Age of Empires 2 might be a good old game, but a lot of RTS fans still consider it to be the best RTS ever made. I personally enjoy the simplicity of it, and challenging UI, it can be played many times over without getting boring.
But it’s not fun when you’re getting your ass kicked, so here is a primer on how to win on hardest against 1 computer opponent.
For this guide I suggest playing Regicide, select giant map size and for area type select Black Forest.
The Dark Age
1. You should start off with a fair amount of villagers, a King, 1 Cavalry Scout, a Castle and a Town Center. You should also be in the dark age.
1.1 Select some villagers and build a Mill close to the fruit patch, Assign a few to cut down trees in a good area. Assign just 1 villager to stone mining, and just 1 to gold. DO NOT CREATE ANY MORE PEASANTS.
1.2 As soon as 2 structures are built, advance to the Feudal Age.
1.3 While you advance send your scout to search for sheep, send the sheep back to the mill you built.
1.4 If you start acquiring an excess of wood, build a barrack.
1.5 If you’ve enabled an all visible map, then look around and take note where the Relics are.
2.1 As soon as you advance, spend everything you have on creating new villagers.
2.2 Assign them to food, until you can constantly create new villagers.
2.3 Now assign loads more to wood
2.4 Keep one peasant free for creating houses
2.5 Upgrade the mill and wood chopping speed.
2.6 Build a blacksmith, and an archery range
2.7 Keep flooding new peasants and building houses till your original food supply from sheep and berries run out.
2.8 Now build farms – You should spam farms all around your town center and have another 3 mills all with farms around it. At the same time make sure you have zounds of peasants assigned to wood cutting
2.9 Keep this up until you have 800 food and 200 gold, then advance to castle age.
This is the age where you’ll start getting attacked, but not immediately.
3.1 Build a church, and make sure it is positioned close to the castle for security.
3.2 Build another blacksmith
3.3 Spam a considerable amount of peasants onto gold duty
3.4 Upgrade everything that will help you collect resources – Mills, Gold, Stone, Wood
3.5 Build a stable.
3.6 Start upgrading everything you can within reason
3.7 Make sure you build a university
3. 8 Build a small army of various units, mostly consisting of Cavalry and some archers, and about 4 monks.
3.9 Advance to Imperial Age.
This is where things get exciting.
4.1 Don’t attack, play the defender until you’ve researched everything useful, and upgraded everything.
4.2 At the same time you need to build up your army, and have gun powder researched.
4.3 Build zounds of houses, make sure you have enough to support 150 population.
4.4 The AI will start sending waves of enemy at you, make sure you can defend it off without loosing too much men.
A note on the AI: The AI takes note of where you’re defending and sends men to that location. If you see trebuchets approaching in the distance, send 3-4 Knights or Paladins to attack it. Notice they’re virtually risk free. Send them back to the main group when you’re done.
Once everything is researched and upgraded its time to attack.
You should have a swarm of an army by now, create about 4-5 trebuchets to join your forces.
Slowly start advancing down the same path as the enemy is attacking from. When the enemy sends a wave, stop and attack.
Once you’ve reached his city, bring out a peasant, and build a castle, followed by a stable, archery range, and a church. If you want to build a town center too.
Defend, defend, defend your trebuchets! While at the same time advancing your trebuchets, and attacking. It can be stubborn to get through walls and gates because the AI quickly rebuilds what you destroy. So keep a swarm of men on the destroyed gate area.
Keep those trebuchets moving, and protected! Use your buildings to spam more men to the hot spots.
You’ll need to manually control your paladins to take care of the pesky Bombard Cannons.
Now kill kill kill, everything and anything. Keep your men well away from castles, and let the trebs do the work. moving forward as the enemy buildings get destroyed.
If you follow this, eventually the AI will resign.