A Solution for Siege Weapon Problems

It is becoming increasingly obvious that siege weapons are destroying this game for the fans of the AoE franchise. A lot of the battles in the third/fourth age are turning into siege weapon frenzy. If the game goes past feudal age it becomes some sort of Red Alert game where the winner is the person who has the largest number of tanks, or wooden tanks in the case of AoE 4.

AoE games are attractive for the fans because you get to see horses, swords, arrows, human units, etc. With the siege-weapon nonsense, human units are turning into mere meat shields for the siege weapons. This is not how medieval battles happened in the past. Siege weapons are – and no prize for the correct answer – meant to be use in siege would you believe i.e. destroying walls to infiltrate enemy bases. They are not meant move quickly, pack/unpack quickly, have surgical accuracy, or constitute the majority of an army.

These days we easily play against opponents who have armies where the number of siege weapons is the third of the army! They can outrun infantry, and fire crazily at mixed masses of units and only hit the enemy! This is so arcade and needs to be fixed.

I suggest the following:

  1. Put a cap on the maximum number of siege weapons that can be produced by a player. I think 10 is a good number assuming a population of 200: if we remove the population count for villages and siege weapons, this represents 1 siege weapon for every 10-15 human units. I think this is fair and makes sense.
  2. Make them slow, I mean glacial slow. These machines that throw heavy projectiles are heavy and easily weigh more than a tonne. You need tens of people to pull it, so it cannot simply run around in the map. It has to be slow.
  3. Make them fire indiscriminately. You cannot seriously fire a 30-kg stone at mixed units in a battle and only hit the enemy. So friendly fire is a must. This way they are used for their original purpose i.e. destroying walls or firing at armies that did not enter battle yet.

This way the game becomes more realistic and pleasing to the fans. You can have a playing mode too: simulation or arcade. Simulation where you make things more realistic e.g. my suggestions, and arcade for those that mass produce siege weapons and don’t care about the realistic aspect. Make a checkbox for this when matchmaking next to the 1v1, 2v2, etc. boxes.

You have made certain mechanics in your game e.g. horsemen beating archers, archers beating barrack units, barrack units beating (more or less) horsemen. How can you do something this nice, then destroy it all with overpowered, over quick, and over accurate siege weapons that suck the fun out of the game.

The game as it is right now will certainly attract more arcade players but will alienate the fans. You will get more purchases, but when another arcade RTS game is released you will lose your arcade players, and you will work hard to reattract your fans.

I hope this meets listening ears.


imo better to make other options more appealing than an artificial and irrational cap… “mlord we cant build any rams since we built 5 springs and 5 mangos already”

eg increase pop of each siege weapon, so it simply becomes too pop ineffective to only spam siege

this makes for boring and/or frustrating game play. especially on the larger maps. siege should never be faster than infantry, but it doesnt mean it should be glacial slow

arrows dont always hit their targets irl. but this is a game. although FF might be an option, i dont think its a must. what this does it lowers the potential of melee units that already suffer from bad pathing, and pushes up the power of ranged units, which are already arguably too good

there’s a ton of realism issues already, but i think these can be worked around without making the game more boring or frustrating

I mostly think siege weapons are fine, my only issue is how weak melee units are against siege. They lose so much of their already low dps if their opponent is fleeing away from them and it makes little sense to me that a knight attacks both slower and does less damage then versus other units.

But siege is super expensive, if I spend 1800 res on 3 mango’s I should be able to delete infantry from the map. Same goes with bombards.

This is usually a very bad design to cap things.
It should be to change the torch system to a melee attack for cavalry and any melee units.

  • Remove 50% HP of all siege units also.
  • add friendly fire.
  • remove homing projectile.
  • Trebuchet should have no vision restriction and be able to shot even under the cliff
  • Bombard should have an attack speed nerf of 33%
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I’m against any sort of unit capping. I wasn’t a fan of it in AoE3, when they limited the amount of ships that you could build and, to be honest, I don’t think siege needs that much more tuning, with the most recent Springald nerfs, outside of maybe a little tuning with the Torch attack.

A single Springald can already delete a mangonel in two shots and every other type of siege in 4-5 shots. They also fire faster and have a much, much longer range. That is your counter to someone building mass siege; just build mass Springalds (or Culverins, if you can build them).

They have made the same sort of counter system that you have referenced with units available in siege. Mangonel/Ribauldequin beats units, Trebuchet/Bombard beats buildings, Springalds beat Siege. If mangonels are nerfed too much, then they will not be the anti-unit siege that they are meant to be. They SHOULD be difficult for units to take down alone, because that is exactly what they are designed to counter. Just like it should be difficult to to take out archers with spearmen. If you can easily run your units under fire to take out a mangonel without a second thought or hesitation, then it is not serving its purpose. Mangonels move slow and fire even slower, which gives plenty of enough time to run units out of its line of fire and retreat, if you do not have the Springalds or Culverins to deal with them. If you are choosing too take an engagement where your opponent has mangonels on the field and you have no way to counter them, other than throwing units at them, the very thing that they are a hard counter against…that is a bad engagement for you and you are going to get punished for taking it, unless you have a critical mass of units and can just overpower it by pure force.

EDIT: Also, a note about Torches. In the Castle Age, which is the earliest you can build any siege other than Rams and Towers, Torches deal 16 damage (except Villagers) and they get a bonus of +10 vs. Siege. With this, you only need 10 units to take down a mangonel in a single volley. You can take down a Bombard with 18.

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