Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (often abbreviated to AoC, although the official shorthand is Age2x) is the first expansion pack to the 1999 real-time strategy game Age of Empires II, released on August 24, 2000. It is the fourth installment of the Age of Empires series developed by Ensemble Studios.
The Conquerors features five new civilizations (the Aztecs, Mayans, Spanish, Huns, and Koreans), four new campaigns, 11 new units, 26 new technologies, new gameplay modes, new maps and a few minor changes to the gameplay mechanics.
The Conquerors has new gameplay features and changes such as the game modes Defend the Wonder, King of the Hill, and Wonder Race. New maps were also included which are based on real life geographic locations and new winter and tropical terrain. Also, infantry are able to garrison in rams, increasing their attack and speed, while ships are able to form formations in order to fight more effectively.
Micromanagement is made easier by an improved scripted artificial intelligence of Villagers and siege weapons. Villagers will now automatically start gathering resources if they build resource gathering sites, while siege weapons will not fire if their attack is likely to harm friendly units (though it may not seem like it). Additionally, an in-game option has been added to allow the game to automatically replenish Farms after they are exhausted. Chat commands are introduced in order to communicate more effectively with allied computer players.
The Conquerors adds four additional single player campaigns. These are based on Attila the Hun's rise to power, Montezuma's defense against Hernan Cortez, and the adventures of El Cid. The fourth campaign, Battles of the Conquerors, is actually a group of unrelated single scenarios, each based on a significant historical battle. These include the Battle of Agincourt, the saga of Erik the Red, and the Battle of Hastings, among others.
As of June 2006, The MSN Gaming Zone CD-ROM section was shut down for Age of Empires players, as well as many other CD-ROM games. GameSpy was selected by Microsoft as the official replacement for online play, although alternatives are available such as Voobly. There are several other Age of Empires II: The Conquerors servers worldwide. For example, due to technical reasons most Chinese players play in CGA, which usually has over 6000 online players at a time.
A clan is a community of players within a particular game, and in this case many players in AoC belong to a clan, to get into a clan it usually involves being "recruited". A high-ranked member of a particular clan will invite members to join, joining has its benefits such as giving players a reputation, a virtual gaming "home" in which a user can get downloads, and be filled in on the latest news. Many Clans use a tag system in which a user must reflect the clans "tag". Clans are held together by the players themselves, voobly.com has a clan based profile integrated into their website where the leader of a clan can accept, deny, promote, and demote members of their clan.
Five additional playable civilizations come with The Conquerors, including the Aztec and Mayans, who share a newly created American architectural style:
The Aztecs and Mayans completely lack the ability to train cavalry units. This is partially balanced by the fact that they start with Eagle Warrior infantry units, which have many of the advantages that cavalry have. Both civilizations also lack gunpowder units. They also have a different appearance for their monk as well as the trade carts where a villager pulls them without a horse. There are additional maps where things can be changed or replaced, Jaguars for Wolves, Javelina for Wild Boars, Turkeys for Sheep, Macaws for Hawks, and the Deer remain the same. The Huns are also unique in that they do not build Houses to support their population, allowing them to ignore the maximum production limit of units, and focus on building up their economy and military instead. The Goths also get a population bonus of +10 over the population limit.
The Conquerors introduces twelve additional unique units to Age of Empires II: Age of Kings:
Castle Unique Units
- Jaguar Warrior & Elite Jaguar Warrior (anti-infantry heavy infantry, unique to Aztecs)
- Tarkan & Elite Tarkan (anti-building cavalry, unique to Huns)
- War Wagon & Elite War Wagon (heavily armored horse-drawn archery unit, unique to Koreans)
- Plumed Archer & Elite Plumed Archer (fast foot archers, unique to Mayans)
- Conquistador & Elite Conquistador (mounted hand cannoneers, unique to Spanish).
Secondary Unique Units
- Turtle Ship & Elite Turtle Ship (heavily armored, short-range cannon ships, unique to Koreans, available at the Dock).
- Missionary (swift mounted monks that cannot carry Relics, unique to Spanish, available at the Monastery).
- Eagle Scout (fast moving infantry scouts that are resistant to conversion, available to Mesoamerican civilizations – Aztecs and Mayans).
- Elite Eagle Warrior (an upgrade to the Eagle Warrior).
- Halberdier (an upgrade to the Pikeman).
- Hussar (an upgrade to the Light Cavalry).
- Petard (suicide bomber units that explode upon contact, dealing bonus damage to buildings and siege units, can be trained at the Castle for all civilizations).
Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, Attila the Hun, Bleda the Hun, Charles Martel, El Cid Campeador, Scythian Wild Woman, Pope Leo I, Imam, Nobunaga, King Sancho, Erik the Red, Harald Hardraade, William the Conqueror, Henry V, and King Alfonso.
The Conquerors introduces nineteen unique technologies, and seven normal technologies to Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, in total adding twenty-six new technologies. These technologies can be purchased from various in-game buildings, most notably the Castle (which now being able for the player to research the unique technology or technologies of the civilization), and give the player an additional bonus depending on the technology. These technologies are researched in different buildings in the game.
|Caravan(requires Cartography)||III||Market||200F 200G||Trade Carts and Trade Cogs move 50% faster.|
|Herbal Medicine||III||Monastery||350G||Garrisoned units heal 4x faster.|
|Heresy||III||Monastery||1000G||Units converted by enemy Monks die instead of joining the opposing player.|
|Theocracy||IV||Monastery||400F 800G||Only one Monk in a group must rest after a conversion.|
|Thumb Ring||III||Archery Range||300F 250W||Archers and cavalry archers fire faster and with 100% accuracy.|
|Parthian Tactics||IV||Archery Range||200F 250G||Cavalry Archers and Mangudai have +1/+2.|
|Bloodlines||II||Stable||150F 100G||Mounted units have +20 HP.|
- Aztecs – Garland Wars: infantry +4 melee attack (Imperial Age).
- Britons – Yeomen: foot archers (including Skirmisher line) +1 range; towers +2 pierce attack (Imperial Age).
- Byzantines – Logistica: (Elite) Cataphract +6 attack vs. infantry; 5 trample damage per attack in 0.5 tile radius (Imperial Age).
- Celts – Furor Celtica: Siege Workshop units +50% HP (Imperial Age).
- Chinese – Rocketry: Chu Ko Nu +2 pierce damage for main projectile; Scorpion line +4 pierce damage (Imperial Age).
- Franks – Bearded Axe: (Elite) Throwing Axeman + 1 range (Imperial Age).
- Goths – Anarchy: can create Huskarls from the Barracks (Castle Age).
- Goths – Perfusion: Barracks ×2 work speed (Imperial Age).
- Huns – Atheism: Wonder/Relic victory +100 year; Spies/Treason cost halved (Imperial Age).
- Japanese – Kataparuto: Trebuchets fire 33% faster; pack/unpack 4× times faster (Imperial Age).
- Koreans – Shinkichon: Mangonel line +2 range (Imperial Age).
- Mayans – El Dorado: Eagle Warrior line +40 HP (Imperial Age).
- Mongols – Drill: Siege Workshop units +50% speed (Imperial Age).
- Persians – Mahouts: War Elephants +30% speed (Imperial Age).
- Saracens – Zealotry: Camel, Heavy Camel, (Elite) Mameluke +30 HP (Imperial Age).
- Spanish – Supremacy: Villagers +40 HP, +6 melee damage, +2/+2 armor (Imperial Age).
- Teutons – Crenellations: Castles +3 range; garrisoned infantry fire arrows (Imperial Age).
- Turks – Artillery: Bombard Cannons, Bombard Towers, (Elite) Cannon Galleon +2 range (Imperial Age).
- Vikings – Berserkergang: Berserks ×2 regeneration speed (0.33 → 0.66 HP/sec) (Imperial Age).
This changelog includes changes made only in The Conquerors itself:
- (Heavy) Cavalry Archers: movement speed decreased from 1.43 to 1.4 tiles per second.
- (Elite) Mangudai: movement speed increased (1.43 → 1.45 tiles/sec), accuracy decreased (100% → 95%), reload time increased (2 → 2.1 sec; Mongols civilization bonus not included).
- (Elite) Mameluke: movement speed decreased (1.41 → 1.4 tiles/sec); infantry armor class replaced with archer armor class; receive camels & ship armor class; +11 armor vs. anti-cavalry attacks.
- Ranged non-melee damage units, towers, and Castles now deal bonus damage vs. spearmen-line.
- The Camel and the Heavy Camel move slightly faster (1.4 → 1.45 tiles/sec).
- Cataphracts: +12/16 (regular/elite) armor vs. anti-cavalry attacks; attack reload time: 2/2 → 1.8/1.7; training time reduced (23 → 20 sec).
- The Bombard Cannon is significantly improved, being given a +20 bonus vs. siege units. It also has more hitpoints (50 → 80 HP), has a faster projectile speed (3.5 → 4 tiles/sec) and no longer requires the Bombard Cannon research (it becomes available immediately after researching Chemistry).
- (Change identical to patch 2.0a for The Age of Kings) Town Centers no longer gain range, only damage and LOS. (However, the tool tips of the Fletching, Bodkin Arrow and Bracer researches have not been updated as the description for them still mentions an increase to a Town Center's range.) This was done to promote the usage of units to fight, instead of buildings, and to balance aggressive vs. defensive strategies. With long ranged Town Centers, the defensive strategies were very strong. Also, the Teutonic Town Center bonus now only increases the Line of Sight of Town Centers due to multiplayer difficulties. In addition, the cost of Town Centers now require 275 wood, 100 stone while also take longer to construct (100 → 150 sec).
- Outposts now require only 25 wood, 10 stone (stone cost: 25 → 10), while also have increased LOS (+2 LoS, meaning 4 → 6 LoS in Dark Age).
- Both Elite and non-elite Janissary attack has been increased (15/18 → 17/22), but accuracy decreased from 55% to 50% and anti-infantry bonus removed (used to be +4/+8 for regular/elite in The Age of Kings).
- The Hand Cannoneer receives increased anti-infantry bonus (+8 → +10) and no longer requires a specific research.
- Huskarls have improved speed (0.9 → 1.05 tiles/sec), pierce armor (4/6 → 6/8 for regular/elite) and anti-archer attack bonus (+3/4 → +6/10).
- Spearmen, Pikemen and Halberdiers have their attack bonus against Camels and Mamelukes (camels, ships and saboteurs technically) reduced (15 → 7 for Spearmen, 22 → 11 for Pikemen) as Camels have cavalry armor class replaced with ship armor class. Subsequently, Camels now receive bonus damage from Town Centers, towers, Castles, and ships.
- Mangonel/Onager line units move faster (0.5 → 0.6 tiles/sec), have increased projectile speed (2.9 → 3.5 tiles/sec, but not with Chemistry) and have lower projectile arc (0.6 → 0.4), and possess bonus +12 anti-siege weapons damage. Their AI is also improved so they are less likely to fire if their shots may injure friendly or allied units.
- Samurai now move faster (0.9 → 1 tiles/sec), receive +1 pierce armor (0 → 1), shorter reload time (2 → 1.9 sec; Japanese civilization bonus not included) and increased anti-unique unit bonus damage (5/6 → 10/12 for regular/elite).
- Scorpion line units have increased attack range (5 → 7), but are no longer affected by Blacksmith upgrades. Fire delay is increased from 0 to 0.21 sec and minimum range increased from 1 to 2.
- Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, and Hussar are given bonus damage against Monks (6 for Scouts and 10 for Light Cavalry) and are now more resistant to conversion (3 → 8 conversion resistance).
- Militia, Men-at-Arms, Long Swordsman, Two-Handed Swordsman, Champion, and Berserk receive +1 pierce armor (0 → 1).
- Woad Raider receive +1 pierce armor (0 → 1) and are trained faster (16 → 10 sec).
- All infantry (except Militia) now deal bonus damage vs. Eagle Warriors.
- A new cheat that was not in The Age of Kings appears as "Furious the Monkey Boy".
- Ships can now be arranged in various formations similar to ground units.
- Infantry and archers can garrison within a Ram for protection. Garrisoned infantry will also make it move faster (+0.05 tiles/sec for every garrisoned infantry unit) and do more damage (+10 building damage per unit).
- Villagers now go automatically to work after they build the appropriate buildings (Lumber Camp for wood, Mill for food, Mining Camp for gold and stone), after they build the required building and the resources associated to that building would be in Line of Sight of the villager it will automatically start the gathering.
- Relics generate more gold.
- Population Limit can be changed in the Scenario Editor.
- When being attacked, or sending a message, the color represents the team that is attacking or sending the message.
- Spoken dialogue from the characters appears in the message section.
- Heroes cannot be converted at all, automatically heal themselves, have protected formation and have default defensive stance.
- Wonders that appear at the start that would not be considered as a count down do not mark a [W] next to the team name in the statistics, nor be shown across the map, nor be counted as having been constructed.
- Palisade Walls are unaffected by the Torpedo Cheat.
- Some objects have a different design.
Further balance changes were introduced in patch 1.0b.