I will be writing a very basic write-up for the Indian Sepoy Rush. This is aimed towards newer players than myself and is not meant to be advanced. I would like to thank @Mitoe for basically telling me how this build works.
First off, here is the deck-list which I'm using. You'll notice that it's a bad deck, nonetheless it's still good enough for what we're doing with India: rushing with Sepoy.
There are, afaik, three ways to rush with Sepoy. The first way is the classic 10/10, which I don't personally like and won't cover in this guide. The third way is to consulate rush, which gives your already amazing Sepoy 10% more HP. I won't cover that here because I don't even know how to do it. But it's supposed to be really good.
This version is the classic Indian version, aging with 14+ villagers w/ Agra, getting out a batch of Sepoy and attacking.
Let's go over the basic build:
1st shipment: Distributivism (wood trickle)
- Regardless of crate start, build a house and send most villagers to wood right off the bat. Don't gather coin to save time.
- Begin shooting animals towards your TC, ideally you want them dead right underneath the TC so as to reduce villager walk time.
- Allocation of villagers is the tricky part about playing India, especially in Age 1. What I do is try to gather enough wood so that there's always 1 villager in queue. My rule of thumb: it takes 1 villager 25 seconds to train. It takes 7 villagers 25s to gather 100w. With wood trickle, it takes 5 villagers 25s to gather 100w. If you have 0-10w in stock after you queue up a new villager, then you can task either 5 or 7 villagers on wood to get 100w for the next one. Wood treasures help a lot here. If you get a good one, you can take some vills off wood and task them to food to age up sooner. Don't take my word for it, go out there and practice India's age 1 until you get the hang of it.
- Make sure you always have a villager in queue. This may be a rush, however it's not an all-in. There's a follow-up which we'll go over later.
Age with Agra
- You want to place the Agra Fort down at ~3:10. Remember that you need the villager to start the wonder to start aging.
- The other guy may try to block your Agra placement with Discovery units (explorers, dogs, scouts, natives, etc.). Be aware if he has units in Age 1 and send another villager separated from the initial villager to place down the Agra somewhere else if you get blocked at your initial location. Though not ideal, it's better to age on time with Agra in your back-up spot than age-up late with Agra where you initially wanted it. Try to place Agra close to your opponent, on top of resources or in chokes.
- The wonder takes 2 minutes to build.
- The first 4 villagers tasked to building the wonder take 10s off your age-up time. The next 4 villagers take 5s off your age-up time.
- Depending on how you feel, task 1 to 3 villagers on the wonder is my recommendation.
- After you start aging, put most villagers back on wood (~8), maintain villager production. Your goal is to build 2 houses to get to /40 pop. Your second house may be built after you've shipped Sepoy.
- Place 2 to 3 villagers on coin (depending on your starting coin), place the rest of the villagers on food. Your goal is to make a full batch of 5 Sepoy, which is 450f and 150c.
- Bring your elephants back to Agra and have them heal themselves up to full health. They'll be participating in the rush. If you want one monk healed first, select the monk you want healed and click left and right so that he's not idle. The other monk should automatically start healing the non-idle monk.
2nd Shipment: 5 Sepoy
- As soon as you're up, send 5 Sepoy and queue your first Sepoy. Seconds matter. Bring the 2 age-up Sepoy to the Agra.
- My rule of thumb is that as soon as you've sent a shipment, set your shipment point on the map. Develop the habit of automatically setting the shipment point when you send any shipment so they come where you want them to. In our case, as soon as you send the 5 Sepoy shipment, go to Agra and set the shipment point there. Remember that a villager will come with the shipment.
- As soon as you have all 12 Sepoy, make a bee-line to your opponents TC.
- The reason this build works at all is because Sepoy have so much HP. They die in 3 TC shots as opposed to 2 compared to most other Musk-type units. This means more idle time.
- When attacking, you're looking to accomplish the following things:
- Kill villagers,
- Force idle time,
- Destroy exposed buildings (houses which are not protected),
- Force minute-men or unit shipments, without losing Sepoy yourself,
Behind the scenes during attack:
- This isn't an all-in, so while you're attacking, you need to be working on your follow-up. Build a market and start working on market upgrades as you're sending off your 12 Sepoy. Continue villager production and housing. You can also squeeze in some extra Sepoy here and there to keep up the pressure, but I feel like market upgrades are more important.
- A basic way of assuring follow-up is by sending 600 wood and then 300 Export. Get the Ottoman consulate and the 4 villagers, then switch to Brits asap. Also throw down a Caravanserei or a second Barracks to be able to pump out units. Foreign Logging is also a good shipment if I'm not mistaken. Adjust your unit composition according to what you see. Gurhka are very good units, Sowar and Zambs are also nice once you've sent the upgrade cards, which are Desert Terror and Camel Attack. You always want the upgrade cards on the camels if you're going to be using them. Generally though, Sepoy are such a strong unit that they dominate the Colonial scene. Making Sepoy the core unit of your composition should generally be beneficial, as they trade well against pretty much every unit except for strong ranged infantry (Yumi, Skirms, etc.). Throw in some Sowar if you feel the need.
- I have heard good things about Dravidian Martial Arts as well.
- Your Agra gives you map control. Be aggressive and harass your opponent, but your goal is starve him out and win with India's late colonial strength. Don't over-commit into his base, it's a great way to lose a game you're winning. Get a strong mass of units, or hop to Fortress where you have many other excellent units to work with.
Dealing with FFs/semi-FFs and then Falconets:
- Generally your rush will not be able to prevent some civs, for instance France, from aging to Fortress and getting out Falconets. These are very strong units against India in colonial age. If the French player is good then they give him a realistic shot at taking the game from you. I'm not sure that India is fast-enough to age themselves and then get out Siege Elephants, so my strategy (up for discussion, absolutely) is to stay in Colonial and get out a strong mass of Sowar. The only good answer France has to a large mass of Sowar is an equally good mass of Dragoons. Sepoy and Gurhka both trade efficiently against Dragoons, so what we're looking for is a Sepoy/Gurhka/Sowar composition. When Falconets come out, the idea is to swamp his entire army with strong Indian units. Flanking the Falcs is what we're looking for. Sepoy and Gurhka should be staggered so that Falconets trade less efficiently. France generally like to follow-up with Skirmishers and Cuirassiers, however try to get a larger mass of Gurhka on the field and Zambs deal with Cuirs surprisingly well. At this stage I think Sepoy fall off, though to their credit they also deal with Cuirs quite nicely. They're terrible against Skirms.
- As far as Spain is concerned, I'm not so sure. They're faster than France so it's difficult to get out a large mass of units in time. They also have access to Lancers and a gazillion pikes. However Sepoy should be able to do a lot of damage on their way up. I believe Otto FFs should play out similarly to Spain's, though apparently Otto are supposed to rush you. Scout accordingly.
- Against Germany, I believe that lots of Sepoy may work out during transition (both to defend vs raids and harass the German player). Getting out some Zambs and Sowar to deal with Uhlans and Skirms seems good to me on paper, but unfortunately I just haven't played enough German players doing semis to talk from my own experience.
- For China, if you're looking for ideas then read this thread: viewtopic.php?f=228&t=9754
- Some may argue that India should have done their own semi-FF in some match-ups, however this guide pertains to the Sepoy rush so this is the scenario we're dealing with. This game is quite deep so you shouldn't be able to realistically expect to win everything using just this one build. India has other options which may be better in other situations or match-ups.
- Regarding civilizations like Japan and Brits, which are slow, I believe this is where this build really shines. You can pressure them more easily, you can contain them well and your Sepoy will prevent them from booming comfortably. Pretty nice.
Match-ups where you're rushing defensively:
- Afaik, when playing against Iroquois, Aztec or Russians, you're the one being defensive. Otto may also be aggressive, so scout if he has a FB or something (checking their deck may also help). Agra in base with some walling here and there, some defensive Gurhka/Sepoy and you should be all right. Basically I'm just telling you not to build forward, in these match-ups you're the one playing defensively.
Replays & VODs:
To top things off, here are a bunch of replays (all RE) of games with the Sepoy Rush.