Age of Empires II: The Conquerors

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Age of Empires II: The Conquerors
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion box cover
Developer(s) Ensemble Studios
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios, Konami
Series Age of Empires
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh
Release date(s) August 24, 2000
Genre(s) Real-time strategy expansion pack
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer over IPX, TCP/IP, Modem or Microsoft Zone (now shut down).
Distribution CD (1)

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (sometimes abbreviated to AoC or AoK: TC) is the first expansion pack to the 1999 real-time strategy game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. The Conquerors is the fourth installment in the Age of Empires series by Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios. It features five new civilizations (the Aztecs, Mayans, Spanish, Koreans, and Huns), four new campaigns, eleven new units, twenty-six new technologies, new gameplay modes, new maps and different minor tweaks to the gameplay. A second expansion, the semi-official The Forgotten, was released exclusively on Steam in Fall 2013, over a decade since the release of The Conquerors.

Gameplay changes[edit]

The Conquerors also introduced various new gameplay features and tweaks, including the new game modes Defend the Wonder, King of the Hill and Wonder Race. Additional maps, some based on real life geographic locations, and new winter and tropical terrain textures were included. In-game, infantry are able to garrison in battering rams, protecting the infantry while increasing the ram's speed and attack, while ships are able to form formations for more effective fighting. The graphics are left unchanged, but new civilizations have been added such as the Spanish, Huns, Koreans, Mayans and Aztecs. In addition to new units, the in-game upgrade lines have been extended to provide more unit choices.

Micromanagement is made easier, by an improved scripted Artificial Intelligence of villagers and siege weapons. Villagers will now automatically commence gathering resources if they build resource gathering sites. Wall construction has also been improved: when assigning two or more villagers, they evenly spread out instead of working on the same patch, and when multiple farmers are sent on one farm, the surplus will start cultivating adjacent farms instead of idling. Mangonels and onagers will not automatically fire if their attack is likely to harm friendly units. Additionally, a button was added to the mill, which would allow farms to be paid for in advance, so that when an existing one was exhausted, it would automatically be replanted. Chat commands are introduced, in order to communicate more effectively with allied computer players.

Campaigns[edit]

The Conquerors adds four additional single player campaigns. These are based on Attila the Hun's rise to power, Montezuma's defense against Hernán Cortés, and the adventures of El Cid. The fourth campaign, "Battles of the Conquerors", is actually a group of unrelated single scenarios, each based on a significant historical battle. These include the Battle of Tours, the saga of Erik the Red, the Battle of Hastings, the Battle of Manzikert, the Battle of Agincourt, the Battle of Lepanto, the Battle of Yamazaki, and the Battle of Noryang.

Online play[edit]

As of June 2006, the MSN Gaming Zone CD-ROM section was shut down for Age of Empires players, as well as many other CD-ROM games.

In the online realm, there exist not only built-in random maps, but also user-generated scenarios.

Patches[edit]

1.0c was the final official patch by Ensemble Studios, it fixed many bugs and balanced units. Before 1.0b bombard towers were able to defeat armies of rams easily; after 1.0b and 1.0c, cavalry archers and bombard towers were balanced to be less powerful. The graphics of the armored Korean "turtle ship" were modified as well.

An unofficial patch made by the now defunct GameSecure.net, 1.0e, prohibits most forms of cheating (and introduces no other changes).[1]

New features[edit]

Civilizations[edit]

Five additional playable civilizations come with The Conquerors, including the Aztecs and Mayans, who share a newly created Meso-American architectural style:

Civilization Architectural style
Spanish Western European
Huns Central European
Koreans Eastern Asia
Aztecs New World
Mayans

The Aztecs and Mayans completely lack the ability to train cavalry units. This is partially balanced by the fact that they start with Eagle Warrior infantry units, who have many of the advantages that cavalry have. Both civilizations also lack access to gunpowder units. The Huns are also unique in that they do not build houses to support their population, from the start being only limited by the fixed population limit of the game.

Units[edit]

A screenshot of Age of Empires II expansion shows several units, including the Eagle Warrior.

"The Conquerors" introduces twelve additional units to "Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings":

New General Units[edit]

  • Halberdier (an upgrade to Pikeman).
  • Hussar (an upgrade to Light Cavalry).
  • Petard (one-use exploding siege unit).
  • Eagle Warrior & Elite Eagle Warrior (fast-moving infantry, resistant to monk conversion).

New Unique Units[edit]

  • Jaguar Warrior & Elite Jaguar Warrior (strong infantry, unique to the Aztecs).
  • Plumed Archer & Elite Plumed Archer (foot archer, unique to the Mayans).
  • War Wagon & Elite War Wagon (heavily armored ranged cavalry, unique to the Koreans).
  • Turtle Ship & Elite Turtle Ship (heavily armored, short-ranged cannon ship, unique to the Koreans).
  • Conquistador & Elite Conquistador (mounted gunpowder unit, unique to the Spanish).
  • Missionary (mounted monk that cannot carry relics, unique to the Spanish).
  • Tarkan & Elite Tarkan (anti-building cavalry, unique to the Huns).

Others[edit]

  • Bleda The Hun (A unit available only in map editor and in the first mission of Attila the Hun).
  • Genitour & Elite Genitour (A Light Cavalry Skirmisher, available only in map editor. It was intended to be the Spanish unique unit, but was replaced by Conquistador).

New heroes[edit]

New heroes added in this upgrade include Yi Sun Shin, Attila the Hun, Scythian Wild Woman, El Cid Campeador, The Imam (in the second campaign of El Cid), Oda Nobunaga, King Sancho, Harald Hardraade, Henry V and King Alfonso.

Wonders[edit]

As in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, each new civilization has its own unique wonder.

Game Civilization Wonder
Aztec Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan
Hun Arch of Augustus, Rome (devastated and filled with the Huns' gold obtained from looting)
Korean Hwangnyongsa
Maya Temple of the Great Jaguar
Spanish Torre del Oro

New maps[edit]

There are a total of eight new random map types. The Conquerors also introduced 10 real-world maps, which are pre-made.

New Random Maps
Name Description
Arena A perimeter of forest encircles a large central area abutted by each players starting location, which includes a walled perimeter.
Ghost Lake A large frozen lake on which nothing can be built fills the center of the map.
Mongolia A large number of short cliffs constrains unit movement.
Nomad Players start with no town center and with units scattered over the map.
Oasis In this desert-tiled map, almost all the forest surrounds a small central lake.
Salt Marsh The land is divided by large number of marshes and rivers.
Scandinavia There are no berry (forage) bushes in this winter-themed random map.
Yucatán This map uses the tropical tileset, with turkeys instead of sheep.

There are several custom scenarios in which users can create various objective based games.

New Real-World maps:

The expansion also introduces the "Blind Random" option for multiplayer games, in which the type of map randomly chosen is not revealed in advance, and the "Random Land Map," which selects only from the list of primarily land maps.

Technologies[edit]

The Conquerors introduces in total twenty-six additional unique technologies to Age of Empires II: Age of Kings video game. These technologies can be purchased from various in-game buildings, most notably the castle (which now being able for the player to research the unique technology(ies) of the civilization), and give the player an additional bonus depending on the technology.

New technologies[edit]

All of these technologies are available to more than one civilization.

  • Bloodlines - Cavalry have +20 hit points.
  • Caravan - Trade carts and trade cogs move twice as fast.
  • Thumb Ring - Archers fire faster and with 100% accuracy.
  • Parthian Tactics - Cavalry archers have +1 armour and +2 pierce armour. Also, cavalry archers get a +4 bonus against spearmen, pikemen and halbardier, while Mangudai get a +2 bonus against them.
  • Herbal Medicine - Units garrisoned in buildings heal four times faster.
  • Theocracy - If several monks convert an enemy unit, only one of them must rest afterwards.
  • Heresy - Units converted by an enemy monk die instead of becoming the enemy player's unit.

Unique technologies[edit]

All of these technologies are unique to a specific civilization.

  • Garland Wars - Unique to the Aztecs. Increases infantry attack by +4.
  • Yeomen - Unique to the Britons. Foot archers have +1 range, and towers have +2 attack.
  • Logistica - Unique to the Byzantines. Cataphracts cause trample damage, meaning they cause damage to nearby enemy units while attacking.
  • Furor Celtica - Unique to the Celts. Siege weapons have +50% hit points.
  • Rocketry - Unique to the Chinese. Chu ko nus have +2 attack, and scorpions have +4 attack.
  • Bearded Axe - Unique to the Franks, and gives throwing axemen +1 range.
  • Anarchy - The Goths are the only civilization with two unique technologies, and this is one of them. Unlike the other unique technologies, it is available in the Castle Age. It allows huskarls to be created at barracks.
  • Perfusion - The other Gothic unique technology. Barracks units are created +50% faster. Combined with the Gothic team bonus of barracks units created +20% faster, and the technology Conscription, barracks units can be created +103% faster. Combine this with the Goths' cheaper infantry, and the fact that they have +10 population in the Imperial Age, you can create a very large army of infantry in a matter of minutes.
  • Atheism - Unique to the Huns. Increases the time for Wonder and Relic victories by 100 years, and the Spies and Treason research at Hunnic castles cost -50% resources. (So 1800 gold goes down to 900 gold).
  • Kataparuto - Unique to the Japanese. Trebuchets pack/unpack quicker, and fire faster. ("Kataparuto" is the Japanese katakana equivalent to "catapult".)
  • Shinkichon - Unique to the Koreans. Onagers have +1 range.
  • El Dorado - Unique to the Mayans. Eagle warriors have +40 hit points.
  • Drill - Unique to the Mongols. Siege weapons move +50% faster.
  • Mahouts - Unique to the Persians. War elephants move +30% faster.
  • Zealotry - Unique to the Saracens. Camel riders and mamelukes have +30 hit points; combined with Bloodlines, they can have +50 hit points.
  • Supremacy - Unique to the Spanish. Villagers have +40 hit points, +6 attack, +2 armour, and +2 pierce armour, which makes them a lot more useful in battle.
  • Crenellations - Unique to the Teutons. Castles have +3 range (Bodkin arrow can bring their range up to +5), and garrisoned infantry fire arrows.
  • Artillery - Unique to the Turks. Artillery (cannon galleon, elite cannon galleon, bombard cannons and bombard towers) have +2 range.
  • Berserkergang - Unique to the Vikings. Berserkers heal themselves faster; 40HP per minute (instead 20).

Miscellaneous Changes[edit]

Various others changes were done from the Age of Empires: Age of Kings to the Age of Empires: The Conquerors expansion (patch 1.0c), some of them included

  • Cavalry Archers Reduced fire rate - The rate of firing of cavalry archer was reduced to some extent and they were made less powerful.
  • Town Centers no longer gain increments in range but only firing power. However this update hasn't been incorporated into the help box that appears when the relevant research projects (namely Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer) are highlighted in the blacksmith. The help box says that the research projects will increase town center firing range, but in actuality only firepower is upgraded. This change was done to promote the usage of units in game as opposed to over-reliance on buildings for defensive purposes, and to improve the balance between aggressive vs defensive strategies. Teutons lost their range bonus for Town Centers, since in online play, at the start of the game, players could place them just outside of the firing range of enemy town centers, and still be close enough to kill any of their villagers as they came out. Town centers also began to cost stone, instead of just wood to build.
  • Bombard Towers are no longer effective against battering rams, as one bomb causing only 1 HP damage and with 175HP of battering ram (more HP for capped and siege ram ) the tower was no match for rams and should rely on ground units to prevent ram attack. This reduced the concept of trebuchets and bombard cannons being the only effective siege weapons against bombard Towers.
  • Ships can now be arranged in various formations similar to ground units.
  • Villagers now go automatically to work after they build the appropriate buildings (Lumber camp for wood, mill for food, mining camp for gold and stone ), after they build the required building and the resources associated to that building would be in line of sight of the villager it will automatically start the gathering.
  • Population Limit can be selected.
  • When being attacked, or sending a message, the color represents the team.
  • Friend-Foe Colour: When acitvated, 4 colours represents the players, The either player received blue, ally received yellow, neutral received grey and enemy received red.

Modifications[edit]

Age of Chivalry Hegemony changes all civilizations to medieval western European civilizations and adds new units, buildings and technologies. Because it is a total conversion, old units' graphics are changed to new ones.[2]

There exists a widescreen mod allowing resolutions of 1920x1080 and higher.[3][4]

Also there are modifications that add new objects to make the map editor more flexible and stronger. Renaissance adds more than 100 new units.[5]

Soundtrack[edit]

The game disc itself is a mixed mode CD (contains both Data & Audio tracks). Track 1 appears as the data track, and track 2 is the soundtrack as a Red Book audio track. According to Gracenote[citation needed], it is called "Subotai Defeats The Knights Templar". As in the PC version, the file is very long and uses small transitions to separate tracks. It lasts 30 minutes and 48 seconds. The Age of Empires Collector Edition Soundtrack CD's tracklist gives a lot of the individual tracks own names. The tracks were composed by Stephen Rippy and Kevin McMullan.[6]

These are the tracks that appear on the audio part of the game CD, in order of playback. The tracks are not separated, but instead are one long track with floating transitions. Some of the tracks are featured on the "More Music From The Ages" CD, though these are usually only available as prizes from Ensemble Studios.[7]

  1. Pork Parts (3:06)
  2. Pudding Pie (estimated 3:11)
  3. Tide Me Over Warm 'em Ups (2:51)
  4. Voodoodoodoo (2:55)
  5. The Bovinian Derivative (3:10)
  6. Case in Point: Paste (2:58)
  7. Mountain Lie On / Seamus and Chamois (3:24)
  8. Subotai Defeats the Knights Templar (estimated 3:06)
  9. Roi-r! / Basura! Basura! (2:42)
  10. Neep Ninny-Bod (3:16)

References[edit]

External links[edit]