Age_of_Empires_II:_The_Conquerors

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion (sometimes abbreviated to AoC) is the expansion pack to the 1999 real-time strategy game Age of Empires II. The Conquerors is the fourth installment of the Age of Empires series by Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios. It features five new civilizations (the Aztecs, Mayans, Spanish, Huns, and Koreans), four new campaigns, eleven new units, twenty-six new technologies, new gameplay modes, new maps and different minor tweaks to the gameplay.

Gameplay changes

The Conquerors Expansion 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.

Micromanagement is made easier, by an improved scripted Artificial Intelligence of villagers and siege weapons. Villagers will now commence automatically gathering resources, if they build resource gathering sites, while siege onagers will not fire if their attack is likely to harm friendly units. Additionally, an in-game option has been added to allow the game to automatically replenish farms after they are exhausted. Chat commands are introduced, in order to communicate more effectively with allied computer players.

Campaigns

The Conquerors Expansion adds four additional single player campaigns. These are based on Attila the Hun's rise to power, Moctezuma'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 Agincourt, the saga of Erik the Red, and the Battle of Hastings, among others.

Online play

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. There are several other Age of Empires II: The Conquerors servers worldwide. Microsoft has officially redirected matchmaking to GameSpy Arcade (AOE Landing Page Fans of the game created a new place to play age of empires series games, its known as [aoe.shadow-arcade.com IGZone] its an improved version of what zone.com was. Due to technical reasons most Chinese players play in CGA, which usually has over 6000 online players at a time.

Although Microsoft has officially redirected matchmaking to GameSpy Arcade, more users prefer IGZones due its better GUI and anti-cheat system. Igzones also has a rating system and record keeping, whereas GameSpy does not. IGZones has about 1000 active players while Gamespy has about 200.

Igzones.com has become the predominant place for matchmaking ever since the close of MSN Gaming Zone.

Patches

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. However, years later patches 1.0d, 1.0e, and 1.0e Final were released by anonymous coders who have no relation to Ensemble Studios. Due to the excessive amounts of cheating these patches were released to stop cheater programs, but brought no changes to the game itself.

New features

Civilizations

Five additional playable civilizations come with The Conquerors Expansion, including the Aztecs and Mayans, who share a newly created New World architectural style:

Group West European East European Far Eastern New World
Civilizations

  • Huns
  • Koreans
  • Aztecs
  • 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 has. Both civilizations also lack all gunpowder units. The Huns are also unique in that they do not build houses to support their population, allowing them to ignore the maximum production limit of units, and focus on building up their economy and military instead.

    Some argue that because Huns came from central Asia, the Far East Asian style architecture would have been a better choice for them in the game. However, the reasoning for choosing the Eastern Europe style is most likely based on the fact that the Huns did not really build buildings; instead, they took whatever they needed from peoples with whom they came into contact, and the cities they seized were in Eastern Europe.

    Units

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

    • Eagle Warrior & Elite Eagle Warrior (fast-moving infantry, resistant to conversion).
    • Halberdier (an upgrade to the Pikeman). Replace hidden in Age of Kings Halberdman (with sprite of upgraded Pikeman when standing, and graphic of Phalanx in other actions).
    • Jaguar Warrior & Elite Jaguar Warrior (anti-infantry infantry, unique to Aztecs).
    • Plumed Archer & Elite Plumed Archer (tough foot archers, unique to Mayans).
    • War Wagon & Elite War Wagon (heavily armored ranged cavalry, effective against walls, unique to Koreans).
    • Conquistador & Elite Conquistador (mounted gunpowder users, unique to Spanish).
    • Hussar (an upgrade to the Light Cavalry; available to almost all civilizations capable of creating cavalry units).
    • Tarkan & Elite Tarkan (anti-building cavalry, based on Tarkhan, unique to Huns).
    • Petard (one-use siege units that explode; available to most, if not all, civilizations that build castles).
    • Turtle Ship & Elite Turtle Ship (heavily armored, short-range cannon ships, unique to Koreans). The in-game portrayal of this ship is not historically accurate, as a historically accurate depiction (the ship was very fast and very maneuverable, in addition to carrying heavy firepower that could fire quickly - only numbers in the single digits were necessary, backed up by a modest fleet, to turn the tide of a sea battle) would cause too much imbalance in favor of the Korean civilization.
    • Missionary (swift mounted monks that cannot carry relics, unique to Spanish).
    • Genitour & Elite Genitour (Light Cavalry Skirmisher only available through use of map editor. Initially intended to be Spanish unique unit, but replaced by Conquistador. An in game glitch caused it to be represented by a Militia who literally threw javelins).

    New Heroes

    Yi Sun Shin, Attila the Hun, Bleda the Hun , El Cid, The Imam (in the second campaign of El Cid), Oda Nobunaga, King Sancho, Erik the Red, Harald Hardraade, William the Conqueror, Henry V and King Alfonso.

    In level 4 of the Montezuma campaign, the starter unit is a special Jaguar Warrior with 400 hit points which is presumed to stand in for Cuauhtémoc, who narrates each level's introduction and epilogue.

    Wonders

    As in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, each new race has its own unique wonder.
    Game Civilization Wonder
    Aztec Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan
    Hun Arch of Augustus, Rome in ruins
    Korean Hwangnyongsa
    Maya Temple of the Great Jaguar
    Spanish Torre del Oro

    New Maps

    There are a total of eight new random map types. The Conquerors expansion also introduced 15 real-world maps, which are premade.

    • New Random Maps:
    • 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 bushes in this winter-themed random map.
    • Yucatan - This map uses the tropical tileset, with turkeys instead of sheep.

    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

    The Conquerors Expansion 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

    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

    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 can hit other units near them 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, and you can create a very large army of infantry in a matter of minutes.
    • Atheism - Increases Wonder and Relic victories by 100, 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 nearly instantly, 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, making them about as fast as cavalry.
    • 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, Bombard Cannons and Bombard Towers) have +2 range. That means you can fire at castles using a Bombard Cannon, without getting in their range.
    • Berserkergang - Unique to the Vikings. Berserkers heal themselves faster; how much faster is unknown, but it seems about +40% faster.

    Soundtrack

    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, it is called "Subotai Defeats The Knights Templar", and if one opens the file from the Mac version of the game in QuickTime, though the filename is Music1.mp3, the name displayed in the title bar of the window is "Subotai Defeats The Knights Templar". As in the PC version, the file is very long and uses small transitions to separate tracks. It lasts 38 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

    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.

    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

    External links

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