Old World – Guide to Rush Buying

Rush Buying Huide

The Basics

A standard Old World game lasts for 200 turns. The faster you can clear “stuff” out of the build queues of your cities, the more you can build. The more you can build, the more “stuff” you have in your Kingdom’s arsenal, which you can use to create a powerful advantage for the nation you are playing.

Rush buying is a pretty standard convention in 4x games, but it works a bit differently in Old World.

First and foremost, not every city can rush production. In order to even make use of it, two things must be true: First, the city in question must have a culture level of “Developing” or higher. If you want to put yourself in a position where you can rush city projects, specialists or units from a given city, then you’ll need to pay attention to buildings and tile improvements that boost culture so you can earn that all-important first 100 points of culture in that city.

Second, the city in question must not be damaged. Its defenses must be 100% intact. If not, you won’t be able to rush buy via any means, no matter how many resources you have available.

You should also know that there are actually several different ways you can activate rush buying in a city, once it has a culture level of “Developing” or higher. You can:

  • Use your excess Civics points (drawing from your national civics pool).
  • Use Training points from your national pool.
  • Use gold.
  • Use points of population.
  • Or use Orders.

The option to use Civics is “always on” and always available, provided that you a) have enough spare Civics points lying around, and b) the city in question has at least Developing culture.

Unfortunately, Civics are in high demand. You need them to adopt laws and improve religion, not to mention the demands of diplomacy, so don’t count on just having hundreds of “spare” civics lying around, enabling you to rush at will. You may get the occasional unit, specialist, or city project in that manner, but odds are that you simply won’t have enough “spare” Civics to make use of Civicsbased rush-buying as often as you’d like.

The good news is, as indicated above, there are tons of other options. Let’s take a closer look at each of the others:

Rushing via Training

In order to use training to rush something, the following conditions must be true:

  • Culture level of Developing or higher.
  • No damage to the city.
  • You must have a leader with the Zealot archetype.
  • You must have adopted a State Religion.
  • And your State Religion must be present in the city you want to rush from.

Assuming all of those conditions are met, you may use your national stockpile of Training points to rush anything you wish from the city in question.

Rushing via Gold (Money)

There are three different scenarios in which money can be used as a rush buying resource:

Scenario 1 – A City Given to the ‘Patrons’ Family

  • City must have Developing culture or better.
  • City’s defenses must be intact.
  • City must belong to the Patrons vassal family

If all three of these conditions are met, then that city can use money to rush buy city projects (and only city projects) – so you can speed your way through the productions of Forums, Treasuries, Walls, Archives, and their various upgrades.

Scenario 2 – A Judge Governor

  • City must have Developing culture or higher.
  • City’s defenses must be undamaged.
  • You must have a Garrison/Stronghold/Citadel built for that city.
  • And you must have a governor installed with the Judge archetype.

If all of these conditions are met, the city in question can use money to rush specialists (and only specialists).

Scenario 3 – The ‘Holy War’ Law

To make use of this method of rushing you must:

  • Research Martial Code.
  • Adopt the law ‘Holy War’.
  • Have a State Religion.
  • Have your religion in the city you wish to rush from.
  • Have a culture level of at least Developing in the city in question.
  • And its defenses must be 100% intact.

If all of those conditions are met, you will be able to use gold to rush units (and ONLY units) from the city in question.

Rushing via Population

To use this option, the following conditions must be met:

  • You must have researched the tech “Manor”.
  • You must adopt the law “Volunteers”.
  • The city you wish to rush from must have a culture level of Developing or higher.
  • And it’s defenses must be intact.

If all of those conditions are met, then you can use points of population to rush, and those points of population may be used to rush any type of unit, specialist, or city project.

Rushing via Orders

As with rushing via money, there are a few different scenarios that unlock this option. They are:

Scenario 1 – A Leader with the Commander Archetype

To be able to utilize this option, you must have:

  • A ruler with the Commander archetype.
  • Your capital must have Developing culture or better.
  • And its defenses must be intact.

In this case, the “rush via Orders” option is only available in your capital city and may only be used to rush buy units.

Scenario 2 – An Orator Governor

To access this option, you must have:

  • A city with Developing culture or better.
  • Defenses intact.
  • A garrison/stronghold or citadel in that city.
  • And a governor appointed with the Orator archetype.

If all of those conditions are met, you’ll be able to use orders to rush City Projects (and ONLY city projects), so, walls, forums, archives, and the like.

Scenario 3 – Orthodoxy

In order to make use of this options, all of the following conditions must be met:

  • The city in question must have Developing culture or better.
  • Its defenses must be intact.
  • You’ll need to research the tech “Doctrine”.
  • You’ll need to adopt the law “Orthodoxy”.
  • You’ll need to have a State Religion.
  • And your State Religion will need to be present in the city you wish to rush from.

Assuming all of those conditions are met, you’ll be able to use Orders to rush Specialists (and only Specialists).

When to Rush (and When Not to)

Given the constraints described above, you will almost certainly not be in a position to rush as often as you’d like to, and the matter must be considered carefully. After all, there are significant tradeoffs involved.

Spend too many Civics rushing and you may not be able to conduct critical diplomacy. Spend too much training and you’ll find yourself unable to upgrade troops or execute forced marches to get your armies where you need them.

Spend too much gold and you could easily tank your economy. Bleed your population dry and you’ll find yourself falling behind in the long term as you’re unable to train specialists. Spend all your orders on rush buying and your entire Kingdom is essentially paralyzed for that turn.

With that in mind, rush buying should only be done when it nets you a tangible, immediate benefit without excessive cost.

If you know you want to adopt a certain law, then no matter how tempted you might be to rush a unit out the door, or complete a city project a bit more quickly, those gains must be weighed against the impact the law you want will have on the kingdom as a whole, and that’s true, whatever resource you’re planning to invest in rushing.

Rushing units is a good idea if you’re ill prepared for a war and facing an existential threat.

Otherwise, those resources are probably better spent elsewhere.

Rushing City Projects can be a good investment, provided that you’ve got a generous surplus of the resource you’ll be using and you won’t hamper your Realm in other ways, but city projects tend to be less impactful than specialists. For example, an Archive gives you +1 science and 10 research points on completion. A specialist will also give you +1 science, and usually 2-3 other resources besides (extra civics or training, extra resources, etc.).

Rushing Specialists tends to offer the biggest and best “bang for your buck” after rushing and force marching settlers, but again, that has to be compared against what you’re giving up, because there’s always an opportunity cost.

Essentially, the question is: Which is more important? Preserving my ability to do X, or freeing up my city build queue Y turns faster and reaping the benefits of that (unit/project/specialist).

In some situations, the best answer will be rushing. In many others, it will be preserving your stockpile of the resource in question.

In MP games, rushing whenever possible may be the crucial thing that gives you just enough of an edge to gain an advantage over your opponent but in SP, except on the very highest levels of play, that’s only rarely the case.

In “tall” games, where you’ve got relatively fewer production centers relative to your rivals, rushing does become much more critical and will often surpass other needs in terms of priority.

In other words, there’s not an easy answer here and there are a lot of factors to consider:

  • How important is the thing you want to rush to your overall plans?
  • Do you have enough of the resource you plan to pay for the rush buy with to do that and not hamper your Realm in other ways?
  • How big is your Kingdom relative to your neighbors?
  • Are you rushing to gain a tactical advantage (i.e. – I need walls to keep my city from falling next turn) or a strategic (turn) advantage (i.e. – getting my settler out three turns faster, then force marching him into position will get the new city up and running 5 turns faster, which will allow me to…).

A good rule of thumb when weighing your options about whether to rush buy something or not is this:

If you cannot mentally step through exactly what you’re going to gain by rushing the unit/specialist/project in question, so you can compare that with what you may not be able to do (the opportunity cost) until your resource stockpile rebuilds, then don’t rush.

If you can step through the potential gains and you judge them to be worth more than whatever you’re giving up, by all means, rush away.

Another good rule of thumb to use, at least when rushing with Civics or Training, is this:

First, build up to the 2000 cap. Then, if you rush, don’t spend down to below 1000. That way, you’ve got a sufficient supply of either/both resources to cope with in-game events and diplomacy that require their use.

Costs Associated With Rushing

As with most things in Old World, the costs associated with Rushing are not fixed. They scale, so the more you do it, the more expensive it becomes.

In addition to the Civics/Training/Gold/Population/Orders cost associated with rushing a unit, specialist or project, every time you take that action, you’ll also be faced with a burst of additional Discontent from the city.

In most cases, the additional Discontent is nothing to worry about, as the game gives you a whole host of ways of limiting, and eventually reversing discontent. By the late game, it’s entirely possible to have a good number of your best and most established cities running net happiness, and even if you don’t, there’s a late game law (“Monetary Reform”) that removes the additional Discontent from the equation anyway, so the added Discontent should definitely not dissuade you from rushing except in a few edge cases.

Faux Rushing (Ambling)

This brings us to the topic of “Faux Rushing.” It’s a means of getting some of the same benefits as rushing, but without actually using any of the rush buying options above.

Let’s say you have a brand new city. A quick check of that city reveals that if you start training an Axeman, it will take 12 turns.

That’s a long time, but… you kinda need an Axeman. What to do?

Start building it anyway!

Then, have your friendly neighborhood worker begin building barracks for the city in question. As each one finishes, the city’s Training point count increases, and time is shaved off of the Axeman’s training time.

This is possible because the greater bulk of a city’s development doesn’t take place inside the build queue, but on the map itself.

Note too, that this works for anything you want to build. If you’re currently using a city as a Settler Pump, then improving farm, pasture, or fish tiles bumps up growth, allowing you to crank those settlers out faster.

If you’re training troops, then building barracks, ranges and mining Ore specials will speed the process along.

If you’re working on specialists or city projects, then improving marble tiles and building city improvements that increase civics will help speed them to completion, no rush buying needed!

Before we close this section out, it’s worth saying a few words about city specialization.

Most 4x games are designed such that it’s highly efficient to specialize your cities.

It’s less efficient in Old World, though still worth at least paying some attention to. Here’s why:

Let’s say you totally forego building barracks/ranges, except in cities that are training troops.
You can do that, and it frees up your workers in your non troop cities for other tasks, however…
It’s important to remember how Civics and Training points ultimately wind up in your national queue.

A city currently training a unit contributes nothing to the national pool. Only cities not training troops will increase your national Training count, so…if you want to ensure that you’ve got a robust Training pool available for “Launch Offensive,” Forced Marches, Promotions and upgrades, then you’re probably going to want to build barracks in cities that may never actually train any troops.

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