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This article is about the scenario in Age of Empires. For the scenario in the Definitive Edition, see The Year of the Four Emperors.

Year of the Four Emperors is the second scenario of the Pax Romana campaign in Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome. The Romans must defend a Wonder, while replacing an enemy Wonder with their own.

Scenario instructions[]


The Emperor Nero has died and left no heir. A number of claimants to the throne have appeared, but the sensible leaders in Rome are convinced that it should be yours. Use your forces to remove the usurpers who have claimed the throne while defending the empire from invaders seeking advantage during this time of turmoil. Place a monument in Rome to mark your ascension to the throne.
—In-game section

Starting conditions[]


  • Protect the Blue Wonder.
  • Destroy the Red Wonder.
  • Build a new Wonder where the Red Wonder stood.


  • Immediately establish a defense around your Wonder. You may need to build a new town around your Wonder.
  • Build a strong offensive force before you attack the red Wonder; the enemy will be waiting.



  • Player (Romans): The player starts with a Town Center and some Villagers near the southern corner of the map. The Wonder, however, is located at the north-eastern edge of the map, far away from the base.


  • Galba (Greeks): Galba starts with an Iron Age town on an island in the western corner of the map. Three shallows connect the island with the mainland. His wonder is located at the southern shallow, next to Vitellius' base. He attacks with infantry units and Ballistae.
  • Vitellius (Palmyrans): Vitellius starts with a town center and some villagers in the center of the map.
  • Otho (Macedonians): Otho starts with a town center and some villagers in the northern corner of the map.


You start off in the Stone Age with a few Villagers, so train a few more and start gathering, and age up as soon as possible. Send a Villager to the Wonder while you age up, wall the Wonder to protect it from melee units, and start building Towers as soon as you can.

All three enemies are a threat to your Wonder, especially Otho, whose base lies just west of the Wonder. It may also be wise to construct a new base north near your wonder.

Build up until you reach the Iron Age, as there's no reason to attack the Wonder until you can build a new one. You can attack the enemy bases and weaken them - it's not necessary, but every one you destroy means fewer soldiers going after your Wonder. Remember that the Roman Legions are very effective. When you feel safe, destroy the red Wonder, and start building a new one.


Historical notes[]

The death of the Emperor Nero in 69 AD triggered a civil war for the throne among several claimants. During this fateful year, four different men were recognized as emperor, at least temporarily. Galba, the legate in Iberia, was saluted as emperor by his legions and then recognized as such by both the Senate and the Praetorian Guards (the emperor's bodyguards and the only troops allowed in Rome officially). Vitellius, legate in Germania, also claimed the throne and marched on Rome at the head of his legions. The fickle Praetorian Guards switched allegiance to Otho, who had Galba murdered and then took the throne. Otho marched north to intercept Vitellius but was defeated and committed suicide. Vitellius captured Rome and was recognized as emperor by the Senate.
—In-game section


Hail Caesar! Your outstanding victories in the field make you a worthy claimant to the throne in Rome. The people are sick of civil war and look forward to your enlightened rule.
—In-game section


The throne of Rome would have been yours if you had been as competent as many of your admirers believed. Apparently they were quite misled about the extent of your skills. The new emperor holds no grudges, however. He requests that you report to the stables where he anticipates that your skills will allow you to truly "clean up."
—In-game section