Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Tips & Secrets
"build loads of villages. with a strong economy, you can easily have a strong military. If you have a really strong economy, a great military will follow. I suggest about 80-100 villagers, depending on which civilisation you are, and how many enemies there are. More enemies, means more troops needed, so more resources will be required, therefore more villagers needed." - thedrag0nreb0rn
"Use the Japanese. Then research everything. Build a strong economy. Build many Bombard Towers!" - japanese
"Use the Byzantines. There Cataphracts are great against pikemen, so theres really no counter for them, except camels, which are pretty weak anyway. They're building bonuses are very useful, as is there cheap advance to the Imperial Age" - Lincoln
"Radom map game- The Key is speed. To the Castle Age 6:45 time is good, a 6:30 time is extremely good, and a 6:15 time is unbelievably good. Anything under 8:30 is tolerable. If you get a castle up before the other person gets to you until the imperial age your pretty much garranteed to survive. If you think about it what can militia do to a Castle even without murder holes.
If your really having trouble conquering someone try a multiple point attak. Divide your forces in half (or more if you have enough) and attak from different directions. The biggest element of this is surprise so if your playing all revealed it really won't work very well. you will want to hit the strongest place of his defences first, and then swing in with your other forces (being careful of castles) and slaughter villagers.
The best civilization to do this with is the Byzantines (even if "experts" do enjoy knocking them aroung) because of thier fast, strong, smart, over all powerful unique unit.
As far as i am concerned the best civ. for beginers or experts is the Byzantines. thier UU is probably the most well rounded unit in the game. the only two units that can beat them one on one are the Paladin and the War Eliphant, and both of these are easily countered by the Byzantines cheap pikeman(26 food, 15 wood). thier building bonus is absolutely amazing (castles get over 8000 hit points fully reaserched) and all the building get it. the Pikeman, Skirmisher, and Camel are all extremely cheap. they have the 3rd best monks in the game (spanish and azteks have better), and they can go to the Imperial age for 667 food and 536 gold." - Fatal