Prairie is a custom map in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.

Description[edit | edit source]

Prairie is an arid map with sparse vegetation, few trees, and little water with minimal fish. There isn't a lot of wood, but plenty of wildlife scattered in wide clumps throughout, both huntables and hostiles alike. The Relics here are standard, but the gold deposits are rather plentiful.

Viable tactics[edit | edit source]

The Prairie map is similar to Arabia, only with more staggered resources. The greater abundance of food versus wood, stone, and gold is an invitation for hunters to head out far from town and bring home plenty of game. Farm economies will not suffer here, but will be shorter lived, and herding civilizations will not fare much better.

Plenty of fighting will occur, not only at the gold deposits littered throughout the Prairie, but even early in the game at the hunting grounds. Since the resources are stretched out so much, it's even harder for turtling civilizations to defend the big open areas found throughout, and the complete absence of hills and cliffs only makes that so much worse. Many players will be heavily exposed to raids early in the game, which can be devastating.

Civilizations with great advantages are those with strong economies and early-game economic bonuses: Lithuanian, Aztec, Persian starting-resource boosts, Malian wood building discounts, Vietnamese economic technology discounts, Indian Villager food discounts and Shore Fishing bonuses, and so on. Hunting civilizations will also have a faster early-game, such as the Mongols or Goths. Raiding civilizations are especially dangerous on the Prairie, like the Celts, Goths, Aztecs, and Huns.

Civilizations who rely on naval booming or turtling are in trouble on this map because of its sparsity of trees, lack of water and absence of deep water fish, meaning the Italians, Japanese, and Byzantines will have more limited options for the early game economy -- though the Malay will surprisingly have no problem. Farm-heavy civilizations like the Teutons or Slavs won't have as much trouble on this map, but their bonuses still won't do them any favors as the wood will run out sooner.

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