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Naka's FanPatch Zeus DM guide


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#1 Nakamura

Nakamura

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:01 PM

Spoiler

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 ,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 a proper 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 one of the most powerful gods of DM.
NOTE :By reading this guide, you will NOT be granted instant 2k . You’ll have to experience the match ups countless times, learn to micro your army properly, use at least 3 control groups, manage your economy well (drop point placements), place your buildings properly, know when to do what etc. Also, this guide focuses on the strategic, and tactical half of DM . I cannot teach you mechanics, the best way to learn those is on your own.
Here we go.
I’m going to separate each matchup here, but I’m also separating by game phases. If you want to read only stuff against eg. norse, you’ll need to read the anti norse early game, the anti norse midgame, and lategame only.

Main difference between FP and 1.03 :  
FP doesn't have free favor. You need to manage praying villagers.

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 behind the TC.
If you have triangle TCs, some of your vills need to push forward, or to the corner then.
But first : advance. But which god do you pick?
While it totally depends on your style, my answer is Hermes in most cases. 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 in handy later.
Select your temple right after advance (control grouping it makes this faster), and make 2 additional centaurs. Now go and hunt the enemy villagers, scouting  the sides is essential vs Poseidon and Hades, but also against the fancy Zeus player.
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.
VARIATION : One of the armory builders can be assigned to walling your main TC. This will be useful later, but slows your advance time, which is important because of unit upgrades and availability.
The villagers building barracks should be focused on military academies first, and archery ranges afterwards. This is very important. Placing these is most easy if you have all villagers selected, and pick them off the first barrack one by one and then press shift + “archery range hotkey” to place that too. So after they are finished with the academy, they’ll start building the ranges. You're going to rely on an initial hypaspist flooding, where you’re supposed to micro each hypaspist against enemy villagers mostly, to prevent the enemy builds from going up. You can add toxotes ASAP though, and mix your infantry depending on your enemy’s unit composition. Avoid using too many hard counters, especially peltasts. Toxotes are the most efficient archers in the game probably.
If you can, position your units at enemy settlements too.
Your armory should be ready ,always advance through Apollo.
Now is the time you can start the Hypaspist flooding I mentioned.
Do not make manticores, you’ll need the favor later. One of your armory builders should make a market now, while the other one builds a fortress. Also train 3 more villagers, who will help build the fortress in your base. The walling villager should start building a town center, once the wall is up.
Now you can start causing actual damage 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. I’ll explain Hera strategies as well though, but starting with Heph.
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 it.
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 using the same composition, except mixing the hoplites with hypaspists.  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 mins for third.
Have around 5 villagers gathering favor at your temple.

Early game gainst Hades :
This deserves it’s own part, hard matchup.(only mentioning differences)
Your opening will be defensive. Use centaurs to kill potential side building villagers.
Note : in case the Hades dares to go for Hephaestus, you mirror him. Your favor will outclass his.

Against Hades on side TC / triangle TC maps

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.
UNDER NO OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES DO I APPROVE OF PELTASTS.
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.
Transition into a heavy siege based late game, make sure you get map control.

On forward TC

Godpath : Athena/Apollo/Hera
Defend your back TC with a few stables (1 vills can build these) , and focus on forward aggression. Autoqueue medusas, toxotes, and hippikons/hoplites.
When he attacks you with pestilence, beat him in that battle by using restoration.
Focus your medusa attacks against his Chimeras, and always kill his Perseus with your toxotes focus firing on him.

Against Poseidon :
How is Poseidon different?
He's going to rely heavily on cavalry, which are countered by towers. If you can manage to wear him down with your siege later, you'll win. Hetairoi are strong, but you have better options for siege.
Polyphemus will be hard to kill, but focus firing toxotes will take care of him.

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 and hypaspists
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 in the opening covered. You’ll have basically a pure hoplite/hypaspist 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 will probably not be able to prevent these, but it never hurts to try. A hypapist flooding is bound to be successful here.
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.
Forest fire is especially a problem. You should have 3 towers next to your settlements to be able to fend off attacks, and you also might consider barrack block builds. This means that you block all paths to the settlement with a wall of normal walls and barracks. The TC timing will suffer, but better safe than sorry.
After the full infantry 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, although there is a fancy underworld rush with helepolis, which  you might attempt sometimes. You need two early forts for that, but it’s not very viable if suspected.
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.
Again, 5-6 praying villagers.
This is the end of anti-norse early game.

Situation 3 : Against atlanteans

Use anti greek build, but more defensively. Don’t try to expand that hard.
Your godpath will be Athena or Hermes/Apollo/Hephaestus.
Atlanteans are the strongest early game civilization. They are going to oracle hero rush you, which are aiming to pick off your villagers, and then they will flood you with murmillos. While you fight these off with hypaspists+toxotes, he’ll already have multiple towers and palaces up, and he’ll transition into heavier unit combos very early.
You’ll have to get to 2 town centers, and hold on with ceasefire/restoration. Once you have a powerful enough composition, so basically toxotes, hoplites/myrmidons , colossi, helepolis, petrobolos, and towers behind these, you’ll be able to fight the tlanteans straight on.

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. That SS drop may target your second TC, but don’t worry. If you turtle, you’ll eventually be able to push out.

Ra and Isis are going to mercenary rush you. By around 40 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 the map. 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  – The Hera Zeus

Use your initial army to prevent them from building a migdol, or just destroy it. Restoration is your friend here.
Autoqueue manticores , helepolis , and have a hoplite heavy army until restoration, then use more toxotes later on. Micro Bellerophon 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.  4:20 mins for second should be ok.

If the map is back TC/weird TC : hoplite raids – The Hephaestus Zeus
Make 4 manticores  and autoqueue 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, forts and barracks on both flanks.
Establish strong map control, seal off the map with walls.

If the map is triangle TC : MAP SWEEP
Preffered mythic god :  Either
Autoqueue manticores 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/favor 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, push with towers.
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 flanks 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. A variation is underworlding there.
4)Cause your enemy heavy unit losses, so you can lay the hammer down and end the game. This is the typical goal if you went Hera. Lightning storm is truly deadly.
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, or heavy wolf pack raids. Towers behind your walls really help hold wolf packs until bellerohon gets there – they have a tough time beating that.
Don’t think that you’re in a winning position yet though.
If you were able to save up for a few colossi, then you may attempt an underworld against the norse eco TC, but beware of Ragnarok. Norse is a much more aggressive civilization than greeks. You might prefer a slow lateral push – step by step.
The more walls, towers and fortresses you have, the less chance you give the norse to win a matchup like this.

But what happens if the norse is at an advantage ?
What if they hid their barracks well and assault you from everywhere?
What if they frosted your villagers, and denied one of your town centers this way?
The situation sounds grim, but you still can hold on. Again what you need to do is drive the norse out of your territory, and rely on walls, towers.
When the norse has established heavy armies of jarls, ballistas, fire giants, and some infantry, you can only win if you have equal population.
Unfortunately you are likely to lose if you let the norse achieve the mentioned objectives.
Hence what you should focus on is that you see everything on your part on the map, and I suggest you take this to lategame, where you are the strongest.

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, helepolis and infantry. Try and kill as many citizens as possible, and retreat if you can. If you are late, they will destroy your underworld with Tartarian gate. More skilled atlanteans will not even let units get through.
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 : Be more defensive. You never know when they will decide to start vortexing. One of your options is to underworld back on the first vortex, fend it off that way. The next vortex is coming soon though, you’ll hopefully be able to beat that and only lose one TC. The third vortex will come soon, probably targeting your other TC. Let them damage it a bit, and invoke ceasefire. This way you could get closer to finishing your destroyed TC, and move your army up to beat the last vortex back, while repairing your damaged TC.
Siphons are a force to reckon with. Helepolis are less population efficient when you battle them directly, you might consider a few Bellerophon jumps, and 2-3 prodromos against them.  In general mixing in hippikons is generally useful against atlanteans.
Establish again, and slowly push out.


Mid-game against egyptians :
Against Set : Keep the pressure up, cut off the map. He doesn’t have the long range mercenaries, so in the end you will end up pushing his base- the last remaining front.

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/Ra. 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 – mainly through a heavy trade.
Build forts on the sides, and start AQing colossus and helepolis together with toxotes and hoplites.
You’ll need more than 10 praying villagers for proper colossus counts – and strong bellerophon micro to keep them alive against the mummies.
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 demands it.
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 late game 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.
You need to send Ody ahead of the roc, so that you maximize the range advantage.
It also provides you with better chances if you train some cavalry units to get rid of the enemy siege.
Against Oranos’ sky passages you need to suicide some units. He only has access to 5, the sacrifice is often worth it.
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 or drop off points in the 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 repairing 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 tree lines to protect trade and town centers. It is lame, but also very effective. I would never venture deep into late game 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 10 of them at least to get it built in time.
Market abuse : Sell wood before your enemy does. This will delay your low gold phase, and make it harder for your enemy to get out of it.
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, or against lightning storm

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 the initial army, 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.

THE END                                  
:)


Edited by Nakamura, 18 October 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#2 XpT_Monkz

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 09:38 AM

Awesome post!


Chaotic Tips:

1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

2. Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose.

3. With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.





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