Beware, spoilers ahead!

This weekend saw the first round of the qualification stage, where 16 players fought in best of three sets to see who would go forward and who would drop. This post is here to fill you in with what happened in case you missed any of the action and provide you with direct recorded game downloads. If you want to re-watch the stream then you can catch the VODs casted by ZeroEmpires over at the VODs page Only half of the sets were cast, here’s what happened in the rest:

– Thank you to Poledancer for writing the summaries!

Game 1

Map: Steppe
Civilizations: Goths

The show started with Spaden taking BacT’s front wood line with a tower rush. Meanwhile, BacT handled it nicely with defensive towers and went fast Imperial Age. With knights and a trebuchet, BacT cleaned Spaden’s huskarls and castle from his base and sealed the victory.

Game 2

Map: Baltic
Civilizations: Franks

Both players lost a villager to the enemy scout in early feudal age. Soon BacT dominated water in the galley war and Spaden switched to forward stables with knights. The combination of knights, sieges and monks from Spaden crashed BacT’s economy and eventually led to the win for him.   

Game 3

Map: Nomad
Civilizations: Vietnamese

For a Vietnamese war on Nomad, the excitement rose from early Dark Age. Spaden quickly walled BacT in the north-east quarter and sneaked in 2 archery ranges. The wall didn’t limit BacT for long though. Archers and pikeman from BacT fought the knights from Spaden in the middle field for a while. The game was decided when BacT successfully dropped a castle between Spaden’s two gold piles.

Rec Games (Password = allstars):

 Game 1

Map: Baltic
Civilizations: Huns

This is a game decided by laming skill. DauT killed a villager and delayed the ACCM’s 2nd boar in Dark Age by laming. ACCM tried to lame back but his scout died on halfway back home. With the economy lead, DauT upgraded to Feudal Age one minute earlier and dominated water easily. ACCM’s last attempt was two forward archery ranges but the attack was quickly denied by DauT’s defensive towers and skirmishers.  

Game 2

Map: Golden Pit
Civilizations:  Khmer

ACCM successfully trapped and killed Daut’s scout in the early stage. Without much scouting, Daut fully walled his own base in advance. ACCM went for two forward archery ranges + tower rush but did not cause much damage due to Daut’s wall and defensive towers. The game was decided after Daut fully controlled gold piles in the middle of the map in the Imperial age.

Rec Games (Password = allstars):

 Game 1

Map: Golden Pit
Civilizations:  Aztecs

Miguel’s tower rush + 4 man-at-arms followed by archers countered perfectly with vivi’s standard drush + fast castle strategy. The game was finished at 17th min when Miguel took control of vivi’s gold.

Game 2

Map: Steppe
Civilizations: Turks

Vivi borrowed Miguel’s strategy in game 1 and aimed for the revenge. However, it didn’t work as smoothly as the last game due to Miguel’s more closed map and well-placed defensive towers.  The story ended when Miguel’s knights showed to clean up the enemy units in his base.

Rec Games (Password = allstars):

 Game 1

Map: Highland
Civilizations:  Ethiopians

The war started from Liereryy’s fire galleys vs. Vinch’s galleys, with a couple of badaboom scenes. Later Liereryy’s Crossbowman successfully sneaked into the enemy’s base and took the victory.      

Game 2

Map: Highland
Civilizations: Vikings

Liereryy quickly dominated the water with his galleys and then the game turned into a competition of sneaking. Vinch went for 2 forward archery ranges but Liereryy had spotted it before and fully walled his base in advance. Meanwhile, Liereryy’s forward stable and siege workshop were revealed by the outpost and Vinch nailed it quickly with pikemen and walls. When Liereryy’s large troop of Arbalest, +2 knights and siege weapons eventually marched into the enemy’s base, there was not much Vinch could do to save the situation.  

Rec Games (Password = allstars):

  Game 1

Map: Highland
Civilizations:  Huns

 The map is a rarely-seen no water highland, which is similar to Arabia but with 2 more sheep for each player. Both players went for militia + tower rush around the same time hence we saw a gangster fight in the middle-field. After Castle Age, Slam gradually took control of the map with crossbowmen + cavalry archers + mangonels. Spring’s knights couldn’t do much when both quantity and micro were behind.

Game 2

Map: Baltic
Civilizations: Goths

At 10th minute, Spring took Slam’s wood line with a tower and resigned because he was falling asleep.

Rec Games (Password = allstars):

 Game 1

Map: Golden Pit
Civilizations: Indians

The war began with Lyx’s tower rush which MbL handled nicely by quick walling and defensive towers. While Lyx still focused on attacking MbL’s base, MbL built two town centers side by side plus one castle to secure the central gold piles. Lyx did not last long after running out of gold.

Game 2

Map: Baltic
Civilizations: Goths

MbL took the water in the early Feudal Age.  Lyx sneaked in a monastery and a barrack but they were spotted by an outpost and walled off quickly. Later, MbL dropped a castle and several barracks in Lyx’s land but they were cleaned right after Lyx upgraded to Imperial Age. The game turned into a champion war and both players’ champions spammed all over the map. At the same time, Lyx also struck back on water. At the end Lyx won the game with more efficient raiding to MbL’s economy.

Game 3

Map: Baltic
Civilizations: Ethiopians

The map is exactly the same as last game but players’ location were switched. This time MbL still took water early but couldn’t deal with Lyx’s feudal archer rush well. He resigned right after Lyx upgraded to Castle Age.

Rec Games (Password = allstars):

Game 1

Map: Steppe
Civilizations: Britions

St4rk’s three Man-at-Arm, followed by some skirmishers, didn’t do much damage in the rush. Later, skirmishers of both sides ran back and forth across the whole map for quite some time. Mangonels also joined the party after the Castle Age. It was dogao’s onagers and arbalests which sneaked in St4rk’s base through a hole that led him to victory.

Game 2

Map: Valley
Civilizations: Slavs

St4rk went for a standard Dark age rush + fast Castle strategy but the militias did not achieve much due to dogao’s scouts showing up in time. The following were rapid unit switching from both players. From crossbowmen vs knights, more knights vs knights, to halberdiers + rams vs Cavaliers + heavy scorpions, eventually dogao swiped the enemy base with almost all kinds of sieges plus massive halberdiers.  

Rec Games (Password = allstars):

Brace yourself, AoE All-Star League Qualification has begun!

This week we have the Round 16 of Qualification, which brought us a series of high quality expert games to warm-up for the following season.

Our Gatekeepers, DauT, Slam and Liereryy, have advanced to next round comfortably while BacT had a bit of thrill versus Spaden’s challenge. In the third game of BacT vs. Spaden, a Vietnamese war on Nomad, the hype started immediately after town centers placed and last till BacT’s bossy castle dropping in the end.

The challengers Dogao, Fire, Miguel and Lyx also went through their first test and set up for next week. Miguel and vivi, coincidently exchanged strategies – Dark rush+Fast Castle vs. Tower rush – among the two games, which are good examples of how map/civ/execution/decision, etc. could possibly affect a game under the same strategy. Another game worth a note is Dogao vs. St4rk game 2, which you could seeing players rapidly switching between different units and still booming crazily at the same time. On the other hand, F1re received an admin win because Happyhappy was not able to fix his internet connection in time.

Next week we will have our Gatekeepers face the four dangerous challengers. The winners will be able to join the AoE All-Star League line-up and fight not only for prize but also the glory! Stay tuned!