|This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires II. For other appearances of the faction in the series, see Chinese.|
The Chinese are an East Asian civilization in Age of Empires II. Like their predecessors, they are descendants of the Shang civilization, which inhabited the same area. The Chinese civilization is based on the Tang, Song and Ming dynasties of medieval China. In the game, they focus on archers.
The aforementioned dynasties were best known for their economic sophistication, unprecedented technological innovations, and highly populated cities that accommodated millions of people. By the 1200s, the Song dynasty hosted a population of almost 100 million people with a sophisticated medieval economic system boasting the use of paper money, a maritime shipping power having the largest mercantile fleet in the world patrolling the South China Seas, and a strong industrial steel manufacturing capacity. To reflect these achievements and for being one of the civilizations that suffered the least during the Dark Ages, they start with extra Villagers and their Town Centers support a higher population. Although they have fewer resources to compensate, allied Farms produce extra food (which reflects on the importance of rice agriculture in China). The unique unit of the Chinese is the Chu Ko Nu, a foot archer wielding the eponymous semi-automatic crossbow invented by the Chinese that would load a new bolt simultaneously as soon as the last one was fired. Chu Ko Nu fire multiple arrows at once and, if employed en masse, they can wreak havoc on infantry and even cavalry.
Due to game balance reasons, the Chinese lack access to many of the technologies they invented, such as the Hand Cannoneer, Bombard Cannon, and Block Printing (the earliest record of a written formula for gunpowder appears in the 11th century Song dynasty text, Wujing Zongyao, the Heilongjiang Hand Cannon is widely considered the earlier surviving firearm, and the Block Printing technology in Age of Empires II even tributes the Chinese by name). However, in update 34699, they were given Block Printing (mostly as a compensation to the nerf to their extra three villagers in Nomad maps). Their unique technology, Rocketry, reflects their advanced gunpowder technology and boosts their Chu Ko Nu and Scorpions (by adding +2 and +4 attack respectively) to offer some limited compensation. The Chinese have a long history of using Demolition Ships in naval battles, and as such their Demolition Ships have 50% more hit points which allows them to reach their targets easier. Finally, the Chinese can research technologies more cheaply than any other civilization, due to being one of the most advanced civilizations during the time frame of Age of Empires II.
Overview[edit | edit source]
The Chinese are a very versatile civilization with an overall solid technology tree. Their infantry have all technologies but lack Supplies and foot archers get all the upgrades they could want, and their cavalry is also solid despite missing two final tier upgrades (Paladin and Hussar). The Siege Workshop is average, but their Scorpions get a great attack boost with Rocketry. Their navy is average missing the Fast Fire Ship and Elite Cannon Galleon, but they get fully upgradable Galleons. Their Monks are average, their defenses very good, and their economy is average technology tree-wise, but their +3 Villagers at the game start give them a notable kick start.
Campaign appearances[edit | edit source]
The Chinese are the playable civilization in the Langshan Jiang (renamed to Lake Poyang in the Definitive Edition) scenario from the Battles of the Forgotten campaign. They also appear as allies or enemies in:
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Unique unit[edit | edit source]
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Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]
Team bonus[edit | edit source]
Changelog[edit | edit source]
The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]
The Conquerors[edit | edit source]
The Forgotten[edit | edit source]
Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]
In-game dialogue language[edit | edit source]
In-game, Chinese units anachronistically speak modern Mandarin (Chinese: 普通話, Hanyu Pinyin: Pǔtōnghuà), instead of Old Mandarin as spoken in the timespan between the 12th and 14th centuries, more appropriate for Age of Empires II's pre-Qing Chinese civilization.
AI player names[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
China was reunited in 581 AD after a long period of internal war by the founders of the Sui dynasty. For most of the 1000 years that followed, China was one of the largest and most advanced civilization in the world. Because of its geographic isolation from the West, it was able to develop and maintain a unique culture that spread its influence over much of Asia.
An emperor generally held supreme power as the son of heaven. Natural disasters or other calamities were taken as proof that the mandate of heaven had been withdrawn, however, and could justify revolt. Mandarins were conservative civil servants who operated most of the government at the local, province, and imperial level. Mandarins earned their positions by passing detailed civil service examinations based mainly on the works of Confucius.
The T’ang dynasty ruled China from 618 to 907. China under the T’ang was large, wealthy, and powerful. There was extensive foreign trade and interest in the arts among the upper class. Printing and gunpowder were invented. The last 100 years of T’ang rule witnessed tumultuous peasant revolts, however, and wars between local military rulers that the imperial court could not end. The years from 907 to 960 were known as the Five Dynasties period. Northern China was held by barbarians, and southern China split into 10 rival states. From one of these, an army general named Zhao Kuang-ying seized power and unified the southern states, founding the Song dynasty. His descendants reunited China within 20 years.
The Song dynasty ruled at least part of China until 1279. This was another period of cultural brilliance, and it was considered the great age of Chinese landscape painting. There was a dramatic improvement in economic activity, including a large overseas trade. Population and cities grew, food production grew faster than population, a money economy developed, and industrial output increased. No city in Europe could approach the populations of Chang An, Beijing, and Guang Zhou, all with more than 2 million inhabitants.
The wealth of China attracted enemies, however, and the Mongols began attacks in 1206. By 1279 they had completed the conquest of Song China and moved the capital to Beijing. The dramatic economic improvement of the Song dynasty ended with the Mongol conquests and the estimated 30 million deaths that they caused. The Mongol Yuan dynasty reunited China and reestablished it as a great military and world power. Chinese influence was spread into Asia. Hanoi was captured three times and tribute was extracted from Burma. Trade with India, Arabia, and the Persian Gulf was developed. Marco Polo visited China during this period.
Natural disasters and higher taxes in the fourteenth century caused rural rebellions. A Buddhist monk rose to be one of the leaders of the Red Turbans, a secret society opposed to the emperor in Beijing. The rebels seized Nanjing in 1356 and drove the Mongols from Beijing 12 years later, establishing the Ming dynasty. The Ming presided over another cultural flowering and established a political unity that outlasted the Ming and continued into the twentieth century. The Ming clamped down a strict conservatism and isolation, however, discouraging change and innovation, banning foreign travel, and closing the Silk Road.
Some of the most noteworthy aspects of medieval China are the technologies that were invented there, usually many centuries before a similar technology was invented in, or transmitted to, the West. Important Chinese inventions included the compass, the wheelbarrow, the abacus, the horse harness, the stirrup, the clock, iron-casting, steel, paper, moveable type (printing), paper money, gunpowder, and the stern-post rudder.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
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Video overview[edit | edit source]
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