* AnticlimaxBoss:
** In the Barbarossa campaign's last scenario, ''The Emperor Sleeping'', after fighting your way through Damascus and the Saracen's camp, all spawning powerful units at will, you end up in a fortified but soldierless Jerusalem.
* AnnoyingVideoGameHelper:
** In the vanilla version, Mangonels/Onagers will ''not'' stop to attack an enemy unit within their line of sight if one of your other units can be damaged.
** If you don't set your units to "Defensive" or "Keep Terrain" mode, you'll often find later that they have broken formation and spread all over the map running after a random scout, if not gotten killed.
* AwesomeMusic:
** Several examples on the ''Conquerors'' soundtrack. Especially [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgiImI3735M this]], around the 1:15 mark
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2OAlHNmIok&feature=related This]] from the original game.
* BetterThanCanon: An extensive community exists towards creating custom campaigns using the in game scenario editor, to say that some of these have such effort and commitment put into them as to shame the official campaigns as released is an understatement. They can be found here[[http://aok.heavengames.com/blacksmith/]].
* CasualCompetitiveConflict: Competitive players tend to ignore anything beyond ''The Conquerors''. The most common reasons being performance bugs on multiplayer in the HD versions and many changes that disrupts the well-established metagame for said expansion such as several TierInducedScrappy civilizations (both high-end and low-end of the trope) introduced in ''Forgotten Empires/The Forgotten'' and ''The African Kingdoms''.
* ComplacentGamingSyndrome:
** Expect to see Deathmatch Hun only matches, and be criticized if you don't play Deathmatches as the Huns.
** Most people try to avert this by having all players mandatory pick Random for civ selection, [[FakeBalance but this has its own problems.]]
** The very popular Castle Blood Arena (CBA), there are only 5 non-faction specific units worth producing in late game. Arbalests, Heavy Cavalry Archers, Hand Cannoneers, Paladins, and Heavy Camels. Although Pikeman/Halberdiers can be situationally useful if fighting the Persians. The only reason to produce anything else is if you can't build any of those 5 units.
** Knight rushes are very popular since they are {{Lightning Bruiser}}s and can be trained as soon as players hit the Castle Age while their counters need to be upgraded first before they can even stand a chance against them. However, civilizations that lack Bloodlines (+20 HP for cavalry) will find this strategy to be less appealing.
* CriticalResearchFailure:
** In ''Age of Kings'':
*** The final scenario for the tutorial campaign (the Battle of Falkirk) portrays it as a siege, and implies that William Wallace survives to continue his war with the English. While they were probably trying to avoid the historical DownerEnding, they could've just as easily given Wallace a HeroicSacrifice.
*** The Battle of Falkirk should have had you playing as the English where you have to defeat William Wallace. It also should have been the second-to-last mission of the Tutorial campaign. The real final tutorial mission should have been the Battle of Bannockburn, where it reveals that the narrator of the tutorial campaign was Robert the Bruce.
** In ''The Conquerors'':
*** The religious building for the Mesoamericans are still called Monasteries, and the religious unit is still called "Monk". However, their monk actually uses a different skin than other monks, making them look like a {{Mayincatec}} priest. At least they got the blood on the stairs.
*** The Montezuma campaign repeats the popular myth that the Aztecs mistook the Spanish for gods.
*** In the El Cid campaign, El Cid was said to have been killed by an arrow and propped up on a horse in order to stop the truth from spreading. In reality, he died peacefully. This was probably done for the same or similar reasons as the Battle of Falkirk bit.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: For a very minor role in the first Genghis Khan level, Ornlu has gotten quite poular among the fanbase, enough for the developers to reference him in Age Of Mythology and Age of Empires III.
* EvenBetterSequel: While their [[VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresI predecessor]] got a high rating of 83% at Metacritic, this game got a 92%.
* GameBreaker:
** The Huns in ''The Conquerors'' don't require houses like everyone else. This means that, in Deathmatch (when you start with a huge stockpile of resources), the tactic of "Build a few Barracks, spam-click build Militia Button, [[ZergRush and swarm everyone]]" ends up being this. Even in normal games this bonus ended up very powerful due to this game's wood-reliant economy. Unlike the Aztecs and Vikings, whose equally great bonuses are hindered by their [[KryptoniteIsEverywhere infantry]] focus ([[{{Irony}} yet they don't even get Halberdiers]], a powerful AntiCavalry unit) the Huns have faster-producing Stables, fully-upgraded [[LightningBruiser Paladins]] and the cheapest Cavalry Archers in the game to dispose most unit compositions. They are lacking in late-game sieging and their unique unit is less impressive Paladins but for the most of the game they are lethally viable.
** The Mayans enjoy being in the top tiers despite their limited options due to their broken economic bonus (resources last 20% longer) and the ability to swarm the enemy with their El Dorado-boosted Eagle Warriors as well as cheap and durable Plumed Archers with those resources. The latter even has similar stats to Cavalry Archers, making them perfect for raiding enemy villagers.
** [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman The Vikings on water maps.]] Cheaper Docks and warships along with a strong economy makes them able to mass warships before everybody else can.
** The Goths' ability to ZergRush. They get two unique techs, one that lets them build their unique unit, the Huskarl, at Barracks [[note]]Instead of Castles (like most Unique Units) and the heavy investments in Stone, villagers, and build-time that Castles require. Barracks can be produced quickly with cheap materials and only 1 or 2 villagers[[/note]], and another that massively boosts the speed at which Barracks produce units. Combine those with the rather hefty Conscription boost (further reduction of build-time for units) and several Barracks, and you've got hordes of Huskarls, which are designed to tank arrows, and get an attack bonus vs. buildings. This results in an army that can shrug off towers, town centers, and even castles -- and is [[WeHaveReserves replenished at lightning speed]].
** The eventually patched-out Teuton Town Center range boost, which allowed the Teutons to completely lock down an enemy civilization by deleting their own Town Center and rebuilding it just out of range of the opposition's Town Center.
** The Persians' WarElephants; they're slow, but so powerful that outside of units they're specifically weak against (monks, pikemen, siege weapons, which any reasonable army will have ways of dealing with), they're virtually unstoppable.
** The various Korean onager bonuses allow them to outrange near enough anything and the onager's obscene firepower and area of effect damage means they will cause insane damage before anything can retaliate.
*** The Korean war wagons also count, though seeming unlikely at first. Building ''one'' war wagon is a waste: expensive, slower and less range than a cavalry archer, doesn't make as clear damage as one or a scorpion and is easily overrun by a cavalry charge and destroyed. But ''mass'' enough war wagons, fully upgraded, combine them with onagers and no enemy units will be able to make a dent on them.
** British Longbowmen, once fully upgraded, can outrange ''any'' Castle except for a Teutonic Castle (a Castle's maximum range is 10-11 depending on the civilisation, the fully upgraded British Longbowman has 12 range, Teuton castles have 13). They can outrange ''any'' siege unit except for Bombard Cannons and Trebuchets (Trebuchets are damn slow and can't hit moving targets very well, Bombard Cannons barely manage to outrange British Longbowmen, are slower and not everyone can make them); they can even match, if not outrange, the aforementioned Korean Siege Onager. Suppose they are near the sea, and the enemy decides to use their navy to destroy the Longbowmen? Well, the Longbowmen can outrange ''any'' ship (except for the Cannon Galleon, which is also pretty damn inaccurate (unless you're Spanish). They don't even need to worry about cavalry, because large numbers of them can shoot down entire hordes before they can do any serious damage.
*** They are still poor at grabbing land or buildings though, so the enemy [[BoringButPractical can just riddle his or her base with a lot of Towers]], in a criss-cross pattern to make for the lousy non-upgraded range of the buildings.
** The Spanish in late game seem to excel at practically everything, with no flaws in infantry, ships, cavalry, monks and fortifications, and bonuses on gunpowder, trade, blacksmith technologies and ''villager attack''. They even get ''two'' unique units: the ''only'' gunpowder cavalry unit and the ''only'' monk cavalry unit in the game. They have bad archers that make them weak in the early game, but if you let them get to the Castle Age and beyond you'll get screwed. Guaranteed.
** The Slavic unique unit, the Boyar, is basically a super-heavy cavalry unit, having the attack of a Paladin and humongous melee armor, along with respectable pierce armor. A swarm of maxed-out Elite Boyars is virtually unstoppable; they can even go toe-to-toe with explicitly anti-cavalry units and come out on top.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Age of Empires II has gotten some popularity in mainland China to the point there is actually a larger competitive scene than Europe and America. [[note]]Which is quite ironic since a lot of Age of Empires II fans in the west have used the Chinese tech tree of lacking gunpowder units and block printing as an example of blatant historical inaccuracy of the game[[/note]]
* GoodBadBugs:
** In the fourth Attila the Hun mission, you are tasked with destroying three major cities. Destroying the third spawns the massive Roman Army, a force of over a hundred top-tier units...unless you found and killed the placeholder unit on the map, which causes the army to be instantly defeated.
** In the fifth Saladin mission, Jihad!, one of the three cities, Ascalon, is intended to attempt a Wonder victory. However, sometimes the AI for Ascalon bugs out and doesn't do anything. Given as how Jihad! is ThatOneLevel even without Ascalon going for the Wonder, this is immensely helpful.
** The in game scenario editor can do some interesting things with structures and terrain elements that shouldn't be possible. This has been abused ''thoroughly'' by the modding community creating custom campaigns.
** In the first scenario of the Attila the Hun campaign, it's possible to fire both the "Bleda getting killed in the boar hunt" and the "Attila fleeing the Hun camp" events if your timing is good. Because of the first event, the Huns will argue over whether Attila is a worthy leader or an honorless cur, but the second event will make all Hun units instantly join your side upon Bleda's death. This has the practical benefit of giving you Bleda's entire faction with minimal bloodshed, as well as being hilarious to watch.
** Another bug in the first Attila the Hun scenario can occur if the player allies with the Scythians. While the Scythians will break their alliance with the Persians, the Persians don't always do the same and won't even bother to fight back as the Scythians slaughter their way through their base.
* HilariousInHindsight: The original cover art featured a European king, a viking, and a samurai. Many years later, a MeleeATrois between knights, vikings, and samurai would take place in ''VideoGame/ForHonor''.
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks: While the Middle Eastern architecture set suits the Berbers, there's still the issue that ''6'' civs share the same set (Saracens, Turks, Persians, Byzantines, Indians and the aforementioned Berbers).
* MemeticLoser: While still a decent civ, the Chinese are often mocked for not having Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons despite being credited for inventing gunpowder in real life. Some people even forget that they have access to Bombard Towers and Cannon Galleons because of this in addition their unique technology, "Rocketry" (although it only boosts the damage for Chu Ko Nus and Scorpions only). Some speculated that this is for gameplay balance purposes, as they are supposed to function as the JackOfAllTrades civilization.
* MostAnnoyingSound:
** The monk conversion noise, especially if it is successful.
** In the Saladin campaign, from Medina and Aqaba:
--> ''"Crusaders are attacking our trade routes!"''
** The "Under Attack" warning tone can also qualify, it's quite loud and plays on an interval of less than 5 seconds. Imagine hearing this for 10 minutes during a skirmish:
--> ''"Ding-Dong!" "You are being attacked by the British"''
--> ''"Ding-Dong!" "You are being attacked by the Turks"''
--> ''"Ding-Dong!" "You are being attacked by wild animals."''
--> ''"Arrrgggh! Shut up already!"''
** The 'Shikkashikkashikka' that plays whenever one of your farms depletes. Apparently, even the developers found this annoying, and introduced the Farm Queue in the expansion.
** The "attacked by wild animals" sound as noted above is even worse than the "Under Attack" sound- especially when you forgot to research Loom or the attacked villager is in low health.
* ScrappyWeapon:
** Camels are usually avoided because they cost a lot of gold yet are ''very'' frail. They die easily to building fire as they're classified as ships (which have a similar weakness) to differentiate themselves from Knights. This is one of the reasons why the Indians cannot utilize their camels prior to ''The African Kingdoms'' because their Knight line (one of the most powerful standard units in the Castle Age) is completely replaced by Camels, which due to the reasons above above cannot be used similarly to Knights.
** The Champion line and most of the infantry Unique Units (with the exception of [[AnnoyingArrows Huskarls, every single Malian infantry]], [[GlassCannon Shotel]] [[ZergRush Warriors]] and [[FragileSpeedster Woad Raiders]]) rarely see use in competitive play due to being slow, requiring obscenely expensive upgrades that barely do anything and [[KryptoniteIsEverywhere having many common weaknesses]], namely the commonly-used [[RainOfArrows archers]], gunpowder units, [[LightningBruiser knights]] and [[HerdHittingAttack Onagers]].
*** The Samurai, Teutonic Knights, and Jaguar Warriors can be an exception as well [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman depending on the situation]]. Since the Samurai have [[HeroKiller bonus points against other unique units]], TheTeutonicKnights are {{Mighty Glacier}}s that can obliterate almost any melee units that gets in their path thanks to their armor bonus, and the Jaguar Warriors slaughters other infantry and have a unique tech that gives them +4 attack points.
** Scorpions. They're essentially giant crossbows on wheels that fire penetrating bolts that pass through enemies, and thus can hit a whole line of enemies all at once. What's the issue? ''Their damage''. In the original game, they had a base damage of ''7'', which gets reduced by pierce armor, meaning pretty much anything with upgraded armor can reduce it to ScratchDamage. Their dismal range, low mobility and poor health didn't help. Upgrading them to Heavy Scorpions, however, did give them a somewhat more respectable base damage of 16, and the later expansions raised their base damage to 12, making them at least somewhat situationally useful.
* SpiritualAdaptation:
** The William Wallace learning campaign could pretty much be considered ''Film/{{Braveheart}}: [[VideoGameAdaptation The Video Game]]''. The fact that ''Age of Kings'' was released four years after the movie certainly helps.
** The El Cid campaign is closer to the 1961 Creator/CharltonHeston [[Film/ElCid film]] than to the [[AdaptationDisplacement Medieval epic]] or the [[AluminiumChristmasTrees real guy's life]].
* SurprisinglyImprovedSequel: The original was OK, the sequels are universally acclaimed.
* ThatOneLevel: [[ThatOneLevel/AgeOfEmpires Now with it's own page]].
* TierInducedScrappy:
** Koreans, Saracens and Turks in open maps. All three of them have poor early-game and open maps make them susceptible to being rushed. This is inverted in closed maps (e.g. Black Forest) where they dominate due to the nature of the map itself and they have access to many [[MagikarpPower strong Imperial Age units]] and technology.
** Infantry Unique Units mostly range between extremely situational to completely useless with a few exceptions, but among civs that get them the Franks got it the worst. Despite being billed as the "Cavalry" civilization their only relevant cavalry bonus is extra HP for Knights (which becomes insignificant when many other civs get Bloodlines; which affects ''all'' mounted units). Their Unique Unit the Throwing Axeman is regarded as one of the worst as it is easily countered, has the strength of a ''Long Swordsman'' even when fully upgraded, short ranged and ended up slower than most infantry due to them lacking Squires. They also got overshadowed by other civilizations with better cavalry and bonuses such as the Spanish, Persians, Huns, Magyars and Berbers. ''The Forgotten'' noticed this and buffed the Franks by making their foragers work faster, gave them Squires and most importantly a Unique Tech in Castle Age that makes their Stables produce cavalry faster. However, the PowerCreep induced by ''The African Kingdoms'' civs makes them fall back to this again.
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