Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (often abbreviated to AoC) is the expansion pack to the 1999 real-time strategy game Age of Empires II. The Conquerors is the fourth installment of the Age of Empires series developed by Ensemble Studios. The game features five new civilizations (the Aztecs, Mayans, Spanish, Huns, and Koreans), four new campaigns, eleven new units, twenty-six new technologies, new gameplay modes, new maps and a few minor changes to the gameplay.
The Conquerors Expansion has new gameplay features and changes such as the game modes, Defend the Wonder, King of the Hill, and Wonder Race. New maps were also included which are based on real life geographic locations and new winter and tropical terrain. Also, infantry are able to garrison in siege engines, increasing their attack and speed, while ships are able to form formations in order to fight more effectively.
Micromanagement is made easier, by an improved scripted Artificial Intelligence of villagers and siege weapons. Villagers will now commence automatically start gathering resources, if they build resource gathering sites, while siege weapons will not fire if their attack is likely to harm friendly units. Additionally, an in-game option has been added to allow the game to automatically replenish farms after they are exhausted. Chat commands are introduced, in order to communicate more effectively with allied computer players.
The Conquerors Expansion adds four additional single player campaigns. These are based on Attila the Hun's rise to power, Montezuma's defense against Hernan Cortez, and the adventures of El Cid. The fourth campaign, Battles of the Conquerors, is actually a group of unrelated single scenarios, each based on a significant historical battle. These include the Battle of Agincourt, the saga of Erik the Red, and the Battle of Hastings, among others.
Various others changes were done from the Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings to the Age of empires: The Conquerors expansion (patch 1.0c), some of them included
- Cavalry Archers Rate of Fire reduced - The rate of firing of cavalry archer was reduced to some extent and they were made less powerful.
- Town Centers no longer gain increment in range but only firing power. However it hasn't been updated in the help box that appears in this research in blacksmith (namely Fletching, Bodkin Arrow and Bracer). Pointing your arrow to one of these researches tells you there would be increment in range as well as attack power of town center, but only increment in power is observed. This was done to promote the usage of units in game instead of military war mostly done by buildings, and to bring some balance to aggressive vs defensive strategies, with long ranged town centers the defensive was strong (also the Teutonic Town center bonus also increase only the Line of Sight of town centers).
- Bombard Towers are no longer effective against battering rams, as one cannonball causes only 1 HP damage and with 175HP of a battering ram (more HP for capped and siege ram) the tower was no match for rams and should rely on ground units to prevent ram attack. This reduced the concept of trebuchets and bombard cannons being the only effective siege weapons against bombard Towers.
- Ships can now be arranged in various formations similar to ground units.
- Infantry and Archers can garrison within a Ram for protection. Garrisoned infantry will also make it move faster and do more damage.
- Villagers now go automatically to work after they build the appropriate buildings (lumber camp for wood, mill for food, mining camp for gold and stone), after they build the required building and the resources associated to that building would be in Line of Sight of the villager it will automatically start the gathering.
- Population Limit can be changed.
- When being attacked, or sending a message, the color represents the team that is attacking or sending the message.
- Heroes can't be converted at all.
- Wonders that appear at the start that would not be considered as a count down do not mark a [W] next to the team name in the statistics, nor be shown across the map, nor be counted as having been constructed.
As of June 2006, The MSN Gaming Zone CD-ROM section was shut down for Age of Empires players, as well as many other CD-ROM games. GameSpy was selected by Microsoft as the official replacement for online play, although players can also choose from alternatives such as IGZones. There are several other Age of Empires II: The Conquerors servers worldwide. For example, due to technical reasons most Chinese players play in CGA, which usually has over 6000 online players at a time.
A clan is a community of players within a particular game, and in this case many players in AoC belong to a clan, to get into a clan it usually involves being "recruited". A high ranked member of a particular clan will invite members to join, joining has its benefits such as giving players a reputation, a virtual gaming "home" in which a user can get downloads, and be filled in on the latest news. Many Clans use a tag system in which a user must reflect the clans "tag". Clans are held together by the players themselves, IGZones.com has a clan based profile integrated into their website where the leader of a clan can accept, deny, promote, and demote members of their clan.
Five additional playable civilizations come with the The Conquerors Expansion, including the Aztec and Mayans, who share a newly created Meso-American architectural style:
|Group||Western European||Eastern European||Eastern Asian||Meso-American|
The Aztecs and Mayans completely lack the ability to train cavalry units. This is partially balanced by the fact that they start with eagle warrior infantry units, who have many of the advantages that cavalry has. Both civilizations also lack all gunpowder units.They also have a unique monk, with the only difference as the clothes being different, as well as the trade carts where a villager pulls them without a horse. They're maps are additional where things can be changed or replaced, Jaguars with Wolves, Javelina with Wild Boars, Turkeys with Sheep, Macaws with Hawks but nothing with Deer. The Huns are also unique in that they do not build houses to support their population, allowing them to ignore the maximum production limit of units, and focus on building up their economy and military instead.
The Conquerors Expansion introduces eleven additional unique units to Age of Empires II: Age of Kings:
- Eagle Warrior & Elite Eagle Warrior (fast-moving infantry)
- Halberdier (an upgrade to the Pikeman)
- Jaguar Warrior & Elite Jaguar Warrior (anti-infantry infantry, unique to Aztecs)
- Plumed Archer & Elite Plumed Archer (tough foot archers, unique to Mayans)
- War Wagon & Elite War Wagon (heavily armored ranged cavalry/siege engene, unique to Koreans)
- Conquistador & Elite Conquistador (mounted gunpowder users, unique to Spanish)
- Hussar (an upgrade to the Light Cavalry)
- Tarkan & Elite Tarkan (anti-building cavalry, based on Tarkhans, unique to Huns)
- Petard (Suicide Bombers units that explode)
- Turtle Ship & Elite Turtle Ship (heavily armored, short-range cannon ships, unique to Koreans)
- Missionary (swift mounted monks that cannot carry relics, unique to Spanish)
Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, Attila the Hun, Bleda the Hun, Charles Martel, El Cid, El Cid Campeador, Pope Leo, Imam (in the second campaign of El Cid), Oda Nobunaga, King Sancho, Erik the Red, Harald Hardraada, William the Conqueror, Henry V and King Alfonso.
The Conquerors Expansion introduces in total twenty-six additional unique technologies to Age of Empires II: Age of Kings video game. This technologies can be purchased from various in-game buildings, most notably the castle (which now being able for the player to research the unique technology(ies) of the civilization), and give the player an additional bonus depending on the technology.