Don't add the "Teutons"

EDIT: I’ve finally changed my mind for a simpler solution: spliting the Teutons into Dutch and Germans (+ maybe Swiss). It’s more suited to the universal game AoE IV is.

[Don’t add the “Teutons”] or worse still the “Holy Roman Empire”. Not only would this latter not fit AoE traditional naming and thus designing of civilisations (ethnonyms/demonyms and not state-related or dynastic), but also historically the Holy Roman Empire was pretty much an umbrella political entity with little unity, gathering Germanic, Romance and Slavic speakers.

But even among the German(ic) speakers of the empire - the proper “Teutons” - there were significant differences. What did a Saxon North Sea hanseatic city like Groningen or Lübeck share with mountainous Bavarians? Very little: different languages (not even mutually understandable), culture, economy, architecture, military, natural environment, etc.
Although there was some feeling of shared belonging between these people as proven by the Teutonic Order, the aforementioned differences make a single “Teutons” civilisation more of an umbrella one, though not as terrible as the “Saracens” or “Slavs”.

In Cossacks (add-ons included), German(ic) speakers of the Holy Roman Empire were divided into six nations: Saxony, Prussia, Austria, Bavaria, Netherlands and Switzerland. This precision scale is similar to AoE II Definitive Edition which included Burgundians, Sicilians, etc. and is the right one IMO.

Thus I would split the Teutons into six civilisations too:

  • Saxons (Old Saxony, Hanseatic league, Lübeck, etc. including related Frisians who aren’t enough important ot get their own civ IMO)
  • Rhenish (Austrasia, Franconia, Rhineland, Hesse, Luxembourg, Moselle, etc.)
  • Alamans (Alsace, Swabia, etc.)
  • Swiss (including Romands)
  • Bavarians (including Austrians who are technically Bavarian)
  • Dutch (i.e. Low Franconian speaking cultures, including Flemings)

Some may argue that this is a very unreasonable number of civilisations, but keep in mind that these regions were already profusely populated by the Middle Ages. A single one of them was more populated than the whole Maghreb! (for which I still delineated two civilisations that I’ll present later).
I admit that the demonym “Rhenish” isn’t great at all but have no good idea to replace it. Ripuarians or Rhinelanders maybe?
I didn’t include an eastern German civ because Ostsiedlung started somehow late within the game timeframe (12th century) and was lead by people from Rhineland, Bavaria, etc. which I already included.
Due to some overlapping, Alamans and Swiss could be merged into one single Alamans civ but it’s politically clunky and would exclude Romands.
Finally remains the most critical question: of all these civs, which one would get the Teutonic Order? Maybe it could be added as a proper civilisation, which would largely portray those Eastern Germans by the way. But then, in order to be fair, some other military orders - at least the Templars - should get their own civ too.

Now, if you still find it’s too much, simpler solutions are possible though naming would be trickier:

  • Saxons
  • Dutch
  • Middle Germans (Rhenish, Thuringians, etc.)
  • Upper Germans (Alamans + Swiss + Bavarians + Austrians)

or even:

  • Low Germans (Saxons + Dutch)
  • High Germans (Rhenish + Alamans + Swiss + Bavarians + Austrians)

(This is mostly based upon linguistics)

By the way, I’m well aware that the devs won’t probably even take a look at my suggestions. I’m just sharing my thoughts as I’ve been thinking about a fair and historically accurate AoE for quite a long time now.


While I’m absolutely with you in that I prefer the ethnonym/demonym framing, it is very clear at this point that AoE4 will be moving away from that and frame Civs through political hierarchies instead. This is evident from Civs like the Delhi Sultanate and from the focus on various political flags in the UI. It is what it is.

We also have fairly strong rumors going that the HRE will in fact be a civ in the game. Just telling you now so you wont be disappointed later.


Nationalism and States as we know them in 2021 didn’t really exist until a few hundred years ago. Every civ generally speaking is an entity of multiple nations, into a “state” with some form of power, not absolute power but just some form, over the nations.

If Saxons, Rhenish, Alamans, Swiss, Bavarians, and the Dutch were all ruled by a power, that had some form of leverage over them, then that entity would make better sense as a civ.

Trust me. I want 300 civs in Age of Empires 4 too but I just don’t think we’re going to get that.


Indeed, it’s a shame but I expected that. Actually I feel like these state/dynastic names are just here to give a serious historical vibe to the game in order to hide/compensate the total lack of historical research on various of its aspects.

Sure and that’s why I think civilisations should represent cultures and not states, dynasties or whatever.

Here I disagree. The different entities that formed the empire were quite independant.

I think about 100 civs could well portray most of the (important) cultures back then. But again, I am not claiming that all the aforementioned civilisations should be included in the game. But better to make a few precise civilisations and let gaps between them (which could eventually be filled with add-ons or mods) rather than making umbrella civs.

You are suggesting a game that will release with eight civs and is allegedly designing civs assymetrically will be expanded to such proportions that we should leave room for four separate civs in that one area of the world?


Ideally yes, I do. More realistically, my last suggestions are probably more relevant to the actual game and easy to balance design- and gameplay-wise. Low Germans would be a civ focused on sea and trade and mostly have brick architecture, while High Germans would be more pastoral/agrarian and have coated/painted architecture.

I totally agree with the non inclusion of “Slavs” and “Saracens”. But I would enjoy the Holy Roman Empire as a civ. I think the unorthodox political structure could make a unique civ. Maybe each age we could choose a elector of one of the nations you mentioned and it would become unavailable for the next age (or maybe available with an extra cost).


In a game with the announced civs being the English, the Mongols, the Chinese, and the Dehli Sultanates, I think it is probably pretty safe to determine what level of scope civs are going to be. They are pretty darn broad. If China gets one civ, I am not sure Europe needs more than two, though we all know that’s never actually going to be the top limit in eurocentric Age of Empires.


We are getting HRE tho

English and Delhi are actually quite precise, much more than in AoE II. Regarding Chinese, the civ may seem broad but there were already one pretty centralized Chinese/Han state within the game timeframe (although usually ruled by a foreign elite), so it’s definitely not an umbrella civ and does not exclude other cultures of the region (Yunnan, etc.), just like having the French would not necesarily prevent having Burgundians, Normans or Occitans.

I’m afraid it would be clunky and unbalanced gameplay-wise, but at least it would be inclusive.

HRE is a fine name everybody can understand what it is.

Civilization names should be understood by everyone not just the locals.


I don’t get this suggestion, if only the teutons should already be split up in 6 civilisations, how many civs should be in this game then? Relic has to make a division somewhere and I am perfectly fine with the way they do it of using some broader naming. this way we can get lots of completely different civs instead of 6 civs with just minimal cultural and architectural differences.

[quote=“Timbonator8142, post:12, topic:129238”]
how many civs should be in this game then?


I assume its far too much. However MAYBE its possible to hae sub-cultures with their own models, and maybe special units, but other than that the same? something similar to chinese dynasties, only that you choose before you play?

I see no other way for these precise civs

It’s not a fine name at all and AoE II is also about pedagogy, though names like Dutch, Saxons and Bavarians are already well known.

And no it’s not way too much regarding the scope level adopted by AoE II DE - or just a bit. But as I said, spliting Teutons into 2 civs is probably more reasonnable. Between those two, differences would be huge (while they would indeed not be very important between Saxons and Dutch or Alamans and Swiss for example).

1 Like

I must admit I suggested so many Teutonic civilisations also in order to portray most of the nice architectural styles found within this cultural area. Those styles are both striking and very different, as such they would differenciate these civs very well. Though they are spread over huge areas, they are more or less linked to the cultures I delineated.

A quick glimpse over the potential of these different architectures for the game (here it mainly concerns important buildings as well as castle and imperial ages rather than earlier ones):

Swiss would have white lime-coated buildings covered with mostly reddish clay tiles. Note the keep of Thun castle (left), it would make a perfect AoE castle.

The core of Alamans’ buildings would be made of pink sandstones combined with brownish and sometimes glazed clay tiles. Basel cathedral (middle), though it’s actually in Switzerland, would make a good wonder.

Rhenish architecture would consist in slate roofs combined with either white lime-coated and painted walls or bare dark stones (in medieval times those latter were most probably coated but they look great like that imo). Painting over the coating would adapt to the player’s color. I can easily see Limburg cathedral (left) as this civilisation’s wonder.

To the Bavarians I attributed yellowish stones, with which medieval architecture of today’s Bavarian speaking areas is often made of. I can also see their buildings often topped with wooden structures.

Dutch would have a mix of redbricks and grey stones buildings as found all over the Low Countries. Their roofs would be mostly made of slate. Doornenburg’s keep (2nd from right) would be a good choice for the castle of the civ.

To finish, most of Saxon architecture would consist in redbrick gothic in order to enhance the hanseatic vibe of that civilisation. Coverings can be either of slate, clay tiles or lead.

Now if Teutons were to be split between Low Germans and High Germans, solutions would have to be found. While designing the former’ architecture style is easy (mostly redbricks), a compromise has to be made for the latter. I would probably attribute them a mix of pink sandstone and white lime-coated and painted buildings, which are the most appealing of all those styles to my eyes.


I think it would’ve been cool if we branch out kind of like the revolution mechanic in AoE3 but not exactly.


You have done a lovely job here, with the presenation of some architectural styles from different medieval German principalities. I would therefore change your maintheme in “Split of the Teutons to principalities” instead of "Don`t add the “Teutons”, that sounds much better and more based to the matter.

Your explanations remind me at the Age of Chivalry Hegemony Mod for a Age of Empires 2. Do you know him? If not, you should definitely look at him. Your proposed division of the German States into several Principalities, is discussed there and also handled like this. The mod was created in 2008 and is still being improved, although you can play it for a long time. Your listed states will be introduced there, being the Swiss to be called as Celtic Helvetians, what is wrong, which to Middle age times, they spoke long ago a Alemannic dialect. But otherwise, it is a very good Mod with a well chosen architecture for the individual principalities, individual units and unique technologies.

Here in the maingame, i do not think, that the Developers want to subdivide the German States. But for a later Modification of the game, that can come from the Community, that would be thoroughly an option.

1 Like

I don’t think the game is supposed to accurately represent all civs. How I prefer to view it is a history inspired game that builds gameplay over historical references. So I think it’s fine if we keep our expectations low in terms of historical realism. After all, the same argument made about the Teutons here works for China or India which are immense cultural regions with lots of diversity of all kinds (ethnic, religious, etc.) and we can’t ask the developers the impossible task to accurately represent all the past and its tremendous complexity.

Given how politicised history is nowadays, I just hope the final product doesn’t end up offending anyone.


Thank you. My title was provocative in order to gather attention :wink:
Rather than principalities, I aimed at dividing Teutonic lands on a cultural basis. While some of the obtained civilisations match historical principalities, most don’t - and it is fortunate as there were countless Teutonic principalities within the empire!

Yes I know that mod, they did a pretty impressive job despite some weird choice like “Helvetian Celts” (come on guys, we’re no more in Julius Caesar times - it reminds me AoE II Celts’ unique unit Woad Raider, literally a time traveller).
I’ll take a look at the mod again, it may inspire me for further suggestions.

That is precisely why I prefer the devs to make a few precise civilisations instead of umbrella ones, and let gaps that could eventually be filled by add-ons or mods.
That said, regarding actual AoE IV scope level, spliting Teutons between Low Germans or Northern Teutons and High Germans or Southern Teutons would be more appropriated.

I don’t disagree with you but my complain is not only a matter of historical realism, it’s also about the fact that the game is deprivating itself in terms of gameplay and visuals by making umbrella civs.
Regarding China, there was a powerfully centralized Chinese state strongly linked with the Han culture (despite the elite being often foreign), as such it can be included as a civ IMO. This won’t exclude peripheral areas such as Yunnan, Tungusic cultures, etc. Just like adding the French should not exclude principalities which were parts of the French crown but still held much independance, like Burgundians or Normans.

1 Like