How to Play as the Rus in Age of Empires 4

Image credit: Relic Entertainment, World's Edge

Learning how to play the Rus might take some effort at first. Much like learning how to play as the Mongols, you will have to get used to a different early game that demands the use of unusual buildings and a unique system.

The Rus gain Gold from killing animals. They also have unique buildings that affect how they collect resources, effectively changing how you have to think about gathering Food and Wood.

Some of those buildings work in ways that are entirely unique to this civilization, including extra functions and areas of influence that provide bonuses.

Despite being quite different from standard civilizations like the Holy Roman Empire, the French, and the English, the Rus are not that hard to master.

They are a 2 Stars difficulty civilization, and their traits are Conquest, Expansion, and Trade.

One of the most significant characteristics of the Rus is how hard it is to cause trouble to them during the early stages of a match, so tactics such as the French Royal Knight rush build might not work as well as expected against this civilization.

If what I told you about the Rus caught your interest, stick around. This AoE4 rus guide will show you all you need to know on how to play as the Rus in AoE4.

Unique Characteristics of the Rus

All civilizations have unique structures and units. There’s nothing necessarily special there. For instance, the English have the Longbowmen — units often used in the English Longbow Rush — and the Mongols have the Khan. However, some structures might work in a completely different way depending on the civilization that you are playing.

Rus buildings allow them to control and defend the countryside better than most civilizations. Let’s go through the unique characteristics of the Rus:

Woodland Federation

Fortify the countryside with Wooden Fortresses and improved Palisades.

The Rus have an influence area surrounding their Wooden Fortresses, making Lumber Camps provide additional Wood from villagers when they drop off their resources.

Hunter Princes

This is another thing that is quite different from everything else in the game. The Rus have more capable Scouts that come out of Hunting Cabins — which work like regular Mill for Food gathering but generate a gold income to the Rus civilization.

Druzhina Retinue

The Rus have access to armored knights a bit earlier in the game, which allows them to have a powerful frontline that is hard to deal with and might be around their Town Center quite soon to protect their villagers.

Influence

Lumber Camps built under the influence of a Wood Fortress return 20% more Wood.

This is one of the reasons why the Rus have such a powerful defense during the early game. The Wood Fortress is more resilient than the average outpost and also helps you gather resources.

In case someone tries to harass your villagers near a Wood Fortress, you can house more than five villagers within a single Wood Fortress and drive the invaders away.

Unique Units:

  • Streltsy: This is a gunpowder unit, which gets stronger when stationary, has great melee damage, and can be trained for a reduced cost.
  • Warrior Monk: This unit inspires nearby units in combat and provides bonus armor and damage to nearby units. Not only that, this is a really fast unit that can take care of itself on the battlefield.
  • Lodya ships: These versatile units are ships that can be converted into any type of ship.

Civilization Bonuses

Now that we’ve gone through some of the most noticeable characteristics of the Rus, here is the summary with all the civilization bonuses:

  • Generate Gold and Increase bounty when killing animals
  • Higher bounty provides additional Food income from all sources
  • Early Knight is available in the Feudal Age (II).
  • Stronger Palisades with twice as much health
  • Construct Hunting Cabins — Improved Mills that produce Scouts and generate Gold from nearby forests
  • Construct Wooden Fortresses — improved outposts with additional health and garrison slots
  • Fishing Ships don’t have to return to a dock to drop off Food

Rus Tactics and Final Considerations

The Rus are all about growth since it’s quite hard for the adversary to stop them from doing so. Like all other civilizations, they can gather resources, but they also gain a steady income from the Hunting Cabin, which benefits their economy.

Since they have a powerful early game defense, it is wise to use that security to program your mid-game. Scout the enemy base, see what they are coming up with, place some Wood Fortresses in key areas, and go back to draining nature until you can have all you want and need to defeat the adversary.

When it comes to invading and field combat, the Rus don’t have unique, powerful units except for the Streltsy. So make sure to train some of them and bring them with you among other units.

In the end, the Rus might have a different start and a unique bounty mechanic, but the mid and late game of this civilization isn’t that different from the others.

Playing the Rus is about taking advantage of their head start and safe beginning to then plan how to take down the opponent.

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