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The art of Rushing

Rushing is a very popular strategy, especially for new players, as it is often time easier to execute and as it gives you a very strict gameplan. However it’s important to not call any “early” attack a Rush, and to understand the differences between a Rush and a Timing Attack for example.


Rush vs Timing attack, what’s the difference ?

The most important thing about a rush is the speed. You want to hit your opponent before he has the necessary defenses.

A timing attack on the other hand, aim to pack as much power into one push, trying to overwhelm the opponent defenses.

Usually on Age of Empire 3 DE, a rush should hit before 5 minutes 30 to 6 minutes at most. You can hit way quicker than that in certain cases !


How do i execute a successful rush ?

They are two things to separate here : the execution leading to the attack and the execution during the attack.

Leading to the attack is by far the easiest to train :

  • Find a solid Build Order online (or create one !)
  • Launch a custom game, and practice the execution ! Every second you can gain matters

During the attack is a lot more tricky and require experience, but here are a few clue :

  • Never get your units stuck into a corner or a choke near your opponent Town Center, as he may send shipments or call minutemen
  • Make sure to focus fire ! When you have a few units, each shot can make the difference between a dead unit or a living one
  • If your opponent doesn’t have his infrastructure in place, like Barrack or Stable, try to make sure they never build them !
  • Go for small wins, one after another ! You will rarely win just by sieging your opponent Town Center mindlessly. Get those villagers, siege that house instead so he can’t train units or villagers anymore, …
  • Keep training units ! It’s important that new units keeps adding over and over again while your opponent is unable to train any

Of course, the more you practice, the more you execute rushes, the better you will be at doing so !


How do i defend a rush ?

Before i say anything, go watch this excellent video made by Aussie_Drongo !

Done ? Here are my few tips :

  • Speed is the key ! Get a solid Build Order and practice the execution to gain precious seconds
  • Scout your opponent. You need to know what he is doing
  • Herding will allow you to have access to food closer to your Town Center, making gathering food safer
  • Try to keep villagers gathering ! Get 10 of them in your Town Center for the attack, but try to keep the rest gathering near it. Warning : do not loose any vills !
  • Instead of trickeling units, shipments and minutemen : send them all at once ! That way you have a chance to win the fight and completly reset the push
  • Learn how to wall and position your building properly. Create pockets with ressources your opponent don’t want to commit units into. Make sure your opponent has to circle around your base to attack your villagers or key infrastructure, as he will loose precious seconds doing so
  • Do not overeact. At the end of the day, it’s your economy that will win you the game ! If you survive the first waves, scout your opponent, and try to figure out how greedy you can be. Checking shipments left in your opponent deck will also help you figure out if the push is likely to continue or not

Once again, practice and experience will make you better at holding rushes.


Hope this guide helped you understand rushes better and how they win or die down !

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