“Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense.”—Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Rush refers to a military strategy emphasizing rapid build-up as early as possible.
To implement this strategy, the player should focus almost exclusively on building troops to harass the enemy economy in the shortest possible amount of time. However, in order to build these troops some basic economic build up is required. It is commonly used to counter the boom strategy or the turtle strategy if the enemy is unable to get their towers and walls up in time although it should be noted that a successful turtle can easily repel rushes. Another variation of the rush strategy is Blitzkrieg, which is a far deadlier version and is more effective than other rushing techniques but is more costly.
A rushing player will typically have a weak economy in favor of a strong military, ideally most rushes are executed within the first seven minutes of gameplay (even less versus human opponents). The longer a match draws on without the rush inflicting significant damage, the more likely it is that a rushing player will not be able to seize victory due to their slower economy.
Age of Empires Edit
Some civilizations boast certain bonuses that allow them to perform better as early Rushers, at land or water. They typically include discounts on individual unit lines and/or economic or military bonuses that kick in from the Stone or Tool Age:
- Assyrians (+10% faster Villagers, +25% Archery Range fire rate)
- Minoans (+25% Farm production, -30% Ship cost)
- Palmyrans (Villagers cost 50% more, work 25% faster and have more armor, note: this can be a double-edged sword in rushing)
- Shang (Villagers 20% cheaper)
- Yamato (+10% faster Villagers, -25% Cavalry/Horse Archer cost)
Of course, other civilizations can also execute rushes, in various stages of the game, depending on their individual strengths; the Choson and Egyptians, for example, can try a tactic not unlike the Age of Empires II smush (Saracen Monk Rush), by abusing their Priests' strengths, namely the 30% discount and the extra 3 range.
Age of Empires II Edit
An effective rush requires rapid economic growth in the beginning of the game then focusing on the military. Gathering resources quickly allows for military units to be created early on.
Depending on when each civilization's economical bonuses start to shine, there are different types of rushing that allow individual civilizations to use their advantages:
- In the Dark Age, Militia are the only military units available but should be created in order to create the basis for an army in later Ages. A Militia raid in the Dark Age is known as a drush (Dark Age rush). Civilizations that can perform this kind of rush better than others include: Aztecs, Celts, Goths, Huns, and Incas.
- In the Feudal Age, (flush) more units are available and can begin harassing or killing enemy Villagers to disrupt their economy. For rushing, the focus should be on cheaper units so greater numbers can be created to overwhelm the enemy. Variations of the rush in the Feudal Age, largely depending on each faction's focus, include: Tower rush (attack with Villagers and Watch Towers), Scout rush, infantry rush, Archer rush. An example, the Ethiopians, a civilization highly vulnerable to drushes, can put their free Pikeman upgrade, Age-up resource bonus and extra rate-of-fire for Archers into good use and launch early flushes of said units. Likewise, the Burmese can abuse their boosted infantrymen and their free Lumber Camp upgrades to flush enemies with Militia or even Archers (who fall flat late game for them).
- In the Castle Age, siege weapons become available as well as powerful upgrades and new units. This allows for the siege of enemy towns and the building of Castles, which if built near an enemy town can disrupt them even more by preventing Villagers from moving out to gather resources as well as allowing for the creation of a constant flow of units to attack the enemy (this tactic is known as a Castle drop). A Saracen rush version is a Castle Age rush of Monks due to their refund after death. This is known as a smush (Saracen Monk rush). Another popular Castle Age rush tactic is a Knight rush. Being able to slaughter most units and having little effective counters, they can dominate in the early Castle Age, until of course their counter units, unique units, and siege units come into play. Two examples of civilizations that can utilize a Knight rush are the Berbers (thanks to their cheaper Stable units) and the Franks (especially with Chivalry-boosted Stables).
- On maps like Archipelago and Islands, players can perform a pure Galley and Galleon rush (known as the grush), while the counter to a gush is a Fire Ship rush, a fire rush. If a player decides to grush or fire rush, it is recommended to target all Docks before moving to attack inland. When gushing or fire rushing, the players should bring some Archers in Transports to land after softening defenses. Civilizations that excel in such tactics are mainly the ones with great naval bonuses and preferably a strong economy to back up their navy. These include the Berbers, Byzantines (concerning the fire rush), Malay, Saracens, and Vikings. The Vikings and Malay in particular have a great naval economy, allowing them to save considerable amounts of wood, and rush with greater masses of ships.
The following list shows civilizations with great rush capability:
Age of Mythology Edit
Major gods Edit
The following major gods are well suited for a rushing strategy:
Minor gods Edit
The following minor gods are well suited for a rushing strategy:
- Leto (Kronos)
Age of Empires III Edit
A good rush deck typically consists of the basic villager cards and Discovery Age resource cards while possessing a heavy number of troop shipments and troop upgrade cards in the Colonial Age with little focus on economic cards. The Spanish are considered a strong Rush civilization due to their fast Home City shipments. The Russians are also good, as the Oprichnik is good at destroying buildings and crippling the enemy’s economy by killing enemy settlers. The Germans are also quite good at rushing, because they receive Uhlans with most Home City shipments, which have a high attack, but low hit points.
One of the best rushing civilizations in Age of Empires III are the Sioux. Not requiring houses, they can divert time and resources to build and upgrade their cavalry-dominated army, consisting at the early game from Bow and Axe Riders, and later, cavalry such as the Rifle Rider, among the best in the game.
All rushes concentrate solely on military and all abandon the economy to some degree. This makes it a severe annoyance when the first wave of rush troops fails and the player has to produce another (often weaker) wave. One way to prevent this is to send in the Colonial Age shipment of two Surgeons. Have them build a Field Hospital about halfway between the player and their enemies. The player can then bring their enemies down using a series of tiny, powerful thrusts employing the same set of troops. This can be achieved by pulling the player's troops back to the Field Hospital after each small attack, bringing them back to full health and making them ready for the next attack.
This strategy can be difficult to pull off, seeing as each attack must be very short to keep the player from losing to many troops that are then unhealable.
Galleon rush Edit
This type of rush focuses on crossing water quickly to establish a foothold on the enemy beaches. It is available to any civilization capable of aging up to the Colonial Age with The Governor and sending a galleon soon afterward. Essentially the player uses the galleon to transport the Outpost Wagon to enemy shores, have it begin building while the galleon starts training units. The outpost can then serve as the home city drop off point for troop shipments and reinforce the galleon if the enemy pushes the rush force back to the beaches.
The Spanish perform the strategy very well due to their faster home city shipments. With practice the strategy will easily overwhelm AI opponents in the game.