News Archives: February 2003

Friday, February 28, 2003 Showsoff Screenshots (Japanese) has up a gallery of 26 screenshots, from which it is apparent a Japanese language version of RoN is in the advanced stages of development.

If you understand Japanese, you can also visit the Microsoft Games Japan RoN Home Page here.

Ron Center Previews RoN

RoN Center’s very own two-page RoN Preview by The Black Knight is up and ready! “I believe Rise of Nations will be one of the best RTS games of the year. It is interesting, and has a huge amount of gameplay settings that make for good replay value. Kudos to Big Huge Games, I can't wait for the full version.” Article includes 16 screenshots.

RoN Contest Winners

Thank you for visiting our site during our Beta Sign-up contest. We have sent the emails to the winners - if you are one of the lucky few to receive the email, be sure to follow the directions in the email! Contest winners will be announced Monday after we confirm the entries.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Gamer's Pulse Updates RoN Preview

Brian Goldstein of Gamers Pulse updates the site’s RoN preview:
Rise of Nations is shaping up quite well. While there haven't been Earth shattering changes since we last saw it, the single player campaign aims to please and seems like it will not disappoint.
Article included Nine screenshots.

Gamespy Nations Profile 8: Spain & Korea

Gamespy has just published their latest Nations Profile. In their on-going feature, the 8th installment covers the Spainish and Koreans.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

RoN Empire Announces Winners

Rise of Nations Empire has announced the winners of their Wallpaper design beta contest, their wallpapers just those of the 5 runners up for posted on their site. Congrats to the winners, and good job to all the wallpaper designers.

Good at graphics? Wanna make $50?

RTS-League (, the leading international Clan League for Age of Kings: The Conquerors and Age of Mythology, needs your help!

While moving to our new and super-fast server we decided to do a redesign for the website. First and foremost we need a new banner so we are hereby calling all graphical talents to the arms (pencils).

Join the official "RTS-League Banner Contest" for the chance to win US $50 in cash or (alternatively) a full version of the upcoming strategy-hit "Rise of Nations" by Big Huge Games and Microsoft.

The prize will be given to the banner that is being selected by the League Staff Team to appear on our mainpage. Additionally the creator will have his name placed on our site.

Submissions will be accepted from Monday, February 24th to Sunday, March 9th 2003.

Beta Forum opens

We've just opened a brand new forum in anticipation of all the people receiveing copies of the Rise of Nations Sneak Preview Beta. This will be a good place for people to post their impressions of the game, their war stories and any minor issues or concerns they may have with the game after playing with it for a little bit.

For all those lucky winners, we have started a beta checkin thread where people can list their GameSpy Login names, so head on over and check it out by clicking here.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Rise of Nations Beta Tournament at RoN Center

Rise of Nations Center has announced that it will be holding a tournament for all you lucky people who have received a copy of the Beta.
Yes, RoNC will be hosting a beta tournament for the lucky people who received the RoN beta. The signup date is still up in the air (we'll be waiting to see when people recieve their betas). There will be prizes (RoN stuff of course) for the winners. Be checking back soon for full details.

It's open to everyone, so sign up and get ready to rumble.

RoN Strategy Guide by Michael Rymaszewski

Michael Rymaszewski, well known strategy guide writer for many RTS's is now in preparation for a RoN Strategy Guide published by Sybex(US $19.99 | Can $31.95 | UK £14.99 |April 2003 | 240 pages). Thanks to Graham Somer’s remarks at RoN Planet. Previews RoN publishes a two-page preview of RoN with an accompanying video of a short interview with Brian Reynolds from last summer’s E3. (The RoN user interface shown in the video is obsolete and has been replaced.) reports the UK release date as 25 April 2003.

Thanks to Apolyton for the heads up!

Didn't win a RoN Beta? We've got more.

Between now and midnight, February 26, 2003, if you see the picture to the right pop up, click on it and you will be given a chance to win one of 5 copies of the Rise of Nations Beta. Entrants must be 13 years old or older, and not have won another Rise of Nations beta from Microsoft or another Rise of Nations Fan Site. One entry per household. Duplicate applications will be deleted and removed from consideration. Winners will be picked randomly from the pool of qualified applicants and notified by email. If we do not receive a reply within 24 hours of notification, another winner will be chosen. Best of luck everyone.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Nation of the Week: Nubians

This week we present the Nubians. A somewhat enigmatic long lost civilization, kind of like the Nation of the week feature, but we've found them again! Not only that, the unique units section features never seen by the public unique unit art from the latest beta! Here's an excerpt:
Nubia was known as "Ta-Seti", or the Land of the Bow, by the Egyptians. The skills of the Nubian Archers were well known in the ancient world. In rise of Nations, these archers make up one line of unique units for the Nubians. ... The Nubians were also introduced to the use of camels in war early in its history providing them with their second unique unit. The Nubians receives Camel Archers starting in the Classical Age that continue into the Enlightenment Age as the Camel Corp.
Check out the article here, and if you missed the other Nations, you can check out the full list!

Friday, February 21, 2003

Activision and SSSI Teams Up

Activision, Inc. marks a new era in the historical strategy genre with the announcement of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World from acclaimed designer Rick Goodman and Stainless Steel Studios. A real-time strategy game of epic scope and breadth, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World lets players command legendary civilizations as they battle to forge mighty empires during the days of longbows and charging knights to the awesome land, air and sea battles of WWII involving Tiger Tanks, Storm Troopers, Spitfires, and stealthy submarines.

Looks like an interesting title, with a more narrower focus but greater depth then SSSI's previous title Empire Earth. Check out the original article here.

RoN Eden’s Nox Flashes His Resources

RoN Eden’s Nox devotes this week’s Focus article to resource accumulation. He has even built a Flash-enabled interactive graphic of the primary resource information display that sits in the upper left corner of the game screen top give fans an idea how the actual interface works! You can click on the gray show/hide bars (with the squiggles) just as you might in an actual game. The site is is French in case you don't know, so get your French dictionary out or just use Babblefish or just look at the english version, translated courtesy of Vovan.

Thanks for your work, Nox!

RoN Pantheon UpdatesResource Page

AudiTTman from RoN Pantheon has updated their Resources Page.

Gamers Depot Previews RoN

Ryan Bohlman of Gamers Depot previews Rise of Nations saying:
Armed with the understanding that epic scope and depth work well in the RTS genre, Microsoft looks to pick up where they left off and take things in a new direction. Featuring a massive 18 playable nations - including the British, Chinese, French, Japanese, Germans, Aztecs, and more – as well as things such as scenario and script editors, Rise of Nations is shaping up to be quite a nice package indeed.
Article includes Nine screenshots.

3DAvenue Peviews RoN

Nathan Davison from 3DAvenue got a chance to check out a pre-release version of Rise of Nations, with a preview. He says:
RoN is looking to take the classic formula of RTS gaming beyond our usual expectations and give gamers the ultimate combination of real time combat and long term civilization establishment all in the one experience
The Article includes eight screenshots including a nice one of Europe – Mediterranean – Western Russia in Conquer the World.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Gamezone Takes a Sneek Peek at RoN

Gamezone provides a sneek peek at Rise of Nations, in a short but informative article on Rise of Nations.

Game Catcher Impressions of RoN

Game Catcher has an article giving their impression of Rise of Nations.

Here's an excerpt:
The sheer depth would scare most developers and yet Big Huge Games went through with it anyway. I feel they have succeeded!
Be sure to page through the book, as there are 5 "pages" to the article which may not be obvious.

IGN Rise of Nations Unit Showcase VII

IGN’s Unit Showcase VII by B.C. Milligan is up and ready with information on Light Cavalry/Armored Cars, Mobile Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA), and Helicopters! The IGN media gallery has also added seven new screens for RoN.

Thanks to Rohag for the headsup!

Strategy Informer Previews RoN

Strategy Informer also published a preview of Rise of Nations recently, here's an exerpt:
In a nutshell, imagine combining Civilization with Age of Empires, as well as throwing in a smattering of Risk or Total War and you get a game that looks, sounds and IS very impressive.

Action Trip Previews RoN

Action Trip just published a preview of Rise of Nations primarily focusing on the Conquer the World Campaign. The article gives an overall good impression of the game that shows it will change some minds of those who are tired of the same old RTS. The article including 2 exclusive in-game movies and 25 screenshots!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Rise of Nations Oracle Back Online

After a long hietas RoN Oracle is finally back online, the Ogre and Mithras are back and are updating the site!

Rohag's Impresions of Conquer the World Campaign

Rohag gives his impressions of a Conquer the World campaign in Press Beta #2.

Here's an excerpt:
This was the most fun I’ve had yet with a Press Beta of Rise of Nations. In about twelve hours play I led the Maya from the Ancient to Information ages while allied with the Spanish against a host of enemies, especially those insolent British, Russians, Japanese and Greeks!
Excellent Article!

RoN video trailer on Czech Site

The RoN video trailer is available for download in high and lower resolution DivX format at Tiscali Games (Czech Republic).

DivX player can be downloaded at:

GamePlanet Preview RoN

Overlooked RoN preview discovered at GameRankings by DanQ of Apolyton CS: GamePlanet (New Zealand), published 30 Dec 02, includes six screenshots.

Gamesplurge preview of RoN

Gamesplurge has a brief preview of RoN with a couple screenshots.

Official Contest Should be Announcing Winners on the 20th

The official Microsoft RoN Win-a-Beta contest registration is closed. “On or around February 20 we will select the 1000 winners via a random drawing from all eligible entries. We will contact those lucky winners via email. Please note, only the winners will be contacted.” You can still download a video trailer at the contest site.

Electric Playground Previews RoN

Jason MacIsaac of Electric Playground has published an
extraordinarily enthusiastic preview of RoN!

Here's an excerpt:
Rise of Nations looks like it's going to be one of the deepest, most flexible and fun RTS games ever ...this game is already looking like a strong candidate for the best RTS of 2003. Yes, our expectations are that high after playing this game.
Thanks to Apolyton and Rohag for this tidbit!

RoN Center Adds More Beta screenshots

RoN Center adds news screenshots from the Press Beta #2 to their Beta gallery, most scenes are of modern or information age battles, including some impressive shots of cruise missiles in flight, and nuclear explosions.

German and French Site picks their winners!

A German and French site in the Rise of Nations community, and Rise of Nations Eden, announces their winners from their respective contests for a copy of the beta. According to Apolyton fansite the French site only has twenty entries, so you had a 1 in 4 chance to win! Aren't you sorry you fell asleep in French class now?

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Resources Page updated

Continuing with our page updates from the latest beta release, the resources page has now been brought up to date with the latest info on the rare resources that are in the game. There has also been some new art released for the rare resources so head on over to the Resources Page and check them out.

Rise of Nations Beta contests

For those of you that may not have heard, many of the Rise of Nations fansites have announced contests to give away a few copies of the latest Rise of Nations beta. You can check them out by clicking on the links below.
Apolyton's "Love your Nation" Contest

RoN Bases's "Rise of Nations Quiz" Contest (German)

RoN Center's "What do you love about RoN, that you don't find in other RTS games?" Contest

RoN Eden's "Rise of Nations Quiz" Contest (French)

RoN Empire's Wallpaper Contest

RoN Planet's "Create a Nation" Contest

Best of luck to everyone.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Sign up Now for the Rise of Nations Sneak Preview Beta Contest

This just in from Microsoft...
Strategy gamers wishing to change the course of history in under an hour now have the opportunity to enter the Rise of Nations Sneak Preview Beta Contest for a chance to win one of 1000 copies of the Rise of Nations beta. Microsoft and Big Huge Games are now allowing gamers to sign up at the official site (, where complete contest information and official rules can also be found. Winners will be selected from a random drawing from all entries and will receive a beta disc that contains 10 playable nations (18 nations will be included in the final game), three tutorials and the unique Conquer the World campaign. Winners will also be enrolled in the official beta, given access to newsgroups to provide feedback, and allowed to download official beta updates.

Microsoft also released a new video that features Rise of Nations gameplay footage interwoven with scenes from the introductory game movie. The video may be downloaded from the official site.

So what are you waiting for?!?! Go sign up NOW!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

RoN Beta Contest Tomorrow!

In case you've been hiding in a cave, just a reminder that the RoN public beta contest is open TOMORROW, that's THIS FRIDAY! Sign up for 1 of 1000 copies at the Microsoft Official Rise of Nations Site, or increase your odds by participating in the smaller contests that will be hosted by each fan site including of course Rise of Nations Heaven.

RoN Planet Updates Screenshots Pages

Rise of Nations Planet posted 23 new screenshots from the beta 2 release. Most interesting picture in my opinion is a group of P-37 fighter planes complete with Tiger mouth camoflag paint buzzing over a river valley.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Wonders Page updated

Well with the relese of the new beta and the flood of information coming out, I thought it was about time that we added to it. I've just finished my update of the wonders page with all the new powers and even a few shots of previously unseen wonders. They've changed the powers a great deal and made the wonders even more potent. Head on over and check them out on our Wonders Page.

Free Shipping from IGN

IGN's gamestore has made a special offer for people that preorder Rise of Nations today. Free overnight shipping of the game on April 22nd. The offer is only valid for today, so hurry on over. As of this writing, there are only 21 hours and 41 minutes left.

Gamespy Looks at RoN's Beta 2 Release

Gamespy has just published an update of their Preview of Rise of Nations based on the second beta release. It also features 20 new screenshots!

RoN Empire Wallpaper Contest

Rise of Nations Empire announces a Wallpaper creation contest to win one of 5 RoN betas. Top 5 winners will get the betas, with the top 10 wallpapers featured on the site. Here's your chance to win by your creative endeavours rather then depend on blind luck! So go check it out here!

RoN Center Battles RoN Planet

TheBlackKnight from RoN Center describes his first online Rise of Nations battle against DevlshOne of RoN Planet. Read all about the epic battle at the RoN Center forums.

Worthplaying Reports May 2 European Release

Worthplaying is also reporting 2 May 2003 as the UK release date (GameSpy Daily had also earlier reported 2 May as the general European release date; although no confirmation has been made by Microsoft as of yet).

Thanks to Apolyton for the tidbit!

Japanese Site Impress Watch Previews RoN

For Japanese fans, Impress Watch has posted a RoN preview with 11-12 screenshots, and has also posted 15 stills from the game’s opening film. At the latter page you can also download the whole opening movie (about 32.5 MB) in compressed archive format “lzh.”

Thanks to Stack-Style for the heads up!

New RoN Wallpaper at RoN Planet

Rise of Nations Planet is also making the new RoN “Roman Missile Crisis” wallpaper available for download.

RoN Planet Updates Pages

Continuing the frenzied activity, RoN Planet has updated their superb buildings and resources galleries.

RoN Center New Beta Screenshots

RoN Center has updated their Press Beta Screenshots Gallery with many new images, including plenty of shots of set-up and game statistics screens.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Rise of Nations Planet announces beta contest

This just in from RoN Planet

You could hardly be more excited about the chance to win a BETA version of Rise of Nations this Friday in the official Sneak Preview but how would you like to increase your odds?

You could be one of five lucky winners of a copy of the Rise of Nations BETA from Rise of Nations Planet!

We'll be announcing the details of our contest this Friday to coincide with the start of the official Sneak Preview contest.

This is some pretty exciting stuff so be sure to head on over to Rise of Nations Planet to look for further details. You'll be seeing more and more announcements like this from the various websites so be sure to keep up to date with them all so you don't miss your chance.

Conquer the World first impressions at RoN Eden

Nox over at Rise of Nations Eden has gotten his hands on the latest beta and has published his first impressions on the Counquer the World campaign.
CTW’s principle is simple. The campaign is divided into two phases: one turn-based phase, which is played on a beautiful Risk-style map, where you move armies from territory to territory, improve territories, buy bonus cards and engage in diplomacy… This phase is followed by a real-time, randomly-generated scenario where you invade or plan to conquer a territory.

You can read the rest of the English translation of this article here.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Rise of Nations Sneak Preview Beta Contest Launches on Friday

This just in from Microsoft...

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that gamers will soon have the opportunity to enter the Rise of Nations Sneak Preview Beta Contest for a chance to win one of 1000 copies of the Rise of Nations beta. On Friday, February 14, fans can sign up at the official site (, where complete contest information and official rules can also be found. Winners will be selected from a random drawing from all entries.

The Rise of Nations beta discs will contain 10 playable nations (18 nations will be included in the final game), three tutorials and the unique Conquer the World campaign. Winners will also be enrolled in the official beta, given access to newsgroups to provide feedback, and allowed to download official beta updates.

Rise of Nations combines the epic scope of traditional turn-based strategy games with the fast-paced action of RTS games. The game allows players to create new cities, improve their city infrastructure and expand national borders. Players have the option to win through military might using everything from slingshots to cannons to stealth bombers, corner the market on key commodities, and wheel and deal with a wide variety of Nations. Unlike other historical RTS games, Rise of Nations allows gamers to quickly play through eight historical epochs of time from the Ancient Age to the Information age, covering 6,000 years of history. This latest title from Big Huge Games Inc. founder Brian Reynolds (designer of Civilization 2 and Alpha Centauri*) is scheduled for U.S. release on April 22, 2003. For more information about Rise of Nations, visit the official site at

As I said on Friday, this is some pretty big news and I hope everyone is as excited as I am for a chance to play with this great game.

RoN Empire Forum Back in Business

Rise of Nations Empire forums is working again, unfortunately they lost their old discussion threads. However, its a fresh start so get your opinions and ideas in now.

Friday, February 7, 2003

Big Huge News

I've just received a bit of information from Microsoft PR guy, Steve Cherrier. It seems they will be making a major announcement come Monday and have asked me to add this little picture to the site.

Not real sure what the announcement will be exactly, but I'm betting it will be something pretty big.

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Rise of Nations Center interviews Graham "Thunder" Somers

Rise of Nations Center has just released an incredibly informative interview with Big Huge Games Community Relations Manager Graham Somers. He goes into a lot of detail on new developments in the game including the status of the Nation editor, and an announcement of their in game matchmaking system.
Q: RoN Center
Where will the multiplayer be hosted?

A: Graham 'Thunder' Somers
You will have a few options when it comes to multiplayer games. As I just mentioned, we are working on an in-game multiplayer matchmaking service, powered by GameSpy and customized by programmers here. It will come complete with different lobbies where you can host games (rated, unrated, etc), lobby chatting, and a buddy list similar to MSN Messenger so that you can message individual players. We're trying to make it easy to find your friends and to get a game going quickly. I know that's where many of us will be hanging out after the game ships, so it is very much of interest to us that it be the best it can be.

You will also have the option of playing the game through GameSpy Arcade or good ol' fashioned meeting up with your friends via IP to play.

There is a ton of more info over there, so head on over and check it out by clicking here.

Community Updates

Been a few community items that I have fallen behind on as of late. I'll try to cover them all here.

Rise of Nations Eden returns!
After a short bit of downtime, Rise of Nations Eden has resolved its server issues and is now running again. It's good to see them back. They've also kicked off a series of articles that focus on Seige units in the game and the way in which they must deploy prior to actually being able to fire. Nox even made a small video for all of us to watch.

Rise of Nations Empire server move
Rise of Nations Empire has made the move to their new servers and can now be reached at They're having some troubles getting the forums back on line, but hopefully that will all be taken care of soon. Bonnie has also made some additions to her Desktop Wallpaper Section, this time including the Angkor Wat Wonder from the game.

Gamepro Hands-On RoN Preview

GamePro publishes a short updated RoN preview with 16 screenshots.

Thanks to Apolyton for the news.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Weekly Screenshot at Rise of Nations Notzie

This week, the team at Rise of Nations Notzie has been selected to host the weekly screenshot. This week we see a group of Japanese Samurai invading what appears to be a snowy British town. The pictures comes in a variety of sizes, and you can view them all by going here.

Monday, February 3, 2003

IGN Adds New Pictures & Movies of RoN

IGN has updated their Rise of Nations Media index with tonnes of new screen shots and 6 movies!

Total Video Games interviews Brian Reynolds

Total Video Games (TVG) sits down and interviews Brian Reynolds.

Here's an excerpt:
Microsoft’s eagerly awaited 'Rise of Nations', a real-time strategy (RTS) game, that combines fast-action of real-time gaming with the broad scope of epic turn-based strategy games like Civilization, is already receiving much critical acclaim

Designer Diary: A Balancing Act

Mike “Axehilt” Engle, who is in charge of Game Balance at Microsoft Games, has published a superb Designer Diary at Adrenaline Vault describing the delicate business of balancing units and powers in Rise of Nations.

Thanks to Rohag for this tidbit.

Sunday, February 2, 2003

Nation of the Week: Turks

This installment of the Nation of the Week covers the Turks, another offensive minded player's dream, perfect civ for the "ramp and stamp"!

Here's an excerpt:
The Turks were a nomadic, warrior people that originated from Central Asia, but who in several waves of migration spread westward conquering lands in India, the Middle East, Russia, Anatolia, and Eastern Europe. They came to establish several Empires: the Mamlukes in Egypt, the Seljuks of Persia and Anatolia, and finally, the Ottoman Empire which at its height spanned from Eastern Europe to North Africa, the Caucasus and the Middle East. It was the Ottomans that put the death nail on the remnants of the Classical Roman Empire when they seized Contantinople with the aid of massive seige artillery in 1453 A.D. In Rise of Nations, the Turks receive a line of unique units in the artillery line beginning at the Gunpowder Age with the Basilica Bombard to reflect their use of these devastating weapons. The Ottomans also came to recruited its military through the conscription of the children of its conquered subjects, who were raised as Moslems and trained throughout their lives as Warriors. These extraodinary soldiers were called the Janissary, and in Rise of Nations appear along side its artillery units to give the Turks an army worthy of its historical counterpart, and a scourge to those whom ever they faced.

You can review the entire lists of Nations here!