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The USA

The USA, one of the most interesting and complex civilisation we have ever seen.

It took weeks if not months to finally figure out truly potent build orders. The problem is : USA suffers from many weaknesses, that you need to compensate for with extremely sharp build orders. And that’s what we finaly did this week!

With those sharp build orders in our hand, USA can now compete with over civilisations, and turns out to be a rather versatile civilisation. The USA have a few pillars : their buildings assert map control ; their few but powerful units defend said buildings ; their homecity shipments aim to produce long term value ; their levy mechanic allow them to keep up tempo wise, or even surpass their opponent!

I can’t stress how important it is to abuse those mechanics to their full potential if you want to have any chance to perform with the USA! Without those, the USA is a very weak civilisation…

 


 

Quick glance

 

I’m sorry if the current presentation of this guide is not up to my standarts. I’m quickly putting it together for various reasons, while i got my first hangover after months of COVID isolation.. I will for sure improve it in the following days! Until then, have a nice read!

 

Pros and cons

How to abuse USA strengths to patch their weaknesses

Building your USA deck

Picking the right Federal States

Build orders

 


 

Pros and cons

  • Pros

  • Extremely strong early Commercial Age and late Industrial Age
  • Very strong unit roaster across the board
  • Extremely safe transition to Fortress Age
  • Versatile, large range of strategies
  • Cons

  • Requires extremely sharp build orders
  • An economy that requires a LOT of setup to start rolling
  • No falconet equivalent in Fortress Age
  • Part of the unit roaster is locked behind shipments

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How to abuse USA strengths to patch their weaknesses

 

If you try to play USA like any other civ, you will find yourself so far behind you will have to win 1 unit versus 2 or even 3, which is of course not possible. However USA were given a lot of tools to balance out their extremely slow setup.

 

The levy mechanic and powerful unit shipments

First of all, the levy mechanic allow the USA to call 6 Minutemen (or 6 Pikemen with Spanish Immigrants) every 160 seconds for 150 food and 150 coin. Each Minuteman is as strong as a veteran Musketeer, so > 100 resources (careful the health decay over time). Each Pikeman is sligthly stronger (10%) than a regular Pikeman, so > 80 resources. In both case, you pay 300 resources for either 600+ or 480+ resources.

As a result, you should use it as often as possible! This will allow you to mass more with less resources. The pikes patch two of USA issues : siege damage and anti-cavalry. They should be your primary option, while you keep the Minutemen for desperate defenses (against infantry) or deadly Marines push.

On top of that, the USA have a few but extremely powerful unit shipments. If we take for reference 8 Crossbowmen or 3 Hussars (available to most European civilisations), they are worth 640 and 600 resources each. Worth nothing that Crossbowmen do not scale well into later stages of the game. Meanwhile, USA with 8 State Militia, ships 680 resources worth of units, that scale well into the game! 3 Gatling Guns? 1050 resources. 11 State Militia? 935 resources. 54th Regiment of Massachusetts ? 890 resources worth of units while getting your veterancy upgrades with food!

Combined with the levy mechanic, those extremely strong shipments allow you to compete on the military side, despite your economy being far behind.

If you use everything at once early in the game, you can mass up to 20 military units before 5:30. That’s a lot of units, and they are good quality units!

 

Map control and Outposts

As we saw previously, the USA are able to  overwhelm their opponent with a lot of units very early on, despite their bad economy. Paired with an early Outpost given by the Spanish Immigrants and the flag ability that boost all units attack by 10%, this makes the USA one of the strongest faction at contesting map control in the very early game. You should be able to win almost any forward base battle.

This allows us to push back our opponent into his own base and take map control. From there, we want to switch into a contain strategy, using Outposts! Indeed, they are going to provide us with extremely good vision, a building to play around when our opponent tries to contest map control, and a point to call our levies from or receive our powerful shipments to swing a battle.

Not only Outposts are more accessible to the USA and less taxing on their economy, they are also more powerful than with any other faction thanks to the points mentionned above. On top of that, most USA units have a longer range, making them extremely good at taking poke shots at the besiegers.

This play pattern allow us to defend the map control we took more cost effectively, once again patching our weaker economy.

 

Very safe Fortress Age transition

The USA can pair two things at once : a fast Fortress Age, taking only 70 seconds, and a Fortress Age that provides units, in most cases 5 Regulars! Pair that win the levy mechanic we saw above and the extremely strong unit shipments in early Fortress Age, and you got one of if not the safest Fortress Age transition.

Abuse this to take a technological lead on your opponent without sacrificing much tempo. This may even trigger a push that you welcome with 3 Gatling Guns!

 

Extremely valuable economic/technologic shipments

This is the last thing you really want to abuse as the USA. Most of their shipments allow them to get a LOT for free.

  • Hamiltonian Economics is worth 2185 resources, available in Commercial Age.
  • Springfield Armory is worth 5 950 resources, available in Commercial Age.
  • A Factory is worth 11 villagers on wood, avaible in Fortress Age.
  • Indiana Mammoth Improvement Act is worth 3200 resources, avaible in Fortress Age.

Even if we are far behind our opponent eco wise, we can slowly start to compete by sending all those shipments when possible. Of course, since none of these shipments have immediate value, we need to be extremely careful not to sacrifice too much tempo in order to send them. However, as we saw to begin with, USA can take the lead on tempo, or use its superior map control to tech behind it.

You should value those long term shipments as soon as possible with the USA, and limit your usage of any low value shipments. 600 wood crates? Avoid. A below average unit shipment? Never.

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Building your USA deck

 

With every said in the previous chapter, i believe you can start to imagine your first deck as the USA. But let’s do a breakdown of the mandatory and most interesting cards to include.

 

Mandatory cards (90% + of games)

Despite a initial cost of 200 wood, French Immigrants provide you with 3.75 settlers equivalent in Exploration Age, on top of a combat and movement speed buff for all your villagers. An absolute must have and your first card to send in every game (unless you play a very specific deck).

Once again, this card cost 300 food to send, but it provides everything USA has ever dreamed of.

  • An XP trickle worth 1.4 Trading Post, allowing you to send shipments after shipments during the entire game.
  • An early Outpost to contest map control early.
  • The ability to train Pikemen with the levy ability, for very cheap and efficient early siege and anti-cavalry.

An absolute must have in your deck, almost always sent second.

This card is key for any aggressive play. It allows the USA to win almost any early game fight. Their high speed allow them to poke the opponent while your siege units (Pikemen and Regulars) take care of your opponents buildings.

+4 range to State Militia, arguably the best unit the USA has access to. Absolutly mandatory if the games extends.

Also increases the range of your Minutemen or Marines by +4!

Getting your Arsenal upgrades is going to push your already good units even further. This card makes those upgrdes free (but slow to research), allowing you to get them without loosing much tempo.

Counter Infantry Rifling is absolutly key for State Militia, against HI, boosting their DPS by 66%!

The good old resources crates. We will always include 700 wood, 700 coin and 1000 wood.

The 700 wood allow you to get your infrastructure online in the early game, while 700 coin allows you to transition quickly into Fortress Age.

The 1000 wood are key in order to perform a Town Center boom in case you used your 700 wood already. A must have as well!

This is the card that makes Fortress Age transition so safe. If your opponent tries anything with a Commercial Age composition, those 3 Gatling Guns are going to wipe the floor clean.

This card will allow you to fully secure the map control you’ve already taken. Avoid bunching them together and prefer covering as much of the map as possible with the line of sight they provide. Use your units to defend those Outposts.

Costing 500 food and 500 wood, those Uhlans are automatically upgraded upon aging and have +10% stats. They can single handedly swing a fight in your favor, and are excellent at cleaning up your opponent army, allowing you to snowball said fight extremely hard.

The USA are notoriously bad against cavalry because they have Carabine Cavalry instead of Dragoon… No more! A trully key shipment versus any cavalry heavy civilisation, like France or Lakotas. It cost 500 food and 500 wood to send tho.

+15% attack and health to our strongest unit, the State Militia? Sure!

All those cards take 14 out of the 20 slots in your deck already.

 

Strong options (50% + of games)

One of the best late Commercial Age shipment in the game. Always aim to send it at 9:21 or 14:21 for maximum value. That way it will provide you with 6 or 8 settlers as soon as possible, making it a stronger option than the usual 5 or 4 settlers cards most civilisations have access to.

However, this card isn’t good if sent before those two timings, and gets worse as you translate into a multiple Town Center boom. So keep it for late Commercial Age and avoid it in almost any other scenarios.

Making your Market upgrades free is a HUGE deal, and will allow you to push your economy into overdrive. However, this card needs to be sent early in order to quickly get you value, but doesn’t bring any immediate tempo.

This can make the card a bit clunky at times. The best way to use it is as a 3rd Commercial Age shipment, after 8 State Militia and 700 wood, both giving you a huge tempo lead that you partially give up by sending Hamiltonian Economics.

More units in Fortress Age. Not the most impactfull shipment, but not the worse one either. It’s a safe option, it makes your Fortress Age transition even safer. Just good value, nothing less nothing more.

5 Regulars and 4 State Militia is already good value. But on top of that, for 400 food, you get your units upgrades for both! This saves you resources and time since your barrack will be able to keep pumping out units constantly.

Provide excellent map control and allow you to train the foreign armies you’ve send through shipment (like the Uhlans, the Dragoons, or the Magyar Hussars).

A key building for the USA, you will need one. Having the option to send it from the Homecity is very valuable.

Probably one of the best cavalry unit in the game, costing 1000 food and wood to send. Putted simply : makes the USA one of the best cavalry civilisation in the game, despite starting as one of the worst.

When you got a lot of Outposts, a Fort, and likely a few walls, this shipment packs a huge amount of value by making all those buildings far more durable and threatening.

These cards are more situationnal and will often require you to play the game a certain way. Still very strong cards that you should try to include in your build orders.

 

The Marines package

In some match ups, all you want is a big timing attack in early Fortress Age. You need a ton of units and a ton of siege in order to make that work. That’s were the Marines shine.

By transforming all your Minutemen into Marines, they don’t decay health anymore, and they inflict 1000% more siege damage, or 55! This, paired with other cards like Culpeper Minutemen, allow you to get a huge mass of very high quality infantry, with extremely high siege, early into the game.

If you go that route, you can only include the Marines card. Or you can include the USA army combat card, for +15% attack and hp for your Regulars, General and Minutemen / Marines, and the Upgraded Levy card (in Industrial Age), to be able to levy Marines 16 by 16 instead of 6 by 6!

 

From there, you should have some space left in the deck, make sure to fill it with the cards that suits the match up and your build order.

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Picking the right Federal States

 

The Federal States are your Age Up options. They vastly change the way you will be able to play the game in the long run, and should be planned in advance.

 

Commercial Age

 

Virginia, 100% of games

Yep, all the time! At the moment, Virginia is by far the most competitive option thanks to Virginia General Assembly. The State Capitol trully is a key building for USA, allowing you to quickly boom on multiple Town Centers.

On top of that, the free Military Wagon allow you to quickly set up your military infrastructure in the early game to start training units, without ever exposing your settlers on the frontline.

 

Fortress Age

 

New Hampshire, for tempo

The Factory is the equivalent of an 11 villagers on wood shipment. This is by far the strongest economic shipment the USA have access to at this stage of the game.

If you are looking to fight in Fortress Age and win the game in Fortress, this is your strongest option.

Indiana, for greed

No i’m not smoking. Sure the Factory from New Hampshire is strong, but it’s nothing compare to Indiana Mammoth Improvement Act in terms of resources generated.

A Factory produces 5.5 resources a second, Indiana Mammoth Improvement Act spares you 3200 resources, or 9 minutes and 40 seconds with your Factory running. Arguably, wood is more valuable than food and coin. Still equates to over 7 minutes with your Factory running.

On top of that, the Indiana Mobilisation card is a good panic button against a large amount of cavalry, shipping over 10 Carabine Cavalries at once (more with every previous shipment!).

Maryland, to contest water

One of my personnal favorite, Maryland is a very serious option if you plan on taking over Water from your opponent. Properly executed, you can instantly pop 4 Sloops, allowing you to take your opponent by surprise.

You can then use those Sloops to gather coin extremely quickly from fishes!

 

Industrial Age

 

South Carolina, the best a State Militia can get

If you want the strongest State Militia possible, this is the State to pick. Other than that, nothing crazy going on here. However, State Militia being the best late game unit for the USA, the buff is very valuable.

California, Town Centers boom madness

Imagine having 4 Town Centers, all producing settlers for free. This is what California does for you, on top of providing you a Gold mine! This make California the strongest boom option in Supremacy.

Ohio, you shall not pass

With a Fort and 2 Culverins shipment, Ohio is by far the safest option, but also the one with the less payoffs. Pick it if you feel you will need the extra defenses.

 

Imperial Age

 

Illinois, 100% of the time

Land of Lincoln, enough said. This card is absolutly crazy!

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Build Orders

 

All current competitive build orders are variations of this concept showcased by Aussie_Drongo. I’m extremely proud we could put this together!

 

Build orders from this exact concept are going to come in the following days, just so we have time to refine them!

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