A fast castle (FC) in Age of Empires 2 is the easiest beginner friendly builder order. This one is an FC knights into an all-in (mini-boom) or into a few knights 3 Town center boom. Basically you can play this build aggressive or defensive depending whether your opponent is open or fully walled.
The aim of a Fast Castle into Knights is to click up Feudal age with 26-27 population around 10 mins mark. With 4 foragers, 10 lumberjacks, 6 farmers, 4 gold miners you are bound to hit a decent Castle Age time with a decent economy to raid your opponent with non stop production of knights or just a few of them to delay him or force walls investment while you are booming with 3 town centers.
You do not want to fully commit to knights late Castle Age against Infantry/Camel civilizations especially Goths and Byzantines. Such civilizations can easily mass pike-men or camels. So you want to take a good look at your civilization tech tree and transition to either archery units or powder units.
Archery civilizations on the other hand should be easier to counter as long as you upgrade the second horse armor (Chain Barding ) in your Blacksmith. In fact you can make the game even more stressful for the archery civilization by adding a forward siege workshop and queuing Mangonels.
Fast Castle Build Order
- 3 POP
3 Starting Villagers build 2 Houses
- 7 POP
6 Villagers on Sheep
- 8 POP
1 Villager builds 1st Lumbercamp
- 11 POP
3 Villagers To Wood (Total 4 Lumberjacks)
- 12 POP
1 Villager hunts 1st boar
- 13 POP
1 Villager builds 2 houses
- 14 POP
1 Villager builds a Mill > becomes a Forager
- 15 POP
1 Villager on Forage Bushes (Total 2 Foragers)
- 16 POP
1 Villager hunts 2nd boar
- 18 POP
2 Villagers on Forage Bushes (Total 4 Foragers)
- 19 POP
2 Villagers on Sheep
- 20 POP
1 Villager as a lumberjack builds 2nd Lumbercamp
- 21 POP
3 Villagers on Wood
- 24 POP
2 Villagers on Wood (Total 10 Lumberjacks)
- 26 POP
1 Villager build a mining camp near a gold patch
- 27 POP
2 Villager mines gold (Total 2)
- 10 Lumberjacks
- 4 Foragers
- 6 Farmers
- 4 Gold Miners
Move 6 Shephards + 1 Boar Hunter to boar meat
Move all Boar Hunters to Sheep
Select an injured Shepherd to build the 1st farm
Move 1 Shepherd to build the 2nd farm (Total 2)
Use any Villager to build 1 house
Move 2 Shepherds to build 2 more farms (Total 4)
2 Shepherd Villagers > mine gold (Total 4)
2 Shepherd Villagers > builds two farms (Total 6)
Click Feudal Age
Instantly as you reach Feudal age:
- Create 2 new Villager to join gold miners
- Build a Blacksmith + Stable (Use Lumberjack villagers).
- Click Castle Age button
- Get Farm and Wood Upgrades
- At 175 wood available, build a second Stable (Total 2 Stables). Usually around 40% to Castle Age.
- Get Gold upgrade
- Get & Only If your opponent has a mass of archers. Otherwise it’s preferable to save food for creating villagers and massing knights.
- At every 60 wood available, move a lumberjack to build a new farm.
Instantly as you hit Castle age, Choose either of the following transitions:
Transition 1: Knights All-in (Aggressive with early game power)
- Create knights non-stop from your stables
- Create villagers one by one to leave enough food for knights production
- Relocate Idle Foragers to build Farms
- New villagers go to gold until 14 miners
Transition 2: TCs Boom (Passive with Late game power)
- Create only 4 knights from your stables and deal as damage as you can with them for the next 3 mins
- Upgrade (Bow Saw) the second Wood upgrade
- Create villagers non-stop and set the rally point to your wood lines
- As soon as you have 275 wood build a town center (you need 2 extra Town centers, a total of 3 tcs)
- All Town centers must be assigned to Wood lines. And every 60 wood must be converted into a farm
- Research Wheelbarrow at 20 or 21 mins
- At 20 mins assign the rally point of only 1 town center to your gold patch.
- (Start queuing knights only if your opponent is intending to attack you. If he is playing passive with no army keep making villagers and building farms)
- Aim at getting at least 30 farms at 26 mins
- At 26 mins research Hand cart as soon as 300 food 200 wood is available.
- Keep making farms nonstop
- At 28 – 29 mins click Imperial Age
- Research (Heavy Plow) the second farm upgrade
- Build forward siege workshop, Stables or Archery ranges which ever seems a better for your situation.
- Get all the upgrades for your army
- Get the new imperial age upgrades for your army
- Keep creating villagers
- Do whatever you want from this point