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Samwise Dutch cavalry semi Fast Fortress!

Written by Kenoky

Game mode
1 vs 1


Semi Fast Fortress

The Dutch.. when i was a clueless kido playing Age of Empires 3 they were my first love. Spamming Halberdiers and Heavy Canons all day on Amazonia, great times.. but enough of my rambling!

Today we are going to take a look at a way better way to play the Dutch. Showcased by Samwise multiple times during the ESOC Challenge Cup (undefeated btw), this cavalry semi Fast Fortress is incredible!

Excellent economic build up while pressuring your opponent and reaching Fortress Age at the same time. As long as you are not getting rushed, this is the go to build order for the Dutch!

  • Very good economy while reaching Fortress Age quickly
  • Put pressure on your opponent at the same time!
  • Very solid early Fortress Age defense
  • Can mass incredibly quickly once in Fortress Age
  • A bit slow to start rolling, be careful against rushes
  • Hard to execute

The oppener changed slightly since both matches were played. The videos are still relevant, but don’t be surprised if you see slight variations.

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world

Those 3 lines from ABBA perfectly summarise this strategy : when both sides are going greedy, this Dutch build order ends up on top! With 5 Banks up very early in the game, your eco will very quickly go crazy. This leads into an amazing early Fortress economy, allowing to completly overwhelm your opponent.

Two things that are very important for this strategy :

  • Use your buildings, your Banks in particular, to wall! Make it as hard as possible to push into your base
  • Do not try to leave your base as your are aging up. Stay safe behind your buildings, poke with your Town Center and Skirmishers fire, and force your opponent into either leaving or trying to push through

Of course in the later stages of the game, make sure to revolt to South Africa!

Click on the blue boxes below for more details!

Age 1

  • Gather your coin crates first and queue a villager, then collect wood crates followed by food
  • Once you have gathered 100w from crates build a Market immediately and research Hunting Dogs (food)
  • Send 3-4 villagers on wood to gather 50w and build an House
  • Have 3-4 villagers on coin and gather 250 coin apart from the starting 400 coin crates, rest of the villagers on food
  • Send 3 villagers
  • Switch villagers from coin to food once you gathered 250 coin

Note that any food or coin treasure in age 1 will be speeding up the aging process. If you are able to reach 800f before getting the 15th villager, you can age with 14! Your next goal should be finding good wood treasures

  • Gather till 800f and age up at 15 villagers with The Quatermaster, for 400 wood


The goal here is to build a Bank before aging up. Aim for wood or food treasures.

  • Split all your villagers between food and wood. The goal is to reach 350 of each as soon as possible. Make sure to gather the 100 wood crate that is still on the ground
  • Once you have the resources for it, build a Bank with 3 villagers. Split the rest between food and coin. You want to be able to build a villager as soon as possible once you aged up

Age 2

  • Send 700 wood followed by a Bank Wagon
  • Gather your wood crates, build a 2nd Bank as you do it. Once finished, swap the coin villager to food
  • Queue a villager, as soon as you do it, keep only 5 villagers on coin
  • As 700 wood arrives, gather it. Build a 3rd Bank, a Stable, an 2 Houses
  • Start your first batch of 5 Hussars. Buy 100 wood as you do to build another House. Keep constant Hussars production from now
  • Build your 4th Bank as your Bank Wagon arrives
  • Send 600 wood. With it, we are going to build our 5th Bank and a Barrack

If you need more houses, buy the wood for it! Do not waste time chopping.

This is a point the build can deviate. If you see your opponent is able to respond to a Pikemen + Hussars pressure, by already having a barrack for example, keep going. If not, look at the variations down below.

  • Send 700 coin. Buy wood to research Steel Traps (food). Put 1 villager on wood to chop the 25 extra wood for an house. You should have 12 to 15 Hussars by that point
  • Age up with The Exiled Prince, for a Fast Age Up


  • Train constant Hussars and/or Skirmishers in transition. Go for Pikemen only if a cavalry timing attack is coming your way
  • Put 7 villagers on wood and 7 on coin.
  • Research Placer Mines (coin)
  • With the extra wood, build Houses, but also keep 200 wood just before aging up if you have an high Hussars count (or buy it if needed)

Age 3

  • Send 9 Ruyters or 8 Halberdiers, depending on the mass of cavalry your are facing. If your opponent has more cavalry than 9 Ruyters + your Hussars combined, you should really consider the Halberdiers first to stabilise
  • Either train more Ruyters or research Hussar Veterancy depending on your Hussar count (> 15 go for the upgrade). Keep training Skirmishers at the same time

With a big enough mass of Hussars all going veteran and your first unit shipment, you are on a very strong timing. If you can inflict damage, do so!

  • Build a second Barrack or Stable depending on what you need. An Artillery Foundry to train Culverins against Falconets is also a really strong option! Macro accordingly (more Hussars = more food needed, more Ruyters = more coin)

From there it’s completly up to you! You should have stabilised by that point. If you did keep massing and send your upgrades. If not keep sending military shipment to do so.

Your Ruyters + Skirmisher mass should be able to slowly but surely grind your opponent and push him back to his base. At that point you should consider adding an Artillery Foundry for Falconets and Culverins.

Exact same oppening! Refer to the previous variations for it.

  • Send 600 wood. With it, we are going to build our 5th Bank and a Barrack

If you need more houses, buy the wood for it! Do not waste time chopping.

This is a point the build can deviate. If you see your opponent is not able to respond to a Pikemen + Hussars pressure, let’s go for the following gameplan! The goal is to inflict critical damage while still reaching Fortress Age quickly after.

  • Send 8 Pikeman, buy 200 wood, and train an extra 5 Pikemen with as many Hussars as possible
  • As your Pikemen arrive, push your opponent!
  • After that attack, you should aim to macro for 1200 food and 1000 coin
  • Age up with The Exiled Prince, for a Fast Age Up

From there, follow the first variation!

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