The Huns are a nomadic people, born and bred to spend their lives on horseback. Their society centered around common ownership of cattle and other domesticated animals. Because theirs was a culture on the move, the Huns had the opportunity to come in contact with many different peoples - and since they were always in need of new grazing land, this contact often led to conflict. Forced out of their original lands by the Chinese, the Huns began a westward migration that continued for several centuries. It set in motion a chain reaction of "barbarian" migrations, known as the Migration Period, as one displaced people moved west only to displace another. It was the Huns who forced the Ostrogoths from their homes on the Ukrainian steppe in 375 CE before finally coming to rest on the Hungarian plains. By the middle of the fifth century, one powerful figure emerged from the political chaos normally associated with nomadic peoples. His name? Attila, which is today nearly synonymous with Hun society. It wasn't long before the Huns began to clash with the remnants of the western Roman empire. When Attila attacked the city of Chalon in northern France in 451 CE, the fate of all Europe hung in balance. Routed at the battle, Attila and his army withdrew. Upon his death two years later, the society he had held together in life quickly disintegrated.
- Start games with - 100 wood resources (100).
- Houses are not required to support population.
- Cavalry archers cost 25 percent less in the castle age, 30 percent less in the imperial age.
- Trebuchets fire with 30 percent greater accuracy.
- Unique Technology
Atheism: +100 years to relic and wonder victory requirement, cost of spies/treason halved
- Unique Units
Tarkan (elite tarkan)
- Team Bonus
Stable creates units 20 percent faster.
Because historically the Huns were a nomadic people, the designers have seen fit to forego the normal use of housing to enforce population limits. This is the one great advantage to playing the Huns. No longer are you required to build houses just to increase the number of units you can have running around the map. Indeed, house icons no longer show up on your villager's build interface. You can't build a house now even if you wanted to - but why would you want to? Not having to build houses means a couple things. First, you begin each game with your population limit already maxed out, and second, the amount of wood (and labor) you save is enormous.
Building houses might not seem like a big deal; after all, they only cost around 50 wood. But if you add up the cost of building 20 or more houses, even when the cost is spread out over the course of a game, the expense is significant. But aside from the mere cost of building houses, consider the labor involved. I think most players would rather have their villagers mining gold or picking berries instead of chopping wood and constructing houses. The net effect of all this is to let the Huns rocket into the castle age - hopefully ahead of everyone else.
Once the Huns reach the castle age, they gain access to some really powerful units. In addition to the tarkan, their unique mounted unit, the Huns can begin producing knights and cavalry archers. On close inspection, the choice of pursuing a tarkan/cavalry archer-based offensive or a knight/cavalry archer-based offensive is an important one, and one that has far-reaching consequences. Details on the tarkan unit appear in Chapter Two, so for the time being, suffice it to say that you'll want to produce tarkan units when the majority of your opponent's strength is structural. When the majority of your opponent's strength is derived from actual military units, you'll want to go the knight/cavalier/paladin route.
Regardless of which type of army you decide to build, your ranged support component will almost certainly be made up of cavalry archers, especially considering their reduced cost. Both cavalry archers and elite cavalry archers cost a mere 30 wood and 53 gold. Admittedly, even at this reduced cost, building a force of cavalry archers is still pricey. But when you compare this to what other civilizations must pay for these units, you begin to see how much of a bargain this really is. For example, the Huns can build a force of ten elite cavalry archers for less than it costs other civilizations to build two bombard cannons.
It may seem a bit odd, considering the nomadic nature of the Hun civilization, that one of its advantages has to do with siege warfare, typically a more static type of fighting. Hun trebuchets are 30 percent more accurate than those belonging to their opponents. Overall, the Huns are not properly equipped to conduct assaults on fortified positions, but this is one instance where the Huns really shine. Their trebuchets couple the advantage of long range with enhanced accuracy.
Being a nomadic civilization, the Huns did not spend a lot of time building fortifications or contemplating how to attack them. As a result, one of the major weaknesses of this civilization is its lack of adequate siege equipment and its inability to upgrade its wall sections and towers. When you reach the feudal age, what you get in this regard is what you get.
Naturally, the Huns are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to defending their population centers. In certain circumstances, the Huns would do well not to even try. Aside from building wooden palisades, it's hardly worth the stone (and labor) to construct elaborate fortifications. Hun walls melt very quickly when exposed to enemy fire, especially fire coming from imperial age units. Stay loose. Stay mobile.
The Huns can research most monastery technologies, and thus, on paper at least, it appears that they can field a relatively powerful force of monks. Two things prevent them from using monks effectively, however. First, since the strength of the Hun attack is based almost exclusively on mounted units, Hun players have a hard time incorporating the slower-moving monks (even with fervor). As a practical matter, mounted units wind up leaving the monks behind, usually to fend for themselves. Other liabilities with respect to Hun monks are their limited range and inability to convert enemy buildings. The Huns are precluded from researching block printing and redemption.
Overall, the Huns can be a fun civilization to play as, but it takes a certain mindset to play them well. They are a mobile society, nomadic and migratory. Any attempt to play them differently courts inevitable defeat. In game terms, once you concentrate and affix your infrastructure to a single location, you make it easier for your opponent to destroy you.
While not needing to build houses may make the Huns seem "overpowered" compared to other civilizations, it quickly becomes a weakness when on the defensive side of a battle. Not having houses in your town means that your towns will have significantly less buildings in it, so your more important buildings and villagers immediately become targets. Advanced players sometimes build long rows of touching houses in a way that can wall off their town, most likely using a side of a forest or body of water, and extending to another natural obstruction, including the edge of the map. While it may seem wrong to do this, it can ultimately slow down an early attacker who doesn't have any siege units in their army, or at least alert you that an attack is coming and from which direction. If you need to build the houses, do it in a way that raises your population, but also creates a barrier between your units and your enemies' units without having to mine much, or any stone at all. This tactic can be very valuable. Of course, all this is only a problem if you are on the defense. If you initiate the attack before your enemy, this won't be much of a factor, unless your opponents are also Huns. Being aggressive and forcing your enemy to defend is the best way to overcome this, and to really exploit the Huns' true power.
General Dark Age Strategies
The Hun civilization has the potential to expand incredibly quickly if managed correctly. While others are busy chopping wood, you can concentrate on harvesting food and producing villagers. Use your light cavalry to scout out the surrounding countryside. You are primarily looking for sources of food that can be stockpiled quickly (that is, wild game and sheep). Just because you don't need to build houses doesn't mean you can neglect gathering wood altogether. You should put at least three villagers on woodcutting detail. You won't need the wood just yet, but the demand increases dramatically once you reach the feudal age.
General Feudal Age Strategies
Chances are you'll be surprised by how quickly you've reached the feudal age. To maintain this momentum, you must keep expanding your workforce. But in addition, you must start producing military units as well. This will require food - and lots of it. Use the wood you've previously stockpiled to build a dock and a modest fleet of fishing vessels. Research the heavy plow, then gradually move your villagers from hunting to farming. In general, you should avoid building too many foot soldiers. (Archers are the one exception to this rule.) Instead, spend the resources to research bloodlines and get through the feudal age as quickly as you can.
General Castle Age Strategies
Although the Huns can rapidly produce a strong civilian workforce, militarily don't start coming into their own until they've reached the castle age. Now that you finally have access to decent mounted units such as the tarkan and cavalry archer, you should begin a prodigious cavalry-building program. Remember, you are the Huns, and as the Huns, you're expected to have hordes of cavalry. Concentrate your research efforts on those technologies that upgrade and enhance the combat power of your mounted units. While it's likely that you won't win the game in the castle age, use this time to lay the groundwork for a win in the imperial age.
General Imperial Age Strategies
By the time you reach the imperial age, you're going to need two things: a large stockpile of food and a large stockpile of gold. Naturally, this same statement can be made of nearly all civilizations, but it is particularly true when it comes to the Huns. As soon as you reach the imperial age, you're going to want to upgrade your tarkan and cavalry archers to elite status. Taken together, these two upgrades cost 1,900 food and 1,000 gold. Add in another 300 food and 300 gold to upgrade your knight units plus the cost of researching parthian tactics, bracers, and blast furnace, and you're looking at spending nearly 3,000 food and 2,000 gold all within a very short time. Also consider buying spies as it's only half the price compared to other civilizations. Being able to see what your opponents are building is a huge advantage.