Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations (or RoN) is a real-time strategy game for PC, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft in 2003. The developer team was led by Brian Reynolds, who also played a role in the development of Civilization II.
The player can command one of 18 historical and contemporary civilizations, through eight historical eras from the ancient age to the information age. Each civilizations have their strengths and weaknesses. Players can play a single player skirmish or a "Conquer the World" campaign, which is similar to Risk, except that battles take place on an RTS map. There is also a multiplayer mode.
Rise of Nations is considered by some to be one of the best RTS games ever made, and is followed by an expansion pack, Thrones and Patriots (which adds six civilizations, among other features) and a sequel Rise of Legends although, unlike the original RoN, RoL takes place in a fantasy world.
The game and its expansion has a following at CivFanatics and CFC has a Rise of Nations subforum, although it now seems to be inactive. Rise of Nations occasionally provided ideas and screenshots for DYOSers, notably by Thorvald of Lym in DYOS 6