Rush tactics are intended to take advantage of an underdeveloped state of the enemy during the early game to either finish the match early or hinder the adversary’s economy.
Two of the most effective rush builds found so far are the English Longbowmen rush and the Mongols Cavalry rush.
In order to deal with a rush build, you must know the build and how to recognize that the enemy civilization is going for it. Also, you must have them in mind and prepare to protect your Town Center and villagers from really early in the game.
If you know how to play the French in Age of Empires 4, you already know they are very vulnerable during their early game. Their villagers and scouts are weaker than the standard ones, so they need to advance to their next Era and put out some early military units to protect their progression during a match.
However, there is an effective rush that you can pull out as the French. It’s not as fast as some of the most effective rush builds, but it’s a good rush due to how powerful the French knights are.
So if you’re interested in learning everything about the AoE 4 French build order, this guide is precisely what you need.
The Knight Rush Build
- 8 Villagers to Sheep
- Build a House
- 3 Villagers to Gold
- 3 Villagers to Wood
- 1 Villager to Food
- 1 Villager to School of Cavalry
- 1 Villager to build 2 Houses
- 1 Villager to School of Cavalry
- 4 Villagers to Gold
- All new villagers to Food
- Build a Stable
- Build a Blacksmith
- Produce French Royal Knights
- Research Iron Undermesh
- Research Chivalry
If you follow the instructions as they are, you should have your Knights within 6 minutes.
Just like in most rush builds of the game, your scout is crucial for its success. A scout must bring back all the sheep they can find as soon as possible, but they also must find the enemy Town Center quickly.
The reason behind finding the Town Center is quite simple, you need to know where to direct your forces once the Royal Knights are ready, so you will have a greater chance to catch your adversary off-guard.
Remember that you might be quite vulnerable while going for this rush. Some builds can make military units start harassing Villagers in 5 minutes, and there is not much that the French will be able to do with only villagers and a scout, which is why it is so important to do a good job scouting.
Once your Royal Knights are out, the general approach is to use them to harass the adversary. Get in, kill some villagers, and then run away on your horse.
The Royal Knights are very quick, resilient units that you don’t usually possess so early in the game, so they might be quite challenging for the adversary to deal with.
Make sure you don’t attack your enemies before researching Chivalry since this technology allows Royal Knights to regenerate +1 health per second in case they are not in combat.
This Age of Empires 4 French build order is deceptively powerful, especially when you are playing against players who are unfamiliar with it. Not long after that, you might be able to go for ranged units to back up your knights. However, the best decision to make as you advance will depend on how the adversary deals with your rush.
The Royal Knights have great stats, making them able to deal with enemy military units even when outnumbered. You do need to micro them in order to make the most out of the knights, though. So you might want to start practicing that.
Once your knights are out, you should have over 20 villagers on Food. You can speed up the Knight production by adding some extra villagers to gold mining if that works for you. In fact, you should be going after more gold once you have that many villagers on Food.
Remember that Royal Knights still are mounted units, and although they are good to break the enemy frontline, they are still vulnerable to lancers, so don’t use them head-on when you face those units. Be smart, use their mobility to attack houses and mills, and try to break your knights into groups that can both distract the enemy troops and disturb the other player’s economy.
Microing the Royal Knights, along with the regeneration from Chivalry, you will have a constant, durable way to harass the enemy workers and force the other player to be constantly distracted and divide their attention into maintaining their economy and controlling units to deal with your Royal Knight Rush.