9 villager start for ladder

How bad would it be if this became the standard on ladder RM? There are 2-3 civs that would need rebalancing, like Chinese should probably lose -1 villager, but other than that, it speeds up the game and makes it more interesting.

You can only play Dark Age so many times before it becomes quite a chore, and for people trying to improve, the game really starts in Feudal/Castle age where you need to micro 3 MAA and similar. I for one recently noticed my Feudal isn’t as good as I would like it to be, and am trying to improve it, but in order to do so I must sit through some 10+ min of Dark Age every game which I find uninteresting.

Also, in mid-/high-elo, there is a meta developing of scouting your 8 sheep fast and pushing at least 1 deer (better if 2) is pretty much a necessity these days, not even a luxury. Pushing deer feels like a hassle when it’s not a strategic part of the game like it was meant to be (scouting vs extra food trade-off), but something one MUST do to keep competitive Castle times and/or eco upgrades. I reckon with 9 villager start, with less time to scout the surroundings of the TC, the choice of scouting vs greeding for deer becomes more meaningful, in the past people might have scouted slowly, but these days everyone scouts perfectly with sheep and finding the 5 mineral piles, the 2 boars, 8 sheep and deer patch is something one can do systematically in the 2 starting minutes of the game.


I hope it doesn’t replace RM. I’m fine with a fourth game mode for this - RM, DM, EW, 9V




care to elaborate? I gave reasoning for why a 3-vill start is awkward, for example deer don’t work as intended originally.

I would be open to it as a spawn in megarandom, or as ‘standard’ for one particular map. But as a ‘new’ standard. Nope.

Because like most other ideas posted on this forum, it just is not necessary and does not add anything. It is just something that people think is ‘cool’ but would in reality just be a pain for most people to adjust to.

For a pro tournament it is no issue for them because they have the free time and hours to spend to learn the new meta and try the new strategies. But most normal players do not and it would just be annoying.


it saves time. Dark age might be challenging in your elo but it isn’t in mine and aside from the rare boar lame, it’s 10 min of wasted life.

Agree 100%. And maybe some super closed maps like Arena and maybe Hideout + Hillfort. In fact I’ll happily accept 9 villagers start on these maps as new standard.


No. EW ladder exists for a reason. The typical RM has worked and been the most popular format for over 20 years. They can’t just fundamentally change the game just because you personally find it boring. Yeah aoe2 is a combat game but most of the game is macro, not fights. Dark age is a big part of the macro. Eco management and building up your base is fun. It’s not all about the fights.


what macro does Dark age require exactly? A child with 10 APM could get through dark age.

The game is macro like you say, all the more reason to remove the non-macro parts of the game.

people always fail to understand how competitive play works

if you put artificial stress on the players to do things faster, it doesn’t mean they will stop doing the thing you hate (eg. pushing deer). it just means the game becomes about who gets luckier or who clicks faster instead of who makes better decisions

it’s like playing on fast instead of normal speed. you make it harder to push deer, but not less rewarding to do so

fast start would only be better for dumbed down maps like arena and michi which already have no exploration, but not for actual random maps. arena/michi shouldn’t even be in the RM ladder. they have nothing to do with standard RM gameplay


You lost me at Arena. You clearly aren’t an Arena player, as you have no appreciation for it. Just because it’s totally different from Arabia doesn’t mean it’s not competitive.


The only thing about michi I find disagreeable is the 6 vill start(Chinese start is fine, I just find placing it on every single civ for this specific map to be a bit much) if it were the normal 3 vill+tc+scout+civ bonus start I would have absolutely no issue with it being in the pool, that being said I still don’t mind playing it because it’s an enjoyable map.

And as for arena, that absolutely stays in the pool.

The only questionable thing about it is balance-wise whether or not civs without stone walls suddenly being gifted them at the start of the game is balanced or not.
Thus the only real issue with that is whether or not stone walls should be part of such random map scripts and simply whether or not to make it more like hideout or not with Palisades. Arena and Michi are both solid and good maps.

As for on topic - I dislike empire wars for its skipping the villager setup stages very much - I would dislike a 9 vill start just as much. I love regicide, I hate that it starts with more villagers, but I love the mode. I would prefer to have the king be on horseback and with the stats of a scout (replacing the scout) that way it doesn’t hurt build orders in anyway. And perhaps in castle age gains the strength of a knight and in imperial a full fledged hero.

Back to topic - the current standard start is here to stay.
I dislike the premise of dumbing down the game at all, let alone for the sake of convenience.

It doesn’t have to be challenging but it gives you time to decide on strategy and builds. If you start with 9 vils you have to decide on your BO basically instantly without being able to scout your map. Imo that takes a strategic dimension from the game. Also some niche BOs won’t work properly with that start.

I understand the 9 vil being better from a viewers perspective but I don’t think it’s good for the game itself.


I hope it does. At least for closed maps.

You reminded me of SC2 which did exactly the same change. I don’t like it over there. Maybe your suggestion will only work on championships.

Yeah is good for people who are trying to improve, but trust me , the majority don’t want to improve, they only want fun. Otherwise you can’t explain why they voted for TG Nomad and Michi, and you can easily find low elo people with hundreds, thousands of games.

The fact is opposite. We haven’t seen 2TC 6villager map in a while. People don’t like it because they can’t handle it. Your suggestion will be accepted only when Budapest becomes popular.


Can a child with 10 APM lure all 4x deer at the same time as boars and TC kill them without a single second of idle time in dark age?


no thanks. RM is standard 3 vill start, if you want more vills at the start play chinese.


A quarter of 500 games would just end when one player sends their king into the enemy ts

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I understand your point, but I think RM should remain the same because of this points:

  1. Is nice for beginers to start with few units to control and decisions to take. Is a good training.
  2. It keeps space for those player that likes to experiment with anti-meta openings and strats. I think there is always space for innovation for those players that have the creativity to do it
  3. There are Civs with bonuses that start influencing the game from Dark age. Are designed this way and is a good thing imo.

However, I think that Empire Wars, being the option for players that want to jump the repetitive dark age meta, cuts off to many openings from the list of posiblities because the way is designed.
I made a topic about it, where the propistion is change the EW start.

Instead of Feudal Age, EW could start in dark age, with 18 vils (19 pop), 500 Food, 200 W, 50G, 200S. A mill in bushes, a lumbercamp and 3 houses.
This way, you quickly can choose between drush, or insta click in feudal age button and set up your eco for Scouts, or create 1 more vil and set up your eco for archers, or 2 more for MAA+Archers, or trush, whatever…


It would be very bad and completely inacceptable.

The dark age is a very important age because every other age is built up on it. So a 9 villager start would have a massive effect not only on the dark age but on the entire game. It would be bad because of the scale of the change alone. But it would be also bad because the game is balanced around a 3 villager start. Startegies in the dark and feudal age would change drastically, what would be inapproriate for a game that has a long history in its classic state. The dark age would even somewhat lose its sense.

Starts with unusual villager numbers are fine for specific maps like Michi, Fortress, Steppe or MegaRandom, but not as a standard.