The Age of Empires II is Ten. Fancy A Game?

Ah, RTS games have changed so much since... actually, no, they haven't.

Well, not with me. I’m playing with Elemental. But GameRanger noted that the Conquerors expansion pack turned ten this week, and trying to organise people to come online and play it tomorrow. “GameRanger is inviting everyone to a day of online gaming on Sunday, August 29 from 9am PT / 12pm ET / 4pm GMT onwards” they say in their little press-release. If you don’t own the game, there’s still demos of both the original Age of Kings and Age of Empires II: The Conquerers which allow 4 player multiplayer, all via (and here’s where GameRanger’s self-interest comes in) the GameRanger client. An interesting thing to note was they had 1.1 million (Count ’em!) games played in the last month, which is impressive for a decade old game and more explanation why Age of Empires Online is coming. Anyway – it’s a rare change to jump into a mature-community RTS without just being beaten up by people who’ve been playing for ten years. More details here.


  1. Heliocentric says:

    I’ve been playing this infrequently for years. Among certain (small) circles my spanish villager surges are legend.

    • dadioflex says:

      My Spanish villager surges were legendary, before the enquiry. Afterwards, not so much. I may have choked my revenue stream.

  2. NOwaR says:

    I like your first sentence… I play with Elemental as well.

  3. Carra says:

    Ah, AoE2. The first online game I had, I played it online for about 9 months. First matches and then the masses of scenarios that were made.

    Still stands as one of the best RTS games ever created. And I also remember a fun singleplayer game following the lives of the great generals of their time. I’ve been wanting to replay these singleplayer games for some time now. Seems like a good time to do so.

  4. ChaK_ says:

    that screenshot made my eyes wet.

    Good ‘ol time

  5. rocketman71 says:

    Age of Empires is 11. It was released in late 99. Now, Age of Conquerors truly is 10 years old.

    Yeah. Age of Empires Online is coming to piss all over true Agers. Fuck Robot Entertainment and especially FUCK MICROSOFT.

    Sad 10th birthday, AOC.

  6. Ysellian says:

    Won’t be playing online, but it’s a good time to re-install it again :)

  7. Berzee says:

    Good memories of this game.

    Good memories of making this when I was a tiny child:

    link to

    and having 1,000+ people download it :-P

    I will think of this game and smile even though I cannot have time to play it on this centiversary.

  8. Berzee says:

    It still looks good, too, doesn’t it?

  9. Fergus says:

    The fact that I sucked so badly at playing it online means I won’t be joining this get-together.

    Happy Birthday to an awesome game though.

    • Scott Kevill says:

      The community on GameRanger is likely to be very different to what you’ve experienced before. It’s intentionally un-rated, which means people tend to have casual, friendly games rather than obsessing about points and ladder positions.

      Give it another try. :)

  10. Johnny says:

    I honestly do not see what people like in Age of Empires. It’s one of the most hands-off real time “strategy” games I’ve ever played.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Not played much multiplayer have you?

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Hordes of Paladins are as hands-off as it gets.

    • Carra says:


      It’s lacking the micro management you need in SC. No need to babysit your troops and use their stim packs, mines and micro manage the special units like defilers.

      Since I don’t like the micro management part I preferred AOE.

  11. The Pink Ninja says:

    Fear my Frankish Paladins!

  12. LionsPhil says:


    (Whoaaa! Whaaay! Whoaaa! Whaaay! START THE GAME ALREADY!)

    (Best damn audio taunts in a multiplayer game ever. Moreso than Duke Nukem 3D.)

  13. Heliocentric says:

    Reagicide 8 way free for all. Or as i call it, “Last king standing on the hill, man”

  14. SirKicksalot says:

    I wonder if we’re going to see such an event for Rise of Nations. Or is that series dead?

    • Scott Kevill says:

      Unfortunately, Rise of Nations wasn’t able to build a strong online community due to the terrible GameSpy service that it used. It does still get played a lot now on GameRanger, but that can depend on the time of day.

      The situation is even worse for the sequel, Rise of Legends, which was basically dead from the beginning from an even more broken GameSpy service.

      I’d definitely like to do events for more games, but I’m sure the news sites would tire of announcements for so many classic games, so I’ve really only been considering the most newsworthy.

    • Biz says:

      rise of nations is dead on gameranger
      there are thousands of people who still play on gamespy

      they don’t have ratings anymore, and gamespy is far from ideal but it works enough for people to play

  15. omicron says:

    Gold please! Wood please! Food please! Stone please!



    • Pew says:

      Yes. Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.


      All hail, king of the losers!

      Start the game already! Start the game already! Start the game already!

  16. Rhade says:

    Thanks for reminding me about this. AoE2 was the first game I played on my families first PC back in the day. Oh the nostalgia. I think I’ll give a few games a bash.

    Amazing game.

  17. Burningpet says:

    Agreed, Elemental is kind of like a toy.

    I play it and feel distanced.

    Still having fun though.

  18. plasticsaint says:

    beware: AoE2 has some graphical errors on Windows Vista and Windows 7. Specifically the grass is a horrendous neon color that will burn your eyes.

    gameranger is a great service though.

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      The graphical error can be fixed, by the weirdest of methods: have a Windows Explorer window open when you start the game. For whatever reason, this makes the colour palette display correctly.

    • Scott Kevill says:

      Yeah, another solution is to use the Task Manager to terminate explorer.exe (it should relaunch by itself later, but you can always use Task Manager’s Run command to bring it back). The problem is something to do with Explorer steal colours from the palette. This affects a number of classic 256-colour games.

  19. EarthLaunch says:

    Great idea! We have a small community that does monthly revivals of old games like this, so I posted your event there. Everyone who likes old games should join us there for future games:

    link to

    The post I made

    See you guys in-game!

  20. Smokingkipper says:

    kieron, is elemental fun to play at the moment? Despite all the messing about and bugs etc?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Honestly dunno. Still making my mind up. Will have some impressions on Monday morning.


    • dadioflex says:


      It’d be shocking if anyone thought otherwise. We know they fucked up.

      It’l be a good game eventually. Under six months, hopefully.

  21. anonymous17 says:

    Or for that matter, Enemy Nations.
    Before it was free.

  22. Biz says:

    check out for the real aoe2 action

    aoe2 is still the best team strategy game you can finish in under an hour
    if rise of nations was more balanced, it would be a strong contender. same with aom or aoe3

    1v1 aoc doesn’t really have enough complexity or variety for the strategist to beat the guy who can micro the best, but that’s also the case for most RTS games

  23. panther says:

    I have such a massive soft spot for this game

  24. LB says:

    Oh my, AoE 2. Such nostalgia. You’re going to make me re-install it again …

  25. binni says:

    Can you buy this from some DD service?