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This article is about the scenario in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. For other uses, see Early Economy.

A good start is half the battle. Train yourself to build an effective Dark Age economy in order to gain an early advantage over your opponent.

Early Economy is the first scenario of The Art of War in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. It tests the player's skill on managing their economy early in the game, with a focus on effective sheep gathering and boar luring.


Sun Tzu teaches us not only how to engage our enemies but also how to manage logistics. An army cannot fight without proper supplies. Without food, arrows, and arms, an army cannot stand its ground.

In the words of Sun Tzu: 'Bring war material with you from home, but forage in enemy territory. Then the army will have enough food to survive.'

Let us see if you understand this advice.

Video instruction[]

As you grow your civilization, it's important to start off on the right foot. A thriving early economy will allow you to reach the Feudal Age in a strong position from which you can continue to grow and ably battle your opponent.

We'll start off with gathering food from our sheep. It is important to note that all animals decay after you harvest food from them. Make sure not to kill all your animals at once. We will focus all our villagers on a single sheep and, once they are done harvesting meat, move them all together to the next one. This minimizes the food decay.

When gathering resources, it is important to not lose too much time walking to the nearest gather point. Make sure to place your Mills, lumber camps, mining camps, and town centers close to resources. You can also queue up multiple tasks for your Villagers by holding down the Shift key when assigning tasks. This is a new feature in the Definitive Edition.

The last lesson is a dangerous one, so pay attention. Boars are difficult to hunt. They are far away and fight back fiercely when you try to hunt them. However, it is possible to lure a boar back to your town center and kill it safely. Before we do this, we may want to research Loom at the Town Center, as it makes our Villagers much stronger. Next, select one Villager. Then right-click on a nearby boar to hunt it. Watch closely as the Villager shoots it twice. Now the boar is properly aggravated and is charging at the villager. Task your villager to run back towards the safety of your Town Center. Once the Boar is close to the town center, have other nearby villagers shoot the boar to kill it.

Excellent. Dinner is served.

Scenario instructions[]

Main objectives[]


  1. To earn a medal for this challenge, you must vigilantly manage your Villagers at all times so they are not idle, and assure that your Town Center never stops producing Villagers.
  2. If you are having a trouble with this challenge, observe your ally – he has done this before.
  3. To lure a Boar, send one Villager to shoot it twice. If you only shoot it once, it may not follow you the entire way back. After you have shot it for the second time, task your Villager to return to the Town Center. Once the Boar is close to the Town Center, task your other Villagers to kill it.
  4. Killing an animal with a military unit or building like a Town Center or a Watch Tower—anything that is not a Villager—will spoil the meat and you will not be able to harvest it.
  5. You will need at least six Villagers collecting food to keep your Town Center training Villagers at all times.


Your scouts report:

  • Your small Dark Age settlement is populated by three Villagers and a Scout Cavalry.
  • Your allies (2, Yellow) live to the south. A river separates their village from yours.


Gold: Complete the scenario in 8 minutes
Silver: Complete the scenario in 10 minutes
Bronze: Complete the scenario in 13 minutes


Follow the instructions given by the voice-over, making sure to gather all the Sheep as early as possible while minimizing food decay. As mentioned in the hints, keeping the Town Center active as frequently as possible will require at least six Villagers collecting food at all times.