Comparing RUS and HRE bonuses show a lack of inspiration for the HRE

Posted this on reddit. Would also like to discuss it here.

I want to raise some points regarding the civ bonuses of the RUS and the HRE. With this post I hope to show why the HRE is lacking inspiration. My intention is not to proof that the RUS is OP by any means. I also want to question some game balance decisions.

I picked the RUS as a comparison, because I think the civilisation is a prime example for good game design.

There are a few things which do not make much sense to me in regards to balance and distribution of unique techs and units. Please note that the following points do not take historic accuracy into consideration:

  • In feudal and the dark age the only real defensive structures you have are palisades and outposts. I find it odd that both of those structures are plain vanilla for the HRE although they are supposed to be a defensive civ. Compare that to the RUS who have improved palisades and an improved tower and more importantly towers with more capacity for vills while also having acess to the early knight. Shouldn’t civs with immobile armies in feudal who are vulnerable to early knight raids get high capacity towers instead? Cheaper emplacement costs as well as a (very boring) auto repair function seem like a cheap way to justify the “defensive” keyword of the HRE.

  • In regards to unique techs and unique units the HRE are lacking a lot of diversity and to be blunt “cool techs” for their civ apart from the M@A techs (which are buggy). The Landsknecht is pretty expensive for how squishy it is, the unique techs regarding defensive bonuses and the monastery techs lack inspiration and seem less useful compared to other unique techs from other civs (abbasid longer spear range, french cavalry techs as well as french arbalests, Delhi being Delhi). I get that the HRE is supposed to have a slow moving army but a little bit of love to any other unit or a little bit of variety is much needed. Now comming to the RUS they get the best springals in the game, cavalry archers, early knights (the strongest unit in the game besides springalds), a unique water approach, warrior monks and to top it all off the Streltsy. I am a little bit confused why the RUS have the unique gunpowder unit although it would fit perfectly into the HRE concept of having a slow moving infantry army and would provide the HRE with some much needed diversity. The RUS seem well rounded in every age (powerful early knigths as well as defensive tools in feudal, strong castle age springalds and a lategame deathball win condition with the Streltsys) while the HRE lacks inspiration in imp and feudal. I want to make it clear here that that I don’t want the RUS to loose the Streltsy or anything like that. My intention here is just to show a bad example and a good one regarding civ design.

  • The HRE are also supposed to be a religous civ and they do have a strong eco bonus with their prelates. However when it comes to the synergies with military units the warrior monk is not only way easier to use (it doesn’t slow down the whole army, it is a-cklickable and wololos are much easier to set up) but also has the better buff for land units. The RUS also have the best potential for collecting relics which are vital for the HRE. My point here is that the RUS approach to religion ingame seems better thought out and more colorful although I think in this particular case the matchup seems also unbalanced.

  • One thing I see mentioned a lot is that the HRE eco is supposed to be very good. What many people tend to forget though is that every other civ also has ways to boost their eco and I would argue cooler ways too. The RUS have the bounty system which not only allows them to stay off gold in the dark age but boosts their eco passively as well by a great margin. When it comes to gold I was pretty hyped about the Regnitz Cathedral and the 200% relic bonus. I thought it was a great way to spice up the early castle age and that it would create a cool dynamic of little skirmishes for map control. I still think it is a great concept, however, over the time I saw that almost every civ has a way to boost their gold income in some way making HRE not as unique as I originally thought. Comparing the passive gold income of the hunting cabins with that, how easy they are to set up as well as the bounty system and the free gold in dark age it seems the RUS have a way more colorful approach to their economic bonuses than the HRE. The HRE bonus might be stronger in total but they are also harder to use/access.

Is it just me or does the HRE feel like a rushed faction that had to be done fast before the release? This would also explain why they have a hidden carry capacity increase on their villagers which is not mentioned anywhere.

I would love to hear other opinions about that.

6 Likes

No, the HRE is supposed to have the fast moving infantry army. The issue is that the speed boost is only 10% and there is no unique units or upgrades (apart from speed) for ranged infantry. Which is odd since the civ is infantry based, not just for melee but for all infantry. I completely agree with you in regards to them being considered a “defensive civ” considering Elz Palace is a late game landmark which doesn’t provide the boom potential which the faction so desperately needs, and is hard countered by late game cannons thus nullifying its purpose.


I also feel like Burgrave could be reworked and changed, and let the HRE be the only civ which can batch train from non-landmarks up to 5 units. Which could really help it out all game.

Before launch I was incredibly hyped for the HRE. I come from AoM and so I thought it’d be a great replacement faction instead of the Norse Pantheon. On release I was surprised at how fun they are.

…until I played any other faction.

Their eco is a good concept with the prelates. It added another layer to the typical ‘put wagon and vills there’ style. They’re called a defensive civ but they can’t defend until stone. They’re called an eco civ but they have finicky and small bonuses. The only real thing I can see them being good at is relics, but even that has problems. You can put relics in dark age structures but you have to wait until Castle to pick them up.

It’s such a great concept but it’s not well executed. I do hope they change the HRE up in the future. I’m essentially at the same view as OP. Here’s to hoping for a better HRE down the line.

5 Likes

Imagine if HRE could pick up Relics starting at Dark Age: the one thing that gives you a bonus can’t be denied so super easily (even just wolves make picking up relics a deadly endeavour for monks) and would be an interesting decision making: more villagers or more Prelates? Prelates boosting eco or collecting relics?
Once you reach castle age and your opponent isn’t a low elo legend (or the game isn’t already over) your opponent makes sure to guard the relics to deny your 900 gold/min boost

2 Likes

Welp, after the recent nerfs to HRE I think it is safe to assume that Relic will not listen to community feedback and the civ will stay uninspired and unfinished. Back to Minecraft I guess

3 Likes

I think we can say that the HRE has only a half special unit the Landsknecht is to expensiv and has no impact at age 3 and the prelate can only be used for power up the economy but his army support ist not usabel because he cant be protectet he slows down th complete army wich figths agianst the special speed tech for the HRE and he can only boost 10 or 8 units

the speed up bonus works also for long range units if i am not totaly wrong