The Complete Ages of Mankind
Posted on 02/27/17 @ 01:43 PM (updated 07/28/20
7/28/20: Fixed a bug on Empire of the East level which was preventing people from getting a victory when objectives were finished. Also there is a new level "Rise of the Germans" which takes place in the Teutoburg Forest.
|Number of Scenarios:
||Rise of Rome
1/4/20 update: Some levels have been updated. I have played through these levels, but if you find a bug in them let me know and I can post your name at the end of my campaign for a special thanks!
12/5/19 update: Certain levels have been fixed because of a bug that was not allowing them to end in victory, such as the Religion and Iron Age in Africa levels. In addition, some of the elite objectives have been fixed as they were not allowing the first objectives to be completed.
(Older updates: 8/14/19, 7/14/19, 2/8/19)
This campaign attempts to capture the developments of mankind from their earliest Paleolithic beginnings up until the end of antiquity.
I had a lot of fun playing Age of Empires when I was younger, and hence have some strong nostalgia towards the game. That was part of the reason for me putting all of this together. Some of the scenarios may be challenging, but that is because I respect some of the levels that came with the game, which could be difficult.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Hey man i've just finished playing this campaign. I can say its one of the most fun campaigns ive played.
Although i got stuck many times on some of the missions where i literally have to use the cheat home run to complete them, this is one of the coolest campaigns ive ever played.
The map designs are neat and not too messed up like other campaigns where it makes things harder to spot.
Of all the missions ive played, i like the mission where u need to defend the 5 mirror towers.
Also the mission where u need to bring ur artifacts to the Fallen Star crater.
This is one of the neat campaigns out there so people should give it a try.
But i noticed one of the mission is too hard (almost impossible for me to play), the one where u need to destroy the temples of your enemies.
And some missions are way too easy, like the ones where u need to bring 4 Horse Archers and 4 Heavy Cavalry to your Gov Center.
Overall, this campaign gave me lots of fun and i admire your hardwork. (u might want to tweak the TIME setup in Roman Navy defense mission because sometimes the Lion dies before he was able to trigger the chain reaction and thus making the mission fail.)
It was generally playable, but there were some glitches or hang ups as I mention in the mission descriptions below, like in the Religion and Alexander the Great Scenarios, that made it impractical or impossible to beat some missions even when you follow the directions.
The Balance was too hard for me on some missions on Moderate or even Easy difficulty, but I consider myself an average or even below average player. I suspect that the author realized this for some missions like Alexander the Great and he fixed it in his later edition ("Ages of Man Part 3"), which unfortunately didn't include the Ascent of Rome scenario.
Excellent Creativity. I love how he took real historical events and made fun games out of them. They are often going beyond just simple "destroy the enemy" missions and involve things like getting a catapult home (ie. in the Machines Scenario).
Map Design: 4.2
On one hand, the Map Design was great for creativity, turning real places into maps and also decorating them with trees and roads. On the other hand, there were some glitches like how the Religion Scenario had your ally standing with a priest next to the ruins, which in effect kept you from capturing it and beating the mission without attacking your own ally. TO give another example, I think that the author intended to make the countdown stop in the Machines scenario as soon as you kill the Cretan leader, but the timer continued anyway.
I would say the same thing as above. The creator did a great job with creativity and I love how he made artwork for the instructions as well as including an excellent HISTORY section for the different chapters. On the other hand, they should have been clearer for some missions on how exactly to win, or he should have included a walkthrough. Take for example the part in Ascent of Rome where he says that the starting location (Italy) might not be the best to make a base. OK, where does he suggest? Due to the rapidity with which the enemies build up, I don't think it's feasible to move away to start a base.
I liked how the campaign had scenarios for religion and for the history of Israel/Palestine. It's a very long campaign, albeit with alot of creativity, so I just played the scenarios that I found relevant for me. Let me comment on some specific scenarios.
For the "LORD OF THE ANIMALS" Scenario:
On Hard I got killed by lions, the volcano, and Homoerectus. On Moderate, I found my villagers and built a house, but the Homoerectus men killed my units. The idea seems to be to get the enemies near some beasts or the volcano, but this seems too tough. I beat it on EASY. I got the gazelle king, then recruited the northern clubman. I drew out the lion king so that the enemies could attack it, but each time that I drew it out more and more I lost a clubman, so that in total I lost three clubman and the enemies lost maybe four or five clubmen. Actually, once I got the villagers, it was relatively easy to group-kill lions and enemies, so I don't know if this was the best tactic. However, following the Walkthrough worked for me. Your villagers are on the far west end. You can only build a house, so foraging is useless. There are Gaia clubmen for you to pick up at the bottom in the South below the gators and one on the left side of the river in the north of the map. The Gator King is mostly hidden by a palm tree in the very south of the map.
For the STORING Scenario:
On HARD, I lost because the red enemy held the ruins for 2000 years. On Moderate, I made a TC by the bushes and deer in the red base, and I broke into the Yellow area and freed the slingers, but the ruins' timer still ran out. I beat it on EASY by getting enough stone and food and making the storage pit and boat before the timer ended.
For the EXTINCTION Scenario:
I beat it on EASIEST. On Hard, I went south and also east from the main site and a mass of enemies at the oasis mobbed me to death. going east is a dead end. Going north and then west got me to the Gaia villagers and one of the ruins but they were not enough to stop the mob. On Moderate, I got the Northwest ruins and villagers. Going directly west though, there were some lion kings who ate me up. I could probably use the tactic of building houses around them and spearing them over the houses with the villagers like the Hints suggest. On Easiest, I had the same problem with king lions in the SW area. I found that I could reach the oasis ruins without fighting enemies by going in a counterclockwise direction around the oasis area's ciffs.
I beat the PAX SAPIENS scenario on EASY. On HARD, Yellow and Brown invaded and Brown took my ruin right away. On Medium, I fought off brown and yellow and built houses around most of my ruin, but then red took it from the south.
I beat the MIGRATING scenario on EASY. On HARD, my units got eaten by the mountain lions. On Medium, my units built a TC, but my priest repeatedly got killed before I could build a barracks.
I beat the RAIDING scenario on MEDIUM. Directly south of your town center, there is a Gaia storage pit with villagers. It's a cool map. I liked finding the other Gaia units. On HARD, I destroyed two granaries and then red soldiers killed my priest.
I beat the AGRICULTURE Scenario on EASIEST. You start with more wood than you need, so focus on food at first. Research your archer armor and woodchopping for the missile bonus. Build a few towers on the east end of my base because blue attacks there about 950 years into blue capturing the ruins. Build a dock on the south area of the river running through the middle vertically. Try to build a storage pit on the north side of the woods to the north of the enemy's north dock on your side of the river. Then you can chop your way through to that dock to fight it. Also build a ferry and send your guys across the river because the ruins are more weakly guarded there. Also, use your villagers to mine the stone patch in the SW of the map or else the blue enemy will. When you get to the far east corner, you should have archers with you because of the priest by the ruins there. On HARD, I trained archers and sent them with my composite bowmen right at the first enemy ruins in the middle and they got massacred by the blue base to the left of that ruins. Then the blue team invaded and smashed my army and villagers. On MODERATE, I set up a little base on the east of the river and went southwest and got the ruins, but the yellow enemy overpowered my little base and the blue enemy sapped my villagers in my main base. Pretty much no attack is going to succeed by me against the blue base because their defenses are so good. On EASY, it was strange because not long into the game, the blue team put a granary near my berry patch and then assaulted my base with a mass of troops and smashed my defenses. On EASIEST the same thing happened with the blue player building a granary by my patches. Maybe if I stopped him first from building the enemy granary he wouldn't storm my base. In the east corner, it seems that the lion trigger doesn't work on Easiest because the lions are too passive, so in effect the enemy won't capture the ruins. In any case, on easiest I got to the east corner in time to keep my Gaia priest there from getting killed. So I was able to get a priest unit as a result.
I beat the DOMESTICATION Scenario on EASY by holding the center area's artifacts. The Scenario is complicated enough that it deserves a separate comment explaining it. I will post it later in the Comments section.
I beat the COPPER AGE Scenario on HARD.
The METAL ALLOYS Scenario is bugged in its Victory Conditions, which need to be fixed to work. The Hints say to give your gold ("copper") to your copper smelters. That's the Orange team. Doing this should theoretically make them make soldiers, because these are your allies with barracks. About 14 minutes into the mission, I gave them almost all my gold... but they never trained soldiers. Looking carefully at the map after using the Reveal Map cheat, I see a large collection of Orange units blocked in on the NW edge of the map. Apparently what happens is that the Orange AI is blocked in there and focuses its building and training there instead of making soldiers in the main part of the map.
This mission started to crash a lot around 1 hour 25 minutes into the match. Maybe it's from having a lot of units on the map. I don't know.
Next on HARD, I fought my way to the far west corner and killed the brown horse archer of the enemy docks and killing him immediately gave me a Defeat for some reason even though that's not mentioned in the instructions. In fact, one of the "Elite Objectives" is to slay that Horse archer and two other enemy heroes. I found a Yellow "artifact" on the west side of the map surrounded by Red walls and I brought it back to my TC on the mainland, but the mission didn't end.
Next, I checked the Editor to see what the problem was. The problem is that Player 1's Objective in the instructions are to destroy the enemy docks and bring the cart back to your home terrain, whereas in the VC menu, P1's only Objective is to move the unit in the far west corner to an unassigned location, since clicking on "Go to Destination" for that VC doesn't go anywhere. This means that the VC for Player 1 is not selected. Further, you cannot win even by Conquest, because killing the enemy in the west corner would violate your VC of bringing that enemy unit to an unselected location. Further, the docks are not chosen in the VCs and Player 5 (your ally) has the same defective VC that you do.
Additionally, the Elite Objective of killing three enemy special units (eg. the cavalry archer) is not sensible, even if the regular VCs were achievable. This is because AOE1 doesn't give you the option of assigning alternative Victory paths except for the Conquest goal (ie. to kill all other enemies or all other players) and maybe the other Global Victory Conditions. Maybe if you use ROCKNROR's triggers you can do this, but I'm inclined to think that the Designer didn't use ROCKNROR because his maps don't seem to use such complicated tricks that go beyond what I would find in the normal Editor. Plus, ROCKNROR's trigger system has seemed good, but also potentially buggy enough that it wouldn't be good for a long tough mission, IMO. I say this based on my overall very positive experience using ROCKNROR.
I beat the GENOCIDE Scenario on MODERATE. On HARD, 12 minutes into the match, enough of the enemies' forces mobbed my base that I couldn't hold them off.
I beat the MINING Scenario on EASY. Send your ships directly east to find the Gaia buildings on the island there. Also, send your land forces directly north/northeast to get to the gold and stone area that is good for making a TC.
Build a tower near your starting dock to protect it from ships and on the west entrance valley to your main base.
You can build a dock on the NE edge of the map north/northeast of your home base and then sail, with a transport of soldiers and a villager to build a dock, up that canal to get to the Teal Emissary. It looks like a tough enemy base (Green), but it does have some stone fenced in if you conquer it. I guess it's best to conquer it after your other areas are safe.
On HARD, I got through Grey's base pretty good, but when I tried to attack Teal, the next place northward, Teal's cavalry crushed my infantry. Fighting Teal is a little confusing because they are supposed to give you a Government Center according to the instructions. Another problem on Hard is that you have only a 50 pop limit, yet you have to fight the Orange warships to your south and also fight Teal, Brown, Red, and others on land. It's been grinding on for over an hour like this, with my fights against Orange and others going at a Turtle pace.
On MODERATE, I tried sending my initial forces directly west, taking down grey's tower, and then building a granary at the berries there, but Teal came in with cavalry and killed my villagers there.
On EASY, about 8 minutes in, one of the two Stone Age tribes changed its status to me to enemy. I don't know why because I didn't choose to attack its units and because it seems from the Hints that it's supposed to be friendly to me. Plus, there are two "Stone Age" tribes and it isn't clear which one changed its stance. I practically defeated Grey and I started a fight with green in the far north corner by going on the causeway, and that got me the GC in the west corner. At 3 hr 12 minutes into the match, I had practically defeated grey, teal, red, and orange, leaving just Brown and Yellow. But I also used up practically all my gold mines, leaving just a spot behind red's wall and the volcano. I also notice that the enemies have mined my stone in the west end. I ended up mining the south side of the volcano.
For the RELIGION Scenario:
The History Note says that Egyptian and Mesopotamian mythology began about 2,000 BC. But this must be mistaken, because the Narmer Palette from 3100 BC shows Horus and Hathor. I beat it on MDOERATE Difficulty. When the mission starts, you can get the stockyards by moving along the NW edge. On MODERATE Difficulty, sometimes the red team builds a granary to the west of their base that blocked the side path around it that I could have taken to go south. Also, later after I left my starting base with my ark and forces, a red centurion goes to the starting base and wipes out my defensive forces there. I got all my sages to all 5 ruins finally, but the mission did not end. Maybe it's because Orange holds the ruins to the east even when you are allied with Orange and get a sage and other soldiers near the ruins. I declared war on Orange and that way I got his ruins and a countdown started for my win. I killed all Green units and yet the green Nomads team didn't die. Only the countdown gave me the win.
I beat the MONOTHEISM Scenario on the EASY Difficulty.
I see three ways to conquer the map: 1. Immediately conquer the blue base, but you have to immediately fend off enemy counterattacks (this strategy failed on Moderate), 2. Conquer a weak enemy like red, or 3. start by building a base in the desert east of the Jordan (This worked for me). You also need to wall in your ark and have some guys next to it. On Moderate, I immediately conquered the blue base (Strategy #1 above), but I kept getting quickly overrun by enemies there. The instructions said that in history the Israelites didn't build towns before invading Canaan. So I thought that the designer expected me to simply invading the Jebusites (city of Jerusalem) at the beginning of the game, instead of building up a base first. But it looks like it's best to build up the base first and then attack the Amorites and only next to go after the Jebusites.
I beat the MACHINES Scenario on the EASIEST setting.
You can't in effect train and use priests to convert enemy villagers, because your temple is walled in. You must train troops to assassinate the enemy leader. Maybe there is a glitch because even if you beat the Cretans via assassination, their timer with the ruin control still counts down. On Moderate Difficulty, I sent 10 horse archers to the Cretan base, they were upgraded with cavalry armor, and succeeded. But they were slaughtered while trying to get back to the boat. The second time around, four soldiers survived (2 elephants, 1 elephant archer and a cavalry). The catapult is in the western map corner and I need to get to it via Anatolia because there is no clear path along the western edge. On EASY, I made 2 archers, 1 elephant, 1 elephant archer, and 6 heavy cavalry. The cavalry got slaughtered with only the elephant and elephant archer surviving, and even then I didn't kill all the enemies by the ruins. Even on EASIEST, my invading forces in Crete weren't able to kill all the enemies by the ruins to stop the countdown. The instructions suggest that you shouldn't need to kill all the forces by the ruins and that the blind priests there are just population fillers. Yet the scenario effectively requires you to stop the timer because of how long it takes to get the catapult to your base. Another time on Easiest, I tried this combination: 5 cavalry, 3 elephant archers, 2 composite archers, all cavalry upgrades. Even with that, I was not able to kill all the units by the ruins. So to beat it, I got to the Greek base via the dock near Anatolia and then brought it back directly south to my waiting transport ship and then back to my base just before the timer ran out.
For the "ALEXANDER THE GREAT" Scenario:
There are actually two versions of this Scenario. One is here in the "Complete Ages of Mankind" Campaign, which you can download on this webpage. Another version is in a separate Campaign file called "Ages of Man Part 3", which has a later version of this Campaign.
After several initial attempts, I gave up playing the "Alexander the Great" version in "The Complete Ages of Mankind" and instead beat the Scenario's "Ages of Man Part 3" version on the EASIEST Difficulty. One of the mission's rules is that the only military building that you can build is the siege workshop, so you need to capture the other kinds of buildings. On MODERATE Difficulty, I captured SW Anatolia. But the countdown didn't give me enough time to take both Phoenicia and another city. So I reloaded the saved game and moved NE instead of taking Phoenicia, and for some reason the Grey team captured an ark and stopped the countdown. I then captured Phoenicia and turned SW to take Egypt, but then a countdown started demanding that I capture the ruins, which I can only do by attacking India. So I took my forces into Green/Iraq, then north into Blue (Persia) and took the NE ruins (India's). Having taken the ruins, I had to double back to take down the rest of Persia, but my forces were annihilated in the attempt. One of the main problems is that you can't heal your forces or add to them with anything besides siege weapons. Playing the ALEXANDER THE GREAT Scenario on EASY, I got through SW Anatolia and crossed the Euphrates, but the countdown didn't stop. I don't know why. So I ran out of time. Maybe the author realized that there is a problem with this scenario, because I notice that in the later, "Ages of Man Part 3" Campaign's version of this scenario, your team starts with an ark so that there is no artifact countdown running against you.
The Designer updated his "Complete Ages of Man" Campaign file with a walkthrough that shows how to stop the artifact and ruin countdowns running against you at the beginning of that version of "Alexander the Great". In the the Complete Age of Man version, you start with 0 gold and a countdown running against you to get an artifact. The Egyptians, Persians, Indians, and Arabs are the only ones holding artifacts. It's simplest to get Egypt's artifact because you can ally with them, and the Designer's walkthrough suggests getting theirs first. To get their artifact, you need to get gold to make a priest to convert the Macedonian docks. The nearest gold is in the west Anatolian base (western Turkey). So first I set Egypt to Ally, had my villagers gather wood, built houses for your priests, then conquered the Western Turkey base and mined their gold. Next, I walked my priest south to the Phoenician docks to capture them (and their stables and archery) without making Orange Macedonia an enemy (which apparently can jumpstart the enemy Ruins' Countdown start if you load a savegame after getting the artifacts). Then I made a transport and sailed it to Egypt and got the ark there. Next I mined the stone and gold in the east of Egypt, and used the Walkthrough's north-west sea-hopping and catapult-tree-bashing strategies to get the northern ruins. So I was able to stop the clock.
Although the walkthrough explains how to stop the countdown in time, there is another barrier to beating this mission. The instructions demand that you capture 4 artifacts, including Arabia's. But if you look at the map in the Editor or with the "Reveal Map" cheat, you can see that Brown Arabia is totally cut off by cliffs and the Persian Gulf's water. Further, the Designer disabled your, Blue Persia's, and Aqua India's abilities to build docks and did not give India or Persia docks on the Persian Gulf. Theoretically, Green Babylon could build a dock on the narrow Euphrates for you to capture. But in the several game tries that I played, from the Easiest to Moderate Difficulties, Babylon did not do that. So you can't build or capture a dock in order to sail to Arabia.
The later version of this Scenario that the Designer made in "Ages of Man Part III" does not have this problem because its instructions say that you need three artifacts (Persia's, Egypt's and India's), and Arabia's is not one of them. Plus, you can build docks in that version.
For the "HANNIBAL'S MARCH" Scenario:
On EASY, I completed the Objective, destroying the Latin Farms, but the game did not end due to a design flaw in the VCs. The alternative Objective, destroying all enemies is also unachievable because the Grey and Orange enemies have unreachable bases in the far left corner. However, I was able to beat the later version of this Scenario in the "Ages of Man Part 3" Campaign, which is a separate Granary file.
HINTS FOR THE HANNIBAL'S MARCH SCENARIO:
The instructions say that you can give resources to the Blue Carthage docks team, but this doesn't seem to do anything. Instead of using your archers to attack the Brown western legion bases, save your archer forces for the Alpine routes. The alpine routes divide around the left/NW Brown fort. It's best to pick a single route and keep your archers together as they take that route. If you take the eastward counterclockwise route, there are towers that you can fight with your ballista engines. On EASY, I sent my archers and ballistas on the eastern counterclockwise route AND freed my priests. At this point, it would have been best had I then taken one priest with archers back along the northern route and taken the siege factory there.
HANNIBAL'S MARCH DESIGN FLAW NOTES:
I destroyed all Latin farms north of the Red base and did not have Allied Victory turned on, and when I destroyed all Latin farms, it says that I am defeated and it gave Victory to the Grey Latin Player. I tried it again and the same thing happened, so it's a real glitch. I turned "Allied Victory" On, and the same thing happened.
I checked the Victory Conditions in the Editor, and the Green Player 6 (You) has no Individual Victory conditions, which means that you can win only using the Standard Victory Conditions, ie. by defeating all enemies, since building a Wonder is disabled. The Grey Latin Player 7's Victory Conditions are to destroy several farms. Grey's VC#9 is to destroy a building, but no building is chosen. I don't think that this problem with VC#9 causes any glitch in ROR though, since Grey Latin was able to win when I destroyed the farms regardless. The Instructions say that you have another, more challenging way to win, which is to kill all your enemies. But in fact, this can't work either. The Kill3,Kill5,Kill6, and Kill8 Commands Killed the Red Roman, Brown,Orange, and Aqua Roman Navy teams. This means that all enemies but Latin Player 7 died. Next, using the Kill7 Command, I killed the Grey Latin Player, but this gave a victory to Grey Latin Player 7 instead of me, since it destroyed his farms.
The Designer must have confused you (Green Player 6) with Grey Player 7, either because Grey Player 7 owns the farms that you must destroy, or because he knew that AOE's Scenario Editor and gameplay program switches around the Players' names and civilizations when the Human Player is among Players 2-8. So he may have thought that Player 7 would get the VCs that belong to you (Green Player 6) during Gameplay. But this is not the case, since the Game engine sticks the VCs with the color of their Player instead of switching them to different colors' players.
Unfortunately, even if the Designer correctly set Green Player 6's VCs to destroying Player 7's farms, you still could not accomplish an "Alternative Objective" of destroying all Roman enemy Players. One reason is that in order to fight Aqua Player 8, you need docks and ships for transportation, but the Designer has not put any enemy docks that you can capture on the continental western Mediterranean shores (eg. southern France and Italy) in order to fight Aqua Player 8. Even if you declared war on your Yellow Spanish ally (Player 3) and capture their docks, you still could not fight the Orange and Grey bases that are set apart on a cliff on the far west/left of the screen. You can see those bases with their Town Centers in the Editor or using the Reveal Map Cheat. I can't see any purpose for the Orange and Grey players to have unreachable bases there. Like I said earlier, I was able to beat the later version of the Scenario in the "Ages of Man Part 3" Campaign, so the Designer probably recognized that the "Complete AoM" version was flawed.
For the "SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY" Scenario:
I beat it on Easy. Here is advice for the player:
Forget about your starting location as a base- you can't take that transport anywhere. If you take your starting group SW along the NW corner of the map, you come to the walled-in Green fort in the west corner. If you break through that wall, there is a path along the western edge of the map that leads to a major Brown base and then to the Orange base, which gives you a free TownCenter.
If you don't go through the walled in Green fort in the eastern corner, you come south to a Brown Outpost base, which is totally enclosed and there is no point in visiting. You can find Archimedes best by going along the western wooded egde of the group of archer-guarded cliffs that are directly south of the north corner. That way you avoid going through the maze of cliffs that are south of the northern corner, as well as the tower guarding the northern approach to Archimedes. Once you get Archimedes, it is worth converting a few Green villagers to the northwest of your Siege Workshop. and then having them take the route that you have just cleared, and then having them mine the stones in the north corner.
You have very limited time, so the best basic thing is to hurry your main group with your priest and ballistas on with your way, sending them through the Green area in the west corner.
Once you get Archimedes to the main base, make as many priests as you can (like 10) to convert the blue ships that go near the mirror towers.
On HARD, I made it with Archimedes down to the brown base with the temple that is on the lower left edge of the map. At that point the enemy priests, about four of them, made a fight with me and I got stuck fighting with them and then the timer came on and ran out. So I retried it and ran past that base. But when I got to the main Orange base on foot, I didn't have enough time to mount a serious defense against the masses of blue ships. I got defeated this way on Moderate too, making only minimally more progress with using my priests to fight the juggernauts. The instructions say that Playing this on a harder difficulty will make your time run out faster. This is a key factor.
On EASY, about 26 minutes in, I got Archimedes past the Brown base in the south and started making priests in the Orange base to fight the Blue ships. I also used Archimedes to convert the Brown Transport on the SW side of the Orange base. I sent almost 10 soliders with 2 priests and villagers to the north side of my Yellow Mirror towers using the Transport. About 37 minutes in, the Blue team declared war on me. It helps alot if you get your transport of soldiers and villagers up to the top section, so that they can repair the mirror towers and also build some more regular towers on the north shore.
For the RISE OF THE GERMANS Scenario:
I beat it on Moderate. On HARD, I took out the Brown and Red enemies and then started fighting the Blue legion soldiers to the south but didn't have enough time before the Roman general got to Rome. I could have focused my attacks on the Blue legion after taking out the Brown enemy, but that is tough to do because the Red enemy is sending lots of siege weapons at you in the meantime.
For the "CTESIPHON" Scenario:
FYI, apparently when you are playing Campaign mode, the program assigns different names to your players, so you as a Designer ideally could adjust for this, but I don't know if this is possible. So for instance, in the Diplomacy menu, my Aqua Player name is given as my own, and Parthian Bandits I is the Blue player. However, when I click on individual units, they are assigned differently in the unit menu in the lower left, so for instance my own units are titled Parthian Bandits I in that unit menu.
On HARD, I started with making alot of horse archers, and they are good against enemy units, but they are pretty weak against the towers. Elephants are good for them. When you go to attack the gate area at the far east corner it's nice to have archers though because you can shoot the cavalry who are above a cliff there. FYI, the Yellow ark is hiding in the small Yellow square walled area in the SW half of the map and can be hard to see.
I got 5 of the 6 artifacts that the Instructions mention and I brought my forces to the outskirts of the Blue base in the South of the map that holds the artifact. Blue is set to ally with me, although I am set to have them as my enemy. At this point, the only way to get to the southern artifact is to attack Blue to break through Blue's walls, and Blue will declare war on me if I attack Blue. So I use a juggernaut naval force, but my 7 ships get leveled because they don't use fireballs like the catapults have that fire at my ships. With more ships of course I could do a better job.
There is a second, critical problem though. Not long after attacking Blue, a message says that Blue won and defeated me. This is strange and the problem repeats if I play from a saved game and attack Blue. The Walkthrough says: "once you have captured your last artifact, your enemies will break out of the center of the map, and you will have to fight your way back to the Persian wonder." It sounds like I did everything right and that the last artifact is the Blue artifact in the South, since by attacking through Blue's base, Blue will declare war on you and you would have to fight your way back home as a result. I checked the Editor and the Blue Player's Objectives are to capture a well at the top of the map (he has it already) and to Destroy Player 2 (Red).
I thought that Red might be surrendering because it was low in resources, so I Tributed a ton of resources to it, like 1000 of Wood, Food, and Stone each. Red was making a ton of villagers with that, as well as soldiers. Yet apparently Blue destroys Player 2 (Red), maybe by Red surrendering due to Blue's much stronger position in terms of buildings, resources, and units.
I edited the Scenario so that I started with 7 juggernauts and a mass of infantry in order to see if the glitch was repeatable. Then when playing my edited version I declared war on Blue, stormed Blue's beach on HARD, and the same thing happened. Somehow Blue got a Victory 2 minutes 50 seconds after I started my "edited" version of the game. Next, I set the difficulty to EASIEST and the same thing happened at 2 min 50 seconds in, so it's not an issue with the Difficulty setting.
For the "ASCENT OF ROME" Scenario:
I beat it on the EASIEST Difficulty. On MODERATE, I took out the Yellow Celts, and then moved my forces to explore Spain and the conquer the tower islands to the West of Italy, but by the time I finished that, Brown and Orange were too strong and beat me. On the EASY Difficulty, I took out the Celts and then moved east to attack Brown with a decent sized bronze age army, but it was not a match for the Brown Germans who have the Choson culture and used ballistas. The hard thing about this scenario is that it is 4 v. 1 (you), although the enemy Carthage is across the sea. The designer's hint is to consider moving to another section of the map to start your town. But to where?
[Edited on 05/11/21 @ 02:15 AM]