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How to pick your starting woodline and other related topics


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picking a proper starting woodline and properly positioning storehouses and other buildings is vital for optimal economy growth and security.

proper woodline(s) management is vital for proper men and women positioning early,mid and late game.

1.everything about first 0-5 min.

2.middgame(after first few min) to till u reach p3.

3.endgame(after p3)


1.to start with your first woodline will significantly impact your economy and security.

usually you will want to pick a patch of wood around the border instead of opting for placing your first storehouse near cc wood but exceptions apply.ill note thoes later.

prioritize following factors listed from most important first:

1.how close the wood patch is to your cc

2.the size of the wood patch

3.the position of the wood patch

4.i forgot something while scrolling up to add hope i remember.

5.properly rotate and position the storehouse to be close to as many trees on the surface as possible.

now of course you must pay attention to all 3 of these factors and alot of point 3 is better than a slight bit of point 1 but the significance based listing still applies.

woodline.png shows several options.wooldine.png.ad9d3fe4ddc3d4f1d156023e4afb94e9.png

here based on 6 total options including the cc wood option 1 is the best as it is the closest to the cc and has a large amount of wood.

its most important to pick a woodline that is as close to cc as possible.while these factors may not cause significant difference to less expirienced players its best to learn the most optimal ways from the begining.closer the woodline is to cc the less distance your units will have to walk to security if you get rushed and choose to retreat.many times if you pick the incorrect woodline you lose by default if you get cavrushed assuming both sides play without making any errors you just wont have the time to reach security.

i recomend placing house(s) next to but not in the line the new spawned units have to walk form cc to the wood.if you were to place it on the line you would hurt your eco by hindering your units from quickly going to the woodline.also do place the houses within your cc arrow range so that if the enemy tries taking the houses your cc will damage their units.if this happens also consider trying to garrison the house under threat with women but only if enemy units are that of a low range type and only if your women can safely garrison.you place your houses like this so that you can do the garrisson>ungarrison trick with wood women if enemy rushes to decrease the distance you need to travel to cc and to increase the security.also the buildings will block the enemy from taking the shortest route to your women when he is rushing as you can see with the pink start representing enemy rush units and the red line representing the detour they have to take.


for a barack you can use it as a blockade same as the upper house in that picture or you can place it above or around the woodline as barack can be a powerful defensive tool.it is quite difficult to take assuming you at least have a small part of the mencount of the enemy rush army.dont know the exact proportions but with barack garison>ungarison trick as a threat enemy will think twice before getting close to your baracks as you can quickly ungarison your units onto the enemy units gaining the advantage in certain scenarios. 

the size of the wood patch is self explanatory its value is that you can load it with more men and itll last longer before you have to switch lines compared to a smaller wood patch and by this it gives an economy advantage as you have to pay the toll of switching woodlines later than you would have otherwise.

the positioning implies that you want to have the woodline as far away form the enemys potential line of travel as possible which basically means you want it at the back.the enemys line of travel is :


assuming your enemy is competent:first he will know where your woodline is before atacking you.then he will engage inbetween your cc vision range(larger than attack range ccvision:blue) and your woodline mens vision range(pink) from either side of the 2 circles intercepting.

this will allow the enemy to get as close as possible before you see him and to be as close to cutting off your wood units from security as possible.

as the enemy will come from his cc the shortest route will be if you have your woodlines on the sides where he can intercept them by just taking a direct line and they are quite close as they are somewhat upfront.

the front woodline is slightly better but pretty much the same as enemy has to go around it and to the side which wastes slightly more time as they have to walk around a circle that is slightly larger than your potential vision so they wont get spotted by the rule of thumb of not seeing any of the wood on that line>you cant see them.still these 2 options are near identical.

the best one is the back wood as it takes the enemy far longer as the distance is longer and every second counts in 0ad especially in higher level games.

last bit for the early positioning is the cc wood.if conditions are abysmal and you have no close woodlines(lets say overlaping the teritory by atleast the width of one 10 pop house) and your cc wood is large enough(atleast 5 trees (1k wood) or more) you might choose to place a storehouse at the start on the cc wood but this is horrible as your cc wood is your lifeline in case you get rushed of secure wood to cut and if you deplete it form the start and get rushed you will have nothing.just remember to keep scouting and stay vigilant if you use up ur cc wood as if you get rushed youll be in a bad position.otherwise as well cc wood storehouse hurts eco as youll ahve to get an another storehosue quite quickly in few min after the few trees near ur cc run out.


2.midgame woodlines.

this is where youll most likely start to need second,third and maybe even fourth (if you are really unlucky) patches of wood utilized by your woodcutters.

basically you shouldnt overcrowd a woodline as units will need to walk to a single storehouse and if overcrowded will be bumping into eachother ruining efficiency.optimal limit depends on specific civ storehosue size,woodline size and specific wood layout. a good rule of thumb is to literally never put more than 30 units on a single woodline or atleast depositing on a single storehouse. its best to start a new woodline after 20-25 units are on the first one.this may vary mainly depending on woodline size but also on storehouse size.


when picking a second woodline make sure to place it with a path in mind.

both woodliners must as game progresses emigrate to the front slowly but surely as you want your units as close to the enemy as possible during the late game for a variety of reasons.for example in this case:p2.png.2d195f4c4c05b2b31c57b8e8b6285e40.png

if your first woodline 1 is at the back you wanna imagine future migration paths forboth woodlines.had you placed your second storehosue closest to the first one the first line would have to walk longer to a nearest lone and this is especially bad if your first woodline isnt at the back and you block the front adjacent line forcing ur first line to move back upon exausting the wood patch.but i wont draw that i just wanna finish at this point.

also make sure to have proper map awareness and secure the awareness of the p3 woodlines by patrolling and placing watch towers not to get denied proper woodline positionging late game (see the late game section for more) this is especially important against colony civs as they can very quickly build leaving you little time to prevent and this is one of the reasons you must have front placed men even during a large part of the middle game so they reach intime to defend you phase 3 reachable woodlines,place baracks at the front not the back at this stage.

also dont be afraid ot get baskets if you have overcrowded woodlines and no better options. 600 res is often worth it to reduce the walktime.im gonna guess that you can place proportionally more units so if max was 30 and u boosted capacity by 50% u can place 45.


at this point the relevance of mapcontroll skyrockets as you are going through woodlines like one of thoes advanced deforestation machines.you have alot of woodcutters and the 50% efficiency upgrade so you can easily run out of not only properly positioned wood(where placing men is good as if enemy atacks you an respond well where your men arent out of line of defending your key points cc,baracks,caslte ect/) anyway at this point you wanan make sure that you will have proper woodlines by also patroll and outposts so enemy wont palce a civic building or tower your woodlines.you can ofcourse do these thigns to hurt your opponent as well.here its a good idea to have some units preferably largely women for total eco viability as back then it wouldve cost far less to get women and now you can send most of your men to atack instead of having men cut wood while other men fight or having to move women from farms.anyway its a good idea to have a group of units cutting wood from the back,out of position as this boosts your total wood avalibility by you spending less of the well positioned wood and as this little group consisting partly of women being out of position wont hurt your security in any significant manner.

if you see that in the future you wont have optimal woodlines either reach for some by palcing buildings on the edge and building to the woodline over time or place a civic building if you think thats the right move.most importantly you must decide and notice in advance as if you run out when the time comes withotu any prep you will be in a bad position disadvantaged by having either no woodline or a bad one at the back.and when enemey atacks your units wont make it in time and youll lose :p.

hope this helps

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Edited by vinme
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oh also dont forget guys to get woodcutting p1 so that it matches there being 23 units on wood or so when it finishes. p2 immediately upon reaching p2 around 110 pop or so.

and p3 asap as well i wanna say 160 pop?

3 minutes ago, Feldfeld said:

Just take the one in the back lol


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3 minutes ago, badosu said:

Don't listen to felderson, he's unoptimal positioning and strategically thinking casual

The weird part is that he actually recommands positioning it in the back in priority in the guide. I don't understand.

In all seriousness though, if for once we want to discuss the actual arguments, I think that the assumption that the enemy will want to cut off woodworkers is wrong. Typically the cavalry rusher will not be able to overpower the woodline, therefore he will want to come from the shortest path to see if he can do something (and fast) and if he can't, find another target.

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2 hours ago, badosu said:

Well, there's certainly some tactical thinking required to play this game well, but most of the time the execution is lacking not the thinking.

did you just say what ive been trying to say in that "stats" essay but better..and in a sentence? insert boondock prisoner meme*


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2 hours ago, Feldfeld said:

The weird part is that he actually recommands positioning it in the back in priority in the guide. I don't understand.

In all seriousness though, if for once we want to discuss the actual arguments, I think that the assumption that the enemy will want to cut off woodworkers is wrong. Typically the cavalry rusher will not be able to overpower the woodline, therefore he will want to come from the shortest path to see if he can do something (and fast) and if he can't, find another target.

i was half joking in overdramatic "WRONG" comment dont take things too seriously.but i did mean it .ill take some blame for writing incoherently but if u read it and managed to understand my incoherent writing what i specified was that most important is the woodlines closenes to cc as that is the largest factor to security(ill say rn prob 75% of importance then lets say 15% size and 10% backwood).back woodline while its good its the third most relevant from what i wrote right after woodline size.for cav not being able to overpower men the standard min 2:20 or something(dont quote me on time) 8 cav rush can kill a player by default if a bad woodline is chosen as 8 cav is more than enough to kill all the woodliners including women,4men via cutoff.yes its not usually practiced these days but attacking the way i specified maximizes results and is uncounterable if relevant lines in my priorities list arent followed assuming enemy does some cav for hunt that early its still nearly uncounterable not enough time by the time enemy sees u u already inbetween enemy badly picked far woodline and cc.yes the more common,maybe more advanced cav use offensively is to harass and deplete enemys micro with few cav the clicking/brain juice contest and yes then you keep cutting wood while defending with micro but that rush isnt deadly in theory it is clearly counterable but the few (significant) seconds that enemy saves by me choosing upfront closer to cc woodline over back woodline is worth it for me to play theoretically correctly even tho ppl rarely do the standard 8 cav min 2 rush that was the go to in previous alpha or even scout woodline b4 rush or try to cutoff at all whatsoever.a much worse build of same cav count and similar eco backup employed in previous alpha atacked min 3:30 or something.anyway just to clarify i respect you as a player and am not saying that you are all clicks and no brain or something derogatory like that but with that said as i wrote in my "what makes a great player" essay like 95% + is very very simple physiology stats or basic understandings so im not at all suprised that someone in top 3 isnt using 100% most optimal strats.again i like ur 1v1s ect and the way you play so dont take me disagreeing with you as a sign of disrespect.you should try the cutoff strat with 8 cav once but not vs pto ofc i promise youll be suprised.also i wanna note that in terms of human capability(imagine if 0ad was as popular as starcraft)im 100% sure that top 5 players rn arent even 10% of what the top 100 would be if 0ad was as popular as starcraft.theres a long way to even being 1 tenth as good as general human potential for us all and huge mistakes are being made even by the best players.if u want specifics on 8 cav build pm me.u can even do it without scouting via scouting 20 meters off enemy border with 8 cav but that risks discovery and wastes time.

19 minutes ago, badosu said:

Sorry, don't know, didn't read

i ranted on 0ad being a sport over an intelectually taxing game

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If you think that 8 cav rush is that powerful, you should be able to climb ranks with it, being able to kill all the woodline should be a great advantage.

7 hours ago, vinme said:

the standard 8 cav min 2 rush that was the go to in previous alpha

The balance for cavalry was very different, but still the rush came later anyway I think

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