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Ramsey Abdulrahim Talks Inspiration Behind Newest DLC for AoE II: DE

If you missed it, we recently announced the next DLC for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition: Victors and Vanquished! Coming March 14th, the newest DLC will feature 14 UGC-inspired and fully-updated, polished, and supported scenarios plus 5 exclusive all-new scenarios. Each scenario has been updated with full, professional voice acting, music, rebalancing, bugfixes, achievements, and quality of life improvements.

Recently, Ramsey Abdulrahim, Senior Business Manager at World’s Edge who you may know better in the community by the username ‘Filthydelphia’, talked about the inspiration and history behind Victors and Vanquished.

Pre-Order Now with 15% Off!

Victors and Vanquished is available for pre-order now with a 15% discount on Steam, Microsoft Store, or Xbox! Coming March 14th!

Message From Ramsey Abdulrahim

First, thank you for the love and support I’ve received from so many members of the Age community. I am thrilled and grateful that so many of you have enjoyed my campaigns, official or custom. So many of you have told me you’ve learned and been inspired by the histories in these scenarios.

I have been playing and designing custom campaigns for Age of Empires since 1998—when I was only 13 years old! In 2015, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to join Forgotten Empires as a campaign designer for The African Kingdoms expansion. For the next six years, I worked on campaigns alongside the amazing people at Forgotten Empires and World’s Edge for Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, and Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. Needless to say, 13-year-old me would have thought this was the coolest thing ever!

I hope that my latest project, Victors and Vanquished, will help introduce even more players to these incredible historical stories. I wanted to highlight two of the scenarios you will be able to play!

How Did You Seize Power in Medieval France?

We tend to associate kings with absolute power, but kingship in the early Middle Ages was much more nuanced. Successful kings had to maintain support from their nobles, and weak kings were challenged and sometimes even replaced. Notably, two French kings were deposed by two brothers, Odo and Robert, who seized power separately in 888 and 922 CE.

In Robert (921), you decide how you will seize power. Assaulting Paris is direct, but the other nobles will come to their king’s aid. Better to win their support first—or at least the support of the ones who fit into your grand strategy.

Each noble is unique. Arnulf, Count of Flanders, despises Rollo and his Normans. War against Rollo would drum up Arnulf’s support. On the other hand, the pious Guillaume of Aquitaine has just finished building the famous Benedictine abbey at Cluney. Demonstrating your piety by collecting Relics will win his favor. Though you can also attack Guillaume, take his Relics for yourself, and turn his enemy, Garcia of Gascony, into your most fervent supporter. Alternatively, if catering to the complicated whims of counts and dukes is not your style, you could simply bribe whoever fits into your plans.

These counts and dukes are not passive, either – they also jockey for power. Over time, their houses will form marriage alliances for mutual protection. Your preparations to invade Burgundy could be upset by an ill-timed Burgundian marriage with Normandy. Even worse, Normandy may have an alliance with Aquitaine, potentially bringing all three into a coalition against you the moment you attack Burgundy. But, all hope is not lost! If you can first win Norman support—through generous bribes or demonstrating your military strength with a large army—the coalition will disentangle and put your plans back on schedule.

You will be king, after all—it’s just a matter of how. In Robert (921), nothing will stop you.

How Did You Reach the Americas from Viking Europe?

Around 1000 CE, a Norse settler named Thorfinn Karlsefni reached Newfoundland in eastern Canada, a place the Vikings called Vinland. He followed in the footsteps of Leif Ericson and others who had ventured from Scandinavia to Iceland, Greenland, and the Americas. Sailing in boats no more than 16 meters (53 feet) long and open to the elements, Norse families crossed the cold, northern Atlantic to find new homes in the west.

In Karlsefni (1000), you will make this unlikely and incredible journey. Your ships will not survive long on the open sea, so every crossing is perilous. Be thoughtful in deciding who and what you bring. Make the most of the resources you find along your journey. Food is scarce but a lack of wood will end your settlement. The search for wood will take you further and further west. And when you reach the west, you will encounter a culture very different from your own.

Karlsefni (1000) is not your typical Age of Empires scenario. The scale of your settlement—in houses, people, and ships—is very small, but the map is massive. Every decision has consequences as you puzzle out how to survive in a harsh and unwelcoming landscape. If you overcome these challenges, you will have found new homes for your Viking families.

In Karlsefni (1000), venture into the dangerous unknown and discover a whole new world.

Robert (921) and Karlsefni (1000) are only two of the 19 unique scenarios you can play in Victors and Vanquished. From migrating across the dying Roman Empire to boarding Spanish galleons in the Caribbean, each scenario features immersive mechanics that bring the histories to life.

The Siege – Coming Soon!

On top of the release of Victors and Vanquished, Ramsey has also prepared an additional scenario in a similar vein to Barbarossa Brawl, available to all Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition owners. The Siege will be a new multiplayer limited-time scenario. You will be able to play 2v2, co-op vs AI, or solo vs AI as the Turks or Byzantines at the epic 1453 Siege of Constantinople!

The Siege will be available for a limited time, coming soon. However, you can get an early preview right now in the Public Update Preview on Steam!

Pre-Order Now with 15% Off!

Victors and Vanquished is available for pre-order now with a 15% discount on Steam, Microsoft Store, or Xbox! Coming March 14th!

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