Information about Age Of Empires 2 & The Conquerors Expansion - Full Game
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Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a real-time strategy computer game set in the Middle Ages. It was released in 1999, and it is the second game of the Age of Empires series developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft. Because of its commercial success, an expansion pack was released: Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, followed by a Gold Edition, which bundled together the game and its expansion pack along with a bonus map and games recorded by Microsoft strategy experts. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is sometimes called Age of Kings, or abbreviated as AoK, AoE2, Age2 or AoEII.
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The player controls a society and guides them through four "ages". The game begins in the Dark Ages, where very few buildings and units are available. After a short time, the user gains the ability to advance to the Feudal Age, where more upgrades, buildings, and units become available. The next age is the Castle Age, in which the powerful castle may be built, and used to produce powerful units. Finally, the user can reach the Imperial Age, which is reminiscent of the early years of the Renaissance. Once the user has reached the Imperial Age, they gain access to all the upgrades, units, and buildings that may be built for their specific civilization.
The player directly controls the citizens, and can order them to move or attack (all units except for trade carts, fishing- and trade-ships), construct new buildings, gather necessary resources (villager units), and perform a range of other tasks, such as repair damaged buildings or garrison inside castles or town centers for safety.
Although the playing area includes cliffs and hills, these additions do not actually represent changes in the the height of the land. Instead, they just represent an obstacle around which units must move. Similarly, buildings are not actually built, they are simply rendered to give the illusion of height.
There are four types of resources, all of which are necessary to foster a civization: wood, food, gold, and stone. Wood is used mainly for building structures, providing renewable food resources, building ships, training archers and for other similar uses. Stone is used mainly for constructing defenses like castles or towers. Gold and food are used for constructing units and researching technologies. In most cases, these resources can be traded for one another at the market rate. Often, one of the difficulties of a certain scenario or map is that it has a small supply of one type of resource, forcing players to adjust to this shortage.
The game comes with five campaigns, all of which reflect some event in history, such as Joan of Arc leading the French to battle, or Genghis Khan's invasion of Eurasia. There is also a Standard Game feature, which pits a player against a set number of computer players for control of a map. The usual goal in standard games is to defeat any enemies and force them to surrender, but other goals, like building and protecting a special type of building (called a "Wonder"), also exist. Additionally, a "Deathmatch" game type gives the player stockpiled resources in the thousands from the beginning of the game to work with.
Campaigns consist of a series of scenarios of rising difficulty, depicting major events in the life of a famous historical character, e.g. a famous battle, the building of a famous monument, or some well-known anecdote. Only the William Wallace and Joan of Arc campaigns allow players to control the said character as a special unit, although Genghis Khan makes a short appearance in his campaign. The campaigns usually start with a range of existing resources, buildings, and units already in place, thus avoiding the laborious process of building a nation from nothing, which can become tedious. The original game's campaigns include those of William Wallace (a tutorial campaign), Joan of Arc, Saladin, Genghis Khan, and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa I.
Age of Empires 2: The Conquerors Expansion pack adds 4 more campaigns to the game featuring new civilizations. In the Attila the Hun and El Cid campaigns, the player controls the titular character. In the El Cid Campaign, El Cid is pitted against foes such as King Sancho's cunning brother Alfonso. He can be controlled by computer players in the Conquerors Expansion. In the Montezuma campaign, the player plays as Cuauht╬╕moc, the last emperor of the Aztec empire. The final campaign recreates various battles in history, such as the spectacular naval Battle of Noryang Point between the Koreans and Japanese, the Battle of Tours fought by the Franks and Moors, and the Battle of Agincourt, in which the player must control Henry V and his army through a heavily fortified Northern France.
Age of Empires II has a much more advanced and varied set of technology trees than the original Age of Empires. To acquire technology, the player must first construct buildings. Each building offers a range of technology which can be researched, for a price. Technologies build upon each other. As technologies are researched, a wider range of buildings and units become available. Technologies may benefit military units (by perhaps increasing their defense attributes), civil units (villagers can benefit from technologies that make them move faster and therefore collect resources more efficiently, etc), or buildings (e.g. by researching technology that allows castles and towers to fire at units at their base). Technologies vary greatly in benefits and costs.
In the game, technology plays a central role. Early in the game, players must constantly assess priorities and allocate scarce resources between creating new units, upgrading existing units, and researching to upgrade to the next Age. Too much emphasis on researching technology and moving through the Ages without creating military can leave a nation defenseless. On the other hand, putting resources into a large population at the expense of progress can lead to defeat if the enemy has progressed and is able to field a small but more powerful attack force.
The number of technologies increase through the Ages, as does the price of said technologies. A special part of the game that was added in the expansion is that each civilization gets a unique technology in the castle when it goes into the imperial age. This technology generally benefits the unique units of the civilization or enable some special upgrade which is not available to other civilizations. In addition to this, some civilizations also have some inbuilt technologies or upgrades. The special abilities of each civilisation vary greatly and are roughly based on the specialities of the civilisations as they were in the 10th-14th century. for example, the Mongols can harvest meat 50% faster than other civilisations, the buildings of the Byzantines automatically get more hit points as they progress into the next age or the fact that The Franks can build castles for much less than other civilizations.
Wonders and relics
Relics are special unique items that are scattered around the map, and can only be picked up by monks. Once placed within a monastery, a relic steadily generates free gold for the civilization that holds it (this reflects the historical realities of the power and influence that possessing famous relics brought to a church). To capture a relic from an enemy monastery, the monastery must be nearly destroyed. Once the monastery has low enough hit points, the relic will then be expelled so that a player may capture it with a monk.
Monks are vulnerable units (they can only defend themselves by converting their assailant, which takes time). A monk carrying a relic will quickly attract enemy units, so strategies are needed to protect him (e.g. researching faster conversion and movement, sending monks in convoy so one can heal the other, protecting the monk with a military escort, etc). If monks are ordered to move with a group of other units, the monks will move to the back of the formation. However, using the box formation will position the units so that they form a box around the monks, protecting them from all sides.
A possible victory condition is the collection of all relics or the construction of a wonder. This is the case in several campaign scenarios. To win a relic victory, all the relics must be held for a specific uninterrupted period of time, depending on the size of the map.
Wonders are massive structures that require large amounts of resources and time to build. If a player completes a Wonder, and it stands intact for an uninterrupted period of time, they win. If a Wonder is destroyed before the countdown is finished, the countdown resets. Each civilization has their own Wonder, typically a famous work of historical architecture, as opposed to the original Age of Empires, where each civilization's Wonder was based on their generic architecture.
In addition, the Dome of the Rock appears as a decorative building in the Saladin and Barbarossa campaigns as do the Pyramids at Giza, but neither can be built by any civilization. Another decorative Gothic cathedral shown in the Joan of Arc and Barbarossa campaigns appears to be also based on the Aachen Cathedral (upon which the Britons' and Teutons' own wonders are based, too). Finally, in the Genghis Khan campaign the Great Wall of China is present, represented by several blocks of conventional walls united with defensive towers scattered throughout.
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