Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion seeks to improve the popular Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings real-time strategy game by adding more civilizations, campaigns, and features. Fans of Age of Kings will appreciate the new "smart" villager options, which can be set to have villagers begin logging or mining immediately after completing construction of a lumber mill or mining camp, or automatically rebuild farms after the crops have been depleted. These features promise to reduce micromanagement, allowing the player more time to focus on strategic decisions. Another new feature is the ability to garrison troops inside a ram, adding strength, speed, or both to the siege unit. Ships can also now move in formations just like land-based groups.
The five new civilizations featured in the game include the Hun, Aztec, Mayan, Korean, and Spanish, each with differing technology trees and unique technologies such as Chinese rocketry, Persian mahouts, British yeomen, and Japanese kataparuto. There is also a new Central American building set for the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.
Each new civilization also features a unique combat unit. There is the Hun tarkan, a torch-wielding infantry unit that is particularly effective against buildings. The Aztecs have the jaguar warrior, and the Mayans have the plumed archer. The Koreans have an elite war wagon that shoots arrows, and the Spanish have the conquistador. Neither of the Central American civilizations have cavalry, but they make up for it with faster infantry units. Some new shared units include the petard, a kamikaze siege unit that explodes; the turtle boat, a heavily armored ship with a cannon; the halberdier infantry unit; and the Hussar cavalry unit.
The new campaigns featured in the expansion are based on historical figures, including Attila the Hun, El Cid, and Montezuma. There are also new multiplayer game choices in addition to deathmatch, such as defend the wonder, king of the hill, and wonder race. A variety of new maps are included, and new map features create new strategic options; for instance, infantry can walk on ice but cannot build structures there. A number of real-world maps allow players to re-create historical battles in various geographic areas.
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion is scheduled for release in September 2000.