About 75% of the world is covered in water. The remaining 25% consists of land and other dry areas. Since humans are not permanently aquatic animals, naturally we live on this land, and when two groups of walking, talking, thinking beings meet, there are bound to be conflicts. With this in mind, one could say that the Army is the oldest branch of the military. For as long as humans have coexisted with each other, there has been conflict and following that has been the Army. Without the Army, a country could not last for too long. Its age and its influence has made the Army an irreplaceable aspect of our lives today, and shall do so for far into the future.
Rise of Nations seems to agree with the statement that the Army is the oldest surviving branch of the military, since the first units that are available to the player are Slingers, a light foot soldier unit. The army, particularly the infantry, is essential for the capture of enemy cities, and it is only through the army that cities can be destroyed (since razing a city is not possible until the army captures the city).
The Ground Units of Rise of Nations are the most diverse of all the units in the game, but they can be grouped into three categories, which can then be grouped further into three sub-categories each (with the exception of Artillery Weapons, which only receive their third sub-category after the Industrial Age).
Types of Land Units
The Infantry has been an integral part of the Army, and should remain so for years to come, as humans patrolling the ground can do things that even the most maneuverable, the most heavily armed, or the most heavily armored vehicle cannot do. In Rise of Nations, they are as essential for capturing cities as Siege Units are.
- Slingers - Ancient Age, lightly armed and fast-moving, slingers hurl rocks at their enemies with deadly velocity.
- Javelineers - Classical Age, now armed with the more lethal Javelin, these soldiers hurl spears at their enemies with lethal accuracy.
- Elite Javelineers - Medieval Age, the Javelineers are now more exhaustively trained to result in a new breed of solider who takes care of his enemy with new efficiency.
- Arquebusiers - Gunpowder Age, originating from Portugal, the Arquebusiers were trained in the use of the first Gunpowder weapons, a crude musket known as the Arquebus.
- Musketeers - Enlightenment Age, With the advent of flintlock muskets, the Musketeers became reknowned for their deadliness.
- Riflemen - Industrial Age, with the advent of Rifling, soldiers could now use their weapons with more accuracy that before, resulting in a more lethal killing force.
- Infantry - Modern Age, in WWII, infantry were the most indispenseable part of the Army, as they caused more victories than the tanks themselves.
- Assault Infantry - Information Age, with improved radio communications, weapons, and non-lethal fighting tactics, the infantry has become more dangerous today than it has ever been, and is even capable of taking targets without killing people...but where's the fun in that?
- Hoplite - Ancient Age, clad in shining bronze armor, the hoplites were among the most formidible of warriors with their sharp spears and large shields.
- Phalanx - Classical Age, when many hoplites marched together in a column, they were know as the fearsome phalanx, symbol of Alexander the Great's power.
- Pikemen - Medieval Age, a pike is a very long spear, ideal for skewering a knight off of his horse.
- Elite Pikemen - Gunpowder Age, with some intensive training, the Pikemen became even more lethal in their craft.
- Fusiliers - Enlightenment Age, from the French word fusil which meant "rifle", these soldiers aimed for the cavalrymen charging at their friends in the front line with lethal accuracy.
- Anti-Tank Rifle - industrial Age, the invention of armor-piercing rounds gave rise to the Anti-Tank Rifle, designed specifically to make short work of the lightly armored tanks of the era.
- Bazooka - Modern Age, the famous American invention that revolutionized the world of Anti-Tank warfare, it was used to great effect in WWII, and is the predecessor of all shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.
- Anti-Tank Missile - Information Age, a generic term used to describe one of the world's greatest military inventions to combat armored warfare.
The Bow and Arrow was the world's first ranged weapon, a weapon capable of killing from a distance by means of self-propulsion (i.e. not thrown). This effect, though originally used to hunt efficiently, was soon seen by its more sinister potential: as a weapon of war. So, with this in mind, the bow and arrow became the classic weapon of the Middle Ages, ranging from the simple bows used in the early ages to the feared English Longbows, whose arrows could pierce armor to the insanely strong Crossbow.
The History of the Machine Gun is far more bloody. The first idea of a repeating gun was devised by Dr. Richard J. Gatling, the designer of the famed multi-barreled Gatling Gun. However, this gun was not able to reload itself and provide truly automatic fire. That honor would be given to Hiram Maxim, whose Maxim Machine Gun caused more casualties in WWI than any other weapon. With the inception of automatic fire, warfare was changed forever. Big charges were no longer practical when the enemy could cut down everyone with only one soldier and a machinegun. With this in mind, the Machine Gun is the most feared anti-personnel weapon on the battlefield today.
- Bowman - Ancient Age, simple soldiers who are armed with a bow and some arrows.
- Archer -Classical Age, soldiers that are much more trained with a bow.
- Crossbowman -Medieval Age-Gunpowder Age, soldiers that start to use crossbows still with arrows.
- Machine Gun -Industrial Age, soldiers that start using rapid guns that launches dozens of bullets.