though I understand this isn’t everyone’s thing, the official support side of this game is pretty much dead. a few, on AOE2DE side took on the task of porting AOE1DE to AOE2DE with all the QoL features of the 2nd game, with 1st game’s graphics.
I would highly recommend people to give it a try even if you don’t own the 2nd game, it is fairly cheap nowadays on steam or xbox.
Not only AOE2 allows more civs, it also have other newer features compared to Aoe2HD etc, so far 42 civs? moddable up to 60 civs I think (assuming they release more DLC in the future)
if interested please show your support in that thread. they are even spending their own money for 3D artists to create new units, and also making lots of new civ and civ concept. I highly urge players from AOE1DE to try.