[Hypothetical] If you were the lead designer, which 43 civs you would choose?

This is a very hypothetical situation where you are the one that would choose all the civs. You somehow have all the knowledge of 2023 in 1999 and also know that this game will survive 25 years and you can bring new civs after civs in numerous DLCs.

Before going to the topic, I’ll make some ground rule. Because some people think AOE means Age of Europe and some thinks AOE means Age of Everything but Europe.

  1. You have to add exact same amount of civs in each DLC as it is right now. So 13 civs at first, then 5-5-4-4-4-2-2-3-1.
  2. You have to keep at least 70% of civ as it is. That is 30 civs out of 43. For the rest 13, you have the freedom to swap with your choice.
  3. Number of architecture set will also have to be maintained. 4 sets at starts, 1 more in AOC, 3 more Forgotten and go on. However, you can add 1 new architecture set in each DLCs that didn’t give anything new - LOTW, DOTD, DOI, and ROR.

I also want to strictly keep the time frame 500-1500 AD. Huns and Romans (I’m okay with Goths) are not allowed. But I have stepped back. I personally wouldn’t add them but I’m fine if other people add them.

I’ll also request to add campaign of your choice. But again, you have to keep the numbers same as it is. 5 at start, 3 with AOC, 4 with Forgotten and so on.

My picks will be like this -

Age of Kings - 13 civs, 4 architecture set, 5 campaigns

Western Europe - Franks, English, Teutons
Eastern Europe - Rus, Poles, Goths
Middle Eastern - Arabs, Turks, Byzantines, Persians
East Asian - Mongols, Chinese, Japanese

Joan of Arc (Franks), Basil II (Byzantines), Khalid Ibn Al-Walid (Arabs), Richard the Lionheart (English), Genghis Khan (Mongols).

Age of Conquerors - 5 civs, 1 architecture set, 3 campaigns

Western Europe - Spanish
American - Aztecs, Mayans
Middle Eastern - Tatars, Berbers

Tamerlane (Tatars), Tariq Bin Ziyad (Berbers), Montezuma/Moctezuma (Aztecs)

The Forgotten - 5 civs, 3 architecture set, 4 campaigns

Asian - Tibetans
Eastern Europe - Magyars
Central Asian - Hindustanis (Tatars is moved here)
Mediterranean - Lombards
American - Incas

Babur (Hindustanis), Arpad (Magyars). Sforza (Lombards. I’m not sure about this), I can’t find another suitable campaign. Any suggestion?

African Kingdoms - 4 civs, 1 architecture set, 4 campaigns

African - Nubians, Malians, Somali, Benin

Sundjata (Malians)

Rise of the Rajas - 4 civs, 1 architecture set, 4 campaigns

South-East Asian - Malay, Khmer, Cham, Siamese

Gajah Mada (Malay), Suryavarman I (Khmer)

The Last Khans - 4 civs, 1 architecture set, 3 campaigns

Eastern Europe - Bulgars
Central Asian - Kazars
Inner China - Gokturks, Khitans.

Ivaylo (Bulgars)

Lords of the West - 2 civs, 1 (0 in real game) architecture set, 3 campaigns

Western Europe - Celts
Mediterranean - Normans.
Central European - Teutons and Goths are moved here.

William Wallace (Celts), Hautevilles (Normans), Barbarossa (Teutons)

Dawn of the Dukes - 2 civs, 1 (0 in real game) architecture set, 3 campaigns

Balkans - Lithuanians, Bohemians.

Algirdas and Kestutis ############# Jaz Zizka (Bohemians), Jadwiga (Poles).

Dynasties of India - 3 civs, 1 (0 in real game) architecture set, 3 campaigns

Indians - Bengalis, Rajasthanis, Tamil

Devapala (Bengalis), ########## (Rajasthanis), Rajendra (Tamils).

Return of Rome - 1 civ, 1 (0 in real game) architecture set, 0 campaign

South-East Asian - Vietnamese

Saracens → Arabs
Britons → English
Slavs → Rus
Italians → Lombards
Koreans → Tibetans
Ethiopians → Nubians
Portuguese → Benin
Vikings → Somali
Burmese → Siamese
Cumans → Kazars
Sicilians → Normans
Burgundians → Gokturks
Huns → Khitans
Gurjaras → Rajasthanis
Dravidians → Tamil
Romans → Cham


This is an interesting question (that I will have to think about before answering), but I think you should relax this rule:

This is fine for The Conquerors and The Forgotten, but for later expansions I think it’s too restrictive. For Return of Rome in particular, you basically have to add Romans! The Last Khans, Dawn of the Dukes and Dynasties of India all seem pretty restrictive to me as well.

AoK: Goths replaced with Tibetans, change Celts to Gaels or something that represents Scotland and Ireland and isn’t too anachronistic with the silly Woad Raiders

AoC: Huns replaced with Magyars
Arpad or Hunyadis campaign

Forgotten Empires: Instead of Magyars which replaced Huns I would add Berbers from African Kingdoms and of course Hindustanis instead of the generic Indians
Babur campaign instead of Prithviraj

African Kingdoms: Berbers which gets added to FE replaced with Nubians

RotR: Either keep it as it is or replace Vietnamese with Siamese

RotK: Keep it as it is perhaps

Instead of LotW a Caucasus themed DLC with Georgians and Armenians
Campaigns: Tamar (Georgians), Ashot the Iron (Armenians)

DotD the same as it is

DoI same as it is (I would add another civ but it breaks the whole rule that you said)

RoR…I don’t even know what could be done…

tbh it sounds like a hard challenge without adding new architecture sets and whatever not, it kinda forces breaking ES lead designers’ limited ideology which they had back in 1999/2000…At this point the whole game could’ve been made differently but it is what it is.

Another thing is that the Conquerors was pretty weird with the addition of Koreans to a “conquerors” theme but was obviously because of the attempts of attracting Korean players (which didn’t succeed), the whole expansion was pretty weird with the name and civ choices except for Huns and Spanish but Huns are a weird addition since the 2000.

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AoK replace goths with slavs
Aoc replace huns with magyars koreans with Incas
Forgotten slavs replaced with koreans incas replaced tibet magyars with romanians indians with georgia italians renamed to lombards.
AK keep original
RoR keep original
RotK cumans replaced with juchens
Lotw sicilians replaced with fricians
DotD poles replaced with swiss
Doi hindustani replaced with kannada/rashtakuta dravidians renamed to chola/tamil
RoR rome replaced with venice

I don’t know why you feel like that other than RoR. For Ror, any AoE1 civ that has a successive civ in AoE2 time frame will be okay. I’m not restricting it as “Romans” theme, but “AoE1” theme. For example I added Vietnamese her as a continuation of “Lac Viet”.

As I said in the thread, you can’t do that.

I’d give more freedom if others were a bit fair. Some people will add 15 Indians civs and some will add 10 Slavic, 10 Italian, and 20 Germanic civ if I didn’t make those hard rules.

Your rules are too restrictive, so I wanted to throw my hat into the ring, but I feel that I would be significantly limited.

I wouldn’t have done something so stupid as to have had only 43 civs by now.

May you have some suggestion to minimize some restrictions?

My man right there. 100 civs, let’s go!


Maybe make it so that Late Antiquity is also allowed, and you don’t have to necessarily follow the themes of the actual expansions.

Maybe just limit the number of civ swaps to 10-15 or so. If someone does much more than that, I’d personally think they’re out to lunch anyways. (Reordering of the same civ doesn’t count as a swap).

I agree that the rules are too much, so here is are my unsanctioned swaps:

Huns → Tibetans

Celts → Zimbabweans/Shona

Cumans → Somalis

Romans → Ghanaians

Burgundians → Purépechas
Sicilians → Chimus
(This DLC can still be called “Lords of the West” :wink:)

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Those are rookie numbers!

Maybe I’m straying too much from the base proposal, but I would place AoE2 between Theodosian and Viking Age and Age III between a little earlier than Viking Age to Rennaissance and Age IV a little before Rennaissance to the end of the Thirty Years War. This one should be the one with homecities and stuff. Age 5 starts a little after and goes to 1850

Mora Africa! More Indian subcontinent!

It is allowed. I just don’t like them.

If you can ensure my fear is baseless, then I will.

Good call. Anyway, I’ll give more architectural freedom. You can add 1 new architecture set in each DLCs that didn’t give anything new - LOTW, DOTD, DOI, and ROR.

What are you afraid of, exactly?

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And how will you do that? I understand Huns and Celts. But others is probably not possible under my rule. And which architecture Shona/Zimbabweans will use?

Read my comment right before your first reply in this thread.

Obvious choice is the current african set.if incas can have aztec buildings no reason why zimbabwe cant have mali building.

And just like Inca architecture is present in the Feudal Age, Shona architecture is present in the Feudal Age as well. Thus, there’s no need for a new architecture set.

He wanted to add them in AOK. There was no African architecture back then.

Because most of the other expansion titles leave little room to deviate from their actual content. Your rules force people to make approximately similar choices to the developers, and that makes the whole exercise less interesting to me.

To be honest, I would only impose practical constraints, and remove conceptual constraints completely, because I think that would lead to more interesting responses.

Why would this be a problem?

Sorry if any of this comes across as hostile. I don’t mean it to be. I just don’t really understand why you want to impose these conceptual rules.

Well played! I like it. (Although I was actually wondering, would I include American civs at all?)

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I wouldn’t choose civs to begin with, but kingdoms and/or dynasties. That way i would stay true to medieval history, where the concept of “nation” was much less established, compared to, say, your language or your faith.

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Considering that some civs have started with/still have very non-ideal architecture sets, I’m not too worried about this. We can say they would have started with the Middle Eastern set, which was changed to the Malians set during AK, and eventually got their own set during future expansions.

Up to you - if there weren’t any, you could definitely have a more historically accurate game while maintaining a similar level of symmetry, if that’s important to you. Personally, I’m a fan of their flavor, even accounting for the anachronisms necessary to make them competitive. Frankly I consider civs like Japanese and Koreans to be in a similar boat (albeit to a lesser degree) - not from a techs perspective, but because I don’t consider them hugely influential in the Medieval period (or at least until very late), but I like their flavor enough to not want them replaced.

If I were to make an AoE2-like game from scratch, I would definitely include American civs, but I would restrict their technologies a lot more, but make up for it in other ways (eco, unit discounts, population or training advantages). But I would also make the overall civ designs a lot less symmetric, which is beyond the scope of this topic.

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