The Khmer are a Southeast Asian civilization introduced in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas. They focus on siege weapons and elephant units, in their case Battle Elephants and Ballista Elephants.
The Khmer are based on the Khmer Empire, whose capital was Angkor (located in present Cambodia), one of the largest pre-industrial cities. At its peak, the city supported one million people. This is reflected by three of their bonuses: Villagers can garrison inside Houses, they do not need to build certain buildings to unlock other buildings or to advance to the next Ages, and food gathered from farming by villagers is instantly collected. Like their Persian and Indian neighbors to the west, the Khmer Empire was known to employ war elephants widely for both tactical and logistical purpose. To reflect this, their Battle Elephants move faster and can be upgraded to deal more damage with the Tusk Swords unique technology.
Like their Chinese neighbor to the north, the Khmer Empire was also known to employ ballista technology. Consequently, their team bonus increases the range of Scorpions. In addition, Khmer also possess a ballista-carrying unique unit named Ballista Elephant. Furthermore, the number of missiles fired by both Ballista Elephants and Scorpions can be increased with the Double Crossbow unique technology.
Overview[edit | edit source]
The Khmer are classified as an elephant and siege civilization, and they really shine in their advertised departments. Their Battle Elephants are particularly dangerous as they get a notable speed boost which, along with Husbandry, effectively addresses their greatest weakness which is the low speed (although they are still not fast enough to escape Halberdiers). Additionally, they get +3 attack out of Tusk Swords which lifts their attack to levels only the Elite War Elephant sits in. Their cavalry department in general is fairly usable, too, but they are missing key traits such as the Paladin, which is why the Battle Elephant is usually the cavalry unit of choice. The infantry is rather weak without Champions, Squires, Supplies and Plate Mail Armor. Their archers are average even without Thumb Ring, although their Cavalry Archers get Parthian Tactics. The Khmer siege weapons are excellent for one reason: their Scorpions. They get +1 range from their team bonus and another +1 from Siege Engineers for a total of 9 - enough to outrange Arbalests, and they get a second bolt fired simultaneously (from Double Crossbow) which greatly increases their damage output. The Ballista Elephant also deserves a mention here as it broadens the versatility in their siege department, but it often struggles to be effective unless used in mass numbers. Their navy is also very good, only lacking the Heavy Demolition Ship, but their Monks leave much to be desired. Their defensive structures are average, and their economy is lacking as well without Two-Man Saw and Guilds.
Campaign appearances[edit | edit source]
The Khmer have a campaign devoted to their civilization: Suryavarman I. They also appear in:
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Unique unit[edit | edit source]
Unique technologies[edit | edit source]
Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]
Team bonus[edit | edit source]
Changelog[edit | edit source]
Rise of the Rajas[edit | edit source]
Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]
In-game dialogue language[edit | edit source]
Khmer units speak their namesake, an Austroasiatic language (related to the language spoken by the Vietnamese) spoken as the official language of the modern Cambodia.
Along with the Malay, Khmer is one of the few major languages of mainland Southeast Asia that is non-tonal. It also shares similarities with Malay due to Indian and Sanskrit influence (e.g. Suosdey in Khmer and Swasti in Malay).
Villager[edit | edit source]
Military[edit | edit source]
Monk[edit | edit source]
King[edit | edit source]
AI player names[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Although the Khmer are one of the newest civilizations in Age of Empires II series, they have long been considered as the new potential addition by Ensemble Studio. During the development of The Conquerors, Khmer - along with Tibetans and Koreans - were considered as one of the new factions to represent the Far East region. Eventually, the developers picked Koreans because they were impressed with Turtle Ships and attracted by potential sales in South Korea.
History[edit | edit source]
Although the Khmer people had already settled in present-day Cambodia since the second millennium BC, larger polities would only emerge from the first century AD on. Along the Mekong river, the kingdom of Funan (68-550) and the kingdom of Chenla (550-802) profited greatly from trade and rice cultivation. However, it was their successor, the Khmer Empire (802-1431), that became the most powerful state during the Middle Ages in mainland Southeast Asia.
A century after the kingdom of Chenla had disintegrated, a local chief from Southeast Cambodia called Jayavarman II (770-834) reunited the different polities through military conquest and marriages. Following his successful expedition, Jayavarman crowned himself God King (Deva Raja) in 802. This ritual act, inspired by Indian Hinduism and local traditions, not only marked the birth of the Khmer empire, but also legitimized the Khmer kings as manifestations of the Hindu gods Shiva or Vishnu. Successive rulers used this power to intervene in many aspects of the Khmer society:
First, kings ordered largescale waterworks. Because monsoons greatly affected water levels, proper irrigation systems were essential for the widespread rice cultivation. At the same time, the government did not try to control production itself. Instead, local officials collected a levy from the traders in the marketplace, which was mainly run by women. Temples served as storage and were connected by an extensive network of roads, facilitating long-distance trade.
Second, Khmer rulers funded extensive building programs as they regularly moved their capital. This relocation was often accompanied by the construction of a new state temple that acted as the center of the city and a place for worshiping the king. Angkor, one of the largest pre-industrial urban areas, consisted of seven capital cities and housed over one thousand temples. In the early twelfth century, Suryavarman II (1113-1150) constructed the most famous state temple, Angkor Wat. Today, the temple is still considered the largest religious complex in the world, testifying to the engineering and architectural skills of the Khmer.
Finally, the king commanded the army. Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Khmer rulers continuously conducted military campaigns and conquered much of Southeast Asia. Their major enemies were the Siamese, the Vietnamese, and the Cham, who raided Angkor in 1177 and 1178. The Khmer had no standing army, but relied on appointed captains who were responsible for conscripting peasants in times of war. Aside from this large contingent of peasant infantry, the army deployed war elephants, sometimes mounted with ballistae.
The Khmer not only fought other civilizations. Because kings married multiple women, disputes between different lineages often resulted in civil wars. For example, after Suryavarman I (1002-1049) had claimed the throne, he fought eight years with other contenders. Political instability was inherent to the Khmer society. However, from the fourteenth century on, civil wars became more frequent as rulers were unable to deal with other, structural problems: rice cultivation declined due to a cooling of temperature, the conversion from Hinduism to Theravada Buddhism undermined the legitimacy of kings as divine ruler, and warfare with the Siamese resulted in a continuous loss of territory. Eventually, king Ponhea Yat (1405-1463) abandoned Angkor in 1431, marking the end of the great Khmer Empire.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Video overview[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]