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Exploration (Discoveries before Return of Rome) is the third scenario in the Ascent of Egypt campaign in Age of Empires.

The overall concept of this scenario is two things, to introduce the player on gathering secret objects as an alternative to victory, with the other being military conquest.

Scenario instructions[]

Description[]

NuRoR scout idle
Island in the Nile Delta, 8000 BCE

As your hunters venture out, they begin to encounter other cultures to the west, along the Mediterranean Coast. You have sent parties of explorers to search the borderlands to learn about these people whom you call Libyans. According to legends, there are sacred sites nearby. These can be recognized by the shape of a white horse etched into the ground.
—In-game section

6500 BC

Hunter/gatherers in the Nile Delta and along the river have begun encountering other cultures located to the south up the Nile, to the west along the Mediterranean Coast, and to the northeast into the Sinai and beyond. Parties of explorers are searching the borderlands. You have been sent into a region to the west toward people called the Libyans. According to legend, there are several sacred sites in the area near your campsite. The sacred sites are known as Discoveries and can be recognized by the figure of a white horse etched into the ground. Find the five Discoveries before the encroaching Libyans do.
—In-game section

Tutorial[]

EXPLORING THE MAP
To explore the map, select one or more Villagers and then right-click a location on the map.
SELECTING VILLAGERS
To select several Villagers, left-click-and-drag the cursor over the Villagers you want to select (or hold down the CTRL key and select each Villager). If you want to assign them a group hotkey to find them more easily, hold the CTRL key and press a number to assign to the group. The group number appears next to each unit in the group. To select a group, press the number key assigned to that group.
CONTROLLING RUINS
Ruins are ancient structures resembling Stonehenge that were built by now-lost cultures and bring prestige to the civilization that controls them. Ruins are controlled by the last civilization to move a Villager, military unit, or boat nearby, and will take on that civilization's player color. They can be captured by another civilization. Ruins cannot be destroyed.

GROUPING UNITS
To group units, click and drag the pointer over the units you want to group (or hold down the CTRL key and click each unit). To assign a number to a group, select a group, hold down the CTRL key and press the number you want to assign to the group. For example, to assign the number 2 to a group, press CTRL+2. The number will appear on each unit in the group. Once a group has been assigned a number, you can just press that number to select it. To add units to a group, select the unit or units you want to add to the group. Hold down the SHIFT key and press the number of the group you want to add to the unit or units to (this causes both the group and the new units to be selected). Then hold down the CTRL key and press the number of the group you want to add the unit or units to.
EXPLORING THE MAP
To explore the map, click a villager (or group) and then click a location in the fog of war. When your units get close to the fog of war it will start to recede and the terrain and units in it, previously hidden, will be revealed.
FINDING DISCOVERIES
Discoveries are in the shape of a white horse and can be controlled by multiple civilizations. To "capture" the Discovery, a unit must walk through or right next to it. Once the unit is in contact with the Discovery, a flag will rise above it. The color of the flag corresponds to the color of the unit that captures the Discovery.

Starting conditions[]

Objective[]

  • Find 5 Ruins before the Libyans find them all.

    • Find the five Discoveries before the Libyans find them.

Hints[]

  1. Create more Villagers for additional protection against predators and hostile people as you explore the map in search of the Ruins.
  2. Remember, to create new Villagers, you must hunt or forage for food and chop wood to build additional Houses to support them.
  3. After you have created several Villagers, you can group them and explore the map in search of the five Ruins.
  4. If enemy units or predators attack you, retaliate with your group of Villagers, and then resume your search for the Ruins as quickly as possible.

    1. The more villagers you create, the more protection you have from predators and hostile people as you explore the map in search of the Discoveries.
    2. You must hunt or forage for food to create new villagers and chop wood to build additional Houses to support the new villagers. After you have created several villagers, you can group them and explore the map in search of the five Discoveries.
    3. If you are attacked by the enemy units or predators (Lions or Crocodiles), retaliate with your group of villagers, and then resume your search for the Ruins[sic] as quickly as possible. For example, if you kill a predator, don't stop to gather the food from its carcass.

  • The more villagers you create, the more protection you have from predators and Libyan attack as you explore the map in search of the Discoveries.
  • You must hunt or forage for food to create new villagers and chop wood to build additional Houses to support new villagers. After you have created several villagers, you can group them and explore the map in search of the five Discoveries.
  • If you are attacked by the enemy Libyans or predators (lions or alligators), retaliate with your group of villagers, and then resume your search for the Discoveries as quickly as possible. For example, if you kill a predator, don't stop to gather the food from its carcass.

Players[]

Player[]

  • Player (Egyptians AoE Egyptians): The player starts with Villager (three in Return of Rome) and a Town Center in the west of the map.

Enemies[]

  • Libyans (Egyptians AoE Egyptians): The Libyans start with a few Stone Age military units north and south of the player.

  • Enemy (Minoans AoE Minoans): The enemy (whose name is picked randomly from the pool of Minoan AI names) starts with a Scout and a Town Center in the east of the player, behind the cliffs. The Minoans are passive.

Strategy[]

Note
This text applies to the original release.

This campaign requires careful scouting and exploration in order to ensure a complete victory. The Libyans are situated near the center of the map but prove no harm to the player's initial village since they are set to defensive and consists of only one Scout and a Town Center. As long as any unit does not approach the Libyans, no harm would be done. The key here is pretty much the number of Food and Villagers the player has in their disposal.

The five Discoveries are located in the following directions:

  • Discovery 1 is located just to the left of the player's settlement.
  • Discovery 2 is located at the top corner of the map.
  • Discovery 3 is located at the bottom corner of the map.
  • Discovery 4 is located at the center of the map.
  • Discovery 5 is located at the right corner of the map.

History[]

Historical notes[]

Human populations around the world expanded following the end of the last Ice Age and gradually settled in the locations where food was plentiful. Once the better spots were taken, competition began over Who would hold these locations. A good Site might mean the difference between survival or death during a drought.

Geographic features took on special meaning to those groups settled permanently in an area. Waterfalls or interestingly shaped rock faces, for example, might have special properties associated with them. Ownership of these features was a source of pride for the group. Loss of control to neighbors might have been a blow to the unity or strength of the group.

Prehistoric peoples had an affinity for the natural world that is not found in sedentary cultures. Awareness of what was going on around them was critical to the survival of a family group or tribe. Prehistoric peoples knew the territory around them well and could orientate themselves using geographic landmarks. Exploring and making new discoveries may have been pleasurable, but it was also a necessity.
—In-game section

Victory[]

Your band of explorers has discovered the sacred Sites and pushed back the invaders from the west. You do not believe this is the last you will see of these Libyans, however.
—In-game section

Loss[]

After your failure, the Libyans drove your people from their homes in the Nile Delta. Your tribe is now forced to wander the desert wastes in search of a new land. You had better start praying to the rain god.
—In-game section

Historical notes[]

Human populations around the world expanded following the end of the Ice Age and gradually settled in the locations where food was plentiful. Once the better spots were taken, competition began over who would hold these locations. A good site might have meant the difference between survival or not during a drought.

Geographic features took on special meaning to those groups settled permanently in an area. Waterfalls or interestingly shaped rock faces, for example, might have special properties associated with them. Ownership of these features was a source of pride for the group. Loss of control to neighbors might have been a blow to the unity or strength of the group.

Prehistoric peoples had an affinity for the natural world that city dwellers of today cannot appreciate. It was critical to the survival of a family group or tribe that they be aware of what was going on around them at all times. They knew the territory around them for miles like we know the inside of our homes. Exploring and searching may have been pleasurable, but it was also a necessity.
—In-game section

Historical outcome[]

The indigenous people of the Nile Valley pushed back the invaders from the west and maintained control of the river. The Egyptians were destined to become rich and powerful while the Libyans remained a barbaric culture for thousands of years. The Libyans were heard from again, however.
—In-game section

Campaigns in Age of Empires
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DE: NuRoR clubman attack Claiming Territory · NuRoR bowman idle Acropolis · NuRoR cavalry idle The Conquest of Crete · NuRoR hoplite attack The Trojan War · NuRoR heavy transport idle Colonization of Ionia · NuRoR phalanx walk The Siege of Athens · NuRoR centurion attack Xenophon's March · NuRoR alexander attack Alexander the Great
NuRoR priest idle Voices of BabylonNuRoR priest converting The Holy Man (Holy Man originally) · NuRoR war galley idle The Tigris Valley (Tigris Valley originally) · NuRoR composite bowman idle Lost (Vengeance in DE) · NuRoR light transport idle I Shall Return · NuRoR artifact The Great Hunt  · NuRoR scythe chariot idle The Caravan · NuRoR chariot archer attack Lord of the Euphrates · NuRoR heavy catapult The Conquest of Nineveh (Nineveh originally)
Yamato, Empire of
the Rising Sun
The Assassins · Island Hopping · Capture (Definitive Edition) · Mountain Temple (The Mountain Temple) · The Canyon of Death · Oppression (Coup) · A Friend in Need (Jinshin War) · Kyushu Revolts (Fujiwara Revolts)
RomeIcon The Rise of Rome
The Rise of RomeThe Birth of Rome · Pyrrhus of Epirus · Syracuse (The Siege of Syracuse) · Metaurus (The Battle of the Metaurus) · Zama (The Battle of Zama) · Mithridates
Ave CaesarCaesar vs Pirates (Caesar's Revenge) · Britain (The Invasion of Britain) · Alesia (The Siege of Alesia) · Caesar vs Pompey (The Battle of Pharsalus)
Pax Romana
(Imperium Romanum)
Actium (The Battle of Actium) · Year of the Four Emperors (The Year of the Four Emperors) · Ctesiphon (Ransom at Ctesiphon) · Queen Zenobia (Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra) · Coming of the Huns (The Coming of the Huns)
Enemies of RomeCrossing the Alps · Third Greek War (Third Macedonian War) · Spartacus (The Revolt of Spartacus) · Odenathus vs Persians (Odaenathus, Lord of Palmyra)
Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition
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DE: Opening Moves  · Raid on Babylon  · The Battle of Kadesh
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Demo versions
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Shorthands: DE - Definitive Edition, RoR - Return of Rome, originally - in the release version
If no shorthands are written, names in brackets represent campaigns and scenarios renamed and/or reworked in the Definitive Edition.
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