Boom or fast fortress (FF) refer to an economic boom, a strategy where the player focuses almost exclusively on their economy instead of investing resources for military purposes. It is commonly used to counter the Turtle strategy as a boom economy can very easily outperform a turtling economy in the late game. Due to their lack of focus on rapid military development, they are extremely susceptible to a rush. Booming is a late game strategy that is best used when a map makes it difficult to attack without higher tech units.
A booming player will typically have a weak military at first, investing the bare minimum in military in order to survive while powering economy as much as possible. A boom typically has a goal that, when reached, will start rapid military production in order to catch up to and eclipse opposing forces. This often coincides with a specific technology, unit availability, or threat level of opposing forces. A specific type of boom may sometimes be referred to by its resource type or the location of resources. Fish boom (maps with water, but only fish) and Water Boom (maps with water, fish and Whales) are common usages.
Age of Empires II Edit
The most important aspect of booming is Villager count, which is derived from Town Center production and food availability. Since, in all but the most unusual cases, food availability is a constant for any competent player, the most important factor is Town Center production time. The player is limited to one Town Center until the Castle Age, meaning that getting to Castle Age with the resources to build extra Town Centers and maintain Villager production is key to a strong boom. Typically, this means using starting 200 stone to build two additional Town Centers immediately on hitting Castle Age, after having tuned economy to have sufficient wood and food to maintain Villager and Farm production. The booming phase ends when sufficient additional Villagers are produced to start military production without cutting Villagers, and the boom is successful once the game-state stabilizes with the booming player having a larger economy.
Boom strategies actually take longer to get to the Feudal Age, but then reach the Castle Age almost immediately after, stopping only long enough to build prerequisite Feudal Age buildings. Imperial Age is optional, usually being completed early if against an opposing boom strategy. Against more aggressive opponents, its common to stay in Castle Age for much longer in order to stabilize the game-state.
Age of Empires III Edit
The primary goal is almost always to Fast Fortress in order to train or send artillery and advanced cavalry units from the Home City. In Treaty games however it is almost always the option of choice as most armies are not trained until the timer is close to expiring (especially when using train time reduction cards).
Preferred civilizations Edit
- Palmyrans - Despite the expensive cost of Villagers, they work 25% faster and have +1 armor to both melee and ranged attacks.
- Assyrians - The fast villager speed makes them collect and gather resources much faster than other civilizations in early games.
- Romans - While lacking direct bonuses to Villagers, they have 15% cheaper buildings, including Farms, allowing them to save resources.
- Shang - Shang civilization can produce Villagers at a cheaper cost per unit, 40 food instead of the usual 50. This gives them an edge in resource collecting in the beginning of the game.
- Yamato - Similarly to the Assyrians' case, Villagers have +10% speed, allowing them to collect resources faster than other civilizations.
- Britons - Cheaper Town Centers and faster herding makes for a quick and reliable boom. Having additional archer range in the later ages is a good military output to a large economy with advanced technology.
- Chinese - Starting off with extra villagers means that potentially more resources can be gathered, despite losing out on both food and wood initially. For more experienced players, this means that one ultimately has more control over their villagers in the early game and can siphon food quickly and then shift some of them over to wood. Their Farm bonus allows for some very efficient farms up until the Imperial Age, saving wood. Moreover, they save 5% more resources on technology upgrades every age. Of all civilizations able to Boom, the Chinese probably have the most options for their units which benefit from the technology discount as well. Their Town Centers provide +5 population and a greater line of sight which helps to find resources quickly and gives the player more visibility.
- Goths - While Goths lack solid economy bonuses to improve the speed of their boom, Goths in the Castle and Imperial Age with large economies are among the most difficult civilizations to stop. The accepted practice is to never allow goths time to boom, or the game is already lost.
- Malay - While lacking in land-based economy bonuses and having a weak Imperial Age, the Malay can still abuse their Age advancement. Yet, on water maps, they truly excel at booming; cheap Fishing Ships and Fish Traps (that provide unlimited food), combined with quick Age advancement, allow them to accumulate and save much food and wood and flood foes at later ages with cheap units, such as Karambit Warrior and Malay Battle Elephants.
- Malians - Lower wood cost on buildings (except Farms), free Gold Mining and rapidly researched University upgrades provide much boom potential. Similarly to the Goths, they have to boom up to later Ages, in order to abuse their flexible advantages, namely their arrow-resistant infantry, anti-infantry units and strong cavalry.
- Mayans - Longer lasting resources extend the effect of the early game food sources that are collected more quickly, making for a reliable boom. Cheaper archers and higher HP Eagle Warriors are a powerful military output to a large economy.
- Persians - Faster Town Center and Dock work rate gives more villagers earlier, starting in Feudal Age, but increasing in effect in Castle Age and Imperial Age. This also means less time aging up, meaning Castle is reached slightly faster.
- Cumans - The ability to build an additional Town Center in the Feudal Age gives the Cumans a considerable head start compared to other civilizations when building up a large economy.
Major gods Edit
The following major gods in Age of Mythology are well suited to a booming strategy. A god can be considered "boom"-based if she or he provides at least three economic bonuses (including god powers and technologies)
- Ra - Pharaoh empowering yields +5% bonus resources, Priests can empower buildings, Monuments are 25% cheaper and have 20% more HP, Rain, Skin of the Rhino
- Isis - Flood of the Nile, all technologies cost 10% less, Town Centers provide +3 population, Prosperity, Obelisks cost 33% less, Monuments block the use of enemy god powers in the surrounding area
- Gaia - Economic Guild technologies are 30% cheaper, Caravans and Fishing Ships cost less and have +25% HP, Gaia Forest, Channels, all buildings create special Lush terrain around them on which enemies cannot build and which blocks the use of enemy god powers, buildings regenerate HP
- Thor - Pig Sticker, Armory technologies are cheaper, Dwarves are more effective gatherers and cheaper, Dwarven Mine
- Nü Wa - Markets can be built in the Classical Age, Gardens provide +1 population and generate favor 20% faster, Recreation, Acupuncture
- Fu Xi - Domestication, buildings cost 20% less wood, unit line upgrades 20% cheaper, Year of the Goat, faster build rate through Blessed Construction
- Shennong - Wheelbarrow, wall upgrades are 50% cheaper, Timber Harvest
Minor gods Edit
These minor gods also provide advantages in booming:
- British - A popular civilization to use through a strategy known as the Housing Boom, focusing on rapid settler creation with their bonus of a free settler every time a Manor is built.
- Dutch - Their weak start is compensated with their ability to construct banks providing a large economic boost if harnessed correctly. On maps with whales, a Dutch player who monopolizes them can have unprecedented levels of gold.
- French - With the help of Coureurs, the French can easily acquire resources far faster than other civilizations.
- Russians - Settlers train in blocks of three. Their barracks and outpost are combined in blockhouses.
- Germans - The production of Settler Wagons along with normal Settlers allows the Germans to have a very strong economy.
- Japanese - A very strong fish and water boom civilization.
- Ottomans - Settlers train automatically without any cost.
- Portuguese - Covered wagons spawn whenever an age is advanced.
- Sioux - They don't need to build houses, so the time otherwise used to focus on population can be diverted to focus on economics.