We’re huge Age of Empires 2 fans over here and the Definitive Edition might be the best real time strategy game ever. It certainly surprised everyone when Microsoft announced that they would be releasing a DLC expansion called Lords of the West.

The game already includes all the content from the original AOE2 HD plus the Conquerors, The Forgotten, the African Kingdoms and Rise of the Rajas expansions. So getting even more content was a welcome surprise.

Should you pick this up? Read on and find out.

Age of Empires 2 Screenshot

What You Get

In this expansion you’re getting 2 new civilizations, the Burgundians and the Sicilians plus 3 new “fully voiced” campaigns. There’s a Burgundian campaign, a Sicilian campaign and a Briton campaign. The Briton campaign was kind of an interesting choice because that’s one of the original civilizations from the base game and they never had a campaign before.

There was also a giant patch that everyone gets that added a bunch of bug fixes and balance changes.

If you want more detail about the additions and changes check out this excellent video by YouTuber Spirit of the Law.

Spirit of the Law is a fantastic YouTube channel that you should absolutely follow if you’re interested in Age of Empires 2 at all.

The Burgundians Screenshot

The Burgundians

The Burgundians are a nice addition but overall I wasn’t super impressed with them. 

Their unique unit is a cavalry unit called the Coustillier. It has a unique charge attack that no other units in the game has. Basically the first attack does extra bonus damage and then it takes a while to recharge before that happens again. It’s automatic after that as soon as it charges up.

The idea is that it’s supposed to simulate a cavalry charge and it’s a neat idea. I didn’t find this unit too powerful though.

They have another interesting unique technology that converts all your villagers to Flemmish Militia and then lets you train these militia at your Town Center. 

At first I was a bit confused as to why you’d ever want to do this but it makes sense. If your base is being invaded this is a last ditch attempt to make a counter attack and used properly could be pretty effective. The Flemmish Militia unit is not too bad.

Another unique tech they have converts all your food into gold and then farms generate gold in addition to food from then on. This is a pretty great tech and you can never have too much gold.

Here are some excellent related videos from Spirit of the Law again detailing the Burgundian special units.

The Sicilians Screenshot

The Sicilians

I enjoyed playing the Sicilians more than I did the Burgundians. 

The main feature of this civilization is their unique unit called the Serjeant. The Serjeant is a decently good infantry unit that can construct Donjons. A Donjon is basically midway between a tower and a castle and it can be used to create more Serjeants.

It’s pretty fun to send a group of Serjeants into an enemy area, build a bunch of Donjons, use those to create more Serjeants and then rinse and repeat.

The Sicilians can also build castles twice as fast so if you enjoy building lots of those that’s another great bonus.

Finally their other big claim to fame is that they take half of all bonus damage meaning, for example, that a Sicilian knight will take +8 bonus damage from an enemy Spearman instead of the regular +15.

Here’s another excellent video covering this civilization.

The Campaigns

The three new campaigns were pretty good. All the missions were fun and a few really stood out with some unique ideas I hadn’t seen before.

They’re all “Fully voiced” meaning they all have intros and characters speak throughout the actual gameplay as events happen. It’s not something that was really necessary but it’s definitely a nice touch that we appreciated.

The Britons campaign follows Edward Longshanks as he tries to bring glory to Briton. You fight against William Wallace during this campaign which is a nice touch since you play as him during the tutorial campaign in the base game. The Britons are also always fun to play as since their longbowmen are amazing.

The Burgundian campaign follows the Burgundians in France basically fighting against Joan of Arc which again is a neat perspective seeing as she has an entire campaign of her own already.

The Sicilian campaign follows Robert de Hauteville who started out leading a band of rogues and ends up building a great kingdom. In this campaign there’s a lot of diplomacy and you get a lot of interesting opportunities to ally with one player against another.

One mission especially stood out to me in the Sicilian campaign. In this mission there are roving enemy armies with regenerating health who are way too tough to fight at the beginning. By destroying military buildings across the map you slowly weaken their strength and health regeneration.

You basically have to use hit and run tactics to take out these buildings while avoiding the main army. You can also ally with one player that lets you temporarily spy on your enemies and get an idea of where their armies are so you can plan your attacks. 

That was probably the most interesting campaign mission we’ve seen in this entire game.

Age of Empires 2 Lords of the West Screenshot

In Conclusion

Should you buy this expansion? Well if you’re a fan of Age of Empires and you want more then absolutely yes. 

Maybe just finish everything in the base game first since all this ultimately is is just more Age of Empires 2 content. The new civilizations are super amazing enough to warrant running out and buying this just for them. There’s also a huge amount of campaign missions in the base game already to keep you busy.

But it’s cheap and if you like Age of Empires 2 then you should definitely pick it up.

If you ever see this on sale then buying it is an absolute no-brainer.