Those who know how to play the Holy Roman Empire in Age of Empires 4 are aware of the early Man-at-Arms that this civilization has access to.

Although they do grant a decent advantage to the Roman Empire, it’s hard to see how it’s a game-changer.

However, with rush builds being popularized in Age of Empires, such as the Mongol Horseman Rush, there seems to be a way to take advantage of the Roman’s Early Man-at-Arms to go for an early aggression tactic that is just as hard to be dealt with.

The Holy Roman Empire is a very balanced civilization, with aggressive and defensive characteristics that can be used to adapt to most situations. This rush might not be as scary as a Mongols’ rush and not as annoying as the English Longbowmen Rush, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective tactic.

So, are you interested in playing aggressively with the Holy Roman Empire? If you want to know the best way to play aggressively in the early game with your Early Man-at-Arms, stick around to learn the Roman Man-at-Arms rush build order and catch your enemies by surprise.

The Man-at-Arms Rush Build Order

  • Prelate to Sheep
  • 4 villagers to Sheep
  • 1 to House, then gold
  • 1 villager to gold
  • Scout for Sheep
  • 2 villagers to gold, making it 4
  • 2 more villagers to food
  • 4 villagers to wood
  • 2 vilagers go from gold to Meinwerk
  • 2 villagers to Meinwerk
  • Builders to Gold
  • 1 to House
  • 4 to Sheep, making it 10
  • 1 villager to Barracks
  • Queue up Man-at-Arms
  • Queue up Upgrades
  • 6 Villagers to wood, making it 10
  • All other villagers to Sheep

You need a lot of Sheep in order to make this build work well, so make sure you micro your scout to bring back at least six sheep before you start sending it far away.

Note that besides having to find Sheep, it’s their objective to find the enemy location so you can see where to attack and even if you should continue this rush or not.

Ideally, when going for this build, you will have scouted and found the enemy’s plans. Maybe the enemy doesn’t even have a barracks yet, or maybe they are rushing to get to the next Age.

In case your adversaries are betting on a slower start or a risky one by rushing advancements without an army, this build might work for you quite well.

Note that this is not that fast of a build since your first Men-at-Arms will be ready in about 5 minuites. This is plenty of time for the adversary to rush, depending on the civilization they have chosen. However, considering you are playing the Roman Empire, this might be fast enough to catch them off guard.

This build is also a way to have early, upgraded units that can protect your Town Center and Villagers. Especially with a Prelate to assist and heal those units, making this build especially dangerous.

As mentioned above, the Roman might be able to do many things well, but it won’t be as effective as the civilizations that specialize in something.

It is possible to produce early Men-at-Arms faster, but they won’t have their upgrades. Once this rush is done, harass the enemy villagers and try to ruin their economy, or use the soldiers to defend yourself while you think about your next move.

This Men-at-Arms rush is probably not something that will grant you a victory every time, especially if the adversary is quick to adapt. However, it doesn’t mean it can’t be useful.

Final Thoughts

Although it is possible to rush the enemy with the Holy Roman Empire, you do not want to always do that, and it might not work very well.

Since this rush takes about 6 minutes to be completely ready, chances are the adversary might have enough time to scout you and come out with a counter-strategy if you don’t take an action early. However, attacking too early can also be very risky since you might lose everything if your opponent defeats your rushing units.

Still, this is an aggressive build that can benefit from units that heal your frontline army. If you manage to scout what the adversary is going for and you see an early expansion or other slow beginnings, this rush might, in fact, ruin the enemy strategy.

The Holy Roman Empire might not have the fastest, most aggressive rush, but they cover most areas, if not all, making them surprisingly complex to master.

If you do intend to learn how to play as the Holy Roman Empire, learning how to rush the adversary is between the things you should learn, but I don’t think this kind of tactice should be a priority. Still, it can be effective from time to time.