Byzantine building HP bonus worth it?

I mean, ok it’s “free” + 40% HP in imperial age but is it really worth it giving up the +6 building armor bonus from Masonry and Architecture?

Considering these two techs aren’t that expensive because it’s just wood and food, which you’ll have plenty by the time you reach imperial.

And does the +6 building armor bonus makes a considerable difference?

Just out of curiosity…

In dark age and feudal age, it’s straight up better than any other civ. It’s better, period.

In castle age, Byzantine get +30% HP for free instantaneously upon reaching it. Other civs need to build a university, pay for masonry, and wait for the upgrade to get +10% HP and some building armor. It costs resources and the timing is later. And also, Byzantine still have +20% HP that more than makes up for the extra armor. Against siege, cavalry, infantry or archers, Byzantine buildings will still last longer.

Now imperial age. Again, Byzantine get the increase for free while other civs have to pay for it. Also, only half the civs get architecture, so Byzantine are already doing better than most civs, for free. Lastly, only 11 civs have architecture + hoardings.
And for civs with architecture, Byzantine still do better than most of the time. Having +40% HP is often much better than +21% HP + building armor. Let me show some examples :
A Treb vs fully upgraded castle : byz takes 19 shots to die, 17 for regular fully upgraded castle
Siege ram : 43 for Byzantine, 38 for others.
Paladin : 814 vs 879
Champion : 740 vs 780
Arbalest : 8131 vs 7028

For barracks :
Trebuchet : 7 vs 6
Paladins : 196 vs 196
Champions : 147 vs 142
Arbalest : 2940 vs 2540

To summarize : Byzantine always do better vs siege, by far the biggest threat to buildings, and against most ranged units. Against melee units, it’s a case by case scenario but the results are often similar, sometimes slightly better, sometimes slightly worse.
For castles, Byzantine always do better than the 70% of civs who don’t get hoardings + architecture, and only do slightly worse than the remaining 30% in some cases of melee units. Again, against siege which is the biggest danger, they are noticeably the best civ in the game.

tl&dr : throughout the game the Byzantine bonus is a net positive until post imp. In post imp a small subset of civs will do about as well, but in the most important situations (vs siege) Byzantine are always the best.


Thanks for the in-depth answer!

The way I see it, it is a decent bonus up until castle age.

But by imperial age it doesn’t seem make that much difference because if you end up taking 17 shots from a Treb, for example. You’ll probably also take the extra 2 lol.

Byz are one of the worst rated civs for a reason, sadly. But I still like to play with them :slight_smile:

The one problem it faces is that it takes longer to repair their stuff.

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It would be cool if they had bonuses to repair speed + repair cost reduction.


If I understand how the game works, repair time is exactly half of the building time, so building HP doesn’t come into consideration in this matter.

I agree on it being a nice bonus, further adding on the “defensive civ” trait.


Nah, SOTL tested it out, repairs are constant and aren’t related to building time. That’s why you can’t repair walls nearly instantly.


SotL has you covered, but I think the above post says it all.


Well, I stand corrected, I remember that video now and I think confused the fact that reparing costs half the building cost with repair time.

So the idea of Byzantines having a repair boost might not just be a cool idea, but one that could fix the imbalance of their buildings taking longer to repair.
Since despite their higher HP pool, they would still take more damage which will mean that a byzantine castle under treb fire will require more vils to keep repairing than any other civ that has access to masonry.

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You’re not making sense.

Compared to a civ with Masonry, Byzantine take the basically same amount of damage (440 vs 436). And it takes just as many villagers to repair each trebuchet hit.

You’re thinking it takes more villagers because yes, a castle at 50% HP will take longer to get back to full HP with Byzantine than a civ with just Masonry. But you’re forgetting that it takes just as much more time to get that castle down to 50% HP for the enemy. The ratio repair speed/damage speed is exactly the same.

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Thank you for the correction, I was under the impression that masonry and architecture negated a much higher amount of damage from siege weapons. In this case, then yes, it is pretty negligible.

I tend to get a few things mixed up when playing around with numbers in AOE, so I jumped into the editor to test out a few scenarios and found out some interesting tidbits.

Aginst infantry, you get a slightly different story: champ vs FU barracks (masonry+architecture) deals 10 damage; against a Byzantine barracks, it deals 12 damage. Considering you are usually destroying buildings with more than one unit, that could be significant if you have vils repairing on the other side (7 vils vs 9 vils to prevent the building from slowly dying). But then again, in imperial people aren’t usually repairing building walls (or out of desperation). Plus you’d just be better off building another layer behind your initial walls.

To summarize, under sustained melee unit damage, dark and feudal byzantine buildings are better (longer time to be destroyed, same damage taken so same number of vils to repair: for example, 10 m@a will destroy a generic barracks in 37 secs, a byzantine barracks in 45 seconds, at 1.0 speed).
In castle age, especially in an early knight rush (usually players would not have researched masonry at that time), Byzantines will get the upper hand, because the increased building HP gives the defending player more time to react (ie send more vils, send military). Researching masonry is mostly done later in the castle age/early imp, and at that time you’d be fighting off siege attacking your castles and stone walls, not repairing barracks and houses.
Under sustained siege weapon fire, byzantines are basically the same as other civ, with their additionnal building HP giving them a longer time to fall (when thinking of castles under treb fire).
All in all, the armor coming from masonry and architecture doesn’t do much in the late game when looking at sustaining and repairing, and the byzantines surely don’t miss it.

So come to think of it, a repair bonus to the byzantines wouldn’t be a crutch, it would be a pretty large buff to their ability to buy more time under pressure.

To add in another element, it does takes longer to repair their stuff (to full HP), but they do get a good HP per stone spent ratio (12.5 HP per stone), so that’s another benefit they have, higher than the incas (11.5 HP per stone), and only beaten by the franks (14.4 HP per stone) when looking at castles.
And on top of that you save up on masonry and architecture.

A pretty good bonus overall, that fits their theme perfectly.

I decided to check their tech tree after reading this and
the fact that they lack treadmill crane is just sad


Tons of people find the civ super cool already despite the fact the few holes they get in their tech tree are so huge that only their foot archers are FU (monks and navy too I guess, but that’s not as important)… I don’t think they will mind lacking treadmill crane.

for a defensive civ it makes a difference
it could be the difference between dropping a defensive castle trying to defend the city from an atk and not being able to finish it and proceed to lose the match
i get this is kind of situational, but it’s still bad for their theme imo