Fast castle into Farimba Garrison


Going fast castle with the Malians into Farimba garrison gives you a massive power spike enabling you to take map control and punish greedy opponents. Behind this you need a plan to scale your economy, I would personally recommend adding trade and cows as 2nd tc costs similar amount to the market set up and scales much worse.

1. Start with 5 on wood (gathers 100 wood total from a straggler tree near tc and then goes on sheep),1 builds pit mine and 2 houses once you have 50 wood, followed by gathering 10 gold from the mine and builds lumber camp by the wood (where he drops off the 10 gold). Rally villagers to sheep.
2. Rally villagers to sheep until 10, then until 3 on wood. 14th villager rally to pit mine to start building houses and mining camp.
3. By the time 14th villager comes out you will be able to age up, use 4 villagers to age up with the landmark of your choice (if you age up with Mansa Quary, leave it on gold, if with Trade network - send 2 vils from food onto gold). I would recommend aging up with the Trade network on your gold (leave some space next to the gold mine, you will lose 1-2 houses but it is worth it for early defence and safe fast castle).
4. Send 2 villagers from food to wood (leave at 4) and rally new villagers to wood until 7 on wood. Mali is a wood heavy civ and you need wood for feudal + castle pit mine as well as military buildings. After 7 on wood rally all to food (including villagers that built the feudal landmark).
5. Before you age up, send a villager to the closest pit mine, preferably away from your opponent in the back if available so that you could build pit mine once available.
6. While still in feudal scout your opponent, if he goes stable - add barracks first, if he goes archery range, add your own - You will need both in castle age as well as the blacksmith. With 7 vils on wood you will be able to build all this before castle hits.
7. Age up with Farimba Garisson with 8 villagers only next to your tc (this is important so it does not get denied by any pressure). Queue up mining eco upgrade and send all but 6 food villagers to gold. You will have enough gold to queue up any unit when Farimba finishes.
8. When in castle, queue units depending on the civ of your opponent.
Vs knight/archer civs as well as vs slow booming civs like abbasid, I prefer donso/javelin. Vs HRE or if opponent is rushing castle, i prefer musofadi/archer+javelin(only if opponent goes archer). You need to upgrade your units into veteran in your barracks/archery range as the training time of Farimba is too valuable to use on upgrades. If opponent stays feudal, add +1 range armour followed by +1 range attack and +2 range armour, if he did fast castle too, then +2 ranged attack first followed by +2 range armour. Dont forget to get a mosque to collect relics since you got map control and as a rule focus on denying opponent food on the map. If opponent went 2nd or even 3 tc, get 10 javelins and 20 donso and once you got at least +1 range armour you can burn the TCs down if they are not next to the main tc (and if they are, you easily deny all the food). Do not overextend if opponent stays feudal (like vs ottoman archer/sipahi spam), but keep trading army and pushing the enemy, your units are way better and trade much more efficiently than any feudal unit. Behind this I like to start trading if I see i cannot kill my opponent in the near future, keep massing units and poking in and out. Vs castle age be aware of the mangonel/nest of bees - add siege workshop to counter this (if enemy has no scout and is on open map musofadi in stealth mode also work) and add mangonels of your own to counter enemy archers when opponent has maa as frontline.

Enjoy your wins!