Death Match settings: Iron or Post-Iron

Lately, well not exactly lately but often, people whining at me not setting the age to Post-Iron. On, DM has been always Iron Age, so that is my go. Whether it is NS, Cho, Wonder, Sea, doesn’t matter.

So what seems to be the case here?

I don’t play anymore ATM, but for me Post-Iron give too much advantage to some civ (With big tech tree for exemple) making the ressource cost null for some really expensive upgrade otherwise.

Now i don’t really dislike it either, but if it’s my choice it will be Iron and even more so for game mode like Cho and NS where managing the upgrade speed etc is key to at least have some advantage.


agree with kinzo. like iron age more

My personal preference is Iron as well. Not surprisingly, the same reason as kinzoplus.

Iron Age is a balanced start for all civilizations as everybody has the same techs from Bronze. (Excluding missing techs and civ bonus). It boils down to speed and tactics.

I’ve read some arguments about “wasted gold” and “you’re going to upgrade anyway”. This seems an odd statement if we consider, like kinzo also mentioned, that large tech-tree civs benefit way too much.

It was usually Iron when I played. I guess the new people like to play power surge type of DM where you only need to focus on creation of units and collecting resources.

As far as I know, DM has almost always been Iron Age. Was Post-Iron even an option in AOE 1 (Not ROR) back on Zone?

With Post-Iron, you will have a lot more resources left available since you don’t have to upgrade any units. So not only are you fighting faster, but you’re also able to fight longer.

That’s my 2 cents.

It wasn’t available in AoE and Ror back in time, unless created as a scenario (but then the map was fix and not random)

I keep noticing there is a huge discussion between the two age modes. People put up the argument of “saving clicks” and “improves fun”. I can understand these arguments, but those aren’t reflecting well on the fact that regular Iron creates a better balance for all civilizations, both in terms of technology and resources.

Lets crunch some numbers for Greek, because they have quite a large tech tree.


  • Granary: 300F 100S + 1800F 750S (Guard and Ballista tower)
  • Academy: 300F 100G + 1800F 700G (Phalanx and Centurion)
  • Siege Workshop: 300F 125W + 1800F 900W and 1500F 1000W (Catapult, Heavy Catapult and Helepolis)
  • Dock: 135F 75G + 1300F 700W (Catapult Trireme and Juggernaught)

That is 7800 Food, 2025 Wood, 800 Gold and 850 Stone (without Juggernaught). Adding Juggernaughts for water based maps, you can see that Greek benefits a lot from Post-Iron age by saving huge on the Food which benefits directly their deployment of Centurions. And I didn’t even count in all the others Techs they get for free which is also Food and Gold mostly. That is a lot of resources saved when we have to compare to Choson:


  • Granary: 300F 100S + 1800F 750S (Guard and Ballista tower)
  • Temple: 150G (Fanaticism)
  • Barracks: 160F 50G + 1400F 600G (Long Sword and Legion)
  • Siege Workshop: 1500F 1000W (Helepolis)

That is a total of 1860 Food, 750 Gold and 850 Stone saved. This is insignificant compared to what Greek saves in terms of Food. And yes, a Legion is almost aprox twice cheaper than a Centurion, however Greek Academy units cost 48 Food 32 Gold. Besides, it doesn’t end here.

Now let us look at Romans, which is technically better than Choson in terms of land units as they get full Siege and all Storage Pit upgrades. If not worse, they get Scythe Chariots.


  • Siege Workshop: 300F 125W + 1800F 900W and 1500F 1000W (Catapult, Heavy Catapult and Helepolis)
  • Temple: 150G (Fanaticism)
  • Barracks: 160F 50G + 1400F 600G (Long Sword and Legion)
  • Stable: 1200W 900G (Scythe Chariot)

5160 Food, 3225 Wood, 1700 Gold. And I didn’t even add gold spent for armour upgrades.
Romans secure early, mid and end game immediately.


  • Granary: 300F 100S + 1800F 750S (Guard and Ballista tower)
  • Siege Workshop: 300F 125W + 1800F 900W
  • Archery Range: 1500F 800G
  • Stable: 1200W 900G + 1000F 1200G (Scythe Chariot and Armoured Elephant)
  • Storage Pit: 200F 320G + 150F 100G (Iron Shield and Scale Mail for Archers)

Saving a total of 7050 Food, 2225 Wood, 3320 Gold and 850 Stone. Do we have to look at Carthaginian? Sure why not.


  • Granary: 300F 100S + 1800F 750S (Guard and Ballista tower)
  • Siege Workshop: 1500F 1000W (Helepolis)
  • Storage Pit: 200F 320G (Iron Shield)
  • Stable: 1000F 1200G (Armoured Elephant)

And this civilization saves 4800 Food, 1000 Wood, 1520 Gold, 850 Stone.

So summing up:

  • Greek: 7800 Food, 2025 Wood, 800 Gold, 850 Stone
  • Hittite: 7050 Food, 2225 Wood, 3320 Gold, 850 Stone
  • Roman: 5160 Food, 3225 Wood, 1700 Gold
  • Carthaginian: 4800 Food, 1000 Wood, 1520 Gold, 850 Stone
  • Choson: 1860 Food, 750 Gold, 850 Stone

Before we conclude, I want to say: What ever mode you pick, it depends on your goal!

If you don’t care about all that strategy, balance and “fair fight” and just want to have fun with lots of resources -> Post Iron is totally okay and fair to pick. No objection on that. If you do care about strategy, skill and speed then I would highly encourage to play regular Iron Age.

Now to our conclusion, Greek obviously benefits the most in terms of Food and Hititte most in terms of Gold. Hittite being a versatile civilization has to spend minimum resources to fight on par. Romans benefit the most from pure Tech Tree upgrades with minimum effort. It seems really awkward to have this huge unbalance.

This unbalance is more noticeable with less popular civilizations. Their tech tree is more limited and automatically makes fighting the large tech tree civilizations unfair early, mid and late game.

Final words
And as said in other posts, Post-Iron Age was never a mode in AoE and RoR. Meaning every player who played Death Match had to simply become good at it to stand a chance. Micro management, upgrade investment and speed are key factors. By playing Post Iron you’re taking away large portion of these skills which define good players and better players. This is also why Sea War, Wonder War, Choson War and Archer War focussed hard on micro management and speed.

Elitism aside, think about the two goals I mentioned in the beginning of this conclusion. But I do see people who think they are good in DM struggle hard in regular Iron Age, because they keep forgetting their upgrades. It is kind of funny.


Nice overall synopsis.

I like the new Post-Iron mode better… This video shows a Post-Iron Greek Death Match