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The Britons

The Britons were a popular and strong civilization in AoK. With the release of the Expansion Pack (Xpack), the Britons' TC bonus (one of the strongest of the game) has been muted. Yet, there still remain many aspects to the Britons that keep them a strong and flexible civilization for most players. Overall, the Britons continue to be very well rounded civ to play.

The Britons continue to play as a fast civ in several respects; they age early and they can boom early. During the early going, Britons have one of the best gathering bonuses in the game; the faster work rate of shepherds.

Militarily, the Britons continue to remain a powerful civ. In addition to their dominating foot archers, the Briton arsenal includes fully upgradeable infantry lines and adequate cavalry. Short of a weakness in gunpowder units, the Britons do not have a glaring weakness in any functional area.

Civilization Bonuses

The bonuses that the Britons receive are as follows:

  • Shepherds work 25% faster
  • Town Center cost 50% less wood
  • Foot Archers gain +1 range in Castle Age and an additional +1 in the Imperial Age (for +2 total)
  • Team Bonus - Archery units produced 20% faster

Shepherds work 25% faster

With the faster sheep-gathering rate, a Briton sheepherder collects food at the same rate that other civs hunt. This is a powerful bonus for several reasons. First, it comes in the Dark Age and is usable 100% of the time (everyone eats sheep; or turkey as the case may be). As it is an early bonus, the benefits compound with time; it enhances your whole game by giving you a head start. Second, it gives the Briton player an availability to wood that other civs cannot tap into. Because they work faster, a Briton player needs few early villagers on their sheep. This means that you can set villagers on alternative resources earlier as the game dictates. Theoretically, four shepherds could keep a Briton TC at constant production; in the real world, five are required to maintain the food stream.

Early economic bonuses are often translated loosely into the concept of a free villager. In the Britons' case, the bonus is roughly equivalent to getting a free villager. So what does that one extra villager net you? It begins with the extra wood, which later begins to translate into earlier farms or boats, then into more food, a slightly larger military, a much larger economy, and the cascade continues. Don't underestimate what this one seemingly unimportant villager can do. Very handy if you are boat booming or want to integrate early farming into your strategy.

The Briton player can maximize this advantage by playing sheep rich maps like Continental, Yucatan, Ghost Lake, and Oasis.

Town Center cost 50% less wood

The Britons used to benefit from arguably the strongest civ bonus of all; a 50% discount on town centers. The short build time and low impact on wood supply of the AoK Briton TC allowed a decent player to drop TCs very easily. However, with the XPack increased build time, undiscounted stone cost and decreased defensive power of the TC itself have made dropping multiple TCs early in the game riskier. The offensive military implications of disposable forward TCs have also been neutered with the modified characteristics of the XPack TC.

Yet, while it may seem like the Briton TC bonus has been severely impacted, it still remains a relatively strong bonus in the game. Wood saved in Castle Age translates directly into an earlier military building (Ram or War Galley), more expansive farming, or simply another TC. In some cases, all three options are simultaneously available depending on the circumstances of a specific game. For many other civs, farm production is delayed while the player takes time to stock up on wood.

One of the highest priorities of a Briton player used to be to gather as much wood as possible, for multiple TCs. The TC used to act as a terrific defense against enemy raiding parties and attacking troops - particularly when organized as an internetworking weave of cross-firing bunkers. With practically every range unit now outranging TCs, reliance on TCs for total defense is foolhardy. A forward TC can still be useful as part of your forward base as it will give your raiding forces, with the help of Monks, a safe place to recuperate from raids. A forward TC also continues to server as a source for more forward builders. The cheaper cost of the Briton TC slightly counters the longer build time to make a forward TC more practical.

Additional Foot Archer Range

The primary Briton military bonus is their foot archer range bonus. Briton foot archers get +1 range in Castle Age, and a +2 range in Imperial Age. The complete set of range upgrades that are available to the Briton foot archer result in the creation of a far reaching and mobile standoff weapon that is somewhat unique to the Britons.

Archery Units produced 20% Faster

While the benefits of faster producing military buildings are partially mitigated by simply placing more military buildings, the effects of this Briton bonus can be noticeable. The actual Briton production times are the normal times divided by 1.2. This means that the Britons can produce 6 archers in the time it takes other civs to produce 5, which is a 20% bonus.

Depending on the particular circumstances, production of an archer unit can range from 14 to 35 seconds. The XPack modified base rate of archer production is 35s without any production bonuses. That goes back down to 27s with the Crossbowman upgrade; again with no bonuses. An Aztec player with a Briton partner can produce an archer unit in :19. For instant archer armies, nothing beats the Aztec player w/ Briton ally after researching Conscription for a very fast :14 build time. Another tactical implication of the production bonus is the ability to respond with a skirmisher reaction force in a shorter time.