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Poland pecelot
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20 Feb 2017, 00:31

OP! Bedankt voor the guide, GodSpeed!


**


India

It has to be said that India is probably the most well designed civ on TAD. They have multiple options when it comes to their age up wonders which is rare, they have a large number of different units all of which are viable in their own way, a lot of options when it comes to which cards to send, and they even have choices when it comes to their play style: they have strong builds for early aggression and strong builds for late game focus. With this many options, India is also without a doubt the hardest civ to figure out and play correctly each game. After all, the more choices you have the more likely you’ll make the wrong one.

It’s a shame that India has issues when it comes to balance. They are quite simply too strong. Sepoy are ridiculously cost effective. Seriously, what were they thinking there? They are cheaper than ashigaru and have +20 hp and +1 ranged damage as well as +5 melee damage (+10 against cav). Urumi are too strong (seriously, urumi are ridiculous). Mahouts are too strong. And, last but not least, 300 export is too strong.

Which brings me to the Indian meta. This is another civ that went through a big change over the past couple of years, a much bigger change than Germans in fact. Back on FP they were considered the worst civ, and rarely played. This, combined with their complexity and the strength of their 10/10 rush build on other patches, is probably why they have been played wrong for such a long time.

Near the end of the FP era, sending 300e early started to become the standard. This is no surprise, as this shipment gets you 4 vills from the Otto alliance followed by (admittedly delayed) 500 wood or 500 gold from the French alliance, or the other way around. Basically, it’s 4v + 500 resources in 1 shipment, and that’s excluding the temporary LOS bonus from Otto and 5% gathering bonus from France. It’s only after we stopped playing the 10/10 build, which due to various nerfs wasn’t really viable anymore, that we came to this realisation. It’s funny, because it seems like such a no-brainer now, which is the case for so many of these innovations.
Note that it is also viable to go for the French consulate first. Stronger if you need units early on or if you want to use 500g to age up with.

And then there’s the non-Agra 10/10. Agra is a very strong wonder, but on the more balanced maps the early map control it gives is less game-winning. For the record, people had been playing around with the Tower of victory for a while. As a way for India to be greedy instead of aggressive early, slow age ToV was played pretty often. However, there is such a thing as too slow and slow age ToV is just that. A seemingly logical (at least, now it seems logical) next step was going 10/10 ToV. The reason it took so long for this build to get found is because it’s counter intuitive: you’re going for an eco wonder but a no eco 10/10 start. As it turns out though, the much faster age up means your eco won’t actually be behind that much at all, and the earlier units (compared to slow age ToV) are very important. But actually, ToV isn't even viable...

Because there’s Karni Mata. It gives a 10% gathering bonus in a radius large enough that your entire early game eco gets a 10% buff, and it gives 500 resources. Where ToV gives 400w, Karni gives 200w, 200f and 100c. This is equal in value if not better than ToV, considering Indian vills have a 15% wood gathering bonus from the start. And the 10% buff is much stronger than inspiration. So why did people ever play ToV in the first place? I don’t really know, it’s probably the juicy 400 age up wood which when you think about it is actually not better at all than the 500 res Karni gives, but intuitively seems better.

So at this point in the meta we have 3 solid options: 10/10 Agra, 10/10 Karni and slow age Agra. Something was still missing though and of course, it was the TP.

The transition TP changed everything. Again. India scales very well with TPs because their boom is entirely shipment-based, and much like Germans they can semi-FF quite well with a TP but slowly without it.
Can India afford to build a TP during age up though, even if they 10/10? It seems like they wouldn’t be able to gather enough wood, but it turns out that they can, and should. This TP doesn’t only speed up any semi-FF or boom you had planned, it also gets you that first colonial shipment immediately upon hitting colonial if you 10/10’d, instead of having to wait for it because you lack XP. Notice how in my last guide I mentioned how much stronger India are on maps with herdables (cows/sheep/etc) because they generate XP. This early TP does the same thing, except it costs 200w. This is worth it, even if you’re going for a sepoy rush.

So what we end up with is basically a completely reworked India. For contrast, notice the difference between the builds for India in this guide and the previous 2, and see for yourself how much of a change they went through. Without a doubt the builds found here are significantly stronger.

Anyway.

India has the best late game scaling in the game. Their eco grows fast and keeps growing steadily, they don’t use a lot of food so it’s hard to starve them out, and their units are unmatched. They have a skirm in colonial, sepoy are insane, they are the only civ with ranged cavalry in colonial *cough* and their fortress unit composition is simply ridiculous. Mahouts, urumi and stomping monks trash the front and tank a gazillion hits while the Indian high damage infantry is firing from the back. Their units aren’t only strong individually, but they work together flawlessly as well. This means that you really don’t want to be facing India in a long game.

So can they be killed early? Not really.
They even have a strong rush of their own which can easily transition into an eco build or even an age up, they have a strong FF and although their semi-FF is somewhat slow, it’s quite hard to break due to their extremely strong fortress shipments. It’s hard to push into their base with the possibility of one of their 2 game changing shipments (urumi or mahouts) popping out any second, especially since you’ll want anticav against mahouts but you definitely don’t want anticav against urumi.
The best way to go about countering India would be either outbooming them and going for a 10-12 min timing, trying to contain them, or doing an early to mid fortress timing before they get both urumi and mahout out. Some civs succeed at this, but most civs don’t.

India’s preference is therefore to drag the game out as long as possible. This means investing in economy early on, and not dying to timings. This is achieved by sending 300e early, using 600g to age up and using 600w for a colonial build. Note that the big wood trickle is overrated. It’s basically a 4v shipment, which is no good especially as India because you really don’t need it. Perhaps against boom civs you’d want to go heavy on eco and send 300e then trickle, but in most cases you’re going to want to send resources instead. After all, the trickle takes about 7-8 minutes to catch up with 600w in value (for the math, see chapter “the ever evolving meta”) and as India, the important timings all hit you before then. You may be thinking “then why send small trickle over 300w?” and I had the same thought when I first started playing India.

However, as it turns out, 300w is an infinite shipment which means it doesn’t give you the +1 villager.
You’re going to want walls against most timings. The majority of them are holdable without walls, but why not make it even harder for them to push into you? Also try to make sure you have more skirms than them, it makes them push into your base which anyone with some sense hates to do against India.

As for India’s fortress age wonders, this is not a straightforward choice either. The Taj Mahal is great for a nice 800g boost and the ceasefire which is decent against early fortress timings, but the Charminar Gate is great as well due to the age up mahout and mansabdar units allowing you to build a hero gurkha and/or a hero sepoy for a solid buff to your infantry mass and a hero mahout to tank. It’s very hard to say which is stronger due to how hard they are to compare, but I personally would prefer the CG in most cases.
Of course, if you didn’t use Agra for colonial, there’s still the option to use it for fortress to snatch map control at a specific spot or improve your defensive position. Though if map control is not an issue (yet), CG and TM are definitely stronger.


The Indian build

Immediately, you’re making one of the most important decisions in the game. 10/10 or slow age Agra? Yes, if you slow age you should always go Agra, there isn’t a single match up where it’s worth it to go for an eco wonder and a 5 min age up, it’s simply too slow.
If you had 400 starting wood, you can slow age agra with a TP from starting wood. This will slow down your age up slightly but is worth it.
Without the early TP your eco won’t be that much better than with a 10/10 simply because your later age up slows down your entire build as well. In the vast majority of cases, 10/10 is advisable with 300w start. If you decide to slow age Agra, put 4 vills on the wonder.
(1) Distributivism (wood trickle)

Next, that is if you 10/10’d, you’re choosing what to age up with. Agra or Karni? This is a tough choice because Agra can be stronger even if you intend to do an eco build: after all, if you go 10/10 Agra they really have no way of knowing whether you’re rushing or not, and will have to blindly prepare for a rush. The Agra is also stronger against 7/8 minute timings in colonial (wall off the Agra in that case). With all long term colonial or (semi-)FF plans, go for the Karni. Mindgames are also possible with Karni though, since you can build a stable+rax forward and send 600g first, going for some scary pressure while they are assuming you’re playing passively.
Put no vills on the wonder.

No matter what you aged up with, during transition put all of your vills on wood except the herding vill if necessary. If you 10/10’d get the house up first obviously, start vill production and after 2 vills you should have enough for the TP. If 10/10 you should have the TP up by 3:50-4:00 which means you can take the middle one on GP (I haven’t tested this on other maps) and catch the cart relatively quickly, getting you that early colonial shipment. If slow age, take the TP in base.


The rush (10/10 Agra) 20%

To rush, your agra doesn’t have to be forward but it’s obviously better if it is. Whether to build it forward depends on your follow up plan, whether that’s keeping map control and starving them out in colonial or ageing up. Without good treasures you won’t get a batch of 5 sepoys out, and definitely not 5 gurkha, but you still can rush by shipping either 5 sepoy or 4 sowar first. This is a scary push and immediately gives you the initiative, making it a solid choice if you don’t feel like the adaptive, defensive India style (which is admittedly stronger).
(2) Unit shipment (5 sepoy or 4 sowar)

After the initial push, you have a variety of options.

If you decide to age up immediately:
(3) 600g (age up)
(4) Fortress shipment
This is a kind of surprise age up. Note that this neglects economy and may leave you vulnerable to timings if your opponent scouts it in time. Though if he finds himself surprised by your age up and stuck in colonial he’s definitely playing an uphill battle.

If you decide to go for a long term colonial build, you can choose to boom here. Completely halt your military production in that case and get the first 2 tiers of market upgrades except the 150-150-150 one (unless you feel like you can afford even that). Chop 200w for a consulate as well.
(3) 300e
(4) 600w (build a stable from this, or another rax if you want mass inf which can actually be pretty strong as India)

Or delay your boom in favour of more pressure (or more defence):
(3) 600w or (3) Second unit shipment
(4) Second unit shipment or (4) 600w

Of course you can send all these cards in any order depending on how many and which units you need, it’s pretty much impossible to describe when to do what since India is a civ that likes to scout and adapt rather than go for a predefined build. Possible follow up cards are 600g, cav attack (30%???), desert terror (the camel upgrade) and the big wood trickle.


The defensive Agra 40%

This build works pretty much the same way whether you 10/10’d or not. It’s meant to hold early rushes while still investing in economy, and possibly turn into a relatively safe (due to the Agra) (semi-)FF. It’s strong because it gives you multiple options while being safe against early pressure. The semi-FF variation is strong if your opponent isn’t pressuring you in colonial other than with a cav raid or 2. Note that if you end up semi-FFing with it, it was probably best to have gone for the slow age.

If you want to make it a semi-FF, build some sepoy or gurkha. Squeeze in that market at some point, if you’re scared of timings you can delay it until fortress.
(2) 300e or (2) 600g for a straight FF
(3) 600g (age up) or (3) 600w in case of straight FF
Another possibility is ageing up from 500g from French consulate. However this is only worth it if you want to send either trickle of a unit shipment instead of 600g for extra eco (trickle) or to hold a colonial timing (unit shipment). Usually it’s preferable to simply go for the Otto consulate and 4v first and use 600g to age. The trickle for extra eco is only worth it for the very long term, I’d shy away from it in almost all cases.

For a standard colonial start:
(2) 600w (market and consulate, possibly a stable already)
(3) 300e
(4) 600g (age up optional)


The Karni Mata build 40%

If you went for Karni Mata that means you 10/10’d. You’ll age up relatively quickly in comparison to other civs so you can usually afford to wait a bit before building a rax. In that case, squeeze in the market during transition and get all the upgrades except the second gold upgrade asap. Build a rax next.

(2) 600w (consulate, remaining market ups, possibly second military building)
(3) 300e
(4) 600g (age up optional)

This is the most boomy viable build you have as India, and it can really jump ahead fast if your opponent doesn’t pressure you. With good walling it should still hold any rush. It’s vulnerable to early fortress timings though, but in most cases India is up just in time themselves, or can fight their opponent’s fortress army in colonial. The latter can be tough, though, so I’d usually avoid this. Alternatively:

If you’re up against a likely semi-FF, you can choose to semi-FF a bit faster yourself in order to be somewhat less vulnerable to timings, meaning you skip the 600w. With this build, this means getting a rax up and making some defensive units against their potential cav and sending:
(2) 300e
(3) 600g (age up)
Starting 300e can be wise in any case simply because if you scout a semi-FF it’s easier for you to adapt into your own semi-FF rather than being stuck in colonial until 600g arrives. If you find yourself in the latter situation anyway, consider using the 300e for 500g from the French consulate and delaying 4v for a quicker age time. This isn’t always necessary.

Same as with Agra, FF is also an option although rarely because it leaves you vulnerable to early harassment and it neglects economy. However it can be decent against fast early fortress pushes, which you can effectively hold this way.
(2) 600g (age up)
(3) 600w (military building + consulate)

And for early aggression or improved defence (if up against strong rushes), skip the market and consulate until 600w and get 2 military buildings up in early colonial.
(2) 600g
(3) 600w (market & consulate)
(4) 300e
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No Flag umeu
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20 Feb 2017, 12:18

You can karni mata in a few mu's without 10/10, you can put 4 on wonder and age around 4.30 or you can put 0/1 on wonder and age around 5 min. if the map is solid, you can do this in almost any mu tbh. but if there isn't that many res in base, you're probably better of with the agra
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Netherlands Goodspeed
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20 Feb 2017, 14:10

Yeah slow age karni is definitely viable. Prefer transition TP over market, too.
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20 Feb 2017, 15:13

yah, can even tp + consulate tbh, and open 300xport. thats proper india play. Although, preferably, its a 400w start and you already have that tp! so you can cons + market in transition!
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Netherlands Goodspeed
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20 Feb 2017, 17:28

umeu wrote:yah, can even tp + consulate tbh, and open 300xport. thats proper india play. Although, preferably, its a 400w start and you already have that tp! so you can cons + market in transition!
Yeah I do that build whenever I can get away with it. French cons amirite?
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20 Feb 2017, 17:30

You send the card that makes all the cons techs cheaper?
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20 Feb 2017, 17:44

Goodspeed wrote:
umeu wrote:yah, can even tp + consulate tbh, and open 300xport. thats proper india play. Although, preferably, its a 400w start and you already have that tp! so you can cons + market in transition!
Yeah I do that build whenever I can get away with it. French cons amirite?


fre cons normally, otto cons vs agression
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20 Feb 2017, 17:44

gibson wrote:You send the card that makes all the cons techs cheaper?


only if you can get an early tp, otherwise u cant.
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India Ashvin
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20 Feb 2017, 18:43

umeu wrote:yah, can even tp + consulate tbh, and open 300xport. thats proper india play. Although, preferably, its a 400w start and you already have that tp! so you can cons + market in transition!

without any tc idle time?
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20 Feb 2017, 18:47

you have a little idle time when you build the first 200w building. it's not significant tho, at most you delay half a vil
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India Ashvin
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20 Feb 2017, 18:51

I always used to think doing 10/10 doesn't give you good eco in transition so you cant make market and do up or tp :hmm:
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20 Feb 2017, 18:56

we werent talking about 10/10 though. with 10/10 you can make a tp or a market or a consulate but not both. its also questionable if its worth it, tp is probably the others arent
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Japan EmoCelestia
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27 Feb 2017, 14:26

Couple things, India is my worst civ, but
1. Around how many villagers should i Have when im slow aging ( not 10.10 )
2. WHat buildings are built during transition from age 1 to age 2.
3. If going sepoy what should villager distrubution be once I hit age 2 ( how many should I leave on wood )
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United States of America Darwin_
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27 Feb 2017, 18:33

If TP in trans, better to do fre cons first. Also, defensive agra/karni should be placed by like 3:10 ideally, and should have 3-5 vills on them. 4 vill karni is better than 10/10 karni imo.

If you are doing any type of ff, be it semi or straight, agra is most of the time better option against civs that are semi-ffing.

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