Nations are the playable factions that a player can choose from in Rise of Nations. All playable nations are based on historical nations and civilizations of the past or present, and each has its own set of unique bonuses and advantages that help them in certain ways, also based on historical precedents — for instance, Mongols having cheaper and faster cavalry, Russian territory generating the greatest attrition, or Lakota not needing Farms to obtain Food.
All nations, regardless of the time period they thrived or existed in, have access to every age in the game. Each nation also has a set of unique units, most of which are based on historical units the nation had or currently has, like the British Longbowmen, the Roman Legions or the German Tiger Tank. A small amount of these unique units, such as the Arquebus Immortals of the Persians, or the Jaguar Assault Infantry of the Aztecs, belong to the realm of alternate history, as the game itself does by its very nature.
There are 18 nations in the original Rise of Nations; the Thrones and Patriots expansion added six additional nations, bringing the total up to 24. All nations are included in the Extended Edition.
Original[edit | edit source]
- The Aztecs who have the Power of Sacrifice
- The Bantu who have the Power of Migration
- The British who have the Power of Empire
- The Chinese who have the Power of Culture
- The Egyptians who have the Power of the Nile
- The French who have the Power of Leadership
- The Germans who have the Power of Industry
- The Greeks who have the Power of Philosophy
- The Inca who have the Power of Gold
- The Japanese who have the Power of Honour
- The Koreans who have the Power of Tradition
- The Maya who have the Power of Architecture
- The Mongols who have the Power of the Horde
- The Nubians who have the Power of Trade
- The Romans who have the Power of Caesar
- The Russians who have the Power of the Motherland
- The Spanish who have the Power of Discovery
- The Turks who have the Power of Siege
- The Americans who have the Power of Innovation
- The Dutch who have the Power of Commerce
- The Indians who have the Power of Majesty
- The Iroquois who have the Power of Nation
- The Lakota who have the Power of the Plains
- The Persians who have the Power of Ceremony
The Thrones and Patriots expansion included new historical Scenarios, which have nations unique to their respective geographical and historical ambience.
- Sabaeans - using the Nubian Power of Trade, they occupied the territory of Sabaean to the south of the Arab Peninsula, but all fielded different sets of unique units from other nations.
- Macedonians and Greeks - whereas the playable Macedonian faction used the Greek units and abilities proper, the other Greek city-states used the abilities of other nations, such as the American Power of Innovation for Sparta and the German Power of Industry for Athens.
Oddly enough, the many Greek city-states of Magna Graecia were depicted as being Macedonians, with a few being capable of fielding Companion Cavalry.
The unclaimed territory of the Caribbean is occupied by Pirates, which by their use of Landsknechts appear to be modified Germans.
Again, various different nations recycled abilities and to a certain extent units. For instance, the Portuguese had the Power of Gold and could field the same Siege Mortar units as the Inca. Strangely, however, the Sardinians didn't just share the Power of the Horde of the Mongols, but could even recruit Golden Horde Horse Archers.
It was thought that this campaign-specific repurposing of factions sparked off the Rise of Napoleon modification, which clearly was loosely based on the same conflict covered by this CtW.
More recycled units and abilities are used in this scenario. For instance, NATO re-uses the abilities associated with the British, while the Warsaw Pact reuses those of the Germans as well as their units — should you invade Central Europe during a rebellion, you would discover your allies were armed with Tiger or Leopard tanks (historically they used the same equipment as the Soviets).
Mod and Fanon nations[edit | edit source]
Unsurprisingly, the game has brought up the attention of modders since its introduction more than a decade ago. A number of mods have sprung up, and with them, new nations. Of these mods, popular ones such as Rise of Napoleon, Rise of Kings or the Second Great War (1939-1945), added or revamped nations more specifically tailored to the historical time frames those mods covered. Other mods have sprung up since then, ranging from the historical to the pseudo-historical to the entirely fantasy-themed. More information can be found on the Mods page.
Some other nations have been imagined by the game's fans, and have never been implemented by a mod, or at least not in the specific way a fan visualizes them, and so they only exist conceptually. These are called fan fiction, or fanon nations. Some of these fanon nations have been added by their authors on this wiki, which is allowed if added exclusively into the Fanon category, where they are to be found.