Perfect Farms In AoE2
The perfect farms, do they really exist or are they only alive in our dreams? In the heat of battle placing farms can get messy. For newer players their base can look like a poorly made patchwork quilt, and it’s not only triggering those with OCD but it’s making your economy bad too. Good farm placement is essential and this guide will not only show you the optimal farm placements but also teach you how place them quickly.
This picture shows the most optimal farm placement around a Town Center, with 1 being the best and 6 being the worst. In fact, it takes a villager a whole extra minute to completely gather the food from farm 6 compared to farm 1 if they start at the same time. The farm in position 6 is about 10% slower than the farms in position 1. You should try to build your farms in the order shown to be sure to maximize your food income.
This is because villagers only gather food from the part of the farm shown in green. Villagers on the right of the Town Center are much closer to the drop off point than the villagers on the left, since they have to walk over the “dead” part of the farm.
Introducing: The Mill
At some point you’ll want to expand your farms and the best way to do this is by building around your mill. It’s possible to perfectly tessellate farms around mills with the correct placement, not only does it look pretty but it’s actually the most optimal positioning for the farms too. Giving you anywhere between 2-5% more food than any other configuration of farms around the mill.
If we want to expand our farms further and add to the farms already placed around the Town Center then the best improvement you can make is to turn farm #6 into a farm #1 by placing a mill next to it. It also lines up perfectly so that you can continue to tessellate around the new mill too.
Will placing farms this way provide you with slightly more food income? Yes. Will placing farms like this help you to become a better player? Perhaps. But this is a matter of principle, perfectly placed farms are a joy to look at and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way!
Placing Farms Fast
Now for a bit of useful gaming advice. You have a group of villagers selected and you want to tell them to build farms. What’s the fastest way to do it?
First, with all of the villagers selected you should place the mill. Second, while still keeping the villagers selected you should build a farm but make sure to hold SHIFT on your keyboard before placing it. This will allow you to place multiple farms at once. Place as many farms as you need based on how many villagers are selected in your group. Finally let go of SHIFT and place the last farm, then right click the mill to tell all of the villagers to build it.
Once the mill is built your villagers will automatically start building the farms. This method is very fast and will allow you quickly place as many farms as you need before forgetting all about it, safe in the knowledge that your villagers will do your bidding.
The Best Farmers In History
Some civilizations were just made to farm, so as a little bonus for this article here’s the 2019 power rankings for best farmers in Age of Empires 2.
Thanks to their direct 15% civ bonus to farms the Slavs are by far the fastest farmers in the game.
Due to their +5 villager carry capacity the Aztecs farms are indirectly boosted. This effect diminishes as Wheelbarrow and Handcart are researched.
Thanks to their villagers walking 10% faster the Berbers farms get a tiny boost. Villagers spend less time walking and more time gathering, resulting in a 1-3% increase.
🌾 Everyone Else
Regular farmers for regular folk, nothing sets the rest of the civs apart.
The bottom of the pile when it comes to farming. This by no means makes the Mayans a bad civ but their farmers are about 5% slower than everyone else.
Wheat we Learned
Bad puns aside, farming is an important part of any game. Once the starting food is gone you’ll be farming for the rest of the game. By making just 2-3% improvements in farm placement you can see a large compounding effect by the late game. It’s perhaps not the most important thing to learn, but it is a lot of fun and does make your base look more pretty.