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Nakamura's 1900+ Zeus guide (matchup concepts)

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Nakamura's 1900+ Zeus guide (matchup concepts)

Post  [Bo0T]Nakamura***^ on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:28 am

EVEN IF YOU DON’T READ (sigh), here’s the rec pack I made for this guide : (willl upload after forum rules let me)
Sorry for the norse games not being that good. There are no good zeus vs norse games on the forums, only complaints…

Introduction :

What is DM really about? Well that question doesn't have one single answer. Some say, that build orders, followed by raids, which prevent the enemy map control, while you gain ground of your own define it.
Some say that setting up a good late game, and then just laming your way to victory is the goal.
There could be many other answers, but here is what i think : DM is a game of speed, actions and reactions, quick in-game decisions,
micro, and tactical building usage. This is not the place where small-medium mistakes will ruin your game (especially with zeus, lol), but you will feel the wrath of the gods, when the fail is big.
Starting with high resources doesn't mean that economy will not be a major part of the game. It is a misconception that you can just play a careless game. Balancing your economy will be the most important step in your development of your DM skills. You may have the skills of a top 10 player, but without an economical foundation, your actions will not have the desired effect.
I'm not going to bother you any longer with general talk about DM, you probably want the specifics.
Let's dive into the realms of the top DM god (with Isis being the other BEST, of course).
NOTE :By reading this guide, you will NOT be granted instant 1900+ . You’ll have to experience the match ups multiple times, learn to micro your army properly, use at least 3 control groups, manage your economy well (drop point placements).
Here we go.

Part 1 : The general build order and early game

Situation 1 : Greek war.

Start the game by pressing the preset hotkeys "H" and "V". You just started making an additional villager. 7 of your villagers get to build a temple, use one to build houses ( "E"+"HOLD SHIFT"+ click around Town center=TC). The remaining villager should wall your closest settlement in. The extra villager can start a second temple just behind your third town center.
Before your first temple is complete (~80%), pick off 5 of your villagers, and move them up to your next town center. If the TCs reach from side to side, split them up, and have them build barracks after you advance around the TC.
But first : advance. But which god do you pick?
The answer is Hermes. You can see some players using Athena for better infantry and restoration, but I, among several other greek players do not find this a good/effective choice for greek wars. Ceasefire will come on handy later.
Select your temple right after advance (control grouping it makes this faster), and make 2-3 additional centaurs. Now go and hunt the enemy villagers, scout the sides even.
Get your heroes from your town center, these guys should be protecting your villagers (or pick up nearby relics and then protect villagers).
You have two villagers praying on your temple. These will build your armory.
The villagers building barracks should be focused on archery ranges and military academies. You're going to rely on the hoplite+toxotes combo during early game. Don't raid with the very first soldiers you get, wait until you reach 80+population.
Your armory should be ready,always advance through Apollo.
You can make some manticores, they are very good against lightly armored units. Your armory builders should make a market now, and also train 3 more villagers, who will build a fortress in your base. The walling villager should start building a town center, if the wall is up.

Now you can start raiding with your army. Your centaurs hopefully prevented walls from going up, or they slowed down your enemy's barrack building tasks. Whichever succeeded more, attack there. I had games where i could prevent TCs for multiple minutes, simply by walking half my army in. This creates immense pressure on your enemy.

Your market should be built. Your choice of mythic god is a question of preference, but personally i would pick Hephaestus in each game.
Start expanding towards the corner if you haven't started with that by building barracks close to the side already.
Get Bellerophon from your town center, and then auto queue villagers, and direct them to building town centers.
For zeus wars : normally you want to get rid of the enemy belle to cause more damage with your myth units. Bolt the bastard.

This is where the BO part of DM ends. Your army should be mainly toxotes, support it with myth units, a few helepolis, and 1/3 hoplites of the number of toxotes. This is the most effective army in general. Counter units are hardly necessary, and this is only counter-able by heavy hippikon use. You counter that with hoplites, in general.

Now focus on getting to 3 town centers. The timings in an optimal case : 3:50 for second TC and 5-7 mins for third.

Against Hades : This deserves it’s own part, hard matchup.
Your opening will be defensive. Use centaurs to kill potential side building villagers.
Godpath : Hermes/Apollo/Hephaestus
Your first barracks here have to be archery ranges and stables. Later you can add hoplites too.
At your barrack group located at the side TC you have, in case the TC is in firing range of enemy gastra, make 3 or 4 PELTASTS to defend it. This is most important in side TC games.
Unit composition in your main army : hippikons+toxotes+manticores (+few hoplites). Add a small number of helepolis as meatshields.
The Hades will traditionally use pestilence to halt your unit production. Right because of this, you need to have 2 or 3 barrack groups, so that he cannot target all at one time.
In case you really run low on population, and most of your barracks have been pestilenced, you might have to invoke ceasefire. Only do it in the most desperate moments.
Getting to 2 town centers is very important. That will be the moment when your economy will be sufficient to try and push your Hades enemy back .
Get ready to survive the coming earthquake : 3 barracks around ALL your TCs, a fortress and a few granaries for your farms will suck up the damage caused by EQ.

Situation 2 : Norse enemy.

This will be pretty much similar to the greek war build order, so I'll only mention what you'll have to do differently.
You'll have to go ATHENA here, because the norse ulfsarks are vastly inferior to the greek infantry. Norse will try to get buildings everywhere on the map very early, and we're going to prevent that by hunting down their uflsarks with hoplites.
So this time, don't make many archery ranges, until you have your population filled.
DO dare to spread out a bit with your villagers, so you have more ground int he opening covered. You’ll have basically a pure hoplite army. So, what do we do with these?
Set the checkpoints of your barracks everywhere across the map. You'll probably find lots of lone ulfsarks building barracks. When you attack them with hoplites, they can't continue building, and the norse loses a lot of time. Try to have line of sight on most of the map.
The norse will also attempt to get his TCs built very fast. You should be able to prevent this though, or at the very least slow it down.
Both are good for you.
Things to be careful about : valkyres, forest fire and tower spam. Try to save your villagers from valks, be alert if the norse burns a forest to prevent your TCs from going up, and don't launch attacks against buildings where multiple towers protect them.

After the full hoplite army you should switch up your unit combo to an equal number of toxotes and hoplites, escorted by colossus. Helepolis aren't a good option, because all norse units deal hack damage.
You'll need strong Belle micro to kill fire/frost giants.
Your godpath is always Athena/Apollo/Hephaestus. Never deviate from that.
Start walling up the map, when you have your town centers built, so he can't build in your territory easily.
This is the end of anti-norse early game.

Situation 3 : Against atlanteans

Use anti greek build, but in case there is a contarius rush, build everything in your base, and expand slowly.
Your godpath will be Hermes/Apollo/Hephaestus.
The weakness of atty civs are their citizens. They are slow, they train slow, and cost 3 population. Kill a few of these, and that will be a major setback to the atty player's game.
Your main early game unit will be the hoplite, but if he has a murmillo/arcus/fanatic combo, adjust with a toxotes based composition.
Try to prevent at least one of the atty TCs from going up. This will mean a lot later.
Make sure that your enemy doesn't time shift into your area, if he is Kronos.
Early game against atty is very similar to the greek war, so there is not much more to say.

Situation 4 : Against egyptians

VS set : play a raid heavy early game, don't let him establish for a big drop.
If he manages though, just turtle, and attack full force once you beat the drop back.

Ra and Isis are going to mercenary rush you. By 40-45 seconds they are going to reach your base. You'll have to get ready for this by making a box of your barracks. Try to cover as much ground as possible, but keep the barracks touching each other.
The barracks should be mainly military academies, but do add 1-2 archery ranges. Try to lose as few villagers as possible, garrison them when they are attacked.
Walling your second TC is not always a good idea vs Isis/Ra, because there might be a lone merc/myth unit waiting for your villager.
Once you have beaten back the first wave of mercs, send 1-2 villagers to the sides of the map, and build barracks there. This will be very important later.
Your godpath is Athena/Apollo, and the mythic god depends on your style. Your fortress timing should be around 2 minutes, and full pop should follow suit soon.
Get belle from your TC

If the map is forward TC : FAST OFFENSE
Use your initial army to prevent them from building a migdol, or just destroy it. Restoration is your friend here.
Preferred mythic god for this : Hera.
Autoqueue manticores and medusas in your temple, helepolis in your fort, and have a hoplite heavy army until restoration, then use more toxotes later on. Micro belle very intensively, try to kill as many mummies as possible.
If you can, raid his back TC, you might be able to delay it. Sending a single unit to the corner to slow down his market time will help as well (in all matchups).
After your initial attack, you'll probably have to retreat, so make 4-5 towers behind your army so you have somewhere to fall back to.
Your TC timings will be slower against Isis/Ra because of the merc rush. 5mins for second and 8 mins for third should be ok.

If the map is back TC/weird TC : HOPLITE RAIDS
Preferred god : Hephaestus.
Autoqueue colossus and helepolis, and send hoplites to prevent the enemy town centers. You're likely to succeed on at least one side.
Side builds have a larger meaning here than with Hera. Make temples and barracks on both flanks.

If the map is triangle TC : MAP SWEEP
Preffered god : Hera
Autoqueue medusas and helepolis. Use both hoplites and toxotes, and forward towers ASAP.
You'll have to guess which corner the eggy wants. You'll have to send your early army halfway between their main TC and the corner. This is where they will try to build a migdol, and continue their push towards the corner.
Use your restoration to cause maximum damage here.
Begin a lateral push once your TCs are up - push with buildings towards the eggy trade corner.

Variation for all 3 map types : The pharaoh bolting : You make it yourself easier to prevent their second TC by bolting the pharaoh. This can also be used to PREVENT a migdol.

Part 2 : Mid-game and economy
If i had to define where mid-game begins, i would say, that it starts once you stop AQing your villagers to build TCs, and start gathering resources.
In EVERY matchup you HAVE TO start gathering gold from your goldmine at your main TC.
The greek war, the Hera Zeus style vs Isis/Ra, will be more wood intensive than food intensive. A total of 25 wood gatherers will be needed at least. Hera Zeus might demand even 30.
Against norse and atty you will use more hoplites and colossus, so focus on food and gold here. 25 is the magic number for food here, while 15 on wood will be enough. 20 on goldmines, and an additional 15-20 caravans is a must in every matchup.
The plenty GP may take some weight off your shoulders, so you may not have to use as many as I said. Good micro may also decrease the numbers.

The greek war midgame :

Now that you have started to build forts at each strategic position of the map, and started sealing these off with walls, you'll have to change your unit composition, because your enemy will have a lot of buildings, which you'll have to destroy to get to his eco points.
You don't have enough gold yet to spam colossus, so you can only make a few of them. Use a lot of helepolis, you can AQ them from even 2 forts. If your opponent keeps using human units, you'll have to cut the number of helepolis a bit, and add more toxotes.
Each time you gain ground/win a battle, you should celebrate it by building on the newly captured area, in order to keep it yours.
A tower push behind your army, and on the flaks is always helpful. Forwarding temples is a still rarely used tactic : it allows you to heal units you send to the temple. This is common with bellerophon, not with other units though. That is a mistake.
I would really like to see greek players heal their helepolis and myth units this way. That would mean a lot of regained resources.

Your possible goals in the greek war mid-game :
1)Underworld on enemy eco TC and destroy it. This slows their transition to late game down.
2)On forward TC maps, keep preventing the enemy TC using walls+petrobolos, while trying hard to build your own.
3)Distrupt enemy trade, or wall it in.
4)Cause your enemy heavy unit losses, so you can lay the hammer down and end the game.
5)Against Hades : apply points 1-4, and be ready to repel heavy chimera raids (countered by more towers and walls than usual in a greek war, and lots of garrison micro). Hold your ground against his push by healing your units and towering. Do not attempt a ceasefire TC grab until he didn’t use EQ.
One of these should be working in a normal game. If none do, buy a ticket to late game.

Mid game against norse :

Wall pushes are going to be the heart of this. Norse have a tough time dealing with walls+ petrobolos, so use them to the best of your ability.
The early game was about preventing them from gaining huge map control, now your half of the map should be yours.
The mid game is about filling your half of the map with buildings, and getting ready for a possible ragnarok.
Train colossus and a few myrmidons, we're going to uw on the norse eco TC at 6-7 minutes. This will force them to either use up frost on your underworld, or to ragnarok. Or both.
Frost can be made fun of, if you only send part of your units through. I even managed to pull back my units which were supposed to be frozen in an eye's blink a few times.
Restoration can be used to save the UW here, and you should definitely use villagers to repair it, and build in enemy territory.
Continuing the wall+petrobolos pushes on your other fronts will be confusing to the norse player, and the game will probably be over soon.
Ragnarok may be causing a problem though, but you don't need to be much afraid of it. This is the only moment when i would advise you to use hypaspists in DM. In no other situation would i approve of it. But here i do.
If the norse still lives, he must be a damn good player. Enter the late game phase.
Once your eco recovers from the big battles against ragna heroes (or just after uw), start including myrmidons in your army.

Mid-game against atlanteans :

If they went Hekate : rush your UW drop. Your target is the second town center. Use a healthy mix of colossus and helepolis. Try and kill as many citizens as possible.
Be careful not to burn away your economy. An overeager push may result in unexpected unit losses, as atties are fast at getting towers up, and they can have numerous heroes/myth to counter your colls.
A safe and slow wall push would be your most viable option.
If they went Helios : do the same, in case you haven't been vortex rushed already.
If you get vortexed, be ready to ceasefire once their army critically damaged your TC, start repairing, and move your units up there.
You're probably going to lose this TC, but it will cost the atty player the entire army he brought up. He can still vortex to your other TC, though, but that would be a waste of god powers. He would need to be at full population for an effective vortex.
use your aggressive uw after his pressure stopped.

Mixing in hippikons into your unit composition will be helpful, because atties will use a lot of fire siphons. Belle micro against these is important as well, and may save your TCs sometimes.
Keep your own side of the map, atty don't excel at pushing in mid-game anyway.
You will not often need to drag this into late game. A few front switches are sometimes deadly.

Mid-game against egyptians :

Against Set : destroy him with colossus spam and hoplite raids…

Against Isis/Ra :

Hera Zeus :

You're going to have lightning storm available at the perfect moment. You should have killed so many units by now, that an underworld on trade will do great damage to the Isis. If you can, save the lightning storm for the moment you UW.
The placement must be close to the edge of the map, because Isis players tend to use massed chariot archers to shoot the UW down. Use lightning storm here, if they didn't eclypse already.
Keep your UW at all costs, repair it with villagers, too. Using hoplites, toxotes, helepolis you should be able to get a foothold here, or at least destroy the markets.
Once you capture the corner with buildings, push for the Isis base, and wall in everything you can.
Eventually, start switching fronts like crazy, and make the Isis merc as often as possible.
The Isis will mainly rely on gold mines, those are your main target.

Hephaestus Zeus :

Do not try to cause too much damage. It will backfire on your eco.
Instead, after the initial raids, try to get a horizontal hold on the map, and set up a strong food and even stronger gold economy.
Build forts on the sides, and start AQing colossus and helepolis together with toxotes and hoplites.
Always changing the point of your attack and escorting your units with belle with be the key element in this style. Kill as many mummies as you can.
Just before you enter late game, start setting up wall pushes, so you have a way to retreat and pop out somewhere unexpected.
Plus you can switch to petrobolos attacks if the situation allows.
Do not let he Isis disturb your economy, or delay your town center timings too much. It can have fatal results, as the colossus style is mainly designed to take the fight to late game. If you’re too late with that, the Isis will have so much gold, that she can keep spamming mercs at all times, on all of your moves. And when that happens, you are not going to stop the Isis push.

Part 3 : Late game and general tactics

Late game is the part where you have a strong economy set up, control a good portion of the map, and start fighting a building war.
In order to be able to deal with all the enemy buildings and walls, you are going to have to rely heavily in colossus and helepolis armies. That goes against all civs.
You have to change your point of attack in lategame as often as you can, because your siege units are able to cause a great deal of damage, and the more you throw off your enemy, the better your chances of winning will be.
Your main targets are the town centers and trade.
It is not necessary to destroy the enemy markets, you can just wall them in sometimes.
Push with towers, and keep forwarding your barracks, so that the travel time of your units will be as short as possible.

When you are playing against eggy using Hera, you’ll need even more front switches than you would need using colossus. Keeping the outer gold mines in your control, you do more damage than you think at first sight. Walled petrobolos, hoplites to kill mercs, and random helepolis popping out can have brutal effects.
Use your wall systems effectively : always have proper gates placed, so you can move your units around optimally.
When you reach your tower/fort limit, delete them in your back base, so you can build more where the battle is at.
If any of your resources was to go above 6000, start taking off villagers of these, and build with them in positions you haven’t secured yet, or right behind your army.

You are not the only one who can attack using siege units though : if there is a wall+ranged siege push, try to take out the wall, and shoot at the repairing villagers with archers. Afterwards you should be able to attack the siege units directly.
Rocs are a bigger problem though, you’ll have to send your oddyseus to engage the roc. It also provides you with better chances if you train some cavalry units to get rid of the enemy siege.
Close range siege is another problem, however. We’re gonna deal with those using unbuilt buildings, villagers, and hack damage units.
Build any sort of building, preferrably barracks int he path of the enemy siege, so that they will stay out of range. This will slow down their attack against you, and you can damage them, before they damage you.

Whenever your important buildings (TC/fort/walls) get attacked, send repariring villagers immediately. Sometimes you won’t be able to decide whether to repair something or attack the attacking siege with villagers . I would suggest doing both simultaneously.
Mutliple wall layers : Mostly used between treelines to protect trade and town centers. It is lame, but also very effective. I would never venture deep into lategame without these things.
If simple attacks at his buildings aren’t having any effect, the reason behind this is that your enemy has a superb economy to rely on. You’ll have to target his economy in order to make a difference. The easiest way would be doing this early, because in late game it’s supposed to be hard to reach such places.
Intercepting the enemy trade route is your best bet, because your archers can make short work of enemy caravans.

General tricks to keep in mind :

The ceasefire TC grab – a classic. If you invoke the moment your first villager touches the TC, you’ll need 12 of them at least to get it built in time.

Plenty capturing – sometimes your enemy doesn’t notice if you take his plenty. Set your unit(s) to passive, and get back to other tasks.

Unit garrisoning into Helepolis – to save belle for example.

Colossus sent to eat goldmines for self healing, and TREES as well . I sometimes ATE MY WAY to TCs through trees.

Peltasts… THE TOP USELESS UNIT of the Zeus army. Use them in small numbers (3-4) against Hades, to protect against gastra raids (that are supposed to take your TCs out/prevent them)

Hypaspists… almost like peltasts. However i suggest their usage in extreme low pop situations (they train the fastest), and to counter ragnarok/destroyers.

Myrmidons : use them once you have your TCs captured against non greek civs. Only when your eco allows!!

Bellerophon jump : can kill villagers in one attack. Use it to prevent some buildings from coming up, or just to cause trouble against their eco (storehouse building vills, lol).

So, this is my Zeus guide, and i hope that it will help anyone who bothered to read this.


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Re: Nakamura's 1900+ Zeus guide (matchup concepts)

Post  GL on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:33 am

Must read for Zeus players, especially starting out!



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