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Building & Defending Your Empire – Xbox

Lesson 1: Learning to Scout Effectively

  1. Scouting Efficiently

    In step one, we discussed the basic strategy for Scouting: moving your Scout Cavalry around your Town Center, revealing the map in a circular motion, until you discover the resources you need. 

    Now it’s time to go a little more in depth and ensure you’re prepared for a faster style of gameplay!

  2. Map Varieties

    Each map has a variety of available resources and information that you must uncover to quickly build your empire and strategize. Due to the random generation of each individual map and the differences between these maps, it will take some time to learn and understand – but this will come naturally as you continue to play.

  3. Waypoints

    Managing your early economy and Scout Cavalry at the same time can be a difficult task. Waypoint Flags are a great way to ensure your Scout Cavalry will keep exploring the map while you focus your attention where needed.

    To set a Waypoint Flag with your Scout Cavalry, select your Scout Cavalry and hold down the Left Trigger, then press the A Button where you would like to place the first Waypoint Flag. You’ll notice your Scout Cavalry begin moving towards the Flag.

    You can continue holding the Left Trigger and Pressing the A Button to create a route you would like your Scout Cavalry to travel. 

    To place the final Waypoint Flag, release the Left Trigger and right click the final destination. Your Scout Cavalry will then follow the Waypoint Flags in the order you placed them.

    Waypoints can be used to control any unit in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, use them to your advantage!

  4. Arabia

    In this section, we are going to be talking about the Arabia map, one of the most common maps for multiplayer. It uses what is referred to as the ‘standard’ available starting resources.

    On Arabia, each player’s starting area will spawn with:

    • 8 Herdables
    • 3 Forests
    • 6 Fruit Bushes
    • 2 Aggressive Hunt
    • 4 Wild Hunt
    • 7 Tiles of Gold
    • 5 Tiles of Stone

    Lesson 2: Starting Resources

    Starting Resources map image
    1. Starting Resources

      These starting resources, which spawn around your Town Center are what you will want to identify on the map before scouting out to find your opponent. There are other strategies that rely on quickly scouting your opponent, in which case you already know what you need!

    2. Four Herdables

      Though in your starting position you will have access to eight Herdables nearby, they will be found as a three separate groups. The first group of four will be near the Town Center, and two smaller groups of two Herdable will be located nearby, hidden by Unexplored Terrain.

    3. Two Herdables

      Second group of Herdables to be taken back to the Town Center.

    4. Two Herdables

      Third group of Herdables to be taken back to the Town Center.

    5. Forest

      A great place to construct a Lumbercamp and one of three surrounding Forests.

    6. Berry Bushes

      These Berry Bushes are perfect to help increase your Food income by constructing a MIll next to them.

    7. First Aggressive Hunt

      The first of Two Aggressive Hunt.

      Remember! Aggressive Hunt will attack any Villager hunting it. This is perfect for luring it back to safety under the Town Center.

    8. Second Aggressive Hunt

      The second of Two Aggressive Hunt.

    9. Wild Hunt

      Though Food is collected faster from Wild Hunt than Berry Bushes, they are generally located further away from the safety of the Town Center.

      If you’re confident about taking the risk, place your Mill here instead of next to the Berry Bushes.

    10. Main Gold

      The main Gold on Arabia will always be 7 tiles and reasonably close to the Town Center.

    11. Main Stone

      The main Stone on Arabia will always be 5 tiles and reasonably close to the Town Center.

      Lesson 3: Important Scouting Information

      1. Planning Your Base

        Once you have found your key resources, keep exploring the map until you have a good understanding of what your base layout will begin to look like. This will help with figuring out where to place defensive walls – which we will get into next.

      2. Finding Your Opponent

        Once you understand your immediate surroundings, send your Scout across the map to find your opponent. Generally, a good place to start is directly opposite your starting location on the map, then slowly move around the map about as far in as your Town Center spawned.

      3. Finding Information

        After identifying your opponent’s position, it’s time to find the locations of their key resources. This will be useful later in game once you begin raiding. The most important areas to find are their Lumber camps and main 7 tile gold, these are prime locations to attack!

        Lesson 4: Your Opponent's Strategy

        1. Understanding Strategy

          This is also a great time to start looking for enemy buildings that may hint towards their strategy.

        2. Collecting Gold

          If they are collecting Gold in the Dark Age, you can assume they will be training Archers.

        3. Excessive Farms

          Lots of Farms and no Gold Miners is a good sign they will be training Scout Cavalry.

        4. Barracks

          If you see a Barracks before you have started advancing, they may even be training some early Militia to quickly raid you!

        5. Preparing

          As Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is a real-time strategy game, figuring out what your opponent is planning before they’re able to put it into action is a key skill. The more you play the easier this will get, and once you know what they are going to do, you know how to counter and prepare for it!

          Lesson 5: Your Arabia Scouting Checklist

          Your Arabia Scouting Checklist map image
          1. Herdables

            Here is your Arabia Scouting checklist:

            All Herdable found – 8 normal or 6 if Cows.

          2. Aggressive Hunt

            2 Aggressive Hunt found.

          3. Surrounding Forests

            Surrounding Forests identified.

          4. Main Gold

            Main 7 tile Gold identified.

          5. Main Stone

            Main 5 tile Stone found.

          6. Enemy Town Center Found

            Enemy Town Center located.

          7. Enemy Resource Locations

            Enemy Lumber Camp and/or Mining Camp located.

          8. Enemy Strategy

            Enemy military buildings discovered.

            Lesson 6: Defensive Structures

            1. Building Defensively

              Building your base defensively is an integral skill in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. If your opponent cannot easily raid your economy, you will be able to control the match much more effectively. You can achieve this by using defensive structures and planning your base layout carefully.

            2. Defensive Buildings

              Defensive structures are a great way to ensure your base is harder to attack, as they will attack nearby enemy units. Having these structures close to your economy will reduce the damage your opponents can do and may even stop them attacking all together!

            3. The Town Center

              The Town Center is the heart of your Empire. Here you can train Villagers, research key economic technologies and advance to the next Age. Villagers can also garrison inside the Town Center to protect themselves from enemies, they will even fire arrows at nearby enemy units while you have them garrisoned.

              A fully garrisoned Town Center is a threat to all early Military Units and is a great way to protect your Villagers. Though you will only have one Town Center at the start of a match, more can be constructed once you reach the Castle Age.

            4. Walls

              Walls are a great way to defend your borders and grant you valuable time to rally your defenses when attacked. Palisade walls are available in the Dark Age at the cost of Wood, and Stone Walls become available in the Feudal Age at the cost of stone.

              Constructing Walls around your base is the perfect way to stop an enemy attack in their tracks, preventing surprise raids or giving you the necessary time to prepare your forces.

            5. Watch Towers

              Watch Towers are a defensive tower that shoots an arrow at enemy units, very effective at deterring early military units. Like the Town Center, Villagers can garrison inside these towers to shoot extra arrows at attacking units.

              Towers are a great way to lockdown an area from enemy attacks and being able to garrison your villagers inside makes it harder for an opponent to raid your economy.

              Despite these advantages, Watch Towers are costly and will prevent you from building more Town Centers when you reach the Castle Age unless you mine more Stone. Watch Towers are a great way to defend an attack you know is most likely coming that your military will not be able to control, but should only be constructed when necessary.

            6. Castles

              A Castle is the single strongest building in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Enemy units will turn tail and run after seeing this mighty fortification and will require a costly investment in siege weapons to knock it down. Constructing a Castle is a great way to defend an area, ensuring your opponent cannot attack with low numbers or until they have constructed ample siege weapons.

              A Castle can also train your unique unit and research unique technologies which vary depending on your chosen civilization. Villagers and military units can also garrison inside, making Castles perfect for defending your economy. The Castle will also shoot additional arrows depending on the number of garrisoned Villagers and ranged military units.

              Each of these structures helps to reinforce your base and make an opponent think twice before attacking.

              Lesson 7: Walling

              1. Walling

                A common practice in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is to wall your surrounding area to ensure enemy attacks cannot reach your economy or cause any excessive damage. This will give you ample time to rally your forces and push back any invading armies before they can cause any real damage.

              2. Utilizing Resources

                Walls take a long time to construct and need to be built early to be effective. Surrounding resources can minimize the number of Walls you need to place and the time your Villagers will spend constructing walls.

              3. Utilizing Buildings

                Utilizing your building placements can also minimize the time needed to fully wall your base.

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