Age of Empires Series Wiki

Gold Rush is a random map in Age of Empires II.



Gold Rush selection

A whole heap of gold and a few wolves in the middle of a desert.
—In-game description

Although players begin in a forestland with raw food sources (standard start-up) as well as a normal amount of stone mines and normal gold mines evenly spread out between different players, the placement of gold is unique unlike other maps. Apart from the starting Gold Mines, almost all of the Gold Mines are found centrally distributed within a large spatial desert where battle and engagements are likely to take place. Some maps may feature a crater-like depression where a ring of higher hills as well as green valleys surround the gold deposits, while others may feature a lone hill filled with gold surrounded by a set of smaller hills. This strategic area not only has all of the available Gold Mines, but also provides an elevation advantage to those that control the hills around the region. Either way these central deposits are guarded by large packs of wild beasts like Wolves.

Additional Stone Mines also tend to appear around the periphery of this desert. Apart from the Wolves and other Wild animal packs that lurk nearby the gold deposits, others can be found scattered sporadically on the map. The number of Relics is standard and changes with the map size.

It has the in-game map tags "Land" and "Open".

Viable tactics[]

Unlike most maps, where players must compete for resources all around the map, players must fiercely compete to gain a monopoly of the central Gold Mines, lest they face a shortage of gold that will inevitably grant an enormous economic advantage to their foes.

A peculiar strategy that can be done due to the high number of wild aggressive beasts present on the map, especially in the central desert, is the "Wolf Rush", which consist on first exploring, marking the places where Wolves or other wild beasts are present with a palisade basement and then lure them with infantry, archers or villagers to the opponent's town. This strategy cannot only disrupt the opponent's early economy, it also leaves the center of the map free from those animals, letting the player's Villagers go and start to take the gold early.

As suggested by the map's name, it is advised to rush to control the desert as quickly as possible (including Tower rushes), in order to stave off enemy Villagers, whereas Castle drops and walling off the desert is highly recommended in later stages of the game. Standard early rushes against the opponent's settlement also work well, as the map is pretty open like Arabia.

If a player gets out from the gold center, is advised that they must prepare armies of gold-free units (trash units) in order to conquer it, or at least resist enemy attacks for a while, otherwise players that are forced out of the center must use the Market for obtaining gold or go and get the Relics. In team games, preparing Trade Carts for commerce is also advised in order to circumvent at least in part an eventual expulsion from the center.

Civilizations with advantages include:

  • Civilizations with good early aggression bonuses: Goths, Aztecs, Huns, Celts, Vikings, Japanese, Mongols, Magyars, Malians, Malay, Bulgarians etc.
  • Civilizations with bonuses regarding gold mining collection rates: Malians, Turks, Hindustanis (this because of the Grand Trunk Road technology).
  • Civilizations with good defenses: Byzantines, Teutons, Incas, Koreans etc.
  • Civilizations with bonuses regarding alternative ways of generating gold: Spanish (better Trade Cart gold generation for the team), Saracens (Market interchange bonus), Aztecs (team Relics generate more gold), Portuguese (Feitoria available), Indians (the Grand Trunk Road unique technology), Vietnamese (the Paper Money technology)
  • Civilizations with good trash units: Magyars, Berbers, Vietnamese, Malay, Persians, etc.
  • Special mentions: Tatars (their hill bonus damage is pretty useful for protecting the center against opponents), Magyars (in addition to their excellent gold-free light cavalry, their Villagers can kill Wolves or other wild beasts in one strike, which make them immune against the "Wolf rush" and enables them to easily take the center of the map), Cumans (their second Town Center available in the Feudal Age is an excellent tool for taking the gold center very early in the game)

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For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.