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.
  • 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.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: If you use too many nuclear weapons, you don't win. EVERYBODY loses.