The civilisations in AOE and ROR come in several flavours.
Every civ has some bonus, apart from that the technology tree
and the period in which the bonuses matter decide how strong
civilisations are. Some civs get economic and military bonuses,
others only get the military ones. As a consequence there
are fast civs and slow civs.
Fast civs have economic bonuses that can be used right from
the Stone Age. This group includes Shang (cheap Villagers),
Assyria and Yamato (fast Villagers), Minoa (cheap FBs). Some
include Phoenicia (gather wood faster and can carry more).
Gold dependent civs are all civs that don't get chariotry
and therefore can't get any advanced units once they run out
Then there's the question of build-up in an RM game. Most
civs work well with a berry start and a standard routine of
building up after that, Persia and Palmyra require a special
approach but can be very strong if they get through their
DM is entirely different of course, here the military bonuses
are more important in the early phases of the game. Cheap
units (Yammy, Choson's Priests, Phoenie, Minoa, Macedonia,
Rome) only matter when the players run out of their initial
The remarks about the computer player in single player games
(by Peter) refer largely to nomad starts. Remarks for Multi
Player are by Phill Phree; remarks for DM by CenturionZ_1,
assuming a standard DM - RoR, Iron Age start, Revealed Map
and Hill Country Map.
The following table is organised by Tileset, i.e. the graphics
the civs get in the game. Therefore, although the Macedonians
were Greek and Carthage was a Phoenician colony (and, come
to think of it, the Phoenicians weren't Greek either), in
the game they have the Roman Tileset.
also provides some good information and hints for the civilisations.
You can find a hoard of links to very good historical information
about most civilisations on the sites below:
Non-western links, a collection of historical information of
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook, by fordham.edu, a great site
with any complete texts of
historical sources like the Code of Hammurabi, the books by the Greek
historians, you name it.
The only bad thing is that some of the links are dead and
you can't access everything there but there's enough for a