When Age of Empires II launched in September 1999, it garnered massive critical acclaim and equally massive sales, selling over 500,000 copies and earning over $20 million in just a few months. Its unique blend of strategy, resource management, and city-building brought in veterans from the first Age of Empires game as well as many new fans. As time moved on, other sequels were released, and many people moved on and forgot about Age of Empires II. That is, until Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition launched in November of 2019, reigniting that medieval RTS flame for fans all over the world.
Now, several years after, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is still being enjoyed by fans, and it is often streamed on Twitch as well. For those new to the Age of Empires II experience, you’re about two decades behind the curve on tech and tactics. However, if you want to be competitive or successful in Age of Empires II, I have a few helpful words of wisdom in this Age of Empires II: Top 5 Tips & Tricks guide. If you’re ready to learn something new, round up your knights, and let’s get started!
When you first start an Age of Empires II campaign, you will have access to several units for battle. One of those types is the archer, which brandishes a crossbow for ranged attacks. For the first few hours of that playthrough, it will be fairly easy for good players to dodge those projectiles because you haven’t completed the ballistics research yet. Once ballistics is obtained, your archers will be much better at tracking their shots and aiming where the target will be rather than where they are when the shot is taken. The tech is less effective over longer distances, so if you still come across someone who is able to dodge projectiles with ballistics, the solution is to close the gap and get closer.
There is a tactic in Age of Empires II called “walling”, in which your opponent will construct stone or wood walls around you to box you in and kill you. In the past, walling was basically a death sentence for whatever units got stuck in there, but for the past few years, that tactic has become less effective due to an update. Now, before stone or wood walls are completely constructed, they will have zero armor and low hp. Meaning, that if you attack the wall as it’s being built, you’ll most likely break it and your opponent will lose whatever materials they dedicated to that construction. Don’t get walled! Be aggressive and fight your way out, then make your opponent pay!
Bring Back Boars
In the resource gathering phase of any Age of Empires II match, you’ll need to gather up some food for your soldiers and citizens. One of the most effective ways of getting that food is by luring a boar to your village and ambushing it to collect its meat. Many people will send a knight or an archer to strike the boar and run back to base, which is an effective way of luring, but not the only way. In fact, just about anything can be used to lure a boar. Villagers, spearmen, scorpions, even galleys on the water! There are basically unlimited options for you when luring a boar, so use your imagination.
If you choose the Aztec faction, you’ll have access to monk units. For only 100 gold, you get a pretty competent healer with a particularly useful extra feature. You see, monks can convert any enemy unit they face to your cause. ANY unit. War elephants, knights, trebuchets, scorpions, the lot of them. If the monk doesn’t die before the conversion is complete, its conversion target will now be controllable by you and added to your units. When you use a 100 gold monk to convert a unit that would have cost you much more resources, or otherwise been impossible to get due to your civilization, you’re always getting a good deal.
Hitting Moving Targets with the Scorpion
Most of the siege weapons in Age of Empires II have a feature that will allow you to attack the ground your target will be in order to lead your shots. This is an effective way of hitting a moving target, but what about units that don’t have this feature? Well, the scorpion is one of those, and there is, fortunately, a trick for this. When attacking a moving group with the scorpion, you’re going to want to target the units at the front of the pack. Aiming at the front units in the direction they are moving will allow you to often hit at least a few of the units in the group depending on the distance.
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