Age of Kings

If you play Age of Kings give me an email, because my friends and I like to play from time to time.

Golden Age AOK

It remains to be seen if I'll get around to finding some old files and pics for this, Age of Kings on the early microsoft internet gaming zone. The online names of the best have to be listed, I've lost contact with most of them: DemonDeluxe was a very good German player, who was very intelligent, and had some interesting views. DemonDeluxe, Habidakus, Pantheon,  Ucconball, and I had some incredible games. We always fought to the bitter end, especially me.  One game I even ran around with a few scout cavalry for an extra 10 minutes, Habidakus and Pantheon always remembered that one, haha. It wasn't like those random internet gaming zone games or other games where people only played one map or resigned at the first sign of trouble.  In our games true comebacks were possible, and water maps and standard games (allowing wonders) were the usual choice for us. Legion, Crimson arrow, and other JKA (Jaded Knights Academy) clan members were good players. Legion was one of the best naval and water map players ever, which made it very fun to beat him on a water map =D

 I was in the JKA (Jaded Knights Academy) for quite a while, playing as JKA_Amin, although unfortunately I've lost contact with most of them. I'd enjoy chatting with JKA_Spawn, JKA_Roadrunner, JKA_Wedge, JKA_Freedan, JKA_Crimsonarrow, JKA_Brightblade, JKA_Bright, JKA_Tigershark, and the rest of them, if they ever come across this webpage.

AOK Forgotten Empires/HD (more to come later)

 AOK HD Steam - 2v2v2v2 Team Island Report

AOK HD Recorded Games on Youtube [I have put up a lot of our games from 2016 AOK HD on here, lot's of classic matches]

My comments on heavy scorpions (having played Celts as one of my main civs since the game came out)

Wolf Island:

Incoming elephants!

Monk, I need a Monk (eventually I did get some and convert, though not ideal for Celts given the lack of range and other upgrades)

Post Golden Age AOK

The Great Free For All Game

The Hydro Clan War 

Nitro Doug and the Nitro Clan War

The Great Faelin 2v2 Game (a much referenced game, the write up will come eventually.. for now see pics below)

Other Games 

Faelin Clan 

Old Siege Weapon Guide

Podcast episode about AOK

Coming soon:  


[Showing why scouting is important, Mike's king was just out of my radar for a lengthy portion of the game]. I had two bases in that game as can be seen, fighting Mike on two fronts in Japan, who was green. It was a ffa with James occasionally landing elite longbows, which got absolutely destroyed in such tight fighting quarters.



 [Near the end of a lengthy FFA game, I wanted to save and play later, but Dave insisted on on playing a few more minutes as he thought he was within grasp of victory. But Dave had no idea how large my base is, it's a freaking cancer on the map...]




Faelin vs Faelin: The Great 2v2 Game;

Amin and James the First against Dave and Mike. Crazy battles on multiple fronts, on Baltic, one of the best maps ever, one of the craziest and best endings of a game ever.

[The first major battle of that game; note Red's (Mike's) secret forward base near yellow (James).






3 player Island Faelin FFA;

Amin, David, Mike.  Multiple island landings, battles, total islands razing and switching of islands, naval battles, clever use of terrain, and even Wonder building.

 [Not from that game actually, but another magnicifient Faelin Island FFA with Dave, Amin, and James, having some of the largest naval battles ever]





 3 player Highlands Faelin FFA - Summer 2004(?)

Amin, David, James. A fiercely contested Regicide game with multiple fronts, horribly poor scouting on all sides, clever use of terrain, ship battles on tiny rivers, Dave's demo ships blowing up 3 full transports of James' side army, and many, many unit deaths. A true FFA with a number of players (3) that usually ends up being a 2v1. But we all invaded each other at least once in this game. This game had one of the most unique endings ever. This was the last great game we ever played in Age of Kings; actually, it was also probably the last time we played the game [comp games excluded]. [May 2008 edit - OK, Dave and I have now played the game since then, but the last time the three of us played together]. [2012 edit - Ok we did play one islands ffa last year, but made the big mistake of putting computers allies (one for each) into the game. We had some good battles and I won eventually but the computer really lagged the game and messed things up. This highlands FFA is still our last great AOK game (2012 ed it - I won by the way, barely, though the game ended earlier than expected due to a mishap with Dave's king)]

[The first major battle between Amin and James] 

Dave demo'ing James transport ships filled with longbows

 Dave's army in my base, what I would have seen, if I even looked over there (fog of war on)

 Dave's 1st army in my base

 Dave's got the high ground

 James' tentative foray into my base inadvertently destroyed by Dave's cannon galleons

 [Amin's king in incredible danger -- Remember that if your king dies in regicide, you lose the game.]

Link to other screenshots and the recorded game of this FFA:


Civilization Reviews


For pre expansion, unpatched Age of Kings.

Best civilizations:

Britons, for any map that doesn't need cannon galleons, are just incredible. Good economic bonuses, cheaper TCs, excellent Unique Unit (while most UU's aren't good), fully upgraded infantry and archers.

Vikings also have economic bonuses and excellent infantry and navy.

Chinese are the rushing civ, I'm not much of a rusher but they deserve a mention for those that do flushes and castle age rushes.

Those are probably the best, and I play with the first two listed civs, along with the Celts, which are probably my favourite civilization. At our current level of play civ choices shouldn't make THAT much of a difference, but they still have an effect. Put me in a random civ game with the Saracens or Japanese and I'm often wondering what to do, even though they have decent tech trees. I'm not the person that collects a lot of food, I've always been more wood and gold intensive, direct collected resources, which is why I usually play Britons or Celts. I probably never have enough of my villagers farming [ratio wise], as I only need food for pikemen or champions or light cav, and the bulk of my army is usually gold and wood units (scorpions or longbows). 

Internet Gaming Zone Rant

Back in the golden days days of the Zone, I could easily get a team islands game going, or highlands, continental, rivers, maps that often lead to a good variety of games, and full imperial age battles. I didn't like arabia or black forest that much as they tended to be extremes (one for rushing, the other for turtling), but I would play those too. Baltic was my favourite map, I had some amazing 4v4 games back in the day on that map. There is just so much that can happen in that mix of land and water. Every game we played was standard, conquest was just too limited. Wonders and even the occasional relic hoarding led to some great games. We also played a lot of regicide from time to time, to mix things up, often with "shimo style" which was this unique form of FFA that people at this forum developed.

Then in the very late zone days, people rarely played anything with water. Why play a game when you cut off half the tech tree? (well, not "half" of it, but the naval lines, you get my point). People would only play arabia, or black forest. Funny how the extremes took over. Oh, and everyone played conquest, forget about standard. I can see someone worry about a wonder turtler on black forest, but arabia? Really? Regicide? Sometimes we could find games like that, rarely.

Nowadays, the IGZ is finally working for me, and I've come back to the game after many years.  Surprise, surprise, arabia is still the most popular map. But guess what? That's about it. Green arabia, which is 99% the same as arabia as far as I can tell. Land nomad is the only other map people play, but it still dwarfed by Arabia.  No one joins any other game. Standard game? No way. Regicide? Forget about it. Nobody will join your game, unless you put arabia.

These settings are not just for rated games, but every game. I just don't get it. Play the same map, over and over again. It's like the developers put 10+ other maps styles in there for nothing. I don't know, but this doesn't seem to me to be the way to promote this game's longevity and appeal. The same thing happened with Warcraft 2, all people ever played was Garden of War, Plains of Snow sometimes, but pretty much Garden of War. Every single time.

For the moment, it seems more likely that I'm stuck to playing the hamatchi network and with friends and online acquaintances rather than the IGZ. It's a shame too because the IGZ has a lot of nice features and has improved upon the zone structure itself.






A post about the game from one of the designers, later I will point how ridiculously poor players these guys were, good designers but they had no idea how big the battles and economy competition the game would be capable of generating [although that's the case for most game designers, just like how Turbine didn't know the great PVP game it was making in Darktide, etc, and like how an artist or writer doesn't know how his work will be interpreted and viewed after creation]:


Unique Unit:

  • The Longbowman:  A foot archer with incredible range.

From AOKH forum:

.....,The most amazingly effective combat I've seen in all AoK was when I was marching against a bad guy (sorry, can't remember who played him) with a force of app. 20 champions. I was backed up by Matt Pritchard, who had around 15 longbowmen. The evil bad guy was using his civ's UU, which happens to be a foot unit which is specially effective vs. archers (gulp).

As we came towards his town, a gigantic force of his UUs came up over the hill at us, outnumbering my own & Matt's units combined. It looked grim. His UUs were as good as or better than my champs, and Matt's longbows would drop like flies if they got in among them. I quickly shook out my champs into a line and got between the UUs & Matt, who lined up about a half-screen behind me.

The UUs & my champs fell into a big melee. My guys were dropping like flies. His guys were dropping, too, almost as frequently. (I suspect he had forgotten to get the last armor or weapon upgrade). Meanwhile, Matt was bombarding the bad guys with his arrows, and they really started to fall. He tried to get around me to get at the longbows who were tormenting him, but I was able to stop too many from getting around my flanks. Pretty soon my melee was over -- I still had about half my champs left. However, now he had 5-6 UUs in the midst of Matt's guys. I charged my remaining (heavily wounded) champs into the fray and killed the UUs before they'd managed to KO more than 3-4 longbows. The situation was now thus -- his whole army was dead. I had about 8 champs. Matt had a dozen longbowmen. We marched into the undefended town and made his villagers very sad indeed. He didn't have enough towers to stop us (not that he'd have succeeded). If he'd had more towers, we'd have had to pull back and wait for the battering rams to come up, but in any case, he was screwed.

Kind of long-winded, but it gives you an idea of how combined arms can act as a force multiplier.