Fast Bronzing in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition

This is a strategy that comes handy in closed maps like Inland or Highland, expecially if you are pocket (being pocket means you are in the "safest position" on the map between your team.)

Usually the time to fast bronze in considered in "game time" and you want to look at the time you click the bronze age, not the time you actually reach it. Game time can be displayed by pressing F11 in game.

Build Orders

There are no standard build orders like in AOE2:DE, at least in my opinion. This is because AOE1:DE is much more "random" so to say. Your berries could be in a very bad position, you might not have elephants near you, you might not have staggler trees near your town center.

This is why I will now tell you what I "usually" do, but this depends a lot on the map and on the civ of course. I will consider a standard civ like Sumerians. If you consider Romans, they have cheaper buldings, while Minoans have cheaper ships, and so on.

General recommendations:

  • If your hunting/fishing food is too far, go with a granary on berries instead, otherwise you might need too much time to have a steady food income.
  • Do not build too many storage pits or houses. Houses are good to wall off but, let's say, if you have 24 vills and 48 population slots total, maybe you built too many houses. Depends on the game and map of course.
  • If you can, pull elephants and push gazelles to TC/Storage pit instead of building a new storage pit, so you can save some wood
  • Remember that to click up to Tool you need two different buildings like Granary + Storage pit, so if you start with a Storage, remember to build a Granary or you can't click up.

Mixed closed maps

Highland, Hill Country, Inland

Recommended: 21-24 vills (+2 in Tool)

  • 1st and 2nd vills build a house, when house is 50%+ one of the vills goes exploring or to berries. When the house is done, both go to berries.
  • 3rd vill goes exploring and then to berries as soon as you find them (build Granary).
  • 4th + 5th vill go to berries. If berries are in a bad spot and your vills need more time to collect them, you might want to send 6 to berries instead of 5.
  • 6th vill builds a house and then goes exploring to find more food (gazelles, elephants, berries).
  • 7th vill also goes exploring
  • 8th - 13th vills go to wood, straggler trees if needed until you can build a storage pit (120 wood). Note: if you can hunt near trees, you can build a storage pit to collect both wood and food
  • Build a house with vill number 10
  • If you already found a new good source of food, you can build a new storage/granary there, otherwise you can send some vills to your first berries.
  • The two vills that are exploring can go to food or, if you want/need, they can keep exploring.
  • 14th - 21st vills go to food (so you have 5 on wood and 14 on food). If you want you can stop making vills and click to Tool in case you want to rush.
  • Build a house with vills number 16 and 20
  • 22nd - 24th vills go to wood. You can stop making vills (no more than 26 anyway, with Shang max 28) and click to Tool.
  • In the end, the important thing is that you have at least 4 on wood and 14 on food to click Tool. Other vills can go to wood and food.
  • If you need to make walls or slingers, you can send 2-3 vills to stone if you built a storage pit close to both wood and stone.
  • On the way up to Tool Age: Build a barrack with one vill, and a house. If you need you can build more houses to "wall" your base a bit.
  • On the way up to Tool Age: Transition some villagers from food to wood. Let's say 40% wood and 60% food. So if you have 24 vills, you can send 11 on wood and 13 on food, or 10 wood and 14 food.
  • In Tool Age: build a Market and then a Stable if you have a cav civ (like Yamato, Carthaginians, etc.) or an Archery Range if you have an archers civ (Assyrians, Hittites, etc.) or just build what you think it is best for that game in particular.
  • Make 2 more vills
  • You can start building farms if you have extra wood and are lacking sources of food.
  • You should be now able to click Bronze with 24-26 vills if everything went fine.

Mixed open maps

Continental, Oasis - Recommended: 18-22 vills (+2 in Tool)

  • Fast bronze in open maps is harder because you are more likely going to get rushed, expecially if you are in a flank position.
  • On Oasis, you need to search for food as quickly as possible and do your best to push gazelles to your town center.
  • 1st and 2nd vills build a house, when house is 50%+ one of the vills goes exploring or to berries. When the house is done, both go to berries.
  • 3rd vill goes exploring and then to berries as soon as you find them (build Granary).
  • 4th + 5th vill go to berries. If berries are in a bad spot and your vills need more time to collect them, you might want to send 6 to berries instead of 5.
  • 6th vill builds a house and then goes exploring to find more food (gazelles, elephants, berries).
  • 7th vill also goes exploring
  • 8th - 13th vills go to wood, straggler trees if needed until you can build a storage pit (120 wood). Note: if you can hunt near trees, you can build a storage pit to collect both wood and food
  • Build a house with vill number 10
  • Now, if the map has water, you might want to go for a storage pit on fishes and wood. Otherwise, like in Oasis, go for 2nd berries or even better gazelles and elephants.
  • The two vills that are exploring should go to food since you are planning to bronze and are in a open map
  • 14th - 21st vills go to food (so you have 5 on wood and 14 on food). If you want you can stop making vills and click to Tool in case you want to rush.
  • Build a house with vills number 16 and 20
  • 22nd - 24th vills go to wood. You can stop making vills (no more than 25 anyway, with Shang max 27) and click to Tool.
  • In the end, the important thing is that you have at least 4 on wood and 14 on food to click Tool. Other vills can go to wood and food.
  • On the way up to Tool Age: Build a Barrack with one vill, and a house. If you need you can build more houses to "wall" your base a bit.
  • On the way up to Tool Age: Transition some villagers from food to wood. Let's say 40% wood and 60% food. So if you have 24 vills, you can send 11 on wood and 13 on food, or 10 wood and 14 food.
  • As soon as you reach Tool Age, research Stone Wall in the Granary
  • If you need you can send 1-2 vills to stone if you built a storage pit close to both wood and stone.
  • In Tool Age: build a Market and then a Stable if you have a cav civ (like Yamato, Carthaginians, etc.) or an Archery Range if you have an archers civ (Assyrians, Hittites, etc.) or just build what you think it is best for that game in particular.
  • Make 2 more vills
  • You should be now able to click Bronze with 20-24 vills if everything went fine.
  • You should make farms in bronze age because the open map will not allow you to make farms before.
  • In Oasis you will probably need to make farms in Tool, depends on how much food you were able to gather.

Water maps

Mediterranean, Islands

Minimum: 28 vills (with fishing boats), Recommended: 40+ vills

  • 1st and 2nd vills build a house, when house is 50%+ one of the vills goes exploring or to berries. If you have a good position for fishing, place a storage pit there. Best position has 3-4 fishing ponds and wood close to eachother. Otherwise, don't waste time, go for a granary on berries. When the house is done, both vills go to food.
  • 3rd vill goes exploring and then to food.
  • 4th + 5th vill go to food. If food is in a bad spot and your vills need more time to collect it, you might want to send 6 to food instead of 5.
  • 6th vill builds a house and then goes exploring to find more food (fish on islands, gazelles and elephants on other water maps).
  • 7th vill also goes exploring, if you are on Small Islands one villager exploring is enough and you can send this one to food instead.
  • 8th - 13th vills go to wood, straggler trees if needed until you can build a storage pit (120 wood). Note: if you can hunt or fish near trees, you can build a storage pit to collect both wood and food
  • Build a house with vill number 10
  • If you already found a new good source of food, you can build a new storage there, otherwise you can send some vills to your first source of food.
  • The two vills that are exploring can go to food or, if you want/need, they can keep exploring.
  • You should now have 100 wood to make a Dock, build it in a safe position to keep your fishing boats safe.
  • 14th - 21st vills go to food (so you have 5 on wood and 14 on food). If you want you can stop making vills and click to Tool in case you want to rush.
  • Start making fishing ships, at least 4. Remember to build houses to keep up with the new population increase.
  • Build a house with vills number 16 and 20
  • Now, depends a lot on the map. If you are pocket and have good wood, you should go for 40 vills at least (24 vills + 16 fishing ships). Sometimes you can reach 30-35, sometimes even 50, depends a lot on what your plans are.
  • For a fast bronze, I would recommend 40+ vills.
  • In the end, the important thing is that you have at least 10 on wood and 14 on food to click Tool. Other vills can go to wood and food.
  • Keep producing fishing ships from all your docks before clicking bronze.
  • When you have clicked Tool, or just before, and you have at least 9-10 vills on wood, make a second dock. Remember to build houses.
  • On the way up to Tool Age: Build a 3rd dock. You can build it even when you reach Tool, but before is better.
  • In Tool Age: build a Barrack, a Market and then a Stable or Archery Range.
  • Make 2 more vills in the meantime
  • You should be now able to click Bronze with 40+ pop if everything went fine.
  • Note: usually on Islands and Mediterranean you will need to make scout ships too, otherwise you might lose water to your opponents and your teammates making ships will lose a lot of eco because you are booming.
  • If you have to make scout ships to defend, try to make as many as you can before reaching bronze, and then keep them alive until they become war galleys. If you have to attack instead, you will need a different build order, because you are going to need much more wood and you will click bronze later.

Video demonstrations

Fast bronze in 12 mins with Hittites on Inland:

Fast bronze in 11 mins on Continental:

Fast bronze in 12 mins on Highlands:

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