One of the best strategy games, has some of the best strategy behind it. This walkthrough should explore some tactics you can use, so you stay safe as well as thrashing anyone in your path.
1: Heliopolis / walls / tower / priest / villager combo
Sounds big doesn't it? Well, this is the ultimate defense to have. The Heliopolis can destroy anything at distance, the walls stop fast moving cavalry getting too close, the towers aren't manditory but help defend the wall, the priests can heal the Heliopolis, and villagers can repair any walls or towers. If you have the resources, build multiple layers of this defense in a maze-like form, so they have a lot to get through, and will end up not getting to the heart of your base. Wall in a tower, Heliopolis, 2 priests and a villager to have an outpost that will remain unstopable if you keep an eye on it; the Heliopolis stops things in their tracks, towers help, also acting as a distraction, the villager repairs, the priests heal and all surronded in a wall.
2: Unbuilt wall defense system
If you place an unbuilt bit of wall near the outskirts of your base, which aren't guarded, and DON'T build it, when the enemy comes near, they will instinctively attack it, and the warning trumpet will flare, preparing you for a possible attack in that direction. Place these unbuilt bits of wall in all the outer areas where they could possibly go through.
3: Archer rush
If you want to end a game as soon as possible, this is how. Get villagers working on Food and Wood, and build up a small base, getting to the tool age. Build an archery, and train 10 archers. Send them to the enemies, and get them killing villagers. Make sure you kill them all, and guard the town centre, so they can't produce any more, also attempting to destroy it. Meanwhile, try and establish a base incase this backfires, and if it does, it's best you don't attempt it again, as the enemy will be even more prepared for it.
4: Tactical unit
I find that if you want to win, but don't have loads of resources, I find a small unit will usually do the trick, and is easier to manage. I don't build giant armies usually, only 1 or 2 of a certain thing, and group them together, whilst building more, incase those ones die off. A good unit is, 2 Priests, 2 Stone Throwers and/or Ballistas (or better), 2 - 4 Cavalry (or better), 2 - 4 Hopolites (or better). The priests can convert and heal, the cavalry and hopolites defend, while the stone throwers / ballistas can take down buildings. Unfortunately, a big army can plow through this, but if you have Ballistas, they should expect a lot of casulties (unless they have them also). It therefore might be advisable to take down their seige workshop to prevent them countering this.
5: Wall them in
People think walls can be the best defense, with a line of towers behind. Although, it seems that they forget 2 things: 1, being that they cripple their resources and 2, Stone Throwers can get through quite easily. It is just a stalling measure, and if not backed up well, it will prove quite useless. It then seems logical, to wall them in! If you know where they are on the map, send over a team to just build walls around them, even though it will probably drain your stone. 4 layers is a sure fire way to annoy them, and provide them a real problem, while you can get all the resources peacefully.
6: Angry villagers
Later on during progression of research and age, the villager can become a great unit. In numbers, they can take down buildings quite quickly, including walls and towers, and can take down a lot of units, except the stronger units such as Hopolites. If you build a town centre nearby their base, and send in a mass army of villagers, their defenses will be drained down quite quickly. If they have walls / towers, it will be harder, but the men are cheap to produce, and a few farms will repay any lost. You can also build towers in their base, causing them problems. Building next to resources, or town centres can do a lot of damage, and the more you build, the more likely they won't get anything escaping from that building.
7: Mark resources
It worked in Red Alert, and it will work here. To have control of resources is a winning factor, and a guard tower can be enough to hold back the enemies, and claim the resource long enough for you to have used it. Send out scouts and find these resources, and build towers there, so you know where to go if you're short.
8: Through the trees
If you play a half decent player, you will see his entrances are well guarded. But if you also notice, half of his defense is probably the trees. If you can get a big bit of forest, preferably near the edge of the map, with a couple of men, build a storage pit near, and cut through to create a small 1 / 2 treeless gap, where your armies can strike the heart of their town without problem.
9: Sea supremacy
If there's a good deal of water, use it! Build fleets of scout ships early on, and make sure you have control of the water. Use fishing ships also as another food income, and get both ships upgraded. If you have the sea, you have easy route to the enemies, unharmed, and a supply of food that they could have used. If you can early on, get to the tool age and build scout ships. Go near the enemy and make sure they don't build a dock, so you can own the sea.
10: It's like a second home ...
If the enemy knows where you are, you can be sure that they will pressure you, and if you ain't careful, will do a lot of damage to you. It is therefore wise to build a second base nearby, to be used in case of emergencies. Send a villager or 2 with a scout to another corner of the map, and build something there. Even if it's a house, get a base established. Build a grannary near shrubs, storage pits near trees, gold and stone, and build like you would at your main base. If you can, you must build a town centre, and churn out villagers. Build all the buildings you can, and set up defenses, as well as a suitable offensive unit. What is the best result, is if you have 2 fully functional bases, where they both stay safe and both can be used to do a suitable attack. If you can, link them together with buildings and towers, claiming any resources. If there is someone established in the middle, you have 2 sides to attack them. I try to establish a second base all the time, and it usually gets me points, and a lot of resources in the end. However, a cost is high, and you should have an established base before hand, and 1000 wood.
I hope you take into account these tactics, and kick some Age of Empire booty, just like I did.
This walkthrough is copyright Matt Brand (Der Nazi) 2004. Any queries, threats or praise can be e-mailed to me at [email protected]
Age of Empires is all about building Empires, defeating rivals by force and creating a civilization that will stand the test of time, from the Stone Age right up to the end of the Iron Age. None of these would be possible without a military of some sort, so this guide is for helping you understand how different units can be used to achieve this purpose.
At the very start of the game, the Stone Age, only four units are available, two of these being villagers and clubmen. Villagers are the backbone of the game, and are used to collect the vital resources: Wood, stone, gold and food. It is advisable to start with at as many villagers as possible, so that these resources can be collected up quickly. You should also try to add to numbers of villagers as much as possible as your empire grows. They need to be collected at a good speed, because if you donít have them you cannot do research, build structures, create units or advance to the next age- and lagging behind can be fatal, as a better developed army will soon come from an enemy camp and destroy your village. It is also advisable to get a good few clubmen at the start (For these to be acquired, a barracks is needed, which can be built cheaply and easily) for matters of defence such as destroying enemy units scouting around (If the location of your village is discovered, you are likely to be found and destroyed more easily later on), and also small numbers of enemies making a sortie into your territory. A wild animal will occasionally pose a threat as well, and any military units available can be used to destroy them if they pose a threat: another reason to have a small number of these guys around. A dock is also available, where trade boats and fishing boats are available. If you are playing in an area where there is a lot of water, both of these can be used effectively to gather resources through trade and food through fishing. Both of these do come in handy, but are only effective in small numbers, because trading with allies often can result in loss of resource gained, and over-fishing will leave you with no more fish to collect.
Once you have fitted all the requirements, the Tool Age can be reached through an advance selectable at the Town Centre. It is in this age when you start to have a basic military start to grow up from its comparatively humble beginnings. An upgrade available at the barracks can be used to replace clubmen with axemen, who have improved armour and weapons, slightly more lethal than those of their predecessors. An archery range can now be built, and it is a good idea to quite early on in this Age: The bowman can be very effective against infantry units such as axemen in large numbers, as they can kill from a good distance. A stable is also now available, and scouts can now be brought into play. Scouts are fast and quite well-armed, so for sorties into enemy territory can be made easy by using a couple of these guys; They can quickly cover large distances easily, so you now know where enemies and allies are, so battle plans can be thought up and safe routes around the maps can be planned. Their weaponry is quite sufficient if they come up against most units, but if large numbers of enemy units attack, you can put their speed to good use, and run off leaving them with nothing to attack. It is not advisable that you try to attack anyone during the Tool Age, as units are not yet efficient enough to destroy buildings well. It is also during this age advances become available at various buildings, such as the granary, storage pit and market. These advances are vital, as they can improve the damage inflicted by units, and the armour they use to repel damage inflicted by their enemies. Such things can also improve domestic factors such as food yielded by farms. It is during this age that transport ships and scout ships become available. The scout ships are good for repelling enemy units and for scouting out territory, but it is not a good idea to have very many, as advances in Ages to come will make them obsolete in military ways.
The Bronze Age marks the game really starting to ďHot upĒ. The Archery range, after various upgrades, can yield chariot archers, who can be employed in similar ways to scouts, but they are perfect for raids on enemy territory, in hit-and-run attacks, with deadly range and ability to then run. If you want to slowly wear an adversary who is lagging behind, these guys can be very effective. Research also brings advances for the bowman, making Improved and composite bowmen available. The composite bowman is a very effective archery unit, which if deployed in large numbers, can provide support for other military units or decimate enemy troops from an excellent range, inflicting huge amounts of damage. This is as far as advances go for archery units, so it is a good idea to acquire large numbers of composite bowmen now, as most units peak in the Iron Age. The Bronze Age also makes new troops available through advances at the barracks- short swordsmen, and their successors, broad swordsmen. Advances will be available in the next age, so itís not a good idea to get too many of them. However, at this time it is advisable to start building up a decent-sized army, because attacks will now need to be repelled very often, and if weaker enemies are disposed of now (Those still in the Tool Age, for example) they will not pose a threat if they are allowed to advance further. Chariots and cavalry are now available, and for fast attacks on infantry, these guys are a must for nay army for that reason- speed, good weapons and decent armour. It is good to build up numbers of cavalry units now, as they will not be left behind (and become what the upgrade is) when you upgrade the units used. In this Age, there are three new (Yes, new, you lucky people) types of unit available- Siege arms, Priests and Hoplites. A Siege workshop is required for siege arms; only a stone thrower is available now, but for demolishing buildings, you will need these in an attack. Theyíre also very handy in defending your village, as the huge stones hurled by these will decimate massed enemy units, especially slow-moving infantry. Priests are spawned from the Temple, which itself provides handy research options that can optimise your armed forces. Priests can cure injuries on most units (Bar siege arms, which require villages to repair them), so it is a good idea to have large numbers of them, so your army is less prone to huge losses, as they will detect injured troops and heal them from a distance. They are also handy in a battle as they can convert enemy units, who will then join in on you side. Priests are easily killed, but in such circumstances they are invaluable. Now is the time to employ large numbers of them, as they do not have an upgrade: There are far more units to create in the next age. The last of the three new units are Hoplites- heavily armed and armoured infantrymen available at Government Centres. These men are efficient killing machines, and it is good to have large numbers of them, as they will cut down anything in their way; however, upgrades to come make them even more deadly, and they are always effective in a pitched battle against other infantry or cavalry. Also at this time, War galleys can be acquired; they are an upgrade of Scout Ships. However, only to do the research is necessary; these are pretty useless compared to what they are upgraded to.
Finally, comes the Iron Age. This is a time when all the research is finished, as are all the upgrades. This is when your military will be at its strongest, and when most attacks on potential rivals take place. The Archery Range spawns some new units in this Age in the shape of Elephant Archers, and Horse Archers (Which can be upgraded to Heavy Horse Archers). Horse Archers carry a similar role to chariot archers, for hit-and-run attacks against enemy units where you are aiming to decrease their numbers without acquiring too much damage. Their manoeuvrability also comes into its own in battle, as they can nimbly move around and cause havoc and inflict massive upon massed infantry. Elephant Archers are also now available; they are the exact opposite of Horse Archers, as they are slow and lumbering. However their ability to soak up damage like sponges can come into its own if you are up against an army with few archery units, but many infantry and cavalry. The Siege Workshop offers some deadly new tools itself. Stone throwers can be upgraded to Catapults and Heavy Catapults, both of which are deadly against massed units and buildings, inflicting massive damage and casualties at an efficient rate for machines of such size. Be warned, though: The more deadly these things are, the more of your troops they can kill if your men move faster than their firing rate: Be very careful with them in open battles. Ballistae and their upgrade, Helipoli are also available from now on, and they can do a similar job to their rock-hurling cousins, although their speed at firing huge arrows can be very good against both buildings and enemy units. The Barracks also has a few tricks up its sleeve- upgrades make Long Swordsmen and the legion available. Both of these are efficient in their job, as they are remarkably nimble, fast and murderous. Against anything in any conflict, they will outmanoeuvre and decimate. Cavalry units are also improved, with Heavy Cavalry and Cataphracts becoming available through upgrades. Both of these are very fast and deadly, especially in large charges. A good number of these charging a group of infantry of any kind will be able to outrun them if they retreat, or cut them down if they stand to fight. If, however, you want to cut down units in large numbers otherwise, War Elephants become available at the Stable at this point. Like their archery counterparts, they are also slow and lumbering. But they are very well armoured, with a lot of Hit points as well- it takes a lot to kill one, and only Siege Weapons are easily able to destroy one. However, they are no good if you want a quick withdrawal- If they get left behind, Siege weapons will do what they do best to them; Yes, thatís right, massacre them. At the Academy, there are further upgrades. The already deadly Hoplites are upgraded to become the vicious Phalanxes and Centurions. These guys will cause untold amounts of damage to enemy units, especially cavalry, which will be easily cut up by their pikes and spears. Massed groups are very useful if you are charged against, as their armour will protect them well as they slaughter enemy units. Their only disadvantage is that their upgraded, now heavy armour can bog them down. However, they are not built for fast movement, so this is not completely relevant. The amount of damage they cause is so high that they can be very successfully deployed against buildings, as can most Units when they reach their peak of development. The Dock also sees some advances at this time. Transport Ships can be upgraded into Heavy Transports, which is something you have to do if you need to cross a large amount of water to get to your enemy- these will take more damage than their predecessors, so loss of troops is less likely, and also because they can carry far more units. It is advisable to escort them with other vessels in case of attack, and War Galleys get many upgrades in the Iron Age- To Triremes, then Catapult Triremes, and finally Juggernauts. All three are deadly, but the Juggernaut is the best as an escort ship, for attacking buildings or units on the edge of land or in a pitched sea battle. It is well armoured, well armed and very fast, so projectiles from other ships and Siege Arms can be avoided. If you want to rule the waves, these are what you need.
I certainly hope that this guide has helped you understand the uses of various units in Age Of Empires. If you have anything to say, please E-mail me at the above address.