|This article is about the building in Age of Empires II. For the similar building in other games on the series, see Watch Tower.|
“Basic stone tower. Automatically attacks enemy units and buildings within range.”—Age of Empires II description
In the Fortress map setting, every player receives several Watch Towers at the beginning of the game, all randomly placed along the walls surrounding the settlement. The Towers serve as a useful early defense system while the players develop.
Tactics and placement Edit
Towers are an essential part of any kind of fortification. The Watch Tower is the first to become available and provides early protection to the player's village against raiding parties and rushes. Watch Towers should be placed in choke points to make them more effective. Also, they should be protected with walls since in the Feudal Age player's cannot research Murder Holes, making Watch Towers highly vulnerable to melee attacks.
Watch Towers can also be used offensively. Most civilizations can perform a tactic commonly known as the "trush" (Tower rush), which is based on creating several Watch Towers around an enemy settlement, preferably close to valuable resources (usually gold). To employ this tactic, the player must first accumulate some stone for the Towers along Dark and Feudal Ages, build a Blacksmith to improve the Watch Tower attack and range, and then send at least five Villagers to the enemy settlement with some supporting troops (preferably Archers). Once the Villagers approach to the enemy settlement, they should then build a supporting Watch Tower that must be at a certain distance in order to not be noticed by the enemy, then the first disrupting tower must be placed within the range of the supporting tower, and then the third one and all the next ones must be placed within the range of each other and surround the Town Center of the enemy. It is also effective to place towers near the main gold, stone, and wood sources for the enemy. If the enemy attacks the Villagers, they are just garrisoned in the closest tower to protect them.
Garrisoned foot archers and Villagers increase the number of arrows Watch Towers fire, thus increasing the damage. Up to five (10 for the Teutons) foot soldiers (infantry and archers, although infantry do not increase the firepower) may be garrisoned in a Watch Tower. Garrisoned units slowly regenerate lost hit points.
Further statistics Edit
|Building strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Ships, archers, weak melee units|
|Weak vs.||Siege weapons, Tarkans, Huskarls, War Elephants, Cannon Galleons|
|Hit points|| Masonry (+10%)|
Great Wall (+30%, Chinese only)
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Heated Shot (+125% attack against ships)
Yeomen (+2, Britons only)
Yasama (adds two extra arrows, Japanese only)
|Range|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Murder Holes (eliminates minimum range)
|Firing rate||Stronghold (+25%, Celts only)|
|Accuracy||Ballistics (hit moving targets)|
|Armor|| Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)|
Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
|Line of Sight|| Town Watch (+4)|
Town Patrol (+4)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Construction speed||Treadmill Crane (+20%)|
|Other|| Herbal Medicine (garrisoned units heal faster),|
Crenellations (enables garrisoned infantry to shoot arrows, Teutons only)
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Burmese: Researching Faith and Herbal Medicine is 50% cheaper.
- Byzantines: Watch Towers have +10%/+20%/+30%/+40% HP in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. Town Watch is free.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Watch Towers are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Incas: Watch Towers cost 15% less stone.
- Koreans: Watch Towers are built 5% faster. The upgrade to the Guard Tower is free.
- Malians: Watch Towers cost 15% less wood.
- Persians: Researching Town Watch and Town Patrol is 10%/15%/20% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Spanish: Watch Towers are built 30% faster.
- Teutons: Watch Towers can garrison up to 10 units. Murder Holes are free.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Ethiopians: Watch Towers have +3 Line of Sight.
- A team containing Malians: University technologies that benefit Watch Towers are researched 80% faster.
The Age of Kings Edit
- The upgrade to the Guard Tower costs 100F/250S.
- Watch Towers cost 25W/125S.
- Watch Towers have an attack bonus of +7 against camels because they share an armor class with ships.
The Conquerors Edit
- The upgrade to the Guard Tower now costs 100F/250W.
- Watch Towers gain an attack bonus of +2 against Spearmen.
- Herbal Medicine introduced.
- Heresy introduced.
- Britons: Yeomen introduced. It is only available in the Imperial Age.
- Teutons: Crenellations introduced.
The Forgotten Edit
- Britons: Yeomen moved to the Castle Age.
- Celts: Stronghold introduced.
- Japanese: Yasama introduced. It gives Watch Towers three additional arrows.
- Koreans: Watch Towers are now built 33% faster.
The African Kingdoms Edit
- Camels are moved out of the ship armor class, and the Watch Towers lose their attack bonus against them. They now have +1 attack against them.
- Arrowslits introduced. Initially, it becomes available in the Castle Age and gives Watch Towers +2 attack. With patch 4.8, Arrowslits moved to the Imperial Age and now gives +1 attack.
- Japanese: With patch 4.8, Yasama now gives Watch Towers two additional arrows.
Rise of the Rajas Edit
- Watch Towers now cost 50W/125S.
- Koreans: With patch 5.8, Watch Towers are now built 5% faster.
- If the player starts with a Watch Tower in the Dark Age (e.g. Fortress maps), then the player may build additional ones earlier than the Feudal Age.
- The Watch Tower model of the Native American civilizations is inspired by the Palace Observation Tower in Palenque.
“Some of the earliest fortified stone structures were simple watch towers. From the watch tower a local lord could keep a large area in view. The stone structure made it impregnable to assault except by a major force. The lord could withdraw into the tower, putting his animals on the bottom, stores and treasure on a second floor, living on upper floors, and fighting from the top. The Normans were famous for building stone watch towers across their lands in Normandy and England to provide military and political control.”
|Buildings in Age of Empires II|
|House · Monastery · Wonder|
|Economy||Town Center · Dock · Fish Trap · Mill · Farm · Market · Lumber Camp · Mining Camp · Feitoria|
|Research||Blacksmith · University|
|Barracks · Archery Range · Stable · Siege Workshop · Castle · Harbor|
|Towers||Outpost · Watch Tower · Guard Tower · Keep · Bombard Tower|
|Walls||Palisade Wall · Stone Wall · Fortified Wall · Palisade Gate · Gate|