The Ethiopia Early Monastery (the EEM)

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The Ethiopia Early Monastery (the EEM)

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Post by Squamiger »

The Ethiopia Early Monastery (the EEM)

UPDATED September 24th, 2022

now featuring a vid:

This is my attempt to make an Ethiopia opening that is strong and can set you up for good timings, but also gives you a decent economy that doesn't run out of steam. The secret is the Abun, and his home the monastery. I wanted to develop this because while standard Ethiopia play (Garja's build to mass dervishes in age 2) mostly works, sometimes it doesn't if your opponent turtles with light infantry and ages / booms. This build fills a gap by letting you age yourself for age 3 play with the mortar, or continue to age 4.

The strength of this build is that you get 3 abuns early on, which will gather influence for you and also coin. Though you are spending more cows early on than in other builds, in exchange you get abuns which will gather coin that you can use to quickly replenish your cow stock, plus lots of other things. Hausa gets cows from shipments, but Ethiopia gets cows from Abuns. It feels incomplete to play Ethiopians without getting the most out of Abuns in this way. A good EEMer will use early excess coin to train cows that will fatten into big beefy wood crates.

some recent updates: recently Ethiopia was nerfed a bit. Dervishes are not as strong and I believe both African civs now start with 1 less cow than they used to. I think the nerf to dervishes means that this build is even more relevant, since the overwhelming 700i 600i age 2 dervish rush is less powerful now, and Ethiopia is even more in need of some longer-term plans.

The Deck I Use:
eem.JPG
tl;dr card order: 2v/1abun -> 700w -> 700i ->8 Cannoneers or 700c

Age 1
1. As soon as 1 vill is in queue, start building your granary and herding. Buy 150w with a cow and get hunting dogs + 1 house. Really important you do this exactly on time or you will age slow. Also very important to keep all vills within the granary radius.
2. Send 2 vills / 1 abun. Hunt for coin treasures with your explorer-- if you can get 100c, you can train a cow which is a huge boost later on.
3. Here's the early monastery part: When the abun arrives, sell a cow for wood (need 150), and immediately build a mountain monastery with your Abun in base. Set it to 100% coin gathering (thanks to @Thrar for this idea).
4. Click up with 15 or 16 vills depending on food treasures with either the Sudanese or the Somalis. Both give you 400 influence, a native embassy wagon, and the option to make native units. Go Somalis against civs without muskets like Dutch or Germans, go Sudan vs musk/heavy infantry civs. Dervishes are really only a counter for heavy infantry these days.

Transition to 2
1. Your goal while transitioning is to gather 400 coin, 430 wood, and 150 food. This is possible because your Abun has already been gathering coin since mid-Age 1. The key is to gather 50f immediately for the wood upgrade, 100f next to queue a vill, and then switch all vills to gold and wood. Make sure your mountain monastery is on 100% coin gathering and keep your abun on it. Hunt for coin and wood treasures as well. It's ok if you can't get the full 400c before you age up. Your goal is to queue 2 abuns, but you can always queue 1 and then add the next one later.
-Spend 50 food on the wood gathering upgrade
-Spend 100 food queueing a villager
-Spend 100w on a house, you will get housed if you don't when you try to queue abuns.
Greed Variation: When you get 200w exchange rate in the market, sell a cow (this does not count toward the 200w you need to gather, thats extra) and drop a trading post with your explorer. Keep it on XP, you will have plenty of influence at least early on. Going for an early monastery AND a TP is the greediest way to play this. Note that it will use all your cows. So you will need to train new ones asap. Only do this if you don't need to rely on a cow shipment to get out early gascenya batches.
3. Right before you age, put a vill next to the TC idle, so it will auto-gather the influence. This will save you apm.
4. Also, right before you age, set your TC waypoint to where you want to make your native outpost, so it starts automatically going there. This will also save apm.

Age 2 - Eight Things at Once
1. When you hit age 2, you need to do 8 things at once. This can be the hardest part to get right since it all has to happen almost simultaneously. I would prioritize getting the war camp down and sending 700w first though. This is the 8-Fold Path and it will separate the EEMers from the Memers. The 8 things are:
-build your native embassy / walk it to where it's going, if you're going to fb
-build the second mountain monastery
-queue two Abuns at your first monastery, spending 300 of your 400 coin. Set gather point for mountain monastery to itself, so Abuns auto task. Set Mountain Monastery to 50/50% influence to gold.
-research the second hunting upgrade in the granary, with your remaining 100w and 100c
-send 700w as your 2nd card
-task a villager to gather the 400 influence on the floor. The one you left idle will start doing this anyways.
-build your war camp, either forward in base.
-task all your vills except the Abuns back onto food.
2. Queue a Gascenya with the remaining 30w, and a Dervish/Darood/Issa Warrior, depending on what you chose. 700w should arrive in time to help you finish the first batch of gascenya and the influence crates should be collected now for the first batch of nat units.
3. Send 700 influence as your 3rd card.
4. With your 700 influence, you can train a couple more native units
5. Keep making continuous Gascenya batches, sell your last cow for wood.
6. From your 3 abuns, you should have at least 100c to train another cow, or more. But keep them on 75% influence.

Decision Time
Now it's time to decide: will you pressure age 2 more, or defend and go to age 3?
-If you're going for an age 2 timing, make sure you save 500 influence and send 8 Portuguese Cannoneers as your 4th card. You should have the influence from the 3 abuns working at the monastery. This will give you a good timing between 7-8 minutes with a big gascenya mass, some nat units, and the cannoneers, which I prefer over the dervishes these days since they are much better vs light infantry, which will be your biggest problem.
-If you want to defend and age up, use that 500 influence to research Kebra Negast at the monastery for a fast ageup, and send 700c as your 4th card. Macro to age.
-Alternatively, you can send 700c as your 4th card and train shotel batches. Shotel feel really weak until you get on top of skirms/bows and pop them in cover mode, with cannoneers behind.

Transition to 3
1. Age with Habesha, focus on getting Kebra Negast tech if you haven't already. Fast age is worth 450 influence.
2. Train you the Red Sea wagons from the mountain monastery with 350 influence (from 3 abuns on the monastery, 75/25 split), which gives you 2 war camp builders. Make 2 war camps. Throw some vills on the monastery as well if you're having trouble getting 350 influence, it's a great deal for 2 war camps.
3. Consider macro, if you're going to keep with gascenya or switch to jav cav.
4. possibly train more abuns or train some cows, depending how things are going

Age 3
1. Gather 700c crates
2. Do Ethiopia things. Heal your mortar with abuns, etc etc. Ethiopia's big weakness is lots of light infantry and artillery, since our cav isn't great and getting culvs is a pain in the ass. Shotels are your friend. Oromo warriors are just too expensive for how they perform, imo. Shotels feel weak but like I said, if you micro them with cover mode they become pretty good I think.
3. The Habesha age up is good because in age 3 you can make TC or fort wagons for 400 influence.

So there you have it, an updated EEM, that I feel is more flexible than the last variation I wrote about. I think the biggest thing to figure out for me is whether to get an early monastery AND a tp, or whether that's too greedy.

Let me know what you think and if it works for you.
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by hidden_blaze »

Thanks for the write-up, looks like a solid build that leaves you some options in age3. I've got a question about sending big benny as your 3rd card, do you think it could be better to send 700g instead? It takes a couple more seconds to collect the crates but gives you more coin in total and also doesn't deteriorate your conversion rates at the market which could be useful for later trading.
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by Thrar »

Sounds cool, thank you.

The one thing I don't particularly like is that you have to double upgrade in early age 3, which is expensive and takes time. What do you think about gascenya/shotel or jav/oromo so you only need to research one? If you're still generating enough influence (or switch the monasteries), would neftenya/conq be an option?
Eventually you might need to get the second upgrade but I'm wondering if there's a way to take advantage of auto-upgraded foreign units and research only one upgrade early.
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by callentournies »

EEM?
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by callentournies »

WEEM
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

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Post by n0el »

@eagleeyesmaloney
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by Mitoe »

2. Task the two abuns you trained onto your mountain monastery
You can skip this step if you set the rally point of the MM to itself.
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by gibson »

I dont think EEM means what you think it means
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by gibson »

WEEM
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by Squamiger »

eeeeem
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by Squamiger »

Thrar wrote:
16 Apr 2022, 13:21
Sounds cool, thank you.

The one thing I don't particularly like is that you have to double upgrade in early age 3, which is expensive and takes time. What do you think about gascenya/shotel or jav/oromo so you only need to research one? If you're still generating enough influence (or switch the monasteries), would neftenya/conq be an option?
Eventually you might need to get the second upgrade but I'm wondering if there's a way to take advantage of auto-upgraded foreign units and research only one upgrade early.
yea, that's really up to you, this build is just designed to get you there. i think jav cav + dervish would be the way to go vs. conquistador + neftenya, bc conquistadors seem pretty expensive.
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM)

Post by Squamiger »

hidden_blaze wrote:
16 Apr 2022, 10:44
Thanks for the write-up, looks like a solid build that leaves you some options in age3. I've got a question about sending big benny as your 3rd card, do you think it could be better to send 700g instead? It takes a couple more seconds to collect the crates but gives you more coin in total and also doesn't deteriorate your conversion rates at the market which could be useful for later trading.
could be. I just like not needing to have another card slot in my age 2 deck. I can do this build with the same deck I use for Garja's age 2 build. Big Benny is also more flexible, it lets you decide in an instant whether you want to commit to the age up, or trade for wood and start making gascenyas in age 2 if you want
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery FF (the EEM), AKA the 8-Fold Path to Separate the EEMers from the Memers

Post by Squamiger »

I've just updated this build as an adaptation to the new changes to Ethiopia, and because I like 700w/700c better than big benny now. I think I've made the build more flexible and less vulnerable.
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery (the EEM), AKA the 8-Fold Path to Separate the EEMers from the Memers

Post by Le Hussard sur le toit »

Everything changes, but 700w first or second card in age 2 stay the same.
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Re: The Ethiopia Early Monastery (the EEM)

Post by Squamiger »

updated with a video

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