AoE2 math - Let's look at different ingame villager counts

Hi devs,

Can you make up your mind about the follwing question: Are trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships considered as villagers?

If you go to the end game statistic, then the max villager count does include villagers, trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships. Villagers are kind of a synonym for every unit into the game that can gather resources. That makes sense to me. So are trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships counted as villagers? The answer is yes.

During the game you can also see some info in the top bar. You can see how many villagers are gathering a specific resource. Number of units on wood, food, gold and stone. Again this number of vilagers include trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships as wel. So are trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships counted as villagers? The answer is yes.

Then we go to the same top bar. Now we will have a look at the total number of villagers. What should be the answer on THE question? Are trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships considered as villagers? Ofc it should be. Everywhere else trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships are counted as total number as villagers. But wait. Now it doesn’t. This time the answer on the question is no. It seems like this is the only time the answer is not consistent with all other cases. This make no sense to me.

Let us have a look at a recent team game. It went to the late game, so we started trade. It also had water, so i had some fishing ships as well.


First replay: 83 villagers isn’t much in the late game. I expected much more. I must have been raided unnoticed, so i lost many vills. Luckily i have way to much food in the bank, so adding vills is easy.

Second replay: I finally remembered that trade cars and fishing ships arent included. Let’s add the numbers of each resource together. 22+55+51=128. Pretty good number. I dont have to fix anything. I might only need to balance the recources a bit better. Let move some vills from food to wood and i will be fine.

Third replay: I dont have just 128 villager. I already have send some farmers to build a lumbercamp. These units are considered as builders, so they aren’t shows as wood, food, gold or stone gatherers. But they are included in the 83 total number of villagers. Heck, even farmers rebuilding their farm arent considered as farmers, but as builder. So they are also not included in the 128 count. And the 1 idle villaager (a farmer who can’t rebuild their farm) is also not included in the 128 count. As result i dont have 128 villagers, but i have 142. Maybe that is too much. Let me just delete some farmers, since i already have to many farmers and to few lumberjacks to reseed all farms.

Fixing this shouldn’t be that hard? Just include the number of trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships in the total number of villagers in the top left panel. That sounds a pretty easy fix to me…


Its not a fix because youd lose information. Its important to know how many villagers you have; and you can easily find out to number of trade by just looking at gold gatherers, in 95% of the cases thats exclusivly trade. So right now we get the important information on first glance and for the off cases, we still got economic mapmode.


Right with a consolidation of all gather units into the shown vill number we would actually lose information about the actual distribution of economic units.

IDK - it’d be pretty neat if they were included in the total villagers as well. You lose information when it’s not counted, as needing to do math on the fly or click through small buttons at the corners of the UI to get the information takes time.

If nothing else, have it be a toggle-option: aggregate economic units or not.


I have suggested the same in the past. I got the same replays of users missing some info after the fix. But it is not clear to me what info they will miss. I mostly care about which part of the units is for eco and thus which part is used for military.

And within the part of the pop space used for eco i want to know how many units are used for each resource. Currently you cant really easily see the total units for eco units. That info is now lacking.

So i fully support this change.


While I agree that a toggle option could be nice, i want you to think about the actual real cases where knowing the number of eco units you have is relevant AND unclear on first glance.

The number is unclear in an early game with fish, but not relevant; the vill number is far more relevant there because it gives you a sense of timings.

It again is unclear in midimp tgs, when you start adding trade; however, you want to be on 110-150 vills depending on your strategy so thats the important number; you then add tradecarts as you can afford (and because they are expensive, you cant delete vills yet). Once gold runs dry, you start deleting vills and the number of combined eco units becomes relevant once again, but also easy to see: just add to number of gold eco to your villager count.

The only case where the combined eco number is important and not easy to see is in games with fish in postimp, eg black forrest. But i oppose a change that makes eco managment easier for bf lategame but harder for pretty much everything else.

Okay, so… you still don’t want a toggle option then?

I disagree - having trade and fish together gives you a better understanding of your eco and if that number is falling, you can also see that your eco is getting raided somewhere, instead of just vills. Your argument of ‘just look at economic unit breakdown!’ also is used against you: if you just wanted to see your villagers for the breakdown, then look at the economic overview! Just do the math lol!

There is also a point of consistency - the game already counts them together at end of game score screen.

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So since you, on purpose or by accident, missunderstood pretty much everything i wrote, let me explain more carefully once again.

First, the toggle option: thats basicially just a mod that is downloades automaticially. And therefor, pretty much nobody can oppose the idea. I can still think its not needed (see below), and i can say that i wouldnt use it, but it wont diminish my enjoyment of the game.

Now lets look at the situations where displaying numbers of villagers and the number of eco units does not transmit the exact same information. As far as I see, there are 3: early game on maps like nomad (fishing ships and vills, and probably some vills on food so #on food does not give you number of ff), transition from normal gold to trade in teamgames (once the transition is done you see the number of tradecarts by looking at number of gold), and the rare case of a lategame fishboom (mostly bf). As ill argue below, for the first two, displaying villagers instead of eco units gives more decision-relevant info. Only in the rarer third case does number of eco units give more crucial info.

For the first case (fish on hybrid maps earlygame), the vill number is nice to see timings. Yeah, you could learn all the timings in actual game time, but we all learned bo and its more inuitive to know that an opponent going scrush clicks up at 19 vills than to learn what ingame that that is. Thats info youd lose when only seeing total number of eco units. Its not that crucial, but more than youd gain: in the early game you always want to add villagers, the number of eco units you have does not change that.

More interesting is the second case: the transition in mid imp, just before gold runs out. There, again, number of vills is the info you need: depending on strat, you need 110-150 vills. On top of that, you add trade. Not a fixed number, but as much as you can afford while also getting all the upgrades and units you need. Now if you only see “120 eco units” after a raid, that does not give you the info you need - do you have 110 vills (bit low, but enough if you add trade) or is it only 80 vills and 40 trade carts (to few vills to sustain your army).

So in the few cases where “number of villagers” and “number of eco units” actually gives you different information in a way that meaningfully impacts your decisions, number of vills is mostly better.

they could add click listeners to the icons & numbers and adjust both accordingly.

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We could have 2 numbers also, eco number and “only villagers” number.
And for people who don’t want change, just add this option in the settings to enable/disable it.


@Temudschinn Your examples doesnt make any sense to me. In all of these cases i want to know the total number of villagers include trade cars, cogs and fishing ships. Or i want to know the distribution of these numbers over the different resources as well. That latter part is already in the game. That first part is missing. I cant think of a case in which i wanted to know only the number of villagers, not including the other eco units.

I still can remember a game on Four lakes were i had control of multiple lakes and was 1TC all in. The vill count showed 60 vills, but that really felt low, so i was thinking i was raided or something like that. Turned out the 20 fishing ships were missing in the total count. It took a while after the game to figure this out. It is just confusing…


I would simply add a “/” in the gold section of villager count to differentiate “real” villagers and trade unit, and i would also add relic, in Gold section or as a separate thing in that section, to have Always clear what the relic situation is with a glance

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How? You can replace the vill number with timings, you can replace the existing vill number with knowing the population number instead.

More information does not remove information.

And, if your trade gets raided, you’ll also know. Again, you can just add trade on top so you know that you need a higher number.

The amount of villagers for a specific strategy does not matter, how many you have on res does. The aggregate number is for just a quick on-the-fly judgment on the situation and having your economic units all together helps with that.

Anyway, just add it as a toggle option then. This argument is just weird semantics.

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How about the fish boat.
Burgundians Relics which also generate food.
Poles stone Miners generate gold in addition to stone
Vietnamese Lumberjacks slowly generate gold in addition to wood)

What info do you lose by fixing the missing info?! i dont understand…
I cant really think of a case where i need to know the vill count only. It is always the total number of villagers including trade cars, trade cogs and fishing ships.

Things i mainly wanting to know:

  • The number of gatherers of each resource. These numbers are already fine.
  • The number of total economic units. This number is currently wrongly displayed. I already explain this when starting this thread.

Total economic units instead of vill number isnt “more” information. Its different info.

aside for fishing ships which can easily be added on the food count, those are slow passive trickle, not active workers, so they would simply be ignored, just as it is now. but at least we could have the eco situation clear with a glance, and unique small bonuses for specific civs should not be a deterrent to this


Every civ also has eco techs. These will also have an effect to the gathering rate. I dont really think we need to include these stuff as well. Taking into account all of these as well makes it really to messy in the UI.

The top panel just needs to be a quick overlay of your total economics. And you still have to manually decide the number of vills on each resource.

Gathering rate has nothing to do with number of gatherers. if you have 4 foragers and are Franks which have 15% faster foragers, you still have 4 food workers, so this would not change.

We just could use a change to display different worker-types, being villager, trade units, or fishing ships. It’s really not that complex and would be a “quality of Life” change


Yes I agree with you

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