A guide to Thor
Published 8/31/03, AoM v1.06
After reading several guides about Thor I realized that I couldn’t find one focusing on strategies and tactics, such as what to do in certain situations ... they were all focused on the technologies and minor gods. Of course knowing what the different gods grant and what units counter what is a must to know if you want to make it to 1900+, but it is also very important that you make the right decisions when you see what your enemy has planned, and to know how you will counter his strategy.
In this article I will write abit about the different starting build orders a Thor player can use, its advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore I will write what I believe is the best tactics on different maps, dependent on the major god you are playing against.
As mentioned before there are already several articles on the internet dealing with the god powers and technology affects. For that reason I won’t mention much about it here. If you do want to read about it I recommend the following articles: Article by 'The Excalibur' and/or an article concerning all Norse gods. As we all know Thor’s dwarves are cheaper, 60 gold instead of 70 gold. This provides the breeding ground for the “pure dwarves” strategy that was popular a while ago but seems to have faded a bit. This will be discussed later.
When On Maps ...
Watering Hole and Savannah
These two maps are normally full of animals so you should invest in Hunting Dogs at once and also get Pig Sticker as soon as possible (shoot at some animals to get 1 favor). You might want to wall your base in on Watering Hole if you are facing a Norse or Greek player. Both maps are nice to raid on so be sure to do some good scouting so you know where all his mines and food sources are. The build order for the “Fast Hunting Dogs and Pig Sticker” start is explained under the "Defeating Loki as Thor" section.
Oasis and Alfheim
Unless I can see animals I normally do a start with dwarves on gold and pickaxe. On Alfheim don’t invest in Hunting Dogs before you are sure you have at least two groups of animals. The amount of food on Alfheim can sometimes be very poor. On Oasis you should consider walling one direction to prevent getting attacked from both sides.
Anatolia, Midgard and Mediterranean
As I see it there are only two ways of building you should consider on water maps. One is focused on getting two docks fast and thereby being able to pump "villagers" with three buildings. The second way is to only build one dock and gather the extra food from animals on land.
Building two docks requires that you put more than the 5 villagers you can build to start with on wood. Cast the "Dwarven Gold Mine" near your TC and start mining with the two dwarves. The 5 villagers you have queued will go to chop wood. After that I send one dwarf on gold and then 2-3 dwarves on wood again. This should be enough for you to pump fishing boats with two docks. By doing this in theory you do not need to have any dwarves/villagers on food. Despite this I would probably do it because advancing fast is always very preferable when you are going to fight on water. If you for instance can get an Egypt player to cast his plague of serpents defensively that is by far the best. Having snakes right in front of your docks is a pain since you will probably have to contain your longboats inside your docks until you have sufficient forces to kill the snakes, which means you will lose all your fishing boats to his water army (unless you garrison them into the docks as well).
You always want to avoid any "all dwarf" builds on water maps since dwarves gather wood slower compared to villagers. The difference is not that big in archaic but is more significant when you get the wood upgrades in later ages. According to IamSpook from Planet Age of Mythology, the gathered wood after 5 minutes is only 1% when comparing 10 villagers and 5 villagers + 5 dwarves. You can read his entire article here: Wood gathering article by IamSpook.
On Ghost Lake I will mine gold with 4 dwarves (and pickaxe) unless I see 3+ boars close to me and want to try something some odd tactic that needs a load of food. Be sure to scout the sides and find your pack of deer. The middle is not really interesting so try not to waste scouting time on it. Ghost Lake is a low gold map, so be sure to scout the gold and see how you can protect it by walling off choke points (cliffs, forests, etc). Ghost Lake is also a nice map to raid on so be sure to have numerous raiding cavalry (2x8 or something like that).
Advance no later than 15 minutes to the Heroic Age (of course this depends on the game) so you can start defending your TCs and gold mines. It is on maps like this that I would recommend going Skadi unless you are facing heavy cavalry and need the fully upgraded ulfsarks. Skadi's god power can be very helpful when claiming a settlement (or stealing one of his!). Be sure not to waste too much time killing his army. Rather, get map control by building longhouses, TCs and Hillforts.
In this next section, we will cover what to do specifically against Loki, probably the hardest god to defeat when playing as Thor.
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