The Franks conquered and inhabited modern day France, which was previously known as Gaul. They are primarily an offensive civilization, although they possess a few defensive perks as well. Their unique unit is the Throwing Axeman, which deals melee damage at range. Throwing axes were more popular than bows in the densely forested parts of northern Europe where the Franks came from, and they even take their name from their throwing axe, the Francisca. Their Imperial Age unique technology, Bearded Axe, reflect this by giving their Throwing Axemen more range. The Frankish King Charlemagne started the tradition of using armored cavalry who became known as knights, and Frankish Knights fight valiantly with more HP and greater Line of Sight. This tradition also spawned the concept of Chivalry (codes of knights), represented by the technology of the same name which boosts their Stables' working speed. Castles dot France, and the Franks get cheaper Castles to better emulate this. Finally, no castle with a knight as its lord is complete without peasant labor, and thus, Frankish Farms upgrade for free and their Foragers work faster.
The Franks are a straightforward cavalry civilization, with the strongest Knight line of all civilizations and lots of Castles for defense. Despite being generally described as a cavalry civilization, their Stable is rather underwhelming outside of the Knight line. Their infantry is very strong with fully upgraded Champions and Halberdiers. Their archers are weak. The Frankish siege weapons are average, as they lack both the Siege Onager and the Siege Ram. Due to the fact that Castles are 25% cheaper, the Franks can build Castles for a more effective defensive system. That easily compensates the fact they have barely usable towers. Their navy has a hard time keeping up, lacking Elite Cannon Galleon and Shipwright, and the lack of Bracer is a big negative for Frankish Galleons. The Franks get Farm upgrades for free and their Foragers work +25% faster, rendering a fine much needed food economy, but apart from that, their economical technology tree is rather lacking.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Frankish AI characters:
Charlemagne (2 April 742 – 28 January 814): Numbered Charles I, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774 and Emperor of the Romans from 800. He united much of Europe during the early Middle Ages. He was the first recognised emperor in western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire.
Charles VI: Called the Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé) and the Mad (French: le Fol or le Fou), was King of France from 1380 to his death.
Charles Martel (c. 686 – 22 October 741): A Frankish statesman and military leader who as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death. The son of the Frankish statesman Pepin of Herstal and a noblewoman named Alpaida, Charles successfully asserted his claims to power as successor to his father as the power behind the throne in Frankish politics. Continuing and building on his father's work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began the series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul.
Charles the Bold: Baptized Charles Martin, was Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. He was the last Duke of Burgundy from the House of Valois and is sometimes also known as Charles the Rash.
Constable Richemont: Known as the Justicier and as Arthur de Richemont, was Lord of Parthenay and titular Count (Earl) of Richmond in England and for eleven months at the very end of his life, Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort after inheriting those titles upon the death of his nephew.
Jean Dunois of Orleans: An illegitimate son of Louis I, Duke of Orléans, by Mariette d'Enghien. His nickname, the "Bastard of Orléans" (bâtard d'Orléans), was a term of respect, since it acknowledged him as a first cousin to the king and acting head of a cadet branch of the royal family during his half-brother's captivity.
King Philip I: Called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to his death.
Louis IX: Commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France and a canonized saint.
Louis XI: Called "Louis the Prudent" (French: le Prudent), was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1461 to 1483.
Pepin the Short: King of the Franks from 751 until his death. He was the first of the Carolingians to become king.
Philip II Augustus: King of France from 1180 to 1223, a member of the House of Capet.
Philip the Good: Duke of Burgundy as Philip III from 1419 until his death.
Raymond, Prince of Antioch: Raymond of Poitiers (c. 1115 – 29 June 1149) was Prince of Antioch from 1136 to 1149.
Roland: Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who became one of the principal figures in the literary cycle known as the Matter of France. The historical Roland was military governor of the Breton March, responsible for defending Francia's frontier against the Bretons. His only historical attestation is in Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni, which notes he was part of the Frankish rearguard killed by rebellious Basques in Iberia at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass.