Also known as “Longbow Rush,” this early offensive build grants you a huge military advantage over the adversary.
The English Longbowman is one of the most dangerous units in Age of Empires 4 due to its long range and good attack speed.
Having them before the other civilizations can properly defend themselves is a great way to slow down their economy and cause many different issues by attacking the most distant structures and killing their villagers from far away.
If it sounds like a great way to start out a multiplayer match, it’s because it is. Knowing how to take advantage of the English Longbowmen is one of the things players must do to learn how to play the English in Age of Empires.
So if I caught your interest with this tactic and you now want to know how to do it, let’s get started.
Here’s the English Longbowmen rush build order in Age of Empires 4.
The Longbow Rush Build Order
- Queue up 6 villagers
- All initial Villagers to the starting sheep
- Send your scout out (micro it to gather Sheep and find the enemy Town Center)
- 1 Villager to Gold
- 1 Villager builds Mine, then on Gold
- 1 Villager to Food, then builds 1 House
- 1 Villager to Food
- 1 Villager to Gold
- New Villagers to Wood up to 12
- Villagers from Gold to Council Hall then back to Gold
- 1 Villager on Lumbercamp, then Wood
- 1 Villager from Wood to building Barracks, then 1 House
- Start producing Longbowmen
From here, you can already start producing your Longbowmen.
You might want to take it further by adding some spearmen to the mix and then getting upgrades to your Longbowmen.
- 2 Villagers to Food
- 1 Villagers from Wood to building an outpost near enemy’s base
- 1 Villager from Wood to building Blacksmith
- Research ranged upgrades
Make sure you do not forget that your scout is out there looking for food and also the enemy location.
Your scout is responsible for finding areas where the adversary is most vulnerable, so you can approach their most isolated mills, houses, and villagers in order to ruin their economy.
Do not get close to the enemy’s Town Center. It will outrange you and deal way too much damage to your units. Just stay away and try to cause as much trouble as possible by attacking everything you can outside the enemy Town Center’s reach.
If you are able to follow the instructions of this rush correctly, you should be able to have your first Longbowman a few seconds past the 5 minutes mark.
Your opponent should be caught off-guard by it since it usually takes a little longer for most players to advance to the next era. It is also very hard to deal with the English Longbowmen in the early game.
Even if your opponent manages to train some units to repel your archers, chances are you will have caused too much trouble to their economy already, which gives you a massive boost for the late game.
Note that the closest your Landmark is to the enemy base, the greater your advantage since your units won’t have to travel much to reach the villagers.
If you’re lucky, this build will do much more than just give you an advantage for later. You actually have a chance of effectively ending the match by killing the enemy’s villagers.
If the enemy civilization puts up a fight, make sure to go for a Blacksmith and then research the Siege Engineering technology. Combined with your units already harassing the enemy, that might cause you to lock their civilization in place while you train more and more units.
This rush AoE 4 English build order is a gamble, so it’s all about the odds. Many of them can be really powerful if you don’t know how to counter them. This is especially powerful if your enemy hasn’t figured out that this is what you were going for.
Once you establish the basics of the rush and have your Longbowmen out, there really isn’t any exact path to be taken. You might want to adapt to whatever the enemy is doing to counter you or take advantage of any perceived weakness that you find while attacking them.
The Longbow Rush is an Age of Empires 4 English build order that is especially difficult to counter even if the enemy sees what you’re doing, so as long as your timing is on point and your micro skills are decent, you should be able to get many wins by following the instructions above.