Changes the Romans should have

It’s clear the bonuses are geared towards water and scorpions, but I think we can all agree they’re a bit of a meme.
I haven’t been playing Romans much (obviously cus they’re not in Ranked… not sure why the devs thought we wouldn’t want that…) so I’m not sure which bonuses should go or which should stay. Most of the water ones can go, I never expected Romans to have a top tier navy, I was here for the infantry from the beginning.

But I think there were several good opportunities the devs missed out on by giving them weird, meme bonuses or UTs instead, and since the Romans need to be reworked before coming to ranked, might as well put out some proposals.

Longswordsman replaced by Legionary. 1 less attack, has 2/2 instead of 1/1 so slightly tankier.
Replacing the Two-handed Swoardsman and Champion and upgrading from Legionary is Centurion. Again, 1 less attack but 10 more HP and still 2/2

Castle UT: “Fortifications”
Legionaries can build Forts. Forts replace Castles. 350 Stone, 100 Wood, essentially functions as a castle but has the same size and stats as a Krepost. This way it’s clear that a Roman Fort can’t compete against a Medieval Castle. Obviously requires a Fort to research it from and only functions if your Men-at-Arms are upgraded to Legionaries.

UU: Legate
Basically exactly the same as the current Centurion. You can even keep him on horseback. Just more historically accurate.

Imperial UT: “Veteran Legions”
As Legionaries and Centurions do battle, they gain stat bonuses over time. These bonuses are +5HP and +1 attack which can stack up to a limit of +50HP and +5 attack

Alt Imperial UT: “Pila”
Still using the charge up mechanic they have now, when full, Legionaries/Centurions will throw a ranged attack before then resorting to melee, making them like a temporary Throwing Axemen before closing in. The bar only charges when not in combat. You can even keep it for the Legate if you really really want.

Of course there’s no shortage of cool ideas. We could have a really really simple UT called “Aqueducts” which just decreases the cost of houses to 5 wood. You could have “Cobblestone Roads” which makes all land units move 10% faster. You could have “Auxiliaries” which allows Spears, Skirmishers and Scout Cavalry to train 50% faster and cheaper. You could have “Provincial Taxation” which allows all villages to get a small trickle of gold whenever they gather a resources (other than gold.) You could have “Gladiators” which allows a new unit to be trained, similar to Flemish Militia in stats and they also come from TCs as well. Remove their team bonus and the -60% gold cost and give them a UT called “Ballistas” which doubles the scorpions attack speed. Very fast yest but remove their other BS bonuses and it should balance out. Or maybe instead of attack speed the scorpions get +6 attack, bringing them to 18. Things would hit like trucks but since we nerfed their cav and they’re an Infantry civ, onagers would still be just as a good counter.

Dude, I could do this forever. But having the Centurion on horseback, “Galley-line gets +1 attack” and a “charge attack” just feels like such insults to what made the Romans have a special place in history after two millennium


I was hoping there would be a Testudo UT. Not sure what it would do, but it would affect units wearing shields, like swordsmen and skirmishers.

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I played some nomad games vs them and boy are they OP on nomad specially vs cav civs. Granted the guy was 100 elo higher than me but the water bonus helps in winning water and the longswords on nomad are just OP. Because you generally dont full wall like arabia

The double armour milita line is OP in castle age. They beat berber knight spam

There we have it again 11.
Everything that beats Knight spam is per definition OP 11

That said. Romans are OP as they have Slav Farms + Farmers. I don’t know WHY devs chose to gave that to them, but it’s clear with that double eco bonus, the other civs have really hard time competing with them.

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How is it better than Slavs? Uts only half as good

I tested it and romans asre seemingly build upon the slavs vills baseline.
Meaning their vills collect 15 % faster from farms, but also their farms ARE Slavs farms with increased food deployment rate.
At least if devs haven’t already sneakily changed that.

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Thats probabñy going to be fixed then. Either way Slavs kinf of suck so not sure they would be OP even then

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Yes it is op as berbers get a cheaper version of a power unit that costs much more and yet loses to longswords which cost much less and that is not even counting the naval bonus mismatch on nomad

I’m actually hoping to see Legionary be available from the start with stats like the militia line.

I guess Romans could have an entire remade Militia-line since given the time period of AOE2, it would made sense for them to be slightly different at the barracks.

Militia > Auxiliary
Men-at-arms > Levy
Longswoardsman > Legionary
THS and Champion > Centurion

I’m a big fan of the Roman militia-line having 1 less attack and +1/+1 compared to the generic unit. A testimony to the Roman armor and tactics


3 unique units. Still unsatisfied.


Admittedly I haven’t actually played as Romans yet – but I find the civ design rather overstuffed. The infantry and ballista theme makes sense, but they’ve really doubled-down, even tripled-down, on the bonuses:

  • For infantry they have one bonus and one unique tech. Fair enough. Except with Legionaries and the Centurion aura, it’s more like three bonuses and a unique tech.
  • For scorpions they have two bonuses and a unique tech – very similar to Celts, which is also too much, in my opinion. If scorpions are weak enough that they need this many bonuses to be useful, then they need a general buff.
  • For their navy they have two bonuses and a unique tech. I don’t really know why – it feels quite off-theme. Also, the bonus specifically mentioning galleons is weird – oh, yes, the Romans were famous for their galleons.

It feels to me like the Return of Rome devs were more focussed on other things (i.e. the actual AoE1 part of the DLC) and didn’t have time to be selective about which of their ideas they actually used for this civ. Knights getting a charge attack is particularly strange. Really, of all the civs in AoE2, Romans are the ones that get this?!

I think they’re unlikely to get a major rework at this stage, but there’s a good chance they’ll have their bonuses trimmed. It’s not obvious to me which ones should go, although the galley-line ones are definitely expendable.

Of all the anachronisms in AoE2, the c. 12th century Long Swordsman becoming a c. 4th century Legionary is quite possibly the weirdest.


Firstly: One of the UU isn’t even unique to them, it’s a regional unit 3 other civs are getting it too, same as Battle Elephants, Winged Hussar and Eagle Warriors.

Secondly: Got nothing against the legionary, he’s dope. Centurion on the other hand… well he’s not a Centurion, he’s a Decurion. I know it doesn’t have the same ring but that’s what he actually is

Agreed. You can tell the Romans in AOE2 were the last thing on the priority list and while is a major fan request that’s been around for ages, for this DLC, was quite the afterthought. Very disappointing.

It’s very aparently the devs just threw bonuses at the wall to see what stuck, balanced be damned and had a “We’ll fix it later” approach.
I do think they should have bonuses to infantry and scoripions, that’s fine. Navy bonuses can go. Knights getting a charge attack? WTF no!
And I’m really disappointed there’s no bonus whatsoever to do with the actual nature of the Roman EMPIRE itself. Nothing that could be pointed to as a reference to the aquaducts, roads, nothing. It’s all just infantry,knights, scorpions and galleons…

Every second or third day I wish I’d refunded this DLC. Quite the waste of potential. Every day seems more and more like an gimmick to get the AOE1 Vietnamese community to come across to AOE2 and that’s it

I really hope Romans go through a major rework before coming to ranked, and not only a reduction in the scorpions discount, as I’ve seen some people proposing.

Yeah, I agree. I believe it’s the main reason they feel like a meme civ.
It’s also a waste on the availability of bonus for other new civs.
Let me explain, take the scorpions as an example. The scorpion focus is good. It would be innovative and accurate to have them as an “scorpion civ”. But if they wanted to do that, they could have done something like “Scorpions +10 attack” or “Scorpions cost 80% less gold”. The number can be tuned until balanced. And then the rest of the bonuses are left for other hypothetical new civilizations.
Maybe even one big bonus and one lesser one, like the reduced minimum range, is fine.
But no, instead of that, they already take the faster fire, cheaper cost and less minimum range. It’s a waste.

The legionary is kind of a bonus by itself. So it’s like 3 bonus towards the militia line.


The Galley line +1 attack tells you that the focus is on a Feudal/ early Castle Age play. The lack of Bracer reinforces this. The armor will help in coastal bombardment and make them a more interesting civilization on hybrid maps as the lack of Demolition ships potentially incapacitates them in some hybrid play. The Romans made use of their navy in such environments, so it is representative.

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That said, the effect of Ballista on the Galley line is impressive. This is particularly true in light of the Saracen bonus. It still requires a Castle with an economy that will be fighting tooth and nail to maintain maximum naval production, w/out Shipwright (Admittingly with impressive villagers). Fireships do not rely on their primary damage for dealing with the Galley line, so practice your micro.

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Yes, I agree – that’s what I meant by “with Legionaries and the Centurion aura, it’s more like three bonuses and a unique tech”. Maybe that wasn’t clear.

I’m not sure what you mean here. Do you mean in “hybrid” environments, i.e. on lakes and rivers?

The Romans were diligent at maintaining defense in depth, which required intelligent use of ships in rivers and canals. They did have river and even lake based fleets, albeit the nature of such fleets varied by need. Look up the Classis Germanica for one example.


While yes, the Romans had an impressive navy, so did basically anyone in the Mediterranean during Antiquity as it was one of the primary modes of transport. I just don’t get why the devs chose to lean SO hard into it, while making no references to thinks like their roads, economy, logistics, aqueducts, healthcare, nothing… it’s all just weird bonuses that, as has been said already, make them feel like a meme civ with no clear goal or purpose outside of Slaps the roof of the Romans “This bad boy can fit so many incoherent bonuses in it…”