods of getting food, and the methods are sometimes what separates the winner from the loser. First, let it be known that: Farming is the slowest food source. I know that might shock some of you dedicated Farmer Johns out there, who make a farm right at the beginning of the game, but farming right at beginning is a waste of time and wood at that point in the game.
First, see that little tree with apples on it? Build a settlement by it. Apple trees are going to be best and most stable way to obtain food at the beginning of the game, and itís a lot faster and cheaper than farming. Also remember the basic rule of thumb of Foraging, which is, however much the villager costs, divide it by 10, and put one less villager than that number on the Apple Tree. For example, if Iím playing as Germany, and their villagers are 50 food each, I should put four villagers on Apple Trees, and after you get a good amount of villagers out, then you may choose to add a few more, but anymore than 8 villagers on forage is overkill. However, this should be ignored if one is playing as England or UK, because all they need to do is keep collecting wood and building food warehouses, unless they want to do a rush. Another thing, when your Apple Trees are close to running out, or have run out, now is not the time to start farming, unless one is playing as Franks or France, it could be acceptable because they get free farms, but not recommended, now, you need to set up a hunting reserve.
Animals are the fastest source of food in the game, albeit an unstable source, but blazing fast none the less. Find a group of Elk or Deer or Sheep or Boars and build a settlement right in the middle of where they are. THEN, once all your hunting and Apple trees are used, then farming is acceptable. Be sure that when you see your Animals running out that you have a good amount of wood, as youíre going to have to build a lot of farms to keep a good army going, and they are expensive. Thatís Food, now we discuss another thing, Wood. Wood is certainly something you always want a large quantity of, you canít build and buildings without it. Wood also letís you build certain types of cavalry, and the all important siege. Also, wood is needed later in the game for when your hunting and foraging runs out, and itís time to convert to farms.
Now, wood is the absolute lifeline for the England/UK player. If you are England/UK, you will need tons of woodcutters, and tons of wood. Wood makes Goldmines, Food Warehouses and all your buildings, and if the enemy destroys your wood cutters, itís game over for you. For other civs, wood is not quite as vital, but important none the less. In times of hardship though, or when you need quick defense, you can shift your woodcutters to Gold, which is your major priority in times of trouble. Speaking of Gold...Gold is the ultimate lifeline in this game, and you can never have enough. At the beginning, more than 6 villagers on a gold mine is probably overkill, but after a certain point, you need to max out your mines with as many villagers as you can squeeze on there.
Here are some basic tips for your economy. First of all, unless saving up for something, you should never have more than 1000 of each resource just sitting in your stockpiles unused. As the enemy is burning your towns and raping your wives, youíll sit there and look at your 8000 food, wood and gold and wonder why you didnít spend it on defenses instead of just letting it sit there. An unused resource is a wasted resource. Also, always build settlements next to a resource site. It really speeds up your production when your villagers donít have to walk across the map to deliver their resources at your Town Center. Donít forget that if you garrison 6 villagers at a settlement, it becomes a Town Center, enabling you to produce villagers from that building.
Basics of Military
First off, let me tell you that the base of a good military is a good economy, as you wonít be able to build anything at all without a stable one! But, if you got the economy skills down, we can focus on your military skills. First and most important: Never build an entire army of one unit type. If you build all pikemen, and I build all archers, since archers counter pikemen, you lose. Now, if you built a combination of pikemen and sword cavalry, your sword cavalry would counter my archers, and you would be victorious. Pretty simple. Another thing, why queue up 10 units at one barracks when you could build two barracks and only have to wait for 5 at each? Always build multiple barracks/stables/docks when you have enough wood, it enables you to pump out a larger army faster, Itís astounding how many new players make the mistake of only building one barracks.
Keep in mind the two basics of actual combat: Macro management and Micro management. Macro management is when you have well over 50 units in combat, and you direct entire groups of units at one time while they fight. Micro management is where you control each unit individually, and control what that one unit does and attacks. Micro management is good when you have 20 units or less. To be a good player, you have to have good Micro and Macro skills. Here are some tips for Macro:
If you have a large group of archers and sword cavalry, double click on all your archers and then shift click on all the units they counter. And then double click all your sword cavalry and shift click all the units they counter. This way, you wonít have units wasting their firepower on trying to kill units theyíre not good against.
If you have units in your army that are good economy killers and are particularly good against enemy villagers, simply double click on all those units and send then away from, the battle and into the enemyís base. Your opponent will probably be so enthralled with the battle at hand, that he wonít notice the raiders destroying his backbone, the economy.
Have all your units selected at one time, and when you see one unitís health drop below 50%, select that unit and bring him to the back. Remember, a unit with 1% health can do just as much damage as a unit with 100% health. Once the unit is in the back and safely away from harm, it can continue dealing damage to the enemy.
Never just do attack-move into your opponentís army, always select all your units, and target one unit at a time.
Always use your unitís powers. Select each unit with a full power bar, and dish out the pain.
Well, thatís it for now. Hopefully Iíve given you enough good information to help you become a better player. Have fun.