On the periphery of Chinese imperium lay a mountainous peninsula known for, among other things, its ingenious technological craftsmanship and pottery. Defend your mountain fortresses against fearsome invaders, obliterate your enemies with deadly siege weaponry, and construct armored Turtle Ships that can send any vessel to the depths of the ocean. The tactical genius of Wang Geon and Yi Sun Shin beckon!
The Koreans are an example of a turtle civilization, which puts emphasis on strong defensive capacity with their towers, navy, siege weapons, and ranged units (which is emphasized with their unique unit). This makes Koreans a good candidate in closed maps such as Arena and Black Forest and water maps due to their formidable late-game army composition and being to able wall up and play defensively. Despite their strong defensive capacities, their frontline units lack several key technologies (Blast Furnace, Bloodlines, and Plate Barding Armor) and struggle in open maps due to the difficulty on defending and lack of noticeable early game economic and military bonuses apart from their tower rushes (which was nerfed significantly in the Definitive Edition). The Definitive Edition gave the Koreans several buffs that solidify them as an archer rush civilization, making them a viable pick in open maps. The Koreans are noted to be the only civilization to have access to all University upgrades (and they even get tower upgrades for free).
The Koreans are compared to their predecessor civilization, the Choson, from Age of Empires, as they both have bonuses for their towers. The only significant difference is that the Choson civilization bonuses put more emphasis on their infantry units, while the Koreans put more emphasis on their ranged units.
The Koreans focus on ships and towers and are a rather defensive civilization. As such, their non-ranged units are not very prominent. The lack of Blast Furnace hinders infantry and cavalry alike and the latter is further limited in its capabilities by the lack of Bloodlines and Plate Barding Armor. Their foot archers, however, get all the upgrades there are, including Hand Cannoneers; however, the lack of Parthian Tactics hinders their cavalry archers, including their unique unit. Their siege weapons are overall average without Heavy Scorpions and Siege Rams, but they get excellent Siege Onagers with greater range and shorter minimum range. Also, they get Bombard Cannons. The Koreans lack Demolition Ships completely, but get Turtle Ships, which are a major asset in naval battles, making the Koreans an overall very strong naval civilization. Their Monks are overall weak. The defensive structures are a selling point for the Koreans despite the missing Hoardings. The towers get all upgrades (most notably Arrowslits), upgrade themselves for free, and the unique technology Eupseong gives them +2 range, bringing the range to a total of 13 - enough to retaliate to even Bombard Cannons (bar Turkish ones). Also, the fortifications are built faster. Put together with the stone mining bonus which increases the stone gathering speed, that makes the Koreans a civilization with outstanding defensive capabilities. The overall good economy is also helpful there.
Select 2Eung? (응?) - Hm? (or a very informal 'yes', maybe like "yeah")
Select 3Pangamne (반갑네) - Glad (to see you)
Select 4Malhage (말하게) - Tell (me)
Move 1Aranne (알았네) - Understood
Move 2Keureotji (그러지) - (I) shall (do as you say)
Move 3Keureose (그러세) - (I)'ll do (what you said)
Move 4Kagenne (가겠네) - (I) shall go.
AI player names
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Korean AI characters:
Admiral Chang Bo-ko (장보고/궁복; 787-846): A famous admiral from the Later Silla period known as a maritime figure who effectively controlled the Yellow Sea and dominated the trade with Heian Japan, and Tang China for decades.
Ch'oe Mu-son (최무선; 1325-1395): A Korean scientist/inventor and military commander during the late Goryeo Dynasty and early Joseon Dynasty, best known for allowing Korea to produce gunpowder of their own.
Choi Museon (최무선; 1325-1395): See Ch'oe Mu-son.
Dae Joyeong (대조영; ?-719): Go of Balhae, was the first son of general Dae Jung-sang. He established the state of Balhae which includes the modern-day southeastern parts of Russia and northeastern parts of China. He was the first monarch of the Balhae dynasty.
Gang Gam-chan (강감찬; 948-1031): A military commander during the early days of Goryeo dynasty. He is known and recognized for his victories during the Third Goryeo-Khitan War.
General Eulji Mundeok (을지문덕; ?-?): See General Ulji Mun-tok.
General Kang Kam-chan (강감찬; 948-1031): See Gang Gam-chan.
General Kwon Yul (권률/권율; 1537-1599): A Korean general and commander-in-chief who led the Korean forces during the Japanese invasion, best known for his victory at the Battle of Haengju.
General Kyebaek (계백; ?-660): A Korean general from the kingdom of Baekje known for his last stand on the Battle of Hwangsaebol; died 660.
General Taejoyoung (대조영; ?-719): A Korean general from the kingdom of Goguryeo who later established the state of Balhae as King Go (고왕); died 719.
General Ulji Mun-tok (을지문덕; ?-?): A Korean military leader from the kingdom of Goguryeo best known for defending Korea from Sui Chinese invasion, and remembered as one of Korea's greatest military heroes.
Kwanggaeto the Great (광개토태왕; 374-413): The nineteenth monarch of the kingdom of Goguryeo best known for bringing the kingdom into a golden age as one of the great powers on East Asia.
Wang Geon (왕건; 877-943) – See Wang Kon.
Wang Kon (왕건; 877-943) – Personal name of Taejo of Goryeo, the founder and the first king of the Goryeo dynasty.
Yi Seong-gye (이성계; 1335-1408) – See Yi Song-kye.
Yi Song-kye (이성계; 1335-1408) – Personal name of Taejo of Joseon, the founder and the first king of the Joseon dynasty.
When Europe fell into its Dark Age, Korea had been divided into three competing kingdoms: Koguryo to the north, Paekche to the southwest, and Shilla to the southeast. In alliance with China, Shilla conquered the other two kingdoms in the 7th century and then expelled their erstwhile Chinese ally. The central authority of Shilla disintegrated in the 8th-9th centuries, however, under pressure from local lords. Korea was unified once again as Koryo in the 10th century and after that, recovered territory reaching up to the Amnok River border with China in 993. The civilian nobility was thrown out of power by a military coup in 1170 and military rule then lasted for sixty years.
The Mongols invaded in 1231, initiating a 30-year struggle. The Mongols were often distracted by their wars in China and elsewhere but eventually brought enough power to bear that Koryo made peace with the invaders in 1258. Under the Mongols the Koryo maintained their distinct culture and were inspired to demonstrate their superiority to their conquerors through a burst of artistic accomplishment.
Land reform, the rise of a new bureaucracy, the diminishment of Buddhism, and the rise of Confucianism around 1400 were part of the creation of a new kingdom, the Choson, that would rule Korea until the 20th century. China heavily influenced the Choson politically and culturally. Korea became an important center of learning, aided by the invention of movable type and the woodblock technique of publishing around 1234.
The greatest test of the Choson dynasty was invasion by samurai armies from Japan in 1592 that ostensibly planned to conquer China. Although seven years of fighting left much of the Korean peninsula devastated, the Japanese were forced to withdraw because their fleets could not keep open sea lines of supply and reinforcement back to Japan. The great Korean admiral Yi Sun-Shin defeated the Japanese at sea. One key to the Korean naval victories was their innovative turtle ships, the first cannon-bearing armored ships in history. The Japanese had no answer for these slow but powerful weapons.
The Koreans' civilization icon is based on Taegeuk, the Korean version of the yin-yang symbol.
Before the Definitive Edition, the Koreans were the only East Asian civilization to get Bombard Cannons. Currently, the Vietnamese, which now have the East Asian set, can also train Bombard Cannons.
The Koreans are the only East Asian civilization that cannot research Bloodlines.
Since patch 4.8 (where Arrowslits was removed from the Portuguese tech tree), Koreans are the only civilization with access to all University technologies.
Before the Definitive Edition (where the Vietnamese architecture is switched to East Asian style), the Koreans are the only East Asian civilization to have two unique units.
The tower range bonus of the Eupseong technology is a callback to the Koreans' predecessor, the Choson.
Since patch 4.8, the Koreans are the only civilization that is unable to build any unit from the Demolition Ship line. Before the patch, the Aztecs were also unable to build the Demolition Raft.
During the development of The Conquerors, the Khmer - along with Tibetans and Koreans - were considered as one of the new factions to represent Asia. Eventually, the developers picked the Koreans because they were impressed with Turtle Ships and attracted by potential sales in South Korea.
The new changes and modifications for the Koreans in update 42848 are because Koreans were very weak in land maps (in the competitive scene, their win-rate was 40% in Arabia) due to being very limited into a single strategy in the early game, which was Tower rush, and with their loss of their former fast-building fortifications as well the HP redution of Watch Towers in the Feudal Age, this strategy lost value for them, and Koreans did poorly with other options. The new patch has the purpose of giving another identity as an archer civilization, being able to use archers very effectively on open land maps.
As of Dawn of the Dukes, the Koreans are the civilization with the fewest appearences in the game's Campaigns and Historical Battles. They only appear in Noryang Point, both as the player's civilization and that of one of the player's allies in that scenario.