Age of Empires 2 “have you played”

The story at the end of this review made me laugh.

It was around new year, and I was in Edinburgh, staying with some friends in their student house. We were playing a big ‘ol LAN game of AoE2, and despite turtling up and hoarding a ton of resources, I sort of… forgot to build an army, and got totally thrashed before I could really get my war machine going. Nevertheless, I survived with one villager and a ton of gold, and went to hide in the very corner of the map, surrounded by jungle.

I went dead quiet on chat, hoping everyone would forget about me. And somehow, as I built up farms and farms and farms and farms, they did. God knows how they didn’t notice me, but as they walloped each other through endless, monstrously wasteful wars of attrition, I was packed away in the corner, with my tiny, compact powerhouse of a city dedicated to one thing only: the production of elephants.

As the last three players fell into a sort of exhausted stalemate, I finally reappeared on chat with three words: “ur all… elephucked”. And so they were. My two hundred elephants, every villager sacrificed to give me the population space to build them (I like to think they consumed the meat of the final humans), swept out from hiding, and battered every building on the map to atoms. Everyone was so fatigued by then, and their economies so tapped out by hours of war, they barely put up a resistance. It was one of the few times I’ve ever won a multiplayer game, and I treasure it to this day.

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