Macromanagement or macro is generally accepted as everything related to economy. In Edain, and BFME series, we only use one kind of "generic" resource. We can spend resources on three main categories: Units, Buildings, and Upgrades. Deciding whether invest money in one or the other will impact our gameplay, style and strategy. Also, we need to manage the Command Points (CP), which limit the number of units we can make. We should avoid getting CP blocked, unless we have a very good reason to do so.
So, how do I macro well?
As macro is dependent of many factors (build orders, strategy, etc) there is no "magic formula" that allows us to have good macro. However, some general guidelines would be:
- Keep your resources as low as possible: Unless you are saving up for an expensive hero etc, the lower your resources are, the better. That means that you are spending the money your resource buildings are generating. Accumulated resources does nothing other than look pretty.
- Balance troop production with investment in eco: While getting out troops constantly is necessary in most scenarios to win battles, you also need to invest in resource buildings/upgrades to make sure you produce enough money to keep spamming troops, getting upgrades, buying pantries, etc.
- Avoid CP blocks: While CP blocks in Edain are not as punished as in other games, try to avoid them. Not being able to produce one unit of pikes against enemy cavalry can lose you the game. Getting CP blocked also will imply you cannot keep spamming units, and against a player with better macro, you will start losing battles due to army inferiority and resources accumulating.
- Learn which investments are optimal in which parts of the game:
Resources in Edain are mainly collected through resource buildings like farms or furnaces. The resource buildings inside the base cost 400 resources, while the external ones (more vulnerable to harassment) cost 200. This means that investing in external economy is better but more risky. Resource buildings can be upgraded with additional workers (which increase resource production) and pantries (which increase the available CP). The most standard strategy in the early game for any faction is getting external resource buildings (while spamming units), then filling the base with internal resource buildings, and then upgrading those with either pantries or additional workers. Upgrading external resource buildings before internal is usually more risky and doesn't give any advantage, with very few exceptions.
Macromanagement in practise
The way I better understood macro was by playing and realising the relationship between my development and my performance in the game. When my macro was good, I was able to afford units, heroes and upgrades much quicker. Sometimes I had so much money that I didn't even know what to invest in. I recommend having a look at the replay on the Build Orders page, which perfectly exemplifies a good macroed, standard Gondor play, as I learned from top player Spartacus. To get good at macro, I practised that build order many times, until I felt that I could perform it reliably every time. The next step was doing the same, but with an added difficulty/distraction (as will happen in a real game): run circles around a troll creep with my scout hero but without killing the troll nor destroying the lair and not losing my scout. I tried to maintain my macro as perfect as possible, which is what you should aim at when playing a real game. By practising alone, in a map, and focusing on macro, you are directly improving your ability to macro in a real game (we call it deliberate practise; that is, practise with a specific goal).