Skirmish Rush Guide and Pre-40 BiS List

Discussion in 'PvE Tips & Tutorials' started by destroyerarcher, May 26, 2021.

  1. destroyerarcher

    destroyerarcher Champion

    Nov 15, 2017
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    Want to earn unique, powerful, pre-level 40 gear for your civilizations, or to sell that gear for large sums to people looking to do that? This Skirmish guide will detail what items below level 40 may be best in slot for a specific purpose, and how to effectively farm for those items.

    Why farm Skirmish?
    While the majority of the best gear for specific purposes can be farmed from level 40 chests, especially as Project Celeste continues to add new legendary gear, there will more than likely always be a few low-level best in slot items in the game. Skirmish allows you to cleverly configure the level of the loot you will receive upon completion. Even though Moes’ Mystorium covers some of these items at their max level, including Double-Stitched Chiton and Hades’ Flaming Arrows, it only covers it at the time of writing in intervals of 5. In addition, there are skirmish exclusive items, meaning that even if Moes’ sold every level chest in the game, there would still be a few items that would require skirmish farming for the best build in a specific scenario.

    Skirmish farming is also an overall tedious process for most players, and randomized stats means that a high stat roll on pre-40 items can fetch for insane prices that break a million coin for one item. In addition, you can earn 8 skirmish-exclusive advisors through quests that simply require you to beat a specific AI in a 1v1 skirmish.

    The item I would recommend farming for nowadays is King Minos' Radiant Shield, as it can have 6% more armor than the Shield of Aeneas, the next highest infantry armor shield. Do note that the rates are not very high, and it can take hundreds of runs before you see this item.

    Pre-40 items

    Below is a list of pre-40 random chest items, that I or others consider to be BiS for a specific, viable purpose.

    NOTE: While Athena's Golden Gorget and Perseus' Horse Bow are now outclassed by Bahram's Best Battle Armor and Bahram's Beloved Bow, respectively, Bahram items are in very limited supply, thus getting enough of those items for all scenarios that you want them on is unrealistic.
    The addition of Ashoka's Golden Gorget makes specifically farming Skirmish for Athena's Golden Gorget an overall waste of time when most civilizations will only need one at a time.

    NOTE 2: Similarly, Double-Stitched Chiton, Ajax's Heavy War Shield, The Hero's Cuirass, Hades' Flaming Arrows, and Ancient Trojan Guard Chiton now have legendary variants, exclusive to Moes' Mystoragium. However, the drop rates are fairly low for the legendary variants of these items, but since people are now buying a lot of moes chests in search of these items, as a result, many of the items listed, are likely to have a moes level variant available on the Global Marketplace for affordable prices now.

    If the item name is green, that means it is an uncommon item, while if it is blue, it is rare, if it is purple, it is epic. The max level for each item will be denoted, as will any gamemode exclusivity and their most important stats. All stats provided are based on their default stats.

    Throughout this list, I will use several abbreviations:
    Crit is short for Critical Hit Chance.
    MS is short for Movement Speed.
    LoS is short for Line-of Sight.
    Melee-Inf/Cav, Pierce, Crush refers to the respective armor types.
    BDP refers to Bonus Damage Protection.

    Reinforced Walls, lvl 18 Crete Exclusive, 21.3% crit Reinforced Construction

    Balanced Nets, lvl 31, -17.8% cost Nets

    Double-Stitched Chiton, lvl 10, 5.1 ms Cloth Armor

    Scales of the Leviathan, lvl 18, 35.9 LoS Armor Plating

    Silver-Hook Staff, lvl 18, 37.8 cav convert Staff

    Light Camel Barding, lvl 19, 8.95 ms Trading Gear

    Blessed Horn Bow, lvl 25, 26.4% hp Bow

    Blessed Priest Robes, lvl 26, 100.5% melee-inf armor, 7.7% bdp Cloth Armor

    Dionysius' War Belly Bow, lvl 34, 36.8% dmg, 14.5% snare Belly Bow

    Scraped Oil Pot, lvl 37, 13.5% ms, 9.8% range Fire Pot

    Heron's Battle Belly Bow, lvl 37, 10.9% ms Belly Bow

    Torc of the Pathfinder, lvl 30, 35.0% dmg Torc

    King Narmer's Dreaded Gorget, lvl 30 Skirmish Exclusive, 6.9 ms Light Armor

    Hades' Flaming Arrows, lvl 30, 2.2 ms Arrows

    Sail-Burner Fire Pot, lvl 31, 22.7% hp Fire Pot

    Hide of the Kraken, lvl 33, 35.5% crush Armor Plating

    Golden Runic Plating, lvl 34, 135.4% melee-inf Armor Plating

    Nets of Poseidon, lvl 34, 27.7% hp Fishing Nets

    Frostbane Bearskin Cloak, lvl 35, 36.9% pierce Cloth Armor

    Ram of the Furies, lvl 36, 56.6% hp Ram Head

    Ajax's Heavy War Shield, lvl 37, 12.7% pierce, 2.2% dmg Shield

    Golden Great Ankh Staff, lvl 37, 76.9% heal, 4.8% ms Holy Staff

    Bast's Bloodletter, lvl 38, 41.9% hp Sword

    Ancient Trojan Guard Chiton, lvl 38, 7.2% wood gathering Cloth Armor

    Perseus' Horse Bow, lvl 39, -2.3% cost Bow

    Agamemnon's Heavy Spear, lvl 39 Skirmish Exclusive, 70.0% dmg, 18.3% inf bonus Heavy Spear

    King Minos' Radiant Shield, lvl 39 Skirmish Exclusive, 19.2% melee-inf Shield

    Skirmish opponents
    Greek and Egyptian skirmish opponent town centers will lack a reinforced construction item up until Fierce and Unstoppable, all other civs will always have one. Skirmish opponents will use rare gear on weak difficulty and epic gear on any other difficulty for level 40 players. Skirmish opponents also spawn with a patrol of units, to attempt to discourage rushing. The number of units in the patrol the enemy has, is equivalent to how high the difficulty is, so an unstoppable opponent has 5 units, fierce has 4 units, and so on.

    Here is a chart showing what units are in the patrol wave, depending on the opponent and civilization:

    Thus, if you’re running Skirmish for the advisors, the best civilizations for each advisor are:

    Egyptian: Narmer and Darius
    Greek: Everyone else

    Skirmish Rush
    The Skirmish Rush is a strategy which involves a player building an early barracks, then focusing purely on training infantry to end the opponent early. While it is used in PvP under the name Spearman Rush, it is especially potent against Skirmish AI, who cannot handle being attacked in age 1. Depending on what settings you are farming, the strategy will vary slightly, however in all cases, make sure to select either the Oasis, Equal Footing, or Ghost Lake maps, small map size, and standard victory condition. This will let you rush the AI the fastest.

    For farming skirmish for low level gear, there will be three types of AI configurations that will slightly alter your play, however all of these are built upon the same fundamentals.

    Skirmish Level Manipulation & Common Setting Setups

    In the Skirmish Hall, you can modify Skirmish loot levels by modifying a variety of settings, including map size and AI difficulty. Because of this, you can precisely farm the max level variants of items that you cannot effectively farm elsewhere unless you use low level civilizations, such as King Minos' Radiant Shield, Light Camel Barding, and more.

    The following changes the level of the quest, based on the default settings upon opening skirmish:
    Changing the map to small reduces level by 1.
    Changing the map to huge increases level by 1.

    Changing the age cap from IV to II decreases level by 1.

    Changing the victory condition from Conquest to Standard decreases level by 2.

    Changing the victory condition from Conquest to Wonder decreases level by 3.

    Adding a friendly player to skirmish decreases level by 10.
    Adding a standard allied AI decreases level by 6.

    Changing an allied AI from standard to weak increases level by 1.
    Changing an allied AI from standard to strong decreases level by 1.
    Changing an allied AI from standard to fierce decreases level by 3.
    Changing an allied AI from standard to unstoppable decreases level by 4.

    Changing an enemy AI from standard to weak decreases level by 2.
    Changing an enemy AI from standard to strong increases level by 1.
    Changing an enemy AI from standard to fierce increases level by 2.
    Changing an enemy AI from standard to unstoppable increases level by 4.

    Some common settings for farming valuable items are listed below. All configs use small map size on oasis or equal footing with standard victory, and unless specified, nothing else is changed.
    1 standard ally, 1 weak AI for Light Camel Barding (lvl 19)
    1 standard AI, age 2 cap for Blessed Priest Robes (lvl 26)
    2 unstoppable AI, age 2 cap for Bast's Bloodletter and Ancient Trojan Guard Chiton (lvl 38)
    2 unstoppable AI, for Perseus' Horse Bow, Agamemnon's Heavy Spear, and King Minos' Radiant Shield (lvl 39)

    Skirmish Farming Loadouts
    For farming Skirmish for gear, there are two loadouts, one on a relative budget, and the best but expensive build.

    Bast's Bloodletter
    Horse Armor of Sargon
    Scout's Protector


    Pharaoh's Spear of Destiny
    Athena's Blessed Tunic of Defense

    Mycenean Heavy Gloves (any damage boosting gauntlet, such as Ramses' Heavy Gauntlets of the Sun, will work)
    Battle Brand of Scathach or Taranis' Visage of Vanquishing

    The first loadout is a budget build that primarily uses items that costs under 10k each, with the most expensive item being Bast’s Bloodletter. If you don’t have a Bast’s Bloodletter but have a Sword of Tiberius on Celts already, or if Tiberius is cheaper than Basts, you may use that as an alternate choice that is not that far behind, otherwise if you cannot afford a Bast’s Bloodletter, any sword will suffice. Athena’s Blessed Tunic is used instead of Viziers because if you mess up with Vizier spearmen, they will die fast and it is hard to recover.

    Zahhak's Sword of the Undying
    Horse Armor of Sargon
    Set's Sash of the Solstice

    Heavy Spear of Gilgamesh
    Divine High Vizier's Robes
    Heimdal's Training Sword
    or Bahram's Branded Arm Guard
    Battle Brand of Scathach


    Divine Hammer of Construction
    Tunic of the Collector
    Nebuchadnezzar's Blessed Wine

    Roman Concrete Walls
    Ra's Wall Joints of the Solstice

    The second loadout uses the combo of zahhaks and set’s sash to give the scout high amounts of regen, along with the speed boost for the scout. However, while Leonorios may seem like the obvious choice, after the 2023 advisor rework, Leucon is the better advisor, because of his additional health and +200% pierce armor for the scout. Because of the regen, you can get away with divine high vizier spearmen, since the scout will face tank the Gaesatae and let the spearmen destroy the TCs.

    Ra's Hammer of the Solstice may potentially be the better hammer, but given how the optimized loadout already struggles with having enough food for training spearmen and the hammer would be at best a 3-4 second timesave on getting a rax up earlier, it may not even be worth running.

    Skirmish Rush for Advisors

    Running Skirmish for the exclusive Advisors is a straightforward goal to achieve. Before starting the 1v1, setting the age limit to 2 in addition to the other settings I mentioned to drop the loot level to 26, is recommended for a chance at Blessed Priest Robes. If you would rather have a shot at the Mounted Noose Pole, standard settings are fine.

    If you are playing Babylon, Norse, or Romans, first send 2 villagers to gather wood, and send the third villager along with your scout and for romans, engineer, to get close to the enemy base. Otherwise, immediately send two villagers to gather food/gold, then just send one villager and the scout towards the enemy base. Keep producing villagers until you have a total of 7 or 8 of them. Once you have enough wood for a barracks, build it close to the enemy base, and send all villagers on wood to gather food and gold, distributed depending on your civilization.

    Once the barracks is built, it is time for you to start training spearmen, without stopping, until you beat the AI. Against King Narmer and Darius, you will want to have at least 3 spearmen ready before sending in the scout first to tank, and then taking out the patrol enemies with spearmen. Otherwise, you should attack immediately once you have at least one spearman, and try to lure the patrols as far away from your spearmen as possible using your scout, as phalanx and somatophylax have a very slow movement speed. Simply focus the Town Center and you will get your skirmish advisor in under 3 minutes!

    Skirmish Rush against one strong or weaker opponent

    As this is farming gear as opposed to collecting the one-time advisors, it is highly recommended to use celts instead of any other civilization, due to their faster spearmen with high damage output. If you are farming against a strong or weaker opponent, setting the opponent to Greek Village Elder is recommended, as he will have phalanxes that deal negligible damage, while having the town center have the least amount of health possible.

    Unlike doing Skirmish for advisors, you send two villagers forward to build the barracks, along with the scout. You then send the remaining villager to gather berries and train three villagers to also gather berries, as celt spearmen cost only food. Use the scout to get the position of the enemy town center and build the barracks near the town center, then once the barracks is built, start continuously training spearmen.

    With a full damage spearman loadout you can ignore the food gathering entirely, use mounted noose pole on your scout for extra damage, train no extra villagers, and forward send all three villagers.

    When your first spearman is about to be trained, send in the scout to start tanking damage. If your scout is geared for a tank build, then you should not need to deal with the patrol wave at all. Otherwise, use the scout to circle the patrol wave around and keep it distracted, away from your army. Once again, simply keep focusing the town center until it is destroyed.

    Skirmish Rush against at least one fierce or unstoppable opponent

    While mostly similar to skirmish rushing a stronger or weaker opponent, there are a few differences.

    Because fierce and unstoppable Greek opponents have walls that grant their town center health, the only AI civilization that uses walls lacking health are Celts. Thus, you should normally fight against Celt King Narmer, as headhunters are the easiest celt patrol to deal with. However, if you have both Zahhak Sword and Mummy Bandages/Set's Sash on Celts, and a Leucon at hand, King Agamemnon enemies are even better, because by the time the spearmen destroy both town centers

    While this guide previously recommended huntables as a more intensive way of farming, its viability compared to berry gathering was questionable already, but the addition of Roman Concrete Walls means that scouring the map for huntables is not worth it over the time saved from Roman Concrete Walls.

    The budget strategy begins with sending two of the three starting villagers to gather berries. The final villager will be sent near the enemy base to build a forward barracks. The Town Center will train four villagers to also gather berries, as celt spearmen cost only food.

    Use the scout to get the position of the enemy town center as soon as possible. When you have found the town center, build the barracks just barely in range of the enemy town center, making the town center shoot at the barracks instead of your villager. If the headhunters try to attack the barracks, you can have your scout run around to distract them until the barracks is close to being done. This will let you take out the headhunters safely later. Alternately, you can build the barracks slightly away from the Headhunters, the tradeoff is that dealing with the headhunters may require the scout to tank the TC prematurely. Once the barracks is built, start continuously training spearmen, and send your forward villagers back to your food source.

    When you have a spearman, if you feel confident, try to lure one headhunter to attack the scout while the rest run away back to the base, then have the spearmen attack the headhunter while distracted. Otherwise, just wait until you have 3 spearmen before doing the same thing, then repeat. Once the headhunters are dead and if you have more than half health on your scout, attack the town center with your scout first to draw the tc aggro onto your scout. This will allow your spearmen to attack the town center without being shot at. If you are fighting two opponents, around 1:39, the second opponent’s defense wave usually will try to attack your spearmen, so be ready to fight them back with your own spearmen. Once you kill off the second headhunter wave, finish the first town center and depending on scout hp and your spearman count, either wait to have more spearmen, or immediately start taking out the second town center. Make sure to have the scout take aggro from the enemy town center by being seen first, so that your spearmen can safely deal damage to the second enemy town center long enough before the scout dies. Do note that if you take too long, the enemy AI will age up, making their town center deal more damage and have more health.

    For the regen Leucon strategy, it is much more different from other strategies used before in this guide. Two King Agamemnon enemies are used instead of King Narmer. At the start, two villagers are used for building a barracks near your TC, and the third gathers berries, while the TC queues three villagers that will also gather berries. Rally the barracks near the first enemy TC and instantly start training spearmen once it's done, while moving the scout near the enemy TC. Once the spearman crosses the lake, have the scout get shot by the TC first and attack it near the Gaesatae so it can draw their aggro. When this is successfully done, continuously have spearmen attack the TC until it is destroyed. The orange base Gaesatae can no longer attack and are safely ignored. Once again, have the scout attack the TC near the Gaesatae before the spearmen are seen so the scout can take aggro, let the spearmen finish the TC, and complete the quest.

    Level 39 Skirmish Rush with Heroic Aid

    Use the standard Leucon Scout setup and use level 39 chest configs. When the skirmish starts, use Heroic Aid, separate the infantry from the cavalry and have the archers move back, have the scout tank the first archers and town center, then send infantry and archers onto the close town center, and the cavalry on the further town center. This method can be done upwards of a minute and is by far the fastest method, provided that you have the winter points for heroic aid, and only care solely about getting King Minos' Radiant Shield as fast as possible.

    Final Notes

    This guide isn’t definitive, so if you have a better strategy for farming skirmish, feel free to share! If I also overlooked a pre-40 non-crafted item that may be worth using for an end game build, let me know and I will add it to the list.[/S]
    #1 destroyerarcher, May 26, 2021 at 7:13 AM
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2024
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  3. skylarkings

    skylarkings Spearman

    Jun 13, 2021
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    Wow, this brought back memories, I used to spend endless hours skirmish farming back in the Microsoft Server days - finally was rewarded with a heavily boosted lvl34 Dionysus' Throwing Arm for which I turned down a 5m offer. I see now there is a leg version so it would be almost worthless these days.

    Anyway, the reason I'm commenting is I'm curious about some of these items you list and how they are useful within the game. I'm very new back and am not familiar with some of the tech trees and quests but it's very interesting to me to hear how lower level gear is used in modern times. For example, I came across a 12.5% lvl 21 Blood Drinker which I was about to vendor but thought I should quickly google to see if it might have a use and that led me to your thread where it's listed.

    Thank you in advance.
    destroyerarcher likes this.
  4. destroyerarcher

    destroyerarcher Champion

    Nov 15, 2017
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    I haven't actually seen any good legendary builds using Blood Drinker yet. However, I have a theory that you can make a movement speed chief build to help buff horseman spam while not making them move at the pace of a zerk, and that would require a good Blood Drinker as one of the items.

    Also, you're welcome!
  5. destroyerarcher

    destroyerarcher Champion

    Nov 15, 2017
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    This guide has been updated with a new strategy involving Leucon, and a scout with Zahhak and Mummy Bandages/ Set's Sash of the Solstice:

    Donar and Ardeshir like this.
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