A few impressions and questions about the Mule Cart

First I’m generally not a fan of civs with unique starts. Whilst it might be interesting for geeks (also myself) to figure out how to optimize them, after it’s igured out it becomes just a routine like the standard starts - and learning a lot of different routines at some point becomes kind of a grind.
Which leads to the main critique that it’s heavily geared towards players who spend a lot of time learning the game - and is therefore less interesting and fun for casuals who only know the basic openers.

The positive point is, that the Mule Cart CAN be practically designed in a way it effectively functions like standard camps. And I highly recomment actually doing exactla that. Remove the food cost. Just 100 W is perfect.

Also I am interested to know how big the collision size of the Mule Cart ist. Cause I think it’s very important you can wall it off like nomral mining/lumber camps. If not, in the early rush game having mule carts could become a huge issue, when you can’t use it to small wall your vills at the ressources. It means that you either have to preemptively place defensive options there or to run to your TC and therefore gaining a lot of idle time.
Yes, in theory you could use houses/gates to wall behind the Mule Cart, but it’s an aiddional investment and inconvenience, especially if you need to quickwall.
Also ofc Mule Carts need to have enough defensive stats and be repairable basically like the standard camps, otherwise they might become a primary target for opponent maa rushes and therefore a weak point for the two civs.

Otherwise I like the idea of that unit, as it allows for creative utilization, especially in the early game. Mostly used probably to get the Hunt (after clicking up to feudal), which allows you to have very good timings and scout your opponent. Especially interesting for drush, maa and scout openers.

Which brings me to the question what’s possible with that unit?
When you play scouts, you can, after clikcing up to feudal, build your 2nd mule cart at the deer, collecting from there. As you don’t need as much on wood for a scout opener, the first mule cart is sufficient enough for your wood supply until mid feudal. Especially as you can move it in a position where 6-8 vills can opimally chop wood, which normal lumber camps usually can’t at that stage as you usually place them in a way it can only 4-5 at first.
There is even the potential to move one mule cart just temporarily to gold unti you got all you need to get your techs and click up to castle age. Though I’m not as much convinced it’s worth moving the vills that much around. But ofc sometimes it might be worth it to move a mule cart in between some different ressources which are close together and safe the ressources of an additonal one that way.

I think it’s an interesting tool, but as I said for me it’s very important it still offers the same defensive functionality as the standard camps and also doesn’t requires you to adjust your opening BO to not get idle timee for it.

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Summary -

  1. No lumbercamp refresh = +4% faster.
  2. Lumbercamp refresh = +9% faster.

Not really related to the questions I had, but finally gives a number to how much economic advantage potential it has in the mid game.
Important note: It’s over a timespan of 15 minutes and the vast majority of the gains are in the last 5 minutes and when you have to replace the lumber camp. The gains in the first minutes are mediocre unless you have vills going idle.

You can’t just have a wood cost on something with a donkey attached to it. Please refer to the well known carrot and stick and donkey diagram found in page 2 of the “how to compel a donkey to work” manual. As you will see you need stick (100 wood) + carrot (20 food) to make your donkey compliant, otherwise he’ll just kick the shit out of all the villagers!


That’s why we use Mules and not Donkeys Kappa

I prefer it to filling the map with logging and mining camps…

I’m more interested in see how you can use them in late game to absorb arrow fire instead of rams. 0 pop cost and no gold cost…could be exploitable

Just like the market carts…

It works as a building for the most part and can’t convert herdables. Similarly they can’t push huntable. However military units consider it as an unit and when patrolled, they will attack it first if the cart is on front.

what’s a market cart?

The carts from the market…

oh trade carts. but they cost gold, die fast to archer fire and also occupy pop space, how are the mule carts anything like them?

you can’t use trade carts infront of an army to absorb archer fire (at least not for long or cost-effectively)


Yes, it’s quite a topic…but it’s because mule carts don’t count as pop because they are mobile buildings (like the Mongol buildings in AoE 4)…

Uses I can think of:

  1. I think the mule cart can be really useful in reacting to anti-meta strats. For example, if you get douched or trushed, a normal civ would have to spend 100 wood on a new lumber/ mining camp depending on the location of the TC/ Tower. Mule cart civs can just relocate entirely without losing anything.
  2. Take the deer instead of pushing them to the TC. Once the deer are finished, the mule cart can be reused for lumber or mining while the vills move to berries.
  3. You could also trush with it and save resources on building new camps as the trush progresses. Usually, trushing vills have to build camps while not building or repairing towers.
  4. A more meta usage would be to save wood on a stone mining camp when you need a castle, but only have vills on gold or wood. Once the vills have built the castle they can easily go back to gold or wood.
  5. 1 difference that the mule cart has from all other buildings that is not being talked about is how it is not persistently visible in fog of war after being scouted. You have to have active LOS otherwise on the mule cart, otherwise you cannot see it. This can be used to take enemy resources. If you are discovered, the mule cart can try to run away and come back again. It would be very annoying for the enemy to know where your vills are taking resources.

Sure, you can add Norse strats from AoM/Babylonian strats from AoEO to AoE 2…

I’ve also watched sotls new mule cart video.
And if it stays to be healable that fast in fortified churches I can actually see it being used as frontline for your ranged units, then pulled back and garrisoned when damagede.
And tbh it’s quite cheap for that usage aswell, especially as it doesn’t cost gold.

But I think it’s only a mistake from the devs that will be adjusted with the official release.

Of course, interesting civs are coming…let’s see how everything turns out…

someone noted in the comments that healing in the church still counts as repairing and costs resources. you can see in Sotl’s video that he loses wood and food

Still will be 300-360 HP unit for 120 res to tank shots. Also the repair costs are usually not that high. Damn, most of the time it’s worth bringing over vills to do that job and vills repair eg siege way slower than 750 HP / min.

But I kinda like to see how this will tunr out, when it’s unchanged. I promoted a similar idea for the Hussite Wagons to jsut turn them into obstactles with high HP basically. And I can see this being quite useful in a lot of situations.

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Wow that’s a cool mechanism.