Correct rework direction of gunpowder civ

It was not until the fourth generation of AOE that the country that invented gunpowder finally gained its original status. However, aoe4’s positioning of China’s “gunpowder civilization” was wrong from the beginning. It should be clear that with the expansion of game content, the label of “gunpowder civilization” will no longer be the only one. Just like China in history, she did invent gunpowder and was the first to equip a large number of gunpowder weapons, but by the 16th century, Due to the lack of competitors to promote technological progress,China’s gunpowder weapon technology is gradually surpassed by Europe. A typical example is the impact of European harquebus and heavy cannon on China and even East Asia. However, the size of China’s gunpowder forces and the proportion of firearms in the armed forces have always been larger.

In a word, China, as a gunpowder civilization, should not highlight the range, loading speed and HP of gunpowder units, but should be able to produce gunpowder units earlier, cheaper and in greater quantities. Chinese gunpowder units can have no attribute bonus, but they must have the advantages of faster production speed, lower cost and even earlier production units, because this is not only in line with the historical status of Chinese gunpowder, It is also conducive to the distribution and balance of gunpowder advantages after the emergence of new civilizations in the future, highlight the characteristics of each civilization and conform to history,such as Turkey and their huge cannon.

For China, which first used crossbows, crossbows have the same logic. Chinese should unlock early crossbows in era 2 and early handcanonners in era 3. Of course, the data of these units need to be reasonably balanced. For example, the handcanonners attribute of era 3 is poor and expensive, while the handcanonners attribute of era 4 returns to normal (but without any bonus) and cheap. The same is true for crossbows.

Hope these ideas and suggestions can inspire and help the production team!


Early handcanonners would be interesting, even if streltsy are a thing and Turkish Janissaries could be a thing too. Early grenadiers(balanced accordingly of course) would be nice. Other than that early bombards would be too much i think.

Price reduction makes a lot of sense to encourage production of handcanoneers instead of having to invest more as with the new pyrotechnics, specially while having to invest a gigantic amount of resources for dynasties.

But this is a great point, historically accurate, visually appealing and would justify distributing the offensive power of the civ between the ages instead of concentrating it in age 4.


Early bonds are obviously unnecessary and inappropriate.

I completely agree with this.
While certainly China were the mother of gunpowder. And they did use them in battle.
It was nowhere near as prominent as when it landed in the hands of its neighbours.
Such as the Mongols.
If China is the mother of gunpowder, then the mongols were certainly the father of gunpowder.
Due to the vast expanse and far reach of the mongol empire, they were very fast in adopting Gunpowder.
Infact, Grenadier’s shouldn’t be a Chinese Unique unit, but a Mongol Unique unit, consider the Mongols were behind the Hand-grenade.
Mongols also brought gunpowder into the middle east and from there collected many engineers and scholars who adapted Gunpowder in countless of ways that the Mongols were quick to incorporate into their armies.
It’s a reason why the Turks, rooted from the Seljuks were so very fast in adopting Gunpowder weapons as pretty much their signature.

So in a sense, and sort of ironic, that China is considered a Gunpowder civ, but the mongols are not.

Paralell to the Chinese, you also had the Koreans who were pioneers into developing Cannons and naval cannons, adopting gunpowder technology into naval warfare.

And then you also got Japan. Who in matter of only of 10 years after introduction of Portuguese matchlock during the mid 16th century, had produced more guns than entirety of Europe combined had available at that time.

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Because the most prominent label of the Mongols is nomadism, and in the final analysis, the Mongols play more of a coordinator who has absorbed the essence of various civilizations, while the actual operators of gunpowder weapons are the Chinese incorporated under the command of the Mongolian army.

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Just like earlier versions of horsemen for the Mongols, MaA for England and HRE, it makes sense for China to have an earlier version of the hand canoneer.


After the Chinese mastered the gunpowder technology, they experienced the continuous development of the song, Jin, Xixia, yuan, Ming and other dynasties. At least in the early 16th century, that is, in the early Ming Dynasty, the Chinese gunpowder technology, whether handgun or cannon, was at the same level as Europe. It was not “it was where near as promising as when it landed in the hands of its neighbors”, even if it was used by the Mongols, As I said earlier, it is also through the hands of the Chinese and Muslims.

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You said that the Korean people first introduced firearms into the naval battle. This is wrong information. But I know you are talking about the Korean people’s deeds of resisting Japanese pirates in 1380. However, whether it was the Poyang Lake battle in 1363 that explicitly mentioned the use of gunpowder weapons in the water war, or the unearthed cultural relic “水军左卫进字四十二号大碗口筒重二十六斤洪武五年十二月吉日宝源局造”(This is the inscription on cannon,It means “bowl shaped cannon” made by an organization for the navy in 1372), all proved a fact: China, not Korea, was the first to use gunpowder in the water war, As a matter of fact, if it is gunpowder weapons in a broad sense, as early as 1161, the Song Dynasty put gunpowder weapons into naval warfare, that is, the next bullet thrower.

The Grenadier, of course, was also a Chinese invention. At least in 1161 A.D., the song army used a kind of hand thrown tinned gunpowder weapon called “霹雳炮” to resist the Jin army. Then about a century later, the Jin army also used the same method to deal with the Mongolian attack,It is clear that Mongolia has already experienced at least two levels of relations when it came into contact with grenades,Of course, gunpowder weapons and technologies were indeed introduced into Europe through the Mongols, so I say that the Mongols played a role in this process as a coordinator, so of course they should not be regarded as gunpowder civilization.

The picture shows Jin army


I would accept that they remove those bonuses but improve them in early or mid game, or some of our suggestions for china

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In fact, what is really worth talking about is trebuchet. Aoe4 is obviously wrong, because although China invented trebuchet (yes, it is China again. I know this makes some people unhappy, but history is the case), for thousands of years, China has used human driven traction trebuchet. Correspondingly, it is the Mongols who introduced the counterweight trebuchet improved by Muslims into China (that is, the回回砲 in the campaign), Of course, counterweight trebuchet has been used in China for a very short time, because the Chinese people soon invented cannon, which is more powerful. Therefore, I suggested that the production team exchange trebuchet from China and Mongolia, but there was no response. I think the production team intended to highlight the mobility of Mongolian civilization.

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China was inventor of gunpowder and the civilization that started it. This is why china is labeled as gunpowder civilization. It doesn’t matter what other countries did after that.

Now day China is nuke country does it mean that they invented nuclear bombs? No, but they got access to it.

Fact is that chinese arsenal is quite par with the history already. Firelancers were a thing, even explosive arrows were used also grenade like bombs were used also.

Early units could be interesting but they’re already dead set on making chinese gunpowder none existing feature and being shittiest civ in that regard.


I could imagine Pyrotechnics to enhance temporarily a group of units like the Khan does to Mongols

Imo the best way to technically buff china early and give them crossbows is to give zhuge nu a heavy attack dmg bonus. Something like +2 bonus vs heavy.

Even if they had to make it an upgrade that needs be researched. This would reduce the shots needed to kill a feudal maa from 40 shots down to 14 shots!!! And early knights would go from 64 shots down to 22 shots!

However China startup is already 1 to 2 dimensional so if they gave zhuge this kind of power it would cement 2 TC SONG feudal…

Better idea! Since zhuge nu are already technically crossbows lets just give them speed!! and reduce its range but gradually increase the range back up per upgrade. So base feudal zhuge would have 1.5 tiles/s speed and only 4 range. Castle upgrade would return the range to 4.5 and imperial upgrade would give them a final range of 5 tiles!!! Besides the fact zhuge nu just don’t do ■■■■ vs heavy units, they also get out micro’d by comparable archer/longbow masses that can run faster and or out range the zhuge. If the zhuge was them faster than the other archers, zhuge nus could absolutely trade volleys and win on raw dps. Also zhuge could go on min raids.

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It’s a little off topic but i think some sort of passive abilities (like camel armor to nearby infantry) to dynasty units would be very fun, instead of a universal passive like it is right now. It would make sense then to mix some dynasty units in your army composition.

This could also work really good with ealy handcanoneers, instead of dealing less damage they start with lower attack speed/range and if they had reduced price it would be viable to make them earlier in the game.

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While im not against having early gunpowder units but there is one thing??? There is already one early gunpowder unit in chinese arsenal but devs dont want it to be used as unit for army other than waste of resources.

From uniqueness standpoint would make much more sense to replace archers with zhuge nu, lancers with fire lancers and handcannoneers with grenadiers. This would create much more unique civilization, but at same time some units are still universal.

This also would allow china to actually use unit with the army and not with stupid niche role that they will never be best at.

Zhuge nu has many methods how to fix it. Simplest would be let it continue shooting even if target moves out of range once first shot is fired but this would remove micro against them so not exactly fan of it. Another thing would be changing them use explosive arrows at later ages like castle tech upgrade making them viable option to armored units and could be improved in imp age.

Firelancers could easily be replacement for lancers and part of chinese main army. Instead of single target charge like french they would have weaker charge but with aoe splash. Main target dmg lets say 15 dmg and 5 splash to 1 tile around them or what ever number would feel balanced.

Grenadiers just similar to handcannoneers but slower and aoe or even some other effects like aoe not dealing dmg but slowing opponent units for 1second after explosion or even stunning them. Or just make special handcannoneers with ability to throw grenade.

Endless amount of possibilities


Hey man, Love your reply! Very well explained and full of good information!

If only everyone could answer as eloquent as you do, as these are fun to read and learn from.

First off, the biggest problem with History is that we can never be 100% sure of it.
Due loss and manipulation of information.

So please do not think of me, thinking your wrong. I actually think your right based on your sources.
As after all, Sources are the only thing we can base our knowledge off and judge whats “correct” or “incorrect” in a sense.

However on the Grenade topic.
Mongols may or may not be behind the grenades, but were most certainly a major Catalyst behind its widespread usage.
Or to be even more detailed, the Byzantines were among the first. Using Greek-Fire bombs. Sort of a Ancient era Molotov Cocktail of the time. This was around the 8th century. But this would be categorized as a Incindiary. But none the less, caused the Arabs, who were on the receiving end of these weapons to consider adopting and improving it, experimenting making something similar with early gunpowder.

So I wouldn’t be surprised if grenades were “invented” individually by both the Arabs, Mongols and the Chinese.
Or to be more exact, a combination of those 3 togheter.

While the Terminilogy of Grenade can be discussed, At least in when I mention grenades it would include some sort of explosives. such as Gunpowder.

But your references are good! And I stand now with much better knowledge on the topic thanks to you.
I started digging in to some archives such as Mongol Explosion: The Mongolian Usage of GunpowderWeapons by Jack Wilson and The Mongol Empire — the first ‘gunpowder empire’? by Stephen G. Haw

Both diving into he use of gunpowder and the mongol empire.
Both presenting rather very varied view of it.

AT least, that’s where I got my sources from.

  • articles from vintagenews and pressreader. Although those did not provide source information.

I am also weary of giving 100% trust to most things based in china, as they tend to be very sinocentric.
I like also cross-checking with outside perspectives, or depending on Era.

Its the same thing I wouldn’t trust British perspective on the french and french perspective on the British as they can contrast very.

But that’s the thing with history and why history is never a 100%

But from my deduction of it all.
Arabs, Mongols and Chinese were definitely behind the Grenades.
Who exactly were exactly the first case of using such weapons? we may never know for certain. But for now, there are some early documented events of Wars involving the Jin and Mongols
and the Arabs and Byzantines.


I appreciate your attitude. Historical records really can’t 100% reflect the truth. Although this is almost the only way for us to understand history, the answer can be relatively objective by integrating historical materials and cultural relics from all sides.

In fact, sinocentric can not be regarded as the absolute mainstream even in China now, because you know, China has always been a multi-ethnic country. Many times, especially in the historical narrative, it emphasizes national unity and avoids “Han chauvinism” as much as possible.

Chinese people who understand history can also realize that in ancient China, while exporting culture and technology to neighboring countries, they have never refused to learn and accept the culture of other countries and nations. Taking the Ming Dynasty as an example, in fact, a kind of court casual dress (曳撒) in the Ming Dynasty is a derivative of the Mongolian style 质孙服/辫线袍 (I’m not sure how to write it in English / Mongolian), and the armor and cold weapon warfare methods of the Ming army, For example, the cavalry equipped with bows and arrows also has a strong Mongolian style. (these also affected Rus,Indians and Koreans in the same period,In order to avoid ambiguity, it must be emphasized that the work clothes and gowns of the Ming Dynasty, as well as the clothes of ordinary people, are still the traditional designs of the Han people, and the influence of the Mongols mainly lies in the aristocratic fashion.)

Including the Yuan Dynasty, which was established and ruled by the Mongols, a large number of Chinese historians have very high evaluation of this dynasty, because compared with other dynasties established by the Han people but with relatively strict control, the Yuan Dynasty has very low control over the lower classes due to different cultures, which has virtually created a relatively free and open society, The Han people could unscrupulously attack the reality and rulers through literary works (the oppression and exploitation of the Mongols as the ruling class naturally existed objectively), and this open society further strengthened the economic exchanges between China and foreign countries at that time, and achieved a great integration of culture and economy, including the maritime Silk Road.

Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty after the Yuan Dynasty, although his slogan in the early years of rebellion was “expel the Mongols and restore China’s land”, after the establishment of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang regarded the Yuan Dynasty as an orthodox Dynasty of China to demonstrate the continuity and legitimacy of his regime.

For the same reason, the Qing Dynasty established by the Manchu people also regarded the Song Dynasty established by the Han people as “orthodox” (although the Jin Dynasty established by the Manchu ancestors also existed in the same period of the Song Dynasty, they still chose to regard the Song Dynasty as “orthodox”).

I want to emphasize that:China has been a multi-ethnic country since ancient times. People of different ethnic groups have widely existed in government agencies and the people. It is not that the Han people in some stereotyped images are dominant, because there was basically no nationalism in East Asia in ancient times. This concept was introduced from Europe in modern times.


Actually from all of this. It makes me think differently in terms of AoE4 on the topic about Grenadiers.

Should they remain Chinese unique unit?

The same can be brought about the Dheli Sultanate, about their Elephants units. Should they be unique?

For in the future, when more Civilizations will be expanded upon. Would it be fair to deprive example, the South East Asian nations such as Khmer, Champa, Burmese and Thai from elepehants? Just because Elephants are seen as Dheli Civilization idenentity for the sake of the game?
Even though the elephants played a incredible huge important role for many South Asia, and Southeast Asian nations in Warfare.
It wouldn’t be fair to deprive them of having elephants units in my opinion.

So the same question can be given about the Grenadiers.
Should nations where Grenades were prominantly used, such as some Arab states prominent in use of Gunpowder, such as the Turks (Ottomans), Vietnamese, Koreans and Japanese be deprived from having access to grenadiers for the sake of keeping the Chinese “Civilization” identity for the game?

If we were to think about it differently,
Allowing more nations to access the Grenadier unit, as well as any other unit such as the Elephants.
Then it would open a whole new perspective on Balancing out said unit.

I think then Grenadiers as well as any other unit that has been difficult to balance will become much more easier to balance out and make more relevant. As you could allow them fulfill a unique role.

I wouldn’t be to afraid either that Civs in AoE4 were to become more “standarized” because of it.
There would be clear differences still and limitations.
However you open the door for more oppertunityies in balancing out some nations.

European nations would clearly not have access to elephants, but Abbasid could gain access to grenadiers as an example. Mongols access to fire lancers, and so forth.

I think it would make the game far more interesting.

afterall it is something they did in AoE2, with the rise of Rajas, and opened up elephant units to more than just Persia, and now they fulfill their own role in the game as well as allowing for more Unique “civilization” units. Such as a the Ballista Elephant for the Khmers as an example.

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I see what you mean. Grenadiers, elephants and even camels may become common units.

As for the fact that Mongols have grenade throwers, you should at least find the exact evidence of the use of grenades by the Mongolian army. Note that this must be the use record of the Mongolian army, not other civilizations under its command, such as the Chinese grenade throwers under the command of the Mongolian army, because this is obviously not convincing and representative.

Speaking of representativeness, this is also the consistent design idea of AOE series. You try to prove that Mongols can also be called “firearms Empire”, but the first impression of Mongols to the outside world is always nomadic cavalry bows and arrows, so your expectations may be difficult to achieve.

Even in the Timurid Empire, the army did not pay much attention to gunpowder weapons. At least there is no direct evidence to prove that its army has gunpowder weapons.
From the 17th century to the 18th century, the Mongols have indeed widely used gunpowder weapons, such as the Jungar Khanate. However, in the time span of aoe4, that is, from the Middle Ages to the early Renaissance, the Mongols mainly rely on their foreign technical talents to use gunpowder weapons.

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Maybe your idea can be implemented in AoE3.

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