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The Age of Empires franchise is a return to the past, where RTS games such as Warcraft and Starcraft dominated the market. Even to this day, where the RTS genre has declined, many of these games still have a very dedicated fanbase and Age of Empires is no different. Both the campaigns and the multiplayer aspects of the game provide players with hundreds of hours of entertainment and to enjoy the game to its fullest.
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The first task at hand is to choose a civilization, unless playing a campaign mission where the civilization is already set for players. Each civilization receives its own bonus and unique units that can be recruited upon reaching the Castle Age and building a castle. The basic unit in Age of Empires II is the villager. A villager can gather any of the four resources (wood, food, gold, stone) and also construct buildings and farms that a player will need to complete missions. Players should start out having their villagers gather food and wood and focus on building up their economy in the early part of the game. The game has numerous ways to gather foods such as livestock (sheep, turkeys, etc.), wild animals (deer, boar, fish), farms and berry patches. Players should try and utilize as many of these food sources as possible to have a strong start.
Recruiting the First Soldiers
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Once players have gathered enough wood and food, it is time to construct the first military building. The first available military building is the barracks where players will be able to recruit some basic militia to defend themselves and raid their enemies.
Advancing to the Next Age
To unlock better technologies and units, players must advance to the next age via their town hall. Each advancement takes quite a bit of resources, so players must make sure to gather enough in advance. To advance from the first age (the Dark Age) to the second age (the Feudal Age), players will need to gather 500 food and click on the age advancement in their town hall. The Feudal Age unlocks buildings such as the Archery Range, Stable, and Blacksmith, all of which can be used to produce and upgrade better units. The Feudal Age also usually signals the time for players to start building up a decent sized army to begin attacking their enemies with. The third age is the one players should strive to reach as quickly as possible because it unlocks the opportunity to build castles and recruit a civilization’s unique unit hence its name, the Castle Age. The Castle Age unlocks many powerful units in addition to the unique civilization unit including Knights, Camels, and siege equipment. The final age, the Imperial Age, unlocks the final upgrades on most units.
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Food and wood are the core to any Age of Empires economy. All buildings require wood and all units require food. Gold is important in the sense that most powerful units require gold to produce and gold mines are usually a limited resource on the map. Stone is needed to build castles and towers, but of the four resources, is the least important to gather.
Defeating an Opponent
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In campaign, players must complete certain objectives outlined throughout the mission. Sometimes it is escorting a VIP to a certain area or defeating an opponent, but the objectives take after famous events in history. For example, in the first Joan of Arc campaign, players have to escort Joan to the Château of Chinon without letting her die. In multiplayer, there are several ways to defeat an opponent: destroy all their unit production buildings and units, build a wonder and have it stand for the designated time, or forcing them to surrender.
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