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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 are an Eastern European civilization introduced in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten representing the East Slavs. They are 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 correspond to the Russian civilization from Age of Empires III and the Rus civilization in Age of Empires IV. Other Slavic states in Age of Empires II are:


Unique unit[]

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

Unique technologies[]

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonus[]

Barracks, Archery Ranges, Stables, and Siege Workshops provide +5 population.


As an infantry civilization, the Slavs have access to the full infantry technology tree and get Supplies and Gambesons for free, giving them a strong advantage early on. Later, they gain access to Druzhina, making their infantry units highly useful in mass battles. Their cavalry is also good despite missing out on the Paladin upgrade, thanks to their unique unit which fills in the same role as the Paladin, while also having access to Hussars and a full technology tree. Both of these unit types are boosted by their 15% faster farmers, who give them a very strong food economy during the mid-game. Their team's military production buildings also grant +5 population space each, freeing up resources otherwise needed for housing. Backing up their infantry are their Siege Workshop units that get a 15% discount. The Slavic Monks are excellent offensively with every upgrade available (except Fervor) and a 20% faster movement speed. Lastly, Detinets allows them to create Castles and Guard Towers with a lower stone cost.

However, the Slavs have several substantial weaknesses. The archers are among the worst of all civilizations, lacking Thumb Ring, Bracer, and Arbalester. Their navy is also weak without Bracer or Shipwright. Their economic bonus also has poor synergy with water maps, where their farming bonus is mitigated by Fishing Ships. Their economy is also weak in the early game, as Farms are not created in large enough quantities to help them until mid-to-late Feudal Age. Their defensive structures lack a variety of upgrades, notably Bracer, Keep, and Bombard Towers.


AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • With patch 4.8:
    • Arrowslits was removed from the technology tree.
    • (Elite) Boyars movement speed increased by 0.05 (1.35 → 1.4).

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • The Farm bonus now speeds up the production speed of Farms as well as farmers. Previously, they would end up with the same gather rates as generic civilizations after researching Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart, as Farms have a built-in limit to their efficiency.
  • With patch 5.8, the farm bonus's internal values were tweaked to more closely match the stated 15% faster rate (previously they were moderately higher).

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Faith added to the technology tree.
  • Free Tracking bonus changed to free Supplies (as Tracking became free for all civilizations upon reaching the Feudal Age).
  • Farmers work rate bonus reduced (15% → 10% faster).
  • (Elite) Boyar training time reduced (23 (20) → 15 (15) seconds).
  • With update 36906, (Elite) Boyar base pierce armor increased (1 (1) → 2 (3)), and movement speed reduced (1.4 → 1.3).

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • With update 87863:
    • New civilization bonus: Monks move 20% faster.
    • Fervor removed from the technology tree, though their new bonus's effect is greater.

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]

  • With update 95810, their farmers now work at pre-Definitive Edition rates again (10 → 15%).

Campaign appearances[]

The Slavs are playable in the Mstislav scenario of Victors and Vanquished, and in two scenarios of the Vlad Dracula campaign. They also appear as allies or enemies in:

CampaignIcon-KhanDE Genghis Khan[]

CampaignIcon-BarbarossaDE Barbarossa[]

CampaignIcon-AlaricDE Alaric[]

CampaignIcon-DraculaDE Vlad Dracula[]

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

  • The Dragon Spreads His Wings
    • HD Edition version
      • Voivod Danislav - Ally
    • Definitive Edition version
      • Vladislav II - Enemy
      • Danesti Forces - Enemy
      • Wallachian Voivods - Ally
      • Local Inhabitants - Ally
  • The Return of the Dragon
    • Vladislav II - Enemy
    • Danesti Forces - Enemy
    • Moldavia - Ally
  • The Breath of the Dragon
    • Obluciza - Enemy
    • Wallachians - Ally
    • Novoselo - Enemy → Ally
    • Rahova - Enemy → Ally
  • The Moon Rises
    • HD Edition version
      • Wallachian Army - Ally
      • Countryside - Neutral
    • Definitive Edition version
      • Radu Bey - Enemy
      • Wallachian Countryside - Ally or Enemy
  • The Night Falls
    • Basarab Laiota - Enemy
    • Wallachia - Ally

Battles of the Forgotten Icon Battles of the Forgotten[]

CampaignIcon-Tamerlane Tamerlane[]

CampaignIcon-Ivaylo Ivaylo[]

CampaignIcon-Kotyan Kotyan Khan[]

Algirdas icon Algirdas and Kestutis[]

  • No Man's Land
    • Bryansk - Enemy → Ally
    • Kursk - Enemy → Ally
  • The Tatar Yoke
    • Kiev - Neutral
    • Smolensk - Ally
  • A Worthy Opponent
    • Muscovites - Enemy
    • Vladimir - Neutral → Ally
    • Ryazan - Neutral → Ally
    • The Kremlin Fortress - Ally
    • Mikhail of Tver - Ally

32 jadwiga normal Jadwiga[]

VictorsAndVanquished Campaign Icon Victors and Vanquished[]

Mstislav is played as the Slavs.

  • Scn 26 finehair Finehair
    • Saami Tribes - Enemy
  • Scn 34 mstislav Mstislav
    • Vsevolod the Red of Kyiv - Enemy → Potential ally
    • Other Factions - Enemy
  • Scn 24 ragnar Ragnar
    • Tribal Peoples - Enemy

CampaignIcon-TheArtOfWar The Art of War[]

Mongol Raiders[]

  • Slavs - Enemy

Barbarossa Brawl[]

  • Bohemia - Enemy

In-game dialogue language[]

In-game, Slavic units speak Russian. Before Rise of the Rajas was released, Slavic units reused the Russians' dialogue 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".[2] Historically, East Slavs spoke a dialect continuum termed Old East Slavic.


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 Siege 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.


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.


Note: This section is about the in-game Slavs, which are mostly based on pre-divisional Eastern Slavic identity of the Kievan Rus'.
  • 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 Slavic 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, the user interface image displayed double-headed eagle used by Grand Duchy of Moscow. Since the Definitive Edition, the user interface is a Boyar helmet, also called Gnezdovo / Rus / teardrop helmet.
  • The Slavic team bonus is one of the worst worded bonuses in the game.
    • Despite being military buildings, walls, gates, and Outposts do not benefit from it.
    • However, a case could be made for other military buildings which have combat capabilities, like towers (including Donjons and Bombard Towers), but do not benefit from the bonus either.
    • Despite the fact that Castles and Kreposts are military buildings, they are also not affected by the Slavic military building population bonus. This is most likely due to the fact that they already provide population.
  • The following heroes available in the Scenario Editor are themed on the Slavs: Alexander Nevski, Dmitry of Moscow, Mikhail of Tver, and Yury. Also Vlad Dracula, who was historically Wallachian (now part of Romanian identity), is portrayed as Slavs due to lacking the suitable civilization.
  • Historically, eastern Slavic states and Rus principalities adopted mounted archery as means of fighting toe-to-toe against the Golden Horde and Mongols. Several Russian principalities, such as the Kievan Rus, even incorporated Cuman (whom they called Polovtsy) and Tatar cavalry archers as mercenaries to supplement their armies. Despite this, the Slav cavalry archers are borderline unusable, missing several key technologies.
  • In the beta, the Slavs had access to Bracer, but lacked Plate Mail Armor. They could not train Heavy Cavalry Archers or build Fortified Walls. Elite Boyars had 16 attack.
  • In the beta, the Eastern European building style was unique to the Slavs (as the Magyars were Centeral European) and looked different to later versions.
  • Before the removal of Treadmill Crane, the Slavs had the most powerful start for any 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 compared to other units of their type, 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.
  • The Slavs are one of the two civilizations whose Wonders were considered to be anachronistic to the game's timeframe (the other being Indians' Taj Mahal in the Forgotten Empires mod), as the Slavs' Wonder is the Kizhi Pogost. They are currently the only civilization with an anachronistic Wonder.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, the Slavs, with their 15% faster working farmers, had the strongest farming economy of any civilization and thus regarded as one of the most problematic civilizations in 1 vs. 1 matches. Their boom was really quick, which made their Knight play extremely strong. This was due to food being more relevant in the Feudal and Castle Age, the Slavs had a massive advantage at producing such food-intensive units. This was despite having a much weaker bonus (free Tracking) and an impractical unique technology (Orthodoxy), as well as Boyars having weaker armor and longer training time. After reducing the farming bonus to 10%, and the introduction of stronger farming bonuses (Khmer farmers not needing dropsites, and the Poles' Folwark), the Slavs dramatically fell in usage on multiplayer matches, even though they received other buffs, such as free Supplies, the Boyar's armor and training time improvements, and the replacement of Orthodoxy with Detinets. With The Mountain Royals, they regained the 15% faster working farmers bonus.
    • Alongside the Persians and Burmese, the Slavs are the only civilization that recovered the original value of a civilization bonus that was either lowered or removed at a later time.
  • The Slavic Villagers were voiced by parents of Vitalis Eirich, the composer of the game's civilization themes.[5]
All Slavic sections combined
Note: This section is about all real-life Slavs.
  • Their unique unit, Boyar, which was an aristocratic social class, was historically not found among the West Slavs (Poles and Bohemians).
  • Some Slavic states like Kingdom of Bohemia, Grand Duchy of Moscow and Kingdom of Poland 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). The Bohemians are already a gunpowder civilization and the only civilization whose two unique units which are both gunpowder units, and the Poles have more versatile gunpowder units than the (East) Slavs, since the former can access the Bombard Cannon and Bombard Tower.
  • Before The Forgotten was released, all of the Slav factions in the Genghis Khan and Barbarossa campaigns (Polish, Bohemians, and Ruthenians) are mostly represented by Goths and Teutons. However, as the Polish and Bohemians have become their own civilizations with Dawn of the Dukes, most of those Slavic factions have been replaced by the new civilizations in the previous campaigns.
  • In the game, all Slavic State civilizations have weak navies and have slightly good Monks and siege weapons, possibly because most of the Slavic States are either landlocked or have bad estuaries.

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.[6]

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.[7]



Civilizations in Age of Empires II
Categorised by architecture sets
AfricanEthiopians AoE2 Ethiopians · Malians AoE2 Malians
Central AsianCumans AoE2 Cumans · Tatars AoE2 Tatars
Central EuropeanGoths AoE2 Goths · Huns AoE2 Huns · Teutons AoE2 Teutons · Vikings AoE2 Vikings
East AsianChinese AoE2 Chinese · Japanese AoE2 Japanese · Koreans AoE2 Koreans · Mongols AoE2 Mongols · Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
Eastern EuropeanBohemians AoE2 Bohemians · Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians · Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians · Magyars AoE2 Magyars · Poles AoE2 Poles · Slavs AoE2 Slavs
MediterraneanArmenians AoE2 Armenians · Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines · Georgians AoE2 Georgians · Italians AoE2 Italians · Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese · Romans AoE2 Romans · Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians · Spanish AoE2 Spanish
Middle EasternBerbers AoE2 Berbers · Persians AoE2 Persians · Saracens AoE2 Saracens · Turks AoE2 Turks
Native AmericanAztecs AoE2 Aztecs · Incas AoE2 Incas · Mayans AoE2 Mayans
South Asian/IndianBengalis AoE2 Bengalis · Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians · Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras · Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis · Indians AoE2 Indians (removed)
Southeast AsianBurmese AoE2 Burmese · Khmer AoE2 Khmer · Malay AoE2 Malay
Western EuropeanBritons AoE2 Britons · Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians · Celts AoE2 Celts · Franks AoE2 Franks
Categorised by expansions
AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of KingsBritons AoE2 Britons · Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines · Celts AoE2 Celts · Chinese AoE2 Chinese · Franks AoE2 Franks · Goths AoE2 Goths · Japanese AoE2 Japanese · Mongols AoE2 Mongols · Persians AoE2 Persians · Saracens AoE2 Saracens · Teutons AoE2 Teutons · Turks AoE2 Turks · Vikings AoE2 Vikings
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The ConquerorsAztecs AoE2 Aztecs · Huns AoE2 Huns · Koreans AoE2 Koreans · Mayans AoE2 Mayans · Spanish AoE2 Spanish
AoE2-DLCicon-2 The ForgottenIncas AoE2 Incas · Indians AoE2 Indians (removed) · Italians AoE2 Italians · Magyars AoE2 Magyars · Slavs AoE2 Slavs
AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African KingdomsBerbers AoE2 Berbers · Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians · Malians AoE2 Malians · Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese
AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the RajasBurmese AoE2 Burmese · Khmer AoE2 Khmer · Malay AoE2 Malay · Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last KhansBulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians · Cumans AoE2 Cumans · Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians · Tatars AoE2 Tatars
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the WestBurgundians AoE2 Burgundians · Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the DukesBohemians AoE2 Bohemians · Poles AoE2 Poles
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of IndiaBengalis AoE2 Bengalis · Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians · Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras · Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of RomeRomans AoE2 Romans
AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain RoyalsArmenians AoE2 Armenians · Georgians AoE2 Georgians