Age of Empires Series Wiki

Managing an economy under pressure is one of the hardest skills to master in this game, yet it is one of the most important ones as well. Parry the enemy attacks and prove that you can reach the Castle Age unscathed.

Defending Against A Rush is one of the two possible third scenarios of The Art of War in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. As the name suggests, it challenges the player to maintain their economy while repelling multiple enemy attempts to rush their base.


You are not the only one who will be raiding. Your opponent will not hesitate to attack when and where weakest. Therefore, you must use your skills to defend your people and train your peasants to defend themselves.

Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend, and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack,' Sun Tzu wrote.

Show strength where you are weak. Wherever the enemy attacks, show him that you are ready to repel his soldiers. Be ready and prepared, Commander, for now it is up to you.

Video instruction[]

The enemy player will usually not stand idle while you build your empire. Learning how to maintain growth while under pressure from enemy attacks is vital to your empire's survival.

As you can see, your base is surrounded by impassible objects such as trees, mines, and forage bushes. These will act as a natural barrier between your units and those of the enemy. However, in between them are gaps through which the enemy can advance through. To defend your base, you will need to use your villagers to build walls, gates, and buildings to close these gaps. Like this.

When the enemy sends in their military units, your top priority is to protect your Villagers. Ringing the bell of your Town Center is an option, but it will paralyze your economy. Instead, just garrison the villagers that are in immediate danger.

A Watch Tower offers both protection for your villagers and defense for your base. Make sure enemy units cannot get within one tile of your tower, however. Your towers cannot shoot at units adjacent to them until you research Murder Holes in the Castle Age.

Pre-Castle Age units like Militia, Men-at-Arms, Spearmen, Scout Cavalry, Archers, and Skirmishers are not strong enough to destroy a base on their own. Instead, they are used to harass and kill enemy villagers to damage the enemy economy. During such an early rush, it is possible to fight back. If you have more villagers than the enemy has military units, or if you have military units of your own, use them to fight the invaders. Focus on the enemy's units with low hit points first. Villagers do not fight automatically, so you must manage them carefully.

I hear an enemy approaching. Go to the challenge and fend off their attack.

Scenario instructions[]

Main objectives[]

  • Advance to the Castle Age, but beware of enemy attacks.


  1. Keep training new Villagers.
  2. It is possible to fight back with Villagers if your opponent's units are weak, but try to avoid engagements where you are outmatched.
  3. Watch Towers are a great way to defend your economy, but they are also a big investment. Always make sure that melee units cannot approach them, either. Until you research Murder Holes your towers cannot fire at adjacent enemy units.


Your scouts report:

  • We are facing one enemy player (2, red). We do not know much about him, but we expect him to attack our base at any moment.
  • Many of our mines are located in the south, exposed to the enemy.
  • The gaps in the south of our base can be easily closed off with buildings or walls.


Gold: Complete the scenario in 8 minutes
Silver: Complete the scenario in 11 minutes
Bronze: Complete the scenario in 15 minutes


Follow the voice-over's instructions, making sure to wall up the small gaps in the treeline leading into the base. Making more towers than the ones the player starts with is not necessary, but can be helpful. Palisade Walls combined with strategically placed Houses should be enough to delay the rush attempts long enough to retaliate. Villagers can repair the walls faster than they can be destroyed, and doing so can further delay the opponent.

The opponent mostly uses Scout Cavalry and Men-at-Arms, so take advantage of the Koreans' wood discount by producing Spearmen and Archers to counter them.