Age of Empires
Age of Empires or AOE is one of the best strategy game available out there. This is a game that is highly addictive and fun to play. It was originally a PC game but now it's also available in Playstation.
There are several different versions of Age of Empires (AOE) , including:
Age of Empires: Age of Kings
Age of Empires II: Age of Kings
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansions
Age of Empires III (The latest game just released and now available on eBay!)
So what is this game all about? I think the beauty of this game is that you have infinite ways of playing it. You can play the campaigns, whereby you are a hero of a particular era and is given missions that is well known in history, such as the fall of Rome etc.
Alternatively, you can play single or multiplayer game. You choose to selet what age to start and/or civilisation, the Koreans, the Huns and the Spanish are some of the additional civilizations in the Age of Empires (AOE II) Expansions pack. I normally start with dark age whereby you are given a town centre, about 4 villagers, some resources depending on the level of difficulties you start at (so the harder the more resources you are given at the beginning, and trust me, you will need all the resources to protect your town centres before your enemies wipe you out) and also an explorer. The map is all shadowed, so unless you use your explorer to view further, otherwise you can't really see well what's going on with other players. So in a normal situation, you will have say 200 in each Food, Wood, Gold and Stone to start with. You need food to build create more people and also population is control by number houses, so each house allows you to have 5 people, and you need wood to build houses and in turn you need villagers to cut tress to get wood.
Depending on what sort of strategy you would like to apply, personally, I am a fanatic of building the town centre from sratch, attacking my closest neighbour early on to maximise my opportunity to gain the most resources on the map. Then build my empire slowly with a good defending plan. Like real life, resources are scarce, especially Stone. Like gold, you can mine stone from stone mines, however, unlike gold, you can't create more stone by trading with your partner using markets, stones, once you have mined all your stone mines, you can only buy them using your gold. You need stone to build walls, castles (which is necessary to create some of the most deadly soldiers!) and some other research and upgrades.
For food, you can farm your way around the mill, which is really fun. Age of Empires (AOE II) has finally created a more efficient way of farming, which is enabling the users to "queue" your farms in the mill so that when the villager has finished farming an existing farm, a new farm will automatically allocated to the villager. That really helps you to generate food on the side without having you to worry about it when you are concentrating on other more fun stuff, such as attacking other players!! Then you need to earn enough resources to upgrade your town centres, so from dark age to Feudal age then Castle age, follow by Imperial and lastly post-imperial age. Each age opens up a new challenges and the most fun part is, it allows you to build new buildings or do new research, so you get more efficient with the same amount of resources (ie villagers) and build more powerful towers, castles and armies!
Age of Empires III (AOE III) , it's quite different from all the others. First, you have a town centre that sends you resources of your choice to help build your colony from the start. Yes, that's right, you build colony not town centres. then you have trading posts that you can use to create resource of your choice (Food, Wood or Gold or experience points). No stone involves in this game, which helps to eliminate the resourcing issue in the previuos games. Also, you are allocated with a hero and the hero is set to go out to either explore or to fight against treasures guardians if you would like to claim the treasure. Treasures could range from wolf, bear, food, wood, gold or coin, healer etc. It's quite interesting that in this Age of Empires III (AOE III), you get healers who build hospitals, so you can send your injured units to get "healed" in the hospitals. unlike the previous games whereby only monks can heal.
Also, Age of Empires III (AOE III) is even more addictive than previous games, as each game you play it generates you experience points. So if you kill a villager, that will give 10 points, if you build an advance building, that will score you 60 experience points, all these points get accumulated, and at the end of the game, if you accumulate enough points to advance to next level, you get to choose "cards" to add to your existing "deck". Remember your town center sends you resources? Well, the recources that get sent is dependant on what card available on your deck. So if you have accumulated say 60,000 points, you are on level 8 and level 8 gives you more advance cards than level 7, which you can send troops or resources to your colony that you are building. So not only you have villagers that are farming or cutting trees, you also have town centres that send you food or wood or troops etc.
All in all, try and buy this game now, it's fantastic, absolutely an awesome game, get them on eBay to grab a bargain!