Age of Empires Online Dwarf Rush Swarm

Age of Empires Online: The Dwarf Swarm

Efficiency isn’t everything. Sometimes we want our build orders to entertain us with copious minion death before our inevitable victory. Josh details his cruel death march in his favorite Babylonian strategy: The Dwarf Swarm.


  • Team: 1-4 players
  • Mode: Any map, any time (except PvP, unless you’re suicidal)


  1. Race to Age IV
  2. Use Walls, Shield-Bearers and Castles to protect economy until then
    • Can rotate in Spearmen and Lancers if needed, but try to avoid them
  3. Build sustainable Caravan routes early
  4. Train everything that boosts infantry damage, life, and training time (esp. Gardens)
  5. Send out Spearmen to establish a forward base
  6. Villagers rush out and speed-build 5 Barracks
    • Important for style points: straight line perpendicular to the route they’ll run towards enemy base
  7. Get Shield Bearers out of the way because a stampede is a’coming!
  8. Select all Barracks and set the waypoint at the town’s front gates
  9. Train Dwarves until you hit the population limit
  10. Never stop. Ever.

Age of Empires Online Dwarf Rush


Age 1

  • Build: Walls, houses, 1 Barracks
  • Train: Villagers

Age 2

  • Build: Houses, Market, Armory, 4 Gardens, 1 Town Center
  • Train: Villagers, Shield Bearers, Caravans
  • Research: Armory (infantry), gathering, Stone Wall, Conditioning

Age 3

  • Build: Castles, Houses, 4 Gardens, 1 Town Center
  • Train: Villagers, Shield Bearers, Caravans
  • Research: Cultivation, Large Garden, Armory (infantry), gathering, Reinforced Wall, Combined Arms

Age 4

  • Build: 4 Gardens, 5 Barracks, 1 Town Center
  • Research: Sapper Champion, Close Combat Training, Royal Garden, Amory (infantry), Saddle Bags, Total War


  • Until Age IV: Don’t die
  • Age IV: Send in the ladder jockies

Age of Empires Online Dwarf Rush Advisors






  • Varies per mission


Josh is a game designer at SOE and former senior editor for PC Gamer and the Official World of Warcraft Magazine. Greg is an entertainer extraordinaire, gondolier and PC Gamer contributor.


Let us know what you think of the show and what you’d like to hear us discuss in the future at our email address. You can always talk directly with Greg and Josh on Twitter.

Special thanks to Josiah Pang for making our logo, Jason Shaw for the music, and all the community that helped us improve our stategy on the forums.