The Drush into Fast Castle is an intermediate build order that, when executed right, can assist you in dominating a match. A foreword about this strategy is that it is used when a player feels their civilization may be best off doing a fast castle strategy for any particular reason, but they are playing on an open map in which they expect an opponents feudal aggression to be deadly, and they wish to place an opponent back economically so that a fast castle is unpunished.
Objective – Advance to Feudal Age with 32 population
- Like most build orders, immediately build 2 houses, 1 with 2 villagers and 2 with the other. Also queue villagers up from the town center.
- Send your starting villagers and 3 additional villagers to sheep.
- Send the next 4 villagers to wood.
- Send the next villager to lure your first boar.
- Send the next villager to build 2 houses close to your berries.
- Send the next three villagers to berries. The house building villager will automatically assist with building the mill and should collect berries also.
- When the fourth villager to berries is starting, or roughly at around 160 food left on the current boar underneath the town center, send a villager collecting boar to lure the second boar.
- Send the next villager to collect 10 gold.
- Send your next villager to build a barracks.
- Send the next 3 villagers to collect wood from another woodline. Use the first of these villagers and the gold mining villager after they have collected 10 gold to build a second lumber camp.
- At the barracks, train 3 militia.
- Send the next 2 villagers to berries.
- Use the villagers collecting from sheep to make farms every time you have 60 wood. Try to use the villagers with lowest health from the boar lure first, so that these are close to your town center in case of enemy aggression.
- Send the next 6 villagers to sheep.
- At 28 population, build a new house.
- At 32 population, research loom and then advance to the Feudal Age.
Objective 2 – Advance to the Castle Age after making four more villagers
- While advancing to Feudal, choose 4 villagers from berries and send them to collect gold. Also, take 4 villagers from food (either sheep or farms) and send 2 to each woodline.
- Upon reaching Feudal Age, build an Archery Range with 1 villager and a blacksmith with another villager.
- Send 2 villagers to collect gold.
- Upon completing the blacksmith and range, click castle, and start producing archers.
- As a must, ensure you research double-bit axe. If possible, research horse-collar.
- Build a second archery range and create archers out of this range also.
- Send 2 villagers to gold, to make 8 on gold, and ensure there are 12 villagers on wood, split evenly between the two woodlines.
- Upon reaching Castle Age, immediately research Crossbowmen and research bow saw.
- Continue producing archers/crossbowmen and research fletching and bodkin arrow.
Remember to prioritize scouting – as soon as you have found your 2 boars, berries, 8 sheep (or equivalent herdables) and at least one gold mine, scout for your enemies base, and ensure you locate their berries especially, and also a woodline. Upon creating the 3 militia, send this and your scout to your enemies base and try to distract your opponents villagers so that they are idle from collecting resources. Remember that you do not need to kill an enemy villager, just distracting them this early in the game stunts their economy majorly comparatively to your own. This strategy does require a fair bit of multitasking between the militia engagements and your own economy, however practice and use control groups and eventually this will become simple enough.