[ROR] Stone Age to Imperial

What if there was a game mode that allowed you to go all the way from Stone Age from Age of Empires 2 to the Imperial Age of Age of Empires 2?


Only a few civilisations make sense for this game mode. So I think it would be ok if this game mode would start with a very small selection of civilisations.

For example:

  • Shang → China
  • Choson → Korean
  • Yamato → Japanese
  • Lac Viet → Vietnamese
  • Romans → Byzantines
  • Persians → Persians

Those are the obvious civilisations.
Many civilisations don’t exist long enough and many just haven’t been added to AoE1 yet.


Age of Empires generally only has 4-5 Ages (Post Imperial or Post Iron Age kinda feel like their own age and the Imperial Age of AoE3 is the 5th Age), not 8 so there would be quit a change.

Stone Age → Tool Age → Bronze Age → Iron Age
Those 4 make sense, but then going to Dark Age would be strange, especially if there are 2 unit upgrades for some lines within the Iron Age.

So I’d suggest the Dark Age is replaced by the Late Antiquity. The Dark Age would be such an obvious downgrade from the Iron Age so it makes little sense to keep it.

The result would be:
Stone Age → Tool Age → Bronze Age → Iron Age → Late Antiquity (Maybe Republic Age as it was originally planned for AoE1) → Feudal Age → Castle Age → Imperial Age


Some technologies exist in both games like Ballistics and have the same effect.
Especially a lot of technologies in the Temple and the Monastery are the same.
In some cases that’s ok, just give Monks/Priests even more HP, or make them recover even faster, but in other cases like Theocracy that can’t work.

So some technologies would disappear from the AoE2 Ages and Buildings. So you don’t forget how ballistics work.

Some technologies form AoE1 will have a big impact on the AoE2 part, like Barracks units costing 0.5 population.

Storage Pit and Blacksmith upgrades would be a little too much if you would have to research all of them. So maybe some of them are cut so you only get new ones every second Age or something like that.

Also not sure how often you want to upgrade your walls and towers.


In some cases this is trivial:
House = House
Barracks = Barracks
Archery Range = Archery Range
Stable = Stable
Dock = Dock
Farm = Farm
Wall = Wall
Gate = Gate
Wonder = Wonder

But some buildings have different sizes between AoE1 and AoE2:
Town Centre 3x3 → 4x4
Market 3x3 → 4x4
Tower 2x2 → 1x1
Siege Workshop 3x3 → 4x4

Some buildings have functional differences:
Storage Pit → Mill (for meat) + Lumber Camp + Mining Camp + Blacksmith
Granary → Mill (for fruits and crops)

Some buildings have thematic differences:
Government Centre → University
Temple → Monastery

One only exists in AoE1:

Some only exist in AoE2:

  • Outpost
  • Palisade Wall and Gate
  • Castle

The solution for each of those conflict can be different.
Like I think the Government Centre and the University can both co exist hosting different technologies.
Some buildings might just stop having a purpose like the Academy while others are just available later like the Castle.


This is the hardest part, but also the most interesting one.
I will ignore the AoE2 unit lines that don’t have an AoE1 equivalent. They just start the way they always did.


Short Sword Line

I think this is the easiest one. The Legionary gets moved into the Late Antiquity and then get’s upgrade to the Man at Arms.

Slinger and Axeman

Just stay dead end as they used to be.

Archery Range

Improved Bowman Line

Even if the Composite Bowman is moved to Iron Age there is a whole Age gap before the Archer in the Feudal Age.
The Archer also doesn’t really look like an Upgrade from the Composite Bowman.
So maybe just make the Crossbow the start of a new Unit Line.

Horse Archer

The Heavy Horse Archer get’s moved to the Late Antiquity and then the Cavalry Archer feels like a natural upgrade in Castle Age, even if there is a gap in the Feudal Age.

Elephant Archer

The AoE1 unit is based on a different animal, the now extinct Northern African Elephant so upgrading to the AoE2 unit makes little Sense.

Chariot Archer and Bowman

Just stay dead end as they used to be.


Cavalry Line

The Cavalry Line can be extended into the Late Antiquity with the Cataphract but there is still a gap to the Knight in the Castle Age.
But I think the gap is also ok here, it make the upgrade to the Knight in the Castle Age more impact full.

War Elephant Line

Same as with the Elephant Archer.
The Armoured Elephant can be moved to the Late Antiquity though.

Camel Rider

Since this unit doesn’t even have an Iron Age upgrade it will be kinda hard to make it extend to AoE2.
But maybe it can be upgraded to Camel Scout in the Late Antiquity.

Scout and Chariot Line

Should just be dead ends.


Hoplite Line

The Centurion gets moved into the Late Antiquity.
Other then that the Line just ends.

Potential other use

Maybe it can train the Unique Unit in later Ages so you don’t need a Castle for that.

Siege Workshop

This building is different size between AoE1 and AoE2 maybe it should stay 2 different buildings.

Stone Thrower Line

The Heavy Catapult gets moved into the Late Antiquity, but ends there.
The Mangonel Line is just too different.

Ballista Line

The Helepolis gets moved into the Late Antiquity.
The Line could upgrade to the Scorpion in Castle Age.


Scout Ship Line

The Line transitions into the Galley Line in Feudal Age

Fire Ship

The Line transitions into the Fire Galley Line in Feudal Age

Catapult Trireme Line

The Juggernaut is moved to Late Antiquity. The Line ends there.
Transitioning to the Dromon could be a solution though but that’s an Imperial Age unit, not a Feudal Age one.

Civilian units

They are all pretty trivial.


This is the hardest part.
Iron Age AoE1 units have better stats then Imperial Age AoE2 units, yet alone Feudal Age ones.
So the numbers have to change for every single unit.
AoE1 units need to get less extreme upgrades and AoE2 units need to start at a higher base level.
Each individual upgrade will change the stats less then it does now.

That means basically every single unit after the Tool Age will need different stats compared to what they have now.



The unit upgrades have to get cheaper so you don’t spend too much on upgrading your units.


The costs have to be made the same between AoE1 and AoE2.
Knight and Cavalry lines cost nearly the same already but Horse Archer cost Food unlike the Cavalry Archer that costs Wood.

The Scout Ship Line doesn’t cost Wood so that has to change too.


The Age Up costs for the Ages after the Iron Age have to be figures out, maybe the Iron Age has to become cheaper already.
The Iron Age costs as much as the Imperial Age after all.

Collection Speed

Late Game AoE1 has a lot higher resource collection speed then AoE2 so that has to be reduced a lot. The AoE1 part will therefor feel a lot slower so the AoE2 part can still be balanced.

Civilisation differences

Unit lines can’t just end in AoE1 if the unit is needed for that civilisation in the AoE2 part.
That either means less uniqueness in the AoE1 part or having unit line suddenly get upgrades again in Feudal or Castle Age.

Civilisation bonuses have to be consistent between all the ages but I think that’s a small issue.

Aesthetic differences

AoE1 buildings use a different visual scale compared to AoE2 ones so that could look kinda odd and might need to be changed in some way.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of challenges to overcome but I think it could be worth it.
It would be an entirely new experience.

This is just an idea. I don’t want to address every single unit, building and technology in detail.

Maybe the game mode could have some more unique features like a system where you automatically transition though Ages so it could be possible that one Age is a downgrade from the previous one.


Are you aware of a strategy game series known as “Empire Earth”?


I’m a big fam of the first game. The later games in the Series were made by different developers and aren’t the same anymore.
Empire Earth was originally made by people that worked on AoE1 and had bigger ambitions as AoE2.

But the game didn’t age well as one of the first 3D RTS and has a bunch of problems on modern systems.

Not that’s not the point of this topic.
AoE1 and AoE2 are now within the same game on the same engine so it wouldn’t be crazy to combine them.


This idea is stupid but the fun kind of stupid. Let’s do it. xD


@Skadidesu, again the question: Do you want to introduce the Citadel as a new building for an improved town defense or do you want just to introduce the necessary technology for an improved town defense at your game proposal? When choosing one, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Basically is applicable: Your current proposal has potential and makes sense for the future of 26 to 24 year old two Age of Empires parts, to combine the two Age of Empires parts into one whole. Also in view of the many technical errors, especially in the first part, the combination with part 2 would help a lot to make the game of the first part smoother and thus pleasantly faster.

Stone Age, Tool Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Dark Age, Feudal Age, Castle Age, First Imperial Age, Exploration Age, Commerce Age, Fortress Age, Industrial Age, Second Imperial Age

I though two ways to accomplish what you want. The simple one is leave each game tech tree as it is and add to this merged mode a timed event called Black Death. This event should have some grade of randomess. For example, Black death could hit between 40-60 min of game.
Which is the Black death effect on game? Well, it kills 80% of poblation, destroy %50 of buildings and drain 80% of resources from each player and automatically take all players to AoE2’s dark Age.
Some things should be carefully treated, like TCs. Maybe just initial TC should survive to Black Death, because Age1 TCs just cost wood an could be exploited this to spam AoE1 TCs before Black Death hits with the high chance of start Aoe2 dark Age with multiple TCs. Turning every game in a race to spam TCs in Iron Age.

Now this is the hard way. Making a massive merge of the games. Just possible in a mod form, I think.

First, The Ages:
I think, some ages should be merged. And the cost for each should be very expensive.

I) Stone and Tool ages.
II) Bronze and Iron ages.
III) Feudal and Castle Age.
IV) Imperial and Renaissance

Second, The Resources:
I think should be 1 more resource: Iron, that replace gold some way in certain ages to “force” some units switches.
Broadly, Units’ costs per age coudl be:
Age I) Food/wood for all units.
Age II) Food/wood for trash units. Food/Wood and Gold for Power units. Iron for some late age elite upgrades.
Age III) Food/wood for trash units. Food/Wood and Iron for Power Units. Gold for some late age elite upgrades.
Age IV) Food/Gold for trash units. Food/Wood/Gold and Iron for Power Units. Gold/Iron for some late age elite upgrades.

Note: Standard maps should have early access to gold mines that let players spend it in Age II power units
Iron mines should be gained by map control, in order to get access to best units for age III.
In IV age should be mechanics for “infinite” gold income (commerce, relics, ######## etc). This way, Iron becomes the bottle neck in very late game.

Third, The Units:
Broadly, some core units will pass through ages like bowmen, spearmen, javeliners, light cavalry, light infantry. Mostly should cost only food and wood.
Could exists general armor classes for power units to split “bronze” units and “Iron” units. This way, bronze units still could do well vs core units, vils, etc. but the technologic gap with iron units would make them obsolete (in addition with a wisely spreading of resources in the map)

Better Justinian’s Plague or even, just call it plague

From a gameplay perspective it’s surely easier to merge aoe1 and 2 but from an historical one it would be easier to merge aoe2 and 3 because there’s more continuity between middle and modern ages but as you acknowledge the main issue is the iron age to dark age switch which feels inconvenient from a gameplay pov… It would need to be out of the player’s decision like a catastrophe or religion rebellion or invasion etc. Also transition from iron age to late antiquity completely omits classical antiquity (which was the famous republican age in aoe1 original intentions and the ancient imperial one, mirroring imp / reinassance in aoe2 and imp / Napoleonic era in aoe3, I’d argue).

For the units like knights that have two imp upgrades you could simply move them in feudal like you did for centurions and units in aoe1 that have two upgrades in iron age. In that way you would achieve a non interrupted line of heavy cavalry from bronze, iron, cataphracts in late antiquity / dark ages, knights in feudal, cavaliers in castle and paladins in imp.

I’m fine with this, but it should not be limited in such a way.
I don’t think civs should change, instead it should be more like the civilization series where say…Babylonians can make it all the way to Imperial age.

Also if we used your concept of civs changing, then it’d be Macedonians who’d go Byzantine, not Romans. The Byzantines may have descended from the Roman government but they were as much Roman as Ghana is British. They spoke/wrote Greek, had Greek army traditions and more. Heck some Greeks to this day still refer to themselves as Romans.

The Aoe 1 Romans would instead go Roman. (The new Aoe 2 civ)



It’s not my idea btw. some people mentioned they wanted that kind of gamemode out of RoR so I though about it if was doable.

That question doesn’t have anything to do with this topic.
But anyway.
The reason why I want to have it as an individual upgrade for every TC is simply because TCs only cost Wood in AoE1. So having a technology that makes all TC stronger would allow you to spam defensive buildings.
Making all TCs cost stone would massively alter the AoE1 economy because booming would suddenly be way more expensive.

So the compromise of making it a per TC upgrade is that this way you can combine both the option to use TCs defensively and also make booming cheap but not both at once.

AoE3 is a 3D game done is a totally different engine and requires a lot of features that don’t exist in AoE2s engine to even remotely make sense.
Musketeers have to be able to automatically switch to melee mode when being attacked from cavalry for example, everything else would completely brake the way warfare worked in that time period.

That doesn’t sound like a fun game mechanic at all.
Also it would be so random that the game would basically just be decided by a dice roll at that point.

I don’t think that’s a good idea, especially with the Ages of AoE1.
The Bronze Age and the Iron Age are more different to each other then the Iron Age to the Middle Ages. They are very fundamentally different time periods.
The Stone Age is not a “real” age anyway it’s just there to delay you getting into the Tool Age, the same way the Dark Age also just exists to delay you getting into the Feudal Age.

I want to combine AoE1 with AoE2 not make a new game.
This game mode wouldn’t include any new unit, buildings or technologies.

This is not supposed to be a proposal for Empire Earth # or something.

I’m working on a concept for a new game that kinda sounds like the ideas you have but that’s a different topic:
My RTS concept
I’m collecting some ideas there.

Yes but AoE1 and AoE2 use the same engine while AoE3 is completely different.

I thought about that too but there are some reasons to not do that.

  1. I don’t want cavalry to be too strong in Feudal Age
  2. I want Knights to become a very strong unit in Castle Age like they are now
  3. I want to keep most units in the Ages they are already in (beside Post Iron Age units)

There is a secret reason why I like that idea though.
The Knight looks like a Man-at-Arms on horseback while the Cavalier looks like an AoE2 Long Swordsman on Horseback.

This game mode would be relatively complex to make so I think it has to start out with a small selection of civilisations and then slowly expand over time.

The reason why I transitioned from the Romans to the Byzantines is because I want to “fill out” as much of the Timeline as possible.
I don’t want to use Late Antiquity AoE2 civilisations.

The AoE2 Romans are there to fill the gap between AoE1 and AoE2 but this game mode is supposed to expand beyond this intersection into the Early Modern Age.

You could argue that the Romans should transition into the Italians and the Greeks into the Byzantines but that’s not really the point of this topic.
The interesting questions are how to make the gameplay transition work and not flavour details like which exact civilisations to pick.

But the AoE 2 Romans can already go up to the Imperial Age.
Also the cultural transition is complex and would not have happened without specific external factors which may not happen.

Would Italian exist if the Western Roman Empire endured? I honestly don’t think so. It’d just be called Roman and would be far more united. Italian and all it’s peoples and languages existed due to the empire falling to the Germanics, and then splintering into tiny city states and kingdoms that each evolved separately.

This is why it is best to keep it simple and let a civ just be itself.
Also Greeks seems to represent the early Greek city states, while Macedonians seems to represent the Classical Greeks that eventually became the Byzantines, hence why I chose that one.

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Yes but the civilisations in this game mode can also represent more then one AoE1 or AoE2 civilisation.

So for example it could be:
Greeks → Macedonians → Byzantines
AoE1 Romans → AoE2 Romans → Italians/Byzantines

Depending on how the civilisations are set up there could also be an overlap at the beginning or end.
Like you could choose between Greeks and Romans but you would end with Byzantines in both cases.
Or you could chose between Franks and Italians and you would start with Romans in both cases.

I don’t think there should be a flexible choice of civilisation within a match because that would increase too much complexity for balance.

I generally do not like the idea of civs changing at all.
It should be one civ the entire game. So Yamato from the Stone age to the Imperial age
or Byzantine from the stone age to the Imperial age.

It’s the only way to make it work well, although it would mean you’d need to expand some civs but this will take a lot of development either way.

Romans → Romans


I think it would be simpler to create a new game mode entirely, but the idea sounds fun. Just to clarify, would the civs lose their AoE1 boni when they reach feudal age to switch to Ao2 ones?

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Yes and no.
It’ll be AoE1 Romans → AoE2 Romans + Byzantines.
The Byzantine Empire extends into the 15th century while the West Roman one only did expend into the 6th, so you’d waste 900 years if you didn’t include them.

This would be a new game mode, what else could it be?

Yes and no.
The AoE1 and the AoE2 parts of the civilisations would be exactly like they are in AoE1 and AoE2 so in some cases they get a mix of bonuses.
Most AoE2 bonuses will likely stay the same since they could just start at a certain Age (unless it’s like more starting resources or something).
Some AoE1 bonuses might end or be set up to only affect AoE1 units. But some will just continue into AoE2.

In some cases they already share bonuses between AoE1 and AoE2 anyway.

The civilisations should feel the same way the do in AoE1 and AoE2 but not necessarily have exactly the same bonuses.

I meant having different buildings, techs, units and gameplay mechanics that we didn’t see in either game so far.

Not really.
Maybe a few new things to smooth out the transition but overall it should feel like you are playing AoE1 and AoE2 and not some other new game.

I think really new things belong into a new game or into AoE4.

Yes and no.
Persians → AoE2 Persians + Hindustanis + Tatars