I've chosen to write down what I've learned so far in liga, and give out general ideas of what's going through my mind while playing, what to focus on and what to look after. If anyone has anything to say feel free to reply.
This guide is not suited for totally new players. You might get away with playing other settings, but hopefully you know very slightly what liga is about.
I'll divide this guide into two parts. Number one will be about the basics of different terms that I want you to know about first. Second part will be about epoch specific ideas.
When learning and trying to become better, your goal is to try and play more efficient. Producing buildings and most importantly using those buildings. When the game starts you already have a capitol, this should be used constantly. Since using it constantly cost food, I strongly recommend you make your build orders with this in mind. Same thing with other buildings you make later on. Sometimes it's a fast town center, sometimes it's a fast barracks. Not only is the wood for the barracks important, but when it finishes, you should have the income to support it fully.
To manage economy correctly, you need to have a plan. In one way, you need to look into the future of your game. If your plan is to get barracks and then get stable for Royal Cuirassier later on in the Renaissance game, you should start gathering gold before you produce the stable.
Another example is getting gold very early in Copper age after the barracks is up for fast Bronze. A huge mistake I see people do is getting a lot of unnecessary wood while their enemy is teching up to Bronze. This means he will get Phalanx before you which will give him a window to attack where you will be vulnerable.
Another way to look at it is calculating what resource is most important. When I said "unnecessary" wood in the previous example, what I really meant is "not as important resource right now" wood. Of course wood can be needed later down the road, but at that moment your managing your economy from what's most important. You prioritize.
Rule of thumb: Try to keep your resources as low as possible.
Omega wrote:Not spending resources is the way you can ensure you have a smaller army, smaller boom, and less defensible base than your opponent, which is a bad thing!
When it comes to scouting there is really two gigantic mistakes people do.
1. They don't scout enough, giving their enemy a lot of time to surprise you.
2. When scouting people tend to look after what the enemy can be doing, as opposed to what he can't be doing. I realize this might not be as easy to understand so I'll try to go more in depth of this issue.
It's a WW1 game, and let's say the first time your dog comes to the enemies base you see one settlement at an iron mine where there is six workers already. You see four workers harvesting from two hippo's he has lured to his capitol and three people at wood.
Now let's first imagine what he can be doing. He can be going for barracks then infantry. He can be going for tank factory then tanks. There is also some unlikely possibilities like rushing to ww2, he could also be tricking you into thinking he's going for something that cost iron, and the moment your dog leaves the base he send those six citizens from iron to gold.
Now let's imagine what he can't be doing. He can not be going for any type of fast antitank units. He can also not go for fast Machine guns.
Why is thinking what he can't do better than what he can do?
Well first of all, excluding is a lot quicker then thinking of any possible move he can do. Therefor using less time in games on thinking about this.
Second, the information from excluding is a lot more helpful. Let's imagine you were also going for one settle iron build. The information you got from excluding means that the most efficient army you can build right now is the A7V Tank (Armor Penetration tank).
Same principle works later on in games also. Let's say its Austria infantry against Austria infantry in Imperial. You scout later (either by attacking or by using a dog) and you see he got a farm close to his hunt. Now you exclude the fact that he can't be going for fast Royal Cuirassier. This should encourage you (more than usual) to attack once your first Cavalry Sword is out.
When it comes to using the dog I'd recommend being careful about running it close to enemy citizens. Even in early ages the enemy citizens can easily kill it if you give your enemy the chance.
Note: Later on, when your skill get's better running with the dog close to the enemy citizens can be used to lure him to waste time chasing it. This is I only recommend once you are very steady in Liga.
For more in depth about how to use the dog look here:
Tower, houses and walls
There is really no rule on what's best. You have to look at your map, what civilization you and your enemy has and if he's rushing or booming. Basically this is very situational so it is quite hard to give a short answer.
What a lot of people do wrong here is they want their tower to cover everything. This tower normally ends up being built in a very poor position where everything ends up being vulnerable. What you want to do is place it so it'll defend the most important position in your base. 99,999% of the time it's the mine you're using. The last thing you want is being unable to use the mine so your production of military stops.
Towers can also be used aggressively. From citizens attack in Prehistoric age to Cannon rush in Nano age.
Building houses and/or wall:
Houses can be very good in the long run. Mostly people get houses if they are able to defend without an early tower. It can also be used to defend a rush better, example Industrial Age Austria one settle against Spain one settle. Both going Infantry, here two houses can help a lot.
The big reason people aren't making houses more is because of the cost of wood. It's simply just too expensive, in most situations, to get in the start of the game where a tower can help a lot.
Getting small bricks of wall to cut off entrances to your base is really helpful. Many times you see the combination of two houses and walls. Also you rarely see two houses and hospital, but it can work in certain situations.
Building a build order
First of all, to be clear. Build order means in what order you make certain commands. For example four to wood, and one to explore is a very basic start of a build order. A lot of experts have their build order memorized as long as 20 minutes into the game.
The general idea of a tight build order is first of all to balance what resources and how much of said resources you are going to gather. Also which order is most efficient.
One example of an efficient build order would be a one settle into barracks build, where you get exactly 150 wood so once the settlement and the barracks is built you are left with zero wood.
Another example is that you calculate how many citizens you need on each resource for the production to be non stop. Think four citizens on iron when you're using Spain and getting grenadiers in Industrial age.
Note: When it comes to build orders, I strongly recommend staying away from zero settle strategies. After some practice the best rush strategy will become one settle forward. Practice this instead.
Military use and micromanagement
A great rule of thumb is to use the army as much as possible. This doesn't only provide you information through scouting but it also makes the resources spent on those military a lot more efficient. Of course you don't want to be loosing more military then your enemy but trading army for either citizen kills or military kills. When it comes to trading army for enemy citz/army you learn through experience on what's efficient. Loosing five Cavalry Archers for three citizens isn't the best idea ever.
A better idea would be to one hit the working citizens of the enemy so they stop working and then get away before you even take a hit. Keeping your army alive while being annoying and even reducing his production is really good. Another thing with being aggressive means that your opponent have to use more of his player speed on defending as opposite of using that player speed on attacking you.
A huge mistake I see people do is attacking wood cutting citizens instead of citizens working on gold or iron. Specially when rushing. You really don't want to be attacking anything else then metal-gathering citizens if metal-gathering citizens are an option. Obviously if his gold/iron is defended well hitting and or killing wood cutting citizens is great.
Another thing you should do is locate which gold or which iron he will be getting next. Let's say it's an Assyrian against Assyrian game in Middle ages. The last thing you want is for him to be able to get the second gold mine up and saturated. Let's say neither of you killed a single citizens the whole game but you got him off the second gold mine. This really means you got the game in your pocket.
Upgrades on units mostly comes down to personal preferences. But a great rule of thumb is upgrading speed on ground unit's fairly quick unless its a ranged unit. Ranged units should be upgrading range. On air units you should be upgrading attack then hit points very fast. When they are upgraded to ten they should be upgraded like in Modern Sh games, two attack two hit points and one speed.
In my eyes, there is really only one civilization here. Sure some may say going Rome and club rush is a valid one, but for me it is too risky. I'll try to explain why. The main strategy here is rushing for Stone age and get Spearmen with Austria.
Here I recommend starting out doing two settle, and use your scouting information on whether or not you should populate the town center once going Stone age.
In the early ages you got to find out early where your animals are, at the same time as finding his. Your main goal early game (apart from constantly producing Spearmen and citizens) is to kill his hunt while defending yours.
If he's going spear: Keep producing Spearmen, I recommend fast speed and attack upgrade since you are making many. *Note: Don't let upgrades here slow your Spearmen production down. Also start looking forward to find a gold mine and get Slingers. Here scouting your opponent is important. He can be going for Slingers as well, or going for a two barracks strategy. Whatever he's going for, you should be trying hard to keep him off the second metal mine. Don't really need to be killing anything, just poke back and forward and force him to run his citizens back.
Long term goal is getting Copper where you upgrade your Slingers to Simple Bowman.
If he's going for gold in the start, he's rushing for Slingers. Here I normally go for two barracks and try hit him hard once I get a decent amount of Spearmen. Against fast Slingers killing his hunt and defending yours is a lot easier (unless he has elephants and lure them very early). But keep in mind he can be using group speed with dog and slinger, so you have to defend it here also. Because of this you will normally end up having a better boom then your opponent. If the game drags out try to keep him off iron while you go for Copper Age and get Horsemen.
If he's going Rome, I normally just get a couple more citizens in start since they really own few Clubmen. Even tho he's very likely to kill your hunt very fast, 2 hippos and forage should be enough to get a good army size of Spearmen to kill him.
Note: Here the position of your citizens is even more important than before. If you tower your iron then keep the woodcutters closer to the forage so they can help defend against Clubmen.
If you don't see a settlement on iron at your enemies base. He's most likely going to try a strong citizens push in the time where you normally go Stone age. Here I also like getting more citizens then normal, and keep a good eye on their citizens with your dog. Another big tell, is if he doesn't have a tower built up in his base. If he don't, you really got to stop that tower from finishing next to your base once he start building it. Most of the time the opponent will try to tower your forage, but sometimes even your hunt. If you stop this the game is in your hands, but if you don't I really recommend trying to get the middle hunt fairly quick to not fall back on food income.
The good part, when the game drags out, is that his iron isn't protected by a tower so your Spearmen can easily either stop the iron gathering or be annoying.
Here everyone also goes Austria. I recommend going spear first as well. Some goes for Slingers here, but for that to succeed you basically need an awesome map.
I recommend one settle but two settle is also pretty good. Anything else is just to risky in my experience.
Again go for his hunt while defending yours. Also here you should give him a very hard time once he try to get a second mental.
You got a couple of valid options here, look at the examples from Prehistoric age. My personal favorite (and the most common) is somewhat like a one/one/one build. Basically it means one barracks, then one archery range, and then one stable. Of course this is not always the best choice. If your enemy base is very compact then going for horses to raid him will be very difficult. If his base is spread out then it would be a dream to raid. Basically what I'm saying is if his base is compact I'd rather go for one barracks into two archery ranges. But as with many things in Liga, you will eventually develop your own style of play. I've seen raids with horses been done successfully on compact bases, as well as seen good players fail hard doing this because it was harder then usual.
Copper age is an epoch that heavily rely on strategies that involves teching up to Bronze. Reason for this is most of the units get an upgrade in Bronze, and you also get a lot of new, better units.
I'm going to go through ideas of two valid strategies in this age. I only recommend 1 settle start in Copper.
First one is Spearmen into fast tech to Bronze to get Phalanx. Once the Phalanx is upgraded is a great time to attack. Specially against an enemy that chose a barracks strategy. In this strategy you should wait with getting any wood (except the wood you get for barracks) until you have a full gold mine. I know settlement at the gold or farm next to the hunt seems very tempting, but it takes away expensive time. What you need to look out for here is the other strategy I'm going to talk about. It's War Elephant rush. Basically if you don't see any barracks, you should not get more than three or four spear, and 100 iron more saved up for upgrade to Bronze later. Then focus on wood and gold to counter the elephant that is coming soon with some archers. Then head up in age to Bronze.
The second strategy is called "Ele-rush" or "fast4ele". There is a couple of variations here, but I suggest to settle your gold mine (if possible after you've seen his barracks) and get four on iron then six on gold and the rest to wood. Defend against spear with citizens. Once you start teching to Bronze I recommend building one Horsemen. Both to kill enemy hunt and to group speed with the War Elephant. Once you're in Bronze get a War Elephant and run it with the Horsemen straight to the enemy base. He might try to make you waste time with his spear, but don't bite. What you make next depends on what he's making. Sometimes getting a second Elephant is a good idea, sometimes not. Your goal from now is getting Chariot Archers and mix them with horsemen. More information about Bronze Ages coming next.
In Bronze age you have two options. Chariots with Assyrian, or Austria with the goal of getting to Dark age fast, to upgrade Horsemen into Cataphract.
I'll start off talking from Assyrian's perspective. As Assyrian your goal is to mass up CA in start while harassing your enemy. This is something Assyrian CA does very well because of their speed and range.
Against Assyrian you should get minimal food, and as much wood and gold as possible.
You should aim for a pretty fast second gold. I like second gold before second archery range for the upgrades. I've seen Samuel and others doing the opposite for a quicker mass. This comes down to personal preferences, and you should use what suits you.
And since your goal is getting second gold fast, your aggressive goal is to keep him off his gold.
Reason I keep more focus on the second gold is because so many players forget about how important that is. Also because 99% tower their first gold so sometimes that gold is impossible to hit. But keep in mind, now with good range there is a possibility for you to be able to hit the first gold as well. Do this if possible.
Note: Minimal food means just enough food for constant Citizen production from Capitol. In Bronze with Assyrian's H&F its four on hunt or five on forage.
If the game drags out you should focus on Warrior hero before dark age. Reason is Hero will give you a huge advantage, while going dark will basically do nothing good.
I like to get one or two CA and then a stable and to do a push once the war Elephant finishes. What you need to worry about is that a good Austria player will raid you a lot. It's very situational, but sometimes rallying the third or second Elephant to your own base is a good idea. *Note: Stop getting eles once you spot the enemy has archery down, get horsemen instead then.
Reason I'm being quite aggressive from start is most Austria players feel they are free to boom after their three first Horsemen since it hard counters CA. Another reason is that if this game drags out it's basically a race to Dark age, and Austria has an advantage. While they can just upgrade their army to Cataphract, you need to wait for Dark age, then start making Persians. So being aggressive in start helps a lot since Bronze is where you want your enemy to be, and the more army he need to defend, the longer he stays in Bronze.
Assyrian against Assyrian I recommend one settle. In Assyrian against Austria games two settle is what I've had most success with.
As Austria I usually always go two settle because as long as you got army once enemy is at your base you'll be fine (and people don't 1settle forward in bronze).
Against Assyrian I'll get more than 5 on wood, usually 6 or 7. Reason for this is you want to be able to get out that Archery Range quicker if needed. *Note: If you scout that the opponent is 1settling I'd take off the extra citizens on wood right away. Kill his hunt as quickly as you can, and if he's not active with his CA poke in to his base as much as possible (without taking hits).
The key to a good Austria player in Bronze is scouting. Good Austria players will scout his opponent almost non stop the first 20minutes. Reason for this is the goal as Austria is getting Dark quick, so you need to know exactly how much/and what army he's making so you'll know how much you need to defend. You want speed upgrade fairly quick as well as one arrow upgrade and one hp upgrade. The last arrow armor upgrade cost you 78 food and gold and only gives +1 armor so unless you got a lot of them it's not worth it. Again, keep in mind your main goal is going quick Dark, spending unnecessary resources is only slowing you down. Once you're Dark and upgrading to Cataphracts you'll do your big push. Timing it perfectly so you'll have Catas exactly as you're attacking is ideal here. If you're too late he'll have persians there and you'll be in trouble.
Against Austria start out with Stable War Elephant but move on to Horsemen+Chariot Archer. Controll mines and overall be as big of a pain in the ass with your Horsemen as you can to your opponent. This giving you great scouting as well as making it less likely he'll be raiding you. Note that it's better to poke in back and forward making him move his citz than committing too much into the attack taking hits giving him the momentum. If you get Catas before him you should definitely use that to your advantage by attacking right away. I recommend to use your iron solely on epoching and hero until Renaissance.
IMO there is only one option, with very few variations, in this age. I recommend to always do one settle and always attack with the first Persian Cavalry. When attacking his base focus only on gold miners. Persians are awesome at killing citizens and are good to run away from arrows from towers.
The only variation of one settle PC that I use is dog or no dog. With no dog you cut citizens production fairly early and after some training you should be popping out the first PC at around 4.15-4.30. I remember Ras did 4.10-4.12 five games in a row, so that would be your goal if you are going for "fastest possible 1settle PC".
With no dog you should do three wood two explore, first citizen from Capitol to wood. Let him gather one round of 15, and let the others gather three rounds each. This gives 150 wood, which is exactly the wood you need for one settlement and one stable.
Here you have to find the enemy with the PC it self, so for inexperienced players this build order may go very wrong.
The standard one settle is more suited for most people because of the awesome scouting abilities the dog gives you. Good example would be spotting Elephants you can lure to your base, something you probably would not see without the dog. Here you start with four wood one explore. Two of the wood cutters should finish two rounds of 15, while the two other should finish three, again this gives 150 wood.
Dark age basically comes down to who has the best micro management. Often games end with one of the players doing a mistake, and you very rarely see this age drag out.
However it does happen, so knowing what to do here is helpful. My personal preference is two stables because then you take more advantage of the gold and food you spent on upgrades for your PC's. This gives you a good widow where you can hit and run the enemy because of the range advantage if he's going for one stable into archery ranges. After the second stable I get archery range and if the game goes further you should head for Middle ages. Of course sometimes getting Warrior hero will be the better choice, but more often I see myself going Middle before hero in this age.
In this age, players will exclusively go with the Assyrian's. If you are against Austria or Rome you get Stable instead of Archery Range, if not Cavalry Archers is what you start out with. The safest start you can do is 1settle in this age. Speciallly since people started doing 0food strategies which is impossible to stop with 2settle. However if you know your against an opponent that don't do that 2settle can be a better choice. Specially if you have a map where forage is close to wood and golds are out in the open.
If you go to the video's section of this forum you will find a video with me doing the two settle start in Middle ages, that will hopefully be helpful of understanding how to start out in this age.
Basically you do a lot of the same here against Assyrian as you do in Bronze age. So read up on that, if you don't remember, or skipped to this part.
Here there is two valid options. One in more favor then the other, in my opinion. The civilization I prefer is Austria. The other option is Spain.
In a Austria against Austria battle I start out with Arquebus and then aim for fast gold and Royal Cuirassier. Many times these games end up being about who has the most horses, so harassing enemy gold mine can be very effective. What metal to get next is very situational, sometimes getting double town center and going for hero is better, sometimes more metal to mass is better.
When you're Austria against Spain I go for stable to mass out Royal Cuirassier's. Even tho Spain has Attack, Hit Points and Armor on his Infantry Spear, he can only make Pikemen which are a Middle ages unit, where as you can get the Renaissance unit Royal Cuirassier. Basically it counters pikemen fairly well, also with the awesome speed of 16+3 from start microing is clearly easier than the enemy's infantry with 12 speed. Your goal here is basically to survive in the early game, get infantry and push with the mix of Arquebus and Cuirassier's against Arquebus and Pikemen. This fight, with right micro, should clearly be in your favor.
Another thing to note is that Austria's harassment opportunities are a lot better than Spain's. The horses with 16+3 speed can be a nightmare to play against if your mines and base is spread out.
I recommend 1settle against Spain since you'll have better boom than him anyway, there is no reason to play too risky.
Another civilization that can be used is Assyrian. I don't recommend this at all since IMO the other two civilizations can easily handle this one.
In Imperial I recommend Spain as your first choice. Now Arquebus is upgraded to Musketeers and Pikemen to Halberdier. Meanwhile you can only get the same cavalry here as in Renaissance.
Chances are you'll also be facing Spain in this age because of the big advantage it gives so I'll focus more on it.
I normally go with one settle to get faster army. Against Spain it's really important to remember that Elite Guards own Musketeers. I also always scout for one or two settle before towering. If he's two settling it's better to hold on to the stone and use it for houses instead in a while. Yes he's very likely going for some Cuirassers later, but then morale will be more helpful in my experience. In Renaissance, when the game goes for more than 10 minutes, it's all about cavalry shock, but here I like to go for mass EG and to have some Halberdier behind them to support if cavalry would attack. The reason is basically the balance. Imperial units beat Renaissance units, and this is something to take advantage of. However, you don't want him to tech up to Industrial where your whole army would be stuck in Imperial, but his Royal Cuirassers can be upgraded to Imperial Cuirassier.
As well as in all other ages, I can't stress enough how important it is to harass his mine's and/or deny his attempt to get new ones.
Another big reason for going one settle is in the games where your opponent goes for Austria civilization. Here rushing is very important to do. Also Austria is forced to start out with barracks to get Imperial units, and since you are Spain his Halberdier upgrades wont get him very far. Since Spain has iron, farming and cit speed for economy, and infantry range: attack/BTD/HP with mountain combat bonus, it will make it easier for you since you are not only getting faster units, but stronger than him. Often Austria will try to do a one settle with houses support to defend the rush heading his way, this is a perfect opportunity for you to deny his citizens on iron to harvest any more. If he's going for tower to defend the iron you can basically attack from every other angle because your EG's will be stronger.
Note: if they go for stable then Musketeer and Halberdier mix is what your going for, forget about Elite Guards since they suck against cavalry.
In Industrial you suddenly have almost all main units upgraded to Industrial units. The exception being Halberdiers. Basically it means that Imp, (Imperial Cuirasser) Dragoon and Grenadiers are all a good choice to get. Austria is even more vulnerable against Spain because grenadiers is cheaper so the rush will be faster then in Imperial. Austria also get's owned by Assyrian since they can't use any of their military that is strong (Halberdier and Imp's) this is a civilization I would not recommend. So it all comes down to Assyrian against Spain, here Assy's beat the Spanish because they use a mix of two Industrial units, where Spain has to use one Imperial unit. Also Assy's Dragoons are so strong you often don't need more than two to four Imp's to overrun Spain.
So basically, Assyrian should counter both of the other civilizations but it depends on what start you use. Against Assyrian two settle is the best, but Austria and Spain you want to get army faster. So in tournament's or important games going one settle is the most secure choice (keep it mind it can also be used well against two settle Assyrian) but if you're playing someone you know and know he's going Assyrian then two settle would give you an advantage.
Against Assyrian the game will play out almost like most Assy vs Assy games does. It's about massing cavalry and harassing their gold while taking your own. As well as in Middle you should not go up in age before late late game, and your late game goal should be getting a Napoleon. Look back to Middle ages if you want to know more about this setup.
Against Spain and Austria you got a couple of options. Tower can be good in some situations where in some houses will be the better choice. Sometimes only poking at him with one to four Cavalry, while sitting home in the cozy morale and booming will get you the win. Sometimes being very aggressive is the better choice. It really depends on what your enemy is doing. If he's giving you good window's to attack, then attack, if he's setting up for a big attack, then get ready at home.
Atomic Age - WW1
Most common civilization here is Austria. Another possibility is France with a MG+AT mix. Still find that Austria is more safe due to it's awesome booming abilities. Note that if you got a food+gold map France > Austria.
In WW1 I recommend two settle strategies. For Austria I always go for iron and scout if I want a barracks or tank factory. With France you really got to get both MG and AT's. In my experience the only way for it to be efficient is by doing a pretty strong push after you got at least four of each. Going alone with MG's suck because citizens own them, and going alone with at's often gives you trouble since the Austria player is getting both resources needed to counter it (iron and food).
Something that's quite good to know in ages from WW1 to Nano is what mix counters what. To make it very basic its like this: AT+Marine < Tank+Marine < Tank+AT < At+Marine. Have this in mind when choosing what you're going for.
With Austria in this age I really like like iron-based strategies. I almost exclusively get two settle barracks, and then counter. If he's going straight for tank (worst case scenario) only get one Doughboy to hunt kill/be annoying and save up the rest of the iron for upgrades on tank once you got Tank Factory. If he's going barracks and iron then go for AP tank but keep producing Doughboy. If he's going for early gold with barracks then getting a couple HE tank is a good idea, but again, keep producing Doughboy. Unless he's going tank first, then you will force you opponent to get some sort of AT once your tank factory is up. A lot of times he will over react to this, and placing down two or three additional barracks for huge Doughboy production that will give you a very nice window where you can attack.
With Austria against France you really want to play defensively with houses and only use a couple of Doughboy to poke at your opponent. Once he does his push you should have four houses and some Doughboy and HE tanks. Doughboy range will be very important to snipe out enemy AT's. As long as you're staying inside your morale area the advantage he has with his strong units on an open field should now be very close to equal, if not in your favor. Good part is, that as long as you survive the early game you're advantage will grow bigger and bigger because you're making units that will be upgraded in WW2, something he isn't. *Note: That France booming opportunities are horrible compared to Austria.
Atomic Age - WW2
This age is for many known as "the forward age". Basically forward Marine is super strong in this age. The civilizations I recommend here is either Austria or Great Britain. First I'll talk from Austria's perspective.
Austria's goal is to defend forward barracks and win in mid-game. Great Britain is more often used to forward because of a couple of things. It has citizens speed which makes the walk take shorter time, it has awesome tower upgrades so making an aggressive tower is also a really good option. As well as Austria it has hunting, and since one settle strategies doesn't really need Citizens CR that's not really a must.
For Austria against Austria games, they are very similar to the games in WW1, except here you have a really good option of going Bazooka and Marine. Since Bazooka own in this age, and the 57mm AT Gun is a WW1 unit, going for Zook's is the better choice.
Austria against GB you have to scout around a lot more. It's important here to lure Hippo/Walrus so you only need two citizens on hunting. You only want to be using 5 on Wood and rally rest to Iron. Reason is you want your two settle to be "fast infantry"-oriented. Other times you might want to save Hippo's for TC or something, but not here. If you hold the rush (or he simply don't forward) this game should be very similar to Austria against Austria. A thing to note is that he has a valid option of getting some air, so scouting for this is important as well.
GB against Austria you should 1settle forwarding for the reasons I said earlier. You basically want to be in his face and slow him down. Going quickly for gold as well to get a fast MG can do wonders for your early pressure if he's able to hold your rush fairly well. Also Austria players often get Tank Factory, at that point an airport of your own could really make the kill. Specially if your able to get him off gold (either with army or forward tower).
GB against GB I like to do a normal 1settle inf strategy. If he's 2settle inf I like to get 3 or 4 infs then push while upgrading range so you'll be able to snipe his infs fairly easy. If he's tank switch over to gold and get zook+marine mix. It's incredible in ww2 specially with GB's Anti Tank upgrades.
Atomic Age - Modern
In modern the planes are stronger than ever. AA's and Flak Halftrack remain the same as in WW1, but planes has been upgraded every Epoch. Starting out with air is very good here because of this. From here on and out (Modern till Nano) I recommend going Great Britain. The combination of H&F, strong planes/buildings/AT's are so good that it's the best suited civilization for most situations.
Basically it's like this: 1settle inf > 2settle air strategy > 2settle inf > 1settle inf. 2settle air looses to forage settle air (3 settle in total). The most safe strategies are either 1settle forward inf (this beats 2settle inf as well) then counter or quick air. Obviously if you get an early scout on you can use this paper/scissor/rock knowledge to your advantage.
1settle forward against quick air.
Here be a pain in the ass, try to get him off metal one metal (ideally iron since no iron gathering bonus in civ). If your cit stuck around (either forward tower or just idle) use that to forward one AA's as quick as you can. If it's difficult to get him off metal you should really switch to gold quicky for AA, if ur getting him off one metal so he cant get air however you've most likely won. It's really important to spread your marines here in case he tries to use another metal. Main goal is for you to do the damage needed for you to get an economical advantage into the later stages of the game, before his air pops out. Your followup should most likely be an airport of your own.
Quick air vs 1settle forward.
If your able to scout that something is fishy early on, dont even bother getting settle on gold, tower up quick and get that FB out as soon as possible. Run your citz around ideally luring his marines to your tower. Often if you only get 1 settlement you should be able to get that FB out before your citz take too much damage. If your first FB does the trick getting one AT-Air to kill his hunt can hurt him down a lot.
In Digital age the balance between air and anti-air is more or less the same as in WW1 or WW2. I generally start forage settle here, and counter. Sometimes I do TC start on iron or gold but the safest start, and the one I recommend is settle forage.
With settle start you can defend a 1settle rush and punish a guy going TC start. It's important you get good scout in on your enemy. Since Citizens have 15 speed theres no reason to use your dog too much on scouting your base, use citizens as well so you can send dog faster to enemy. If he's TCing I go for rax into quick airport. being annoying with inf while surprising with early air usually does the trick to gain me the momentum back in the game. From here you can populate into TC yourself or try to straight up outmass the guy and push with good air force.
TC start you basically you just counter what he brings at you. You should try to find a place where you can tower to defend both one iron and a gold mine. Also if you can't get a good scout (because enemy tower killed your dog) you should be going for gold fast for AA's. Going for air fairly fast is a good idea, this allows you to move out with ground army as well as it gives awesome scouting abilities. Mostly when doing TC-start I only get fighters. Sometimes in mid to late game I'll surprise my opponent with some F/B but mostly Fighters and strong ground.
Also in late game Digital and Nano going for mass air is a bad idea, because of Tempest's Air Storm.
Basically it's like hurricane on water, just it's in the air and owning all enemy planes.
Another robot to note is Pandora. It can be very useful against someone massing infantry.
When it comes to late game, you should really add on Artillery. Also Digital and Nano age is a lot about who expand their base and controlling middle map mines.
Here starting out with air is valid again. I suggest doing 2settle air since tower is better than in Modern but 1settle forward inf is still pretty good. Also forage settle is not that risky as well because of the great tower. If you got a great map you can even TC, but stay away from TCing your forage, that's just straight up stupid.