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Haitch crossbowmen France semi FF!

Written by Kenoky

Game mode
1 vs 1


Semi Fast Fortress

Congrats to Haitch (hazza_aoe on twitch) for winning the ESOC Challenge Cup!! Today we are going to take a lot at the build order he used in the first game. A very aggressive oppening that translates nicely into a Semi Fast Fortress!

If you are looking for a very competitive build order, look no further! Highly flexible, extremely punishing, incredibly effective : this one has it all!

  • Incredibly flexible
  • Strike the perfect middle ground between greed and offense
  • Very good early pressure and timing attack
  • Very clean transition to Fortress Age
  • Not the fastest Fortress Age
  • Not the most powerfull Commercial Age assault

This build orders is reliant on a very good shipment curve. As soon as you get your first units out, in theory before your opponent, look to inflict damage : kill his units, idle his villagers, siege his house or foward Outpost.

Then leverage your Coureurs des Bois economy to overwhelm your opponent with units without sacrificing your long term gameplan at all.

In the mid game, be very aggressive with your Coureurs des Bois gathering spots and fight on top of them! Their hp and damage will swing many fights in your favor!

Click on the blue boxes below for more details!

Age 1

  • Gather your crates, build a Trading Post. Put your Coureurs des Bois (CdB) on wood but one, herding your starting hunt under your Town Center. New CdB on food
  • As you reach 100 wood, build an House and swap all CdB to food
  • Send 3 CdB
  • Age up at 14 CdB with The Quartermaster, for 400 wood


  • Swap all your CdB on wood but 2 herding, and 2 going for a foward base position
  • Build a Market. Research Hunting Dogs (food) and Placer Mines (coin). Swap 4 CdB to coin as you start researching Placer Mines
  • Macro towards 125 wood and 125 coin on age up, then 4 CdB on coin, the rest on food

Age 2

You should hit age 2 around 4:15!

  • Send 4 CdB and 700 wood
  • Gather the wood crates for The Governor with 2 CdB
  • Research Steel Traps (food)
  • Build a foward Barrack and 2 Houses. The positioning of the foward base is key : you must secure hunts and other resources with it!
  • Train constant Musketeers
  • As the wood arrives, you should have trained 15 Musketeers. Train 5 Crossbowmen, build a second foward Barrack and 3 Houses. As your second Barrack goes up, train another batch of 5 Musketeers
  • Send 8 Crossbowmen with that
  • After completing both batches, train 10 Musketeers and push your opponent!

All of this leads to a massive 30 Musketeers and 13 Crossbowmen mass in your opponent base before 8 minutes! Look to idle your opponent, destroy his infrastructure and houses. The goal is not to finish the game, but to put your opponent far behind. If your opponent is aging, keep the aggression going by training more Musketeers and aim to finish the game! If not, keep following the build order

  • Stop training military units, send 700 coin, and macro towards 1200 food and 700 coin
  • At that point, do not over commit with your army. You’ve dealt the damage, go back under your barracks
  • Age up with The Exiled Prince, for a Fast Age Up


  • Research Great Coat and Blunderbuss, while training Musketeers
  • Put 7 CdB on coin, 4 on wood (aim for 200 wood and 200 coin on age up)
  • Your in base hunts will expire. Start hunting near your foward base. This will have two benefits : Your army and reinforcement will be able to protect your economy and foward base at the same time. Your upgraded CdB will be able to participate in the fight to push back your opponent. Do not under estimate CdB tankyness and DPS and fight with them! That’s how you will mitigate this otherwise “weak” timing in the build order

Age 3

You should age up around 9:30!

  • Send 2 Falconets
  • Research Musketeer Veterancy upgrade, and keep training Musketeers
  • Push your opponent and send 5 Dragoons behind that

This will lead into another massive timing attack with plenty of veteran Musketeers protecting 2 Falconets, and 5 Dragoons in your base / around your CdB to push back any Cavalry raid that would otherwise distract you from the main push!

From there you should be looking to send either military shipment to support your attack, but preferably 1000 wood to transition towards your late game composition with a stable, more house, and Amalgamation (coin) in your Market.

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