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Ensemble Studios Official Strategies & Secrets to Microsoft's Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings Paperback – September, 1999

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Strategies & Secrets
  • Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex Inc; 4th edition (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0782126332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0782126334
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,627,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a great book whether you are a newbie player, intermediate, or even an expert. It has everything from how to take over the seas to which unit combinations work best in certain situations. It has civilization-specific strategies, and even a behind-the-scenes look at Ensemble! For all you single players, it has extensive campaign walkthroughs.
Not a single page of strategy? Lol! I own this strategy guide and Prima's, and this one is BY FAR better. There are only three explanations for the people who wrote those phony, one-star reviews; they are complete newbies, they have never played the game before and have no clue what they are talking about, or they are authors of a rival strategy guide.
Need the best strats for AOK? Take it from an experienced zone player...THIS IS THE ONE! =)
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By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
The reviews here are just odd. I sampled both AOK books, this one written by Ensemble and some Zone-famous AOE players, and the other one written by Mark Walker. The Ensemble book is by far the better book. It's thicker than any strat guide I've ever seen for starters. Plus it thoroughly covers multi and single player. The other book covers single player, but doesn't really have the depth of multiplayer tactics the Ensemble book offers.
I have no idea what is up with all the troll reviews. I can only assume big Mark Walker fans.
Get this book if you really want to enjoy AOK to its fullest.
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Format: Paperback
Having played AOK for about a year (mainly against the computer - some online) I thought I was an OK player. I had strategies that worked for me most of the time and I could generally hold my own against any civilization up through the moderate level of difficulty.
With this book, I learned three strategy tips the in the first several chapters that immediately made the game more enjoyable and my efforts much more effective against the bad guys.
There are tips sprinkled throughout the book from players who don't work for Ensemble Studios but who are very successful players. These tips were generally helpful as well, and gave some insight into some unorthodox strategies at times.
Shortcuts and hot keys are emphasized and highlighted throughout the chapters. This guide will definitely have you practicing the use of hot keys more than ever (if you don't already).
There is considerable information related to multi-player games as well, such as how to complement your partner and how to know what opposing forces can lend each other in terms of help. I am not sure what the "hard-core" multiplayer readers who rated this book poorly are looking for, but it gave me great insight into being a better team player.
The book does not go into the minute detail of what steps you should takein what order, in every game and every scenario. Certain AOK websites have taken this process to the level of art, and maybe that is what some people are looking for. The book does, however, provide insight into Ensemble's mindset in designing the game and also gives the average-above average player a great boost in terms of knowledge.
If you want to be sure that you are employing as many time-saving tips and shortcuts as you can, and you want to hear what tactics are employed by outstanding players, buy this book. If you are a highly rated Zone player, or can smoke the computer on the Hard difficulty level or above, you probably do not need this guide anyway.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
AOK is a complex game, and you won't be able to get all its nuances without help. This is the help you need. By giving insight into the AI of various units, you come away with winning strategies during single-player action. Insight into the strenghts and weaknesses of each unit prove absolutely indispensible to network play. And the sections on the making of the game give anyone with even an inkling towards game design a better idea about the process of creating one of the most solidly playable games on the market.
Most strategy guides are either rehashes of the obvious, or so incredibly detailed they take much of the fun out of playing. This one strikes the right balance by giving you detailed information about the capabilities of the various units and empires, while never asserting a "proper" way to employ that information.
If you want to get maximum enjoyment out of your software purchase, this is the guide that will get you there.
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By A Customer on October 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bought AOE the day it came out. Same with ROR & AOK. Am ranked on the zone & play quite a lot. This book is a delight. Its lovely. If you are an AOE/ROR/AOK addict like me, this is your bible. I have nothing whatsoever to gain from these comments. But I just had to say my thanks & could not bear to read the stupid & unqualified 1 star comments from the "1" guy who seems to have written them all. THIS is a strategy book. What is NOT here, yuu can get from the manual.
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By A Customer on January 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the best Strat Guide for aok. It has tons of strategys and tips, plus the walkthroughs for every mission. I cannot understand why "A reader" needs to critisise this fantastic product, writen by the makers of the game and the top players.
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By A Customer on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I haven't read Prima's guide, but I have been very pleased with this one. It focuses on multiplayer which is what I like, and it offers a good amount of detailed tips that will help you become very competitive on the zone. The poster could have been better and some color photos would have been nice, but I bought the book to become a better AOK player and it has definitely helped me acomplish that.
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