Why I typically disagree with the forward castle

Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Ah, the forward castle drop. “Castle in the face” as some players call it. More often than not, I see people at the lower level (900 to 1050 elo) place forward castles. In some games, it’s even as if they have no other plan, even when you have cleaned out their base, they place a castle foundation in your own base, or next to you. It puzzles me.

When you commit to a forward castle, you commit to 650 stone, which is a lot. Not only that, you commit to the time villagers take to mine that stone, which could be used on gathering other resources towards a healthier economy. Not only that, you have to send at least 9 villagers forward for a castle drop that is noticed to be successful, otherwise it could become a “daut-castle” (a name in the community for castles that are unsuccessful, typically between 90 and 99% completion). If unsuccessful, this means that your villagers are out in the open ready to be picked off by your opponent, which extends the villager lead and effectively throws the game. If successful, even though it gives a high amount of control over your opponent’s base, it is impossible to target all of their base with a castle, and it can be presumed that if you forward castle ordinarily you usually do not have a castle at home protecting your economy. This means that it is all too easy for the player thats been castle dropped to sneak out and deliver raids on your own base while you are forward. Adding to the risk, if the opponent is first to imperial and does have a castle up, they can simply trebuchet your castle down. Losing forward castles, whether it was in an unsuccessful drop attempt, or by being rammed or trebucheted down can be devastating for some civilizations whose civilization strength really depends on their unique castle unit (for example, Mongols with the Mangudai, or Spanish with Conquistadors).

In short, forward castles – usually bad. Only when you have devastated your opponents economy earlier that you are 100% certain it will go up and also that they cannot make it earlier to imperial to begin the treb war should you attempt this strategy.

Lower ranked players who resort to this – Stop throwing.

Forward Castle can be a bad idea
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