Forge of Empires Basic Optimization Strategies

Forge of Empires Basic Optimization Strategies by slurpz


Everyone has his or her own optimal setup depending on activity (the 5 minute huts are best for income at 84 income per hour with happiness bonus or 72 income without, until you research up to high middle age, and then brownstone houses are best for income at 108 income per hour with happiness bonus or 90 income without. The best income so far would be estate houses in late middle age with 144 income with happiness bonus or 120 income without). Very active people would do best with the high rate, low coin homes, while more inactive people should try to match the duration of house incomes with their expected activities.

However, layout will always be optimized the same. You want to reduce the amount of roads you have to put down (because that space would be better used by happiness buildings).

Try to place your town center in the space that would save you the most space. Usually this is either dead center with all roads leading out from there, or in the corner where you would typically have to spend more roads to make a L bend.

Try to stick all of your houses in a double row with your pottery places.

Also, you will always want 40% more happiness than you have population to get the 120% production bonus. That bonus means that you will actually lose productivity from having too many houses.

Basic example: huts make 6 gold with 100% production bonus, and 7 gold with 120% bonus. Huts give 14 population. 1.4 x 14 = 19.6, or a little over 1 tree/obelisk, or a little under 1 flower. 9 huts with 10 trees make 63 gold. 10 huts with 10 flowerbeds make 70 gold. If you were to do the same space with 100% happiness instead, you would get 10 huts with 8 trees for 60 gold, and 11 huts with 7 flowerbeds for 66 gold. It adds up over time!

“The T”

Remember, that you only need a little bit of road touching in order to have an entire building connected. This lets you use the ends of the roads next to boundaries to squeeze in some happiness buildings. You can also use the ends of roads to squeeze in many buildings (both examples are in the picture. The happiness building is squeezed into the end of the world at the left side of the picture, while I have squeezed in 4 buildings around that little road on the right).


It is generally best to have your units defend in chokepoints/defensively good places (bushes and forests for spear type units) unless you are sure you can kill the enemy unit in one round (it’s also a plus if none of your units are left in a position to be revenge killed). This is because your units get one counterattack each, and that might mean the difference between being able to let a unit survive with low health, or having it die.

Following that train of thought, it’s best to focus on one enemy unit at a time, so that you can take as few counter attacks as you positively can. Keep in mind that only melee units get counter attacks.

It might be helpful to mouseover enemy units so that you can get a sense of how far their range is (for melee units). For ranged units, you will have to add their range stat to their movement to get a sense of how far their attack is.

If you end up using a combination of melee and ranged units, keep in mind that using physical barriers (like lakes, mountains, and forests) in conjunction with good melee unit positioning can keep enemy units from hitting your ranged.

Try to keep the damage spread around your units. That way half your units won’t end up dead while the rest of your military is healthy.

The AI is stupid. If you retreat your low health units out of a melee’s immediate 2-3 tiles, and you keep a full health spear in a forest, the AI will attack the full health spear. If you have a bunch of ranged units, but you can’t retreat far enough, you can move your wounded ranged units as far as you can, keeping a full health sacrificial ranged unit near the melee unit, the melee unit will hit the full health unit.

This of course, only works for melee units. Enemy ranged units target units by low health ranged > full health ranged > low health melee > full health melee (maybe in order of attack weakness? I haven’t tested to see whether ranged units preferred to hit heavy melee units).

Basic Strategies

“The shield”

Basic use of physical chokepoints. You stick the spears in front to catch horsemen and melee.


If you’re down to just ranged units left, or if you only have ranged units near an enemy melee unit, you can kite it around.

Mouseover the enemy unit to see how far it can go, and move one square past that. If you can hit him at that point, attack him. Otherwise just keep running until you can hit him.

Other Forge of Empires Articles

Leave a Reply