Expanding Your Empire
Lesson 1: Exploring The Map
At the start of a match, most of the map will be covered by black unexplored terrain. Unexplored terrain reveals itself as units explore it with their Line of Sight.
The Fog of War (areas that are hidden from you) will still hide any enemy units or unexplored buildings lurking outside your Line of Sight.
The Scout Cavalry
The starting Scout Cavalry (or Eagle Scout) is perfect for exploring and understanding the map layout and available resources with line of sight and speed.
Use the Scout Cavalry to identify starting resources and send your Herdables back to the Town Center. Keep uncovering the map by moving in expanding circles around your Town Center’s starting position.
Priority 1. A Forest
After setting your Villagers to work under the Town Center, your first priority is to find a forest close to the Town Center where you can construct a Lumber Camp and collect Wood.
Priority 2. More Food
Discover any form of Hunt or Berries Bushes close to the Town Center to gather as a source of Food once your Herdables runout.
Priority 3. Gold & Stone
Explore and find any Gold Mines and Stone Mines for later use.
Utilizing the Scout Cavalry and building an economy is a little tricky at first. The starting Scout Cavalry has an Automatic-Scouting button you can use. Though Automatic-Scouting is a little less efficient than manual scouting, it is a great way to explore the map while focusing entirely on economy.
Only your starting Scout Cavalry will have the Auto-Scout option. It can still be killed by enemy units, so keep an eye on it!
Lesson 2: Starting A Random Map
The Random Map Experience!
Welcome to the Random Map experience!
Whether you are playing Multiplayer or against the AI, you’ll be greeted by a scene very similar to this one.
The first thing to do in any Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition match is to train Villagers in the Town Center and construct houses to support your increasing population.
Some Civilizations start with more Villagers, maxing your population limit at the start of a match. Use this time to research Loom instead of queuing Villagers, then continue like normal!
Loom is a technology in the Dark Age available at the Town Center that increases the Health and Armour of your Villagers! This makes them considerably more resistant to enemy attacks, researching Loom before advancing to the Feudal Age is highly recommended.
While constructing Houses, put the Scout Cavalry or Eagle Scout to work and begin looking for Food sources and other key resources.Remember you gain control over any captured Herdables. Use this to your advantage by moving them closer to safety at the Town Center!
Once you have a Lumber Camp, start working towards advancing to the Feudal Age, or taking other steps to aid in executing your strategy!
Remember to research Feudal Age to move into the next Age (costs 500 Food). Keeping the majority of your Villagers on Food will help you advance faster.
Constantly train extra Villagers and once Food gathering is under control, set up a Lumber Camp to begin collecting Wood.
Don’t forget to keep exploring the map, it generates differently every match!
Lesson 3: Focusing Your Economy
Focusing your economy on the necessities is an important aspect of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.
During the Dark Age, focusing on collecting Food and Wood is key. Though Gold and Stone are helpful resources, Food and Wood are the higher priority resources currently.
Choosing A Stratergy
Once starting a match, spend the first few minutes deciding what strategy to employ while setting up your basic economy. This could be focusing on training a specific military unit, constructing walls or executing your personal battleplan.
Knowing your strategy and units costs will help you prepare your economy for your upcoming strategy.
Archers cost Wood and Gold, so preparing your economy to collect these resources will help you get a jump start on training your army!
Moving a few Villagers from Food onto Gold towards the end of the Dark Age will help gather the resources needed to begin Archer production.
Training Scouts Cavalry
Scout Cavalry only cost Food, preparing your economy to support additional Farms will help you consistently train your army!
Instead of moving current Villagers to collect Gold when preparing to train Scout Cavalry, have extra Villagers collect Wood and construct extra Farms as your Wood stockpile increases.
Balancing Your Economy
This focus on specific resources will help ensure you have the resources you need, maximizing your efficiency!
An excessive amount of a single resource is a sign of a unbalanced economy. Don’t be afraid to transfer Villagers to other resources if you see this happening in-game!
Lesson 4: Your Early Game Checklist
That’s a lot to remember!
To help remember your priorities, we’ve created a handy checklist to make it easy!
Remember to keep queuing Villagers and constructing Houses to support your expanding population. The more Villagers you have collecting resources, the faster you gain resources to spend!
- Queue Villagers in the Town Center
- Build two Houses to support your Empire’s growing population
- Use your Scout Cavalry to explore the map near your Town Center
- Collect any nearby Heradables and send them to the Town Center for your Villagers to collect Food
- Construct a Lumber Camp next to a forest near the Town Center to begin collecting Wood
- Construct a Mill next to a patch of Berry Bushes or non-aggressive Hunt to increase your Food collection rates
- Use your Scout Cavalry to find your opponent and note any important locations
- Research Loom to increase the Health and Armor of your Villagers, granting them greater survivability
- Collect 500 Food and Advance to Feudal Age, execute your strategy!
Continually train new Villagers and construct houses as necessary!