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The factions in Rise of Nations all have skills, abilities, and strategies that will allow you to play them to their maximum and will increase the entertainment value of the game depending on how you use them. This guide provides you with general tips on playing the game and hints and tips on playing the Alin, the Cuotl, and the Vinci factions to best effect.
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General tips and hints
Once you have your character in the game, spend time upgrading your heroes. Otherwise your level three heroes will probably be defeated once they meet an opponent's level five heroes.
You need to make sure to use your Dominances; they aren't the most powerful thing, but they can swing the tide of a close contest to your side. Keep an eye on the indicators as well, and if you're about to lose a Dominance, use it immediately before it's gone.
Doing one point of damage will halt the construction of new Districts in a city or the repair of damaged structures in a city, so when you have troops around, don't let the enemy strengthen his constructions.
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Make sure you use Whirling Blades to travel fast across expansive parts of the map, as well as for fighting when you have local superiority over your opponent.
Use Scorpions as a very powerful trample attack; you won't be able to trample your opponent again while their down, but they can take damage, so hit them with the Scorpions poison sting as they attempt to rise.
Don't waste your time bribing sites with your gold; instead use the gold you collect in the early parts of the game for lots of Heartseekers. Their strong ranged attack can really help you change the momentum of an early battle.
Use Juvenile Salamanders to open up your military tactics and campaign; your opponent won't be expecting them and you will probably surprise him or her. If you should go this way, make sure to get an Eternal Flame and upgrade all Fire Circles to create Adult Salamanders upon reaching Large City.
Sand Dragons are really strong and have anti-air splash to help against flying threats. Once you have a good Timonium income and your enemy is implementing hordes of flying units, you should try to get to Great City as quick as possible to get access to Sand Dragons.
Upgrading is very important to survival. Make a point to provide troops with enhancements as soon as the necessary resources are available. Should you decide to build a Sand army, think about constructing an Eternal Flame at your biggest mine. This way it will be protected against flying raids, and its range attack upgrade helps all Alin units.
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Make sure you bring your Shields and Cloak! In the beginning shields are very restricted, but using shields means you have 20 extra health - so use shields. Implement Cloak when units are down to 1/5 health (no lower, any ammo flying when the Cloak is turned on are going to do damage) to take that unit from the fight and send it back to heal.
Should you come into the possession of an extra Holy Ark, you won't be able to stack healing, so take the second Holy Ark and Channel one unit production building or a mine. In a long drawn out affair all benefits should be used.
Sun Idols are costly Large City units, but a non-upgraded soldier unit will be completely destroyed when hit by their trample. One Sun Idol can easily eliminate up to six soldier units and take very little damage in the process as long as the units are Cuotl or Vinci.
Holy Ark healing means you should mass your troops to take advantage of its healing. Keep the damage you're receiving below the healing of the Holy Ark and it can nullify it. Should the enemy counter by massing fire on one target, cloak it.
As the Cuotl can only get energy income from owned sites, grab Neutrals as soon as you can to begin building a useful economic foundation.
Your Jaguar is capable of hitting up to four soldiers with one attack, but as a soldier unit thins out, the overall damage the Jaguar does starts to decrease. Once the soldier unit is reduced a little, think about changing targets and sending in another unit to finish the job.
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The overall flexibility of the Vinci makes it difficult to concentrate on only a few tactics. One thing you should do is to limit Research Lab upgrades and Prototype selections to choices that add to your tactics.
Implement Volley Fire in situations with numerical superiority against a slow-moving enemy and it might totally destroy the enemy. Don't bother using Volley Fire to compliment Siege Attack against buildings; Volley Fire doesn't improve its damage.
Clockwork Spiders are one of the Vinci's stronger units, but they're cost is very high. Their best skill is the ability to trample soldiers, while still being able to stay in motion and attack buildings or flying units. You should make sure to web your opponents because it slows them down.
While were at it we should mention Clockwork Men, who like the Jaguar to damage up to four soldiers with one attack. The damage the Clockwork Men do also lessens - like the Clockwork Spiders - as the soldiers thin out, so switch to another target after they start to thin. Clockwork Men also have a special Clockwork Buff, and they should be grouped near one another to provide extra healing and offensive force.
Juggernauts are strong, but are hardly the emperor of the battlefield. They need to be supported by other units to be most effective and if they aren't they can be eliminated faster than most Rise of Nations gamers are aware of. Always keep one or two around support forces, and you'll have the ability to attack on the move against your opponents heroes and huge units while trampling ranged soldiers like their pawns.