Unlike relics Age of Kings, relics in Age of Mythology have a more prominent function in the game. They are prized artifacts that the player can gather in order to gain further bonuses beyond those given by the gods they choose to worship. Many of them have a fairly minute improvement to a player, though some can be pretty considerable. Relics are picked up and moved by the heroes of each culture; Greek heroes, Norse Hersir, and the Egyptian Pharaoh. To utilize the bonus a relic has, you place it in your temple…but as soon as you do, your enemies will be informed of you doing so. Keeping them is the secret to unlocking their power.
Norse: As stated before, relics are gathered by the heroes of each culture. The Norse have the definite advantage in gathering relics, as their heroes are easily and (relatively) cheaply produced. Due to the fact that you can produce them at will at a structure other than your town center – allowing it to continue producing and giving you a more quick classical and stronger economy – Norse players can pick up a good number of relics early in the game. The ideal time to use Hersir(s) to gather relics is during the time that you are advancing to Classical, because they would just be idle otherwise (being unable to build Longhouses until you advance); though it would be at the cost of having houses built during the transition built at a slower rate.
Greeks: Greeks appear to be the middle ground – as they are in so many other aspects of the game – in terms of Relic gathering. Their heroes, when produced at the Town Center, have little else to do besides pick up relics if there’s no fighting. Of course, if you’re fighting, it’s best to have your heroes at the front line, but if there’s little chance you’ll be attacked, you might as well have those heroes doing something. However, due to the fact that heroes are produced only at the Town Center until you reach Heroic and are able to build Fortresses, you’ll have to decide whether you’re willing to give up valuable villager training time for a couple extra relics – and the other effects of having a hero, such as the ability to effectively fight off myth units – and when to do it.
Egyptians: Only having one true hero able to pick up relics – the Pharaoh – Egyptians seem to have the most difficult time getting the objects. Players must decide whether they should use their Pharaoh to empower a building and speed up their economy or use him to pick up the relics and improve their civilization in a different way. Of course, Ra players have a much easier time doing both, as their priests can empower buildings while their Pharaoh goes and gathers the items. Since Ra relic-gatherers are free and they get one as soon as the game start, they actually do have a significant advantage over other players, especially Egyptians. However, for Isis and Set players, gathering relics is a tricky business. Deciding to trade off raw economic speed for civilization bonuses is something best done during the game, depending on the situation and the value of the nearby relics.
Next: Relics: A – K