Age of Mythology Edit
"Everyone starts with a Citadel and no free Settlements exist. If your Citadel is lost, you will lose the game."—In-game map description
The Sudden Death map contains no extra settlements and each player starts with a Citadel instead of a Town Center, as well as four Tents, that each provide 10 population, so players start with 65 population (68 for Isis players). The player is automatically defeated upon the Citadel Center's destruction, making the timed use of turtling and rushing tactics important.
Goats live around the map and huntables include Deer, Elks, and Chickens. When players are each on their own, the map is landlocked, mostly flat, and symmetrical. On the other hand, when the players are in teams, the map becomes mostly landlocked, save for two stripes of water running horizontally from the west and east, where Salmon can be fished.
When a player has no Town Center, the player will not immediately lose the game (as opposed to the in-game description); however, it will initiate a 2-minute countdown to give the player a chance to claim a new Settlement. If the player fails to claim a Settlement within the given allowance, they will lose the game.
Following major gods are especially suitable for Sudden Death:
- Poseidon (Militia spawn from destroyed buildings, ideal for cavalry rushes)
- Hades (Sentinel, tough buildings, great ranged units)
- Kronos (Deconstruction, ideal for rushes, cheaper siege weapons)
- Gaia (excellent economic and defensive bonuses, lush terrain negates tower rushes and Castle Drops)
- Nü Wa (Recreation and Acupuncture, reliable economy bonuses, ideal for rushes with human units)
- Shennong (Wall upgrades are cheaper, siege weapons do more damage, reliable economy bonuses)
Age of Empires II Edit
"Players are eliminated when they have no town centers left, so protect your town center while destroying your enemy's. You cannot build any town centers. In nomad mode, players can build one town center."—In-game description
The Sudden Death game mode was introduced in The African Kingdoms, and revolves itself around one goal: To not lose the own Town Center while trying to destroy the enemies'. As players cannot lose their base and rebuild elsewhere, turtling strategies are especially prominent in Sudden Death matches.
Ideal civilizations include ones with bonuses for their Villagers (such as the Incas), good turtling potential (such as the Koreans) and ones with great Dark/Feudal Age rush potential (such as the Aztecs).
Due to having only one Citadel or Town Center available in Sudden Death, Villager production is slow-paced and as such, even a single Villager loss can mean a lot, especially in the early game. For that reason, the following rules should be followed:
- Be highly careful when expanding to distant resource pools, as early game raids might cause many Villager casualties.
- Make good use of Castle Drops; it is highly advised to keep the pressure on enemies, by drawing attention away from a player's base and by harassing an enemy's economy. Particularly good factions for such a Castle Drop are ones with potent ranged units (such as Gastraphetes for Hades, or Longbowmen for the Britons).
- Rush as quickly as possible; this will force enemies to the defensive and save time needed to advance through Ages. The type of rush will depend on each major god's/ civilization's strength, and includes, among others, tower rushes, which play similarly to Castle drops.
- Wall the Citadel / Town Center (preferably with Palisades in Age of Empires II) well enough so that less melee units can engage the Town Center, yet also modestly enough so that less resources are spent.
- Sudden Death was originally designed to be a game mode in Age of Mythology.
- Age of Mythology: If a countdown has been initiated, then the player manages to claim a Settlement, it will require about 2 seconds for the system that the player has done so, before the countdown disappears. Therefore, if the player has claimed the Settlement, and there are only about a second or two remaining, they will lose the game.