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    FAQ/Strategy Guide by JChamberlin

    Version: 4.4 | Updated: 12/03/03 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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        |    Age of Empires II FAQ   /   Version 4.4  /    Dec.  03rd, 2003   |
        |        Written by Jim Chamberlin <red_phoenix_1@hotmail.com>        |
        |                                                                     |
        |                 This FAQ covers the following games:                |
        |                                                                     |
        |                    • Age of Empires II: Age of Kings                |
        |                    • Age of Empires II: The Conquerers              |
        |                                                                     |
        | This document Copyright © 2001 Jim Chamberlin. All rights reserved. |
           << Online Resources >>
           Ensemble Studios - Official Site       http://www.ensemblestudios.com/
           Through The Ages - Fan Site            http://www.throughtheages.com
           Planet Age of Empires - Fan Site       http://www.planetageofempires.com
           MrFixItOnline (MFO) - Fan Site         http://mrfixitonline.com/
           AOE2.com - Fan Site                    http://www.aoe2.com/
           Age of Kings Heaven - Fan Site         http://aok.heavengames.com/
           Age of Kings Database - Fan Site       http://aokdb.com/
             The above are the best of the best Age of Kings related sites.
             All of them have tons of downloads, interviews, etc. This list
             isn't kept up to date.
             Ensemble Studios will have Random Maps released occasionally,
             so I suggest that you check out the site for a new download!
    .--------------------========= ANNOUNCEMENTS =========-------------------------.
    |                             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                  |
    |       [All major Age of Empires news will be included in this section.]      |
    |                                                                              |
    |    Nov. 13th --- Since the last update, nearly two years ago, Ensemble       |
    |                  Studios has released Age of Mythology and an expansion      |
    |                  pack for it, so go and pick it up!                          |
                                   Table of Contents
       1.        Introduction
       2.        Changes in Age of Empires games.
               • AoE: Rise of Rome to AoE II: Age of Kings
               • AoE II: Age of Kings to AoE II: The Conquerers
       3.        Buildings
               • Archery Range
               • Barracks
               • Blacksmith
               • Bombard Tower
               • Castle
               • Dock
               • Farm
               • Fish Trap
               • Foritified Wall
               • Gate
               • Guard Tower
               • House
               • Keep
               • Lumber Camp
               • Market
               • Mill
               • Mining Camp
               • Monastery
               • Outpost
               • Palisade Wall
               • Siege Workshop
               • Stable
               • Stone Wall
               • Town Center
               • University
               • Watch Tower
               • Wonder
       4.        The Units
            A.   Miscellaneous
               • Missionary (TC ONLY)
               • Monk
               • Relic
               • Trade Cart
               • Villager
            B.   Infantry
               • Berserk & Elite Berserk
               • Champion
               • Eagle Warrior & Elite Warrior (TC ONLY)
               • Halberdier (TC ONLY)
               • Huskarl & Elite Huskarl
               • Jaguar Warrior & Elite Jaguar Warrior (TC ONLY)
               • Long Swordsman
               • Man- at- Arms
               • Militia
               • Pikemen
               • Samurai & Elite Samurai
               • Spearmen
               • Teutonic Knight & Elite Teutonic Knight
               • Throwing Axemen & Elite Throwing Axemen
               • Two- Handed Swordsman
               • Woad Raider & Elite Woad Raider
            C.   Archery
               • Arbalest
               • Archer
               • Cavalry Archer
               • Chu Ko Nu & Elite Chu Ko Nu
               • Conquistador & Elite Conquistador (TC ONLY)
               • Crossbowman
               • Elite Skirmisher
               • Hand Cannoneer
               • Heavy Cavalry Archer
               • Janissary & Elite Janissary
               • Longbowman & Elite Longbowman
               • Mangudai & Elite Magudai
               • Plumed Archer & Elite Plumed Archer (TC ONLY)
               • Skirmisher
               • War Wagon & Elite War Wagon (TC ONLY)
            D.   Cavalry
               • Camel
               • Cavalier
               • Cataphract & Elite Cataphract
               • Heavy Cavalry
               • Hussar (TC ONLY)
               • Knight
               • Light Cavalry
               • Mameluke & Elite Mameluke
               • Paladin
               • Scout Cavalry
               • Tarkan & Elite Tarkan (TC ONLY)
               • War Elephant & Elite War Elephant
            E.   Siege Weapons
               • Battering Ram
               • Bombard Cannon
               • Capped Ram
               • Mongonel
               • Onager
               • Petard (TC ONLY)
               • Scorpion & Elite Scorpion
               • Siege Onager
               • Siege Ram
               • Trebuchet
            F.   Boats
               • Cannon Galleon & Elite Cannon Galleon
               • Demolition Ship & Heavy Demolition Ship
               • Fire Ship & Fast Fire Ship
               • Fishing Ship
               • Galleon
               • Galley
               • Longboat & Elite Longboat
               • Trade Cog
               • Transport Ship
               • Turtle Ship & Elite Turtle Ship (TC ONLY)
               • War Galley
       5.        Technologies
            A.   Blacksmith (Origin)
               • Blast Furnace
               • Bodkin Arrow
               • Bracer
               • Chain Barding Armor
               • Chain Mail Armor
               • Fletching
               • Forging
               • Iron Casting
               • Leather Archer Armor
               • Padded Archer Armor
               • Plate Barding Armor
               • Plate Mail Armor
               • Ring Archer Armor
               • Scale Barding Armor
               • Scale Mail Armor
            B.   Mill (Origin)
               • Crop Rotation
               • Heavy Plow
               • Horse Collar
            C.   University (Origin)
               • Architecture
               • Ballistics
               • Chemistry
               • Heated Shot
               • Masonry
               • Murder Holes
               • Siege Engineers
               • Treadmill Crane
            D.   Monastery (Origin)
               • Atonement
               • Block Printing
               • Faith
               • Fervor
               • Herbal Medicine (TC ONLY)
               • Heresy (TC ONLY)
               • Illumination
               • Redemption
               • Sanctity
               • Theocracy (TC ONLY)
            E.   Barracks (Origin)
               • Squires
               • Tracking
            F.   Town Center (Origin)
               • Hand Cart
               • Loom
               • Town Center
               • Town Watch
               • Wheelbarrow
            G.   Castle (Origin)
               • Anarchy (TC ONLY)
               • Artillery (TC ONLY)
               • Atheism (TC ONLY)
               • Bearded Axe (TC ONLY)
               • Berserkergang (TC ONLY)
               • Conscription
               • Crenellations (TC ONLY)
               • Drill (TC ONLY)
               • El Dorado (TC ONLY)
               • Furor Celtica (TC ONLY)
               • Garland Wars (TC ONLY)
               • Hoardings
               • Kataparuto (TC ONLY)
               • Logistica (TC ONLY)
               • Mahouts (TC ONLY)
               • Perfusion (TC ONLY)
               • Rocketry (TC ONLY)
               • Sappers
               • Shinkichon (TC ONLY)
               • Spies
               • Supremacy (TC ONLY)
               • Yeomen (TC ONLY)
               • Zealotry (TC ONLY)
            H.   Mining Camp (Origin)
               • Gold Mining
               • Gold Shaft Mining
               • Stone Mining
               • Stone Shaft Mining
            I.   Lumber Camp (Origin)
               • Double-Bit Axe
               • Bow Saw
               • Two-Man Saw
            J.   Market (Origin)
               • Banking
               • Caravan (TC ONLY)
               • Cartography
               • Coinage
               • Guilds
            K.   Stable (Origin)
               • Bloodlines (TC ONLY)
               • Husbandry
            L.   Dock
               • Careening
               • Dry Dock
               • Shipwright
            M.   Archery Range
               - Parthian Tactics (TC ONLY)
               - Thumb Ring (TC ONLY)
       6.        History
       7.        Civilization Comparisons
       8.        Specific Strategies and Tips
               - On the Road to Expert
       9.        Miscellaneous Tips and Strategies
      10.        Appendices
               - Cheats
               - Building Attributes
               - Research Times
               - Unit Training Times
               - Attack Rates
               - Movement Rates
               - Resources
               - Hotkeys
      12.        Acknowledgements
     1.                               Introduction
       Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings is the sequel to the very popular Age of
     Empires title.  Age of Empires 2 (AOE2) was delayed for a while because they
     wanted to get everything right before they shipped it.  That was the reason for
     Age of Empires: Rise of Rome.  It was supposed to cure our crave for more Age
     of Empires, when they all knew we wanted Age of Empires 2.  Well, Rise of Rome
     did a pretty good job in serving as an appetizer.  Age of Empires II: Age of
     Kings has done very, very well in sales so far.
       Age of Empires II: The Conquerers (TC) has been released!  Go get it!
       I've altered this FAQ to cover TC as well, enjoy!
     2.                       Changes in Age of Empires Games
                       AoE: Rise of Rome to AoE II: Age of Kings
              [Taken From the Age of Empires II: Age of Kings Game Manual]
      * 13 New Civilizations - Each has a unique unit and a team bonus.
      * New Units - Including, Kings, Heroes, female villagers, knights, cannons,
        and exploding demolition ships.
      * New Buildings - Including impressive castles and gates that automatically
        open and close for you and your allies.
      * New Technologies - Including Conscription (increases military unit creation
        speed) and Town Watch (increases building Line of Sight).
      * Formations - Precision control of how your army moves and engages in combat.
      * New Multimedia Campaigns - Unique music and more than 300 pieces of original
        art enhance your game as you follow a soldier through battles featuring
        William Wallace, Joan of Arc, Saladin, Genghis Khan, and Frederick  Barbossa.
      * New Ways To Trade - Trade with other players over land and by sea; buy or
        sell resources at the Market.
      * Learning Campaign - Master the basics by helping William Walace rise from
        his humble beginnings to defeat the British.
      * Regicide game - Defend your king to win the game.
      * 8 New Map Types - Including the Arabia, Black Forest, Rivers, and Random,
        which allows the computer to pick a surprise map type for you.
      * Garisoning - Station units inside buildings for protection, healing, and
        surprise attacks.
      * New Combat Features - Order military units to patrol, guard, or follow and
        choose their combat stance.
      * Record and replay games - Watch your single- player and multiplayer games
      * Find Idle Villagers - Automatically locate villagers not assigned to a task
        using the "Idle Villager" button.
      * New Online Tech Tree - See what is available to your civilization and which
        units and technologies you've researched while in the game.
      * Improved Multiplayer Features - Save and restore multiplayer games; lock the
        game speed for all players; lock game teams so players can't change alliance
        during a game; signal allies.
      * Gather Points - New units automatically gather at a location or garrison
        inside a building.
      * Improved Interface - Units behind buildings and trees are visible; the mini-
        map has Normal, Combat, and Economic modes; chat interface is expanded; Help
        is integrated into the game.
      * User Profiles - Customize options and hotkeys and automatically save them
        game to game.
      * Online Encyclopedia - Extensive histories of 13 medieval civilizations;
        background on the Middle Ages, armies, weapons, and warfare.
                     AoE II: Age of Kings to AoE II: The Conquerers
             [Taken from the Age of Empires II: The Conquerers Game Manual]
      * Civilizations - Aztecs, Huns, Koreans, Mayans, and Spanish.
      * Units - Conquistadors, Eagle Warriors, Halberdiers, Hussars, Jaguar
        Warriors, Missionaries, Petards, Plummed Archers, Tarkans, Turtle
        Ships, and War Wagons.
      * Technologies - Bloodlines, Caravan, Herbal Medecine, Heresy, Parthian
        Tactics, Theocracy, and Thumb Ring.  In addition, each civilization
        can research a unique technology that improves its unique unit or team
      * Campaigns - Battle as Attila the Hun, El Cid, Montezuma, and other
        remarkable conquerers.  New difficulty settings let anyone play to win.
        Campaign objectives now include a "Scouts" tab that provides reconnaissance
        information about the map and your enemies.
      * New Game Types - King of the Hill, Wonder Race, Defend the Wonder.
      * Real World Maps - Based on geographical locations, such as Britain,
        France, Italy, and of course, Texas.
      * More Maps - Arena, Ghost Lake, Mongolia, Nomad, Oasis, Salt Marsh,
        Scandinavia, Yucatan, and Random Land.
      * Winter and Tropical Terrain - On winter maps, walk across ice and leave
        footprints in the snow.  On tropical maps, herd turkeys instead of sheep
        and fend off jaguars instead of wolves.
      * Last Man Standing victory condition - After defeating your enemy, team
        members turn on each other until one player wins.
      * Farms automatically replant - Queue Farms so they automatically replant
        after all the food has been gathered from them.
      * Ship formations - Ships move in formation just like land units.
      * Ram Garrisoning - Units can garrison inside Battering, Capped, and Siege
        Rams for protection and to increase the ram's speed and attack.
      * Smart Villagers - Villagers work smarter, build walls more intelligently,
        and automatically gather resources after constructing a drop-off building.
      * Smart Siege Weapons - Mangonels, Onagers, and Siege Onagers don't
        automatically attack if they would harm friendly units.
      * Improved Trading and Tributes - Buy, Sell, and Tribute lots of 500, or
        tribute everything in your stockpile.
      * Improved Chatting - See messages in each player's color.
      * Improved Diplomacy UI - See other player's stances toward you.
      * Friend or foe colors - Change player colors to see enemies in one color,
        allies in another.
      * Command Allied Computer Players - Use chat commands to order allied computer
        players to attack, tribute resources, and build an economy, military, or
        a Wonder.
      * Return to previous view - Press the BACKSPACE key to return to the previous
        location on the map.  For example, if the screen is centered on your army
        and you return back to your Town Center to tend your economy, press the
        BACKSPACE key to return to your army.  Press the key multiple times to
        display the last 10 locations.
      * Random teams option - Players who select a question mark (?) as their "Team"
        setting before starting a game are randomly placed on the teams of players
        who have chosen team numbers.  If all players select random teams, two
        teams are created.
      * Improved Game Recording - Record chat text and insert chapter markers so you
        can easily play back important battles.
      * Full-size Map Screenshots - Choose the reduction ratio and create a
        screenshot of the entire game world.
      * Improved map editor - New scenario triggers, including the ability to change
        unit names and attributes.
      * Customizable random maps - Create your own random map scripts that tell
        the computer what terrain, elevation, and resources to place when creating
        random maps.  To learn how to do this, see the Random Map Script Guide
        (RMSG.doc) in the Docs folder on The Conquerers Expansion CD.
      * There are many, many other changes.  Attributes and other various little
        statistics about a lot of units and buildings have changed.
     3.                                 Buildings
    Archery Range
    The Archery Range is used to create archers.  Archery Range units can be
    garrisoned inside the Archery Range if you set a gather point there while the
    units are being created.  They cannot reenter once ungarrisoned.  You must have
    a Barracks before you can build an Archery Range.
    The Barracks is used to create and improve infantry.  Barracks units can be
    garrisoned inside the Barracks if you set a gather point there while the units
    are being created.  They cannot reenter once ungarrisoned.  You must have a
    Barracks to build an Archery Range.
    The Blacksmith lets you improve the attack strength and armor of your infantry,
    archers, cavalry, and towers.  You must have a Blacksmith to build a Siege
    Bombard Tower
    The Bombard Tower has extensive sight to track down enemies.  You must research
    Chemistry and Bombard Tower (at the University) before you can build Bombard
    Towers.  Because of the new architecture involved, preexisting towers do not
    upgrade to Bombard Towers.  Acquiring this technology only allows you to build
    Bombard Towers.
    Costly and time- consuming to construct, the Castle is the strongest defensive
    structure.  At the Castle you can create and upgrade your civilization's unique
    unit and create the powerful Trebuchet siege engine.  Several important
    military technologies can also be researched at the Castle.
    A Castle supports 20 population units and can garrison 20 villagers or military
    units (except siege weapons).  Units can be garrisoned at any time.  You can
    garrison unique units by setting a gather point while the units are being
    created.  Units garrisoned in the Castle heal more quickly than units garrisoned
    in other buildings.
    The Dock is used to build ships, research naval technology, and trade with other
    civilizations.  It is also where Fishing Ships deposit food.  Dock units can be
    garrisoned inside the Dock if you set a gather point there while the units are
    being created.  They cannot renenter once ungarrisoned.
    Farms provide a renewable source of food.  Farms are bult by vilagers, who then
    gather food from them.  Each farm provides a limited amount of food before it
    goes fallow and must be rebuilt.  To rebuild a Farm, select a villager, and then
    right-click the expired Farm.  Before you build Farms, you must build a Mill.
    Farms cannot be converted by enemy Monks.  You can farm enemy Farms that have
    been abandoned.
    You can increase the production of your Farms by researching Horse Collar, Heavy
    Plow, and Crop Rotation (at the Mill).
    Fish Trap
    Fish Traps provide a renewable source of food.  Fish Traps are available in the
    Feudal Age, after you build a Fishing Ship.  Fish Traps are built in the water
    by Fishing Ships, which then gather food from them.  Only one Fishing Ship can
    gather from a Fish Trap at a time.  Each Fish Trap providesa limited amount of
    food before it collapses and must be rebuilt.  When a Fish Trap collapses, the
    Fishing Ship, and then right- click the expired Fish Trap.
    Fortified Wall
    Fortified Walls are stronger than Stone Walls but expensive to upgrade and slow
    to build.  In Age of Empires II, fortified Walls do not shoot at enemies.
    However, the reinforced stone is difficult to breach without siege weapons.
    Gates allow your units to pass through walls.  You can build Gates over existing
    walls, and you can lock or unlock your Gates.  You might lock a Gate during an
    attack to prevent it from opening accidentally when a friendly unit approaches.
    Gates automatically open and close for you and your allies unless they are
    Click on a Gate, and then click the LOCK GATE or UNLOCK GATE button in the lower-
    left corner of the screen.
    Guard Tower
    The Guard Tower is an upgrade of the Watch Tower.  It is stronger and has greater
    fighting ability.  Units can garrison inside for protection and to add additional
    attack strength to the tower.  You can upgrade your Guard Tower to Keeps at the
    Houses support the population of your civilization.  The more Houses you have,
    the larger your population can grow.  Each House supports 5 population units.
    Before you can create new villagers, military units, ships, or Trade Carts, you
    must have enough Houses to support them.  The population indicator (top of
    screen) shows your current/supportable population.  It flashes when you need to
    build more houses.
    The Keep is an upgrade of the Guard Tower.  It is stronger and has greater
    fighting capability.  Units can garrison inside for protection and to add
    additional attack strength to the tower.
    Lumber Camp
    The Lumber Camp is used to deposit wood and research wood- gathering
    improvements.  Build Lumber Camps near forests to gather wood faster.
    The Market lets you trade by land with other players, buy and sell resources,
    and offer resources to other players as tribute.  It is also used to research
    technology that improves your communication with allies and decreases the cost of
    commodity trading and tributes.  You must have a Mill before you build a Market.
    The Mill is used to deposit food and research technology that improves the food
    production of your Farms.  Build Mills near sources of food to gather food
    faster.  You must have a Mill before you can build Farms or a Market.
    Mining Camp
    The Mining Camp is used to deposit stone and gold and research your stone and
    gold mining.  Build Mining Camps near stone or gold mines to gather these
    resources faster.
    Monestaries let you create Monks and improve their ability to heal the wounded
    and convert the enemy.  Monestaries cannot be converted by enemy Monks.  Relics
    garrisoned inside a Monestary provide a continuous supply of gold for your
    stockpile.  Monks can be garrisoned inside the Monestary if you set a gather
    point there while the Monks are being created.  They cannot reenter once
    Outposts are stationary watch points that give you advance warning of enemy
    activity nearby.  They have a long line of sight, which can be made longer by
    researching technologies at the Town Center.  Unlike the other towers, Outposts
    do not attack or allow you to garrison units inside.
    Palisade Wall
    Palisade Walls are wooden walls that are cheap and fast to build.  You can
    construct them on the battlefield as temporary barriers to slow down your enemies
    and warn you of their approach.
    Siege Workshop
    The Siege Workshop is used to build siege weapons.  Siege Workshop units can be
    garrisoned inside the Siege Workshop if you set a gather point there while the
    units are being created.  They cannot reenter once ungarrisoned.  You must have
    a Blacksmith before you can build a Siege Workshop.
    The Stable is used to create and improve cavalry.  Stable units can be
    garrisoned inside the Stable if you ste a gather point there while the units are
    being created.  They cannot reenter once ungarrisoned.  You must have a Barracks
    before you can build a Stable.
    Stone Wall
    Stone Walls are stronger than Palisade Walls but more expensive.  They slow down
    your enemies and give you the chance to fend them off.  You can upgrade your
    Stone Walls to Fortified Walls at the University.
    Town Center
    The Town Center is the hub of your civilization.  Each Town Center supports 5
    population units inside for protection and healing.  Town Centers with garrisoned
    units also fire arrows at enemy soldiers.  After you advance to the Castle Age,
    you can build additional Town Centers near remote resources to expand your
    civilization.  Town Centers cannot be converted by enemy Monks.
    You can improve the damage and range of your Town Centers by researching
    Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer (at the Blacksmith); line of sight by
    researching Town Watch and Town Patrol (at the Town Center); and hit points,
    armor, and accuracy by researching Masonry, Architecture, and Ballistics (at the
    The University lets you research technology that improves your buildings, towers,
    walls, and missile weapons.
    Watch Tower
    The Watch Tower is a simple stone tower that automatically attacks enemy units
    and buildings within its range.  Units can garrison inside for protection and
    to add additional attack strength to the tower.  You can upgrade your Watch
    Towers to Guard Towers at the University.
    Building a Wonder of the World demonstrates the superiority of your civilization.
    A Wonder is expensive and requires a lot of time to build.  In most games,
    constructing a Wonder that stands for a certain period of time wins the game.
     4.                                 The Units
    Missionary - TC ONLY
    Spanish unique unit.  Moves faster than a Monk, but has less line of sight and
    range.  Also, a Missionary cannot pick up Relics.  Otherwise, it converts enemy
    units and heals friendly units the same way as a Monk.  The Missionary may be
    built at a Monestery once a Spanish Castle has been built.  (The Spanish have
    two unique units; the other is Conquistador, a cavalry unit.)
    Created at: Monestery
    Strong vs: Teutonic Knoghts, War Elephants
    Weak vs: Archers, Knights, Light Cavalry, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades:  (All at Monestery)
              Convert some buildings, siege units - Redemption
              Movement Speed - Fervor
              Hit Points - Sanctity
              Convert other Monks - Atonement
              Greater conversion range - Block Printing
              Less Rejuvenation time - Illumination, Theocracy
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy
    Slow and weak.  Converts enemy unis, ships, and some buildings to your
    civilization (player color).  Heals wounded villagers, military units (except
    siege weapons and ships).
    Created At: Monestary
    Strong Vs: Teutonic Knights, War Elephants
    Weak Vs: Archers, Knights, Light Cavalry, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades: (all at monestary)
              Convert some buildings siege units - Redemption
              Movement Speed - Fervor
              HP - Sanctity
              Convert other Monks - Atonement
              Greater conversion range - Block Printing
              Less Rejuvenation Time - Illumination
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith
    Special objects placed randomly on the map.  Can only be moved by Monks.  When
    garrisoned in a Monestary, generate gold for your civilization.  Cannot be
    Trade Cart
    Carries goods to foreign Markets and brings back gold as profit.  Distant Markets
    are the most profitable.
    Built at: Market
    Upgrades: Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    To use a Trade Cart:
    Click on the Trade Cart, and then right- click a foreign Market.
    Gathers wood, food, gold, and stone.  Builds and repairs buildings, ships, and
    siege weapons.
    Created at: Town Center
    Upgrades: HP, armor, efficiency - Loom, Wheelbarrow, Hand Cart (Town Center)
              Attack - Sappers (Castle)
              Resource Gathering - Double- Bit Axe, Bow Saw, Two- Man Saw; Stone
              Mining, Gold Mining, Stone Shaft Mining, Gold Shaft Mining (Lumber
              Camp, Mining Camp); Heavy Plow (Town Center)
              Build Speed - Treadmill Crane (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Villagers perform the economic work for your civilization.  They chop wood, mine
    stone and gold, hunt, forage, fish, herd sheep, and farm.  They also construct
    buildings and repair damaged buildings, ships, and siege weapons.  If necessary,
    they can also engage in combat.  Villager gender is randomly determined when you
    create a new villager.  They perform the same tasks regardless of their gender.
    Berserk & Elite Berserk
    Viking unique unit created in Castle Age.  Infantry unit that slowly heals
    itself. (The Vikings are the only civilization with two unique units.  The
    Vikings also receive a Longboat, which may be built at the Dock once a Viking
    Castle has been built.)
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Skirmishers, Camels, Light Cavalry
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels, Cataphracts
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit Creation Speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Strongest infantry unit (aside from sme civilizations' unique units); cheap and
    quick to create.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Skirmishers, Camels, Light Cavalry
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels, Cataphracts
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit Creation Speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Eagle Warrior & Elite Eagle Warrior - TC ONLY
    Fast infantry with extensive line of sight, piercing armor, resistance to
    conversion, attack bonus vs Siege Weapons and mounted units.  Civilizations
    without cavalry (Aztecs and mayans) start the game with an Eagle Warrior
    instead of Scout Cavalry.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Archers, Monks, Siege Weapons
    Weak Vs: Infantry, Hand Cannoneers
    Upgrades: HP - El Dorado (Mayan unique Technology at Castle)
              Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith; Garland
                       Wars (Aztec unique technology at Castle)
              Armor: Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor (Blacksmith)
              Sight: Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed: Squires (Barracks)
              Unit Creation Speed: COnscription (Castle)
              Unit resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestary)
    Halberdier - TC ONLY
    Stronger than Pikemen.  Attack bonus vs mounted units and War Elephants
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Mounted units, War Elephants
    Weak Vs: Infantry, Archers, Scorpions, Mangonels, Hand Cannoneers
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Unit resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    Huskarl & Elite Huskarl
    Gothic unique unit created in Castle Age.  Infantry with substantial pierce
    armor, virtually immune to archer fire.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Archers
    Weak Vs: Swordsmen
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Jaguar Warrior & Elite Jaguar Warrior - TC ONLY
    Aztec unique unit.  Attak bonus vs. other infantry.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong vs: Infantry
    Weak vs: Archers, Mangonels, Hand Cannoneers, Cavalry Archers
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith); Garland
                       Wars (Aztec unique technology at Castle)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    Long Swordsman
    Stronger than Man- at- Arms; cheap and quick to create.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Skirmishers, Camels, Light Cavalry
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels, Cataphracts
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Arrow
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Man- at- Arms
    Stronger than Militia; cheap and quick to create.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Skirmishers, Camels, Light Cavalry
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels, Cataphracts
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Most basic infantry unit; cheap and quick to create.  Only soldier created in
    Dark Age.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Skirmishers, Camels, Light Cavalry
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mongonels, Cataphracts
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit Creation Speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Stronger than Spearmen.  Exceptional vs. cavalry.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Skirmishers, Stable units
    Weak Vs: Swordsmen, Archers, Scorpions, Mangonels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestery)
    Samurai & Elite Samurai
    Japanese unique unit created in Castle Age.  Infantry with fast attack.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Infantry, unique units
    Weak Vs: Archers
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit Creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Medium infantry unit.  Exceptional vs. cavalry.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Shirmishers, Stable Units
    Weak Vs: Swordsmen, Archers, Scorpions, Mangonels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail, Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Teutonic Knight & Elite Teutonic Knight
    Teutonic unique unit created in Castle Age.  Powerful armor; slow but difficult
    to destroy.  Receives benefits of infantry armor.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Swordsmen, Skirmishers, Stable Units
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels, Monks
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Throwing Axemen & Elite Throwing Axemen
    Frank unit created in Castle Age.  Ranged attack.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Barracks units, Shirmishers
    Weak Vs: Archers
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Two- Handed Swordsman
    Stronger than Long Swordsman; cheap and quick to create.
    Created at: Barracks
    Strong Vs: Shirmishers, Camels, Light Cavalry
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels, Cataphracts
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Woad Raider & Elite Woad Raider
    Celtic unique unit created in Castle Age.  Exceptionally quick infantry unit.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Shirmishers, Camels, Light Cavalry
    Weak Vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels, Cataphracts
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Mail Armor, Chain Mail Armor, Plate Mail Armor
              Sight - Tracking (Barracks)
              Speed - Squires (Barracks)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Quick and light.  Weak at close range; excels at battle from a distance.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Cavalry Archers, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Knights, Mangonels, Woad Raiders, Huskarls
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Quick and light.  Weak at close range; excels at battle from a distance.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Cavalry Archers, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Knights, Mangonels, Woad Raiders, Huskarls
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Cavalry Archer
    Fast, with ranged attack.  Ideal for hit- and- run attacks.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Swordsmen, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Archers, Light Cavalry
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Chu Ko Nu & Elite Chu Ko Nu
    Chinese unique unit created in Castle Age.  Archer with mediocre range with
    causes great damage.  Can fire arrows very quickly.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants, Cavalry Archers
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Knights, Light Cavalry, Mangonels, Woad Raiders, Huskarls
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Conquistador & Elite Conquistador - TC ONLY
    Spanish unique unit.  Cavalry hand cannoneer.  Powerful close attack; not
    accurate at range.  (The Spanish have two unique units; the other is the
    Missionary, a Monk unit.)
    Created at: Castle
    Strong vs: Swordsmen, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants
    Weak vs: Knights, Camels, Pikemen
    Upgrades: Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Hit Points - Bloodlines (Stable)
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    Quick and light.  Weak at close range; excels at battle from a distance.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Cavalry Archers, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War 
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Knights, Mangonels, Woad Raiders, Huskarls
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Elite Skirmisher
    Ranged unit equipped with armor vs archer attacks.  Exceptional Vs. archers.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Archers, Monks, Cavalry Archers
    Weak Vs: Mangonels, Barracks units
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Hand Cannoneer
    Powerful close range; innacurate at range.  Keeps non-ranged units from closing
    on other units.  Requires Chemistry.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Monks, Teutonic Knights
    Weak Vs: Archers, Mangonels
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Heavy Cavalry Archer
    Fast, with ranged attack.  Ideal for hit- and- run attacks.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Swordsmen, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Archers, Light Cavalry
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Janissary & Elite Janissary
    Turk unique unit created in Castle Age.  Hand Cannoneer with lower and no minimum
    range.  Powerful close attack; inaccurate at range.  Keeps non-ranged units from
    closing on other units.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Monks, Teutonic Knights
    Weak Vs: Archers, Mangonels
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Longbowman & Elite Longbowman
    Briton unique unit created in Castle Age.  Powerful with long range.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants, Cavalry Archers
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Knights, Mangonels, Woad Raiders, Huskarls
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Mangudai & Elite Mangudai
    Mongol unique unit created in Castle Age.  Cavalry archer with attack bonus vs.
    siege weapons.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Swordsmen, Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants, Siege Weapons
    Weak Vs: Shirmishers, Archers, Light Cavalry
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Plumed Archer & Elite Plumed Archer - TC ONLY
    Mayan unique unit.  Stronger, faster, and better armored than other archers, but
    have less attack.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong vs: Other Archers, Slow Units (Monks, Teutonic Knights, War Elephants)
    Weak vs: Cavalry, Skirmishers, Other Fast Units (Eagle Warriors, Woad Raiders)
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University
              Attack, Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University), Thumb Ring (Archery Range)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    Ranged unit equipped with armor vs. archer attacks.  Exceptional vs Archers.
    Created at: Archery Range
    Strong Vs: Archers, Monks, Cavalry Archers
    Weak Vs: Mangonels, Barracks units
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Braer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    War Wagon & Elite War Wagon - TC ONLY
    Korean unique unit.  Heavily armored archery unit.  (The Koreans have two unique
    units; the other is the Turtle Ship, a Dock unit.)
    Created at: Castle
    Strong vs: Infantry, Archers
    Weak vs: Cavalry, Skirmishers, Pikemen, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemisty (University)
              Attack, Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring Archer Armor
              Targeting - Ballistics (University), Thumb Ring (Archery Range)
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith (Monestery)
    Excels at killing other mounted units
    Created: Stable
    Strong Vs: Knights, Cataphracts
    Weak Vs: Infantry, Archers
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Heavy and quick.
    Created: Stable
    Strong Vs: Archers
    Weak Vs: Pikemen, Knights, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Cataphract & Elite Cataphract
    Byzantine unique unit created in Castle Age.  Heavily armored.  Attack bonus vs.
    Created: Castle
    Strong Vs: Archers, Swordsmen
    Weak Vs: Knights, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Heavy Cavalry
    Excels at killing other mounted units
    Created: Stable
    Strong Vs: Knights, Cataphracts
    Weak Vs: Infantry, Archers
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Hussar - TC ONLY
    Stronger than Light Cavalry; attack bonus vs. Monks; resistant to conversion.
    Created at: Stable
    Strong vs: Archers, Cavalry Archers, Siege Weapons, Monks
    Weak vs: Pikemen, Knights, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Hit Points - Bloodlines (Stable)
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    Heavy and quick.
    Created: Stable
    Strong Vs: Archers
    Weak Vs: Pikemen, mamelukes, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Light Cavalry
    Fast with greater line of sight than Scout Cavalry; resistant to conversion.
    Created: Stable
    Strong Vs: Archers, Mangonels, Cavalry Archers, Bombard Cannons, Monks
    Weak Vs: Pikemen, Knights, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Mameluke & Elite Mameluke
    Saracen unique unit created in Castle Age.  Camel with ranged attack.  Excels vs.
    other mounted units.
    Created: Castle
    Strong Vs: Monks, Barracks Units, Teutonic Knights
    Weak Vs: Archers, Mangonels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Heavy and quick.
    Created: Stable
    Strong Vs: Archers
    Weak Vs: Pikemen, Knights, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Scout Cavalry
    Fast with extensive sight; resistant to conversion.
    Created: Stable
    Strong Vs: Archers, Mangonels, Cavalry Archers, Bombard Cannons, Monks
    Weak Vs: Pikemen, Knights, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
    Tarkan & Elite Tarkan - TC ONLY
    Hun unique unit.  Cavalry that is particularly effective against buildings,
    making Tarkans excelent vandals.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong vs: Buildings, Archers, Mangonels, Cavalry Archers, Siege Weapons, Monks
    Weak vs: Pikemen, Knights, Camels
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Hit Points - Bloodlines (Stable)
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    War Elephant & Elite War Elephant
    Persian unique unit created in Castle Age.  Slow, powerful, well armored, and
    difficult to destroy.  Elite War Elephant causes area off effect damage, can
    hit several adjacent targets automatically.
    Created: Castle
    Strong Vs: Archers, Swordsmen
    Weak Vs: Pikemen, Camels, Monks, Mamelukes
    Upgrades: Attack - Forging, Iron Casting, Metallurgy (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Scale Barding Armor, Chain Barding Armor, Plate Barding Armor
              Speed - Husbandry (Stable)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monestary)
                                     Siege Weapons
    Battering Ram
    Slow, lumbering; reduces enemy town to ruins.
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Archers, Cavalry Archers
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Barrack Units
    Upgrades: Attack - Siege Engineers (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastary)
    Bombard Cannon
    Powerful mobile anti- building siege weapon.  Requires Chemistry.
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Archers, Monks, Skirmishers
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades: Attack Range - Siege Engineers (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastary)
    Capped Ram
    Slow, lumbering; reduces enemy towns to ruins.
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Archers, Cavalry Archers
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Stable Units
    Upgrades: Attack - Siege Engineers (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastary)
    Wheeled siege weapon used to attack a small mass of units.  Area of effect
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Archers
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Siege Engineers (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Wheeled siege weapon used to attack a small mass of units.  Area of effect
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Archers
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Siege Engineers (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Petard - TC ONLY
    Demolition infantry unit armed with explosives.  Devastating to buildings;
    ineffective against other units.
    Created at: Castle
    Strong vs: Buildings, Walls, Siege Weapons
    Weak vs: Archers, Scorpions, Cavalry Archers, Mangonels
    Upgrades: Attack - Siege Engineers (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    Scorpion & Heavy Scorpion
    Fires large arrow- like bolts.  Effective vs. large masses of units; shots hit
    multiple units causing damage to all units they touch.
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Archers, Monks
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer (Blacksmith)
              Tracking - Ballistics (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastary)
    Siege Onager
    Wheeled siege weapon used to attack a small mass of units.  Area of effect
    attack.  Siege Onagers can cut paths through forests.
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Barracks Units, Archers
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Siege Engineers (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Siege Ram
    Slow, lumbering; reduces enemy towns to ruins.
    Built at: Siege Workshop
    Strong Vs: Archers, Cavalry Archers
    Weak Vs: Stable Units, Stable Units
    Upgrades: Attack - Siege Engineers (University)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastary)
    Powerful; destroys buildings, walls from a distance.  Canot fire on close units.
    Must be packed to move, unpacked to attack.  Can cut paths through forests.
    Built at: Castle
    Strong Vs: Archers, Skirmishers
    Weak Vs: Swordsmen, Stable Units, Mangudai, Woad Raiders
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Siege Engineers (University)
              Unit creation speed - Conscription (Castle)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    To pack/unpack a Trebuchet: Click the Trebuchet, and then click the PACK or
    UNPACK button.
    To attack with a packed Trebuchet: Click the Trebuchet, and then right- click an
    enemy target.  The Trebuchet moves within range of the enemy target, unpacks,
    and begins attacking.
    Cannon Galleon & Elite Cannon Galleon
    Long- range warship used to attack targets on shore to establish a beachhead.
    Fires slowly, with minimum range.  Requires Chemistry.
    Built at: Dock
    Weak Vs: Galleys, Fire Ships, Demolition Ships
    Upgrades: Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Demolition Ship & Heavy Demolition Ship
    Filled with explosives.  Pilot near enemy ships and detonate to wrest control of
    the sea from an entrenched opponent.
    Built at: Dock
    Strong Vs: Fire Ships
    Weak Vs: Galleys, Longboats, Bombard Cannons
    Upgrades: Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Fire Ship & Fast Fire Ship
    Spew fire at other ships.
    Built at: Dock
    Strong Vs: Galleys, Longboats
    Weak Vs: Demolition Ships
    Upgrades: Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Fishing Ship
    Gathers food from jumping fish and Fist Traps; automatically returns fish to
    Dock.  Can build Fish Traps.
    Built at: Dock
    Upgrades: Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Improved combat ship.
    Built at: Dock
    Strong Vs: Demolition Ships, Cannon Galleons
    Weak Vs: Fire Ships, Bombard Cannons
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Small, basic, fast ship with weak attack.  Scouts water for early attacks and
    enemy fishing fleets.
    Built at: Dock
    Strong Vs: Demolition Ships, Cannon Galleons
    Weak Vs: Fire Ships, Bombard Cannons
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Longboat & Elite Longboat
    Viking unique unit created in Castle Age.  Vikings are the only civilization to
    possess two unique units.  The Viking Longboat may be built at a Dock once a
    Viking Castle has been built.
    Built at: Dock
    Strong Vs: Demolition Ships, Cannon Galleons
    Weak Vs: Fire Ships, Bombard Cannons
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Trade Cog
    Trades by sea; takes goods from your Dock to a foreign Dock and brings back gold.
    The farther the Dock, the higher your profit.
    Built at: Dock
    Upgrades: Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    To trade using a Trade Cog: Click the Trade Cog, and then right- click a foreign
    Transport Ship
    Moves units across water.
    Built at: Dock
    Upgrades: Armor and Capacity - Careening (Dock)
              Speed and Capacity - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
    Turtle Ship & Elite Turtle Ship - TC ONLY
    Korean unique unit.  Slow, heavily armored battleship; effective for destroying
    other ships at close range.  The Turtle Ship may be built at a Dock once a
    Korean Castle has been built. (The Koreans have two unique units; the other is
    the War Wagon, an archery unit.)
    Built at: Dock
    Strong vs: Fire SHips, Demolition Ships
    Weak vs: Bombard Cannons, Monks
    Upgrades: Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Units resist enemy Monks, Missionaries - Faith, Heresy (Monestery)
    War Galley
    Medium combat ship.
    Built at: Dock
    Strong Vs: Demolition Ships, Cannon Galleons
    Weak Vs: Fire Ships, Bombard Cannons
    Upgrades: Attack - Chemistry (University)
              Attack Range - Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, Bracer (Blacksmith)
              Armor - Careening (Dock)
              Speed - Dry Dock (Dock)
              Targeting - Ballistics (University)
              Lower Cost - Shipwright (Dock)
              Your units resistant to other Monks - Faith (Monastery)
     5.                               Technologies
    Blast Furnace
    Blast Furnace increases the attach strength of your infantry and cavalry units
    even more than Iron Casting
    Bodkin Arrow
    Bodkin Arrow increases the attack strength and range of scorpions, Archery
    Range units, towers, Town Center, Castle, and ships (except those using
    gunpowder weapons).
    Bracer increases the attack strength and range of scorpions, Archery Range
    units, towers, Town Center, Castle, and ships (except those using gunpowder
    Chain Barding Armor
    Chain Barding Armor increases the armor of your cavalry unite even more than
    Scale Barding Armor.
    Chain Mail Armor
    Chain Mail Armor increases the armor of your infantry units even more than Scale
    Mail Armor.
    Fletching increases the attack strength and range of scorpions, Archery Range
    units, towers, Town Center, Castle, and ships (except those using gunpowder
    Iron Casting
    Iron Casting increases the attack strength of your infantry and cavalry units
    even more than Forging.
    Leather Archer Armor
    Leather Archer Armor increases the armor of your archers even more than Padded
    Archer Armor.
    Padded Archer Armor
    Padded Archer Armor increases the armor of your archers.
    Plate Barding Armor
    Plate Barding Armor increases the armor of your cavalry units even more than
    Chain Barding Armor.
    Plate Mail Armor
    Plate Mail Armor increases the armor of your infantry units even more than
    Chain Mail Armor.
    Ring Archer Armor
    Ring Archer Armor increases the armor of your archers even more than Leather
    Archer Armor.
    Scale Barding Armor
    Scale Barding Armor increases the armor of your cavalry units, including Cavalry
    Archers, Mangudai, and War Elephants.
    Scale Mail Armor
    Scale Mail Armor increases the armor of your infantry units.
    Crop Rotation
    Crop Rotation increases the amount of food your Farms produce even more than the
    Heavy Plow.
    Heavy Plow
    Heavy Plow increases the amount of food your Farms produce even more than Horse
    Horse Collar
    Horse Collar increases the amount of food your Farms produce before they go
    fallow and must be rebuilt.
    Architecture makes your buildings even stronger than Masonry.
    Ballistics improves how accurate scorpions, archers, galleys, and towers are in
    hitting moving targets.
    Chemistry increases the attack strength of all non- gunpowder missile weapons.
    You must research Chemistry to build gunpowder units (Bombard Tower, Bombard
    Cannon, Hand Cannoneer, and Cannon Galleon).  After researching Chemistry,
    missile weapons fire flaming arrows.
    Heated Shot
    Heated Shot increases the damage towers cause to ships.
    Masonry makes your buildings stronger so they can take more damage in combat.
    Murder Holes
    Murder Holes eliminates the minimum range of towers (except Bombard Towers) and
    Castles so they can fire at soldiers attacking their base.
    Siege Engineers
    Siege Engineers increases the damage siege weapons cause to buildings as well
    as range.
    Treadmill Crane
    Treadmill Crane makes villagers construct buildings faster.
    Atonement lets your Monks convert enemy Monks.
    Block Lettering
    Block Printing lets your Monks convert enemy units from farther away.
    Faith makes your units harder for enemy Monks to convert.
    Fervor makes your Monks move faster.
    Herbal Medicine - TC ONLY
    Herbal Medicine increases the healing speed of units garrisoned units inside
    Heresy - TC ONLY
    Heresy causes units to die instead of being converted by an enemy Monk or
    Missionary.  You still lose the unit, but your enemy doesn't get it.
    Illumination decreases the time your Monks need to rest before attempting
    another conversion.
    Redemption lets your Monks convert enemy buildings (except Town Centers, Castles,
    Monestaries, Farms, Fish Traps, walls, towers, Gates, and Wonders) and siege
    weapons.  Monks can convert most enemy units from a distance; however, they must
    stand adjacent to buildings, rams, and Trebuchets.
    Sanctity increases the hit points of your Monks.
    Theocracy - TC ONLY
    When a group of Monks (or Missionaries) converts an enemy unit, only one Monk
    loses its faith and must rest before attempting another conversion.  Greatly
    enhances the power of a group of Monks and redices micro-management.
    Squires make your infantry units move faster.
    Tracking lets your infantry units see farther away.
                                      Town Center
    Hand Cart
    Hand Cart makes villagers move faster and carry more resources.
    Loom makes your villagers harder to kill.
    Town Patrol
    Town Patrol lets your buildings see enemies from even farther away than Town
    Town Watch
    Town Watch lets your buildings see enemies farther away so you have more warning
    of their approach.
    Wheelbarrow makes your villagers move faster and carry more resources so they
    work more efficiently.
    Anarchy - TC ONLY - Goths Only
    Anarchy allows Huskarls to be created at the Barracks.
    Artillery - TC ONLY - Turks Only
    Artillery increases the range of Bombard Towers, Bombard Canons, and Cannon
    Atheism - TC ONLY - Huns Only
    Atheism makes Relic and Wonder victories take longer for all players and reduces
    the cost of Spies technology.
    Bearded Axe - TC ONLY - Franks Only
    Bearded Axe increases the range of Throwing Axemen.
    Berserkergang - TC ONLY - Vikings Only
    Berserkergang improves the regeneration rate of Berserks.
    Conscription decreases the time required to create units at the Barracks, Stable,
    Archery Range, and Castle.
    Crenellations - TC ONLY - Spanish Only
    Crenellations increases the range of Castles and increases the attack of Castles,
    Towers, and Town Centers by allowing garrisoned infantry to fire arrows as if
    they were villagers.
    Drill - TC ONLY - Mangonels Only
    Drill increases the movement speed of Siege Workshop units.
    El Dorado - TC ONLY - Mayans Only
    El Dorado inceases the hit points of Eagle Warriors.
    Furor Celtica - TC ONLY - Celts Only
    Furor Celtica increases the hit points of Siege Workshop units.
    Garland Wars - TC ONLY - Aztecs Only
    Garland Wars increases the attack of all infantry.
    Hoardings make your Castles stronger.
    Kataparuto - TC ONLY - Japanese Only
    Kataparuto makes Trebuchets fire and pack/un-pack faster.
    Logistica - TC ONLY - Byzantines Only
    Logistica gives Cataphracts trample damage.
    Mahouts - TC ONLY - Persians Only
    Mahouts increases the speed of War Elephants.
    Perfusion - TC ONLY - Goths Only
    Perfusion increases the creation speed of Barracks units.
    Rocketry - TC ONLY - Chinese Only
    Rocketry increases the piercing attack of Chu Ko Nu and scorpions.
    Sappers increases the damage villagers cause when they attack buildings.
    Shinkichon - TC ONLY - Koreans Only
    Shinkichon increases the range of Mangonels.
    Spies lets you see what your enemies have explored and share their unit line of
    sight.  You can purchase the Spies technology for gold.  By paying a fee
    dependent on the number of enemy villagers in existence, you can learn the exact
    location of each unit and building still in play.
    Supremacy - TC ONLY - Spanish Only
    Supremacy increases the combat skills of villagers, which makes them good
    front-line builders.
    Yeomen - TC ONLY - Britons Only
    Yeomen increases the range of archers and the attack of towers.
    Zealotry - TC ONLY - Saracens Only
    Zealotry increases the hit points of camels and Mamelukes.
                                      Mining Camp
    Gold Mining
    Gold Mining makes villagers mine gold faster.
    Gold Shaft Mining
    Gold Shaft Mining makes villagers mine gold even faster than Gold Mining.
    Stone Mining
    Stone Mining makes villagers mine stone faster.
    Stone Shaft Mining
    Stone Shaft Mining makes villagers mine stone even faster than Stone Mining.
                                      Lumber Camp
    Double- Bit Axe
    Double- Bit Axe makes villagers chop wood faster.
    Bow Saw
    Bow Saw makes villagers chop wood even faster than Double- Bit Axe.
    Two- Man Saw
    Two- Man Saw makes villagers chop wood even faster than the Bow Saw.
    Banking eliminates the cost of sending a tribute to resources to another player.
    Caravan - TC ONLY
    Caravan increases the speed of Trade Carts and Trade Cogs so they gather gold
    Cartography lets you share exploration and unit line of sight with your allies
    so you see what they have explored. (Before your allies see what you've explored,
    they must research Cartography, too.)
    Coinage decreases the cost of sending a tribute of resources to another player.
    Guilds reduces the cost of buying and selling resources at the Market.
    Bloodlines - TC ONLY
    Bloodlines increases the hit points of all mounted units.
    Husbandry increases spped of all cavalry units.
    Careening increases the pierce armor of ships and the number of units Transport
    Ships can carry.
    Dry Dock
    Dry Dock makes your ships faster and increases the number of units Transport
    Ships can carry.
    Shipwright decreases the amount of wood required to build ships.
                                     Archery Range
    Parthian Tactics - TC ONLY
    Parthian Tactics increases the normal and piercing armor of mounted archers.
    Thumb Ring - TC ONLY
    Thumb Ring increases the rate of fire and accuracy of archers.
     6.                                 History
    Political control of the populous and agriculturally rich central valley of
    Mexico fell into confusion after 1100. Gradually assuming ever-greater power
    were the Aztecs, probably a northern tribe that had migrated to the valley and
    occupied a minor town on the shore of the great central lake. They were a
    society that valued the skills of warriors above all others, and this emphasis
    gave them an advantage against rival tribes in the region. By the end of the
    15th century, the Aztecs controlled all of central Mexico as a military empire
    that collected tribute from rivals.
    The Aztec culture drew upon the experience of those that came before it and
    invented little that was new. They had an advanced agriculture that supported a
    very large population. They built immense buildings of grand design and
    flourished in many arts. They were adept metal workers, but had no iron.
    Lacking any suitable draft animal, they made no motive use of the wheel.
    One of the distinctive features of the Aztec culture was its penchant for
    sacrifice. Aztec myths dictated that human blood be fed to the Sun to give it
    the strength to rise each day. Human sacrifices were conducted on a grand scale;
    several thousand in a single day were not uncommon. Victims were often
    decapitated or flayed, and hearts were cut from living victims. Sacrifices were
    conducted at the top of tall pyramids to be close to the sun and blood flowed
    down the steps. Although the Aztec economy was based primarily on corn
    (or maize), the people believed that crops depended on the regular provision
    of sacrificial blood.
    The incessant demand for sacrificial victims meant that the Aztecs tolerated
    loose control over satellite cities because frequent revolts offered
    opportunities for capturing new victims. During times of peace, "garland wars"
    were arranged strictly as contests of courage and warrior skill, and for the
    purpose of capturing victims. They fought with wooden clubs to maim and stun,
    rather than kill. When fighting to kill, the clubs were studded with obsidian
    Despite their great agriculture and arts, the Aztecs appear in retrospect to
    have been a waning society. They passed on no significant technology or ideas
    of religion or political theory. Their civilization was brought to an abrupt
    end by the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century. Already devastated
    by European disease passed by early traders, they fell to a small Spanish army
    armed with steel weapons, firearms, and riding a few horses. The cruelty of the
    Aztecs contributed to their downfall by making it easy for the Spanish to enlist
    allies among the non-Aztecs in Mexico.
    Following the withdrawal of the Roman legions to Gaul (modern France) around
    400, the British Isles fell into a very dark period of several centuries from
    which almost no written records survive. The Romano-British culture that had
    existed under 400 years of Roman rule disappeared under relentless invasion and
    migration by barbarians. Celts came over from Ireland (a tribe called the Scotti
    gave their name to the northern part of the main island, Scotland). Saxons and
    Angles came from Germany, Frisians from modern Holland, and Jutes from modern
    Denmark. By 600, the Angles and Saxons controlled most of modern England. By
    800, only modern Wales, Scotland, and West Cornwall remained in largely Celtic
    The new inhabitants were called Anglo-Saxons (from the Angles and Saxons). The
    Angles gave their name to the new culture (England from Angle-land), and the
    Germanic language they brought with them, English, replaced the native Celtic
    and previously imported Latin. Despite further invasions and even a complete
    military conquest at a later date, the southern and eastern parts of the largest
    British Isle have been called England (and its people and language English) ever
    In 865 the relative peace of England was shattered by a new invasion. Danish
    Vikings who had been raiding France and Germany formed a great army and turned
    their attention on the English. Within 10 years, most of the Anglo-Saxon
    kingdoms had fallen or surrendered. Only the West Saxons (modern Wessex) held
    out under Alfred, the only English ruler to be called "the Great."
    England was divided among the Vikings, the West Saxons, and a few other English
    kingdoms for nearly 200 years. The Viking half was called the Danelaw ("under
    Danish law"). The Vikings collected a large payment, called the Danegeld ("the
    Dane's gold"), to be peaceful. The Danes became Christians and gradually became
    more settled. In time the English turned on the Danes, and in 954 the last
    Viking king of York was killed. England was united for the first time under an
    English king from Wessex.
    In 1066 the Witan ("king's council") offered the crown to Harold, son of the
    Earl of Wessex. Two others claimed the throne: Harald Hardrada (meaning "the
    hard ruler"), King of Norway, and Duke William of Normandy. The Norwegian landed
    first, near York, but was defeated by Harold at the battle of Stamford Bridge.
    Immediately after the victory, Harold force-marched his army south to meet
    William at Hastings. The battle seesawed back and forth all day, but near dusk
    Harold was mortally wounded by an arrow in the eye. Over the next two years,
    William, now "the Conqueror," solidified his conquest of England.
    During the remainder of the Middle Ages, the successors of William largely
    exhausted themselves and their country in a series of confrontations and wars
    attempting to expand or defend land holdings in France. The Hundred Years War
    between England and France was an on-and-off conflict that stretched from 1337
    to 1453. It was triggered by an English king's claim to the throne of France,
    thanks to family intermarriages. The war was also fought over control of the
    lucrative wool trade and French support for Scotland's independence. The early
    part of the war featured a string of improbable, yet complete, English
    victories, thanks usually to English longbowmen mowing down hordes of ornately
    armored French knights from long range.
    The English could not bring the war to closure, however, and the French rallied.
    Inspired by Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who professed divine guidance, the
    French fought back, ending the war with the capture of Bordeaux in 1453. The
    English were left holding only Calais on the mainland (and not for long).
    The Byzantines took their name from Byzantium, an ancient city on the Bosphorus,
    the strategic waterway linking the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea. The Roman
    Emperor Constantine had renamed this city Constantinople in the fourth century
    and made it a sister capital of his empire. This eastern partition of the Roman
    Empire outlived its western counterpart by a thousand years, defending Europe
    against invasions from the east by Persians, Arabs, and Turks. The Byzantines
    persevered because Constantinople was well defended by walls and the city could
    be supplied by sea. At their zenith in the sixth century, the Byzantines covered
    much of the territories of the original Roman Empire, lacking only the Iberian
    Peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal), Gaul (modern France), and Britain. The
    Byzantines also held Syria, Egypt, and Palestine, but by the middle of the
    seventh century they had lost them to the Arabs. From then on their empire
    consisted mainly of the Balkans and modern Turkey.
    The first great Byzantine emperor was Justinian I (482 to 565). His ambition was
    to restore the old Roman Empire and he nearly succeeded. His instrument was the
    greatest general of the age, Belisarius, who crisscrossed the empire defeating
    Persians to the East, Vandals in North Africa, Ostrogoths in Italy, and Bulgars
    and Slavs in the Balkans. In addition to military campaigns, Justinian laid the
    foundation for the future by establishing a strong legal and administrative
    system and by defending the Christian Church.
    The Byzantine economy was the richest in Europe for many centuries because
    Constantinople was ideally sited on trade routes between Asia, Europe, the Black
    Sea, and the Aegean Sea. It was an important destination point for the Silk Road
    from China. The nomisma, the principal Byzantine gold coin, was the standard for
    money throughout the Mediterranean for 800 years. Constantinople's strategic
    position eventually attracted the envy and animosity of the Italian city-states.
    A key strength of the Byzantine Empire was its generally superior army that drew
    on the best elements of the Roman, Greek, Gothic, and Middle Eastern experience
    in war. The core of the army was a shock force of heavy cavalry supported by
    both light infantry (archers) and heavy infantry (armored swordsmen). The army
    was organized into units and drilled in tactics and maneuvers. Officers received
    an education in military history and theory. Although outnumbered usually by
    masses of untrained warriors, it prevailed thanks to intelligent tactics and
    good discipline. The army was backed by a network of spies and secret agents
    that provided information about enemy plans and could be used to bribe or
    otherwise deflect aggressors.
    The Byzantine navy kept the sea-lanes open for trade and kept supply lines free
    so the city could not be starved into submission when besieged. In the eighth
    century, a land and sea attack by Arabs was defeated largely by a secret weapon,
    Greek fire. This chemical weapon, its composition now unknown, was a sort of
    liquid napalm that could be sprayed from a hose. The Arab navy was devastated at
    sea by Greek fire.
    In the seventh and eighth centuries, the Arabs overran Egypt, the Middle East,
    North Africa, and Spain, removing these areas permanently from Byzantine
    control. A Turkish victory at Manzikert in 1071 led to the devastation of Asia
    Minor, the empire's most important source of grain, cattle, horses, and
    soldiers. In 1204 Crusaders led by the Doge of Venice used treachery to sack and
    occupy Constantinople.
    In the fourteenth century, the Turks invaded Europe, capturing Adrianople and
    bypassing Constantinople. They settled the Balkans in large numbers and defeated
    a large crusader army at Nicopolis in 1396. In May 1453, Turkish sultan Mehmet
    II captured a weakly defended Constantinople with the aid of heavy cannon. The
    fall of the city brought the Byzantine Empire to an end.
    The Celts (pronounced "kelts") were the ancient inhabitants of Northern Europe
    and the builders of Stonehenge 5000 years ago. Julius Caesar had battled them
    during his conquest of Gaul. The Romans eventually took most of Britain and the
    Iberian Peninsula from them as well. At the end of the ancient Roman Empire, the
    Celts occupied only parts of northwestern France, Ireland, Wales, and parts of
    Scotland. During the course of the Middle Ages, they strengthened their hold on
    Scotland and made several attempts to take more of England.
    The Irish remained in small bands during the early Middle Ages. By 800 the four
    provinces of Leinster, Munster, Connaught, and Ulster had risen to power under
    "high kings." Viking raids began in 795 and then Viking settlements were
    established in the middle ninth century. The most important of these was at
    Dublin. Brian Boru became the first high king of all Ireland around 1000. In
    1014 the Irish defeated the Danes of Dublin at Clontarf, although Brian Boru was
    An Irish tribe called the Scotti invaded what is now southern Scotland during
    the early Middle Ages, settling permanently and giving the land its name. They
    pushed back and absorbed the native Picts who had harassed the Romans to the
    south. The Scottish kingdom took its present shape during the eleventh century
    but attracted English interference. The Scots responded with the "auld (old)
    alliance" with France, which became the foundation of their diplomacy for
    centuries to come. Edward I of England (Longshanks, or "hammer of the Scots")
    annexed Scotland in 1296.
    William Wallace (Braveheart) led a revolt of Scotland, winning virtual
    independence at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. Defeated the next year at
    Falkirk, Wallace waged a guerrilla war until he was betrayed, captured, and
    executed in 1305. Robert the Bruce declared himself king of Scotland after
    murdering his main rival. He drove out the English, winning the battle of
    Bannockburn in 1314. Edward III of England recognized Scotland's independence in
    1328, but war between the Scots and English carried on for several centuries.
    The crowns of the two countries were united in 1603, long after the Middle Ages
    were over.
    No prince in Wales proved strong enough to unite the country. In the late
    thirteenth century, Edward I took over the government of Gwynedd, one of the
    strongest Welsh principalities in Wales. He proceeded to build five great
    castles in Wales, effectively placing the country under English rule.
    China was reunited in 581 AD after a long period of internal war by the founders
    of the Sui dynasty. For most of the 1000 years that followed, China was one of
    the largest and most advanced civilization in the world. Because of its
    geographic isolation from the West, it was able to develop and maintain a unique
    culture that spread its influence over much of Asia.
    An emperor generally held supreme power as the son of heaven. Natural disasters
    or other calamities were taken as proof that the mandate of heaven had been
    withdrawn, however, and could justify revolt. Mandarins were conservative civil
    servants who operated most of the government at the local, province, and
    imperial level. Mandarins earned their positions by passing detailed civil
    service examinations based mainly on the works of Confucius.
    The T'ang dynasty ruled China from 618 to 907. China under the T'ang was large,
    wealthy, and powerful. There was extensive foreign trade and interest in the
    arts among the upper class. Printing and gunpowder were invented. The last 100
    years of T'ang rule witnessed tumultuous peasant revolts, however, and wars
    between local military rulers that the imperial court could not end. The years
    from 907 to 960 were known as the Five Dynasties period. Northern China was held
    by barbarians, and southern China split into 10 rival states. From one of these,
    an army general named Zhao Kuang-ying seized power and unified the southern
    states, founding the Song dynasty. His descendants reunited China within 20
    The Song dynasty ruled at least part of China until 1279. This was another
    period of cultural brilliance, and it was considered the great age of Chinese
    landscape painting. There was a dramatic improvement in economic activity,
    including a large overseas trade. Population and cities grew, food production
    grew faster than population, a money economy developed, and industrial output
    increased. No city in Europe could approach the populations of Chang An,
    Beijing, and Guang Zhou, all with more than 2 million inhabitants.
    The wealth of China attracted enemies, however, and the Mongols began attacks in
    1206. By 1279 they had completed the conquest of Song China and moved the
    capital to Beijing. The dramatic economic improvement of the Song dynasty ended
    with the Mongol conquests and the estimated 30 million deaths that they caused.
    The Mongol Yuan dynasty reunited China and reestablished it as a great military
    and world power. Chinese influence was spread into Asia. Hanoi was captured
    three times and tribute was extracted from Burma. Trade with India, Arabia, and
    the Persian Gulf was developed. Marco Polo visited China during this period.
    Natural disasters and higher taxes in the fourteenth century caused rural
    rebellions. A Buddhist monk rose to be one of the leaders of the Red Turbans, a
    secret society opposed to the emperor in Beijing. The rebels seized Nanjing in
    1356 and drove the Mongols from Beijing 12 years later, establishing the Ming
    dynasty. The Ming presided over another cultural flowering and established a
    political unity that outlasted the Ming and continued into the twentieth
    century. The Ming clamped down a strict conservatism and isolation, however,
    discouraging change and innovation, banning foreign travel, and closing the Silk
    Some of the most noteworthy aspects of medieval China are the technologies that
    were invented there, usually many centuries before a similar technology was
    invented in, or transmitted to, the West. Important Chinese inventions included
    the compass, the wheelbarrow, the abacus, the horse harness, the stirrup, the
    clock, iron-casting, steel, paper, moveable type (printing), paper money,
    gunpowder, and the stern-post rudder.
    The Franks were one of the Germanic barbarian tribes known to the Romans. In the
    early part of the fifth century, they began expanding south from their homeland
    along the Rhine River into Roman-controlled Gaul (modern France). Unlike other
    Germanic tribes, however, they did not move out of their homelands but, rather,
    added to them. Clovis, a Frankish chieftan, defeated the last Roman armies in
    Gaul and united the Franks by 509, becoming the ruler of much of western Europe.
    During the next 1000 years, this Frankish kingdom gradually became the modern
    nation of France.
    The kingdom of Clovis was divided after his death among his four sons, according
    to custom. This led to several centuries of civil warfare and struggle between
    successive claimants to the throne. By the end of the seventh century, the
    Merovingian kings (descendants of Clovis) were rulers in name only. In the early
    eighth century, Charles Martel became mayor of the palace, the ruler behind the
    throne. He converted the Franks into a cavalry force and fought so well that his
    enemies gave him the name of Charles the Hammer. In 732 the Frankish cavalry
    defeated Muslim invaders moving north from Spain at the Battle of Poitiers,
    stopping forever the advance of Islam from the southwest.
    Charles Martel's son, Pepin, was made king of the Franks by the pope in return
    for helping to defend Italy from the Lombards. Pepin founded the dynasty of the
    Carolingians, and the greatest of these rulers was Charles the Great, or
    Charlemagne, who ruled from 768 to 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an
    empire and was responsible for a rebirth of culture and learning in the West.
    Charlemagne's empire was divided among his grandsons and thereafter coalesced
    into two major parts. The western part became the kingdom of France. Later kings
    gradually lost political control of France, however. Central authority broke
    down under the pressure of civil wars, border clashes, and Viking raids. Money
    and soldiers could be raised only by making concessions to landholders. Fiefs
    became hereditary and fief holders became feudal lords over their own vassals.
    By the tenth century, France had been broken into feudal domains that acted as
    independent states.
    In 987 the French nobility elected Hugh Capet their king, mainly because his
    fief centered on Paris was weak and he was thought to pose no threat. He founded
    the Capetian line of kings, who worked slowly for two centuries regaining the
    power by making royal roads safe, adding land to their domain, encouraging
    trade, and granting royal charters for new towns and fiefs in vacant lands. By
    allying themselves with the church, the Capetians took a strong moral position
    and benefited from the church's cultural, political, and social influence. Royal
    administrators were made loyal to the king and more efficient by eliminating the
    inheritance of government offices.
    Beginning with Philip II in 1180, three superior rulers established France as
    one of the most important nations in Europe. They improved the working of the
    government, encouraged a booming trade, collected fees efficiently, and
    strengthened their position atop the feudal hierarchy. Although a national
    assembly called the Estates General was established, it held no real power and
    was successfully ignored.
    From 1337 to 1453 France and England fought the long conflict called the Hundred
    Years War to decide ownership of lands in France that had been inherited by
    English kings. The eventual French victory confirmed the king as the most
    powerful political force in France.
    The Goths were a Germanic tribe on the Danube River frontier known to the Romans
    from the first century AD. Pressured and then displaced when the Huns moved west
    out of Central Asia, the Goths moved west into Europe and over the Danube River
    to escape the oncoming hordes. After taking part in the fall of Rome, they vied
    with other barbarians for the leavings of the Western Roman Empire during the
    Early Middle Ages.
    The Goths originated on the island of Gotland in the Baltic, to the best of our
    knowledge, and split into two groups as they migrated south across Central
    Europe. The Visigoths, or West Goths, settled in modern Romania during the
    second century. The Ostrogoths, or East Goths, settled farther to the east on
    the northwest coast of the Black Sea. In 376 AD the Visigoths were driven from
    modern Romania by the Huns and moved south across the Danube. Their strength was
    estimated at 60,000 men, women, and children. They defeated a Roman army from
    Constantinople, settled briefly south of the Danube, and then pushed into Italy.
    In 409 they sacked Rome under their king Alaric and then moved north into Gaul.
    The Romans gave them southwestern Gaul. From there they eventually extended
    their rule into all of modern Spain and Portugal.
    The Ostrogoths broke away from Hunnish rule and followed their cousins into
    Italy late in the fifth century. They were encouraged to invade by the Eastern
    emperor, who wanted deposed the barbarian then ruling as viceroy. Under
    Theodric, king of modern Switzerland and the Balkans already, the Goths entered
    Italy in 488, completing its conquest in 493.
    Theodric's kingdom did not last long following his death in 526. Using a
    struggle for succession as an excuse, the Byzantines sent an army to Italy in
    536 led by their great general Belisarius. The Byzantines hoped to regain Italy
    and restore the old Roman Empire in the West. The war dragged on, devastating
    the countryside in conjunction with plague and famine. In 552 the Ostrogoths
    were finally defeated in Italy. They ceased to exist as a separate group by the
    late sixth century when northern Italy was invaded by a new group of barbarians
    called the Lombards.
    The Visigoth kingdom lasted somewhat longer. In the late fifth century Clovis of
    the Franks pushed the Visigoths out of France and over the Pyrenees Mountains.
    Following the death of Clovis his kingdom fragmented and the Visigoths were
    temporarily left alone. In 711 a new threat appeared from the south. Islamic
    armies crossed over from North Africa and destroyed the last Gothic kingdom in
    four years.
    The Goths are remembered for being the first to sack Rome and thereby beginning
    the final collapse of the ancient world order in Europe. Their admiration for
    Rome and attempts to preserve it, however, allowed much of the Roman culture to
    survive. For example, the modern languages of Italy, France, Spain, Portugal,
    and Romania are derived from Latin influenced by later settlers. They are not
    variations of German, as was the case in England.
    The Huns were a nomadic people from around Mongolia in Central Asia that began
    migrating toward the west in the third century, probably due to climatic change.
    They were a horse people and very adept at mounted warfare, both with spears
    and bows. Moving with their families and great herds of horses and domesticated
    animals they migrated in search of new grasslands to settle. Due to their
    military prowess and discipline, they proved unstoppable, displacing all in
    their path. They set in motion a tide of migration before them as other peoples
    moved to get out of their way. This domino effect of large populations passed
    around the hard nut of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire to spill
    over the Danube and Rhine Rivers, and ultimately overwhelm the Western Roman
    Empire by 476.
    Finding lands to their liking, the Huns settled on the Hungarian plain in
    Eastern Europe, making their headquarters at the city of Szeged on the Tisza
    River. They needed large expanses of grasslands to provide forage for their
    horses and other animals. From this area of plains the Huns controlled through
    alliance or conquest an empire eventually stretching from the Ural Mountains in
    Russia to the Rhône River in France.
    The Huns were superb horsemen, trained from childhood, and some believe they
    invented the stirrup, critical for increasing the fighting power of a mounted
    man charging with a couched lance. They inspired terror in enemies due to the
    speed at which they could move, changing ponies several times a day to maintain
    their advance. A second advantage was their recurved composite bow, far superior
    to anything used in the West. Standing in their stirrups, they could fire
    forward, to the sides, and to the rear. Their tactics featured surprise,
    lightning attacks, and the ensuing terror. They were an army of light cavalry
    and their political structure required a strong leader to hold them to a
    The peak of Hun power came during the rule of Attila, who became a leader of
    the Huns in 433 and began a series of raids into south Russia and Persia. He
    then turned his attention to the Balkans, causing sufficient terror and havoc
    on two major raids to be bribed to leave. In 450 he turned to the Western
    Empire, crossing the Rhine north of Mainz with perhaps 100,000 warriors.
    Advancing on a front of 100 miles, he sacked most of the towns in what is now
    northern France. The Roman general Aetius raised a Gallo-Roman army and
    advanced against Attila, who was besieging the city of Orleans. At the major
    battle of Chalôns, Attila was defeated, though not destroyed.
    The defeat at Chalôns is considered one of the decisive battles of history, one
    that could have meant collapse of the Christian religion in Western Europe and
    perhaps domination of the area by Asian peoples.
    Attila then invaded Italy, seeking new plunder. As he passed into Italy,
    refugees escaped to the islands off the coast, founding, according to tradition,
    the city of Venice. Though Roman forces were depleted and their main army still
    in Gaul, the Huns were weak as well, depleted by incessant campaigns, disease,
    and famine in Italy. At a momentous meeting with Pope Leo I, Attila agreed to
    The Hun empire disintegrated following the death of Attila in 453 with no strong
    leader of his ability to hold it together. Subject peoples revolted and factions
    within their group fought each other for dominance. They eventually disappeared
    under a tide of new invaders, such as the Avars, and disappeared from history.
    Located 100 miles off the mainland of Asia, at its closest point, Japan was a
    land of mystery at the edge of civilization. Isolated at first by geography and
    later by choice, the Japanese developed a distinctive culture that drew very
    little from the outside world. At the beginning of what were the Middle Ages in
    Europe, the advanced culture of Japan was centered at the north end of the
    Inland Sea on the main island of Honshu. Across the Hakone Mountains to the east
    lay the Kanto, an alluvial plain that was the single largest rice-growing area
    on the islands. To the north and east of the Kanto was the frontier, beyond
    which lived aboriginal Japanese who had occupied the islands since Neolithic
    Some believe that by the fifth century AD the Yamato court had become largely
    ceremonial. Independent clans, known as uji, held the real power behind
    the throne. Clan leaders formed a sort of aristocracy and vied with each other
    for effective control of land and the throne.
    In 536 the Soga clan became predominant and produced the first great historical
    statesman, Prince Shotoku, who instituted reforms that laid the foundation of
    Japanese culture for generations to come. In 645, power shifted from the Soga
    clan to the Fujiwara clan. The Fujiwara presided over most of the Heian period
    (794 to 1185). The new leadership imposed the Taika Reform of 645, which
    attempted to redistribute the rice-growing land, establish a tax on agricultural
    production, and divide the country into provinces. Too much of the country
    remained outside imperial influence and control, however. Real power shifted to
    great families that rose to prominence in the rice-growing lands. Conflict among
    these families led to civil war and the rise of the warrior class.
    Similar to the experience of medieval western Europe, the breakdown of central
    authority in Japan, the rise of powerful local nobles, and conflict with
    barbarians at the frontier combined to create a culture dominated by a warrior
    elite. These warriors became known as Samurai, ("those who serve"), who were
    roughly equivalent to the European knight. A military government replaced the
    nobility as the power behind the throne at the end of the twelfth century. The
    head of the military government was the Shogun.
    Samurai lived by a code of the warrior, something like the European code of
    chivalry. The foundation of the warrior code was loyalty to the lord. The
    warrior expected leadership and protection. In return he obeyed his lord's
    commands without question and stood ready to die on his lord's behalf. A Samurai
    placed great emphasis on his ancestry and strove to carry on family traditions.
    He behaved so as to earn praise. He was to be firm and show no cowardice.
    Warriors went into battle expecting and looking to die. It was felt that a
    warrior hoping to live would fight poorly.
    The Kamakura period (1185 to 1333) was named after a region of Japan dominated
    by a new ruling clan that took power after civil war. The Mongols attempted to
    invade Japan twice, in 1274 and 1281, but were repulsed both times. A fortuitous
    storm caused great loss to the second Mongol invasion fleet.
    When Europe fell into its Dark Age, Korea had been divided into three competing
    kingdoms: Koguryo to the north, Paekche to the southwest, and Shilla to the
    southeast. In alliance with China, Shilla conquered the other two kingdoms in
    the 7th century and then expelled their erstwhile Chinese ally. The central
    authority of Shilla disintegrated in the 8th-9th centuries, however, under
    pressure from local lords. Korea was unified once again as Koryo in the 10th
    century and after that, recovered territory reaching up to the Amnok River
    border with China in 993. The civilian nobility was thrown out of power by a
    military coup in 1170 and military rule then lasted for sixty years.
    The Mongols invaded in 1231, initiating a 30-year struggle. The Mongols were
    often distracted by their wars in China and elsewhere but eventually brought
    enough power to bear that Koryo made peace with the invaders in 1258. Under the
    Mongols the Koryo maintained their distinct culture and were inspired to
    demonstrate their superiority to their conquerors through a burst of artistic
    Land reform, the rise of a new bureaucracy, the diminishment of Buddhism, and
    the rise of Confucianism around 1400 were part of the creation of a new kingdom,
    the Choson, that would rule Korea until the 20th century. China heavily
    influenced the Choson politically and culturally. Korea became an important
    center of learning, aided by the invention of movable type and the woodblock
    technique of publishing around 1234.
    The greatest test of the Choson dynasty was invasion by samurai armies from
    Japan in 1592 that ostensibly planned to conquer China. Although seven years
    of fighting left much of the Korean peninsula devastated, the Japanese were
    forced to withdraw because their fleets could not keep open sea lines of supply
    and reinforcement back to Japan. The great Korean admiral Yi Sun-Shin defeated
    the Japanese at sea. One key to the Korean naval victories was their innovative
    turtle ships, the first cannon-bearing armored ships in history. The Japanese
    had no answer for these slow but powerful weapons.
    The Mayans occupied the Yucatan peninsula, modern Honduras, and modern
    Guatemala. They date back perhaps to the second millennium BC, but peaked
    between 600 and 900 AD. Though they lived on lands of marginal agricultural
    value, they created monuments and ceremonial centers nearly as impressive as
    those in Egypt. The extent of the ceremonial building is surprising because
    their religion was relatively simple. Their architecture was also less
    developed, though undeniably impressive, compared to contemporary advances
    made elsewhere in the world. They invented a unique written language that is
    only being deciphered today. Three Mayan books survive to the present, the
    remnants of a much larger number destroyed by Europeans who feared they
    contained heresy.
    The Mayans were very proficient in mathematics and astronomy. The understanding
    and predictability of star and planet movements was critical to the calculation
    of their calendar and the dating of important ceremonies. They lived in small
    hamlets that have not survived but congregated at their centers for important
    events. Noble warriors and priests controlled their society.
    The Mayans went into decline in the tenth century, perhaps due to earthquake or
    volcanic eruption. Many of their important ceremonial sites were thereafter
    abandoned. Warriors from central Mexico then invaded their territory and they
    broke into small town groupings in the rain forest. The last Mayan center was
    captured by the Spanish in the 17th century, but as many as two million people
    of Mayan descent reside in the Yucatan today.
    The Mongols were nomads from the steppes of Central Asia. They were fierce
    warriors who fought each other over pasturelands and raided developed
    civilizations to the east and south. At the beginning of the thirteenth century,
    the Mongol clans united and began a campaign of foreign conquest. Following in
    the hoofprints of the Huns, their predecessors by a thousand years, they carved
    out one of the largest empires the world has yet seen.
    The Mongols inhabited the plains south of Lake Baikal in modern Mongolia. At its
    maximum, their empire stretched from Korea, across Asia, and into European
    Russia to the Baltic Sea coast. They held most of Asia Minor, modern Iraq,
    modern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, parts of India, parts of Burma, all
    of China, and parts of Vietnam.
    The Mongol clans were united by Temuchin, called Genghis Khan ("mighty ruler"),
    in the early thirteenth century. His ambition was to rule all lands between the
    oceans (Pacific and Atlantic) and he nearly did so. Beginning with only an
    estimated 25,000 warriors, he added strength by subjugating other nomads and
    attacked northern China in 1211. He took Beijing in 1215 after a campaign that
    may have cost 30 million Chinese lives. The Mongols then turned west, capturing
    the great trading city Bukhara on the Silk Road in 1220. The city was burned to
    the ground and the inhabitants murdered.
    Following Genghis Khan's death in 1227, his son Ogedei completed the conquest of
    northern China and advanced into Europe. He destroyed Kiev in 1240 and advanced
    into Hungary. When Ogedei died on campaign in 1241, the entire army fell back to
    settle the question of succession. Europe was spared as Mongol rulers
    concentrated their efforts against the Middle East and southern China. Hulagu, a
    grandson of Genghis, exterminated the Muslim "Assassins" and then took the
    Muslim capital of Baghdad in 1258. Most of the city's 100,000 inhabitants were
    murdered. In 1260 a Muslim army of Egyptian Mamelukes (warrior slaves of high
    status) defeated the Mongols in present-day Israel, ending the Mongol threat to
    Islam and its holy cities.
    Kublai Khan, another grandson of Genghis, completed the conquest of China in
    1279, establishing the Yuan dynasty. Attempted invasions of Japan were thrown
    back with heavy loss in 1274 and 1281. In 1294 Kublai Khan died in China, and
    Mongol power began to decline in Asia and elsewhere. In 1368 the Yuan dynasty in
    China was overthrown in favor of the Ming.
    In the 1370's a Turkish-Mongol warrior claiming descent from Genghis Khan fought
    his way to leadership of the Mongol states of Central Asia and set out to
    restore the Mongol Empire. His name was Timur Leng (Timur, "the Lame," or
    Tamerlane to Europeans and the Prince of Destruction to Asians). With another
    army of 100,000 or so horsemen, he swept into Russia and Persia, fighting mainly
    other Muslims. In 1398 he sacked Delhi, murdering 100,000 inhabitants. He rushed
    west defeating an Egyptian Mameluke army in Syria. In 1402 he defeated a large
    Ottoman Turk army near modern Ankara. On the verge of destroying the Ottoman
    Empire, he turned again suddenly. He died in 1405 while marching for China. He
    preferred capturing wealth and engaged in wholesale slaughter, without pausing
    to install stable governments in his wake. Because of this, the huge realm
    inherited by his sons fell apart quickly after his death.
    The Persian Empire had existed for many centuries when the Middle Ages began. It
    had been reassembled following the conquest by Alexander in the fourth century
    BC and the subsequent breakup of his empire in later centuries. The Persians had
    been fighting the Romans since the third century AD.
    The Persian Empire stretched from Mesopotamia to India and from the Caspian Sea
    to the Persian Gulf, encompassing the modern nations of Iraq, Iran, and
    Afghanistan. They fought the Romans, and later the Byzantines, for control of
    modern Syria, Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, and Arabia. The capital of the
    Persian Empire was Ctesiphon, called Baghdad today.
    During the third and fourth centuries, the Romans made several attempts to
    subdue the Persians. In 364 a peace treaty was signed between the two that
    allowed the Persians to consolidate their power to the east and north. Beginning
    with the sixth century, the Persians began attacking the Byzantine Empire in
    Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and modern Turkey. The war between the two powers went
    back and forth. In 626 the Persians besieged Byzantium itself without success,
    and the Byzantines were able to invade Persia the following year. Peace was made
    between the two exhausted empires in 628.
    The Persians were unprepared for the fury of the Islamic Arabs in the seventh
    century. The Sassanid dynasty of Persia ended in battle in 636. The Persians did
    not have a capital with defenses comparable to those of Constantinople. Muslim
    conquest of Persia was complete by 651.
    The name Saracen applied originally to nomadic desert peoples from the area
    stretching from modern Syria to Saudi Arabia. In broader usage the name applied
    to all Arabs of the Middle Ages. These desert nomads erupted suddenly in the
    seventh century and established a far-reaching empire within a century and a
    half. Their conquest was fueled by faith and high morale. Following the
    teachings of the prophet Mohammed, their intent was to change the religious and
    political landscape of the entire planet.
    By 613 the prophet Mohammed was preaching a new religion he called Islam.
    Largely ignored in his home city of Mecca, he withdrew to Medina, built up a
    strong following there, and returned to attack and capture Mecca. Following his
    death in 632, his teachings were collected to form the Koran, the Islamic holy
    book. In 634 his followers began their jihad, or holy war. Within five years
    they had overrun Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. Their tolerance of Jews and
    Christians eased their conquest because these people had been suffering some
    persecution under the Byzantines.
    In the next 60 years, both North Africa to the west and Persia to the east fell
    to Islam. In the early eighth century, Saracens from Tangiers invaded the
    Iberian Peninsula and conquered the Visigoth kingdom established there after the
    fall of Rome. In Asia they took Asia Minor from the Byzantines and attempted to
    capture Constantinople with a combined attack from land and sea. The great walls
    of the city frustrated the land attack and the Saracen fleet was defeated at
    sea. In the west, Charles Martel of the Franks stopped a Saracen invasion of
    modern France in 732 at Poitiers.
    Frustrated in the west, the forces of Islam turned east. By 750 they had
    conquered to the Indus River and north over India into Central Asia to the
    borders of China.
    In 656 the Muslim world fell into civil war between two factions, the Sunnites
    and the Shiites. They differed on several points, including who should be caliph
    and interpretation of the Koran. The result of the 60-year war was that the
    Islamic state broke into pieces, some governed by Sunnites (the Iberian
    Peninsula) and others by Shiites (Egypt and modern Iraq). The new Islamic states
    acted independently, thereafter.
    Muslim Spain developed into one of the great states of Europe during the early
    Middle Ages. Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in relative harmony,
    and a rich culture rose out of these multiple influences. There was a flowering
    of the arts, architecture, and learning. By 1000, however, Muslim Spain had
    divided into warring factions. This civil war facilitated the slow reconquest of
    the peninsula (the Reconquista) by the emerging states of Castile and Aragon,
    completed finally in 1492.
    Asia Minor and the Middle East were conquered by Muslim Turks in the early
    eleventh century. In response to a call for aid from the Byzantines, a series of
    Crusades was launched from Europe to regain Palestine from the Turks. The
    independent Muslim states in the area lost Palestine and the Eastern
    Mediterranean coast to the First Crusade. In the last part of the twelfth
    century, the great Saracen leader Saladin succeeded in uniting Egypt, Syria, and
    smaller states, and he retook Jerusalem.
    The Muslim states remained independent long after the Middle Ages and eventually
    developed into the modern Arab nations of the Middle East and North Africa. They
    went into economic decline, however, when the European nations opened trade
    routes of their own to Asia in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
    The history of Spain in the Middle Ages is written in three principal chapters:
    the creation of Visigothic Spain, then Muslim Spain, and then Reconquista, the
    reconquest of Spain by Christians.
    The Iberian peninsula was an appendage of the Roman Empire that was discarded
    as the empire disintegrated because it could not be defended in the face of
    barbarian invasions that brought devastation to the streets of Rome itself. The
    peninsula was occupied in large part by one of the migrating barbarian groups,
    the Visigoths, who had come most recently from the southwestern plains of
    modern Russia, displaced by the Huns. The Visigoths became Christian and
    occupied the center of the peninsula for several centuries.
    When one of the Visigoth lords appealed to Muslims in North Africa in the 8th
    century for aid against the king, the door was opened for Muslim expansion
    across the Straits of Gibraltar. Within 50 years the Muslims had taken most of
    the peninsula, leaving only small areas in the mountains and to the north
    outside their control. Muslim, or Moorish, Spain quickly developed into one of
    the most advanced European civilizations of the Middle Ages. It prospered in
    relative peace thanks to good agriculture, trade, coinage, and industry. It
    benefited from the spread of learning throughout the Muslim world. Cordoba
    became the largest and most sophisticated city in Europe after Constantinople,
    featuring a population of over 500,000, wonderful architecture, great works of
    art, a fabulous library, and important centers of learning.
    Peace and prosperity were disrupted by internal disruption, however, as
    important local rulers competed for overall power, and by external attack, both
    from the Christian north and Muslim North Africa. By the middle of the 13th
    century, Muslim Spain was reduced to a single kingdom centered on Granada. The
    Christian kingdoms of the north gradually ate away at Muslim power, though their
    effort was often dispersed when they fought with each other. Portugal split off
    and created a separate kingdom. Muslim Granada survived for several centuries
    thanks to liberal tribute paid to the Christians to its north and to clever
    diplomacy that played their enemies against each other. In 1469, however,
    Isabel I of Castile married Fernando II of Aragon, uniting the two competing
    Christian kingdoms and foreshadowing the end of Muslim Spain.
    Spain of the Middle Ages was a world of contrasts. It featured the great
    advantages of a multi-ethnic society, merging Latin, Jewish, Christian, Arab,
    and Muslim influences into a unique and rich culture. At the same time, however,
    many of these same cultural forces clashed violently. When two different
    cultures clash, the result is often grim. The reconquest dragged on for eight
    centuries, mirroring the Crusades in the holy land and creating an atmosphere
    that became increasingly pitiless and intolerant. The Christian warriors who
    eventually expelled the Muslims earned a reputation for being among the best
    fighters in Europe.
    Granada fell to the forces of Aragon and Castile at the start of 1492, a
    momentous year, as under the patronage of Queen Isabel, Christopher Columbus
    subsequently discovered for Europeans the great continents of the New World and
    their native populations.
    The origin of Germany traces back to the crowning of Charlemagne as Holy Roman
    Emperor in 800. Upon his death the empire was split into three parts that
    gradually coalesced into two: the western Frankish kingdom that became France
    and the eastern kingdom that became Germany. The title of Holy Roman Emperor
    remained in Charlemagne's family until the tenth century when they died out. In
    919 Henry, Duke of Saxony, was elected king of Germany by his fellow dukes. His
    son Otto became emperor in 962.
    The Holy Roman Empire that Otto I controlled extended over the German plain
    north to the Baltic, eastward into parts of modern Poland, and southward through
    modern Switzerland, modern Austria, and northern Italy. From the outset, the
    emperors had a difficult problem keeping control of two disparate regions-
    Germany and Italy-that were separated by the Alps.
    The Holy Roman Empire was successful at first because it benefited the principal
    members, Germany and Italy. The Germans were not far removed from the barbarian
    condition. They had been conquered by Charlemagne only a century earlier. They
    benefited greatly from Italian culture, technology, and trade. The Italians
    welcomed the relative peace and stability the empire ensured. Italy had been
    invaded time and again for the previous 500 years. The protection of the empire
    defended the papacy and allowed the city-states of Italy to begin their growth.
    The imperial armies were manned partially by tenants of church lands who owed
    service to the emperor. A second important contingent were the ministriales, a
    corps of serfs who received the best training and equipment as knights but who
    were not free men. These armies were used to put down revolts or interference by
    local nobles and peasants or to defend against raids by Vikings from the north
    and Magyars from the east.
    Because Germany remained a collection of independent principalities in
    competition, German warriors became very skilled. The most renowned German
    soldiers were the Teutonic Knights, a religious order of warriors inspired by
    the Crusades. The Teutonic Knights spread Christianity into the Baltic region by
    conquest but were eventually halted by Alexander Nevsky at the battle on frozen
    Lake Peipus.
    A confrontation between the emperors and the church over investiture of bishops
    weakened the emperors in both Germany and Italy. During periods of temporary
    excommunication of the emperor and outright war against Rome, imperial authority
    lapsed. The local German princes solidified their holdings or fought off the
    Vikings with no interference or help from the emperor. In Italy, the rising
    city-states combined to form the Lombard League and refused to recognize the
    Political power in both Germany and Italy shifted from the emperor to the local
    princes and cities. The ministriales rebelled, taking control of the cities and
    castles they garrisoned and declaring themselves free. During desperate attempts
    to regain Italy, more concessions were given to the local princes in Germany. By
    the middle of the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Empire existed in name
    only. The throne remained empty for 20 years. The German princes cared only
    about their own holdings. The Italian city-states did not want a German ruler
    and were strong enough to defend themselves.
    Future emperors in the Middle Ages were elected by the German princes but they
    ruled in name only, controlling little more than their own family estates.
    Germany remained a minor power in Europe for centuries to come.
    The name Turk refers to two different Muslim groups of the Middle East-first the
    Seljuks and then the Ottomans. The Seljuks, nomads from the steppes near the
    Caspian Sea, converted to Islam around the tenth century. Approximately 70,000
    Seljuks started as mercenaries to fill the ranks of the Islamic army of the
    caliph of Baghdad. These mercenaries converted to the Sunni branch of Islam. In
    1055 they became the real power behind the caliph in Baghdad and began extending
    their rule. Their leaders took the title sultan, meaning "holders of power." By
    1100 they controlled most of Anatolia (taken from the Byzantines), Palestine,
    the lands surrounding the Persian Gulf, the holy cities of Arabia, and as far
    east as Samarkand.
    In 1071 the Seljuks achieved a stunning victory over a Byzantine army at
    Malazgirt in modern Turkey, which led to Turkish occupation of most of Anatolia.
    At nearly the same time, they successfully captured Jerusalem from its Egyptian
    Muslim rulers. These two events shocked the Byzantines, the papacy, and the
    Christian Europeans. The result was the Crusades, which carried on for the next
    200 years.
    The Seljuk Turks were worn down by the recurring wars with the Crusaders, even
    though they were successful ultimately in regaining control of Palestine. They
    were threatened simultaneously by the activities of the Assassins, a heretical
    sect of Islam. Internally, Islam entered a period of introspection because of
    the popularity of Sufi mysticism. During this period of exhaustion and weakness,
    they were attacked suddenly by the Mongols and collapsed. Baghdad fell to the
    invaders in 1258 and the Seljuk Empire disappeared.
    Islamic peoples from Anatolia (modern Turkey in Asia Minor) were unified in the
    early fourteenth century under Sultan Osman I and took the name Osmanli, or
    Ottomans, in his honor. The Ottomans swore a jihad against the crumbling
    Byzantine Empire and took their campaign around Constantinople into the Balkans.
    In 1389 the Serbs were defeated. In 1396 a "crusader" army from Hungary was
    defeated. Ottoman successes were temporarily halted by the Mongols under
    Tamerlane, but he moved on with his army and the Ottomans recovered.
    Sultan Mehmed II ("the Conqueror") at last captured Constantinople on May 29,
    1453. The great walls of Constantinople were battered by 70 guns for eight weeks
    and then 15,000 Janissaries led the successful assault.
    The Ottomans pushed on into Europe following the capture of Constantinople and
    threatened a sort of reverse Crusade. They were stopped by a Hungarian army at
    Belgrade in 1456, however. Attacks on Vienna were repulsed in 1529 and again in
    1683. At its peak in the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire reached up into
    Europe to Budapest and Odessa and included all of Greece and the Balkans, the
    lands surrounding the Black Sea, Asia Minor, the Levant, Arabia, Egypt, and most
    of North Africa. The Ottoman Empire remained a significant world power until
    World War I in the twentieth century.
    The Vikings (meaning "northmen") were the last of the barbarian tribes called
    Germans by the Romans to terrorize Europe. Spreading out from their homelands in
    Scandinavia, they struck suddenly across the seas from their dragon boats
    (called such because of the dragon heads carved on the bow and stern). They
    began by raiding, pillaging, and withdrawing before any serious armed resistance
    could be mounted, but they gradually grew more bold. Eventually they occupied
    and settled significant parts of Europe.
    Being pagan, they did not hesitate to kill churchmen and loot church holdings,
    and they were feared for their ruthlessness and ferocity. At the same time, they
    were remarkable craftsmen, sailors, explorers, and traders.
    The Viking homelands were Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. They and their
    descendants controlled, at least temporarily, most of the Baltic Coast, much of
    inland Russia, Normandy in France, England, Sicily, southern Italy, and parts of
    Palestine. They discovered Iceland in 825 (Irish monks were there already) and
    settled there in 875. They colonized Greenland in 985. Some people think that
    the Vikings reached Newfoundland and explored part of North America 500 years
    before the voyage of Columbus.
    Vikings began raiding and then settling along the eastern Baltic Sea in the
    sixth and seventh centuries. At the end of the eighth century, they were making
    long raids down the rivers of modern Russia and setting up forts along the way
    for defense. In the ninth century, they were ruling Kiev and in 907 a force of
    2000 ships and 80,000 men attacked Constantinople. They were bought off by the
    emperor of Byzantium with very favorable terms of trade.
    Vikings struck first in the West in the late eighth century. Danes attacked and
    looted the famous island monastery at Lindisfarne on the northeast coast of
    England, beginning a trend. The size and frequency of raids against England,
    France, and Germany increased to the point of becoming invasions. Settlements
    were established as bases for further raids. Viking settlements in northwestern
    France came to be known as Normandy ("from the northmen"), and the residents
    were called Normans.
    In 865 a large Danish army invaded England, and they went on to hold much of
    England for the next two centuries. One of the last kings of all England before
    1066 was Canute, who ruled Denmark and Norway simultaneously. In 871 another
    large fleet sailed up the Seine River to attack Paris. They besieged the city
    for two years before being bought off with a large cash payment and permission
    to loot part of western France unimpeded.
    In 911 the French king made the Viking chief of Normandy a duke in return for
    converting to Christianity and ceasing to raid. From the Duchy of Normandy came
    a remarkable series of warriors, including William I, who conquered England in
    1066, Robert Guiscard and his family, who took Sicily from the Arabs between
    1060 and 1091, and Baldwin I, king of the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem.
    Viking raids stopped at the end of the tenth century. Denmark, Sweden, and
    Norway had become kingdoms, and much of their king's energy was devoted to
    running their lands. The spread of Christianity weakened the old pagan warrior
    values, which died out. The Norse were also absorbed by the cultures into which
    they had intruded. The occupiers and conquerors of England became English, the
    Normans became French, and the Rus became Russians.
             Medieval Weapons
    The traditional and popular understanding of European warfare in the Middle Ages
    held that mounted knights dominated European battlefields during the years 800
    to 1400. Knights were encased in plate armor and charged with lances,
    scattering, skewering, and riding down any foot troops in the way as they closed
    with each other to decide the battle. The era of the knight came to an end when
    infantry reestablished a prominent battlefield role with new weapons (firearms)
    and revived skills (formations of massed pikeman). This view was fostered by the
    art and limited accounts of the era that featured the mounted nobility while
    ignoring the commoners and peasants who fought on foot. The perception that
    knights dominated and that warfare consisted mainly of cavalry charges is false.
    Foot troops were an important component of all armies in the Middle Ages. They
    fought in hand-to-hand mêlées and as missile troops (bows of various types and
    later handguns). Foot soldiers were critical for both sides in sieges against
    castles and fortified towns.
    Warfare in the Middle Ages was dominated actually by sieges of one sort or
    another. Battles on open ground between armies were infrequent. Armies played a
    sort of chess match, maneuvering to take important castles and towns, while
    avoiding engagements where a large and expensive force might be lost.
    On those occasions where pitched battles did occur, knights could be
    devastating. A determined charge by armored knights was a powerful force. It was
    more likely, however, that victory went to the side making best use of the three
    major army components together-mêlée infantry, missile troops, and cavalry. Also
    important were the factors that have always influenced battle, such as
    intelligent use of terrain, troop morale, leadership, discipline, and tactics.
             Dark Age Armies
    The Germanic tribes that overran the Roman Empire at the start of the Middle
    Ages fought primarily on foot with axes and swords, while wearing little armor
    other than perhaps helmets and shields. They were organized into war bands under
    the leadership of a chief. They were fierce warriors but fought in undisciplined
    mobs. The disciplined Roman legions had great success against the Germanic
    tribes for centuries, in part because emotional armies are usually very fragile.
    When the Roman legions declined in quality at the empire's end, however, the
    Germanic tribes were able to push across the frontier.
    Not all Germanic tribes fought on foot. Exceptions were the Goths, who had
    adapted to horses when they settled previously north of the Black Sea. Both the
    Visigoths and Ostrogoths learned about cavalry by being in contact with the
    Eastern Roman Empire south of the Danube and barbarian horsemen from Asia. The
    Eastern Roman armies put a greater emphasis on cavalry because of their
    conflicts with mounted barbarians, the Parthians, and the Persians.
    Following the fall of Rome, most fighting in Europe for the next few centuries
    involved clashes of foot soldiers. One exception might have been the battles of
    Britain's Arthur against the invading Saxons, although we have no evidence that
    his success was due to using cavalry. Arthur may have halted Saxon progress in
    Britain for 50 years, perhaps because of cavalry or the use of disciplined
    troops. Another exception was the Byzantine army that recaptured North Africa
    from the Vandals and almost restored Italy to Eastern Roman control in the sixth
    century. The strength of the Byzantine army of this period was cavalry. The
    Byzantines benefited also from both superior leadership and an understanding of
    tactics that the barbarians lacked.
    Fighting in these first centuries rarely involved groups that could be described
    as armies. They were the same war bands as before, small by Byzantine or Asian
    standards and employing limited tactics or strategy. The main military
    activities were raids to obtain loot in the form of food, livestock, weapons,
    and slaves. Aggressive tribes expanded by devastating the food production of
    enemies, starving them out, and enslaving the survivors. Battles were mainly
    clashes of war bands, fighting hand to hand with axes and swords. They fought as
    mobs, not the disciplined formations typical of the Romans. They used shields
    and helmets and wore some armor. Leather armor was common; only chieftains and
    elites wore chain mail.
    In the early eighth century, Visgothic Spain fell to the warriors of Islam, many
    of whom fought as light cavalry. At the same time, nomadic Magyars from the
    Hungarian plains increased their mounted raids on western Europe. In 732 a
    Frankish infantry army was able to defeat a Muslim cavalry raid near Poitiers,
    ending Muslim northward expansion. Charles Martel, warlord of the Franks, was
    impressed by the Moorish cavalry and began mounting part of his army. This
    conversion continued later in the century under the great king of the Franks,
    Charlemagne. Frankish heavy cavalry was the genesis of the mounted knight that
    came to typify medieval warfare.
    Annually for 30 years, Charlemagne conducted military campaigns that extended
    the size of his empire. The Frankish army consisted of both infantry and armored
    cavalry, but the cavalry was his most valuable force and the part that got the
    most notice. It could move quickly and strike hard against foes fighting mainly
    on foot. Charlemagne's campaigns were economic raids, burning, looting, and
    devastating enemies into submission. He fought very few battles against
    organized opposition.
    The Vikings fought exclusively on foot, except that it was their habit to gather
    horses upon landing and use them to raid farther inland. Their raids began in
    the late eighth century and ended in the eleventh century. The descendants of
    Viking raiders that became the Normans of northwestern France adapted quickly to
    the use of horses and became some of the most successful warriors of the late
    Middle Ages.
    In the early tenth century, the Germans began developing the use of cavalry
    under Otto I, both as a rapid response force against Viking raids and to repel
    mounted barbarian raids from the East.
    By the end of the tenth century, heavy cavalry was an important component of
    most European armies except in Anglo-Saxon England, Celtic lands (Ireland,
    Wales, and Scotland), and Scandinavia.
    By the time of Charlemagne, mounted warriors had become the elite military units
    of the Franks and this innovation spread across Europe. Fighting from a horse
    was most glorious because the mounted man rode into battle, moved quickly, and
    trampled down lower-class enemies on foot. When cavalry faced cavalry, the
    charge at speed and resulting violent contact was exhilarating. Fighting while
    mounted was most prestigious because of the high cost of horses, weapons, and
    armor. Only wealthy individuals, or the retainers of the wealthy, could fight
    Kings of the late Dark Ages had little money with which to pay for large
    contingents of expensive cavalry. Warriors were made vassals and given fiefs of
    land. They were expected to use their profits from the land to pay for horses
    and equipment. In most cases, vassals also supported groups of professional
    soldiers. At a time when central authority was weak and communications poor, the
    vassal, aided by his retainers, was responsible for law and order within the
    fief. In return for his fief, the vassal agreed to provide military service to
    his lord. In this way, high lords and kings were able to raise armies when
    desired. The elites of these armies were the mounted vassals.
    As the Middle Ages progressed, the elite mounted warriors of western Europe
    became known as knights. A code of behavior evolved, called chivalry, which
    detailed how they should conduct themselves. They were obsessed with honor, both
    at war and at peace, although mainly when dealing with their peers, not the
    commoners and peasants who constituted the bulk of the population. Knights
    became the ruling class, controlling the land from which all wealth derived. The
    aristocrats were noble originally because of their status and prestige as the
    supreme warriors in a violent world. Later their status and prestige were based
    mainly on heredity, and the importance of being a warrior declined.
    When first used, the term "chivalry" meant horsemanship. The warrior elite of
    the Middle Ages distinguished themselves from the peasants and clergy and each
    other by their skill as horsemen and warriors. Fast and strong horses, beautiful
    and efficient weapons, and well-made armor were the status symbols of the day.
    By the twelfth century, chivalry had come to mean an entire way of life. The
    basic rules of the chivalric code were the following:
    *  Protect women and the weak.
    *  Champion justice against injustice and evil.
    *  Love the homeland.
    *  Defend the Church, even at the risk of death.
    In practice, knights and aristocrats ignored the code of chivalry when it suited
    them. Feuds between nobles and fights over land took precedent over any code.
    The Germanic tribal custom that called for a chieftain's property to be split
    among his sons, rather than pass to the eldest, often triggered wars among
    brothers for the spoils. An example of this was the conflict between
    Charlemagne's grandsons. The Middle Ages were plagued with such civil wars in
    which the big losers were usually the peasants.
    In the late Middle Ages, kings created orders of chivalry, which were exclusive
    organizations of high-ranking knights that swore allegiance to their king and
    each other. Becoming a member of chivalric order was extremely prestigious,
    marking a man as one of the most important of the realm. In 1347 during the
    Hundred Years War, Edward III of England founded the Order of the Garter, still
    in existence today. This order consisted of the 25 highest-ranking knights of
    England and was founded to ensure their loyalty to the king and dedication to
    victory in the war.
    The Order of the Golden Fleece was established by Philip the Good of Burgundy in
    1430 and became the richest and most powerful order in Europe. Louis XI of
    France established the Order of St. Michael to control his most important
    nobles. The Orders of Calatrava, Santiago, and Alcantara were founded to drive
    the Moors out of Spain. They were united under Ferdinand of Aragon, whose
    marriage to Isabella of Castile set the foundation for a single Spanish kingdom.
    He eventually became master of the three orders, although they remained
    Becoming a Knight
    At the age of 7 or 8, boys of the noble class were sent to live with a great
    lord as a page. Pages learned basic social skills from the women of the lord's
    household and began basic training in the use of weapons and horsemanship.
    Around the age of 14 the youth became a squire, a knight in training. Squires
    were assigned to a knight who continued the youth's education. The squire was a
    general companion and servant to the knight. The duties of the squire included
    polishing armor and weapons (prone to rust), helping his knight dress and
    undress, looking after his belongings, and even sleeping across his doorway as a
    At tournaments and in battle, the squire assisted his knight as needed. He
    brought up replacement weapons and horses, treated wounds, brought a wounded
    knight out of danger, or made sure of a decent burial if needed. In many cases
    the squire went into battle with his knight and fought at his side. A knight
    avoided fighting a squire on the other side, if possible, seeking instead a
    knight of rank similar to or higher than his own. Squires, on the other hand,
    sought to engage enemy knights, seeking to gain glory by killing or capturing an
    enemy knight of high rank.
    In addition to martial training, squires built up their strength through games,
    learned to at least read, if not write, and studied music, dancing, and singing.
    By the age of 21, a squire was eligible to become a knight. Suitable candidates
    were "knighted" by a lord or other knight of high standing. The ceremony for
    becoming a knight was simple at first, usually being "dubbed" on the shoulder
    with a sword and then buckling on a sword belt. The ceremony grew more elaborate
    and the Church added to the rite. Candidates bathed, cut their hair close, and
    stayed up all night in a vigil of prayer. In the morning the candidate received
    the sword and spurs of a knight.
    Knighthood was usually attainable only for those who possessed the land or
    income necessary to meet the responsibilities of the rank. Important lords and
    bishops could support a sizable contingent of knights, however, and many found
    employment in these circumstances. Squires who fought particularly well might
    also gain the recognition of a great lord during battle and be knighted on the
    Mock battles between knights, called tournaments, began in the tenth century and
    were immediately condemned by the second Council of Letrán, under Pope
    Innocentius II, and the kings of Europe who objected to the injuries and deaths
    of knights in what they considered frivolous activity. Tournaments flourished,
    however, and became an integral part of a knight's life.
    Tournaments began as simple contests between individual knights but grew more
    elaborate through the centuries. They became important social events that would
    attract patrons and contestants from great distances. Special lists (tournament
    grounds) were erected with stands for spectators and pavilions for combatants.
    Knights continued to compete as individuals but also in teams. They dueled
    against each other using a variety of weapons and held mock mêlée battles with
    many knights on a side. Jousts, or tilts, involving two charging knights
    fighting with lances, became the premier event. Knights competed like modern-day
    athletes for prizes, prestige, and the eyes of the ladies who filled the stands.
    So many men were being killed in tournaments by the thirteenth century, that
    leaders, including the pope, became alarmed. Sixty knights died in a 1240
    tournament held in Cologne, for example. The pope wanted as many knights as
    possible to fight on the Crusades in the Holy Land, rather than be killed in
    tournaments. Weapons were blunted and rules attempted to reduce the incidence of
    injury, but serious and fatal injuries occurred. Henry II of France was mortally
    wounded, for example, in a joust at a tournament held to celebrate his
    daughter's wedding.
    Challenges were usually issued for a friendly contest, but grudges between two
    enemies might be settled in a fight to the death. Tournament losers were
    captured and paid a ransom to the victors in horses, weapons, and armor to
    obtain their release. Heralds kept track of tournament records, like modern
    baseball box scores. A low-ranking knight could amass wealth through prizes and
    attract a wealthy wife.
    Military Orders
    During the Crusades military orders of knights were created to support the
    Christian goals of the movement. They became the fiercest of the Crusaders and
    the most hated enemies of the Arabs. These orders carried on after the Crusades
    in Palestine ended in failure.
    The first of these orders were the Knights of the Temple, or the Templars,
    founded in 1108 to protect the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The Templars wore a
    white surcoat supplanted with a red cross and took the same vows as a
    Benedictine monk-poverty, chastity, and obedience. The Templars were among the
    bravest defenders of the Holy Land. They were the last Crusaders to leave the
    Holy Land. In the following years they grew wealthy from donations and by
    lending money at interest, attracting the envy and distrust of kings. In 1307
    King Philip IV of France accused them of many crimes, including heresy, arrested
    them, and confiscated their lands. Other European leaders followed his lead and
    the Templars were destroyed.
    The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, or the Hospitallers, were set up
    originally to tend to sick and poor pilgrims visiting the Holy Sepulcher. They
    converted shortly into a military order. They wore a red surcoat with a white
    cross and also took the vows of St. Benedict. The Hospitallers set a high
    standard and did not allow their order to become rich and indolent. When forced
    out of the Holy Land following the surrender of their great castle, the Krak des
    Chevaliers, they retreated to the island of Rhodes, which they defended for many
    years. Driven from Rhodes by the Turks they took up residence on Malta.
    The third great military order was the Teutonic Knights, founded in 1190 to
    protect German pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Before the end of the
    Crusades they had turned their efforts toward converting the heathens in Prussia
    and in the Baltic States.
    To distinguish knights on the battlefield, a system of badges called heraldry
    was developed. A special badge was designed for each nobleman to be shown on his
    shield, surcoat, flags, and seal. A surcoat decorated with a knight's badge
    became known as a coat-of-arms and this term came to describe the badges
    themselves. An independent organization known as the College of Heralds designed
    the individual badges and ensured that each was unique. Badges were recorded by
    the heralds in special books under their care.
    Coats-of-arms were handed down from one generation to the next and would be
    modified by marriage. Certain designs were reserved for royalty in different
    countries. By the late Middle Ages towns, guilds, and even prominent nonnoble
    townsmen were granted coats-of-arms.
    On the battlefield, combatants used coats-of-arms to distinguish friend and foe
    and to choose a worthy opponent in a mêlée. Heralds made lists of knights about
    to fight based on their badges. Heralds were also considered neutrals and would
    act as intermediaries between two armies. In this manner they might pass
    messages between the defenders of a castle or town and its besiegers. After a
    battle, heralds identified the dead by their coats-of-arms.
             Medieval Weapons
    For most of the Middle Ages, the technology of weapons was little changed from
    that of the ancient world, remaining primarily variants of the club, knife,
    spear, axe, and arrow. An important innovation was the heavy mounted horseman
    using the lance. The mounted knight was significantly more potent than any
    cavalry of the ancient world. The closest ancient equivalent may have been the
    Companion cavalry of Alexander the Great.
    By the tenth century Europe had bypassed the ancients in most areas, including
    weaponry. The evolution of the heavy horseman triggered corresponding innovation
    to defend against him. This resulted in new pole arms to ward off or engage
    The longbow and crossbow were innovations in the West. The crossbow was known to
    the ancient Chinese, however.
    The revolutionary technology of the Middle Ages was the development of gunpowder
    weapons, both cannons and hand weapons, discussed later.
    | Cavalry Weapons |
    Since the first appearance of cavalry around 1000 BC, mounted troops have
    fulfilled several important roles in battle. They acted as scouts, skirmishers,
    a shock force for mêlée combat, a rear guard, and the pursuit of a retreating
    enemy. Cavalry were divided into several different categories depending on
    equipment and training, and some categories were better suited for certain roles
    than others. Light cavalry wore little or no armor and was best suited for
    scouting, skirmishing, and acting as a rear guard. Heavy cavalry wore armor and
    was better suited for use as a shock force that charged the enemy. All types of
    cavalry excelled at pursuit.
    Knights of the Middle Ages were heavy cavalry, and the code of chivalry
    emphasized their role as shock troops charging enemy cavalry and infantry. From
    the thirteenth century on, the term man-at-arms was used to describe armored
    warriors fighting on horse and on foot. The new term applied to knights as well
    as squires, gentry, and professional soldiers.
    The advantages of knights in battle were speed, intimidation, power, and height.
    As the Middle Ages progressed, the equipment of knights improved to enhance
    these advantages.
    The spear, and later the larger lance, was the weapon with which cavalry opened
    a battle. It was ideal for stabbing opponents on foot, especially those in
    flight. The presentation of the spear in front of a mounted horseman added
    greatly to the intimidation caused by an approaching charge. Much of the force
    of the horse could be transmitted through the spear point at the moment of
    impact. The charging knight became a thundering missile.
    Historians disagree on the importance of the stirrup to the rise of knights. The
    stirrup first appeared in Asia and reached Europe in the eighth century. Some
    believe that it was critical to the rise of knights because it allowed the rider
    to brace himself and his lance, thereby transmitting the entire force of the
    charging horse through the lance point. No one argues with the advantage of this
    force multiplication, but others suggest that the high saddle developed in Roman
    times allowed riders to transmit this power before the stirrup appeared. The
    Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts William's conquest of England in 1066, shows the
    highly regarded Norman knights using their spears mainly as overhand stabbing or
    throwing spears, not as couched lances. By this time the stirrup had been known
    in Europe for at least two centuries. For the remainder of the Middle Ages, the
    mounted charge by knights holding couched lances was the epitome of combats for
    knights. It was not always the correct tactic, however.
    The initial charge by knights often resulted in the loss of spears or lances, or
    the charge ended in a general mêlée. In either case, knights switched to another
    weapon. This was usually their sword. The cavalry sword evolved into the saber,
    a wide, heavy blade that a man standing in his stirrups could swing down with
    tremendous force on the head and upper body of opponents. Swords were the
    weapons that knights prized most highly because they could be carried on the
    person, prominently displayed, and personalized. They were the most common
    weapons for hand-to-hand combat between knights. Good swords were also
    expensive, so ownership was another distinction of the nobility.
    Other choices of mêlée weapon included the hammer and mace (evolutions of the
    club), the axe, and the flail. Hammers and maces were popular with fighting
    churchmen and warrior monks trying to obey the letter of the Bible's admonition
    about shedding blood, which edged weapons were prone to do.
    Under no circumstances did knights use missile weapons of any kind. Killing an
    opponent at range with an arrow, bolt, or bullet was considered dishonorable.
    Knights fought worthy foes of the same rank when possible and killed face to
    face or not at all.
    Chain mail armor was worn by the late Romans and by some of the invading
    Germanic tribes, including the Goths. Chain mail remained popular with the
    nobility of medieval Europe until more protective plate armor came into use in
    the thirteenth century. The change was made in part because an arrow or sharp
    sword point could pierce chain mail. A cloth tunic, called a surcoat, was worn
    over the chain mail, especially during the Crusades to reflect the sun.
    Helmets also evolved from simple conical designs, to large metal buckets, to
    large sculpted pieces designed to deflect arrows. Later, helmets could be bolted
    to the armor worn on the body.
    Full suits of armor weighing up to 60 pounds appeared in the fourteenth century.
    Plate armor was well designed and knights retained a surprising amount of
    agility. An armored knight on the ground was not helpless and could easily stand
    up. There are accounts and depictions of armored men doing handstands and other
    gymnastics in lighter moments. Later suits put increased emphasis on deflecting
    missiles and reinforced areas most exposed to blows. Elaborate full suits of
    engraved plate armor appeared late during the age and were more ceremonial and
    prestigious than practical.
    Armor was a large expense for a knight who equipped himself and a squire. An
    important lord had to provide armor for many knights. The making of armor was an
    important business, and a large market in used armor developed during the Middle
    Ages. Common soldiers on the victorious side of a battle could make a
    substantial sum by stripping dead knights of their armor and selling it.
    Knights took special pride in their horses, which were bred for speed and
    strength. They required extensive training, as well, to be manageable during a
    charge and mêlée. Horses were trained to charge with minimal guidance, freeing
    the knight to hold his shield and lance. Historians disagree as to whether the
    horses of knights were the heavy horse thought necessary to carry the weight of
    a fully equipped knight or a smaller horse valued for its speed and agility.
    Horsemanship was another characteristic by which the elite knights distinguished
    themselves from the commoners. It was practiced while hunting, a popular leisure
    activity of the nobles that carries on today in the traditional foxhunt.
    | Missile Weapons |
    Bows of one type or another played an important role in battle throughout the
    Middle Ages. They were used as direct fire weapons against individual targets on
    battlefields and during sieges. In some cases they were used as area fire
    Missile fire allowed men to cause casualties at range. Archers were used as
    light troops to cause casualties and weaken enemy morale due to losses before
    mêlée combat. If the enemy force could be weakened or shaken, the chances of
    winning the mêlée were enhanced.
    Bows used during the Middle Ages were of various types, including the short bow,
    the composite bow, and the longbow. The short bow was 3 to 4 feet long and
    rather easy to make and use. It was employed widely and the most common bow
    encountered. It had medium range, power, and accuracy and required substantial
    experience and training for effective use.
    The composite bow was of Asiatic origin. It was made from a composite of wood or
    bone strips bonded together. The lamination created a more powerful bow, but one
    that required more strength and training than the common bow. This relatively
    short bow was the preferred weapon of horse archers, especially the Mongols and
    other horse peoples from Asia. A variant of the composite bow was curved forward
    at the tips during manufacture (by steaming and bending the laminate). This
    recurved bow generated more power and required a high degree of strength and
    The longbow originated in Wales and spread to England. It was a 6-foot bow made
    from a single piece of wood, usually from the yew tree. The longbow shot a 3-
    foot arrow (cloth yard). These were fitted with broad tips for use against
    infantry (for piercing leather armor and causing lacerations) and narrow tips
    for use against armored men (to pierce mail or plate armor). Shooting the
    longbow required extensive training and practice; men experienced with the
    weapon could get off six well-aimed shots in a minute. Longbows had a long range
    and were quite powerful. Large contingents of experienced longbowmen were a
    devastating force on many battlefields of the Middle Ages. They could fire
    individually aimed shots or rain down a barrage of arrows into an area.
    The English encouraged the use of the longbow by sponsoring archery tournaments
    throughout the land. All other sports were banned on Sundays. This created a
    large pool of experienced bowmen from which they could recruit. Each English
    shire was required by law to provide a number of bowmen each year. There was
    usually no shortage of applicants because the pay of soldiers was so good
    relative to other work.
    The crossbow was known in ancient China but seems to have been reinvented in
    Europe around 900. It had good range and was more powerful than most bows, but
    it took much more time to load. An average crossbowman fired 2 shots per minute.
    The bow of the crossbow was held horizontally and fired with a trigger that
    released the taut bowstring. To load, the front of the weapon was pointed to the
    ground and held in place by foot. The bowstring was pulled up and back with both
    hands or with the help of cranks. The crossbow fired a quarrel, or bolt, which
    was much shorter than a typical arrow. The quarrel did have flights (feathers)
    for stabilization in flight and had a sharpened metal point.
    Crossbowmen often carried a pavise shield into battle to provide cover while
    they loaded. This was a tall shield with wooden braces attached. A force of
    crossbowmen set up a wall of such shields and bent down behind the wall to load.
    When they shot, only the crossbows and their helmeted heads appeared over the
    wall of shields. If forced to fight in the open against a comparable force of
    longbowmen, they were usually forced to withdraw.
    The crossbow was a deadly weapon and was very popular for the simple reason that
    it took little training to operate. Relatively raw soldiers could become
    proficient with a crossbow very quickly, and a well-aimed shot could kill a
    knight in armor who had spent a lifetime in combat training. The crossbow was
    considered unfair in some circles (those of the knights, primarily) because it
    took so little skill. Richard I of England, the Lionheart, was wounded twice by
    crossbow bolts. The second proved fatal. The idea of such great men being killed
    easily by common soldiers or worse was appalling to the nobility. In the twelfth
    century a pope tried to get the crossbow banned for being inhumane.
    | Hand Weapons |
    Foot soldiers armed with hand weapons were the third principal component of
    medieval armies, along with cavalry and missile troops. Mêlée infantry fought
    hand to hand and were important both in pitched battles and during sieges.
    Infantry consisted of peasants, common soldiers, and dismounted knights.
    Hand Weapons
    The Franks of the Dark Ages fought with a throwing axe called the francisca,
    from which their tribe took its name. Their neighbors, the Saxons, fought with a
    large, one-sided knife called a scramasax, from which they took their name.
    With the development of the heavy cavalryman came the heavy sword, which was
    used in hand-to-hand fighting on foot as well. Variants of the sword included a
    two-handed version that required a lot of space to wield. Men-at-arms employed a
    variety of weapons on foot, including axes (both one-handed and two-handed),
    maces, flails, and hammers. A variant of the mace was a spiked ball fastened to
    a shaft by a chain. As armor improved to reduce the effect of sword blows,
    crushing and puncturing weapons became more favored.
    Pole Arms
    The basic spear was a useful weapon throughout the Middle Ages because it was
    cheap to make and simple to use. Common foot soldiers and peasants could be
    armed with it and pressed into battle service. In most cases such an expedient
    was of little use, but with experience and some training large bodies of
    spearmen could be effective.
    Pole arms evolved through the medieval period and eventually reached a point
    where formations of foot troops skilled in their use were extremely effective.
    Advanced pole arms consisted of a spear point with one or more weapon faces
    below the point. This additional weapon might be a large long blade, an axe, a
    billhook, a hammer, or a spike.
    Long pole arms evolved in response to the mounted knight and resulted in a
    revival of a formation something like the ancient Greek phalanx. Horses would
    not charge a disciplined formation of men that bristled with extended pole
    weapons. A dense formation of pole arms held high also served as some protection
    from arrows.
    Foot soldiers first learned to stand behind wooden stakes set in the ground to
    ward off cavalry. They then learned to deploy spears, pikes, and other pole arms
    to ward off cavalry. This allowed the formation to move and take its anti-
    cavalry stakes with it, in effect. In a mêlée, the various attachments at the
    end of the pole were used to pull horsemen off their mounts, push them off, or
    cause wounds to the rider or horse. Although armored men were not helpless when
    prone on the ground, as some have thought, they were at a disadvantage, at least
    temporarily, to men wearing little or no armor before they could rise.
    As the towns grew in the second half of the Middle Ages, they built up their own
    militias of troops for defense and for feudal military service. Pole arms were
    popular weapons with the town militias because they were relatively cheap to
    provide and effective for the cost. Town militias trained with these weapons and
    developed useful battlefield tactics. In time, formations of pole-armed men
    learned to be aggressive, not simply defensive. Massed formations of pikeman
    could physically attack other infantry and even cavalry. The Swiss lacked the
    pastureland to support horse armies but became famous as pikemen. They often
    served as mercenaries in other continental armies. The lowland cities of
    Flanders and the highlands of Scotland also fielded pike units that were highly
             Medieval Armies
    The first medieval armies were tribal war bands carried over from ancient times.
    These evolved into feudal armies made up of a lord's vassals and their
    respective retainers. Fief holders were required to provide a period of military
    service each year. This began as weeks or months of service by the vassal
    accompanied by professional soldiers he retained personally. The armies of later
    kings and wealthy lords consisted of a higher proportion of professionals and
    mercenaries. Late in the period, vassals sent money instead of actually serving
    in armies, and this "martial tax" helped kings to support armies year-round.
    Service in feudal armies was a matter of duty and honor for the knights. In a
    warrior society, knights lived for the opportunity to fight. Success in battle
    was the main path to recognition and wealth. For professional soldiers, often
    the sons of the aristocracy left with little when the eldest began inheriting
    everything, fighting was a job. It was duty for peasants also, when they were
    called up, but certainly not an honor.
    By the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, many commoners joined the ranks for
    pay that was often much better than that for more peaceful employment. A strong
    attraction for a commoner to become a soldier was the prospect of loot. Tribal
    warriors stayed loyal to their warrior chief and fought for him so long as he
    provided them with a living and loot. These ideals of the war band carried over
    into the feudal age. Low-ranking knights and professional foot soldiers longed
    for the opportunity to take part in the assault against a rich town or castle
    because strongholds that resisted were traditionally looted. A soldier could
    gather up many times his year's pay during the sack of a city. Pitched battles
    also offered opportunities for gain. The armor and weapons of the dead could be
    sold and captured knights could be ransomed.
    | Organization |
    The organization of feudal armies was kept simple in comparison to the large
    national armies of more modern time. There were no permanent regiments,
    divisions, or corps until the very end of the age. When a feudal army was
    summoned, each vassal traveled to the meeting point with any knights, archers,
    and footmen that he was required to bring. At the meeting point, the contingents
    would be reassembled by role. The knights and their squires kept and marched
    together, as did the archers and footmen.
    Special units, such as engineers and the operators of siege artillery, were
    usually professionals hired for the campaign. Christian mercenaries, for
    example, operated the artillery employed by the Turks against Constantinople.
    Being a mercenary soldier was a respected profession in the late Middle Ages.
    Warrior entrepreneurs formed mercenary companies that allowed a rich lord or
    city to hire a ready-made competent fighting force. Mercenary companies existed
    that were all of one skill. For example, 2000 Genoese crossbowmen served in the
    French army at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. Other mercenary companies were mixed
    forces of all arms. These were often described in terms of the number of lances
    they contained. Each lance represented a mounted man-at-arms plus additional
    mounted, foot, and missile troops. A company of 100 lances represented several
    hundred fighting men. This system was the origin of the word "freelance."
    Command hierarchy within a feudal army was flat. Not much maneuvering was
    anticipated so there was little provision of large staffs to support the
    commander and pass orders.
    In 1439 Charles VII of France raised Royal Ordinance Companies. These companies
    were filled with either knights or infantry and were paid from tax revenues.
    Each company had a fixed complement of men; their armor and weapons were chosen
    by the king rather than left to personal choice. This was the beginning of
    modern standing armies in the West.
    There was little provision for food and medical supplies. Medieval armies lived
    off the land, to the detriment of everyone residing in an area they occupied or
    passed through. Having a friendly army march through was no better than having
    the enemy pass. Medieval armies did not linger in one area for long because
    local supplies of food and forage were quickly exhausted. This was a particular
    problem during sieges. If an army laying siege did not make arrangements to have
    food and supplies brought in, it might have to lift its siege to avoid
    starvation long before the defenders had to surrender.
    Sanitation was also a problem when an army stayed in one place. A medieval army
    brought along many animals, in addition to the horses of the knights, and sewage
    problems led to dysentery. Feudal armies tended to waste away to disease and
    desertion. During his campaign in France, Henry V of England lost an estimated
    15 percent of his army to disease at the siege of Harfleur and more on the march
    leading up to Agincourt. At the battle itself, he lost only 5 percent. Henry V
    died of disease related to poor sanitation at another siege.
    Deployment for Battle
    Most battles were set-piece affairs where the two sides arranged themselves
    before the fighting began. Campaigns of maneuver and meeting engagements were
    Prior to battle, commanders divided their forces into contingents with specific
    tasks in mind for each. The first separation might be into foot soldiers,
    archers, and cavalry. These groups might be divided further into groups to be
    given individual missions or to be held in reserve. A commander might arrange
    several "battles" or "divisions" of knights, for example. These could be
    launched individually as desired or held in reserve. Archers might be deployed
    in front of the army with blocks of infantry in support. Once the army had been
    arranged, the only major decisions were when to send in the prearranged pieces.
    There was little provision for pulling back, reforming, or rearranging once the
    fighting started. A force of knights, for example, could rarely be used more
    than once. After they had been committed to action, they were usually reinforced
    or withdrawn. A full charge by heavy cavalry caused such disruption, lost
    equipment, and loss of horses that the force was essentially spent. The Norman
    knights at Hastings were reformed for further attacks, but they did not launch a
    full charge because they could not penetrate the Saxon shield-wall.
    Superior commanders made use of the terrain to their advantage and conducted
    reconnaissance to evaluate the enemy's strength and weaknesses.
    The ultimate rewards from successful battle included honors and grants of fiefs.
    The proximate rewards included booty from looting bodies, ransacking captured
    towns and castles, selling the armor and weapons of the dead, and ransoming
    high-ranking prisoners. Knights were expected to pay ransoms to save their
    lives. One of the highest recorded ransoms was more than US $20 million paid to
    a German prince for the release of Richard I of England, captured during his
    return from the Crusades.
    At Agincourt the English were holding a large group of French knights at the
    rear for ransom. During the battle, a French contingent raided toward the rear
    of the English and briefly panicked Henry V. He ordered the execution of the
    held French knights to prevent their release, thereby forgoing a fortune in
    The capture of knights was recorded by heralds who kept a tally of which
    soldiers were responsible and thereby due the bulk of the ransom. The heralds
    then notified the prisoner's family, arranged the ransom payment, and obtained
    the prisoner's release.
    The popularity of ransoms seems remarkably civil but masks a darker story. Low-
    ranking prisoners of no value might be killed out-of-hand to eliminate the
    problem of guarding and feeding them.
    | Strategy |
    Medieval military strategy was concerned with control of the economic basis for
    wealth and, thus, the ability to put armies in the field. At the start of the
    era this meant primarily ravaging or defending the countryside because all
    wealth originated in the fields and pastures. As the age progressed, towns
    became important control points as centers of wealth from trade and
    Holding and taking castles was a key element of war because they defended the
    farmland. The warrior occupants of the castle controlled the neighborhood. As
    towns grew they were fortified also. Defending and taking them gradually became
    more important than fighting for castles.
    Field armies maneuvered to take the key fortified points and ravage the
    countryside, or to prevent the enemy from conducting such a campaign. Pitched
    battles were fought to end the destruction of enemy invasions. The Battle of
    Hastings in 1066, for example, was fought by the Anglo-Saxons to stop an
    invasion by the Normans. The Anglo-Saxons lost and the Normans under William
    spent the next several years establishing control of England in a campaign of
    conquest. The Battle of Lechfield in 955 was fought between the Germans and
    Magyar raiders from the East. The decisive victory of the Germans under Otto I
    brought an end to further Magyar invasions. The defeat of the Moors in 732 by
    Charles Martel ended Muslim raids and expansion out of Spain.
    The battles of Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt, all fought during the Hundred
    Years War between the English and French, were all attempts by the French to
    stop English incursions. The French lost all three battles and the English raids
    carried on. In this case, however, the raids did not establish permanent control
    for the English and the French eventually won the war.
    The Crusades were attempts to take and hold key strong points in the Holy Land
    from which control of the area could be maintained. Battles in the Crusades were
    fought to break the control of one side or the other. The victory at Hattin in
    1187 by the Saracens under Saladin made possible the recapture of Jerusalem.
    | Battle Tactics |
    Medieval battles evolved slowly from clashes of poorly organized war bands into
    battles where tactics and maneuvers were employed. Part of this evolution was in
    response to the development of different types of soldiers and weapons and
    learning how to use these. The early armies of the Dark Ages were mobs of foot
    soldiers. With the rise of heavy cavalry, the best armies became mobs of
    knights. Foot soldiers were brought along to devastate farmlands and do the
    heavy work in sieges. In battle, however, foot soldiers were at risk from both
    sides as the knights sought to engage their enemies in single combat. This was
    mainly true of foot soldiers early in the period who were feudal levies and
    untrained peasants. Archers were useful in sieges as well, but also at risk of
    being rundown on the battlefield.
    By the late 1400's commanders were making better progress in disciplining their
    knights and getting their armies to work as a team. In the English army, knights
    gave their grudging respect to the longbowmen after the archers demonstrated
    their value on so many battlefields. Discipline improved also as more and more
    knights fought for pay and less for honor and glory. Mercenary soldiers in Italy
    became well known for long campaigns during which no appreciable blood was
    spilt. By that time soldiers of all ranks were assets not to be discarded
    lightly. Feudal armies seeking glory evolved into professional armies more
    interested in living to spend their pay.
    Cavalry Tactics
    Cavalry was divided typically into three groups, or divisions, to be sent into
    battle one after another. The first wave would either break through or disrupt
    the enemy so that the second or third wave could break through. Once the enemy
    was running, the real killing and capturing could take place.
    In practice, knights followed personal agendas to the detriment of any
    commander's plan. The knights were interested primarily in honor and glory and
    jockeyed for positions in the first rank of the first division. Overall victory
    on the field was a secondary concern to personal glory. In battle after battle,
    the knights charged as soon as they saw the enemy, dissolving any plan.
    Commanders dismounted their knights on occasion as a way to better control them.
    This was a popular option with the smaller army that had little hope in a
    contest of charges. Dismounted knights bolstered the fighting power and morale
    of common foot troops. The dismounted knights and other foot soldiers fought
    from behind stakes or other battlefield constructions designed to minimize the
    impact of cavalry charges.
    An example of undisciplined behavior by knights was the Battle of Crécy in 1346.
    The French army greatly outnumbered the English (40,000 to 10,000), having many
    more mounted knights. The English divided into three groups of longbowmen
    protected by stakes driven into the ground. Between the three groups were two
    groups of dismounted knights. A third group of dismounted knights was held in
    reserve. Genoese mercenary crossbowmen were sent out by the French king to shoot
    into the dismounted English army while he tried to organize his knights into
    three divisions. The crossbows had gotten wet, however, and were ineffective.
    The French knights ignored their king's efforts at organization as soon as they
    saw the enemy and worked themselves into a frenzy, shouting, "Kill! Kill!" over
    and over. Impatient with the Genoese, the French king ordered his knights
    forward and they trampled down the crossbowmen in their way. Although the
    fighting went on all day, the dismounted English knights and longbowmen (who had
    kept their bowstrings dry) defeated the mounted French who fought as an
    undisciplined mob.
    By the end of the Middle Ages, heavy cavalry had been reduced to roughly equal
    value on the battlefield in comparison to missile and foot troops. By this time,
    the futility of charging well-emplaced and disciplined infantry was well
    understood. The rules had changed. Stakes, horse traps, and trenches were
    routinely employed by armies to protect against cavalry charges. Charges against
    massed ranks of pikemen and archers/gunners left only a pile of broken horses
    and men. Knights were forced to fight on foot or wait for the right opportunity
    to charge. Devastating charges were still possible, but only when the enemy was
    in flight, disorganized, or out from behind his temporary battlefield defenses.
    Missile Troop Tactics
    For most of this era missile troops were archers using one of several types of
    bow. At first this was the short bow, then the crossbow and longbow. Archers had
    the advantage of being able to kill and wound enemies at range without joining
    in hand-to-hand combat. The value of these troops was well known in ancient
    times, but the lessons were temporarily lost in the Dark Ages. The land-
    controlling warrior knights were supreme in the early Middle Ages and their code
    demanded hand-to-hand combat with a worthy enemy. Killing with arrows at a
    distance was dishonorable to the knights so the ruling class did little to
    develop this weapon and use it effectively.
    It became apparent gradually, however, that archers were effective and very
    useful, both in sieges and in battle. More and more armies made room for them,
    if grudgingly. The decisive victory of William I at Hastings in 1066 may have
    been won by archery, although his knights traditionally get the most credit. The
    Anglo-Saxons held a hillside and were so packed into their shield-wall that the
    Norman knights had great difficulty penetrating. The fighting flowed back and
    forth all day. The Anglo-Saxons ventured out of their shield-wall, partly to get
    at the Norman archers. When the Anglo-Saxons came out, they were easily run
    down. For some time it seemed that the Normans must fail, but many believe that
    Norman archery was winning the battle. A lucky shot mortally wounded Harold, the
    Anglo-Saxon king, and the battle ended soon thereafter.
    Foot archers fought in massed formations of hundreds or even thousands of men.
    When within a hundred yards of the enemy, both crossbow and longbow shots could
    penetrate armor. At this range, archers shot at individual targets. It was
    maddening for the enemy to take this damage, especially if they could not
    respond. In the ideal situation, the archers disrupted the enemy formation by
    shooting into it for some time. The enemy might be safe from cavalry behind
    stakes, but it could not block all the arrows or bolts coming in. If the enemy
    left its protection and charged the archers, friendly heavy cavalry would
    respond, hopefully in time to save the archers. If the enemy formation just
    stood its ground, it might waver eventually to the point that cavalry could
    charge effectively.
    Archers were actively encouraged and subsidized in England because the English
    were at a population disadvantage when waging war on the mainland. When the
    English learned how to use large contingents of bowmen, they began winning
    battles, even though they were usually outnumbered. The English developed the
    arrow barrage, taking advantage of the range of the longbow. Instead of firing
    at individual targets, the longbowmen fired into the area occupied by the enemy.
    Firing up to 6 shots a minute, 3000 longbowmen could put 18,000 arrows into a
    massed enemy formation. The effect of this barrage upon horses and men was
    devastating. French knights in the Hundred Years War spoke of the sky being
    black with arrows and of the noise of these missiles in flight.
    Crossbowmen became prominent in mainland armies, especially in the militia and
    professional forces raised by towns. With a minimum of training, a crossbowmen
    became an effective soldier.
    By the fourteenth century the first primitive handguns were appearing on the
    battlefield. When these worked, they were even more powerful than bows.
    The difficulty in using archers was protecting them while they shot. To be
    effective they had to be fairly close to the enemy. English longbowmen carried
    stakes onto the battlefield that they pounded into the ground with mallets in
    front of the spot from which they wished to shoot. These stakes gave them some
    protection from enemy cavalry. They relied on their firepower to fight off enemy
    archers. They were at a disadvantage if attacked by enemy foot soldiers.
    Crossbowmen carried a large pavise shield into battle. This came with supports
    and could be set up in walls, from behind which the men could shoot.
    By the end of the era, crossbowmen and pikemen were working together in combined
    formations. The pikes kept enemy hand-to-hand troops away while the missile
    troops (crossbowmen or handgunners) fired into the enemy formations. These mixed
    formations learned how to move and actually attack. Enemy cavalry had to
    withdraw in the face of a disciplined mixed force of pikemen and
    crossbowmen/gunners. If the enemy could not respond with missiles and pikes of
    their own, the battle was probably lost.
    Infantry Tactics
    The tactic of foot soldiers in the Dark Ages was simply to close with the enemy
    and start chopping. The Franks threw their axes just before closing to disrupt
    the enemy. Warriors relied on strength and ferocity to win.
    The rise of knights put infantry into a temporary eclipse on the battlefield,
    mainly because disciplined and well-trained infantry did not exist. The foot
    soldiers of early medieval armies were mainly peasants who were poorly armed and
    The Saxons and Vikings developed a defensive posture called the shield-wall. The
    men stood adjacent and held their long shields together to form a barrier. This
    helped to protect them from archers and cavalry, both of which their armies
    Infantry underwent a revival in those areas that did not have the resources to
    field armies of heavy cavalry-hilly countries like Scotland and Switzerland and
    in the rising towns. Out of necessity, these two sectors found ways to field
    effective armies that contained little or no cavalry. Both groups discovered
    that horses would not charge into a barrier of bristling stakes or spear points.
    A disciplined force of spearmen could stop the elite heavy cavalry of the richer
    nations and lords, for a fraction of the cost of a heavy cavalry force.
    The schiltron formation was a circle of spearmen that the Scots began using
    during their wars for independence around the end of the thirteenth century
    (featured in the motion picture Braveheart). They learned that the
    schiltron was an effective defensive formation. Robert Bruce offered battle to
    the English knights only in swampy terrain that greatly impeded the heavy
    cavalry charge.
    The Swiss became renowned for fighting with pikes. They essentially revived the
    Greek phalanx and became very proficient at fighting with the long pole arms.
    They formed a square of pikemen. The outer four ranks held their pikes nearly
    level, pointing slightly down. This was an effective barrier against cavalry.
    The rear ranks used bladed pole arms to attack enemies that closed with the
    formation. The Swiss drilled to the point that they could move in formation
    relatively quickly. They turned a defensive formation into an effective
    attacking formation also.
    The response to massed pikemen was artillery that plowed through the ranks of
    dense formations. The Spanish appear to have first done this effectively. The
    Spanish also fought the pikemen effectively with sword and buckler men. These
    were lightly armed men who could get in among the pikes and fight effectively
    with short swords. Their buckler was a small and handy shield. At the end of the
    Middle Ages, the Spanish also first experimented with the combination of
    pikemen, swordsmen, and handgunners in the same formation. This was an effective
    force that could take on all arms in varying terrain, on both defense and
    attack. At the end of this era the Spanish were the most effective fighting
    force in Europe.
    | The Mongols |
    The nomadic horse peoples of Mongolia assembled the world's largest land empire
    in a series of military conquests spread over a few generations, beginning in
    the twelfth century. In the course of their conquests, the Mongols fought most
    of the other world powers of medieval Asia and Europe, winning in almost every
    case. Their empire was built entirely on military conquest, thanks to an army
    that was unlike any other in the world. They were thought invincible by most of
    their opponents. Their campaign into Europe turned back only after a death in
    the ruling family. The possible claimants to the throne headed home with their
    forces and never returned.
    The Mongol Army
    The Mongols were nomadic herders and hunters who spent their lives in the
    saddles of their steppe ponies. They learned to ride and use weapons, especially
    the composite bow, at an early age. For hunting and war, every able-bodied male
    under the age of 60 years was expected to take part. The armies of the united
    Mongol tribes consisted of the entire adult male population.
    They fought under a strict code of discipline. Booty was held collectively. The
    penalty was death for abandoning a comrade in battle. This discipline, together
    with leadership, intelligence-gathering, and organization, raised the Mongol
    force from a cavalry swarm into a true army.
    The Mongol army was organized according to a decimal system, with units of 10,
    100, 1000, and 10,000 men. These numbers for units were probably rarely
    approached due to casualties and attrition. The 10,000-man unit was the major
    fighting unit, like a modern division, capable of sustained fighting on its own.
    Individual soldiers identified most with the 1000-man unit of which they were a
    part, the equivalent of a modern regiment. Original Mongol tribes fielded their
    own 1000-man units. Conquered peoples, such as the Tatars and Merkits, were
    broken up and distributed among other units so that they could pose no organized
    threat to the ruling family.
    Genghis Khan created a personal guard unit of 10,000 men. This unit was
    recruited across tribal boundaries and selection was a high honor. In its early
    stages it served as a form of honorable hostage-holding. It grew into the family
    household and the source of the growing empire's ruling class.
    Mongol soldiers at first received no pay other than booty. Advancement was based
    on merit. Once the rapid conquests slowed, a new system of pay was put in place.
    Officers were later able to pass on their posts to heirs.
    Each soldier went on campaign with approximately five horses, allowing quick
    changes and rapid movements. No comparable armies moved as rapidly as the
    Mongols until the mechanized armies of the twentieth century.
    The Mongols fought mainly as light cavalry archers (unarmored), using the
    compound bow. This was a compact weapon of impressive range and penetration
    power. They employed Chinese and Middle Easterners as siege engineers. Infantry,
    garrison troops, and heavy cavalry (wearing armor) that used lances came from
    the armies of subjected peoples.
    Mongol Tactics
    The Mongol armies relied on firepower, the ability to move quickly, and a
    reputation for ruthlessness that came to precede them. All of their opponents
    moved much more slowly and deliberately. The Mongols looked for opportunities to
    divide an enemy force and overwhelm the pieces with rapid bowshots. They sought
    to surround or encircle enemies and achieve local superiority of numbers. Horses
    of mounted enemies were wounded, dismounting the riders and making them more
    The Mongol light cavalry could not stand against a heavy cavalry charge, so they
    feigned flight to draw the knights into exhaustive charges that left them
    vulnerable. The fleeing Mongols turned rapidly and became the hunter. They
    excelled in setting ambushes and surprise attacks. Mongol army leaders made
    great use of scouts and synchronized force movements to catch the enemy at a
    The Mongols made extensive use of terror. If the population of one city was
    massacred after capture, the next city was more likely to surrender without a
    fight. This proved the case, as city after city surrendered upon the approach of
    Mongol armies.
    Fortifications and earthworks had been employed for defense since the Stone Age.
    True castles did not appear in Europe until the ninth century, however, partly
    in response to Viking raids and partly as a manifestation of decentralized
    feudal political power. From the ninth through the fifteenth century, thousands
    of castles were constructed throughout Europe. A 1905 census in France counted
    more than 10,000 castle remains in that nation alone.
    During the feudal period, local nobles provided law and order, as well as
    protection from marauders like the Vikings. Castles were built by the nobles for
    protection and to provide a secure base from which local military forces could
    operate. The obvious defensive value of a castle obscures the fact that it was
    primarily an offensive instrument. It functioned as a base for professional
    soldiers, mainly cavalry, which controlled the nearby countryside. At a time
    when the centralized authority of kings was weak for a number of reasons, a
    network of castles and the military forces they supported provided relative
    political stability.
    | Castle Evolution |
    Beginning in the ninth century, local strongmen began dotting the landscape of
    Europe with castles. These were first of simple design and construction but
    evolved into stone strongholds. Many of these belonged to kings or the vassals
    of kings, but the majority appear to have been built out of self-interest by
    local nobles. They were justified by barbarian threats, but the nobles employed
    them to establish local control. This was possible because Europe had no
    strategic defenses and no strong central authorities at the time.
    An example of the castellation of Europe was the Poitou region of France. There
    were three castles there before Viking raids began in the ninth century and 39
    by the eleventh century. This pattern was repeated across Europe. Castles could
    be built quickly. Until the appearance of cannon, castle defenders had a great
    advantage over any attackers.
    Widespread castle construction and the maintenance of large bodies of soldiers
    for their defense resulted not in peace and mutual defense against invaders but
    incessant warfare.
    The Evolution of the Castle
    The earliest castles were of a type called the "motte and bailey." The motte was
    a broad, leveled mound of earth, typically 50 feet high. A large wooden tower
    was built atop the motte. Below the motte was an enclosure within a wooden
    palisade called the bailey. Here were placed storehouses, stock pens, and huts.
    Both the motte and bailey were small islands surrounded by a water-filled ditch,
    excavated to construct the motte. A bridge and steep narrow path connected the
    two parts of the castle. At a time of danger, the defensive forces withdrew into
    the tower if the bailey could not be held.
    In the eleventh century, stone began replacing earth and wood in castle
    construction. The wooden tower atop the motte was replaced with a round stone
    fortification called a shell keep. This grew into a tower or keep. A curtain
    wall of stone enclosed the old bailey and the keep, and was in turn surrounded
    by a ditch or moat. A single fortified gate protected by a drawbridge and
    portcullis led into the castle. The best-known example of a basic keep-type
    castle is the original Tower of London, built by William the Conqueror. This
    large square structure stood by itself at first and was whitewashed to draw
    attention. Later kings improved this castle with the curtain walls and other
    improvements seen today.
    Castle design advanced when crusaders to the East returned with news of the
    fortifications and siege engines they had encountered in their travels.
    Concentric castles were designed that enclosed a central keep within two or more
    rings of walls. Walls were strengthened first with square towers and then with
    round towers. The angled corners on square towers were easy to shear off, making
    the whole tower very vulnerable. Round towers were more resistant to attack.
    Embattlements were added at the top of walls and towers to make fighting from
    above more effective.
    Cannon appeared in Europe in the early fourteenth century, but effective siege
    artillery was not used until the middle fifteenth century. Castle designs
    changed in response to the power of cannon. High perpendicular walls were
    replaced by low sloping walls. By the middle of the fifteenth century castles
    were in decline because of the rising power of kings. In the eleventh century
    William the Conqueror claimed ownership of all castles in England to get them
    out of the hands of nobles. By the thirteenth century it was necessary to ask a
    king's permission to build a castle or strengthen an existing one. Kings worked
    to demilitarize castles to minimize their usefulness to potential rebels.
    Castles were abandoned as living quarters for nobles and fell into ruin.
    Fortified towns were increasingly important because the wealth of the land had
    shifted to the cities.
    Castle Construction
    Construction of a castle might take less than a year or up to 20 years to
    complete. For several centuries castle-building was an important industry.
    Renowned master masons were in high demand and gangs of castle builders moved
    from site to site. Towns wishing to build cathedrals had to compete for skilled
    workers with lords wishing to build castles.
    Construction of Beaumaris Castle in North Wales began in 1295. The design was
    symmetrical, with no weak points. At the height of its building, it required the
    effort of 30 blacksmiths, 400 masons, and 2000 laborers. Laborers did most of
    the excavation, carrying, lifting, well-digging, and stone-breaking. This
    particular castle was never completed. The massive castle at Conway, built in
    Wales by Edward I of England, took 40 months to build.
    Castle walls were masonry shells filled with stone rubble and flint mixed with
    mortar. Wall width ranged from 6 to 16 feet.
    | Castle Defense |
    The basic principal of castle defense was to maximize the danger and exposure of
    any attackers while minimizing the same for defenders. A well-designed castle
    could be defended effectively by a small force and hold out for a long period. A
    stout defense allowed well-supplied defenders to hold out until the besiegers
    could be driven away by a relief force or until the attacker was forced to fall
    back by lack of supplies, disease, or losses.
    The keep was a small castle often found within a large castle complex. This was
    a fortified building that often served as the castle lord's residence. If the
    outer walls fell, the defenders could withdraw into the keep for a final
    defense. In the case of many castles, the complex began with the keep, which was
    the original fortification on the site. Over time, the complex might have been
    expanded to include an outer wall and towers as a first line of defense for the
    Stone walls were fireproof and protection against arrows and other missiles. An
    enemy could not climb sheer walls without equipment such as ladders or siege
    towers. Defenders on top of the walls could shoot down or throw objects down
    against attackers. Attackers wholly exposed in the open and shooting up were at
    a great disadvantage against defenders largely protected and shooting down. The
    strength and protection value of castle walls was increased where possible by
    building on cliffs or other elevations. Gates and doors in castle walls were
    minimized and given heavy protection.
    At the corners of and perhaps at intervals along a long wall, towers were placed
    as strong points. Towers extended out beyond the vertical plane of the wall
    face, allowing defenders in a tower to shoot along the face. From a corner
    tower, defenders could shoot along two different wall faces. A gate might be
    protected by towers on each side. Some castles began as simple towers and
    evolved into a greater complex of walls, an inner keep, and additional towers.
    Walls and towers were often improved to provide greater protection for
    defenders. A platform behind the top of the wall allowed defenders to stand and
    fight. Gaps were built into the upper wall so defenders could shoot out or fight
    while partially covered. These gaps might have wooden shutters for additional
    protection. Thin firing slits might be placed in the upper walls from which
    archers could shoot while almost completely protected.
    During an assault, covered wooden platforms (called hourds) were extended out
    from the top of the walls or from towers. These allowed defenders to shoot
    directly down on enemies below the walls, or drop stones or boiling liquids on
    them, while being protected. Hides on top of the hourds were kept wet to prevent
    fire. Stone versions of hourds, called machicolations, might be built over gates
    or other key points.
    Ditches, Moats, and Drawbridges
    To accentuate the height advantage of the walls, a ditch might be dug at their
    base, completely around the castle. Where possible, this ditch was filled with
    water to form a moat. Both ditches and moats made direct assaults against walls
    more difficult. Armored men risked drowning if they fell into even relatively
    shallow water. Moats made undermining a castle's walls difficult because of the
    risk of the mine collapsing during construction and drowning the miners. In some
    cases, attackers had to first drain the moat before moving forward with an
    assault. Then the ditch had to be filled in places to allow siege towers or
    ladders to go up against the wall.
    Drawbridges across a moat or ditch allowed the castle occupants to come and go
    when necessary. In time of danger, the drawbridge was raised, reestablishing the
    ditch and sealing the walls. Bridges were raised by a mechanism within the
    castle that was protected from the attackers.
    A portcullis was a strong grating that slid down the walls of the castle gate
    passageway to block the entrance. The gate of a castle was inside a gatehouse,
    which was a strong point in the castle defense. The passageway of the gate might
    be through a tunnel in the gatehouse. The tunnel was blocked by one or more
    portcullises, in the middle or at the ends. The winding mechanism that raised
    the portcullis was in the top of the gatehouse and heavily guarded. The
    portcullis itself was usually a grating of heavy timbers or iron. Defenders and
    attackers could both shoot or stab through the grating.
    A strong castle had both an outer gate and inner gate. Between the two was an
    open area called the barbican. This was surrounded by walls and designed to be a
    trap for any attackers who got through the outside gate. Once inside the
    barbican, attackers could only go back out the outer gate or fight their way
    through the inner gate. In the meantime they would be targets for arrows and
    other missiles in the open.
    A relatively small number of men could guard a castle in peacetime. At night any
    drawbridge was raised and the portcullis was lowered, effectively locking the
    door. Under threat of an assault, a much larger force was needed to defend a
    Competent archers and crossbowmen were needed to shoot from the walls and towers
    at attackers making an assault or just preparing for one by attempting to drain
    the moat or fill the ditch. Each attacking casualty lowered the morale and
    fighting power of the attackers. Heavy losses from missile fire could cause the
    attackers to break off.
    If the attackers managed to actually close for hand-to-hand fighting, a strong
    fighting force of swordsmen was needed to hold them off. Men were needed to
    throw down rocks or pour hot liquids from the hourds. Men were needed to make
    repairs to damaged wall sections or put out fires started by flaming missiles.
    An aggressive defense looked for opportunities to sortie out from the castle and
    raid the besieging army. A quick raid that burned a siege tower or trebuchet
    under construction delayed an assault and lowered the morale of the attackers.
    In times of emergency, local peasants were enlisted to help with the defense.
    Although untrained as soldiers and not skilled usually with the bow or sword,
    they could help with many of the other tasks.
    | Castle Siege |
    Capturing or defending strongholds was a common military activity during the
    late Middle Ages because of the proliferation of castles and fortified towns and
    their strategic importance. Although a small force could hold a castle, it took
    a large force to take one. The attacker had to have a sufficiently large army to
    control the countryside around a castle, fight off any relieving force, and
    assault the stronghold directly or at least hold the siege tight. This was an
    expensive proposition.
    As an army approached the castle, the locals usually withdrew inside, taking
    anything of value with them, especially food and weapons. If the siege was
    expected to be a long one, however, peasants not capable of fighting might be
    refused entrance to conserve food. There were many recorded instances of people
    being thrown out of towns under siege to preserve food. When English king Henry
    V besieged the city of Rouen, the defenders expelled the weak and the poor to
    conserve food. The English refused to allow these unfortunates through their
    lines. Old men, women, and children huddled between the city and the English
    army for months, scrabbling for scraps and dying of starvation, until surrender
    was negotiated.
    As an army approached, the possibility of surrender and terms might be
    negotiated immediately, especially if the castle or town was undermanned. The
    attackers weighed carefully the chance of assaulting the stronghold if
    negotiations failed. If a quick assault was thrown back or was judged too risky,
    the attackers sealed off the castle and began a siege. Once siege artillery had
    fired at the city, the siege was officially underway. To withdraw without good
    reason was dishonorable and unacceptable in most cases.
    A large siege was something like a social event. The fifteenth-century siege of
    Neuss lasted only a few months, but the attackers built up a large camp that
    included taverns and tennis courts. Nobles taking part in sieges made themselves
    comfortable, often bringing along wives and their households. Merchants and
    craftsmen from neighboring towns rushed forward to set up shop and provide
    Siege Formalities
    The reality of warfare during this period was that castles and towns were very
    rarely captured by assault. Assaults were usually an act of desperation or made
    much easier by acts of treachery or stealth. Unless the garrison was greatly
    under strength, it was just too costly in lives to assault. It was much more
    typical to orchestrate a siege according to the prevailing rules of warfare and
    honor and take the castle with relatively little loss. It would be treason for
    the defenders to surrender without a fight so the siege was maintained and the
    castle walls were battered. If the castle's owner was not inside, his deputy in
    charge, called a castellan or constable, could surrender the castle with honor
    after so many days if no relief force had appeared. Castellans often requested a
    contract that specified exactly what were their obligations and under what
    circumstances they would not be punished for surrendering.
    In those rare instances where surrender was not an option or an option
    disdained, it was the accepted policy that little mercy was shown after a
    successful assault. Common soldiers and even civilians inside might be massacred
    and the castle or town was looted. Captured knights were kept alive, usually,
    and held for ransom. All attackers received a share of the spoils. Practical
    application of this policy was a further inducement for defenders to negotiate
    surrender after a reasonable period of siege. King Henry V of England took the
    city of Caen after a long siege in 1417. He then allowed his army to sack the
    city from one end to the other in payment for the defender's stout resistance.
    Every man in the city who was not a priest was killed. At his next stop, the
    castle of Bonneville, the defenders agreed to surrender the keys after seven
    days with no relief, even though both sides understood there was no prospect for
    The Krak des Chevaliers was the most famous of the Crusader castles in the
    Middle East and still stands impressively in modern Syria. It was defended by
    the Knights Hospitaller during the era of the Crusades and withstood over a
    dozen sieges and attacks over 130 years before falling finally to Egyptian Arabs
    in 1271. The story of its capture was unusual but typical in the sense that the
    defenders did not fight to the death.
    The Arabs disdained an attack on the main gate of the Krak des Chevaliers
    because breaking through there led into a series of deadly narrow passages and
    on to a second, even stronger gate. They attacked the south wall instead by
    undermining the great tower at the southwest corner. This got them inside the
    outer curtain wall. Before attacking the even stronger central keep, however,
    they tried a ruse. A carrier pigeon was sent into the castle with a message from
    the Hospitaller's grand master, ordering the garrison to surrender. Outnumbered
    and with no hope of relief, the defenders accepted the command of the message,
    understanding it was a fake, and surrendered the great castle with honor.
    The key problem to taking a castle or fortified town was overcoming the walls
    that prevented entry and protected the defenders. One solution to this problem
    was undermining a section of the wall so that it collapsed. This was only
    possible before castles had moats or after the moat had been drained. It was not
    possible to undermine when the wall was built on solid stone.
    The miners dug a tunnel up to the wall and then along it under its foundation.
    The tunnel was supported by timber supports that gradually took on the load of
    the wall overhead from the earth that was dug out and removed. At a prearranged
    time, the timbers in the tunnel were set on fire. As the timbers burned the
    support for the wall overhead disappeared gradually and a section of the wall
    collapsed, if all went as planned. The collapsed wall created an opening for a
    direct assault by soldiers into the castle.
    Mines were laborious and time-consuming. Defenders who became aware of the
    tunneling reinforced the threatened wall with a secondary wall so that the
    collapse did not completely open the defenses. Defenders were also known to
    countermine, digging their own tunnels under the walls trying to intercept the
    enemy tunnel. When the tunnels encountered each other, actual fighting broke out
    The besieging army set up positions around the castle to prevent escape or
    sorties by the soldiers inside. The nearby farms and villages were taken over by
    the besiegers. Patrols were set to bring notice of any relieving army
    approaching and to forage for food. The leaders of the attackers examined the
    situation and decided whether to simply besiege the castle or to actively
    prepare to attack it. If the castle was to be simply starved into surrender, the
    attackers concentrated on keeping the defenders caged in and preventing any
    relief force from lifting the siege. Choosing how best to attack a castle might
    involve any of the following options:
    *  Undermining a part of the wall.
    *  Selecting a wall section to breach by battering it
        with hurled stones (or with cannons, although
        these were not effective until around 1450,
        near the end of this period).
    *  Selecting a part of the ditch (and moat, if
        present) to fill.
    *  Building siege towers and ladders to scale the
    *  Choosing a gate or other section to batter with
        a ram.
    The speed of work on assault preparations was in proportion to the urgency for
    taking the castle, the prospects of surrender, and the manpower available. If
    the attackers had ample supplies of food, no relief was expected, and the
    defenders were likely to surrender after their honor had been satisfied, work on
    assault preparations might be little more than a show. If the attacker's
    supplies were short, relief was expected any day, or the defenders were
    obstinate, preparations might go forward day and night.
    When preparations were complete, the defenders were given one last chance to
    surrender before the assault.
    Siege Equipment
    Siege equipment was used to get past the walls and other defenses of the castle
    so that the superior strength of the attacking army could be brought to bear
    against the defenders at a minimum disadvantage. Most equipment was designed to
    knock down or breach the walls. In addition to the simple scaling ladder, siege
    equipment most commonly used during the Middle Ages included the trebuchet, the
    mangonel, the siege tower, the battering ram, and the pavise.
    Once a breach was made or a siege tower put in place, a volunteer force of
    soldiers led the assault. This force came to be known as the "forlorn hope,"
    because of the casualties they were expected to take. But the successful
    survivors of this force were usually the most highly rewarded with promotion,
    titles, and loot.
    The trebuchet was a large catapult powered by a heavy counterweight, usually a
    large box of rocks. The long throwing arm was pulled down against the mass of
    the counterweight and a large stone was loaded. When the arm was released, the
    heavy weight dropped down, pulling the throwing arm up, and flinging the large
    stone missile in a high arcing trajectory. Missiles thrown by this weapon
    plunged downward and were best used to smash the tops of towers, embattlements,
    and hourds. It was difficult to damage sheer vertical walls with the trebuchet
    unless the missiles came down right on top of the wall. The trebuchet was
    assembled out of bow shot and defended against a possible sortie by the
    defenders seeking to burn the weapon. The trebuchet was useful for smashing
    wooden roofs and then setting the rubble on fire with incendiary missiles.
    The mangonel was a different type of catapult powered by twisted ropes or strips
    of hide. A ratchet gear twisted the ropes, building up tension. When released,
    the ropes spun, flinging the throwing arm forward. When the arm hit a heavy
    restraining bar, any missile in the basket at the end of the arm was thrown
    forward. The restraining bar could be adjusted to change the trajectory of the
    missile. Mangonels had a flat trajectory, in comparison to the trebuchet, but
    could generate the same power. It could take a large number of mangonel shots to
    do any appreciable damage to a wall. The thrown missiles and pieces of the
    broken wall helped to fill in the ditch, however, creating rubble pile which
    attackers could climb.
    Siege towers were moved close to the walls and then a gangplank was dropped from
    the tower to the top of the wall. Soldiers in the tower could then advance
    across the gangplank and engage the defenders in hand-to-hand combat. Such a
    tower was often huge. It had to be protected with wet hides to prevent being
    burned. It was ponderous to move because of its weight. It had to be either
    pushed forward or pulled forward against pulleys previously mounted on stakes
    near the base of the castle wall. The ground had to be prepared ahead of time,
    usually with a roadway of flat wooden planking on heavily packed earth to ease
    the tower's movement. A fighting area on top of the tower let archers shoot down
    into the castle as the tower approached. Soldiers mounted the stairs inside the
    tower once it was close. Assaults from a siege tower were never a surprise to
    the defender because so much preparation had to be done. The defenders took
    steps to build up the threatened part of the wall or prevent the gangplank from
    dropping. They attempted to grapple the tower as it approached and pull it onto
    its side. Up to the last moment of the assault, siege engines would fire on the
    target section of wall to disrupt the defender's preparations to receive the
    assault. If the first group of attackers from the tower got over, a steady
    stream of men would follow over the gangplank to complete the capture of the
    A battering ram had a large pole with an iron head that was slung inside a
    moveable housing and rolled up to a wall section or gate. Once up to the wall,
    the pole was swung back and forth against the wall. The force of the blows broke
    through the wooden planking of the door or stone wall, creating an opening for
    attack. The roof of the ram was covered with wet hides to prevent burning.
    Operating battering was dangerous work. Enemies above dropped large rocks,
    boiling water, or burning fat on the ram, attempting to destroy it or kill the
    men operating it. Even when a gate or drawbridge was smashed, there were usually
    several portcullises and the gatehouse to be fought through. At the siege of
    Tyre during the winter of 1111-1112, the defending Arabs came up with an
    ingenious defense against the ram. They threw down gappling hooks, grabbed the
    ram, and pulled it away from the wall. Time after time they were able to disrupt
    the use of the ram.
    Attacking archers and crossbowmen took shelter on the ground behind large wooden
    shields called pavises. A narrow firing slit at the top of the pavise allowed
    the man behind to shoot up at the defenders. England's King Richard I, the
    Lionheart, received a mortal shoulder wound from a crossbow bolt when looking
    around the side of a pavise.
    The Chinese had gunpowder by the eleventh century and made some military use of
    it to propel rockets. These were more weapons of terror than useful missile
    weapons, however. The Chinese also experimented with fireworks. They did not
    realize the potential of gunpowder as an explosive or propellant for missile
    Gunpowder gradually worked its way to the west where Europeans found much more
    destructive uses for it. The oldest surviving artwork from Europe that portrays
    a gunpowder weapon appeared in 1326. This primitive cannon was loaded with a
    spear of some sort, not a cannonball. Europeans had been experimenting with
    gunpowder for the previous half-century. The oldest surviving description of the
    formula for gunpowder appeared in 1260 and was attributed to an English friar
    named Roger Bacon. By 1340 cannonballs of lead, iron, and stone were being used.
    The English had cannons on the battlefield at Crécy in 1346, but there is no
    mention in the battle accounts of their usefulness.
    It took several centuries of experimentation before gunpowder weapons became
    truly useful. One difficulty was developing gunpowder that ignited quickly,
    uniformly, and powerfully. Another was designing suitable cannons that would not
    burst. Poor manufacturing techniques plagued early cannons, and it was almost as
    dangerous to serve them as to be shot at by them. King James II of Scotland, for
    example, was killed by an exploding cannon in 1460.
    Cannon and gunpowder technologies were sufficiently advanced by the middle of
    the fifteenth century that they were recognized as important weapons. This was
    made clear in 1453 when huge siege bombards firing massive stone cannonballs
    battered the walls of Constantinople. Although the proximate cause of the fall
    of Constantinople was a small gate being left open, the bombardment would have
    eventually made a direct assault possible.
    Cannons of the Middle Ages were used in sieges to batter walls and on
    battlefields to fire into massed ranks of the enemy. Their ability to batter
    sheer vertical walls led to refinements in castle-building. Low sloping walls
    replaced high vertical walls. The usefulness of cannon on the battlefield was
    limited during this period because the cannons were so ponderous. It was
    difficult to move them into new positions during the action.
    Illustrations of various types of handguns appeared around 1350. These were
    primitive weapons consisting of a hollow tube blocked at one end and a hole in
    the side near the blocked end for igniting the powder. A slow match (a slow-
    burning cord) was placed in the hole to ignite the powder and fire the ball
    previously loaded down the barrel. There was little use in attempting to aim the
    early handguns. They were effective only when fired in volleys by many men at
    massed targets. By 1450 handguns were being used by most of the advanced
    European armies. Bows and crossbows continued in use as infantry missile weapons
    through the sixteenth century, however, because they were still inexpensive and
             Naval Warfare
    The need for warships in the Mediterranean Sea largely faded after the Romans
    gained complete control of the surrounding lands. There was no other empire with
    a navy to offer competition, and piracy was all but eliminated. Following the
    collapse of the Western Roman Empire, new civilizations sprang up from the ruins
    of the empire and piracy reappeared. Warships were needed again to defend
    against invasion, project military power, and protect sea trade routes.
    Byzantine Ships
    The Byzantines were the great Mediterranean naval power of the early Middle
    Ages. Naval power was critical to their survival and to their extended empire.
    The land defenses of Constantinople were excellent and made outright assault of
    the city very difficult, but the city had to keep its sea supply open to prevent
    a successful siege. So long as the navy could bring in supplies, the city was
    assured of survival.
    The main Byzantine warship of the early Middle Ages was the dromen, an evolution
    of the ancient oared warships, such as the trireme. A typical dromen was long
    and narrow for speed. Power was supplied by 50 to 200 rowers and lateen sails. A
    mast was placed in the middle of the front half and rear half of the ship. The
    dromen carried a beak at the bow for pinning enemy vessels prior to boarding.
    Rams were rarely seen. Platforms were built in the center, bow, and stern. From
    these platforms archers and catapults could fire at enemy ships and crews. A
    typical battle involved attempts to ram or disable enemy ships, then grappling
    and boarding by marines.
    The Byzantines effectively used a secret weapon called Greek fire. This was a
    mixture of chemicals that burned fiercely upon contact with air. It was pumped
    out of hoses against enemy ships or thrown in bombs. It was a devastating weapon
    against wooden ships and decisive for the Byzantines in their naval battles
    against the Arabs. The secret of Greek fire was so important and so closely
    guarded that it was eventually lost and we do not know today exactly what it
    Mediterranean Ships
    Oar-powered warships, called galleys, remained the principal warships of the
    Mediterranean beyond the end of the Middle Ages because the waters were
    relatively protected from fierce gales. At the same time, the Italian city-
    states of Genoa and Venice gradually became naval powers in proportion to the
    increasing importance of their trade with the Levant. The Arabs also built
    navies to influence trade and support their conflict with the Byzantines and
    other Christians for control of the Mediterranean. The beginning of the Crusades
    in the eleventh century brought ships from Northern Europe that had evolved very
    different designs.
    European Ships
    The Germanic tribes that occupied Northern Europe around 500 developed several
    new ship types. The typical trading ship was wide-bodied and of deep draft. It
    mounted a single mast at first and later more as it grew in size. The Norse
    called this type of ship a knarr. We know a lot about this ship today because
    one was recovered from the bottom of a harbor in Denmark in the 1960s. Much of
    the trade and exploration of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings was carried on in this
    type of ship. It evolved into the cog, the principal merchant ship of the later
    Middle Ages. This deep-draft ship was designed for easy sailing and high cargo
    Ship fighting in northern Europe was mainly an extension of land combat. Towers
    were built on the bow and stern of the cog for protection and as firing
    platforms for archers. Crews fired at each other with arrows as they closed, but
    the intent was only to disable enemy crewmen and soldiers. Ships came together
    and attempted to capture each other in hand-to-hand combat. Sailing ships in
    these waters had no ability to ram. There was no weapon with which to do great
    structural damage to another ship or sink it until cannon appeared in the
    fourteenth century. Some 400 English and French cog-type warships carrying large
    contingents of archers and foot soldiers engaged in a naval battle at Sluys in
    1340 typical of the later Middle Ages. They simply jammed together for archery
    fire and close combat.
    The first cannon were mounted in the bow or stern of ships. Small cannon mounted
    on the side rails were used against enemy crews. The English ship Christopher of
    the Tower of 1406 was the first built purposely to carry guns. Ships began to
    mount broadsides of cannon with the ability to puncture enemy hulls only at the
    very end of the Middle Ages.
    The Viking longship was more of a transport than a warship. Vikings rarely
    fought from their longships. When they did, there are reports of boats being
    lashed together to provide a platform for hand-to-hand fighting. The longship
    was powered by oars until the eighth or ninth century when sails appear to have
    been added. Although they looked fragile and unlikely vessels for ocean travel,
    modern replicas proved to be very seaworthy. The additional range provided by
    sails explains partially why the Vikings began reaching out to raid in the ninth
    The Irish curragh was a small boat used mainly for coastal trading and travel
    but capable of deep ocean sailing also. This boat was built of animal hides
    stretched over a wooden frame. The hide skin was sealed with pitch for
    waterproofing. These incredibly light boats were powered with a small sail or
    could be rowed. In rough weather the hide covering could be closed to make the
    boat watertight and relatively unsinkable. Irish monks explored the North
    Atlantic in these boats and reached Iceland long before the Vikings. There are
    unsubstantiated tales that monks sailed to the New World as well.
    The Crusades brought northern ships into the Mediterranean and contact between
    the sailors and shipbuilders of north and south. The southerners began adopting
    features of the cog, including its big hull and square sail. The northerners
    learned about the compass, stern rudder, and lateen sail.
    Chinese Ships
    The greatest shipbuilders of the Middle Ages were probably the Chinese. The
    familiar Chinese junk was a better ship than anything available in the West for
    many centuries. It was an excellent combination of cargo space, sailing ability,
    and seaworthiness. In 1405, Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho built a huge navy manned by
    25,000 men and explored much of the Southwest Pacific and Indian Oceans. The
    rulers of China disdained this feat and its discoveries. The greatest ships in
    the world at the time were beached and allowed to rot.
             The Middle Ages
    The expression "Middle Ages" has been employed by Western civilization to define
    the 1000 years that span European history from roughly 500 to 1500 AD. The
    beginning of the Middle Ages is marked by the fall of the Western Roman Empire,
    the generally accepted end of classical ancient history. The end of the Middle
    Ages is noted by the beginning of the Renaissance (the "rebirth" of Europe).
    Events marking the end of the period include the fall of Constantinople in 1453,
    the first use of the printing press in 1456, the European discovery of the
    Americas in 1492, the Protestant Reformation, triggered by Martin Luther in
    1517, and the flowering of the arts in Italy. The Middle Ages thus fall in the
    middle between ancient and modern history.
    Historic periods in Asia and the Middle East do not fit easily into the concept
    of a European Middle Age. China evolved gradually from prehistoric times up to
    the advent of Western modern history without the great disruptions that befell
    Europe. China passed under the control of several dynasties and suffered from
    invasion, but the basic culture progressed steadily. Japan progressed steadily,
    as well, and was left largely alone. The history of the Middle East fits
    together more closely with the European Middle Ages because these two regions
    were adjacent and shared many interactions.
    | The Fall of Rome |
    The Roman Empire of the fourth century AD extended entirely around the basin of
    the Mediterranean Sea, including modern Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and North Africa.
    Modern France (called Gaul) and modern Spain and Portugal (Iberia) were entirely
    Roman. Modern England was Roman, but modern Scotland and Ireland were barbarian
    (non-Roman, or noncivilized). The northern borders of the empire were the Rhine
    and Danube Rivers. The lands north of these rivers were occupied by a variety of
    tribes of Scandinavian origin that the Romans called the Germans.
    Rome was engaged in border skirmishes with the tribes north of the great
    European rivers. Strong emperors occasionally extended the empire over the
    rivers while weak emperors tended to lose those lands. The largest organized
    rival of the Romans was the Persian Empire to the east, occupying modern Syria,
    Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The Persians were the political descendants of the
    Parthians who had revolted away from Greek rule following Alexander's conquests
    and thereafter resisted successfully Roman invasions.
    The Romans had existed as an important power for over 1000 years. They had
    brought stability, prosperity, and order to the civilized West. Excellent roads
    connected the far reaches of the empire with the capital at Rome. These were
    built originally for military purposes but improved all communications and
    trade. Roman law kept the internal peace and 20 to 30 Roman legions defended the
    All was not perfect, however. Emperors held absolute authority. This worked well
    with good emperors, but incompetent ones could do great harm. The rules for
    succession to the throne were never clear, and debilitating civil wars often
    resulted. The bureaucracy that managed the empire on a daily basis grew more
    corrupt, increasing the dissatisfaction of the common citizen. The wealth of the
    empire gradually concentrated in the hands of a minority while a large slave
    population did most of the work. The borders of the empire were immense and put
    a strain on military resources (500,000 soldiers defended a frontier that
    required 3 million or more to be secure). Roman conquests had ceased in the
    second century AD, bringing an end to massive inflows of plunder and slaves.
    Taxes increased and production fell as the workforce declined. A plague may have
    killed 20 percent of the empire's population in the third and fourth centuries,
    further reducing trade and production.
    In the late third century, the Roman Empire was split into eastern and western
    halves in an attempt to make for easier rule and better control. In 323
    Constantine became emperor after a civil war and established his eastern capital
    at Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. During the next century the
    eastern and western parts of the empire gradually established separate
    identities, although nominally the same empire. These identities were partially
    due to the different pressures brought to bear on them from the outside and the
    local culture. The Western Empire was predominately Latin; the Eastern Empire
    was predominately Greek (although they referred to themselves as Romans). The
    Eastern Empire survived the cataclysm of the third and fourth centuries because
    it had a larger population (70 percent of the empire's total), better emperors,
    more money, and a far better army and navy.
    | Barbarian Invaders |
    Around the year 200 AD, nomadic tribes on the great grass steppes of Central
    Asia began migrating toward China, India, Persia, and Europe. The reasons for
    this migration are not fully understood. The largest group of nomads was the
    Huns. Their small stature and small ponies belied a fierce and determined
    ruthlessness. They terrified other tribes they encountered in their migrations,
    causing something like a domino effect. Moving west, the Huns displaced the
    Goths living northwest of the Black Sea, for example, who pushed south over the
    Danube into the Balkans lands ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire. More Huns moved
    toward the German plains, encouraging other Germanic tribes to cross the Rhine.
    The Western Roman Empire was already weakened by this time from sporadic raids
    and invasions across the Rhine and Danube. Germanic tribes with growing
    populations coveted the sparsely occupied lands in Gaul and the benefits of
    being within the Roman Empire. By 400 the Roman army was already 30 to 50
    percent German mercenaries. In desperation, some barbarian groups were enlisted
    into the Roman army as entire units to help defend against other groups. This
    was especially popular during civil wars of the fourth century, when pretenders
    to the throne in Rome needed to raise armies quickly. These barbarian units did
    not have the loyalty and discipline of the legions and kept their own leaders.
    This stopgap measure backfired when whole barbarian armies revolted. The Rhine
    and Danube frontiers dissolved and Germanic tribes moved into Gaul, the Balkans,
    and even Italy itself. The fighting was nearly incessant along the shrinking
    frontier and the number of loyal Roman troops continually diminished.
    The last legions in Britain were withdrawn for service in Gaul in 410,
    abandoning that province forever. Saxon raids increased and became actual
    invasions. The Jutes, Frisians, and Angles, other Germanic tribes from the north
    German coast, joined the Saxons. Together they overwhelmed the Romano-British
    culture and took possession of what is today England (Angle-land).
    The Eastern Roman Empire suffered through the loss of most of the Balkans but
    was able to deflect or bribe the barbarians before they could attack
    Constantinople. The invaders in this area were the Goths, who had become much
    more civilized through their contact with the Eastern Empire than had the
    Germanic tribes along the Rhine. The Goths came as settlers primarily, not
    During the fifth century Rome was sacked several times and the Western Empire
    ceased to exist effectively. Italy was repeatedly invaded and ravaged. In 476
    the last recognized Roman emperor was killed. Italy and the old Roman Empire
    were now occupied by Germanic tribes. Despite a general wish by the barbarians
    to preserve the stability and order of the past Roman civilization, only
    vestiges of it survived the turmoil and devastation that followed the invasions.
    Most of Europe fell back into a much more primitive and barbaric period.
             The Dark Ages
    Following the fall of Rome, western Europe entered what has been called the Dark
    Ages. This name was applied partially because so much of the Roman civilization
    was destroyed and replaced by a more barbaric culture. The name was used also
    because so little written history survived from the period that shed light on
    the events that took place.
    | Politics |
    The Roman government and courts were swept away with most of the Roman culture.
    Tribal war bands were the new government. A strong leader surrounded himself
    with loyal warriors that were paid with booty from raiding. Tribal law, based on
    trial by combat or by the swearing of oaths, replaced Roman law. Small kingdoms
    arose gradually based on tribal loyalties, but governing was difficult because
    literate civil servants were scarce, communications were poor, trade was at a
    standstill, and there was little or no money in circulation. The people survived
    on a subsistence agriculture. Life at this time was described as nasty, brutish,
    and short. The average life expectancy was 30 years, skewed by a very low
    survival rate for children and a high mortality of women in childbirth.
    At the start of the Dark Ages, the list of European powers read as follows:
    *  Franks: much of modern France and parts of
        Germany along the Rhine.
    *  Ostrogoths: northern Italy, Switzerland, and
        the Balkans.
    *  Visigoths: Spain and Portugal.
    *  Vandals: Western North Africa, Sicily, and
        southern Italy.
    *  Various Germanic tribes, including Saxons and
        Lombards: Germany.
    *  Anglo-Saxons: England.
    *  Celts: Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany.
    *  Magyars: Hungary.
    *  Slavs: Poland and western Russia.
    *  Byzantines: Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and
        much of the Balkans, including Greece.
    In succeeding centuries, the list saw the following changes:
    *  Vandals: destroyed and replaced by the
    *  Visigoths: destroyed and replaced by Franks
        in France and Muslims in Spain and Portugal.
    *  Ostrogoths: attacked and eventually absorbed by
        the Lombards (Italy) and Byzantines
    The Dark Ages are considered to cover the years from 500 to 1000. The three most
    important forces that shaped this period and brought the relative darkness to an
    end were the spread of new religions, the rise of the Frankish Empire, and the
    predations of the Vikings.
    | Dark Age Religion |
    Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth
    century and had begun spreading among the Germanic tribes before the fall of
    Rome. The split of the Roman Empire into eastern and western halves also
    resulted in a split within the Christian Church. The western part, centered in
    Rome, became Catholic. The eastern part, centered in Constantinople, became
    Orthodox. In the seventh century, one of the last of the world's great
    religions, Islam, was founded in Arabia.
    The spread of Christianity among the barbarians was a powerful civilizing force
    and helped to ensure that some vestiges of Roman law and the Latin language
    carried on in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Only in England was Roman
    Christianity subsumed by pagan beliefs. The Franks became Catholic under Clovis
    and thereafter spread Christianity to the Germans across the Rhine. The
    Byzantines spread Orthodox Christianity among the Bulgars and Slavs.
    Christianity was brought to Ireland by St. Patrick in the early fifth century
    and spread from there into Scotland and back into England from the north. In the
    late sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great sent missionaries into England from
    the south. Within a century, England was Christian once again.
    During the turmoil of the Dark Ages, a few strongly committed Christians
    withdrew from society to live as hermits, usually on the wild and forbidding
    edge of civilization. Hermits in turn inspired more conventional priests to
    pledge vows of poverty and service, harkening back to the teachings of Jesus
    Many of these priests formed new communities of like believers called
    monasteries. Pope Gregory encouraged the building of monasteries throughout
    Christian Europe. In parts of Europe they became the only remaining centers of
    learning. Irish monks, for example, are credited by some with preserving
    civilization in their monasteries. Irish monks went out into other parts of
    Europe to teach and revive an interest in learning. Monasteries were the main
    source of educated men who could help administer government, and many became
    important assistants to kings.
    In time monasteries grew wealthy with donations of land, as did the Roman
    church. Different monastic orders were founded with different goals. Some kept
    entirely to themselves, some trained missionaries to be sent into the wild, some
    advised the popes on church doctrine, and others provided important community
    service such as care for the elderly, health care, and emergency relief.
    Islam was founded in Arabia in the seventh century by the prophet Mohammed. It
    spread rapidly and inspired a great movement of conquest. The political map of
    North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia changed almost overnight. All of
    North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, the Middle East, Asia Minor, Iraq, Iran,
    Afghanistan, parts of India, Pakistan, and part of Russia became Muslim. During
    the brief period that the Islamic Empire remained united, it threatened to
    accomplish its goal of converting the entire world to its beliefs. The stability
    and economic growth within the new Muslim world brought peace and prosperity far
    in advance of that in western Europe of the time. The Muslim culture surpassed
    even the Byzantines in art, science, medicine, geography, trade, and philosophy.
    Conflicts between the Muslims and Christians resulted in the Crusades, a series
    of attempts by western Christians to regain the Holy Lands in Palestine.
    | Charlemagne |
    The Franks consolidated their kingdom in modern France under a series of strong
    kings and warlords during the seventh and eighth centuries. In 732 they defeated
    a Muslim army invading France from the Iberian Peninsula. Around 750, the Franks
    pushed into Italy to rescue Rome and the pope, who were under attack by the
    Lombards. In 768 Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, became king of the Franks
    and began his remarkable reign.
    Charlemagne returned to Italy across the Alps in 774 and rescued the Pope once
    again. He became king of both the Franks and Lombards and effective ruler of
    Rome. He continued his conquests, simultaneously converting his enemies to
    Christianity. He took southern France and northern parts of Spain. He moved into
    western Germany, converting the Saxons and fighting off the Magyars of Hungary.
    He established "marches" on his frontier, which were buffer states between the
    Frankish Empire and barbarian tribes to the east. On Christmas Day in 800,
    Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope (the title was a surprise
    and one he had not sought).
    The importance of Charlemagne transcends the size and creation of the Holy Roman
    Empire, which fell apart soon after his death anyway. He was a great supporter
    and defender of the Catholic Church and used it to encourage learning and the
    arts. He set up schools in association with cathedrals to educate civil servants
    and nobles to improve government. He collected and codified the laws, improving
    the system of justice. He invented feudalism as a way of providing local order
    while retaining central authority.
    The great promise of European revival radiating from the Frankish Empire was
    stopped short, however. Following the death of Charlemagne's son, the empire was
    split three ways among his grandsons. The western part evolved later into modern
    France. The eastern part became Germany much later. The central part was
    contested by the other two through succeeding generations into the twentieth
    century. A more immediate problem was the sudden appearance of Viking raiders
    from Scandinavia, who greatly disrupted northern Europe for the next two
    | The Vikings |
    The inhabitants of Scandinavia had made their living by herding, farming, and
    fishing for centuries. In the sixth and seventh centuries, they began trading
    along the Baltic Sea and deep into Russia along its great rivers. For reasons
    unknown, they began aggressively raiding the coasts of Europe suddenly in the
    late eighth century. Perhaps they were amazed at the relative riches they had
    encountered as traders, or they perceived a weakness among the civilizations to
    the south, or new sailing and boat technologies gave them the power to travel
    farther and more quickly. In 793 the pagan Vikings struck the great monastery at
    Lindisfarne, established by the Irish off the northeast coast of England.
    Fast, low-draft longboats allowed the Vikings to strike quickly from the sea and
    up rivers. Because roads were so poor in the ninth century, the Vikings could
    concentrate against a rich village or monastery, land quickly, drive off any
    resistance, and carry off slaves and plunder before any organized response could
    be mounted. People living along the coasts and rivers of Germany, France, and
    Britain lived in fear of the raiders. The central authorities of these lands
    fell into disfavor because they could do little to defend against these hit-and-
    run attacks. The people turned to local nobles who built castles for defense.
    This shift of power strengthened the local nobles and weakened the kings.
    The Vikings became bolder as the ninth century progressed. Larger Viking groups
    combined to make actual invasions, not just raids. They sacked major cities
    including Hamburg, Utrecht, and Rouen. They settled on islands off Britain, in
    parts of Ireland (founding Dublin), Iceland, and Greenland. The Danes captured
    and ruled the eastern half of England for a century. Another force sailed up the
    Seine River and besieged Paris for two years before being bought off with money
    and plunder. Another group ruled part of Russia from Kiev and assaulted
    Constantinople from the Black Sea. They raided the Muslim Iberian Peninsula and
    deep into the Mediterranean.
    In the tenth century, the king of France bought peace with the Vikings by ceding
    them part of his country (Normandy, "from the northmen," or Normans) and making
    their ruler a French duke. As part of this agreement, the Normans converted to
    Christianity. The Normans became one of the most remarkable groups in the Middle
    Ages. Later they conquered England, establishing the first great European
    kingdom. Other Normans conquered Sicily, half of Italy, and established Crusader
    kingdoms in Palestine.
    Viking raids stopped at the end of the tenth century, partly because they had
    become Christians and no longer followed the warrior values of their past pagan
    beliefs. Scandinavia divided into kingdoms, and the new rulers concentrated on
    ruling what they owned. The Viking settlers in Russia, France, and Britain were
    absorbed by the cultures that surrounded them. The warrior cultures in Europe
    that had evolved in response to the Viking threat soon had a new outlet for
    their aggression, however, in the Holy Land of the Eastern Mediterranean.
             The Crusades
    Making pilgrimages to holy sites had been a popular activity for European
    Christians for centuries. There were important religious centers in Europe but
    the most important site was the Holy Land in Palestine. The rise of the Seljuk
    Turks made travel to Jerusalem and other Middle Eastern locales suddenly much
    more dangerous. The Turks had little use for non-Muslims and ended the
    relatively peaceful relations between the Arabs and Christians. At the same
    time, the Turks put tremendous pressure on the Byzantines by capturing the
    valuable lands in Asia Minor. As a result, Pope Urban called for a Crusade by
    Christian warriors to recapture Palestine from the Muslims.
    The call for a Crusade electrified the knights of Europe. They were strong
    believers, and the pope promised a heavenly reward for those who died in the
    cause. Of equal or greater importance was the opportunity to grab land and
    wealth abroad, rather than continuing to squabble with relatives and neighbors
    at home.
    By 1097, an army of 30,000, including many pilgrims and camp followers, had
    crossed into Asia Minor from Constantinople. Despite feuding among the leaders
    and broken promises between the Crusaders and their Byzantine supporters, the
    Crusade stumbled forward. The Turks were just as disorganized, or more so. The
    Frankish heavy knights and infantry had no experience fighting the Arab light
    cavalry and archers, and vice versa. The endurance and strength of the knights
    won the campaign over a series of often very close victories. Antioch was
    captured through treachery in 1098 and Jerusalem in 1099 by assault against a
    weak garrison. The Christians debased themselves after both victories by
    slaughtering many of the residents regardless of age, faith, or gender. Many of
    the Crusaders returned home, but a hardy band remained to set up feudal kingdoms
    similar to those in Europe.
    The Crusader rulers of Palestine were greatly outnumbered by the Muslim
    population they attempted to control, so they built castles and hired mercenary
    troops to hold them. The culture and religion of the Franks was too alien to win
    over the residents of the area, however. From their secure castle bases, the
    Crusaders struck out to intercept raiding Arabs. For about a century the two
    sides engaged in a classic guerrilla war. The Frankish knights were powerful but
    slow. The Arabs could not stand up to charges by the heavy cavalry but could
    ride circles around them, hoping to disable their units and catch them in
    ambushes in the desert. The Crusader kingdoms kept mainly to the coast, from
    which they could get supplies and reinforcements, but the constant raids and
    unhappy populace meant they were not an economic success.
    Orders of Christian warrior monks were formed to fight for the Holy Lands. The
    Knights Templar and Hospitillar were mainly Frankish. The Teutonic Knights were
    German. These were the fiercest and most determined of the Crusaders, but there
    were never enough of them to make the region secure.
    The Crusader kingdoms survived for a while in part because they learned to
    negotiate, compromise, and play the different Arab groups off against each
    other. A great Arab leader appeared, however, who united the various Islamic
    groups. Saladin became Sultan of Egypt and Syria in 1174. In 1187 he won a great
    victory over the Crusaders in the desert and recaptured Jerusalem.
    For another century the Europeans made several attempts to reassert control over
    the Holy Land and Jerusalem, with only a rare temporary success. Eight more
    Crusades followed and most failed to do more than get ashore and make some
    progress inland before being pushed back. The Fourth Crusade did not even reach
    Palestine. Under the guidance of the Doge of Venice, they sacked Constantinople
    instead, a blow from which the Byzantines never recovered. One of the worst
    Crusades was a Children's Crusade launched in 1212. Several thousand European
    children got as far as Alexandria in Egypt, where they were sold into slavery.
    The legacy of the Crusades included a new hostility between Christians and
    Muslims, a deterioration of the feudal system, and exposure to new cultures.
    Feudalism declined because many lords went bankrupt, leaving their lands to
    their kings. Many serfs became Crusaders and never returned. New words entered
    the European languages, such as cotton, muslin, divan, and bazaar. Europeans
    brought back new textiles, foods, and spices. Demand back home for these new
    goods increased trade and contributed to the growth of the Italian trading city-
    states, especially Genoa and Venice. This demand was also the impetus for the
    great age of discovery that began in fourteenth century. Treasure brought home
    increased the local money supplies, aiding economic growth.
    The predominant economic and political structure of the Middle Ages was
    feudalism. This system evolved in response to a breakdown in central authority
    and a rise in social chaos following the end of Roman rule. A hierarchy of
    strongmen in allegiance replaced the Roman system of emperor, senate, province,
    city, and town.
    | Feudal Contract |
    Feudalism was an agreement between two nobles, one the lord and one the vassal.
    The vassal pledged an oath of fealty (faithfulness) to the lord and agreed to
    carry out duties in his behalf. The most important duties were usually military
    service (normally limited to 40 days per year), providing soldiers to the lord's
    army, and providing revenue to the lord. The lord agreed to protect the vassal
    with the army at his command and to provide the vassal with the means of making
    a living. The vassal was given control of a fief that was usually a large
    holding of land, but he could also be assigned the job of tax collector, coiner,
    customs agent, or some other responsibility that created revenue. A lord with
    many vassals thus had steady sources of revenue and an army. A feudal contract
    was made for life. A lord could take back a fief if the vassal failed in his
    duties. It was much harder for a vassal to leave a lord. During the early Middle
    Ages fiefs were not inherited, which was to the advantage of the lord. The more
    fiefs he had to give out, the harder his vassals would work to earn them. As the
    Middle Ages progressed, vassals found opportunities to make their fiefs
    inheritable, leaving the lords fewer fiefs to pass out as rewards.
    Only nobles and knights were allowed to take the oath of fealty. In practice
    most nobles were both vassals and lords, fitting in somewhere between the king
    and the lowest knight of rank. Feudalism was never neatly organized, however.
    Vassals might be more powerful than lords. The dukes of Normandy, controlling
    much of France and all of England, were more powerful than the kings of France
    who were their lords. Vassals might have several lords, causing problems when
    different lords wanted the vassal to provide a service. The senior lord, or
    liege lord, was usually given preference. Nobles also discovered that if they
    were strong enough they could ignore the rules of feudalism and attack neighbors
    to get what they wanted. Such private wars were endemic throughout the late
    Middle Ages.
    | The Manor |
    The most common fief was a land holding called a manor. During the Middle Ages
    nine families worked on a manor producing food to feed themselves and provide
    food for a tenth family to do something else. (In the modern United States, the
    relationship is perhaps 100 to 1 in the other direction.)
    A typical manor was a great house or castle, surrounded by fields, cottages,
    pastures, and woodlands. The manor was largely self-sufficient. Surpluses of a
    few commodities were traded with other manors for commodities in shortage. As
    the Middle Ages continued and the markets of towns grew, manors became more
    specialized because they were more efficient at producing only a few
    commodities. Some manors specialized in cheese, pigs, wine, grain, or
    vegetables, for example.
    The lord of the manor (landlord) occupied the manor house or castle with his
    family, servants, and retainers. Retainers were usually knights and professional
    soldiers on hand to provide defense and be ready to fulfill any feudal military
    obligations to a senior lord. The larger the manor, the greater the number of
    The population of a manor consisted mainly of peasants (nonnoble and
    nonprofessional). The farmhands were mostly serfs who spent up to half of their
    week working the lord's lands in return for his protection. Each serf family
    owned several rows in each of the manor's fields from which it obtained a
    living. Serfs were not slaves, but they were not free either. They could not
    marry, change jobs, or leave the manor without the lord's permission. But a serf
    had some rights, unlike a slave. His position was hereditary and passed down in
    his family. His land could not be taken so long as he fulfilled his obligations.
    While the relationship between vassal and lord seems comparable to serf and
    landlord, a clear distinction was made in the Middle Ages between an honorable
    contract to provide military service versus mere manual labor.
    Farming technology gradually changed the lives of serfs as the Middle Ages
    progressed. Food production increased and surpluses were sold, providing serfs
    with the money to buy their freedom. By the end of the period, there were few
    serfs in western Europe.
             The Late Middle Ages
    The Dark Ages witnessed widespread disruption throughout Europe and the
    replacement of the previously predominant Roman culture with Germanic tribal
    culture. For 500 years Europe had suffered repeatedly from invasion and war. The
    life of the average peasant was rarely affected, however, and social stability
    and culture gradually recovered, although in new formats. By roughly the year
    1000, Europeans were creating a new medieval civilization that surpassed the
    ancients in almost every way.
    | Economy |
    At the start of the Dark Ages, Northern Europe was deeply forested. By 1000 AD,
    much of the forest was gone and most of the rest was going, replaced by farmland
    and pasture. The soil was generally excellent, a loess of finely ground rock
    deposited during the last receding Ice Age. Two key inventions accelerated the
    deforestation of Europe and led to increasing food production. The first was the
    horse collar that originated in China and gradually came west. The improved
    collar fit across a horse's breast, rather than its windpipe, allowing it to
    pull much heavier loads without choking. The second invention was the heavy
    wheeled plow, which was needed to cut into the deep soils and extensive root
    systems of the old forests. Dramatic increases in food production were the
    foundation of population growth and economic revitalization in Europe.
    Increasing population, no longer needed on the manors, migrated to the towns
    that were already growing in response to the needs for larger markets. Food
    surpluses and the products of new industries (cloth-making, shipbuilding, and
    tool-making, for example) traded in the new markets and trade fairs. Kings
    encouraged the growth of towns because residents were usually allied with the
    central authority rather than local feudal lords. Citizens of towns paid taxes,
    not feudal service. Within towns there appeared a new middle class that
    supported itself by trade, industrial production, and lending money. Merchants
    came to dominate the town governments, growing both rich and powerful.
    Craftsmen and merchants organized themselves into associations that were called
    guilds. These associations controlled prices and production, ensured a high
    standard of service or manufacturing, and organized the training of crafts
    through apprenticeships. These controls ensured both a high-quality product and
    a high-quality of life for guild members. Guild members often concentrated in
    one part of town, such as Threadneedle Street and Ironmongers Lane in London.
    Guilds formed an important power block within the political structure of the
    Increased trade led to a new boom in manufacturing. Both led to the rise of
    banking, centered mostly in northern Italy in the thirteenth century. Fledgling
    businesses needed money to get started and to function efficiently. Money acted
    as a medium of exchange and standard of value and was necessary for moving
    beyond an inefficient barter economy. Italy had cash surpluses from its
    lucrative Mediterranean trade, especially with the Levant. The gold florin of
    Florence became the most popular coin of the late Middle Ages.
    | Religion |
    Christians proved their faith by going on pilgrimages to Rome, Santiago de
    Compostela, and even Jerusalem. Pilgrims who had visited Santiago de Compostela
    wore cloth cockleshells on their clothing as a badge of distinction.
    The prosperity of the twelfth century and later was increasingly expressed in
    the arts, especially architecture. The enduring symbol of Middle Ages
    architecture was the cathedral. Magnificent church buildings were erected in
    thanks to God for the blessings bestowed on the people. Towns competed to build
    the most glorious cathedral and the loftiest spire reaching toward heaven.
    Cathedrals were the largest capital investments of the period, taking as much as
    a century to build and costing a fortune.
    The predominant building material for cathedrals was stone, which minimized the
    hazard of fire. There was little steel at the time, and iron was too soft to
    hold up the immense buildings of unprecedented height. Architects evolved new
    solutions to old problems, devising the pointed arch and flying buttress to
    spread the weight load from vaulted ceilings onto massive stone supports. The
    new building technologies made possible great open cathedrals, large windows
    (often of beautifully stained glass), and high spires. The French pioneered the
    new cathedrals. Notre Dame of Paris was begun in 1163 and finished 72 years
    later. The cathedral at Chartres was begun in 1120 and completed in 1224 after
    burning twice during construction.
    Cathedrals were a great source of civic pride and prestige. Pilgrims and new
    churchgoers brought increased revenues to the cathedral town.
    | Technology |
    By the late Middle Ages, science in Europe had caught up with the ancients and
    passed them by. The technology that interested the people was practical, not
    theoretical. They sought better ways to do things, both to make life more
    comfortable and to improve business. They were interested in understanding the
    natural world because they had increasingly more leisure time for contemplation.
    The rudiments of mathematics and science were acquired from the Muslims of the
    Iberian Peninsula and Sicily when Christians retook those areas. The Muslims had
    been actively studying the ancients and new ideas from Asia since the early
    Middle Ages. The Muslims passed on the Arabic numerals used today and the
    concept of the zero, invented in India.
    Practical research began challenging logic in the quest to understand the laws
    of nature. The value of observation, experimentation, and empirical (countable)
    evidence as support and proof of theory was recognized. This led to the
    scientific method of the later Renaissance, which is the basis for all modern
    scientific research. Ancient Greeks had suggested the scientific method, but it
    fell out of favor and had been forgotten.
    | Feudalism's Decline |
    Political Changes
    By the beginning of the late Middle Ages, western Europe had been divided into
    feudal holdings of various sizes. Kings atop feudal hierarchies did not exercise
    a strong central authority and nations existed as cultural groups, not political
    entities. By the end of the late Middle Ages, strong central authority
    controlled England, Spain, Portugal, and France. Political power in those areas
    had been wrested away from the local feudal lords.
    William the Conqueror established the first of the strong European monarchies
    after winning the throne of England in 1066. Following his victory at Hastings
    and five more years of fighting to break remaining resistance, he began taking
    steps to consolidate his power. He kept one-sixth of England as royal land. Half
    of the rest was given as fiefs to Norman barons who were his direct vassals. He
    gave one-quarter of the land to the Church and the remainder was divided among
    the Anglo-Saxons. The entire feudal hierarchy was forced to swear fealty to him
    as liege lord. He claimed ownership of all castles, prohibited wars between
    lords, and made royal coinage the only legal money. These were important first
    steps in the decline of feudalism, although they could not always be enforced,
    especially by later kings of lesser ability than William.
    In the twelfth century, England's King Henry II created the chancery and
    exchequer, the beginnings of a civil service. The chancery kept records of laws
    and royal transactions; the exchequer was the treasury. Both offices were not
    hereditary, making it easy to remove unwanted officials. The staffs of the new
    civil service were paid a salary rather than given a fief, making them dependent
    only on the king.
    In 1215 the unpopular King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta, a
    feudal document that made the king subject to the laws of the land and required
    that the barons have a voice in the king's decision through a Great Council.
    Wording of the Magna Carta led to important interpretations in later centuries,
    including the concept of "no taxation without representation." When a later
    English king ignored the Magna Carta, the barons seized power in 1264 and ruled
    temporarily through an expanded Great Council called the Parliament. The new
    Parliament included not only the barons and high-ranking churchmen but also
    representatives from the large towns.
    Although this parliamentary government was short-lived (15 months), Parliament
    itself could not be suppressed or ignored. From this period on, only Parliament
    could repeal laws it had passed. No taxes could be imposed without its approval.
    When kings needed money in the short term (during the Hundred Years War, for
    example) they were often forced by Parliament to concede more power in exchange.
    Parliament and the civil service continued to grow in importance, and they
    proved capable of running the country, regardless of the current king's ability
    or any temporary rebellion by the nobility.
    While the king, civil service, and Parliament were pushing down on the power of
    barons from above, pressure was also rising from the bottom of the feudal
    hierarchy. Several factors worked toward freeing the serfs from their contracts
    with the lords, including increasing town populations, cessation of barbarian
    raids, and a fearful plague that struck Europe in the fourteenth century.
    The Black Death
    The plague that became known as the Black Death struck Europe suddenly and with
    devastating effect in the middle fourteenth century. It moved west from Central
    Asia, appearing in the Black Sea area in 1346. It spread southwest into the
    Mediterranean and then up and around the North Atlantic Coast and into the
    Baltic. By 1348 it was in Spain and Portugal, by 1349 in England and Ireland, by
    1351 in Sweden, and by 1353 in the Baltic States and Russia. Only remote and
    sparsely populated areas were spared. Between a third and a half of the
    population of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and India died, based on
    modern estimates of the loss.
    The Black Plague was probably a variety of the bubonic plague, a bacterial
    infection still encountered today and still dangerous. The bacteria were carried
    in the saliva of fleas that had sucked the blood of infected rats. The fleas
    jumped to human hosts when infected rats died and the bacteria spread rapidly in
    the human blood stream. The plague took its name from its most hideous symptom-
    large black and painful swellings that oozed blood and pus. Victims developed a
    high fever and became delirious. Most died within 48 hours, but a small minority
    were able to fight off the infection and survive.
    Entire towns were depopulated and the social relation between serf and lord fell
    apart. People who could farm or make things were valuable. The move to cities
    accelerated once the plague had passed.
             The Renaissance
    Beginning in fourteenth-century Italy, Europe went through a transition over 400
    years from medieval to modern times known today as the Renaissance, meaning a
    "rebirth" or "revival." The Renaissance is a nebulous concept for which there is
    no clear beginning or end. It does, however, usefully mark the complete recovery
    from the barbarism of the Dark Ages to the new advancement in all fields that
    transcended the achievements of the great ancient civilizations.
    Many different factors at work in the Middle Ages contributed to this revival
    and new advancement. One was the renewed interest in learning. The first college
    at Oxford University was founded in 1264. By 1400 there were more than 50
    universities in Europe. Education and debate were stimulated by access to
    ancient texts preserved by the Arabs and freshly translated into Latin.
    Europeans had made contact with the Arabs in the Holy Land, in Sicily, and in
    Spain. The rediscovered works of the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid, for
    example, became the standard for teaching mathematics into the nineteenth
    century. The Arabs also transmitted a new system for numbers, the concept of the
    decimal point, and the concept of zero, all invented in India. The spread of
    learning accelerated rapidly following the invention of the printing press
    around 1450.
    A second factor was the rising standard of living, especially in the great
    commercial cities of Italy. The Crusades had opened European eyes to the wealth
    of the East, especially silks, spices, and cotton. The merchants of Venice,
    Genoa, Florence, and other cities came to dominate the trade between Europe and
    the Eastern Mediterranean. With the excess wealth they accumulated in business,
    these merchants began embellishing their homes and cities with art. Sculpture,
    painting, architecture, music, poetry, and literature found new expression,
    exhibiting an interest in subjects beyond the religious themes that dominated
    previously in the Middle Ages. Popular depictions of everyday life, romance, and
    adventure revealed that European culture was becoming more humanistic and less
    focused on religion.
    The revival was also due to technological progress that led to more efficient
    production of goods and services. Manufacturing, farming, and trade all improved
    past the abilities of the ancients. The drive for profits encouraged
    inventiveness and exploration. A middle class of merchants and craftsmen began
    grasping political power commensurate with their economic power, at the expense
    of a declining nobility.
    By roughly 1500 the nations of Europe were leading the world in many important
    technologies. Energies unleashed by the exploration of the world, the search for
    trade routes, the Protestant Reformation, and continued political competition in
    Europe itself would make Europe the dominant region of the world within a few
     7.                            Civilization Comparison
    |   Civilization           |    Attributes                                     |
    | Aztecs                   | o Start with Eagle Warrior, not Scout Cavalry     |
    |                          | o Villagers carry +5                              |
    |                          | o All military units created 15% faster           |
    |                          | o Monks +5 HP for each Monestery technology       |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Relics +33% gold                      |
    |                          | Unique unit: Jaguar Warrior                       |
    |                          | Unique tech: Garland Wars                         |
    | Britons                  | o Town Centers cost -50% in Castle and Imperial   |
    |                          |   Age                                             |
    |                          | o Foot archers +1 range Castle Age, +1 Imperial   |
    |                          |   Age (for +2 total)                              |
    |                          | o Shepherds work 25% faster                       |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Archery Ranges 20% faster             |
    |                          | Unique unit: Longbowman                           |
    |                          | Unique tech: Yeomen                               |
    | Byzantines               | o Advance to Imperial Age costs -33%              |
    |                          | o Fire ships +20% attack                          |
    |                          | o Camels, skirmishers, Pikemen, Halberdiers cost  |
    |                          |   -25%                                            |
    |                          | o Buildings +10% HPs Dark Age, +20% Feudal Age,   |
    |                          |   +30% Castle Age, +40% Imperial Age              |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Monks +50% heal speed                 |
    |                          | Unique unit: Cataphract                           |
    |                          | Unique tech: Logistica                            |
    | Celts                    | o Infantry move 15% faster                        |
    |                          | o Lumberjacks work 15% faster                     |
    |                          | o Siege weapons fire 20% faster                   |
    |                          | o Sheep not converted if in 1 Celt unit's LOS     |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Siege Workshops 20% faster            |
    |                          | Unique unit: Woad Raider                          |
    |                          | Unique tech: Furor Celtica                        |
    | Chinese                  | o Demolition ships +50% HPs                       |
    |                          | o Town Centers support 10 population              |
    |                          | o Technologies cost -10% Feudal Age, -15% Castle  |
    |                          |   Age, -20% Imperial Age                          |
    |                          | o Start +3 villagers but -150 food, -50 wood      |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Farms +45 food                        |
    |                          | Unique unit: Cho Ko Nu                            |
    |                          | Unique tech: Rocketry                             |
    | Franks                   | o Castles cost -25%                               |
    |                          | o Knights +20% HPs                                |
    |                          | o Farm upgrades free (require Mill)               |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Knights +2 LOS                        |
    |                          | Unique unit: Throwing Axeman                      |
    |                          | Unique tech: Bearded Axe                          |
    | Goths                    | o +10 Population Imperial Age                     |
    |                          | o Villagers +5 attack vs. wild boar; Hunters      |
    |                          |   carry +15 meat                                  |
    |                          | o Infantry +1 attack vs buildings                 |
    |                          | o Infantry cost -10% Feudal Age, -15% Castle Age, |
    |                          |   -25% Imperial Age                               |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Barracks 20% faster                   |
    |                          | Unique unit: Huskarl                              |
    |                          | Unique tech: Anarchy                              |
    | Huns                     | o Don't need houses but start -100 wood           |
    |                          | o Cavalry Archers cost -25% Castle Age, -30%      |
    |                          |   Imperial Age                                    |
    |                          | o Trebuchets +30% accuracy                        |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Stable 20% faster                     |
    |                          | Unique unit: Tarkan                               |
    |                          | Unique tech: Atheism                              |
    | Japanese                 | o Fishing Ships 2X HPs; +2P armor; work rate +5%  |
    |                          |   Dark Age, +10% Feudal Age, +15% Castle Age,     |
    |                          |   +20% Imperial Age                               |
    |                          | o Mill, Lumber Camp, Mining Camp cost -50%        |
    |                          | o Infantry attack 10% faster Feudal Age, 15%      |
    |                          |   Castle Age, 25% Imperial Age                    |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Galleys +50% LOS                      |
    |                          | Unique unit: Samurai                              |
    |                          | Unique tech: Kataparuto                           |
    | Koreans                  | o Villagers +2 LOS                                |
    |                          | o Stone Miners work 20% faster                    |
    |                          | o Tower upgrades free (Bombard Tower requires     |
    |                          |   Chemistry)                                      |
    |                          | o Towers range +1 Castle AGe, +1 Imperial Age     |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Mangonels, Onagers +1 range           |
    |                          | Unique units: War Wagon; Turtle Ship              |
    |                          | Unique tech: Shinkichon                           |
    | Mayans                   | o Start with +1 Villager, Eagle Warrior (not      |
    |                          |   Scout Cavalry), -50 Food                        |
    |                          | o Resources last 20% longer                       |
    |                          | o Archery Range units cost -10% Feudal Age, -20%  |
    |                          |   Castle Age, -30% Imperial Age                   |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Walls cost -50%                       |
    |                          | Unique unit: Plumed Archer                        |
    |                          | Unique tech: El Dorado                            |
    | Mongols                  | o Cavalry archers fire 20% faster                 |
    |                          | o Light Cavalry +30% HPs                          |
    |                          | o Hunters work 50% faster                         |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar  |
    |                          |             50% faster                            |
    |                          | Unique unit: Mangudai                             |
    |                          | Unique tech: Drill                                |
    | Persians                 | o Start +50% wood, food                           |
    |                          | o Town Center, Dock 2X HPs; work rate +10% Feudal |
    |                          |   Age, +15% Castle Age, +20% Imperial Age         |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Knights +2 attack vs. archers         |
    |                          | Unique unit: War Elephant                         |
    |                          | Unique tech: Mahouts                              |
    | Saracens                 | o Market trade cost only 5%                       |
    |                          | o Transport Ships 2X HPs, 2X carry capacity       |
    |                          | o Galleys attack 20% faster                       |
    |                          | o Cavalry archers +3 attack vs. buildings         |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: foot archers +1 attack vs. buildings  |
    |                          | Unique unit: Mameluke                             |
    |                          | Unique tech: Zealotry                             |
    | Spanish                  | o Builders work 30% faster (except on Wonders)    |
    |                          | o Blacksmith upgrades don't cost gold             |
    |                          | o Cannon Galleons benefit from Ballistics         |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Trade Cart, Trade Cog return +33% gold|
    |                          | Unique units: Conquistador; Missionary            |
    |                          | Unique tech: Supremacy                            |
    | Teutons                  | o Monks heal from 2X as far                       |
    |                          | o Towers garrison 2X units, fire 2X normal        |
    |                          |   garrison arrows                                 |
    |                          | o Murder Holes Free                               |
    |                          | o Farms cost -33%                                 |
    |                          | o Town Center +2 attack/+5 LOS                    |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Units more resistant to conversion    |
    |                          | Unique unit: Teutonic Knight                      |
    |                          | Unique tech: Crenellations                        |
    | Turks                    | o Gunpowder units +25% HPs, researching gunpowder |
    |                          |   technologies costs -50%                         |
    |                          | o Gold miners work 15% faster                     |
    |                          | o Chemistry free                                  |
    |                          | o Light Cavalry, Hussar upgrade free              |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Gunpowder units train 20% faster      |
    |                          | Unique unit: Janissary                            |
    |                          | Unique tech: Artillery                            |
    | Vikings                  | o Infantry +10% HPs Feudal Age, +15% Castle Age,  |
    |                          |   +20% Imperial Age                               |
    |                          | o Wheelbarrow, Hand Cart free                     |
    |                          | o War ships cost -20%                             |
    |                          |                                                   |
    |                          | Team Bonus: Docks cost -25%                       |
    |                          | Unique units: Berserk; Longboat                   |
    |                          | Unique tech: Berserkergang                        |
     8.                         Specific Strategies and Tips
    I don't really have any strategies or tips I'd like to give out.  If you run a
    search for Age of Kings, you will be able to find plenty.
    Check out:
                                 On the Road to Expert
      First of all, a huge thanks go out to DaRq_DarkJihad for allowing me post
      I highly recommend that you go to MrFixitonline (http://mrfixitonline.com)
      for more game help!
    On The Road to Expert: Day 1 VILLAGERS
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. Currently there are 13 Parts. Though On the Road
    to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings Heaven, these strategies
    have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY for MrFixitOnline.
    The importance of having many many villagers can NOT be overstated in Age of
    Kings. Often the inferior military player can win by sheer volume of the same
    unit, which in order to happen, must occur with a superior economy. Now
    obviously a mixed and managed military will win given equal economies. But we'll
    leave that for a later strat.
    Villagers. On the road to becoming an expert you'll find that you can NEVER, and
    i mean NEVER have enough villager. Just ask Maimin_Matty, who, if the game lasts
    long enough, will tend to have something like 150-170 villagers on a population
    200 map. But how can we reach this lofty goal ??
    Well lets just say it takes PRACTICE. But here's how we start. In EVERY Game
    from now on make this your goal: No big gaps in villagers before feudal, and
    then once you castle, make at LEAST 5 new villagers every THREE (3) Minutes,
    while attacking. This will mean that you have 100 villagers by ONE HOUR of game
    time. While this is a little slow it will be fine to start out. As you make more
    villagers you will find you have resources to research and do just about
    anything at once.
    To do this obviously you're going to need more town centers. Every time you get
    400 wood, peel off two villagers from woodchopping and have them build a new
    towncenter near a resource, preferably wood/gold or wood/stone, but near only
    one if you don't have a wood/mineral spot. Then have them each build a farm at
    your new Town Center. Also, if you've driven the enemy off his town, or just
    have a nice spot outside his town, definitely build there. Set your all your
    town center's gathering points on a resource (IE wood or stone or gold, but each
    tc at a different spot). That way you can queue villagers and not worry about
    assigning them a task anytime soon.
    These are the kinds of places for TCs if possible
    Concentrate on your military, but watch your wood, and every once in a while
    just tap h and hit c twice, and continue until you've gone through all your town
    centers. IE hit h then c-c then h-c-c-h-cc-h-cc-h-cc until you've got two
    villagers queued in each TC. You should be able to do this within 10 seconds
    with practice. Every once in a while when you get a break in the fighting, grab
    some villagers off wood or something and have them build farms so you don't run
    out of food. Idle vils, building farms and building buildings (including your
    new tcs) should be the only thing you need to micromanage in your economy.
    Finally, every chance you get click the idle villager button. With 100 or more
    villagers you'll get a lot going idle if you don't click occasionally. Make sure
    to always rebuild farms, and shift villagers if you've got way too much of one
    resource. The KEY is NEVER EVER EVER stop making villagers. EVER. (except when
    you are at pop limit)
    On The Road to Expert: Day 2 Villy Task Allotment
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part two of Currently there are 13
    Parts. Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of
    Kings Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced
    EXCLUSIVELY for MrFixitOnline.
    --Villager Task Allotment
    Now that you've started making enough villagers, its time for you to learn what
    and how many villagers you need on each resource. In general for a flexible
    "formless" strategy with a few knights as you castle, you should have about 2/5
    on food, 2/5 on wood, and 1/5 on gold as you click the upgrade to castle button.
    (but the goldies only started right when you clicked to upgrade to feudal) IE
    with the standard 30, when you start castle you want 6 on gold, 12 on wood and
    12 on food.
    Villy Ratios for atsq at one point during the EWORM finals
    MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH Gold Mining, double bit axe and horse collar to improve
    your economy. As you add more villagers after you castle put them on gold first,
    then move them to farming and wood. My reasoning here is that gold can be
    quickly liquidated to any other resource using the market in case you have to
    take your hands off your economy for awhile-- if you are sending guys to wood,
    wood doesn't translate into much food or stone after trade taxes. Your 4th town
    center should be on stone-- pump villagers from it onto the stone. Use this
    stone first for a castle and then to get architecture and murder holes. In mid
    castle when you start mining stone, and are looking to go imp sometime soon, you
    should have about 1/4 of your villagers on gold, 1/4 wood, and 3/8 food, with
    about 1/8 on stone for castles. IE with 50 villagers, you want 18 on food, 13 on
    wood, 13 on gold, and 6 or 7 on stone. This should give you enough resources to
    produce a mixed army, pump more villagers, as well as eventually age advance and
    research techs.
    Try not to go too much off this formula unless you're going hardcore anti-units
    (pikemen/skirmishers), or hardcore archers or something, which is not
    recommended, since a mixed force usually does better. If you put alot of
    villagers on one resource, you're going to find you have 2000 wood in the bank,
    or 1500 stone when you only need like 100 of each. As you start to imperial, you
    want to move more to gold because those imperial techs are expensive. Remember
    the GOAL is to have the resources you need to research things, but you want all
    your resources as close as possible to 0. Realistically you want a coupla
    hundred gold and wood in reserve, so if you're resources read like 300 gold and
    200 wood, and 50 food (and stone <650 with no castle up) then you are doing
    well. If you've got more you're NOT using them properly-- either produce
    something with them or shift villagers OFF that resource. Obviously the
    exceptions are age advancements and saving for elite units.
    The kinds of resources you want to have if you are going to imperial shortly--
    while booming you want to have less in the bank
    So to recap: Try and balance your villagers, but realize that like ROR stone
    isn't quite as useful until you need to build a castle, while gold/food/wood are
    needed all the time- so don't put as many villagers on stone, especially as you
    are castling-- and you'll see your times and number of villagers increase.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 3- Upgrades
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part three of Currently there are 13
    Parts. Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of
    Kings Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced
    EXCLUSIVELY for MrFixitOnline.
    This is for a basic 30 ish vil strong castle in 1v1. If going for a feudal rush
    or very early castle rush you may wish to skip the economic upgrades early on.
    Also I usually use a BLACKSMITH, and a Stable or Archery Range (market in team
    games) as my two requisite buildings to advance. The next building is usually
    either an ARCHERY RANGE or another STABLE. After that it depends, but its often
    multiple town centers, then a SEIGE WORKSHOP, then A MARKET, then UNIVERSITY,
    then CASTLE, then a MONESTARY later to pick up relics. Obviously more military
    buildings are mixed in here, but you need to evaluate your situation to
    determine which and how many. The ONLY upgrade you should get before you start
    castling is loom-- all others should generally wait until. When building troops,
    try not to suffer from horizontal upgrade syndrome (partially upgrading lots of
    different things). Instead, try to fully upgrade your mainline troops before
    upgrading other things you may or may not need or use alot.
    These are the upgrades I recommend, in the order i recommend for a 1v1 land map,
    and to a lesser extent for any map:
    1. LOOM: At 50 gold this tech is rock-bottom priced. Get it at the first
    opportunity (either break in villies or just before feudaling) and save yourself
    alot of wolf kills. Also helps kill enemy scout that harrases your forward
    2. DOUBLE BIT AXE: This upgrade rocks.. like woodworking in ROR this upgrade is
    ESSENTIAL for a healthy wood intake. Get it right after you click upgrade to
    3. Horse Collar: This makes your farms last longer- essential in feudal age for
    a land map strategy, can wait till mid-castle on water.
    4. Gold Mining: Also good, as thorfinn pointed out this is like getting an extra
    villager on gold. Realizing that it costs more than one villager, its still
    essential because it gets around the fact that your economy precastle is
    essentially TOWN CENTER limited... make every villager count. GET This in feudal
    (WHILE castling) but not until after Double Bit AXE.
    5. Fletching Arrow/Scale Barding Armor (if knight rushing): Get both of these as
    soon as you have the resources... you should be able to get at least one while
    transitioning to castle... Armor is for the knights, Fletching Arrow both helps
    your archers and increases town center, ship, and castle firepower (and range).
    6. Wheelbarrow/Hand Cart: I tend to get wheelbarrow right when I castle, since
    it improves Woodcutting somewhat, and improves Farming by something like 17% for
    whatever reason- get it fairly soon after castling, in feudal if you aren't
    going to have the food to get to castle in time. Get Hand Cart when you have the
    resources, but don't let it interfere with continuous villager production.
    7. Cartography: A Must in team games, I most often don't build a market until
    like 23-24 minutes but when I do i research IMMEDIATELY.. its really nice for
    team games. The more players, the sooner you can get it..
    8. Bow Saw: Always can use more wood for more tcs and seige. Especially on water
    maps, this can make the difference between winning and losing the boat war.
    Often I get it right off in castle since it researches in a lumber camp..
    9. Other Blacksmith Upgrades:Make sure you get the upgrades for whatever troops
    you're using. Also make sure to eventually get Bodkin arrow since again, it
    strengthens your TCs/ CASTLES/ and Ships. The primary upgrade for my troops
    might come even before wheelbarrow (ie padded archer armor or whatever)
    8 Murder Holes/Ballistics: Research these once you get a university up, its
    pretty much worthless to build a castle without murder holes or several TCs in
    support. (which is one of the reasons i think building a castle too early is a
    mistake). Get ballistics next, or get it earlier if using a primarily archer
    9 Gold Shaft/Stone Shaft mining:Get them, but they are kinda expensive early, I
    generally wait until mid-late castle when i have a few extra resources.
    10 IMPERIAL AGE: Get this now, you've got enough upgrades:
    11 Other upgrades: Eventually get town watch and town patrol. MAYBE get two man
    saw which is really overprices for its benefit-- wait till late. Get guilds if
    trading extensively. As always FULLY upgrade your troops... especially get
    Bracer and Blast Furnace which apply to multiple troops/ types. Get Siege
    Engineers at some points, as well as masonry and treadmill crane... you need to
    decide these for yourself. Also chemistry if using bowmen or planning on
    gunpowder weapons. Conscription is nice, and should come soon after Imperialing.
    Sappers if you have too many villagers.
    12 UPGRADES TO SKIP: SPIES/TREASON-- Don't get this unless your opponents down
    to their last few men. HEATED SHOT: This is totally worthless in 99.9% of all
    games.. completely ignore it COINAGE/BANKING: You shouldn't need to tribute too
    much... CROP ROTATION: Get it late game, but don't skip completely it eliminates
    pointless farm rebuilding micro. TRACKING: Infantry are still blind but now
    chase things further. Go ahead if you've got extra but its NOT a priority. ALL
    MONK UPGRADES: A waste of resources: Initially I thought redemption might be a
    good deal but nope.. those monks convert buildings slower than one villager
    builds them... Save yor gold. Actually redemption can be useful for converting
    seige, but most of the time, except in extremely specific strategies, skip all
    monk upgrades.
    Military Upgrades you can't schedule
    Husbandry.. ok but not essential - wait till imperial Light Cav... again ignore
    till imperial if not mongol knights are just as good and gold's NOT in short
    supply in castle.
    Squires: Yes, if you're using infantry its nice.
    Pikemen: Yes, but evaluate situation and get when needed.
    Infantry Upgrades (Ie men at arms longswords): Dunno, look at where you are and
    what you're doing. Get them before champs obviously but infantry is of limited
    usefulness in castle.
    Heavy Scorps: its ok but damned expensive and these things are EZ to counter..
    they do work nice behind pikes for paladins, or for infantry.
    Onagers/Seige Onagers/: Get Onager: Say bye bye to archers and skirmishers, also
    good for smashing trebs. Seige Onager is too expensive, except on Black Forest
    where the tree path smashing is nice.
    Bombard Cannon: Get it if you got it, also nice for smashing trebs.
    Capped Ram/Seige Ram: If you've got alot of these running around from castle
    this upgrade is great, otherwise definitely skip seige ram... maybe get capped
    Hand Cannoneer: Maybe.. these guys aren't significantly better than regular
    archers because they are so inaccurate at long range. They garrison TCs better
    Ships: If you're fighting ship wars get war galleys and shipwright otherwise,
    don't. Careening and dry dock are nice if you're transporting troops.
    Paladin/Cavalier: YES these guys rock, Paladins even smoke Pikemen especially
    cause of the population limit.
    Arbalest/Crossbowmen: Get it if you're using them.
    Heavy Cavalry Archer: Simply put these guys SUCK.. don't even waste your
    resources making cav archers, let alone researching Heavy Cav Archers.
    Elite Skirmishers: A must if you're fighting with them.
    Fortified Wall/Guard Tower/Keep: Generally I'd have to say no, unless you've got
    significant numbers of stone walls... which u shouldn't, they hinder expansion.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 4- Less obvious counters
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part four of Currently there are 13
    Parts. Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of
    Kings Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced
    EXCLUSIVELY for MrFixitOnline.
    Day 4: Counters to common situations Though the manual lists the most common
    counters to many units, there are several problematic situations, and several
    counters that just work better. These are as always in addition to the Manual
    counters, which actual do work in generally.
    Lets start with Massed Archers:
    Supposedly skirmishers smash archers, however you and I both have seen how
    british archers and longbows can take even elite skirmisher- maybe not one for
    one but in a combination with something else the archers are far superior. When
    i face mass archers i suggest Skirmishers, Pikemen and Onagers(Mangonels work
    ok, but not as good as onagers). the pikemen stay back, they are for incoming
    knights only. This has the added benefit of working against ANYTHING ranged...
    pikes/ onagers/skirmishers absolutely mutilate archers without as many inherent
    weaknesses as either skirmishers or knights the most common counter, knights.
    Onagers absolutely slaughter archers- mix in some skirmishers to max killing for
    the cost
    Mass Infantry:
    Massed Archers are great, but throw in some mangonels or scorpions and the
    slaughter is even greater. Frankly onagers/mangonels are useful against anything
    thats slower than a knight... Just be sure to force them to move back(they won't
    attack while moving) once your troops engage them or you'll turn anything and
    everything on the battlefield into mush. Scorpions work better against infantry,
    but the onagers work better against Archer counters, so its a tossup which to
    use- just don't try to mix them, its not worth it to spend on BOTH Heavy
    Scorpions and Onagers.
    Scorpions slaughter infantry, especially in combo with something else
    Paladins: OY, if theres one thing thats a pain to counter if they mass its
    paladins. Pikes do it effectively as related to cost, but need to outnumber
    paladins 2 to 1 which is incredibly hard in a game where there is a population
    limit (even 200 is too low). There are two good counters. The best counter I've
    experienced to mass paladins is a combination of pikes and scorpions. In order
    for this to work though, the scorpions MUST be targeted BY THE PLAYER. Your goal
    is to target the second or third in a row of Paladins, since the Scorpions bolts
    hit everything enemy unit they pass through. If you let the computer do it your
    scorpions(heavy scorps are better) will auto target the closest unit which is
    not what u want at all. This has the benefit that scorpions are also an
    expensive unit and the population limit doesn't matter as much... though you
    MUST have pikes in front or your scorps will be slaughtered.. if you know the
    paladins are coming and can spot build a short palisade wall in front that works
    The other counter that works great for any knight is priests. Priests are
    starting to come in vogue, and for good reason. They are useful for converting,
    healing, AND picking up relics. Just be sure to keep your priests near a TC
    while converting, and pop them inside if the knights get a chance to engage.
    While converting, keep those priests near a TC at all times !
    Trebuchets: Knights work great if you can get them in range, but any opponent
    worth his salt has something guarding his trebs.. use bombard cannons or ONAGERS
    to attack them at range.
    Buildings: Now this may seem kind of obvious, but I just want you to know: ONLY
    use rams and trebuchets for buildings. Do NOT use mangonels and onagers to
    attack buildings. They are slower to kill buildings and more vulnerable than
    rams. And in addition, they attack TCs from within the TCs range- and repairing
    them while they attack is NOT a good tactic- it drains resources at an
    incredible rate. In AOK, rams and trebs are for buildings, mangonels and onagers
    are for TROOPS.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 5- Castle Probe
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part five of Currently there are 13
    Parts. Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of
    Kings Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced
    EXCLUSIVELY for MrFixitOnline.
    I am using a 3m precision mousepad-- It rocks ! I've also heard that everglide
    is pretty good too.
    Castle probe with push to imperial: Many people over at the gx forum thought at
    the time this was writtenthat attacking in castle is generally a futile effort
    and should be avoided at all costs.. I DON'T agree. I tend to take the same view
    as Staffa in that you don't always need to kill the TC right away, and that in
    general attacking in castle can be a good thing, you've just got to know what
    you're doing and evaluate the situation.
    With that in mind, today I bring you my version of the castle probe. In this
    attack you need to do several things:
    1. Advance to castle in less than 20 minutes (17-18 minutes preferable), with as
    many villagers as possible (ie on water maps build boats like a madman)
    2. Build DIVERSE buildings... but stable as your first military building after
    the barracks, then build an archery range.
    3. Have a lot of guys on wood initially in castle
    Ok basically heres how it goes:
    You castle... you've already gotten the attack upgrade for knights, double bit
    axe and gold mining. Grab two-three wood choppers and immediately tc your wood.
    Instead of getting wheelbarrow build 2-3 villagers out of your TC and have them
    build a TC on your stone (preferably as near to your gold as possible so your
    goldies have a place to run)
    Produce 2-3 knights from your stable, and a couple of archers from your range.
    Use your forward builders to first build a seige workshop, then another Town
    center. Hopefully your scout is still alive... if hes not oh well... Grab the
    scout and knights and run them towards your enemys town... you're looking for
    unprotected villagers... preferably those on gold first, then wood. If you spot
    the tc, STAY AWAY! Theres a nasty bug that causes units to not respond. Run your
    knights around and around your opponents town looking for villagers that aren't
    garrisoned.. .and stay away from the TC! If you see any spearmen or pikes (you
    probably will) RUN AWAY. Thats a basic knight rush.
    Knight hacking away at enemy woodcutters
    Now heres part B... while doing this spend all your food on more villagers (you
    DON'T need to spend any more food on military). Build archers from your range or
    two and a few rams from your workshop. Upgrade your archers to xbows and get
    fletching for sure. Move your archers and seige in to attack your opponents wood
    or gold. If they have a TC there, temporarily retreat and build a TC in range of
    theirs (with your builders out of range) and then garrison your Archers inside,
    and attack their TC with your seige. Proceed to smash stuff... tc. If you get
    hit by something Keep building more tcs and villagers and now really start to
    put them on food (25 mins into game) Keep any remaining knights that are still
    alive running around and harrassing villagers. Hopefully, you've killed some
    stuff, and spend on 3 knights, 5 xbows and a ram or two. Stop spending on
    military, and kill what you can with that. If and when your attack is repelled-
    offer no resistance. You want them to waste their time on your attack and
    hopefully they overreacted and spent more defending than you did attacking. Even
    if they didn't its useful to begin the battle on their side of the map.
    Archers and rams go up vs his TC-- keep those archers out of TC range and slap
    up a TC of your own
    Build a castle somewhere between you and your opponent, preferably where he'd
    have pass through to counter attack with the same units that beat your attack
    off. Build villagers and more villagers and imperial asap. Now attack in
    imperial with whatever your civ does best, I suggest champs and trebs but
    whatever works for you. Essentially your goal is to disrupt and then fade, not
    to kill in castle while preparing yourself for a strong imperial. Use Trebs to
    smash his buildings and keep expanding your economy, if your minimap doesn't
    look like its covered with your color you're not building enough villagers, tcs,
    buildings etc.
    Obviously i've omitted almost all the economy, and buildings in here.. refer to
    earlier strat for that.
    This will only work in conjunction with my previous strats on economy... if you
    screw up your villager distribution too much (realizing that on this strat
    you're initially incredibly skewed towards wood, needing only enough food for
    Villagers, Crossbow, a couple of knights, and some upgrades) or don't build
    enough TCs you could be toast. REMEMBER TO KEEP BUILDING VILLAGERS. Executing
    this strat is something like 80% economy.
    Counters to this: Walls and imperial jump... if hes got trebs before you do you
    might be in trouble, then again maybe not especially on a big map where your
    superior economy will have time to equalize and destroy his military. Just
    remember to wall and run.
    Well done defense, with TCs up early: If he defends with nothing but TCs and
    villager and just enough mangonels your attack could cost more to execute than
    his cost to defend, giving him the economy edge.
    Feudal Rush... MAYBE.. if well executed and you don't play too well.
    Things that shouldn't work:
    BIG CASTLE ATTACK: Hopefully, he can't do a big castle attack, since you've been
    harrassing his gold and wood- if he tries, defend with mostly TCs, and villagers
    with some mangonels mixed in.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 6- Civ Choice
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part six of the current 13 Parts. Though
    On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings Heaven,
    these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY for
    MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    Civ Choices:
    Choosing a civ is a complex process, but it should be based on your personal
    playing style. Each civ has its own attribute, and its own flavor, and is
    suitable for different types of players. Choose your civ based on your own play
    style as well as your game plan. Here are best civs in my view, grouped under
    the game plan/play style in which I think you should choose them.
    Land Maps:
    With Chinese on a land map you should probably go for some kind of castle
    attack. Their great bonus is their speed which makes them tops for rushing.
    Cheap techs give them power in early imperial, but they don't shine here, and
    are overtaken by other civs.
    Shepherding bonus means I can do with only 5 on sheep early, meaning a faster
    dock in water maps. Half Price town centers mean that once castle I can boom
    really well. Good archers and faster archery ranges are good vs infantry civs.
    Brits do the TC push exceeding well, leading to a good castle attack, but they
    also have excellent imperial strength, the longbow being one of the best unique
    units into the game. I recommend doing some sort of castle based TC attack due
    to the cheaper cost, but they can also Imp boom and use the cheap TCs to defend
    for less against a castle attack as well.
    The wood bonus really helps on water maps, and better seige means that those
    Town Centers go down that much faster. Also Celts have a decent tech tree. Their
    real bonus is in doubling someone in castle age- the advantage of faster +
    better seige combined with the wood bonus makes for ALOT of seige. With another
    civ providing the troops their castle attack is VERY powerful (ie C+M ram
    Now obviously Teutons are THE best land map civ because of the TC bonus.
    However, lets consider teutons post patch- with no TC bonus. Their Unique unit
    is one of the best, but they really don't shine until imperial. The free murder
    holes means dropping an early castle is very feasible however- in combination
    with another civ their castle attack could be devastating.
    Water Maps
    Japanese: Fast attacking Infantry provide a good imperial army, while Half price
    gathering sites (mill, lumbercamp, mining camp) mean that your initial wood goes
    a long way, and ensures you can dock quickly, and better fishing boats mean
    faster castle times with more resources. Possibly my favorite civ on water maps,
    and certainly the best boat booming civ with a viking ally.
    Cheap docks and war ships, no worries about spending your resources on
    Wheelbarrow and Handcart make this civ a good choice for water maps as well.
    China, Japan, Celts, and Persia all have a better fishing boat boom, but someone
    has to play the Vikings so that the whole team gets the dock bonus- why not you
    ? In team play Vikings are ESSENTIAL on a water map. Better infantry makes for a
    really great champ flood as well in imperial.
    +50 wood and +50 food doesn't make all that much difference on land, but makes a
    HUGE difference on water maps. Persia is best served if they find their sheep
    early- they can go with 5 shepherds and live off the 50 extra food they started
    with for a while (similar to shang in ROR). This means they have an extra
    woodcutter AS well as a 50 wood head start on docking- with a Viking ally Persia
    has the first dock up BAR NONE. This makes for a great fishing boat boom, though
    they are eventually overtaken by Japanese in the booming department. TCs with
    DOUBLE hitpoints mean its almost impossible to kill persia in castle age.
    Combine persias imperial strength (albeit easily countered) elephants with
    another civs units, such as brit lbows and you have an army that razes all.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 7- Recorded Game Analysis
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part seven of the current 13 Parts.
    Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings
    Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY
    for MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    Recorded Game Analysis
    There are not one but TWO times that you need to go into game analysis mode in
    AOK. Immediately Post-Game and during recorded games. Every loss you have you
    need to do BOTH. I recommend refusing to play 95% of the time if record game is
    not on.
    ONE) Post-Game Analysis....
    Do NOT simply quit game immediately and assume you will come back and watch the
    recording, immediately after the game you will have a clear perspective of what
    happened and a better ability to analyze the late stages of the game.
    First, you want to resign, not quit so the map is completely revealed. Try to
    resign when you're beat but not decimated, it tends to keep the map in a more
    "usable" state.. ie you can see more what your opponent is doing.
    Assuming you got beat.. which is the best time... look all around the map. Note
    your opponents building placement & number. Ask yourself these questions:
    How many villagers did my opponent have and what were they on ?
    How many TCs ? How many villagers at Each ?
    Did your opponent spot wall ? If so where? If so think back to the game and note
    if it was effective or not and why.
    What buildings did he build and more importantly how far are they away from his
    original town (ie the more forward the later to a certain extent) ? What troop
    mix did he beat you with, and more importantly, what was he/she preparing at
    there buildings to back it up ?
    Note the placement of all town centers and ask yourself, could i have grabbed
    that spot earlier ? Was it important?
    Did their TC placement help defeat my attack ? Why ?
    If i had gone a different way would/could my attack have succeeded (IE I should
    have scouted more) ?
    Did they use terrain to their advantage ? If so how.. I generally spend 3-4
    minutes checking over the map after a game to get a better feel on how and what
    my opponent was doing.
    TWO) Recorded Game Analysis
    New to AOK, recorded games offer a second and better way to analyze your games
    and mistakes & triumphs real-time, however I still recommend post-game analysis
    as well.
    While I'm watching a recorded game, I often click as if I'm playing, and
    especially with methos, matty games I find that not only was I looking at the
    same spot but I did almost exactly the same things (ie the units move exactly
    where i sent them at nearly the same time i clicked, as if I was moving them
    even though I can't) I find it really helps me "get in the head" of the player
    I'm watching.
    During a recorded game you aren't doing exactly the same things as post-game. I
    generally believe you should start as yourself with reveal on. Quick take a look
    and then flip between you and your opponent every 15-20 seconds or so, flipping
    on and off reveal to get a feel for both what you did see and what you could
    have seen with better scouting. I really don't recommend fast-forward but
    whatever floats your boat i suppose. Watch your own and your opponents resource
    distributions and villager count. If he gets ahead of you, how did he do it?
    Does he have more resources with a similar number of villagers ? How did he/she
    do it ?
    Also watch your opponents scouting patterns. Every once in a while click between
    military and economy military maps. If you/they had any idle villagers look at
    where they were and what they were doing, so next game you can be sure villagers
    there don't go idle. If your opponents has very few/no idle villagers, look at
    what they did to keep them busy and eliminate pointless micromanagement.
    As you move to feudal & castle watch your own and opponents buildings going up
    and forward builders if any. Where did they place those builders/buildings ?
    Should you have moved your own buildings ? As you attack + troop movements begin
    note if your troops went along the best path, try and figure out which the best
    path would be (the one thats safest and will leave you unobserved and coming
    from an unexpected direction) ? Did you pick the right units to attack with ?
    Were you easily countered ? If so what should you have added to the mix to beat
    that ?
    While you're being attacked note: Was there anything i should have made earlier
    as defense based on my scouting ? Could I have easily blocked/impeded the route
    that the enemies troops took ? Did they take me unexpected ? Did i need to
    upgrade my troops more ? What upgrades did my opponent get ? Did superior
    range/attack or armor contribute to my defeat or my ability to repel the attack.
    If my TCs or archers had one more range would that have made a huge difference ?
    As you watch the game try and also get a clear sense of the following: Should I
    have went more economy or military and when ?
    Should I have allocated resources differently ? If so when would I have had to
    start getting what I needed ?
    Did my opponents attack use more or fewer resources to achieve similar results
    as mine ? If fewer why ?
    Did my opponents overall strategy defeat mine or was it a failure in execution ?
    Finally, what was the most significant thing that I/my opponent did that ensured
    my victory/defeat ?
    You've got to think of these questions and try to answer them all while looking
    from both players perspectives (like the computers pseudo-multitasking, only
    from one at a time, but changing them quickly 15-20 secs) :
    YOU see now why I DON'T Recommend fast forward :-)
    On The Road to Expert: Day 8- Repelling the Rush
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part eight of the current 13 Parts.
    Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings
    Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY
    for MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    Repelling the Rush
    In ROR repelling a rush was near impossible without troops of your own. Not so
    in AOK, with Town Centers that fight back and can garrison your villagers in
    Safety, rushing has become a situational strat at best. But the rush really only
    loses its viability if you know how to defend properly. This is a generic strat
    to repel most rushes, more specific strats for repelling a specific castle rush
    are in Day 13.
    Even in AOK you will need to build some troops to defend against the rush. And I
    still advocate building some sort of small harrassing army immediately after you
    castle. But defending against a larger army and coming out ahead is quite
    possible in AOK. There are several things you need to do and understand to repel
    the attack.
    Timing of attack
    If the attack comes in feudal, run and wall like in ROR. Get to castle if you've
    got gold, fight him off if you don't. If its just infantry garrison your TC and
    lure them in if they try and stay away (sacrificial lamb vils, attack the
    infantry with the vil if necessary). But with a large comprehensive attack.. run
    a build elsewhere. Like a tool attack in ROR a feudal job can't be everywhere at
    once... feudal rushes come too slow (unlike scouts in ROR, AOK scout rushes are
    doomed to failure against anyone good.. loom and the fact that upgrades only
    increase armor by one mean vils easily defeat them). Also, Proper radar housing
    placement is esssential... don't let them build all around you and cover all
    your exits.
    If you get to castle, immediately build as many town centers as possible with
    your available wood. Ideally you want at least 4 Town Centers in your original
    town by 22-23 minutes if you want to repel a rush. These should be your original
    town center, a town center on wood, one on your gold, and one on stone and wood
    preferably. Hopefully these TCs will for sort of a square, inside of which is
    the best place to be farming/resource gathering. REMEMBER TO BUILD YOUR TCS ON
    THE OUTSIDE OF THE RESOURCE (ie towards the opponent/outside of your town. This
    is important, you want them to hit your TC before they hit your guys... it gives
    you more time to garrison your men after you hear the attack bell. Your barracks
    should be in your town. Make sure you always have a few pikes/spearmen handy to
    deal with any errant knights... they're the only thing that can really hurt you.
    How your TCs should be placed
    Best case scenario is they come at you a few troops a time with no seige. Simply
    garrison until they're out of range, then click the back to work button. Ringing
    town bell is incredibly inefficient as more than likely it will sweep through
    all your TCs in a chain reaction and all your vils will garrison. This is not
    what you want. Your goal is to repel the attack at a lower resource cost than it
    cost them to send it.
    Middle Case Scenario is that they come at you with a few troops and rams. If its
    knights then send in your pikes/spearmen and you'll wipe a larger force of
    knights with the TC helping pump arrows into them. If you face infantry/archers
    and seige, garrison your TC and kill as many ram defenders as possible before
    sending in your pikes. If you kill all defenders quickly pop all your villagers
    out and have them kill the ram. Also produce a few knights to kill that ram
    quicker if a decent amount of troops are involved. But try not to spend anywhere
    near as many resources as they did on the attack, which shouldn't be hard. When
    the attack is over have maybe one or two vils repair the TC and the rest go back
    to working.
    Worst case Scenario: Huge castle attack, many knights/infantry and lots of
    seige. Run like heck, produce appropriate counter units and in general just try
    to make them take a really long time to do what they have to do. Delay,
    Imperial, Destroy (DID). Imperial first and whoop their castle ass.
    YOUR JOB in this strategy is to make as many Town Centers as wood allows,
    gradually spreading from your Town, leapfrogging from resource to resource
    (though as many tcs behind the enemy on his reserve resources as you can build
    is great, too). Your best bet is too make villagers, villagers and more
    villagers. If your opponent is spending his money on troops and you are spending
    yours on villagers its like money in the bank.. with time you'll reap the
    rewards.. so keep those villagers that arent attacked working (IE NO TOWN BELL).
    Build town centers, town centers and more town centers. Remember to upgrade with
    fletching and bodkin arrow for more range and a better attack. Also GET
    WHEELBARROW. Previously I didn't advocate this but I did some tests and for
    whatever reason farming gathered food approximately 17% faster (the effect
    WASN'T as pronounced with Hand Cart for whatever reason )
    - Importance of an early forward base
    You wouldn't think that an early forward base would be what you wanted to repel
    a rush, but in fact its EXACTLY what you need. Have you ever heard the phrase,
    the best defense is a good offensive ? Well it applies here, except you're
    forward base actually has two purposes: 1) Produce small, essentially
    diversionary attacks. A couple of knights, some Xbows who stay close to your
    forward TC, these are the things you want to do. Keep them just slightly
    occupied, but don't spend much at all, and concentrate on stone/gold.. you
    aren't going to stop them from farming for long with the strength of TCs.
    2) You want to build 1-2 Town Centers with your forward builders. Along with
    your forward buildings this will often make the enemy attack there first.
    Buildings take a long time to go down though in AOK, and while they do you'll
    find out exactly what they're attacking with. Meanwhile you produce nothing but
    a few counter troops and boom like mad at home. When those troops come (whose
    basic composition you already know) they'll have very few routes to choose when
    attacking you with those troops. Time is your friend ;-)
    Once imperial your best bets are:
    Cavaliers/Paladins: Man these suckers take down just about everything.
    Mass Champions: Infantry don't need too much help taking down buildings, and if
    you already got some of the infantry upgrades they're a very good buy,
    especially for vikings, japs, goths, and teutons.
    Trebs/Pikes: A slow moving army that razes all in its path it can be very
    effective.. but bring along villagers and build towncenters (and repair trebs)
    near those trebs to kill infantry and to a lesser extent archers. Works great
    especially with a complementary unique unit (like British Longbows and Chinese
    Cho Nu)
    --Viability of trading
    Some people think that the best way to survive a rush is trading, but I'll tell
    you right now its NOT. If you're forced to trade then the rusher has
    accomplished his purpose of subjugating your economy-- whether it works full
    force or not the inefficiency added by trading more than makes up for the
    attack. Try not to trade ever except late game.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 9- The ripple effect
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part nine of the current 13 Parts.
    Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings
    Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY
    for MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    Also titled: Sacrificing time for villagers....
    In Age of Empires and Rise of Rome, Age times were everything. In AOK with the
    Advent of the attacking town center they are not. Though it seems many people
    avoid it, I think the dock boom is even MORE viable in AOK than it was in ROR on
    watery maps. Delaying your feudal and/or castle and building more villagers and
    boats can be a powerful strategy on some maps.
    The name of the game is the ripple effect. More villagers earlier means more
    resources later means more villagers later too. Its like dropping a little rock
    vs a big rock into a pond. The little rock is the rush and the big rock is the
    boom. Initially it takes more effort to lift and throw the big rock, and even
    then the ripples from both rocks are nearly the same. But as the ripples go out
    farther they also spread faster from the bigger rock, and in the end that big
    rock moves a whole lot more water.
    What this means in AOK is that a good strategy can be delaying your feudal or
    ESPECIALLY castle to boom more. Heres the idea:
    You start with your initial villagers, but make sure to loom at the very last
    second, you want more vils working early. Put everybody after your initial 7
    vils on Wood, and build a second lumber camp late in dark. Get that dock up ASAP
    and pump boats, preferably to ocean fish. Make a second and a third dock and
    pump boats from those as well. Feudal when you get enough resources, but try to
    do it fairly quickly. Hopefully you're bigger than your opponent, but even if
    you're not you should be soon. Keep pumping those boats.
    A nicely placed dock made for booming
    Heres the trick now thats different from a regular boat boom. Once feudal, get
    wheelbarrow and double bit axe and make some more villagers and generally keep
    expanding as long as possible. You want to feudal at a decent time because at a
    certain point, going feudal and getting the economic upgrades is more valuable
    than the extra villagers. Also you can have some kind of defense. If somebody
    else castles start your castle upgrade (and make some spearmen), otherwise try
    to target your castle for 19-20 minutes with 60-70 villagers and boats. The key
    here is the ripple effect. If your opponent can't equalize in time (by killing
    more villagers than the difference between) you have the advantage (just like
    the boom in ROR) but in AOK with rush defenses its all that much harder. It
    seems like Castle booming is in vogue today with many players. Even if they
    manage to equalize the number of villagers with multiple tcs and mad booming in
    castle, the ripple effect will ensure that your 70 villagers that came earlier
    in feudal & dark are worth much more than his 70 that just started gathering.
    The moral is Time is often irrelevant, boom like mad until you know you can't
    get away with it anymore.
    Dual wood pits provide the wood income you need
    Don't do this on a map like highland or arabia you'll get maimed. On the other
    hand on a map like Migration or Islands boom for all you're worth.
    By the same token this ripple effect means falling behind early is catastrophic.
    Watch this game and see how no first sheep and delayed berries on migration
    cause me to go 3 villagers behind. Doesn't seem like a lot does it ?? But watch
    the resource levels and see-- it was killer. Combine this with Out4blood using
    this for all its worth, and booming like a madman before and DURING feudal and
    castling after me. His economy simply tears me apart. This game is a cases team
    between Alliance and Bruce Shelleys Merry Men (out4blood + matty vs
    darq_darkjihad + darq_fx)
    Additions by Blue_Myriddn aka DaRq_Blue
    Good points as always. A couple additions to the boat boom are:
    1. Civ choice
    2. Protection
    3. Map considerations
    1. CIV CHOICE: obviously some civs are going to be able to do this more easily
    than others. The obvoius case is the celts. Wood bonus = more early wood =
    easier time keeping boat flow going.
    Other canidates include the vikings. Cheap docks = cheap boats b/c of wood
    savings and also you can get a second/third dock up and pumping earlier. Also
    the free wheelbarrow is pretty handy for getting the wood operation going. The
    final benefit of the vikings is that they have great infantry so this will
    probably be the core of your army. Since infantry use alot of food (which you'll
    be getting from your boats) and no wood I think the benefit there is apparent.
    Persia should be good with fast producing docks and TC's, but honestly I haven't
    played much Persia and have little to say. I guess all that food would be handy
    for those hungry elephants you might wanna produce.
    The Japanese are my personal pick for this since the boats work faster and are a
    little tougher. Plus the cheaper gathering sites mean that setting up a second
    lumber camp is much more practical. If folks remember from ROR, a second lumber
    camp makes a big difference in wood income. Once you get more than 10-12 villies
    on a forest, efficency goes way down. The Japanese also have great infantry so
    you might as well use them.
    Poor civs for this strategy in my opinion are the Brits. Despite being quick on
    the jump with the sheperd bonus they have no inherent wood bonus. Personally, I
    would fast castle with the Brits to utilize the cheap TC and then boom there.
    Plus since british archers are great units, they're going to draw on your wood
    income. All this spells bad boating.
    Other lousy canidates include the Teuts and the Chinese. These two civs get
    great farms, so I think you are better off going with land based food. Getting
    the farm upgrades is easy with the Chinese (due to 1/2 price techs) and for the
    Tuets 40W farms and a TC that keeps everyone away sorta sums it up.
    2. PROTECTION: On water maps, it is fairly common to make either a fishing boat
    to use as a scout or a few warships. If I am scouting around and run across a
    big mess of fishing boats, you can bet that I am going to send over some ships
    to sink them all. In AOK, fishing boats (fbs) are even more fragile and it
    doesn't take much to sink them. A few warships in their midst will decimate ALOT
    of wood real fast. So if you are going to put that much wood on the high seas,
    you may want to consider defending it a little.
    Defense can be as simple as making a few warships to engage the enemy while
    running your fbs to a safer spot. In fact unless you want to rule the seas (fat
    chance of that since your are probably going to be castling later than everyone
    else), this is probably the way to go.
    Thinking along this line of logic also lets you see how the Vikings and Japanese
    are great canidates for this strategy since the Vikings get cheaper warships and
    the Japaneses ships are a little stronger (giving you more time to run them
    3. MAP CONSIDERATIONS: Aside from the no brainer of needing signficant water for
    this to work there are things to consider with certain maps.
    - Migration: this may not be the best idea, since gaining control of that center
    isle can be key. Early castling and getting a TC up on that isle can be more
    beneficial than a later stronger economy IMO. Of course if you can work things
    out with your partner where you boom and he grabs territory than this may work.
    Plus side to migration is that fishing is safe since most people don't worry
    about amassing a big navy and the islands tend to be fairly remote.
    DaRq_DarkJihad response:I disagree here, I think migration is excellent for this
    if its medium or larger map with the extra resources you can take the island if
    need be, but usually there will still be a large enough place to land and start
    DaRq_Blue continues
    - Baltic/Medit: Probably a good idea since the position of the water is so
    obvious. Although you will definatly have to consider defending those ships,
    because the sea often becomes a big battlefield.
    - Team Islands/Archpegio/Islands - great place for this strategy. Limitations of
    land space can make mass farming hard to do. One thing to consider is to focus
    your fishing operation on the backside of the island (ie. away from your
    opponents). This has two benefits - harder for them to get to your fbs & can
    provide early warning to the enemy trying to sneak onto your land.
    - Continental - another great map for this. Fbs are usually really safe on this
    map, since few build an early navy. Plus if you do get hit by an early castle
    and have to relocate your operation, relocating your food is one less thing to
    worry about.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 10- Crappy Castling
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part ten of the current 13 Parts. Though
    On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings Heaven,
    these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY for
    MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    In the spirit of the days of yore and Celestial Dawn's Crappy Bronzing, I bring
    you crappy castling. Its called that because I'm sure there are many better
    strats out there, but I think this one is pretty good.
    Basically what follows is an incredibly detailed step by step description of an
    AOK lumber camp first boat boom with a late feudal resource equaliSation twist.
    Ok. You're any civ on any water map (frankly the majority in AOK, though this
    works best for Chinese, Celts, Persians, Vikings, Britons, and Japanese.. heck
    any civ with a wood, sheep or fishing related bonus). You start with your Normal
    3 Villagers (6 if chinese). Have two villagers build a house. Have the third
    build another house, but have it just touching the edge of the fog. Get your
    scout moving. To use this strat you MUST go sheep first. Found those sheep with
    the first minute ? If you didn't then abort and don't Crappy Castle.. do a mini-
    boat boom or something. From here on we assume you found your sheep. Bring those
    sheep back to your TC. Put all the original villagers plus those you made with
    your original food on sheep (ie first 7) hopefully theres no villy production
    gap.. if there is research loom. Keep that scout moving. You need to find the
    following to execute this strat: Two More sheep and two boars, or Four more
    sheep and one boar at the bare minimum. You need this much food so that you
    won't have to build a mill until you are just about ready to go feudal or going
    feudal. You also need to find water with some fish in it.. this shouldn't be
    hard on any water map. After you have thoroughly explored your area, have your
    scout run around the enemys town, but stay away from the TC.. you need to find
    his goldmines and his wood operation.
    Your first 6 or 7 villagers are on food. Have villager 8 begin to build a lumber
    camp at the nearest fully accessible forest (ie in a V or L or Line shape... if
    its really narrow towards you or rather small its worthless.. you need to be
    able to get like 15-20 guys working there with a minimum of bumping) Set a
    gather point on a tree near the lumber camp. Build your third house at villager
    11 (ie pop 12) from now on I assume that you build a house whenever you are 3
    below the limit with current housing, or 4 below with 1-2 docks pumping
    consistently. Keep putting those villagers on wood. As soon as you get about 100
    wood send one villager towards the fishing spot you have selected, unless its
    very close (80 wood if Vikings or viking ally). As soon as you get 150 wood (113
    viking/ally) put up a dock in your selected area. Try to keep this dock <25
    tiles from your TC to avoid wolf kills. Pump boats continuously from this dock..
    set gather point on ocean fish if they are there, shore fish if they aren't.
    Note though that the break even point for Ocean vs Shore fishing with boats is
    14! tiles so if the ocean fish is <7 docks widths away use that over Shorefish
    right next to the dock. As soon as you have enough wood for another dock and at
    least one boat <50% done (ie one boat producing at <50% or one higher than that
    +one in queue) build another dock, preferably a decent amount away from the
    first-- ALWAYS use two vils on this one to avoid wolf kills, or scout first and
    kill wolves. TIP: Build docks near the corners of maps with the water on the
    outside (conti,coastal) theres often great fishing and a larger stretch of water
    here. Pump boats from both as you get the wood and QUEUE EVENLY.. Don't have two
    boats in one and none in another thats incredibly inefficient. Make sure you set
    gather points on fishing.. you DON'T want to ever manually assign tasks. Use the
    man/men who built your docks to build houses towards the enemy.
    Keep well ahead in housing while making real villagers and boats from docks
    Be careful while placing woodpits against forests below your TC. Its often easy
    to place to pit more than two tiles back- Avoid this by sliding the woodpit
    under the Trees until it blinks red, then slide back one tile.
    At some point, you will get down to 2 sheep being worked on. Now is the time to
    lure that boar you found earlier. Take one vil and attack the boar, but make
    sure he only shoots TWICE, then right click your TC with him to garrison so he
    won't die(ALT-Right click if no one click garrisoning) As soon as the boar
    approaches pull all your guys off the sheep (there may not be any left.. it may
    have expired while u were luring) and kill the boar. Be sure to ungarrison our
    friendly lurer and have him help harvest too. IF you used two boars, use a
    different vil the second time.. your first vil will get a whack or two taken out
    of him. Once all boars/sheep are done build a mill at your berries and begin to
    harvest, this should be significantly after your first dock is up and probably
    after your second too. Research loom at vil 18-20 if theres no gaps, or earlier
    if there are. If the game is at all laggy, loom earlier rather than later. Keep
    pumping vils and go feudal once you get 500 food and are just finishing pumping
    a villager (ie no wait to feudal) When you are getting close to starting to
    feudal or have just clicked, send 6 woodchoppers to build a mining camp by the
    nearest gold, preferably BEHIND your TC (ie AWAY from your opponent) give
    preference to this requirement even if its up to 10 tiles farther away... Mine
    gold with these guys.. you'll maximize efficiency if the first two start the
    mining camp and the rest begin to mine gold, then the builders start when
    Lure boars when your sheep are running low
    A bustling TC based economy. STAY AWAY from berries if you want this strategy to
    Ok you've got like 45 villagers and boats and are headed for a 15 minute or so
    feudal. What do we do now ?!. First don't make more boats that you can handle...
    make sure you'll have 325 wood once feudal. Build a barracks with your Two
    dockers who have been housing (add one if theres only one). Do this as you start
    the feudal transition. Try to build the barracks smack dab on the path between
    you and your closest enemy, preferably close to you, and walk your builders
    towards your enemy until you hit feudal. Make sure you have housing :-)
    You just hit feudal. Now is when the fun starts. If you are going to have enough
    food, build another villager. Build an ARCHERY RANGE with your two forward
    builders, and a BLACKSMITH with two of your woodchoppers, with preference to the
    Archery Range since it takes longer to build. Only use two on the blacksmith,
    its pointless to use more since the range won't finish. As soon as your building
    are up go castle. Now its time to boogie... research fletching arrow, wood
    chopping, and gold mining in that order. Move the two who build your Blacksmith
    from wood to gold. Produce archers with spare wood and gold.. up to 5-6. Have
    your forward villagers build a tower near a resource your opponent is
    harvesting, preferably gold. Remember that the tower has range 8 so don't build
    it too close, you don't want to be detected. If its at all possible build the
    Tower on the most sloped hill you can find close to your target, since by a bug
    in AOK Slope=Murder Holes (Ie adjacent units take fire from a tower in feudal if
    they aren't on the same slope, woohoo) Use your archers to harrass the enemy as
    the tower nears completion... if something comes after you garrison, thats why
    we waiting until the tower was almost done and built it on a slope. If he
    garrisons his tc or something, try and walk your archers around the outskirts of
    his town and peg anything that moves. Use your tower builders to build a stable
    if theres no threat from military.
    You reached castle hopefully in ~19 minutes, and Crappy Castling is Almost but
    not quite done telling you what to do. First off get wheelbarrow, it improves
    farming. Get the farm upgrade before you build any farms, which frankly you
    should just be starting right before you castle/ a little after you castle..
    none of this **** dark age farming for you :-) Build TCs with your first 825
    wood in Castle...one at the front lines, one at your gold and one at your
    forest. Attack your already defensive opponent with knights. If your opponent
    castles before you make spearmen for the imminent knight rush. If you've got a
    decent number of archers around get crossbows. The way to work archers in AOK is
    WITH buildings only once you castle.. .you need to advance and harass and run
    into TCs/Towers when you see knights or skirmishers coming. Try to kill off more
    guys with a couple of knights. Build more Town Centers and boom as big as
    possible. If you suspect Ocean Attack or have extra wood build some fireships.
    Build the buildings you need, including a market and university, and TC a stone
    mine near you shortly after castle. Get all upgrades you deem neccessary which
    usually means for me I'll get all the arrow upgrades, the forging upgrade, the
    two wood upgrades, and the stone + gold mining upgrades by mid-castle. Boom like
    a madman, and against a castle rush refer to strategy post "Defending the rush"
    May the force be with you!
    On The Road to Expert: Day 11- Fast Castling With Japanese
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part eleven of the current 13 Parts.
    Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings
    Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY
    for MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    This is basically what FX was describing in his replies to my crappy castling
    post at Age of Kings heaven, back when I first posted it. Here a basic outline,
    and what you need to make this happen, what we're shooting for here is a 16:30,
    45 villager castle with the JAPANESE civ, on a water map. This works better as a
    team strategy, because if you have a viking ally your docks are cheaper, which
    shaves off valuable seconds for your initial dock time. This is an Economy strat
    only, it offers no advice on Military. While Crappy Castling was a non-optimal
    strategy and so could be pulled off more easily (because you kept pumping real
    vils after you could possibly have feudaled/or you purposely put more vils on
    wood than strictly needed), the Japanese Fast Castle is for all intensive
    purposes an Optimal Strategy, which means its more prone to map conditions and
    game speed. Please watch the recorded games on all my articles, this one
    First we walk through:
    Like a crappy castle, berries are evil: You need 6 sheep/2 boars or better. When
    nothing is listed here the strat is the same a crappy castling... this is a
    little less detailed.
    Build houses when needed :-)
    Similar to any strat your first 6 are on food, everyone else is on wood, but
    because you're japanese that lumber camp is very cheap to start. Build a dock
    with one villager as soon as you get 113 wood (150 if no viking ally, which is
    slower :-( Pump boats as you get the wood, the first dock can be up by 5 mins or
    even a little less so you may have some trouble keeping up the boat flow for 1-2
    boats. Also the same a crappy castle this is a 2-dock strategy... Put up the
    second dock when you get the wood. Lure boars as needed, hunt deer if you have
    to. TURN OFF ONE CLICK GARRISONING. While boar hunting you may need to drop off
    some food by double clicking a boar hunter and then right clicking the TC, if
    you need food for a villager. Hunt close deer after boar/sheep are gone. STAY
    AWAY FROM BERRIES. This strategy relies on using fast hunting instead of slow
    berries. Feudal as SOON as you see that you will have 450 or so food should you
    remove all villagers from your Queue... you're shooting to start feudaling at 11
    minutes EVEN. Start gold mining ASAP now, When I was doing this I used my food
    villagers on the gold (surprisingly), but use whichever resource you'll have
    more of. Build a mill during feudal transition, then build a market/blacksmith
    if you have to, stable/smith if you had the wood for a barracks. Build with
    multiple villies to speed the transition. Start the market first since it takes
    longer to build. You can keep pumping boats as you are feudaling and castling if
    you have the wood... you probably will only have 40 or so as you begin. IF
    everything goes right, you should be castle in Under 17 minutes...
    This strategy relies on fishing ocean fish, and the japanese bonuses of both
    cheaper gathering centers and better fishing to succeed. It also relies on Fast
    food, which is why no berries, though in place of hunting we could have
    substituted shore fishing, the mill wouldn't have matter too much since for japs
    its only 50 wood. FARMING IS A DEFINITE NO-NO, we're avoiding BERRIES cause
    they're non-optimal, no way in hell you can farm and make this work farming is
    evil evil evil :-)
    Possible counters: Gutter rat style feudal rush if pulled off successfully, or
    maybe an all out feudal naval attack IF you feudal very early. Maybe a super
    fast imperial but I doubt it. A slower huge boom on their part if you don't make
    use of your excellent, and speedy castle economy
    Things this should absolutely CRUSH if you play it right: Your standard 18
    minute/ 30 villagers who farm to castle no boat knight rush.... yeah like thats
    gonna work when we castle a minute and a half earlier on the inside, 30 secs
    earlier at the least (as long as we aren't sim citying to imperial like I did in
    the recorded game, I have a feeling this would make for a really really good
    castle attack, since it would come before they could get up more TCs), and with
    more villagers, who are at least NOT getting slower cause their fishing bonus
    keeps increasing :-) ...
    Recorded Game Example: This is actually vs the computer, the first I've ever
    given you that wasn't a real game, because this strategy requires both the
    jap/viking combo and slow speed, an unlikely prospect at best on the zone. This
    was my second try, an unrevealed random map i had never seen before, I paused at
    the beginning to change the speed down to slow and i built my houses before i
    unpaused...it made little difference tho. I hit castle at 16:48 with 45+1
    villagers, and one loss to wolves. During the feudal-start castling transition I
    actually had enough resources to build a villager, and start the woodchopping
    upgrade while building my buildings. I didn't think i was going to have enough
    wood for a rax + military building so I went market/blacksmith, however turns
    out I would have had enough (but then would have had to wait for woodchopping
    upgrade). I imperialed with 129 (110 or so when i started to imp) villagers at
    29 minutes or so, the computer attacked once with like 15 men at arms or
    something... i rang town bell, very innefficient. FX describes castling in 25
    with 110 which is extremely possible, especially if A) you START imping with
    less than 110 villagers (say 90) or B) you make more boats in castle.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 12- Optimizing for the Big Boom
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part twelve of the current 13 Parts.
    Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings
    Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY
    for MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    This isn't exactly a detailed step by step strategy.. it is a description of a
    70 vil/20 or so castle with vikes :-) and more importantly the tips +
    optimizations you need to make it happen...
    Ok first off you are vikings. If you have an ally tell him or her to be japanese
    and he can do the 45 villager/ under 17 japanese fast castle :-)
    Your start is basically the same. 2 houses, first SIX (not seven) on sheep and
    then everyone on wood. You need to find two more sheep before yours run out or
    you have to go to mill.As soon as you find those two sheep build a lumber camp
    and keep putting men on wood. Use the villager who built your house when you
    were at pop 12 to build your dock. Walk him or her to the water as soon as
    possible. This shouldn't be more than 5 minutes into the game if you didn't have
    to go berries. Lure a boar for more food once your sheep have run out, Remember
    to drop off (box select all your villagers on boar, right click the TC, right
    click the boar again) if you don't have 50 food and the villager is just about
    ready to pop out. If you don't find more sheep or one of your two boars your
    scouting probably just sucks. However in the rare instance that this happens,
    build a mill as soon as you get 100 wood and go berries :-(
    Pump boats out of dock 1, build dock two when you get the wood and theres still
    a boat producing at dock 1. Once all your boar and sheep run out (6 sheep/one
    boar is enough).. DO NOT GO ON BERRIES.. Use these guys to build another lumber
    camp at another forest, and send all your news guys here.
    Build a third dock near as many fish as you can find and pump boats from all
    three... start feudaling when u feel like it (probably when the last of the
    enemies hits feudal if you're in the pocket position) and have the resources.
    Shoot 6 guys off whichever lumber camp is more crowded and put them on gold (in
    case of galley war) Keep pumping boats while feudaling. ITS OK if you only hit
    feudal with like 175 wood, just have one two villagers build a market and build
    a blacksmith when u get the wood, since the smith goes up much faster than the
    Build villagers during this time and put them on wood. Keep pumping the boats
    with spare wood as it comes in, if you think you're going to get into a naval
    battle, go galleys instead. Get the following upgrades: Double bit axe, gold
    mining, and fletching as you are castling, and Cartography if you are in a team
    Once Castle, and drop tcs all over the place and pump vils from them all.
    RESEARCH BOW SAW and bodkin arrow... you'll definitely have the resources,
    especially since hand cart and wheelbarrow were free.
    Ok now heres where the rubber meets the road: You need optimizations to make
    this work- here they are:
    Number your docks sequentially for ultimate boat boom performance- access them
    with ALT-NUMBER
    -Remember to set gather points on all docks. Assign each a number. Hit CTRL-1
    while your dock is selected, while building the first dock. CTRL-2 while
    building the second. CTRL-3 for the third. Then use ALT-1 click build boat ALT-2
    click ALT-3 click to quickly queue one boat at each dock.
    Set your dock's gather point on the nearest deep sea fish ASAP
    -Build your first dock on ANY WATER thats not a small pond.. its better to go up
    fast than better positioned. Find deep sea fish. Shore fish WON'T cut it and
    will result in horrible castle times with fewer resources and villagers.
    -IF your boats at the first dock find lots of fish, build the second dock there,
    otherwise keep walking TOWARDS A CORNER OF THE MAP (on
    conti/coastal/archipeligo,islands-- anything with water on the outside) 95% of
    the time there are at least 3-4 squares of deep sea fish at or near the corner
    of the map, often SIGNIFICANTLY more. Move your boats from Dock 1 down here if
    -The third dock should be IN THE CORNER if the second one wasn't (ie you started
    far away) If your second dock was in the corner, build your third dock wherever
    you want, but far from your 2nd + 1st unless great fishing (then close to defend
    if a naval battle)
    -Research loom when you switch from sheep to boar hunting, often theres some
    villager lag there.
    -Build that second pit once you see that your woodchoppers are really
    inefficient, even if you're still gathering boar. Generally I determine that if
    they a) have to walk almost around the forest or b) are more than two lumber
    camps worth away from my original to the side, there are too many on one lumber
    camp and I will build another and send all new villagers there (IE Change gather
    point to new pit and try to switch it to the other side of the pit at some
    -You've got to keep the boats going, even while feudaling and castling. But
    don't go overboard any try never to have more than one boat producing plus one
    in queue if the first is almost done.
    -Luring boar is essential here. You need to go after him with a villager when
    you've got just one sheep fully left and one just about done, or two partial
    sheep. Shoot him TWICE with your villager then alt-right click the TC.
    Grab your shepherds, right click the TC to drop off and go after the boar, its
    ok if you kill it a tile or two from your Town center, Especially if its the
    second boar.
    -Build gold mines a tile AWAY from the gold to minimize bumping, But build mills
    right up against the berries and stick a couple of villagers on the bushes at
    each end.
    -At least until you start castling, you have to keep your boats on deep-sea
    fish. Don't rely on the minimap here... For some reason great fish, which
    provide 350 food are not shown..
    -If you get into a boat war, Have all your War boats gather at one spot, or stay
    in their Dock if its under fire (ie garrison them as they produce). Remember
    that to garrison in a military building you CANNOT right click to set the gather
    point- you have to physically select garrison on the building then click the
    building itself.
    -Don't build any military buildings until you start castling, then build a
    barracks. Before that you need the wood for boats.
    -If you get into a boat war add a few men to gold.
    -Make sure that you DON'T put your first docker back to work. Use him to
    continually build houses closer and closer to where you want your next dock when
    hes not building docks, and you'll stay ahead of the housing game.
    -Make sure your first dock is with 25 tiles or so of your Town Center since your
    villager may be preloom and very susceptible to wolf kills.
    -When you have to make a choice between a boat or another dock (the wood is very
    close, and you'll have to wait 15 secs for one or the other) choose the next
    dock if the fishing is bad currently, choose the boat if its good.
    -Make sure you tower your gold once you feudal (or enemies wood). Also stone
    wall as much as possible, especially if you are not in the pocket of a 3v3.
    -Build a mill by your first berries with one villager as you are feudaling
    -Don't make more boats if your fishing is nearly depleted.
    What you can do with this:
    1. Frankly you can probably imperial immediately if you want. Just drop a
    University and Seige Workshop or Monestary and go :-). Start mining stone, you
    NEED a castle up by the time you imperial. This is especially useful in a team
    game where u can have your allies build alot of the troops (PIKES!/archers) and
    you pump trebuchets and work towards champs. Its incredibly hard to beat trebs
    while they're still in the castle age.
    2. You can castle boom like theres no tomorrow.. Drop TCs at every 275 wood (you
    should be able to drop 3-6 soon after you castle, depending on conditions).
    Queue 2 vils in each as soon as it goes up, and hit the H hotkey and then C and
    then H again and then C for every town center you have often. Set the gather
    point on your original TC on your berries, the gathering points on everything
    else on wood, gold or stone. Remember that 10 villagers producing simultaneously
    at 10 tcs (even if some have to walk to do anything) is better than queueing 10
    at one town center. You do this right you can imperial whenever you want an hit
    pop limit 200 in <40 minutes no problem.
    3. You could build a castle army, however by the time you castle they have
    multiple TCs up and could probably defend it pre-trebuchet.
    Theres an excellent article on booming once castle (by littleknife) at
    Civ choices: Works good with vikings since they get cheap docks and get a cheap
    navy to fight back with once feudal.
    Could also work with Celts, Japanese, or Persians.
    Map choice: Will work on anything BUT Blackforest, Highland, Arabia, and
    Probably Rivers unless the fishing is good. You need to find decent fishing
    Works best on: Medium or larger Coastal, Continental, Archipelago, possibly
    migration where the boat wars are delayed in their start and you have time to
    feudal. If you do this on something like Islands, make your first dock and maybe
    your second AWAY from your enemy to protect your fishing. The boom itself works
    on Meditteranean and Baltic, but often you will be in a boat war before you are
    ready for it on these maps with a large boat boom.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 13- The 10 commandments of the Castle Age Defense
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is part thirteen of the current 13 Parts.
    Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on Age of Kings
    Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced EXCLUSIVELY
    for MrFixitOnline. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    In my opinion (IMO) an all-out attack on land in Castle is a risky strategy at
    best.. and is viable and more or less a way to victory only under 1 or 2
    circumstances, especially on a water map.
    Scenarios to Conduct a Viable Castle Attack:
    Scenario #1:
    than a knight rush in a laggy game, which is damned unpredictable), when
    defended properly, will at best kill 5 or so villagers and set your opponent
    back a few dozen tiles. If theres one gold mine or one gold and stone mine
    there.. it may not be worth it.. HOWEVER if you cover all the gold on the map by
    pushing forward those 2 dozen tiles (cept those on your side protected by TCs)
    well then the games pretty much over..
    The gold of this player can be taken all at once, since it is all in close
    proximity. He may be ripe for a castle attack.
    Scenario #2:
    many castle attacks on arabia are successful. In order to fight the castle
    attack YOU MUST be able to back up the original TCs that were attacked with more
    TCs and seige... if you can't build enough TCs close enough to cover each other,
    the castle attack will bust through and you can quite possibly lose (especially
    on a tiny map where retreat is less of an option).
    If you're going to defend vs a castle attack, this isn't the kind of place you
    want to do it at
    If either of these scenarios is not the case, an all out castle attack loses its
    viability In My Opinion, ESPECIALLY on any map where you can keep control of
    enough land to continue farming (or boat fishing in the case of anything water).
    These are the steps to beat an all out castle attack, which is defined as
    Xbows/Knights/Longswords or any combination with Rams occuring at or after
    approx 20-21 minutes into the game. You should already have at least 4 Town
    Centers (TCs) up at this point into the game to make the defense work properly.
    This kind of attack can almost always be defeated, as long as you follow the
    basic commandments of castle engagement. Try to execute these rules in order.
    Basic Tenet #1
    This comes before the rules, because its most important. STAY CALM. If hes
    hitting you with a large castle attack after you've got multiple TCs, you are
    DEFINITELY not lost.. keep calm and implement your strategy, and you will
    ultimately emerge victorious.
    RULE #1:
    Retreat to the nearest TC... You CANNOT defend a castle attack without TCs,
    especially one you are unprepared for...
    RULE #2:
    INCREASE YOUR WOOD GATHERING NOW ! The resource you need to defend against a
    castle attack is wood wood and more wood, mixed in with about 1/4 food & gold or
    LESS.. WOOD is key.
    RULE #3:
    PICK YOUR SPOT TO BATTLE. You CANNOT defend a castle attack on hilly terrain, or
    at any place where you cannot effectively place multiple TCs... FALL BACK to a
    place where you CAN build multiple TCs. The ONLY exception to this is when all
    your resources are in one location. In that case, you need to make a concerted
    effort to hold that location, even BEFORE they attack it.. that means multiple
    TCs there early.
    RULE #4:
    Garrison only the number of villagers needed.. retreat the rest to the back of
    the lines. IF necessary, produce villagers in forward TCs to man them (by
    setting the gather point directly on the TC). Generally, the maximum number of
    vils you need garrisoned at any one point is 10 or so, EXCEPT while you are
    being actively attacked. Then it can range from a low of 10 to a high of 30 or
    so, shooting from the crossfire of 3 or more TCs.
    RULE #5:
    trading space for time, and allowing your castle attacker to take down a TC or
    two, (at huge cost for him). Your New TCs should be no more than 5 or 6 tiles
    away from the TC currently being attacked, and try to allow them to cover each
    other (ie form a little triangle with your TCs with legs of 5 or so tiles). SET
    THE GATHER POINT ON YOUR FORWARD TCS to the ones in the REAR, and the ONES in
    the REAR to TCs further back. In this strategy, your goal is CONSTANT TC
    construction while you are under attack. If he keeps attacking you may end up
    with 10 or MORE Tcs within a small area.
    Building New TCs behind the front lines is essential to defeat a castle attack
    TCs form a triangle of defense. Overlapping fire from the back TCs kills all
    troops, while the front TC keeps him from building too close to you.
    RULE #6:
    BUILD A SEIGE WORKSHOP NOW. You are generally going to need 2 and ONLY 2
    buildings to defeat a castle attack, one being the TC, and the other being a
    Seige Workshop. Get that seige workshop up and running now. If they are going
    hardcore knights, also consider a monestary- conversions will occur outside the
    range of their offensive TCs.
    Corolary to Rule #6:
    What to build from your Seige Workshop ? Heres the answer:
    It depends what you are facing.. if you are unsure, make a Ram to start, in any
    case get seige going as soon as that workshop is up.
    IF you are facing an archer and Ram Attack, produce nothing but rams from your
    TC.. mangonels are just as effective vs the troops... but you are building Rams
    so they can turn defense into offensive and ram down his forward base later.
    If you are facing an infantry ram or knight ram attack, build a mixed force of
    mangonels and rams.. mangonels first generally. You are building mangonels
    because knights can stand up to the fire of a TC for awhile, and you want to be
    sure you get a few shots in at his rams.
    What you are doing with this seige is simple: ATTACK ENEMY RAMS. Use your rams
    to ram enemy rams, or attack the enemy rams with mangonels. Your TCs are for
    troops, the rams/mangonels are for his seige. Remember to always control the
    fire of your TCs. You don't want to fall prey to the lead with a ram, then bring
    your troops in technique of castle attack. DO NOT fire at rams unless they are
    alone, or they are low on hitpoints.. while one fully loaded TC will beat one
    ram, it just about dies doing it.. so you need to get rid of the troops and use
    your seige for his.
    Mangonels are excellent for castle age defense because they remain behind the
    front lines- allowing them to stay clear of offensive troops.
    RULE #7
    AS SOON as his troops are gone, bring your rams forward and destroy ANY and all
    buildings within the firing range of your TCs.. DO NOT go outside this range..
    you need to be able to destroy any troops he attacks your seige with. once all
    buildings that are covered by a TC are dead, back your seige up near a
    protective TC.
    RULE #8
    As soon as you knock down the buildings withing your TCs firing range.. run a
    minimum of 10 villagers forward and build a new TC to occupy the conquered
    space. This is a MUST, and you have to do it quickly... try not to use ALL the
    villagers in your frontmost TC, since some need to stay in and cover the
    builders... you can ungarrison all but say 5 if you're short or it seems safe.
    Once the forward TC is done, Garrison it and bring your rams forward and repeat
    the process- destroy all buildings covered by its range (hopefully thats 8 with
    bodkin) and build a new TC to cover it. Use the villagers from your backup TC to
    build the new one.. in this manner you "leapfrog" from TC to TC, building new
    ones and conquering territory.
    RULE #9
    Keep your continous villager flow going.. You need to use this attack to your
    advantage. The attacker is attempting to do one of two things: destroy you
    outright or make it so his economy is much better than yours. As long as your
    keep making more villagers, the vils you have garrisoned and the TCs are roughly
    equivalent to the troops he is fielding against you (if not giving the DEFENDER
    the edge)... with the added benefit that once his guys are dead you have an
    extra 15-20 villager economy.
    RULE #10
    OFTEN a castle attack on you will result in an ACTUAL castle being built in your
    territory. If this is the case, you must count the tiles before placing your
    TC.. you CAN build a TC that can cover the castle safely (since the castle has
    +2 range, but the TC covers 4x4 tiles) Just remember to count the tiles. To do
    this, place the flashing TC you are preparing to build right next to the TC,
    then draw it down slowly one tile at a time, until you count to 7 (or 6 if your
    TC has only fletching), then build the TC, being sure the builders build ONLY on
    the side of the TC away from the castle. Remember, you DON'T need to hit the
    castle with TC fire, so counting to 8 or 7 is fine too, you HAVE to cover your
    Rams attacking it at the base, and having an extra tile of coverage never hurts.
    Once you have this TC up, PACK it with villagers and send in the rams. IF they
    have mangonels and you can't hit them with knights, leave the castle there for
    now and go imperial to take it down....
    Ram down that castle under cover fire from TCs. Monks can often be used to
    convert knights killing rams, since a monk has a range of 9.
    Lets do a Quick rundown again:
    Run to a TC
    Garrison that TC
    Build New TCs behind it, continuously falling back until the attack is wasted.
    Keep building TCs.
    Build A Seige Workshop, preferably do this as you are building the back TCs
    Ram /Mangonel their rams.
    Ram their forward buildings in TC coverage area (build a TC to cover them if
    they aren't in the area yet)
    Build a new TC in the area just rammed down
    Ram any forward buildings that are covered by the new TC area.
    Repeat building new TC until their forward base is done for.
    Ungarisson Vils and let your superior economy beat their ass.
    On The Road to Expert: Day 14- The Guide to Naval Warfare
    by DaRq_DarkJihad
    This series is designed to improve your game by first building a foundation in
    economic skills then moving on to some strategies that aren't incredibly
    difficult to execute, but work. This is the long awaited Part 14! of the
    continuing series. Though On the Road to expert is a series originally posted on
    Age of Kings Heaven, these strategies have been updated, rewritten and enhanced
    EXCLUSIVELY for MrFixitOnline. Part 14 is a Mrfixit exclusive- you saw it here
    first. You can visit my website and download any of my games at
    The Guide to Naval Warfare
    Written by Age, with special note at the end for wars between the ages
    For this article, I assume that you have read the previous on the Road to Expert
    Guides on Boat Booming. I also assume you have at least a basic mastery of the
    two dock boat boom. If you don't, go back and read the earlier on the Road to
    Expert Articles, Available on this site. This article is rather large (in both
    length and in terms of graphics), so give it a minute to load if it doesn't
    immediately appear in full.
    Dark Age
    Believe it or Not, Naval Combat begins in the Dark Age. The placement of your
    docks themselves is very important in determining who the victor will be in a
    later game naval battle. In the Dark age, there are two considerations when
    placing docks.
    The Number one question is: How close together ? The answer to this generally
    depends on fishing. Place your docks to maximize fishing efficiency- which
    generally means spread docks. Spread docks are great for defending a Naval
    attack, but poor for Launching them. This is because your Navy needs to STAY
    TOGETHER at all costs. Spread docks allow you to run Fishing boats and maintain
    food flow under a naval attack, while close docks allow your boats to stay
    together. Use discretion when building your docks. If you are going for the
    quick feudal naval strike, build your docks close together. If you are going for
    the big boom, Spread your first two docks apart for maximum defensibility.
    The number two question in Dark Age is : How many docks ? The general boat boom
    wisdom has you building two docks in Dark Age. While this is usually the best
    strategy, consider adding more docks in feudal if you are going to go for a
    Naval Warfare Strategy. If you are going for a large boom in Dark, 3,4 or even 5
    docks aren't out of the question to maximize both fishing efficiency and
    Defensibility from early galley strategies.
    Feudal Age
    You've advanced to the point where you can make offensive ships. The only unit
    you have available: The galley.
    The Galley
    The principle to remember when fighting with galley is mass and upgrades. With
    no counters available in feudal, when going for a galley war, The determining
    factors in who wins are mass, and whether or not you have fletching. Obviously
    then, FLETCHING is a MUST on a water map.
    The question of whether to attack in Feudal with galleys depends on the
    situation. In general, a more open map with respect to the water (such as
    Mediterranean), favors this strategy because your reinforcements don't have far
    to go. On the other hand, on a more closed map such as migration, you are best
    off avoiding this strategy. Because your docks are far from his, and often will
    require skirting the main landmass, feudal galley attacks on migration or
    similar maps will usually result in the defender having a larger mass of ships-
    sure death for your galleys. If you are on an open water map, a fast feudal and
    then galley attack can often work well, while on a more closed water map, feel
    free to boat boom larger and then go for a castle age attack.
    Castle Age
    Castle Age brings two new ships, and a technology to upgrade your existing
    ships. Be sure to use the RED ARROW on your docks to access these new ships. The
    first new ship is the fire ship.
    The Fireship
    Fireships get a bonus vs other ships, most notably the Galleys. Fireships excel
    at defense- because you can garrison them as you make them and then ungarrison
    already nearly in range of attack vessels, fireships make a potent defense
    against War Galley attacks. Fireships are also useful on the offense for Burning
    down docks and enemy War Galleys. The most powerful ship in castle age, the Fire
    Ship should be the core of any non-viking Castle Navy.
    The Demolition Ship (Demo Ship)
    The demolition ship also makes its appearance in Castle Age. A demolition ship
    must be immediately adjacent to the enemy ships, at which point it will explode
    and do a small area damage. Though billed as a counter to fireships, one
    demoship doesn't quite kill off one fireship, and the radius damage is small in
    castle. Best used in conjunction with War Galleys (to finish off fireships), the
    only civ that really should use Demo Ships is Vikings. Without the discount, the
    demo ship is really too micromanagement intensive to use in most naval combat.
    The War Galley
    War Galleys is an upgrade that will affect all existing Galleys. If you are
    going to engage in Naval combat, War Galleys are an essential part of your army.
    War galleys are best used with fireships as well. In a feudal galley war,
    someone who arrives at Castle first and gets the War Galley upgrade could very
    well turn the tide of the battle. Remember tha Bodkin Arrow improves War
    Galley's range and damage- so get it ASAP in a Naval Battle.
    The Longboat
    Only available to vikings upon building a castle, In my opinion longboats are a
    waste of resources. Though useful in a few situations, longboats major downfall
    is the large gold cost. Part of the attractiveness of the rest of the viking
    navy is the very low gold cost- allowing you to sustain it for much longer.
    Galleys are usually the better solution that longboats since they serve more or
    less the same purpose, and can be had much earlier and for a much lower cost.
    Also, in a naval war, building a castle earlier in order to get longboats means
    less wood and gold for making ships, and less food for pumping villagers- unless
    its well placed offensively, its usually a mistake and could lose the naval war
    for you. Some bill longboats as the solution to fire ships, but I recommend
    massing War Galleys along with a few demoships as a better solution for lower
    cost. I really don't recommend using longboats and so I won't talk about them
    Castle Age combat with Boats
    The thing to remember in Castle age is that combined arms now rules the sea. The
    only civ that can win with a one dimensional Castle navy is vikings, and them
    only because they have more than anyone else.
    Some things to remember when fighting a naval battle in Castle age:
    -You wouldn't produce champs from two barracks would you ? By the same token,
    don't produce boats from only two docks. Feel free to add a third and a fourth
    and more to improve fishing as well as to improve the sheer quantity of boats
    you can produce.
    -Fireships are the number one unit in castle age. But remember that an army of
    fireships is blind. Add some war galleys to be their eyes and you will be much
    more successful.
    -Remember that the AI in AOK can often be exploited. To win early and crucial
    naval battles, feel free to sacrifice a few fishing boats. Also, you can use
    your docks as a shield- move some galleys behind it and attack one fireship at a
    time, leaving one galley out front to get killed. Once the bait galley is dead,
    the fireships not being attacked will autotarget your dock and you're free to
    kill them one by one rather then en masse.
     currently being attacked will often autotarget your docks- and docks can take
    alot more punishment than your war galleys
    -Remember that mass still rules the day in Naval Battles. Retreating near to
    your own docks so that the battle occurs where you can supply reinforcements
    faster can help you take the seas.
    This battle is deceptive. Though staffa starts out with more boats, the fact
    that it occurs near my docks allows me to bring more reinforcements and win the
    -While a castle by the water in imperial would be suicide vs all but a british
    enemy, in castle age it is often a good move, allowing you to mass boats under
    the castles protective cover fire.
    A castle by the water in castle age is often a good step if you're losing the
    -Careening is the only technology at the dock in castle age. It increases
    piercing armor on ships by one (and +5 transport capacity). You should get it in
    mid castle age if you are making an army of fireships or going up against alot
    of galleys.
    Imperial Age
    In imperial age we gain one new boat as well as upgrades to all our existing
    boats. Remember that you need War Galley to access fast fire ship/heavy demo
    upgrades, and Chemistry in order to make Cannon Galleons
    The fast fire ship
    Fast fire ships are an upgrade to regular fireships. Fast fireships is a very
    good upgrade to get, and though you'll find that fast fireships are useful in
    the same situations as regular fireships. Their a must if you have them, though
    having or not having the upgrade generally won't make or break your civ.
    The Heavy Demolition Ship
    While demolition ships were of limited use in the castle age, in imperial heavy
    demo ships are often worth their weight in gold. The reason is an increase in
    damage, as well as a large increase in the effectiveness of this damage with
    regards to the larger area effect. Heavy demo ships can be used to take out
    masses of anything. No longer used just for fireships, multiple Heavy Demos sent
    at a pack of Galleons or Cannon Galleons can level it in seconds, and at a much
    lower cost.
    The Galleon
    The galleon is an upgrade to the war galley. Galleons are very useful to have in
    imperial. In packs they absolutely decimate fireships and demoships not well
    managed. In addition, they often serve as low gold cost protectors of the very
    valuable cannon galleons.
    The Cannon Galleon
    Cannon galleons are available to research for most civs (with the notable
    exception of Britain) after researching chemistry. Cannons are best used for
    razing buildings, though regular Cannon Galleons (CGs), actually take awhile to
    do this. To be more effective at razing buildings, get the upgrade to Elite
    Cannon Galleons- They destroy buildings much more quickly and have the added
    bonus of being much better in combat vs other ships. Cannon galleons cost too
    much to waste , though. Always escort them with Galleons or fireships to ensure
    safety for your investment.
    Imperial Age Naval Upgrades
    Beyond the individual ship upgrades, there are four upgrades in Imperial that
    affect your ships. Bracer increases the range and attack of your galleons and so
    is a necessity. Chemistry increases the galleon attack by one, and is also a
    prerequisite for researching Cannon Galleons. Get it as soon as possible.
    At the dock itself, their are two upgrades that affect your navy. Shipwright
    reduces the wood cost of ships, but at a considerable cost to you. Only get it
    if you forsee running out of wood at some point (for example on some migration
    maps). Shipwright means you are in the naval war for the long haul. Dry dock
    essentially makes your ships 15% faster. Like the similar upgrade for infantry,
    it doesn't seem like much, but it can help alot, especially for ships that must
    engage before attacking (fireships and demoships). Get it when you can- its nice
    but not essential early in imperial.
    Tips for Imperial Age Naval Combat
    -On many island type maps, the enemy may be fully or mostly accessible by cannon
    galleons. In these situations, you best bet is often to avoid a land army,
    Imperial as quickly as possible and build Cannon Galleons first thing. With sea
    control, your enemies will be hard pressed to stop the razing and you can often
    win the game.
    -On maps where naval combat is factor, its often possible to wonder. If you do
    wonder, make sure your wonder is in the least accessible spot for cannon
    -Remember to build docks like you would build barracks for champs- cover your
    island with them in an all out naval war.
    -Turks get a bonus in Hitpoints for the Cannon galleon, but not the elite cannon
    galleon- avoid spending the money on elite cannon galleons and instead have an
    ally research them.
    -A mixed army still works best in imperial. Heavy Demo ships are often under
    used- First engage with your galleons then send in the demo ships under cover
    and take out lots of ships all at once.
    -Mass rules all. If you are losing the sea, don't keep sending boats to the
    slaughter ! Build some docks on the back of your landmass and build a large mass
    of boats before attacking.
    General Tips not yet covered
    -Remember that early in castle, a surprise attack on the opponents fishing can
    be as deadly as a surprise knight rush. Build a dock or two close to your enemy
    with your forward builders, and get a few fireships or war galleys garrisoned
    inside before attacking. Release them into the unsuspecting enemies fishing
    fleet and watch it go bye bye. Works especially well if your enemy is fighting
    your navy from another direction
    -Landings can be overrated. In general, the more landmass that can be reached by
    Cannon Galleons, the less valuable a landing will be. In general a landing is
    best done as an attack to deny wood in conjunction with a naval attack.
    -If you want to do a feudal attack with galleys, you might want to scout with
    one of your fishing boats as you click the button to upgrade to feudal.
    -In planning for naval combat, be sure to have extra goldminers as you are
    transitioning to feudal or castle. The standard 3 miners just won't cut it to
    produce gold hungry navies. As a result of this, the gold mining upgrades are
    essential and much more beneficial when fighting a naval war.
    -The wood upgrades are THE essential upgrades on Naval combat maps. Get double
    bit axe even before starting to castle, and get Bow Saw as soon as you arrive
    there. Wheelbarrow isn't as essential- the Wood Upgrades should come first if
    you have to choose.
    -Remember to garrison your boats inside your docks to mass if you are facing a
    larger force. To do this remember that you cannot right click- you must manually
    select set gather point and then left click the dock.
    -Feel free to make more fishing boats if you rule the seas and have good fishing
    left. Its much easier than transitioning to farming and its the bonus of ruling
    the seas.
    -Remember that in a naval map the housing limit approaches fast. You should have
    housing for 75-80 when you feudal and housing for 100 or more when you castle to
    ensure maximum effectiveness
    Wars between the ages
    Unlike on land, you can be in real trouble if your opponent reaches the next age
    and has a chance to upgrade his ships. While regular castle fireships still
    counter galleons, they do so less effectively. The real difference comes when
    you are fighting vs the same kind of ship. Galleons will handily beat a similar
    fleet of War Galleys. By the same token, Fast fireships do much better vs
    regular fireships. Fast fireships vs war galleys is just a joke- the fireships
    win so bad its not even funny. So remember that the advantage in the Naval
    Battles goes to the person who ages the most quickly if the battle is at a
    Map Specific Considerations
    Remember to take the map into account when decided which troops to use, and how
    much to invest in a Naval battle.
    On coastal,continental, and rivers maps, the Naval battle is usually no more
    than a distraction. On these maps, your best bet is fireships- they work the
    best in smaller numbers.
    On mediterranean, baltic, and Islands maps, A large group of galley type ships
    is often a good bet. Fireships lose to large groups of War Galleys, provide you
    keep them all together and concentrate fire. While fire galleys are still nice,
    you want to use more war galleys on these maps. The more open water means the
    naval battle is more important, meaning that large groups of ships can and
    should be the norm. These maps often have large areas reachable by cannon
    galleons- make sure to use them.
    On crater lake and Migration maps, the water is divided by a large center
    island. While larger armies are still the norm, Fireships fare better here
    because Galley armies often won't be able to travel all together, and they often
    may be split due to AI pathing problems- leaving them ripe for the kill. While
    Galleys are still necessary, and cannon galleons essential, fireships are much
    more useful here and should be used more.
     9.                     Miscellaneous Tips and Strategies
       This section is basically a collection of tips, hints, and strategies that
       have either been sent to me, or I've found on either a website or a large
       message board.
                        **If you have any, please send them in**
     10.                            Appendices
             Cheats        [This section was taken from Cheat Code Central]
                   -=These are for Age of Empires II: Age of Kings=-
    While playing a game, press [Enter] to display the chat window and type one of
    following codes to activate the corresponding cheat function:
    RESULT                    CHEAT CODE
    1000 gold                 robin hood
    1000 wood                 lumberjack
    1000 stone                rock on
    1000 food                 cheese steak jimmy's
    Instant victory           i r winner
    Instant loss              resign
    Fast building             aegis
    Full map                  marco
    Kill indicated opponent   torpedo[number]
    Kill all opponents        black death
    No shadows                polo
    Control animals           natural wonders
    VDML                      i love the monkey head
    Cobra car                 how do you turn this on
    Saboteur                  to smithereens
    Commit suicide            wimpywimpywimpy
    Cheat Codes (alternate)
    While playing a game, enter one of the following codes to activate the
    corresponding cheat function:
    Fast construction [Ctrl] + Q
    Build immutable structure [Ctrl] + P
    Alternate resource menu [Ctrl] + T
    View ending sequence [Ctrl] + C
    Cheat Codes (command line)
    Start the game with one of the following command line parameters to activate
    the corresponding cheat function:
    RESULT                                         COMMAND LINE PARAMETER
    800 x 600 screen resolution                    800
    1024 x 768 screen resolution                   1024
    1280 x 1024 screen resolution                  1280
    Auto save game                                 autompsave
    Standard mouse pointer                         NormalMouse
    Fix display problems with some video cards     Mfill
    Fix SoundBlaster AWE freezes                   Msync
    Disable all terrain sounds                     NoTerrainSound
    Disable all music                              NoMusic
    Disable all sounds except during FMV sequences NoSound
    No pre-game FMV sequences                      NoStartup
                  -=These are for Age of Empires II: The Conquerers=-
                      I think everything is the same as AoK.
             Building Attributes
    |  Building Name   |  Age |  Cost |  Hit Points |  Attack |  Garrison | Range  |
    |  Archery Range   |  II  | 175 W |     1500    |    0    |    10*    |   0    |
    |  Barracks        |  I   | 175 W |     1200    |    0    |    10*    |   0    |
    |  Blacksmith      |  II  | 150 W |     2100    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Bombard Tower   |  IV  | 125 S |     2220    |   120   |    5      |   8    |
    |                  |      | 100 G |             |         |           |        |
    |  Castle          |  III | 650 S |     4800    |    11   |    20     |   8    |
    |  Dock            |  I   | 150 W |     1800    |    0    |    10*    |   0    |
    |  Farm            |  I   | 150 W |      480    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Fish Trap       |  II  | 100 W |       50    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Fortified Wall  |  III |   5 S |     3000    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Gate            |  II  |  30 S |     2750    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Guard Tower     |  III | 125 S |     1500    |    6    |    5      |   8    |
    |  House           |  I   |  30 W |      900    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Keep            |  IV  | 125 S |     2250    |    7    |    5      |   8    |
    |                  |      |  25 W |             |         |           |        |
    |  Lumber Camp     |  I   | 100 W |     1000    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Market          |  II  | 175 W |     2100    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Mill            |  I   | 100 W |     1000    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Mining Camp     |  I   | 100 W |     1000    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Monestary       |  III | 175 W |     2100    |    0    |    10*    |   0    |
    |  Outpost         |  I   |  25 W |      500    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |                  |      |  25 S |             |         |           |        |
    |  Palisade Wall   |  I   |   2 W |      250    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Siege Workshop  |  III | 200 W |     2100    |    0    |    10*    |   0    |
    |  Stable          |  II  | 175 W |     1500    |    0    |    10*    |   0    |
    |  Stone Wall      |  II  |   5 S |     1800    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Town Center     |  III | 275 W |     2400    |    5    |    15     |   6    |
    |  University      |  III | 200 W |     2100    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |  Watch Tower     |  II  | 125 S |     1020    |    5    |    5      |   8    |
    |  Wonder          |  IV  | 1000 W|     4800    |    0    |    0      |   0    |
    |                  |      | 1000 S|             |         |           |        |
    |                  |      | 1000 G|             |         |           |        |
    |                                                                              |
    |  *  Units can be garrisoned here only if a gather point is set on the        |
    |     building while units are being created.  They cannot reenter once        |
    |     ungarrisoned.  Units garrisoned in towers, Town Centers, and Castles     |
    |     add attach and range.                                                    |
             Research Times
    Ever wondered how long that wheelbarrow tech takes or the imperial upgrade?
    Archery Range
    Crossbow (Castle) – 35 seconds
    Arbalest (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Hand Cannoneer (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Heavy Cavalry Archer (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Elite Skirmisher (Castle) – 50 seconds
    Tracking (Feudal) – 35 seconds
    Squires (Castle) – 40 seconds
    Man-at-arms (Feudal) – 40 seconds
    Longsword (Castle) – 45 seconds
    Pikeman (Castle) – 45 seconds
    Two-Handed-Sword (Imperial) – 75 seconds
    Champion (Imperial) – 100 seconds
    Fletching (Feudal) - 30 seconds
    Bodkin Arrow (Castle) - 35 seconds
    Scale Mail (Feudal) - 40 seconds
    Bracer (Castle) - 40 seconds
    Padded Archer Armor (Feudal) - 40 seconds
    Scale Barding (Feudal) - 45 seconds
    Forging (Feudal) - 50 seconds
    Chain Mail (Castle) - 55 seconds
    Leather Archer Armor (Castle) - 55 seconds
    Chain Barding (Castle) - 60 seconds
    Plate Mail (Imperial) - 70 seconds
    Ring Archer Armor (Imperial) - 70 seconds
    Iron Casting (Castle) - 75 seconds
    Plate Barding (Castle) - 75 seconds
    Blast Furnace (Imperial) - 100 seconds
    Spy (Imperial) – 1 second
    Sappers (Imperial) – 10 seconds
    Elite Huskarl (Imperial) – 40 seconds
    Elite Woad raider (Imperial) – 45 seconds
    Elite Throwing Axe (Imperial) – 45 seconds
    Elite Berserk (Imperial) – 45 seconds
    Elite Cataphract (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Elite Chu-Ko-Nu (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Elite Mangudai (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Elite Mameluke (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Elite TK (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Elite Janissary (Imperial) – 55 seconds
    Conscription (Imperial) – 60 seconds
    Elite Longbow (Imperial) – 60 seconds
    Elite Samurai (Imperial) – 60 seconds
    Elite Longboat (Imperial) – 60 seconds
    Elite War Elephant (Imperial) – 75 seconds
    Hoardings (Imperial) – 75 seconds
    Elite Cannon Galley (Imperial) - 25 seconds
    Careening (Castle) - 50 seconds
    War Galley (Castle) - 50 seconds
    Fast Fire Ship (Imperial) - 50 seconds
    Heavy Demo Ship (Imperial) - 50 seconds
    Cannon Galleon (Imperial) - 50 seconds
    Dry Dock (Imperial) - 60 seconds
    Shipwright (Imperial) - 60 seconds
    Galleon (Imperial) - 65 seconds
    Lumber Camp
    Double Bit Axe (Feudal) - 25 seconds
    Bow Saw (Castle) - 50 seconds
    Two-man Saw (Imperial) - 100 seconds
    Guilds (Imperial) - 50 seconds
    Coinage (Feudal) - 50 seconds
    Banking (Castle) - 50 seconds
    Cartography (Feudal) - 65 seconds
    Horse Collar (Feudal) - 20 seconds
    Heavy Plow (Castle) - 40 seconds
    Crop Rotation (Imperial) - 70 seconds
    Mining Camp
    Gold Mining (Feudal) - 30 seconds
    Stone Mining (Feudal) - 30 seconds
    Gold Shaft Mining (Castle) - 75 seconds
    Stone Shaft Mining (Castle) - 75 seconds
    Atonement (Castle) – 40 seconds
    Redemption (Castle) – 50 seconds
    Fervor (Castle) – 50 seconds
    Block Printing (Imperial) – 55 seconds
    Faith (Imperial) – 60 seconds
    Sanctity (Castle) – 60 seconds
    Illumination (Imperial) – 65 seconds
    Siege Workshop
    Heavy Scorpion (Imperial)– 50 seconds
    Capped Ram (Imperial) – 50 seconds
    Siege ram (Imperial) – 75 seconds
    Onager (Imperial) – 75 seconds
    Bombard Cannon (Imperial) – 100 seconds
    Siege Onager (Imperial) – 150 seconds
    Light cavalry (Castle) – 45 seconds
    Husbandry (Feudal) – 50 seconds
    Cavalier (Imperial) – 100 seconds
    Heavy Camel (Imperial) – 125 seconds
    Paladin (Imperial) – 170 seconds
    Loom (Dark) - 25 seconds
    Town Watch (Feudal) - 25 seconds
    Town Patrol (Castle) - 40 seconds
    Hand Cart (Castle) - 55 seconds
    Wheelbarrow (Feudal) - 75 seconds
    Feudal Age Upgrade - 130 seconds
    Castle Age Upgrade - 160 seconds
    Imperial Age Upgrade - 190 seconds
    Heated Shot (Castle) – 30 seconds
    Guard Tower (Castle) – 30 seconds
    Siege Engineers (Imperial) – 45 seconds
    Treadmill Crane (Castle) – 50 seconds
    Masonry (Castle) – 50 seconds
    Fortified Wall (Castle) – 50 seconds
    Murder Holes (Castle) – 60 seconds
    Ballistics (Castle) – 60 seconds
    Bombard Tower (Imperial) – 60 seconds
    Architecture (Imperial) – 70 seconds
    Keep (Imperial) – 75 seconds
    Chemistry (Imperial) – 100 seconds
             Unit Training Time
    The numbers below represent how long it takes to produce a particular unit.
    This is measured in seconds and thus a lower time would be more beneficial.
    Archery Range Units
    Archer to Arbalest - 27 seconds
    Cavalry Archer to Heavy Cavalry Archer - 34 seconds
    Skirmisher to Elite Skirmisher - 22 seconds
    Hand Cannoneer - 34 seconds
    Barracks Units
    Militia to Champion - 21 seconds
    Spearman to Pikeman - 22 seconds
    Castle Units
    Berserk - 16 seconds
    Huskarl - 26 seconds
    Samurai - 16 seconds
    Throwing Axeman - 17 seconds
    Teutonic Knight - 19 seconds
    Woad Raider - 16 seconds
    Cataphract - 23 seconds
    Mameluke - 23 seconds
    War Elephant - 31 seconds
    Cho Ko Nu - 19 seconds
    Janissary - 21 seconds
    Longbow man - 19 seconds
    Mangudai - 21 seconds
    Dock Units
    Galley to Galleon - 36 seconds
    Fire Ship - 36 seconds
    Fast Fire Ship - 36 seconds
    Demolition Ship to Heavy Demolition Ship - 31
    Cannon Galley to Heavy Cannon Galley - 46 seconds
    Longboat to Elite Longboat - 41 seconds
    Siege Units
    Battering Ram to Capped Ram - 36 seconds
    Siege Ram - 36 seconds
    Mangonel to Siege Onager - 46 seconds
    Scorpion to Heavy Scorpion - 30 seconds
    Bombard Cannon - 56 seconds
    Stable Units
    Scout Cavalry - 30 seconds
    Light Cavalry - 30 seconds
    Knights to Cavalier - 30 seconds
    Paladin - 30 seconds
    Camel to Heavy Camel - 29 seconds
             Attack Rates
    The numbers below represent how quickly a unit attacks.  This is determined by
    how many seconds are in between each attack.  Thus a lower number here would be
    Archery Range Units
    Archer to Arbalest - 2 seconds
    Cavalry Archer to Heavy Cavalry Archer - 2 seconds
    Skirmisher to Elite Skirmisher - 3 seconds
    Hand Cannoneer - 3.45 seconds
    Barracks Units
    Militia to Champion - 2 seconds
    Spearman to Pikeman - 3 seconds
    Castle Units
    Berserk - 2 seconds
    Huskarl - 2 seconds
    Samurai - 2 seconds
    Throwing Axeman - 2 seconds
    Teutonic Knight - 2 seconds
    Woad Raider - 2 seconds
    Cataphract - 2 seconds
    Mameluke - 2 seconds
    War Elephant - 2 seconds
    Cho Ko Nu - 3 seconds
    Janissary - 3.45 seconds
    Longbowman - 2 seconds
    Mangudai - 2 seconds
    Dock Units
    Galley to Galleon - 3 seconds
    Fire Ship - 0.25 seconds
    Fast Fire Ship - 0.25 seconds
    Demolition Ship to Heavy Demolition Ship - n/a
    Cannon Galley to Heavy Cannon Galley - 10 seconds
    Longboat to Elite Longboat - 3 seconds
    Siege Units
    Battering Ram to Capped Ram - 5 seconds
    Siege Ram - 5 seconds
    Mangonel to Siege Onager - 6 seconds
    Scorpion to Heavy Scorpion - 3.6 seconds
    Bombard Cannon - 6.5 seconds
    Stable Units
    Scout Cavalry - 2 seconds
    Light Cavalry - 2 seconds
    Knights to Cavalier - 1.8 seconds
    Paladin - 1.9 seconds
    Camel to Heavy Camel - 2 seconds
             Movement Rates
    The numbers below represent how fast a unit moves, measured in tiles per
    second.  Therefore, the higher the number, the faster the unit moves and more
    ground it covers.
    Archery Range Units
    Archer to Arbalest - 0.96 tiles/second
    Cavalry Archer to Heavy Cavalry Archer - 1.43 tiles/second
    Skirmisher to Elite Skirmisher - 0.96 tiles/second
    Hand Cannoneer - 0.96 tiles/second
    Barracks Units
    Militia to Champion - 0.9 tiles/second
    Spearman to Pikeman - 1.0 tiles/second
    Castle Units
    Berserk - 0.9 tiles/second
    Huskarl - 0.9 tiles/second
    Samurai - 0.9 tiles/second
    Throwing Axeman - 0.9 tiles/second
    Teutonic Knight - 0.65 tiles/second
    Woad Raider - 1.03 tiles/second
    Cataphract - 1.35 tiles/second
    Mameluke - 1.41 tiles/second
    War Elephant - 0.6 tiles/second
    Cho Ko Nu - 0.96 tiles/second
    Janissary - 0.96 tiles/second
    Longbowman - 0.96 tiles/second
    Mangudai - 1.43 tiles/second
    Dock Units
    Galley to Galleon - 1.43 tiles/second
    Fire Ship - 1.35 tiles/second
    Fast Fire Ship - 1.43 tiles/second
    Demolition Ship to Heavy Demolition Ship - 1.6 tiles/second
    Cannon Galley to Heavy Cannon Galley - 1.1 tiles/second
    Longboat to Elite Longboat - 1.54 tiles/second
    Siege Units
    Battering Ram to Capped Ram - 0.5 tiles/second
    Siege Ram - 0.6 tiles/second
    Mangonel to Siege Onager - 0.5 tiles/second
    Scorpion to Heavy Scorpion - 0.65 tiles/second
    Bombard Cannon - 0.7 tiles/second
    Stable Units
    Scout Cavalry - 1.2 tiles/second
    Light Cavalry - 1.5 tiles/second
    Knights to Cavalier - 1.35 tiles/second
    Paladin - 1.35 tiles/second
    Camel to Heavy Camel - 1.4 tiles/second
             Multiplayer Taunts
           This small section is a list of the Taunts available in AoE II.
           To use them, play a Multiplayer Game, press Enter, enter the number,
           and hit Enter again.
     This section was originally moved to a separate "Taunts" guide.  It's since
     been taken down and will not be back.  I don't have the time to assemble one
     and I'd suggest looking at Age of Empires II sites for taunts.  Just about
     any funny MP3 will work.  Things from the movie "Braveheart" work well because
     of the time frame.  Also, things like Monty Python, Austin Powers, and many
     other movies provide fairly funny dialogue.
           Ever wondered how much meat was in a Sheep?  Well, here's a list of
           all the resources.
     |   Resource Name    |  Amt. of Food  |  Amt. of Wood  | Amt. of Mined Items  |
     |   Bamboo Forest    |      N/A       |       100      |        N/A           |
     |   Deer             |      140       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Gold Mine        |      N/A       |       N/A      |        800 Gold      |
     |   Jaguar           |       0        |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Jungle Tree      |      N/A       |       100      |        N/A           |
     |   Marlin           |      350       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Palm Forest      |      N/A       |       100      |        N/A           |
     |   Perch            |      200       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Pine Forest      |      N/A       |       100      |        N/A           |
     |   Salmon           |      225       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Sheep            |      100       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Shore Fish       |      200       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Snapper          |      225       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Stone Mine       |      N/A       |       N/A      |        350 Stone     |
     |   Tuna             |      225       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Turkey           |      100       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Boar/Javelina    |      340       |       N/A      |        N/A           |
     |   Wolf             |       0        |       N/A      |        N/A           |
           Make gameplay go faster with Hotkeys!
    Unit Commands                        Town Center
    =============                        ===========
    Attack Ground                   T    Go Back to Work                    W
    Convert                         C    Ring Town Bell                     B
    Delete Unit                    Del   Villager                           C
    Economic Buildings              B
    Garrison                        G    Game Commands
    Heal                            E    =============
    Military Buildings              V    Chat Dialog                      Alt-T
    Pack                            P    Diplomacy                        Alt-D
    Repair                          R    Display Game Time                 F11
    Set Gather Point                I    Display Statistics                F4
    Stop                            S    Display Technology Tree           F2
    Unload                          L    Flare                           Alt-F
    Unpack                          U    Go To Archery Range             Ctrl-A
                                         Go To Barracks                  Ctrl-B
    Military Units                       Go To Blacksmith                Ctrl-S
    ==============                       Go To Castle                    Ctrl-V
    Aggressive                      A    Go To Dock                      Ctrl-D
    Box                             W    Go To Last Notification       Home / MMB
    Defensive                       D    Go To Lumber Camp               Ctrl-Z
    Flank                           F    Go To Market                    Ctrl-M
    Follow                          C    Go To Mill                      Ctrl-I
    Guard                           X    Go To Mining Camp               Ctrl-G
    Line                            Q    Go To Monastery                 Ctrl-Y
    No Attack                       O    Go To Next Idle Military Unit  , / ???
    Patrol                          Z    Go To Next Idle Villager       . / ExBtn2
    Staggered                       E    Go To Selected Object           Space
    Stand Ground                    N    Go To Seige Workshop            Ctrl-K
                                         Go To Stable                    Ctrl-L
    Barracks                             Go To Town Center              H / ExBtn1
    ========                             Go To University                Ctrl-U
    Militia, Man-at-Arms            S    Mini-Map Combat Mode            Alt-C
    Spearman, Pikeman               E    Mini-Map Economic Mode          Alt-R
                                         Mini-Map Normal Mode            Alt-N
    Archery Range                        Objectives                      Alt-O
    =============                        Pause                             F3
    Archer, Crossbowman, Arbalest   A    Review Chat Msgs Backward       Page Up
    (Heavy) Cavalry Archer          C    Review Chat Msgs Forward       Page Down
    Hand Cannoner                   E    Save Game                         F12
    (Elite) Skirmisher              R    Send Chat Msg                    Enter
                                         Slow Down Game                   Num-
    Stable                               Speed Up Game                    Num+
    (Heavy) Camel                   C    Villager Build
    Knight, Cavalier, Paladin       N    ==============
    Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry    T    Archery Range                      A
                                         Barracks                           B
    Castle                               Blacksmith                         S
    ======                               Bombard Tower                      J
    Build Trebuchet                 R    Castle                             V
    Build Unique Unit               T    Dock                               D
                                         Farm                               F
    Seige Workshop                       Fish Trap                          R
    ==============                       Gate                               /
    Battering / Capped / Seige Rams R    House                              E
    Bombard Cannon                  C    Lumber Camp                        Z
    Mangonal, (Seige) Onager        A    Market                             M
    (Heavy) Scorpion                N    Mill                               I
                                         Mining Camp                        G
    Monastery                            Monastery                          Y
    =========                            More Buildings                     X
    Monk                            T    Output                             Q
                                         Palisade Wall                      P
    Dock                                 Seige Workshop                     K
    ====                                 Stable                             L
    Build Longboat                  L    Stone Wall                         W
    Cannon Galleon                  C    Tower                              T
    (Heavy) Demolition Ship         D    Town Center                        N
    (Fast) Fire Ship                R    University                         U
    Fishing Ship                    F    Wonder                             O
    (War) Galley, Galleon           A
    Trade Cog                       T    Scroll Commands
    Transport                       P    ===============
                                         Scroll Down                      Down
    Market                               Scroll Left                      Left
    ======                               Scroll Up                         Up
    Trade Cart                      T    Scroll Right                     Right
         (Legend: MMB = Middle Mouse Button, ExBtn1,2 = Extra Button #1,#2)
     Age of Empires II: The Conquerers Demo
     Author: Microsoft
     File Size: 36 MB
     Description:  This is the trial version of Age of Empires II Expansion: The 
                   Conquerors.  In it you will be able to play a few of the 
                   campaigns.  Note that this is a very limited version of the 
                   game.  It is for sure worth the purchase.
     Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings: Version 2.0a Update
     A. Version Compatibility
     If you are playing a multiplayer game, all players must be using the same 
     version of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. For example, you cannot play 
     a multiplayer game between Age of Kings 2.0 and Age of Kings 2.0a.
     Recorded games can only be played using the same version of Age of Kings that
     was used to record the game.  For example, you cannot play an Age of Kings 2.0
     recorded game using Age of Kings 2.0a.
     To play an Age of Kings 2.0 recorded game after installing the Age of Kings 
     2.0a update, you must temporarily revert to Age of Kings 2.0.
     To play an Age of Kings 2.0 recorded game:
     1. In the Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II folder (or wherever
        you installed the game), create an Age2 folder.
     2. Copy the following files from your Age of Kings 2.0 disc to the new Age2
        EMPIRES2.EXE (from the Game folder on the disc)
        EMPIRES2.ICD (from the Game folder on the disc)
     3. Create a shortcut to 
        Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\Age2\Empires2.EXE, with the 
        Start In folder set to Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II.
     4. Start Age of Kings 2.0 using the new shortcut, then play the Age of Kings 
        2.0 recorded game.
     B. Balance Changes
     Town Center Changes - The following changes have been made to the Town Center:
     The resource cost to build a Town Center has been increased by 100 stone.
     The time to build a Town Center has been increased.
     Missile technologies available at the Blacksmith (Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and 
     Bracer) no longer increase the range of the Town Center.
     For the Teutons, the Town Center no longer has increased range.
     For the Britons, the 50% decrease in the cost to build a Town Center now 
     applies only to wood, and this reduction in wood cost is not available until 
     Castle Age.
     C. Enhancements
     Single-Player Performance Improvements - The performance of single-player 
     campaign games has been improved, especially on lower-end computers.
     Limited Pauses - The total number of pauses available to each player in a 
     multiplayer game is now limited.  The total number of pauses remaining is
     displayed each time the game is paused.
     Display Name of Out of Sync Player - In a multiplayer game with three or more 
     players, if a player goes out of sync, that player's name is displayed in the 
     out of sync message on all computers.
     D. Bug Fixes
     Stability Improvements - A number of crashes and multiplayer out of sync bugs 
     have been fixed, resulting in improved game stability.
     Computer Player Resigning Bug - The computer player will no longer resign 
     after a few minutes of play. (Previously available in the AI Update.)
     Fish Trap Bug - You can no longer build a Fish Trap on top of an existing fish 
     Fishing Ship Bug - You can no longer use a Fishing Ship to construct buildings
     other than a Fish Trap.
     Flare and Waypoint Bug - The game no longer crashes when you set a flare or 
     waypoint location at the very Southern-most point on the map.
     Cooperative Farming Bug - When you take over a Farm foundation built by an 
     ally, you can no longer extract more than the standard amount of food from 
     that Farm.
     Farming on Forest Bug - You can no longer build a Farm or Wall on top of a 
     partially cut section of forest.
     Unit Ignoring Orders Bug - Units no longer ignore orders under some 
     Multiplayer Restore From Zone Bug - The ability to save and restore a 
     disconnected or out of sync multiplayer game on the Zone has been improved.
     Foundation Outline Bug - Building foundations now have outlines, so you can 
     now click on them when they are behind trees or other objects.
     Trebuchet Firing Bug - Trebuchets no longer miss targets that are on a 
     different elevation.
     Single-Player Campaign After Regicide Bug - A single-player game will no 
     longer automatically end immediately after a multiplayer game of Regicide was 
     Computer Player Bugs - The behavior of the computer player in multiplayer 
     games has been improved.
     Scenario Editor Bugs - A number of Scenario Editor bugs have been fixed.
     E. Uninstalling Age of Kings 2.0a
     To uninstall Age of Kings 2.0a and revert to Age of Kings 2.0:
     1. From the Start menu, choose Programs -> Microsoft Games -> 
     Age of Empires II -> Uninstall Age of Empires II.  When Setup asks if you want
     to delete all user-created files, it is recommended that you choose No.
     2. Install version 2.0 from the Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings 2.0 disc.
      Download Here (English)
      Download Here (Korean)
      Download Here (French)
      Download Here (Spanish)
      Download Here (German)
      Download Here (Italian)
      Download Here (Japanese)
      Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings: AI Update
      This update addresses the issue where the computer player resigns after a few 
      minutes of play.  It does not affect multiplayer, meaning players with the
      update can play with players who do not have the update.  It is localized into
      English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian all in the same build.  You
      choose your language at the start of setup.
      Download Here
     | Random Maps |
     There are tons of official maps from Ensemble Studios.  Be sure to check out
     their website to download them - http://www.ensemblestudios.com
                                    Revision History
      Version 4.4
          Several minor changes.
     Version 4.0
          Several minor changes.
     Version 3.120
          Minor changes.
     Version 3.118
          Minor changes
     Version 3.117
          Moved the Revision History section.
          Added Hotkeys.
     Version 3.116
          Released ES@Canals Random Map.
     Version 3.115
          Released ES@Pilgrims Random Map.
     Version 3.114
          Released ES@Prairie Random Map.
     Version 3.113
          Minor changes.
     Version 3.112
          Released ES@Metropolis Random Map.
     Version 3.111
          Fixed a mistake.
     Version 3.110
          Added the new Random Maps section, which is in the Downloads area of
          the guide (bottom).
     Version 3.101
        • Added a new section "Miscellaneous Tips and Strategies."
     Version 3.100
        • Added Online Resources (above).  Check them for downloads that range from
          Taunts and Patches to Saved/Recorded Games and Different Maps.
     Version 3.095
        • Added a "Download" section, which will be constantly added to.
     Version 3.0
        • Finally the update I've been hoping for!
        • You're now looking at the most recent version and it looks a little better
          in my honest opinion.
        • If you need it spelled out for you, there has been a format change that
          can be seen throughout the entire FAQ.  This should work better
     Version 2.9
        • Finished up the Civilization Comparison Table
     Version 2.8
        • A few minor changes to the Civilization Comparison Table.  I'm just doing
          some updating that needed to be done.
        • More will be coming soon!
     Version 2.7
        • Added a few tidbits in the Resources Table.
        • Made a note in the Taunts section
     Version 2.6
        • All of the new technologies in The Conquerers has been added.
     Version 2.5
        • Added the remainder of the new units.  This was a somewhat un-expected
          update due to the other things that are going on right now for me.
        • New technologies should be in the next update.  Stay tuned!
     Version 2.4
        • Yet another update.  Whew, two updates in two days.  Well, that used to
          be normal for me, but it's surprising for me to be doing it now.  ^_^
        • I should point out the reason why I've been so busy with other things,
          shouldn't I?
          Well, my site is currently going through a major rennovation.  I'm not
          talking about a little homepage a typical Internet user can assemble in
          30 seconds, but rather a large site that gets a fair amount of traffic.
          A re-design is in the works, and this is eating up all of my time, thus
          the reason(s) this FAQ hasn't gotten too much attention lately.  To get
          an idea of the work I'm working on, I'll use these figures.
          My current site (before rennovation) consists of about 80 pages.  A
          self-projected size of the site after the rennovation is about 80,000
          pages.  I'm talking about web pages, not printed pages (on paper).  This
          is one hell of a project for me.  I should point out that these pages
          are all hand-typed.  I have no knowledge of any database software, so
          this will make it take even longer.
     Version 2.3
        • Added a few more items for The Conquerers (TC).
        • I'll add more later.  I'm busy with other things at the moment.
     Version 2.2
        • Just a minor change.
        • The Conquerers is out!  Go to your local store and pick it up!
     Version 2.1
        • Added the section "Resources."  This is not complete just yet, however.
     Version 2.0
        • Minor changes.  The Conquerers will be released pretty soon!
     Version 1.9
        • Added the "On the Road to Expert" series.  For any rookie, this is a
          must-read.  Even the experienced AoE players should read it.
     Version 1.8
        • Moved the Multiplayer Taunts to a separate guide.
     Version 1.7
        • Added Multiplayer Taunts.
     Version 1.6
        • A minor change.
     Version 1.5
        • Removed the large section on TC because it will be released in about a
        • Split the FAQ into 3 parts due to the size and time it takes for this to
          load in a person's browser.
     Version 1.4
        • Huge update in the Tips & Strategies sections.
     Version 1.3
        • A few minor changes.
     Version 1.2
        • A minor change.
     Version 1.1
        • Added a few things.
     Version 1.0
        • The first version of course, so everything is new.
        • This is the first "full" FAQ on Age of Empires II on the Internet.
        • Despite being the first "full" FAQ, expect several changes and updates.
     12.                            Acknowledgments
      - Jeff Veasey and GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com) for hosting this FAQ.
      - Al Amaloo and Game Winners (http://www.gamewinners.com) for hosting this
      - Dave Allison and Cheat Code Central (http://www.cheatcc.com) for hosting
        this FAQ.
      - Marshmallow for the idea for the header.
      - WinAmp (http://www.winamp.com) for providing a great program for allowing
        me to listen to my large sound and music library.  Without it, FAQ writing
        would just be too boring to mess with.
      - Gateway for providing a quality computer system.  Too bad Hewlett Packard
        couldn't do the same.  :(
      - GameSages (http://sages.ign.com) for any codes and tips that may be in here
      - XCheater (http://xcheater.com) for any codes and tips that may be in here
      - Game Winners (http://gamewinners.com) for any codes and tips that may be in
      - GameFAQs (http://gamefaqs.com) for any codes and tips that may be in here
      - FreeperMCM-V2 for the Hotkeys List
      - Everyone else who may have a site whose codes I may have used in here
      - I'd also like to thank my stash of notebooks, folder, and misc papers.  They
        make up the collection of my codes, hints, tips, etc, etc.  For those of you
        who are curious, the sources of the codes are unknown.  I mean, over the
        years, I've written and printed lists of codes, hints, etc from all games
        from the world, so I cann't truthfully say where they came from, other than
        the fact, that I did write them on paper.  So, if they came from a certain
        website or a person, well, I can't say, because I'm unable to remember back
        that far.
      ASCII Art created using SigZag by James Dill:   (freeware!)
      This FAQ was writen entirely using the GWD Text Editor:  (shareware)
    Misc Facts about the Author:
      Email Address: red_phoenix_1@hotmail.com
      Web Site: http://www.fark.com
      Other FAQs: Check out http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/2717.html
      << Disclaimer >>
      This document may ONLY be found on the following sites:
       1. GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com)
       2. Game Winners (http://www.gamewinners.com)
       3. Video Game Strategies (http://vgstrategies.about.com)
       4. Game Castle (http://www.gamecastle.virtualave.net/main.html)
       5. Happy Puppy (http://www.happypuppy.com)
       6. Game Revolution (http://www.game-revolution.com)
       7. Gaming Planet (http://www.gamingplanet.com)
       8. PlayStation Pit (http://www.psxpit.com)
       9. X Cheater (http://www.xcheater.com)
      10. Phat Games (http://www.phatgames.com)
      11. The Cheat Empire (http://home.planetinternet.be/~twuyts)
      12. http://www.psxcodez.com
      13. http://www.hype.se
      14. http://www.supercheats.com
      15. http://www.psxgamer.com
      16. http://apolyton.net/smac
      17. Cheat Code Central (http://www.cheatcc.com)
      18. Fresh Baked Games (http://www.fbgames.com)
      19. The Adrenaline Vault (http://www.avault.com)
      20. IGN (http://www.ign.com)
      21. Supercheats.com
      If ANY other site has a copy of this FAQ, it is an illegal copy.  So, if you
      happen to see this at another site, please notify me immediately.
      This document was made for personal use only.  No part of this document may
      be copied or used in any form of media withthout the express written consent
      of Jim Chamberlin.  Unauthorized use of any information herein is a direct
      violation of Copyright Law, and legal action will be taken.
      This document is Copyright © 2001 Jim Chamberlin.  All Rights Reserved.
            No part of this FAQ may be used in any way, shape, or form
            without express written consent of Jim Chamberlin.
                                         _   _
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