"Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. "—Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Rush refers to a military strategy emphasizing rapid build-up as early as possible.
To implement this strategy, the player should focus almost exclusively on building troops to harass the enemy economy in the shortest possible amount of time. It is commonly used to counter the Boom strategy or the Turtle strategy if the enemy is unable to get their towers and walls up in time although it should be noted that a successful turtle can easily repel rushes. Another variation of the rush strategy is Blitzkrieg, which is a far more deadlier version and is more effective than other rushing techniques but is more costly.
A rushing player will typically have a weak economy in favor of a strong military, ideally most rushes are executed within the first seven minutes of gameplay (even less versus human opponents). The longer a match draws on without the rush inflicting significant damage, the more likely it is that a rushing player will not be able to seize victory due to their slower economy.
Age of Empires III
A good Rush deck typically consists of the basic villager cards and Discovery Age resource cards while possessing a heavy number of troop shipments and troop upgrade cards in the Colonial Age with little focus on economic cards. The Spanish are considered a strong Rush civilization due to their fast Home City shipments. The Russians are also good, as the Oprichnik is good at destroying buildings and crippling the enemy's economy by killing enemy settlers. The Germans are also quite good at rushing, because they recieve Uhlans most Home City shipments, wich have a high attack, but low hitponts.
This type of rush focuses on crossing water quickly to establish a foothold on the enemy beaches. It is available to any civilization capable of aging up to the Colonial Age with The Governor and sending a galleon soon afterward. Essentially the player uses the galleon to transport the outpost wagon to enemy shores, have it begin building while the galleon starts training units. The outpost can then serve as the home city drop off point for troop shipments and reinforce the galleon if the enemy pushes the rush force back to the beaches.
The Spanish perform the strategy very well due to their faster home city shipments. With practice the strategy will easily overwhelm AI opponents in the game.