Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India is the third expansion for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Unlike the previous two expansions, it features three new civilizations (Bengalis, Dravidians, and Gurjaras) instead of two, a reworking of an existing civilization (see below) in addition to three new campaigns for the Bengalis, Dravidians, and Tatars/Hindustanis.
There are three new campaigns in Dynasties of India:
- Babur (Tatars/Hindustanis) - Nearly a century after Tamerlane's death, his descendants are still fighting for supremacy in Transoxiana and Persia. The youngest among them is Zahir ud-Din Muhammad – also known as Babur, 'the tiger'. He dreams of restoring the crumbled empire, but another wave of invading horsemen from the northern steppes is about to change everything. In this campaign, you will play as the Tatars and Hindustanis.
- Devapala (Bengalis) - Guided by the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, Devapala rules a rich and vibrant empire. However, as dangerous rivals threaten his realm, the ambitious emperor finds it increasingly difficult to balance his policies with his morals. Will the ends ultimately justify the means, or will Devapala's quest for his own enlightenment and that of his subjects fail? In this campaign, you will play as the Bengalis.
- Rajendra (Dravidians) - The dread of inevitable corruption plagues the ambitious Rajendra Chola as he navigates the harsh political climate of south India. Can Rajendra escape moral decay as he expands the empire that he inherited from his father, or is his fear of corruption the true enemy within? In this campaign, you will play as the Dravidians.
This expansion adds three new civilizations with the South Asian architecture set and reworks the existing Indians as Hindustanis.
- Bengalis – Navigate the winding rivers and dense jungles of Bengal as you build a thriving economy to fuel unstoppable armies of elephants. The Bengali unique unit is the Ratha, a sturdy chariot that can switch between melee and ranged attack modes.
- Dravidians - Seize control of the lucrative Indian Ocean trade routes and utilize advanced metallurgy as you build one of the wealthiest sea empires of medieval Asia. The Dravidian unique units are the Urumi Swordsman, a warrior wielding a scathing flexible sword, and the Thirisadai, a massive vessel that dominates the high seas.
- Gurjaras - Ride swift mounts across the fertile fields and open plains of western India and unleash diverse armies of sturdy warriors upon your enemies. The Gurjara unique units are the Shrivamsha Rider, a speedy cavalry unit that can dodge enemy attacks, and the Chakram Thrower, an infantry unit that unleashes volleys of deadly metal discs.
- Hindustanis - Stake your claim to populous, diverse lands and lucrative trade routes as you parry foreign invasions – or step into the invader's shoes yourself. The Hindustani unique units are the Ghulam, a heavily armored infantry unit adept against masses of archers, and the Imperial Camel Rider, a powerful unique upgrade to the Heavy Camel Rider.
- Camel Scout: First Stable unique unit of the Gurjaras, predecessor of the Camel Rider that is available in the Feudal Age.
- Chakram Thrower: Castle unique unit of the Gurjaras, infantry with ranged melee attack.
- Ghulam: Castle unique unit of the Hindustanis, infantry that thrusts its spear through multiple targets.
- Ratha: Castle unique unit of the Bengalis, cavalry that can switch between melee and ranged attack.
- Shrivamsha Rider: Second Stable unique unit of the Gurjaras, light cavalry that can dodge ranged attacks.
- Thirisadai: Dock unique unit of the Dravidians, massive warship that fires multiple projectiles at once, only available in the Imperial Age.
- Urumi Swordsman: Castle unique unit of the Dravidians, infantry that can charge its attack.
- Armored Elephant: Siege cavalry that replaces the Battering Ram line for the South Asian civilizations, available at the Siege Workshop once the Castle Age is reached. - Siege Elephant: An upgrade of the Armored Elephant available at the Siege Workshop once the Imperial Age is reached.
- Elephant Archer: Heavy cavalry archer with low speed but very high hit points, available at the Archery Range once the Castle Age is reached. The former unique unit of the Indians. - Elite Elephant Archer: An upgrade of the Elephant Archer available at the Archery Range once the Imperial Age is reached.
- Caravanserai: Unique building of the Hindustanis that heals and makes Trade Carts move faster in a 20 tile square.
- This is the first expansion in the Definitive Edition to drastically rework an existing civilization (the Indians being reworked into Hindustani), changing its name, campaign, and unique unit among others. It is also the first expansion since The Last Khans to introduce more than two new civilizations.
- The expansion was announced on April 14th, 2022, coinciding with the celebrations of Puthandu (Tamil New Year) and Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year).
- Each new civilization covers one of the factions involved in the Tripartite Struggle or Kannauj Triangle Wars in India during the 8th and 9th centuries: the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire, the Bengali Pala Empire, and the Rashtrakuta Empire (who spoke Kannada, a Dravidian language). Contemporary sources said that the Pratiharas had the best cavalry, the Palas the best elephants, and the Rashtrakutas the best infantry, mirroring the strengths of their respective in-game counterparts.
- For their part, the Hindustanis more closely resemble the Persianized Muslim sultanates that appeared in northern India after the Ghaznavid invasions in the 11th century, with the gunpowder bonus being an obvious reference to the "gunpowder empire" of the Mughals. Hindustan is the name of India in Persian and Hindi-Urdu.