News archive

November 26

BlackDouglas is Moving In
You might know me from some of the gaming forums and the Zone. I'm BlackDouglas, a long-time gamer (20 years!) and die-hard Age of Empires fan. I'll be merging my web site with this one, bringing over my units tables, strategy articles, and other stuff. And I'll be posting some new material as time permits. Telcontar is wandering the wilds of Scotland, which is rather fitting, since I'm of Scottish ancestry and my gaming name is taken from Scottish history. James "The Black" Douglas was one of Robert the Bruce's chief lieutenants during the Scottish Wars of independence 700 years ago. And now on to turkey dinner, before my wife kills me for spending a holiday online... ;}


Going on a short vacation
I will be away for the entire weekend, including Friday, on a trip to the Island of Skye. In case you do not know where this is, it is the beautiful island where 'Braveheart' was shot. I am looking forward to this, and I hope the weather will not be too Scottish then ;)
Even though this will not at all be AoE related, I am going to post a few of the most interesting stories that happened while I was in Glasgow. I will post them at a seperate page so they will not clutter up the main page.
There will be other people who help me to update the page, and I am glad for this help, because the connection problems with my old modem prevent me from working efficiently.
I will have to back my bags soon and get ready for the journey :)


November 24

Fun with AoE anagrams
I have recently downloaded a program that lets you make anagrams ("The Amazing Anagram Thingie"). Here are some AoE related anagrams:
Ensemble StudiosAge of Empires
Ts, double nemesisForage me pies
Meet old businessRegime of apes
Embossed utensilAge o' Empires
Beetles missoundArmies go pee
Obedient musselsAge of Kings
Subtile demonessFakes going
Rise of RomeFaking egos
O, Rome fires 
I hope no one takes this nonsense seriously ;)

SLP Studio added to downloads page
I added Joseph Knight's SLP studio (.zip, 378 KB) to the downloads page. It is a GUI interface to the command line programs needed to extract and convert files from the AoE resources. For more such programs, check the programs section at the downloads page.

Connection problems
If you have recently got a broken e-mail from me, it is because my modem keeps hanging up for no apparent reason. It seems to be a hardware failure. I hope I can sort this out soon, as it also keeps me from updating this page.

November 22

Short RoR civ overview
Wayne has made a short overview with the strengths of all RoR civs. It will later be extended to include an evaluation of the special attributes of the RoR tribes, comparing them to the other 12 tribes.

November 19

The first RoR sound editor
Download the first RoR compatible sound editor now! It is only about 150 KB large, so it is certainly worth the download time. Juha Rahko has written it. For the people who have not used it before, this sound editor is very convenient, because it lets you play the sounds before you replace them and also shows a description, so you know which sound to replace.

New webpage builder project
I have started a new project about a program that helps you to maintain large webpages. It is intended as a program that acts above the levels of an editor, taking care of document spanning aspects while leaving editing single files to XEmacs and other HTML editors. So far, there is not much program code (only boring documentation), but I am working at it :)

NT problems
After changing the partition layout, NT did not really work anymore. The swap space moved from E: to D: which confused NT apparently too much. After replacing about a thousand registry entries, it still could not recognize the new swap space and wanted a reboot. I did reboot - but not to Windows. People still think Windows is user friendly ... btw, I could not find RoR yet for a good price in the UK - does anyone know a shop where you pay less than £14?

Webmaster wanted
I am looking for someone who helps me to update the news section so I have more time for my project. Mail me if you want to see your name in bold print. (Not much HTML knowledge is required.)

November 14

IGZ rules change
There are some minor changes in the rules for playing in the rated rooms of the Internet Gaming Zone.

The other rules are still the same. The peculiar rule about abandoned games (every 10th abandoned game causes you to lose 100 points) still holds.

Gamespot's contest
Gamespot has a contest where they give away 20 copies of RoR. If you have not bought it yet, try your luck ;)
The question is about the release date. Some people have noticed that at the RoR section of this page, the counter has started to count down again from 12 months after the release - I have removed that counter now :)

History of Rome
Michael has posted a summary of the well-known history of the founding of Rome where the brothers Romulus and Remus built the city between seven hills (and one brother killed the other one afterwards). Michael describes these seven hills.

November 12

RoR cheats
The cheats table is updated with all known RoR cheats. Thanks to Juha for these. The cheats have been known for a while, but for most people they just came on time. You should not use cheats for winning anyway, their reason is to have fun with the new, hidden units and graphics.

November 9

AoE2 database continued
I have successfully repartitioned my HD (well, I have now some unpartitioned space that I will take care of later). Due to a flu I had been struggling with since last Friday, I could not go to the university today. This gave me some time to update the AoE2 database (note: scroll down for the latest updates). These are the best suggestions:

I am still quite a bit behind with gathering the best suggestions, but I am catching up ;)

November 7

I am back!
Finally, after one month, I have again online access with my computer. Many things have happened since then:
I have passed the second year's finals, so I am about half through my studies in computer science now. I have moved to Glasgow and will spend my next year as an exchange student here. The flight itself is worth a story; at the end of the day, I ended up with five flight tickets of three different airlines and no luggage - and this for the small distance of about 1000 km! I will post that story soon, so stay tuned :)
As you have seen, RoR is hitting the shelves now (depending on where you live). I will do my best to keep up with the news, but I have to repartition my HD drives first, so it may take a while until I get back. I am glad that Eggman kept the page running while I was away.

Your help is wanted
I would like to get the scenario section running again, and do a few other things. However, doing all the work alone would take very much time, so I need your help. You do not need any technical knowledge. Please email me at (not the other address) if you are interested. Please tell me whether you know HTML or Perl, and where your interest lies (multi player games, campaigns, writing strategy pages etc.).

RoR tournament
This one has arrived a few days ago. If you life in the USA or Canada, you can win a trip to Rome:


The contest will be decided by Conquest and will be played on a large map, at fast speed (1.5), 100 population and with default starting age and resources. Any civilization may be chosen for each game. The first round starts November 14. Eight rounds will be played throughout November and early December, with the Championship round taking place at the Wizards of the Coast Game Center in Seattle on December 11. Contestants must be over 18 years of age and residents of North America.

The grand prize is a trip for two to Rome (courtesy of Canadian Airlines), US$2000 cash in spending money, an authentic replica of a Roman shield, and a Zone Champion T-shirt. The four tournament finalists each receive a trip for one to Seattle, Washington (airfare provided by American Airlines), accommodations for three nights, VIP tickets to the Rise of Rome pre-finals party held at Wizards of the Coast Game Center, an authentic replica of a Roman helmet, and a Zone T-shirt.

For more details on the tournament rules, please visit the official MSN Gaming Zone Rumble for Rome" Tournament page."

The signup ends on November 12.

November 1

Quick note
A flood of stuff about RoR and AoE has been pouring out lately. So much so that it would clutter up this page to print it! So, most of the late-breaking stuff has its own place here. Although unless you live under a rock, you'll have heard most of it already! Also, two new campaigns about the vikings are available here. Don't expect to be raiding the English coasts in longships, though, as different aspects of Scandinavian history are dealt with instead.


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