What is a "Flush"?
The term, "Flush" stood for "Feudal Rush" when it was invented a long time ago (possibly about five to six years back), back in the days of Age of Empires:Age of Kings. Nowadays, the "Flush" isn't just a "Feudal Rush," it's the strategy that defines how the game is now played. Everywhere you go in Zone Rated RM, you'll see a Flush, be it a Hun Flush or not (the Huns are the most popular civ to Flush with). Why? With Spears and Skirms going down your throat and disrupting your economy and killing Vils every now and then, you're going to be behind economically. There is only one real counter to a Flush: you must Flush the other person.
Flushing Civilizations in Age of Empires
Huns - No Houses. You save 30 wood and 25 Vil seconds (the amount of time it takes to build a House) every 5 pop (every House, basically). That gives you at least 30 wood every 5 pop (although the Huns do start with a 100 wood deficit), and with the 25 Vil seconds saved, your Vils can be getting more wood instead of building Houses. This is why the Huns are used as the Flushing civ. No Houses also means that you'll never get Housed, and also means that you can direct more of your attention towards fighting and/or your economy instead of having to build Houses. Coupled with the fact that their Scouts get out 20% faster because of their faster Stables, the Huns can easily dominate the rest of the competition.
Mongols - Faster hunting. With faster hunting, the Mongols can use less Vils and Flush faster. With more food coming in faster, they can also get some Deer, and also get Scouts right away in Feudal age with a Stable and a Range instead of two Ranges.
Aztecs - +5 carry. When Vils carry more resources, they would drop off their resources slower, but in larger quantities each time (they are not gather their resources slower, however). Why is this a bonus? When you have a Lumber Camp crowded with many Vils, a normal civ would have to put up with the Vils only getting 10 wood and taking more trips back to the lumber camp. However, with the Aztecs, the Vils take less trips back to the LC, so that reduces the chances of the Vils bumping into each other (Vils that bump into each other slow your resource collecting down). Not to mention that the Aztecs get free Loom; speeding you up an extra 25 seconds for a faster Feudal age, or even an extra Vil. The Aztec farmers also appear to Farm 11% faster, due to the +5 carry bonus and some weird bug that allows them to not move around as much (thanks to Intimatum for this info). Not to mention that the Aztecs have faster-working military buildings (15%).
Mayans - 20% longer-lasting natural resources, cheaper Archers, extra Vil. Although the resource bonus does not mean that resources are collected faster, it is still useful in that your food (Boar, Sheep) lasts longer in Dark. For those of you who don't know how the bonus works, it is like this: a Mayan Vil collects 10 wood from a tree. The Tree is left with 92 wood, although the Vil is holding 10 wood (he takes the maximum amount that he can carry, but only strips the resource of 80% of what he took). The extra Vil also speeds you up a bit, and remember to Loom first with the Mayans. They also get cheaper Archers.
Byz - Cheaper Spears and Skirms (saves resources). Stronger buildings as an added bonus (somewhat). They save a bit with the cheap Spears and Skirms. They have a cheaper Imp upgrade and great units in Imp, provided they can get there and with some gold lying around. Lack of Bloodlines hurts their Knights. Out of all the civilizations to come, this civ is the most played out of the ones without Dark bonuses on Arabia.
Having listed those civs, the Aztecs and Mayans are at a huge disadvantage without Scouts. A few Scouts will single-handedly destroy a bunch of Skirms without Spear backup. Once the Flusher Castles, the non-Meso civs have Knights, the most powerful Castle-age unit. The Meso civs get Eagle warriors, which pale in comparison to Knights; Knights cost 60 food and 75 gold, and when FU in Castle, they are these monsters with 120 HP, 12 attack, and 4/4 armour. Eagle warriors cost 20 food and 50 gold, and when FU in Castle, they are simply hyperactive boys with 50 HP, 9 attack, and 2/4 armour. Mayans and Aztecs do a much better job of Drushing with Militia and Vils, and then opting for a 20 minute Castle.
Flush or Feudal rush strategy Variations
If you have not forgotten by now, the Flush tries to build up to utilize Scouts and Archers, and that is very common in most Hun Flush variations. Although most Flushers choose the Huns, the strategies and build orders listed below should work for any civ (however, I think the 22 pop build is only really applicable to the Huns and possibly the Mongols).
Double-Bit Axe is also always researched, and many also try to get a Blacksmith and Stable ASAP.
Also remember that these build orders are not set in stone. Feel free to modify them to suit how you play. These build orders are merely guidelines.
The 24 pop Flush is probably one of the easiest to learn, along with the 25 pop Flush. It is also very adaptable, and can be used both aggressively (forward build your military buildings) or defensively (build your military buildings at home). This form of Flush usually uses two Ranges.
24 Pop Build Order
3 Vils: Either help your Scout look for Sheep, or chop a straggler (tree by your TC).
TC: H-C-C-C-C. Queue up 4 Vils with the 200 food you get. Don't use H-Shift-C; the game might not recognize the Shift and only may queue up 1 Vil.
Scout: Start looking for Sheep in circles, and be sure to not overlap areas where you have already Scouted, as that wastes time. Number your Scout to Ctrl + 1. You will then hit 1 to select your Scout, or hit 1 twice to select it and centre your view on it. Number your TC to Ctrl + 2. You will now hit 2 to select your TC and queue up Vils. Why not use H? H selects your TC, but also centres your view on your TC. You want to be able to queue up Vils while watching your Scout. If you need to view your TC to change where your Vils will go when trained, to force drop some food, or watch over things, just hit 2 twice.
4 Sheep: Once you have found them, send two Sheep to the TC, and send the other two Sheep scouting, helping the Scout (you are not going to lose your sheep, trust me) in opposite directions (for example, if your Scout has gone north-east, send one Sheep around north-west, and the other south-west). The other two Sheep are to be placed directly onto your TC; one Sheep will be processed by your three Vils (get them to dump off their wood first if they had chopped a straggler), and the other will stand by waiting.
Vils 4-6: Sheep. Whenever a Sheep is done, move another Sheep nearby it. Keep only six Vils to one Sheep, make sure that you do not kill an extra Sheep. Always only keep two Sheep on the TC; one being harvested, and the other, alive, standing by. All the others can either be scouting or standing by close to your TC, but not close enough so that your Vils on Sheep might decide to eat two Sheep at once, but also not far enough to have your Sheep stolen by your opponent.
Vil 7: Lumber Camp. A Flusher needs wood. If you have not scouted out a suitable forest yet, put this Vil on a straggler instead so that no time is wasted.
Vils 8-10: If you do not have an LC yet, get Vil 8 building it. If you do, send all of these 3 Vils to the forest at your LC.
Vil 11: After he has been trained, hit Loom, and get the Vil to wait by a Boar. When the Loom is 80% done, lure the Boar.
Vil 12: Mill your Berries (you will need that Mill for Farms). Vils 13-14 Go to Berries along with Vil 12 after the Mill is done, and keep them on the Berries closest to your Mill.
Boar: When the Boar is chasing your Vil back to your TC, garrison your lurer, and get all the Vils on Sheep to drop off their food, and then shoot the crap out of that Boar. That bastard needs to die. Plus, for being barbaric, you get good, fast food. If you have a Sheep left over rotting away, it might be a good idea to put one Vil on that Sheep until it is done, and then send him back to Boar.
Vils 15-19: Boar. Once your first Boar hits 175 food, lure your second Boar with a full health Hunter on your first Boar (drop off his food at your TC first, in case he dies).
Farms: At this point you should consider Farming. Pull the wounded Vils off your first Boar, and make Farms by the right-hand side of your TC. Tests have shown that Farms put on the right-hand side of your TC actually gather food faster. Slowly pull off the wounded Vils off the second Boar as well (so you should have four wounded Vils in total from both Boar) and put them on Farms as well.
Boar: Once you have finished your Boar, split up your Hunters onto Sheep.
Vil 20: Build a second LC by another forest if your first forest is small, or on the same forest is large (but place the LC farther away so that both LCs are not touching each other).
Vils 21-23: Wood right by the second LC.
The easiest way to remember this build order is basically 6-4-1-3-5-4. 6 on Sheep, 4 on wood, 1 to lure, 3 on Berries, 5 on Boar, 4 on wood.
Now, garrison all your food Vils around your TC (Sheep, Boar, Farms) so that they drop off all their food. If you have 500, hit Feudal. Then press "W" (default hotkey) to send them back to work (your Vils will go back to what they were doing automatically).
Move all your previous Boar Vils to wood, except for a couple. If you still have Sheep left over, use two or three Vils (that were previously the Boar Hunters) to harvest them. If you plan to play defensively, send the first couple of Vils I talked about to make a Rax facing towards your enemy. If you plan to play more aggressively (more micromanagement intensive, as well), take four Vils and send them towards your enemy, building your Rax closer to him.
Once you hit Feudal (11:xx minutes), queue up two Vils at the TC (and keep the production up 100%; Vils before military, until you research Wheelbarrow when you get enough food), research Double-Bit Axe (faster wood; you might not need any more Vils on wood, unless your wood Vils die to enemy units), make two Spears at your Barracks, and if you played defensively, with the two Vils that made your Barracks, get each of them starting on a Range. If you were forward building, get two Vils to start a Range each with your four forward Vils.
Make Spears, Skirms, and Vils all the time. Send your new Vils to food (some on Berries, but most on new Farms), unless you need wood, in which case, send them to wood for a bit. When you have enough wood, get a Blacksmith (for Fletching and other upgrades). Make a Stable ASAP, and get a few Scouts. When you are done your Berries (with six Vils at around the 15:xx minute mark), send those Berrie Vils to your gold (make a Mining Camp if you have not already started mining gold). Get Bloodlines when you have enough gold. When the gold is coming in, move to Archer production from your Ranges instead of Skirms.
Once you get enough units (around 10 Skirms, 2-3 Spears), start harrassing his wood, and if he is mining gold or stone, stop him from doing so.
Continue to make Vils, and research Wheelbarrow when you have enough food after all your other units (Scouts, Spears, Archers) have been queued up (always queue up two units). It is a tech that is insanely good for Farming. If wood permits, add one or two more Stables in Feudal. Castle when you have enough food as well (but always keep queueing up Vils and military units). Before you Castle, put your newly-made Vils on gold (you might need a new Mining Camp, even if it is on the same gold pile; put the Camp at the other side of it so that Vils do not have to bump into each other or walk long distances back to the first Camp); you will be needing lots of gold in preparation for Castle. During the Feudal/Castle transition, try to build more Stables so that your total Stable count is three or four. Research cavalry techs at the Blacksmith (Scale Barding Armour, Forging).
25 pop is like 24 pop, but with an extra Vil. That Vil makes enough of a difference between a sub 11-minute Flush and an 11-minute Flush. It also can collect extra wood. Most 25 pop Flushers prefer to build a Stable and a Range for Scouts and Skirms immediately, and then opt to build the second Range later. It is good for playing defensively, but at the same time, attacking fast with Scouts to put early pressure on your opponent.
25 Pop Build Order
It is more or less the same build order, with an extra Vil on wood. Another easy way to memorize this build order is 6-4-1-3-5-5. 6 on Sheep, 4 on wood, 1 lure, 3 on Berries, 5 on Boar, 5 on wood.
Chris (L_Clan_Chris) can be credited with the idea of the 22 pop Flush. At the time of writing (well, mainly updating) this guide, there were many recorded games in various tournaments in which the 22 pop Flush was being used by a few of the top players in the world, with much success. Iori (_MyST_IORI_) is one of them.
The 22 pop Flush relies on Feudaling with 21 Vils and a Scout, and sending four Vils to your enemy to forward build a Rax, a Range, and a Tower (usually on his wood or Berries, but Towering his stone is not uncommon). With a Spear or two and a Skirm, you would attack your opponent with your units and your four forward Vils, disrupting him. The second Range comes when you have the wood, and after your Vils are done building it, they usually go off to mine your opponent's gold or stone.
Although this build is very strong and quite fast, it is also micromanagement intensive. If you are not very familiar with the Flush, it is not recommended that you attempt this. You will have to go back and forth between many locations all the time.
22 Pop Build Order
I am now going to simplify this because it is somewhat based on the above build orders.
Vils 1-6: Sheep. Remember to Sheep scout, to keep only two Sheep for processing, and what not.
Vils 7-9: Wood. Build an LC with Vil 7 if you have found a suitable forest. If not, straggler.
Now: Hit Loom, and when it is 80% done, get a Vil on your Sheep to drop off its food, and then lure a Boar.
Vil 10: Sheep (since one Vil left to lure).
Boar: As always, garrison the lurer when the Boar is on the right spot on the TC, and get your Sheep Vils to drop off their food and kill it.
Vils 11-13: Mill with Vil 11, all three Vils go to Berries.
Boar: Keep tabs on your Boar. When it is at 175 food left, lure your second Boar with a Hunter already on your first Boar (drop off food first, like again, in case it dies).
Vils 14-15: Boar.
Farm: Make a Farm with a wounded Boar Vil (drop off food first).
Vils 16-17: Boar.
Farm: Make a Farm with a wounded Boar Vil (drop off food first). Two Farms now. Get up to four Farms with wounded Vils soon.
Vils 18-19: Wood.
Boar: Your last Boar should be about done at this point. Send four Hunters out as forward Vils. Put the rest on your Sheep.
Vils 20-21: New LC, wood at this LC. As said before, can be on a different forest or the same one. Send three of your food Vils to this new LC, as well.
An easy way to remember this one is 6-3-1-3-4-4. However, you also have to realize that 3 Vils are moved to wood after they finish the Boar, and 4 are sent forward.
Garrison all food Vils and click Feudal, then send them back to work. Build a forward Rax, and when you hit Feudal, get a Range up. Get Double-Bit Axe, and get Spears and Skirms, along with your Vils, attacking your opponent. Tower his wood from behind if you can, or get his Berries. Make sure to make a second Range sometime soon, and you should mine his gold or stone using your four forward Vils. Making a Mill and harvesting his Deer is also not a bad idea. However, if your opponent is playing well, move your forward Vils back home, as you do not want to lose them. That would set you back a lot.
Flushing tips and tricks
Sheep scouting Generally players use 2 sheep for scouting the nearby areas on the map and believe me it helps exploring large parts.The trick here is not to send the sheep far away,just explore the nearby areas so as to ensure that it isnt lost.
In the game shown above, the player managed to find all eight Sheep early on, and sent four (yes, count them, four) Sheep scouting. The red circles in the screenshot indicate Sheep, while the green circle designates the player's Scout. There is a huge difference in Sheep scouting and not Sheep scouting. Just look at the amount of map you could have explored. Even with two Sheep, there is still quite often a major difference.
Walling Your Opponent's Buildings In
As we can see in this image, the opponent's Rax is all walled up.In walling an opponent's building, the units he trains from it cannot move from it. He would have to destroy the walls in order to get his units out. Either his Vils can do it (wastes time, when they could be collecting resources), or have his units do it while you can run around his town killing things. This could even force your opponent to make new buildings. Walling your opponent's military buildings in with your forward Vils can pay off in the long run.
Walling Your Opponent's Resources In
It is exactly the same thing as above, just with your opponent's resources. Take your forward Vils, and wall in his gold or stone. If you manage to get his main seven gold pile, you will have completely annoyed the hell out of your opponent. That main pile is important because gold will be important later on, and when he has to destroy your walls to use his main gold, he is investing time into it. Not to mention that the main gold is normally the closest gold pile, and that it would fit more Vils around it than the other couple of four gold piles, and the bits of gold piles scattered around the map.
"Lame" Farm Killing
If you destroy an opponent's building frame, he does not get his resources back. You only see an opponent's building frame when he actually starts building it. However, this is not the case with Farms. They are at 1 HP the moment they are laid down on the map. If you are scouting your opponent, and he lays down Farms with no Vils in sight building them yet, use your Scout to attack his Farm. Your Scout destroys it because the Farm is at 1 HP. Guess what? Your opponent is down 60 wood (40 wood if he is playing Teuts).
Having spoken about the Flush strategy I would like to suggest some counters for the same.Although towers are not that effective against raiding but they do give you relief.If you are aiming for a fast castle strategy then keep 3 vils on stone while advancing to feudal and build towers near your main gold mine and lumbercamp..But this will fail if you delay the time for castle age(ideally it should be under 17 mins).As soon as you reach castle age,make knights so that you can easily lay down his flushing units.