I am not going to lie I did not beat Age Of Empires 1. I did however beat and still play all of the others. My favorite Age Of Empires game though would have to go to Age Of Mythology. Age Of Mythology to me had the best counter units for any empire and any unit on every empire. Yes, all of the Age Of Empires games had pretty good counters for the units but I feel Age Of Mythology was a greater blend of it. For example, in age of empires 3 in most matches that you would see people would stack up one type of unit and destroy you utterly even if you had the counter units. I don’t know how many times I was defeated by 20-30 cannons and I had a maxed out army of horsemen (Which is the cannons counter unit if you don’t know). On age of mythology because there were so many different units because of the myth units it was more effective to counter your opponent. Now, what I would like to see from the developers in this next game. If you are going to redo the first age of empires (which is what I am getting from this) make it to where the civilizations have not just one or two special units for their side but instead make them different by the mass. For example, I am a huge StarCraft 2 player it has been around for a long time now too. If you look at the Zerg Vs. Protoss. They are both alien races right both have the capabilities to fly, communicate, rule, and build equally they just did it differently. The Zerg approached a more commander role or leader role where they all did what a few major minds did and all of them listened to one main mind. The Protoss they ended up going in a path of a brotherhood bond type rule. They worked together by building themselves together. Now don’t go and copy them or don’t bring aliens into this just understand my point. If you go back into real history which would match Age Of Empires 1 Theme very well, pay attention to the rulers and how they ruled. For example Sparta everyone knows they were a tribe or group that believed death by war was the greatest sacrifice and privilege therefor they trained ever since they were a child to kill was the greatest future for them. Athenians they were about art and quality of life they believed anything could and would be learned and explored. Take that and use it. Sparta because they are trained give their soldiers a boost in combat where others would not have it. The Athenians give them a greater bonus in trading and defense of their cities. learn the good and the bad of them all and you will make a very different civilization for all of them and a better game for it. Now, I am not a professional I do not know if all I have said is true but I am a game developer myself and when you make a game where more than one type of player can relate it is better because your fan base will grow that much bigger. If you have someone that prefers economy over war then give that person a tribe that can hold in one area better than others so they can mainly focus on gathering and defense over war. The player that wants to take over everyone give them better armies. The player that wants to be balanced let them be. give variety and you will gain variety. More choices more players you start to see that more today.
Best wishes and good luck,
Cody (Also known as DubstepHacker43, and owner of FantasiesReality)