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This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. For the civilization in Age of Empires III, see Russians. For the civilization in Age of Empires IV, see Rus.
Civilization Technology tree Strategy

While new kingdoms formed from the ruins of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, Slavic tribes settled the rich lands of Central and Eastern Europe and established formidable states of their own. Illuminate your populations with the teachings of Orthodoxy, recreate the rich farming and trade economies of Poland and Kievan Rus, assemble retinues of Boyars and Druzhina to defend the Russian principalities from the Mongols, or lead a charge of Winged Hussars to save Europe from Ottoman conquest!

The Slavs' civilization music theme in the Definitive Edition

The Slavs are an Eastern European civilization introduced in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten based on various Rus principalities and city-states in western Russia, modern day Ukraine, and Belarus. They focus on infantry and siege weapons, with a solid economy on their farms and great cavalry, but lack key upgrades for their defenses, navy, and archers.

The Slavs in-game represent the Russian civilization from Age of Empires III and the Rus civilization in Age of Empires IV. Some elements of the Slavs were separated in the Definitive Edition expansions with the introduction to Bulgarians, Bohemians, and Poles to differentiate from the umbrella Slavs civilization.


As an infantry civilization, the Slavs have access to the full infantry technology tree and also get Druzhina, making their infantry units highly useful in mass battles. Their cavalry is also good despite missing out on the Paladin upgrade. The archers, however, are among the worst of all civilizations. This is compensated to a degree by their excellent Siege Workshop units that get a 15% discount. Especially the Heavy Scorpion can fulfill the archers' role for the Slavs. Their navy is weak, although they can fully upgrade their Fire Ships. The Slavic Monks are excellent offensively with every upgrade there. They lack Heresy and Faith and thus are vulnerable to conversion (Note: Faith was added in the Definitive Edition). Their defensive structures are below average but their faster farming is considered one of the strongest economic bonuses in the game.

Campaign appearances[]

The Slavs are a playable civilization only in a few scenarios of the Dracula campaign. They also appear as allies or enemies in:

Genghis Khan[]


  • Holy Roman Emperor
    • Bohemia (in the Definitive Edition, before Dawn of the Dukes) - Enemy
  • Henry the Lion
    • Poland (in the Definitive Edition, before Dawn of the Dukes) - Enemy



In the Definitive Edition:

The Breath of the Dragon and The Moon Rises are played as the Slavs.

Battles of the Forgotten[]

  • Honfoglalás
    • Moravians (in the HD Edition) - Enemy
    • Great Moravia (in the Definitive Edition) - Enemy



Kotyan Khan[]

Algirdas and Kestutis[]

  • A Worthy Opponent
    • Muscovites - Enemy
    • Vladimir - Neutral → Ally
    • Ryazan - Neutral → Ally
    • The Kremlin Fortress - Ally
    • Mikhail of Tver - Ally



Unique unit[]

BoyarIcon-DE.png Boyar: Heavily armored cavalry, resistant to melee attack

Unique technologies[]

CastleAgeUnique.png Detinets: Replaces 40% of Castles' and Towers' stone cost with wood.
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Druzhina: Gives infantry splash damage.

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonus[]

Military buildings (excluding Castles and Docks) provide +5 population.


The Forgotten[]

  • Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Tracking is free.
  • Farmers work 15% faster.
  • Boyars train in 23 seconds.
  • Elite Boyars train in 20 seconds.
  • Boyars move at a speed of 1.35.
  • Elite Boyars have 6 melee armor.
  • Boyars have 1 (2 for Elite) pierce armor.

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Initially can research Arrowslits. With patch 4.8, it was removed from the technology tree.
  • With patch 4.8, Boyars move at a speed of 1.4.

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • The Farm bonus now properly works after researching Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart.
  • With patch 5.8, the farm bonus was reduced back a slight amount so that it closely matches the stated 15% faster rate.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Received Faith.
  • Received free Supplies (instead of Tracking, which became free for all civilizations upon reaching the Feudal Age).
  • Farmers work 10% faster (lowered from 15% faster).
  • (Elite) Boyar training time reduced to 15s (from 23s/20s).
  • With update 36906, Boyars have 2 (3 for Elite) pierce armor, and move at a speed of 1.3.

Lords of the West[]

  • With update 44725, Treadmill Crane removed from the technology tree.
  • With update 50292, Elite Boyars have 8 melee armor.

Dynasties of India[]

In-game dialogue language[]

In-game, Slavic units speak Russian. Before Rise of the Rajas was released, Slavic units reused the Russians' dialogue that is used in Age of Empires III. With the expansion's release, they received new dialogue in Russian with a couple of archaic words, most notably аз (az) - an archaic form of pronoun "I".[1] Historically, East Slavs spoke a dialect continuum termed Old East Slavic.

  • Select 1 Da? (Да?) - Yes?
  • Select 2 Zdrav bud' (Здрав будь) - Greetings (literally - "Be well")
  • Female Select 3 Az gotova (Аз готовa) - I'm ready (feminine)
  • Male Select 3 Az gotov (Аз готов) - I'm ready (masculine)
  • Select 4 Prikazaniya? (Приказания?) - Orders?
  • Task 1 Da (Да) - Yes
  • Task 2 Pravilno (Правильно) - Correct
  • Task 3 Az sdelayu (Аз сделаю) - I'll do (it)
  • Task 4 Totchas sdelayu (Тотчас сделаю) - I'll do (it) immediately
  • Male Task 5 Sdelayu (Сделаю) - I will do it
  • Female Build Zizhditel'nitsa (Зиждительница) - Builder (feminine) (the verb зиждить / zížditʹ is an archaic / Old Church Slavonic word for "to build"[2][3])
  • Male Build Zizhditel (Зиждитель) - Builder (masculine)
  • Chop Lesorub (Лесоруб) - Woodcutter
  • Female Farm Sobiratel'nitsa (Собирательница) - Gatherer (feminine)
  • Male Farm Sobiratel (Собиратель) - Gatherer (masculine)
  • Female Fish Rybachka (Рыбачка) - Fisherwoman
  • Male Fish Rybak (Рыбак) - Fisherman
  • Female Forage Sobiratel'nitsa (Собирательница) - Gatherer (feminine)
  • Male Forage Sobiratel (Собиратель) - Gatherer (masculine)
  • Female Hunt Okhotnitsa (Охотница) - Huntress
  • Male Hunt Okhotnik (Охотник) - Hunter
  • Mine Rudokop (Рудокоп) - Ore miner
  • Female Repair Remontnitsa (Ремонтница) - Repairer (feminine)
  • Male Repair Remontnik (Ремонтник) - Repairer (masculine)
  • Select 1 Da? (Да?) - Yes?
  • Select 2 K vashim uslugam (К вашим услугам) - At your service
  • Select 3 Prikazaniya? (Приказания?) - Orders?
  • Move 1 Ponyatno (Понятно) - Understand
  • Move 2 Az sdelayu (Аз сделаю) - I'll do (it)
  • Move 3 Da, gospodin (Да, господин) - Yes, my lord
  • Attack 1 Ataka! (Атака!) - Attack!
  • Attack 2 V boy! (В бой!) - To battle!
  • Attack 3 K oruzhiyu! К оружию!) - To arms!
  • Select 1 Da? (Да?) - Yes?
  • Select 2 Prikazaniya? (Приказания?) - Orders?
  • Select 3 K vashim uslugam (К вашим услугам) - At your service
  • Select 4 Vo imya Gospodnya! (Во имя Господня!) - In the name of the Lord!
  • Move 1 Az sobirayus' (Аз собираюсь) - I'm going to
  • Move 2 Da (Да) - Yes
  • Move 3 Ponyatno (Понятно) - It is clear
  • Move 4 Totchas sdelayu (Тотчас сделаю) - I'll do (it) immediately
  • Select 1 Vot, pozhaluysta (Вот, пожалуйста) - Here you are
  • Select 2 Chto ty khochesh'? (Что ты хочешь?) - What do you want?
  • Select 3 Pochemu ty pobespokoil mya? (Почему ты побеспокоил мя?) - Why did you bother me?
  • Select 4 Opoveshcheniye (Оповещение) - Notification
  • Move 1 Az sdelayu chto vam ugodno (Аз сделаю что вам угодно) - I'll do as you please
  • Move 2 Po moyey milosti (По моей милости) - By my grace
  • Move 3 Kak vy prikazali (Как вы приказали) - As you ordered
  • Move 4 Az sdelayu (Аз сделаю) - I'll do (it)

AI player names[]

When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Slavic AI characters:

  • Alexander Nevsky (Александр Невский): Served as Prince of Novgorod (1236–52), Grand Prince of Kiev (1236–52) and Grand Prince of Vladimir (1252–63) during some of the most difficult times in Kievan Rus' history: he defeated Swedish invaders in the north, the Livonian Order (landmasters of the Teutonic Order) in the west and made a peace with Mongolian conquerors in the east. He was later declared a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  • Igor the Old: (died 945) was a Varangian ruler of Kievan Rus' from 912 to 945.
  • Saint Olga: (c. 890–925 – 969) was a regent of Kievan Rus' for her son Sviatoslav from 945 until 960. Following her baptism, Olga took the name Elenа. She is known for her subjugation of the Drevlians, a tribe that had killed her husband Igor of Kiev. Even though it would be her grandson Vladimir that would convert the entire nation to Christianity, because of her efforts to spread Christianity through Rus', Olga is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church with the epithet "Equal to the Apostles" and her feast day is 11 July.
  • Oleg the Seer (Ѡлегъ, Modern Russian: Олег Вещий): A Varangian prince (or konung) who ruled all or part of the Rus' people during the early 10th century.
  • Dmitry Donskoy: (12 October 1350 – 19 May 1389), son of Ivan II the Fair of Moscow (1326–1359), reigned as the Prince of Moscow from 1359 and Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1363 to his death. He was the first prince of Moscow to openly challenge Mongol authority in Russia. His nickname, Donskoy (i.e., "of the Don"), alludes to his great victory against the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo (1380), which took place on the Don River. He is venerated as a Saint in the Orthodox Church with his feast day on 19 May (O.S.).
  • Rurik I (Рюрик I): Prince of Novgorod and Ladoga. He is the founder of Rurik Dynasty which ruled the Kievan Rus' and its successor states. He remained his power until his death in 879 in Novgorod, Kievan Rus.
  • Sviatoslav the Brave (Свѧтославъ Игорєвичь): Also spelled Svyatoslav was a Grand prince of Kiev famous for his persistent campaigns in the east and south, which precipitated the collapse of two great powers of Eastern Europe, Khazaria and the First Bulgarian Empire.
  • Vladimir the Great (Володимѣръ Свѧтославичь): A prince of Novgorod, grand prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus' from 980 to 1015. He initiated a process of christening of Russia and got many glorifying names, including Vladimir the Christianizer (Креститель) and Vladimir the Scarlet Sun (Красно Солнышко)
  • Vlad Dracula: Vlad III, commonly known as Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș [ˈvlad ˈtsepeʃ]) or Vlad Dracula (/ˈdrækjələ/; Romanian: Vlad Drăculea [ˈdrəkule̯a]; 1428/31 – 1476/77), was Voivode of Wallachia three times between 1448 and his death. He is often considered one of the most important rulers in Wallachian history and a national hero of the Romanians.
  • Ivan III the Great: Ivan III Vasilyevich (Russian: Иван III Васильевич; 22 January 1440, Moscow – 27 October 1505, Moscow), also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of all Rus'. Ivan served as the co-ruler and regent for his blind father Vasily II from the mid-1450s before he officially ascended the throne in 1462. He tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Mongols/Tatars over Russia, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, introduced a new legal codex and laid the foundations of the Russian state. His 1480 victory over the Great Horde is cited as the restoration of Russian independence 240 years after the fall of Kiev to Mongols' invasion. Ivan was the first Russian ruler to style himself "tsar", albeit not as an official title. Through marriage to Sofia Paleologue, he made the double-headed eagle Russia's coat of arms and adopted the idea of Moscow as Third Rome. His 43-year reign was one of the longest in Russian history, second only to that of his grandson Ivan IV.
  • Yaroslav the Wise (Яросла́в Му́дрый): Thrice grand prince of Veliky Novgorod and Kiev, uniting the two principalities for a time under his rule. During his reign, there was created the first Russian set of laws, "Russian Justice" ("Русская Правда").
  • Yuri II (Юрий II): The fourth Grand Prince of Vladimir (1212–1216, 1218–1238) who presided over Vladimir-Suzdal at the time of the Mongol invasion of Russia.


  • The Slavs' civilization icon is based on the trident symbol from Yaroslav the Wise's era used by the Rurikids. This symbol is now used as the coat of arms of Ukraine.
  • Before the Definitive Edition user interface image displayed double-headed eagle used by Grand Duchy of Moscow.
  • The user interface is a Boyar helmet.
  • Before the Forgotten was released, all of the Slav factions in the Genghis Khan and Barbarossa campaigns (Polish, Bohemians, and Russians) are mostly represented by Goths and Teutons. However, the Polish and Bohemians have now their own civilizations for the upcoming Dawn of the Dukes expansion, so making possible that those Slavic factions get replaced by their proper civilizations on previous camapigns.
  • The in-game Slavs represented the pre-divisional Eastern Slavic identity of the Kievan Rus'. As this TedED video on the history of Russia explains, they were a people "populated by Slavs, ruled by Vikings, taught by Greeks, and split by Mongols, would develop differences in society, culture, and language that remain to the present day".
  • The Slavs are the second Russian-type civilization to be featured in the Age of Empires series, preceded by the Russians in Age of Empires III, and succeeded by the Rus in Age of Empires IV.
  • Despite the fact that Castles are military buildings, they are not affected by the Slavic military building population bonus. This is most likely due to the fact that Castles already provide population.
  • Some Slavic states like Kingdom of Bohemia, Grand Duchy of Moscow and Kingdom of Poland (The first and third ones now getting their own civilizations in Dawn of the Dukes expansion) used gunpowder weapons quite often starting at the late 14th century and early 15th century (with notorious examples at the Great stand on the Ugra River where Ivan III deployed a good amount of cannons to defend against the last Tatar remnant of the Golden Horde and the Hussite Wars where arquebuses were highly used).
    • However, for balance reasons, they do not have either Hand Cannoneer and Bombard Cannon.
      • Ironically, the Bohemians are a gunpowder civilization and the only civilization whose unique units are both gunpowder units, and the Poles have more versatile gunpowder units than the Slavs, since the former have the Bombard Cannon and Bombard Tower.
  • In the game, all Slavic State civilizations have weak navy and have slightly good Monks and Siege Weapons, possibly because most of the Slavic States are either landlocked or have bad estuaries, and the Slavs have been very aggressive when they migrated from other places, in order to defeat their enemies where they settled down.
  • In the beta, the Slavs had access to Bracer, but lacked Plate Mail Armor. Also, their Eastern European building style was unique to them and looked different to later versions. They could not train Heavy Cavalry Archers or build Fortified Walls. Elite Boyars had 16 attack.
  • Before the removal of Treadmill Crane, the Slavs were the most powerful civilization in Deathmatches.
  • The Slavs are extremely similar to the Teutons. They have strong melee units such as powerful infantry and cavalry, and their unique units are both heavily armored units with slow speed, and they have very weak archers and navy. Both have good economy for farming and great siege weapons and Monks. The obvious difference is that the Slavs are much weaker in defense, while the Teutons are less mobile.

Behind the scenes[]

During the development of The Conquerors, the Slavs (along with the Huns, Swiss, Magyars, and Habsburgs) had been considered to appear as the new civilization representing Eastern Europe. However, the Ensemble Studios team eventually picked the Huns because they were impressed by Attila story and the medieval Russians did very little of invading other countries when compared to the Huns.[4]

When the Forgotten Empires team was working on the Forgotten Empires mod (which eventually became The Forgotten), they initially planned to add the Scythians as one of the new civilizations. But eventually the plan was dropped because the Scythians were considered "too out of place" and they were replaced by Slavs.[5]


Mass fifth century migrations caused by the Hunnic invasions left northeastern Europe an area open for settlement and, starting circa 500 AD, the Slavs became the region’s dominant civilization. Although archaeological evidence indicates that the Slavs had already settled Europe in prior centuries, possibly in the areas of present-day Ukraine and Belarus, the historical record first makes mention of them through Byzantine writings describing the large numbers of Slavs massing near their borders. Upon settling down, the Slavs established several competing states throughout Eastern Europe, falling into either the Byzantine or Holy Roman spheres of influence.

The first great Slavic state, the Bulgarian Empire, formed in 681 AD. This nation was founded by the Bulgars, a Turkic people that settled in the Eastern Balkans (north of the Byzantine Empire). However, the Bulgarian Empire expanded into most of the Balkans, which was by then mainly Slavic, and by the tenth century the state was effectively Slavicized. The Bulgarian Empire played an important role in the consolidation of Slavic civilization, with its language becoming a lingua franca for the spread for Christianity and literacy in Eastern Europe.

Another important medieval Slavic state, Great Moravia, formed in Central Europe after the union of the Principalities of Nitra and Moravia in 833. Although Great Moravia never achieved a dominant position, it played a crucial role in the balance of power between the Franks, Bulgarians, and Byzantines. When King Rastislav of Great Moravia asked the Byzantines for help in translating Christian texts into Slavic, the Byzantine missionaries entrusted with the task, Cyril and Methodius, successfully developed the first Slavic alphabet and wrote down the oldest text in Slavic literature (a translation of the Christian Gospel) in 863.

Perhaps the last great medieval Slavic state was formed around Kiev, in present-day Ukraine, in 882 AD. This Kievan Rus’ kingdom, although mostly populated by Slavs, was led by Scandinavians (called Rus’) who took power in the area by defeating the ruling Turkic Khazars. The liberation of this and several other Slavic cities allowed them to focus more on internal development rather than on serving foreign lands. The region benefited economically from its geography, as it was located in the middle of the Europe-Asia trade route and close to the Byzantines and Persians. Under the reign of Yaroslav the Wise, the Kievan state not only became the largest of its time, but also achieved a high literacy rate, provided property rights to women, and punishments under law generally did not involve death sentences. However, the death of Yaroslav led to the gradual disintegration of the state, which finally fell to the Mongols by 1240 AD.

During the Middle Ages, Slavic governments followed a feudal system, but in contradiction to other parts of Europe the power of the kings was constrained by that of high-ranking aristocrats called boyars. Boyars not only were powerful landowners with several serfs under their command, but they also were generally leaders of the military and government agencies. The alliance and competition among these aristocrats shaped the economic development of the Slavic states, improving the vitality of their domains but weakening the central governments. By the Late Middle Ages, the rise of absolute monarchs led to the downfall of the boyars.


Video overview[]