Rare resources are a secondary resource available alongside the likes of basic (primary) resources such as Food. They provide a way to supplement other economic production, either by building on existing strengths, or helping to shore up weaknesses. Sometimes they can also create new strengths, allowing you to utilise strategies that might not otherwise have been viable options.
There are a few things about resources, resource gathering, and resource costs in Rise of Nations which don’t necessarily fit cleanly into their own separate category, but which are still important to know.
Economy and military are two pillars of most games within the RTS genre: you gather resources in order to produce an army of some kind, then use that army to win the game. Whether it’s made up of Zerglings, Grizzly Battle Tanks, Footmen, or Fire Lances – the overall concept is basically the same. Units cost resources, so more resources gathered = bigger army.
Rise of Nations in particular seems to especially focus on the importance of a strong economy, so this series will go over how to get one.
After looking around online, nobody quite seems to know exactly how Caravans work.1 People agree that Caravans generate Wealth, but even how they do it doesn’t seem to be universally understood, much less how the amount generated is calculated.
Well, since nobody else seems to have tested to figure it out how all of it works, I did. Here’s how Caravans work, in detail.
Most veteran Rise of Nations players are aware that Patriots / Generals are an essential addition to an army at virtually every stage of the game.
Among less experienced players, it can be common to see these units conspicuously absent within an army, greatly reducing the army’s overall strength. However, even when included in an army, their full potential is often left untapped, and strong tactical maneuvers (..and exceedingly entertaining cheese strategies) are not utilised.
Let’s run through the fundamentals and then move onto some more advanced uses for these powerful units.
Unique units are generally intended to be a stronger version of the unit they replace. They typically have superior stats and/or are cheaper or faster to produce. A few (such as American Marines) gain a unique ability.
The Korean-specific Royal Hwarang, which replace Crossbowmen, have +10 hit points and +2 attack strength. Despite these benefits, Royal Hwarang actually lose a fight to an equal number of Crossbowmen.
Fire Lances, a Chinese unique unit, are one of the strongest units in the game on paper. Compared to the Elite Javelineers which they replace, they boast +1 attack strength, +4 attack range, +3 line of sight, and a +33% damage boost against all units because they qualify as being gunpowder infantry. Despite their vastly superior damage, they usually only just outperform Elite Javelineers in non-melee combat when you discount their range and line of sight advantage.
Let’s explore why. Continue reading “Hidden Power: Attack Animations and Projectile Speed”
This concept is applicable near universally: games, economics, computer parts, whatever. If the category exists, the things within it are almost certain to be roughly balanced.
For “quick and dirty” comparisons between two things, this concept is incredibly valuable to understand. When you just need to know roughly whether something’s worthwhile, you can save a lot of time by keeping the deep analysis for later.
Let’s use some examples to illustrate.
This question was originally posted on the RoN subreddit, and this article has been adapted from my reply.
There’s two things that this question could be tackling, either rushing, or general unit production. For the purpose of my answer I’m assuming the latter.
In that case, there’s 3 bottlenecks:
- The speed at which each individual unit is produced.
- The number of units being produced at the same time (i.e. 2x barracks will pump out infantry at 2x speed).
- If you have the resources to continue building with no downtime.
Armies are greater than the sum of their parts:
2 Dragoons go even against 2 Dragoons.
4 Dragoons will beat 2 Dragoons twice and then some.
An army that is twice as powerful as its opposition — whether due to size, unit upgrades, General/Patriot buffs or something else — can deal with a half-strength army more than twice. An army that is ten times as powerful (think Machine Guns vs Crossbows or something) can face the tenth-strength army a near-infinite amount of times in practical terms.
The application of an army’s power against an opposing force does not scale linearly with the army’s apparent power. Whenever you increase an army’s strength, you increase its fighting capability by more than what you added. Army strength increases non-linearly.
This simple concept is one of the most important aspects of successful combat in RoN, and is applicable to both symmetrical and asymmetrical fights. Continue reading “Army Strength Scales Non-Linearly: 1+1=3”
Apparently I’m an anomaly.
As of writing this article, I have played only three games of Rise of Nations against human opponents other than my friends. Crucially important in this distinction is that my friends are all less experienced players than me: the friend I have played against the most started playing the game just two months ago. I helped him learn basic economic optimisations (don’t rush a temple on your first city there friendo), serviceable army compositions (anti-tank rifles when facing completely infantry: never again), and other core game concepts.
Until two months ago, I had only played against a human opponent in Rise of Nations once or twice.