[AoE2] Key commentary selections from EGM Grand Finals Game 1

I previously posted the games of TheViper vs Daut in the Age of Empires 2 Escape Gaming Masters grand finals. Here I've pulled out some key moments in the coverage of game 1.

Right off the bat TheViper makes a grievous error with the placement of his initial lumber camp. The camp is badly blocked in by trees, causing a bottleneck of wood-delivering villagers at the small accessible portion. TheViper in effect has fewer villagers than he should, due to the accrued idle time. It does not take long for the difference to make itself felt, as he is left without the option of placing down a Dark Age rush ("drush") timing barracks:

Daut makes an early eco misstep of his own by splitting villagers between his boar and one of his turkeys. Early food from game animals is absolutely critical to the AoE2 opening. The food in an animal carcass slowly disappears over time to rot; the longer it takes to fully harvest a carcass, the more of its meat will disappear. Contested games are won at the margins (barring blunders) so giving up marginal value is bad! By splitting his vils between the boar and turkey, Daut allows both to be exposed for extra time, decaying all the while:

Daut comes in with his scout at with a great timing in check TheViper's villager commitment to gold. Daut does indeed spot two villagers bringing up a mining camp, giving him a priceless early warning that his opponent plans on a quick man at arms upgrade:

Daut is in the lead with the better villager count (thanks in part to the Indian civ's cheaper villagers) and has the advantage in the longer term should nothing happen. In general, the onus is on the disadvantaged player to upset the status quo and make a play, and here TheViper tries to do so by going into the +1 defense upgrade for his skirmishers instead of using those resources to tech up to the Castle Age more quickly. Unfortunately, TheViper does not find an opportunity to engage with his gambit, as Daut pulls his units to a hill, threatening to use the powerful elevation bonuses:

Ultimately in this game, Daut was able to continually deny TheViper's probing attempts for a good engagement. By biding his time with a superior economy, Daut, successfully takes game 1.

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