Charlemagne’s empire has fallen, and the task of rebuilding the Holy Roman Empire lies in your hands. Unite the feuding duchies, contend with Papal authority, and construct powerful crenellated fortifications! Smash enemy armies with potent knights and demolish their cities with armored siege engines, or lead your men on crusade to the Holy Land or into Eastern Europe. The Teuton unique unit is the Teutonic Knight, a zealous warrior who can carve most melee units into ribbons.
The Teutons were known for their mighty citadels and fortress cities which defended their cities from invaders across Europe. This is seen with their double garrison size for their towers and Town Centers. Their Castles are also second to none, as the footmen aided the archers in defending the castle. To do so, the walls built with crenellations which allows infantry to fire arrows within the safety of their wall. To supplement the castles was an efficient system of farming, so their farms are cheaper to build.
Being the center of multiple crusader orders and having their own Catholic sect, the Teutons are fanatical defenders of their faith which inspires fierce loyalty with their allies. This is reflected by having their Monks heal their allies further away from the battlefield as well as having units less likely to defect to the enemy side. German siegecraft is also designed to endure the threat of soldiers in the event they are flanked in battle, which is represented by the +4 armor. German soldiers were known to be heavily armored in battle, which is represented by the increased melee armor for both Barracks and Stable units and the iconic high melee armor of their unique unit, the Teutonic Knight.
The Teutons are an infantry civilization. As such, they have excellent infantry with all upgrades, an extra +1/+2 melee armor in the Castle and Imperial ages, and the Teutonic Knight, a unit that is, albeit slow, unrivaled in melee combat. Their cavalry is, in fact, limited to the Paladin, which unfortunately lacks Husbandry and thus misses out on an important speed bonus; it remains a strong unit with +2 melee armor, however. Their archers are very weak, missing improvements all over the board, but Hand Cannoneers are available. The siege weapons are great, mostly due to Ironclad, which helps patch up their main weakness: melee attacks. The Teutonic navy is very underwhelming without Dry Dock and Bracer, which is an unfortunate combination as both the Fire Ship and Galleon are greatly hindered by their absence. Teutonic Monks are excellent. Their defensive capabilities are great, mostly thanks to Crenellations and overall solid defensive structures. Their economy is good, particularly their Farms, which are the most cost effective of all civilizations.
In-game, Teutonic units speak Old and Middle High German, which are the ancestor languages to modern standard German and several dialects. They were spoken in Germany roughly between 700 and 1350, so this corresponds well to the time period depicted in the game. The Goths speak the same language in-game, but actually, the Goths had their own Gothic language which was spoken as early as the 4th century and became extinct by the 8th or 9th century.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Teutonic AI characters:
Albert the Bear (c. 1100-1170): The first Margrave of Brandenburg (a domain of the Holy Roman Empire) from 1157-1170. Took part in crusades against the Slavic Wends, as well as the 1162 Storming of Milan. Called "the Bear" for his strength and restlessness.
Conrad the Salian (c. 990-1039): Holy Roman Emperor from 1027-1039; first emperor of the Salian House; grandson of Otto the Great. Notable for repressing rebellious factions of the Empire.
Emp. Leopold I (1640-1705): Holy Roman Emperor from 1658-1705. Famously summoned an imperial army to defeat the Turks at Vienna, however had less military success against the French. A patron of learning and the arts.
Emp. Lothair (795-855): Holy Roman Emperor from 817-855. Son of the previous Holy Roman Emperor Louis the Pious, fought a civil war against his siblings which led to the breakup of Francia.
Frederick Barbarossa (1122-1190): Holy Roman Emperor from 1152-1190. Established German dominance within the Holy Roman Empire; reasserted imperial rule in Italy. Known for his ambition, charisma, and political savvy, as well as his battlefield successes.
Frederick II (1194-1250): Holy Roman Emperor from 1220-1250. Presided over the height of the Holy Roman Empire's territorial expansion; also presided over the sixth crusade, which secured Jerusalem under the control of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Also known as Frederick Roger, he is the boy king that the narrator of the The Hautevilles campaign is speaking to.
Henry III (1016-1056): Holy Roman Emperor from 1046-1056. Last of a succession of emperors who successfully dominated the Papacy. Son of Conrad the Salian.
Henry the Lion (c. 1130-1195): Duke of Saxony from 1142-1180 and of Bavaria from 1156-1180. Used his political and military acumen to gain control of large swathes of the Holy Roman Emperor. Son of Lothair II.
King Heinrich (876-936): Heinrich der Volger (or Henry the Fowler), Duke of Saxony from 912-936 and King of East Francia from 919-936. Defeated Magyars at the Battle of Riade, and successfully subdued various Slavic tribes. Father of Otto the Great.
King Karl: Most likely depicts the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500-1558), who served from 1519-1556; he also served as Charles I, ruler of the Spanish Empire, from 1516-1556. An heir to Hapsburg, Valois-Burgundy, and Trastámara families, his extensive territory included the Spanish Empire, the Low Countries, and much of Central Europe.
King Rupert (1352-1410): Elected by German Princes to become King of Germany in 1400 after the deposition of King Wenceslas; served until his death. Attempted to travel to Rome to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor but was defeated by an Italian ally of Wenceslas.
King Wenceslas (1361-1419): King of Bohemia from 1361 until his death; elected German King in 1373 but deposed in 1400. After refusing to recognize his dethronement in favor of King Rupert, he paid for military campaigns against Rupert and his allies, leading to years of war and instability.
Lothair II (1075-1137): Holy Roman Emperor from 1133-1137. Won a civil war against the house of Hohenstaufen and its supporters. Grandfather of Henry the Lion.
Maximilian II (1527-1576): Holy Roman Emperor from 1564-1576. Famous for relatively tolerant religious policy, leading to a brief period of peace in the region. Son of King Karl (Charles V).
Maximilian of Hapsburg (1459-1519): Holy Roman Emperor from 1493-1519. Through marriages, military and political pressure, as well as success on the battlefield, added significant territory to Hapsburg holdings.
Otto the Great (912-973): Holy Roman Empire from 962-973. Oversaw the consolidation of the Holy Roman Empire through use of the church and by the decisive defeat of the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld, ending their incursions into the empire's realm. Son of King Heinrich (Henry the Fowler).
Rudolph of Swabia (1025-1080): Duke of Swabia from 1057-1079. Elected German king in opposition to Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV; conflict between them culminated in the Great Saxon Revolt, in which Rudolph of Swabia was killed.
The origin of Germany traces back to the crowning of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor in 800. Upon his death the empire was split into three parts that gradually coalesced into two: the western Frankish kingdom that became France and the eastern kingdom that became Germany. The title of Holy Roman Emperor remained in Charlemagne’s family until the tenth century when they died out. In 919 Henry, Duke of Saxony, was elected king of Germany by his fellow dukes. His son Otto became emperor in 962.
The Holy Roman Empire that Otto I controlled extended over the German plain north to the Baltic, eastward into parts of modern Poland, and southward through modern Switzerland, modern Austria, and northern Italy. From the outset, the emperors had a difficult problem keeping control of two disparate regions-Germany and Italy-that were separated by the Alps.
The Holy Roman Empire was successful at first because it benefited the principal members, Germany and Italy. The Germans were not far removed from the barbarian condition. They had been conquered by Charlemagne only a century earlier. They benefited greatly from Italian culture, technology, and trade. The Italians welcomed the relative peace and stability the empire ensured. Italy had been invaded time and again for the previous 500 years. The protection of the empire defended the papacy and allowed the city-states of Italy to begin their growth.
The imperial armies were manned partially by tenants of church lands who owed service to the emperor. A second important contingent were the ministriales, a corps of serfs who received the best training and equipment as knights but who were not free men. These armies were used to put down revolts or interference by local nobles and peasants or to defend against raids by Vikings from the north and Magyars from the east.
Because Germany remained a collection of independent principalities in competition, German warriors became very skilled. The most renowned German soldiers were the Teutonic Knights, a religious order of warriors inspired by the Crusades. The Teutonic Knights spread Christianity into the Baltic region by conquest but were eventually halted by Alexander Nevsky at the battle on frozen Lake Peipus.
A confrontation between the emperors and the church over investiture of bishops weakened the emperors in both Germany and Italy. During periods of temporary excommunication of the emperor and outright war against Rome, imperial authority lapsed. The local German princes solidified their holdings or fought off the Vikings with no interference or help from the emperor. In Italy, the rising city-states combined to form the Lombard League and refused to recognize the emperor.
Political power in both Germany and Italy shifted from the emperor to the local princes and cities. The ministriales rebelled, taking control of the cities and castles they garrisoned and declaring themselves free. During desperate attempts to regain Italy, more concessions were given to the local princes in Germany. By the middle of the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Empire existed in name only. The throne remained empty for 20 years. The German princes cared only about their own holdings. The Italian city-states did not want a German ruler and were strong enough to defend themselves.
Future emperors in the Middle Ages were elected by the German princes but they ruled in name only, controlling little more than their own family estates. Germany remained a minor power in Europe for centuries to come.
The Teutons' civilization icon is based on the Reichsadler of Henry VII and Louis IV in the 12th century.
The user interface image in the Definitive Edition displays a globus cruciger, the Imperial Orb of the Holy Roman Empire called Reichsapfel, part of the Imperial Regalia.
Like the Saracens generally representing the Islamic factions (before the introduction of the Berbers), the Teutons, alongside the Franks, generally represent the Christian factions.
Their unique unit, the Teutonic Knight, was a group of soldiers of the Teutonic Order, who participated in the Northern Crusades against many pagan nations of the Baltic Sea. They later fought other Christian nations as well, particularly Poland.
Except for Native American civilizations, the Teutons are the only civilization in Age of Empires II that do not have access to Light Cavalry.
The Teutons and Franks are the only two civilizations that have access to Paladin, but not Hussar.
Before the buffs introduced in updates 35584 and 36906, the Teutons were one of the most underplayed civilizations, mostly on open maps like Arabia, due to their very limited military options. Their cavalry lacks mobility due to the absence of Husbandry and the Teutonic Knight is also slow. The extra melee armor for both Barracks and Stable units allowed them to gain a strong identity as the slow civilization with focus on melee combat, thus giving more reasons to be picked on open maps, while also setting them as among the strongest for closed maps like Arena and Black Forest.