Dawn of the Dukes is Age of Empires II Definitive Edition’s latest DLC expansion. We’ve played through the whole thing and are ready to explain if you should get this expansion or if you should skip it.

First off, take a look at the official trailer:

This expansion adds two new civilizations, the Bohemians and the Poles as well as 3 new campaigns following the historical adventures of Algirdas and Kestutis in Lithuania, Jadwiga in Poland and Jan Zizka of Bohemia.


Bohemians fighting Teutonic Crusaders

The New Civilizations

The Poles are fairly versatile with solid archery and cavalry units. Their Winged Hussars deal trample damage and function as sort of glass cannons.

Their unique unit is kind of interesting. The Obuch is an infantry unit that shreds enemy armor making them ideal for going up against heavily armored units like Teutonic Knights.

Polish stone miners also generate gold which is always nice so you can go after building castles and still make some gold at the same time.

They also have a building called the Folwark that replaces the mill and immediately collects food from farms. Villagers also get slowly regenerating health.

The Bohemians on the other hand have various economic bonuses and strong gunpowder units. They also have stronger than average monestaries.

Their unique unit is called the Hussite Wagon. It has a special ability where it can protect other units standing behind it which is neat. It’s got a lot of health and armor and can function as sort of a mobile wall which opens up some interesting strategies. This is a gunpowder siege unit that can also attack.

When you pair these wagons with ranged units behind them you can cause a lot of damage.

They also get an upgrade to the bombard cannon called the Houfnice which is essentially a stronger version of that. I’m always a fan of bombard cannons so these units are pretty awesome.

Bohemians also get a technology that replaces the gold cost for monks with food which effectively turns monks in trash units and lets you build tons of them pretty cheaply.

Here’s an excellent introduction to the new civilizations:

Both of these civilizations are solid additions and I think if I had to pick one I’d prefer the Bohemians mainly because of those Hussite Wagons and better cannons.


Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition battle screenshot

The New Campaigns

I honestly don’t have too much to say about these campaigns.

The last expansion, Lords of the West, did some very interesting things with the gameplay making for some pretty unique and varied scenarios.

This expansion plays things a bit more safely. The campaign missions are solid and a lot of fun to play but not a lot stands out.

One of the campaigns does do some interesting things where it simulates giant battles with hundreds of units on an open field. That’s admittedly pretty cool.

For example one of these missions starts off with a set amount of time to capture as much objectives as possible. Some objectives will improve your forces in the coming battle and other objectives will weaken your enemy forces.

There are also mercenaries you can hire and allies you can help.

Once that timer expires a giant battle begins and what units you and your allies have depends on what objectives you were able to complete before.

That mission as pretty cool.

But other than that the rest of the campaigns were pretty standard Age of Empires fare I though.


Dawn of the Dukes city screenshot

So Should You Buy Dawn of the Dukes?

This is a bit less of an enthusiastic recommendation since it really doesn’t add that much exciting new content.

If you’re a huge Age of Empires fan then definitely get this. You’ve probably finished everything else and the three new campaigns will give you 10-15 more hours of solid content to play through.

If you’re not a die hard fan it’s still worth picking up just maybe wait to get it on sale.

And if you’re just starting off just stick with the base game. They’re way more content than you’ll know what to do with there for now.

Screenshots are from the Dawn of the Dukes Steam page used under Fair Use