Every other elo based game of significance has addressed this. Please add a simple system for crashes and short internet outages to be reconnectable. 3 minutes is fairly standard for technical pauses to allow someone to get situated.
How does it work in StarCraft and Counter Strike GO?
I can’t answer regarding SC and CSGO, but I can give an example from how it works in Dota 2.
When a player disconnects, they have a 5 minute timer that starts counting down before the game considers that player to have abandoned the match, most teams are usually ok with with pausing and waiting for the player to reconnect during this time period (but pausing is not mandatory and the game can still go on).
If the player doesn’t reconnect in that 5-minute window, that player is considered to have abandoned the match, at which point the match will continue without them.
Doing this too often will result in that player being place into a so-called “low-priority queue” for a certain time window, in which they can still queue for matches, but they will only get matched with and against other players who also have too many recent abandons.
Starcraft doesn’t handle this well, but CS GO recently added technical timeouts this year to give people time to reconnect. The game automatically pauses and the team can also burn a personal timeout too to give extra time if needed. That usually means even a slow booting pc can do a full restart and relaunch and the gameplay is mostly unaffected by the player being missing.
I’m thinking AOE2 needs to offer a 2 minute pause, and a 2 minute reconnect window after that pause where the units just simply keep working and do auto-retreats, but nothing aggressive under the ai. If after the 4 minutes is up, the reconnect isn’t completed, the player goes dead. That would be fair and keep the fast pace people want. Also give an all player ready vote to start again before 2 minutes is up. It auto starts again after 2 min if someone walks away.
You’ll also need to find some way to prevent griefers from alt-f4’ing to que the reconnect timers and grief the whole match. If someone is repeatedly using a false disconnect to punish the match then a low priority que or temp ban would be the appropriate response. If someone gets back on minutes 5-10 give them a submission box to say what happened so they can avoid a false troll assessment.