Ask Sandy XX

Article written by Sandy Petersen
Published on 05-02-2000
Tags: , ,

Q) Won’t the teutons be even more
handi-capped in Dm play since they lack the l.c. upgrade which
now has an aditional upgrade….I mean their lack of the l.c. is
one of the major reason’s they are bypassed in Dm play and now
with an additional upgrade they will be even more vulnerable to
the “scout” rush. How (if) did you address this?

A) I find it hard to believe that the
Teutons will be more vulnerable to a scout rush now than they
used to be. Their defensive capabilities are just about as strong
as before up to Castle.

Q) Does the Jaguar Knight beat a TK? And is
the cost resonable, are they more expensive than regular
infantry? Or what? And does he have a special Unique
cabability?

A) The Jaguar Warrior (we could have
called him a Knight, but didn’t), is somewhat more
expensive than regular infantry. They have a semi-unique ability.
That is, one other unit in the game gets it.

Q) Will there be an upgrade for hand
cannoners?

A) We did not add arquebuses to the
game. We did, however, improve hand cannoneers.

Q) Do the Koreans have any special bonus for
turtle boats

A) Besides being the only civ in the
world that gets them?

Q) Has Captain Kidd made a big difference to
playtesting?

A) We are much faster at finding
balance problems and bugs than we used to be.

Q) Do you believe (as I do) that the only
real balance issues come from not playing AOK within the spirit
of the rules?

A) Well, I don’t believe that
the ONLY balance issues stem from this, but a great many surely
do.

Q) I use Elephants alot and I want to know if
there will be a unit better to fight against them

A) Halberdiers are better than pikemen
vs. elephants. The Persian UT however, in my opinion, helps the
Persian player much more than the existence of halberdiers hurts
them.

Q) Remeber that picture that showed a message
board in an ES office, that gave away the Huns by saying “Give
Huns . . .”? What exactly where you going to give the Huns?

A) That picture was in the office of
an MS playtester. It was not at ES. Therefore I can’t be
sure what Kevin was planning to ask us for. Maybe cheaper cav
archers.

Q) heavy cavalry does rule the battlefield (3
pikes really is not a counter for something), it justs costs the
earth to field enormous armies of them

A) Well, halberdiers make the lives of
heavy cavalry somewhat more problematic.

Q) Firstly, petards. From what I gather,
these are some sort of explosive siege weapon that you roll up to
a wall and boom, it does the damage.

A) A petard was a keg or bucket filled
with gunpowder. You were supposed to carry it up to the enemy
gate or wall, nail it on, light the fuse, and get away before you
were blown up. Usually you got blown up (i.e.,
“hoist” through the air), though. Petards are not
very good vs units, except for siege, but are excellent vs. walls
& some buildings. They are not an effective substitute for
all other siege weapons, but in certain situations they are very
handy.

Q) You circumvented the Turtle Ship being
built in the late 16th century, could you also make arquibusiers,
dragoons, mortars, entrenched cannon, and rockets

A) I suppose we could, but did
not.

Q) are/do any of the new civs faster in age
advancement than the chineese

A) Some of the new civs are comparable
in age advancement speed to the Chinese, Persians, and
British.

Q) Do any new civs miss fewer techs than the
byzantines

A) I have not done a tech-by-tech
count, but the Spanish are probably pretty close.

Q) Do any new civs have better defenses than
the best defensive old civ

A) Two of the new civs are comparable
in defensive ability to the Byzantines or Teutons.

Q) Do any new civs have better champs than
the vikes

A) “Better” is kind of
hard to define. Aztec champs are a match for Viking champs in
melee, but Viking champs survive arrow or gunfire better than the
Aztec ones, so I guess they’re better overall.

Q) Why did you name the chinese the chinese
and the japanese the japanese?

A) Um … this question kind of
answers itself doesn’t it? What should we have named them?
The Russians? That might have made some people happy.

Q) Is the Montezuma campaign played from the
Aztec perspective? It is Montezuma II, right? If so, will we have
an opportunity to change the course of history or are we doomed
to go down in a blaze of glory?

A) The Aztec campaign follows the
course of history until the final scenario which, if you lose,
you follow history, but if you win you get to change it.

Q) does that mean Spain gets fully upgraded
H.Camels as well

A) The Spanish don’t get any
camels.

Q) when will the first screenshots of the new
architecture be shown, E3?

A) I sure hope so.

Q) If the Aztec and/or Mayan replacement for
the scout is more powerful than the scout. I am going to have fun
with an early rush on the other civs

A) “More powerful than a
scout” does not necessarily mean it’s good for
rushing other civs. But you’re welcome to try. We all did,
at least once.

Q) How would a fleet of fully upgraded Elite
Turtle Boats compare (beat/lose) to the following for a fixed
amount of recources… A fleet of fully upgraded Elite Longboats?
……………………..Saracen Galleons?
……………………..Byzantine Fast Fire Ships?
……………………..Chinese Heavy Demolition Ships?
……………………..Turkish Elite Cannon Galleons?

A) Well, for the same number of
resources, the turtle boats would definitely lose to the fire
ships & demo ships. Maybe some of the others, too. But
one-on-one they hammer any other fleet. You MUST outnumber the
turtle ships to beat them. They’re kind of like Frankish
paladins. Two or three pikemen will kill them at a cheaper cost,
but it eats up your pop cap to do the trick.

Q) What is your order of music preferences of
the following… AoE CD (My best vote) RoR CD AoK CD AoK:TC
CD

A) I like the conquerors best, but
that might just be because it’s newest.

Q) Would ES ever consider releasing an “Age
of” game featuring ONLY native American civilizations, much the
way AoK originally included ONLY European and Asian civs?

A) Actually, one of the alternatives
we considered to AoK was just this, an Age game featuring only
Amerinds.

Q) What do you think about AoE/TRoR/AoK/TC on
Console in general?

A) I have absolutely no loyalty to any
platform whatsoever.

Q) If I were to pics Mayans on a land map,
who would you pick?

A) I dunno. Maybe the Turks or
Huns.

Q) Sandy’s Reason for not including Russians:
“When you think of someone Russian you think of a guy that lives
down the street. When you think of Huns you think of savage
warriors.” I’d love to hear ES_Classyman try to explain himself
for quite a controversial comment posed in the thread titled ”
Why Russians weren’t included in the x-pack “

A) Saying that “Russians”
make me think of the guy down the street is
“controversial”? You are scraping the bottom of the
barrel looking for controversy, friend. My doctor’s wife is
Russian. I grew up around the corner from an old Russian couple.
Most Americans know several Russian emigres. I imagine this is
true of most Europeans as well (I imagine there are Russian
immigrants to France, England, Germany, etc.) What the heck is
“controversial” about that?

Q) What should we do with the Gonzales
boy?

A) I’m with Old Man Murray on
this one – probably the best thing is to try him as an
adult and sentence him to death.

Q) Do the Maya speak Qechua?

A) Of course not. The Incas spoke
that. The Mayans speak one of 20 or so different Mayan tongues. I
don’t know which one we picked.

Q) I was wondering if you have read any
particularly entertaining and/or detailed accounts of the fall of
Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 B.C.E.?

A) The new book edited by John Keegan,
entitled “The Book of War” has a good account of the
last stand of Constantinople.

Q) Will the turtle boat have a fast, slow, or
average rate of fire?

A) Slow.

Q) Will the turtle boat have a minimum
range?

A) No, but it has a pretty short
range.

Q) Will the turtle boat get multiple shots
(like the longboat)?

A) No.

Q) Will the elite turtle boat be a very
noticable upgrade from the castle age turtle boat?

A) It’s about the same as other
elite upgrades.

Q) Being an ironclad, I assume ranged fire
doesn’t hurt it very much, does the turtle boat’s armor offer
protection from fireships?

A) Well … not much. If it did, then
NOTHING could sink them. As it is, you need 2-3 fireboats per
turtle ship to have any chance of success.

Q) Says Sandyman: We don’t want to play
russians ’cause they’re just the guys from the next
door

A) Look here wiseacre. I think Russian
history is fascinating. I’ve watched Alexander Nevsky about
fifty times. I minored in Russian in college. We could only put
five civs in the X-Pack. Russians didn’t make the cut. Take
your gripes to someone who cares.

Q) Will the Janissary unit be given any new
tech or will be left the same ?

A) Janissaries are slightly changed. I
won’t claim they’re “better” necessarily,
but they’re different and more all-around useful.

Q) With the new halberdier unit, will the
Turks finally get at least the pikemen

A) No. We had to be very careful with
the Turks. The recent improvements of hand-cannoneers and bombard
cannons made them even tougher, not to mention the addition of
free hussars. Turks are a civ to be reckoned with. We had to keep
them from getting pikes just to keep them in bounds.

Q) The Janissaries are lethal against
infantry. Will the Mayans and Aztecs have anything to counter
against them, maybe their UU?

A) One of the ways the Janissaries
have been changed is to take away their bonus against infantry,
but to let them do more general damage. The Aztec UU is not
particularly effective against Janissaries, but the Mayan one is
pretty good. More to the point, they have other units which are
useful against Janissaries. But I will admit that janissaries are
a non-trivial problem for the New World civs, and they will have
to push hard in Feudal & Castle to keep the Turks trimmed
down to size.

Q) Although we dont see him on the zone as
much, we realize that his contribution to the AOK community is
far greater with his current work

A) You are right to be proud of him.
AoK:TC will be the first Ensemble game with his mark on it and he
has made a colossal contribution.

Q) Could you give an example where Turtle
Boats would be superior to Galleons?

A) In naval combat, expecially in
places where the galleons can’t just run away. Turtle boats
have a very short range, so they aren’t very dangerous to
land units or buildings, except docks.

Q) Will there be any generally available new
techs besides the UTs?

A) Yes, off the top of my head I can
think of 7 new techs that are not unique.

Q) Will any of the new civs get ships with
added hitpoints?

A) No.

Q) Will those new cav archer techs affect the
Mangudai?

A) Yes. There’s actually only
one new tech that benefits only cav archers. But there are some
other techs which benefit cav archers in conjunction with other
units.

Q) You said the Turks have slight change in
what they’re used for, what is this change?

A) Not in what they’re used for
– they have just undergone lots of changes. Mostly to keep
them from getting way too strong, because some of the new things
we added turned out to be Turkish force multipliers. Turks are
still strong, and are certainly more dangerous in the X-Pack than
normal AoK, but I think we’ve managed to keep them from
being all-powerful.

Q) What is the reason you would you want to
use Turks against Mayans?

A) Janissaries, bombard cannons, and
good horse archers.

Q) about the randomness of the map, you said
fairness is giving priority. but I think you can’t always be
fair,

A) Of course not, but we try to be as
fair as possible.

Q) I never mentioned, but I say it now. I am
Chinese, I believe we invented BlockPrinting, why Chinese Monk
don’t have that tech?

A) Beats the heck out of me. I
wasn’t privy to that decision. To quote Chairman Mao:
“Our forefathers were wise. They invented Gunpowder, but
used it for fireworks. They invented Printing, but not
newspapers. And they invented Navigation, but did not use it to
discover America.”

Q) what is Aztec infanty fair against hand
cannon line

A) Hand cannons are a problem for
Aztecs. Not insuperable, any more than Vikings are helpless
against them, but if I were fighting the Aztecs and I was a civ
that got hand cannons, I’d use them.

Q) Please tell us something new about the
vikings or chinese

A) The chu-ko-nu gets some slop-over
benefit from the new technologies, and the chinese UT was so
gross for a while that we had to tone it way back (but it’s
still good, and the Chinese player gets it every game). The
Berserk is now worth training, and every game with Vikings sees
those players produce as many ‘Serks as they can. Of
course, they still have to fill in the ranks with Viking
champions, but nothing’s wrong with that.

Q) Don’t you agree the game would be more
accurate historically if you replaced one of the Mesoamericans
with the Slavs?

A) Not in the slightest. The
meso-americans had a thriving civilization throughout the time
period we are dealing with. The Slavs didn’t really rise to
international importance until 1700.

Q) Did the Mesoamericans travel to America by
boat from Japan and Russia? Or did they cross the land bridge to
Alaska and travel south?

A) The Amerind population has a lot of
regional variability. Compare a Navajo to an Aztec to a Yanomamo,
and they look very different from one another. I see no reason
that the various Native Americans could not have descended from
multiple origins or migrations.

Q) Will the mayan and aztec monks be those
guys with bird suit?

A) No. They have fancy headdresses and
colorful robes.

Q).-Will the Korean unique unit be a siege
weapon?

A) Not exactly.

Q).- Will the Moctezuma campaign be based in
the invasion of Spain to Mexico?

A) Only the last few scenarios.

Q).- What king of art will the Huns have?

A) They use the Eastern European
building set.

Q).- Will there be additional units to
existing civs?

A) Yes. Every civ gets at least one of
the new units.

Q) Will you be able to rotate the map?

A) In our next game. Not this one.

Q) Will the existing civs still keep its civ
bonuses?

A) Yes. A few of those civ bonuses
have been “fiddled” with, but all are still
there.

Q) Will there be more features to recorded
games?

A) Chats are now visible in recorded
games, and you can place bookmarks in a recorded game so you can
skip ahead to the “good part”. I don’t know
exactly how the bookmarks work. I’ve not used them.

Q) Does the Jaguar Warrior get regeneration,
like the berserk. I bet it does

A) You lose. Send your money to
Ensemble Studios, care of Sandy.

Q) What do you make of all the people who are
deeply offended because ‘their’ Civ is not in the X-pack?

A) Frankly I think it’s pretty
inane.

Q) I am baffled by the suggestions of
politics & bias at ES. Some people seem to think that not
being represented in AoK is like being denied a seat on the UN
Security Council. Many analysts think that the next World War
will be fought over water, oil, or economic migration. They are
all wrong; it will happen because country A will get insanely
jealous of country B because country A didn’t make it into
AoEIII. How does it feel being responsible for global peace?

A) I guess our next game will have to
have 200+ civs to satisfy everyone. Here’s a sneak tip
though – Nauru is the big screw civ; they beat
everyone.

Q) Did u ever read 1984 by Orwell?

A) I think it’s a great book. I
like everything by Orwell I’ve read.

Q) will the spanish have a their own tile
set, like houses with those red tiled roofs

A) Sadly, no. They just get the
standard Western European art set.

Q) and will the bug on boats building
buildings near the shore be fixed

A) Already done.

Q) How about Mesoamerican Animals? No Boars,
Sheep or Deer

A) Okay, the first thing to remember
is that the wildlife is native to a MAP not to a CIV. No deer?
There are plenty of Deer in the Americas. I think we have more
native species of hooved mammals in North America than there are
in Europe. No boars? There are peccaries, which fill the gap. And
yes, when playing on a meso-american map, if you click on a boar,
it says “peccary”. So there. Sheep? If you are
playing on a meso-american map there are no sheep.

Q) Will the patch address any balance issues
or will it only fix bugs and the TC problem?

A) We’re going to concentrate on
the bugs, but I predict some of the simpler balance fixes will
get into it.

Q) Do petards carry buckets of oil?

A) They carried gunpowder, mostly

Q) Are UT all the same cost or do they vary
from civ to civ?

A) They vary from civ to civ, just as
does the cost of other unique stuff.

Q) how expensive are these things, 3 times a
fireship?!

A) Even a cannon galleon costs three
times as much as a fireship. Fireships are not particularly
expensive.

Q) most Deathmatchs are played with the
post-imperial setting. Did you worry about balancing deathmatch
with the post-imperial setting?

A) Yes.

Q) Will the Teutons UT increase the speed of
the TK?

A) The Teuton UT does not affect the
TK in the slightest.

Q) What are your (I mean ES) reasons for
inclusion of the new civs?

A) The coolest subject was, we
decided, The Conquerors, which meant that most of the civs
we’d include would need to be famous warriors. We chose the
Huns because they are infamous for their conquests. We chose the
Spanish for the same reason. I really wanted to include the New
World and I had to fight hard for them. There was a certain
amount of opposition to the New World civs at the start, even at
ES. I was able to win out. We inserted the Aztecs both because
they were conquerors in their own right, and because it was cool
to have a campaign with them vs. the Spanish. Since we knew
we’d need new art for the Aztec architecture, we decided to
include the Mayans as well, who used similar buildings. Then,
several months later, we squeezed in the Koreans – we know
they weren’t conquerors, particularly, but they were cool,
well-known, had appeared in AoE, and had a really terrific UU
idea.

Q) will the villagers, after depleting all of
an originally assigned resource, stand still or begin doing
something else useful

A) They behave as they do now.

Q) if you tell a ram that is garrisoned with
barracks units to attack a wall, and the ram is destroyed, will
the units inside attack the wall or what destroyed the ram?

A) They will attack whatever destroyed
the ram if they can get to it, and it is within their line of
sight.

Q) If the powers that be at ES said, “It is
up to you alone to pick the five civilizations to include in the
second expansion pack for AoK,” what would they be?

A) I would take weeks to think it over
and discuss. If I were prevented from discussing it with other ES
people, I would feel less certain of my decisions. But my initial
impression is that I’d go either with darkest Africa or the
Indian subcontinent.

Q) Would you prefer to keep the AoE series in
chronological order with AoE III: Age of Colonialism,
Imperialism, Revolution, Guns, Powdered Wigs, etc., or would you
prefer to skip straight to AoE III: Age of Panzers?

A) I am not wedded to a strict
chronological order. And I am sadly aware of the fact that though
the time period from 1500-1800 was fruitful militarily, it is
extremely obscure to most people. It’s also grossly
Eurocentric, so the civs would mostly be boringly the same
– different-colored uniforms on various brands of
musketeers and sabre-armed cavalry.

Q) Will the smoke belching from the Turtle
Boat have any effect in gameplay or does it just look really
cool?

A) It serves exactly the same purpose
as in the original turtle boats. That is, it just looks cool. In
the original turtle boats, the Koreans created the smoke by
tucking a smudgepot into the prow.

Q) Do camels really spit?

A) Yes, they really do. And so do
llamas. Apparently camelids are quite accurate with their spit,
but they only do it when they’re seriously annoyed.

Q) What about making Trebs a lot
Inaccurate

A) Right now they have only a 15%
chance of hitting the spot they are aimed at. Of course, if the
target is wider than that spot (like a castle), even a missed
shot often hits anyway.

Q) I think the best infantry civ are not
Viks, Japs and Goths…. the best infantry civ are Franks!!!
because T.A.s can kill easy all these champions, UUs,…. what u
think?

A) I would gladly hurl my Viking
champs vs. your Frankish throwing axemen.

Q) Do you think that the battle of Gettysburg
could HAVE been won by the south had Longstreet convinced Lee to
withdrawal and move around to the right between washington and
Meade?

A) That might have given Lee more of a
chance, but it assumes that Lee could have pulled a march on
Meade. Meade was no slouch, and he was very much aware of the
need to stay between Lee & Washington (which had an immense
garrison, incidentally). If the south had withdrawn after the
first or second day, though, it would probably have been counted
as a southern tactical victory. Fundamentally, Lee lost as soon
as he invaded the North. The whole campaign was flawed.

Q) The mongols get the HP bonus for light
cav, they do not have this bonus for scouts, so does this mean
that they will or will not be getting an HP bonus for
Hussars?

A) All bonuses that affect light cav
also affect hussars.

Q) Did you make anychanges to Outposts?

A) Yes. We changed them just recently
though. I know they have more line of sight. Don’t remember
if their cost is different, though.

Q) Do Hand Cannoneers still have +8 attack
vs. infantry?

A) They still have a bonus vs.
infantry. I am not sure if it is still +8.

Q) I realize AoK out of syncs are caused by
many things(ex.overclocked ram/processor,cable issues) however,
intentional OOS’s are a problem, especially among rated
multiplayers. Will the expansion/patch help stop the “intentional
OOS zone lamers”?

A) Is there some way that software
could help? I mean, aren’t they just pulling out their
plugs? I assume the fix would be to automatically count the OOS
guy as a loser, which would presumably penalize people
who’d gone OOS “legally”. I’ll discuss it
with the patch programmers.

Q) I’ve watched Alexander Nevsky about
fifty times.” In the theaters or on television?

A) I own the video tape.

Q) Will Audie Murphy be a hero unit in Age of
Panzers?

A) Certainly.

Q) will the Mayans get some sort of bonus on
account of their amazingly accurate calendar?

A) I suppose you could ascribe one or
more of their civ bonuses to their calendar if you like.

Q) If you had to make an AOE based on the
current world, what “civs” would you have?

A) USA, Europe, Russia, China, Japan.
Those are the five economic powerhouses in the modern world.
While some are stronger than others, the weakest of the five is
still by far above and beyond the second-tier nations.

Q) With all the new counter units like elite
light cav and upgrade to pikes dont you think that the game will
often result in stale mate?

A) All I can tell you is that they
don’t. Games last about the same length of time, or
sometimes shorter (it’s harder to run away and rebuild
because of changes in the TC).

Q) Im afraid of the TC rush being replaced
with a frank calste rush. Then again with the rams being so good
it might not be. Waht do you think?

A) I think the franks have the best
castle rush of all. But with petards, garrisoned rams, outposts
with superior LOS, such a rush is harder to do, and you’ll
need to guard your castle with soldiers.

Q) Since you are putting all this efort into
the UUs (and by the look of the screen shot they rule) have you
done anything to make UUs more oftenly built (mayeby increase
build speed or lessen the cost)?

A) We have made them generally more
useful by means of the UTs.

Q) Do you think that the janissaries, before
they became family men and house burning civil officials,
represent the modern day United States Marines?

A) No more than any elite force of
soldiers share certain resemblances.

Q) Do you think there was any possibility of
saving Constantinople, I know several men believed that Mehmed
II’s army of 300000 could have plowed across Europe, though the
city did put up a fight- what do you think they could have used,
or was it inevitable?

A) Nothing militarily is
inevitable.

Q) You ever read Ender’s Game?

A) Yes, I have read all the Ender
books by Orson Scott Card.

Q) Have you ever played on the Zone?

A) Yes, but not AoK.

Q) Do you recomend I read the Lord of the
Rings?

A) If you are longing for a more
action-packed fantasy I recommend trying out Edgar Rice Burroughs
“A Princess of Mars”. The action starts on page one
and keeps up hot and heavy throughout.

Q) Will the Aztec priest have offensive
combat ability?

A) Just like any other priest.

Q) are any of the new techs that aren’t
unique techs for the monastery?

A) Three of them.

Q) Since the Celts are one of only 6 or so
civs with Paladins in the X-pack, will they get Halberdiers?

A) Celts, at this time, get
halberdiers. Despite the fact that they have paladins, we
consider them a mainly infantry-based civ.

Q) Shouldn’t the Spanish be called
Castilians?

A) We wanted to include the basques
and catalonians though. We always try to be as inclusive with a
civ as possible. We even have hopes that the Portuguese will feel
included in the Spanish civ (yes we know they’re different,
but they shared the same royal house for a while).

Q) Will TK remain the strongest infantry
unit? and Slowest?

A) Yes to both.

Q) What do you mean by Aztec’s will have
super-monks? Does that mean they will have full monk technology,
or monk bonus?

A) One of the aztec bonuses is a monk
bonus.

Q) What will be the name of the toughest
infantry unit in X-Pack?

A) The Teutonic Knight.

Q) Does the Jaguar Warrior have the ability
to convert units somewhat like a priest does?

A) No. Surrendering to a jaguar knight
seems like a bad idea to me …

Q) Don’t know if it’s been asked before, but
do the meso-american regular units have a different look from the
other civs’ units?

A) No. Except for priests.

Q) Will Halberdiers (thanks for putting them
in!) get a curved Spanish helmet (can’t remember the name)?

A) The helmet is named a morion, and
the halberdiers do not wear one. They wear what was called an
“open” helm.

Q) After a few years how will you explain to
kids that Mesoamercian indian cultures did not have those the
technolgies they will need in order to make them a vialble AoK
civ?

A) I was unaware that it was our
responsibility to educate children about mesoamerican
civilizations. If all our game does is get some of them to read a
little about the subject, that will have been enough, in my
opinion.

Q) I understand that the Xpack won’t affect
much the Byzantines but …

A) The byzantines get a pretty full
selection of the new units (including cheaper halberdiers, as per
their bonus), plus cataphracts are now one of the most popular
units in the game.

Q) Given that a fair number of the younger
posters here seem to get much of their knowledge of history from
this game, and have been convinced by your inclusion of the
Meso-American civs that those warriors would have been able to
stand on the same field of battle with any of the Eurasian civs,
do you feel a responsibility to in any way correct this
disinformation?

A) Not in the slightest.

Q) Are you worried that the inclusion of
stone-age tribes will lose the market segment that wants a
wargame, and requires at least a minimum of ‘realism’?

A) Obviously not.

Q) Since MS does your marketing, does it
concern you that MS’s marketing tactics have been ruled illegal,
and non-competitive?

A) Their marketing tactics with
respect to games have never been ruled such, nor has anyone made
such claims. We have no part in their internet browser.

Q) The current proposal for dealing with MS
will give Bill Gates the choice of owning interest in only one of
the two spinoffs — either the “Windows/Operating System” company
or the “Applications(MSOffice, etc)” company?

A) I think I personally would be
better off if BIll chose the Applications company, but if I were
Bill I would choose the operating system company.

Q) They said that Nelson just arrived in
Copenhagen on day called Battle on the nest (Slaget på
Reden in Danish) and said that Nelson won and was victorious over
the Danes, Hmm…..ive read in a history book that the Danes
fought so hard againts him, that NELSON offeder a cease fire to
Denmark, our navy was pretty big. So my qusition to you is, who
do you think that are right?

A) My understanding is that the
English initially tried to get the Danes to promise not to join
Napoleon, and they refused, retaining a sort of neutrality. Then,
Nelson crushed the Danish fleet at Copenhagen, and he then
offered a cease fire which the Danes accepted. Much as I love
Denmark and the Danes (hell, I’m Danish myself), I must
agree with the Danish politico who said that Denmark hadn’t
won a war in 400 years.

Q) I was on the zone and noticed that a
plurality of the games running during the time I was on were
locked on *fast* … and realized that one modification that many
gamers would like is to have a “faster” setting (even faster than
“fast”).

A) In our playtest version of the
game, we are able to set the game to go faster than the
“fast” setting. BUT this is so fast that the game has
to “interpolate” where units are moving. The result
is that units frequently get stuck inside buildings or trees, or
can’t find the right spot to gather berries or lay down a
foundation. The game is really screwed up at superfast
speeds.

Q) Do you believe Confederate forces could
have won the Civil War if they had stuck to simply defending
their established borders?

A) I think the Confederacy could have
won even if they’d followed their actual battle plan, if
the Union had just been a little dumber. The Confederacy had by
far the advantage in the war. The Union did not have enough
soldiers to occupy and control the Confederacy. In fact, at the
war’s end, the Union only held a few coastal cities,
northern Virginia, and parts of Tennessee. The problem with just
defending their established borders is twofold. First, the
Confederacy was run by highly aggressive fire-eaters who were
unlikely to approve of a passive defense. Second, there was
dispute over just where the Confederacy’s borders were
located – were Kentucky and Missouri part of the
Confederacy? Jeff Davis said they were. How about West Virginia?
You get the idea. That said, the invasions of the North by Lee in
the Antietam & Gettysburg campaigns were wrong-headed and
doomed.

Q) I cannot understand why there are
screenshots given out to gaming magazines, while all the fans
have to wait until someone suddenly finds them. Can’t you post
some pics as well? Any comments on the following screenshot?
Maya/Aztec U guess, please tell us more?

A) The picture you show is of a Mayan
city. Hope that helps.

Q) I’ve read somewhere that the Myans and
Aztecs didnt even had the wheel, is this true?

A) No it’s not true. They
manufactured wheeled toys, for instance, used rollers to move
stone, etc. They didn’t have good roads, or pack-beasts
suitable for pulling wagons, so they didn’t have
large-scale use of the wheel, but the technology was known to
them.

Q) Is it any unit that you considered to be
in AoK but then was added in the x-pack?

A) The Halberdier.

Q) Which civ in AoK do you think have the
worst econ in late imperial, Japanese?

A) Goth?

Q) do cataphracts get defence bonus against
pikes?

A) No, they get an attack bonus
against them.

Q) Why is AOK:TC being released this fall
sence it already exists and has been tested for a while now

A) Testing is not through and we
release games for economic reasons, not just because
they’re finished.

Q) What was ‘petard’ used for ages ago in
real life?

A) Blowing holes in castle gates &
fortress walls.

Q) Do the Mesoamericans have another domestic
animal to Compensate for the lack of sheep? Dare I Mention
Llamas?

A) Mesoamericans did not have access
to llamas.

Q) Since you do not mind the different
console platforms, Any chance that ES will provide a PORT to
LINUX based systems?

A) We’re published by MS. Think
about it.

Q) What exactly needs to happen in order for
a “battle event” to show up on the timeline of the Acheivements
pages after a game? Do a certain number of units have to die w/in
a set period of time?

A) No, it means you have to KILL a
certain number of units (like 20) within a certain amount of
time.

Q) Am I correct in assuming petards have an
attack bonus vs. buildings? If so, when would petards be more
useful than rams, since the latter are reusable and
garrisonable.

A) Petards are faster than rams, and
they do their damage immediately. Rams take a few seconds to
pound through a wall, but with petards you get instant
gratification. By the time the enemy can react to the attack
notification sound you already have your knights through the wall
and headed towards his woodcutters.

Q) How accurate is the Turtle Boat?

A) It rarely misses.

Q) Can a player who is an excellent
micro-manager use a single Viking longboat to destroy a single
turtle boat by using hit and run tactics?

A) Yes. I’ve done it myself.
Good hunting.

Q) In Norway we learned as young that the
Danes were forced into the war by the bad English.

A) Well, I am happy to agree that the
English of the early 1800s were bad. After all, we Americans
fought a war vs. them only a few years later.

Q) The AI is better, plays faster, etc. than
before. He regularly has a castle time less than 18 minutes now,
for instance . . .” Is the less-than-18-minute castle time in
reference to hardest level?

A) No, that is an uncheating AI. The
hardest level AI castles earlier, of course.

Q) Brit TC’s will cost full price in Dark and
Fuedal, but do Brit retain their -50% TC cost for Castle and
Imperial?

A) They still cost half the wood in
post-Feudal times.

Q) Is Russia’s economy really *that* much
better than Canada’s?

A) Its gross national income is better
than Canada’s, which is no surprise, but more importantly,
Russia’s geographic situation is essentially a good one.
They have a large population of technologically-savvy,
well-educated people, plenty of natural resources, and a fairly
sizable infrastructure of power plants, factories, and so forth.
Their problems, while serious, are transitory, in my opinion.
Their advantages are eternal. When they get rid of the crooks and
racketeers, their natural resources will still be there, and so
they will always be a nation to be reckoned with.

Q) which do you like better, Star Wars or
Star Trek?

A) I would rather watch movies about
Star Wars, but I would rather live in the Star Trek universe.

Q) You mentioned that there are 7 new techs
of the top of your head. Are these techs somthing you would get
at a university or like economic and military upgrade things.

A) None of them are from a
university.

Q) did you notice that the loom says it
increases viligher HP by 15%. it really gives it 15 more HP

A) Yes I know. I didn’t write
the help screen. I apologize for its erroneous nature.

Q) Why is there info on turtle boats when
there are other UUs that we also would like to know about?

A) Because CGW mentioned turtle boats,
but not the rest.

Q) Well, so far you’ve said the Turtle Boat
is slow, expensive, and slow to build, and is quite ineffective
against land units. Then someone else mentioned that you said it
has a short range. What the heck can the Turtle Boat be used for
then?

A) While ineffective against land
units, they absolutely kick major caboose on other naval
units.

Q) I have no idea how something can stand
toe-to-toe with a Berserk, except maybe a Teutonic Knight.
Berserks worked themselves into demon-like rages, and I’m sure
they would beat a Jaguar Knight

A) We call them Jaguar Warriors, not
Knights, and they were subject to a similar fanatical rage, plus
raised as killers from their youth. You didn’t get to be a
Jaguar Warrior because of your family ties – you had to
earn it, by golly. Berserks are probably more all-around valuable
than Jaguar Warriors, but when I’m Aztec I train as many of
the latter as I can.

Q) Is there any sort of team bonus that
affects the two meso-american civs if played together in a team
environment?

A) No more than the normal team
bonuses. I mean, they both have a team bonus. They aren’t
particularly well-suited as allies (why would they be?), but
neither are they complete mismatches.

Q) Hey I saw the art of mayans, pretty cool
eh. They look a bit similar to incas, you must admit

A) No, I don’t admit that at
all. I think Incan architecture and art looks completely
different from Meso-American. I mean, just look at it. Compare
Macchu Pichu with Chichen Itza, and there is no resemblance at
all, except that they’re both built of stone.

Q) Were japan, Sarcs, and Franks changed in
any way? Not the UT.

A) Japanese were changed because we
changed the samurai. Saracens were changed because we improved
cav archers across the board. Franks were pretty much not
changed.