1 - DLC Idea for Mainland East Asia

The following started as a list of changes I’d like to see the devs make to AoE2 and has since turned into three separate sets of ideas:

  1. A plan for the next DLC

  2. A new concept for naval warfare

  3. Miscellaneous changes to existing civs or other aspects of the game

For the sake of manageability and organization, I’ve presented each of these sections in a separate thread, rather than together, but please note that they were originally written in the order just given and that in the second and third sections, I may reference previous sections. I apologize for any tedium which may ensue from this; I recorded these ideas a few weeks ago (had trouble making an account on this forum for some reason and had to get in touch with support), and besides the fact that I’m therefore less than enthusiastic about revising the text to make each section stand independently of the others, this would involve a lot of restating which could prove tedious in its own right.

EDIT, approximately 1800 EST 15.10.: Adjusted the formatting, added links to the other threads.

A few short remarks:

First, none of this is very structured, and for that I apologize, but I don’t really have the time or the inclination to create a polished set of proposals – I just thought someone might be interested in one or other of the ideas outlined below. Apologies also for a corresponding scarcity of formatting. This is my first post and I’m not sure if this forum offers things like accordion boxes, or how to access them, if it does.

Second, I recognize that the devs may well already have decided on civs for the coming DLC, and also that many of the suggestions in the third section are, for various reasons, probably pie-in-the-sky. When drafting these proposals, I only considered on a very limited level the likelihood of their being introduced (the creation of new unique units to replace boring ones, for example, is something I do not expect to see carried out). This began as an exercise for my own benefit, merely to consider what I like and dislike about the game; its expansion into a set of recommendations was more or less incidental.

Third, as indicated by both of the remarks just made, the concept for the following texts has changed over time. Originally, this was merely intended to be a bulleted list. Then, as I set about speculating further, justifying some of my proposals etc., it transcended that format. Only subsequently did I decide to post any of this, and so on – the point being that the following has to be read as a set of revisions layered over one another, each representing a turn towards a new goal or principle.

Fourth, I should clarify that while I play a fair amount of AoE, I have never been active in fora related to the game, and I therefore have no idea whether proposals like this have been made before. If any of the following bears any similarity to anything hitherto posted, it is coincidental and not an attempt to steal anyone’s ideas.

Proposal for DLC – Mainland East Asia

To begin with, a couple of notes: First, these proposals are pretty bare-bones – I don’t explicitly explain the kinds of strategies that I envision for each civ, nor do I draw special attention to various strengths and weaknesses that are the logical consequence of, say, their respective tech trees (the Khas, for example, would have access to every stable unit except the Steppe Lancer, and I note that in their example profile, but I don’t write anything regarding the implications of this flexibility). Second, and as already noted above, the following is relatively unstructured and speculative; I am not especially knowledgeable about any of these civilizations, and I am not so much proposing fixed, final versions of these civs as providing a set of ideas that might serve as inspiration (though in the interest of summarizing those ideas and not leaving them totally diffuse, I do provide an example civ profile at the end of each description).

Like many others, I am assuming that the next – possibly the final – AoE2 expansion/DLC will offer three new civs so that we are left with five even rows of nine in the civ-icon-grid. One way to do this would be to implement anew the model used for Dynasties of India, i.e provide four civs, one of which is a revised version of an existing civ. Following this pattern, therefore, the civ hitherto named the Chinese would become the Han, while the Jurchen, Khas and Tibetan civs would be added to the game. (In terms of modern states/provinces, more or less: Manchuria, Nepal and Tibet.)

The expansion would introduce two regional siege units: the Hwacha or Wasps’ Nest and the Siege Tower (yes, I know that’s already a unit in the game – bear with me).

The Hwacha or Wasps’ Nest would represent East Asian rocketry (as it happens, I’m told that a unit like this is already included in AoE4, so while I’m leery of respecting cross-game precedents – I confess to be something of an Age II diehard –, the idea is not new to the franchise, and thus perhaps not so far-fetched). This unit would be available to the Han (formerly Chinese), Jurchen and Koreans. One could also make a historical argument for including the Mongols in this list, but from a balance-and-mechanics standpoint this might prove inadvisable since they already have another regional unit, the Steppe Lancer, and are generally accounted such a strong civ.

For the sake of consistency and brevity, I’ll call this unit the Hwacha throughout the following. That is not intended to signal any preference of name on my part, I’ve merely chosen the shorter of the proposed names as a matter of convenience.

The most obvious existing analogue for this new unit would presumably be the Portuguese Organ Gun. The Hwacha 1. could have a slightly lower HP total and 2. lower mêlée armor than the Organ Gun but 3. would distribute its damage more evenly across the multiple projectiles it fires, which might include 4. a small amount of splash damage dealt by each projectile (with a correspondingly modest radius). The Hwacha could also deal some bonus damage against buildings, an intuitive strength given the incendiary character of the rockets, and for the same reason, it would likely deal bonus damage to rams, as well (which would be on-theme, since the Chu Ko Nu also fares relatively well against these). A minimum range would be appropriate. Taken together, this would mean that the Hwacha would prove distinctly more effective against buildings than the Scorpion, and maybe a bit more so than the Mangonel-line too, while also performing well as an antipersonnel weapon. The price of this versatility would be a lack of specialization: Rams would still be far more effective against buildings (both in terms of damage output and resistance to arrows), while the Mangonel-line in particular would remain a superior counter versus archers.

Like the Scorpion, the Hwacha would have a “Heavy” or “Elite” upgrade.

The second siege unit to be introduced here is the Siege Tower, which may sound confusing at first, since a unit by this name already exists. This existing unit would be removed from the game to accommodate the new one, which would combine the wall-surmounting ability of its predecessor with the garrison space of a ram and an anti-building attack like a ram’s, as well (but slightly weaker). The new unit would move as quickly or perhaps a bit more slowly than the old Siege Tower unit, and whenever archers were garrisoned inside of it, the player could toggle between the unit’s aforementioned mêlée attack and arrows shot by the garrisoned archers (if the archers were ungarrisoned while the ranged attack was selected, the unit would automatically revert to its anti-building attack).

This revised Siege Tower would be available to the Persians, Tatars and Tibetans. From a historically-oriented perspective, Saracens and Turks would probably also be suitable candidates, but thematically this seems inappropriate since the Turks are more focussed on gunpowder and the Saracens have lately gained an emphasis on ranged siege through their Counterweights unique tech (admittedly the Siege Tower also technically has a ranged attack, but it’s obviously not a siege attack in the proper sense).

The Siege Tower would replace the ram-line at the Siege Workshop for all of these civs. Unlike the ram but like the Siege Elephant, the Siege Tower would only have one upgrade, not two.

In summary, then, the only newly introduced civ not to receive one of these special siege units would be the Khas. Three civs otherwise unaffected by the expansion would receive one of them (namely the Koreans, Persians and Tatars), while the Han, both an old and a new civ in a sense, would receive one, as well.

On to the concepts for the civs:


The Chinese/Han are well-designed in almost every regard. One obviously necessary adjustment, given the introduction of the Hwacha (see above), would be the modification of their Rocketry unique technology in one of the following three ways: 1. expanding the tech to include the Hwacha (presumably at +4 like the Scorpion rather than +2 like the CKN), 2. standardizing the provided bonus for all three affected units at +2 (thereby effectively splitting the Scorpion’s bonus between it and the Hwacha) or 3. applying the +4 bonus to the Hwacha but no longer to the Scorpion. This is more of a balance question than anything else; thematically, any of these solutions would seem perfectly appropriate (I decline to speculate here on changing the cost of the tech, but needless to say this could factor in, as well).

It is unreasonable that Han/Chinese Town Centers provide extra population room. The logic would seem to be that this is a civ that was very populous historically and had unusually large cities, but it was, after all, also a largely settled, rather than nomadic society, so wouldn’t it make sense that you still need to build as many houses as everybody else? Maybe in AoK the devs also thought it appropriate to provide the extra population space because of the augmented number of starting units, but if that’s the only relevant logic here, the Mayans should benefit from a similar bonus.

I thus propose that this rule be replaced by an absolute +5 increase to their population limit at all times (the abolished concept of more spacious TC would be recycled as a Tibetan civ bonus – see below). This way, their start remains identical (including their lower amount of starting wood). In exchange for losing the potential to more rapidly increase their population capacity during the mid-game (since all TC after the first will no longer provide the extra five pop. space), they would receive the late-game benefit of the absolute +5 increase just mentioned (since in a standard game this now means a population limit of 205 instead of 200) as well as the Hwacha (with the additional possibility of giving slightly more bang-for-buck with Rocketry, e.g. by extending the Scorpion’s +4 bonus to the Hwacha without increasing the cost of the tech).

On a much more peripheral note, I have also long been perplexed by the fact that the inventors of gunpowder do not get the Hand Cannoneer. Maybe there’s some balance consideration here that I’m not seeing, but at present I’m for changing this. (The argument against applying similar logic to the Bombard Cannon I can understand, and anyway the introduction of the Hwacha would presumably resolve any thematic awkwardness in this regard.)


The main themes that immediately come to mind for the Jurchen are their nomadism, the strength of their cavalry, the fact that they apparently built a few sections of the Great Wall and their variable status relative to other peoples in their region (sometimes entering into ########## sometimes enjoying the status of ruling caste).

-Many of the obvious ways to represent their (semi-)nomadism have already been applied to other civs: faster villagers (Berbers), better hunting (Goths, Mongols), not needing to build houses (Huns), being able to build a second TC during the Feudal Age (Cumans). New ideas might include: 1. a powerful hunting bonus that would enable hunters to gather food as Khmer farmers do, i.e. at a trickle without having to drop it off, 2. the application of this same principle to shore-fishing (plainly a vastly weaker bonus), 3. decreasing the stone cost of their TC markedly, e.g. by 75% (currently Bulgarians get a 50% discount and Incas, a 15% discount that applies to all other buildings, as well), 4. letting the Jurchen build an Archery Range of Stable without having to build a Barracks first or 5. a substantial improvement to the creation time of drop-sites other than TC, e.g. +100%. A final suggestion, less evocative of nomadism but at least relevant to hunting, would be to give villagers extra armor against animals (perhaps a suitable team bonus).

A late-game mechanic paying homage to their raid-and-trade nomadism would be to effectively apply the Keshik’s special gold trickle ability to all of their units, but only under certain conditions, e.g. if attacking a building or if attacking an economic unit. (To be clear, I do not see this as a feasible replacement for an early- and mid-game nomad-themed bonus, merely as an additional option.)

-The Jurchen should also be the fourth civ to get Steppe Lancers, and they should have at least one special feature that pertains to these – for instance, a civ bonus or unique technology could grant their Steppe Lancers a charge bonus like that of the Burgundian Coustillier or the Dravidian Urumi, and this bonus/technology could also apply to their unique unit (see below); really, this sort of bonus feels more suitable for a raiding civ than one like the Burgundians, if one considers how it’s generally been used in AoE2 gameplay. A bonus like this would be a nice thematic inversion vis-à-vis a similar civ, the Tatars, that improves the armor of most of its cavalry, rather than their attack (Silk Armor unique tech). If desired, this ability could be somewhat distinct from the Coustillier’s damage boost by being usable at any increment – i.e. if the attack is 20% recharged from last use and the Jurchen unit attacks, it deals that 20% of the full charge, rather than dealing normal damage and continuing to recharge. In a sustained mêlée, therefore, this would mean that the Steppe Lancer would simply be dealing a little more damage with each attack, or perhaps every second attack, depending upon the (re)charging speed, rather than dealing one big hit followed by a series of normal ones.

Otherwise, creation time, HP and speed of Steppe Lancers are also all the objects of various civ bonuses and techs, and to further augment their attack – e.g. higher rate of fire – would be silly if another ability were already effectively improving damage dealt per second. Perhaps their creation cost could be decreased.

Another emphasis on cavalry would derive from their mounted unique unit – see below. More generally, they could receive a small bonus to cavalry attack in Castle and Imperial Age, e.g. +1/+2 (mirroring the Teutons’ mêlée armor bonus somewhat, though admittedly the latter only applies to the Knight-line).

-The Jurchen also seem to have built parts of the Great Wall of China, which could be the inspiration for a civ bonus or unique technology, but of course the Great Wall unique technology already exists in the game (Chinese/Han). One possibility would be to directly acknowledge the more minor role that the Jurchen played by giving them a civ bonus comprising exactly half of the benefit of the Chinese ability, i.e. 15% more HP for walls and towers (they could also lack Arrowslits or Keep to underscore that their contributions were auxiliary). This bonus could also be staggered, i.e. 10% in Feudal, 15% in Castle and 20% in Imperial Age. Alternatively, they could be able to construct Palisade Walls, Stone Walls and Towers more quickly.

-In AoE2, civs designed rather like the Jurchen (e.g. Huns, Mongols) consistently have siege-related bonuses, and ones specifically augmented siege weapons’ mobility make especially good sense, since the siege engines can then do a better job of keeping up with the cavalry; we might call these “mounted-raiders-into-conquerors” civs. The Jurchen are already receiving the Hwacha (see above), but they might additionally receive a speed increase to this and the Scorpion as a civ bonus (e.g. +10% in Castle, +15% in Imperial Age). Potentially this could even be expanded to include the Mangonel-line.

-Finally, before considering their unique unit, I want to propose a civ bonus that I fully acknowledge is extremely whimsical, that competitive players in particular might detest and that I am myself not especially convinced of, but that I thought it would just be fun to throw out there (maybe for use in a campaign scenario, in adapted form?): Every time the Jurchen destroy a building other than a house or non-TC drop-site, there is a chance that they will steal a technology which the controller of that building has researched, but the Jurchen player has not yet (this would be limited to techs that the Jurchen can research, and which age they were in would matter here). The chance begins very low, but rises for each subsequent building destroyed. Only one technology can be acquired in this way; after that, the bonus goes dormant, so to speak, for the remainder of the game. As for whether the pool of technologies that will potentially be stolen is somehow narrowed by circumstance, there must be dozens of ways to adjust this, depending on preference and balance considerations; e.g. if a Barracks is destroyed, it could be proportionally more likely that the Jurchen gain either a technology that can be researched there or an infantry-related Blacksmith technology.

I recognize that players playing against the Jurchen would start deleting buildings to avoid this. On the one hand, this could be fixed by tweaking the concept so that the chance to steal a tech triggers every time a certain aggregate of damage has been dealt to enemy buildings, rather than every time a building is destroyed. On the other, though, I’m not sure that this would need to be changed – if players start doing this, it means one of two things: they are either effectively granting the Jurchen units extra damage, by deleting a building that still had a decent chunk of its HP, or they are wasting valuable seconds hovering over a building, trying to delete it as late as possible. Either way, I’m not sure I’d mind, as the Jurchen player.

-The Jurchen unique unit would be heavy mêlée cavalry that costs gold and food. Nomenclature is a bit tricky here, since “cataphract” is already taken; maybe there’s a more regionally specific word for this type of soldier, I’m not sure.

The obvious question with this type of unit is always: How do they compare to the Knight-line, what sets them apart? In the case of the Jurchen, 1. the unit would be faster – speed 1.4 or higher –, 2. its attack would be proportionally weaker than a Knight’s (i.e. relative to cost), but in exchange, 3. it would deal a small amount of trample or pass-through spear-thrust damage (rather like the Ghulam, in the latter case). Potentially, the latter idea could be refined further, e.g. if the unit could toggle between a lance and a haft mêlée weapon, i.e. between a pass-through thrust attack and a more concentrated attack aimed at a single unit (I make the same suggestion for an alternative Polish unique unit, below). The same principle could perhaps also be introduced without the need to manually toggle, i.e. every time the unit attacked, it would check to see if it would hit anything behind the unit directly in front of it; if yes, it would make the pass-through attack, splitting its damage between two units, but if no, it would deal full damage to the one unit in front of it. This could be accompanied by distinct animations, e.g. a bold, forceful thrust in the former case versus the unit’s horse rearing and the rider making a shorter stab in the latter.

A small amount of extra cavalry armor could also be a nice thematic nod to the unit’s cousin already present in the game, namely the aforementioned (Byzantine) Cataphract – this could be +6 for the regular version, +12 for élite or something similar, so that a generic camel de facto deals one-third its usual bonus damage in each of these ages. They should still be pretty vulnerable to conversion, however.

Example profile for the Jurchen

Strengths: Cavalry, Siege

Weaknesses: Infantry, Navy

-Hunters do not need to drop off food (accumulates as trickle)

-Starting in Feudal Age, walls and towers have 15% more HP (alternatively: staggered 10-15-20)

  • If the above bonus were to be retracted, something pertaining to cavalry would seem most appropriate – see my suggestions, above. *

-Hwacha (see above), Mangonel-line and Scorpions move 10% faster in Castle, 15% faster in Imperial Age

-CA UT: UU and Steppe Lancers gain rechargeable damage boost (or just extra attack)

-IA UT: Units attacking enemy buildings generate gold trickle (alternatively: attacking enemy economic units)

-UU: Heavy mêlée cavalry that costs food and gold; fast, has extra cavalry armor, attacks two units in a row when able and otherwise makes a single, concentrated attack

Team Bonus: Villagers take less damage from animals

Notes on tech tree:

-Includes Hand Cannoneer and fully upgraded Cavalry Archers

-Overall bad options for infantry (e.g. lacking Supplies, Halberdier, final armor upgrade – possibly even all but first armor upgrade)

-No Paladin, includes camels and Steppe Lancer

-No Siege Ram or Siege Onager but includes the Hwacha (see below)

-Lacks almost all final upgrades at Dock (Galleon presumably the exception) but does include Cannon Galleon; maybe no Shipwright, either

-No Heresy or Sanctity (possibly lacks an additional upgrade or two at the Monastery)

-Lacks Hoardings, Architecture, Arrowslits, Treadmill Crane

-No Gold Shaft Mining, no Crop Rotation, no Guilds


(Had an issue for a moment posting this, hopefully now everything displays - this is pt 2, couldn’t fit everything in one post)


Themes for the Khas might include their mountainous environment, their capacity for fighting in rugged terrain and in irregular formations and the religious dynamics and changes which characterized much of Nepal during the Middle Ages.

-A montane way of life might be reflected by both a martial and an economic bonus. The latter would presumably pertain to stone, or perhaps to mining overall, but most options within the latter category have already been applied to one civ or another. Something that hasn’t been done with regards to the former, however, is to make stone mines last longer (the Malians have an analogous civ bonus for gold).

At present, the Tatars deal double bonus damage from being at higher elevation than the target, and this could be transferred to the Khas (as for what the Tatars would receive to replace this, I’ve made a number of recommendations regarding their civilization below).

To represent the high altitude of Khas buildings, or perhaps of their fortifications in particular, they could have extra building armor against mêlée units. (It’s actually surprising to me that we’ve never seen a unique tech called “Moats” with a similar effect – the closest thing I know of is the Persians’ old Boiling Oil tech, but that augmented attack versus, not resistance to, rams.) A more literal, but probably also much more complicated and tedious way to represent this would be to have enemy units actually slow down in a given radius surrounding Khas buildings (probably excluding walls and houses).

Alternatively, buildings could have augmented range to represent them attacking from higher ground. So far, the standard means of implementing this has been to increase the range of a particular building by +2 or +3 via a unique tech, e.g. the Lithuanians’ Hill Forts (+3, TC), Teutons’ Crenellations (+3, Castles) and Koreans’ Eupseong (+2, non-Bombard Towers). Perhaps a unique technology could give Khas Castles and TC +2 range.

One might also consider a unique technology that is a copy of Architecture (including its price), i.e. allowing the civ to accumulate a total of +3/+3 armor for buildings, +9 building armor and +30% HP by researching Masonry, Architecture and “Architecture II” (or maybe the +10% HP is applied sequentially, so that it would actually be a bit more – I’m not sure how this works).

-Many bonuses that would render a civ with good infantry and weak cavalry more effective against archers have already been assigned to other civs (Celtic infantry moves faster, Malians have higher pierce armor, Vikings-who-should-be-called-Norse have higher HP). Creating a unique unit that is strong against archers offers some relief, and with decent Skirmishers and siege weapons, the Khas should be able to counter archers in other ways too, but further bolstering is probably warranted. A few possibilities might include: 1. Buildings of a certain type could improve the pierce armor of nearby friendly units (probably at least Castles and TC, but maybe others, as well), 2. Khas infantry could receive +1 pierce armor for every garrisoned relic, presumably with some fixed maximum (this could simultaneously represent the religious dynamics discussed below – also, the same ability could provide +1 mêlée armor whenever the player controls any relics, at all, i.e. in effect the first relic gives +1/+1 armor, the several subsequent ones only +0/+1), 3. a unique technology improving both the Khas unique unit and the civ’s Militia-line, most straightforwardly by giving them extra pierce armor, 4. Fervor could apply to Infantry, as well (though this is quite similar to one of the Bohemians’ civ bonuses) and 5. Khas infantry could take less area-of-effect and pass-through damage. (By this I don’t mean that a unit sustaining a direct hit from a Mangonel, or the first unit hit by a Scorpion bolt, or a unit struck by an extra arrow – from a Longboat, for example – wouldn’t take full damage, but rather that any units not at the epicenter of a hit or taking an amount of damage already reduced by the way in which the attacking unit attacks would take even less, or none at all, of this damage. Trample damage would be negated by this, as well.)

I’m not sure if this is actually feasible to program, but the ability to deal a little extra damage to units with no base armor would be interesting, too. Something akin to Manipur Cavalry but for infantry could be introduced as a Khas unique technology, but would probably threaten to render the civ too focussed and one-note (given that this would be applied on top of one of the advantages proposed above).

-Religious change (especially the supplanting of Buddhism through Hinduism) could be indicated through a unique technology, e.g. a reintroduced Madrasah with a new, Hindu name. Other possible techs could increase the creation time of Monks or their conversion speed (I’m not sure whether it’s because it’s a nuisance to program or because there are balance concerns, but the latter is something that’s scarcely ever been experimented with, at least in released versions of the game). One could also consider making the Monk an economic unit. In AoM, for instance, Greek Villagers worshipped at the Temple to accumulate Favor; here, Monks could be garrisoned inside the Monastery, or perhaps one would right-click the Monastery and the Monks would stand next to it carrying out a special animation, like in the example from AoM just cited, in order to accumulate gold. This does introduce the same rather curious dynamic already known in the case of the Keshik, namely that a unit with a gold cost producing a trickle of gold is for a while merely paying off what was spent to create it. That wasn’t a fundamental problem for the Keshik, though, and needn’t necessarily be for the Khas Monk, either.

Alternatively, Monasteries could provide population space and it could be possible to garrison units inside of them (in addition, they might also have better HP).

I know one-off techs like First Crusade and Flemish Revolution are controversial in some quarters, but a tech of the same sort could be used to represent Hinduization, though I confess I’m not sure what it would grant. Otherwise, the introduction of the Bohemians checked off a lot of the other Monk-related shenanigans that were yet absent from the game (most notably the substitution of another resource for Gold in their creation cost).

-One other aspect that could be emphasized would be the geographical centrality of Nepal for Asia east and south of the Tibetan Plateau and the Gobi Desert, i.e. its status as a sort of crossroads. This could logically have implications for the Market, Monastery and University, though most applications that first come to mind have already been introduced, e.g. every one of these buildings is the object of a team bonus that causes it to work faster, Italians pay less to research technologies at the University, Burmese pay less to do so at the Monastery, the Portuguese have cheaper trade carts and faster-working Markets and a bonus which only decreases the cost of Market techs would be pretty underwhelming. One could yet massively decrease the creation time of Trade Carts or develop a civ bonus or unique tech that somehow applies to two of these buildings (or even one that, say, increases the speed with which technologies are researched at non-military buildings).

More generally, this logic might provide an argument for a relatively open tech tree (potentially more open than the one I sketched out below, especially with regard to cavalry, about which I was unable to find any information). It could also be the basis for a unique tech with quite a low research time that would allow the player to research a tech at the Market, Monastery or University instantly and for free, though such a tech would plainly have its weaknesses (e.g. players would probably tend towards a few specific, especially expensive options, ceteris paribus).

-The Khas unique unit would be a kukri-wielding infantryman with a low creation time, high speed, high pierce armor and some sort of stealth mechanic. The latter could be represented by 1. a rechargeable shield against arrows like the Shrivamsha Rider’s, 2. giving the unit a flat chance to dodge any ranged attack that would otherwise hit it, 3. applying the suggestion made above regarding splash and pass-through damage to this unit specifically, rather than to Khas infantry in general. In the case of the second option, the question remains as to whether the arrow would be absorbed by the unit, would pass through and still threaten to damage other units or would pass through but become harmless.

I haven’t included a full example profile for the Khas, because I have been unable to find as much information about them as on the other civs. Thus I’ve hear limited myself to a few prospective civ bonuses, a summary of the unique unit and ideas for their tech tree.

-Stone Mines last 30% longer

-Infantry gain +1/+1 armor as long as any relics are garrisoned, gain +0/+1 for each additional relic garrisoned beyond the first to a maximum of three total (i.e. end result +1/+3)

-Infantry, Skirmishers and Monks ignore area-of-effect and pass-through damage (see above for more detailed explanation)

-Units deal +50% damage from higher elevation instead of +25% (currently a Tatar bonus)

UU: Kukri-wielding infantry; fast creation time; high speed; high pierce armor; missiles will occasionally be absorbed and deal no damage

Notes on Tech Tree:

-No Arbalester or Hand Cannoneer, includes Elephant Archer (I think they’d have elephants, since there are elephants in Nepal, but I couldn’t find any explicit mention of them being used in war, so I can’t guarantee that this is suitable), lacks Parthian Tactics

-No Hussar, Paladin or final cavalry armor upgrade, may include camels and Battle Elephant (wasn’t able to find any information on whether they had these), probably no Bloodlines

-No Siege Onager or Bombard Cannon

-Lacks Fast Fire Ship, Cannon Galleon, Heavy Demo Ship, Dry Dock and Shipwright

-No Heresy, no Bombard Tower or Heated Shot, not sure about economic upgrades (don’t know enough about the civ’s history to speculate, honestly)


The Tibetans could feature advantages pertaining to the harshness and size of the Tibetan Plateau, their pastoral-nomadic way of life, their exceptional armored cavalry and Buddhism and its monastic tradition.

-Raiding and endurance – or conversely, attrition imposed upon enemy units – constitute a cluster of broad categories which might serve to inspire various features of the proposed civ. Increased speed is an obvious possibility, but has already been applied in various cases. Variations on the idea of raiding for gold already exist (the Tatars’ Keshik) and have been proposed above (for the Jurchen). Slow regeneration of health would be a possibility, and the Maghrebi Camels unique tech (Berbers) offers a precedent here (one assumes that the inspiration for the tech was the same, given the inhospitable environment of the region referenced in its name). But in the interest of not copying that technology directly, it would likely be more suitable to apply the concept specifically to the Tibetan unique unit (see below).

An altogether new mechanic would be an aikido- or judo-like ability to deal one damage to an enemy unit every time that unit hits a given type of Tibetan unit (e.g. a Stable unit or its unique unit). This would represent the harsh conditions of the Tibetan Plateau and the difficulty other armies would have chasing Tibetan riders down.

The most obvious problem with such a mechanic would be its lopsided application to units with a low attack but high rate of fire versus the opposite. There is not any very intuitive reason, given the inspiration for this idea, that an attacking unit’s rate of fire would affect the seriousness of the environmental privation it would be facing. A solution to this would be to have the attrition damage be dealt on a per-second rather than per-hit basis, but I’m not sure how feasible this would be to program, e.g. in the case of an enemy unit attacking a different Tibetan unit with each subsequent attack (a scenario which would assume micro in all instances except a rare case in which the unit is attacking one severely weakened Tibetan unit after another and dispatching each in turn).

Another possible solution would be to have the amount of damage vary between one and two points depending on the unit’s rate of fire (if higher than a certain amount, only one damage; if lower, two damage). Here, too, I’m not sure how easy this would be to program, and it would also prove awkward in cases when a unit was just above or below the chosen threshold (e.g. if the unit just attacked a tiny bit faster, it would be in the “one counter-damage per hit” category, but as it is, it’s suffering the best of both worlds, attacking somewhat more slowly and taking two damage instead of one per hit).

Likely the best option would be to impose a limit on how frequently the ability could trigger, e.g. no more often than once per second. This still does not totally solve the problem, I suspect, because here, too, there will be cases in which a unit attacks in a rhythm that is optimal (e.g. if almost, but not quite one second passed between the unit’s attacks) or, conversely, in which time elapsed between a unit’s attacks would be only marginally greater than the increment associated with the ability.

As an alternative, one might scrap the “take-damage-from-own-attack” principle altogether and replace it with trample damage dealt by certain Tibetan units. This could be understood as a combined representation of the power of Tibetan mêlée cavalry and the aforementioned danger of attrition. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the devs deemed this too powerful to be available save via a unique technology, and then it becomes counterintuitive: The Tibetans can’t exactly research a colder winter, or something like that. Thus the bonus is soon relegated to only representing the strength of their cavalry, and the original second aim is lost.

Though the following proposal wouldn’t so much deal with that issue, it would also be interesting if instead of being dealt as standard splash damage, the Tibetans’ version of trample damage was instead dealt at a fixed rate to as many units as possible. In other words, if a Tibetan cavalryman were fighting a single unit, it would deal all of this quasi-trample damage to that unit – let’s just say the amount of damage is five. If five enemy units were adjacent to that same Tibetan cavalryman, however, the damage would be distributed evenly amongst them. The cap could also be flexible, i.e. if there were more than five enemy units surrounding the Tibetan unit, it would still deal one damage to each of them. This would still represent both the prowess of the rider and the harsh environment, since many expensive units are mounted and it would plainly be harder to feed not only the human rider but also the horse, camel or elephant on the plateau.

-To represent the fact that a semi-nom#### or largely nomadic people does not build as many structures as a settled people, Tibetan Town Centers could provide ten extra population space (effectively the transfer and expansion of what is currently a Chinese civ bonus, but which they would not retain in their new form as the Han – see above). Most other bonuses of this sort have already been thought up and applied, e.g. the Huns not needing houses, the Incas having doubly spacious houses, the Slavs’ military buildings increasing their population limit etc. The Market providing population room would be an interesting possibility, based on the idea that nomadic peoples would converge on certain sites to trade, exchange news etc., but the Town Center option mentioned above is more appealing here, and can draw upon the same logic. (Though this could potentially still serve as a team bonus for either of the semi-nomadic civs being proposed here, or a replacement for a lackluster team bonus elsewhere.)

-To represent mobility in a novel fashion, meanwhile, would likely prove more difficult, and insofar as the other two mechanical pillars of nomadism commonly featured in the game (population space adjustments and improved non-farm food harvesting) will likely be represented here, I don’t think the Tibetans absolutely need something in this category.

-There will never be another set of civ bonuses that represents the role of livestock for nomadism as elegantly as the Tatars’ tubbier and more numerous herdables. The convenience of having them spawn under newly-built TC can scarcely be overstated. The only analogous possibility would be to have a sheep spawn on each newly-constructed farm, since this is the only other building that can be walked over. Besides threatening to be too powerful in some types of games, however, this option has the disadvantages of being counterintuitive (they’re nomads, so if anything, a bonus should disincentivize farming, not vice versa) and lacking the same administrative convenience of having the sheep appear beneath the TC, where the villagers involved in the building’s construction can promptly harvest the food from them (in the farm model, one would have to keep track of and collect the sheep at the TC, not to mention keeping villagers available, which could quickly become inefficient if there was not a steady flow of sheep). An interesting late-game resource boom could come from a unique technology that caused a sheep to spawn on every farm (or, for that matter, that caused multiple sheep to spawn under each TC), but this, too, has evident weaknesses; among other things, you might thereby be handing your opponent several sheep, if you’re being raided or are otherwise facing pressure at the time.

Beyond this, more efficient shepherds and an enhanced ability to steal sheep have both been implemented already (I can’t help but feel that the British Isles enjoy a disproportionate share of the livestock-related advantages in the game, especially compared to inland Asia, but that ship has probably sailed, so I’ll say no more). The idea of extra starting herdables likewise already exists in the game (viz. the Incas’ free llama), though I’m not sure that that single, relatively modest bonus has exhausted that niche. Other, yet-untried possibilities like livestock fattening over time or reproducing are untried for good reason; we needn’t get into the many arguments against both of these concepts.

The Tatars’ ability used to generate two sheep when the Feudal Age was reached, if I remember correctly; perhaps the Tibetans could start with one extra sheep, gain two sheep upon reaching Feudal Age, three upon reaching Castle Age and four upon reaching Imperial Age, or something similar. Alternatively, a flat number of sheep – probably two – could be provided at the start of the game and upon reaching each subsequent age (a more powerful bonus). This still lacks the elegance of the sheep spawning under a newly-built TC, because villagers would here have to be reassigned from elsewhere and because of the danger of an existing TC being under attack as she sheep spawn there, and it’s also an unremarkable bonus compared to, say, the Ethiopians’ free 100 food and 100 gold upon reaching the next age, since 1. the sheep only yield food, 2. the food is not acquired instantly and 3. villagers have to be used to acquire it – but it wouldn’t be a negligible bonus, either.

Finally, one might consider the possibility of shepherds producing another resource, probably gold. From a thematic perspective, I have mixed feelings about something like this. On the one hand, if any civ deserves a bonus that represents the transformation of the trade in wool especially into a burgeoning commercial nexus, it’s the Britons. On the other, insofar as livestock are central to pastoral nomadism, it is reasonable enough to suggest that the use of human labor upon them will generate not merely food, but also surplus wealth to be converted into media of exchange. Mechanically, the bonus seems volatile, though it’s obviously difficult to evaluate in detail without knowing the exact rate of gold trickle; the only way that I can think of to make use of it immediately would be with a Militia rush in Dark Age, which would be a very powerful application, but even disregarding questions of balance, it would be a bit of a shame to tether the civ so closely to this strategy. Otherwise, the excess gold won’t be spent until the Feudal Age, and in that case will often prove no stronger than a hypothetical civ bonus that grants the beneficiary a lump sum of gold at the start of the Feudal Age, or even – if one is carrying out a Fast Castle opening – that negates the gold cost of Castle Age (not suggesting these as actual bonuses, just illustrating how long it would take for the bonus to pay off unless you went for a Drush). In other words, this bonus seems dangerously strong in one situation and underwhelming in all others – though again, it would depend on the precise rate of trickle.

-There are already many bonuses for heavy cavalry in the game, including benefits that apply to cavalry more generally (e.g. Frankish cavalry has extra HP; for Huns, everything happens more quickly at the stable; Teutonic Knights are more heavily armored; Berber cavalry costs less; Lithuanian Knights and Leiciai deal extra damage for each garrisoned relic; Cuman cavalry moves faster; with Burgundians, upgrades can be researched at a lower cost and the Cavalier is available one age early; etc. – and that’s without considering unique techs and some other civ/team bonuses). In short, creation time, research time for pertinent technologies, cost, speed, line of sight, health and various more limited advantages to attack and armor have all already been addressed. A higher rate of fire hasn’t been introduced as a civ bonus, I think, but the Bulgarians’ Stirrups unique tech does cover this. Insofar as regeneration for camels (Berbers: Maghrebi Camels) and for elephants (Dravidians: Medical Corps) have both been introduced, one might introduce a horse-specific equivalent of these abilities.

The Tibetans’ unique unit would give them a relevant feature here, since it would be a heavy cavalryman (see below).

-The originally Slavic +3/+3 Monk armor bonus doesn’t suit the Bengalis very well (and given their geographical proximity to Nepal and Tibet, one wonders whether it was given to them partly as a stand-in form of representation for the cultures of the latter regions). Other possibilities might include 1. improving Tibetan Monks’ conversion ability or 2. their creation time, both of which were already suggested above for the Khas, 3. granting the Tibetans free Theocracy in Castle Age, 4. letting their Monks “splash heal”, i.e. friendly units near the target would regain their health as well, albeit at a slower rate, or 5. introducing a unique building like the Stupa. I’m no expert on Tibetan Buddhism (or any other form of the religion), but as far as I can tell, these buildings were used, among other things, to house relics. This is not a very promising application from an AoE2-development perspective: Aztecs (and their allies) already get extra relic gold, Burgundians produce food in addition to gold and there isn’t much potential for associating mechanics like this with a building, anyway. The only possibility that comes to mind in this regard, then, is to conceive of the Stupa as a building that can only be built directly on top of a relic, possibly already in Feudal Age (though in this case you would, of course, have to build the Stupa wherever the relic had originally spawned, since you wouldn’t have Monks yet and therefore wouldn’t be able to move the relics to a preferred location). The benefit would be extra relic revenue (potentially accumulating all four resources like a mini-Feitoria), and to make the concept more feasible, the Stupa could be provided with high armor, high HP and the ability to convert nearby units like a Monk– after all, if many buildings in the game emulate archers (TC, Castle, generic tower-line, Harbor etc.) and siege weapons (Bombard Tower), why shouldn’t a building be able to emulate a Monk in much the same way?

Alternatively, the Stupa could heal friendly units standing within a certain radius of it. In addition, it could have a high line of sight and be used to create Monks. This could still be linked to relics, somehow, e.g. the rate of healing could be increased for each garrisoned relic, but I don’t necessarily see any reason to create such a connection.

-The Tibetan unique unit would be a heavy cavalry unit with a relatively low creation time, respectable speed (1.4 or more), high line of sight (more comparable to light than to heavy cavalry), good armor, a high HP total and the ability to regenerate health over time. The first two of these attributes represent the unit’s ability to muster quickly and to effectively wage war over vast expanses, while the latter is a reference both to habitual raiding and its ability to survive in harsh climes. One might imagine it as the combination of light cavalry, heavy cavalry and the Berserk unique unit.

The unit’s attack should not be exceptionally low, but it would likely be rather modest in comparison to the strengths listed above. Mobility and resilience are the areas in which the unit would stand out.

A more unprecedented version of the unit could also regenerate health of friendly units adjacent to it (and this would not be cumulative with itself, i.e. a unit surrounded by several of the Tibetan UU would not enjoy an accelerated rate of recovery). I’m not personally very fond of this concept because it introduces some potentially tedious incentives – most obviously, the unit would be stronger when mixed in with other units than when massed on its own. Hence the alternative, suggested above, for Monks to not only heal the unit being targeted, but also to heal other nearby friendly units at a slower rate.

Another theoretically interesting alternative would be a unit that could toggle between being mounted and unmounted (I found two cases in which such tactics were attested for Tibetan cavalry), akin to the Ratha with its ability to change between attacks at will, similar to the Konnik in that it would constitute both cavalry and infantry. I am leery of such a mechanic, however, because besides being very powerful (being able to change armor class at will is certainly no joke), it could make the Konnik feel rather weak and inflexible, and it would be a shame to hurt the image of one unique unit when introducing another, especially when the older unit is well-designed.

Example Profile for the Tibetans

Strengths: Cavalry, Monks, Siege

Weaknesses: Infantry, Navy

-Town Centers provide +10 population room (i.e. 15 total; note that the Han would no longer have their own +5 pop. cap. bonus; see above)

-Start with two extra sheep, two more spawn under oldest TC each time they advance to next age (could be reduced to merely starting with two extra sheep)

  • +3/+3 Monk armor (or +1/+1 for each Monastery tech researched, to max. of 4?)

-can build the Stupa unique building (see below)

-CA UT: When healing, Monks heal friendly units near target at 50% speed, Monks’ conversion resistance improved to render them near-immune

-IA UT: Cavalry gain +1/+1 armor, HP increased by 15% (other proportions evidently possible, e.g. +1/+1, +3 cavalry armor and +10% HP – “Masonry for horses”)

-UU: Heavy cavalry that regenerates health; low creation time, fast, well-armored

(-Also gets the Siege Tower regional unit; see above)

-UB: Stupa (3x3); cannot be built without Monastery; can be used to create Monks; slowly heals nearby friendly units (effects of overlapping radii not cumulative)

Team Bonus: Stable units have +1 LOS (UU should receive one extra LOS beyond otherwise-reasonable base figure to imitate this)

Notes on tech tree:

-No Arbalester or Hand Cannoneer, probably no Thumb Ring (alternatively they get Arbalester but not the last archer attack upgrade)

-Lacks Supplies, Champion and final infantry armor upgrade

-No Paladin, might include camels (unfortunately I couldn’t find any information on whether the Tibetans had/used camels)

-Has all options at Siege Workshop except Bombard Cannon and ram-line (but the latter replaced by Siege Tower – see above)

-Lacks Heavy Demo, Cannon Galleon, Shipwright and possibly also Fast Fire – just a generally weak Dock

-No Heresy but includes all other upgrades at Monastery,

-Lacks Bombard Tower and Heated Shot

-No Crop Rotation, maybe no Guilds


Homie, this is just a huge wall of text that is just gonna be totally inaccessible to all but the most hardcore and/or bored people. I’m not always the most concise person myself, but I started reading this, and after a couple paragraphs, I scrolled down and saw there were 30 more paragraphs…and another post…and 2 other threads of a similar nature…and called it a day.

I see that you’re new here, so I can understand that you might not yet be familiar with the optimal way to express your ideas, but enormous text dumps are not the way to go. It’s a shame, because you’ve obviously put a lot of thought and effort into this, but frankly even if I had the time right now, I wouldn’t be able to muster the motivation to slog through all this and offer any kind of useful commentary.


The only reason I bothered reading the general changes post was because I disagreed strongly with basically everything in it, and needed to read it so I could shoot stuff down properly.


Here’s an important piece of advice for if you want to make changes. Pick a few changes, and make a thread for each. So if you wanted to release a civ concept, that would be a thread. If you want to make some balance suggestions, pick a few you really like, and make a thread about them. Just don’t spam.


I confess I was a little taken aback at this suggestion – if anything, I thought I was saving folks some time. Seemed to me that this way, they could either read a long post, or not, just as they liked, whereas if I had divided these three threads into their constituent elements, the result would have been two dozen or more separate threads clogging the front page of the forum. That, to me, would have seemed the more egregious instance of spamming. Besides which, insofar as the suggestions I’ve made here and elsewhere frequently overlap, the total amount of text would increase if I were to divide them into smaller parts, since I’d have to duplicate it where previously there were only references. Hence my surprise.
That being said, I’m not opposed to the idea on principle – maybe I’ll divide this post into its five elements and devote separate threads to a few of the ideas proposed in the third thread. Will have to see about time and inclination.

The suggestion is to edit down each single suggestion and consolidating them into fewer, bigger suggestions.

One idea as well is to simply spread them out time-wise. Seeing all of them all at once will just be too much and nobody will bother, you’ll have more engagement with a smaller, quickly readable post which you can repeat after a week or few.


I can’t disagree with anything @Nerathion sayd here.

Look @siarnyhni , I like civ concepts and all but why devalue all your hard worked on (although I can’t tell if you did due to how tldr it is) but each getting its own thread means it’s easier to praise/pick apart if each is by itself and the formatting is carefully crafted.

nah, others are right, people are avoiding his posts because they are huge massive walls of text.

I… agreed with that? I’m pretty sure I did because I said it devalues every point if you have to essentially read a dissertation sized essay to get to it all.

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my bad i read your opening statement wrong. i missed the word “can’t”

but yes. the OP went completely overboard and no ones going to read a massive wall of text.