|“||Player 1 starts with a Wonder surrounded by walls and must defend it from enemy players or teams to win. All players start in the Imperial Age with all technologies researched and huge stockpiles of resources.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
In Defend the Wonder, Player 1 has a Wonder that must be defended for 250 years. Other players may side with Player 1, but otherwise, they are on a team that tries to break through the defending player's fortifications and destroy the Wonder.
If the Wonder falls, the attackers win, if it stands, the defender(s) win.
Concerning defending civilizations, the ideal are ones with bonuses to their fortifications and access to most or all defensive technologies (especially Architecture), both allowing the defending player to establish a rigid defensive line and deter enemy sieges. Players should establish a bulwark of Castles and/or Bombard Towers that cover strategic spots, while also stuffing them with archers. They should also use units, ranged and melee, to attack enemy invaders. Cavalry and/or Bombard Cannons are preferred when dealing with Trebuchets and enemy Bombard Cannons.
On the other hand, ideal attacking civilizations are ones with potent siege, preferably including gunpowder units and a powerful Imperial Age army, as the game is set in the Post-Imperial Age. They should create as many siege units as fast as possible, and back them with powerful units, in order to shield them from the defending player's counterattacks. Both Siege Rams stuffed with infantry and Trebuchets/Bombard Cannons should do, but it might be wiser to use the second, in order to bypass enemy Castles, among others.
A special mention goes to the Huns, the most beneficial attacking civilization in this game mode, as the time needed to beat Defend the Wonder extends from 250 to 350 years if a Hun player has researched Atheism.
- If Nomad map is chosen, there will be no Wonders in the game and the victory condition will be set to conquest.