Age of Empires Series Wiki

The Battle of Zama is the fifth scenario of the The Rise of Rome campaign in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, replacing Zama in the The Rise of Rome expansion. It depicts the eponymous battle, ending the Second Punic War.

Scenario instructions[]


Zama, 202 BCE

Publius Scipio, your unrelenting victories over Carthage's allies have brought your renown, but greater triumphs await! With Hispania and her tribes subdued by your legions, you ventured across the sea to the hot sands of Africa to threaten Carthage herself. Your gamble has succeeded - Hannibal has abandoned his Italian campaign to rush to the defense of his homeland. The Carthaginians are numerous and will fight with auxiliaries with the hot determination of men defending their homes, but you have yet another gambit in play. King Massinissa of the Numidian desert tribes has betrayed Hannibal and bolsters your auxiliaries with his horsemen. Defeat Hannibal on the battlefield of Zama and Carthage will finally know the price of defying Rome!
—In-game section

Starting conditions[]


  • Destroy the three Docks in Carthage's harbor.
  • Bring Scipio to the blue flags at Carthage's Byrsa Forum.


  1. Reaching the Numidian camps will provide you with Heavy Horse Archers.
  2. Hannibal relies on resources gathered west of Carthage. Destroying his camps there will eventually starve him of resources needed to train his armies.
  3. A group of Priests can turn the tide of any battle against War Elephants and Phalanxes.



  • Player (Romans AoE Romans): starts in the Iron Age with a few Houses, three Villagers, a large army, and a small navy in the south-east part of the map.


  • Numidians (Assyrians AoE Assyrians): The Numidians have a scattering of three camps along the western edge of the map containing Gaia units for the player.


  • Carthage (Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians): starts with a fortified Post-Iron Age and large army in the northern corner of the map as well as a navy.
  • Carthage (Carthaginians): controls most of the city other than the fortifications and navy.


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.

The player should use the two Scouts to visit the three Numidian villages and take control of the Gaia Horse Archers, to reach the western camp, pass through the south rather than through the center of the map, as there is an enemy camp in the way. Use the three Villagers to build a Town Center and gather wood for additional housing and Town Centers to produce more Villagers, as after assuming control of the Horse Archers, the player will exceed their population limit. Then a boom strategy should ensue. There is little fish in the sea on this map, so hunting and then farming should be the approach for food.

Make sure to keep Scipio alive. If he dies, the scenario will be instantly lost. There is a yellow Carthaginian town bulging out of the city to its south-west, which is that player's main economic hub with farms. The starting forces and Gaia units is sufficient to destroy it, and as the Catapult outranges their towers, this can be done with no losses.

From there, the player should have little difficulty in attacking the main city when ready. The Docks and their defenses can be destroyed from land, so a navy is not particularly necessary. When besieging the city, try to not reach too far west, as a large contingent of fresh troops (red) consisting of Centurions and Armored Elephants will approach from the northwest. The target area that Scipio must reach contains four enemy Priests which can convert him, so some other troops should be sent first to deal with them or act as decoy. Once Scipio enters the flag-marked complex, the scenario is instantly won.


Historical notes[]

Publius Cornelius Scipio began his military career with the daring rescue of his father, the commander of the Roman army defeated by Hannibal at the Battle of Ticinus (218 BCE). The younger Scipio, seeing his father surrounded by enemy troops, drove his horse into the enemy ranks, opening a path through to the commander.

In 211 BCE, Scipio's father and uncle were killed in battle against Hasdrubal, Hannibal's brother, in Iberia—known to the Romans as Hispania. The Roman Senate held an election for the commander of the new army to be sent to Hispania. Scipio was the only man with the courage to volunteer for what was viewed as a death sentence. In command of fresh legions, he landed at the mouth of the Ebro River and was able to surprise and capture Carthago Nova, the Carthaginian capital in the region.

In Hispania, Scipio was renowned for his humanitarian treatment of prisoners. The Roman historian Livy writes that the Roman troops captured a beautiful local woman and offered her to their commander as a war prize. Scipio discovered the woman was betrothed to a local chieftain and had her returned to her fiancé, along with the money that had been offered as a ransom. In return, the chieftain pledged his warriors to support Scipio. Such humanitarian acts helped portray Rome as liberators instead of conquerors and encouraged local chieftains to supply and reinforce the Roman army.

After successfully occupying Hispania, Scipio returned to Rome intending to go to Africa and bring the war to Carthaginian lands. Senate leadership, however, grew envious of Scipio and suspicious of his intentions. The Senate refused to support Scipio with additional troops beyond a small garrison in Sicily, a posting usually reserved for the disgraced survivors of Roman defeats. The general trained these men thoroughly and forged an alliance with King Massinissa, ruler of the Berber Numidian kingdom in North Africa and one-time ally of Carthage. With no more support from the Senate beyond permission to sail to Africa, Scipio departed.

The appearance of a Roman army near Carthage caused Hannibal to abandon his Italian campaign. Returning to Africa, Hannibal's army met Scipio's forces on the plain of Zama, near Carthage. In the ensuing battle, Hannibal sent his elephants to charge the Roman lines, but Scipio had prepared for them. He ordered his cavalry to blow loud trumpets which panicked the elephants. He also had his men open gaps in their battle line, suspecting that the elephants would be lured through, allowing them to be cut down from the sides. These tactics worked, neutralizing Hannibal's advantage. Scipio then sent his legions forward against the Carthaginian lines. After a furious battle, Scipio was victorious and agreed to moderate peace terms with the Carthaginians, to the anger of Senators in Rome who preferred harsher penalties on their enemy. Scipio returned to Rome and was honored with the name Africanus, commemorating his victory in Africa.
—In-game section


Hannibal has been defeated and the leaders of Carthage beg Rome for peace and forgiveness. To mark your great victory at Zama, the Senate has bestowed the name Africanus upon you. Rome will soon turn her gaze to the north and the east for new victories, but for now, all of Rome celebrates your triumph, Scipio Africanus!
—In-game section


Your defeat at the battle of Zama disappoints Rome. The Carthaginians are rejuvenated and more dangerous than ever. Hannibal has outfitted another army to invade Italy, and the Senate fears that many more Romans will die in a losing war. The leaders of Rome require that you report to Catapult Unit XIV where you will be given another opportunity to have an impact on the Carthaginians.
—In-game section
Campaigns in Age of Empires
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires
AoE Ascent of Egypt icon Ascent of EgyptAoE Ascent of Egypt icon Hunting · NuRoR villager forager gather Foraging  · NuRoR scout idle Exploration (Discoveries before RoR) · NuRoR villager fisher Dawn of a New Age (Advancing to the next Age in DE) · NuRoR bowman attack Skirmish · NuRoR villager farmer gather Farming · NuRoR trade boat Trade · NuRoR priest converting Religion (Crusade originally) · NuRoR transport ship River Outpost (The River Outpost in DE) · NuRoR scout ship Naval Battle · NuRoR villager builder A Wonder of the World · NuRoR chariot idle Siege in Canaan (The Siege in Canaan in DE)
NuRoR hoplite idle Glory of GreeceOriginal: Land Grab · Citadel · Ionian Expansion · Trojan War · I'll Be Back · Siege of Athens · Xenophon's March · Wonder
DE: NuRoR clubman attack Claiming Territory · NuRoR bowman idle Acropolis · NuRoR cavalry idle The Conquest of Crete · NuRoR hoplite attack The Trojan War · NuRoR heavy transport idle Colonization of Ionia · NuRoR phalanx walk The Siege of Athens · NuRoR centurion attack Xenophon's March · NuRoR alexander attack Alexander the Great
NuRoR priest idle Voices of BabylonNuRoR priest converting The Holy Man (Holy Man originally) · NuRoR war galley idle The Tigris Valley (Tigris Valley originally) · NuRoR composite bowman idle Lost (Vengeance in DE) · NuRoR light transport idle I Shall Return · NuRoR artifact The Great Hunt  · NuRoR scythe chariot idle The Caravan · NuRoR chariot archer attack Lord of the Euphrates · NuRoR heavy catapult The Conquest of Nineveh (Nineveh originally)
Yamato, Empire of
the Rising Sun
The Assassins · Island Hopping · Capture (Definitive Edition) · Mountain Temple (The Mountain Temple) · The Canyon of Death · Oppression (Coup) · A Friend in Need (Jinshin War) · Kyushu Revolts (Fujiwara Revolts)
RomeIcon The Rise of Rome
The Rise of RomeThe Birth of Rome · Pyrrhus of Epirus · Syracuse (The Siege of Syracuse) · Metaurus (The Battle of the Metaurus) · Zama (The Battle of Zama) · Mithridates
Ave CaesarCaesar vs Pirates (Caesar's Revenge) · Britain (The Invasion of Britain) · Alesia (The Siege of Alesia) · Caesar vs Pompey (The Battle of Pharsalus)
Pax Romana
(Imperium Romanum)
Actium (The Battle of Actium) · Year of the Four Emperors (The Year of the Four Emperors) · Ctesiphon (Ransom at Ctesiphon) · Queen Zenobia (Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra) · Coming of the Huns (The Coming of the Huns)
Enemies of RomeCrossing the Alps · Third Greek War (Third Macedonian War) · Spartacus (The Revolt of Spartacus) · Odenathus vs Persians (Odaenathus, Lord of Palmyra)
Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition
Reign of the HittitesDemo: Homelands  · Growing Pains  · Opening Moves  · Fall of the Mitanni  · Battle of Kadesh
DE: Opening Moves  · Raid on Babylon  · The Battle of Kadesh
AoE The First Punic War icon The First Punic WarDemo/RoR: NuRoR axeman attack Struggle for Sicily · NuRoR war galley Battle of Mylae · NuRoR war elephant attack Battle of Tunis
DE: The Battle of Agrigentum · Battle of Mylae · Battle of Tunis
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome
RoR Trajan TrajanLegates and Legions · Roman Repute · Heads Will Roll · An Old Enemy · Blood in the Water
RoR Pyrrhus of Epirus Pyrrhus of EpirusA Second Alexander · The Many Kings of Macedon · Pyrrhic Victories · Savior of the Greeks · Sisyphus
RoR Sargon of Akkad Sargon of AkkadThe Chosen One · Divine Will · The Prophecy · The Land of Kings · Subartu
Demo versions
Dawn of CivilizationDawn of a New Age  · Skirmish · Crusade · The Wreck of the Hyskos  · Last Stand
Bronze Age Art of War
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.