Seriously though, the tower rush is a strategy that you almost never see on tad, but can work in some cases. The reasons why it was popular on nilla and isn't on tad : you used to have a 9 bows shipment, bows were better (+2 attack and no multiplier vs cav, just slightly weaker vs HI but still), and TPs cost 250w which means it would slightly slow down a semi FF.
I adapted this strategy to tad meta (greedier builds and TP meta), because I wasn't satisfied with the nilla all-in no market no TP tower rush. It turns out that you can have a really decent eco when you tower rush, if you do it properly.
Let's cut the bs and talk about the build. I'm gonna explain a bit how it works in age 1 because a lot of people always seem to do the wrong stuff as ger. I put that part into spoilers as I realized that it is in fact pretty long (because I'm never able to explain things shortly), so feel free to jump to the next part of the build if you're comfortable with german age 1 macro. Though it is an extremely important part of the game, and can be a game-decider.
Transition to colonial
You of course clicked age up with the 400w politician. Then you have two possibilities :
- If you built an early market : keep your villagers on food, and get gang saw, then put most of your villagers to wood.
- If you didn't, then directly switch your vils to wood and build one. Then get the wood upgrade, and if you have some coin banked from treasures, also get hunt dogs. If you don't have the coin though, don't do it just now because you will probs be late to build the forward tower.
So now, as it is a tower rush, you obviously have to build a tower. Place it as close to enemy base as you can ; try to place it on a hunt, or at least on a gold mine (if you can find a spot with both those resources then it's ideal).
Important : don't try hard to get your tower up before you hit colonial ! It's not important. Even if your tower is less than halfway up when you hit colonial, you just stop building it and place barracks asap (because you want to start producing units asap) while shipping 8 bows upon age up. Then, once the barracks done, you can finish your tower and set the rally point to it, and it should be np.
This is the reason why you can actually build a market and get upgrades before tower, just like you do as russia when you don't hard rush.
So basically, you want to have a market up either way (don't get a TP though, it's too expansive). Obviously if you already had market in age 1, you will save some resources, which means you can rush harder. Either way, just before you age up, split all settlers on food and all SWs on wood. New vils will go to food or wood depending on what you need.
So here, you ship 8 bows, and sometimes you will have enough wood to directly build your barracks (which means faster rush), but if you had to build a market then you might not ; in this case first use a SW on 400w to get rax up. Then you need to build 2 houses really fast, to start producing in your rax. You need to scout if your opponent has a stable or a barracks up ; if he has a barracks then you can get a batch of 5 bows out (even though sometimes even when it's a rax you want to make pikes for siege power, mostly against slow civs), otherwise just make 5 pikes. Push when you get your military at fb, try to snipe vils with bows/uhlans and siege stuff with your pikes. Don't get too close to tc because of the minutemen threat.
- If you already have a TP (200w start), put some vils or SW on gold to get steel traps (can also do it before age up if you're confident).
- If you don't, then use some of the 400w age up to build one.
You can afford to do this while getting a batch of 5 bows/pikes, which is the most important part of the rush. It will just weaken a bit the next batch, but it's worth it.
Keep training vils, army, and building houses, and pressuring. If you didn't get steel traps after age up because you had to get a TP, put some vils on coin at some point when you feel safe, and get it.
Ship 3 SW next, you really don't want to skip that card, unless your opponent is already sieging under your tower in which case you will ship 3 dops in his face (but if he's already sieging your fb so early in the game then you really got a problem...).
Pro tip : ship them at your tower. That way, you will both have the 2 free uhlans faster (they can save your ass sometimes) and 3 SW next to your tower, to tank if needed. With the vil hp market in upgrade (that you should btw research at some point in the game), your 4 SWs will be worth a bit more than 2300 hp of tanking at range. It is absolutely huge. If you get pushed for example, you can garrison them in the tower, and then pop them out once your opponent is close to your tower, and use them for tanking/fighting a bit, and with good micro hide back the low hp SWs in the tower. It is really important. But it's of course a gamble, because if you lose your fb you might lose those SWs, but most of the time I still manage to escape them even in that situation.
Now you can basically do whatever you want, the most important part of the tower rush was done. However, I think the 2 best options that you have are as follows :
- 700w / 700g / 3 dops : this is what I do most of the time, it's a timing push with 3 dops. Basically when 700w comes on the floor, you remove all vils from wood and put them to food/gold (most of them on gold). From the wood crates you get a stable up and like another batch of 5 bows and 3 houses. Might need 1-2 more houses later for the 3 dops timing but you can buy/chop some wood. Start producing cav and dops, and when 700g comes on the floor you should be able to get big batches of those, which is the point of this build. Try to spend all your resources as efficiently as possible, and then push when 3 dops come in your tower. This should really surprise your opponent because it's a very smooth transition from what seems to be a hard rush, with bow/pikes, into a large mass of dop/cav with bows behind. Most people expect you to just keep on making bow/pike and later on add a stable, so the early bow/dop/cav thing should work pretty good, at least it did for me. Oh and it also seems like this timing is more or less the one when your opponent runs out of food on qs maps, which means he's going to try to push your fb and your 3 dops in tower will be golden (this happens like half my games when I tower rush).
Note : On some maps and in some match ups, you can also get some more TPs and stagecoach using 700w. For this you cut the 5 bows and build the stable a bit later, when you get a wood income from your TPs. It might be too greedy most of the time though.
- 700w / 700g into age up : Well here you basically just want to age up. You could skip 700w but I don't like it, because it means you don't have a stable up (which sucks even more when you know you will probs lose your fb when you age up, then you have no military building left), and you will need to chop obscene amounts of wood for houses. This is not the option I prefer, it's more or less a gamble that I do when I'm losing. It might work because your opponent will "waste" his time burning down your fb, so you should be able to mass a bit in your base and get a military shipment like 8 skirms to hold. But then you let your opponent get mapcontrol while you age, and possibly age himself or mass enough units to punish you. After all you invested in early 8 bows, a tower and a rax, so aging up kind of means that you waste all this. But it's still an option in some match ups, on some maps, if you feel like you're not going to hold your fb in colonial age anyway.
Note : Stagecoach boom from 700w in this case would definitely be too greedy, and would just mean that you give a free stagecoach line to your opponent. And even if you can afford it, it basically means you already won the game anyway, so it doesn't matter.
If the game goes longer, well up to you, you can ship 2 SW / upgrades / more crates in colonial (or age up in late colonial if your timing did enough damage, but usually at this point your opponent will be out of food so it's probs more efficient to just stay colonial and win), and first military units in fortress then 1000w / upgrades. Just adaptation here, changes every game.
Note : if you play on a no TP map (which tbh happens a lot when you tower rush, because on TP maps you might rather want to go for the standard (semi-)ff builds), you will just make a market instead of a TP on 200w start (first mine 50g then chop 50w with 3 SWs or use treasures, use new settlers to herd). And you will always get steel traps in early colonial, instead of the TP from 400w age up. You also might want to cut 700g and directly ship 3 dops, otherwise your timing could be too slow/you could get pushed when you have 700g and not 3 dops. Last thing, Aging up with 700g is not really an option on no TP map, because it will be slow and you probably won't have a shipment ready in fortress to hold the push.
In which match ups can you use this build ? Don't do it against rush civs : otto, azzy, iro, russia, india. It's also pretty bad in german mirror because your opponent can just mirror your build without paying for the tower, and have defender's advantage, and snowball it into a win ; or even simply go dop/cav (+ 8 bows) and shit on your army. It's also not very good against spain because they hit fortress too fast and defend this kind of rush easily with tower + dogs + mm + pike pop and huss age up etc... And same against portuguese because of double towncenter, possibly even double CM shitting on you.
The one civ against which it works best is japan, for obvious reasons.
Against other civs that I didn't mention, you can do this build, especially on no tp maps.
That's all about tower rush, I hope I was clear and didn't write too much, and feel free to ask me anything about this build and I'll try to answer. If you want an autograph, it's only $10 and I write it on ANY part of your body