Archived Articles

The information in the following articles is outdated (in some cases, grossly so). Because the Age of Kings Heaven nonetheless does not want these articles – which are, for all accounts and purposes, part of our history – to vanish into thin air, they have been archived here for posterity. Enjoy browsing through articles which were once cutting-edge!

Beginner’s Questions

Ok, so I finally broke down and bought AoK this weekend. Now for some quick questions:<br /> 1) When do you get the loom? This upgrade seems really important. Do you get it right away?<br /><br /> 2) How important is walling? I can see walling early at river crossing since dock blocking is out, but with the early defense of the TC, is walling important?

On the Road to Expert 1: Villagers

The importance of having many many villagers can NOT be overstated in Age of Kings. Often the inferior military player can win by sheer volume of the same unit, which in order to happen, must occur with a superior economy. Now obviously a mixed and managed military will win given equal economies. But we'll leave that for a later strat.

On the Road to Expert 2: Villagers (Continued)

Now that you've started making enough villagers, its time for you to learn what and how many villagers you need on each resource. In general for a flexible "formless" strategy, As you start castle you should have about 2/5 on food, 2/5 on wood, and 1/5 on gold (but the goldies only started right when you clicked to upgrade to feudal) IE with the standard 30, when you start castle you want 6 on gold, 12 on wood and 12 on food.

On the Road to Expert 3: Upgrades

This is for a basic 30 ish vil strong castle. If going for a feudal rush or very early castle rush you may wish to skip the economic upgrades early on. Also I use a BLACKSMITH, and a STABLE as my two requisite buildings to advance. The next building is usually either an ARCHERY RANGE or another STABLE. After that it depends, but its often A SEIGE WORKSHOP, then multiple town centers, then A MARKET, then UNIVERSITY, then CASTLE, then a MONESTARY later to pick up relics.

On the Road to Expert 4: Counter-Attacks

Though the manual lists the most common counters to many units, there are several problematic situations, and several counters that just work better. These are as always in addition to the Manual counters, which actual do work generally Lets start with Massed Archers: Supposedly skirmishers smash archers, however you and i both have seen how british archers and longbows can take even elite skirmisher- maybe not one for one but in a combination with something else the archers are far superior.

On the Road to Expert 5: Castle Probing

Many people over at the gx forum ( seem to feel that attacking in castle is generally a futile effort and should be avoided at all costs.. I DON'T agree. I tend to take the same view as Staffa in that you don't always need to kill the TC right away, and that in general attacking in castle can be a good thing, you've just got to know what you're doing and evaluate the situation.

On the Road to Expert 6: Civ Choices

I prefer to play, mostly on water maps (brits on land)and why:<br /><br /> Britons: Shepherding bonus means I can do with only 6 on food early, meaning a faster dock in water maps. Half Price town centers mean that once castle I can boom really well. Good archers and faster archery ranges are good vs infantry civs. Britons main problem: Paladins.

On the Road to Expert 7: Analysis

Ok since yesterday I was a little devoid of ideas and gave you a mediocre post today I come back with one of the things that I really think separates the experts + those who will be from those who aren't. Frankly even Sammy could learn from this post... There are not one but TWO times that you need to go into game analysis mode in AOK. Immediately Post-Game and during recorded games.

On the Road to Expert 8: Repel the Rush

DAY 8:I took the weekend off: I'll take next weekend off too as I'm going on a retreat. In ROR repelling a rush was near impossible without troops of your own. Not so in AOK, with Town Centers that fight back and can garrison your villagers in Safety, rushing has become a situational strat at best. But the rush really only loses its viability if you know how to defend properly.

On the Road to Expert 9: The Ripple Effect

Also titled: Sacrificing time for villagers.... You might want to try downloading the file later as it appears that my site is down (but NOT on my computer... it looks like one of the routers is down... its pretty bad when I can't access my own site from my computer :-) ) I was down for a little while this morning because I upgraded to Service Pack 6

Unique Weaknesses

Ok, we all know that every civ has a unique unit which only they can build, but a look at the tech tree reveals that most civs also have a unique weakness, some tech (or two closely related techs) or unit they don't have that every single other civ does. These unique weaknesses can have substantial effects, too. By now, most players are familiar enough with the game to know what their civ can do; now, keep in mind what they CAN'T do, too

The Saracens – A Guide by Darth Malice

The Saracens are generally the most generic civilization in the game. Paying deeply for every single unique attribute and bonus they receive. This in turn makes them a lesser-played civilization. Likewise, it makes an opponent think harder of how to counter a potential attack. On the downside it makes a new comer Saracen player more puzzled as to which units to use.

The Saracens – An In-Depth Guide

The Saracens are a misinterpreted civilization in the Age of Kings: The Conquerors. Many people say they are just as weak and helpless as they were in the Age of Kings. But I am here to show you a VERY in-depth guide to the Saracens. Trust me, you won't regret reading this article.<br /><br /> Now, you may know me as the guy who you worked in Arabia last Tuesday. You are probably right. But, I have all of the official guides to the Age of Kings and The Conquerors, a vast knowledge of 3 years of AOK playing, a TON of Saracen experience, and of course, common sense. I may not be The Sheriff or Methos_ST, but I have some of the skills needed to backup my big talk.

Emissary’s Guide to the Mayans

Before you start, note that this is very in-depth (in other words, long ;) )! Make sure you've got some spare time on your hands!<br /><br /> From the jungles of Mexico come one of The Conqueror's new civilizations- the Mayans. Unlike their Mesoamerican counterparts, the Aztecs, who revolve around infantry, the Mayans have a strong archer base. In the style of the Goth cheap infantry bonus, and like the Hun Cavalry Archer discounts, the Mayans can cash in on both the long and the short run with their cheap archers.

The Ultimate Mayan Guide

As many of you know, I fully support the Mayans. That's why I'm making this guide to help out other players. I am not an expert, and I don't have a detailed startup plan for you, but I do have information that can turn one battle around, and possibly win you the game. Now then, first...

DM vs. the Persians

In AOK many people like to use the Persians due to their elephants and paladins.Elephants have like 450 hit points and when their elite eles thier like 550 or 600.Building a huge army of Eles,paladins and bombard cannons seems unstoppable like the Hittites in the expansion set.

DM vs. the Persians Revisited

I have found that when playing DM, Persian players come in two different settings: Those who wait until they have 30 + eles and kill you with them supported by bombard canons/paladins, and those who rush.<br /><br /> Reading <a href="/university/archives/deathmatch/dm-vs-persians/">Viracocha's paper</a> about how to defend yourself against a Persian player I realized that (as Viracocha pointed out) it only applies to the first case. This is not applicable to a rusher.

Getting Through the Dark Ages

Here is a step by step instruction on how to get off to a good start and get to the Feudal Age for intermediate players.


The overall feel of this anit-boom strat will be sacrificing a little bit of boom for some early cavalry with which to prevent you opponent from booming with ease. Turning the game into a hard fought battle at all points of the game (instead of Simcity for the first 30 minutes which is what a boomer relies on). Your advantage being that you are expecting that kind of game; and with practice, you will excel at it.

Civilization Scoresheet

The scoresheet is made on stages, each stage complementing the result at the previous one. First and second stages - combat performance and unit cost deal with actual figures, it's all plain mathematics there, so there is little to argue about (unless of course I have made some terrible mistake in the formulae).<br /><br /> The third stage - adding the upgrade cost estimations may seem to you somewhat controversial at first. However, the general idea is reasonable, and, as you will find if you read on, adjustments to the additionally introduced coefficients would only make minor difference.

Death by Choking

I've been playing AOE since it first came out, followed it through the rise of Rome and now like you I love Age of kings. All this experience has taught me a few things about the game. In this article I will outline my strategy for a slow but certain victory. I call it death by choking because you win by slowly constricting the freedom of your enemies until eventually they have no options. If you have the temperament for a slow game where you build towards victory then read on.

The Flush – Revisited

The term, "Flush" stood for "<b>F</b>euda<b>l</b> R<b>ush</b>" when it was invented a long time ago, back in AoK. Nowadays, the "Flush" isn't just a "Feudal Rush," it's the strategy that defines how the game is now played. Everywhere you go in Zone Rated RM, you'll see a Flush, be it Huns or not (the Huns are the most popular civ to Flush with).

Persian Rushing

I have found that when playing DM, Persian players come in two different settings: Those who wait until they have 30 + elephants and kill you with them supported by bombard canons/paladins, and those who rush.<br /><br /> Reading Viracocha's paper about how to defend yourself against a Persian player I realized that (as Viracocha pointed out) it only applies to the first case. This is not applicable to a rusher.

Psychological Manipulative Tactics

Most players only use typical fighting techniques(rushing, gushing, etc.), but there is a different way to play that is relatively useful, if used with the typical techniques. The use of psychological manipulation is very useful, as you can trick your opponent rather easily. Granted, some of these strategies could cost a rather large amount of resources, they can make your opponent bang his/her head on the computer in frustration.

SERUSH – Siege Engine Rush

This article shows how to pull off a Early-Castle attack(18-20 min) using seige as the bulk of your army, while leaving your economy in a powerful condition. The idea of this strategy is to catch you opponent totally off guard, as he/she was generally expecting an attack with cavalry, not with powerful seige engines. Surprisingly, a siege attack can cost almost less than an attack with heavy cavalry.

The Turkish Chewing Gum Strategy

This strategy is best used with Turks, because of their free Light Cavalry. It takes a lot of micromanaging skills. Here is what you do.<br /><br /> In the Dark Age: Concentrate on food and wood, like always.

Tired of Being Called a Rookie?

Ever get booted from a game cause someone called you a "rookie" and wonder how they picked you out even before the game started?<br /><br /> If you can avoid the "don'ts" and do the "do's" below people will stop calling you a "rookie" and you will begin to find yourself on the friends' list of better and better players.

Introduction to Hotkeys

I have taken the time to put down all the possible hotkey's in this post, including some stuff not in the manual. I hope this will help a lot of the newcomers here, who need help with micromanagement skills.

PC Powerplay Gameguide

Age of Kings Heaven had the honor of being covered in the 2001 edition of PC Powerplay's popular Gameguide series. This article is from a while back, and because of that, everything should be viewed in the context of 2001, the year the Conquerors was released. The article gave AoKH a rating of 85% whilst Ensemble Studios received a rating of 75%.

Gamespot ’99 Superchat Part 1

Welcome the the Gamestock '99 SuperChat -- Tonight's topic in this room will be Age of Empires II -- The Age of Kings. Our guests this evening are Bruce Shelley (Bruce@ES), Mark Terrano (MTerrano@ES) & Matt "maimin_matty" Scadding (GrandEmperor @Age)

Gamespot ’99 Superchat Part 2

how can you remember which tower guys are in? lol

Second Zone Chat

Second Age of Kings Zone Chat - with Harter Ryan, Ian Fisher, Mark Terrano, and Sandy Petersen

Nomad Strategy

Luck does have a role to play, mainly in 1v1 games, but it takes a rear seat to patience, basic AOK skills (read <a href="/university/archives/basic/road-to-expert-1/">On the Road to Expert Series</a>) and flexibility. Below you will find a generic strategy for playing Nomad. As with all AOK: TC games you should be able to win with any civilization.