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This article is about the scenario in Age of Empires. For the god power in Age of Mythology, see Great Hunt.

The Great Hunt is the fifth scenario of the Voices of Babylon campaign in Age of Empires. It depicts the recovery of the statue of Marduk from the hands of the Elamites during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar I. The goal is to traverse a mostly linear path across the map, picking up extra troops on the way, and ultimately finding an Artifact.

Scenario instructions[]

Description[]

NuRoR artifact
Karun River near Susa, 1120 BCE

The glory of Babylon has been restored by the reconquest of lands formerly lost to the Elamites, and by ejecting the foreign Kassite rulers from our territories. However, King Nebuchadnezzar I vows that taking back former Babylonian land is not enough. The Elamites must feel his wrath in their homeland. Nebuchadnezzar I has ordered you to attack Susa, the capital of the Elamites, just across the Karun river.

In one of their previous raids, the Elamites carted off a golden statue of the most important god of the Babylonians; Marduk. Your task is to recapture it to strengthen Nebuchadnezzar's legitimacy back home. Peoples long oppressed by the Elamites will give you aid in your quest if you can locate them.
—In-game campaign description

Starting conditions[]

  • Starting Age: Bronze Age Icon (DE) Bronze Age
  • Starting resources: None
  • Population limit: 50
  • Starting units:

Objective[]

  • Capture the Artifact.

Hints[]

  1. The long road ahead is paved with many obstacles. Sometimes it is better to race through a hotspot than to stand and fight.
  2. Gather as many allies as you can along your way – you will need them in the end.
  3. Landing an army near Susa is a daunting task. Use the shallows around the city to land Priests and Catapults in range of the city's defenses and destroy them from a distance.
  4. On your way, you will have the chance to obtain a few Priests. Use them to heal and bolster your force with converts before attacking Susa.

Description[]

Karun River near Susa, 1120 BCE

The glory of Babylon has been restored by the reconquest of lands formerly lost to the Elamites, and by ejecting the foreign Kassite rulers from our territories. However, King Nebuchadnezzar I vows that taking back former Babylonian land is not enough. The Elamites must feel his wrath in their homeland. Nebuchadnezzar I has ordered you to attack Susa, the capital of the Elamites, just across the Karun river. In one of their previous raids, the Elamites carted off a golden statue of the most important god of the Babylonians; Marduk. Your task is to recapture it to strengthen Nebuchadnezzar's legitimacy back home. Peoples long oppressed by the Elamites will give you aid in your quest if you can locate them.
—In-game section

Starting conditions[]

Objective[]

Hints[]

  1. The long road ahead is paved with many obstacles. Sometimes it is better to race through a hotspot than to stand and fight.
  2. Gather as many allies as you can along your way—you will need them in the end.
  3. Landing an army near Susa is a daunting task. Use the shallows around the city to land priests and catapults in range of the city's defenses and destroy them from a distance.
  4. On your way, you will have the chance to obtain a few villagers. Use them to build up your force before attacking the city of Susa.

Description[]

1120 BC

The glory of Babylon has been restored by the recapture of the city from the Elamites. King Nebuchadnezzar I vows that recapturing the city is not enough, however. The Elamites must feel his wrath in their homeland. Attack the Elamites in their mountainous strongholds. Find and recapture the statue of the god Marduk that they carted off (represented by an Artifact). Peoples long oppressed by the Elamites will give you aid in your quest if you can locate them.
—In-game campaign description

Starting conditions[]

  • Starting Age: Stone Age Icon (DE) Stone Age
  • Starting resources: None
  • Population limit: 50
  • Starting units:

Objective[]

Hints[]

  • The long road ahead is paved with many obstacles. Sometimes it is better to push through a hotspot than to stand and fight.
  • Gather as many allies as you can along your way; you will need them in the end.

Players[]

Player[]

  • Player (Babylonians AoE Babylonians): The player starts at the west corner with a few Axemen. It is impossible to develop an economy throughout this scenario, all units must be found on the map or converted by Priests.

Enemies[]

  • Elamites (Assyrians AoE Assyrians): This player's units are the first enemies encountered, after the Lion and Elephant Kings, along the southwest edge of the map. They have four Bowmen shortly after a set of Gaia archers, and when the path subsequently forks, they have trios of Improved Bowmen waiting down both paths.
  • Elamites (Persians AoE Persians): This player occupies the southern corner of the map. They have four Bowmen, followed by 4-8 Sentry Towers (depending on difficulty level) arranged in pairs flanking either side of the path.
  • Elamites (Persians AoE Persians): This player has a series of ambushes set along the long path leading from the southeast to the flagged area. Their force comprises 1-2 Ballistas in the southeast, then 2-4 Elephant Archers, 1-4 Watch Towers, 0-2 Stone Throwers between the towers, a row of Small Walls blocking access to the Priests in the flagged area, and two more Stone Throwers on a little island east of the flagged area.
  • Elamites (Sumerians AoE Sumerians): This player is based on the long ridge across the middle of the map. They have a cluster of 5-8 Sentry Towers blocking the route past the cliffs. Past this is a firing line of 2-6 Ballistas and a Catapult, plus another two Catapults behind a partial screen of Barricades further east, just before the green Elamites' archers.
  • Elamites (Hittites AoE Hittites): This player guards the eastern part of the central ridge, past the orange Elamites' siege weapons; they are the last obstacle before the northern waterway. This force comprises 7-10 Composite Bowmen and 2-5 Priests.
  • Elamites (Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians): This player controls the largest army, distributed across the shallower parts of the sprawling northern waterway. Their force comprises 1-3 Composite Bowmen, 2-3 Cavalry, and 1-2 Stone Throwers on a little island connected to the main landmass by shallows; three Ballistas and 0-2 Sentry Towers in the eastern corner (guarding access to a trio of Gaia Priests); and a large collection of Catapults and Ballistas dotted around the northern waters.
  • Susa (Persians AoE Persians): This player is based on the island in the north corner, guarding the Artifact the player must capture to win. Their snaking mountain pass contains 6-10 Ballistas, 3-6 Heavy Cavalry, 0-4 Catapults, and 2-3 Guard Towers.

Player[]

Enemies[]

  • Elamites (Assyrians AoE Assyrians): An Iron Age, purely military force, occupying the northern part of the starting landmass. They block passage to the central ridge with a wedge of Medium Walls and Guard Towers. South of the blockade, they have a small force of four Elephant Archers, three Horse Archers, and two Broad Swordsmen, along with a set of six Sentry Towers flanking the path in the southern corner of the map, and two Guard Towers between there and the flagged area. North of the blockade, they have six Horse Archers, six Composite Bowmen, two Catapults, two Broad Swordsmen, and an Elephant Archer. They have two War Galleys in the sprawling northern waterway, and a collection of buildings. As they have no economy, however, they are unlikely to produce more than a trio of Bowmen and Slingers.
  • Susa (Persians AoE Persians): An Iron Age fort on the northern island, guarding the Artifact in the corner of the map, hidden behind a Government Center. Depending on the difficulty level, they may produce enough Villagers to harvest the wood on their island, but still depend on their starting force of ten Composite Bowmen, six Heavy Cavalry, six Heavy Horse Archers, four Catapults, and three Guard Towers along their snaking cliff pass, plus five Triremes protecting their coastline.

Neutral[]

  • Elamites (Persians AoE Persians): A Tool Age force guarding the starting part of the map. They utilize Axemen, Bowmen, and Watch Towers, and have a small Villager economy focused on wood. Their diplomacy is set to Neutral so that the player is likely to leave their Villagers and buildings to be converted by Priests.

Player[]

  • Player (Egyptians AoE Egyptians): The player starts at the west corner with a few Axemen. It is impossible to develop an economy throughout this scenario, all units must be found on the map or converted by Priests.

Enemies[]

  • Elam (Greeks AoE Greeks): This player's units are located along the southwest edge of the map, after the Lion and Elephant Kings. They have four Bowmen shortly after a set of Gaia archers, and when the path subsequently forks, they have trios of Improved Bowmen waiting down both paths. They also own a set of Small Walls later on, blocking the way to the Gaia Priests beyond the flagged area.
  • Elam (Babylonians AoE Babylonians): This player occupies the southern corner of the map. They have four Bowmen, followed by eight Sentry Towers arranged in pairs flanking either side of the path, and a pair of Ballistas a little further north.
  • Elam (Persians AoE Persians): This player has four Elephant Archers and a pair of Sentry Towers on the long path leading from the southeast to the flagged area.
  • Elam (Yamato AoE Yamato): This player is based on the long ridge across the middle of the map. They have a cluster of eight Sentry Towers blocking the route past the cliffs. Past this is a firing line of six Ballistas and a Catapult, plus another four Catapults and a House further east, just before the green Elamites' archers.
  • Elam (Hittites AoE Hittites): This player's forces are divided into two parts. The first is located just before the flagged area, immediately after the brown Elamites' units, with two Sentry Towers, two Stone Throwers between them, and another pair of Stone Throwers on a tiny island nearby. The second part of their forces guards the eastern part of the central ridge, past the orange Elamites' siege weapons; they are the last obstacle before the northern waterway. This force comprises ten Composite Bowmen and five Priests.
  • Elam (Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians): This player controls the largest army, distributed across the shallower parts of the sprawling northern waterway. Their force comprises four Composite Bowmen, three Cavalry, and two Stone Throwers on a little island connected to the main landmass by shallows; three Ballistas and two Sentry Towers in the eastern corner (guarding access to a trio of Gaia Priests); and a huge collection of Stone Throwers and Ballistas dotted around the northern waters.
  • Elam (Sumerians AoE Sumerians): This player is based on the island in the north corner, guarding the Artifact the player must capture to win. Their snaking mountain pass contains ten Ballistas, seven Heavy Cavalry, four Catapults, and three Guard Towers.

Strategy[]

The Great Hunt is a mostly linear march through a series of obstacles. There are no Villagers in the scenario, but the player can acquire Gaia units along the way, including Priests that can be used to build up an army of converted enemy troops.

The Gaia Priests have all Temple technologies, including Monotheism, so they can convert enemy towers and Priests. Their Bronze Age upgrades are applied twice, so they have 100 hit points, and move faster. However, this extra bonus is applied at the start of the scenario, so may be lost if loading a saved game.

The following walkthrough is for playing on Hard difficulty; lower difficulty settings have fewer enemy units and towers. The map is from the original game's version of the scenario, but the layout and unit configuration is very similar to Return of Rome's.

AoE1 campaign - Voices of Babylon - s5 The Great Hunt - walkthrough map OG
1. Animals

Direct the starting Axemen straight down the middle of the path. There are three Alpha Lions ahead, but by sticking to the middle of the path, only one needs to be fought. Past this is another Alpha Lion and two Alpha Elephants. Unlike other Elephants, Alphas attack nearby units, so tackle one Elephant at a time with the full force to bring it down quickly. Alternatively, the Elephants can simply be ran past, as the player will then acquire archers to bring them down from a distance.

2. Bowmen

After acquiring a group of six Composite Bowmen, enemy Bowmen lurk further down the path. When the path forks, there is a trio of Improved Bowmen down each fork, after which the paths converge back into one. Only one trio needs to be dealt with; it may be worth returning later with Priests to convert the other trio.

3. Tower gauntlet

After acquiring a pair of Scouts, there is a curving passage flanked by archers and four pairs of Sentry Towers. It takes a very long time for archers to whittle down towers, and marching the whole force through the passage would result in heavy losses. The best strategy is to leave most of the forces behind (to reconvene with after the player has siege weapons to bring down the towers) and just charge the Scouts straight through the shooting alley. The Elamites don't have Ballistics, so most arrows can be avoided by keeping as far as possible from the towers. After the fourth pair of towers, the path splits; take the right fork to acquire a set of Cavalry.

4. Elephant gauntlet

After acquiring the six Cavalry units, there will be a tougher gauntlet. The goal is to run directly northwest to the opposite edge of the map, and break through a Small Wall, beyond which four Priests can be acquired.

The Cavalry will run past two Ballistas, four Elephant Archers, four Watch Towers, and two Stone Throwers. The Elephants should be ignored for now: it will soon be possible to convert them, after which they serve as damage sponges for the rest of the scenario. The siege weapons are less useful to convert, as the player will have access to more of them later; at least one of the Stone Throwers should be destroyed, as they will bombard the Cavalry during the attempt to break through the wall to the Priests.

When reaching the wall, target a single segment beyond the range of the Watch Towers. Dodge away from any Stone Thrower projectiles, then continue attacking the walls. After breaking through, run to the other side, and then to the Priests for healing. Use the Priests to convert the enemy units that follow them through the wall. It is essential to keep the Priests alive, so try to keep them safe behind a screen of tougher units, and convert siege weapons from the longest range possible. If any Stone Throwers are converted, use them to destroy the towers.

5. Island Stone Throwers

When acquiring the Priests, a Light Transport is also gained in the adjacent river. This ship has no long-term use as it's in an isolated waterway; its purpose is to transport a pair of Stone Throwers from a nearby island, after they've been converted by the player's Priests.

Ensure all units in the group are healed, then return down the path the Cavalry charged along, with the Elephant Archers in front to absorb damage if any enemy units remain. It may be worth setting them to Ceasefire stance, so that they won't destroy enemies before the Priests can convert them. Return to the tower gauntlet (stage 3), and use the Stone Throwers to destroy them. With the enemy towers and archers dealt with, it's now possible to reunite with the Axemen and Composite Bowmen from the earlier stages of the scenario. Move to the next stage.

6. Tower barricade

The way out of this part of the map is blocked by a nest of Sentry Towers. Use the converted siege weapons to bring them down quickly.

7. Siege weapon firing range

Past the tower blockade is a massive group of Ballistas, with a Catapult. Draw their fire with the Elephant Archers, which can withstand their attacks while the Priests make the conversions. There are more enemies than Priests, so some will either need to be destroyed, or the player can withdraw (ensuring that the Elephants remain between the Priests and the enemies) and wait until the Priests have recovered their faith. Past these enemies is another pair of Catapults, which should be dealt with the same way. Pull all converted units back, and heal them up.

8. Priests and archers

The next obstacle is a line of Composite Bowmen and five Priests. These Priests have no upgrades, so are far slower and more fragile than the player's. This also means they don't have Monotheism, so won't attempt to convert the player's own Priests, but the Elephant Archers are vulnerable to them. Ensure they're set to Ceasefire stance so that if they're converted, they won't fire on the player.

So long as the archers aren't firing on the player's Priests, it's advisable to convert the enemy Priests first, as they can then be used to convert more archers. (Again, set the archers' stance to Ceasefire as soon as they're converted.) Otherwise, as there more archers than Priests, it may be necessary to kill some of the archers instead. After this fight, the player's forces reach the main body of water, which stretches across much of the map and leads directly to Susa.

9. Eastern corner

Near the shore is a Light Transport. Withdraw it south for now, there are enemy troops to the north, across the shallows. This is a more diverse group than has been fought so far, with 2 Stone Throwers, 3 Cavalry, and 3 Composite Bowmen. Again, draw enemy fire with the Elephant Archers, and try to convert as many as possible, but it may be necessary to eliminate some. The converted Priests will take longer to convert enemies than the ones acquired earlier.

In the eastern corner are three enemy Ballistas, move or transport the longer-ranged Priests north of the forest to convert them. The lesser Priests only have a tiny range advantage over the siege weapons, so may be vulnerable to counter-attack. South of the Ballistas are two Sentry Towers that should be sieged down, and south again is a trio of additional fully-upgraded Priests.

10. Marsh siege weapons

The large body of water across the northern reaches of the map is dotted with isolated patches of shallows containing Catapults and Ballistas. Two more Light Transports can also be acquired in the north.

Transport the longer-ranged Priests between the shallows, converting the siege weapons from beyond their reach. If the Priests still have 100 hit points, they can survive a single Catapult shot, or two Ballista shots, but no more. The converted siege units will likely come under fire from other enemies in the area, so have the Light Transports ready to withdraw them. Try to keep all the transports alive, however, because it will take a long time to transport the entire army to Susa for the final battle.

11. Susa
In the northern corner of the map is Susa, set into a snaking mountain pass with the Artifact at the top. The access point is on the western edge of the map. Between here and the Artifact are eight Ballistas, six Heavy Cavalry, four Catapults, and three Guard Towers. It is possible to reach the Artifact simply by rushing the Cavalry units to the top, although they will take heavy casualties. Another option is to set up a defensive line in the western shallows and bait the enemy out.

AoE1 campaign - Voices of Babylon - s5 The Great Hunt - base region map DE

Map of the southwest region, where a base can be established. Note that the yellow Elamites' base in the northeast is blocked off by walls and cliffs.

Unlike other versions of The Great Hunt, base-building is possible in the Definitive Edition. Villagers can be converted by Priests in the map's southern area, or acquired as Gaia units in the flagged area north of the starting position. While it's possible to reach the flagged area quickly by hugging the river's shoreline, the player's troops will take significant damage on the way to the Villagers - conversion may be slower, but is far safer.

The player starts out with a group of Composite Bowmen which are powerful enough to defeat anything in the southwest of the map. If intending to complete the scenario more quickly, there is a powerful group of five Gaia Cavalry beyond the red Elamites' base, so another option is to simply rush directly southeast, ignoring enemy attacks, until reaching the Cavalry.

Bring down the Elamite soldiers, towers, and production buildings, but ignore the Villagers for now. Where the road forks near the first towers, take the north route to acquire a Gaia Temple. Use the available gold to create Priests, use them to convert Villagers, and then some base building can begin.

Return to where the Gaia Cavalry was acquired. Further east is a gauntlet of Sentry Towers and Elephant Archers. Draw out the Elephant Archers, then use two Priests to quickly convert one of them. Use this Elephant Archer to attack the other Elephant Archers, drawing their fire, while the Priests keep it healed. When the Priests have recovered their faith, repeat the process. Rather than attacking the towers, use the Cavalry to swiftly run past them. To the northwest, two Gaia Stone Throwers and a Priest can be acquired. The Stone Throwers will quickly bring down the towers, but beware that this may provoke attack from the yellow Elamites' Horse Archers to the west. There are bountiful resources in the desert to the east of here, so bring the Villagers, but avoid getting too close to the cliffs, as the Elamites have archers and Catapults on the other side.

Continue northwest towards the blue-flagged area. The Elamites have Guard Towers and a small number of troops along the way; if using the Stone Throwers to bring down the towers, keep them healed up by the Priests. Past the flags are five Gaia Villagers, and plenty of Berry Bushes.

Every area that has been explored up to this point is safe from enemy incursion. The yellow Elamites have a small base along the next ridge to the northeast, but are blocked from venturing south by their own walls. Take the time to develop an advanced force, including Engineering-upgraded Catapults to bring down enemy siege units and Guard Towers. Use the Catapults to whittle down the enemy forces from the other side of the cliffs, then when ready, tear down the walls and move in. The enemy base is quite broadly distributed, including a coastal outpost to the east protected by a pair of War Galleys.

In the eastern corner of the map is a small Gaia fleet of two Triremes and three Heavy Transports, which can be used to bring the fight to Susa across the water in the northern corner of the map. However, Susa's coast is protected by five Triremes, so the player will need to unload ranged troops or Priests into the shallows to assist against the warships.

Susa is well-defended on land too, with a small Villager economy, four Guard Towers, and a potent defensive force of Catapults, Ballistas, Horse Archers, and Heavy Cavalry. Bring Catapults to the shallows outside the city, and use them to whittle down the enemy from long range. When ready to begin close combat, the landing point is in the west of the island, and there's a snaking clifftop pass to the Artifact at the top, hidden behind a Government Center. However, if Susa surrenders and the other players are defeated, the scenario can be won without taking the Artifact.

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AoE1 campaign - Voices of Babylon - s5 The Great Hunt - walkthrough map OG

A map of the scenario, highlighting the major points of conflict along the way.

In this scenario, there are seven "Elam" teams of different civilizations and colors. None of these need to be defeated to win, as long as you find the Artifact. It's quite long and risky, so save often.

You start off with a handful of Axemen in the western corner. Move south, avoiding the Lion King and Elephant King as much as possible, until you find the Improved Bowmen. Continue south, killing the Bowmen that get in your way, to find two Scouts. Your Axemen and Bowmen aren't very important from this point forward.

There's a corridor of Sentry Towers ahead of you. Don't try to destroy them, just move your forces past them, and find the Cavalry units. Send the Cavalry north, past the Elephant Archers. To the east, there's a row of Sentry Towers making a wall, so it's impossible to sneak past. Go north.

You'll come across two Stone Throwers, guarded by Towers. You can save them, if you want to try to convert them, but that might be too risky; destroying the siege units are the safer option. Continue past to find a wall, behind which there's two Priests. Heal your cavalry if they're damaged, then move one of the Priests to the right (the Berry Bushes point the way). You'll get a Light Transport.

On a small island just south of the boat, there are two Stone Throwers. Send your Priests across to convert them; as long as you stay close enough, they can't hurt you. Then convert the Elephant Archers you ran past - attacking them with Cavalry will ensure that they won't try to hurt your Priests.

Destroy the Towers. Behind the Towers, there's Ballistae and Catapults, so send your Cavalry forward to destroy them. Then, there's a row of archers and a few Priests. Don't let them Convert anything important! If your archers and Axemen are still alive, send them first. Losing them won't matter.

Move towards the coast to find a transport. If you send a few units south, they can pick up three Priests that are hidden in the shallows. There's two more Light Transports on the map, and a host of enemy Ballistae and Catapults. Placing Priests right next to them will allow you to Convert them while remaining too close to shoot. Convert as many of them as you want.

When you think you have enough, send you Cavalry, siege units, Elephant Archers and Priests to the island to the north. The Cavalry should go first, to kill siege units. The Elephant Archers should tackle Heavy Cavalry, and the Stone Throwers and Catapults should level Towers. Heal anything that's damaged. At the northernmost point of the map, you'll find the Artifact.

Additional Tips[]

Converting enemy units as the scenario progresses is a must, since the player's own forces are limited. Since the player can capture Priests in pair or in trio, at least two Priests must attempt to convert an enemy unit at a time, especially ranged units. However when attempting to convert siege weapons, the Priest can be assigned to stand adjacent to the siege weapon first then attempt to convert. The player needs to distract the siege weapon with Cavalry or Elephant Archer (however the former needs to dodge the projectiles, while the latter can be used as a meatshield) before attempting to close the gap between the siege weapon and the Priest.

Historical notes[]

With the Kassite dynasty overthrown, Marduk-kabit-ahheshu established what came to be known as the second dynasty of Isin in the 12th century BCE. However, this did not end hostilities with Babylon's Assyrian and Elamite neighbors, and Marduk-kabit-ahheshu waged wars against them to strengthen his new dynasty. Because of these early hostilities, his successors often needed to continue the fighting to maintain control over Babylonia, thus perpetuating hostilities between the three empires for decades. The most famous king of them all, Nebuchadnezzar I, fought such a campaign against Elam. The Elamites had conquered and ravaged a large part of Babylonia and were threatening the fragile city-state. A first attack on Elam failed due to an epidemic among Nebuchadnezzar's troops, but in a later campaign the Babylonian monarch succeeded in conquering and pillaging Susa, the capital of Elam.
—In-game section

The reign of Nebuchadnezzar I was not without turmoil. He engaged in warfare with the enemies that surrounded Babylon to both punish them for past invasions and to keep them off balance. The Elamites to the east were an especial annoyance because they had little else of value near them to covet and the Zagros Mountains were a natural defensive barrier between them and the open land of the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys.
—In-game section

Historical outcome[]

Victory[]

You have sacked Susa and defeated the Elamites, a magnificent achievement that will be remembered for ages. Now, all that remains for you to do is safely return the statue of Marduk to Babylon, along with the loot that we took from Susa.
—In-game section

Loss[]

Your expedition into the Elamite homeland has ended catastrophically. With our army destroyed and our most holy artifact in the hands of our enemies, the people of Babylonia have lost faith in their king. In turn, Nebuchadnezzar I has lost his faith in you, and he intends to strap you to a ballista bolt the next time the Elamites besiege our cities. Maybe then you can be of some use after all.
—In-game section

The Babylonians took war to the Elamites and kept them off balance. The Elamites never threatened to take Babylon again.
—In-game section

Trivia[]

  • It is the only official scenario in the original Age of Empires with a Sumerian player. This is not the case in subsequent versions.
  • The original game's The Great Hunt is the only official scenario outside of the Yamato, Empire of the Rising Sun campaign with an East Asian player.
  • In the original version of the scenario, the players are set to the Scenario Editor's default civilizations, except for players 4 and 5, which are assigned the Persians and Yamato, respectively.
    • Player 4 being set to the Persians grants their Elephant Archers a speed boast, making them particularly valuable for the player to convert.
  • In the original Age of Empires, this is the only scenario with 8 players.

Changes[]

Definitive Edition
  • Players and civilizations: the player civilization is changed from Egyptians to Babylonians. The numerous Elam players have been merged into two. The red Elamites are a Tool Age Persian player along the southwest edge of the map; the yellow Elamites are an Iron Age Assyrian player dotted around the rest of the starting landmass, particularly north of the cliffs. The cyan Elam (Phoenicians) player is changed to brown, Susa (Persians).
  • Starting age: the player starts in the Bronze Age rather than the Stone Age, and has resources.
  • Starting units: the player's starting units changed from Axemen to Composite Bowmen.
  • Gaia: while the scenario still revolves around Gaia acquisitions, the units and positioning are all different.
  • Villagers: it is now possible to build a base, either by converting the red Elamites' Villagers, or by acquiring Gaia Villagers in the flagged area north of the starting position. This means the player is no longer dependent on Gaia units and conversions after the initial phase of the scenario.
  • Enemy buildings: red Elamites and Susa now have a small Villager economy, and all non-player players start with production buildings.
  • Enemy military: the enemies' force composition is changed in almost every region. There is still a path flanked by pairs of Sentry Towers in the south, access to the top of the central ridge is still blocked (now by walls as well as towers), there are still Catapults atop the ridge, and Susa still has the same troop/tower types (albeit in different numbers, and supported by Horse Archers and Triremes), but every other engagement is radically different.
  • Map layout: the map's geography is close to identical, with just a small number of major differences. The western rivers now interconnect, so fishing fleets can travel between them. The eastern river has been moved south, to make room for a resource-filled desert close to the cliffs. And numerous resources have been sprinkled around the map, as the player is now able to build an economy.
  • Animals: there are no Alpha/King animals in this version; the only predator is a regular Lion near a herd of Gazelles in the newly-added eastern desert.
Return of Rome
  • This version of the scenario is based on the original, rather than the Definitive Edition, so all aforementioned changes don't apply unless listed below.
  • Players and civilizations: the player civilization is changed from Egyptians to Babylonians. All enemies' names are changed from Elam to Elamites, except the occupants of the northern fortress, who are now named Susa. The red player's civilization is changed from Greeks to Assyrians, yellow from Babylonians to Persians, brown to purple (but still Persians), orange from Yamato to Assyrians, and cyan (now Susa) from Sumerians to Persians.
  • Enemy technologies: while all enemies were Stone Age in the original scenario, this only remains true of the red Elamites. Susa and the gray Elamites are Bronze Age, the other enemies are Tool Age.
  • Player technologies: the player is in the Bronze Age rather than the Stone Age, and has all the Priest's upgrades researched. The Bronze Age Priest technologies are applied twice to the Gaia Priests, although this bonus may be lost when loading a saved game. This technological edge makes the scenario far easier than the original version, as the Priests can out-range all enemy units, and convert them more easily.
  • Difficulty settings: lower difficulty levels have fewer enemy troops and towers.
  • Shortcut: in both previous versions of the scenario, it was possible to take a shortcut from the starting position to the flagged area, by hugging the narrow area between the forest and shoreline. In Return of Rome, the river's shoreline is blocked by rocks and reeds.
  • Animals: there is one fewer Alpha Lion, and they're spaced out far enough that it's possible to avoid some.
  • Elephant gauntlet: the two pairs of Sentry Towers leading up to the flagged area are replaced with Watch Towers.
  • Siege weapon firing range: the group of four Catapults and a House on the middle of the central ridge are replaced with two Catapults behind a partial barricade.
  • Eastern corner: the diverse group of gray Elamites on the island northeast of the ridge has three Composite Bowmen rather than four.
  • Marsh siege weapons: the gray Elamites' Stone Throwers dotted around the northern shallows are replaced with Catapults. The two at the base of the central cliffs are removed.
  • Susa: the island fortress has six Heavy Cavalry rather than seven.

Gallery[]

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.
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