Campaigns are badly designed

i thought to give some feedback on campaigns. I really enjoy the historical accuracy side of things, though I’d hope we would spend a little bit more time with some events. Like Joan D’Arc gets only 2 missions etc.

But what I don’t enjoy is how the mission themselves are designed. I have finished Norman and Hundred Years’ War campaigns and 2 first missions of Mongols. Maybe it’s because I’m playing on hard, but it seems that the only units the AI seems to be doing are spears and archers. That’s like 75 % of units I encounter. This means that I can’t really use the strenghts of my civilization in campaigns. I pretty much just spam spears and archers myself and get things done.

Norman campaign? 5 barracks and 5 archery ranges spamming spears and longbows. Well that’s pretty much the strenght of the English so fine.

French campaign? I get to play with knights finally? Nope. AI has hundred spearmen. And also most maps don’t really have enough gold to sustain long term knights production. So spears and crossbows it is.

Mongol campaign. Second mission. When I get my base I first try to do what Mongols are supposed to do and go with stables and Mangudai and lancers/horsemen. Then I got attacked by ton of spears and archers. You know what mangudai/horseman/lancers are bad against? Spears and archers combo. So I reload and build 5 barracks and 5 archery ranges and spam spears and archers. I had like 150 of them because you really don’t need that much eco to spam them. And I steamroll everything.


They seem very linear and easy, I’ve been playing rise of Moscow on the hardest difficulty and yeah I mean the documentary style is cool and Its awesome to seem some stuff I’ve studied show up in the game, but trying to replicate the exact history into gameplay forces it to be very linear. I liked the aoe2 campaigns where you had lots of side objects, attack who you wanted when you wanted, and the various factions had some personality with voice quotes and were represented by various colours. The Aoe4 campaigns just feel like a scripted 1v1.

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I felt the same about the campaign design. It’s mostly just unit spamming.

I don’t think we can even call them “campaigns” as we know from AOE2 and AOE3. They’re more like historical battles across a particular time period for a civilization. I’ve played the Norman and Mongol campaign so far, and couldn’t help but feel disconnected between a lot of missions. In AOE2, the campaigns were more cohesive with much better narrative and immersion.

The objectives also seem very bland like “defeat this army” or “defend these positions” repeated over and over. AOE2 and AOE3 campaigns had some very interesting objectives in a lot of scenarios.

I think they are alright. I had fun with them. The scenario themselves are based on historical facts, no?

Because it’s a game, it does give you the freedom of choice if you wanted represent the strengths of the civ, but you could choose not to.

But what are historical battles about? Capturing territories, defending them, invading your enemies and crippling their territories and countering their forces and so on.

But what my friend and I were talking about was attempting to remake the AoE2 campaigns when modding and map editing become available.

I think it would be extremely satisfying to see that come to life.

I think the campaigns are designed just fine.

The AI in general is not super good at the game from a strategy perspective so I imagine that impacts what it ends up building while the levels actually play out.

I will say that I didn’t build any non-cavalry in the Mongol campaign until the level where you have to defend three bridges (which I still have to complete) and didn’t find it impossible. You have to take advantage of the mangudai being able to shoot while moving to kite the spearmen and micro your horseman/lancers around to take out the archers. Most of the maps are pretty open so there aren’t a lot of places where you can’t get your horseman/lancers around the spearmen without being hit.

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