Latest News

The Return of Rome
Posted by Possidon on November 04th, 2022 @ 05:23 a.m.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of our beloved Age of Empires II, Microsoft and Forgotten Empires have announced a brand new expansion for the Definitive Edition.

Though not much has been confirmed yet, the expansion pack will act almost like a port to bring the original Age of Empires era into it’s far-superior sequel, as some would say.
Rumours circulate the the expansion will include three new civilisations The Romans, Egyptians and Babylonians.

This is not the first time the age of antiquity has been brought to the game, with the popular fan made mods Rome at War and All Road Lead to Rome bringing us the Roman era. There have also been many attempts to convert the original Age of Empires to the sequel’s game engine. So demand for a Roman era expansion is definitely there. It will be interesting to see if the developers borrow any ideas from these popular Mods.

Are you excited about this news? What do you hope to see in this new expansion?
Pretty Town Contest 2022 – Winner Declared
Posted by Possidon on November 04th, 2022 @ 05:13 a.m.

The latest instalment of our most popular contest has come to a close. The contest has given us some beautiful showcase scenarios that push the new Definitive Edition’s editor to the limit.

Veteran PTC contestants Julius999 and Lord Basse stepped away from designing to take up the judging. This year we had four fantastic entries but I am delighted to announce that this years winner has been announced as Mr Wednesday! Our other veteran PTC winner has taken his third PTC crown with a fantastic scenario that follows the journey of a father and son on the road to the city of Roramork.

Congratulate Mr Wednesday over at the PTC thread and download all of this years entries here.
Dynasties of India – New Expansion Released!
Posted by Possidon on April 29th, 2022 @ 03:26 a.m.

The third expansion to the Definitive Edition has now been released. Dynasties of India takes a similar direction as the HD edition third expansion and focuses on Eastern Asian, but this time heading southwards toward the Indian peninsula.

The new DLC adds three new civilzations and drastically reworks the Indian civilzation to pretty much create an entirley new fourht civ.
  • Bengalis – Navigate the winding rivers and dense jungles of Bengal as you build a thriving economy to fuel unstoppable armies of elephants. The Bengali unique unit is the Ratha, a sturdy chariot that can switch between melee and ranged attack modes.
  • Dravidians – Seize control of the lucrative Indian Ocean trade routes and utilize advanced metallurgy as you build one of the wealthiest sea empires of medieval Asia. The Dravidian unique units are the Urumi Swordsman, a warrior wielding a scathing flexible sword, and the Thirisadai, a massive vessel that dominates the high seas.
  • Gurjaras – Ride swift mounts across the fertile fields and open plains of western India and unleash diverse armies of sturdy warriors upon your enemies. The Gurjara unique units are the Shrivamsha Rider, a speedy cavalry unit that can dodge enemy attacks, and the Chakram Thrower, an infantry unit that unleashes volleys of deadly metal discs.
  • Hindustanis – Stake your claim to populous, diverse lands and lucrative trade routes as you parry foreign invasions – or step into the invader’s shoes yourself. The Hindustani unique units are the Ghulam, a heavily armored infantry unit adept against masses of archers, and the Imperial Camel Rider, a powerful unique upgrade to the Heavy Camel Rider.

    Three new campaigns are also added, no doubt made to an excellent standard by some well known and highly regarded designers.
  • Babur (Tatars/Hindustanis) – Nearly a century after Tamerlane’s death, his descendants are still fighting for supremacy in Transoxiana and Persia. The youngest among them is Zahir ud-Din Muhammad – also known as Babur, ‘the tiger’. He dreams of restoring the crumbled empire, but another wave of invading horsemen from the northern steppes is about to change everything. In this campaign, you will play as the Tatars and Hindustanis.
  • Rajendra (Dravidians) – The dread of inevitable corruption plagues the ambitious Rajendra Chola as he navigates the harsh political climate of south India. Can Rajendra escape moral decay as he expands the empire that he inherited from his father, or is his fear of corruption the true enemy within? In this campaign, you will play as the Dravidians.
  • Devapala (Bengalis) – Guided by the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, Devapala rules a rich and vibrant empire. However, as dangerous rivals threaten his realm, the ambitious emperor finds it increasingly difficult to balance his policies with his morals. Will the ends ultimately justify the means, or will Devapala’s quest for his own enlightenment and that of his subjects fail? In this campaign, you will play as the Bengalis.

    Check out the new expansion now on Steam or the Age of Empires Website.
  • Hidden Gems V: We're Going to the Zoo
    Posted by Possidon on March 07th, 2022 @ 07:05 a.m.

    We’re Going to the Zoo

    For our next instalment of Hidden Gems I’m going to show you a couple of cool Mod Packs which will really spice up the nature of your scenarios. So come and take a trip down to the AOKH Zoo and discover some of the coolest animals mods to be found.

    Lets start in the Aquarium where we will discover some of the most dangerous aquatic creatures in the world.

    Shark – by The Vampire Slayer
    Our first aquatic creature is the Shark mod by The Vampire Slayer. This little mod as you can see below represents a shark’s fin circling around in the water. This can be used as cool little bit of eye-candy for those large open seas to spice up the design and can be also used a cool little storytelling device. Imagine your boat load of heroes being circled in the open ocean by this? How would they escape? The graphic is simple but it creates a great effect and is a really nice add-on to any piece of aquatic map design.


    Shark – by Gallas
    The Vampire Slayer’s shark mod is a really nice piece of eye candy but what if you wanted a shark as an actual unit, which you could control and attack with. That’s where Gallas’ mod pack comes into play. This unit has all of SLPs you’ll need to make a shark unit (idle, attack, die, rot and move). The graphics are coloured in a way to make it look as though the shark is being seen through water, rather than gliding on top of it, with just the sharks fin sticking out of the water. With the correct editing you can make this shark a player owned unit to control (much like the hunting wolf) or a wild animal that can hunt down a players boats.


    Whale – by Mithrandir
    Our final aquatic animal of our trip is Mithrandir’s Whale Mod. It give the appearance of a whale popping its head out the water and then diving back under with its tail fin tossing out and in again. Its look very realistic and can add another great piece of eye candy to the oceans of your maps. Its graphics are well designed and add a nice little effect. You’ll have to utilises this one well because it can look a little weird looping around multiple times in the same place, but it can be a great addition for a little cutscene based onboard a ship.


    Continuing our tour of the zoo let us enter the Prehistoric area and see what wonders lie ahead.

    Dinosaur – by TopKnot
    Yep, here we have a Dinosaur unit. Now this may be a unit that doesn’t really fit the theme of most AOK a creative designer might be compelled to design a scenario set in the age of the dinosaurs and cavemen (yeah I know it’s not entirely scientifically accurate) or maybe even a fantasy/sci-fi scenario in which dinosaurs are brought into the future via magic. The design of this unit is great with all the SLPs you will need to create a fully functioning units. If you extract it correctly from the AKX files you will also be able to find a custom icon and custom sounds for the dinosaur as well.


    Sabretooth Tiger – by Peter88
    Something a little different here, and that’s because it is a unit extracted from another game. Now personally I’m not the greatest fan of graphics converted from other games because I feel as though a lot of them don’t fit in well with the original graphics of AOK. However, there are one or two exceptions to this and I believe that this is one of them. Whilst it’s not perfect it is a good unit that has some decent uses. The graphics are great, they blend in well with the rest of the game and can be used in all sorts of different ways. As a sabre tooth tiger it will be perfect for a unique scenario set in Earth’s earliest history, but it could also be used as a more generic fantasy monster for a unique scenario, maybe even a warlord’s vicious pet that allows him to command with fear.


    Now we’re entering the nocturnal suite where we get to see a fearsome flying beast.

    Bat – by dark_blade
    Here’s a unit that can spice up your storylines, especially if you ever have a scene set within a dark spooky cave. Dark_Blade’s bat unit is a really simple graphic but represent a flying bat really well. Just imagine the scene. Your character steps inside the cave and a swarm of these fly out and swarm him. Will he have to fight his way out or simply let them pass by him. Maybe you’ve got a fantasy scenario where you have a vampire character who can transform into a bat for fast travel.


    Finally we are going over to the Farm. We’ve already seen a couple of livestock animals in the game, Sheep and Turkey’s and we even got a Cow in the HD edition. But what about probably one of the most common farm animals ever?

    Pig- by Mahazona
    This cute little unit from Mahazona is exactly as you would expect. A pig unit that can be added onto farms and fields to create additional life into those farmstead. It creates a great little bit of additional eye candy and you can even give it a food substance to spice up the gameplay from simply only using sheep and cows. How many films have you seen where the main character has to go and find somebody only to find them out back sleeping with the pigs? Well now you can recreate those types of scenes for yourself using this mod. It’s only drawback – a lack of player colour so it will be difficult to know who owns which pig.


    That concludes our trip to the Zoo. Which animals did you enjoy seeing the most and will you be taking any of them home to add to your mod packs and scenarios? There’s no limit to what you can do with these types of units if your use your imagination.
    Pretty Town Contest 2022
    Posted by Possidon on February 08th, 2022 @ 07:52 a.m.

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Pretty Town Contest and what better way to celebrate it than with another bit of friendly competition. That’s right, the Pretty Town Contest is back for another round.

    Sign up now and see what amazing designs you can come up with! Maybe you could be the one to knock the troublesome threesome of Lord Basse, Julius, and Mr. Wednesday off the podium. Don’t worry you’ll have plenty of time with a May 31st Deadline to work towards.

    Sign Up for the Contest over at the official thread and get designing. We can’t wait to see the finished results!
    Blacksmith Feature: Ragnar's Saga (01.19.22)
    Posted by Possidon on January 19th, 2022 @ 11:12 a.m.

    Welcome to a brand-new Blacksmith Feature. Today I will be kicking AOKH into the 21st century by taking a look at a brand-new scenario released for the Definitive Edition. Yep, we’re finally going to feature a scenario made for DE, only took us two years.

    The scenario in question is a by one of the game’s leading scenario designers, who has also worked on the game in an official capacity as the designer of the official Portuguese, Burmese, Bulgarian, Italian, Indian, and Sicilian campaigns – Filthydelphia (also known as Al_Kharn the Great or PhillySouljah).

    The scenario we will be looking at today is called Ragnar’s Saga. It is a massive sandbox style scenario which began life as an update of the author previous work known as Ragnar’s Raids. Just like in that scenario, in Ragnar’s Saga you will take control of Ragnar’s Lothbrok and you must sail the Northern Seas to pillage plunder and conquer Britain, Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

    Ragnar’s Saga improves on Filthydelphia’s signature raiding game mechanic that he has used in a number of epic scenario’s and also dials everything up to 11 with the addition of multiple bonus objectives and the expansion onto a ludicrous sized map! The gameplay works similarly to Ragnar’s Raids but allows for much more exploration, raiding and tougher micromanagement of your Mead Halls. The scenario is virtually a sandbox game, with no set objectives but to raid and pillage to your hearts content. As Filthydelphia put it:
    “I wanted to make the massive map feel even bigger and give you a sandbox to play in – after all, you are a Viking king, why would you want someone telling you what to do?! So, to achieve this, I completely upended the normal approach to objectives in AoE2 scenarios: initially, I had no objectives at all. But realizing total freedom probably doesn’t make for the best gameplay — wouldn’t even know when you’ve done everything there is to do! — I decided to take a moderate but still pretty new and never-before-done approach that I hope you will like and will help make it feel like you are truly writing your own adventure!”

    While there’s no defined structure to the scenario there is a list of 50 saga objectives to complete in whichever order you chose. As you explore the large map new objectives are discovered to complete and new heroes from the Viking era can be collected to join your warband. This is not a scenario where you follow a story, this is a scenario where you write your own story. A Filthydelphia put it himself whilst responding to a review of this scenario – “Sometimes people wonder why I don’t do explicit story-telling in most of my scenarios but your post shows why I believe that’s the best narrative design approach for Age of Empires and many games. You wrote your own story that is uniquely yours and a better, more immersive tale than any I could have written!”

    Now it’s time for you to follow the call of a Viking and start your own adventure, raid and pillage to your hearts content as you download and play Ragnar’s Saga – RIGHT NOW!
    Work in Progress Spotlight XXXVII: The Shadows of Kalpireia!
    Posted by Possidon on July 13th, 2021 @ 05:07 a.m.
    Today we return to the fabled Works in Progress Spotlight to feature one of the biggest campaigns to every grace our heaven. For those of you who are unaware of the Works in Progress Spotlight, it is an opportunity for me, everyone’s favourite Cherub, to interview the creators of some of the most exciting upcoming projects so we can learn more about what to expect and build up the excitement to their eventual releases.

    Today’s feature is one of the most ambitious campaigns I have ever heard of, but don’t worry about it not being finished because it’s coming from one of our most experienced and popular members – the scenario making machine that is Lord Basse – and the campaign is the highly ambitious 8 scenario campaign; The Shadows of Kalpireia!
    For those who may not know, could you summarise what the Shadows of Kalpireia is about and how it fits into the larger Gwyndlegard series as a whole?

    “The Shadows of Kalpireia” is essentially the Next Generation (or, rather, Next-Next Generation) of Gwyndlegard. It takes place roughly 50 years after the end of the original trilogy, and the main protagonist is Samuel Fardaugh, grandson of Immanuel, the hero of the original series. You will encounter a few familiar faces, and play in some familiar (but significantly better designed) locations, but overall the cast is fresh, and the story takes you to places that were left largely unexplored in the original trilogy. The closest link to a previous work is actually my defend the spot scenario “The Winter Storm”, which takes place right before the events in “The Shadows of Kalpireia”.

    This sound amazing, and it’s refreshing to be able to explore a whole new part of this world a generation later. When you first released The Relics of Athalen it was marketed as the final instalment in your grand Gwyndlegard series. What made you want to come back and revisit this series?

    For about three years, I was certain that “The Relics of Athalën” would be my final major campaign, but even then, I had had this idea for a sequel kicking around for a while. Over time, that vague idea grew and grew until I almost had no choice but to turn it into a campaign!

    When you spend so much time creating a world, as I did for the original campaigns, it’s very hard to ever truly leave it behind! Over the years I have had ideas for a host of campaigns and smaller projects set in that same world — a prequel campaign where you play as Xaphira during her rise to power; an adventure scenario where Marvin, Rob and Urdana go and explore the far west of the world; and a few campaign ideas set in between the fall of the Old Kingdom, and the “present day” timeline that begins in Gwyndlegard. They all had one thing in common, which is that they never grew beyond a vague outline. “The Shadows of Kalpireia” was the first one that did.

    As you’ve said, the whole Gwyndlegard saga is set in a grand world with a huge amount of backstory. I have to admit, that I personally find the series to be one of my favourite set of scenarios ever, and the Relics of Athalen to be my favourite campaign ever, and one of the best things I have ever experienced in AOK. How to intend to top that with this new campaign?

    Thank you, that is really awesome to hear!

    I think that you actually nailed what has been the biggest question for me over the course of this project. I knew the story I wanted to tell, I knew the world I wanted it to take place in, and I was (and am) quite confident that it will make for a campaign which I will be proud of in the end. Still, it is hard to make something that feels bigger and better than a massive project such as RoA. The simplest way (well, sort of) to do so is to just make it longer, which is something I have done: “The Shadows of Kalpireia” has 8 scenarios instead of RoA’s 7, and a total of 7 playable missions as opposed to RoA’s 5; but that happened mostly by accident, as the story I wanted to tell here required more room.

    Rather than trying to make this bigger and more epic than RoA, I have primarily tried to make it better and deeper. I have kicked up the map design another notch or two, improved on things I really liked from RoA — like indoor scenes and boss fights — and, most of all, tried to make the world more immersive; more real. You very likely won’t see a single typical B&D base in this campaign, even when there is B&D gameplay, as the maps are designed to resemble, as far as possible, actual places.

    In this vein, another thing I have focused on in “The Shadows of Kalpireia” is the characters. Creating fleshed-out, three-dimensional characters in a top-down, 2½D game like AoE2 has always been a challenge, but I do think it can be done, just as you can create relatable characters in top-down RPGs like “Pillars of Eternity”. Each character among the Band of Heroes™ will have a somewhat fleshed-out personality and at least something resembling a character arc. So, if you liked the character interactions and world-building elements from RoA, I think you are going to enjoy this campaign quite a lot as well; and if you’re only here for the gameplay, you can always taunt 50 to skip the cut-scenes!

    That’s all very exciting. I’ve always personally felt that a scenario is only as good as its story, and you have definitely proven yourself a master storyteller. Now moving on to gameplay; just like RoA, this campaign also utilises extensive modding. Can you give us a little insight about what we can expect from the mod?

    Much like for RoA, the mod for “The Shadows of Kalpireia” is made entirely for the purpose of enhancing the story and gameplay. You won’t see any new civilizations or complete building sets, but rather a ton of smaller items that serve a specific purpose in the campaign: new indoor graphics, old ruins, unique castles with walkable walls, the snowy bridge that our very own Matt LiVecchi originally made for the AoKH RPG that never got finished, and much more. The mod for this campaign expands upon the one used for RoA, so both campaigns are going to be compatible with the new mod. At this point I have added roughly 1,000 new units to the game; and while many of those work behind the scenes, that is still more than most official expansion packs come with!

    I love how you can use the same mod for both this and RoA, it allows people to play both campaigns without having to switch Mod Packs. So when can we expect to play this epic campaign?

    This is by far the hardest question to answer! So far three of the eight scenarios are done, except for some final polishing, and the fourth one is in a good state as well. I am hoping to have the first six scenarios done by the end of the year, but time will tell how optimistic a goal that is. In any case, if things continue in the pace they have been going for the past year and a half, the campaign should see release sometime late next year.
    And just when you thought you couldn’t get any more excited about this scenario. Here’s a couple of exclusive screenshots for you to drool over.

    How excited are you to play this epic campaign? Keep up to date with all the latest news about its development over at the Project Thread.

    [This message has been edited by Pecunia (edited 01-17-2022 @ 04:22 PM).]

    Hidden Gems IV: AIs for Scenario Design
    Posted by Possidon on May 25th, 2021 @ 08:32 a.m.

    AIs for Scenario Design

    For our latest Hidden Gems feature I’m going to be looking at something a little different. Actually you’ll probably say that most of these are not hidden gems at all, because the first one is used by practically every scenario designer ever. But this feature will act more of a guide on the uses of these different gems and give scenario designers a complete list of them. So without further ado I’d like to present you a comprehensive list of the best and most useful AIs for scenario design.

    Immobile Units
    It’s fitting that this list starts with the ultimate scenario design AI. Zanzard Lothar’s Immobile Units AI is probably the most widely downloaded and used AI in AOK history. As its name suggests the AI makes all units owned by player in which the AI is set immobile, therefore creating the perfect blank slate for a designer to work with. Units only move as commanded by triggers ands therefore you don’t have e to worry about villagers going to work, building random buildings or chopping down trees and ruining your map design. Neither do you need to worry about enemy soldiers randomly attacking the player when you don’t want them too. Zanzard Lothar initially created Immobile Units in March 2000, and regularly updated it. ADVANCED Immobile Units AI, created in February 2002 is the ultimate Immobile Units AI and highly recommended for every scenario designer, no matter what style of gameplay you’re designing.

    Passive AI
    Next up we’ve got an AI which was created by an AOKH legend – Ingo van Theil. This AI is effectively Immobile Units with a twist. Whilst the AI immobilises all of the players military units, it allows all of its villagers to continue to work and gather resources. This Ai is incredibly helpful for designers who want a busy looking map yet do not want their NPCs to be randomly walking around or building, yet saves the time of having to use Immobile Units and tasking every villager to their individual tasks. The AI comes with three different fills of varying Passivity, with solider only attacking players to defend themselves if the players units come within a certain radius.

    Taunt to Trig
    Another useful AI, specifically for RPG scenarios. There have been a couple of attempts at this but the best I have discovered is a simple one made by Lord Basse who has uploaded it as part of a tutorial on how to use Taunt to Trig. The AI is designed to read a players taunts and then react accordingly. This is a great way for designers to create multiple options for the player without having to do complex trigger work. For example if you want your character to select from two different options you could send a message saying Taunt 1 to Fight the Demon or Taunt 2 to Run away. The AI will detect which taunt has been sent and then activate the appropriate trigger for that decision. Its a really clever way to save some work yet spice up your gameplay and make it more interesting. The AI also incorporates the Immobile Units as well which is an added Bonus.

    Cheat Detector
    This is AI by Leif Ericson provides designers with a fantastic way to improve the balance of their scenarios and stop players from cheating in their scenarios. The Cheat Detector AI does exactly what it says on the tin – it detects whether players have used cheats in game. The AI will be able to detect whether a cheat code has been used and will then send a signal to the scenario so the designer can set up relevant punishments or consequences through triggers in retaliation to the players cheating. The AI also includes Immobile Units AI and therefore allows you to have an Immobile team that can also detect whether the human player is cheating. A must have for designers who want to stop their players from doing this.

    Removing Food According to Population
    This AI is an inventive way to spice up your Build and Destroy scenarios and add some much needed realism in your games. What this AI does is detect the size of the players population and then removes food from their stores accordingly to feed the people. It can present a unique challenge to players, especially in the early stages of a B&D scenario, before their economy has really grown strong enough to preserve their mass of villagers and military forces. An excellent way to spice up the gameplay and also add some realism – people need to eat. Like the other AIs on this list it to includes Immobile Units AI so it’s pretty much perfect for any scenario.

    Immobile Switches
    All the AIs we have looked at above are Immobile AIs, and therefore have inactive units for the whole scenario, unless attacked or specifically triggered to do something. But what if your scenario started off as an RPG that required Immobile Units but then became a B&D which needed a much better attacking AI? Well that’s where these next few AIs come into play.

    Immobile/Aggressive AI
    This AI by Lord Basse is a mix of the Immobile Units AI by Zanzard Lothar and Aggressive AI by ENOTH. This AI starts off as Immobile AI but when triggered by tributing it 10 Food it switches to Aggressive and sends an onslaught of soldiers to attack its enemies. With a tribute of 10 gold it will then switch back to an Immobile AI again. This AI presents players the ability to switch a team from Immobile to Aggressive easily for portions of their scenario which switch styles but is very aggressive in its attack, barely giving the player an opportunity to build up its defences if switched too soon.

    If you want a switching AI that’s far less aggressive than Lord Basse’s then check out Lazarus II’s Immobile/Normal AI. Like the previous AI this one starts as an Immobile AI but when singled will change to a simple AI, not much different from the AIs made by ES that came with the game. This provides a far less aggressive AI for designers to choose from yet still provides Immobile villagers and units before the switch is activated.

    Finally, a shameless plug for a simple AI I designed. This AI sits somewhere between Basse’s Immobile/Aggressive AI and Lazarus’ Immobile/Normal AI. It aims to be less aggressive than Basse’ AI but slightly more challenging the Lazarus’ AI by building up a quicker army and sending small skirmishers toward the enemy players in order to challenge them before they build up an army too quickly.

    So there you have it; a comprehensive list of some incredibly useful and effective AIs that any scenario designer can use no matter what type of scenario you are designing. Don’t forget that if none of these AIs suit your needs then we have a helpful community off scriptures in our AI Forums who would be happy to help with your questions about scripting and may also make an AI for you if you ask.

    Which of these AIs do you use and is there a new discovery here that you’re thinking of checking out? Let me know in the comments below.
    Dawn of the Dukes – New Expansion Announced for Age of Empires II: DE
    Posted by Possidon on May 17th, 2021 @ 10:22 a.m.

    Well they say news is better late than never so here you go!

    In case you missed it – back in April the team behind Age of Empires hosted a fan preview event. This event included some exciting updates on the upcoming sequel Age of Empires 4 including some great gameplay previews. They also provided updates on the Definitive Editions of both Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III.

    Excitingly for us, the update for Age of Empires II: DE included the announcement of a brand new expansion pack that is expected to arrive this summer! The new DLC is called Dawn of the Dukes and is expected to focus on Eastern Europe. The expansion will introduce two new civilisations, but as of yet we do not know what they will be. The other exciting announcement is that the developers have confirmed that “a specific set of campaign missions and historical battles” in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will get co-op later this year.

    To find out more watch the fan preview video below.

    What are you most excited about from this awesome update? Start placing your guesses for the new civilisations in the comments below.
    Blacksmith Feature: Shattered Empire (04.26.21)
    Posted by Possidon on April 26th, 2021 @ 04:27 a.m.

    For the first time in eight years, and only the second time in history, the Blacksmith feature today is going to focus on a random map script. Random map scripts are fairly common pieces of work, you’ll find thousands of custom maps in the blacksmith, but to make one stand out among the rest, an author has to not only be an impressive script writer, but an artist. That’s what today’s author is above all – an artist.

    For today’s Blacksmith Feature we’ll be looking at a classic, one of my all-time favourite custom random maps – Shattered Empire by Mark Stoker. If that name sounds familiar to you, Mark Stoker is the designer of some of AOKH’s most popular campaigns. Tamerlane, Prince of Destruction, Nyctophobia and Ottoman Onslaught, just to name a few. As well as being a popular designer of single-player scenarios, Stoker as dabbled in random map scripting and Shattered Empire is his crowning glory.

    Shattered Empire showcases an empire shattered by civil war. Based in part on the classic Fortress map, each player starts with a walled city, completed with all of the military buildings, towers and some residential houses. Add in some additional starting villagers and you’ve got an action pack game with plenty of space for rushes and early sieges. Beyond the intense gameplay that this map presents players, the highlight of the particular script in its beautiful visual appeal. In his single-player scenarios Mark Stoker showed off his artistry and he has managed to convert that beauty into a script for this map. Never before have I see such a detailed and gorgeous looking random map, with a beautiful blend of terrains and eye-candy.

    Whether you’re a player who likes intense action pack gameplay or you just like to admire the beauty of a map designers craft then this is definitely the random map for you. So go ahead and download it now!