Heresy is a technology in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors that can be researched at the Monastery. Once researched, it causes own units that have been converted by an enemy Monk or Missionary to die instead of joining the opposing player. Converted buildings are destroyed.

Heresy is very useful, as it prevents the player's converted units from being able to attack and distract remaining troops. The technology helps minimize losses. Players should research Heresy if they anticipate an enemy attempt to Monk rush.

Given its high cost, especially for the Castle Age, however, it is not recommended to research Heresy if opposing players do not regularly use Monks for conversion purposes.

Note that with Heresy researched, a Konnik will die when converted, but still turn into a Dismounted Konnik that belongs to the original owner (instead of the converting player).

Technology availability
Available Unavailable

As seen in the table above, Heresy is notably absent from the technology trees of most civilizations with access to powerful units such as elephants, with the sole exception of the Malay (since their Battle Elephants are the weakest).

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Several civilizations' access to or inability to research Heresy can be viewed as part of various historical in-jokes.
    • Among the civilizations introduced in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas, only the Malay have access to Heresy. This may be a reference to books and studies written by scholars such as Marmaduke Dodsworth , who have stated that the Malay people are historically very resistant to conversion.
    • Civilizations that have access to Elephants (minus Malay for gameplay balance purposes) that don't have Heresy is a reference to how many Elephants may often panic in fear in battle and would often trample on their own soldiers due to said fear. It's also a reference to how many armies would often capture an elephant from the enemy side during war and use them as part of their victory parade.
    • Italians not having access to Heresy may be a reference to the Papal State being located in Italy and how the Renaissance was started in Italy where it led the diminishing influence of the Catholic Church, It could also refer to the Condottieri, whose loyalties were famously fickle.
    • Several civilizations with access to Heresy had major religious movements or conversions during the course of the Medieval era. For example, the Berbers and Malay became Muslim societies and the Vikings and Lithuanians evolved into Christian states.
      • The Britons not having Heresy is considered a historic in-joke where the English eventually become Protestants during the Protestant Reformation and their eventual civil wars between Protestants and Catholics. Likewise, the Burgundians' lack of Heresy can be considered a nod to the prevalence of Protestantism and Calvinism in the Low Countries.
      • Bulgarians having Heresy but lacking Faith might reflect the fact that one of the most influential Gnostic movements in Medieval Europe, the Catharism, had its ideological roots in Bulgaria. The Cathar movement was banned by the Christian Church (both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) and its followers were persecuted as heretics throughout Europe. Suspected Cathars were put through painful and usually lethal ordeals (auto-da-fe, act of faith) in which they had to prove their "faith" or die.
      • Sicilians lacking Heresy reflects on their religious tolerance and secularism, as evident in the The Hautevilles campaign.
      • The absence of Heresy for the Slavs is likely acknowledging the variety of faiths practiced by the Slavic peoples, with western groups like the Croats, Poles and Czechs following Roman Catholicism, groups in the east such as the Russians and Serbs practicing Eastern Orthodoxy, and other groups like the Bosnians following Sunni Islam.
    • Civilizations that don't have Heresy may reflect their religious pluralism during medieval times. For example, many East Asian civilizations like Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese do not have Heresy to reflect their religious diversity during medieval times (In addition to Confucius and Taoism influence through most of China, Vietnam, and Korea, Buddhism is widely practiced in many of the East Asian civilizations and the Japanese also practice their own religion, Shinto). The Indians were predominately Hindus, but some (particularly in northern India) converted to Islam and it was the home of Buddhism as well.
      • The Mongols having access to Heresy may be a reference of Genghis Khan's virtue of loyalty despite the Mongols being religiously pluralistic (i.e. Tibetan Buddhism and Islam). Likewise, the Cumans have access to Heresy despite being religious pluralistic in real life.
  • The new civilizations introduced in Lords of the West, the Burgundians and the Sicilians, do not have access to Heresy.

History[edit | edit source]

As the Middle Ages progressed, Christianity in Europe faced a number of challenges, including heresy. This word came into use in the 13th century to define an opinion or doctrine that was contrary to church dogma. New opinions popped up at an alarming rate. Philosophers studying the Bible suggested new interpretations. Contact with pagan beliefs led to distortions of dogma in the hinterlands. Anyone who attempted to newly interpret the lessons of the Bible risked being accused of heresy. Coming to believe in a heretical position was seen by church leaders as a supreme sin, and many people condemned as heretics were burned at the stake.
The Conquerors manual
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