Multiplayer FAQ by Da Ass Man

Updated: 09/29/02 | Printable Version

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Death Match FAQ

System: PC

Author: Da Ass Man

Disclaimer: This FAQ may only be used at unless the 
permission is asked for and granted. If permission is not granted, 
legal action will ensue.

Tables of Contents

1.	Updates
2.	Introduction
3.	Multiplayer vs. Computer
4.	General Start Off Strategies
5.	The Units
6.	The Unique Units
7.	Commonly Played Death Match Maps
8.	Trade Routes
9.	Economy
10.	Population
11.	 The Market Trick
12.	 Aztecs
13.	 Britons
14.	 Byzantines
15.	 Celts
16.	 Chinese
17.	 Franks
18.	 Goths
19.	 Huns
20.	 Japanese
21.	 Koreans
22.	 Mayans
23.	 Mongols
24.	 Persians
25.	 Saracens
26.	 Spanish
27.	 Teutons
28.	 Turks
29.	 Vikings
30.	 Advanced Strategies
31.	 Team Work
32.	 Thanks
33.	 Contact 

1. Updates

Version 1.0 - 9/27/02 - The very first version of this FAQ, it's 
looking very comprehensive but I'm going to wait for user feedback in 
the form of questions and eventually add those in an updated version of 
the FAQ.

2. Introduction

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is a game of strategy, speed, and 
constant vigilance, especially in Death Match, where a massive army can 
hit your base while your still making a castle. Death Match requires a 
massive knowledge of the various units, how they should be used, what 
should they be combined with, and at what point you should use them. 

This FAQ will do that and teach you a whole lot more. While the best 
way to learn about Age of Empires is through experience, this FAQ will 
teach you a whole lot you didn't know. The best way to be a great 
player is to pick one or two civilizations, become very good with them, 
and branch off. One important note is that this FAQ is intended to 
primarily be used for people playing Age of Empires online, since the 
computer is incredibly easy when compared to online competition, but 
don't worry, this FAQ will also be useful against the computer.  

3. Multiplayer vs. The Computer

As I earlier stated, Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is meant to be a 
multiplayer game, as that's when it's most challenging and most 
rewarding. The differences between the computer and a human opponent 
are gigantic, the computer will often send weak attacks and not build 
up an army until 15 minutes in the game. A human opponent will attack 
you 3 minutes into the game, will raid your economy, steal your 
resources, and generally scheme with his allies to attempt a massive 
double team. The computer rarely does this, so if you are looking for 
optimal challenge and fun, online play is inevitable.

4. General Start off Strategies

The most important time in a Death Match is within the first ten 
minutes. A good player can have the game won over a slow player in 10 
minutes, a great player can have the game won in four. Therefore, to 
become a better player you must learn all of the tricks of the trade, 
from hot keys, to clustering, to clumping, getting resources faster 
(the latter 3 I discuss in advanced strategies). There is so much 
riding on how fast your start off is, so practicing it against the 
computer is a great way for getting better. There are a few things you 
need to know:

-	Send your scout to your enemies base early, ideally, it should be 
the first thing you do. If this proves difficult, use the hotkeys 
and consider changing a couple of them to make it even easier. 
Change the idle militia key to "M", then at the very start type 
"M" then "," (which changes the scouts stance to aggressive),  
then use the mini map and click on where you think your ally will 

-	Your enemies base 99/100 times will be near a berry bush. Berry 
bushes can be hard to distinguish on a mini map at first, but 
once you learn to see them fast, you will be deadly. Look for a 
far away berry bush, and send your scout there. You will kill a 
few of your enemies villagers and be on your way to a great 

-	Your enemy will use his scout too! That is why you must quickly 
build a defense, usually set one villager to a house, one to a 
barracks, and one to a stable. Only if you feel you must get 
something up very fast should you ever put more than one villager 
on a building, because the 2 villagers do not build twice as 
fast, they actually build a little slower. 

-	Know your enemy! If he is the Huns, he is going to rush, if he's 
the Celts, he's going to build up siege. Unless he goes random, 
make a mental note of what civ he is going to be.

-	Queue your town center full of villagers, this should be the 
second thing you do, after sending out your scout.

-	Put all of your villagers to good use, this is important, if 
anything, just put the ones you can't think of on a castle, or on 
a town center for resources. 

5. The Units

For the sake of saving time, I will only mention every fully upgraded 
unit, as Post Imperial Death Match is the most common style of Death 
Match played. I also left out the boats, as Death Match is rarely 
played on water maps:

Halberdier - This guy is anti-cavalry and nothing else. Most online 
players will try to get these in large numbers, so make sure that if 
you have cavalry, that you make something to counter this (archers or 
champs will do). This guy is also good if you just need extra men to 
throw into battle. Otherwise, halbs are a waste of time.

Champion - Referred to as "champ", this unit will destroy halberdiers, 
often much better than a pack of archers will. Aside from that, he's 
usually a nice addition to have to your army if you feel that you've 
got archers and cavalry covered.

Eagle Warriors - These are perfect for sneaking into an enemies base 
and then attacking his trade carts or villagers with. They move fast, 
don't get hurt much by arrows, and are quite small, so easy to move.

Hussar - Almost everything in the game counters these, only use them if 
you have more food than you know what to do with. Otherwise, use it on 
siege and small numbers of archers. Everything else will eat these 

Paladin - The ultimate unit, fast, hard to kill, and dealing out lots 
of damage. They are quite expensive though, so watch your budget when 
making these. Never use these on halberdiers or camels, as these are 
it's counters and will eat Paladins alive. On small numbers of siege, 
these work well too, but be careful as moving a whole pack of these can 
take lots of time (allowing the enemy to hit you a lot).

Skirmisher - These are very under-rated, they are great for archers 
since they cost virtually nothing, but they can also be used to take 
away an enemy's focus fire. See cavalry archers? Use these and watch as 
your enemy wastes thousands of gold.

Arbalest - Not as good as unique archer units, but these still can be 
useful and can throw most people by surprise. They destroy infantry and 
cavalry archers and mamelukes, but nothing else. Steer clear of onagers 
and skirms, or you will kiss these goodbye. Slightly expensive.

Cavalry Archer - Another infantry destroying unit, in large numbers, 
these are very difficult to stop. Only onagers or large numbers of 
skirms with paladins will do the job. Although they are expensive, they 
are well worth the cost, as they are fast and can get a job done 
quickly. Be weary of halberdiers though, as their attack bonus works on 
cav archers.

Hand Cannonners - One of the worst archery range units, it is 
expensive, takes a long time to get in large quantities, and sucks 
against other archers and cavalry. Despite that, it is extremely good 
against infantry. Going against the Japanese or Vikings? Use these 
things. They do much damage already, but they have an attack bonus 
against infantry, meaning they'll kill Huskarls and Teutonic Knights in 
3-4 shots. Still, there are so many counters to infantry, why would you 
need these?

Scorpions - Alone, these are horrible, in mass numbers, the only thing 
that can stop them is onagers. They basically shoot out a bolt that 
will damage anything that hits them, so 40 of these against 40 paladins 
is basically a massacre, as the paladins will have more luck running 
away then attacking. If you see lots of scorpions, never attack unless 
you have onagers. Otherwise, you are wasting your army.

Onagers - These things have lost their touch since Age of Empires 1. 
They can't take out defensive buildings like castles or bombard towers, 
but they are much better against militia, shooting multiple boulders at 
the enemy. A large army of scorpions can be defeated only by onagers, 
but if you have onagers of your own to protect your scorpions, you will 
probably win the game with that army alone. 

Rams - Rams must be used up close on buildings, meaning they are bound 
to be attacked by the enemy, even so, they can kill many buildings 
really fast. If you have wiped out an enemy army or if he has lots of 
bombard towers and castles that are undefended, make lots of rams and 
you will watch as his base falls apart. The more the better. One time 
my ally made 50 rams, he wiped out 6 castles in about 30 seconds!! 
Better still, Rams are excellent against other siege. A ram can kill a 
scorpion, treb, onager, or another ram in two hits!

Bombard Cannons - These are cannons that are pushed by little guys. 
They pack a wallop and are good offensively or defensively. Use them on 
buildings and move them out when the enemy tries to attack, or put them 
in the back of your army and have them attack the forefront. Either 
way, they will work. The downside is they are expensive and easy to 
kill, so protect these with your life. Never build these without 
building some sort of militia to protect them. They're just like trebs, 
but without the delay of having to pack. Just remember, use these on 
regular enemy units and watch them drop.

Petards - Petards basically are guys with bombs that run into buildings 
and explode. In Death Match though, the only things worth using them on 
are castles, but they will never make it in a million years, as the 
enemy army and castle can easily kill them. Pretty much worthless since 
they cost gold and won't accomplish much. Interestingly, if one Petard 
attacks another, the one that attacked will be killed and the other 
will have survived.

Trebuchets - Commonly referred to as "trebs." These are the best siege 
in the game, as they have the furthest reach and do the most damage, 
but they are slow as they launch only one rock at a time at the enemy. 
They are expensive but well worth it, and in many situations the only 
thing you can possible use. Use these if you want to bring the enemy 
out of his defensive shell and force him to attack. A group of 
trebuchets can be devastating.

6. Unique Units

Aztec Jaguar Warrior - There is much debate over whether or not this 
unit punches the enemy or strikes it with a weapon. The Jaguar Warrior 
is the ultimate warrior in wiping out units, doing close to 30 with 
each strike. He's not even that bad against cavalry, but halberds are a 
much better alternative. He will win against the likes of Japanese 
Samurai and Teutonic Knights depending on if he gets the first strike 

Briton Longbow Man - This is one of the few units in the game that can 
squash it's counter if in large enough numbers. Whenever playing the 
Britons, at least 40 longbow men is a must. It's much better off to 
overkill with 60-80 though. Their only counters are onagers and 
skirmishers, with cavalry being somewhat of a counter too. Due to their 
range, they can actually kill these things before they ever even fire 
off a shot though, so concentrated fire is a must. Still, be weary. If 
you are fighting these, get ready to make more skirms and onagers than 
you could ever imagine.

Byzantine Cataphract - This beast is the ultimate in destroying 
infantry. Anything will be kill in about 3 hits, sometimes less. Due to 
his trample damage however, he rocks them even more. One cataphract can 
take out 5 pikemen and 3 halberds, camels do not have an attack bonus 
against them, and even paladins don't have a bonus against them due to 
their trample attack. This means that Cataphracts have no weakness 
besides siege. Cats should be a huge part of your offense and defense, 
build your army around them and you won't regret it.

Celt Woad Raider - Due to the Celts tech tree the Woad Raider is 
average infantry, comparable to a very fast champ, which is a good 
thing. You will not need these things however, except for quickly 
hitting an enemy base, still though, you're best off not even making 
them and just going for siege when you are the celts.

Chinese Chu Ku No - A very strange unit compared to other archers, it 
will fire multiple shots instead of just one. The Ch Ku No's only 
problem is it's poor range, as it's arrows do much damage alone, but 
when combined, you've got a difficult defense to break.

Frank Throwing Axemen - Perhaps the worst special ranged unit, the 
Frankish throwing axemen aren't completely bad, as they do annihlate 
Pikemen and most infantry, but everything else destroys them. If you 
see Teutonic Knights, run.

Japanese Samurai - This unit is anti-unique, meaning it has an attack 
bonus against all other unique units. That being said, most unique 
units will crush this anyway, for various reasons. It is a little above 
average when put against champs, but other than that, there are few 
uses for this poor guy.

Korean War Wagon - The best ranged unit in the game and one of the 
reasons the Koreans are banned from so many games, these things will 
destroy any other ranged unit, as well as infantry. There large pierce 
armor and huge amount of hit points make it difficult for even their 
counters to beat them. 

Mayan Plumed Archer - An extremely useful unit, although it will get 
defeated against an equal number of Longbow men, Mangundai, and Chu Ku 
Nos, it's cheap price and excellent mobility make them well worth it. 
These things are perfect for raiding an enemies economy.

Mongols Mangundai - The best calvary archer in the game as well as 
regular archer, these things have an amazingly fast rate of fire, not 
to mention an attack bonus against halberders. An infantry army will 
get crushed by these. Perhaps the best thing is that they have an 
attack bonus against siege, meaning that mass rams or trebs will get 
annihilated. Onagers aren't a problem either, except in large number. 
Just watch out for skirmishers and paladins.

Persian War Elephant - The most difficult unit to kill with an 
incredible 620 hit points. These elephants in large numbers will 
destroy anything if used correctly, counter or no counter, and I'll 
teach you how to do just that, just look in the Persian section.

Saracen Mameluke - These things are hands down the best unique unit in 
the game. With the ability to shred calvary, all forms of infantry 
(even Eagle Warriors), skirmishers, and buildings with their ranged 
attack, they are well worth the expensive price. Just be weary of 
archers, onagers, and scorpions and everything will be fine. This is 
easy since the mames can move quickly. Facing a Persian? Just mass 
these and watch the Dumbos drop.

Spanish Conquistador - Perhaps the only thing that does not make the 
Spanish a top 3 civ is the Conquistador. It's expensive, slow to 
attack, and does what every other ranged unit does for much cheaper. 
It's not a bad unit, but there are much better, and the Spanish are 
more of a well-rounded civ anyway. Beware of archers and calvary.

Teutonic Knight - These things are devastating. Don't make too many, 
but they are very necessary, as they will shred all mounted units and 
infantry, with the exception of Jaguar Warriors, which is a fairly even 
match-up. Most players will build an offense around stopping these 
however, so be careful. Teutonic Knights with siege will take you a 
long way. Steer clear of archers when using these.

Turks Janissary - A ranged unit that really only excels against 
infantry. It has a very damaging attack, but is slow to fire and has 
very low hit points. In large numbers it can be hard to kill, but the 
same is true for virtually all ranged units. Your best bet is to make 
no more than 15 of these and use them to protect your bombard. Onagers 
and archers can waste Janissaries, so be on the lookout.

Viking Beserk - This is arguable one of the worst unique units, along 
with the Samurai and woad raider. Your best bet is to talk with your 
ally and have him not build infantry so he can fill the holes of your 
weak unit. It is useful for Goth rushes however.

7. Commonly Played Death Match Maps

Believe it or not, most Death Match players play only a few types of 
maps. The five listed here are the main ones you'll find people 
playing, it would benefit you to learn them well.

Arabia: A map filled with sand and very few tries. There are some 
patches of water, but they are fairly small.

Black Forest: A map that's cover with trees, you will have to use the 
non-forest paths primarily, but cutting through trees with siege 
onagers is a perfect way to make a surprise attack.

Blue Arabia: Like Arabia, but on green land, with no water, and more 
trees, but not too much more. This map allows for your enemy to hit you 
from virtually any side, so be careful and watch out for sneak attacks.

Green Arabia: Like blue Arabia but more trees still. More opportunities 
for sneak attacks too. Your best off building a castle in the back of 
your base.

Oasis: A big lake surrounded by trees fills the middle of this map, 
meaning that battle takes place on two fronts, one on one side of the 
lake, the other on the opposite side of the lake. This map usually 
leads to long games, as it is difficult to completely sweep the map. 
Especially since the enemy can cut through the trees, take the middle, 
and establish a defense of many boats.

8. Trade Routes

The most important resource for funding your army is without a doubt 
gold (except for the Persians). Since gold is finite on the map, you 
will at some point have to start using trade carts. Obviously the 
earlier the better, but it's also important to build markets for the 
carts to trade at far away from each other. The further the better, 
when it comes to markets, just don't make them TOO easy for your 
enemies to reach. It is also important to make sure no sneak attacks on 
your trade happen, as many games can be determined by having trade (in 
fact, this is how most games are won). Building a castle by the trade 
route will do you good. In the raiding section, I will teach you how to 
stop enemy trade. One last important note, you can't trade in 1v1 

9. Economy

Death Match economy is almost important as the army, as the player who 
can constantly pump out troops fighting against one who has a large 
army but poor resources, will be victorious, counter or no counter. 
This means you must put a strong focus on your economy, obviously the 
earlier the better. For this you will usually want:

20-30 peasants on food
20-30 peasants on wood
30-40 trade carts
10-30 peasants on gold/stone

These numbers differ at various point in the game. For example, if you 
are just starting off, you will want more peasants on gold, 
approximately 40. This is important, especially if you try to steal an 
enemy gold mine. In this event, take peasants off of wood and food and 
wait til you are below 5,000 to start on those (if the gold mines are 
still around). You want approximately 100 peasants at all times, as 
this will allow you to fund an expensive and formidable army at all 

I said you should start your economy early, but at what point did I 
mean? Experts usually start theirs around the sixth minute mark, but 
anywhere in the first ten minutes is alright. It is important to 
establish your economy fast and at points when you will not have to 
worry about your enemy, as focusing on your eco will give the enemy 
time to do his own economy, or launch an attack. For this reason, it is 
good to build an army as fast as possible and attack your enemy, so he 
is unable to start his economy. Unless your attack fails miserably and 
you spent a lot of gold, it will serve you well to delay your enemies 
economy as often as possible.

10. Population

Unless you are playing as the Huns, your population should be the 
primary focus within your first five minutes of the game, this means 
building houses and making infantry to defend your base and to attack. 
For this, you should place one of your starting three villagers on a 
house. Never place two, as placing two does not build the house twice 
as fast (this is true, contrary to popular belief). It's best off to 
build a house almost exactly at where you peasant is standing. Never 
build far from where your villager stands as that will gain the enemy 
valuable time. I personally have destroyed people who tried to build 
their houses nice and neatly next to each other simply because I made 
an army in the time that they took on their house. I can't stress 
enough that building close to where your villager stands is important. 
Also, don't stop building houses. You will want to have a population of 
200 at the 8 minute mark, 6 minute mark for experts. The best way to do 
this is have every new villager that comes from your town center build 
a house. 

11. The Market Trick

The market trick should be used only by fast players. It basically 
involves making the market your very first building, then, once it's 
up, sell a moderate amount of food and wood for gold so you will get an 
overall average of about 3,000 more than your opponent for the mere 
price of having to start wood and food a little bit earlier. In 1v1's, 
this trick can sometimes determine who will win the game. The downside 
is that your enemy has a few more buildings up before you do, so to 
counteract this, immediately start making an expensive army, stuff like 
Paladins, Camels, Calvary Archers, and Eagle warriors. Make many more 
stables, archery ranges, and barracks, to get that large army quickly.

12. The Aztecs

The Aztecs are the best infantry civ in the game, with the best champs 
and best anti-infantry unit. You will find that you can use champs on 
cavalry instead of pikemen at times, meaning an army of champs, 
onagers, trebs, and some jags will go quite a long way, as long as you 
have enough onagers. The Aztec champs are cheap and have so many uses 
since they deal so much damage that you should always add them to your 
army. If your enemy is the Brits or Mayans or Huns, the use skirms as 
well as onagers for the archers.

Their extra damaging Eagle Warriors are great for raiding an enemy's 
siege, as well as interrupting their economy. Put a great focus on 
using the Eagle Warriors on where the enemy wouldn't expect, as their 
speed and attack are deadly. Don't add them to your primary army 

Since Jags are a useful but not vital part of your offense, you can 
build your castles offensively with the Aztecs, so build them near 
critical gold mines and near the battle front. Also, use trebs and rams 
with the Aztecs often, as they don't have much else that can stand an 
attack from a castle or bombard.

13. The Britons

The Britons are hands down the best ranged unit civ in the game. They 
have, however, one of the worst start offs, as other civs build faster 
and their scout is easily killed. Once a Brit is fully established 
though, he is virtually impossible to stop. Your offense should revolve 
around Longbow men, trebs, and maybe some onagers or cavaliers, but 
primarily trebs and longbow men. You will want to make your enemy 
regret building castles with about 10-15 trebs. That many will take 
down a castle in less than 10 seconds. As for longbow men, a decent 
swarm is 60, although I prefer 80. With this many, most units won't be 
able to even touch the longbow men, as their range is superior to 
anything else in the game besides trebs. 

As for your start off, you're going to want to make halberders and 
champs, but don't make them take up too much of your population limit, 
so consider sending them off to die at your enemies base, but slowing 
any attack he might send at you in the process. 

If you're facing a Brit, an early champion rush can work wonders, as 
few Briton players make cavaliers. Other than that, mass onagers and 
skirmishers, but don't expect the counter to wipe them out, as longbow 
men in large numbers can be difficult to kill with anything you use.

14. The Byzantines

The Byzantines are a fairly defensive civ, but have an all around good 
offense. Their countering units, camels, skirmishers, and halberdiers 
are all 25% cheaper, so an army of those and of Cataphracts will 
dominate any non-siege and non-bombard using team. Goodnight Aztecs and 
Mayans. Remember, don't get lazy, you've got good counters! That being 
said, if you see siege, obviously make some of your own, and use 
bombard to establish small bases close to your enemy. A good army would 
be cataphracts, camels, skirmishers, onagers, and a few trebs. Nothing 
will stop that, short of just a ton of siege. So bring a few villagers 
along to build bombard in the event of mass siege.

Other than that, there is not much else I can say on the Byzantines, 
just make sure you use a good amount of variety and don't neglect 

15. The Celts

The Celts have the best siege in the whole game, making them the third 
best civ when used correctly. Everything has more hit points and fires 
20% faster, meaning in an onager battle, your onagers will fire first, 
kill theirs, but if yours do get hit, they will survive thanks to the 
hit points. All you need now is enough scorpions to make sure your 
onagers won't be killed by any non-siege. 40 will usually do, but I 
prefer an over kill amount, but 50-60 will also help. Now all you need 
is a few trebs for buildings and you've got an unbeatable army (most 
people won't allow the Turks to be played, nor the Koreans, but the 
Celts are alright). 

This being said, the Celts Woad Raider pretty much sucks compared to 
most units. It's speed is the only thing that salvages any dignity, but 
there are much better units that do the job. The Celts Paladin sucks 
due to an insufficient tech tree, so do the Celts archers. This means 
you will primarily be going for Halberdiers, after all, the only 
possible thing the enemy can use to stop your siege is a massive amount 
of cavalry, but the scorpions will eat that alive. With the halbs, it 
won't even be a contest. As long as you have something delaying the 
enemy from hitting the siege for a few seconds (while the siege hits 
back), you've got nothing to worry about. Even villagers protecting the 
siege will work, believe it or not.

As I've said, the Celts use siege and Halberdiers, so wood is your 
worry, and it's a big one. You'll want about 40 villagers on wood, 
don't worry about food, as the Halberdiers don't use much. Put 10 
villagers on it if you'd like though. Other than that, trade some food 
in for gold.

16. The Chinese

The Chinese start off with 6 villagers instead of 3 and their town 
centers house 10 population, so the Chinese are the second best anti-
rushing civilization (keep this in mind against the Huns), but also 
remember that this extra start off can give the Chinese a deadly rush 
(camels, cav archers, and rams). Start off with 2 villagers on houses, 
and the other 4 individually on whatever you want. The Chinese have a 
somewhat diverse playing style, but it's hard to match certain types of 
units together, so go on the offensive and this won't be much of a 

The Chinese have the best scorpions in the game after the Celts, so add 
these to your offense, with a few onagers for protection. After that, 
you will want an army of champs, camels, and cho ku nos. Use castles 
defensively and bombard defensively or offensively, since you won't 
have many castles (you're using the stone for bombard), and you can 
place the bombard in lots of places. Chu Ku Nos will destroy most 
archers, so you won't have a problem there. The main difficulty will be 
with onagers, so be careful.

When playing the Chinese, NEVER rush, as it will almost never work.

17. The Franks

The Franks have the best cavalry in the game, but with all the counters 
to cavalry in the game, that doesn't mean much. Nonetheless, Frankish 
Paladins combined with Champs to prevent possible counters is a pretty 
formidable force. Add onagers and some trebs, and you've got an army 
that could easily win you the game. 

In addition to great paladins, the Franks have cheap castles, which 
means you should be using at least some castles offensively. One trick 
is to rush in with paladins while your villagers stand behind and 
quickly work on castles close to the enemy base. Castles are the 
ultimate in defense keep in mind, better than bombard because they can 
produce units to defend themselves, so definitely put those cheap 
castles to good use.

Other than that, you shouldn't need to worry about much if you 
substitute champs for throwing axemen, since they are roughly the same 
price, but champs do more damage and can take on camels (a paladin 
predator). Just be weary of the Teutons who eat throwing axemen for 
breakfast with their large army and the Saracens, whose camels 
annihlate Paladins. Throwing axemen should do the job for mamelukes.

18. The Goths

The Goths are the second best rushing civ, next to the Huns. The Goths 
Huskarls come out incredibly fast and can come from your barracks (very 
useful), meaning that the real challenge is to build houses fast 
enough. For this reason, always keep a keen focus on houses, as a 
barracks queue full of Huskarls will pump them all out in about 90 
seconds. Huskarls themselves are slightly weaker than champs, but are 
nearly invulnerable to archers with their high hit points, meaning that 
if you are going against a non-archer civ, you must attack early and 
beat them with your large numbers, but if you face an archer civ, take 
it slow if you'd like. 

I can't stress enough that it's easy to outnumber an enemy with 
Huskarls, so always make sure  that you do, unless you are moving slow, 
then you will want other things in your army like halberdiers (which 
come out very fast too), and siege, and maybe a few archers. Just make 
sure you get more food than usual, as pumping out those guys can prove 
costly. Since arrows do very little to Huskarls, if you see a castle 
undefended, by all means swarm it and take it out! It's easily done. 
Don't skip siege though, the Goths are an in-your-face civ, attacking 
hard and often, so trebs work, but rams are probably the better bet.

Keep in mind that Huskarls will work just fine as long as your enemy 
doesn't use Paladins or cavaliers, or if he doesn't use a unique 
infantry unit (but you should have some archers along to stop that 
anyway). So you will waste civs like the Mayans, Brits, Saracens, 
Chinese, and Mongols usually. If you're facing a Goth, make lots of 
champs, but be careful, as Huskarls are very fast and aren't much 
weaker than champs. Also make lots of cavalry. 

19. The Huns

The Huns are a must-rush civ in death matches, making them unique from 
other civ. They have the weakest siege of any civ, anything besides 
rams and trebs is inexcusable, no matter what the circumstances. The 
advantage the Huns have over other civs however is that they do not 
need houses, making it incredibly easy to amass a huge army while your 
opponent constantly needs to stop production due to population limits. 
Take advantage of this at all times.

Start Off - The very first thing you should do is send out your scout 
to the enemy base. Then build either a market, or make stables and 
archery ranges. Go for a combination of Paladins and cavalry archers, 
or trick them into thinking you will come with paladins and mass 60 
cavalry archers and storm in. This works phenomenally well since the 
cavalry archers are cheap, they move fast, and in such a large quantity 
so early can't often be stopped, even if you have the counter.

If you try to rush and fail, you will lose as your enemy will more than 
likely just build lots of siege and you won't be able to counter since 
Huns siege is horrible. Never use Tarkans unless you know you're going 
to win, as they cost as much but are worse than Paladins. Their attack 
bonus against buildings is useful, but your enemy will kill your 
Tarkans in the process.

Lastly, always save some gold so you can pump out a cavalry archer 
brigade, as they can work wonders on an enemy that makes mistakes, like 
leaving trade routes open or leaves infantry by themselves.

20. The Japanese

The Japanese are the second worst civ in the game, only the Vikings are 
worse. Why? Because the Japanese have bad cavalry, siege, and archers. 
Their fast attacking infantry is nothing special, especially when 
compared to a Teutonic Knight. The only real purpose it would be for is 
against Elephants (halberdiers), and maybe against a Goths player. The 
Samurai are a horrible unit, much like the Vikings Beserk, many unique 
units counter them. They are expensive for infantry as well. 

In fact, the only really useful thing for the Japanese are the 
trebuchets, which I must admit are incredibly powerful. They fire 
extremely fast, as well as pack/unpack. For this reason, a Japanese 
army should be fast, be able to stop onagers, and should hit with 
surprise. When I do play them, I go for about 20 trebs, and watch a 
whole town disappear in less than a minute. 

Basically, a Japanese army should consist of Samurai, some Halbs, and 
cavalry archers. You will need onagers to protect against siege too. 
The rest of your army should be trebs, make plenty of them. Trebs, 
actually, in large quantities can stop lots of onagers. Just space them 
out into two groups and have them focus fire on large areas.

Other than that, good luck, you'll need it. Your eco should be well 

21. The Koreans

The Koreans are the best civ in the games hands down. Why? Three 
reasons, they have the best bombard in the game (tied with the Turks). 
They have the best onagers in the game. Lastly, they have the best 
ranged unit in the game, the War Wagon. Combining these 3 is an 
unbeatable strategy, the only thing one needs to win with when playing 
the Koreans is an early rush defense.

Now then, the basic strategy with the Koreans is to build many bombard 
towers quickly, approximately 20-25. The back these up with about 20 
onagers, 40 halberds, 2 trebs, 2 bombard cannons and about 15 War 
Wagons. Nothing in the game will stop this defense, as trebs are 
destroyed by the Koreans long-range onagers, rams will get killed by 
halberds and onagers, and anything that tries to break through the 
defense will get squashed by a combination of bombard, war wagons, and 
onagers. All you have to do is place your onagers so they aren't all 
together, so a group of paladins won't do a suicide run on them and 
slowly push on the enemy until you are at the his base. The game is all 
but won. 

Now that I've said that, you can actually use any 2 of the 3 Korean 
"super units". Onagers with bombard towers, Onagers with War Wagons, or 
War Wagons with bombard will all work just fine. The only difficult 
part is getting the resources to replace your army, but this is a death 
match, so that shouldn't be a problem, especially if you started on 
resources early.

If you are facing a Korean, you're best bet is to double team his ally, 
so you won't even have to face him for awhile, since he will be 
building up that super defense I told you about. Other than that, rush 
him as soon as possible, as the defense is impossible to take out once 
it has started.

22. The Mayans

The Mayans are the least expensive civ in the game, there are instances 
when I play them in which I never have to start food or wood. Given 
that, it's best to sell wood and food early, put 20 villagers on each, 
and never have to worry about those two resources again. Gold will be 
your only problem, as you will not need to worry about stone since the 
Mayans only need stone for castles.

The Mayans have an anti-archer oriented cast of units, the Eagle 
Warrior and the Plumed Archer are at the top of the list, as both can 
destroy archers (hint: want to beat a Britons easily? Go mayans!). The 
plumed archers can also eliminate all infantry easily too, meaning the 
only challenge, but a huge challenge indeed, for the mayans is cavalry. 
If your enemy has weak cavalry, you will win. Even with the Eagle 
Warriors attack bonus against mounted units (which is very weak), 
you'll have a hard time. This means if you see the enemy has stables, 
you must make halberdiers. The enemy can go crazy with cavalry and can 
over run a huge army of Eagles and Plumed archers, so be careful. 
Halberds can slow down a very fast mayan army however, so either attack 
early when cavalry isn't winning due to the number game, or make 
halberdiers and wait for the eventual army. 

Eagle Warriors are definitely one of the top units in the game, aside 
from their rich skills in raiding economies and wiping out archers, 
these guys are much better than cavalry at taking out siege. With their 
extra hit points, they can take much abuse, run in and close the gap 
quickly with siege, and wipe it out due to their bonus hit points. 
Always heavily guard your siege when playing a Mayans or Aztecs player.

Lastly, the Mayans actually have decent siege, so in times of 
desperation, go for scorpions if you think the move is right. Their 
onagers aren't bad either. The Mayans are a fast team though, so 
establish your siege quickly if you think you will need it.

23. The Mongols

The Mongols are probably the best ranged attack team in the game after 
the Koreans. The downside is that this ranged attack takes much time to 
build up. The big counter to ranged attacks is calvary, so make sure to 
build some camels, not too much though. A few champs will do you some 
good too. As for siege, the Mongols have the fastest moving siege in 
the game. Although it's considered by some a dirty tactic, siege can 
easily win games. Some make sure you've got a couple of scorpions, 
onagers, and definitely use the Mongols rams, as they are fast and 
lethal. One tactic is to use rams on enemy siege units, as they can 
kill any siege in two hits! 

Your most important part of the offense besides siege is Mangundai, 
abuse these babies as they are the best part of the Mongols offense, 
wiping out almost anything. Just make sure you put a couple of camels 
in front of them to defend them.

Since the Mongols are mainly a wood and gold civ, you should either 
sell your extra food for gold, or make a few hussars brigades to 
surprise opponents and take out their siege. The extra bonus hit points 
for the Mongols hussars are a little helpful, but hussars still suck.

24. The Persians

The Persians are one of those teams that has a great unique unit that 
you just want to exploit. Elephants in large numbers are hard to stop, 
their only counters are halberds, mamelukes, and scorpions, so if 
you're facing a non-saracen team that lacks in the counter, definitely 
go with Elephants. More than likely however, the enemy will prepare for 
your elephants with many halberds and scorpions together, this double 
counter will thrash elephants, so you will sometimes want to use 
calvary archers or hand cannonners, a bombard cannon or two, a few 
onagers and maybe a few scorps, depending on what resources you have in 
excess. Personally, I prefer elephants with onagers, cavalry archers, 
and a few bombard cannons. It's important to make sure you bring trebs 
or rams along to, as elephants are good siege, but those things do the 
job much better.

One strategy I often use is called "The Elephant Factory", it starts 
off with your first villager building 2 houses while your other two 
make a castle. From there you make 5 more castles (6 in all) before 
making anything else and just constantly pump out elephants. Within 10 
minutes, you'll have about 80 elephants, an army that is hard to stop 
unless you made a counter from the very beginning. Not even a large 
army of pikemen will stop this, only siege and mamelukes. Once the 
castles are up, make about 55 farms, put 25 on wood, and put 30 on gold 
in some fashion or another. One last tip for the elephant factory is to 
include rams, as once you wipe out the enemy defense, you can send in 
the rams to destroy everything else and use the surviving elephants to 
wipe out another enemy.

When playing as the Pers however, no matter what strategy you use, it's 
important that you use elephants correctly. This means pulling them 
back when halberds come but sending them in when you see Paladins, 
other infantry, or archers. Elephants take so much abuse that castles 
aren't much of a threat, but always make sure you have some siege to 
take down those castles quickly. If you see bombard, make rams, and 
many of them, 15 rams will destroy A LOT.

25. The Saracens

The Saracens have two of the best units in the game, the Mameluke, and 
the Saracen camel. I've explained the Mameluke in the unique units 
section, as for the camel, it has 170 hit points and is the perfect 
rushing unit. One on one, it will kill any regular unit in the game - 
anything! This means that you simply need to out produce your enemy to 
win. If you kill his villagers while rushing, this is an easy task, 
making the Saracens the third best rushing civ in the game. Not to 
mention that they have a trade bonus in which they get more gold for 
trading in wood and food, take advantage of that early and often. 

The only thing that can present a problem with a Mameluk army is 
onagers and archers, so counter this with onagers of our own. Mass 
them, like 25, and with Mamelukes, you've got quite an army. A bombard 
cannon here or there doesn't hurt either.

This type of army is expensive and hard to build early, so go for 
camels early on, as I said earlier, a Saracen camel rush can work 

If your enemy is going Saracens, the best counter is either the Teutons 
or the Mayans, with Teutonic Knight and Plumed Archers respectively. 
Otherwise, calvary archers, halberds, and onagers will do.

26. The Spanish

With the extra quick building time and powerful villagers, the Spanish 
are the best anti-rushing civ and fourth best rushing civ in the game. 
There are so many advantages to the Spanish, it's no wonder they are so 
commonly played. They've got an excellent tech tree, so diversity is 
important, but make sure that you add a little bit of siege to your 
army, primarily onagers and bombard cannons. Don't forget to build 
bombard on new establishments though, as the Spanish do it the fastest. 

You can pretty much go into a game and improvise when you see you need 
something new to your strategy with the Spanish, but a quick attack and 
then defending the newly gained area will work well. Due to their extra 
fast gold mining, being aggressive is a much better thing, and it 
allows you to keep your population focused on militia. Don't forget to 
take advantage of their 33% more profitable trade though too. The 
Spanish are powerful with defense or offense, or both!

27. The Teutons

The Teutons are a beginner team but not much more. The difficulty in 
playing the Teutons is that their units are good, but fairly expensive 
and thus difficult to combine. A great strategy is using Teutonic 
Knights and siege, but it takes an extremely long time to ever even 
start this, and your opponents will be able to attack if you go slow. 
Many like to build halberders early on, but they can take up much of 
your population if you want to effectively use them, but that means you 
won't have enough for Paladins, siege, T. Knights, and bombard. Others 
like to go for bombard and siege, but still, that will only work on 
slow enemies, and it won't gain you any ground. For these reasons, the 
Teutons should be avoided once you begin intermediate play. 

Aside from effectively using the Teutons in a speedy and cheap manner, 
they are a great civ. Teutonic Knights rip up infantry and calvary, try 
to make a point of it to always have 10-15. One time I killed 50 
Halberds with 7 Teutonic Knights. Their power is amazing.

On a final note, take advantage of their bombard and above average 

28. The Turks

The Turks are the other team that is usually banned from the zone, as 
they have some of the dirtiest strategies imaginable. Your start off 
should consist of one bombard tower up fairly early to protect against 
a possible rush and then quickly grab a large chunk of the map and 
build bombard non-stop. If you can get up just one bombard tower, you 
will usually have established the land you wanted, so try to steal a 
gold mine and trap the enemy. You will want to buy stone as well, so 
sell wood and food, and make sure you have plenty of gold. Don't stop 
mining stone on the map either, the more the better. 

Once you start building bombard towers, the only thing that will stop 
it is if the enemy either runs around it, or uses trebs and rams. To 
stop them from running around it, make sure you circle their base with 
bombard. As for trebs and rams, make sure you make many bombard cannons 
and champs, as the turkish bombard cannons have a very long range and 
waste trebs, and mass champs will destroy rams. About 40 will do you 
good. Keep building bombard, at least 30 towers, but if you have stone, 
by all means make more! One you feel that you've squeezed the life out 
of your opponents resources, move in for the kill, take out his castles 
with bombard cannons and build towers close to your cannons to protect 
them. Since you aren't making much else than bombard and champs, make 
at least 15-20 bombard cannons. When things look bad, simply pull them 
back and let your bombard protect them. An easy and commonly used 
strategy that can even frustrate experts. Nothing else is needed for 
the Turks.

29. The Vikings

The Vikings are the worst civ in the game, most people only play them 
when they get them by random by accident. If you do get them, prepare 
to take a beating. The Vikings have no one unit that will give them an 
edge over another army. Decent cavalry, decent archers, and good 
infantry, but what will infantry do since there are so many counters to 

Some are duped into believing that an army of Viking Beserks will 
thrash another army, then heal itself, and then be as good as new. The 
problem with Beserks is that almost every other unique unit counters 
them, and for those who don't have a countering unique unit, they're 
probably using something that would counter them anyway. All the 
archers destroy berserks, mamelukes, cataphracts, samurai, Teutonic 
Knights, and Jags all dominate Beserks. That leaves Woad Raiders and 
Huskarls. Now, the Celts player isn't going to use Woad Raiders anyway 
because they stink, and the Goths player, well he is the only one you 
will have an advantage over. 

The extra hit points for infantry is the only thing going for the 
Vikings, but that won't help. All you can do is make siege, some 
berserks, and try to get an economy that gets lots of food, and hope 
you don't get beaten too badly.

30. Advanced Strategies

This is the most important part of this whole FAQ. I will list the key 
terms and strategies:

Clumping - Build 6 castles, a house, and barracks along with your town 
center in a circular manner so nobody can get in. There is a good 
article about how to do this on

Clustering - A start off in which you build everything closely around 
your town center, as it optimizes the ability to get buildings up 
faster, get an army faster, but it also is a great  defense against 
rushes, as most people will try to pick off your villagers but will 
have a hard time navigating through your base.

Rushing - One of the most common strategies on the zone. It is used 
even by rookies, but is deadly with an expert. It entails attacking 
your enemies base as soon as possible so you can kill his villagers so 
they won't get many military buildings up, so you can easily overwhelm 
his army. This is one of the most important strategies in the game as 
it is always used in expert rooms, and is usually found in intermediate 
and rookie rooms. To rush, you must send your scout out as soon as 
possible to harass the enemy villagers, you must then build military 
buildings and queue them to the enemy base so they get their ASAP. Here 
are a few tips for rushing

1.	Try to kill villagers that are building houses, this way you can 
halt the enemies chances of creating militia.
2.	Send your scout out as soon as possible.
3.	Ask your allies to give you resources when you need them to 
support the rush if you are doing well.
4.	If your ally is willing, tell him to help out by sending stuff to 
the enemy base, especially his scout.
5.	Never rush with just one thing, unless you are the Goths. Come in 
with two things, as they will probably not have your counter, but 
you will definitely have theirs. 
6.	Use something fast and come in with large numbers!
7.	Keep killing villagers, don't let them build new buildings!
8.	Consider massing cavalry archers, because if their initial army 
can't beat them, they will definitely lose.
9.	Be careful, because your enemy may escape with one villager, this 
could eventually lead to him building a new base.

Anti-rushing - there are a few ways to stop rushes, most people just 
build lots of halberdiers, but this will get crushed by everything. 
Three really good ways to stop are rush are:
1.	Have one of your first villagers immediately work on a bombard 
2.	Send your scout to the enemy base to see what they are coming 
with and build your counter accordingly.
3.	Have a villager in a hard to reach spot start on a castle.

Tunnel - On maps with lots of trees, use a siege onager or a couple and 
have them aim at the trees and clear a path. This is a rookie tactic, 
but is pretty powerful when done quickly. Your best bet is to clear a 
path to a part where there is minimal defense.

31. Team Work

Certain civs go well together, like the Celts and Persians, because the 
Celts need wood but don't need food, and the Persians need food, but 
don't need wood. As a result, these two teams can trade each other the 
resources they don't need and can greatly help their ally. Other teams 
like this are:
Mongols and Persians
Britons and Persians
Mayans, Persians, and Celts
You get the idea

Another tip is to do double team attacks, in 2v2, quickly double 
rushing one enemy so you can eliminate him. This means that one person 
on the double rush team will be open for an attack, but this is 
nullified by the fact that you won't take as much abuse as the person 
double rushed. Another way to nullify the attack is by clumping, this 
way the enemy can only get into your base with siege.

32. Thanks

Thanks to Microsoft for making this game, CjayC for hosting this FAQ, 
the NMK clan, DOA clan, the godlike clan, and ChrisandNick_0 for 
providing so many laughs.

33. Contact

Have a question I didn't answer? Have useful advice? Find a mistake? E-
mail me at