The Minoans are best used offensively but depending on the map type, a defensive position may be more effective, especially before the Bronze Age. The Minoans are primarily a Bronze Age civilization and their military might kicks in around that time so it is crucial the player utilizes their increased Food output from Farms as much as possible.
The Minoans start out normally like the other civilizations during the Stone Age. However, as the Tool Age sets in, the Minoans can yield more food per farm than other civilizations with the exception of the Sumerians. This economic bonus may not seem significant but reduces the amount of time and wood needed to replace each farm. Until the Bronze Age is reached, Turtling is advised at the start of the game. The Minoans can begin to flex their muscles once they are able to develop War Galleys and Composite Bowman. This combination of ranged units is best used during the Bronze Age and will guarantee a true military victory depending on the type of map chosen for each game. Be careful though, as the Iron Age comes into the picture, the Minoans may become overwhelmed since they lack the ability to develop elephants of any sort and elite cavalry, although they have the Academy's Centurion and fully upgradeable siege weapons, as well as everything available from the Storage Pit, Government Center, and Market. However, they lack the ability to upgrade their Towers beyond the Sentry Tower upgrade and cannot upgrade their walls to Fortified Walls either. This will certainly change the tide of war but to prevent this from happening, a rush is advised as soon as the player reaches the Bronze Age, and the best way the Minoan player can put pressure on the enemies is via mass production of the relatively inexpensive Composite Bowman, as their additional range thanks to the Minoan civilization bonus is unparalleled. Similarly, the Minoan player is advised to build several Docks in order to dominate on sea thanks to the reduced cost of warships.
When the AI controls this civilization in random maps, the Minoans will train Bowmen in the Tool Age. Upon reaching the Bronze Age, they will attempt to quickly upgrade to Composite Bowman and mass these archers alongside smaller numbers of Camel Riders and siege weapons, plus the odd Cavalry unit. Alternatively, they may train swordsmen instead, though this is much more uncommon. In deathmatches, the computer will put extra emphasis on Helepolis production in addition to Composite Bowmen spam.
Strengths and Weaknesses