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Best Age of Empires II Civilizations

20th Nov 2017
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Age of Empires II is one of the most beloved real-time strategy games of all time. Developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft in 1999 as a sequel to the legendary Age of Empires, the game received "universal acclaim" upon release and remains a staple for RTS fans to this day. Since its initial release as Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, four expansions to the game and an HD remake has also been produced - Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (2000), Age of Empires II: HD Edition (2013), Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten (2013) (based on the fan-made Forgotten Empires), Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms (2015) and Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas (2016). At the heart of the award-winning gameplay of AOE 2 are the civilizations that players are able to choose to play with. In addition to their distinct art and play style, these civilizations have their unique set of advantages and disadvantages which are based fundamentally on a "rock-paper-scissors" architecture. This delicate balance of strengths and weaknesses extends all the way up from the overarching meta-strategy (e.g. economic boom beats defensive gameplay which in turn beats early rush strategy) down to individual units (e.g, infantry are generally powerful against buildings but weak against cavalry, thus the infantry counter units—spearmen and pikemen—have attack bonuses against cavalry). Because of the attention paid towards making each civilization as balanced as possible, any discussion of the relative ranking of these civilizations in terms of overall strength is often hotly contested. Now is the time to put all of that debate to rest - this list contains all the civilizations and their specialties in Age of Empires II and all its expansions. Rank these in the order of best to worst and let's find out what everyone thinks on average. Happy ranking and Wololo! Source(s): Age of Empires Wikia and Wikipedia

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Best Age of Empires II Civilizations

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Vietnamese

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The Vietnamese are an Archer civilisation with 3 team bonuses that can help them shine in situations with multiple players. They are the closest to a support civilisation in Age of Empires II, as their advantages are evident when they play in a team. To begin with, they can reveal enemy positions at game start, which combined with Cartography reveals enemy Town Centers to the entire alliance, especially beneficial to rushing tactics. In the Imperial Age, their status as a team civilisation is further cemented, as they grant Imperial Skirmishers to the entire team, and they can also research Paper Money in order to provide a gold tribute to all allied players. As far their military is concerned, they draw their main strength from the Archery Range; they have access to all archer units except Hand Cannoneers, and only lack Parthian Tactics among archer-related upgrades. Their Archery Range units receive extra HP per Age, allowing them to withstand more attacks and fight back longer, at all stages of the game. Cavalry Archers are especially boosted, as they boast HP second only to Sipahi-boosted Cavalry Archers. Their first unique unit is the Rattan Archer, an archer with high pierce armor, decent speed and a good attack that allow him to withstand units with pierce damage, such as Scorpions and Arbalests, and fight effectively other archer units. The second is the Imperial Skirmisher, an upgrade to the Skirmisher line, with slightly improved stats, that can provide an advantage in trash wars to the entire team, being their main Team Bonus. They also have complete infantry lines, but they lack Blast Furnace, and their cavalry is unremarkable (lacking among others Husbandry), relegating their melee units into support role, mainly for guarding missile units. Conscription is free in the Imperial Age, saving some time and resources, while also giving a Vietnamese player a speed advantage to quickly train some extra units. Their Battle Elephants are used as meatshields, rather than offensive units, with the Chatras technology granting them a +30HP bonus, in order to better shield missile units against units that can harass them. They have a below-average siege, lacking all final upgrades to their siege units (but receive Siege Engineers and Bombard Cannons), and their structures are tied with the Aztecs' for the frailest in the game (lacking Masonry and Architecture), necessitating use of archers in defence, though at least, they receive Arrowslits, Bombard Towers, Keeps and Hoardings, meaning they will still boast powerful if fragile base defences. Because of the lack of good early game economic and their civilization bonuses and Paper Money is really team dependent, the Vietnamese is not an ideal civilization in 1v1 matches, especially against civilizations with strong early game rushing potential such as the Aztecs, Huns, Malay, and Vikings. Conversely, the excel in teamgames and are a formidable lategame foe to archer civilizations such the Chinese and the Mayans, due to their strong anti-archer capacity with Rattan Archers and Imperial Skirmishers.
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