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Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition
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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » the civs
Topic Subject:the civs
posted 08-28-99 11:23 PM ET (US)         
I'm new to AoE, and I'd have to say that the $40 for the
gold edition is definitely worth it. This game runs
so smooth that i almost forget that i'm playing a computer

Anyway, I'm beginning to have a grasp of the basic elements
of the game. I've played full games with the babylonian,
egyptian, persian, roman, shang, and yamato.

my favorite unit so far is the scythe chariot, and i've
seen many posts which point out the benefits of this
unit, mainly the 0 gold cost.

my opinion was originally that Egypt is among the stronger
civs because its improved scythes and CA don't cost
any gold, and any gold which is mined by their +20
peasants can be used to make +3 priests.

but then i realized the value of Cavalry, in that it
doesn't require research of the Wheel, and are heftier
fighters than chariots. So now i'm looking for an element
of compensation for the slower development of Egypt.

4-player free-for-all matches with the computer have been
a challenge for me, until i played the roman and
babylonian civs. because they have such powerful towers,
even though the computer enemies were teamed up against
me, my defenses were able to hold up. this was
especially true with the Babylonians on a continental
map, with land bridges in between the continents.

i had great difficulty with the persians. athough my
priests could re-convert my elephants after they were
converted, they lost the +50% advantage which was the
reason i chose the persians. so i was forced to play
in a defensive mode with my priests acting as the backbone
of the army, slowly drawing converts from the phoenicians.

Yamato and shang were fun civs to play, but i only played
them in team matches. the only success i had with
free-for-all matches was with the babylonians and the

So now I'm still deciding on a 'favorite civ'. I'd like
to say the egyptians, but i realize they lack some key
elements which offset their advantage with chariots.

i really enjoyed playing the romans, but i didn't have
much opportunity to take advantage of their legions,
because i focused on chariots.

and yamato was pretty good, but i still missed the
chariots which they lack.

i've sure heard about hittite, minoan, phoenician, and
shang being the top 4 civs. is this true, or is it just
a myth?

i haven't tried hittite yet, but it seems their abilities
would suit my style of play. although they don't have
the extra hp chariots of egypt, they have horse archers
and catapults, both with extra abilities.

but rome seems to have a good selection, despite missing
range attack ability. because in defense the towers
make up for lack of range units. in offense, they
still have siege weapons and fast chariots.

so right now, my favorite 3 are egyptian, hittite, and
roman. egyptian because their armies are very economical.
is this good enough justification to make them a powerful
civ? as long as they can achieve solid development of
their chariots and priests.

hittite i haven't tried, but i just might like it, since
they have better balance of units than the egyptians.
i would probably enjoy the double hit points of their

rome seems to have good economy and good balance of units,
but i'm still trying to grasp their offensive ability.
Because they could use legions or siege units, but no

posted 08-29-99 01:12 AM ET (US)     1 / 16       
I am no expert!

That said, the top four you mentioned are, IMHO, the top four. Shang is awesome without a doubt. Phoe's wood bonus can be incredible. It allows them to bom very well. Hittite has a great military. Minoan is a great water civ, but unlike the 1st three is gold dependant.

Rome iron is nice, but the trick is getting there. Their lack of good archery makes them a target. There building bonuses are very nice. Persian. Hmm, no wheel makes them a tough civ to play. Egypt is a very fun civ to play, but is difficult to master.

As I have stated, I am no expert. You can find more thorough advice in other strat threads and other people.


posted 08-29-99 05:00 AM ET (US)     2 / 16       
Shang/Phoencia/Hittie all get Scythers, Shang gets an incredible speed advantage (Too good, some people wont let ya pick Shang, i'm one of them). Phoenicia gets an extremely good wood cutting advantage, so you can put less people on wood and still get more than any other civ so you'll have the wood to build those chariots. Hittie on the other hand has some of the most gross military advantages in the game. +4 warship range, double stone thrower, catapults, and heavy cat hitpoints, and +1 archer damage(which isn't one of the overwhelming ones but it does help). Minoa is a very good race as well but all their good units rely on gold, and they don't have any decent anti catapult (Except for their own) so Hittie will crush them.

Just for reference i'll put my overall top 16 civs for random map default resources medit/conti map. remind you this is my opinion and why, but please correct me with good reasons if you feel i'm wrong.

1. Shang (Obvious, fastest civ, own tool, all bronze units)
2. Phoenicia (Obvious, lots of wood, all bronze units)
3. Minoa (Excellent Boom, scary comp bow/ST combo...)
4. Hittie (Gross military advantage)
5. Egypt (Best Scythers, best priests, + the gold for them)
6. Sumeria (Hittie's little bro. Better boats and farms though)
7. Assyria (Got the speed, good tool rush, best chariot archers before nobility sets in...)
8. Rome (Cheap Buildings, can fight tool nearly as well as Shang, no bronze though (Broadswords or Regular Chariot... you pick) . scary Legions, Dual Siege, at least they got scythers in iron)
9. Yamato (Got the speed as well, good scout rush, but camels kill them in bronze. Comp/ST best hope otherwise (PLAY MINOA THEN!) Has good chance against any non-camel civ.)
10. Macedonia (Scary Hoppers!!! Good tool rush, 50% cheaper siege? not much that can take out a quick hoplite/st attack)
11. Palmyran (75 food vills... can be good if the guy knows how to use them, good tech tree and crazy fast camels)
12. Babylon (I kinda had trouble figuring out these guys, i'm sure they go higher... but towers/walls pretty much all they have. All bronze units but lack the speed to beat other civs.)
13. Persia (Can be very fast... sometimes... but very unpredictable, missing key economic upgrades...)
14. Choson (No bronze... Cavs/towers/broadswords pray for successful iron jump with allies still alive. I say allies cause 1v1 forget it)
15. Carthage (Slow army... similar problems as Greece...)
16. Greece (THE ONLY ARCHER THEY GET IS THE TOOL BOWMEN! No raiding units except the obsolete Cav. No Anti-Priest at all, decent if you can get them to iron but don't count on it.)

posted 08-29-99 08:54 AM ET (US)     3 / 16       
Hittite. It is not the double Cat health. It could be 50% and they would still be top tier DM civ. Range +2 galleys... they are still a great civ... not as overpowering water but people will want them in RM..
Extra archer attack... BINGO! this is most useful, CA with 5 attack will crush slingers dead, and will have not as much problems with mace. But the real killer bonus is... Gigantic tech tree! the only units they miss are priest techs, Long swords,(only rome or choson would use em anyway) Hcavs, Balista line, but better Hcats make up for it, Heavy transport and Reme and cat remes, AS hitite, the sea should already be yours, so you can make all the trannies you want, but FG with those long range galleys works well. As far as i know, they get all techs except the priest ones, they do get astrology tho.

Rome. How do you call it a crappy bronze? You'll be scared as these guys come streaming in from my hidden base. They level buildings in a flash, kill a standing vill before it can flee, and get upgraded to long sword and legion too. A strong enough broad swordsmen attack or a broadie slinger etc should set your opponent back enuogh for you to wall in tower up and go iron. You may not even need walls, if you hit him hard enough. I know what you will say, "What about compie ST or mass CA?" well, vs CA, slingers can do their job just fine, with broadies getting in while slingers distract CA. Compies, you need to strike where they AREN'T. And do that by attacking their town instead of saving your own buildings, because your vills should have fled already. That will force him to either A) come back to save his own town, allowing you to wall in yourself. B) Split up into a Attack and defense group, allowing you to make a force in your own town enough to kill his, and wall. C) he does nothing, You will end up in better shape as of you could flee your villagers, as of he was consumed in the battle and didnt notice your troops. You walk them right into the woodies and you kill 5 off the bat. It will be a while before he gets to move his vills away and then you can wreak havoc on his town. It works well if you send up an ST against te compies and have it fire a rock and just after it hits to attack with broadies to delay him more.

Thats all, Wuzat, signing out!

Hmmm where is that wood pit? Hey! Why is my army at my wood pit? ARRGH!!! My vills are attacking AE!!! No! Woe is me, Woe is me!

posted 08-29-99 09:25 AM ET (US)     4 / 16       
Welcome to AoE babel I love most of the RoR civs but the fastest by far is Shang....the Egy. SC's and priests are so cool too

I'm no expert and better not take any advice from me

Come and play multiplayer AoE on the zone at

Joe Rockhead
posted 08-29-99 09:44 AM ET (US)     5 / 16       
When considering the relative strength of the tribes, don't get too hung up on the tech tree.

Notice that Shang and Phoenician (undisputedly #s 1 and 2 in overall power) aren't particularly strong military civs. Shang gets no military bonus and Phoen only gets a discount on elephants.

Their units are no stronger than anyone else's and, in the case of Phoen, are demonstrably weaker in Iron. But their econ makes them the favorites in 1v1 random map games against any other civs.

Stone Age econ advantages are the most valuable bonuses. Tool and Bronze Age military bonuses are the second-most desirable. Iron Age bonuses have the least impact on games overall. Some of the least played civs have the strongest Irons.

So when choosing a tribe to specialize in I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with at least one with a strong early game.

As far as cavalry, you neglected to mention camels in your unit review. You'll love that cav attack and those hp right up until you run into your first camel brigade. After that, you might want to put your cavalry into mothballs like alot of others have. Camels serve the same anti-siege/villy raider role as cav, with the added benefit of having a bonus to attack against chariots, cav, and horse archers.

You mentioned Persia, which is my pet civ. They combine some potentially devastating bonuses (early game econ edge) with some potentially devastating drawbacks (late game econ collapse). The key to winning with them is using the advantages to avoid the disadvantages.

First, you have the potential to Tool faster than anyone in the game. Every effort should be made to find the *sweet* spots with game near forest. Gazelle/elephant and shore fish are the way to go. A granary is neccessary only as a means to a market.

Prepare to attack in Tool. If the enemy is left unmolested into Bronze, the lack of the wheel will begin to expose Persia's weakness. By staying with the *fast* food back home you should be able to pump units at will from barracks, archery and stable. The Tool Age is the only age where Persia's archers match up with those of other civs, so here is the time to drop the archery (not wasting one later, as a means to a siege workshop).

If you've been able to sieze the initiative then you can either press towards a win in Tool, hunting and fishing your way to glory, or gear down and jump to Bronze. In the Bronze Age you have good raiders in camels/cav and st/comps (-1 range *shrug*) to finish things off.

Go Iron only if neccesary to crush a fortified position. Fast elephants and rapid-fire Triremes are powerful towards this end. But if the enemy is not dead at this point things begin to look very bleak.

Final suggestion: Try Hittite 8-). Tool/Bronze times cease to be a problem after a certain amount of practice, after which Hittite is really the only way to go, after Shang, of course.

posted 08-29-99 11:56 AM ET (US)     6 / 16       
As I can tell you are a semi-newbie (I'm not trying to be mean), so be hittite, no doubt about it. When I first started, I learned the basice of the game with them because of their VERY powerful bonuses and they have the most superunits in the game.
posted 08-29-99 12:24 PM ET (US)     7 / 16       
Tech tree IS everything. I betcha that if Rome got Compies, they would become 4th after mino, because of an awesome compie ST broadie combo, and then getting legion cats and compies/hele. Phoe and shang are awesome because they can counter everything in bronze and meld to the opponets strat. They can do quick strike of CA and then follow with compie ST, anything at all.

Hmmm where is that wood pit? Hey! Why is my army at my wood pit? ARRGH!!! My vills are attacking AE!!! No! Woe is me, Woe is me!

posted 08-29-99 01:56 PM ET (US)     8 / 16       
You got to learn how to play every civ to its most effectiveness. Every civ has its weak and strong points. My favorite game is random civ. It gives me greek or carthaginian or even palmyrian most of the times, the real satisfaction comes in when I beat egytian by greek. Sounds like impossible, but sometimes your opponent is not that good in the game it's possible.

For me, the real fun comes in when I beat decent civs with so-called sucky civs. Of course if I lost I would have an excuse

posted 08-29-99 06:58 PM ET (US)     9 / 16       
I didn't say they had no bronze power... well actually i did i'm sorry that's not what I meant. They don't have alot of bronze tech... regular chariot, cav, improved bowmen, and stone thrower is all they have. Rome is still a good tribe merely because of the cheap buildings. (Trust me without them Rome would be down there with Choson/Carthage/Greek). Hittie is great, but who really fears the +1 attack? I genereally don't... Any comp/ST civ like minoa will beat Hittie to the ground if they only build CA. But why does Hittie beat in minoa so bad? 150 HP cats... this makes the Hittie Iron Cat, ALMOST as good as a minoan heavy cat. And the heavy cats very very hard to beat. And the reason I put Persia so low is cause like I said very unpredictable, but with the right spot ya can do alot of damage (I've gotten persia spots when I wasn't persia... so many hunting... made me cry... ) I play Hittie almost every game now, they rock. One of the best CAs, best ST, best bronze boats. They're they only top civ without economic bonus... cause they don't need it. So fun to get over 200 kills off a minoan player when he keeps trying to attack you and all you have is like 3 cats behind a wall. If that damn assyrian didn't come in with his chariots... .
posted 08-29-99 09:16 PM ET (US)     10 / 16       
Thanks for the input everyone. I think my 'favorite civ'
will be Hittite. I'm not ready for a fast civ yet, because
I want to practice using the villagers with a slower
civ like Hittite.

I liked Yamato because of their Horse Archers, which the
Hittites have. And the chariots of Egypt can also be
used by Hittite. I didn't exploit the Priests of Egypt
nearly as much as I could have, so I won't be missing
much there. And i'll probably appreciate the greater
toughness of the hittite catapults, because too many times
a single cavalry sneaked into my ranks and destroyed
an expensive catapult of mine.

posted 08-30-99 00:20 AM ET (US)     11 / 16       
This time today I played the Hittites on a gigantic
contintental map. I took your suggestion to use
camels, and they worked very well against their
scouts. All I had to do was build lots of towers,
chariot archers, camels, and stone throwers. But it
was only 1 vs. 1, so I barely got a chance to reach
Iron Age and build a few Horse Archers. By then
my stone throwers and chariot archers were tearing their
city to shreds.

But the camels really made the difference. Perhaps it's
time for me to put my 'cavalry power' idea away, because
camels seem to do a much better job at lower cost. I
still could have played the exact same game as Egypt, but
I have a feeling that the Horse Archers from the Iron
Age would give the Hittites an edge.

But one thing I know now, I won't play as Yamato or Choson
in a long time.

posted 08-30-99 06:44 AM ET (US)     12 / 16       
Camel kills just about any bronze unit well (except hoplite, and comp bows) so they make a good addition to any army. But generally I find building a stable too wood consuming (ya need that wood for chariots/ST) and I don't mine gold fast enough to make them right when I bronze so it's fruitless. I generally go Chariot archers hard, then make some of those super ST. I generally play 3v3, and if my allies have killed 1 enemy already i'll use my resources to iron, otherwise I make more units in bronze. Once Hittie irons with resources dang they're unstopable, they have EVERY important unit in bronze (except Helepolis). Any combo they throw at you, you can counter (except MAYBE hardcore Scyther flood, but you got scythers of your own and horse archers to kinda help absorb and inflict some damage) Like I said with enough resources, I generally don't have enough wood to build alot of cats AND get scythers. in Iron generally I go Horse archer/Cat, and usually incorporate CA as damage absorbers (They cost no gold, have more HP than HA, and do a decent amount of damage even to iron units) If Hittie irons with alot of resources, you shouldn't have trouble beating majority of the civs (The power of the BOOM!)
Joe Rockhead
posted 08-30-99 10:27 AM ET (US)     13 / 16       
Joe said:

"...don't get too hung up on the tech tree..."

Wuzat said:

"Tech tree IS everything... Phoe and shang are awesome because they can counter everything in bronze and meld to the opponets strat. They can do quick strike of CA and then follow with compie ST, anything at all."

Then why isn't Babylon a top civ? All Tool/Bronze units; all Tool/Bronze techs.

Answer: Because they're slooooow ;-)

Stone Age econ bonuses rule AoE/RoR. First Yassy, now Phang... heh 8-)

posted 08-30-99 01:12 PM ET (US)     14 / 16       
yeah, but i betcha if shang didnt get mels, and slingers, and only compies or only CA, they would reduce in popularity

Hmmm where is that wood pit? Hey! Why is my army at my wood pit? ARRGH!!! My vills are attacking AE!!! No! Woe is me, Woe is me!

Joe Rockhead
posted 09-01-99 08:16 AM ET (US)     15 / 16       
True, but if they had 50 food villies they would be collecting dust with the Babs.
posted 09-01-99 05:19 PM ET (US)     16 / 16       
IF they had 50 food villies, they would be useless. If someone wants double hitpointwalls and a good tech tree, just be babs and get double tower and a stone bonus too.
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