Completed Project Showcase: AG3 Ancient Empires, an AoE2 to AoE1 overhaul mod

While some issues of the mod in it’s launch are still being worked on
I’d like to take this moment to formally introduce my project

I’m Mac B, the creator of the Project AG3 Ancient Empires mods on HD, Voobly, and now definitive edition.
Like many people, I preferred the balance and engine of aoe2 but the setting and theme of aoe1. In 2018 and 2019 I worked for months on the first release of AG3 on HD. At the end of the year in 2019 I worked for a month upwards on the Voobly port of this mod. (which has 39 civilizations)
I’m now proud to present another labor of love, the Definitive Edition port.

To summarize, AG3 Ancient Empires is AoE2 with AoE1 Civilizations and 3 additional generic units; Hoplites (which are like teutonic knights trainable from barracks), Elephant archers (trainable from archery ranges) and Chariots (which are an alternate version of light cavalry with more hp but a different cost, costing food and wood)
Every civilization has it’s own unique balance and identity.
I tried to incorporate historical accuracy, good game balance, and a measure of aoe1 inspiration (like how assyrians and hittites are supposed to be rushing civs, they were designed thusly)

Of course, there are 35 civilizations. (listed in the reply)

The mod comes packaged with AoE1 building sets for appropriate civilizations (egyptian for egyptians, mesoptamian for babylonians…) and of course graphics for hoplites and chariots.

Some screenshots through various stages of development

*The mod was designed around multiplayer balance, however it takes a LONG time to load in a multiplayer lobby and has a small chance of crashing. This should not usually happen, but it will freeze for the first minute or so in a lobby while it gets all the files ready.

The mod comes in two parts.
This contains the base data and sounds, and half of the graphics.

This contains the UI, which MUST BE ENABLED IN THE MOD MENU (then restart to apply) as well as other graphics.

The mod additionally comes with a handful of bronze age themed random maps (Medes, Persia, Parthia, Babylon, Elam, Dune, Ganges, and some others)

UHD/Enhanced Graphics Setting is not supported. Must be disabled or everything will be small.


Thank you



  • Villagers move 10% faster
  • Archery Range units -50% frame delay
  • Siege units +0/2 armor
    Bronze Age Tech: Wrath of Nineveh - Siege units +50% movement speed
    Iron Age Tech: Professional Army - Military buildings work 20% faster
    Unique Unit: Siege Engine (Siege)
    Team Bonus: University works 80% faster
  • War ships and Hoplites +10% movement speed
  • Fire ships +1 Range
  • Mill, Lumber Camp, Mining Camp technologies -25% cost
    Bronze Age Tech: Philosophy - Technologies finish researching at 50%
    Iron Age Tech: Polybolos - Ballistas fire 3 bolts
    Unique Unit: Marine (Anti-hoplite Archer)
    Team Bonus: Markets work 20% Faster
  • Buildings +10/20/30/40% HP per age
  • Ballistics is free
  • Camels 20% cheaper
  • Technologies 10/15/20% cheaper per age
    Bronze Age Tech: Shield Bearers (Archers +1/1 armor)
    Iron Age Tech: Etemenanki - Team Castles work 33% faster. Your team can train 10 Amorite Guard mercenaries from Castles.
    Unique Unit: Amorite Guard (Ranged infantry)
    Team Bonus: Priests heal 50% faster
  • Start with +1 villager, -50 food, and an eagle scout
  • Monks +5 HP per monastery tech
  • Farms and Fishing Ships 33% cheaper

Bronze Age Tech: Qipu - Priests convert faster

Iron Age Tech: Shamanism - Eagle Warriors and Monk s regenerate

Unique Unit: Moche Maceman (Heavy Infantry)

Team Bonus: Relics generate 33% more gold

  • Elephant, Camel, and Hoplite units +25% HP
  • Fire ships attack 20% faster
  • Careening is free

Bronze Age Tech: Mercenaries - Team +500 gold

Iron Age Tech: Tunisian Camels - Camel units regenerate

Unique Unit:Numidian Cavalry (mounted assault skirmisher)

Team Bonus: Units -5% gold cost

  • Infantry +1/2/3 armor per age
  • Towers and Ballistas +1/2 range in Bronze, Iron age
  • Tower upgrades free
  • Stone miners work 20% faster

Bronze Age Tech: Aegisal - Towers and Castles fire 30% faster

Iron Age Tech: Great Flaming Arrow - Ballista units +30% fire rate,+ bonus vs buildings

Unique Unit: Hwarang (Archer)

Team Bonus: Villagers +2 LoS

  • Villagers kill animals with 1 strike
  • Stable units 15/20/25% cheaper per age
  • Military units created 15% faster
  • Town centers -50 stone cost

Bronze Age Tech: Barbarianism - Headhunters can be trained from Stables

Iron Age Tech: Temple of Fire - Cav archers +1 range

Unique Unit: Tabiti Headhunter (Anti-cavalry ranged cavalry)

Team Bonus: Military buildings +5 population space

  • Chariot units +20% HP
  • Gold Miners work 20% faster
  • Block Printing is free

Bronze Age Tech: Rangers - Medjay trained in half time

Iron Age Tech: Maryannu - Chariots +4 attack

Unique Unit: Medjay (Archer)

Team Bonus: Cartography free from dark age

  • Start with 6 villagers, but -200 food and -100 wood
  • Town centers +5 LOS, pop space, and 2x HP
  • +1 Archer armor per relic (caps at 4)
  • +25% damage when attacking from higher elevation
  • Thumb ring is free

Bronze Age Tech: Statecraft - Every new tc spawns a free villager for your team

Iron Age Tech: Sacrilege - Archery ranges work 2x faster, countdown victories take longer

Unique Unit: Elpi Archer (high hp archer)

Team Bonus: Temples work 20% faster

  • Infantry bonus damage against buildings +1/2/3 per age
  • Infantry 25% cheaper starting in tool age
  • Farmers work 10% faster

Bronze Age Tech: Druids - Monks return 33% cost on death

Iron Age Tech: Woad - Infantry get trample damage

Unique Unit: Rix (heavily armored dismounting cavalry/konnick)

Team Bonus: Siege Workshops work 20% faster

  • Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace free
  • Stone Thrower line +20/40% HP per age
  • Iron age -30% cost

Bronze Age Tech: Wetenu - Town centers +3 range and attack

Iron Age Tech: Storm of Teshup - Catapults larger blast radius

Unique Unit: Meshedi (Anti Cavalry Infantry/kamayuk)

Team Bonus: Infantry +2 vs rams

  • Slingers fire 15% faster
  • Foragers work 25% faster
  • Units cost 15% less gold
  • Supplies is free

Bronze Age Tech: Linen Cuirass (Swordsmen move 10% faster)

Iron Age Tech: Cantabrian Circle (Lusitanians fire +2 projectiles)

Unique Unit: Lusitanian (cavalry archer)

Team Bonus: Caetrati trainable in Iron Age

  • Military Production buildings -20/30/40% cost per age
  • Siege units 15% cheaper
  • Hoplites +1 / 2 pierce armor in Bronze, Iron age

Bronze Age Tech: Trupanon (Rams attack 30% faster)

Iron Age Tech: Sarissa Phalanx (Hoplites +1 range)

Unique Unit: Hetairoi (Cavalry)

Team Bonus: Units more resistant to conversion

  • Villagers cost 10/15/20/25% less per age
  • Elephant units +20% attack speed
  • Archer units +1/2/3 attack per age

Bronze Age Tech: Ksatriya - Asvaka trainable from stables

Iron Age Tech: Howdah - Elephants +1/1 armor

Unique Unit: Asvaka (anti- cav archer cavalry)

Team Bonus:Blacksmiths work 80% faster

  • Shepherds work 25% faster
  • Archers +1/2 range in Bronze, Iron age
  • War Ships -15/15/20% cost per age
  • Bronze Age Tech: Horn Bow (Archers +1 range)

Iron Age Tech: Trojan Horse (Rams +40% HP and garrison room)

Unique Unit: Cretan Archer (Archer)

Team Bonus: Docks 15% cheaper

  • Foot archers fire 15/20 faster per age
  • Start with +50 gold
  • Market commodity 5%
  • -15% age up cost

Bronze Age Tech:Salt Trade - Trade units ½ cost

Iron Age Tech: Kushite Cavalry - Cavalry +5 attack

Unique Unit: Apedemak Shotelai - fast infantry

Team Bonus: Outposts and Towers +3 LOS

Don’t get blast furnace or phalanx

  • Villagers +5 carry
  • Gold mining is free
  • Infantry +1/2/3 attack per age

Bronze Age Tech: Obsidian Spears (Eagle Warriors +2 attack)

Iron Age Tech: Bestial Visage (Eagle Warriors and Jaguar Warriors +50% HP)

Unique Unit: Jaguar Warrior (Infantry)

Team Bonus: Start with +10 Gold

  • Camels move 6% faster
  • Tribute is free. Markets cost 100 wood.
  • Villagers +1/1 armor per age
  • Villagers work 10% faster but cost 60 food. Start with +50 food

Bronze Age Tech: Viceroys - Town Centers fire without garrison

Iron Age Tech: Nabatean Camelry - Camels trained 30% faster

Unique Unit: Camel Archer (cavalry archer)

Team Bonus: Caravan is free

  • Cavalry (except camels) +5% movement speed starting in tool age
  • Parthian tactics is free
  • Gold piles last 15% longer
  • Town Center technologies -50% cost and research time. Town centers -50% build time.

Bronze Age Tech: Nisean Horses - Cavalry Archers +20 HP

Iron Age Tech: Ayrudzi - Cataphracts get trample damage

Unique Unit: Grivpanvar (camel cataphract)

Team Bonus: Cavalry Archers +3 vs buildings

  • Hunt provides 20% more food
  • Elephants move 15% faster
  • No building requirement to age up.
  • Buildings, except fortifications ½ cost when built for the first time.

Bronze Age Tech: Satraps - +10% gold income

Iron Age Tech: Aswaran - Cavalry and camel line (not elephants and light cav) +1/1 armor

Unique Unit: Immortal (ranged infantry)

Team Bonus: Cavalry +2 vs archers

  • Militia line cost 60 food 30 wood starting in Tool age
  • Galleys +20% firing speed
  • Fish traps 33% cheaper and hold unlimited food
  • Town centers cost ½ wood

Bronze Age Tech: Harbors - Turns Docks into Harbors

Iron Age Tech: Sarim - Infantry +4 attack

Unique Unit: Seren - infantry / Bridge Ship - Ship

Team Bonus: Docks +100% LOS

  • Elephants -30% cheaper

  • Lumberjacks work 15% faster

  • Dock technologies ½ cost

  • Catapult galleons benefit from ballistics

Bronze Age Tech: Tyrian Shipcraft - Ships +1/1 armor

Iron Age Tech: Diaspora - Slingers and Villagers +20 HP, +2/2 armor

Unique Unit: Balearic Slinger

Team Bonus: Trade +25% income

  • Infantry attacks 25% faster
  • Buildings -15% wood cost
  • Castles -25% cost
  • Town Centers and Towers extra garrison, fire extra arrows

Bronze Age Tech: Castra - Garrisoned infantry fire arrows

Iron Age Tech: Siegecraft - siege weapons benefit from ballistics

Unique Unit: Praetorian Guard - Anti-Hoplite infantry

Team Bonus: SIege Weapons -1 minimum range

  • Cavalry units +20% HP
  • Sheep provide +50% food
  • Husbandry is free
  • Herdable units in your LOS cannot be converted

Bronze Age Tech: Tamga (Stables work 50% faster)

Iron Age Tech: War Maidens (Cavalry Archers +3 attack)

Unique Unit: Lancer (Cavalry with 1 range)

Team Bonus: Heavy Cavalry +2LOS

  • Cavalry Archers -10/20% cost per age X
  • Light Cavalry upgrades are free X
  • Start with max population, cannot build houses X

Bronze Age Tech: Burial Mounds (dead cavalry return 20% food on death)

Iron Age Tech: Gilded Armor - +1 pierce armor on light cavalry and cavalry archers

Unique Unit: Androphagoi (infantry - good vs skirmishers and pikemen)

Team Bonus: Stables work 20% faster

  • Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart free
  • Villagers return 30% of their cost on death
  • Archers -10/20/30% cost per age
  • Demolition Ships, Catapult Ships +40% HP

Bronze Age Tech: Great Wall - Fortifications +30% HP

Iron Age Tech: Art of War - Ballistas +50% Attack

Unique Unit: Chu Ko Nu (archer)

Team Bonus: Archery Ranges work 20% faster

  • Hoplites -25% cost

  • Squires is free

  • Houses provide 10 population

Bronze Age Tech: Periokoi - Sciritae trainable from barracks

Iron Age Tech: Academics - Barracks work 2x faster

Unique Unit: Sciritae (infantry)

Team Bonus: Barracks work 20% faster

  • Farm upgrades free
  • Blacksmith upgrades don’t cost gold
  • Catapults +20% fire rate
  • +5 villager HP per age

Bronze Age Tech: Penetrating Axe (Swordsmen +4 vs other swordsmen)

Iron Age Tech: Dalu - Catapults +1 range

Unique Unit: Battle Cart (transport)

Team Bonus: Blacksmiths ½ cost

  • +100 food and gold upon reaching the next age
  • Units -20% wood cost
  • Villagers affected by blacksmith upgrades

Bronze Age Tech: Atl-Atl - Skirmishers +1 attack and range

Iron Age Tech: Blessing of the Sun - Eagle Warriors and Coyotl +2/2 armor x

Unique Unit: Coyotl - infantry

Team Bonus: Walls ½ cost

  • Town centers work 5/10/15/20% faster per age
  • Infantry +10/15/20% HP per age
  • Skirmishers and Spearmen move 10% faster

Bronze Age Tech: Peltasts (Skirmisher minimum range removed)

Iron Age Tech: Romphaia (infantry +7 vs cavalry)

Unique Unit:Falxman (infantry) X

Team Bonus: Imperial Skirmisher in Iron Age

  • Infantry +1/2/3 Pierce armor per age
  • Monastery technologies ½ cost
  • Buildings -15% stone cost
  • Begin with a free goat!

Bronze Age Tech: Lamas - Monks +¾ armor

Iron Age Tech: Dharmapala - Cavalry +5% attack speed per garrisoned relic

  • Archery range units move 5/10/15% faster per age
  • Lumber upgrades are free
  • Docks 2x HP, work 5/10/15/20% faster per age
  • Spearmen and Skirmishers -25% cost

Bronze Age Tech: War Drums (Elephant units trained in half time)

Iron Age Tech: Tattoos (Spearmen and skirmishers +2 pierce armor)

Unique Unit: No Than (siege) Payaos (warship)

Team Bonus: Enemy TCs visible from start

  • Cavalry archers fire 30% faster
  • Light cavalry +30% HP
  • Hunters work 50% faster

Bronze Age Tech: Nomads (do not lose population upon losing a house or castle)

Iron Age Tech: Xianbei Husbandry - Light cavalry and CA made in half time

Unique Unit: Hu (Cav archer)

Team Bonus: Scouts +2 LOS

  • Fishing ships 2x HP, work 5/10/15/20% faster per age
  • Archers and Galleys +15/20% HP in Tool/Bronze age
  • Economy technologies do not cost wood.
  • Bronze Age Tech: Shingon - Team Monasteries work 33% faster

Iron Age Tech: Kuydo - Arrows move 30% faster

Unique Unit:Bushi (cav archer)

Team Bonus: Galleys +50% LOS

Do not get: slingers, shipwright, heavy demo,

  • Economy technologies are 20% more effective
  • Militia line upgrade is free
  • Aging up is 80% faster
  • Can garrison in houses

Bronze Age Tech:War Masks (Eagle warriors trained in half time)

Iron Age Tech: Bloodletting (+Infantry units +1 range)

Unique Unit: Cuij (ranged unit)

Team Bonus: Farms +45 food


That’s really impressive! Btw, what did you do about gates and markets? Are you using AoE 2 DE assets, since they are not present in AoE 1?

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Gates are aoe2de gates; but the saracen building set gates and walls works well with the meoptamian building set, same for the mediterranean to greek sets.
As for markets, they use markets from AoE1
Here is an example of the Egyptian building set with walls and it’s markets


It has been so long since I last played aoe 1 that i even forgot there were market buildings there :sweat_smile:

I guess aoe 2 walls can work in both versions, for example i think the meditaranneans set for aoe 2 can be used very nicely for roman walls in aoe 1 :slight_smile:

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Any plans on bringing over the campaigns?

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I do plan on making some campaigns, but they’ll be designed differently, and I’m waiting to port the voobly AI (which can train mod units like hoplites) for that.

AoE1 campaigns were nice but they’re not as memorable as AoE2 ones (at least for me), and I do want to design them similar to the old AoK campaigns instead of the originals.
So, on the table I have Babylon and Cyrus the Great campaigns planned, but that’s all I can say I’ll do right now because it depends on how well this mod can handle campaigns. If the campaigns work well, I’d like to extend that to doing other classic campaigns (like reign of the hittites) and campaigns for civilizations that didn’t have them (like maybe an assyrian empire and a silla/choson campaign)

TLDR: Yes, but it’ll be a while and I can’t promise I’ll convert all of them, especially because making a good campaign is an art of it’s own. I’m a modder and balancer before anything, and I invite others to try making their own campaigns with my mod as well.


I just ask because aoe de is…borked and I like some of the campaigns

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Does the AI work with this mod, does it train all the new units and techs introduced by this mod?

No. It can research the techs, but it does not train new units. An AI that can train mod units will be released at some point


This is SO AWESOME and You sir well deserve a job at Microsoft Studios!

Nice, will be waiting for it’s release.

Wow, this is impressive. I was working in a AOE1 into AOE2 mod myself. I’ll have to check this out. I was planning to make gates, castles that will blend with the AOE1 style. Roman stone gates for example:
Let me know if you need any help for future updates of this mod, it looks great so far.


This is truly beautiful.
Are there some unique units (or units for only some civs) ideas for the future? Using assets like roman legions, tongoo warriors or other assets from AOE 2?
I really hope that this get in the eyes of the devs and become the really DE that AoE1 deserved.

Very interesting looking project too bad there are no Germans Picts and Goths.


Wouldn’t having the Hebrews make more sense? Than say the Calas? What are they anyway? :slight_smile:

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As it stands, every civ has their own unique unit(s)

There are gauls which are definitely picts and blanket germans. There are Iberians, which precede Goths. The Voobly release has Germanians as their own civ because you can add more than 35 civs on voobly. When the devs support the ability to add more civs, I have more to add. Some of the other civs part of the Voobly release were the Medes (proto-persians) Hurrian/Mitanni (related to hittites)

Hebrews are blanketed by Phoenicians (who are a slinger civilization with many counters to philistines, ironically) since Israelites = from Canaan and Canaan was a part of the Phoenician citystates. Their iron age technology is named Diaspora as reference to this and I tried incorporating some ancient hebrew references in Phoenicians new design like that. There wasn’t enough to make hebrews a civ entirely on their own.

The Caral are one of the earliest Norte Chico/Peruvian civilizations, who are followed by the Chavin and Moche cultures (and then Inca in the medieval age)
The mesoamerican civilizations (including the olmecs, zapotecs, and teotihuacans as well) were included

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Wouldn’t the Hebrews make more sense than the Philistines. Hebrews would be there from the time of King David through to the Assyrian/Babylonian period and also again as the Hasmonaean/Idumaean periods and could cover Canaanites too.

Likewise the Aramaeans who would cover all Syrian political entities including the Palmyrenes as well as the Syro-Arabic kingdoms in the Hellenistic/Roman periods.

To be honest, Philistines were designed because I wanted a goths/malay like civ to blanket the sea people event. The sea people as a whole incurred enough damage to Mesopotamia to send it into a dark age and the philistines settled in the levant where they subjugated the canaanites. There wasn’t a lot that I found that could individually support an entire civ as hebrews, but I did want them to be part of them so I heared Phoenicians towards representing them in late game