Conquerors Expansion

Article written by Aro
Published on 09-01-2008; updated on 08-17-2014

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors™ is the Expansion pack for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, and adds 5 new civilizations, 18 new maps, and many other gameplay-changing features.

Changes

With the Expansion pack comes several gameplay changes, balancing out the game. Among these improvements come unit changes, such as increased speed, rate of fire, and creation speed for the Cavalry Archer, civilization changes, such as the balancing of many civilization attributes, and even large changes such as an improved Scenario Editor and ship formations. There are also new implementations like new Random Maps, new snow terrain, new game types, farm queueing, new technologies, and five new civilizations.

Units

In the new game, you can find the following units:

  • Conquistador - A mounted Hand Cannoneer, and the Unique Unit for the Spanish
  • Eagle Warrior - Very fast scout infantry for the Meso-American civilizations.
  • Halberdiers - An upgrade of the Pikeman and available to almost all civilizations, the Halberdier is the strongest spear unit you can get.
  • Hussar - Hussars are an upgrade of the Light Cavalry, with more strength and speed than before.
  • Jaguar Warrior - With all of the Aztec civilization upgrades for infantry, this Unique Unit has the most attack of all infantry units in the game.
  • Missionary - A mounted Monk and a Spanish Unique Unit.
  • Petard - Remember the Saboteur from the last scenario of the Genghis Khan campaign? ES brought him back, but this time he's weaker and available to be built in the castle.
  • Plumed Archer - The Unique Unit of the Mayans, the Plumed Archer is very fast foot archer, almost an equivalent to Cavalry Archers.
  • Tarkan - If you play the Huns, you'll probably build this Unique Unit for the sole reason of demolition. They are excellent at attacking buildings.
  • Turtle Ship - An almost indestructible sea unit that has high armor, and can hold it's own against both fireships and galley-line units.
  • War Wagon - An armored and mounted archer-type unit.

Civilizations

The new civilizations in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors are the Aztecs, Huns, Koreans, Mayans, and Spanish.

How Ensemble Studios Picked the Civilizations

(Posted by ES_Sandyman in our forums.)

We could afford to do one new architecture set, but we could also do civs in the old architecture sets. The game as it now stands has 3 western european civs, 3 eastern european civs, 3 oriental civs, and 4 middle-east civs. The obvious thing for us to do (and we did it) was to add one western, one eastern, and one oriental civ each, to balance the architecture sets, then add as many civs as we could in the new architecture set. We felt that we could safely add 2 civs in the new category, for a total of 5 civs. The next step was which nation for which architecture type?

THE NEW ARCHITECTURE SET: the possibilities were New World, India, or Africa. Frankly, we thought the New World civs were the most exciting. Don't waste your time flaming us about how they were stone-age savages. All you do is show your ignorance. Go read a book or something. We knew that the Aztecs were cool, had name recognition, and were defeated by a concatenation of lucky flukes. Maybe we'll do India and Africa another day.

WESTERN EUROPEAN - the most important nation in Western Europe, whom we'd left out of AoK, was clearly Spain. Even though Spain was even stronger in the Renaissance, they had a great campaign storyline (most everyone's heard of El Cid), and did plenty of stuff in the Middle Ages. So Spain was the obvious choice here. The only other contender was Italy, and Spain was better because we'd already decided on having New World civs, so Spain gave them someone else to fight.

ORIENTAL - here the choice was basically between the Khmers, Tibetans, and Koreans. We went with the Koreans for four reasons: 1) they'd been in AoE, so we were nostalgic. 2) they had really cool turtle ships. 3) Korea had better name recognition from at least our American customers. 4) frankly, we thought the potential sales from Korea were attractive. While this wasn't the most important point, we didn't just ignore it.

EASTERN EUROPEAN - the choice was between Huns, Swiss, Magyars, Habsburgs, or Slavs (the latter being an all-inclusive group in which we'd put Poles, Russians, etc.) We speedily decided the Swiss were too Renaissance, the Habsburgs were too obscure (besides, I hate them. I think they were a bunch of untalented reactionaries who looked funny). This left Magyars, Slavs, & Huns. For better or worse we chose Huns. Here are the reasons why:

  1. Huns were strong at the very start of the Dark Ages, so it drove home the fact that this was NOT a "Renaissance pack", and we wanted to make that clear.
  2. Attila the Hun had major name recognition and a really cool campaign we could use. There was no corresponding Russian or Magyar hero.
  3. Since we were naming the pack "The Conquerors" we wanted to have as many conquest-oriented civs as possible. We already had the Spanish and the Aztecs, but we needed more, because the Mayans and Koreans, frankly, are not too famous for their conquests. The middle-age Russians did very little invading of other countries, to their everlasting credit, so we decided not to include them. The Magyars did plenty of invading, but we decided for the Huns and against the Magyars simply because of name recognition.
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