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Struggling to drum up the courage to actually sign up for the Autumn Tournament? Have you had the sign up tab open but untouched for a week now like me? Trying to find a civ that will give stronger players the fits? Allow me to present the Sioux for your consideration.

Ironically, in the finals of last month's Warchiefs Classic the Warchief civs lost every matchup (that wasn’t a mirror) except for one. In game 4 Aizamk, hacker of cows, tamer of bears, rode the Sioux to a decisive victory over Diarouga’s Russians to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. This is the story of how he did it.

Openings

On the High Plains, a band of Sioux villagers begin their hunting season after a long journey to find the Bison herds. But they are not alone. To the North, an intrepid Russian colony, a long way away from the Siberian tundra. Soon the war drums sound. It is Aizamk that answers.

Aizamk uses his explorer’s speed to burst around the map in search of the best treasures. He stumbles across 140 food and attacks the guardian wolves, but apparently misses the outlaw rider hiding in the woods. It gets off a number of pot shots on Aizamk’s explorer, taking his health down far more than he would have liked, before he uses his convert ability on him.

“Die, Injin. Get off my territory you damned... hey, you’re pretty cool man let me join ya.” - Outlaw Rider, apparently

Darting off to the bottom of the map, Aizamk constructs a trading post while Diarouga picks up some coin treasures and rushes to build a commanding blockhouse on Aizamk’s side of the map with three villagers. It cuts Aizamk off from the trading post nearest his base, as well as one of his future hunts. A defensive war hut goes up in the Siooux base.

The Sioux certainly take a while to go through its hunts, with the bison they can ship from home and upon age ups. But as Russia is more than happy to starve an opponent out. Diarouga begins construction on a second blockhouse, right next to the first. If left unchecked, it will slowly squeeze the life out of Aizamk’s colony, like a python.

Aizamk Steps on Snek

Flitting back across the map, Aizamk cheekily picks up a 280 XP treasure by cleverly making use of his explorer’s splash damage. It will give him his next shipment almost immediately after his second one arrives. 4 Axe Riders storm through the plains, straight for the unfinished blockhouse. It goes down in a hurry. Diarouga, unfazed, goes right back to constructing it once the Sioux cavalry leave.

But Aizamk’s not done yet.

He returns with something of a mini-timing push. 7 War Clubs arrive from the home city, joining 5 trained ones as well as the Axe Riders. They overwhelm the small musketeer army Diarouga has made, destroy the unfinished blockhouse again and take down the already constructed one right after. A Trading Post goes down soon after, a lone, strangely hilarious teepee the only building left standing.

It is nothing short of a disaster of a start for Diarouga. Just six minutes into the game, he’s lost three blockhouses, a trading post, and control of the map. But he’s in the finals for a reason. He’s a great player and not one to panic over a rough start. He throws down defensive blockhouses and digs in for a longer match.

The Snek Bites Back

Happy with having taken out the immediate threat to his base and driven the Russians back home, Aizamk booms. He ships 5 villagers, then 700 coin, adds a second Trading Post, and begins his age up while harassing the Russian base with what remains of his early army. He does not notice the musketeer mass growing extremely fast. Barely two minutes after the disastrous fight at the blockhouses, he’s massed an army five times as large as Aizamk’s.

And it’s moving straight for his base.

Caught in the middle of aging, Aizamk can do little more than make sure his villagers run to the North to gather food unseen, and distract the Russians with his explorer. The War Hut goes down without a fight. Perhaps Diarouga doesn’t realize how much of an advantage he has. Maybe he senses a timing coming. (Aizamk’s certainly good at those.) After being caught being overly aggressive in game 3, perhaps Diarouga was just on edge. Whatever the reason, he withdraws despite being right on top of his opponent’s defenseless base.

The Final Blow

Soon after the retreat of the Russian army, Wakina Rifles and Rifle Riders arrive for Aizamk. I’m not sure if it would have been enough to repel the invasion entirely, but it certainly held the tech advantage. The skirm/goon combo on steroids is a nightmare for unupgraded Russian musketeers. He makes more and more rifle riders while Diarouga camps out in his base, trying to transition to Strelets and Cavalry Archers. Soon Aizamk goes full Yolo, and just slams his army into the Russian base, piecemeal.

So can we just take a second to appreciate the Rifle Rider? Just the sheer fact that it exists? That someone at Microsoft in 2006 sat down and brainstormed ideas for new units, and said “you know what sounds completely fair and balanced? A dragoon unit that also does triple damage to heavy infantry, six times damage to artillery, oh and I guess ships too while we’re at it?” And on top of all that, they fire like three times a second and can kite forever.

Despite the even numbers and the piecemeal way the Sioux army converges on the Russian town, the battle is laughably one-sided. The Russian army is mowed down in moments. The only thing sparing Diarouga outright defeat are his blockhouses, and the fact that someone stopped that Microsoft employee before he coded in a 63 siege damage on top of all the other absurd bonuses Rifle Riders get.

But it’s not like Diarouga still has a chance. Aizamk just hasn’t bothered to finish him off yet. Strelets/Cavalry Archers are the poor man’s Skirm/Goon, which are the poor man’s Wakina/Rifle Riders. His already struggling economy is dealt a massive blow by a sneaky raid Aizamk pulls off at a gold mine. A desperation effort to break out of his base is repulsed as Axe Riders and Dog Soldiers swarm the field, tipping the scales even further in Aizamk’s favor. Diarouga has no choice but to resign.


Now it is autumn and the drums of war beat again. The call echoes down the high plains and through the Painted Desert, through the Ozarks and over the frost-covered Hudson Bay. The Sioux await. Will you be the one to lead them to victory? Sign up for the Autumn Tournament and give them a shot! :biggrin:
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Hello everyone!

We're proud to announce our next grand Age of Empires III seasonal championship: the ESOC Autumn Tournament 2017! The sign-ups are open NOW! Just like last time, the tournament will be open to all players above the rank of PR15. This tournament will feature a prize pool of $1,100 and will have a few small deviations in the rules from the last tournament. You can read them HERE. If you have any questions, feel free to either post them in this thread or to PM the Media team. Enjoy & have fun! :smile:

Sign ups!

You can sign up by clicking the button below. Note that you have to be logged on.

NOTE: To combat players not showing up, signups are open for 2 weeks only. This way we hope less players forget about it.
The signups close Sunday the 30th of October 2017. The group stage starts right after.


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Note: Fake sign-ups may result in bans from ESOC or future tournaments.