Rise of Nations Walkthrough

This comprehensive guide will tell you all you need to know to conquer the world.

By Doug Radcliffe
Design by Katie Bush

Rise of Nations, from Brian Reynolds, designer of Civilization II, and Big Huge Games, offers players the chance to span 6,000 years of history--from the Ancient Age to the Information Age--and engage in trade, espionage, diplomacy, and war. This comprehensive GameSpot Complete Game Guide for Rise of Nations provides everything an aspiring leader needs to achieve global domination.

The GameSpot Complete Game Guide for Rise of Nations includes:

  • Economic Strategies: This section covers Rise of Nations economic strategies, including resource management, the importance of hotkeys, expansion keys, and running an efficient economy. The section also includes a rundown of the rare resources and their benefits.
  • Combat Strategies: Look here for Rise of Nations combat strategies, including the importance of counter units and combined arms, combat stances, and scouting, as well as an array of combat tips covering flanking, control groups, modern warfare, generals, spies, and attrition.
  • Nation Overviews: This section covers all 18 nations and describes each nation's benefits, unique units, and tactics.
  • The Library, Ages, and Wonders: This section offers insight into three important Rise of Nations concepts: the research-filled library, advancing through the ages, and the magnificent--and quite beneficial--wonders.
  • Technologies: Head here for a table revealing important Rise of Nations technologies, including research locations and each technology's benefits.
  • Conquer the World Strategies: This section provides strategies specific to the Rise of Nations "conquer the world" campaign game.
  • Multiplayer Strategies: This section provides strategies for success in a Rise of Nations multiplayer game.

Chapter 1: Economic Strategies

This section covers Rise of Nations' six resources and how to manage them, the importance of learning hotkeys, expansion techniques, and running an efficient economy. A sound economy is the foundation for a successful game of Rise of Nations. Without a flourishing economy, a player will struggle to research important technologies, advance through the ages, and create a substantial military force.

Managing Resources

Effective and efficient resource management is at the heart of most real-time strategy games. If you're able to collect more resources than your opponent in a shorter amount of time, you're likely to have better technology and a stronger military. Both should assist in achieving victory. This section elaborates on Rise of Nations' six primary resources and offers tips on juggling the commerce limit and improving gathering.

Build farms to gather food. Cities can support up to five farms, unless you're the Egyptians, and then your cities can support seven.

Food
Gather food by building farms. You can have five farms per city (unless you're Egypt, which can have seven). Food is most important in producing your nation's citizens, who gather other resources and construct your nation's important economic and military structures. Food is also required for certain foot troops, age advancements, and civic and early commerce research. Increase food production by constructing a granary (affects farms in the city in which you build the granary, so you can build one for each city). Nations with food benefits include: Egyptians (start with a granary and receive granary upgrades for free, food commerce limit +10 percent, may build seven farms per city, farms generate +2 wealth), Germans (granary upgrades are 50 percent cheaper and available sooner, cities gather an extra 5 food), Japanese (farms are 50 percent cheaper, farms and fishermen produce +25 percent resources), and Mongols (receive +1 food for each 1 percent of world landmass controlled, times half the number of nations).

FOOD IMPROVEMENT TECHNOLOGIESRESEARCHED ATBENEFITS
GranaryCitizenIncreases the food output for all farms in the same city by 20% percent.
AgricultureGranaryGranaries increase food output by 50% percent. Fishermen collect +50% percent food.
Crop RotationGranaryGranaries increase food output by 100% percent. Fishermen collect +100% percent food.
Food IndustryGranaryGranaries increase food output by 200% percent. Fishermen collect +200% percent food.

Timber
Gather timber by placing woodcutter's camps against forests. Timber is important for building construction (nearly every structure--including farms--requires timber), commerce research, university improvements, and certain foot archers. Increase timber production by constructing a lumber mill (affects camps within city limits). Nations with timber benefits include: French (free lumber mill and its upgrades, woodcutter's camp can accommodate 2 more citizens, timber commerce limit +10 percent) and Germans (lumber mill upgrades are 50 percent cheaper and available sooner, cities gather an extra 5 timber).

TIMBER IMPROVEMENT TECHNOLOGIESRESEARCHED ATBENEFITS
Lumber MillCitizenIncreases the timber output of all woodcutter's camps in the same city by 20% percent.
CarpentryLumber MillLumber mills increase timber output by 50% percent.
Logging IndustryLumber MillLumber mills increase timber output by 100% percent.
Paper MillLumber MillLumber mills increase timber output by 200% percent.

Build mines adjacent to mountains. Each mountain can support one mine.

Metal
First available in the Classical Age. Gather metal by building mines against hills and mountains. Metal is important for powerful military units, beginning with cavalry and heavy infantry and moving through the ages to heavier artillery and vehicles. Construct metal production by building a smelter (affects mines within city limits). Nations with metal benefits include: Germans (smelter upgrades are 50 percent cheaper and available sooner, cities gather an extra 5 metal).

METAL IMPROVEMENT TECHNOLOGIESRESEARCHED ATBENEFITS
SmelterCitizenIncreases the metal output of all mines in the same city by 50% percent.
Metal AlloysSmelterSmelters increase metal output by 100% percent.
Cold CastingSmelterSmelters increase metal output by 150% percent.
SteelSmelterSmelters increase metal output by 200% percent.

Wealth
Gather wealth by creating caravan trade between cities. You can also gather wealth by building temples and researching taxation, which will increase the wealth generated by controlled territory. Important on non-water maps (on water maps, fishermen can collect lots of wealth from rare fish). You'll need wealth for scholars, science research, and pricey military units. Use the market to acquire wealth at the expense of other resources. You can sell those resources to acquire wealth or sell wealth to acquire those resources. Keep in mind you won't be trading at a one-to-one ratio. You can't trade knowledge for wealth (and vice versa). Nations with wealth benefits include: Egyptians (farms generate +2 wealth), Inca (mines create wealth and metal income, wealth commerce limit +33 percent), Nubians (+1 to caravan limit, you start with a market and can always trade resources with a +20, -20 price bonus, caravans and markets 50 percent cheaper), and Romans (cities gather an extra 10 wealth).

WEALTH IMPROVEMENT TECHNOLOGIESRESEARCHED ATBENEFITS
TaxationTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 50% percent (level 1). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 120% percent (level 1).
VassalageTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 100% percent (level 2). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 150% percent (level 2).
Social ContractTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 200% percent (level 3). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 200% percent (level 3).
Income TaxTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 300% percent (level 4). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 300% percent (level 4).

Knowledge

Construct a university for each city and then fill each university up with scholars to gain knowledge.

First available in the Classical Age. Gather knowledge by constructing a university and filling it with scholars. You can increase the rate at which scholars generate knowledge by performing specific research at the university (beginning with literacy). You'll need knowledge--and lots of it--for age advancement and numerous library research elements. You can have one university per city gathering knowledge. You'll definitely need multiple universities, and you should research literacy as soon as possible to increase scholar production. Nations with knowledge benefits include: Greeks (can build universities and collect knowledge from the beginning of the game, universities 50 percent cheaper).

KNOWLEDGE IMPROVEMENT TECHNOLOGIESRESEARCHED ATBENEFITS
LiteracyUniversityScholars produce +7 knowledge each.
Printing PressUniversityScholars produce +10 knowledge each.
Scientific MethodUniversityScholars produce +15 knowledge each.
Institutional ResearchUniversityScholars produce +20 knowledge each.
SupercomputersUniversityScholars produce +25 knowledge each.

Oil
First available in the Industrial Age. Once available, oil becomes a dominant resource for high-level vehicles, aircraft, ships, and artillery and missile weapons. Control the oil deposits and control the endgame! By the endgame, wealth becomes less of a factor. If you're low on oil, trade wealth for oil at the market. Increase oil production by building a refinery (or multiple refineries). Refineries are stackable, so you should build a refinery for each city. Nations with oil benefits include: Russia (oil gathering +20 percent).

OIL IMPROVEMENT TECHNOLOGIESRESEARCHED ATBENEFITS
RefineryCitizenIncreases the oil output of all oil wells in your nation by 33% percent. Additional refineries within your nation have a cumulative "stacking" effect, so two refineries would increase your oil output by a net 66% percent.

The commerce limit plays a vital role in your nation's resource gathering and income. Much like the population limit, which governs how many units your nation can support, the commerce limit regulates how much income your nation can support. If your commerce limit is +100 and you're gathering +120 timber, you're losing +20 of that timber because your commerce limit is limiting your timber gathering to just +100.

Increase your commerce limit by researching the commerce track at the library. Like with the population limit, you should keep regular tabs on your commerce limit and resource levels. Once you approach the limit, research the next commerce level to keep maximum resources flowing into your coffers.

It's important to attempt to strike a balance in your resource gathering. If your food is +150 but your wealth is +40, then you need to do something to improve your wealth (for instance, temple research, increase the caravan limit, and so on). When you're forced to raise the commerce limit because a single resource is too high, it would be best if all the others were getting close as well. Researching the next commerce level when only food is pushing the limit isn't a sound strategy. If you have room under the limit for timber, metal, or knowledge, build another woodcutter's camp, mine, or university.

Learn the Hotkeys!

Ask most real-time strategy gamers and they'll tell you the same: Learning and mastering the use of hotkeys can transform you from an average player to an excellent player. Rise of Nations is no different. Learning, using, and mastering the hotkeys is extremely important in efficient campaign and multiplayer gaming.

Consider the time required to select your city, create a citizen, select the citizen, move through the citizen's build menu, select what to build, and place the structure. If you perform all these tasks with mouse clicks, it can consume a tremendous amount of time. Meanwhile, while you're searching the map for your city or citizen and combing through the citizen build menu, your opponent is using hotkeys and completing similar tasks in a fraction of the time.

Instead of clicking your way through the above example, you could use hotkeys. In the above example, you could simply hit C, period (once the citizen is produced), B, and F (building a farm, in this example) and then use the mouse to place the farm--just four keystrokes and a single mouse-click to place the structure. Obviously performing these keystrokes would be much faster than scanning the map for citizens and clicking through build menus.

Memorizing hotkeys is certainly no easy task. But it's not important to master each and every single one (at least not at first). Begin by learning the most important hotkeys, which will still cut down build times and economic management considerably. Below are some specific hotkey commands. Learn these keystrokes to help run your economy and research more effectively.

Hotkeys are vital for fast, efficient gameplay.

  • C -- Selects a city.
  • Select a structure, R -- Lets you set the rally point.
  • C, V -- Selects a city and produces one citizen. (Hit "V" multiple times for more citizens, or use Shift+V to produce five citizens at a time).
  • Apsotrophe -- Selects your scout.
  • Apsotrophe, Ctrl+E -- Selects your scout and sets him on auto-explore.
  • Tab -- Selects next structure with available research.
  • Period -- Selects idle citizen. If you've set up your idle citizens to automatically gather, then you may not have any. It's a useful hotkey when you've just created a citizen and you don't want to scan the map to relocate him.
  • B -- With a citizen selected, use this keystroke to open the build menu.
  • B, F -- With a citizen selected, use these keystrokes to build a farm.
  • B, M -- With a citizen selected, use these keystrokes to build a mine.
  • B, N -- With a citizen selected, use these keystrokes to build a market.
  • B, W -- With a citizen selected, use these keystrokes to build a woodcutter's camp.
  • B, C -- With a citizen selected, use these keystrokes to build a city.
  • L -- Selects the library.
  • L, W -- Selects the library and researches the next military level.
  • L, E -- Selects the library and researches the next civic level.
  • L, R -- Selects the library and researches the next commerce level.
  • L, T -- Selects the library and researches the next science level.

The Population Resource

Consider your nation's population limit as the seventh resource. If you fail to manage the population limit correctly, you could lose valuable time in collecting resources, constructing buildings, or creating a military. You increase your nation's population limit by performing military research at the library. Take note of your current population limit (revealed at the top right side of the screen). As you begin to populate your city, acquire another level of military research when you near the limit.

If you fail to perform the research in time, you'll be notified that you have hit the population limit and all unit production will cease. For example, that caravan you were creating to accumulate wealth will not be created until you research another level of military research to increase your population limit. This failure costs valuable gathering time. Or perhaps you've queued up some citizens to start working at a mine but you hit the population limit and are now behind in gathering metal, which you wouldn't have happened if you had managed the population resource efficiently. Keep tabs on your population limit and stay one step ahead of the limits.

The Importance of Expansion

Base expansion is generally important in real-time strategy games, but it's even more important in Rise of Nations--because without expansion, there's no way to increase certain resource income and widen your territory. In Rise of Nations, a city can support only five farms (seven if you're the Egyptians) for food collection. To build more farms, you must create a second city to support the expanded economy. Expansions are also important for additional universities and caravans, temples, granaries, smelters--you see now the importance of expansion!

Expansion is key for territorial control and additional resources.

Creating more cities also expands your national borders, which can keep resources under your control and make incursion into your territory difficult. Through proper research, you can set it up so enemy units will suffer attrition damage when moving through your territory (unless the enemy units are supported by a supply truck). Expanding early is a wise decision regardless of your overall strategy. If you're looking to attack early, it's wise to expand so you control more of the map and have the early income to generate a sturdy military. If you're looking to play an economic game, it's wise to expand to start gathering those resources early.

The toughest part of expansion can be adequate defense. Expansions are notoriously difficult to defend from enemy raids. Ensure their safety with added defense, including towers, forts, and their various incarnations. Garrison added troops in the city and in the defensive structures to make them more powerful. Place new cities carefully and as close as possible to both a forest and a mountain so your woodcutter's camp and mine will be placed as close to the city as possible. Thus the expansion requires fewer overall structures to defend all its segments.

Efficient Economy

This section provides general tips on running an efficient economy.

Use the market to trade resources for wealth and vice versa.

  • Careful placement of resource structures. When you order a citizen to build a resource structure--a woodcutter's camp, for instance--survey forest quickly by hovering the camp over the placement areas briefly. You'll notice that some sections of the forest can accommodate more citizens. Since you can only build one camp per city, it's best to maximize its usage by building the camp that accommodates the most citizens. Therefore you can gather as much timber as possible from the particular forest.
  • Get citizens to work. Rise of Nations includes an auto-citizen feature. An idle citizen will automatically go to a particular task if left alone for a short amount of time. This is extremely useful because you won't accidentally leave citizens standing doing nothing for periods of time. But it can also be confusing where you lose track of particular citizens and aren't sure who is gathering what and what resource centers are at the maximum. Consider altering the auto-citizen setting and manually select idle citizens by using the period key.
  • You can't take the resources with you! If you have a huge stockpile of resources in your coffers, then you're doing something wrong. Resources are there to spend, not save. If you're crushed by your opponent and finish the game with 4,234 metal, you still lost the game. There are no rewards for most metal! Spend resources on research, create an army, upgrade your military units, advance an age, expand your cities--something! Put your resources to work. It's certainly better to have a large army ready to defend your cities and no resources than a ton of resources and no army to defend your cities.
  • Don't forget the usefulness of the market. At the market, you can trade wealth for food, timber, and metal (and beyond the Industrial Age, oil) or trade food, timber, and metal (or oil) for wealth. While it's not very economical to rely heavily on the market (you lose a lot of the resource you trade away in the transaction), it's certainly a handy tool when you need a chunk of a particular resource in a pinch.

Efficient Economy (cont.)

Seek out rare resources and send a merchant to gather them.

  • Use rally points for your citizens so they automatically move to a mine or woodcutter's camp to begin work. You can even place the rally point while the resource structure is being built. If it's incomplete when the next citizen arrives, he'll simply help finish the structure and then begin his resource gathering.
  • Rare resources can provide some nice benefits, so don't neglect to send a merchant to each one you find on the mini-map (though expect to be attacked if it's in enemy territory). Your strategy may even change depending on what rare resource you gather. For instance, if it benefits wealth, then prepare to start spending more wealth on certain units. Click on the market to see the flashing rare resources on the map. Any that flash are resources you aren't gathering. Make some merchants!
  • Build the structures that benefit resource gathering--granary, lumber mill, smelter, and refinery--and acquire the technology that further enhances resource gathering for each one. In a long game, where a thriving economy becomes vital for victory, these structures and their research will give you an edge. Expect your opponent to do so! Build one granary for each city (make sure you have five farms for that city for maximum potential!) and then lumber mills and smelters for cities that contain wood camps and mines within their limits.
  • Knowledge becomes extremely important as you maneuver through the library research tree. You'll soon realize that a single university, even with seven scholars, won't cut it. You need to build a university for each city as soon as possible and fill each with seven scholars. Research literacy (requires timber) when it becomes available to increase scholar production.

Rare Resources

The rare resources, scattered throughout the maps--both land and water--can have a great impact on your nation's military, economy, civic statue, and/or science. It's important to send merchants (or fishermen) out to collect rare resources to gain their benefits. The following is the list of rare resources and their corresponding benefits.

Aluminum: +20 to metal gather rate. +20 to oil gather rate. Aircraft costs reduced by 15 percent, and build speed increased by 25 percent.

Amber: +10 to wealth gather rate. +10 to timber gather rate. Market sell prices +10 and buy prices -10.

Bison: +20 to food. Granary research costs reduced by 33 percent.

Citrus: +10 to food gather rate. +10 to timber gather rate. Ships at sea heal automatically.

Coal: +15 to metal gather rate. +15 to knowledge gather rate. Reduces all timber costs by 25 percent.

Copper: +20 to metal gather rate. Dock and factory units receive +20 percent hit points.

Cotton: +20 to timber gather rate. Barracks, stable, and dock units production times reduced by 25 percent.

Diamonds: +20 to wealth gather rate. Raises commerce limit by 10 percent.

Dye: +10 to wealth gather rate. +10 to knowledge gather rate. Cost of civic research reduced by 25 percent.

Fish: +10 to food gather rate. +10 to wealth gather rate.

Furs: +10 to metal gather rate. +10 to food gather rate. Cost of military research reduced by 25 percent.

Gems: +10 to wealth gather rate. +10 to knowledge gather rate. National borders +2.

Horses: +10 to metal gather rate. +10 to food gather rate. Cost of stable units reduced by 15 percent.

Marble: +10 to timber gather rate. +10 to metal gather rate. Cost to build wonders reduced by 10 percent.

Obsidian: +10 to knowledge gather rate. +10 to metal gather rate. Archers, towers, forts, and cities gain +1 attack.

Papyrus: +10 to knowledge gather rate. +10 to timber gather rate. Cost of science research reduced by 25 percent.

Peacocks: +10 to metal gather rate. +10 to wealth gather rate. +10 percent to population limit.

Relics: +20 to knowledge gather rate. Reduces research and upgrade times by 33 percent.

Rubber: +20 to oil gather rate. +20 to timber gather rate. Cost of auto plant units reduced by 15 percent.

Salt: +10 to timber gather rate. +10 to metal gather rate. Cost of barracks troops reduced by 15 percent.

Silk: +10 to wealth gather rate. +10 to timber gather rate. Cost of commerce research reduced by 25 percent.

Silver: +10 to wealth gather rate. +10 to metal gather rate. Age advancement cost reduced by 15 percent.

Spice: +10 to food gather rate. +10 to knowledge gather rate. Caravan income increased by 20 percent.

Sugar: +10 to food gather rate. +10 to timber gather rate. Reduces all food costs by 10 percent.

Sulfur: +15 to wealth gather rate. +15 to metal gather rate. Cost of siege and artillery units reduced by 20 percent.

Titanium: +20 to food gather rate. +20 to oil gather rate. Attrition in enemy territory reduced by 50 percent.

Tobacco: +10 to wealth gather rate. +10 to knowledge gather rate. Citizens construct buildings and wonders 10 percent faster.

Uranium: +20 to knowledge gather rate. +20 to oil gather rate. Nuclear missiles 10 percent faster and 5 percent cheaper.

Whales: +10 to food gather rate. +10 to metal gather rate. Increases sailing ship speed by 20 percent.

Wine: +10 to food gather rate. +10 to knowledge gather rate. Cost of unit upgrades reduced by 20 percent.

Wool: +10 to timber gather rate. +10 to knowledge gather rate. Citizens produced 33 percent faster and 15 percent cheaper.

Chapter 2: Combat Strategies

This section covers combat strategies in Rise of Nations, including the importance of counter units and combined arms, combat stances, scouting, and build order, and offers general combat tips covering flanking, control groups, modern warfare, generals, spies, and attrition.

The Importance of Counters and Combined Arms

The concept of counter units forces Rise of Nations players to fill their armies with a mixture of unit types. You can't simply recruit a bunch of archers and hope to survive. Your opponent may scout your base, take note of your gigantic horde of archers, and produce units specifically to counter those archers--units such as cavalry. Thus, it's not only important to produce a mixture of units so you're protected against every possible engagement, but it's also important to strive to produce units to counter what your opponent has planned.

With the addition of unique units, some of the generalizations made about Rise of Nations counter units aren't always true. For instance, some ranged cavalry unique units are best used against other ranged cavalry. In general, light infantry counters archers, heavy infantry counters cavalry, archers counter heavy infantry, and cavalry counters archers and light infantry. There are certainly exceptions to the rule. Check the back of the manual and the unique units listed in the Nations Overview section of this game guide for further details on all counters and unique unit counters.

It's important to mix up your forces so you aren't vulnerable to a single counter.

Maintain combined arms, which means multiple unit types, within your battle groups so you can defend against specific counters or simply counter what the enemy sends at you. Be sure to send your specific unit groups against the enemy groups they counter. Don't allow a line of enemy archers to plug into your troops without retaliation. Instead, send your cavalry group against the archers. Likewise, keep your unit groupings away from their counters. In a battle against enemy light infantry and heavy infantry, send the cavalry against the light infantry and steer clear of the heavy infantry.

Counter units also means protecting your own units from an enemy counter. For instance, guard your archer line against enemy cavalry by protecting them with heavy infantry.

Combat Stances

You don't necessarily have to be in control of your military units each and every moment of the game. Rise of Nations offers six combat stances for your military units. These can be altered to give your units some autonomy--they'll be able to do their own thing while you concentrate on potentially more important elements of combat or economy. The following describes each of the six combat stances and elaborates on how to utilize them to optimum effect.

  • Aggressive: When not already carrying out another order, units set to aggressive will automatically chase and attack any enemies they encounter. Ensure your units are on aggressive stance in the heat of battle. And as mentioned before, make sure you're countering enemy units appropriately by sending your cavalry against the enemy archers, your machine gun infantry against enemy infantry, and so on. Units on the defensive during a battle may remain out of the battle, even if they're nearby! Switch to aggressive to keep those units fighting!
  • Defensive: When not already carrying out another order, units set to defensive will automatically attack any enemies they encounter, but will only chase them for a limited distance before returning to the spot where you left them. Toggle units to a defensive stance when you're maintaining a defensive position near forts or towers and goading an enemy into an unwise attack.
  • Stand Ground: Units set to stand ground will attack enemies they encounter but will not move to chase them. Stand ground is also useful when you're attempting to maintain a defensive position near your defensive structures, such as forts or towers.
  • Raid: When not already carrying out another order, units set to raid will automatically chase and attack any enemies they encounter, but they will seek out economic targets in preference to military targets. Once you've punched through an enemy's defenses and are attacking a city and its surrounding structures, switch from aggressive to raid. Your units will chase and attack enemy units before the buildings and crush your enemy's economic backbone in the process. Send some of your units against your opponent's remaining military units.
  • Raze: Units set to raze will chase and attack enemies but prefer to target enemy buildings. This stance is similar to raid, but instead your military units will target enemy buildings before they target enemy units.
  • Hold Fire: Units set to hold fire will not attack enemies or move to engage them, even if they are attacked.

Scouting, Scouting, Scouting

The importance of scouting can't be emphasized enough. Thankfully, Rise of Nations offers some very easy scouting tools to encourage its players to get out there and scout! Players begin with a scout (or in the case of the Spanish, two scouts), and each unit in Rise of Nations can be placed on "auto-explore." Select your scout (hit the apostrophe key) and select the auto-explore option in its menu. Turn it on and the scout will automatically roam that map. Better still, the scout will search the map for valuable ruins (which, when collected, add a specific resource to your coffer) and can identify special resources worth collecting.

Despite its ease of use, auto-explore isn't really the most efficient way to scout. You'll notice that on his auto-explore treks, the scout occasionally combs the same areas and may even return to your city. "Expert" players will eschew auto-explore and control the scout and even set waypoints by holding Shift and clicking on the terrain.

The good news with auto-explore is you aren't wasting valuable construction or resource gathering time on maneuvering the scout around the map. But the bad news is he isn't covering the amount of territory he could if you were actively controlling him. It's a trade-off and a judgment call you'll have to make. As a beginner, use auto-explore. As you become more comfortable with initial city, resource, and research projects, start to control the scout manually. And as indicated, you could also give the scout waypoints so he'll roam a specific path but won't automatically seek out relics.

Scout the map early to find valuable ruins and rare resources and keep tabs on your enemy.

Scouting is also important to keep tabs on your enemy. You can verify what military units your enemy is training and produce specific counters to them, you can spot undefended expansions or resource centers, and you can seek out holes in the enemy defenses near his or her capital city. Monitor your scout's health when in enemy territory. Your opponent will likely have researched "allegiance," which causes attrition--your units suffer damage in enemy territory unless supported by a supply truck.

Note that the Spanish have a huge advantage in scouting. Not only do you receive a bonus scout, but the entire map is also revealed from the beginning. You can see all rare resources but not every relic. Also, you can't see what your enemy is up to--there's still a fog of war, but you have immediate visual access to rare resource locations and terrain.

As you advance through the ages, your scout becomes a special unit that can snipe enemy units, sabotage buildings, and uproot spies. Send these special forces units behind enemy lines and start sabotaging undefended buildings. Cripple some libraries to cut off enemy research. Sabotage smelters or refineries to cut metal and oil production. Or take out a wonder. Scouts are also important to spot spies and other hidden units, so it's wise to keep some around your rear bases to prevent spy or special force incursions.

General Combat Tips

This section offers some general combat tips, including managing your troops using control groups and the importance of flanking, attrition, and using generals and spies.

  • Keeping your troops organized will give you a huge advantage. You should use "control groups" to do so. Select a set of troops and press Ctrl and 1 through 9 or F1 through F8 to add a group to one of those control groups. To select a created control group, just hit the corresponding number or function key. You should split your troops into logical groups. For instance, place all your cavalry into a single group so you can select them quickly and intercept artillery units or an archer line. Or perhaps place all your heavy infantry in a group to intercept an enemy's cavalry. Or, in terms of modern warfare, place all your fighters in a single group so you can quickly give them a mission.
  • One of the most useful group elements in Rise of Nations is the ability to add units in production to an existing group. Just set the rally point of the structure to an existing military group.
  • Micromanaging a battle plays an important role in most real-time strategy games. For instance, you want to ensure that your troops are not fighting their counters (such as cavalry up against pikemen) and are instead in an advantageous position to counter your enemy's forces. If your enemy has a line of archers pelting your troops, maneuver your cavalry around the battle and engage. You may wish to utilize control groups to a greater extent, even splitting up a line of archers into three control groups so you can ensure each is engaged with separate infantry group.
  • Rise of Nations models flanking damage. That means if you strike an enemy group from behind or the side, you inflict extra damage. You should look for flanking opportunities in each battle. For instance, keep a cavalry group south of your main group. As you engage in battle, circle the cavalry group to your enemy's rear flank and attack either a supporting archer line or the rear of the enemy units already engaged with your forces.
  • Rise of Nations adds a unique element to real-time strategy: territory and attrition. If your opponent has researched "allegiance" at a tower (or in the case of Russia, just built a tower), then your units suffer attrition damage when inside enemy territory. The amount of damage depends on many factors, including the enemy's research and your own (see the Technology section of this game guide). To counteract attrition, you must include supply trucks with your unit groups. Supply trucks counter attrition and also increase the rate of fire for artillery units. Obviously it's important to protect supply trucks--if you lose your support, your units will begin to suffer attrition damage. Be alert for cavalry raids or long-range artillery strikes against your supply trucks. Keep in mind that buildings suffer attrition too!
  • Select a nation that complements your style of play. If you prefer the speed of cavalry, select a nation with cavalry benefits and unique cavalry units. Exploit these benefits. Use the nation's unique style to your advantage. Don't expect your opponent to play into your nation's strengths, though. If you have benefits to cavalry, expect your opponent to prepare to defend against those cavalry. Don't be afraid to mix it up. Throw your opponent off guard by eschewing some of your nation's strengths and using an alternate tactic to counter your opponent's attempt to counter you!

General Combat Tips (cont.)

Capture an enemy city and claim it as your own.

  • As you produce a single unit type, its cost and build time increases. For instance, the second knight costs more resources and takes longer to build than the first. As you lose units, the costs decrease. So it's wise to gauge how many units you need for a particular battle instead of amassing a gigantic and expensive force that may lose a fight against a better-prepared opponent. Scouting is important here, because you can determine the relative military strength of your enemy, the location of barracks and stables, and defenses to avoid.
  • Unless you're holing up in a mass of defensive forts, towers, and entrenched troops, maintain an aggressive stance against your opponent. Keep the fighting closer to or inside your opponent's territory. Threaten your opponent's resource areas or expansions. Force your opponent to shuttle defenses to particular areas. Take control of the game, so you are calling the shots, rather than waiting for your opponent to attack. Don't allow an opponent to simply go tech and resource heavy and skimp on defense. You'll pay the price when your opponent is much more advanced that you are.
  • Healing wounded units is extremely vital to success. The French can use supply trucks to heal troops. Otherwise, you must garrison troops inside structures to heal them. Consider the time and resources required to replace a unit. Instead, simply garrison any unit that's on death's door and restore it to full health. It's like receiving a free unit. Garrison troops between battles so your troops are fresh and ready to fight.
  • Don't be afraid to retreat. If the battle isn't winnable, it's better to retreat to the relative safety of your forts, towers, cities, and territory than to lose your entire military in a futile fight.
  • When moving troops, use the hotkey A, then click on the destination (or Ctrl + right mouse click). This is the attack-move command, where your troops will move to the destination and engage any enemy forces along the way.
  • Modern warfare, which features tanks, vehicles, airplanes, and powerful naval vessels, follows many of the same principles as the warfare in the earlier ages. Continue to exploit counters. Protect your vehicles against air units with antiair vehicles. Protect your cities against bombers with antiair batteries and vehicles. Use flamethrower troops to uproot garrisoned troops. Utilize machine gunner troops against enemy infantry.
  • As you apply pressure on an opponent, rebuild military structures close to the front lines (but not on the very edge of your territory). This way you can reinforce your infantry, cavalry, vehicles, artillery, and so on as quickly as possible. Apply territorial pressure through research, such as at the temple or fort. Use rally points judiciously to send trained military units to defensible positions. Build multiple military structures so you can create units as quickly as possible. Create choke points with towers and forts to force the enemy near your defenses if he or she wants to expand.
  • In team games, you can use the "flare" button near the mini-map to help coordinate attacks by showing an important location on the map. But you can also use the flare button and drag lines onto the map to show a more precise attack route.
  • Capturing enemy cities can certainly be the beginning of the end. Maintain position around a captured city and administer repairs with a citizen. Move up additional citizens to construct towers to aid in defense. Reinforce your military to this point and maintain the position. Prevent the enemy from recovering the position.

General Combat Tips (cont.)

  • Build a fort and you can produce two important units: spies and generals. Both offer several unique abilities that consume the unit's craft, a mana-like regenerating source used to enable the special abilities. Below are descriptions and craft costs for the spy's abilities.
    • Counterintelligence: Destroys enemy spies. Removes informers your enemy has placed among your buildings and units (500 craft). If you believe you've been infiltrated, use counterintelligence on your buildings to uproot the informer.
    • Informer: This makes an enemy unit or building your informer. You can see everything that the unit or building can see. An informer at a library lets you see your enemy's research progress. An informer at a market lets you see your enemy's resource levels. An informer at a barracks (or other unit-creation building) shows you the number of each unit type your enemy has constructed (500 craft). This is an evolution of scouting. Knowing what your opponent is doing, what sort of resources your opponent possesses, and so on is extremely important. Sneak a scout into a structure to start informing.
    • Bribe: Once you bribe an enemy unit, it becomes yours! Spies must stand adjacent to enemy siege and artillery units to bribe them. Spies cannot bribe non-combat units (citizens, scholars, merchants, and caravans), but they can bribe enemy buildings in your territory. You can bribe towns and buildings controlled by an ally who has resigned or otherwise left the game. Spies themselves are immune to bribes but are vulnerable to counterintelligence (1,000 craft). Capture any enemy buildings in your territory easily with the spy's bribe feature. Keep a spy near a battle and flank the spy to your opponent's siege line to perform a bribe. Expect the computer, even at moderate level, to employ this tactic. Keep spies with your battle groups to spot the stealthy unit.
  • The general is also created at the fort and offers his own set of unique abilities. While the general doesn't feature an attack, he will increase the armor of all your nearby troops (within the sphere of influence) by 2. You can increase this effect through research (see the Technologies chapter of this game guide). Forts aid in defense, so you will definitely need them. Once they're up, train generals to support your troops even if it's just for the armor bonus! The general's abilities and craft costs include:
    • Forced March: Allows your units near the general to move faster than usual for a short period of time. The effect is strongest for foot units, weaker for mounted and vehicle units (1,000 craft). Use forced march to retreat or to quickly reach an advantageous position. In a team game, use it to assist your teammate more quickly.
    • Entrench: Entrenches barracks units near the general. Entrenched units are protected from much of the damage they receive from enemies in front of them (flanking damage is unaffected) and from splash damage regardless of direction (1,000 craft). If you're under heavy attack and need something extra to gain the upper hand, use the general's entrench ability. Units must be within the sphere of influence to entrench.
    • Create Decoys: Create phantom decoy units who look and behave just like real units to your enemies, but cause no damage when they attack. Use them to fool and distract your enemies (1,000 craft). Create some decoys and allow them to accompany your troops into battle--any shots fired at decoy units are shots that won't be inflicting damage to your main force!
    • Ambush: Allows a general and all your units nearby to become temporarily invisible to enemy forces. As long as units in ambush don't attack, only scouts, scout vessels, subs, helicopters, and lookout, radar, SAM sites can see them (1,000 craft).

Chapter 3: Nation Overviews

This section reveals Rise of Nations' 18 nations and describes their benefits, unique units, and strengths and weaknesses.

Aztecs - The Power of Sacrifice

  • Gain 15 bonus resources per age when your barracks, stable, and dock units kill an enemy unit. Maximum of 60 bonus resources per age.
  • Plunder received from destroying enemy buildings increased 100 percent.
  • Receive light infantry whenever you construct a new barrack. You receive one light infantry at start, two light infantry with the Classical Age and a military research, and three light infantry with the Gunpowder Age and three military researches.
  • Atl-Atls: Ancient Age light infantry. Faster and more durable than slingers.
  • Royal Atl-Atls: Classical Age light infantry. Faster and more durable than javelineers.
  • Xopilli Atl-Atls: Medieval Age light infantry. Faster and more durable than elite javelineers.
  • Jaguar Infantry: Modern Age modern infantry. Faster and more powerful than standard modern infantry.
  • Jaguar Assault Infantry: Information Age modern infantry. Faster and more powerful than standard modern infantry.

The Aztec's plunder bonus and unique early light infantry encourage an aggressive style of play. Construct multiple barracks to receive free light infantry. Coordinate an early attack, around the Medieval Age, and prepare your Xopilli Atl-Atls for an aggressive assault on the enemy's expansions and resource centers. You'll need a high income of food and wood to support these troops, but don't neglect other resources, which you'll need for research and age advancement. Light infantry are susceptible to cavalry, so support them with heavy infantry. You'll want at least three cities to keep the fighting on the opponent's side of the map. Get to the Medieval Age so you can train supply trucks to counteract attrition damage.

Bantu - The Power of Migration

  • +1 city limit, though you must research at least one civic.
  • Cities are 75 percent cheaper.
  • +100 percent population limit. May exceed maximum population limit by 25 percent.
  • Barracks units and citizens move 25 percent faster.
  • Unit upgrades do not require prerequisite military research.
  • Umpakati: Ancient Age light infantry. Slightly stronger than slingers, and they can be built faster.
  • Yangombi Umpakati: Classical Age light infantry. Slightly stronger than javelineers, and they can be built faster.
  • Impi: Medieval Age light infantry. Slightly stronger than elite javelineers, and they can be built faster.
  • Hawk Fighter: Modern Age fighter aircraft. Counters enemy aircraft and ground troops better than a normal fighter.
  • Eagle Fighter: Information Age fighter aircraft: Counters enemy aircraft and ground troops better than a normal fighter.

The Bantu feature the power of migration. Research a civic early to gain the ability to expand into two more cities.

The Bantu excel in long, drawn-out games but can also be efficient rushers. The increased population limit means the Bantu can support more troops at the highest military level, and the increased city limit gives the Bantu increased resources. The increased speed for barracks units is a plus but not as important as the population and city limit benefits. You can play defensively and outlive your opponent into the upper ages or use Bantu bonuses to expand early. Put pressure on your enemy with light infantry supported by foot archers through the Ancient Age and Classical Age. Use the added city early in the game to gather resources and support a large early- to mid-game army. You don't have to expend resources on military research too quickly, since the Bantu population is higher and unit upgrades don't require the prerequisite military research.

British - The Power of Empire

  • +25 percent to commerce limit.
  • Receive double income from the taxation technology.
  • Ships created 33 percent faster.
  • Receive foot archer upgrades for free.
  • Forts and towers receive +2 to range.
  • Antiaircraft units and buildings created 25 percent cheaper and 33 percent faster.
  • Longbowmen: Classical Age foot archer. Counters heavy infantry.
  • King's Longbowmen: Medieval Age foot archer. Counters heavy infantry.
  • King's Yeomanry: Gunpowder age foot archer. Counters heavy infantry.
  • Highlanders: Enlightenment Age gunpowder infantry. Counters all infantry.
  • Black Watch: Industrial Age gunpowder infantry. Counters all infantry.
  • Lancaster Bomber: More powerful against enemy buildings than a normal bomber.

The British may appear to be well-rounded, with benefits to ships, wealth, foot archers, towers, and antiaircraft units, but perhaps lacking the focus to become truly dominant. However, don't discount the increased commerce limit, which is a big factor. Among comparable nations, the British can gather more resources sooner. All things considered, while one nation is currently at +100 on the commerce limit, the British are at +125. Exploit this benefit by keeping your resource levels at their maximum. Use the added resources to build ranged towers toward enemy territory. Upgrade these structures and support the unique archers and ranged infantry against their counters.

Chinese - The Power of Culture

  • Science research at the library is 20 percent cheaper.
  • Receive herbal lore, medicine, and pharmaceuticals upgrades for free.
  • Start with a large city.
  • All future cities start as large cities.
  • Citizens, caravans, and merchants are created instantly.
  • Fire Lances: Medieval Age gunpowder infantry. Earliest gunpowder unit. Counters heavy infantry.
  • Heavy Fire Lances: Gunpowder Age gunpowder infantry. Better range than standard gunpowder infantry.
  • Manchu Musketeers: Enlightenment Age gunpowder infantry. They're inexpensive, and they can be built quickly.
  • Manchu Riflemen: Industrial Age gunpowder infantry. They're inexpensive, and they can be built quickly.
  • Manchu Infantry: Modern Age modern infantry. They're inexpensive, and they can be built quickly.

Instantly created citizens can provide a quick, early economic boom for an early attack, perhaps around the Medieval Age, when China's first unique unit, the Fire Lance, becomes available. China's large cities provide added defense, and the cheaper science research encourages technology-heavy resource expenditure. Build a granary as soon as possible to benefit from the free herbal lore (and medicine and pharmaceuticals) upgrade, which increases creation speed, line of sight, and the heal rate (when garrisoned) of foot and mounted troops.

Egyptians - The Power of the Nile

  • Start with a granary and receive granary food-gathering upgrades for free.
  • Food commerce limit +10 percent.
  • May build seven farms per city.
  • Farms generate +2 wealth.
  • Start conquer the world campaigns with "build wonder" bonus card.
  • Wonders cost 25 percent less.
  • Wonders can be built an age early, and you can build two wonders per city.
  • Chariot: Classical Age ranged cavalry. Counters enemy ranged cavalry.
  • Light Camels: Classical Age light cavalry. Extremely fast. Counters enemy raids.
  • Heavy Chariot: Medieval Age ranged cavalry. Counters enemy ranged cavalry.
  • Camel Warrior: Medieval Age light cavalry. Extremely fast. Counters enemy raids.
  • Mameluke: Gunpowder Age ranged cavalry. Fast, gunpowder-armed, fires while moving, and counters enemy ranged cavalry.
  • Elite Camel Warrior: Gunpowder Age light cavalry. Extremely fast. Counters enemy raids.
  • Royal Mameluke: Enlightenment Age ranged cavalry. Fast, gunpowder-armed, fires while moving, and counters enemy ranged cavalry.

The Egyptians are provided with a free granary at the game's start.

The Egyptians have little trouble accumulating food. You receive a free granary, and all food-gathering techs are free (beginning with agriculture in the Gunpowder Age). In addition, the Egyptians may build up to seven farms per city (instead of five, for all other nations), and each farm generates +2 wealth. That's an extra +14 wealth per city. These are attractive bonuses and should provide any Egyptian player with plenty of food to churn out Classical Age to Enlightenment Age units for a pre-Industrial Age attack. Don't negate the wonder benefits, either. The Egyptian wonders cost 25 percent less and can be built one age sooner than other with nations. This helps Egypt keep control of desired wonders and even rush to a wonder point victory, if applicable.

French - The Power of Leadership

  • Receive a free general each time you build a new fort.
  • Supply wagons heal nearby troops.
  • Receive a free supply wagon each time you build a new siege factory or factory.
  • Siege factory and factory units created 25 percent cheaper and 50 percent faster.
  • Siege factory and factory units move faster.
  • Free lumber mill and its upgrades.
  • Woodcutters can accommodate +2 more citizens.
  • Timber commerce limit +10 percent.
  • Chevalier: Classical Age heavy cavalry. More powerful, more durable, and faster than standard heavy cavalry.
  • Heavy Chevalier: Medieval Age heavy cavalry. More powerful, more durable, and faster than standard heavy cavalry.
  • Horse Grenadier: Gunpowder Age heavy cavalry. More powerful, more durable, and faster than standard heavy cavalry.
  • Horse Guard Grenadier: Enlightenment Age heavy cavalry. More powerful, more durable, and faster than standard heavy cavalry.

The French supply wagons heal troops within their influence--it's a great benefit, but it's also one that's offered to every nation through a wonder, Versailles (not available until the Enlightenment Age, unless you're the Egyptians). If built by the French, it keeps the ability from other nations and increases the French supply wagon heal rate by double. Timber benefits help early to get structures and farms up quicker. Cheaper and faster (both in movement speed and build time) siege factory and factory units are an advantage in all ages, though French unique units focus on heavy cavalry.

Germans - The Power of Industry

  • Granary, lumber mill, and smelter production upgrades are 50 percent cheaper and available sooner.
  • Cities gather +5 food, timber, and metal.
  • Building completion bonuses +50 percent.
  • Submarines and fire ships built 33 percent faster and 25 percent cheaper.
  • Air units created 33 percent faster.
  • Each new airbase comes with two free fighters.
  • Solduri: Ancient Age heavy infantry. They're more durable than hoplites, and they can be built faster.
  • Barbarians: Classical Age heavy infantry. They're more durable than phalanx, and they can be built faster.
  • Vandals: Medieval Age heavy infantry. They're more durable than pikemen, and they can be built faster.
  • Landsknechts: Gunpowder Age heavy infantry. They're more durable than elite pikemen, and they can be built faster.
  • Volksgrenadiers: Modern Age modern infantry. Slightly more durable and faster than normal infantry.
  • MG42: Modern Age machine guns. Counters enemy foot troops.
  • Tiger Tank: Modern Age tank. Substantially more powerful than the standard tank.
  • Leopard Tank: Information Age tank. Substantially more powerful than the standard tank.

A large array of unique units (spanning from Ancient Age heavy infantry to Modern Age machine gunners and tanks), several enticing economic bonuses (cheaper resource upgrades), and powerful late-game military bonuses (free aircraft, faster creating aircraft, and naval benefits) make the Germans a tough late-age challenge. Advance ages quickly and reach the Industrial Age to utilize the increased air power and, eventually, the more powerful tanks. A rush is also certainly possible using the Ancient Age solduri (or the Classical Age with barbarians).

Greeks - The Power of Philosophy

  • Library research 10 percent cheaper (except knowledge costs) and 100 percent faster.
  • Can build universities and collect knowledge from the beginning of the game.
  • Libraries and universities 50 percent cheaper.
  • Companion: Classical Age heavy cavalry. Faster than normal heavy cavalry.
  • Royal Companion: Medieval Age heavy cavalry. Faster than normal heavy cavalry.
  • Stratiotai: Gunpowder Age heavy cavalry. Faster than normal heavy cavalry.
  • Royal Stratiotai: Enlightenment Age heavy cavalry. Faster than normal heavy cavalry.

The wise Greeks excel in technology research. Construct a university early and begin collecting knowledge (you'll need wealth to afford those scholars) as soon as possible so you're set up for more expensive, knowledge-required research and age advancement. Don't forget the timber required to research literacy to increase the rate at which the scholars create knowledge. The cheaper university and library help as you expand. A second library lets you research multiple library techs at once. Don't neglect this, as it will allow you to exploit the cheaper, faster researched library tech. These advantages should keep you ahead of an opponent, at least in technology.

Inca - The Power of Gold

  • Mines create wealth and metal income.
  • Wealth commerce limit +33 percent.
  • When an enemy kills one of your units, you receive a 25 percent refund for the killed unit.
  • Inti Clubmen: Classical Age light infantry. Fast, cheap, and counters cavalry.
  • Inti Macemen: Medieval Age light infantry. Fast, cheap, and counters cavalry.
  • Mortar: Enlightenment Age artillery weapon. Counters enemy buildings and foot troops at long range.
  • Siege Mortar: Industrial Age artillery weapon. Counters enemy buildings and foot troops at long range.

Incan mines generate metal and wealth.

The Incans command wealth with a 33 percent increase in the wealth commerce limit. Furthermore, diligent mining generates even more wealth--Incan mines create wealth and metal resources. This provides a huge boom in wealth. These are nice benefits, as wealth is a tricky resource, but one that's extremely important for research and unit creation. The Incans' final benefit is rather unique--you receive a 25 percent refund for any unit killed by your enemy. The added resources are certainly a plus, but remember that you still lost the unit and must take the time to create another. You may need extra military creation structures to create units quickly for this benefit to pay off. In a large battle, those refunds can come in quickly!

Japanese - The Power of Honor

  • Barracks units created 7 percent cheaper and 10 percent faster, for each age plus military research.
  • Barracks units do 5 percent extra damage vs. buildings for each age plus military research.
  • Ships are 10 percent cheaper and aircraft carriers are created 33 percent faster.
  • Farms are 50 percent cheaper. Farms and fishermen produce +25 percent resources.
  • Ashigaru Spearmen: Ancient Age heavy infantry. More powerful and durable than standard hoplites.
  • Bushi: Classical Age heavy infantry. More powerful and durable than standard phalanx.
  • Elite Bushi: Medieval Age heavy infantry. More powerful and durable than standard pikemen.
  • Samurai: Gunpowder Age heavy infantry. More powerful and durable than standard elite pikemen.
  • Gun Samurai: Enlightenment Age heavy infantry. More powerful and durable than standard fusiliers.

Exploit the Japanese barracks unit benefits with plenty of infantry and archers. It's no coincidence that the Japanese unique units are all heavy infantry spanning from the Ancient Age all the way to the Enlightenment Age. Each subsequent age increases the cost, build time, and damage to building benefits of the Japanese barracks units. Cheaper farms can start food income quickly. Further, farms produce 25 percent more resources for a stacked benefit.

Koreans - The Power of Tradition

  • Start with a temple and receive temple upgrades for free.
  • Start with an extra citizen.
  • Receive three citizens upon building your next city, and receive five citizens for all future cities.
  • Repair is 50 percent faster.
  • Citizens can build and repair buildings that are under fire without penalty.
  • Receive the militia, minuteman, and partisan upgrades for free.
  • Towers 33 percent cheaper.
  • Hwarang: Ancient Age foot archer. More powerful and durable than standard bowmen.
  • Elite Hwarang: Classical Age foot archer. More powerful and durable than standard archers.
  • Flaming Arrow: Ancient and Classical Age artillery weapon. More effective against enemy buildings than catapults.
  • Royal Hwarang: Medieval Age foot archer. More powerful and durable than standard crossbowmen.
  • Heavy Flaming Arrow: Medieval Age artillery weapon. More effective against enemy buildings than trebuchets.
  • Elite Royal Hwarang: Gunpowder Age foot archer. More powerful than all bow units.

The Koreans' free temple and upgrades increase national borders, city hit points, and city attack range. All are quite useful, particularly in defensive play. Speaking of defensive play, Korean towers are 33 percent cheaper. Exploit this benefit with forward building and ample city defense. Furthermore, construct a tower to gain the Koreans free militia, minuteman, and partisan upgrades. Finally, the extra citizen facilitates quick, early income. Research civic early to expand to another city (or another) for even more free citizens, which can begin additional resource collection to mount a mid-age assault. For such an attack, use the Korean unique Medieval Age units, the royal hwarang and heavy flaming arrow.

Maya - The Power of Architecture

  • Cities, towers, and forts fire extra arrows (or bullets), including cities without garrisons.
  • Buildings are 50 percent tougher and built 50 percent faster.
  • Buildings, except wonders, cost 33 percent less timber.
  • Balamob Slingers: Ancient Age light infantry. Counters enemy light infantry.
  • Royal Balamob Slingers: Classical Age light infantry. Counters enemy light infantry.
  • Eagle Balamob Slingers: Medieval Age light infantry. Counters enemy light infantry.
  • Recoilless Gun: Modern Age heavy infantry. Counters all types of vehicles.
  • Dragon AT Missile: Information Age heavy infantry. Counters all types of vehicles.

The power of architecture encourages a defensive approach. Utilize the Maya's increased city, tower, and fort defense with plenty of forward building of towers, forts, and expansions. To assist, these buildings are not only tougher but are built faster and require less wood (all buildings, except wonders). Expand toward enemy territory and choke the enemy with towers and forts. Protect yourself against attrition and funnel troops into enemy territory with forward-built barracks, stables, and siege factories.

Mongols - The Power of the Horde

  • Receive free ranged cavalry whenever you build a new stable or auto plant (one at start, three with two military upgrades).
  • Mounted units created 10 percent cheaper and 20 percent faster.
  • Receive +1 food for each 1 percent of world landmass controlled (times half the number of nations).
  • Attrition to your units reduced by 50 percent.
  • Receive forage, supply, and Logistics research free.
  • Nomad: Classical Age ranged cavalry. Counters enemy light infantry.
  • Steppe Nomad: Medieval Age ranged cavalry. Counters enemy light infantry.
  • Horde: Gunpowder Age ranged cavalry. Fast, gunpowder-armed, can fire while moving, and counters enemy light and musket infantry.
  • Golden Horde: Enlightenment Age ranged cavalry. Fast, gunpowder-armed, can fire while moving, and counters enemy musket infantry.

Stables are vital to the Mongols, who feature the power of the horde. Each stable built provides a free ranged cavalry unit (or the equivalent modern unit when you build an auto plant) in the beginning and three after two military upgrades. Mounted units, which are excellent for flanking and chasing down undefended archers and light infantry groups, are 10 percent cheaper and build 20 percent faster. Attrition damage is reduced, but don't neglect supply trucks. Build a smelter as soon as possible to receive the free upgrades--these upgrades increase the speed of tank, siege, and vehicle creation; increase the radius, speed, and hit points of supply wagons; and reduce attrition damage even further.

Nubians - The Power of Trade

  • Merchants collect +50 percent base resources.
  • You can see rare resources in your territory.
  • +1 to caravan limit.
  • You start with a market and can always trade resources with a +20, -20 price bonus.
  • Merchants, caravans, and markets are 50 percent cheaper and have 50 percent more hit points.
  • Kushite Archers: Classical Age foot archers. Counters all enemy archers.
  • Camel Archer: Classical Age ranged cavalry. Counters enemy light infantry.
  • Royal Kushite Archers: Medieval Age foot archers. Counters all enemy archers.
  • Heavy Camel Archer: Medieval Age ranged cavalry. Counters enemy light infantry.
  • Apedemak Archers: Gunpowder Age foot archers. Counters all enemy archers.
  • Camel Raider: Gunpowder Age ranged cavalry. Gunpowder-armed raiders that can fire while moving.
  • Camel Corps: Enlightenment Age ranged cavalry. Gunpowder-armed raiders that can fire while moving.

The Nubians begin with a market, which lets you get those merchants working to gather rare resources quickly (plus, merchants are 50 percent cheaper and 50 percent more durable). As assistance, you can see rare resources in your territory, and merchants collect rare resources even faster. A Nubian player must exploit rare resources and will likely utilize the market frequently for trade. Use the extra caravan limit for increased wealth. The Nubians offer a nice range of unique units--a foot archer and ranged cavalry for the Classical Age through Gunpowder Age. Support these units with counter cavalry.

Romans - The Power of Caesar

  • Forts and towers 25 percent cheaper
  • Heavy infantry created 10 percent cheaper and 10 percent faster.
  • Receive free heavy infantry whenever you build a new barracks (one at the start, two with the Gunpowder Age and three military research, and three with the Industrial Age and five military research)
  • Cities gather +10 wealth.
  • Legions: Classical Age heavy infantry. Counters heavy infantry.
  • Caesar's Legions: Medieval Age. Counters heavy infantry.
  • Praetorian Guards: Gunpowder Age. Counters heavy infantry.

Expansion is important to the Romans. Cities gain 10 wealth, an excellent benefit that will help you afford the unique heavy infantry units and anything else you desire. Protect your expansions liberally with 25-percent-cheaper forts and towers. Build plentiful barracks and receive free heavy infantry. Furthermore, heavy infantry units are 10 percent cheaper and build 10 percent faster. Push aggressively into enemy territory and upgrade to the Medieval Age to protect your Caesar's legions against attrition. Support heavy infantry with cavalry to counter archers.

Russians - The Power of the Motherland

  • Attrition damage to enemy units in your territory increased by 100 percent.
  • Attrition upgrades are free.
  • National borders +1 extra per civic research.
  • Oil gathering +20 percent.
  • Calvary units do +25 percent damage to enemy supply and artillery units.
  • Spies produced 50 percent cheaper and stay hidden after using a special ability.
  • Rusiny Lancer: Medieval Age light cavalry. Cheaper and faster to build than normal light cavalry.
  • Cossack: Gunpowder Age light cavalry. Cheaper and faster to build than normal light cavalry.
  • Don Cossack: Enlightenment Age light cavalry. Cheaper and faster to build than normal light cavalry.
  • Red Guards Infantry: Modern Age modern infantry. Slightly cheaper than normal infantry.
  • Katyusha Rocket: Modern Age artillery weapon. Wide explosion radius counters enemy ground troops.
  • Shock Infantry: Information Age modern infantry. Cheaper and more powerful than normal assault infantry.
  • T80 Tank: Information Age tank. Cheaper than the normal main battle tank.

Attrition plays a huge role in the motherland. Build a tower as soon as possible--the attrition upgrades are free, so you'll protect your territory at least until supply wagons become available. Until they're protected, attrition inflicts 100 percent more damage to enemy units. Use cavalry units, particularly the unique rusiny lancer, cossack, and don cossack, to flank supply wagons and artillery units--Russian cavalry inflicts 25 percent more damage to supply and artillery units. Expand borders (and in turn, cities) by prioritizing the civic line of research.

Spanish - The Power of Discovery

  • The map begins revealed and you start with an extra scout.
  • In "revealed map" games, you gain a bonus scout.
  • Scout line receives +3 line of sight, is upgraded for free, and uses abilities faster.
  • Receive a free heavy ship whenever you complete a dock, until the Industrial Age.
  • Gain +30 resources from ruins and +35 per science level.
  • Scutari: Classical Age heavy infantry. Counters cavalry.
  • Royal Scutari: Medieval Age heavy infantry. Counters cavalry.
  • Tercios: Gunpowder Age heavy infantry. Counters cavalry.
  • Royal Tercios: Enlightenment Age heavy infantry. Counters cavalry.

Scouting plays a huge role in all Rise of Nations games, and the Spanish are particularly blessed in this department. The Spanish begin with the map revealed and an extra scout. You can't see troop movements, but you can see terrain, resources, and rare resources. Also, the Spanish scout features upgraded line of sight and gains extra resources from ruins. Research science earlier and scouts gain even more extra resources. Turn this scouting benefit to your advantage by monopolizing resources and expanding quickly.

Turks - The Power of Siege

  • All siege, artillery, and bombardment units have +3 range and +3 line of sight.
  • Receive two free siege units whenever you build a new siege factory or factory.
  • Siege units upgrade for free.
  • Citizens 33 percent cheaper.
  • Conquered cities assimilated 200 percent faster.
  • Military research at the library is 33 percent cheaper.
  • Janissaries: Gunpowder Age gunpowder infantry. More powerful and faster than standard gunpowder infantry.
  • Basilica Bombard: Gunpowder Age artillery weapon. Counters enemy building and foot troops.
  • Royal Janissaries: Enlightenment Age. More powerful and faster than normal gunpowder infantry.
  • Basilica Cannon: Enlightenment Age. Counters enemy building and foot troops.

The Turks' siege abilities are powerful--siege upgraded for free, +3 range and +3 line of sight, and two free siege units for every siege factory built. Expand to enemy borders and place siege factories and escort free (and trained) siege toward enemy structures. Cheaper citizens facilitate early income. Enemy cities can be assimilated quickly. Assault with the Turks' powerful siege to weaken the city quickly, then escort in your infantry for a quick capture. Maintain siege pressure on your opponent and utilize the Turks' unique siege units--the basilica bombard and cannon--in the Gunpowder and Enlightenment Ages. Gear an attack around the Gunpowder Age to utilize both the powerful Turk siege abilities (build no less than three siege factories and provide supply truck escort) and the Turks' unique infantry.

Chapter 4: The Library, Ages, and Wonders

This section offers insight into three important Rise of Nations concepts: the research-filled library, advancing through the ages, and the magnificent--and quite beneficial--wonders.

The Library

The library is the cornerstone of all research in Rise of Nations. Without the library, you can't advance through the ages, you can't raise your population limit, you can't raise your commerce limit, and you won't be able to meet the prerequisites required for much of the powerful economic and military technologies offered by the various structures throughout the game. You can have one library per city. If you build a second library (in a different city from the first), you can perform research on multiple technologies simultaneously. Also, you won't have to select the research at each library. You can just set one library to perform all research and it will automatically occur simultaneously. Use the hotkey "L" to select the library.

The library is not only used to advance through the ages, but it also features four important lines of research: military, civic, commerce, and science. This section describes each of these important lines of research and reveals each line's seven levels. This section shows what each level offers, but keep in mind that some of these offerings require other prerequisites (for instance, level 2 military research opens up the airbase, but you won't be able to build it until you reach the prerequisite age).

The library houses vital research, including the military, civic, commerce, and science lines. It's also what you'll utilize in order to advance through the ages.

How you use the library research will differ depending on your play style. Science is a wise first choice because it speeds up all future research. Your first military and commerce research should arrive once you are near the population and commerce limits, respectively. And finally, your first civic research should come early (perhaps after science) so you can get an expansion up as soon as possible.

Military: Military research increases your population limit. Most military units and buildings require military research. It also speeds up transport ships and decreases unit cost and unit upgrade costs.

Military research is vital for raising the population cap, which you will need to do as you begin to produce a hefty army. Getting at least through level 2 is important for a rush because you can build the siege factory, which produces supply trucks. The fort is also an important defensive structure and the source of generals.

  • Level 1 - New buildings: barracks, stable, tower, upgrade to keep, upgrade to stockade.
  • Level 2 - New buildings: siege factory, fort, upgrade to castle, upgrade to fortress, airbase, missile silo.
  • Level 3 - New research: tactics at the fort, fortification at the fort.
  • Level 4 - New buildings: upgrade to bunker, upgrade to redoubt. New research: operations at the fort, bombardment at the fort.
  • Level 5 - Increase population limit.
  • Level 6 - New research: strategy at the fort, strategic reserves at the fort.
  • Level 7 - Increase population limit.
  • Final - Enemy missiles will not explode in your territory. Armageddon clock turned back by 2.

The Library (cont.)

Civic: Civic research increases the number of cities you are allowed to build and expands your national borders.

Research a civic level early in the game so you can build an expansion as soon as possible. Level 1 is also the prerequisite for allegiance, which you should research to keep unsupplied enemies out of your territory. Construct a temple after researching the second civic level so you can research religion to expand your borders further.

  • Level 1 - New research: taxation at the temple, allegiance at the tower.
  • Level 2 - New research: religion at the temple, oath of fealty at the tower.
  • Level 3 - New research: vassalage at the temple.
  • Level 4 - New research: monotheism at the temple, patriotism at the tower.
  • Level 5 - New research: social contract at the temple.
  • Level 6 - New research: existentialism at the temple, income tax at the temple.
  • Level 7 - Increases city limit and expands national borders.
  • Final - All timer victories, city assimilations, and enemy capital eliminations instantaneous.

Commerce: Commerce research increases your commerce limit, which controls your efficiency--the maximum rate at which you are allowed to gather resources. It also increases your caravan limit, the maximum number of trade routes you can have.

Commerce research is vital for increasing your commerce limit, which you will need to do to gather plentiful resources. You'll also want the market early on to produce caravans and generate wealth, as well as merchants to collect rare resources.

  • Level 1 - New buildings: dock, market.
  • Level 2 - Can buy and sell resources at the market. Can colonize new continents.
  • Level 3 - Caravans to allied and peaceful nations allowed.
  • Level 4 - Increases commerce and caravan limit.
  • Level 5 - Increases commerce and caravan limit.
  • Level 6 - Increases commerce and caravan limit.
  • Level 7 - Increases commerce and caravan limit.
  • Final - Raises your commerce limit and population limit to the maximum allowed and increases your resource production by 25 percent. Stealth bombers and advanced fighters available.

The commerce research increases your commerce limit, which determines how much of a particular resource you can gather without waste. It also increases your caravan limit.

Science: Science research decreases the research cost for all technology by 10 percent and speeds the research time for them by 10 percent. Science research also increases the line of sight of all scouts, cities, and lookouts. It also increases the bonus for exploring ruins. Most economic upgrades require science research.

Research a science level first to improve your scout and to reduce research costs and times. Science is also important for resource technologies and structures. After science level 2, build a granary and lumber mill. After level three, build a smelter and start researching resource improvements.

  • Level 1 - Units can be transported by sea. New buildings: temple
  • Level 2 - New buildings: granary, lumber mill. New research: construction at the lumber mill, herbal lore at the granary, forage at the smelter.
  • Level 3 - New buildings: smelter. New research: architecture at the lumber mill, medicine at the granary, carpentry at the lumber mill, agriculture at the granary, and literacy at the university.
  • Level 4 - New research: supply at the smelter, logging industry at the lumber mill, crop rotation at the granary, printing press at the university, metal alloys at the smelter.
  • Level 5 - New research: engineering at the lumber mill, pharmaceuticals at the granary, scientific method at the university, cold casting at the smelter.
  • Level 6 - Entire map becomes explored. New buildings: refinery. New research: logistics at the smelter, paper mill at the lumber mill, food industry at the granary, institutional research at the university, steel at the smelter.
  • Level 7 - All units and buildings in your territory revealed.
  • Final - Units are produced instantly.

Advancing Ages

You begin most games in the Ancient Age and must advance through the subsequent ages to gain new technologies, structures, resources, and units. The following section lists the remaining ages and provides a brief description of what each age offers.

Classical Age: New resources: knowledge, metal. Advancing to the Classical Age makes new resources available (knowledge and metal). It also allows you to build forts for defense and stables and siege factories to create powerful new kinds of units.

Advance to the next age and receive the ability to upgrade military units and perform additional research.

Medieval Age: Advancing to the Medieval Age allows you to arm your troops with more powerful weapons. It also allows you to build supply wagons to support your troops and spies to subvert your enemies.

Gunpowder Age: Advancing to the Gunpowder Age makes powerful gunpowder units available.

Enlightenment Age: Advancing to the Enlightenment Age makes powerful new musket and cannon units available.

Industrial Age: New resources: oil. Advancing to the Industrial Age gives you access to a new resource (oil) and makes tanks and aircraft available for the first time.

Modern Age: Advancing to the Modern Age gives you access to powerful modern units and buildings, including the ability to research nuclear weapons.

Information Age: Advancing to the Information Age brings you to the pinnacle of information technology--the game's most powerful units and buildings at last become available.

Wonders

Wonders are an important way to improve your nation's standing and gain an edge on any opponent. There are some restrictions, however: You can only build one wonder per city, and there can only be one of each type of wonder in the game at any time. For example, if your opponent builds the pyramids, then you won't be able to construct the pyramids until your opponent's pyramids are destroyed. The Egyptians offer several wonder benefits--their wonders cost 25 percent less, their wonders can be built an age early, and they can build two wonders per city. The Egyptians also feature a campaign wonder benefit: In the conquer the world game, the Egyptians get a free "build wonder" bonus card.

Some games can be won by simply building enough wonders. Once the goal is reached, a timer starts. You must hold onto your wonders for the complete countdown to achieve the victory. Use wonders to complement your nation's strengths or even counteract their weaknesses.

For example, pyramids are a nice mix with the Egyptians, creating a near food boom with an increased commerce limit for food and an improvement to the gather rate. Combine that with the Egyptian free granary and food upgrades, seven farms per city, and already increased food commerce, and a pyramid can help produce an ample amount of food. Convert the food into a strong Medieval Age army. Another example: The colossus offers a good complement to the wealth-abundant Incas. The Incas already possess a higher wealth commerce limit and wealth-producing mines. With a colossus, you have increased wealth rate, a higher commerce limit, and a 50 percent larger population limit to accommodate more of those wealth-heavy military units sooner.

Wonders also increase in cost as you acquire them. For instance, if you've built a couple of wonders, expect future wonders to cost more than they would if you had no wonders.

Here are all the wonders and their benefits and requirements:

Pyramids: One wonder point. Increases your commerce limit for food and wealth by 50. Increases your city limit by 1. Improves your food gather rate by 20 percent. Requires that you advance to the Classical Age first (can be built in the Ancient Age if you're Egyptian).

Colossus: One wonder point. Increases your wealth rate by 30 percent. Increases your population limit by 50 percent. Increases your commerce limit for wealth and timber by 50 percent. Requires that you advance to the Classical Age first (can be built in the Ancient Age if you're Egyptian).

The Colossus wonder helps generate wealth.

Terra Cotta Army: Two wonder points. Creates a free food unit every 30 seconds (plus .5 seconds for every infantry unit you control). Requires that you advance to the Medieval Age first (can be built in the Classical Age if you're Egyptian).

Coliseum: Two wonder points. Increases your national borders by 3. Attrition to enemy units in your territory increased by 50 percent. Forts and towers are 20 percent cheaper. Requires that you advance to Medieval Age first (can be built in the Classical Age if you're Egyptian).

Temple of Tikal: Two wonder points. Increases your timber gather rate by 50 percent. Raises your commerce cap for timber by 100. Increases temple effects (on national borders, hit points, and attack range) by 50 percent. Requires that you advance to the Gunpowder Age first (can be built in the Medieval Age if you're Egyptian).

Porcelain Tower: Two wonder points. You create ships 50 percent faster. Increases your income from rare resources (in your territory) and markets by 200 percent. You receive the bonus ability of all rare resources in your territory, even if you don't have a merchant there. Requires that you advance to the Gunpowder Age first (can be built in the Medieval Age if you're Egyptian).

Angkor Wat: Three wonder points. Increases your metal gather rate by 50 percent. Raises your commerce limit for metal by 100. Cost of barracks, stable, and dock units reduced by 25 percent. Requires that you advance to the Enlightenment Age first (can be built in the Gunpowder Age if you're Egyptian).

Versailles: Three wonder points. Reduces the non-knowledge costs of research by 50 percent. Your supply wagons can heal your troops (and French supply wagons heal at double normal rate). Siege, artillery, and supply units move 25 percent faster. Requires that you advance to the Enlightenment Age first (can be built in the Gunpowder Age if you're Egyptian).

Statue of Liberty: Four wonder points. You receive all ground unit and airbase upgrades for free. Reduces attrition damage inflicted on your units in enemy territory by 100 percent. Reduces the cost of bombers and air defense buildings by 33 percent. Requires that you advance to the Industrial Age first (can be built in the Enlightenment Age if you're Egyptian).

Kremlin: Four wonder points. Raises your commerce limit for food, timber, and metal by +200. Increases the attrition damage inflicted on unsupplied enemy units in your territory by 100 percent. Spies are created instantly. Gain the use of an extra spy unit that does not count against your population limit and is rebuilt for free whenever it is killed. Requires that you advance to the Industrial Age first (can be built in the Enlightenment Age if you're Egyptian).

Taj Mahal: Six wonder points. Increases all your building hit points by 100 percent. Your wealth income is increased by 100 percent. Raises your commerce limit for wealth by 300. Requires that you advance to the Modern Age first (can be built in the Industrial Age if you're Egyptian).

Eiffel Tower: Six wonder points. Increases your oil income by 100 percent. Raises your commerce limit for oil by 200. Increases your national borders by 6. Requires that you advance to the Modern Age first (can be built in the Industrial Age if you're Egyptian).

Supercollider: Eight wonder points. The cost to buy goods at the market is never higher than 125 wealth, and the price to sell is never lower than 50 wealth. Technologies can be researched instantaneously. Requires that you advance to the Information Age first (can be built in the Modern Age if you're Egyptian).

Space Program: Eight wonder points. You can see the location of all units, buildings, and terrain on the map. You create aircraft and missiles 100 percent faster and 50 percent cheaper. You are immune to the effects of a nuclear embargo. Requires that you advance to the Information Age first (can be built in the Modern Age if you're Egyptian).

Chapter 5: Technologies

The following table reveals the various technologies in Rise of Nation, where to research them, and each technology's benefits.

TECHNOLOGYRESEARCHED ATBENEFITS
AgricultureGranaryGranaries increase food output by 50% percent. Fishermen collect +50% percent food.
AllegianceTowerAttrition damage to enemies in your territory (level 1).
ArchitectureLumber MillBuildings constructed faster (level 2). Building hit points increased by 10% percent.
BombardmentFortIncreases effect of forts on national borders by +6. +2 range for forts. +5 garrison capacity for forts and towers. +4 line -of -sight for forts.
CarpentryLumber MillLumber mills increase timber output by 50% percent.
Cold CastingSmelterSmelters increase metal output by 150% percent.
ConstructionLumber MillBuildings constructed faster (level 1). Building hit points increased by 10% percent.
Crop RotationGranaryGranaries increase food output by 100% percent. Fishermen collect +100% percent food.
EngineeringLumber MillBuildings constructed faster (level 3). Building hit points increased by 30% percent.
ExistentialismTempleTemples increase city effect on national borders by +9. Temples increase city hit points by 150% percent. Temples increase city combat range by +4.
Food IndustryGranaryGranaries increase food output by 200% percent. Fishermen collect ++200% percent food.
ForageSmelterTanks, siege, and vehicle units created faster (level 1). Supply wagons gain increased radius, speed, and hit points (level 1). Your units in enemy territory receive 25% percent less attrition damage (and none when not moving or fighting).
FortificationFortIncreases effect of forts on national borders by +4. +1 range for forts. +5 garrison capacity for forts and towers. +2 line -of -sight for forts.
GranaryCitizenIncreases the food output for all farms in the same city by 20% percent.
Herbal LoreGranaryFoot and mounted troops created faster (level 1). Foot and mounted troops line -of -sight increased (level 1). Units heal faster while garrisoned in buildings (level 1).
Income TaxTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 300% percent (level 4). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 300% percent (level 4).
Institutional ResearchUniversityScholars produce +20 knowledge each.
LiteracyUniversityScholars produce +7 knowledge each.
Logging IndustryLumber MillLumber mills increase timber output by 100% percent.
LogisticsSmelterTanks, siege, and vehicle units created faster (level 3). Supply wagons gain increased radius, speed, hit points (level 3). Your units in enemy territory receive 75% percent less attrition damage (and none when not moving or fighting).
Lumber MillCitizenIncreases the timber output of all woodcutter's camps in the same city by 20% percent.
MedicineGranaryFoot and mounted troops created faster (level 2). Foot and mounted troops line-of-sight increased (level 2). Units heal faster while garrisoned in buildings (level 2).
Metal AlloysSmelterSmelters increase metal output by 100% percent.
MilitiaTowerCitizens who have taken up weapons. Once the militia unit is researched, citizens gain a "To Arms!" button, which that allows them to become fighting militia units. Militia research also increases the hit points and line -of -sight of ordinary citizens. Militia research also increases tower range and line -of -sight.
MinutemenTowerUpgraded militia armed with muskets. Citizens can become minutemen using their "To Arms!" button. Minutemen research also increases the hit points and line -of -sight of ordinary citizens. Minuteman research also increases tower range and line -of -sight.
MonotheismTempleTemples increase city effect on national borders by +6. Temples increase city hit points by 100% percent. Temples increase city combat range by +3.
NationalismTowerIncreased attrition damage to enemies in your territory (level 4).
Oath of FealtyTowerIncreased attrition damage to enemies in your territory (level 2).
OperationsFortGenerals and spies recover their craft twice as quickly. Generals have increased radius, hit points, speed, and line -of -sight and increased effect on unit armor. Spies have increased range, hit points, speed, and line -of -sight.
Paper MmillLumber MillLumber mills increase timber output by 200% percent.
PartisanTowerUpgrade minutemen armed with rifles. When partisans are not moving or attacking, they can't normally be seen by most enemies. Citizens can become partisans using their "To Arms!" button. Partisan research also increases the hit points and line -of -sight of ordinary citizens. Partisan research also increases tower range and line -of -sight.
PatriotismTowerIncreased attrition damage to enemies in your territory (level 3).
PharmaceuticalsGranaryFoot and mounted troops created faster (level 3). Foot and mounted troops line -of -sight increased (level 3). Units heal faster while garrisoned in buildings (level 3).
Printing PressUniversityScholars produce +10 knowledge each.
RefineryCitizenIncreases the oil output of all oil wells in your nation by 33% percent. Additional refineries within your nation have a cumulative ""stacking"" effect, so two refineries would increase your oil output by a net 66% percent
ReligionTempleTemples increase city effect on national borders by +4. Temples increase city hit points by 50% percent. Temples increase city combat range by +2.
Scientific MethodUniversityScholars produce +15 knowledge each.
SmelterCitizenIncreases the metal output of all mines in the same city by 50% percent.
Social ContractTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 200% percent (level 3). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 200% percent (level 3).
SteelSmelterSmelters increase metal output by 200% percent.
Strategic ReservesFortIncreases effect of forts on national borders by +9. +3 range for forts. +5 garrison capacity for forts and towers. +6 line -of -sight for forts.
SupercomputersUniversityScholars produce +25 knowledge each.
SupplySmelterTanks, siege, and vehicle units created faster (level 2). Supply wagons gain increased radius, speed, and hit points (level 2). Your units in enemy territory receive 50% percent less attrition damage (and none when not moving or fighting).
TacticsFortGenerals and spies are created twice as quickly. Generals have increased radius, hit points, speed, and line -of -sight and increased effect on unit armor. Spies have increased range, hit points, speed, and line -of -sight.
TaxationTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 50% percent (level 1). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 120% percent (level 1).
VassalageTempleAllows taxation based on the percentage of world territory controlled. Taxation rate becomes 100% percent (level 2). Increases gather rate of merchants in friendly territory (and all fishermen's non-food resources) to 150% percent (level 2).

Chapter 6: Conquer the World Strategies

This section provides strategies specific to the Rise of Nations "conquer the world" campaign game.

Rules and Overview

Here are the official rules for the conquer the world campaign game as listed in the interface screen. Some insights on each rule follow the description.

1. In conquer the world, you begin with one capital territory and one army. Use your army to conquer more territories to win. To win, conquer the entire world.

The world begins nearly unclaimed. Branch out from your capital and attack an unclaimed territory and defeat a barbarian rally mission (explained in the next section) to claim the land. In subsequent turns, you can invade remaining unclaimed lands or attack any enemy land.

2. You may attack an unclaimed or enemy territory once per turn.

3. Captured territories give you bonuses, including tribute, rare resources, and bonus cards.

Check the icons next to a territory's "power," which is represented by the single-digit number adjacent to the territory. This number represents the territory's relative strength--the higher the number, the more powerful the nation. Expect capitals to be some of the most powerful territories. Conquer territories that provide rare resources to increase your overall resource income (revealed in the lower right side of the interface).

You also gain tribute from some territories. Tribute is spent on making peace with particular territories or even declaring war on other territories. You also receive tribute when defeating a capital (thus conquering the nation) and when you unify a continent, such as North America. Tribute can also be spent on increasing the power of particular territories. If you're attacked, you can settle the dispute with some tribute, but you'll be forced to not attack that nation for several turns.

You can also use tribute to purchase bonus cards.

4. Certain territories contain supply centers. In addition to your starting army, you get one extra army for every supply center you control.

Extra armies provide the ability to reinforce your attacks on an enemy territory. For instance, maneuver an extra army adjacent to an enemy territory (keep in mind that territories hold only one army from each side at a time). With multiple armies adjacent to an enemy territory, when you do attack, the extra armies will provide added units for the battle.

5. An army can attack or support an attack during a turn. A supporting army automatically sends reinforcements during a battle. Armies can also offer defensive support.

You can use your turn to attack an adjacent enemy, such as this Incan capital.

6. If you can use enough supporting armies, you can win a non-capital territory without having to fight. You must have two or more armies than your opponent to "overrun" the territory. An overrun attack does not count as your attack in a turn. An army can attack or support an attack during a turn. A supporting army automatically sends reinforcements during the scenario.

Surround non-capital enemy territories with at least two more armies than your enemy. Mount the attack and automatically win without a fight. You won't be able to do this with all territories, since a single territory borders some lands.

Don't forget that you can also receive the help of allies. Use tribute to extend an offer of peace to another nation near your enemy. Upon attacking the mutual enemy, the allied nation will lend its support with reinforcements. Expect hefty tribute costs for continued make peace, break peace, make war scheming.

Mission Types

There are several different conquer the world mission types. There are certainly many possible ways to succeed in each mission type. This section reveals the major mission types and provides some tips on succeeding in each.

  • Barbarian Rally: Take control of a neutral territory in one of the early turns in the campaign and then defend your city against a constant onslaught of barbarians. It's a defense mission, so increase the defenses around your city with towers and the like. Produce military units to remain close to your city and intercept the invading forces. The invaders increase over the course of the mission, so expect to be nearly surrounded in the mission's concluding minutes.
  • Field Battle: Your army challenges another in a field battle mission. To complete the mission, you must destroy the two barracks--otherwise known as the enemy's encampment--revealed on the mini-map. As you maneuver your troops toward the encampment, expect to encounter numerous enemy groups ranging from small forces to large armies. You must coordinate your troops effectively to succeed--remember you won't be able to produce more! Split your army into logical control groups, separating infantry types, cavalry, vehicles, and artillery weapons. Follow the counter unit concept and counter the enemy forces while avoiding your units' own counters.
  • Tactics: The tactics mission type is similar to field battle, but you must engage a larger city as well as the defending army. Once again, you can't produce more troops, so you must protect what you're given in order to achieve victory. Artillery weaponry is key. Keep your siege units alive in order to bombard the city structures from long range. Separate your army into logical groupings and exploit counters in order to maximize damage and effectiveness against the enemy troops.
  • Conquest: The conquest missions are the most elaborate. You have a predetermined time limit to capture the enemy capital, and you begin with just a handful of citizens and a couple of buildings. You must advance through library research, build your cities, and train your military units to conquer the enemy capital. If you're attacked on the conquer the world screen, you can also win the mission by surviving for the entire time limit. But if you're the attacker, you must capture the capital to win.
  • Ambush: The ambush missions are similar to conquest. You still start with a meager town and must advance through research and build your forces to the inevitable battle conclusion. However, in ambush, expect the enemy forces to be much more aggressive and pose a much more pestering problem in your cities. Prepare added defenses to repel these forces.

Using Battle Cards

Open up the diplomacy window if you wish to negotiate an alliance. Just remember it will require plenty of tribute.

Save applicable battle cards for tough conquest missions, especially against enemy capitals. Destroy those enemy capitals and you'll gain all that nation's territories, tribute, and so on. Playing a battle card or multiple battle cards can provide the extra edge you need to conquer the enemy nation; this is also important when you're attacked. Hold that important territory by playing applicable battle cards to assist in the mission.

Don't be afraid to use the battle cards that provide a conquered nation's benefits for one battle. Consult the Nation Overviews section of this game guide to reference all nations' benefits. Upon playing the card, exploit these benefits in the upcoming battle.

Chapter 7: Multiplayer Strategies

There are certainly numerous ways to develop your Rise of Nations strategy. You can conduct research in numerous orders, expand early or expand late, go for wonders, rush immediately, or play defensively. Many of these tips assume default game conditions. A lot of these steps aren't set in stone but are elements to think about when building the foundation of your city.

Expand early, or you'll fall behind in resource gathering.

  • Choose your nation depending on your desired play style. If you play defensively, select a nation with bonuses to national borders, forts, towers, and even resources (to fund added defenses). If you play aggressively, select a nation with military bonuses or bonuses in expanding or gathering resources early in the game.
  • When a new game starts, press apostrophe to select your scout. Press Ctrl+E to set him to auto-explore and he'll go find ruins and rare resources. Or if you're comfortable, give him waypoints to explore the terrain surrounding your city.
  • Press L to select your library and choose a line of research. Starting with science is smart because it increases the speed of future research. It also increases your scout's abilities, including gathering more resources from ruins.
  • Queue up citizens in your city. Do so by pressing C (selects city) and then V as many times as you want citizens. You should fill your current woodcutter's camp, build the maximum number of farms, and even start a second woodcutter's camp to generate a sizable timber income to support early expansion and the construction of various structures. Press R with the city selected to set the city's rally point.
  • Depending on your nation's resource bonuses (if any), you may reach the commerce limit for food or timber in your initial city. Thus, it's wise to raise the commerce limit by pressing L to select the library and research the first commerce upgrade.
  • Build a market as soon as possible after researching the first commerce upgrade. That way, you can get a caravan started and can train merchants to gather all the rare resources in view. Don't forget in team games to send merchants to your ally's rare resources as well. If it's a water map, use fishermen from docks to gather rare resources from the sea. They're a great source of wealth.
  • In water maps, you'll need a dock, if only to maneuver your troops into transports to reach another island. But in water maps, the dock is also important for fishermen, who are used to gather rare resources from the body of water. Controlling the sea may also come into play, so be prepared to train a navy to either protect your fishermen or wreak havoc on your opponent's fishing industry.
  • Expansion is an early priority, particularly if you're planning a rush (geared around the Medieval and Gunpowder Ages). Press L to select the library and then research the first civic level. If you're the Bantu, the first civic research provides the ability to construct two extra cities.
  • Select a citizen (or create a new one by pressing C and then V) and use him to build your second city at the edge of your national border. Place the city close to a forest and a mountain if possible (to serve as protection for your gatherers). Once your second city has been erected, select the citizen who built it and construct a farm. Train four more citizens for four more farms. Train another citizen for another woodcutter's camp and put more citizens to work chopping timber.
  • When your population nears its maximum, research the first level of military at the library. The first level of military research is also a prerequisite for a barrack, which is certainly needed if you plan to rush.
  • Conduct second-level library research as needed. The second level of science research opens up the granary and lumber mill for increased resource production. Increase your commerce limit to level 2, raise your military level once you reach the population limit, and research another civic level for further expansion.
  • Advance to the Classical Age with two to three cities. If your opponent(s) reach the Classical Age before you, advancing requires fewer resources, but you are behind in the times, so to speak. However, you may have prepared for the long haul better with a greater income.
  • Long-term goals should include setting up caravan trade routes between cities to start accumulating wealth. If you're unsure if you have the maximum number of caravans, click on the menu bar on the right side of your resource indicators. If you have more caravan slots, produce a caravan and he'll automatically begin a route after a short period of time. Also, set up caravan routes between allies if you're in a team game.
  • Set up mines at available mountains for metal. This is very important once you reach the Classical Age. Construct a university for each city and train scholars to amass knowledge. You'll need these resources in abundance as you advance farther in the ages. Build a tower and research allegiance to initiate attrition damage.
  • Ample wood should permit you to place multiple barracks, stables, and siege factories near the edge of your territory if you plan to mount a rush. This tactic is especially useful if you have structure bonuses, such as free siege weapons with each factory. This can be done in the Ancient Age as well. Remember to produce multiple unit types, or your opponent will simply counter your unbalanced forces. Be wary of building too close to enemy territory. Your enemy could increase borders with a temple, research, or a fort and place your barracks inside enemy territory. Buildings suffer attrition too!
  • Don't forget to continue research and age advancement even if you're engaged in battle. If you simply stare at battles and neglect research, you could have piles of resources in reserve doing nothing. By the time you complete the battle, even if you win, you could be far behind in research. Meanwhile, your opponent is building reinforcements, researching, and advancing in age and will soon become more powerful.
  • One of the toughest aspects of an extended game is to maximize resource income even while attempting to manage combat and aggression. You may be forced to research a commerce upgrade, which increases your commerce limit, but realize that this is not efficient if several of your resource incomes are far below maximum. Instead of going through the micromanagement necessary to build farms or more mines, just build a granary for cities with five farms (to increase food income), a lumber mill for cities with a wood camp or multiple wood camps (to increase timber income), a smelter for cities with a mine or multiple mines (to increase metal income), or a refinery (to increase oil income). Then use the Tab key to cycle through available upgrades and research each structure's upgrade associated with that resource. If you have the micromanagement skills, set up the farms, camps, mines, and wells.
  • When engaged with an enemy city, target barracks and stables near the city before bombarding the city itself. Siege weapons can make quick work of these structures, and if they're out of the way, your opponent won't be able to reinforce as easily.
  • Some city battles can become a vicious game of back and forth. You'll gain control but then lose it as your opponent moves reinforcements in. Build multiple barracks, stables, and siege factories closer to the enemy city. This allows you to reinforce the front more quickly. Set the structure rally points toward the city so you can maintain control. Continue to churn out military units. If the lack of a resource prevents you from making more units, use the market to adjust resources for the sake of wealth to continue the flow of units toward the enemy city. When you gain control of the city, repair it using citizens. Build towers to aid in its protection. Bombard any remaining nearby enemy buildings with your siege weapons. Losing control of the city will be quite a setback for your opponent. Build military structures at the captured city so you can reinforce your units quickly.
  • Build lookouts around the map to keep an eye on enemy movements. You may have your army at the outer reaches of your territory, ready to strike, but your enemy could have flanked your initial cities or your capital and be prepared to mount a vicious strike. Without defenses, your city could fall easily, crushing your economy or costing you the game.
  • If you're under attack on the front lines and are ill prepared for defense, garrison your citizens and start building more barracks and stables inside your closest rear city. Then start training troops to counter whatever the enemy is using. Once you have a sizable army (that can counter the enemy's attack), move it up. Obviously, if your enemy is ahead in age and resource, this may be the beginning of the end. But if you're ahead in tech and age and have plenty of resources, repelling the attack should be easy. Once the attack is repelled, immediately become the aggressor and push into enemy territory and bombard his or her nearest city and structures with siege weapons.

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