Age of Empires II is one of the most beloved real-time strategy games of all time. Developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft in 1999 as a sequel to the legendary Age of Empires, the game received "universal acclaim" upon release and remains a staple for RTS fans to this day. Since its initial release as Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, four expansions to the game and an HD remake has also been produced - Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (2000), Age of Empires II: HD Edition (2013), Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten (2013) (based on the fan-made Forgotten Empires), Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms (2015) and Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas (2016). At the heart of the award-winning gameplay of AOE 2 are the civilizations that players are able to choose to play with. In addition to their distinct art and play style, these civilizations have their unique set of advantages and disadvantages which are based fundamentally on a "rock-paper-scissors" architecture. This delicate balance of strengths and weaknesses extends all the way up from the overarching meta-strategy (e.g. economic boom beats defensive gameplay which in turn beats early rush strategy) down to individual units (e.g, infantry are generally powerful against buildings but weak against cavalry, thus the infantry counter units—spearmen and pikemen—have attack bonuses against cavalry). Because of the attention paid towards making each civilization as balanced as possible, any discussion of the relative ranking of these civilizations in terms of overall strength is often hotly contested. Now is the time to put all of that debate to rest - this list contains all the civilizations and their specialties in Age of Empires II and all its expansions. Rank these in the order of best to worst and let's find out what everyone thinks on average. Happy ranking and Wololo! Source(s): Age of Empires Wikia and Wikipedia
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The Spanish were best known for exploring much of the world across the Atlantic and for being among the first Europeans to establish colonies along the Caribbean and the Americas. They were also known for defeating powerful Amerindian empires of the New World and introducing Christianity to the region as a result of their powerful navy and superior weaponry. To reflect this achievement, Spanish gunpowder units fire faster and their Cannon Galleons fire more accurately with a Ballistics-like effect and the cannonballs travels faster (Ballistics research not required). As a result, the Spanish navy is the most versatile in the game, as they have access to all naval units and technologies.Their superior weaponry and metallurgy is represented by the fact that their Blacksmith technologies requires no gold. In addition, they can train more than one unique unit, namely the Conquistador and the Missionary which are all mounted units. The Conquistador is nothing more than a mounted hand cannoneer with higher hit points and speed. However, it has lower attack and range. The Missionary is essentially a mounted Monk and is the only unique monk in the entire game, produced at the Monastery. The Missionary has lower range and cannot pick up relics, however. To reflect their widespread religious activity in the Americas, Inquisition allows their Monks and Missionaries to convert faster. They also have access to all technologies at the Monastery. As a result, the Spanish land forces feature a standard mix of infantry and cavalry units with all such units available, except for Eagle Warriors and Camels. The Spanish unique technology Supremacy drastically increases the combat skill of their villagers, giving Spanish players the opportunity to use villagers to perform combat duties. However, Spanish siege weapons are somewhat lacking, missing both the Siege Onager and Heavy Scorpion and are the only civilization to be missing the Crossbowman upgrade, meaning that the Spanish have to rely on fast firing Bombard Cannons as their siege support and Conquistadors and Hand Cannoneers as their anti-infantry ranged support. As a result of their overseas conquest and their successful search for riches, the Spanish team bonus increases productivity of all allied trade units. They are featured heavily throughout the El Cid campaign as the player civilization, although some of the scenarios featured the Saracen civilization as the one used by the player. They are also the main opponents in the Montezuma campaign, warring against the Aztec and Maya and they are also played in the Battle of Lepanto scenario. Gameplay wise, the Spanish will struggle against civilizations with strong camels (i.e. Saracens' Camels and Mamelukes) that can counter their Paladins, and civilizations with strong counters to their Conquistadors (i.e. Berbers' Genitours, and Italian Geneose Crossbowmen and Condottieros). Conversely, they are a formidable foe to the Aztecs, Vikings , and the Teutons, as the former two lack the Halberdier upgrade to deal with the Spanish Paladins, while the Teutons' Teutonic Knights slow movement speed are incredibly vulnerable to Conquistador high mobility and anti-infantry ranged attack and the Spanish cavalry is far superior to the Teuton's. The Spanish strong monk bonuses (the mounted Missionary and Inquisition unique tech) makes the Spanish an ideal civilization to punish civilizations that lack Heresy, especially civilizations that heavily depend on expensive units (such as the Persians, Slavs, Indians, and Koreans).
The Persians are a Cavalry oriented civilization. They have full cavalry tech and their team bonus allows them and their allies to do bonus damage to archers. For being one of the civilization least impacted by the Dark Age, they have a bonus for Town Centers and Docks and begin with extra resources in a standard game. Their unique unit is the War Elephant, a type of very-heavy cavalry. It deals massive damage to all units and has a huge amount of Hit Points which makes it powerful in melee combat able to take down multiple units but is very slow. This coupled with their powerful cavalry gives them powerful offensive capabilities. However, their defenses and infantry are somewhat lacking. The War Elephant is strong against buildings, but its shortcoming is archers, heavy siege weapons and fully upgraded spearmen. War Elephants are especially vulnerable to enemy Monks which can easily convert them due to their inability to research Heresy. They cannot build Fortified Walls and their towers are mediocre. In addition they are unable to research the Two Handed Swordsmen and Champion upgrades for their infantry units.
Like the Aztecs, Mayans have no access whatsoever to any form of Cavalry units or gunpowder. Unlike the Aztecs, however, the Mayans have mediocre Monks and Infantry. Despite this, they make up for this by having very cheap archers and durable Eagle Warriors. Their Eagle Warriors can withstand more ranged and melee attacks due to the Mayan's unique technology, El Dorado, which give all Eagle Warriors +40 hitpoints. This makes them more useful in scouting highly defended areas. Their unique unit, the Plumed Archer, are tough to kill for their cost-allowing them to soak up damage while friendly archers take care of other threats. The Goths would probably be the biggest threat to the Mayans due to the Huskarl anti-archer nature that would give Plumed Archers a hard time, and the lack of Champion upgrade to deal with the Gothic Huskarls. Conversely, the Mayans are a formidable foe to the Teutons thanks to a wide variety of anti-infantry options to deal with the tanky Teutonic Knights, and the Mayans have a wide variety of anti-cavalry options to deal with their Paladins (tanky Elite Eagle Warriors and fully upgraded Halberdiers).
The Mongols' greatest advantages lie in their cavalry archers and their siege weaponry. They also have complete access to all regular infantry technologies with the exception of Halberdiers and all siege weapons except for the Bombard Cannon can be upgraded to their maximum level. This means that Mongol games often include at least some (if not hordes) of Cavalry Archers and Mangudai along with siege rams filled with champions. With their Drills upgrade, a small group of Mongol siege rams can perform hit-and-run attacks on isolated bases and resource collecting operations. Mangonels and Scorpions become unusually deadly as well. Overall, the Mongols excel at mobility and quick devastation. However their defense is somewhat lacking, as their Watch Towers can only be upgraded once and cannot build Bombard Towers. Mongols can also rely on Camels, being, beside the Chinese, one of the two only civilizations not coming from Africa or the Middle East to possess Camels, compensating for their lack of effective heavy cavalry. Gameplay wise, the Mongols will endure a hard time against civilizations that either have strong anti-cavalry archer capacity (i.e. Berbers' Camel Archers and Genitours, Goths' Huskarls, and Italians' Genoese Crossbowman) or civilizations with very strong camels (i.e. Saracens and Indians) to deal with the Mongol's frontline cavalry. The Mongols will have no problem facing civilizations with less mobile army compositions and/or weaker cavalry (i.e. Teutons, Vikings, Celts, Chinese, Britons, Ethiopians, and many Mesoamerican civilization such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Incas) due to their high mobility of their siege weapons and faster firing Mangudai makes it incredibly hard to deal with late game due to the lack of a mobile army that would deal with the Mongol's lategame hit-and-run tactics.
The Malay in retrospect are a naval civilization that puts a lot of emphasis on strong Fish Trap economic bonuses, since Fish Traps and Fishing Ships are not only cheaper, but provide unlimited food. This in turn allows the Malay to completely ignore building any Farms in water maps and put all of their Food economy on fish and Fish Traps, since Fish Traps will allow the Malay to save wood in the long run. The naval line is very strong, only lacking the Heavy Demolition Ship, and thanks to the wood saved from unlimited Fish Traps, the Malay can easily produce more Naval ships in water maps. To add extra defensive measures for Fish Traps and Fishing Ships, researching Thalassocracy upgrades their Docks to Harbors, allowing them to shoot down any ships that attempt to raid the Fishing Ships and Fish Traps. Their ability to advance to the next Age faster means the Malay can save a lot of Town Center time, allowing the Malay to have an early game lead over their opponents in both water and land maps. In terms of their tech tree, their tech tree is very similar to the Vikings in retrospects (since both civilizations are strong early game civilizations in land maps that fall off late game due to a limited army composition). Both civilizations have fully upgradable Arbalests and Elite Skirmishers at their Archery Range, but lack Hand Cannoneers, Parthian Tactics, and Heavy Cavalry Archer upgrades. Both have a solid infantry line, a unique tech that boosts their infantry, and unique infantry unit where they lack a key important unit upgrade for their infantry (in Malay's case, it'll be the Champion upgrade to offset their strong Forced Levy Imperial Age tech where Two-Handed Swordsmen doesn't cost gold). In the case of the Malay, Karambit Warrior are infantry units that spawn nearly instantly akin to a Shotel Warrior, but far more frail (although Karambit Warriors only take up half a population space to offset their frailness). Both Vikings and the Malays also have solid siege weapon lines (in the Malay's case, they put more emphasis on long range sieging thanks to them having access to Bombard Cannons in exchange of not having Siege Rams). Both the Vikings and Malays have the worst cavalry in the game and the Malay takes the step further of not only lacking Bloodlines, but also lacking the Chain Barding Armor and Plate Barding Armor at the same time. That being said, much like the Viking Knight rush, the Malay have a viable cavalry rush in which despite having one of the worst cavalry lines in the game, is compensated with their strong economic bonuses. In the case of the Malays, the Malay Battle Elephant rush is suboptimal, but viable thanks to their age advancement bonus and a civilization bonus where their Battle Elephants are cheaper than Knights in terms of gold efficiency (as Malay Battle Elephants will cost 96 food and 56 gold as opposed to Knights that cost 60 food and 75 gold). In terms of civilization matchups, much like the Mayans and the Ethiopians, facing the Goths will be a nightmarish matchup for the Malays. This is because the Malays have no cost effective answer to the Huskarl unit (across from their Forced Levy Two-Handed Swordsman, but even so, a Malay Two-Handed Swordsman will not always win a melee trade with the Huskarl), the Goth's faster spawning and cheaper Champions will outshine the Malay Two-Handed Swordsmen with Forced Levy and Karambit Warrior, and the Goth's cheaper Halberdiers will make quick work on the Malay's already fragile Battle Elephants. Conversely, the Malays are a top-tier civilizations against civilizations with incredibly poor trash unit lines such the Turks and the Malians, since even without the Champion upgrade, the Two-Handed Swordsman with Forced Levy is enough to make them trash units that counters trash unts.
The Britons' main advantages are in their ranged units as they arguably have the best foot archers. Their archers can be built faster and have a longer range than most. Their unique unit, the Longbowman, is the only foot archer that can outrange a Castle. They work great against other archers and slow infantry (with the exception of the Goths' Huskarl), however they are vulnerable against siege and especially cavalry. The Britons have all the Barracks' units available to them, excluding the Eagle Warrior line, and have access to all infantry technologies, which helps protect their archers against enemy units that get too close. However, their cavalry and siege units are lacking, and are missing several crucial upgrades. The Britons' Stable is a weakness with the lack of Paladins, Hussars and Camels. At the Dock, the Britons are a very reasonable naval civilization, with their main weakness on water being their lack of Cannon Galleons (though the Britons have the regular Cannon Galleons in the expansion). The Britons also lack heavy siege units: the Siege Onager and the Siege Ram are unavailable, but the Warwolf technology helps buff their Trebuchets against enemy units. The cheaper Town Centers and faster Sheep gathering rate help a lot to build a great economy. The Britons appear several times in the single-player campaigns. They are the main opponents in the William Wallace and Joan of Arc campaigns, and have cameo roles in the Barbarossa and Saladin campaigns.
The Celts are an infantry civilization with powerful siege weapons and very good infantry. The Barracks has all infantry units available, except the Eagle line units, and they have access to all Siege Workshop upgrades, except Bombard Cannon. Their siege units are some of the best in the game, with the fastest creation speed, the greatest HP and fastest fire rate. They also possess the fastest infantry in the game, allowing their Spearman line to be a much greater threat to Knights, and allows their other infantry to stage fast raids on settlements. The Celts' unique unit is the Woad Raider, which is the fastest infantry in the game and costs little gold. The gold saved can be used to create more siege weapons. So with their fast infantry and powerful siege units, they are good against other infantry and for raiding. However, one of the cons of the Celts is their Archery Range, which is quite lacking and rarely used, seeing as it lacks the Arbalest, Thumb Ring, and Parthian Tactics upgrades, and their Blacksmith lacks the final archers' upgrades, Bracer and Ring Archer Armor. The Celts' Stable can provide a reasonable army of cavalry, but they lack Camels and important upgrades such as Bloodlines and Plate Barding Armor. Their Docks aren't the best in the game, but their wood gathering bonus helps, and with the available upgrades they can make up for a reasonable naval army, since they have Galleons, but yet, lack the Fast Fire Ship and Elite Cannon Galleon upgrades. So overall, if playing as the Celts, Booming would be a good choice, as with their economic bonuses they can make up a rather big amount of resources, which will help them in the late game. It's also important to focus on Infantry (especially the Celts' unique unit, the Woad Raider), and Siege Weapons, as a combination of the Celts' two strongest type of units will make up a quite powerful army.
The Byzantines have access to a vast variety of technologies. This makes them unpredictable to play against in multiplayer games. Their bonuses grant them advantages for Camels, Heavy Camels, Spearmen / Pikemen / Halberdiers, Skirmisher and Elite Skirmisher and a team bonus for their Monks. In addition, their unique unit, the Cataphract is a heavy cavalry unit which deals bonus damage towards infantry. Thus, Byzantines are likely to go for cavalry and anti-cavalry, but again, their access to the almost full technology tree make them unpredictable to play as and against. However, they are missing the Siege Onager and the Heavy Scorpion upgrades in their Siege Workshop. They are known to have the strongest buildings in the game, with buildings gaining 10% HP in Dark Age, 20% in Feudal Age, 30% in Castle Age and 40% in Imperial Age, negating that they cannot research either Masonry or Architecture.
The Franks are a straightforward cavalry civilization, with a very strong cavalry and lots of Castles for defense. The Franks' infantry line is full, excluding the Eagle line units, with all the infantry Barracks and Blacksmith upgrades available. The Archery Range is one of the Frank's weakest points; while their Cavalry Archers do benefit from the civilization bonus giving them 20% more HP, they lack Arbalest and the following technologies: Thumb Ring, Parthian Tactics, Bracer and Ring Archer Armor. The Stable is very strong. Thanks to the Franks' 20%+ HP bonus for cavalry and their +2 line of sight bonus for the Knight line, the Franks have the best Paladins in the game. Additionally, all Blacksmith upgrades are available. However, the Franks lack the Hussar upgrade for the Scout Line and they do not have access to Camels either. The Franks lack Bloodlines, but this is somewhat negated by their 20%+ HP bonus for cavalry. The Frank's Siege Workshop is average, as they lack both the Siege Onager and the Siege Ram. Due to the fact that Castles are 25% cheaper, the Franks can build Castles for a more effective defensive system and to obtain map control. Their unique unit: the Throwing Axeman is a cheap short ranged infantry unit that does melee damage with bonus against buildings. The Dock has all but the Elite Cannon Galleon available, nevertheless is worth noting that the lack of Bracer is a big negative for Franks' Galleons. The Franks get farms upgrade for free and foragers work +25% faster, rendering a fine economy, which is critical, since creating and upgrading cavalry units takes a lot of resources from the economy. Given that they can research Squires starting in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, their infantry move faster. The Franks are countered by the Saracens and Indians in particular, because of their powerful anti-cavalry Camels. The Franks make a great civilization against civilizations like the Vikings, who do not have Camels or Halberdiers.
The Chinese have strong economic bonuses. Chinese players on Random Maps start with six villagers instead of the usual three at the cost of having less starting resources, and their Town Centers supports ten units, which enables quicker expansion. After The Forgotten expansion, Chinese town centers also have more line-of-sight, giving them more guarantee to locate their sheep from the start (which is crucial since the Chinese starts with no food in a default game). They also have cheaper technologies - every technology's cost is decreased as they advance in age. Chinese Demolition Ships also have extra hitpoints. The Chinese unique unit is the Chu Ko Nu, which is a Crossbowman that fires three arrows in succession, but at a shorter range in comparison to normal Archers.
The Indians are a booming Camel and Gunpowder civilization who can become very strong in the Imperial Age. The Indians have all the Archery Ranges' units available to them and they are able to research all archer upgrades. They can also create the Hand Cannoneer which benefits from the Imperial Age unique technology, Shatagni, which increases their Hand Cannoneers range by one. The Elephant Archer is a quite formidable unique unit created in the Castle, and is a powerful archer mounted on an elephant that can be used to soak damage in place of Knights. The Barracks also has Champion, Halberdier and their infantry gets all technologies except Plate Mail Armor. The Indian's Stable obtains the Hussar, however doesn't have any units from the Knight line, but they nullify this with their stronger Camels, who benefit from all the Stable and Blacksmith upgrades plus the bonuses to armor and attack versus buildings. They are the only civilization to have the powerful Imperial Camel, a unique unit which is the upgrade for the Heavy Camel. The Monastery isn't too bad, but lacks Atonement, Heresy and Faith. The Siege Workshop is not as good as compared to other civilizations because it lacks Siege Onager, Siege Ram and Heavy Scorpion, but it has the Bombard Cannon The Indians should be fine at the Dock, only lacking Fast Fire Ship and Shipwright. The Indians have a robust economy, as their Villagers are cheaper than other civilizations, due to the fact that the Villagers get incrementally cheaper as they advance through the Ages and they (the villagers) fish much faster than other civilizations. Their economy really begins to shine from the Castle Age as they can research their first unique technology, Sultans, which increases all their gold income by 10%, including Relics and trade units. They also have all the economic upgrades except Crop Rotation. Thanks to their unique Camel Upgrade, the Indians sparkle against civilizations that rely heavily on Cavalry, like the Franks, Huns and Persians. However, due to the lack of Heresy and dependence of expensive units (such as the mentioned Elephant Archer, Imperial Camel, and Hand Cannoneers), the Indians are vulnerable to civilizations with strong Monks, such as the Aztecs and Spanish.
The Goths are an Infantry civilization, as a result, infantry is the way to go since the Goths' advantages predominantly focus on their remarkably good Infantry. The Goths have an excellent Barracks line, with Champion and Halberdier plus all the upgrades from the Barracks available and all upgrades from the Blacksmith except Plate Mail Armor. They have the following bonuses to infantry, their infantry is much cheaper, have +1 attack bonus versus buildings and fast creation. Their unique unit is the Huskarl, a quick infantry unit with a pretty high attack and arrow resistance, which is usually created from the Castle; however after The Conquerors expansion pack, they can research their unique technology Anarchy in the Castle Age, which allows Huskarls to be created from the Barracks. In the Imperial Age they can research another unique technology: Perfusion, which allows all Barracks units to be created 50% faster. With both of these technologies, Huskarls can be created very quickly. So, it is advised if playing as the Goths to advance to Imperial as fast as possible, to gain advantage of the technology as well as to let go of the Goth's early game weakness. It is advisable to create as many Huskarls as possible when playing as the Goths. Their Archery Range lacks Arbalest and Thumb Ring, but all the Blacksmith upgrades are available. Unlike their Central European neighbors, the Teutons and the Vikings in Age of Empires II, they have the Heavy Cavalry Archer upgrade, faring better than the two civilizations' Cavalry Archer. Their Cavalry misses the Paladin upgrade, Camels and Plate Barding Armor, but Blast Furnace and the other the Stable upgrades are ready for research. Unlike their neighbors, the Teutons, they receive the Light Cavalry, an upgrade to the Scout Cavalry. From the Siege Workshop the Goths miss the Siege Onager and the Siege Ram. The Dock gets a decent line, making the Goths very capable on the water, only missing the Dry Dock upgrade. The Goths endure a hard time against civilizations with better infantry quality such as the Aztecs, Japanese, Slavs, and Teutons, as these civilizations have better infantry bonuses and can easily destroy the Goth Huskarls in addition to Goths lacking Plate Mail Armor. Generally speaking, the Goths have no trouble against archer civilizations, like the Mayans and the Ethiopians, because the Huskarl is resistant to arrow fire (especially as the two mentioned civilizations don't have access to the Champion upgrade).
The Japanese are an infantry civilization and so they have very strong infantry. The Japanese rely on their infantry and naval warfare, but not as much on their cavalry, which are somewhat weaker. To reflect their high rank and prestige of the Japanese warrior class, Japanese Barracks can create Champions, Halberdiers and all upgrades from Barracks and Blacksmith are available, plus their infantry's attack rate is increased. Their unique unit is the Samurai, a strong and fast-attacking infantry which is very effective against other enemy unique units in melee combat, with the exception of the War Elephant and the Teutonic Knight. Being an island civilization, the Japanese were renowned fishermen and had a powerful navy. This is reflected in the fact that they have a very strong naval presence in the game, with +50% Galley line of sight and double Hit Points for Fishing Ships, with their work rate improved every Age. The Japanese's navy is quite powerful with all the ships and upgrades available except Heavy Demolition Ship. The Siege Workshop units are somewhat weaker, but they have very good Trebuchets. The Japanese were known for woodworking and mining so they have a discount bonus in lumber camps and mining camps.
The Saracens are a civilization with strong Camel units. The Saracen Cavalry Archer also receives a +3 attack bonus against buildings, and their team bonus gives foot archers a +1 attack boost against buildings. The Saracen heavy cavalry line is inferior to other civilizations, as they lack the Cavalier/Paladin upgrade, but all other cavalry technologies and units are available. Their unique unit is the Mameluke, a type of light camel cavalry with a large attack bonus against cavalry, also being extremely effective against buildings. They are also capable of taking down archers and light infantry as well since they deal melee damage at a distance. The Saracens have a formidable army, since they can produce all Archer units as well as every Infantry unit trained at the Barracks, except the Halberdier. They also have access to all gunpowder units, and all Blacksmith upgrades as well. These units can provide great cover for their camel units. The Saracens are also known for their strong naval power, as their Galleys attack 20% faster than other civilisations’ galleys. They are able to produce all ships except for the Fast Fire Ship. Their transport ships are able to carry five more units than other civilizations and have twice the total Hit Points. To reflect their devotion to Islam, they have all technologies at the Monastery available. Their economy is not particularly strong since they lack the many economic upgrades, however, their Market trade cost is reduced to 5% as one of their civilization bonuses.
The Teutons main strengths are defense and economy, with also many offensive bonuses as well. Their defensive structures and Town Center both have bonuses. Town Centers have an additional +2 for their Attack, and a +5 for their Line of Sight. Towers can garrison twice the number of units than other civilizations and all tower technologies are available. With this bonus, Teutonic Keeps with full garrison of Archers can deal twice the amount of damage compared to an ordinary Keep with full garrison. In addition, a Teutonic Bombard Tower with ten garrisoned Hand Cannoneers only can fire up to two cannons simultaneously, dealing up to 240 damage. They also receive Murder Holes for free thus eliminating the minimum range of towers and Castle. This provides their Towers an earlier defense against Battering Rams. Another great thing about their defenses is their castles' great range, which their unique technology (Crenellations) increases highly, giving them greater defensive abilities. Their Monks are able to heal at twice the distance of other civilizations’ monks. Their Farms are 33% cheaper. Their units resist conversion due to their Team Bonus. Their unique unit is the Teutonic Knight, which is an extremely strong but slow infantry unit possessing a significant attack (also an attack bonus versus buildings), Hit Points and Armor. It is almost unaffected by Archer, Infantry and Cavalry attacks. Their Unique Technology is Crenellations which gives Castles an additional +3 range and infantry units that garrison in the castle can fire arrows. This makes their castles very powerful and excellent for defensive strategies. The Teutonic civilization is given high profile in the Barbarossa campaign as they are the playable civilization. In addition many of the opponents encountered early in this campaign are also Teutons. Some opponents in the Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan campaign are also Teutons.
The Vikings were best known for being advent sailors and for establishing colonies in the North Atlantic in Greenland and Canada before the European explorers. They were also known for bringing fear among several European communities since they would raid small villages unexpectedly. As a result, their navy and infantry are among the finest in the game and are one of the few civilizations to have more than one unique unit. The Vikings did not actually wear spiked or horned helmets, but they refrained from trimming their head and facial hair to give the look of a big, scary, and hairy beast. This is reflected by their unique unit, the Berserker, and their unique technology that would benefit them. The Berserk is a warrior equipped with an axe, produced at a Castle that regenerates its health over time. They are a fast infantry unit strong against other infantry and light cavalry, and to an extent against buildings. Their health regeneration rate can be boosted with the technology Berserkergang. In addition, their infantry units receive a 10% Hit Point bonus in the Feudal Age, which increases to a 15% Hit Point bonus in the Castle Age and then to a 20% Hit Point bonus in the Imperial Age. The Vikings also excel at naval warfare and tactics, and even mastered the art of various types of sailing. To reflect this achievement, their Dock-based unique unit is the Longboat which is a type of swift warship that shoots volleys of arrows similar to the Chu Ko Nu. The Viking Longboat was a well-constructed slim boat that gracefully shot through the water. To reflect their ability as fine shipbuilders, all Viking ships cost 20% fewer resources, and their team bonus allows docks to be built for 25% less wood. The Vikings can produce all ships except for the Fire Ship and Fast Fire Ship. They lack most gunpowder units, and cannot produce any camel units. Overall, their cavalry units are weak, but they can produce strong archery units such as the Arbalest. They have weak tower defenses and can only upgrade Watch Towers to Guard Towers, faring better than their neighbors, the Goths and Huns. They are missing a number of upgrades at the Monastery making their Monks weaker than most civilizations. The Vikings also have a strong economy. The Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart are free once advancing to the Feudal and Castle Ages respectively. They can research all economic technologies except for Stone Shaft Mining and Guilds.
The Aztecs are a Native American Civilization. As such, they lack any access to Cavalry technology, including all Stable units and Cavalry Archers. They possess some of the strongest infantry, despite lacking Halberdiers, and coupled by the best Monks in the game. They have also great archers such as Arbalests. Every Monastery technology is available to them and each one grants an additional 5 HP, allowing the normally fragile monk to be more durable. They are one of only three civilizations that starts a standard game with an Eagle Scout or Eagle Warrior (depending the version of the game), not a Scout Cavalry. The Aztecs economy is very good, only lacking Two-Man Saw and Guilds. However, their navy is not really good, as they are the only civilization that cannot upgrade the War Galley to Galleon. They also lack Cannon Galleons and the Heavy Demolition Ship upgrade. Thus, they have to depend on the War Galleys, Demolition Ships, and Fast Fire Ships as their best naval vessels.
The Turks were best known for winning many battles in the Crusades as well as successfully besieging Constantinople which ended European foothold of the Silk Road and contact with the Orient. The Turks were also highly involved in the sciences and mathematics especially in the area of Alchemy that would later form the backbone of modern chemistry. Being an Islamic civilization, they were notable for transmitting this knowledge to the west. To reflect this achievement, Turks mine gold faster and research Chemistry for free. This allows them to use gunpowder units immediately. They also used gunpowder quite effectively, becoming the first "gunpowder empire," having received it from their control of the Silk Road. Therefore, many of their unique bonuses and technology benefits their gunpowder units. They have stronger yet lower costing gunpowder units from Archery Ranges, Siege Workshops and Docks. These gunpowder units are also created faster granted by their team bonus. However, their Mangonels are inferior to most civilizations as they lack the Onager upgrade and subsequently, the Siege Onager upgrade. In the Dock, they only lack the Fast Fire Ship upgrade, but everything else is available. Therefore, when playing as the Turks, given their civilization bonus and team bonus, it is advisable to create more gunpowder units in their armies. Their unique unit, the Janissary, is a gunpowder unit that is essentially a more powerful version of the Hand Cannoneer. The Janissary is strong against infantry and even cavalry if massed, but are surprisingly weak against most other archer units, especially Skirmishers. The Turks also have free light cavalry upgrades. Artillery, their unique technology, increases range for all cannon units. This allows Bombard Towers and Bombard Cannons to hit targets from further away and gives Turkish Elite Cannon Galleons 17 range. Turkish Elite Cannon Galleons with Artillery and Trebuchets with Siege Engineers researched are tied for longest range attack in the game. All that being said, the Turks also possess strong cavalry tech trees (lacking only Paladins) and fully-upgraded Cavalry Archers) to make a fast strong army. The Turks is the only civilization that cannot upgrade their Spearmen to Pikemen or Skirmishers to Elite Skirmishers. Despite lacking these two important upgrades to counter infantry and archers, they have arguably the best Cavalry Archer and Heavy Cavalry Archer after researching one of their unique technologies, Sipahi, from The Forgotten onwards, as they have 90 HP for the Cavalry Archer and 100 HP for the Heavy Cavalry Archer. The Turks' biggest threats are the Italians and Goths, since the former have strong anti-cavalry and anti-gunpowder capacity with Genoese Crossbowmen and Condottieri (in addition to the Turks lacking the necessary counters for Genoese Crossbowmen like Elite Skirmishers and the Onager upgrade); while the Goths' Huskarls and cheaper Halberdiers will make quick work of the Turkish gunpowder and cavalry units respectfully (the Turks have to rely on Champions and beefy Hand Cannoneers to counter the Goths' infantry army). The Turks are a formidable foe to any infantry civilization such as the Aztecs, Teutons, and the Japanese, due to their wide variety of units to counter their infantry (such as the Janissary unit). When gold runs low in the lategame, the Malay will be problematic foe for the Turks since the Turkish trash line is incredibly weak and the Malay's Two-Handed Swordsmen with Forced Levy upgrade are trash units that counter trash units.
The Incas are a rushing/offensive infantry civilization. The Archery Range is pretty decent, as they get Arbalest, Elite Skirmisher, the unique unit: Slinger and all the Blacksmith upgrades, but lacks the Hand Cannoneer. Moreover, the Slingers' minimum range and armor improves owing to the unique technologies. The Slinger counters infantry and can support Kamayuks and Eagle line units. They get all the units from the Barracks, as well as, all the upgrades from the Barracks and the Blacksmith. Their infantry unique unit from the Castle: the Kamayuk counters cavalry, they are produced extremely fast, so they can be massed easily and they find out a boost in the armor due to their Imperial Age unique technology: Couriers. As being from the Americas, they lack all cavalry. The Dock is pretty reasonable as they have Galleon and Fast Fire Ship, but lacks Cannon Galleon. The Monastery is barely adequate, yet lacks Fervor, Atonement and Block Printing. However, Block Printing is added to their technology tree in The African Kingdoms. The Siege Workshop lacks only the Siege Onager and Bombard Cannon. They have economic bonuses that help by getting a Llama as a free food source early, fast Farms and saving stone while building defenses, in spite of lacking Two-Man Saw and Guilds. Their house bonus helps them save wood and allows them to create units faster. Having villagers tougher than most civilizations, they can attack and defend themselves better, especially when an Incan player is performing a tower rush. They also lack gunpowder units, but unlike Aztecs and Mayans, their Slingers fulfill the role of the Hand Cannoneer effectively. The Incas have comprehensively effective counter-unit options of non-minimum-range Skirmishers, Slingers, Kamayuks and halberdiers, which help them deal with all kinds of rushes and fight against other civilizations, especially civilizations with limited military options, in one-on-one battles.
The Huns are pretty easy to play and as a cavalry civilization, they are noted for their strong cavalry. The Archery Range lacks Arbalest, but they get powerful Cavalry Archers with access to all standard technologies available and they cost a lot less. The Barrack lacks the Champion upgrade. The Stable creates remarkable heavy and light Cavalry with access to all Barracks' and Blacksmiths' upgrades, but they do miss Camels. Their unique unit: the Tarkan is an excellent Cavalry unit for sacking bases. The Dock is mediocre, for instance they lack Cannon Galleons (which was removed in The Forgotten; but added in The Conquerors). The Siege Workshop gets the Siege Ram, but lacks the Siege Onager and the Heavy Scorpion. One of their greatest advantages is that they do not need to build houses to sustain population. This is especially important in the early game where players must increase their Villager count and military quickly; the time and Villagers saved from collecting Wood in the early game that would otherwise be used to build houses, is a crucial advantage for the Huns. The Huns are a great rushing civilization; the fact that they do not have to build houses compounds this. The Huns have both effective Cavalry and Cavalry Archers. This makes them a good civilization for those who prefer fast games or tend to play offensively. However they do have some weaknesses. They are unable to upgrade Mangonels or Scorpions and also lack the Champion upgrade. Their defense is also weak, with only Stone Walls and Watch Towers available. The Huns lack Siege and gunpowder units making hard to deal with archers and anti-cavalry infantry and they are very easily countered by Camel civilizations, such as the Indians. Ordinarily, the Huns enjoy an easy time with infantry civilizations like the Teutons, who miss Camels and have a not so fast infantry.
The Italians are mainly an archer and naval civilization. The Archery Range is pretty fit with Arbalest, Elite Skirmisher and Hand Cannoneer, but weak Cavalry Archers. They are able to research Thumb Ring and all Blacksmith upgrades. Their Castle Age unique technology, Pavise, makes the foot archers more durable and effective. Moreover, they enjoy an archer unique unit: the Genoese Crossbowman is a versatile unit trained at the Castle that has a bonus against Cavalry, making them powerful against cavalry based civilizations like the Franks, Berbers, Huns and Persians. At the Barracks, they don't get Halberdiers, but they do get the Champion, all Blacksmith upgrades plus Tracking and Squires. In the Imperial Age, the Condottiero, a quick infantry unique unit with a bonus against gunpowder units, can be trained at the Barracks. This unit is also their team bonus, which means that the Condottiero will be available for all their allies at the Barracks, once they are in the Imperial Age. The Stable looks very narrow without the Paladin and Camels, leastwise they might gain all the upgrades from the Stable and the Blacksmith. The Dock has no Heavy Demolition Ship, but everything else is available. The Siege Workshop lacks the Siege Onager, the Siege Ram and the Heavy Scorpion. The Monastery is fine with all the upgrades except Heresy. Due to their bonuses they have a vigorous economy, only lacking Gold Shaft Mining. Their Imperial Age unique technology, Silk Road, makes their trade units 50% cheaper. The Italians will endure a tight time with the Celts and Goths, as the Italians' archers and infantry are overwhelmed by fast moving Celts' infantry and Goth's anti-archer/anti-gunpowder nature of their Huskarls. The Italians are first-rate against the Turks, owing to Italians' unique units counter gunpowder and cavalry units.
The Koreans are one of the five civilizations featured in the Conquerors expansion. Historically, they were not as powerful compared to the nearby Chinese realms. However, their tacticians, most notably Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, made important contributions in innovating cutting edge weaponry when conditions were especially dire during the Japanese invasions and frequent raids from Wokou pirates. One of their most recognized innovation was the Hwacha which fires a series of small bolt like rockets. This is represented by a Mangonel with higher range granted by the team bonus and the unique technology. Being able to successfully defend itself despite the numerical disadvantages, they are a defensive civilization similar to the Byzantines, but focuses more toward ranged units. As a result of their innovation and knowledge of gunpowder (which originated from China, though the Koreans had to develop it separately since the Chinese would not share their secrets) the Koreans are one of the few civilizations that have two unique units. The Castle-based unique unit is the War Wagon, a horse-drawn carriage that is essentially a heavily armored cavalry archer. The War Wagon fires a bolt similar to the Galleon. While stronger and better armored than the cavalry archers, they are slower and more expensive. The Dock-based unique unit is the Turtle Ship, an armored and spiked ship which is a heavily armored, short-range artillery ship that is effective against Fire Ships and Demolition Ships. The Turtle Ship is slower than many other ships, but makes up for speed in raw power and durability. A single Turtle Ship can take down a small fleet of ships, while a fleet of them can annihilate a large part of an opponent's navy. The Koreans were also fine stone workers, especially in crafting sculptures and pottery whose highly prized ceramic coated celadon glaze was the finest in the world. To reflect their stone artisanship and defensive capabilities, their villagers mine stone faster. Finally, to keep in touch with their defensive theme, their Watch Towers are automatically upgraded to Guard Towers in the Castle Age and Keeps in the Imperial Age.
The Magyars are an offensive civilization with great rushing capability. They utilize lots of cheap units in their armies. Their economy is also good as they have all the economic upgrades except for the Stone Shaft Mining and Guilds technologies. Their villagers have the ability to one-shot all wild animals (Wolves, Jaguars, Bears, Crocodiles and Lions), which help out a lot in maps with an abundance of wild animals, and also aid in early-game villager exploration. They are a cavalry civilization and have all the cavalry upgrades, but as Europeans, they do not have access to Camels. Their unique unit is the Magyar Huszar, a cheap cavalry unit with an attack bonus against siege weapons. Their first unique technology, Mercenaries, makes the Magyar Huszar even cheaper by removing their gold cost. Their second unique technology is the Recurve Bow, which increases their Cavalry Archers' range and attack by one. Their siege weapons are also not as proficient as their neighbors, the Slavs, as they lack the Siege Ram, Siege Onager and Bombard Cannon.
Slavs are an offensive, economic civilization with powerful infantry and siege weapons. They have a good economy, missing only the Stone Shaft Mining and Guilds upgrade. Their Monks are tougher than most because of their first unique technology, Orthodoxy, which gives them +3/+3 armour. They have cheaper siege weapons due to their civilization bonus. They have powerful infantry units as they have all infantry upgrades and their second unique technology, Druzhina, gives infantry AOE damage, making them powerful in groups and against clusters of units. Their cavalry is somewhat lacking as they don't have the Paladin upgrade but they make up for this with their unique unit, the Boyar, a cavalry unit with heavy melee armour that can be used as a damage soaker for other units. While they have powerful infantry their archers are weak as they don't have the Arbalest and Bracer and are missing some other archer upgrades such as Thumb Ring. The Slavs also lack both Faith and Heresy, and due to the Slavs' dependence on siege weapons and expensive units like the Boyar, this makes the Slavs incredibly vulnerable to the Spanish and the Aztecs, which have strong monks.
The Camel Archer from the Castle is a Cavalry Archer that counters Cavalry Archers. The Genitour is a mounted Skirmisher effective against archers, available at the Archery Range for both the player and their allies. Their Castle Age technology, Kasbah, allows Castles to create units and research technologies 25% faster, for both the player and their teammates. Their Imperial Age technology, Maghrabi Camels, makes Camel troops regenerate. The Berbers have a pretty good Archery Range, but they lack the Arbalest and Parthian Tactics. The Barracks doesn't have Halberdiers. The Berbers' Stable lacks Paladins. The Dock lacks only Shipwright, but the Berbers have all the other important Dock upgrades and have access to all the late naval units. Combined with the 10% faster ship movements, the Berbers will be a strong civilization on the water. The Siege Workshop lacks Siege Ram and Siege Onager. They get a great economy although they lack Two-Man Saw.
The Ethiopian Archery Range is pretty strong chiefly because of the archer line, since archers fire +15% faster. The Barrack lacks the Champion but gets Halberdiers. The Ethiopian's unique unit: the Shotel Warrior is a very fast infantry unit with high creation speed and being a fantastic raiding unit, however they are very weak in engagements. The Stable lacks the Paladin and upgrades such as: Bloodlines and Plate Barding Armor, but has the Hussar and the Heavy Camel. The Dock is moderately fine since they get the Galleon, but lacks Heavy Demolition Ship, Fast Fire Ship and Elite Cannon Galleon. The Monastery doesn't get Block Printing and Redemption, however the monks are worthy. The Siege Workshop is awesome with all the units available and benefiting from the civilization's imperial unique technology: Torsion Engines, that increases the blast radius for siege weapons. Their economy is nice only missing Crop Rotation. The Ethiopians will meet trouble with some civilizations such as the Berbers, due to Genitours being an anti-archer mounted skirmisher and their Stable is better, and the fare horribly against the Byzantines due to their unique unit, Cataphract is able to decimate Halberdiers and Shotel Warriors and cheaper skirmishers is a cost efficient answer to Ethiopian archers. The Ethiopians make a great civilization against civilizations like the Vikings who have slower archers and worst cavalry. Goths are the perfect counter to the Ethiopians lategame because the Ethiopians lack the Champion upgrade and have no cost effective counter to the Huskarl unit.
One of the main advantages of the Portuguese is their strong navy, powered by the Carrack technology (+1 armor/pierce armor), +10% HP and -15% gold bonuses to all ships. The Portuguese tech tree includes the Elite Cannon Galleon which allows for water domination in the late game. The Caravel, a unique unit, fires piercing projectiles that allow it to do maximum damage to large groups of enemy warships. The Arquebus technology makes gunpowder units much more accurate making the Portugueses' Hand Cannoneer, Organ Gun, the other Portuguese unique unit, the Bombard Cannon and even the Bombard Tower more effective against moving foes. In the Barracks, they have the Champion and Halberdier, but their speeds are slower than most civilizations as they lack Squires. In the Archery Range, they lack the Heavy Cavalry Archer upgrade and Parthian Tactics technology, but everything else is available. In the Stable, they do not have the Hussar, Paladin upgrades and Camel and Heavy Camel (as they are a European civilization), but everything is available. In the Siege Workshop, they lack both Siege Onager and Heavy Scorpion. In their Monastery, everything is available except Illumination. In their University, they have access to all technologies. Like their neighbours, the Italians, their economy is pretty good, lacking only Gold Shaft Mining. The Portuguese will have a hard time against cavalry civilizations such as the Huns and the Spanish, due to the high mobility of their cavalry being able to decimate their gunpowder, foot archers, and siege units in addition the Portuguese lackluster cavalry; and will struggle against the Italians and the Goths (due to the former having far superior foot archers and Condottieri, while the later have Huskarls with high-pierce armor that can easily shrug off archer and gunpowder attacks, including the Organ Gun). They will have no problems facing the Teutons or the Japanese, due to their wide variety of anti-infantry options (including the Organ Gun).
The Malians are an African infantry civilization featured in the expansion pack Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. Historically, the Malians were known for their very progressive society that puts a lot of emphasis on education and to highlight this achievement, their team bonus increases the research speed for University technologies. West African cultures held women in high esteem, and Malian women participated in every part of society, including the military. This is highlighted with their unique unit, the Gbeto, where it is noted to be the only unique unit that is a female soldier. The Mali and Songhai empires were known to be some of the wealthiest kingdoms in Africa; this was primarily due to the enormous natural wealth at their disposal from gold and salt mines, as well as their effective control of the trans-Saharan trade routes that carried valuable resources to and from the region. To highlight this, the Malians gain Gold Mining and Gold Shaft Mining for free and have access to every Market upgrade. West Africa and the Sahel have sparse vegitation, without many trees. These limited resources meant that the Malians primarily used clay and mud bricks in their architecture, and didn't have as much of a reliance on lumber for their buildings. This is represented in-game with a -15% wood cost for all Malians buildings.
The Burmese are branded as an "Elephant and Monk civilisation", thanks to their Unique Technologies (that benefit Elephants), their cheap Monastery techs and their team bonus that reveals the position of Relics on the map, making them (Along with civilizations such as the Aztecs and Spanish) one of the best Monk civs. Along with that, they have such a balanced variety of bonuses, a great economy (particularly at late game) and a tech tree that allows them to operate in a fashion almost as versatile as the Chinese or the Khmer, their only weakness being their poor Archery Ranges. For one, their main economic advantages are the free Lumber Camp and cheaper Monastery techs, allowing them to save resources and time; this, combined with having almost every single economic tech available (lacking only Stone Shaft Mining), can be put into good use, for stratgies such as Booming or Monk Rushes. They boast offensively powerful infantry (almost as strong as the Aztecs'), good cavalry (though their Cavalry Archer is frail, and lacks Thumb Ring) and a moderate navy, that can still be well exploited, thanks to their Lumber Camp bonus. Their unique unit, the Arambai, adds much needed firepower (as a frail "glass cannon" unit, somewhat making up for the lack of Hand Cannoneers and Arbalests), their tanky Elephant shields other units or acts as a makeshift siege weapon (further boosting their otherwise good siege) and even their unremarkable Archery Range can sometimes be put into good use (thanks to their free Lumber Camp upgrades), but mainly at early game, or to support their mediocre defences (they lack Hoardings, Arrowslits and Bombard Towers), though their Cavalry Archer can also occasionally prove useful, as at least they receive Bracer and Parthian Tactics. Mobile forces with powerful anti-cavalry capabilities can give them a run for their money, particularly the Saracens' (Mamelukes, in particular, are a Burmese army's nemesis, as they can counter almost everything in their arsenal), and even cheap trash units such as Halberdiers can be a danger to the Burmese cavalry and Elephants. Their Monk rushes are negated by better Monk civilizations, such as the Aztecs or the Spanish, yet prove deadly against ones that count on highly expensive units, such as the Persians,Indians and the Slavs. Their potent infantry, combined with Arambai, also cope well against infantry civilizations (probably except the Incas, due to their army composition), who usually are less mobile and based on foot units. They also possess anti-rushing potential, thanks to their Feudal Age bonuses.
Khmer are classified as a Siege and Elephant civilization in the game, thanks to their team bonus, their faster Elephants and their two Unique Technologies, that encourage them to exploit 2 different types of Elephants, as well as Scorpions, hinting that they are based on expensive units (somewhat similarly to the Slavs and Teutons, both possessing mighty, brute force units and siege). Their balanced tech tree, however, pushes them towards a jack-of-all-trades/generalist civilization, similarly to the Malians, Byzantines and the Chinese. In fact, they aren't as dependent on mighty, vulnerable-to-conversion (they lack both Heresy and Faith) units as possibly thought. But, they operate at a very different way than both balanced and "siege" civilizations, thanks to 2 quirks; the no-requirement bonus and the fact Villagers can garrison in Houses. This specific combination is unlike anything else ever implemented in Age of Empires II, and in fact, the Khmer might be the closest to an "unconventional" civilisation. Having no set chain of requirements, other than Age, means that they can eschew buildings a player doesn't feel like needing, in order to execute unpredictable maneuvers. Rushing, booming and even turtling (they only lack Bombard Towers and Arrowslits) can be considered, depending on civilization matchup, map settings, default age and alliances. They lack direct economic and early game bonuses, but their Villagers will be safe, as long as Houses are around, and no-requirement means that resources can be diverted away from certain structures towards anything else. One, if bold enough, can even totally ignore Mills or other essential structures. Elephants and Scorpions, among others, offer solid late level power and their balanced tech tree provides a wildly unpredictable army. They operate well with siege civilizations (especially Slavs and Teutons, see strategy section) and ones that provide team bonuses to generic unit lines (e.g. Goths or Huns) and the Chinese. They may struggle against ones with great Monks (Spanish, Aztecs) or great early game. The Khmer might be the most mentally challenging civilization to play, even harder than the Chinese, as they require both careful planning and extreme micromanagement to play properly, and to select the appropriate allies that can optimize gameplay. Despite these disadvantages, with unique actions including "house-hopping" (a Villager can build Houses in a way so that attacked Villagers can "hop" from House to House to shield themselves), building early Castles close to an enemy and (combined with the Slavs' team bonus) they can even construct "forward bases" (Villagers + Khmer houses + military buildings with population boost) close to enemy resources, in order to execute a form of attrition warfare (by harassing and starving a nearby enemy base).
The Vietnamese are an Archer civilisation with 3 team bonuses that can help them shine in situations with multiple players. They are the closest to a support civilisation in Age of Empires II, as their advantages are evident when they play in a team. To begin with, they can reveal enemy positions at game start, which combined with Cartography reveals enemy Town Centers to the entire alliance, especially beneficial to rushing tactics. In the Imperial Age, their status as a team civilisation is further cemented, as they grant Imperial Skirmishers to the entire team, and they can also research Paper Money in order to provide a gold tribute to all allied players. As far their military is concerned, they draw their main strength from the Archery Range; they have access to all archer units except Hand Cannoneers, and only lack Parthian Tactics among archer-related upgrades. Their Archery Range units receive extra HP per Age, allowing them to withstand more attacks and fight back longer, at all stages of the game. Cavalry Archers are especially boosted, as they boast HP second only to Sipahi-boosted Cavalry Archers. Their first unique unit is the Rattan Archer, an archer with high pierce armor, decent speed and a good attack that allow him to withstand units with pierce damage, such as Scorpions and Arbalests, and fight effectively other archer units. The second is the Imperial Skirmisher, an upgrade to the Skirmisher line, with slightly improved stats, that can provide an advantage in trash wars to the entire team, being their main Team Bonus. They also have complete infantry lines, but they lack Blast Furnace, and their cavalry is unremarkable (lacking among others Husbandry), relegating their melee units into support role, mainly for guarding missile units. Conscription is free in the Imperial Age, saving some time and resources, while also giving a Vietnamese player a speed advantage to quickly train some extra units. Their Battle Elephants are used as meatshields, rather than offensive units, with the Chatras technology granting them a +30HP bonus, in order to better shield missile units against units that can harass them. They have a below-average siege, lacking all final upgrades to their siege units (but receive Siege Engineers and Bombard Cannons), and their structures are tied with the Aztecs' for the frailest in the game (lacking Masonry and Architecture), necessitating use of archers in defence, though at least, they receive Arrowslits, Bombard Towers, Keeps and Hoardings, meaning they will still boast powerful if fragile base defences. Because of the lack of good early game economic and their civilization bonuses and Paper Money is really team dependent, the Vietnamese is not an ideal civilization in 1v1 matches, especially against civilizations with strong early game rushing potential such as the Aztecs, Huns, Malay, and Vikings. Conversely, the excel in teamgames and are a formidable lategame foe to archer civilizations such the Chinese and the Mayans, due to their strong anti-archer capacity with Rattan Archers and Imperial Skirmishers.
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