For the Age of Empires III civilization, see French.
Civilization Tech Tree Strategy
Frankish King
Frankish king Charlemagne promoted to king by the cardinals under the Pope.
KingsIcon The Forgotten Age of Empires II
Architectural StyleWestern European
Unique UnitsTAXEM Throwing Axeman
Preferred StrategiesFast Castle into Knight Rush, Castle Drop, Springboard
TechnologiesCastleAgeUnique Chivalry
Unique-tech Bearded Axe
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The Wonder of the Franks, the Cathedral of Chartres

The Franks (now known as the French) are a Western European civilization that conquered and inhabited modern day France, which was previously known as Gaul. They are primarily an offensive civilization, although they possess a few defensive perks as well. Their unique unit is the Throwing Axeman, who deal hand damage at range (their attacks deal damage according to 'armor', not pierce armor). Throwing axes were more popular than bows in the densely forested parts of northern Europe from whence the Franks came from, and they even take their name from their throwing axe, the Francisca. Their Castle Age unique technology, Bearded Axe, reflect this by giving their Throwing Axemen more range. The Frankish King Charlemagne started the tradition of using armored cavalry who became known as knights, and Frankish Knights fight valiantly with more HP and longer line of sight. This tradition also spawned the concept of Chivalry (codes of knights), represented by the technology of the same name which boosts Stables' working speed. Castles dot France, and the Franks have cheaper Castles to better emulate this. Finally, no castle with a knight as its lord is complete without peasant labor, and thus, Frankish farms upgrade technologies for free.


The Franks are a straightforward cavalry civilization, with a very strong cavalry and lots of Castles for defense. The Franks' infantry line is full, excluding the Eagle line units, with all the infantry Barracks and Blacksmith upgrades available. The Archery Range is one of the Frank's weakest points; while their Cavalry Archers do benefit from the civilization bonus giving them 20% more HP, they lack Arbalest and the following technologies: Thumb Ring, Parthian Tactics, Bracer and Ring Archer Armor. The Stable is very strong. Thanks to the Franks' 20%+ HP bonus for cavalry and their +2 line of sight bonus for the Knight line, the Franks have the best Paladins in the game. Additionally, all Blacksmith upgrades are available. However, the Franks lack the Hussar upgrade for the Scout Line and they do not have access to Camels either. The Franks lack Bloodlines, but this is somewhat negated by their 20%+ HP bonus for cavalry. The Frank's Siege Workshop is average, as they lack both the Siege Onager and the Siege Ram. Due to the fact that Castles are 25% cheaper, the Franks can build Castles for a more effective defensive system and to obtain map control. Their unique unit: the Throwing Axeman is a cheap short ranged infantry unit that does melee damage with bonus against buildings. The Dock has all but the Elite Cannon Galleon available, nevertheless is worth noting that the lack of Bracer is a big negative for Franks' Galleons. The Franks get farms upgrade for free and foragers work +25% faster, rendering a fine economy, which is critical, since creating and upgrading cavalry units takes a lot of resources from the economy. Given that they can research Squires starting in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, their infantry move faster. The Franks are countered by the Saracens and Indians in particular, because of their powerful anti-cavalry Camels. The Franks make a great civilization against civilizations like the Vikings, who do not have Camels or Halberdiers.

Civilization BonusesEdit

  • Farm upgrades are free
  • Castles are 25% cheaper, costing 488 Stone instead of 650 Stone
  • Knights have 20% more HP
  • Team Bonus: Knights have +2 line of sight

Changes in The ForgottenEdit

  • Throwing Axeman (non-elite) missile delay -2 (from 12 to 10, elite stays at 8)
  • Elite Throwing Axeman research cost -100 gold
  • Foragers work +25% faster
  • Franks can research Squires

Changes in The African KingdomsEdit

  • Knights +20% HP changed to Cavalry +20% HP
  • (Elite) Throwing Axeman +0.1 speed
  • With patch 4.8, Throwing Axemen now have 60 (70 for Elite) HP

In-game dialogue language Edit

All units speak Middle French.

  • Oé--Yes?
  • Que fais?--What shall I do?
  • Prêt—ready
  • Que (f)--What?
  • Que y'a? (m)--What's up?
  • Verax—truly (from Latin)
  • Certes—surely
  • L'y vais-I go there
  • oïl—yes
  • Que lier?--What is your order?
  • bûcheron—woodcutter
  • maraud—scavenge
  • chasseur—hunter
  • pecheur—fisher
  • villain—peasant
  • mineur—miner
  • bâtisseur—builder
  • artisan—craftsman
  • assault! 
  • à la bataille!--to battle!
  • montjoie!
  • montmirail!
  • que valié?—what do you want?

AI Player Names Edit

  • Charlemagne
  • Charles VI - called the Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé) and the Mad (French: le Fol or le Fou), was King of France from 1380 to his death.
  • Charles Martel
  • Charles the Bold - baptised Charles Martin, was Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. He was the last Duke of Burgundy from the House of Valois and is sometimes also known as Charles the Rash.
  • Constable Richemont
  • Jean Dunois of Orleans - an illegitimate son of Louis I, Duke of Orléans, by Mariette d'Enghien. His nickname, the "Bastard of Orléans" (bâtard d'Orléans), was a term of respect, since it acknowledged him as a first cousin to the king and acting head of a cadet branch of the royal family during his half-brother's captivity.
  • King Philip I - called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to his death.
  • Louis IX - commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France and a canonized saint.
  • Louis XI - called "Louis the Prudent" (French: le Prudent), was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1461 to 1483.
  • Pepin the Short - was the King of the Franks from 751 until his death. He was the first of the Carolingians to become king.
  • Philip II Augustus - was King of France from 1180 to 1223, a member of the House of Capet.
  • Philip the Good - was Duke of Burgundy as Philip III from 1419 until his death.
  • Raymond, Prince of Antioch - Raymond of Poitiers (c. 1115 – 29 June 1149) was Prince of Antioch from 1136 to 1149.
  • Roland

Gallery Edit

Video Overview Edit

Franks Overview AoE221:47

Franks Overview AoE2

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