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News Archives - September 2006

Napoleonic Era released!

Napoleonic Era logo

Napoleonic Era is a revolutionary mod for Ensemble Studios’ latest RTS game, Age of Empires III. It is currently the most thorough and anticipated mod of Age of Empires III ever made. Here's a description of what is included from the authors:

Napoleonic Era features a great deal of new gameplay elements, returning a few well-missed elements from Age of Empires II, like removing the limit of builders working on one building, improving the arsenal, and new abilities for Explorers. It includes five completely new civilizations, the Italians, Prussians, Austrians, Americans, and Swiss. It also redesigns the existing French and German civilizations. These civilizations are very different from each other, most receive a new AI personality, new technologies, new cards, and the new ones receive their own Homecity. All of the new civilizations and most of the existing ones get many new unique units, in addition to several new standard units. All these new units have had amazing care put into them to make them as distinctive, realistic, and interesting as possible. The game also incorporates usage of Matthew Sher’s Unit Upgrades Modpack, so that the units from the original game upgrade for every age. To fit the new theme of the wars occurring in Europe, Napoleonic Era includes many new random maps, from Europe, and some additional ones from the Americas, and even other places around the world, many of which have completely new native allies, like the Wurttembergers or the Japanese.

To find out more about the mod visit the official NE site. The mod can be downloaded from the servers listed in the thread here, which also includes a more detailed description of the mod and installation instructions. I'm the sure the team would also appreciate some feedback so please leave a comment!

Eye Candy Screenshot Winners (Round 7)

Round 7 of our Eye Candy Screenshot Competition ended a few days ago. The theme was "City Life" and brought in an array of screenshots.

Steel_Cat brought home the gold with his screenshot "City of the Future" (below). Second place is annihilator2000 with "Tower through the smog." And coming in third is The_Pac_Mule with "The Industrial District."

You can congratulate them here and view their shots, along with previous winners in our Eye Candy Gallery. Stay tuned for a Round 8 announcement!

Halo Wars a Xbox 360 Exclusive

ES_Graham has confirmed to me that unlike what Gamespot has published on their news, Halo Wars is a Xbox 360 exclusive, and not coming to PC. Of course that can change later. This question will be added to the FAQ.

Halo Wars Forums Open!

We have opened a brand new Halo Wars forum to discuss this new shiny project by Ensemble. So go ahead and jump in to check out the latest discussion about the game.

Big Announcement, Ensemble's Next Game!

Halo Wars!

Announced today at the Xbox 360 event in Barcelona, Spain. Ensemble will be developing a new Xbox 360 exclusive RTS, Halo Wars, based on (doh) Halo. Although we had knew before that ES had been developing a RTS for the x360, most of us expected a Age3 for the xbox.

You can find images, info and a trailer at the game's official website, Our staff is doing full coverage of the event and will bring you news as they arrive. Expect full coverage of the game in this Heaven, until we have a home for it.

Here's the press release:
Ensemble Studios, the creators of the Age of Empires series, is bringing real-time-strategy to the Xbox 360 and to the Halo Universe. Designed Exclusively for the Xbox 360, Halo Wars allows you to take charge of the human UNSC armies and see the Halo universe from a totally new perspective. Halo Wars is set during the UNSC’s first deadly encounters with the Covenant, allowing players to lead the crew of the UNSC’s “Spirit of Fire” from initial skirmishes to an all out war against the evil Covenant.

Stay tuned to for more information or visit our forums at to chat with other fans of the upcoming new addition to the Halo family, Halo Wars!

Forum Party September 24th

Home city deck

Our weekly forum party will be held on Sunday at the regular party times of noon and 7pm EST. Want to find out what time this is in your timezone? Go here!

Resident forum party veteran James Lock has come up with the theme for tomorrow's bash, which is a very inventive one: only age I and II home city cards! So dust off those gather rate cards and those cards that give explorer upgrades (see opposite, click to enlarge).

If you're not sure what a forum party is, it is simply a gathering of forum regulars on ESO who get together to play some friendly team games. Everyone is welcome and skill is no object, but make sure you read the thread first!

67 new screens from The WarChiefs!

The French website has posted a whopping 67 new screenshots taken from what looks like a pre-release build of the game. Check them out here, and discuss them here! Be warned that the shots have probably come from a press preview and most likely many, many changes will have been made since.

Credit to [SkWizZ]SeR3NiTy of Age Sanctuary for originally posting the news.

Developer's Blog - The WarChiefs Goes Gold

The build up to the release of The WarChiefs really seems to be hotting up now, what with the release of the new official site and the announcement of a definitive release date (October 17th). Bruce Shelley has updated his blog to celebrate the milestone of the x-pac going gold.

In addition to explaining the events around the decision to go gold, Bruce also mentions the ES reaction to an article about reducing the number of clicks players have to make whilst playing an RTS game. Another interesting note in the blog is about a meeting with the head of Dell to discuss the future of PC gaming in general, which is well worth a read.

Check out the blog here! Updated! has been updated with all new content getting ready for the release of the expansion pack! There's a couple new videos (a sweet trailer), bunch of screenshots and a link to pre-order the expansion, which comes out October 17th.

So hurry and check out all the new juiceness.

New Cuetech

plexiq and the Cuetech team have been hard at work to improve the present cuetech with more features and better ratings.

With the new cuetech brings new ratings. They recalculated the ratings so many got a boost in their rating, upgrading 100 points in some cases. there are now five different ratings for each player. Those are: Allround SP (mean of team and 1v1), Team SP (only team games), 2v2 (for 2v2 games, calculated differently), Overall SP (same as before) and 1on1 SP (only 1v1 games).

Remember, it is strictly beta and their are a few bugs. But nevertheless, go check it out. New features like Streaks and Civs give knowledge to what player's are doing at the moment. to discuss the ladder, post in toblu's thread.

The WarChiefs has gone Gold!

Forumer Legioona discovered that the The WarChiefs has officially gone gold!
Momentum continues with the addition of Native American civilizations to the expansion pack...

"Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs,"* the expansion pack to the best-selling "Age of Empires III," has gone gold, introducing three playable Native American civilizations in a struggle for control of the Americas. The next installment of the "Age of Eres" franchise for Windows from Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios will hit store shelves on Oct. 17.
To view the full text go to AgeCommunity and to discuss it got to Legioona's thread.

Patch 1.09

Age Community has announced that the servers will be down for Patch 1.09.
We will be taking ESO servers offline at 2:00pm GMT (9:00am CST) while we roll out patch 1.09 and perform maintenance on the servers. Downtime is expected to be approximately 3 hours.

Thank you for your patience as we work to bring this new patch online.

If you have any mods for Age of Empires III installed, it is recommended that you uninstall them before installing new patches.

I suppose this will be for tomorrow (September 19th). Not a balance patch, but still great!

For full patch notes and comments, go here.

Eye Candy Screenshot Competition (Round 7)

We have launched yet another round of the Eye Candy Screenshot Competition after last round was won by twoqtimes2.

This round we are looking for screenshots based around the theme "A City Life". The deadline is September 23rd and voting ends September 26th.

To get more information about the competition or if you wish to enter, go here.

Scenario Announcement: The Sway of Gallentine

sziggi, of Liquid Fire Studios, announced a new scenario in the making. The Sway of Gallentine is fiction and has already been playtested. Here is what sziggi says:
This scenario is the fictional story of Reagon Melchant, and is a “Build and Destroy” map, even more of a glorified random map than my last works. I say this because this map makes use of the standard ai, in conjunction with triggers and the ai player short scripts, as used in the Blood Ice Steel campaign. There is a little modding with a lot of benefits. My new favorite unit is now a privateer called the “Everyready” and as you will see shall earn its name for you. Really would like to say as little as possible to keep things a surprise, yet would like to point out that this is a highly strategic map, geared for a hard medium play but through use of the editor will play an easy game
Keep an eye out for when it is released in sziggi's thread. Also look for updates and any mention on the date as well!

Modding Contest: Round 2

Round 1's submission deadline is tonight so we have wasted no time with moving on to round two. The theme for Round 2 is: Antiquity.

Unit (no buildings) should fit into the theme, Antiquity. Unit should be specially made for this contest and may not be released already. Use of stolen contents from other games/mods/etc. is prohibited. Only one submission per contestant per round, includes updated versions. Only submit when you're 100% finished. You can only win the prize when you've partaken in at least 2 out of 4 rounds.

The submission deadline is 20th September, 23:59 Forum Time / 21th September, (5:59 GMT).

You can read about Round 2 or discuss it here.

Details on Cuetech's next generation

toblu of recently informed us about news concerning Cuetech, the world's most important AoE3 rating system:

Two ladders will completely be modified:
It is firstly the new team-rating which will be added to the current ladder. It will contain all games apart from 1on1s but will also respect the individual strength of each player.
Moreover, the overall-cuetech will depend much more on both (team and 1on1) ratings.

Therefore, players like iamgrunt, playing quite no team games, will stay at the top of the 1on1-ladder but fall back in the overall-ladder.

Furthermore, the problem of inactiv players. Even if there will still be no decay, inactive players will now not appear on the ladder, due to an inactivity of 15 days or more.
Besides that, the AoE3-Alliance, biggest community of France published today the expected 3 ladders calculated with the new system:

1 iamgrunt 2539.5
2 Ruthless__ 2505.1
3 _GG_Magic_ 2429.6
4 NightScr3aM 2417.2
5 Pyrano 2412.7
6 momobear 2397.5
7 Flamed 2382.8
8 Ourk 2380.3
9 RiuT_ 2368.9
10 Drate 2367.3

1 mRcheese 2543.5
2 clare 2519.4
3 Fird 2453.1
4 Mori_ika 2450.0
5 Finn 2438.3
6 Monte 2426.8
7 calme 2422.4
8 おまんまん 2415.6
9 BTK_Vini 2410.4
10 Vid_ 2406.1

1 mRcheese 2450.0
2 Ruthless__ 2443.8
3 Fird 2440.9
4 _GG_Magic_ 2416.5
5 Finn 2399.3
6 NightScr3aM 2388.4
7 Pyrano 2384.8
8 Ourk 2375.8
9 BTK_Vini 2372.4
10 Hammet 2365.5

Eye Candy Competition Winners


After a couple months of no Eye Candy Screenshot Competition, we jumped back in it with the theme: “A native village/settlement." We received an array of screenshots, from hunting buffalo to a sun setting behind a Native village.

twoqtimes2 won in a landslide with his "A Native Sunset" (right), with Jap88 coming in second and omicron1 placing third with "Sacagawea's Home."

Congratulations you three! You can view the winning screenshots in the gallery here and can congratulate the winners here.

Keep a look out in the Scenario Design forum for Round number 7 which will be up in a couple of days.

Dutch Gaining Major Boost in Xpack?

Forummer Arowak brings an interesting point, with the new Revolution feature in the expansion pack, where all the settlers get turned into Militia, the Dutch will still be able to upkeep its economy. However, in a recently Sandy has said on "Ask Sandy" that the Dutch are currently the weakest civilization (up until that point).

So are the Dutch going to be an OP civ in the xpack or the weakest? Post your thoughts at our forums.

HeavenGames Survey

Here at HeavenGames we always like feedback and want to know what we can improve on. We like to know what would make our forums better and more enjoyable and easier to come to and read. So, we would appreciate a few moments of your time to take a quick five question quiz here to make HeavenGames even better!

A New Heaven

HeavenGames has launched a new heaven. CaesarIV Heaven has opened earlier today. Caesar IV is another installment after Caesar III. Jayhawk explains what will be in store for the new game:
Caesar 4 will be bringing back familiar places and familiar faces, such as prefects and engineers, but now in glorious 3D, with factories, with day and night, with weather. I checked out the demo and was hooked. Caesar 4 brings our favourite citybuilder into the 21st century.
So stop by and say hello or learn a little bit about the game here.

New Ask Sandy

Sandy Peterson just answered some interesting questions:
13) What percent of their villagers do native civs usually have at the firepit?
A– their maximum is 25. Usually they are somewhere around 10-20% oftheir total. In late game, when resources aren’t as important, usuallyit’s the full 25 guys. One of the more difficult balancing tricks isdeciding when to dance and how many dancers you need.

14) How strong are warrior priests
A– weak in first age, strong in the others, but so useful as dancersthat they generally are used only for town defence. Basically you danceout a bunch of town defenders, then send your warrior priests intocombat.

15) How would a native civ fare against a european one without the firepit?
A– it depends on the map and the European in mind. They have otheradvantages besides the firepit, of course, but having no dancers doesremove one major branch of strategy for a native player. Imagine if youwere a European player and built no artillery. You could probably stillwin a game, but it would constrain some of your choices.

36) Will there be demo
A – no. It’s an expansion pack, not a full new game.

46) How many games are played before you notice balance issues(normally)?
A– depends on the issue. Normally a single game points us towards apotential problem. We then play another game or two to see if theproblem persists and is really what we thought it was. Then we playsome games looking for counter-strategies. After all, if an exploit hasa good counter-strategy, then it’s not really an exploit. If we can’t counter it, or if the counter isn’t fun to do
You can read all answers here.

AoE3H Modding Contest: Round 1

Round 1 of AoE3H's Modding Contest just started:
The first theme is "Medieval"!

Unit (no buildings) should fit into the theme, Medieval and should be specially made for this contest and may not be released already. Only one submission per contestant per round, includes updated versions. Only submit when you're 100% finished. You can only win the prize when you've partaken in atleast 2 out of 4 rounds.

The submission deadline is 13th September, 23:59 Forum Time / 14th September, (5:59 GMT).

Check out the Modding Contest thread here.

New Bruce Shelley Blog

Ensemble's Bruce Shelley has updated his developer's blog for the Age III expansion pack, The WarChiefs.

The topics discussed include Bruce's thoughts on the Leipzig Game Show, an explanation of how home city cards for the x-pack will be handled and the x-pack itself, which is now getting very near the release date. Also mentioned is the hilariously titled GC06: If You Hate RTSes, What Do You Say To Bruce Shelley? article which is well worth a read, despite a lack of, er, incisive commentary.

Check the blog out here!

I really have to think of more imaginative ways to title a newspost for a blog update. Suggest an idea and Elpea will give you a free cookie. Yay.

Au Trans Tasman Cash Tournament

Au clan will be hosting a 2v2 tournament with a best of three games each round. If your team loses a round, they are out. There are 300 dollar worth of prizes. However, the tournament is only for Australian and New Zealand citizens only. Each game will be recorded. Here are the rest of the rules:
• The tournament is open to AO3 players from New Zealand and Australia only
• 2 v 2 knockout - Best of 3
• Team 1 picks 1st map/ Team 2 – second map and the third map is random from the standard pool
• A Round is ONE week
• Team members need NOT be in the same clan.
• Each team member must have a different civ from partner.
• Players are seeded by their PR rate. (Average for team)
• Teams must nominate in the prescribed forum and give their current PR/ranking
• times are to arranged on this site in the prescribed forum
• All records must be posted on the Au site
• Any disputes will be mediated by the tournament committee and their decision is final.
So good luck to all those participating, hopefully some decent 2v2 recorded games will be available by the end of this! For more information, visit Au_skilgannon's thread.

HGExpo Banner Competition

As most of you know, HeavenGames is planning HGExpo to unite the heavens and boost the scenario design and modding for the RTS games featured. But, before HGExpo gets launched we need a forum banner and the HGExpo staff are asking for your help!

Requirements for the Banner:
* Banner size must not be larger than 300 by 130 pixels. (width=300, height=130) The banner may be a few pixels smaller in any direction, but not larger. You can copy the image above as a template which is within the size boundaries (width=284, height=119).
* Banners absolutely must not violate the forum's Code of Conduct

Deadline: September 25, 2006
Prize: HeavenGames T-shirt.

Check out the HGExpo Banner Competition thread for more information!

AoE3H's Modding Contest!

AoE3H has finally planned a modding contest, the first in the history of AoE3! This is just a head up for things to come. The contest will startthis wednesday (6 September) and will last in total 4 weeks. In these 4 weeks we'll have 4 different rounds with 4 different themes. Check out the announcement thread here!

Contestants should create a brand new unit (no buildings) according to the themefeatured in the current round. Everything is allowed as long as youstick to the theme or the unit hasn't been released earlier in anothermodpack. The use of stolen content (models/textures etc. from anothermod and/or game) is prohibited.

The winner will receive AoE3's expansion pack: The Warchiefs as soon as it is released!

Detailed information about the first round and the rest of the contest will be posted this wednesday.

Screenshot Competition relaunched

AoE3H will be hosting the popular bi-weekly screenshot competition again! It will be for creating an eye-candy screenshot based on the theme that is posted. This week's theme is "A Native Village/Settlement." At the end of each round, voting will be done by the forumers by picking their three favourite screenshots. Once voting is done, the top three will be put into our new Eye-Candy Gallery and the number one pic will be showed on the news!

Check out the thread in the Scenario Design forum here!