One of the most challenging games are “1 on 1 battles”. In a team game, you make a mistake and your ally can make it up for you or vice versa. But a 1 on 1 game is very different compared to a team game. One mistake can cost you the whole game. In this post, I’ll mainly tell you about the main factors which affect a 1on1 game as well as guide you.

Main factors affecting 1 on 1 battles :-

  • Nation Match-ups:

– I remember observing few advanced players play 1on1 and the losing player blaming his nation for the loss. That time I used to wonder how it matters.

– Well. Your nation in the game matters a lot. I’m not saying that it becomes unfair but sometimes it does matter. Like for example, when Greeks go against Inca. You don’t raid and Inca easily out-booms Greeks.

– Another example is Aztecs vs Lakota and you intercept your opponent’s 2nd city. There is no way for Lakota to make a comeback in the game unless it manages to gets military1.

– Some nations are perfect counters of certain nations. Like Maya is a perfect counter nation for Aztecs. But that doesn’t mean that Maya is better. Its just one of the deciding factors in the game.

  • Rares :

– Rares are the main deciding factors in 1on1’s. You miss out raiding a good rare like relics, silver or diamond and it becomes difficult to out-boom your opponent.

– Sometimes nation-rare combination becomes deadly. Like Americans with salt or Mongols with horses. I’ll soon post about it.

– More about rares – Rares

  • Central Wood :

– I”m mainly considering “Sahara map”. Hence, the center wood control matters a lot in the game.

  • Scouting :

In a 1on1 game, you get less ruins and you’ll end up with a slow start. Scouting upto 300-350 ruins minimum is must.

Just keep these main factors in back of your mind while playing a 1on1 game.

How do I go about in the game?

  • Scout Well :

– First thing to do when you start the game is to scout and get more ruins than your opponent. Your aim should be to scout fast and more ruins to get a faster start.

– Target while scouting :

1) All the rares on the map – Don’t end out missing any good rare on the map.

2) Opponents territory – Mainly to plan raids and attacking spots.

3) Find resources – Like finding a mine/woodcutter which will help you plan your further city locations.

– All this should be done in the first 5 mins so that you can plan further.

  • Age Fast :

– Ideal time to age should be between 3-4 mins. Get an economy to 100 food 100 wood and age up. It’s not compulsory to age up asap. But, if you manage to get all 4 technologies and age up in 3-4 mins, you can have plans to raid first and slow down your opponent.

  • Plan Ahead :

– Once you have aged up faster than your opponent and explored the map, at this point you need to have a plan.

– Considering all the main factors. See what has to be done next. I’ll explain you this based on few scenarios.

Example 1: Inca (You) vs Greeks – You have got silver and relics. Your opponent has papyrus. In this scenario, you know you will definitely out-boom your opponent. In this scenario you should go for a raid+boom gameplay or even defend+boom gameplay. Its not advisory to attack because you know you will definitely out-boom. In this case, your opponent has no choice but to attack you fast and raid your mines.

Example 2: Aztecs (You) vs Americans – Your opponent has salt and is aiming to build Terracotta wonder. In this scenario, you can’t think about out-booming your opponent. Your aim should be to avoid your opponent from using salt and constantly attack your opponent. If you go for booming gameplay then you’ll end up losing the game.

Example 3 : Romans (You) vs British – Consider this game is even in terms of rares. Now considering the nations. Till age 3 Romans are little stronger than Britishers. Once British hits age 4, barracks spam and it will have a lot of HI countering armies. So your plan should be to attack British before it hits age 4.

– These are not the compulsory plans to be executed but in general plans to be executed in order to win.

– So always play with a plan in 1on1’s. You don’t plan and you’ll end up clueless about winning.

  • Constantly Raid Rares :

– Raiding rares is very important in 1on1’s. Always raid good rares and don’t let your opponent get control over them.

– In Sahara, the 4 corner rares are neutral. You need to have control on the good corner rares. It helps quite a lot in out-booming your opponent and eventually winning the game.

  • Be The First To Raid:

– Well, it depends from player to player. My ideal gameplay is to raid and play aggressive. If you are a good raider then always plan to raid first.

– Its not necessary to raid in every game. Sometimes, you win a game without even raiding. It is because you have good rares.

– But if you plan to raid then be the first to raid.

  • Always Judge Your Opponent:

– Judging your opponent is very important. Constantly think what economy your opponent must be having. Am I slow at boom?

– When will my opponent attack? How can he/she raid?

– Can my opponent out-boom me?

– How many researches he/she must have done?

– Do I have more armies than my opponent?

– Just keep a track over it. It helps you in making your future plans.

  • When to attack:

– Attacking at the proper time matters a lot.

– Consider you have failed your opponents full-on attack. At this time, you should ideally counter your opponent or continue booming fast and eventually out-booming easily.

– Just be ready with 1 siege everytime. Whenever you feel you have the edge in terms of armies, just attack. Here again you need to judge your opponent in terms of armies.

  • Use All Armies:

– I really hate to see armies sit ideal inside city and do nothing.

– Always use all your armies else invest the same resources in boom. You will rarely find my armies standing or doing nothing. Either they are protecting something or I”m using them to raid or I have a plan to attack soon.

  • Don’t Fight Losing Battles:

– I must have lost so many games because of this.

– I fight one losing battle and I’m unable to come back in the game. Try to avoid this. Or else you’ll suicide your armies and you’ll surely lose later.

– So, I’ll say always fight winning battles. When you think you’ll be losing the battle then retreat back.

  • Grab territory:

– A very important thing to do in a 1on1.

– When you grab more territory than your opponent, you restrict your opponent in terms of resources.

– You get more resources to use and you have a better chance of out-booming.

– I’ll upload few border push 1on1 games esp with Koreans in this post.

Well I’m not the best 1on1 player but I’m sure these tips will help you play better in 1on1’s. I’ll upload few 1on1 games of mine in which you can see how these factors affect the game and how I ended up winning the game.

Recorded Games:

Mastering 1 on 1’s (Std Sahara) [CLICK TO DOWNLOAD]

Includes few of my 1on1 games vs Ashley, AU_Bongs, Clover, |VoG|_Coulty, |VoG|_The_Vanguard, Elrip, FSF_Mefisto, FunGalahad, |IND|_DangerousDave, |IND|_Jatin, {-t2sa-}-Jacksonmuir, kod-reduit-SUI, MohammadMohammad, |IND|_Tactician.

Note that many of these players are better than me. Posting a win against them doesn’t make me a better player than them.