Age of Empires Final Level Tips By Odge (firstname.lastname@example.org) Version 1.0 Contents 1)Introduction 2)General Hints on Military Units 3)Level Tips 4)Legal Stuff and Credits 1) Introduction Age of Empires is a game that, despite being a little old and dated, still is highly respected in the ranks of Strategy games (and its only just been released on the Mac, despite a release four years ago on the PC. It provides an interesting blend of the fast-paced gameplay provided by a game such as Warcraft, to the long-term strategy presented by something such as Civilisation. Even if you have Age of Empires 2, I recommend buying this, simply because it is a superb game. In this FAQ, I will look at the specialisations of each type of military unit, and give some level tips. 2) General hints – military units There are loads of military units to choose from and all of them are useful for one specific purpose (or several.) However, some are more useful than others are. Units can be grouped into seven main subgroups. These are Boats, Academy Units, Stable Units, Siege Weapons, Priests, Barracks units, and Archers. Here’s the low-down on all of them: Boats (Juggernaut, Catapult Trireme, Trireme, War Galley, Scout Ship) – These usually have high hit points and are useful for eliminating any kind of coastal building or unit. Their main disadvantage is that they have to stick to the sea, so they can’t attack inland areas. There are two main types of ship – warship, and siege ship. Warships fire arrows and are generally better for attacking coastal military units such as chariots and hoplites etc. Siege ships fire boulders, which do more damage, but aren’t as accurate. Use siege ships against coastal towers and buildings. However, the one unit that can pose a threat to ships is the siege weapon. Stay well away from them. Academy units (Centurion, Phalanx, Hoplite)– These units are land-based and have enormous attacking power. They have large amounts of hit points also but are very slow. Therefore they are unsuitable for attacking range weapons such as the Siege Weapon, Boat or Archer. Also it is a bad idea to go near a priest, as they will easily convert the unit before it can reach them. However, they are ideal for attack against Stable or Barracks units because of their superior attack power. Stable Units (War Elephant, Cataphract, Heavy Cavalry, Cavalry, Chariot, Scout) – These are usually very fast and can get to a fight quickly. They are ideal for attacking Barrack units and Archers as they have larger amounts of hit points and a better attack. However they really come into their own when attacking Siege Weapons, as they can speed past the rocks hurtled by the weapons, get within its minimum range, and kill it without receiving any damage. However, they are useless against Academy units, which have a much greater attack. Siege Weapons (Heavy Catapult, Catapult, Stone Thrower, Helopolis, Ballista) – These are the coolest units really. Their attack power is phenomenal, and when their rocks make contact, they do serious damage and can kill. They have enormous ranges and as you upgrade the units, the stones you throw have a much larger damage area, so you can destroy a much wider area. They are good for destroying other range weapons such as the priest, boat or archer, as when the other units are firing at your catapult they stay still... and when that stone comes down, they’re dead! However, they are no good for hand to hand units, as they have a “minimum range” which means that when the enemy is right next to you, you cannot fire at them. So the Stable and Barracks units usually make mincemeat (or should I say firewood?) of you. However, Academy units are so slow that they usually get caught in the blast. Priests – these do not destroy the enemy, but convert them to your civilisation (which is better.) They have very low amounts of hit points, but a large range. So it is a bad idea to try and convert an enemy warrior that can fire back at you, so archers, siege weapons and boats are an absolute no-no. That is, unless you have more than one priest – if you do, then the enemy will become confused and cannot fire at you – this does not work on siege weapons.) Stable units are also no good, as they can get to you as quick as a flash, and will easily slaughter you. However, Barracks and Academy units are easy prey, due to their slow speeds. Barracks unit (Legion, Long Swordsman, Broad Swordsman, Short Swordsman, Axeman, Clubman) – these guys are the general all-rounders of your army, having medium hit points, speed, attack and defense. However this is not really a good thing. You’re better off building an Academy and producing much better Hoplites etc. They have roughly equivalent hit points to Academy Units (eventually) but their attack and defence is much worse. Sure, they walk much faster, but that is not much more useful. They can be beaten by Archers, boats, Academy and Stable units and priests – in fact, the only thing they can beat are Siege Weapons, and they can even be bettered at that by Stable units! 3) Level tips Here are some hints for the final level of each campaign in Age of Empires. Most of them are quite easy, but some require a certain amount of thought. Where I recommend a technolgy, the place where you research it is mentioned afterwards in square brackets (for example, if I recommend you research The Wheel, then I will put ‘research the Wheel [Market] showing that the wheel is researched at the market. Ascent of Egypt Learning campaign: Siege of Canaan This is a fairly simple final level, being the finishing scenario of the Learning Campaign. Your objective is to destroy the Canaanite’s Government Centre which is situated at the northern end of the map. You are separated from your enemy by a river which is crossed at several places by shallows. The enemy is generally defensive but has units, such as sentry towers, clubmen and bowmen on your side of the bridge, guarding useful supplies of gold. The enemy also has large amounts of food in the form of Berry Bushes. Food for you is scarce. You start in the Stone Age with a few Villagers, Bowmen, and Axemen, a Town Centre, and a Barracks. Stage 1: Building up The first thing you need to do is get out of the Stone Age. Order your villagers to build a granary next to the nearby Berry Bushes, and order two villagers to start collecting food from the bushes. Produce two more villagers from the town centre and order these to start chopping wood. Now order your last villager northwards (as in directly upward) along with your Clubmen and Bowmen for protection. When you come to a river, construct a Dock on it and when this is complete, make a fishing boat and order it to fish in the nearby fishing spots. Stage 2: Assault on enemy food stocks When you have 500 food, upgrade into the Tool Age. Now construct a Light Transport in the Dock and research Small Walls in the Granary (when you have sufficient food and wood.) Produce Villagers, Axemen and Bowmen as necessary. Now order a villager into the Light Transport along with 4 troops (2 bowmen, 2 axemen) and sail this boat North-east up the river until you reach a piece of land with Berry Bushes on (the enemy will probably be foraging in them.) Unload here, and order your villager to construct a wall all the way along the land to cut off the enemy Granary from the Berry Bushes. Now kill off any enemy troops on your side of the wall, and construct a Granary. You can now take all the Berry Bushes on your side of the wall without fear of attack. Stage 3: Farming and Siege Weapons Build a Market, a Stable and an Archery Range. You will now need to farm to get the food you need. So construct four farms near Town Centres or Granaries and order or create villagers to farm. Domestication [Market] comes in useful here. When you can, upgrade into the Bronze Age. Construct a Siege Workshop, a Temple, and an Academy. Build a Stone Thrower and research the Wheel [Market.] Also produce some Chariot Archers. Now take this group and head north-west and through the gap in the cliff. Destroy the enemy Clubmen and Bowmen using your Chariot Archers. You will see some gold and stone mines, but ignore them for now. Take your Stone Thrower North- East until you see a Sentry Tower. Destroy it using the Stone Thrower. Now wipe out the enemy troops in the area so that it is safe for villagers. Bring a couple of villagers up onto the plateau and build a storage pit. Now get them to mine gold primarily, then stone. Meanwhile take your army group Northwest and off the plateau. Destroy any nearby troops and continue up to the leftmost corner of the map. There are more gold mines here. Use them if needs be. Stage 4: Attack Upgrade into the Iron Age. Use the market to research necessary technologies (Woodworking, Artisanship, Craftsmanship) and research as many storage pit technologies as you feel you need. Keep building farms and upgrading food production using the Plow and Irrigation [Market.] Build a Government Centre and research such technologies as Nobility, Aristocracy, Ballistics, and, most importantly, Alchemy. Now produce units for attack. In the Archery range, produce Chariot Archers and Elephant Archers. In the Stables produce Chariots and War Elephants. Produce Priests and at least three more Stone Throwers. Hoplites are also useful. When you have reached your population limit, select your army and head for the shallows connecting you and the Canaanites. Knock out the Sentry Towers using Stone Throwers, and then run riot through the enemy settlement. Head Northwards towards the top corner of the map. You will see the enemy Gov. Centre surrounded by a wall. Knock this out and the pitiful defence movement by the Canaanites. Now drive through and onto the Gov. Centre and turn it to rubble using whatever you have left. Glory of Greece: Wonder Here you are pitted against three tribes. The Cambyses, in red, has built a Wonder at the beginning of the scenario. However, they are weak and possess only towers and archers. The Darius, in yellow, soon build a wonder after you destroy the Cambyses one. They are much stronger, and depending on how fast you eliminate the Cambyses wonder, they might have Temples, Academies, Stables, Siege Workshops or Archery Ranges. Persia, to the North, in brown, builds no Wonders so you never have to attack them, but they will be a constant nuisance and often send in Catapults to wreak havoc. Stage 1: Building up The essence of this level is speed, as you start out superior to your enemies, so don’t waste too much time building up. You should quickly produce a few more villagers and houses, and assiagn most of your villagers to chop wood. Build an academy, a temple and a siege worksgop and use your 500 gold to produce around 2 Heavy Catapults, 2 Priests and a Centurion. Now select your whole army and send them off to the east towards Cambyses wonder. Leave a few Broad Swordsmen behind to protect the town from Catapults. Stage 2: Siege of Cambyses wonder All around the wonder is a wall, and protecting this wall are numerous Guard Towers and Composite Bowmen. No problem. Choose a part of the wall and shell the nearby Guard Towers using your Catapults. Then deal with the Composite Bowmen by firing stones into the midst of a group of three and killing all of them. Once you think you have cleared a big enough gap, take all your troops through and kill off any attacking Bowmen or Towers. Destroy the Wonder using your Catapults. Simple. Stage 3: Preperation The second wonder will soon be built. Take your main force westwards towards it but try to clear away the Cambyses resistance in the east. They hold valuable gold mines which you could use. Once you have brought low the Cambyses, send in a few villagers to construct a Storage Pit and start mining gold. You could use some Centurions and Catapults right now, so make as many as you can. Make some priests and any other unit of your choice. Now you must attack the Darius wonder. You will have to knock out the Guard Towers on the wall so do so using your Catapults. You can now blast the wall down and rush in, but that is a tad risky, as the Darius like Elephant archers and Phalanxs. So be sure that your army is at full strength, with plenty of Centurions. However there is another, maybe better, way that is mentioned below. However, it may not work and requires great patience. Stage 4: A stealthy kill Once most of the Guard Towers on the wall have been cleared, send a villager to join your army. Blast a small hole in the wall (using the catapults) and order your villager through it. Now build two pieces of wall going into the enemy settlement at right angles to the enemy wall. As your villagers are building this, lay the foundation for another bit of wall connecting the ends of the two bits of wall you have constructed. This creates a kind of “indent” in the enemy lines and your catapults can now fire without fear of being assaulted by hand-to-hand units. Now bring up your catapults into the indent and open fire on the Wonder. Should your catapults be attacked, bring Priests in to continually heal them. Once the Wonder is destroyed, you have won the scenario! Voices of Babylon: Nineveh This is another level where you have to destroy a Wonder [groan.] You are facing around five “Enemies” and Nineveh himself. You have no villagers, but phenenomenal amounts of all the resources. To your Northwest lies a yellow tribe, which is significantly stronger than you but hold enormous quantities of resources. Near the Northernmost corner of the map lies an island surrounded by brown-grey Sentry Towers that has Gold mines on. Another island lies to your east. Nineveh occupies a large land mass to your north and is accompanied by many allied enemies, most of which possess only a few units. Your task is to destroy the wonder Nineveh begins to build. Stage 1: Building up You will soon be attacked by a Catapult Trireme, so zoom to your Dock and send in your many Scout Ships to fend off the attack. Now start using your resources. Build a priest and several Stone Throwers. Order the priest into one of the nearby Light Transports, and send him northwards to the banks of the yellow enemy island. You should soon see a yellow villager walking along the line of trees towards you. Convert him, and take both the priest and the villager back to your shores. Order the villager to build a Town Centre and produce another four or five villagers. Use these villagers to mine gold, chop wood, hunt, farm etc. Produce more priests and stone throwers, and research technologies. The Wheel [market] and Artisanship [market] are useful. When you have enough gold and food, upgrade into the Iron Age. Upgrade your ships and start making Triremes and Catapult Triremes. Now take these ships northwards and assault the brown-grey enemy isle that has lots of Sentry Towers on it. When they are destroyed, bring Villagers over in Light Transports and have them mine the gold. You could also attack the island to your east and take the gold there. Stage 2: Attack Produce more military units. Load five priests into a Light Transport, five Stone Throwers into a Light Transport, and other Barracks and Stable units into another Light Transport. Now choose a port for your attack. I found that the one to your Northeast was the best. Use your Catapult Triremes and Triremes to destroy the dock and nearby Towers. Stay away from the Elephant Archers nearby though. Unload your Stone Throwers, Priests and other troops Southwest from the Docking area. Pound any Towers left in the area. Now attempt to pick off the Elephant Archers guarding the dock one by one by converting them using your Priests. If you use two or three at once then you should be able to convert them. There is a path through the wall to your north linking you to the Nineveh settlement but it is blocked by three priests, three horse archers, three hoplites, four heavy cavalry, and one composite bowmen. Adding to the threat are four orange Catapults enclosed by walls alongside the path. So what you want to do is blow down the wall enclosing two of the catapults using your stone throwers, and kill the catapults using some Hoplites or Chariots. Now attempt to convert a lot of the Nineveh units blocking your path into the settlement. If you haven’t already research Monotheism [Temple] do so now. Start with the Priests, and then try the others. Do not try to assign each priest to perform one task, order them all to try and convert one unit. You have a greater chance of success then. If anything goes wrong, be sure you have plenty of auxiliary troops to back the priests up. Once you have converted or killed all of the Nineveh defenders, proceed over to the other side of the path and you will see another load of orange catapults to deal with (groan.) Take them out using a similar strategy as before. You can now proceed into the enemy settlement. You’ll need a scout. If you have a converted Heavy Cavalry then that’s fine, but otherwise you’ll need a Chariot. Proceed down the road and towards the Wonder. You’ll notice that there are large groups of troops along the road, but as long as you give them a wide berth, they’ll ignore you. As you approach the wonder you’ll see that only one villager is actually working on it! You can kill him without actually causing much trouble, so attack him from behind. This will stop the “time limit” that you have on this scenario as Nineveh only has one villager, and is probably way over the population limit so another won’t be made. What you do now is up to you. The wonder will never be finished or repaired, so feel free to make lots of military units and attack the Wonder in force (be warned though: Nineveh has a massive army and I’m not exaggerating.) Or you could try a stealthy approach: send in only one unit at a time to attack the Wonder. Although many will be killed and converted, Nineveh will eventually tire of your little game and let you pull down his incomplete Wonder. Yamato Empire of the Rising Sun: Kyushu Revolts This is the last level in the game and it could well be the hardest. Food supplies are plentiful, and so are wood, but what you are lacking in this scenario is gold. There are three main islands in this scenario, separated by rivers, and connected by shallows. The Northwest one belongs to the Kyushu, and has plenty of all resources on it. The Kyushu are very strong, and possess Chariots, Chariot Archers, Stone Throwers, and Short Swordsmen. They protect their island using Sentry Towers next to the shallows. The Kyushu have a weak grip on the central isle also, but they only have Sentry Towers and sparse infantry on it. The central isle is very useful to you as it contains gold mines, which are rare on your island. However they may use it as expansion ground, so beware. The Southeast isle belongs to you, and has many food and wood sources available. However you only get a meagre supply of gold which is situated to your west. Stage 1: Building up Quickly create more villagers and assign existing ones to tasks. Build a Storage Pit next to the Gold mines to your west, and assign a few villagers to start mining in it [note also the stone mines nearby.] Search for food supplies on your isle (Gazelles and Berry Bushes), construct Storage Pits/Granaries nearby, and start to hunt and forage to create a steady food supply. Send the rest of your villagers to chop wood in the south. Bring all your troops together so that you can send them all to a disaster spot if needs be. The Kyushu tend to attack your farms in the east using Catapults, so Scouts and Short Swordsmen are useful. When you have enough wood, start building Bronze Age buildings. Siege Workshops and Temples are useful immediately, but later you’ll want Academies and Gov. Centres to further your development. Research any technologies that you think will be necessary. The Wheel [Market] is, as always, useful, and so are Gold mining and Artisanship, which can also be found in the market. Architecture [Gov. Centre] is useful to strengthen your buildings due to the constant onslaught from enemy Catapults. If you are running low on units, produce ones which are potentially upgradable (and so will be useful in the future) such as Cavalry and Hoplites. Produce some Priests and Stone Throwers for any problems at home. Start to build up gold and food so that you can upgrade into the Iron Age. As soon as you have enough food and gold, do so. Stage 2: More Gold There will come a time where your Gold Mines will run out, probably somewhere in the above building up section. First research Small and Medium walls [Granary] and Watch and Sentry Towers [Granary] if you think you’ll need ‘em. Find or make Stone Throwers, troops (Cavalry and Hoplites are good) and villagers, and head off in a north-westerly direction. Cross the westernmost shallows, and head North. Soon you will come to a cliff. Follow it round, fighting off any enemies nearby, until you come to an opening onto a plateau. Send your Stone Throwers through and destroy the Sentry Tower (beware of repercussions by the angry Kyushu.) Now withdraw your Stone Throwers and send in your villagers. You will see some gold nearby. Build a wall on the opening that prevents any enemies from getting in (but don’t seal your villagers out though!) Now build a Storage Pit near the gold and start mining it. Once you’ve used up all that gold you have, well, a serious problem to say the least... Your best bet is to take a small scout group (same as before) up to the Northern end of this middle isle. You’ll see another cliff formation with a Sentry Tower on. Blow the Sentry Tower on the plateau to smithereens, and nab the gold there. However there is a serious problem here. Where you are mining is right next to the Kyushu Siege Workshop. Nasty. Unless you keep a constant watch on the mines you will come back to your mining site with a few dead bodies laid out on the grass and your Storage Pit on fire, a Catapult firing recklessly at it. Your best bet is to build a complicated wall network to keep the Catapults out and get as many Villagers as you can mining gold. If you get through the gold there, then you must be either trying to complete all the technologies or trying repeated failed attacks on the Kyushu. If your sad case is the latter, then you should stop all attacks right now. You WILL die unless you have an at least 25-strong army. Well, your choices are not good here. There is a cliff formation in the middle of the central isle but this is Kyushu overspill land and is heavily guarded. You’ll need a large army for that, then. Of course, you could always go for the gold in the enemy territory, but that’s just plain stupid. Stage 3: More Building... You need to upgrade as much as possible. Try to upgrade your Hoplites up to Centurions [Academy]and your Cavalry up to Cataphracts [Stable]. Heavy horse archers are also useful to have, so upgrade Horse archers into Heavy horse archers [Archery Range.] Research all of the Temple technologies. Use the Market and Gov. Centre to improve your soldiers; Craftsmanship [Market] is useful, and Nobility, Aristocracy, Ballistics, Alchemy and Engineering from the Gov. Centre are all necessities. Start producing units as well. You’ll need around five Stone Throwers, four priests, six Heavy Horse Archers, seven Centurions and five Cataphracts to comfortably win. Stage 4: Attack Select your whole army (plus any military units you already have – they’ll come in useful.) Now send them Northwest and over the westernmost shallows to the central isle. Now head Northwest until you reach another shallows. You will see a Sentry tower across the shallows. Fire a few shots at the Sentry Tower, and you’ll immediately be set upon by millions of Short Swordsman and Bowmen. Kill off the Bowmen, but the Short Swordsmen will be useful assets to your army. Try and convert them where possible. Now head over the shallows and into the enemy settlement. This is the “back way” into the settlement so you may not see much initially. Head east and you’ll soon see a cliff formation, on top of which are more, -sigh-, Sentry Towers. Destroy them using your Stone Throwers. Now proceed north of the cliff formation, stopping occasionally to polish off Sentry Towers on the cliffs. You will see the outskirts of the enemy settlement. Start knocking out buildings, but go slowly. If you head too far south you’ll meet Catapults which are dangerous to a separated army. Try to convert all the nearby Chariots and Chariot archers patrolling the top of the map, but kill them off if you need to. Destroy houses, the Stable and the Archery Range nearby, anmd start to progress southwards, destroying all the buildings you come to. Any catapults you meet can be dealt with using Cataphracts. Once you reach the shallows, head North again and east, destroying the Granary, Storage Pit, Catapult and Chariot Archer there. Mop up all the units on the Northernmost isle. Keep producing units at your settlement. Send villagers up to claim the gold on the Northern island. If you haven’t won yet, take your army south and onto the middle isle. Go to the middle cliff formation and destroy the mini-settlement there. Now search for any remaining units (Granaries, villagers, etc.) and kill ‘em off to win the scenario. 4) Legal Stuff and Credits All material © 2001 Odge You may put my FAQ on your website without asking, but you must do a few things in order to be able to put this article on your site. Firstly, you must not change anything. Secondly, you must accredit me as the author of the article. Thirdly, you must send me an e-mail telling me who you are and what website you have put my FAQ on. Lastly, if possible, you should put a link to www.satsumaonline.com on your website. Any further tips would be greatly appreciated.