[WIP] Ancient Civilizations - Total Conversion Mod


As many AOE2 Players, who are used to the game mechanics, I find it odd to play AOE1. The lack of formations, gates, the AI, it doesn’t feel the same as AOE2. Since I’m interested in ancient history, I decided to start a Total conversion mod, that will bring to AOE2 mechanics the ancient civilizations. This is my first attempt in making a mod, so I’m learning while doing it.

Although I’ll be using plenty of the AOE1 assets, this won’t be a strict AOE1 in AOE2 mod. First of all the time set will start after the bronze age colapse. Dark Age, Iron Age, Classic Age & Imperial Age will be the 4 ages.

In the first edition I’m planning to include 11 civilizations:

  • Egyptian
  • Hellenic
  • Roman
  • Germanic
  • Celt
  • Persian
  • Arab
  • Phoenician
  • Indian
  • Chinese
  • Steppe Nomads

Even they are not many, each civilization will be able to pick one of many flavor technologies. For example Hellenic Civilization will be able to chose between a Spartan, Athenian or Macedonian technology. Romans would be able to chose between western and eastern, Phoenicians between Tyrian or Carthaginian. Each of these technologies would give bonus and or enable units. For example Carthaginian will be able to recruit Elephants, and Tyrians will have defensive structure and siege bonuses. While the two will share the same civ bonus based in shipbuilding.

I’m trying to make each civilization unique and the most historically acurate as posible. The civs might not be balanced in the first release. A second release would include campaigns such as Alexander, Hannibal and a Roman Campaign. I’m more than open to suggestions or opinions. What would you like to see if AOE2 was based in late antiquity?

Some Han Chinese and Persian buildings and units.:

Egyptian City:

Iron Age Egyptian town with chariots:


Looks nice :slight_smile:
Would be good if you and @xWHIT3W0LFx would succeed in providing AOE 1 gameplay in AOE 2 DE.


Interesting idea kinda like a chivalry mod for DE.good luck.


Planned unit tree for the Barracks. Sorry if it looks a bit untidy. Naturally, each civilization will only have a part of the unit tree available.


What a mess. It’s a complete hodge podge of illogical unrelated things. :confused:


What makes you think that? It’s not that one civilizations would have them all.

I’m trying to cover units for different cultures, so you won’t have all civs with hoplites and legions.

Auxiliary line represents ancient light infantry, trash units. Celts will be able to upgrade them to raiders.

Spearmen line, also trash unit, but with anti cavalry bonus, chinese would upgrade them to imperial spearmen, and greeks would have hoplites instead, which would be much stronger.

Legionaries exclusive for romans. Axeman line exclusive for germanics. Chinese would have eastern swordman upto imperial. Persians, Arabs, egyptians would have scimitar men. And Inmortals will be heavy infantry unique unit for persians.


You might want to check the age of chivalry mod for the vanilla game.It has the light infantry and heavy/knightly infantry in 2 lines and regional/mercenary units enabled with techs


I love this idea. I have been trying to use SLX studio to import Greek and Roman Govt Buildings from AOE to replace Byzantine and Italian Wonders in AOE 2 DE but am having issues with pallette conversion. Have you encountered this issue? Any tricks or workarounds?

If you happen to have these building graphics already converted over for AOE2, I would like to use them for a personal scenario I created.

Please let me know if you can help, or point in my the right direction.
Look forwarded to exploring your mod once completed.


I didn’t get any pallette trouble, I just used the default specifications, there’s a AOE2DE pallette setting, using that it’ll be fine. The issue about transfering the AOE assets is size. Using the 2x AOE buildings, it looks too big for AOE2. In your case sicne you want a wonder big might be fine, but otherwise you’d need to resize the original pictures with photoshop. I haven’t done greek and roman buildings yet, but if you still get troubles I can upload them when I do them.

About my mod, I’m in a doubt. I don’t know if making a straight AOE1 into AOE2 DE Mod, with the same civilizations and tech tree, getting rid of castles so everything is the same as AOE1. Or to do it as the way I planned, keeping a mix between AOE1 and AOE2, setting the game in late antiquity.

In the first case, people are already used to AOE1, so it’ll be simplier, and enjoyable to have AOE1 with AOE2 AI, gates, formations, etc. The other version, while interesting might be confusing for people, and harder to make game balanced. But it’d be fun to keep some AOE2 civs such as huns or celts.

And one thing that worries me, if that even if I manage to do any of the two versions, I don’t know how AOE2 AI would react with a modded game, I have no clue on how to change the AI.

Any suggestions or opinions?

Thanks Amburio, looks like I may just need to find more tutorials on SLX studio which is what I have been trying to learn. I have not yet been able to put any new graphics into game (AOE 2 DE), so still a newb. Last time I modded AOE was back during AOKTC version in early 2000’s.

Do you mind sharing how you ported the buildings from AOE DE to AOE 2 DE? Looks like the game reads SMX files only and the AOE building graphics all appear to be SLP format. I was looking for a tutorial on how to convert SLP to SLX or SMX files so the game can read. I assume SLX studio is the key but instructional videos are hard to find so far covering that piece. If you or anyone has any resources for someone like me to be brought up to speed on how to mod AOE 2 DE, please share.

As for your mod, I think your original idea for a hybrid game, mixing elements of both AOE and AOE2 sounds great. No doubt there will be challenges but also a lot of fun. Hopefully the community will offer feedback and maybe even a few folks would be willing to collaborate on certain components.

I personally wish the game covered in greater depth late antiquity and the transition to Dark Ages (4th Century Europe and Africa). Your original mod idea seems to fit right into that period.

If you do get to those Roman building sets early, please do share. I would love to have them incorporated into my game. Best of luck with your project, I look forward to watching its development.

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I’ll make a thread on these modding forum with a tutorial on how to port an AOE DE building or unit into AOE2. It’s a lot of work to transfer them all, so I just got the idea to make a dropbox or any site where people from the community, can upload SMX files. I’ll be uploading the ones I make too.

Also, I think I’ve figured out how to make a slides introduction for custom campaigns, just as the ones that come with the game. I wanted to test if it worked by making a Saxon English vs Vikings campaign. But I’d have to stop with this mod until I finish the campaign if I decide to do so.

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I’ve just finished the tutorial: [Tutorial] How to export an AOE1 DE unit or building into AOE2 DE

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Greek buildings blend in pretty well with Mediterranean building set. Here, monastery and university have been changed.


Colosseum fits AOE 1 conversion especially well :smiley:
Do you have any idea how to convert AI scripts? Is AI scripting very different between AOE 1 and 2?

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I don’t know how to properly edit the AI, I’ll just use AOE2 AI. I’ll need to be careful, I don’t want to add units and then having the AI unable to produce them.

I’think I’ll just replace Town Center, Market, Monastery and University, leaving houses and military buildings the same as AOE2 Mediterranean. Then, Romans and Greek cities would have an ancient feeling, while keeping an AOE2 Style. Other civs like Indians or the African Kingdoms would keep their AOE2 buildings since there’s none for them in AOE1. Feudal Age slavic buildings would fit well for barbarian tribes.

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You would have to convert AI scripts if you would want to make AOE 1 campaigns playable though.

it can be a nice standalone graphics replacement mod(non-data) that just replaces those specific Mediterranean buildings. Some people maybe able to use them in scenarios.

I was planning in remaking the campaigns in the AOE2 scenario editor since it allows more things than AOE1

That’s a great Idea, actually I can also change the graphics for goths, huns, celts, etc, so they can fit late antiquity style. I find it odd playing attila or alaric campaign with renaissance style buildings.


I like it! I think the Greek Govt building would nicely replace a Italian Wonder.

They should be added to the Palace unit entry for many suitable large buildings.