"Control the Monument in the center of the map for a specified time to win. To control the Monument, kill all the enemy units around it."—Age of Empires II description
King of the Hill is a game mode featured in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, Age of Mythology, and Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. In order to win, players must have a military presence around a landmark in the center of the map for a certain period of time.
Age of Empires II Edit
King of the Hill is a game mode introduced in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. The players have to capture the Monument (a renamed Wonder), located exactly in the center of the map, and hold it for 550 years (approximately 9 minutes) in order to win. Building is completely allowed around the Monument, so creating military structures around its position is a sound tactic.
Apart from the Monument in the center, the maps are very similar to regular random map games.
Age of Mythology Edit
"In the center, on water, ice or cliffs, is a Plenty Vault. Whoever controls it starts a countdown to victory."—In-game description
Unlike in Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III, King of the Hill is a random map rather than a game mode, but the goal is similar. The player must control a Plenty Vault in the middle of the map, protected by Shades, for 8 minutes. Controlling the Plenty in the center not only puts pressure on all the enemy factions, but also grants an economic edge as it provides a trickle of resources for the player that holds it.
As the in-game description hints, there are three varieties of King of the Hill, each favoring a different gameplay approach:
- A water map, similar to Crater Lake, where players must invest in navy, in order to quickly unload troops to the islet in the center of the lake, where the Vault and its Shade guards are located, while also fighting back against other landing parties and naval units.
- A map similar to Ghost Lake, with the Vault being in the center of the frozen lake, that encourages rushing, but also prohibits expanding building, thus negating Castle drops, tower rushes, and camping with military structures.
- A grassland map, with the Vault located in a hill right in the middle; unlike the other two maps, structures can easily be built close or on the hill, thus allowing for Castle Drops and other similar tactics.
As King of the Hill is a map setting exclusively for these three maps, the mode is unavailable on any other map.
A campaign scenario which perfectly resembles this game type is Fight at the Forge in the Golden Gift campaign.
- When a player recaptures a Plenty Vault, it will take about a second or two for the system to recognize the player has done, changing the countdown to their team's. Therefore, if the player manages to capture the Plenty Vault at the last second, they might still lose the game. This also occurs in the Fight at the Forge scenario.
Age of Empires III Edit
Similarly to Age of Empires II, King of the Hill is a game mode rather than a random map, as in Age of Mythology, which means that King of the Hill can be played on any map, be it open, closed, with water or landlocked.
In order to win at this mode, a player or team must hold the King's Hill (a renamed Fort) for exactly 10 minutes. Unlike the other games however, the perimeter around the Kings' Hill is completely unbuildable, meaning that players cannot abuse fortifications or other military structures to keep a military presence, forcing them to rely on their military units.
Explorers, War Chiefs, and Monks cannot capture the Kings' Hill, however other military units, such as Natives, can. War Chiefs can in fact abuse their Nature Friendship ability in order to send converted Treasure Guardians to hold early the Kings' Hill, as a sort of psychological warfare, in order to force enemy players at making panicked moves.
Similar game modes Edit
- Defend the Wonder, where a player must defend his/her Wonder against enemy players for a set period of time.
- Wonder Race, a non-violent game mode, where the first to construct a Wonder instantly wins.
Both game modes are a type of race against time, and involve focusing on a certain landmark/object in order to win. Both are found in Age of Empires II.