The Britons are a Western European civilization in Age of Empires II. They represent the English and the Anglo-Normans during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages.
The Britons' unique unit is the Longbowman, from their historical use of the English Longbow in their campaigns. Longbowmen are archers with higher attack and range than every other archer in the game, even outranging Castles and Towers later in the game. Their Castle Age unique technology Yeomen refers to the fact that the Britons heavily relied on archery, thus giving their foot archers even more range, as well as increasing their tower damage. The Britons were known for their small villages scattered across England, as well as their tactics of encroaching on enemies with strongholds, and thus get cheaper Town Centers. Known as skilled shepherds and heavily involved in the wool trade, British shepherds work faster. For a time in England, all sports but archery were banned on Sundays, thus the Britons also have faster Archery Ranges and longer ranged foot archers.
Their descendants are the modern English nation, that alongside the Scottish, Welsh and Irish nations (descendants of the Celts). These nations created a united kingdom, the British civilization.
The Britons' main advantages are in their ranged units as they arguably have the best foot archers. Their archers can be built faster and have a longer range than most. Their unique unit, the Longbowman, is the only foot archer that can outrange a Castle. They work great against other archers and slow infantry (with the exception of the Goths' Huskarl), however they are vulnerable against siege and especially cavalry. The Britons have all the Barracks' units available to them, excluding the Eagle Warrior line, and have access to all infantry technologies, which helps protect their archers against enemy units that get too close. However, their cavalry and siege units are lacking, and are missing several crucial upgrades. The Britons' Stable is a weakness with the lack of Paladins, Hussars and Camels. At the Dock, the Britons are a very reasonable naval civilization, with their main weakness on water being their lack of Cannon Galleons (though the Britons have the regular Cannon Galleons in the expansion). The Britons also lack heavy siege units: the Siege Onager and the Siege Ram are unavailable, but the Warwolf technology helps buff their Trebuchets against enemy units. The cheaper Town Centers and faster Sheep gathering rate help a lot to build a great economy.
The language spoken by the Briton units is presumably a variant of Middle English, as it has some French and Latin words added that were not present in Old English. The monks and the kings speak Latin like the Byzantines and Italians.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Briton AI characters:
Alfred the Great (849-899): King of Wessex (871-899), successfully stopped the Viking expansion and became the dominant ruler in England, while improving education, people’s quality of life and more.
Duke of Normandy: Title given to the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy. In 911, the Duchy was granted to the Viking Rollo by French king Charles III. From 1066-1204 held by Kings of England, after which the Duchy was conquered by Philip II and made into a French province.
Earl of Warwick: Prestigious title of the ruler of Warwick Castle in central England. Started in 1088 with Henry de Beaumont, and ended in 1499 with the death of the 17th Earl. The title was revived three times more up until today.
Earl of Wessex: Title used three times in history for the rule of southwest England (West-Saxons): Godwin (Earl from 1020-1053), Harold the Saxon (Earl from 1053-1066 and last Anglo-Saxon king of England) and William FitzOsbern (created Earl by William the Conqueror in 1066-1071).
Edward Longshanks (1239-1307): Edward I, King of England from 1272-1307. Reformer of royal administration and law. A tall man, hence the name; Intimidating and fear-instilling man, earned the name ‘Hammer of the Scots’ in the first Scottish Independence War.
Henry Bolingbroke (1367-1413): Henry IV, King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1399-1413, born in Bolingbroke Castle (east England). Spent much of his reign defending himself against plots, assassination attempts and numerous rebellions.
Henry Tudor (1457-1509): Henry VII, King of England (1485-1509). Was able to defeat other houses in the Wars of the Roses, becoming the first Tudor family king. Restored the power and stability of the English monarchy.
Henry V(1386-1422): King of England (1413-1422). Best known for his military successes in the Hundred Years’ War, in particular for his victory in the Battle of Agincourt (1415).
King Edward: Presumably Edward the Elder (874-924), King of the Anglo-Saxons (899-924), son of Alfred the Great. Captured various parts of eastern England from the Danish Vikings.
Lord Henry Percy: Sir Henry (Hotspur) Percy (1364-1403), nobleman from north England and captain during the Anglo-Scottish wars. Led a rebellion against Henry IV, but was killed in battle.
Lord Talbot (1384-1453): John Talbot, English military general and commander during the Hundred Years’ War. Known for his rapid and aggressive attacks, he was killed by French cannon.
Prince John (1166-1216): King of England from 1199-1216, brother of Richard the Lionhearted. Spent much of his reign attempting to regain French territory he had previously lost. Was often pictured as a cruel, evil man; villain in popular Robin Hood stories.
Richard II (1367-1400): King of England (1377-1399). Sought to bring an end to the Hundred Years’ War; had a love for art and culture. Deposed by Henry Bolingbroke.
Richard the Lionhearted (1157-1199): King of England from 1189-1199. Great military leader and warrior, a central commander during the Third Crusade.
The Black Prince: Prince Edward (1330-1376), prince of Wales and Aquitaine. Best known for his campaigns in the Hundred Years’ War, particularly his great victories in the battles of Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356).
William III: Can depict different persons, most likely either King William III of Sicily (1186-1198), the last Norman king of Sicily, or William III, Duke of Aquitaine (915-963) who defended Aquitaine and Poitiers from French kings.
Age of Empires II often calls the Britons "British", which is incorrect historically, as no British nation existed back in the Medieval period. The proper term would be "English". Historically Britons referred to the Welsh and Cornish native to Britain, so in truth Britons were Celts.
In The Conquerors, the Britons are the only civilization to not have access to any unit/technology that 9 or fewer civilizations have access to.
The British Wonder, the Aachen Cathedral, is actually located in the modern Germany.