Civilization Idea: Swiss

The Swiss are the first civilization ever to have specifically a spearman focus, which is fitting given their history. They have the Central European architecture, but have a unique Castle based on Aarburg Castle. Their Wonder is Lausanne Cathedral.

The Swiss primarily focus on trash units, but have strong gold units in the late game as well. However, they don’t have much going for them militarily in the early game, which would make them probably better on closed maps than open maps. However, once they get into open-field combat, it is hard to outmatch them, given their large gold savings and wide tech tree.

Notably, the Swiss are also the only trilingual civilization, as their villagers speak German, their military units speak Italian, and their monks speak French, reflecting the fact that Switzerland has those three official languages.

Let’s get into their civ bonuses without delay:

Civilization Bonuses

  • Villagers can garrison in Mills and Mining Camps; Mill and Mining Camp technologies cost -50%

This is pretty much a reference to the two main natural features of Switzerland: the meadows and the mountains. Ore mining wasn’t so much a thing in Switzerland, but gold was, as the next bonus justification will explain.

  • Gold miners carry +5 after each gold mining technology

Apparently, gold in Switzerland was known about since at least Roman times, and it was mined in the Middle Ages. I can’t remember what the exact justification for this bonus was, but this is good enough for me. The largest gold mine in Switzerland was also relatively famous, though it opened after the timeframe of AoE2.

  • Spearman line +1/+1 armor per age

This is, of course, a reference to Swiss pikemen of legend. Being the main soldiers of the Swiss army, they were probably well-equipped with strong armor.

  • Halberdier upgrade costs no gold

Despite still being called pikemen, Swiss soldiers ended up adopting the halberd as their primary weapon. Swiss Guards, famously, use halberds as their main weapon to this day, alongside a rapier and a pistol.

  • Team bonus: Spearmen, skirmishers, light cavalry created 10% faster

While the Swiss did not use cavalry, they did use skirmishers as support, and of course used pikemen. However, the bonus is mainly meant to function as a well-rounded assist towards creating trash units for the whole time.

Unique Unit: Swiss Guard

  • This unit is basically somewhere between a pikeman and a swordsman. It has 4 base melee armor and 2 base pierce armor, making it quite weak against ranged units, especially without the last armor upgrade, but very strong against melee units. The Elite upgrade is even tankier, with 6 melee armor, but unfortunately the same 2 pierce armor. The Swiss Guard does move slightly slower than the Pikeman due to all the armor, but it isn’t hindered too much. The unit has 6 attack (8 for Elite) and attacks significantly faster than the Pike line, but has only +5 bonus damage against cavalry (+7 for Elite).

  • The Papal Swiss Guards are the most famous, but the Swiss did serve as guards in other European countries. They were always armed with halberds as their signature weapon, and modern Swiss Guards wear elaborate Renaissance-style striped uniforms, which the in-game version follows to a T.

Unique Technologies
Waldstatte: Town Centers upgraded to Estates

  • Cost: 500 wood, 300 gold

  • This technology upgrades Town Centers to Estates, which causes them to automatically fire arrows like Tigui TCs, except only five instead of eight. However, the attack is significantly higher than the base TC, at 7 instead of 5. It’s also affected by range upgrades, unlike TCs, so it’s better at saturating defenses. Estates can still train Villagers, but they can also train Knights and Swiss Guards, though they have to be upgraded at their respective buildings. Knights from Estates train significantly faster than ones from Stables, at 15 seconds instead of 30, so they don’t affect Villager production that much. However, Swiss Guards are trained slower, since Estates are easier to mass than Castles. Estates also provide 10 population instead of 5, saving on needing houses as much.

  • Waldstatte is a term that was at first used to refer to the estates of the early Swiss Confederacy cantons. However, it was later used to refer to the epicenters of the Confederacy itself. The term means “forested sites.”

Pike Square

  • Cost: 1000 food, 400 gold

  • This technology gives the Pike line +10 charge attack that takes 25 seconds to recharge. This not only makes them stronger against cavalry, but also gives them general battle prowess, since the extra charge attack ignores armor. This makes them strong up front against even statistically superior units, since they’re likely to have the numbers advantage. However, once the charge attack is expended, they become as weak as ever, ensuring that the player needs to use them wisely. Although the Pike line does have extra armor of both types, it still has a weak, slow attack, putting it at a severe disadvantage against non-cavalry targets. The charge attack helps rectify that a bit.

  • The secondary effect of the tech is to give the Skirmisher line splash damage of around half a tile. This makes it better against clumped-up units, especially archers. The splash damage deals about 75% of the attack without bonus damage.

  • The pike square was a tactic invented by the Swiss which consisted of 10 rows and 10 columns of pikemen, making its name quite literal. Part of what made it so deadly was its charge, and also the fact that it was essentially impenetrable. It was practically unstoppable when combined with cavalry, and the Swiss armies also used skirmishers and gunpowder weaponry.

Tech Tree

Missing Units: Eagle line, Elephant Archer line, Heavy Cavalry Archer, Paladin, Camel line, Battle Elephant line, Steppe Lancer line, Heavy Scorpion, Fast Fire Ship, Heavy Demo Ship, Elite Cannon Galleon.

Missing Techs: Parthian Tactics, Redemption, Sanctity, Theocracy, Plate Mail Armor, Heated Shot, Two-Man Saw, Guilds, Dry Dock, Shipwright.


Shouldn’t they speak swiss german?aoe3 swiss units speak that language.

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I dunno. Probably. Problem is, Swiss German isn’t in Google Translate.

Does google translate have languages like burgundian?

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No, only commonly spoken languages.

As far as i know swiss german is an umbrella term for all german dialects in switzerland and not a language by itself, atleast not today. Maybe it was more different in medieval Times.

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My initial dislike towards proposed new European civs aside, I feel like the bonuses and techs together make the civ revolve too much around the Imperial Unique Tech, which… I don’t really think is a good design. You can see similar problems for other civs (f.e. Wootz Steel, though that one is less impactful than Pike Square).

I’m not sure how impactful Gold Miners carrying +5 (per tech) actually ends up being. To me, that sounds relatively weak. You’re most likely going to have Mining Camps really close to the gold mine anyway, so you don’t really spend much time on walking unless you’ve really oversaturated villagers on one gold mine.

This sounds relatively weak to me, and only becomes useful against… Champions and maybe Knights, which they already do well against. After all, Archer-line units (and Cav Archers with Parthian Tactics) have bonus damage against Spearman-line that ignores armor altogether. Halberdier upgrade costing no gold is an okay bonus though, I guess - but still kind of meh, at least you save 600 gold.

So it’s… less of a unit between pikeman and a swordsman, and more of a mix between Kamayuk and Teutonic Knight? But it sort of loses the strengths of both units and has the weaknesses of both units instead. You have great melee armor, but you’re too slow to make use of it and you have neither the Pierce Armor nor speed to survive anything ranged, so the unit is simply dead on arrival. And it doesn’t even have a +1 range like Kamayuk does? So the unit just feels really weak in my opinion.

That’s okay, though personally I find training military units from TCs a little obnoxious (I blame Burgundians for this). But at least you can make a military unit to fight back any units idling your TC immediately.

This to me feels like a tech on the same level as Flemish Revolution, as it’s a very front-loaded tech (and low-key not that expensive either). Pikemen having +10 charge attack is tolerable, if slightly annoying considering how mixed the response on charge attacks have been thus far in the game.

The problem comes from the splash damage. Especially on units like Skirmisher which you can easily mass to high numbers, having them get an AoE attack on top is just insane. At first I read it as Halberdiers having the splash damage and felt the tech was too strong, but I feel like on Skirmishers it’s also really busted (at least the Skirmishers don’t get +10 charge attack lmao).

I think having techs that make more than one trash-unit really good in your army comp is very dangerous, as you have basically a gold-cost unit in terms of power that doesn’t cost gold. I get that is your design for the civ, that you’re really weak at every stage of the game until you can tech Pike Square, but that makes the civ very one-dimensional and annoying to play against.

Maybe the tech could just be changed into giving the Spearmen-line one range (like Kamayuks). I don’t know if your current tech would also affect Swiss Guard (and would it have the Spearman armor class then?), but I guess it could also get one range too, but then it’d overlap with Kamayuk too much that it feels redundant. :person_shrugging:

While I think the Swiss civ would be really brilliant, I think the Allemanians civ would be even better - such a civ could represent not only the Swiss but also the Swabians and Alsatians.

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I would go for helvertians.

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An interesting Archer civilization. My first thought is that I would add that the mining and mill technologies research instantly, or at least twice as fast. This would be a fringe benefit that would tie in with your gold carrying capacity as well as making it easier to drop those early farms. It would also make castle drop play a tinge easier.

Well, I figured their wide tech tree gave them an opportunity to attack at every stage of the game, and only get their specialties in the late game. I didn’t design the civ around Pike Square, but I did design it around Pikemen. Pike Square is just an extra boost that makes them top-notch in general combat.

Actually, I figured the unit could have a similar speed to swordsmen. Maybe I can tone down the melee armor and increase the pierce armor.

I’m not a massive fan of charge attacks either (I think they’re difficult to balance), but this is probably the most historically accurate effect for the tech I could think of that doesn’t just straight up not make sense.

Yeah, I guess the effect on Skirmishers is too much. If it helps, the original, ONLY effect was that Skirmishers got +5 attack vs cavalry, which would make them unequivocally dominant in trash fights.

Nah, I feel like that would be too weird. Halberdiers don’t have weapons long enough for 1 range to make sense. It would just end up looking like Snake’s up tilt from Super Smash Bros Brawl, which has a huge hitbox disconnected from the graphic.

Well, I must’ve misremembered, because the Pike line units definitely have long enough weapons to justify giving them 1 range. It would certainly be more interesting than yet another charge attack.

As a Swiss, I’m not interested in this until we get another American/African DLC each minimum.


Well, it doesn’t hurt to come up with concepts.

Dont remember devs asking for current nationals consent before adding a dlc civi.


Seeing their war with Burgundy in the campaign would be great!

I confirm. Nobody asked me for permission to add Poles civ.

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Says the guy who was all over the forums asking them to be added. What a hypocrite.

By the way, you were a liar when you said that you got the Dynasties of India DLC. You’ve gotten all the achievements for Burgundians, Sicilians, Bohemians and Poles but not a single one in relation to the DOI DLC. Go get this DLC, play it a little bit more (or generally take a break from EUIV which would do you anyway good) and then come back in 2 years to suggest your Duchies.

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No? X D

Thank you for calling me a hypocrite :heart: Same to you.

Are you stalking me?
I don’t follow you, what you do or what you play, because it doesn’t interest me at all.
Get away from me…


I have these DLC because I bought the AoE anniversary pack (I didn’t have AoE 4 and two DLCs for AoE 2 at that time) - at the same time I bought LotW and DoI.

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