The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
8 Points

Which is better the Age of empires(Pro) or Stronghold(Con) series?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2014 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,525 times Debate No: 67361
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)




Round one: Acceptance

Round two and three: agruements

Round four: rebuttal

The Age of Empires series is better that stronghold.



Stronghold ftw!
Debate Round No. 1


Ok first off thank for joining this debate.

Ok the age of empires has more special unit and abilities. unless you play Legends you always deal with the same unit.


Thank you for the debate.

To start, Pro says that unless you play Legends, you're stuck with the same units... This implies that there is a game in the Stronghold series with numerous unique units, countering Pro's own claim.

Argument I: Sales:

While Age of Empires has sold more units, with 20 million units sold, it has had far more games. With 15 games out, the series has had a 1.3 million sales per game average (1). This competes with Stronghold's 6 million sales (2: near the bottom). With 5 games out at the time of those numbers, Stronghold has a rate of 1.2 million sales per game.

This makes it appear that Age of Empires has a 0.1 million sale advantage, but that's only if you remove the context... Firefly is an indie company. Ensemble worked under the power of Microsoft, and had a lot of advertising and magazine reporting. Especially after AoE I. To have matched AoE's so closely in sales, for an indie company with no backing, is a great feat and a sign of Stronghold's superiority. It's a game of ratios... If you have twice the fans and twice the advertising, but I match you anyways, my content must be better. If our content was equal, you'd still have twice the sales.


Argument II: Gameplay.

Age of Empires has great gameplay, but it's not well balanced. You build up until you're ready to attack the enemy, and then it's a game of outnumbering the opponent, or just decaying his forces until you win. Resources run out, and the AI sucks.

Stronghold improves on the RTS genre with the pure strength of both Economic and War aspects of the game. AoE barely runs an economy, while Stronghold strongly focuses on one. Even with AoE's most recent games, the economy isn't implemented, and it's a game of throwing units at each other. Stronghold implements economics and military, and the two are strongly intertwined as well as strongly independent.

Stronghold implements numeroious ways of playing, with any blend of European and Arabic units. I play with knights, European archers, and Arabian horse archers. My brother plays with Pikeman and Arabian Archers. After a while, he sets up the industry and economic pipelines needed to implement European Archers. My friend plays with slaves, Arabian horse archers, and Maceman. There is also playing as an evil king or a good king, or a neutrel king. That function has been in the game series since Crusader, and effects everything in the game.

Stronghold also implements better AI. Even AoE III's AI is simplistic, and each nation follows a similar strategy, or at least it seems like that. In Stronghold, you don't get that. Each player from each game has a very unique strategy. Even players of the same type. In Crusader, you can have up to seven AI, and you have 16 total characters, meaning there are 112 possible players (if you have two Richard the Lionhearts on one map, they will be completely different,) and each one has a unique castle design. All 16 players have different diplomatic needs, unit strategies (from the combo of units, to how they are used) and each one has a unique personality.

Each AI can contact you, making the game interactive and feel real. You can see the different sides of each player by being their ally or enemy. Unlike AoE, where you are alone the whole time with bots moving around, in Stronghold, you are up against AI who talk to you, and interact with you as you and them play together.

Diplomacy exists in Stronghold, something even AoE III barely has (unless you play online.) In Stronghold, you can request aid, resources, tell them who to attack, help them (and helping them actually does something), and in Crusader II, you even have approval ratings among players. Age of Empires lacks diplomatic elements, and has simplistic, similar players.

Resources run out on Age of Empires, which in turn hurts the game's ability to last long. Some say this adds a strategic element, but until the 3D maps of AoE III, it was more annoying than strategic on simple isometric 2D maps. Stronghold also did isometric 2D FAR better than AoE.

Stronghold allso implements Peasant emotions...

Argument III: Economic.

I feel this needs to be expanded on. In Stronghold, there are nunerious versions of many of the buildings. In AoEs, you have one wall... You can upgrade that wall, but it's the only wall you get. In Stronghold, you have wooden walls, short walls, large walls, and can add a crenellated walls. You have barracks and mercenary posts as options for recruiting soldiers.

Stronghold's economy isn't as simple as getting this resource, and using it. Much of the economy is based on growing industries and forming economic pipelines. Want bread? You need wheat farms. You than need windmills (usually 3 farms per mill) and than a bakery (usually 8 bakeries per mill.) It's more simple when playing, but adds a level of complexity to the economy. What makes this complexity great is that it's so balanced.

If you want a strong economy, you have to manage these pipelines, and even protect long routes that your peasants transport resources through. Taxes is also a part of the economy. High taxes causes unhappiness, but you can increase the food rations to counter it. Or the ale Rations. The economy can be customized, with 5 levels of food rationing, and 4 types of food (each food type adds +1 to happiness, for example.) You can even set up inns, and churches.

Economically speaking, Stronghold already beats out everything that AoEs has. Stronghold even includes religion as a vital aspect of the game. You can play the whole game with your own strategic and economic strategy to the point that you can play the whole game twice using completely different units and economic pipelines. You could even play the whole game twice without ever using the same buildings twice.


Stronghold has economics and diplomacy, while AoE lacks these while making up for none of them. Stronghold also has far better AI. These add a level of strategy than anything AoE has yet to accomplish, despite how Stronghold accomplished all of this with it's first game in 2001.

AoE has nothing over Stronghold, and lacks greatly behind Stronghold as an RTS game.

Things Stronghold has that AoE doesn't:
-AI personalities.
-AI Interactivity.
-Smoother Map Editor.
-Good/Bad system.
-Peasant Happiness.
Debate Round No. 2


You know sales dont define a great game. It just means more people bought it.

In the second AOE there is diplomacy of a sort. Granted the AI is often quite stupid sometimes.

Most people i know dont use wall in AOE3(or least i dont).

In stronghold you often start with a few solders to use which means you can attack before the enemy has a chance to respond without doing any thing else. Also troop are spawned right away in any stronghold game. These thing take strategic value away. And in stronghold no matter how you look at it is always the same type of units and no one has any limits.

In AOE 2 and 3 no too different civilizations are the same. each one has there strengths and weaknesses and you have have to play in mind of them.


Rebuttal I: Sales.

Pro says that sales don't define a great game... This is true only to an extent... A great game may have less sales than a bad game. But it is an indictator none-the-less. No one indictator is perfect, and when questioning the quality of a game, sales (while not perfect) do help.

Unless Pro has a less subjective measurement, sales is the best we have. And the sales are only 0.1 million apart per game despite Strongholds handicap, impling Stronghold would have greatly over taken AoE if not for it's handicap. This also says a lot that Stronghold managed such high sales through mostly word of mouth and spreading fame via quality, while AoE had mass advertising, and yet AoE still barely beat out Stronghold. For the sales to be so close, we must assume that Stronghold had generally better content. The difficulty curve is far greater than would allow for such close sales unless Stronghold had the quality needed to catch up without the adventages AoE had..

Rebuttal II: Gameplay.

Pro is correct... The AI in AoE is often stupid. He mentions the Diplomacy, but it's underdeveloped, and because of the bot's stupidity, easily ignorable. In Stronghold, the bots have good trackfinding, and responds to diplomacy nearly perfectly. There are few, if any error in how they respond to one's diplomatic requests. This is only made better with Stronghold Crusader II's diplomacy, which includes approval ratings.

People not using walls in AoE III isn't really relevant, and if anything, indicates the uselessness of walls in the game.

Pro mentions how Stronghold spawns units early on. He ignores that it does this for the bots too. So you can't just attack the bots right away. They're armed as well... This allows everyone protection. Because everyone starts with a small defensive force, I can't just build a quick army and move it out. I must still build up strategically and economically first. You can also switch out the starting features.

I can select low unit spawn and high starting cash, or high unit spawn and low starting cash, or lower of both.

AoE II and III may have AI that have some unique units and looks, and the AI might act slightly different, but the gameplay doesn't fully allow for a mass variation in gameplay strategies. Stronghold AI are so rapidly different from each other that I can tell just by seeing the castle, or even just seeing the units, who the AI is. And as mentioned, each version of each AI is different. If you have two United Kingdoms in one map on AoE III, they'd be the exact same... On Stronghold Crusader, there are 112 possible AI variations, each with a different castle type. All 16 AI are completely different. That's another thing... Stronghold Crusader has 16 AI, compared to AoE's 12, AoE II's 13, and AoE III's ... ... ... 8. Unless you want to pay extra for expansion packs...

The variation between AoE civilizations have nothing on what Stronghold has accomplished. With Stronghold Crusader's AI alone, one can play 268,435,456 games using a completely different AI combination, and that's only the combinations with 8 players.

Rebuttal III: Economics:

Pro leaves my Economics argument untouched. Both here and in Argument II.

Argument IV: Maps.

AoE I and AoE II had an unlimited number of maps. AoE III has 17... Period. Unless you want to return to bad AI, terrible path-finding, and poor isometric 2D, you're stuck with AoE III's limited map collection. This might make AoE I and II seem better, but again, the pathfinding and AI of the two games simply do not agree with standerds of today. Stronghold has maintained a record of having numerious maps (minus Stronghold III, but that's only one game...) and an easy to use editor, and the AI and gameplay is in agreement with today's standards.


Pro has dropped my Economics argument. Stronghold's economic focus allows for generally better gameplay and strategy. For RTS's, this is incredibly vital, allowing Stronghold to be the better game. Sales when considering handicaps, are in Stronghold's favor. And Stronghold has generally better AI and allows for real diplomacy.
Debate Round No. 3


Con seems to miss understand the point I tried to make with "troop are spawned right away in any stronghold game". What I meant is when you recruit solders it is spawned instantly.

Age of empires has naval battles which adds a different level of strategy. The only thing remotely close to that in stronghold is the pittish boat warriors.

The multiplayer in age of empire 3 is much better than stronghold.


Rebuttal I: Troop Spawn.

This doesn't harm strategic value. This is a case of different play styles. Unlike the addition of economics, better diplomacy, or better resource management, whether the troops spawn immediately or loads first doesn't really change much. If anything, it's less annoying to build large armies.

Rebuttal II: Sea Battles.

It's true that sea battles don't exist in Stronghold. This is so far the only benefit AoE has over Stronghold, but perhaps not really a negative for Stronghold. Sea battles would have felt awkward in Stronghold. It wasn't until AoE III that sea battles stopped feeling annoying and awkward.

To some, using the sea as a border helps creates strategy.

Rebuttal III: Mutliplayer.

Pro doesn't explain why multiplayer is better. I'd assume that with how much AoE lacks that Stronghold has, adding human's to both wouldn't really make up for those lacking elements.


Con concedes to the AoE games lacking an economics system. Con drops my case on Maps, Sales, and every argument I made, including the case about AI. The only argument he carried on with was the troop spawn. The troop spawn doesn't really add or take away anything objective.

Pro doesn't explain his reason for why Multiplier is better on AoE.

- Stronghold has an economy.
- Stronghold has diplomacy.
- Stronghold has 100+ AI variations and types.
-Stronghold has more strategy than AoE**

Stronghold is the better game.

** "You build up until you're ready to attack the enemy, and then it's a game of outnumbering the opponent, or just decaying his forces until you win." -Round 2
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Your 0/6 RFD is "Empty Talk by Pro."
This seems a seriously lacking RFD even were it an argument only vote. A valid RFD should explain why each point is awarded, and ultimately never make equal sense if pro and con were switched.
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
This is fun. It makes me want to play both games again... I only wish I could use the scenario editor on AoE I better... I'm great with the map editor, but the scenario editor doesn't work for me... I have no options on anything. Is there something I'm supposed to download?
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
I want to take this, but I'm not sure if I should...
Posted by Asburnu 2 years ago
I'm more into the building of the castle and surrounding village than I am about the battles. Stronghold 3 won't run on my Vista system. Wish there were more design-your-own-kingdom games.
Posted by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
Stronghold is pretty good, but so is AoE.....cant debate this. Love both of them.
Posted by volcan 2 years ago
me to
Posted by Theunkown 2 years ago
I long for AOE 4
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Age of Empires is great, but then I graduated to Civilization V
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had adequate conduct throughout. S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar throughout. Arguments - Con. Pro failed to rebut a majority of the challenges raised by Con. Whereas Con was able to effectively rebut each contention raised by Pro. Since this debate was comparitive in nature, and Con went unchallenged on a majority of his arguments, Con wins argument points. Sources - Con. Pro did not utilize sources in this debate whereas Con did. This is a clear win for Con.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Easy vote... con made an easy to read four tier argument to raise voter esteem for Stronghold, whereas pro never rose above implying Age of Empires might be better. Pro's best point is catching con in a fallacious appeal to popularity, however that does not close the mile wide gap.