The French PIS (Portuguese & / or Iroquois Surprise)

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The French PIS (Portuguese & / or Iroquois Surprise)

Post by Cyclohexane »

This strategy is based on the French “TEAM Early Skirmishers” HC shipment. Because of this, there are a number of civilizations that have the possibility to perform this rush. In particular, the Iroquois, Portuguese, and the Sioux can perform variations of this strategy because:

1.) The Sioux have cheap wakina rifles, amazing scouting, and nice age up politicians. However, wakina rifles are fairly weak in Colonial without dancers to back them up and the French already posses a nice scout.

2.) The Portuguese have the most powerful light infantry during the Colonial age. Their hit points and damage is based off veteran status. That means there is no Colonial unit. Playing this card in Colonial grants Fortress Age units in Colonial that tear everything to shreds IF YOU CAN MICRO THEM. The overkill is horrendous but if you get them in melee, they are for lack of a better word, girl thingys.

While other civilizations can pull it off, I am focusing on the Iroquois because the Forrest Prowler is one of the best light infantry in the game in Colonial and in later ages due to their nice upgrade cards and the steroid taking War Chief. The Iroquois units compliment the French units as well. Allying the two most versatile civilizations in the game is deadly.

Unfortunately, light infantry is the king of colonial warfare. They can focus fire on their direct counters (cavalry) and take them out quickly and can even hit and run grenadiers. Age 3 units in age 2 that will later auto upgrade is powerful.

Any. If the map has nice choke points and they turtle, you can get into trouble. Your deck will be focused around attacking, theirs will be focused around the economy. If the attack fails, they will slowly run over you. So, attack hard and never let up. Playing like this will keep the shipments rolling in.

1.) I have been called a hacker a number of times using this strategy pumping out a perfect counter to heavy infantry. You definitely have the element of surprise.
2.) Stealth in Age 2. While mostly a novelty, it has came in handy a few times to at least divert an army to the back of the base while my ally hit the front. Sending one prowler out to prowl is also a nice way to determine what the enemy is doing on the other side of the map.
3.) Excellent team cards. In addition to the French Team Early Skirmishers, they also have “TEAM Ranged Infantry Attack.” The Iroquois have “Team Scout Infantry.” With 1 shipment from each player, their skirmishers get 15% damage, 10% hit points, and +4 LOS. Combined with RG Guard upgrades on the French (like the game would last that long), we have some very powerful infantry.
4.) Iroquois eagle eye shot. This really helps against other light infantry since you will be able to slowly pick them off.
5.) Iroquois “Town Destroyer” HC shipment. This is where the majority of the siege will come from early in the game. Combined with a few shipped in tomahawks and BB tech, and light infantry, the TC will fall.

Susceptible to mass cavalry or a pure pet rush from two native civilizations. However, unless you are facing the Sioux or Germans or dual native civilizations, the odds of this are slim. If both opponents mass light infantry and build a defensive base, it is possible to be pushed back then run the risk of being out boomed. However, you will have the more powerful Colonial units and should be attacking before any towers can be built.

The French are the backbone of this strategy. It is important to have a skilled French player performing this strategy in order to pull it off.

Required Cards:
3 Courier de Bois – Age1
Team Early Skirmishers – Age1
700 Wood – Age2

Recommended Cards:

Age 2:
Long-Ranged Infantry Hit points
700 Coin
700 Food

Age 3:
TEAM Ranged Infantry Attack
2 Falconets

Age 4:
Both Factories


1.) 2 Villagers unpack crates, rest to food, all subsequent villagers to food.

2.) Build a house with starting wood, or two if you start with 200.

3.) First Card: 3 Courier de Bois

4.) Once at 15 villagers, gather till 800 food and age up with 500 food.


5.) Keep the scout moving and place him in stealth once close to the enemy location. This scout must find a group of villagers collecting resources in order for this strategy to be successful.

6.) 4 Villagers remain on food, 6 move onto wood, 3 onto gold, and 2 begin to walk to the Iroquois War Hut (which should be located next to a gold mine) or forward base location if Portuguese ally. These 2 should mine gold while aging up.

7.) At 300 wood (will be about at aging up), build a house and shift 4 wood Courier de Bois to gold.

8.) Second Card: Team Early Skirmishers. This card needs to be sent while in the transition phase and as soon as possible in order for your ally(s) to begin attacking. XP treasures will help as well as building your house early.


9.) Third Card: 700 Wood

10.) Build a barracks with the 2 forward builders and if not already done so, shift 4 wood villagers onto coin and begin producing skirmishers.

11.) Keep villager production constant.


1.) This attack comes very fast. Keep them on the defensive and make sure the scout is in stealth finding villagers and military buildings before they come up.


3 Villagers – Age1
Town Destroyer – Age2
6 Tomahawks – Age2
600 Coin – Age2


Age 1:
High Chief: Anything that increases the WC hit points increases all of your units hit points when he stays alive.
Rum Distillery: Never get caught with your pants down. While the odds of this strategy going to Age 4 are slim, it is better safe than sorry.

Age 2:
Conservative Tactics: This card is great for tomahawks and mantlets (especially when combined with Siege Combat)
600 Food
600 Wood
Infantry Attack
Infantry Hit points
TEAM Scout Infantry: Very good team card when played in Colonial. Not only will you boost your allies skirmishers, you can find villagers easier with +4 LOS
4 Kanya Horsemen: Use this card if you do not have any of the others on the list. It is not a bad card, 3 hussars are much better and the French are much more suited for cavalry. Work this out with your partners play style.
Great House: A back up card and a fall back plan. I usually do not have to send this card with this strategy unless the game drags onto Fortress.
New Ways: If you suspect lots of heavy infantry (such as Ottomans, Aztecs, or Spanish) for counter infantry rifling. Get this over 600 wood since the Iroquois have the travois dance.

Age 3:
Infantry Combat
5 Musket Riders
Agraian Ways
Siege Combat: Combined with Conservative Tactics and WC, you have 700 hit point mantlets.
5 Mantlets
8 Prowlers
11 Tomahawks: Lets face it, they are going to suspect more prowlers.
Siege Discipline: 1 population mantlets on steroids from other shipments!

Age 4:
500 of each resource (unlimited)
4 Light Cannon
Heavy Fortifications


1.) All villagers unpacking crates and 1 sent to herd animals toward TC

2.) Send travois in direction of enemies and try to locate a gold mine and their second herd. If you cannot find their second herd, find a good choke point and build a War hut. Set HC shipment point to the War hut.

3.) Build 1 House
Use explorer to gather treasure while depending on French ally’s scout to map enemy territory. Be careful to not lose too much health while treasure hunting. The explorer will be needed for combat very soon. Do not be picky on the treasure, food will help age faster, gold is needed for Forrest prowlers, wood can help with houses, and XP brings in the shipments faster. If you stumble across a + XX% to explorer hit points, ask your ally’s to help you acquire it. It will be very useful throughout the game.

First Card: 3 Villagers Use these villagers to herd the animals away from the enemy towards your Warhut. This is optional, you can also send the villagers to you TC depending on the map, starting conditions, your micro, etc.

4.) Age with 15 Villagers using the 2 travois or the 200F, 100W, 100G + 1 travois politician. The reason for this politician instead of the popular fast age up political is simple. For one, they may not expect a rush without the fast age up thinking a FF is the goal and having 2 travois upon reaching Colonial makes a powerful forward base and the ability to send one back to your base for defense or still have a powerful forward base with a nice set of resources for housing and units. You can then also use the fast age up politician to age to fortress if needed later.


1.) Shift 4 villagers on wood for another house and a fire pit. With a standard 200 wood start, 150 wood will need to be collected. 4 villagers can gather 180 wood during a 90 second transition.

You will need a fire pit since your WC will die. It is inevitable that he will be focus fired upon. However, at this point, you can easily revive him by shifting your villagers to the fire pit and then back to resources. For this reason, I suggest you build the fire pit close to your first gold mine since you will always have a few villagers there.

2.) After the transition to Colonial, move these 4 villagers to food but be careful not to house yourself. It is cheaper to chop wood for housing than use the travois dance. The dance is only more efficient when spending 200 wood or more.

3.) 6 villagers stay on food (need 500 food for BB 5 Tomahawk Tech) and 5 villagers go to coin.


1.) Second Card: 600 Gold By the time you age up with the 2 Travois politician, you should have received the Team Early Skirmishers card (the French send it in Age 1 while he is transitioning).

2.) Start spamming Forrest Prowlers.

3.) Keep villager production constant and send to food to get first BB Tech (5 tomahawks) when 500 food becomes available.

4.) Third Card: Wild Card – 6 Tomahawks, Town Destroyer, or Team Scout Infantry . This depends on what the enemy is doing. If you have them pinned in, send in Town Destroyer. If you WC has died or you need some anti cavalry, send in the 6 Tomahawks and try to time it with the 5 from the BB Tech.


1.) You will have no siege until the tomahawks arrive or the town destroyer arrives. Until that time, it is important to cause damage to their economy. Find villagers, tear down houses, keep them pinned in. It is also possible to separate 1 prowler and stick in stealth to do a little reconnaissance around the back of the base while attacking the front.

2.) If you decide to age with the resources + travois, ensure the drop off point is set to your main TC so you can quickly gather them. This will require you to walk the travois across the map but can be handy if you decide more map control is desirable. If age with the 2 travois, use the forward base as your drop off point. Pick a politician that fits your play style. I like the resources so I can play more aggressively earlier.

If you do not like the natives, playing Portugal instead is a valid option. In a 3v3, this is a deadly combination since Dragoons, Cuirassiers, and Forrest Prowlers can kill anything.

300 Wood – Age1
700 Gold – Age2
700 Food – Age2


Age 1:
TEAM Early Dragoons: If you get stuck in Age 2 and need a counter to heavy cavalry and cannot take advantage of huge damage and cavalry path finding and for some reason you cannot make muskets, well, go ahead. I have never used this card.

Age 2:
8 Crossbowmen:
6 Muskets
600 Gold

Age 3:
Dragoon Combat: Nothing like spamming dragoons when your opponent makes a counter to your light infantry.
TEAM Artillery Hit points: Not a bad team card that works well with the French
Royal Mint: Never get caught with your pants down. +25% to plantations and gold mines is always a nice card to have in your deck.
5 Mamaluke
5 Ronnin

Age 4:
TEAM Gunpowder Infantry Hit points: Why is this an Age 4 card? If ally(s) are still making skirms, it can be useful.
Genitours: This is my favorite Portuguese card. You have to love 20 range dragoons with the arsenal upgrade.
Rangefinding: Another great Age 4 card for making 50 range mortars. Of course, the objective of this strategy is to end the game much faster.
Both Factories


1.) All villagers unpacking crates and 1 sent to herd animals toward TC

2.) Build 1 House
Use explorer to gather treasure (focusing on gold) while depending on French ally’s scout to map enemy territory. If have an extra 100 wood, save this.

First Card: 300 Wood Save the 300 wood for a double barracks spam. You send this card over economic theory because it takes time for economic theory to kick in and this rush needs to begin right away.

4.) Build only 5 villagers (Age with 12) which will take 125 seconds. Aim to click the age up button by 2:30 to get a Colonial time of 4:00 (you will have TC downtime but can make this up with 2 TC). Use the 500 Food politician. The reason for this politician is because villager production from 2 TCs is needed to catch up in economy and cassadors are very food heavy (80 food and 35 gold, which is 400 food and 175 gold per group of 5).


1.) If you started with an extra 100 wood crate, no wood chopping is needed. You will have 400 from the shipment and start (enough for 2 barracks). Otherwise, shift 3 villagers on wood for another 100 wood by the time you Age up. Once your second TC is made, you will have 30 population. Eventually, you will need to move more villagers to wood for housing but for now, you need all the villagers possible on wood.

2.) Move 2 villagers to a forward base location, preferable close to a herd and gold mine, but the herd is the preference. Once they get to that location, have them hunt until you age up.

3.) Move 4 villagers to coin in order to have the first batch of cassadors spawning before the 700 gold shipment arrives.

4.) The remaining 6 villagers stay on food. Around 400 food can be collected when aging up for the first batch of cassadors.


1.) Second Card: 700 Gold By the time you age up, you should have received the Team Early Skirmishers card (the French send it in Age 1 while he is transitioning). Ship this card immediately in Colonial when possible.

2.) Immediately have forward villagers build 2 barracks and start spamming Cassadors.

3.) Send second TC to forward base if possible to obtain map control and more herds.

4.) Keep villager production constant from both TC’s sending villagers to food, wood, or gold as needed.

4.) Third Card: Wild Card – 6 Muskets, 8 Crossbowmen, 600 gold, or 700 wood for a TP, housing, etc. . This depends on what the enemy is doing.


1.) You will have no siege until the muskets arrive. Fortunately, muskets are very similar in cost to cassadors and you will not need to change your economy around to get a little siege going. Until that time, it is important to cause damage to their economy. 6 cassadors will 1 shot kill a villager so divide them into small groups for maximum effectiveness (especially since they fire so slow.

2.) Take advantage of your range and do not fear a few heavy cavalry shipment. Focus fire on them and take them out quickly by hitting and running and moving into tight spaces. Find villagers, tear down houses, keep them pinned in.

3.) Cassadores have tons of ranged resists (213 effective HP) so TC fire is not so bad on them (3 shots to kill) but keep them locked in the TC, not you beside it. They have one of the highest damage output of any other colonial ranged unit since they have no colonial stat and are actually veteran. The slow rate of fire is why they are not the highest but they do have nice speed so take advantage of this and hit and run.

4.) Remember to always use your explorers unique spy ability to find villagers and military buildings before they go up. Always use immediately when charged up.


Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the way!

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