1. ALWAYS do your best to keep all 4 build capacities in use. ALWAYS be building.

  2. You should not protect your Army Camps whatsoever. When you are attacked, your Army Camps vanish and your opponent cannot see or attack them.  Place them at least 3 squares away from your walls and other buildings as they leave a “footprint” that can indicate where there is a safe spot for the attack to deploy their troops.

  3. Always separate similar resources.  For example; if you have 3 silos, keep them separated.  This forces resources raiders to attack multiple places in order to take most of your food.

  4. Identify the most secure parts of your Keep.  Whatever resources you have the most of (or that you least want to have raided away), move the storage units for that resource to your most secure places.

  5. As a general rule of thumb, protect your buildings in this order:

    1. Keep

    2. Guardhouses

    3. Stone Storehouses

    4. Silos and Lumberyards

    5. Universities and Cathedrals

    6. Quarries, Farms and Mills

  1. Military Buildings (archery range, barracks, stable, siege workshop, hall of heroes, and special troops building)

  2. Always protect your most effective and therefore vulnerable fortifications (catapults and trebuchets) by placing them within range of a tower. Same applies to GH’s if possible. Crossbow and Flame towers work particularly well.

  3. Base Building (much inspiration borrowed from Juno. Thanks!):

  4. Ensure all walls are closed off.

  5. Compartmentalization- The more sections you can divide your base into, the more difficult it is for the opponent to get all your resources

  6. Psychology- There are ways to encourage/predict entry points to your castle. Use this to your advantage by loading the traps in these areas. For instance, placing both stone stores on one side of your layout (not together) entices people to approach from that side. People also seem to prefer to attack left-right/front to back, in my experience most attacks come from the W/SW.

  7. Map Edge- Map edge is useful and it does put most people off, but don't rely on it. It is useful for one side with good cover, short and long range, to ensure most/all of the off-map is defended. The benefit of the edge is the confined space with no easy escape route. The downsides to edge are: direct spawn zone, no traps, and for corners: loss of free gold and limited gates.

  8. Tower Placement- Towers shouldn't be isolated, on corners for instance, and should be backed up with other defence. Where possible, providing 2 spaces between defensive buildings, or keeping the towers behind a wall (instead of part of the wall) will reduce Winrich's ability. Winrich and Alex love clusters, so evenly spacing towers around the castle, within range of one another, strengthens the defense.

  9. Trebuchet Placement- Ideal place for a treb is in the middle, not a corner, where it can focus on the action inside the walls. Keep the trebs away from the outside walls, as close to the centre as possible.

  10. Guard Houses and Patrol Points

  11. Troop Choice- 3 main factors:

  12. Spawn Time- Foot soldiers spawn every 60s, whereas cavalry take 90s.

  13. Troop Speed- Slow troops force the attacker to wait to deal with their appearance outside the walls. However, the attacker will be able to evade slow troops with faster units like cavalry.  With a frost layout, faster units like cavalry are probably better.

  14. Usefulness if Converted by Joan- Once you start facing advanced opponents, Joan becomes a factor.  Once converted, cavalry, mamluks, blue infantry and teutonic knights can be very destructive to your defense. Pikemen and Archers are far less effective once converted, especially Pikemen.

  15. Placement-  Keeping GHs deep inside, perhaps 2 levels of walls, means they will spawn at least twice, the second will pop out just as the trebs are coming through the first layer of wall. Placing Patrol Points outside the walls allows them to respond quickly, but makes them vulnerable to Joan.  Placing 1 or 2 Patrols around the Keep at least preserves the mystery whether they are Holding Ground or Attacking Immediately.

  16. Hold Ground or Attack Immediately- ALWAYS set Guardhouses to Attack Immediately so their respawn counter starts right away.  In general, Patrol Points should be set to Attack Immediately.  However, if you find people are using Joan against you a lot, set 1 or 2 Patrols to Hold Ground near the Keep.  Mix it up so that people revenging you can’t look at your replays and know what your troops will do.

  17. Caltrops- Placing caltrops within range of Towers slows the attackers down, forcing them to take more damage as they move.  Placing caltrops around catapults and other defensive emplacements may be the difference that saves them from being destroyed.

  18. Engineer Traps- Place engineer traps where you feel most likely to be attacked.  Placing the traps on the far side of walls (“behind” them) blocks the view of them emerging and may help save them.  Placing an engineer trap inside your walls, possibly near the Keep, can be useful.  It can be hard to notice the engineers in the chaos of battle, and the attacker cannot immediately spawn troops to take out the engineers.

Note: This copied from the AOE CS Forum.
by Riches to Ruins alliance