Two Civilizations Introduced to Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition with New Expansion

Are you ready for what the new civilizations are brining to the game? Xbox Games Studios

The Sultans Ascend expansion for Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition is finally here. This expansion introduces two new civilizations which are the Japanese and the Byzantines. Each arrive to the game with a wide range of features. That means new mechanics, new architecture, and unique civilization bonuses, among others.

The Byzantines

The Byzantines can construct aqueducts while also being able to harvest olive oil as a new resource. This new civilization can hire mercenaries from other civilizations and make use of the devastating Greek Fire. Other mechanics for the Byzantines include the Field Stones bonus which give a small amount of Stone whenever a building is constructed, with larger buildings providing a larger bonus.

Outposts, Keeps, and Wall Towers also have a new unique Mangonel Emplacement. Like its siege counterpart, these emplacements do well against tightly packed enemies. Learn more about the Byzantines here.

The Japanese

Those who choose this civilization can access different unique units like the Samurai, Shinobi, Bannermen, and the Onna-Musha. There are also some dual-purpose buildings along with the powerful Daimyo upgrades for their Town Center. The Japanese comes with a unique mining bonus which is 20% of Gold dropped-off is received as bonus Stone, and vice-versa. What this means is that the Japanese are able to access these two resources, even when only one type of deposit is being mined.

Once the civilization reaches the Imperial, it becomes possible to construct Castles and unique Keeps with powerful rocket emplacements.

Discover what the Japanese brings to the board here.

New Variant Civilizations

This expansion also introduces what's called as Variant Civilizations. These are re-imagined and modified versions of classic civilizations from Age of Empires IV. How it works is that each Variant Civilization offers players new unique ways to play one of the classic civilizations while ensure that the overall themes and aesthetics of the civilizations are maintained. In most cases, a Variant Civilization makes of the features of the parent civilization with a few exceptions.

Here are some of these Variant Civilizations:

  • Ayyubids
    • They can trade the classic House of Wisdom's unique technologies that the Abbasid Dynasty receives, for a choice between multiple bonuses on each wing and a stronger emphasis on camels.
      • Example is receiving support from infantry instead of vice-versa.
  • Jeanne d'Arc
    • Takes the French civilization and trades some of its classic civilization bonuses for a powerful hero unit, the nominal Jeanne d'Arc herself!
  • Order of the Dragon
    • The Order of the Dragon replaces many of the classic Holy Roman Empire units with Gilded versions which outmatch their counterparts on the battlefield but cost more resources, time, and population.
  • Zhu Xi's Legacy
    • Zhu Xi's Legacy takes inspiration from the titular philosopher and re-envisions the Chinese classic Dynasty bonuses and Landmarks for a focus on economy and long-term efficiency instead of fast expansion.

Check out what else the expansion offers here.

Age of Empires IV was released in October 2021 for the PC. The game launched for the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X/S platforms in August 2023.

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