Deconstructing Age of Empires IV Fan Preview Video [Piece by Piece]

Welcome back ladies & gentleman to another deconstructing series. It’s been a while since the last time, back in December of 2019 when we have the first glance of Age IV, and the first deconstruction post about it. Since it seems people liked it a lot, here i am again once more to bring those little details that escape at first glance from our eyes, but that are there to be catched.

I’m aware of all the personal thoughts about if game looks good or bad, they need to change this, i don’t like this either, so i’ll try to only post my thought and guesses about what i could see in this extensive footage given a week ago.

I have passed by many details because either it’s not so important, it’s obvius or it was already develead in the previous Age IV trailer. But most importantly, due to 26 minutes of information and things to see, it would be REALLY an even larger post to make if we count every single thing spoted.

I’ll try to cover the things by section, so maybe could be a bit messed up, sorry for that. So, without much more to say, let’s get started, shall we?


  1. Market

  2. Barracks

  3. Blacksmith

  4. Town Center

  5. Mosque maybe? (for technological research)

  6. Temple

  7. Civilization Flag and unit description

Let’s continue with more buildings but from another point of view

  1. Castles (We can see 2 of them, maybe no limit restriction to build, or a pretty low one)

  2. Barracks

  3. New building, any ideas of what could it be? Maybe a Siege Workshop?

  4. Looks like a Fort but i believe it was built to Age up, just like Asian civilizations do in AoE III The Asian Dynasties (Indians could build Fort Agra to age up to second or third age)

Another thing that has been running through my head is this glowing thing that is in top of many buildings along the whole footage seen, and in many places. I wonder what is it, maybe means that contains a Relic inside and this one provides certain aura effect? Look at the soldiers around with that aura effect.

Now let’s talk about some units.

  1. Catapult

  2. Tower War Elephant

  3. Siege War Elephant

  4. Archers and with a group number (4)

  5. Archer defensive spikes hability

  6. Diferent type of archer, maybe the unique Longbow man from the British? Look at the helmet. Or maybe is an upgraded version from the Blacksmith.

  7. Barracks (England)

  8. Archery Range (England)

  9. Destroyed wall (Looks really cool to be honest how it stands in ruins instead a perfect cut like previous versions of AoE)

  10. What are all this things stands for? Any ideas?

Let’s keep the track with the units.

  1. Again, all this units with this glowing Aura effect.

  2. Cavalry Knight with sword (we were normally seeing them with spears in most videos)

  3. Archers grouped (1)

  4. Scholar (Delhi’s equivalent to English Monks, but with other capabilities)

  5. Tower/Outpost ruins (seems they stand in time for a while)

Here we can perceive some variety in units, also seems to be light and heavy type.

  1. Light Cavalry (Spear)

  2. Heavy Cavalry (Sword)
    (here i merely guessing just for the appereance)

  3. Archers

  4. Heavy Infantry

  5. Light Infantry

  6. Incendiary Spear Unit?

  7. Outpost

Now let’s put the facts right with this. I could see long ahead in the footage this kind of ‘‘ghost’’ workers animations mounting siege weapons. But here, it seems like they also ‘‘use them’’ in the attack animations like if the trebuchets were manipulated by them.
What do you think about?

  1. Ghost workers managing the Trebuchet

Now it’s time for another civilization spotlights.


  1. Archery Range

  2. Barracks

  3. University?

  4. Blacksmith

  5. Temple

  6. Specific dinasty building - Landmarks maybe? (just my guess)

Here an extensive look over the city. I want to say that i don’t see any weapon racks (bows) in the walls as i saw with the British in the trailer of 2019. One can naturally think that it may be only a feature for the England civ but, i haven’t seen it neither in the England footage this time (i’ll talk more about this later).

  1. Outpost / Stone towers?
    I have seen plenty of this in the same position outside the main frontal door, and in other civs too (England). I thought it could be an outpost but those are made of wood, maybe this is how the towers looks outside the walls.

  2. Mill

  3. Market

  4. Stable

  5. Siege Workshop (just guessing from now and on)

  6. Temple

  7. Special building to age up (like Age III)

  8. Special building to age up (like Age III)

  9. University

  10. Any ideas for this one?

  11. Castle

Now let’s check some units

  1. Archers

  2. Granadiers (check at the group icon N°4 on the left)

  3. Nest of Bees (Anti infantry unit)

  4. Nest of Bess fire path

  5. Sword Cavalry

  6. Spear Cavalry

  7. Mongol packed building / siege unit

  8. Civilization Flag and Unit description

  9. All army units groups icons and types

  10. Ming Dinasty choosen when Aging up

And the list continues! We also can check the minimap in this one. The clarity at reading it seems a bit messed up when it comes at fortificated cities.

  1. Pikeman

  2. Light Cavalry

  3. Infantry units (Replace swordsman maybe?)

  4. Fire Lancer

  5. Crossbowmen (Or even the Chu-Ko-Nu)

  6. Nest of Bees

  7. Heavy Cavalry

We can see here in the video multiple units comming out from the building. Maybe same unit production style like Age III?

  1. Infantry comming out

  2. Monk

Let’s check a bit of the Englands


  1. Town Center

  2. Barracks

  3. Archery Range

  4. University or Special Building to Age up

  5. Priest

  6. I missed it! sorry xD

  7. Mill

  8. Castle

As i said before with the Delhi Sultanate, we can see 2 castles in the city. But it is said that the English have a network of castles and towers to trigger an alarm when an enemy approaches. Maybe that’s why we can see in their cities more towers and defensive buildings than other civs. Also, English Castles can produce ALL units like Forts in Age III.

  1. Again, the glowing thing at top of the towers this time.

  2. Market or Siege Workshop maybe

  3. Castles

  4. Special building to Age Up (this already was shown in the video)

  5. Blacksmith

  6. Stables maybe? I can’t see too much to be honest.

  7. The ruins of another building that was built to advance to another Age.

Well it seems we have 2 types of docks here. One look more traditional and the other seems to be more like a merchant one. Also, that stone tower/outpost over there.

1A. Dock (Looks more like a comventional one from the Age series)

1B. Dock (This one seems more like a merchant style one but who knows, maybe it’s a Shipyard)

  1. Seems here missed this one too! xD Sorry about that.

  2. Outpost

  3. Stone tower / Defensive Landmark (As i mentioned before with the chinese, maybe this ones are the normal towers you can build anywhere on the map or the defensive Landmark trade of the English)

  4. Castle (but this time, looks placed in an more strategic way. Maybe just for the sake of the video but, wwho knows!)

Let’s check some units now.

  1. Scholar (Delhi’s priest equivalent)

  2. Siege War Elephant

  3. Siege Ram

  4. English special Fort (built to Age Up)

  5. Tower

  6. The glowing thing (This is getting embarrasing)

  7. Aura effect on soldiers.

Enough said at this moment, now it’s time to check the last civilization -revealed at the moment at least- before we trait we some miscellaneous themes.


Let’s start with some stuff.

  1. Rally point

  2. Civilization Flag and barrack building form confirmed

  3. Type of Units (No more soldier photos tho)

  4. Units production queue

  5. Special building built to Age Up (monument?)

It’s just my personal thought but GOLDMINES NEED TO CHANGE THEIR DESING, are too grotesque and doesn’t fit at all.

  1. Goldmine

  2. Goldmine deposit (Also check how the grass turn green around it)

  3. The road is trying to connect with the other Tower

  4. Minimap seems easy to read when you don’t have walls or a big city fully loaded of buildings.

  5. Tower

And now what about some of their units.

  1. Hero - The Khan

  2. Heavy Cavalry (Reminds me of Paladinds from Age II

  3. Melee Infantry

  4. Light Cavalry

  5. Mangudai

  6. Pikeman

  7. Archers

  8. Trebuchet

  9. Siege Canon?

  10. Signal Arrow special ability

An old friend from 2019 visit us again!

And what about this golden lines in the shadows? like if mongols could detect enemy units nearby in the shadow unexplored limits.

That’s everything about civilizations for now, let’s check some highlights from the Norman campaing before we go on to some miscellaneous business and conclude this deconstructing series episode.


Let’s get into some details.

  1. Wall destuction progess

  2. Cavalry unit with multiple shots of arrows

Deforestation progress. We can see a lot of trees felled. I have the feeling that this time a single tree would give a lot of wood, maybe to avoid enviroment destruction so much and so fast.

  1. Lumberjacks and Wood depot

  2. Trees felled - deforested area

  3. I’ve seen plenty of this, what are they? looks like a pile of straw

Look at the size of it and how tall that cliff is! I’m excited about having such variety in terrain levels, it opens a lot of strategy to play with.

Let’s check some units and hud

  1. Army groups (2; 3)

  2. Hero Unit / King (Probably specific for campaing)

  3. Archer spikes ability icon

  4. Group selections icons information

As i talked here some minutes ago, check the point N°7 to see empty spaces of Weapon Racks. In the 2019 trailer we could see alongside the English walls all over the city, loads of weapon racks with bows spread all over the walls. But now they are gone. Seems Relic decided to remove those to make more ‘‘clean’’ the walls maybe?

  1. Siege Ram

  2. Paladins

  3. Light Cavalry (Enlgish)

  4. Catapults

  5. Heavy Cavalry (With swords)

  6. Knights (look at the helmet, they look like more armored infantry than the rest we have seen before, maybe the replace for the Champions of Age II?)

  7. Empty space for Weapons Racks (bows)

Units evolves with the upgrades from the Blacksmith / Armory. This feature was already confirmed.

  1. Fully upgraded Cavalry Knight (helmet, shield)

  2. Light version of Cavalry without the lastest upgrades for shield, helmet.

Not sure about this but i don’t remember seeing this guys with shield and axe before in any Age IV video. Are they a Viking unit? (they mentioned it in the campaign but will they be a civ too?) Maybe they were made just for Campaign purpose… or maybe they are something else.

  1. Hero Infantry Unit

  2. Knight (looks like the one from Age II with that shield)

  3. Viking Infantry Unit?

  4. Hero Cavalry Knight

This is something that particularly captured my attention. That red ring of influence. It could be only for campaign. Also that sweet details of palisade destruction. Also check that red flag with lions in the Hud. Also the scout cavalry description, marking him as a hunter too (was shown in video also).

That’s everything for the campaign i could spot, so let’s finish this extensive post with some particulary things i could catch.


The expansive wave that the building emanes upgrades the rest of the buildings in the city to the new age. This confirms Age III expansion style of building certain types of wonders/buildings to advance to another age.

Here we can see those ‘‘Ghost Workers’’ in both, helping to build buildings and to rise up siege units.

Relics look like the classic one from Age II. They have that glowing thing on top. Probably it is related to all those building with same thing on top that we saw along this thread.

And last but not least, i believe that Roads are made automatically to conect buildings and also seems they follow units path too. Probably this was made to make cities look more realistic.

Well, that’s everything my friends, it’s been a long road since the beggining but this is all what my eyes could see. Sure there are a lot of things that are still missing here and there but at least, i hope i could give you a hint in some points of aspects that maybe you just missed at first glance. Hope you enjoyed it as much as i did making it.

Once again, this are just my guesses and thought here and there and everything could even be different at launch. I’m waiting eagerly for another video to deconstruct.

Best Regards.


The glowing gold smoke and aura is likely the alarm mechanism for the English. Basically, if a defensive structure spots the enemy, nearby units and buildings fire faster for a short period of time.

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this looks like a hand cannon units

this also looks like hand cannon.

you can notice the cannon at the end of the weapons.

I agree with you. We only see it for English, so it should be when the alarm is triggered.

It was confirmed in the fan preview that roads are automatically added for better looking cities.

You are right, the cliff is gorgeous. I really love how realistic the terrain looks in this game, not just a flat map.

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Like the elephant in the first picture, it has 2,000 lives

Yeah i know and i’m kind of agree with that, but if you check the chinese description in the page, when they talk about gunpowder units they reffer to Granadiers and Fire Lancer so i thought it may could be him.

Ohhh i see. If is true i hope they fix that, it not quite clear what it is, and didn’t fit much either with the general aspect of the game. It could easly be represented with a red warning sign or even a bell at the top of those buildings

This post should really get more praise, very in depth analysis of the screenshots/ footage that is available publicly - love the annotation, very easy to follow :slight_smile:


Yes great article which also allows to know more about the game thanks to a good analysis. And that makes you wait while waiting for official news.


after looking at this closer it’s a light cavalry unit and not a knight

you can see a group of heavy armored cavalry while there is the same cavalry from this post, so i’m fully confident those are light cavalry and not a knights.

I reffered to this ‘‘Knight’’ unit from AoE II


I know that the one in Age IV have a spear instead of a sword but the shield gave me that old feel from Age II

Thank you very much! i really appreaciate that, i’m happy that you liked it :slight_smile:

There is a lot that can be missed in a blink of an eye. I’m here to make the waiting more enjoyable, together :smiley:


There was one battle were the pike men brace just before the Knights charge hit which I thought was nice detail to add

Thank you for tirelessly working on this then creating this post. Appreciate that friend :slight_smile:


It was a pleasure! I’m glad you enjoyed it :smiley:


I was thinking about this building, and it reminded me of how we’ve seen merchants traveling on land from player-controlled markets towards neutral structures, see below,

I’m not sure, specifically, how that trading mechanic will work, but it would make sense to me if this coastal market functioned in a similar way. It looks like a neutral building that the blue player is trying to control, and I’m guessing that all players can trade with it using trade ships and their own docks. If I’m correct, it seems like a really cool way to incentivize players to create multiple walled-in cities in games. If you can wall in these neutral trade locations on a map, then you simultaneously prevent your opponent from using them and guarantee yourself access. Pretty cool.

I wonder whether you can also trade by land with a coastal market, though. It would make some sense for a coastal market to trade with both ships and merchants, but I’m not sure how that would work in the game. I could see it being strange if both players traded with the same market, but by different routes. Effectively, it would be like you were trading with your enemy, which doesn’t seem realistic.

Edit: With the recent patch to AOE2, it seems like this interpretation of the neutral markets makes even more sense. As noted by another poster on an AOE2 thread,

I’ve talked about it before, but AOE4 seems to share a lot of ideas with the recent DLC additions to AOE2 (Sicilians and Delhi Sultanate both having infantry that can construct defensive buildings, Burgundians and English both having gold-generating farms, etc.). The experimentation with neutral markets in AOE2 seems like a pretty clear indicator that they are heading in that direction with AOE4, as well. Still, I’d be curious if other people have the same interpretation as me!



Actually, if you check the minimap when they are destroying the Mongol base earlier in the trailer, you will see special icons for landmarks and wonder.
Building 5 in the first screenshot and buildings 6, 8 and 9 in the second screenshot are all landmarks. Building 7 in the second screenshot then gets the special icon, presumably it’s the Chinese wonder.

Yes, that “dock/harbor” thing is, almost definitely, a market. It can clearly be seen upon closer inspection if you look at the video. It seems like player constructed markets get a ‘dock’ ability if built close to the shore; presumably to interact with ‘trade cog’-esque units.

Yeah they seem to be using AoE2 as a testing ground for various features planned for AoE4. To see how they play out and so on.


Really good as a post that allows you to know more about the gameplay.

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I’m really triggered about how merchant mechanics would work, but specially how RESOURCES will work.

At the moment it seems natural resources will give a nice amount of it, for example trees will provide a high amount of it to prevent enviromental destruction in mid game such a deforestation. And this time seems like we will be searching for gold mines in early mid game only. Maybe besides this kind of neutral markets (both earth and water) we may have plantations like in Age III (or a similar building).

The only one that seems to be really limited late game is Stone.