Empire wars first impressions

Tried a couple empire wars games in the PUP b/c I’m pretty interested in the game mode, and wanted to give my thoughts, and explain some of the mechanics for people who haven’t tried it yet.

  1. Age 1, you start with 900 food in crates and something like 10 vills so you can age up immediately. This part feels good. You also start with an outpost wagon, and I’m afraid the outpost wagons are always going to be used for tower rushing. Plus, they can be set as the shipment point for future wagons which means the forward bases are going to be fast and scary.

  2. You get a builder wagon with every shipment, and shipments arrive quickly. This replaces the pre-built bases that modded empire wars included. I’m sure this greatly simplifies the back-end implementation of the game-mode, which is fine to me. However, it feels like you get too many builder wagons. Shipments come in back-to-back pretty easily with how many buildings you get, and you’ll pretty quickly have more buildings than you can use, so tower spam, and then mills and estates become the default for XP purposes. It feels pretty awkward after four or five shipments, and actually gets annoying to manage after 10 or so shipments.

  3. Age-ups are all really fast, not just commerce age-ups. I get that this is supposed to be an accelerated game-mode, but I do think that the fast age-ups will introduce balance issues. I could be wrong. Civs who have greater incentives to get to Fortress age like Germany and China might be able to do this too quickly, especially given that they can have 3-4 towers/ castles in-base.

My suggestions:

  1. I think it would be better if the outpost wagon came with your first shipment (or age 1 shipments in general) instead of initial spawn. This would incentivize players to send an age 1 shipment, thereby widening strategic diversity.

  2. It would be better to give players 4-5 builder wagons rights upon hitting Commerce age rather than trickle builder wagons in all game. As-is, these wagons get really awkward (and I havent even played lakota), and wood should almost never be gathered at all.

  3. I’d keep the commerce age-up fast, but maybe change Fortress and Industrial to normal.

All-in-all, while I’m not totally sure how it’ll pan out, with the current implementation I do think it’s either going to be FF every game by every player or FB every game by every player.