|This article is about the map in Age of Empires II. For other uses of the term, see Fortress.|
“A walled city with gates and all the buildings you need to build up your forces quickly.”—Map description
The startup is similar to the one in Arena. Every player has a starting base that is completely surrounded by Stone Walls, giving the player protection against early enemy raids; the player is also given a couple of buildings: 5 Farms, 4 Watch Towers (spread along parts of the wall), 4 Houses, and a Barracks. The Towers are almost always placed the same way for all players, which means one might have Towers protecting their front Walls, while another player might be stuck with Towers protecting nothing but the edge of the map.