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Recap / Age of Empires II Attila the Hun

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Of the barbarian hordes preying on the dying Roman Empire, the most feared are the Huns and their ferocious king, Attila. Dissatisfied with paltry Roman tributes, the mighty warlord mobilizes his horsemen on a campaign to ravage and loot the heart of the empire itself! Can nothing stop the brutal Attila?

The player is in control of the Huns, the color being Yellow.


1. The Scourge of God

The Huns rode out into Europe around the 4th Century AD, driving several barbarian tribes towards Rome and contributing to the Western Roman Empire's problems. The people would yet be another band of raiders if not for the leadership of Attila. He and his brother Bleda went out for a boar hunt one day, and while the aftermath wasn't concrete, Attila emerged as the victor, and he himself led the Huns to raid not only the Roman Empire, but their neighbors in Scythia and Persia.


2. The Great Ride

The Huns had engaged in strategies that the Romans weren't accustomed to, opting for hit and run tactics with their horse archers. They also do not settle the lands which they have conquered, instead opting to pillage and loot the towns they had razed. They turn their attention to the Eastern Roman Empire, attacking the numerous towns before taking on the Roman army.

3. The Walls of Constantinople

After centuries of having fought barbarians, both German and otherwise, the Romans have gotten used to dealing with them, often giving them land in the frontiers. The Huns were among them, having a plot within the Danube Valley, but Attila demanded that the Romans increase their tribute. Being met with rejection, he set out to raze the towns outside of Constantinople, hoping to set an example and get that tribute he asked for.


4. A Barbarian Betrothal

Honoria, sister of the Western Roman Emperor, had grown weary of her confined lifestyle, and sent Attila a message hoping he would marry her. He took notice and turned his attention away from Constantinople, and claiming half of the Western empire as his dowry. He rode out to Gaul, making alliances with some of the Germanic tribes while seeking to conquer the remaining Germans within the province.

5. The Catalaunian Fields

The Roman army of Flavius Aetius had arrived, and had made pacts with the Visigoths and Alans in order to take on Attila and his Ostrogoth allies in June 451. Hunnic shamans had examined the entrails and bones of animals, and determined that Attila will lose but a leader of the opposing armies will be killed. Attila took that into consideration and accepted the trade-off, right before a fateful battle that would no doubt claim several lives in Gaul.


6. The Fall of Rome

Although the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields was an indecisive military setback for Attila, Aetius was no longer a threat after retiring from service. Attila and his forces regrouped before embarking on a campaign to invade the Italian peninsula. He planned to invade Rome, make good on his betrothal with Honoria and crown himself emperor of a Western Empire withered away from years of conflict and corruption.

This campaign contains examples of:

  • Anti-Climax: At the end of the scenario, Attila met with Pope Leo at the gates of Rome, then turned his army away without staking any of his claims. Shortly afterwards he died after one of his marriages from a nosebleed, and his empire got irreparably damaged from a vacuum left after his leadership.
  • Artistic License – Geography: "The Scourge of God" has the Huns facing off against the Persians, Scythians and Western Roman Empire. Given how the Romans were right below the Hunnic base and flanked by the other two factions, it has since been rectified to the Eastern Roman Empire in Definitive Edition.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • Flavius Aetius was indeed under Hunnic captivity in his teenage years, but it was before Attila and even Bleda's rule. Furthermore, he didn't actually retire after the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, still serving in the army until his assassination three years later in the hands of Petronius Maximus, who was envious of the influence Aetius acquired.
    • While it's true that Attila ransacked towns around Constantinople, in spite of what you can do in the game, Attila never tried to breach Constantinople's walls, never mind destroy its docks. He instead coaxed the Romans to fight out in the open, and after scoring decisive victories made them increase their tributes.
    • Attila and Pope Leo didn't meet at the gates of Rome, but further north at the Po River.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Catalaunian Fields has you annihilating the enemy AI, then the cutscene explains that the actual result of the battle was indecisive, with Rome stalling Attila for the time being.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The second scenario has you ransacking several cities before finding a good place where to set and build your forces to crush the local Roman garrison. The third one has you pillaging the countryside around Costantinople in order to receive a large sum of money by ransom. The fourth scenario has you destroying three Frankish cities, while the last one has you destroying several Italian cities as you work your way towards Rome.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Absolutely no one knows how the Pope persuaded Attila to not ravage Rome, even with the event being relatively recent.
  • Take the Third Option: During the boar hunt, Attila can either just let the Iron Boar kill Bleda or assist in killing the beast. Regardless, only Attila would emerge from the hunt, where in the latter case Bleda will initiate an ambush of archers and attack Attila, or when Attila returns to the camp in the former case, said archers would divide the camp by saying that Attila led to his death. Or Attila wouldn't go to the hunt at all, taking some of his men and establishing a base elsewhere to claim it all upon killing Bleda.
  • Wham Line: Father Armand has finally confessed all of the atrocities Attila forced him to share into... and his image suddenly flashes a Slasher Smile while he says: "Sometimes... I miss it."
  • Wolfpack Boss: The final scenario consist in a battle against several Italian cities you must defeat before you reach Rome.


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