YMMV / Rise of Nations

  • Awesome Music: Even the tracks that play at peacetime are pretty damn cool.
  • Critical Research Failure: The Kremlin wonder looks nothing at all like the Kremlin. It does look very much like a large cathedral (St. Basil's) that is next to the Kremlin. Many, many people in the west actually believe St. Basil's is the Kremlin, due to it being instantly recognizable compared to the dull, hotel-like facade of the actual Kremlin.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The B-2 Stealth Bomber. It bypasses ground-based air defenses and can only be countered by Jet Fighters in staggering numbers. The only sure-fire way to really stop them is by razing their airfield and hope that the enemy doesn't build a new one in time. The catch? That airfield can be anywhere on the map.
    • Which can be solved by yet another Game-Breaker, The Space Program (a Saturn V launch stand), which gives full sight of the entire map. Games can become races for this wonder and become battles to defend them against the Stealth Bomber.
    • Probably the least variable mileage entry, the Terra Cotta Army. Free basic infantry every few seconds. Forever.
    • The four "future" research slots, which become available once the tech tree is fully filled up, are this as well. Their features range from instantaneous unit production and anti-nuclear defenses to automatic conquests.
    • Nukes themselves are this, for fairly obvious reasons. That said, this borders on Awesome, but Impractical: launching too many brings the Armageddon Timer to zero, ending the game in nuclear apocalypse.
      • Also, you cannot use the market for resource exchange for a few minutes after using nuke. The more nukes you use, the longer the embargo.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • When you kill a "person" unit with a flamethrower or Flaming Arrow, he/she catches fire, screams, and begins running away. Soon the run turns into a stagger, then the poor guy falls to his/her knees, rolls on the ground still trying to put out the fire and finally dies. It's almost a relief to see the muscles in their body relax and the corpse lie peacefully on the ground.
    • Also the fact that dead units linger on the map for a while. Over time, the corpses and debris gradually decay until finally vanishing from existence. Imagine the Fridge Horror that would ensure among units going through a field littered with the bones of their own countrymen.
  • That One Level:
    • Napoleon-Great Britain Invasion, with Portugal. Alone, the invasion is not that hard. But if you don't build up very quick, Portugal will take over the Islands. And they are very mighty. The best thing to do is take over Portugal, THEN take over England.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: If you use too many nuclear weapons, you don't win. EVERYBODY loses.