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Tips for Players Who Dislike Turtling?


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This might be a kind of basic question, but I've noticed an uptick lately in players who use turtling as a strategy in 1v1 play. That's their right and everything. If they want to do it, they can. But I have to admit I think it makes the game super boring, at best, and it's sort of a cheap way to crank out wins in games you'd otherwise lose, at worst. I'd like to avoid joining games against turtlers b/c I think it ruins the game experience.

Does anyone have tips for how to handle this in 1v1 games? Ways of setting up the game (specific pop limits/maps/civs) to discourage turtling as a strategy? Ways to quickly defeat players who turtle?

I already know some of the basics - for example, I now avoid any 200 pop game against players who choose Gauls (or sometimes Romans). That's practically an advertisement that you're going to turtle. I also know how to defeat turtlers really, really sloooowly. But is there a way to do it much more quickly?

Edited by thephilosopher
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Just now, thephilosopher said:

Does anyone have tips for how to handle this in 1v1 games? Ways of setting up the game (specific pop limits/maps/civs) to discourage turtling as a strategy? Ways to quickly defeat players who turtle?

I have some ideas, assuming you know that your enemy likes to turtle:

1. Choose a civilisation with elephants. Seleucids, Kushites and Mauryans are recommended. Focus on producing large numbers of elephants (5-15) instead of infantry. 

2. Produce pikemen and use ranged cavalry for ranged units, so that you can survive longer under enemy tower fire. 

3. If your civ doesn't have elephants, flood them with rams. Make 10 rams, garrison them with infantry and ram down their fortifications; remember to research the armour plating and crush damage techs. 

4. Catapults defended by champion units. 

Be even more turtle than them to frustrate them. 

Just now, thephilosopher said:

Gauls (or sometimes Romans)

I think the Gauls are bad at turtling; the civilisations you must beware of are Carthaginians and Iberians. 

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1 minute ago, Sevda said:

I think the Gauls are bad at turtling; the civilisations you must beware of are Carthaginians and Iberians. 

I think this is probably true, esp. Carthaginians. But for whatever reason, turtlers seem to love the Gauls and people who pick Carthaginians seem to like phase 2 merc cav raids instead of turtling.

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1 minute ago, Sevda said:

Gauls are bad at turtling

truth, they are very good at attack but the buildings are weak.

 

2 minutes ago, Sevda said:

Carthaginians and Iberians. 

yes, an Iberian hero makes the arrow count double If I remember correct.

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1 hour ago, thephilosopher said:

Ways of setting up the game (specific pop limits/maps/civs) to discourage turtling as a strategy? Ways to quickly defeat players who turtle?

On mainland there is no guaranteed way to defeat turtlers, but a map that make turtling very difficult is the empire map. On that map you start with 2 CCs and both thus you can focus your cavalry attacks on the weakest point of their bases.

But then again, turtlers might not like to play on empire.

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Just now, thephilosopher said:

turtlers seem to love the Gauls

Gauls have an easier starting economy and have always been friendly to new players, because of their simple structure tree.

Just now, leopard said:

yes, an Iberian hero makes the arrow count double If I remember correct.

Caros

The Carthaginian walls are 3 times stronger than default walls, so once a wall has been constructed they are quite invincible. 

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8 hours ago, Sevda said:

wall has been constructed they are quite invincible. 

we can destroy walls, and defeat the enemy, it's possible I have done that when I was more noobish than I am now, but I could have destroyed the enemy a lot earlier I was too noob to at that time. I let the enemy build walls which was a mistake and It took a lot of time to defeat the turtler.

 

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3 hours ago, leopard said:

I let the enemy build walls which was a mistake and It took a lot of time to defeat the turtler.

Even if this does happen, you can focus on destroying just one piece of the wall, prefereably the gate. Use 5 catapults and 3 rams so that he cannot counter your siege easily. Prepare spearcav to counter his mercenary sword cav and javlin cav to counter his elephants or infantry. 

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Actually gauls and brits should be the worst civs for turtling. Their buildings are weaker and they dont have citizen infantry swordsmen. At the other hand they can build buildings faster.

Be aware of kushites because they have big pyramids, swordsmen and a tech for extra building health. And a huge temple which has space for 40 units, that might be very hard to conquer.

In the next alpha the Han will be a pain, they have very strong buildings and all turtlers might like them.

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Just now, Player of 0AD said:

In the next alpha the Han will be a pain, they have very strong buildings and all turtlers might like them.

They are extremely vulnerable to spear cavalry rush, so you can easily kill them in early game. 

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They have archers, spearman and sword cavalry in phase one. If you use spear cavalry, then you can beat their sword cavalry, after that, archers can also be defeated by spear cavalry easily, therefore you can raid their farms without distraction. However, you will need more than 10 spear cavalry to do significant damage. 

You can also do an early infantry push with a javlin civ and that will also beat their archer + spearman combination. 

In phase 2 they only have crossbowman, which is also sitting duck against melee cavalry or javlin units. 

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Offensive turtling is something i enjoyed a great deal in A23, i agree that basic passive turtling is boring, but i find great satisfcation in city building and defending said cities, so yeah :)

That being said, celts are the worst possible turtle civs, they are the classical offensive oriented civs, Rome was the pinnacle of a defensive civ, their wooden walls which are now nerfed were the best and their siege was great, and you had consular guard for making sorties against strategic points, all in all was a solid civ.

That being said, turtles in A25 are an absolutely pointless exercise. Rams are unbearably hard to counter and fixed defenses are far less useful than before.

That being said, if someone does try to turtle, simply amass champion cavalry with rams and kill them, run all over their base destroying vital areas and detachments, and if a fortress gives you trouble simply hack it down, you can hack civic centers apart with enough swords so little reason to be worried if they get your rams. There is no counter to late game champions unless you have a lot of your own that counter them. Sparta I would say is the best Turtle civ available, Iberians similarly because of fire cav.

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52 minutes ago, Sevda said:

They have archers, spearman and sword cavalry in phase one. If you use spear cavalry, then you can beat their sword cavalry, after that, archers can also be defeated by spear cavalry easily, therefore you can raid their farms without distraction. However, you will need more than 10 spear cavalry to do significant damage. 

You can also do an early infantry push with a javlin civ and that will also beat their archer + spearman combination. 

In phase 2 they only have crossbowman, which is also sitting duck against melee cavalry or javlin units. 

what you are describing does not sound "extremely vulnerable". There are other civs that are more vulnerable to rushes too. For example, many civs are helpless against the camel rush. Even If the Han are in fact more vulnerable, I don't see this being a problem.

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A Phase 2 rush is another strategy I thought might work against defensive turtling, but I've never tried it. The idea would be to prevent them from going to Phase 3 and building fortresses. Turtlers tend to be hard to rush in Phase 1. At least, the ones I've seen build early military units so a cav rush won't be successful.

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Early in phase two, the turtler has only sentry towers which are easy to capture. If these players prepare for a rush every time, then you could just boom to p2, quickly get the first military upgrades and attack with as many units as you can.

Another thing you could do is build a forward base in p2 and build scout towers so that you can see most of his territory. Then, when you both reach p3, you will see where he places his first fort, and you send all men to deny it. This is a big problem for the turtler, because they want to get the fort up, but also not lose all of their troops who are building it.

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5 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

what you are describing does not sound "extremely vulnerable". There are other civs that are more vulnerable to rushes too. For example, many civs are helpless against the camel rush. Even If the Han are in fact more vulnerable, I don't see this being a problem.

The only civ that is truly helpless against camel rush is the Ptolemies, because their only way to counter camels is making more camels.

Javlin cavalry can chase camels and kill them

Spear cavalry can kill camels even when outnumbered

Archer civs will outnumber camels with infantry so they are also not vulnerable

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4 hours ago, Sevda said:

The only civ that is truly helpless against camel rush is the Ptolemies

slingers can at least range camels a little bit compared to skirms.

4 hours ago, Sevda said:

Javlin cavalry can chase camels and kill them

Spear cavalry can kill camels even when outnumbered

This may true for a 1v1, but in a multiplayer game, the rusher has already slowed the victim down a lot, even more so if they have to switch to cav for protection. Usually if a rusher can slow down two or more enemies (in a 4v4), they are successful.

In any case, my message is this: being vulnerable isn't that big of a deal. The Han do not appear to be significantly more vulnerable than any other civ.

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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Carthage/Kushite mercs all-in in current alpha solve turtling.

Also, mass spear cav if sufficient hunt vs civs like Iberians and Romans (neither of which have spear infantry in p1) can be devastating for enemy.  Even more so with a Carthage merc cav rush.

Basically, p1/2 rushing anyone who turtles or is known to turtle.  If someone is known to turtle they are generally very vulnerable p1-p2 if you go "all in" on a rush which can become a way to permanently disable a enemy.

Edited by Dizaka
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Posted (edited)

So, like a scientist I guess, I sought out turtlers for about a half dozen or so games the last couple of days to test some things out. I played mostly unrated games, because I didn't want any losses to mess with my rating (which is already sitting a bit too low b/c I lost a bunch of rated games back when I was new to the game). As a part of the experiment, I made no attempt to use my usual (and almost 100% successful, but super slow) strategy for dealing with turtlers - building defensive structures, encircling their territory, and taking them down in gradual waves.

What tended to work: invading with elephant armies or large numbers of rams, supported by ranged units and swordsmen. Including defense against cav in the army.

What didn't work: invading with large armies with 4 or fewer rams or elephants (i.e., or any other conventional strategy against boomers or rushers). Phase 2 rush (but that might be because I'm just not very good at phase 2 rushing). Cav rush at Phase 1.

I won about half the games and lost about half. One particularly frustrating game ended in a stalemate, where I took out the opponent's fortresses and got the CC down to half power, before they were able to drive me back. I probably could've won that game, but it was going to take an hour or longer. I got so annoyed that I quit the game, which is the first time I've ever done that. Not my best moment, but I think we were playing unrated. I called an end to this little experiment after that game.

Edited by thephilosopher
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On 06/04/2022 at 2:08 AM, Freagarach said:

Interesting that rush is seen as a solution to turtling.

(https://defendmewhileiboom.blogspot.com/2010/03/three-basic-strategies-in-rts.html)

I always seemed to think turtling implies booming to p3 and in p3 just going defensive until all upgrades.  Haven't seen someone "turtle" p1/p2.  Generally, it's just booming then turtling p3.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Dizaka said:

I always seemed to think turtling implies booming to p3 and in p3 just going defensive until all upgrades.  Haven't seen someone "turtle" p1/p2.  Generally, it's just booming then turtling p3.

Booming to phase 3 and then turtling is what a good player who wants to turtle would do. But very few turtlers are good players, and very few good players go for a defensive turtling strategy. Most turtlers I've seen in action build some early military units, maintain a fairly defensive stance even in phases 1 and 2, hit 100 pop around the 12 or 13 minute mark (sometimes even a tad later), and then start cranking out fortresses and garrisoning all their troops as soon as they hit phase 3. I've even seen one or two stop all resource gathering at phase 3, except farming, and operate entirely with trading at markets. Then they play the old Muhammad Ali strategy: wait for the enemy to attack, and then mop them up if the attack fails.

Edited by thephilosopher
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