Rise of Nations/Ages
Ancient (ca 2000 BC)[edit | edit source]
The starting age of the game. The Ancient age offers only Foot troops and Tower defenses. Cities cannot increase above Small size, and Knowledge and Metal do not yet exist, so technologies and units that would cost Metal or Knowledge in future ages cost extra Wealth and Timber.This period of history represents the dawn of civilization. It was when humanity first learned to be an agricultural society around 10,000 B.C. and began to congealed to form Nations. The seeds of written language, mathematics and the Nation state was planted and germinated during these formative years of human history. It is the period when civilizations like the Egyptians and Babylonians were at their height, and when others like the Chinese and Greeks were on the ascension. It was when great monuments like the pyramids and the mysterious Sphinx was built. Causing even modern scholars to wonder how such feats of architecture could have been achieved by these ancient peoples. It was also when such clashes of civilizations like the legendary Trojan wars occured to determined the fate of civilizations. A civilization could fade from human memory if they could not survive these formative years of human history. It was indeed a struggle. For this period stretched over many millenia and lasting until around 500 B.C. when finally new powers would come to fore to create what would become the cornerstones of occidental and oriental cultures.
Classical (1999 BC - 500 AD)[edit | edit source]
Stables, Siege Factories, and Forts can be built, adding to the power of the attack. This is countered by cities increasing to Large size if there are 5 different types of buildings in their sphere of influence. Knowledge and Metal are introduced, and Universities and Mines can be built.The Classical age was so named because it was the height of the Greek Civilization, the father of western civilization. Strictly speaking, the Classical age lasted from around 500 B.C., that was marked by the Persian and Greek wars until the death of Alexander the Great in 300 B.C., having achieved the conquest of eastern europe, the middle-east and south Asia. Which at the time was the largest empire the world has known. The mantle of western civilization would be taken up by the Roman Empire which would create a European Empire that would be the model of Empires and world powers to come. The Empire was forged in the Punic Wars with the Carthaginians and would create a dominion that not only included much of the Empire Alexander created but also included western Europe and North Africa. In Asia, this period also marked high points with the Chinese civilization which included the birth of Confucianism and the first unification of the Chinese civilization under Chin Shi Huang around 200 B.C. The game however, extends the Classical Age to around 500 A.D. to include the period of Roman domination of Europe, which shaped the character of Europe and its pivotal fall as an Empire.
Medieval (501 AD - 1299 AD)[edit | edit source]
Forts become Castles, and Catapults can be upgraded to Trebuchets, which are significantly more powerful. Also, the key Supply Wagon unit is introduced (along with Spies), allowing for effective siege attacks. All unit types can receive upgrades. The Medieval age is considered the "height of the defense curve," as it gets easier to attack after the introduction of the Supply Wagon, and in subsequent ages.The Medieval Age is synonymous with what is called the Middle Ages. This period covers the next millenium after the fall of Rome to the fall of the Byzantine Empire around 1500 A.D. It is called the Middle Ages because in history it lies between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance in Europe. The middle ages were a time of great political and social change. Much of Europe transitioned first to the feudal system, then with the growth of nationalism, monarchies arose in nations such as England, France, and Spain. During the middle ages, such well know events as the Hundred Years' War between France and England, the Crusades, and the War of Roses occurred. It also corresponded to the Muslim rule of India, the formation of the Japanese civilization, the continued ascension of the Chinese empire and the spread of Chinese confucianism and Indian Buddhist philosophy into the rest of East Asia. But also included the rise of the Mongol Empire which created the largest Empire in human history with their astounding conquests of almost all of Asia and into the doorstep of Europe.
Gunpowder (1300 AD - 1715 AD)[edit | edit source]
The introduction of Arquebuses, Bombards, and Dragoons pushes the balance of power toward the attacker. The introduction of Gunpowder is one of the most significant developments in history, and in the game. Getting here with a significant lead could end the game in your favor - if you haven't sacrificed defense to do so, and been conquered in the Medieval Age! This age starts with what corresponds to the Renaissance period in Europe, when the scientific stagnation that characterized the previous period of European history was firmly put to rest. Many great artists and scientist like Leonardo Di Vinci whose visionary ideals still amaze us today characterized this period. But also was marked by the invention of a fearsome new technology that was first used in China in limited fashion as far back as the 9th century A.D. The innovations in gunpowder and the pervasive use of gunpowder came after the middle ages in Europe where it was used in first crude cannons for knocking down walls. Its use was later refined and put to desvastating effect when the Ottoman Turks broke through the heretofore impenetrable walls of Byzantium, and slaughtered troops in the thousands on the field with these early weapons of mass destruction. The use of gunpowder was further refined to allow individual soldiers to employ this weapon on a smaller scale with the use of the arquebus and later the musket. Soldier that could wield this new weapon effectively within months of training began to replace the need for archers that needed to train for years to be effective. This period was also marked by the age of exploration when European powers began to strike out to explore and often conquer the world. Spain became a world power with the weapon of this day. It enabled the Spanish to wipe out the Native American Empires in Central and South America with a few hundred adventurer soldiers called Conquistadors. Near the end of this period England would also rise to the occasion and began to take the world power title from the Spanish with such strong leaders as Elizabeth the First. They were not alone of course. France, Portugal and the Dutch also did their share of exploration and conquests. Men such as Magellan, Pizarro, and Columbus were the tip of this European vanguard. This period lasted a mere two centuries until around the 1700's but the world now moves much faster then the earlier periods of history.
Enlightenment (1716 AD - 1880 AD)[edit | edit source]
Heavy Infantry first gain ranged weapons in the Enlightenment Age, and all units gain significant upgrades, especially Cannon, which go from being primarily siege weapons to having a strong anti-personnel role as well. The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason in Europe. Beginning around 1700 A.D. and lasting to the middle of the 19th Century. It was characterized by the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of nature and humanities' place in it without resorting to religious beliefs. The age of Enlightenment saw many new ideas throughout Europe. Philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Voltaire discussed ideas about government, society, human nature, natural rights and questioned old beliefs that had been upheld by the church. At times it became a conflict between religion and the inquiring minds that wanted to know and understand the world through reason based on evidence and proof. Great scientific minds like Sir Isaac Newton would establish the scientific methods that we still use today. It was also a period of clashes in political philosophy as republicanism went up against Monarchies when Napoleon attempted to take over all of Europe, and America fought for its independance from England. Despite that, England grew to its height. The initial steps towards being a world power in the previous centuries was confirmed in the Victorian age when they could boast that the Sun never sets on the British Empire. Indeed by they had claim to colonial possessions around the globe.
Industrial (1881 AD - 1935 AD)[edit | edit source]
A key moment in history and in the game, as new rare resources are introduced, and Oil becomes a necessary commodity. Offsetting this additional economic worry are the enormously powerful Tanks and Airplanes that defined modern warfare.The Industrial Age was ushered in by England in the middle of the 19th Century. Mass production and mechanization was the order of the day, and enabled those who embraced it to overcome those who didn't and often against overwhelming numerical odds. England's hold on the world was enabled by this paradigm, as they took over much Africa and caused the collapse of dynastic rule in China. Rifles and Machine guns were invented during this time, and caused massive casualties to the targets of these weapons. The American Civil war saw losses in the tens of thousands in just one battle, greater then the combined American casualties of later wars as soldiers struggled to adjusted to these weapons using outdated tactics. This period lasted through to the first quarter of the 20th century, which saw the invention of chemical weapons, the tank and the airplane. All of which saw action in the First World War. It was called a world war for the reason that the limits of influence and communication no longer was restricted to between neighboring countries or even continents, but stretched across the globe. Nations across the globe was embroiled in this single conflict in some way.
Modern (1936 AD - 1968 AD)[edit | edit source]
Primitive unit types introduced in the Industrial Age now become potent weapons of war, as Tanks, Fighters , Bombers , and Cruise Missiles become available. The all-important Tactical Nuclear Weapon makes its first appearance in this era, which should incite the wise commander to spread his forces a little more sparsely on the battlefield. The Modern Age lasted between the end of the First World War to the 1980's with the end of the cold war. It was punctuated by the Second World War, which became the biggest conflict in human history as democracies faced the forces of fascism across the globe. This period saw the refinements of inventions and previous technologies to a high level. This culminated with development of the Atomic Bomb that ended the Second World War with the defeat of Fascist Germany and Japan. In a peaceful form of competition between nations, technological development continued with the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States. Each vieing for sole super power status during the Cold War. However it was also against the background of proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam. Despite inconclusive results or even effective losses in these two conflicts. America winning the Space Race with its Landing of men on the Moon in 1969, combined with the American Capitolist economic system would prevailed over the countervaling communist economy championed by the Soviet Union. America would eventually become the sole super power in the World.
Information (1969 AD - future)[edit | edit source]
All modern upgrades to Economy, Technology, and Military are now available, including Stealth Bombers, ICBMs, and powerful Main Battle Tanks. Once all technologies in the Information Age are researched, special additional technologies become available to bring the game to a dramatic finish. The Information age represents the age we are now in. It became known by this name in the 1980's when the internet brought information accessibility to the masses like never before. But really began with the invention of the electronic computer in the 1940's when it was used to decrypt enemy communications. A single room size machine eventually evolved into a world wide communication network that its creators never dreamt of. The Jet plane that was invented at the end of the Second World War, not only matured at a rapid pace, it made leaps into Stealth Technology that would make obsolete, what was an advanced technology called radar that was invented during the Second World War that defended England's shores from Nazi Germany. This rapid pace of development and obsolescence of previous technology parallels the speed of communication mediums that travels at the speed of light. Technological viability that was measured in centuries in the ancient times, reduced to decades and then to years in the Information Age. Moore's Law that says that technological leaps would double the performance its predecessors every year or so is the order of the day. Indeed in Rise of Nations game ending technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Global Prosperity allows your nation to create troops or assimilate a captured city instantaneously.