Help a returning player out

So I was a pretty regular player of AOE II and AOE III from about 1999-2007 but I always have and again prefer AOE II. I just recently started playing again. I don’t play online as very rarely can I sit down and play a full game in one sitting. Which means I play the campaigns which I have always enjoyed doing and against the computer AI. I am looking to try out a new civilization in AOE II. I have always been a gunpowder civilization player so I am maybe looking to try and get proficient with an archer civilization but not married to it. Here has been the general evolution of my civilization preference but I can safely say I have at least tried every original and Age of Conquers civ.

Persians-Byzantines-Turks-Koreans-Spanish-Turks (current favorite, I am more of a defensive player).


My least favorite have been the Goths.

Then it depends on what kind of defensive player you are. You can be eco defensive, trying to just outeco the opponent and win from there, then you can take civs like Chinese or Vikings.
You can be actively defensive, trying to outplay the opponents army, then you most likely should just use Byzantines. (But also Koreans are a nice choice for that. Also Malians, Indians, Incas can offer strong counter play strats.)
Or you like playing behind big walls (turtling) and protected, then civs like Turks, Teutons, Spanish or Bohemians might be a good choice. (Koreans also possibly)
Ann odd civ might be the Poles that have an insane Eco if you manage to protect it. So it is a mixture of eco and turtling if played defensively. But hard to execute for sure.

I seem to be at my best when I turtle for a little while, I am pretty good between wall and tower systems and units to fend of initial large scale invasion attempts and then counter with a solid town crippling/destroying attack with the Turks…I am looking to learning to play a different style or to be significantly less reliant on gun powder…

If you want to change your style a bit and improve both in your defensive and offensive skills you can maybe chose poles an try to play them with that defensive attempt.
Poles have that insane castle age UT that reduces their knight gold cost heavily and makes them busted.

Bohemians. Gunpowder, decent archers, defensive, good post imp.



funny, we both just made free merch for the expansion. We should be paid by microsoft xD

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For some reason I feel a desire to try the Vietemainise or Britons…

Britons are good for defending with their archers and town centers but not Vietnamese as they don’t have masonry for their buildings.

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I have a little time right now…I think I am going to try a game with the Malay…

Actually one of the most “agressive” civs… Just look at the start bonus :smiley:

I think mayans should be worthy a try. Cheap walls, longer lasting resources that help if you’re under pressure, military that get better every Age. Of course no gonpowder tho

@ApplaudedPoppy2 I think I am going to try the Malay on a Mediterranean map…no real gunpowder outside of bombard towers and cannon galleons…no fortified walls which hurts my usual turtling strategy by doesn’t negate it, gives me a strong navy and lets me play around with elephants which I very briefly messed around with when I first starting playing when I randomly landed on the Persians and played them a bit…

If you like gunpowder civ try Bohemians, since you can produce them even in Castle Age

Malay will play very differently from most other civs, you a head’s up. The faster aging up plays havoc with most build orders, or even just game plans in general, and if you become used to it, you may have problems adapting to other civs. You can easily play them as an archer civ, or you could wait for really lategame, and spam the food only long swords, or you could do the best Malay strat in the game. Just go to Castle Age really fast and spam cheap elephants. Ok, it’s not the best strat, but it is fun. Just pick what you want, although if you don’t mind buying the DLCs, get the Bohemians. Like most of the other people who have posted, Bohemians was literally the first civ I thought of when I read your original post.

@TheConqueror753 I played them today and having an invading army consisting of:

20 Rams
100 Elite Karamabit Warriors (garrisoned in 20 Rams and only taking up 50 spots)
15 Cavaliers
25 Elephants
15 Arbalests

It was awesome especially since the AI I attacked with it didn’t wall up the area I popped in (Playing on Mediterranean) especially when the Karamabit Warriors started popping out or the rams and causing havoc. They were fun but I don’t think I will play with them as a go to, maybe when I just want to screw around…

Italians: good anti gunpowder potential with the Condottieri, solid anti-cavalry foot archer unit in the genoese crossbows with good melee armor that are able to use square formation with hand canons within them and monks even further within (say, 29 genoese crossbows, 20 hand Canoneers and 11 monks, square form, stand ground)

Gunpowder units cost -20% and going to the next age costing -15% would help your gunpowder style as well
(Bombard canons, hand canons)

It’s also a great civ for both team games with -50% costing trade carts(unique tech) and water maps with -15% cost fishing ships

It helps with the dock and university techs costing -33% which helps ensure you have resources for the endgame earlier on top of the other discounts.

The condottiero is a swift moving infantry unit with bonuses vs gunpowder but is also great at taking down key targets due to its speed where light cavalry would fail if they’re surrounded by pikes and so on, and it’ll fair well enough in melee combat to boot. (It’s fully available and fully upgraded upon imperial age and only requires blacksmith techs)

You’ll have full blacksmith upgrades, access to onager and bombard canon(without siege engineers), fully upgraded hussar with solid cavalier, and a decent barracks with fully upgraded champions, condottiero(imperial age) and pikeman(not halbs), alongside a pretty decent naval ability(only lacking heavy demolition ships)

A great point is that you’ll have both building defense upgrades in the university as well as the +hp upgrade hoardings in the castle so your buildings are fully upgraded in defense and attack. And you also get fortified walls

On top of all that your bombard towers will be fully upgraded and so are your keeps.

You also have fully upgraded skirmishers so you cannot go wrong there

When going against archers I suggest hussars and bombard cannons while adding in condos when facing halberdiers

And note that while you do not have halbs, your Genoese crossbowmen will take that job quite well

And you also have fully upgraded monks, except heresy but I don’t consider that a loss at all, so feel free to convert as many enemy ships as you desire as well as enemy units in general while healing your army from the safety of a square formation if wanted.

Your archery range will also have fully upgraded arbalesters if wanted.

Eco upgrades are pretty solid as well, only lacking the last gold mining tech, which really isn’t needed - maon ones are the wood and farm upgrades which come packed.

The only thing I have to complain about is the lack of sappers, but then again petards are enough there.

Another solid choice is the portuguese - their gold units cost -20% gold and their gunpowder units, including bombard canons, track enemy units with their projectiles similar to ballistics(after unique tech upgrade), their upgrades are pretty solid alongside gaining a unique building, the feitoria, which trickles in unlimited resources including stone at the cost of 20 population per building.

@HealFortress I did try them, wasn’t a fan…

How about Bohemians?

it’s the millionth time people suggested Bohemians if he wanted to play them he would have already