About scout-killing sheep

Unlike laming boars scout-killing sheep requires no skill, has no risk involved, is unpreventable, often luck dependant and allows a laming player to put an opponent at immediate disadvantage. I believe it’s one of the most overlooked dreadful mechanics at this point.

When you lame a boar you immediately lose hp on your scout, need to pay attention to the lame all the time, it lasts minutes and enemy can use their skill to prevent it. It still involves luck of finding the boar by both sides but as well it’s a risky move and requires skill to deal with from both players.

At the same time scout-killing sheep doesn’t require ANY skill.
In fact it’s so unappreciated in aoe community that it’s called one of bm (bad manners) behaviours.

Most often it is done on Arena (having sheep outside player’s wall) but can be done in any other map with sheep.
Here I include screenshots of an example of scout-killing sheep on Arabia:

This situation makes Celt so called civ “bonus” of “Sheep not converted if in 1 Celt unit’s line of sight” actually disadvantageous in those situations. It basically guarantees that enemy will kill sheep using their scout no matter what when or how.

Let me clarify one thing: this topic has NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING to do with buffing/nerfing/completely preventing laming boars. It only covers the topic of scout-killing sheep.
Arguments as "what next?! you gonna do this ?! [insert radical and ridiculous change that is not the topic of the thread] keep to yourself cause those are voices of unreasonableness and regression.

So what I argue in this thread is:
Scouts should not be able to kill sheep/goats/buffalo/cows just as they cannot kill deers/zebras/ostrich and so on.

Devs, please get on with it. Thank you.


For me this is rare to care. Never happend and i also cant really remember pro games where it happend. I wont say it never happend in those games, but it is so rare. I dont see a good reason to spend time at this subject.


That’s very disappointing to hear something like that.

I often hear things like that used as arguments for various life areas.
Why do you people have to experience something themselves to care about it? Why can’t you imagine how it is? It’s such a close-minded attitude. Once you experience it you will know how frustrating it is and you will take your words back.

As well it doesn’t need any considerable amount of time to be spent on it. Just change the relation of scout to sheep into what scout to deer has. I think they can manage that :slight_smile:

It definitely needs to be addressed. If that doesn’t happen on your level - let me tell you: it happens as often as opportunity arises in high level games. Cause it’s a mechanic that immediately denies enemy 200 food from sheep. The only limit is players’ will to not “bm” but if mechanics allow it then “why not” after all it’s all for getting the win.


sounds like a reasonable request.


It should be easy to implement too, as (I guess) just copy-pasting whatever prevents scouts from killing deers for sheeps should be enough.


Never knew about this. Would do it if i knew about it, since everyone else is doing absolutely anything they can to win…

But agree devs should fix it even though I’ve never experienced or seen it happen.

Only implement for ranked multiplayer only, if it ever gets implemented. I don’t like unrealistic game mechanic handicaps. When you expect something to work, it should work. In the case of scout vs. sheep, you expect the cavalry to be able to finish the job. Not being able to do so would feel like the game took another step backward away from adult players

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Well I often do that, but most times I loose HP on my scout due to it. Because if my enemy has some skill he will get an attack at my scout while I hit the sheep and therefore I am about to loose the scout figth (ofc I run away after that, but still not able to figth the scout then)

What’s realistic about my scout not being able to slaughter those deer? Or for that matter my spear / TC instantly poisoning all the meat on the carcass when it’s killed?


I disagree.
To be able to kill an opponent’s sheep, their sheep need to be in the line of sight of an opponent unit. Most of the time, sheep will be next to the TC which makes it very risky to kill them. It’s pretty rare to have a situation like the one you pictured when both scouts are there at the same. While you’re busy killing their sheep, they can get the first few hits on your scout, meaning they will most likely win the scout war. So this:

and this:

are false.
For example, Player X goes forward to lame player Y. X is very lucky that Y’s scout is by his sheep so he kills them, however Y is able to attack X’s scout and kills it. Y has lost 200 food, X has lost a scout. Since X came forward, he has no scouting of his own base and has to scout with villagers to find his remaining sheep and boar. This not only results in idle time for X but allows Y’s scout to come forward and steal sheep/boar unhindered.
This is a situation where Y (the player initially lamed) ends up at an advantage. Obviously he wouldn’t always have such an advantage, but he has the opportunity to take revenge.

Not really, stealing sheep is laming not BM and is worse than killing sheep (400 vs 200 food difference). I wouldn’t say Viper BM’ed in HC3 finals, he just lamed. BM is Xing your opponent or attack grounding your ally with siege onagers, not laming.


No need to get carried away :slight_smile: I never said I like that Scouts can’t kill deer, that I like every single aspect of the game 100%, that I want a reality simulator, or that there’s nothing I want changed. In fact, I want scouts to be able to kill deer and find it odd and unexpected behavior that they can’t (by everything else the game teaches me is possible). But what is proposed in this thread is to take away a mechanic that just makes sense to exist for this game. AoE, by its nature, is designed to have a more medieval gritty style rather than a Super Mario cartoony vibe. I don’t want it going further down the path of rated “E” for Everyone than it’s already done; and this feature would feel like it’s doing that, imo.

In some respects, if scouts killing sheep is such a widespread problem – which I’m not seeing/hearing that it is – then the cool thing about AoE is that you could go do the same thing to sheep if you wanted to risk the time and energy to do so and saw it as such a worthwhile strategy. Or devise defensive or reactionary measures to dissuade it.

And if Celts are the main or only reason this is problematic, then let’s change Celt’s civ bonus. Don’t change a long-standing game mechanic that 35 other civs have no problem with, and that the game has had possible for a long while (forever?), just to cater to one of one civ’s “bonus” abilities.

As for meat getting “poisoned,” if you want to call it that, that’s where I just feel it’s a good gameplay mechanic. If you go kill an opponent’s boar, why should that sit there as 100% perfectly available food for the enemy to gather? There would be no reward for spending the time to do that, or no reward for risking your unit’s life in some cases; and you’d actually be benefiting your enemy. I think I’ve proposed before that a meet-in-the-middle solution could be to have it take 50% or 75% of the meat away. That way it’s not 100% “poisoned.” I’m okay with the meat 100% poisoned, though. Just as much as I could do it to my opponent’s boars, they could do it to my boars.

Regarding TC poisoning, you just have to be careful or don’t do it. I like that the game is telling me I have to use a handful of villagers to take down a boar; and that I can’t just use a few arrow blasts from the safety of my TC to do it. Why ruin the hunter-gatherer feel the game is probably aiming for?

The rating of a game has nothing to do with this kind of mechanics. Since you mentioned it, let’s take a Mario game as an example: Mario Kart. It is rated E, it has a cartoony vibe, but the gameplay is the definition of dirty, with the way you can abuse items to ruin the opponents. Do you imagine if there was stuff in AoE that can demolish all opponents when you’re lagging behind, like the lightning bolt or the bullet bill can?

On another note, I’ve noticed sheep can’t be deleted. It looks obvious to me it’s to prevent players from wasting enemy sheep too easily and seems in line with the OP’s idea.


In my opinion in AoE 2 you have to fight for the resources, no matter if its wood, gold, or sheep. You could have all herdables under TC at start or directly start with that food in the bank, but its not the case. Can be unfair sometimes but I think its better the way it is.


People stealing or killing your livestock would be a valid tactic in real warfare in the period of time the game covers. I don’t see why it’s bad manners but spearing/stabbing the other player’s population isn’t?! The whole point of the game is to be as nasty as possible to wipe out your opponent.

If someone beats you to your sheep despite starting on the other side of the map, how is that any different to them arriving at your base with a bigger army than you have available to defend with, because they were faster than you (and probably sacrificed something in the longer term to achieve that short term advantage in both cases).


Straw man argument. In my context and what I thought would be colloquially obvious, I’m merely meaning it’s a step toward kiddifying the game more; akin to corpse decay and blood being removed or minimized. That’s how I, personally, would feel; it is my opinion.

I appreciate gameplay rules and mechanics to be consistent for the most part as well as flexible, rather than have developers implement rules and limitations to get me to play how they want me to play, or how they think I want to play. (No need to go down a rabbit hole with this; I know there are exceptions. It’s just a general belief I have based on years of gaming experience and learning what I like and don’t like.)

  • If I can kill a sheep with a villager, which is clearly a game mechanic that is there, why should I have to wonder why I can’t do so with a scout when I try? My first thought would probably be, “Did I click on the sheep correctly? Let’s try again.” Second thought would probably be, “Is this a gameplay bug?” Third thought would probably be, “Ugh, the developers are purposely preventing me from playing the game how I want to play.” Truthfully, I’d probably jump to the third conclusion right away, but just saying these things for sake of argument.

You don’t have to share the same opinion or feel the same way about Scout vs. Sheep. It’s clear you don’t, and that’s cool.

Maybe not to you, but to me, it’d feel like it. Removing an ability that was previously there; making the game less violent and, thus, another small step toward “E” for Everyone. Even if the intended aim was to make it so the Celts’ “bonus” can remain intact or because it’s somehow “bad manners”, I’d feel like it’s the devs trying to tie my hands and tell me how to play or not play this otherwise fairly open game.

Good players quickly box-in enemy villagers and military units… cut the opponent off with building foundations and the like. How are those tactics not “bad manners”? (That’s rhetorical… no need to reply on that and derail the thread. But the tactics do seem like “bad manners” and somewhat exploiting game features.) As @breeminator says, it’s all just tactics. Different people have different approaches. If I spend time killing sheep with my scout, that’s time I’m spending doing that rather than exploring, etc. There’s an opportunity cost to everything.

Killing a sheep should require some level of effort, and should require your in-game unit to carry out the action in the game world, rather than just hitting the 'ole Delete key.

Again, all just my opinion. Thanks for reading! :slight_smile:

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I do agree that it’s annoying when it happens to me. I feel like it takes skill and attention to avoid it happening, but maybe it should be removed as you say. I think it adds to the competitive nature of the game. The thing I love about age is the diversity of the game and how many things you have to pay attention too.

I will say, the other day when it happened to me it made it all the more satisfying when I killed him haha.

In my opinion it should be possible for non-celt players to just move their scout away from the sheep, letting the enemy scout steal it then attacking the enemy scout before the enemy scout can attack the sheep (assuming one is watching their own scout). If the celt bonus makes it to easy to snipe sheep with scouts, a better solution would be to make celt sheep impossible to kill with scouts.

I supposed that deleting sheep would waste their meat, as they wouldn’t have been killed by a villager, but by using the “natural wonders” cheat to control Gaia and delete deers/boars I found out deleting an animal doesn’t waste its meat at all, it will just decay as if it was hunted. Sheep still aren’t deletable but I guess they would work the same if they could so turns out I’m wrong.

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Every action in the game needs to be some kind of risk vs reward decision. Those decisions needs to be balanced to have a balanced game. Laming boars, stealing sheeps, killing sheeps, it is all low risk, high reward. That is for the reason to makes these things more risk based. Now it is too easy. If you kill the sheep, the enemy just lost the food.

Another option can be like if a scout kill a sheep, the food still can be harvested, but the place can be very much outside the TC. This doesnt really change the risk part, but your reward will be smaller, since your enemy can still get the food. Most likely not as efficient (more walking time for the vills, less food harverst).

Same things can be changed for boar lames. Just make it harder to steal a boar. It will still be possible, but it adds more risk. So for the high reward, you have to do high risk. That seems like a fair option.

But the other player can do the same to you at the same time?

An extract from a book on the history of medieval warfare: