Focusing on legendary leaders, The Conquerors expansion pack challenges Age of Empires 2 veterans and novices alike to wage war on an epic scale with all-new civilizations, unique units and technologies, and campaigns based on infamous conquerors such as Attila the Hun, El Cid and Montezuma.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: New Historical Mod - Varangians and Bolgars

About Varangians and Bolgars with 5 comments by Ivacula on Jan 19th, 2015

The bigger context behind my work:

To many Eastern Europeans the Middle Ages were not 'The Dark Ages' but a glorious time upon which they look back with nostalgia. Many of us who were born in the East of Europe grew up with movies and books dwelling in a romanicized past, with heroic battles and beautiful castles and cathedrals. It came as a disapointment that Eastern Europe was neglected in AOE II, but everyone who aknowledged the game as the ingenious simulation of medieval life and warfare that it is, saw that there is potential to fix that mistake with modding.

Age of Forgotten Empires with its generic Slav civ is the probably most succesful attempt to date, but various modders have tried their luck and concentrated their efforts on different aspects of Eastern European history. You have the Polish and Bohemian factions in Kor's Age of Chivalry, you have Bulgaria and Hungary in some attempts to mod the crusader's age and last but not least the yet unfinished ambitious Age of Voivods. However, one almost forgotten project that has set the standard for modding Eastern Europe back into the game is Agamemnon's 'Unfinished Russian Mod'. Altered version of Agamemnon's pioneering building concepts can be found in the Forgotten, in the newest versions of Age of Chivalry and in the upcomming Age of Voivods.

What is new about my project:

The current project takes its own perspective on the region's history. It does not bother directly with the Slavs or the fate of their later empires. It highlights the Varangians and Bolgars - two warlike factions, whose initially oppressive hegemony upon the Slavic peoples introduced the idea of statemanship and helped the Slavs move on from tribal separatism to centralized governments.

The mod combines various existing mods and ofcourse some artwork by the author himself, all fairly credited. Because the architecture is for most parts the least altered version of Agamemnon's classic attempt it could be viewed as the finished version of the unfinished Russian Mod except that it deviates from the goal of representing Russia only.


Above picture exemplifies an exception to the rule. While most of Agamemnon's buildings are left unaltered I had decided to redesign the wonders as to fit with the age in which the action is set and simultaneously with the rest of the architecture. The new wonders are composed of elements used in Agamemnon's and other in-game buildings but are no 1:1 copies of his work. This image shows the wonder of the Varangians, which was inspired by a legend stating that to commemorate his victory over the Chazars, Svetoslav of Kiev ordered a tall, white tower to be build.


Regarding Units the author uses own design and that of Dave3377, both are in the author's opinion matching exceptionally well with other in-game graphics. The units are chosen to match cliché rather than historical accuracy, as to promote the nostalgic atmosphere of romanticized history. An example is given below - to the left a popular image of how people today imagine Bolgar heavy cavalry and accompanying Slav infantry; to the right the same units in-game (the Bolgar horseman is the author's own design, the Slav units are from Dave3377):

Last but not least the tropic environment is modded away for more atmosphere... ravens, bears, mushrooms and snow pine trees replace macaws, jaguars, plants and palm trees respectively.

Data Editing:

The properties of unique units and the two new factions' research trees have been altered accordingly to represent better their historical prototypes. There is also multi-lingual civ desing following Kor's classical example. For most parts the Varangians and Bolgars speak Viking and Hun respectively, but the units representing your Slavic henchmen and Clergy speak Slavic (AOE III Russian).

In addition there are some general changes to the whole game:

- Goths, Varangians, Huns, Bolgars, Turks and Mongols train cavalry archers an age earlier
- Horsebreeding technologies (bloodlines, husbandry) are moved to the mill
- Varangians and Bolgars train light cavlry in the barracks

***********************************************Plans for future updates**************************************************************

  • two unique hero units with unique graphics for the editor: Svetoslav of Kiev and Asparuh (done!)
  • River Piracy for the Varangians, either as a technology and/or new units (done!)
  • A unit for kidnaping peasants into slavery (done!)
  • possibly two campaigns: Krum the Terrible and Svetoslav of Kiev
  • possibly a new Unique Unit for the Byzantines (Dave3377's Eastern Swordsman with new shield has a golden cross engraved like the one on historical Byzantine armory) (done!)
  • New individual monastery for the Byzantines (done!)
  • the Wend Raider will be a unit that looks like the Slav Raider, but speaks Polish instead of Russian representing Western Slavs; no civilization will be able to train him, but he will be available in the editor for campaign design purposes (done!)
  • possibly an editor object representing a pagan (Slavic?) statue (done!)
  • Alanic Scaled Armor now also changes the appearance of the cavalry archers (done!)
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Varangians and Bolgars
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors

Varangians and Bolgars

Jan 17, 2015 Varangians and Bolgars Full Version 0 comments

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Age of Empires II: The Conquerors

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 25)
-SRB-Knez Jan 22 2015, 7:33am says:

Best strategy game out there,i grown up with this game

+1 vote     reply to comment
kunfuman Jun 24 2013, 5:00pm says:

so this is an expansion or a mod?
Sorry, new to this..

+1 vote     reply to comment
magachs Aug 29 2013, 2:05am replied:


+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Mar 10 2013, 12:10am says:

amigos como D: instalo los mods

+2 votes     reply to comment
magachs Feb 13 2013, 7:16pm says:

This was the one game that got me in the world of real time strategy games. And I still play it today!

+3 votes     reply to comment
DUBONTIME™ Jun 7 2012, 12:21am says:

anyone here anymore ?

+3 votes     reply to comment
GamerFan89 Apr 18 2011, 3:56pm says:

one of the first and best RTS games I've played

+8 votes     reply to comment
SNAKE_666 Jan 30 2011, 7:55pm says:

Man this series revolutionized the RTS Category and changed what it meant to truely be an RTS game. None of the credit system ******** other games had and have going.Well this game and Command & Conquer series for its (at the time) revolutionary Building system where one building or tech would unlock another.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Ricochet- Oct 24 2010, 4:51am says:

One of the best games i've ever played.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Xen-28 Sep 30 2010, 6:32am says:

Best medival game ever :) 10/10

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Age of Empires II: The Conquerors
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Ensemble Studios
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Released Aug 23, 2000
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Highest Rated (7 agree) 10/10

A classic RTS with beautiful 2D graphics, playable even now after so many years. :-)

Oct 27 2009, 12:52pm by feillyne

Real Time Strategy
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Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, Released Sep 30, 1999
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