Cav Box

Please… for the love of god… remove the cav box. I was hoping in this updated AOE 3 the abused mechanic of the cav box would be removed, but apparently not. 30 minute treaty. My team had better eco, better military, better everything. Cav box of dog soldiers against 25 Howdah, game lost. Not only did the other team use the cav box, after they had instantly sacked all wonders, the game crashes.


I hope cav box will be deleted, too. It should not exist.


Yeah, I really thought this would be fixed in DE. Getting that many units into a compressed box like that is a known bug. It’s an exploit. It needs to go.


Agreed. It should not be in the game, but it won’t be removed.

This stupid bug will never be fixed, because it became a bloody feature — same thing as instant unit training.

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But they did remove instant unit training (as far as I know, with gendarmes). I hope in the full release they take it out. I wouldn’t call it a feature… I would call it an abusive exploit of a game mechanic that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. In treaty games especially it makes it just unplayable.


No, they didn’t — it’s just a bit more tricky now. Instead of having it 100% sure in every game as French, it’s a bit more ““situational”” (but an situational exploit is still an exploit). You just need:

  1. HC shipment that reduces cav training time;
  2. Cheyenne native technology that reduces cav training time;
  3. Church technology that reduces cav training time;

Boom you have instantly trained cavalry! Instant training will probably never be fixed, as it requires changes on how modifiers are applied.

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Russia still has instant infantry with the right cards


I’m fully aware that strategies such as these are much more damaging in lower level games because cheese strats always seem to work better where game knowledge/skill is less abundant. I also believe devs should consider lower-tier players when looking at balance/bugs as you still want them to enjoy the game. The competitive scene is vital to a game, but that doesn’t mean the other players don’t matter. HOWEVER, if you’ll humor me for just 2 minutes, I’d like to play the devil’s advocate and see what you think of this rationale:

Isn’t it advantageous for you if your opponent decides to cav box?

First, there are only a couple of civs that have dangerous cav boxes: Russia and Sioux are the ones that come to mind immediately. This means you already know ahead of time if it’s a possibility or not based on matchup. If you’re playing against one of these civs, try to scout extra to find evidence of a cav box (such as less population dedicated to normal units, or a suspicious lack of military units altogether).
Wall extra, use towers if needed, and protect precious buildings in your base-building plan (I usually build houses/church/arsenal/etc around my factories when booming).

Secondly, there is a clear counter for it: Kill the middle unit first so the box becomes much larger and less able to fit into small holes. Then, use your anti-cav (e.g. howdah) to pick them off while you repair any holes in your walls immediately as they are broken. Cav boxes that don’t kill important buildings end up being a waste of resources for your enemy. This is an opportunity for you to get ahead of them! And if you’re pretty quick, you can even use the chance while he is focusing on his cav box attacking your walls and your howdah picking them off to gain some extremely valuable map control somewhere else which could win you the game.

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The damage that can be done with a cav box happens in far too short of a time for you to gain any meaningful advantage while it’s occurring. The speed is the issue. Your factories are usually gone by the time you’re able to do anything about it.


That outcome is preventable. It’s not as easy as I made it sound in my last post, but losing your factories is no guarantee. Crisis can be averted by the appropriate response.

Higher level games basically never see cav boxes because they don’t work as well in that scene (better response to the strat). I know this sounds like a “git gud” speech, but I do have empathy because I’ve actually been there years ago and it sucked.

Tl;dr I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a change, but I’m also not saying cav box should be killed completely. Maybe make the box a little bit bigger or decrease the unit’s siege attack 25% when in that unit formation. There are plenty of ideas that could be brought up as a viable solution to help the casual player combat this cheese.

I’m not saying you’re wrong about it being, in theory, preventable, but here is the equation.

What was the cav box created for? - To protect important units in the center of a formation.

Is using this formation to compress a ton of fast-moving units into a small space to do concentrated siege damage the intended use of this feature? - Absolutely not.

The use of a feature for an unintended advantage = An exploit.

Exploit = Needs to go.

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I don’t necessarily prescribe to the idea that exploit = needs to go. Many exploits become features over time, in fact.

I’m sure others can contribute more examples, but the first one that comes to mind for me is the wall pillar exploit, where pillars between sections are deleted to save wood and also to cause the walls to be sieged in smaller sections. It’s become part of the meta and when discussions have been had about removing the exploit, there were more opinions for keeping it than for removing it.

So that said, I understand the whole point of what you’re trying to say doesn’t actually come down to views on exploits or any other such argument. It just comes down to: this hurts the casual community, and something ought to be done.

I’m wondering if a reduction in siege damage based on unit tactic would be an amicable and effective solution for sup, dm, and tr player base.

Cav box ok… But damn you just snipe one unit and it’s gone. Stop complaining when you can just get rid of it so easily.

Pro move ?

Not easy to snipe the center unit when it’s a Sioux explorer with 16,000 hp and there are 45+ dog soldiers around it. Assuming you are even in the right position to begin with, which is unlikely. The problem isn’t killing the cav box, it’s getting in front of it. The siege damage is so high and they get inside so fast, it’s nearly impossible to catch. Even if you delete your army in another location and create another right in front of the cav box, it won’t be quick enough. In that particular game I even used Ceasefire to get into position, no avail. I also had 6+ layers of walls. The point is I did everything possible and appropriate to counter it (Exalted Howdah, multiple walls, ceasefire, etc etc etc.) and nothing worked. Too fast, too much damage, too compact of a group. It’s clearly an exploit when you can have a group smaller than a house that can do more damage than 25 Imperial Howitzers, and in 1/4 of the time.

Not to mention walls are basically useless now. They take so much area damage that a small hole in AOE 3 is now a gaping hole in AOE3 DE. They feel totally nerfed.

This will help alot with this issue.

Also, @DaddyPatiki there’s no 16k HP unit that I can think of lmao. The center unit can be sniped for sure, but Sioux is indeed one of the toughest since it’s the explorer.

The good news is, Sioux really doesn’t have much else going for them in treaty. Once the box is gone, your team should be able to win even if they’ve lost a couple of factories in the process. :+1:

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what does cav box mean?

It’s either a cheat or he’s sitting in teepee’s to get HP that high (most likely). Either way the screenshot isn’t applicable to the complaint. Please post entire screenshot or link to original reddit post so context can be understood.

There is a certain unit formation that can be used to cause units to form an unreasonably tight cluster. When used with the right units, such as units with a high siege potential, it can be particularly dangerous as they do not need to create a large hole in your defenses in order to get into your base and cause havoc.


25 Villagers on War Chief Dance, and all cav cards sent. We’re getting away from the OP anyways… I think BumblerTV22 summed it up best. “Is using this formation to compress a ton of fast-moving units into a small space to do concentrated siege damage the intended use of this feature? - Absolutely not.”

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