Staying 6 - Garden of War
Because your mine is further away compared to other spots, you lose the ability to do some things.
That's not all...
Unfortunately the backside of your goldmine is a mess as well. You are easily towered or catted from the right. In order to survive this spot, you need to know how everything works. This picture demonstrates some important points. First of all, that red line running through the middle of the picture shows you where a cannon tower WILL hit your peons from. As long as no part of the enemies tower crosses that line (to the right side of it), the tower will kill your peons. Look at how much room that gives the enemy above the farm. The 2 walls most people build to stop towers up there actually do not cover all the spots. It can be covered with 3 walls, or better yet, 1 farm. The farm also gives you the vision so you know the moment the offensive tower his being built. The other thing to note are those yellow arrows. They simply show you where you can chop through this treeline in 2 chops. If you take 2 peons, and chop in the direction of the arrows, you will be cut through. This is incredibly useful, but rarely used. I'll show you how this works further down this page. Just remember that it is better to spend the money to prevent getting towered instead of having to wait for a cat to finish.
See that white enemy tower there? If this happens to you then you have lost. There is alot to be learned here, however. The only way to destroy this tower now, is to build a catapult. This is a complete waste of time, and will set you back minutes behind your enemy. Most of the time you will have 9 enemy grunts running rampant in your base as your cat is about to finish. The easier way to prevent this is to place a watch tower in the spot shown by the yellow box. The watch tower will let you see everything that is happening behind you here. If the enemy starts building a tower, start upgrading yours. This will prevent any back-side tower jobs, as well as defend the choke point that leads into your base. Also notice the 2 walls I built at the back. These actually don't help me one bit. An enemy tower placed in the red box would still kill my peon line, and I woudln't even suspect a thing (no vision from the walls, as seen in this picture). Right now I am waiting for my catapult to finish. It would of saved me alot of trouble if I just had that watch tower there to start with...
Defending the back side
At this point in the game you will still need gold more than wood, so put both peons back onto gold when they come back out of the Hall.
This still leaves the top vulnerable to cannon towers and cats, but at least it is harder for an enemy to setup high. Of course...you could wall high yourself.
The peon in the 2nd picture is actually bringing the wood back to my lumber mill, which I used to wall the right side of the top there. This definately keeps any enemies out from behind your mine, and puts your mill where there is alot of lumber. The problem is that a cannon tower doesn't really defend everything. In fact, a cannon tower only protects your choke point, and leaves your buildings further out from the choke point vulnerable. Something has to change.
The choke point
The farm building in this picture changes everything. Now all my units will pop down, stuck in between my barracks and smith. Now, notice the peon chopping the tree out there...can you figure out what's going on? This picture is from a real game where I 1 rax rushed (didn't repair anything), scouted, and found my enemies rushing. I continued to build grunts constantly until I had my lumber mill complete. Remember that a 4 on 3 setup is not THAT strong. Three enemy grunts means that they can target 1 of yours with all 3. If you don't have backups then you will die. Make sure you have a few back up grunts before starting the catapult.
The catapult is done, and the peon has chopped the 1 necessary tree that allows the catapult full access to my base. This cat can help you defend the choke, take out anything that hits your smith from the left, AND defend against towers from the right. Even if you chose the high wallin on the right, your cat can get over there to defend that as well, because of the 2 trees you chopped earlier in the game. If you know the heavy grunt rush, or cat rush is coming, you can continue to pop grunts to the inside of your base. Send a few out to see if you can catch some stray cats, or at least so you know that 25 grunts (give or take) are headed your way. You should also start taking out the trees below your barracks, so you can repair with more, and get your grunts and ogres around easier.
Some stuff to remember
-Also remember that your gold mine is a few spots further than all of the other mines. So when you are about to go stronghold, don't. Build an extra 1 or 2 peons before going Hold, and the extra resources will keep you right with or ahead of your enemy.
-Most players will not expect you to go from a rush, to a defensive setup either. This means that most players will just plan to run you over with their grunts. When they run into your newly built farm, that allows you to repair all buildings safely, then they will be in trouble. It makes their cats too slow, and yourself quicker to power than they ever could.
-Peon scouting WILL sometimes pay off, whether it be straight up the left side of the map, or to the bottom right area. You could get a good offensive tower, or barracks on the enemy and it will still probably take them a little while until they figure out where you came from. You can also catch a 2-Haller this way, and if the enemy didn't see your peon...all the better.
-Don't chop the same tree like I am in the last picture :).