Are you new to a scout rush? Looking to improve it? This guide will not only teach how to scout rush properly but also unveil the deepest dark secrets of a scout rush in step by step guide.
It doesn’t matter how low or high your ELO. You would nonetheless supplement your strategy bag with new tips anyway. However, players lower than 2100 “Steam ELO” or lower than 1700 Voobly ELO are advised to practice (1v1s and against computer) so to absorb every single tip I throw in this scout rush guide.
And I can guarantee you that within 2 or 3 weeks you will acquire a steam ELO of 2100 “at least” which is 1650 – 1700 Voobly rated.
First off, let’s answer some crucial questions to help you understand a scout rush a little bit more.
What’s a scout rush?
A scout rush is a very common, economic and standard build order in Age of Empires 2. It is a 21 or 22 population build that replies on two main resources: Wood and Food.
Can I Scout Rush with all Civilizations?
No! Preferably only civilizations with an access to “bloodlines” (available at the stable); and these are the civilizations you can scout rush with:
Berbers (Stable Units get a discount 15% & 20%)
Burmese (All wood upgrades are free)
Chinese (Farms get +45 food)
Franks (get 20% hp on all cavalry instead of bloodlines)
Goths (not recommended)
Huns (No houses needed, Stable works 20% faster)
Indians (Cheap Villagers => Always food for scouts)
Italians (Cavalry units shine in water maps thanks to the bonuses)
Japanese (not recommended)
Khmer (No barracks needed to build a stable)
Magyars (get free blacksmith attack upgrades)
Malians (Free gold upgrade, +5 attack tech for cavalry units)
Mongols (Fastest Scout rush)
Persians (Knight +2 attack vs archers)
Portuguese (Knights cost less gold)
Saracens (Selling stone and buying food for scouts)
Slavs (farms provide better productivity for heavy scout play)
Spanish (Blacksmith upgrades cost no gold)
Teutons (40 wood per a farm)
Turks (Fast gold miners & Light Cav/Hussar upgrades free)
Vietnamese (+50 hp for elephants tech)
On the other hand Aztecs, Mayans and Incas do not have access to the stable building. But “Eagle Scout Rush” can be used instead.
Civilizations colored in green have good bonuses, allowing them to do a better feudal scout rush than non-colored civilizations.
Now that you learnt which civilizations to scout rush with…? Let’s learn the scout rush build order first!
Scout Rush Build Order
This is a raw build order presentation to a scout rush.
(Pop 4/5) Build 2 houses and take down sheep by sheep. Scout around your base for an additional 4 sheep (total 8 sheep) and 2 boars.
(Pop 5/15) New Villager as shepherd
(Pop 6/15) New Villager as shepherd
(Pop 7/15) New Villager as shepherd
(Pop 8/15) New Villager as Lumberjack and builds 1st lumber camp
(Pop 9/15) New Villager as Lumberjack
(Pop 10/15) New Villager as Lumberjack
(Pop 11/15) New Villager lures 1st boar
(Pop 12/15) New Villager builds a house and goes to (boar meat) once the house is built.
(Pop 13/15) New Villager as Forager and builds a mill
(Pop 14/20) New Villager as Forager
(Pop 15/20) New Villager lures 2nt boar
(Pop 16/20) New Villager as Forager
(Pop 17/20) New Villager builds a house and becomes Forager once the house is built
(Pop 18/20) New Villager as a Boar Hunter. And select (an injured villager) to build the 1st farm
(Pop 19/25) New Villager as a Shepherd. And select (an injured villager) to build the 2nt farm
(Pop 20/25) New Villager as Lumberjack to (1st lumber camp)
(Pop 21/25) New Villager as Lumberjack to (1st lumber camp) Now total 5 villagers in 1st lumber camp
(Pop 22/25) New Villager as Lumberjack to build (2nd lumber camp) & + Research Loom at the Town center + select 4 shepherds to go to the 2nd lumber camp (preferably in a different wood patch if found)
(Pop 22/25) Click Feudal Age button at the Town center
(Pop 22/25) @ 40% ~ 50% To Feudal Age: Select a shepherd and move him a little bit forward to build a house and wait for 175 wood to pile up.
(Pop 22/25)@ 60% To Feudal Age: You should immediately start building a Barracks with the house builder.
(Pop 22/25)@90% To Feudal Age: send another shepherd to help building the barracks.
(Pop 22/25)@ Feudal Age: Build a stable with the same 2 villagers. Research Double Axe + Horse Collar (horse collar can be delayed but as soon as you have 75 wood you should research it)
Please note that the scout rush is not always 22 pop. It can also be a 21 pop; all you have to do is cut down villager production at 21 pop to research loom instead.
The Scout Rush Goals
There’s no doubt that the scout rush is one of the safest and economic build orders in the game. Yet it can get tricky at some situations where you don’t know what kind of damage you are looking to do or in other words what’s the scout rush “Goal” or purpose in a particular situation.
I have compiled a list of things you should try to pull with a scout rush. Try to at least accomplish 4 of these goals in your game; only then you have reached the scout rush goal.
- Scout the base of an enemy as good as you can (find his main gold patch, wood patch, stone patches as that would help you find different locations from where you could attack him).
- Deny/kill enemy Wallers/Builders
- Kill/Idle as many enemy villagers as possible especially between 12 – 16 mins
- Force an enemy to make more than 2 spearmen early in feudal age
- Delay enemy gold miners for at least 1 – 2 mins
- Reduce/Kill the army of an enemy once he moves out of his base
- Force an enemy to put a tower in any of his resources
- Force an enemy to mine stone
- Interrupt/kill enemy Farmers constantly
In case you haven’t notice, most of these goals aim to delay the enemy from going to castle age. As a result, your “Scout Rush” benefits from a better economy and potentially early castle age army technology.
Scout Rush Secret Blueprint
This is the core part of this step by step guide and I highly recommend you to remember this blueprint that I’m about to share with you.
This blueprint begins at Feudal Age
Take an Advantage over an Advantage
Nobody might have told you this before probably they don’t want you to know about it or they just are doing it subconsciously without knowing.
The idea of taking an advantage over another advantage is to be aware when you get a specific advantage and know how to turn that small window of opportunity to significant chance of winning the game.
Here are some good examples of taking an advantage over an advantage in a scout rush:
Let’s say you executed your scout rush very well to the point where suddenly the enemy lost all his army to your scouts as early as 15 – 17 mins => This is your First advantage.
Take note of the benchmark between 15 – 17 mins. At this moment you can take this small window of opportunity where the enemy has no army and for example bring a forward villager/villagers to build a tower/towers in the weakest point of his map (behind his lumberjacks, behind his gold miners or behind his farmers) while you keep the production of whatever unit you can. I recommend delaying or stopping his gold miners as that might just be a game ender.
An enemy tower rush is failing while you managed to hold position by counter towering him 2 times at least => This is your First advantage.
Your Over Advantage => Send 5 – 7 villagers forward and tower rush his wood line at any expense while you are assigning new villagers to wood and make farms at 60 wood (use all your wood on farms at least 17 farms).
An enemy drush (3 militias) bumped into your Town center and died or (1,2 militias) survived with few hp => This is your First advantage.
There is always a reason why an enemy would Drush (You should scout his base):
- An enemy was drushing… To gain time to wall his base/Fast castle: Your Over Advantage => Make a transition to a tower rush instead of a scout rush and send 5 villagers forward to tower his gold miners/lumberjacks and why not break into his walls and make more towers whilst you are farming constantly and mining gold as soon as 14 mins
- An enemy was drushing… To transition to Archers/Men at arms: Your Over Advantage => Execute your scout rush as normal as you do (add only 2 scouts and go attack and scout) And build an archery range at 12 ish min and add skirmishers to counter enemy archers while you farm all the way to 14 – 16 farms. Most importantly play defensive with the skirmishers on one side while you wall/outposts the other sides
Those are just a few out of many examples of how to take an advantage over an advantage. Watch your recorded games to learn where you could have taken an advantage over another.
How to play Scout Rush against other strategies?
Due to the importance of this section I found myself obliged to enclose recorded games whenever possible besides elaborating every move you should do and how to setup your economy along the way.
Scout Rush Vs Drush/Archers
I cannot emphasis enough the importance of scouting your enemy. If you suck at scouting you should practice it every day and at least 5 games.
How to find out if your enemy is going to Drush into archers?
Answer: Commonly 27 – 28 pop including 3 militias, maximum 3 farmers.
- Barracks being built at 6:10 – 6:50 min.
- One of the gold patches (800 gold) is missing 10 gold (790 gold).
- Any Dead body of a wolf on explored areas of the map
You have learnt the signs now right? Now would you defend a drush into archers?
Let’s divide the question to two parts:
How to defend against a drush?
A Drush usually hits your base at 9:30 min. So even if you didn’t scout it but you know that your enemy is Drushing; you can just start surrounding your lumberjacks and foragers with unfinished palisade walls – this trick is called “quick walls”. Use this trick around 8:30 min because you have already clicked feudal age and so it is easier to do for both lumber camps and mill at the same time.
If the militias attack an unfinished palisade wall you just finish building it and repairing it.
But what if you fail to quick wall?
Answer: Just have your villagers stacked on a tree or on a forage bush and when the militias approach you simply aim and attack one militia at the time and if you manage to kill one militia the threat is reduced (Do not follow his militias, if they run don’t chase them until you have scouts out)
What army should I do in feudal age to counter enemy archers transition?
@ Feudal Age: Build a Stable
@ While Building Stable: Set a goal (in your mind) of how many farms you should make (14 or 16 farmers)
@ Stable built: Add 2 – 3 scouts
@ 12:30 min: Build an Archery range with 2 villagers.
@ Archery range built: Add Skirmishers
@ 14:30 min: build a blacksmith with 1 villager.
@ Blacksmith built: Research Fletching
@ Fletching researched: engage any fight with archers and try to reduce/kill them. (Losing your (+1) skirms versus archers is a good trade).
@ 17 min: Your Farming goal (14 or 16 farmers) should be accomplished at this benchmark
@ 19 min: Click Castle Age
Hereby you have the freewill to do whatever you think would be best an additional stable or archery range. If you still have skirmishers I recommend that you build the second stable and get both elite skirmishers and knights. But if the enemy has many archers, an additional archery range might help you catch up with him and add elite skirms to push him back. A forward or defensive siege workshop and make a mangonel is also a good idea as you might get a lucky shot on those crossbows.
Example Recorded Game of how to counter a Drush into archers (Scouts into 3 ranges skirm into cavalry archers) on any land map generation
Example Recorded Game of how to counter a Drush into archers (Faster Castle Age Timing) on a wallable map by Jeowaypoint
Example Recorded Game of how to counter a Drush into archers (Scouts into 1 range skirms 2 stables knights ) on a wallable map by Jeowaypoint
Scout Rush Vs Drush/Fast Castle
What are the signs of a Drush FC?
- 7 – 8 farms
- 4 farms and deers under the town center
- Early blacksmith
- Fully walled and reached feudal age around 12:30 ish min
- Late to Feudal age 12:40 – 13 ish min and stone miners
(In the previous section “Scout Rush Vs Drush/Archers” I have tackled how to defend a Drush. Same thing applies here.)
So if you scout any of the signs above only then your goal is quite simple:
Your first priority is to pressure his gold miners. Do whatever you can to stop him from mining gold. Pressuring his wood line or farmers has a secondary priority.
Below is only the economical Build order. Check out reactions afterwards for what army composition you should be going for.
@ Feudal Age: research double axe/horse collar and start farming until 14 – 17 farms
@ Upgrades Researched: Scout the enemy to find any sign of a Drush FC
@ Any Drush FC sign found: Follow the reactions I will be listing below this build order.
@ 14 ish min: Research wheelbarrow and send 4 villagers mine gold
@ 16 ish min: You should have around 14 – 17 farmers and the rest of the villagers (after reaching the farms goal) as gold miners
@ 17 ish min: Build a market and sell wood or food for 200 gold (if low on gold) and go up around 17 – 18:30 ish min mark.
@ 18 – 19 min: Click Castle Age
Reactions To Drush FC
We have talked earlier about reactions. Your reactions in this situation should be:
- One of the signs of Drush FC + Archery Range => Build Archery range, add skirms, send a few villagers forward, mine stone and keep trushing him while you assist with skirms and spearmen if needed. Build a blacksmith at 14:30 min.
- One of the signs of Drush FC + Stable => Only add spearmen, send a few villagers forward, mine stone and keep trushing him while you assist with spearmen
- One of the signs of Drush FC + Market/Blacksmith + His civilization has a good Unique Unit (e.g. Spanish, Goths, Portuguese, Mayans, Burmese, Mongols, Koreans, Berbers, Turks, Vietnamese) => If His Map is Bad then Tower rush him as that might pan out well. Else If his map is good and his resources are in the back and he is fully walled then stone wall yourself and prepare a good counter army while you are macroing behind it (additional 2 town centers and farms, farms.. Reach 30 farms at 30 mins to go up to imperial as soon as 32 – 33 – 34 min mark. But If you want to make a mid castle age full push ‘Mini Boom’ it’s usually around 24 – 25 min with 25 farms then you can make army non-stop… I will talk about all this in another tutorial soon).
Your army does not have to be huge early castle age if you are planning to go imperial faster — e.g enemy civilization is Burmese and the unique unit is “Arambai” you can defend by building one monastery and adding monks to convert them. When you see the enemy making a siege workshop instantly react to that by building your own siege workshop and queue mangonels. Meantime you are building a solid economy (30 farms at 30 mins).
This imagery explains how to counter Drush FC units with a minimal army while you build up a good economy
Scout Rush Vs Forward
What are the signs of a Forward?
- 8:30 – 9 min villagers walking towards your town
- No Military buildings at his base
- Enemy Villagers building a barracks/archery range nearby your town
- Any Dead body of a wolf on explored areas of the map
When you find out your opponent is forwarding you here’s what you should do:
Locate his forward villagers are and count them. If they are 5 villagers then send 5+2 villagers of your own and try to gang attack villager by villager.
If enemy villagers are supplemented with militias, you must gang attack the militias first because they deal 4 damage while villagers only 3 attack. Same thing applies to the feudal scout if the enemy is in feudal age (scout base attack is 5 in feudal age, but 3 in dark age).
Another game changing micro tip is watching villagers/units hp. Attack the lowest hp villager/unit to reduce the fight efficiency of the enemy. Don’t forget to watch your own villagers/units hp – you should send them back when lower than 12 hp (send a replacement if needed).
The forward has failed the enemy
When the enemy is moving back that can only mean that his forward has failed. Your reaction should not be letting him get away with it – Do you remember the lesson of taking an advantage over an advantage? – Well you have had an advantage when the enemy has left your town thus now your over advantage can be as follow:
- Go after him and immediately start mining stone (4 stone miners) to build towers to deny him from resources or force another fight with his villagers (run back and come back but don’t lose villagers) until you get an opportunity to build a tower both are equally worth it.
- Wall in any forward military buildings then plan a heavy scout rush attack while mining stone slowly (only 2 or 3 stone miners) for defensive towers against a potential archer+spear rush.
Scout Rush Vs Trush
What are the signs of a Trush?
- One Lumber Camp and a few lumberjacks(4 – 6)
- Villagers mining stone at 8 ish min
- 8:30 – 9 min villagers walking towards your town
- Any Dead body of a wolf on explored areas of the map
I have already written a dedicated guide on How to counter a trush for an optimal understanding of the build order.
Scout Rush Vs Scout Rush
What are the signs of a Scout Rush?
- Two Lumber Camps and 10 – 11 lumberjacks
- Barracks being built at his base as well as a stable later at feudal age.
Mirror build orders such as a scout rush can get tricky if you get out micro-ed by the enemy scouts. Reducing scouts count is your very first priority in this matchup. Because only then you get scouts advantage which at some points you would want to get upgrades to deal significant damage with.
Essentially there isn’t exactly a counter build to a mirror build order but to setup a good defense while you apply a good offence. Sometimes you see players send forward spears to cut down enemy scouts or keep him busy. Other players like to make a scouts and wall up their base go to up to castle first.
Let’s see the do and do not in a scout rush mirror build order:
To Do in a scout fight
- Take a fight uphill even if your scout count is less e.g (3) scouts while the enemy is (4) scouts. Aim attack and kill one enemy scout and run away. Can be repeated when you see a chance
- Attack the lowest hp enemy scout and micro your own by pulling them when they take much damage.
- Engage a fight if you are ahead with upgrades
Not To Do in a scout fight
- Do Not take fights down hill
- Do Not engage enemy scouts that have bloodlines
- Do Not lose scouts to enemy villagers unnecessarily (gives leverage scout count to the enemy)
These were basic and crucial points you must DO and NOT DO.
That’s not it…
In this section of a scout rush mirror build order, you should expect different transitions from the opponent:
What are the signs of full scouts into knights?
- One lumber camp and luring deers
- Blacksmith at 14:30 – 15 ish min
- Only 2 villagers mining gold
- Defensive with only scouts (greedy with spears)
What are the signs of a few scouts into Castle age cavalry archers/Knights?
- Early walls with only 3 – 5 scouts
- Blacksmith or market around 16 – 17 ish mins
- Idle Archery Ranges/Stables for a long time in feudal age
What are the signs of a full feudal rush?
This one is very tricky and the best way find out is to scout the first wave of scouts/archers/spears heading to your town. You can also walk near his military buildings and click them to see where in the mini-map the gather point is set to.
I have presented to you almost if not all the common strategies that can be pulled out from a scout rush in a mirror build order matchup. Your free pass to getting good at this is scouting and always scouting your enemy. I have omitted the economical setup in this section because everything is already in the blueprint I shared with you in section of “Scout Rush Secret Blueprint”.
Now that you have the recipe you can be as creative as you wish.
Help & Links
Q: How to watch recorded games presented in this tutorial or other guides on this website?
A: Use AoE2Tools to drag and drop any recorded game after you have selected the respected version. Tutorial Video on how to setup and use AoE2Tools