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This, the best Loki guide I have found, complete, well done and many more. I decided to copy/paste it to my site :-). I hope Salient doesnt get mad (despair did not) :-P... The guide is intended for Aot players but can be used for Aom to a certain level...btw, this is a 100% copy paste, u can find the original post here...
Ultimate Guide to Loki
By Salient and Vnx_Despair
Well I won't be able to play TT much more due to work so I thought I'd do a nice Loki guide before I go, and just sum up all I learned playing a ridiculus number of games with him. Most people agree that Loki is one of the harder gods to use, and also one of the most fun. I'll go through how you should play him vs every civ.
Loki on Mediterranean
O.K be happy, you just got a water map! Loki is one of the best civs on water. You also have lots of options here. I like to 5 min 2 dock galley rush , but you can also do a 7:xx Njord heroic if you prefer, or even a combined land/sea rush on his docks (kind of like Kronos does). It's up to you. Basic build-up for 5 min 2 dock galley rush:
Ulf makes dock and house
You get the pattern I take it? Temple at home. Click advance around 4 minutes, which will give you a nice healthy 5 min Classic. Switch all food vills to wood. You should have 5 dwarves gold. turn off autoque on your dock. Build a second dock and a house. Get hand-axe and pick-axe. Once you are classic you autoque longboats and raid his fishing. You can also autoque vils to wood. I make a hersir or two for defense and to help make houses and docks, but I put almost all resouces into winning sea. Heroic with Njord when you can. Example game:
Loki vs Greeks and Egypt on land maps
This can be a hard matchup on land maps because greek troops are uber, and yours are not. Egypt has the axemen unit + ranged heros, which will maul you. O.K the easiest way to start is to tell you what not to do. Don't rush! You will get your ass handed back to you on a plate, so just don't do it. Why not? Well, there are those uber troops I mentioned, espcially toxotes behind buildings, but also Greek Classical GPS are very good at killing a rush. Pestilance on your Forward Base? gg. Ceasefire so he can mass uber troops and both heros? gg. Egypt can wall nice girl and really make a rush difficult unless his gold is really very far away from his base -- in that case you can rush! Just keep him off gold. But most of the time, just believe me you don't what to rush Greeks or Egypt. What you can do is the famous:
Patented Jelani Gay Hersir Raiding
O.K. I don't really like this strategy, but it's your best bet half the time and it's pretty amusing when you first start using it. Basicly do 4:30-5 min classical build up: Which is something like
Click Advance with Foresti and move one of your gold vills to wood so you have 7 food, 4 gold, 3 wood. Build a house and a second Temple while advanceing. Autoque hersirs from both temples. Now your raid with groups of hersir. Have your ulf stay home and make houses + 1 barracks. Research Hall Of Thanes in barracks when you can. The key is to keep your enemy on the defensive and reacting to your raids. Try not to lose any hersirs. Bring wounded men home and heal them at your Healing Spring. Put dwarfs on gold at first and then start putting vills to sheep. Turn off autoque when you feel you can safely advance to heroic with Braggi. This should be about at 10 mins. Make a hillfort when in heroic and Jarls. Both temples AQ Battle Boars. Now go screw him up. Hopefully you were able to make him use Ceasefire in Classic if he had it, otherwise you have to wait to use Flaming Weapons until you get Tyr for Flaming + Fimbul. Vs any enemy that does'nt have ceasefire, your full pop army of Hall of Thanes hersirs, jarls + mass Battle Boars with flaming weapons is pretty much death. You'll probably want to cut gold with your attack. Example game: http://agesanctuary.com/index.php?portal=AOT&fview=3&showtopic=66532&#entry704951
Loki vs Greeks/Egypt on Semi-Water
These are your best maps because you get lots of defendable fishing to feed your 80 food hersirs, or fast age advancing. Highland can be annoying due to ulf-harrass, but you can cope with it usually. O.K. on these maps I prefer the Loki FM -- perfected by Vagabond_Tom. Look up his games if you want a nice example of FMing. It is important that you spy him so you can tell what he is doing. You FM because Hersirs get a free upgrade with every age advance and Fire Giants are OP. Basic build up:
Make Second ulf ASAP -- make two docks
Loki vs Norse on land
O.K. Loki is the dark god of the Norse pantheon and he is really good at killing other Norse. You rush, always. You must advance 4:30 or earlier (food permitting). Otherwise, you may lose your forward base to some gay ulf flood. Basic build up for Heimdal Rush:
Ok a few tips here. your temple should be forward but not too forward. Odin and Thor can go to classic before you becaue their hunting is faster. So build a little more than half-way aross the map, near a tc or hunting. You have two ulfs so you should know where all the resouces are and you should have no problem making temple. If they do advance before you, make some ulfs from your longhouses asap before switching to other troops, they build very fast and will help you if he trys to flood your FB. It is best to have spied a hunter vs norse because if you can cut him from hunting he is buggered. Start out with 1 temple + 2 longhouses. Hersir from temple and longhouse, throwing axemen from the other longhouse. Start out by putting a few villagers on wood and then autoqueing dwarves to gold. You need wood for axemen. Knock him off resoures and snipe at buildings with your army, then retreat. Don't fight in building fire more than you have too. Once you have the favor and gold reserve, autoque full throwing axemen + Einherjars. Micro axemen to kill hersirs. This combo can't be countered properly in classical age. Example game: http://agesanctuary.com/index.php?portal=AOT&fview=3&showtopic=66854&#entry708252
Loki vs Norse on Semi-Water
You aim for a 5 min or faster time with a nice dock boom. Then you go rip him apart with mass hersir + throwing axemen. Temple halfway aross map normally. Build up:
4 vills + cart to wood
Loki vs Atlantians on land
O.K. I want to clear up some misconceptions. Yes Loki can be very good vs. Atlantians if they let you mass Myth units; however, they don't have to just sit back and let you do that. In fact Atlantians can really own you on low food land maps. Also, sadly, we can't rush them like you might want to because they can advance faster than you and harrass your builders so you can't make longhouses, or they can attack your hunting at 4 mins = no 80 food hersirs = death. Build at home and aim for a 4:30 Foresti advance. You'll want a 2 temple advance vs Kronos. It's rather important that you harrass oracles if you see them. Use your rush build up I gave you but build home. Wall up if you can. Get tower up, and make hersirs. don't fight any losing battles, raid with hersir. Try to avoid big battles until you have your heroic god power to help. get hall of thanes asap, and make towers around your economy. Example game: http://agesanctuary.com/index.php?portal=AOT&fview=3&showtopic=68629&#entry726996
Loki vs Atlantians on semi-water
These maps are good for you. You can either rush like you do vs Norse on semi-water, or you can play defensive and boom until heroic. It's your choice, but the build up is the same as vs other norse on these maps. I prefer temple at home and defensive booming until heroic.
Rushing Egypt works ok as long as you can get at their gold. It's hard to do but very fun when it works smile.gif Example games:
Another Crazy strat I like to do is 2-tc turtle FM vs hades and Poseidon. Example games:
Finally, Heimdal rushing vs Atlantians is quite fun when it works:
Have fun playing Loki. Make lots of Myth units, and I hope your Nidhogg isn't bolted.
Alternative Perspective by VnX_Despair
Despair was nice enough to submit his perspective on some of Loki's hardest matchups. You'll notice his playstyle is a little different from mine. Everyone has different influences. My most imporant infulence was NoFx_Melkor. I think Despair's was Mystic_Horror.
Loki vs. Isis
Isis has always been my hardest matchup with loki, however recently with some work, i have become alot better at it (I'm currently playing on a smurf nick that I don't want to reveal) Anyways I'm not sure this will be a help to anyone, but just in case I want to post it.
The most important thing you must remember vs. Isis is to never attempt the same strat more than once before switching to another. Why? Isis has a hard-counter strat for every strat you have, so you must keep the isis off balance (in boe3) , there is no simple "counterstrat" for isis, imo their are a few basic strats that I will list:
1. Heimdall rush - good old classic heimdall rush, you must go up 4:20 and take out their gold tower, very risky, but if you are playing vs. an isis and you just did a late, slow strat the previous game it can be worth it, because if the isis advances @ 6:00 you can take their gold. When playing this strat heimdall towers are key to victory, build rc/hersir, no ta. You will need to be able to micro very well to pull this strat off. if rush looks it is going to fail, pull back and switch to make control...and get safeguard.
2. Jelani's Hersir semi-fh, there are two basic versions of this, the first is the 100% hersir fh, this works very well if you are playing against 100% chariot fh players, however most are not that way (at least nowadays) so you have the second hersir semi-fh build. This is bassically the same as first, except you put several people more on wood in classical, so you can afford a hill fort as soon as you up heroic.
3. Thor-Style rc 2tc fh. If you are having trouble with more "lokyish" strats then you can play it very similar to the way you do with thor, except you will have far less space for error.
4. Fast Mythic - This is very, very risky, but I have beaten good isis players with it soley because they were not expecting it. The idea is you manipulate your econ, so you up mythic around 10-13, and go in with HoT Hersir + Husks + WW + Nidhogg, and then mop him up with FG's. If he has an enormous concentration of archer units, drop niddy on top of them, and they all will auto target him, but he has 2000 hp, so they will have to run, or lose. Sometimes ballista are used in this strat, though I find them to be rather expensive to make on a rather tight FM economy.
The Strats on water are very similar except for the fact that some strats are far more effective, I will go over each water map, as you play very different on each.
This is imo by far the best map for hard rush, many isis will advance 6:00, while your enormous food econ will allow you to flood rc, so you should easily have him in a bind by the time he ups classical, then put down a few heimdall towers and its over, whatever you do, do not go for the TC until it is obvious he has lost. I think you should always foward, no matter what strat you are doing, becuae you usually have only 1 gold mine most of the time. TBH you can do any strat on this map other than FM, because it usually involves you sitting in your base, which is very risky with only 1 gold.
Nasty map, do not rush (duhhh) I like a slower hersir fh, with 2-3 tc's pumping villies, because despite you best efforts you will always lose water. You must foward build, and stop him from reaching foward gold. I mix in non hersir units (HF) much more often and early on this map, because their enormous food econ results in many, many axemen.
The hardest map for loki Vs. Isis. I sometimes rush on this map, because Isis never expect it, while going classical wall up the side oppossite your rush, so he cannot hop to a farther goldmine and make your rush useless, if he has some idea of this, than it won't work.
another hell of a map, you must go 2-3 ulf start to even get a dock up, you will always up earlier than him, and use that to secure one pond for you, just give him the other, commity heavy the the one you want to win, which should be the one with least docks, or in some cases with the most hunt by it (there is alot of hunt on this map, take advantage of it. You best chance is once again hersir strat, but I have had some very succsessful FM's where I am able to hold of the isis with crafty garrisoing. + fake rushes.
You can do pretty much the same stuff vs. RA and set, but classical fight is slightly more likely, and always be ready for hathor vs. ra.
A key tactic in Loki vs. isis is to abuse the powerful norse bonus of infantry building. Spam walls everywhere, they help you an amazing amount, put a wall section by each gold, by tc's, wall up the paths out of his base, wall off villagers that are hunting or mining and go kill them, I have won many games because of that tactic.
Before you fight him in heroic, always get pierce up (preferably on way to heroic) as Isis will always have many chariots.
If you see him go hathor, immediattly build 2 ox carts, and split your gold into 3 groups, you will not be able to withstand him locusting your gold.
If you are hersir raiding, abuse rax blocking -- use partially built barracks to trap villagers you are raiding!
BUILD WALLS EVERYWHERE!! Having walls can be they key to seeing his sphinx when it goes to a/e your home, or not.
Do not be afraid to modify your strat, for example if you plan to hesir semi fh, but he freaks out and goes classical fight, follow his example, after all its the age you are best vs. him in anyways.
I can not underestimate how OP eggy Axemen are, to counter them with pure hersir fh, have your BB's run in front of them into the axemen.
Always go 2 ulf start on land (unless hard rushing) this will allow you to get more sheep, scout the entire map fast, and do fun things like building bits of walls by his towers, so he can't house them up.
Whatever you do, resist the temptation to autobuild dwarves from tc, your eco + army will be much more powerful if you manage tc by hand, alternating between dwarvf + villager.
You can fake rush him, sometimes vs. exceptionaly nervous players, this is enough to get them to commit to classical fight.
Whatever you do, do not attack a heavily fortified positon, if you run up against this, go around and attack from another side, or another spot, because otherwise you will lose your army.
If it is low food, you are generally much better off playing thor style, unless you manage to capture a legendary amound of herdables.
make sure to trap his army between 2 parts of your army before you fw.
abuse BB tc raiding -- a group of them can steamroll a tc in no time!
DO not hesitate to abuse heimdall towers for map control
place a wall section next to every hunt + gold etc.
for 2 3 ulf start on highland, have 3 vills (including starting vills) gather food, not wood first (Same on anatolia) You will need this vs. good eggy on these maps.
High hunt Land:
Hersir Raid Jelani style, build at home, whatever you do , you cannot fight his army until heroic, keep his army spread over the map chasing your hersir, don't let it go rip your base apart. You cannot commit to fight until heroic and you have many bb or tc advantage
2 ulf start, grab all sheep and abuse hersir, keep his army spread out around the map, and finish it in heroic, similar to high hunt really, just need more on food earlier
7:00 njord fh, or 4:50 rush of his docks with hersir + boats, build your own dock next to his, so he cant make boats to attack your hersir.
I like going up @ 5:40 with an enormous econemy and outmassing him with many military buildings, again, dont be tempted to finish in classical, build your builds apart so he can't pest them. You need to break a house or 2 early. if he restores, run, your econ is so uber that you will be ready to fight again by time restore ends, but you can't let him fight at your base, make him restore to save his base (hence early aggressiveness)
2 ulf vs. zeus, all others 1 ulf, wall your ulfs in so he cant stop your dock. take one side of water, and then grab tc's and outmass him.
Build temple foward, but build all houses at home.
This map is so variable, but vs. zeus you need to ulf start, best be is forseti tc grab + relatively early heroic, you need to win at least one pond.
For 2 3 ulf start on highland, have 3 vills (including starting vills) gather food, not wood first (Same on anatolia)
counter rush: 4:00 up, 4 vill to food + OX + HD, 2 + ox to gold, 1 vill to wood/ i dwarf to gold, i vill to food, i vill to wood, build temple, ox cart to wood, up with 6/3/3 go up with which god you are most comfortable with (rush follow depends on which)
Loki vs. Norse
4:10 rush vs. other norse ( a good thor or odin will 4:10 with you), if the loki goes later he will lose
4:40 rush vs. other norse on water, abuse garrison
4:10 rush, 4:10 defense, or 4:30 hersir raid,