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This article is about the scenario in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. For the scenario in Age of Empires, see Battle of Kadesh.

The Battle of Kadesh is the third and last scenario of the Reign of the Hittites campaign in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition.

Scenario instructions[]

Kadesh, 1274 BCE

Muwatalli, your empire stretches from the coasts of Arzawa in the west to the land of Canaan in the southeast, but such an empire breeds jealousy in foreign kings. In a betrayal of the agreement between you and his father, the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II has captured your vassal, the Amorite kingdom of Amurru in the land of Syria. In retaliation, you have raised the call to war among your allies. The kings and princes of nineteen lands, among them Lukka, Ugarit, and Carchemish, join you in battle. The plain at Kadesh by Arantu River will soon hear the thundering of your war chariots as if the storm god Tarhunna himself were beating the earth wit his thunderbolts and battle axe!

Starting conditions[]



  1. You begin in the walled settlement of Kadesh but you must expand outward for resources.
  2. Invest in archers at the start of the game—they can be used to attack any enemy troops that threaten your walls.
  3. Alternatively, an aggressive attack with your starting chariots can be enough to hinder the Re Division and secure the eastern part of the map.



  • Player (Hittites AoE Hittites): The player starts with a walled settlement representing Kadesh. The player has most Bronze Age buildings and a large starting army.


  • Re Division (Egyptians AoE Egyptians): Re Division controls a Bronze Age base with some military buildings, defended by some Watch Towers.They will attack with Chariots.
  • Ramesses (Egyptians AoE Egyptians): Ramesses starts with a well-defended Bronze-Age base, containing multiple Military buildings. They also have a starting army containing multiple Chariot Archers, Hero Ramesses and a Priest.


The Re Division's base is poorly defended. It is possible to defend the starting base using towers only, while rushing down the Re Division at the beginning of the game. Control the river with superior War Galley and press Ramesses back. Siege Ramesses' base with the army of the player's choice, but keep some Chariots to counter their Priest.


According to the Egyptian records, Ramesses, in haste to engage the enemy, drove his division ahead of the rest of his army. Believing the reports of two captured Shasu nomads, who claimed that the Hittite army was still far from Kadesh, the pharaoh was unprepared for a Hittite attack. In fact, Muwatalli's forces were nearby and, crossing the Arantu (Orontes) River, they ambushed the pharaoh and his smaller force.

In the initial clash, the Hittites had the advantage, catching the Egyptian Re Division- each unit in Ramesses' army was named after a god- in the open and routing it. The pharaoh himself became surrounded in the fighting and, according to his accounts, survived only by finding that the god "Ammon's grace is better for to me than a million fighting men and ten thousand chariots be." The pharaoh personally led several charges into the Hittite ranks with his personal guard.

The Hittites, meanwhile, believing that they had defeated their enemies, stopped to plunder the Egyptian camp. This proved disastrous for the Hittites, who succumbed to an Egyptian counterattack from the Path division, which had arrived in time to prevent total defeat. As the Hittite army fled back across the river, the larger and heavier Hittite chariots, which carried three men, were overtaken and dispatched by the lighter and faster Egyptian chariots. Despite this rout, Muwatalli chose not to commit his reserves to the battle, instead keeping them in the city of Kadesh.

There is no historical consensus on the outcome of the battle. The surviving records from both civilizations claimed a great victory. The city of Kadesh remained under Hittite control, however, and Ramesses retreated to Egypt. The Egyptian pharaoh would return to Canaan in the following years and skirmish withe Hittites, but neither power could decisively defeat the other. Sixteen years after the clash at Kadesh, the two kingdoms signed a peace accord known as the Eternal Treaty. Remarkably, it is the only ancient treaty from the Near East in which each side's version survived the ravages of time. Discovered nearly a century apart by archaeologists, the Hittite version of the alliance (recorded on clay tablets in Akkadian), and the Egyptian version (carved with hieroglyphics into stone) serve as an inspiration for modern nations.


Like the storm god, who slew the giant serpent Illuyanka with his thunderbolts, you drove the Egyptians before your chariots and turned them to dust and ash. In Egypt, the lamentations of the women will be heard for 40 days and there will be much gnashing of teeth. On the records of your people's history, kept within the archives at Hattusa, your name will be among the mightiest of Hittite kings, and your sons will carve your image into a great rock wall so that you will watch over your land for an eternity.


Your pathetic army has been crushed by the Egyptians, and soon hordes of their troops are flooding your cities, slaughtering your subjects at will. As worthless as your people were while following your orders, the innovative Egyptians have managed to find a use for them—their corpses have been transported to the fields where they will make excellent fertilizer.


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Shorthands: DE - Definitive Edition, RoR - Return of Rome, originally - in the release version
If no shorthands are written, names in brackets represent campaigns and scenarios renamed and/or reworked in the Definitive Edition.