European Holy Sites

People often complain of how religious and mystical they make the non-European civs, but there is also the problem of how irreligious the western civs are portrayed. In the era of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, religion was hugely important in the west and some European holy sites could help remedy the lack of focus on it.

Hospitaller Commandery

This is more of a thought experiment to show that essentially every important element of the Malta civilization can be fully (and arguably better) represented in a minor civilization. Unfortunately, we got a full civilization based on an insignificant island that plays like a crappy mod full of made up units and recycled content.

A Hospitaller Commandery holy site would be applicable to essentially every European map, and even the Caribbean if you take into account the Hospitaller colonies. Although they were originally a Catholic military order, Protestant offshoots broke off during the Reformation and the Order had a strong presence in Orthodox lands and relocated to Russia after Napoleon captured Malta.


Hospitaller Knight - Strong swordsman with the deflection ability. More or less the same as the current Maltese unit.

Fixed Gun - Instead of being a weird unit-building hybrid, Fixed Guns could feature just like they are in the campaigns, and be an indestructible structure built into the holy site. Researching a technology would enable taking control of the gun. Control of the Fixed Gun would be determined by whoever has control of the holy site, so destroying the Trade Post would disable it.

Order Galley - Galley with promotions and a bonus against mercenary warships. The mission of the Knights became to defend Christian shipping against Barbary pirates so a bonus against mercenary warships is fitting, and gives a counter to the Battleship enabled by royal houses.


Powder Magazine - Enables Fixed Gun and detonation of Trade Posts

Crusader Knights - Hospitaller Knights gain bonus attack near buildings

Holy Infirmary - Allows Hospitaller Knights to build Field Hospitals

Papal Basilica

Instead of only being confined to an element of the Italian civ, a Papal Basilica could represent the influence of the Roman Catholic Church across Europe. Even if this were added, Italians wouldn’t necessarily need to lose their Papal units, they could just use the holy site ones instead of them being weird pseudo-mercenaries. It could feature on most southern, western, and central European maps.


The units of the Papal Basilica would be the most iconic of the Papal armies. They would exclude “Papal Lancers” since these were essentially the exact same thing as Elmetti, and “Papal Bombards” because those are just made up.

Papal Zouave - More or less the same as the current Basilica unit.

Swiss Guard - More or less the same as the current Basilica unit, but renamed from Papal Guard.

Order Galley - The Papal States participated in major sea battles like Lepanto and supported the Hospitaller efforts of countering Muslim piracy, so they could also enable Order Galleys.


Indulgences - Gain coin for each unit lost

Papal Interdict - Increases the experience cost to your opponent’s next shipment

Concordat - Receive the benefit of your last age up bonus again (similar to the Advanced Politicians card)


If we’re on the topic of holy sites, probably eastern european sites would be a tad more interesting at this point.

I love this ideas!

However, Hospitaller Commandery conflicts with the Maltese civ.


I once suggested adding the Hussite Camp to Central European maps. It would be the Holy Site specialize in sieges - Hussite Camp (visually it could resemble Karlštejn Castle surrounded by siege machines and Chapel). They would offer somewhat archaic units:

  1. Hussite War Wagon
  2. Trebuche
  3. Hákovnice (Czech firearms precursor)

Hussite War Wagon add to Hussite Camp. In place War Wagon add to Germans civ Ritter - heavy armed cavalryman with lance (with the ability to convert into Black Rider.).

In addition, I suggested adding these Holy Sites:

  1. Shinto Temple - Holy Site for Japanese maps that worked with other (1-2) Japanese Minor Civilizations - but these would be people based. Japanese monk can be moved here. Sohei Archer could be an elite limited archer at the Shinto Holy Site.

  2. Uluru Rock - could be an Aboriginal Holy Site. It would appear on Australian maps. In this way, the Aborigines could be represented in this game.

  3. Orthodox Temple - It would be the Holy Site, which would appear on the Balkan, Eastern European and Siberian maps.

  4. Catholic Cathedral - this would be a Holy Site that would appear on Western European, Central European and Mediterranean maps. The Inquisitor could be trained there. This could be the Papal Basilica you suggest, but with a unique building design adapted to the map (Berlin Home City has a Kölner Dom which should be replaced by some Berlin church - while the building model could be used for the Holy Site).

  5. Protestant Town - This Holy Site could appear on North American, British, German and Scandinavian maps. Could offer Pilgrims training.


Maybe something interesting could be a Holy Site based on European Muslims i.e. Bosniaks - unless it could be represented with the Ottoman Royal House.

the idea is good but there are few worse experiences that getting killed by your own units as a civ It is why many strong complaints about new civs are about shadowtech cass or soldados beiong somehow more broken than mexicos in revolts/spain. I think spamming zouava is also a great way to break most modes given how strong these units are and cannot be spammed

i would hope it wouldn’t just be copy pasted existing malta/italian units, the entire point of minor civs is to allow unique or niche units to be present not just steal another units unique stuff and knowing france buff them better than the own civ. It is a cool concept to get say hussities or jesuits over to europe but lets not just be lazy and cnrtl c and cntrl v existing stuff at the expense of other civ identity. If we go the easy route, then keep it to unknown where everything is up for grabs anyways


This is more a thought experiment than a serious suggestion. I’m not saying there should be a Maltese civ and a Hospitaller Commandery that share the same unit. I’m saying there should be a Hospitaller Commandery instead of a Maltese civ, and I’m fully aware that’s never going to happen.

The Malta civ is a mishmash of incoherent recycled content and pure cheese that feels like a crappy mod. If it were instead implemented as a minor civ, all the nostalgia and interesting bits can be concisely and coherently represented. With a Hospitaller Commandery you get:

  • Iconic units like Hospitaller Knights and Order Galleys
  • Exploding buildings that don’t look terrible and can’t just be placed anywhere to cheese your opponent or sabotage your ally
  • Fixed Guns with the same oomph as the campaigns. This would make controlling native sites actually very meaningful especially near choke points or straights. Much better than a weird unit/building hybrid that’s near impossible to balance
  • The ability to build Field Hospitals and indirectly get Surgeons

What you don’t get is:

  • Made up units like “Not Hoop Throwers” (Fire Throwers), Sentinels, etc
  • Recycled tongue units
  • Recycled buildings that look bad
  • Terrible cheese gameplay

A Papal Basilica could actually be feasible with the existing framework of the game. The Italian units would just become native units instead of pseudo-mercenaries. I don’t think their whole Basilica mechanic is especially well thought out or popular to begin with. The shipping units is rather annoying and units like Schiavone and “Papal” Bombards don’t have any Papal connection (Churches have canons, not cannons).


I love the idea of Protestant Towns that train pilgrims! I wonder what combat units they could train as well? Maybe something like the harquebusier? Or something else New Model Army related? Or maybe something continental instead? Would love to have economic upgrades there to do with productivity (protestant work ethic :p) and XP generation.

As regards having “Uluru Rock” as an Aboriginal holy site… not the best idea haha. There’s only 1 Uluru, but there are many sacred sites across Australia which are sacred to all sorts of different Aboriginal Groups. A better way to handle it would be to have settlements for the various Groups, like with Native Americans. If you were absolutely having to go with a religious settlement for it, it would be best to just call it a “Sacred Site”.

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Half of the European Minor civilisation “conflict” with the Major European civilisations.
You can ally with the Royal families of half of the European powers.


As an Australian, it would feel way too problematic to build a Trade Post on or near Uluru, and you’d only have one per map. It would be good to have Australian maps and Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in the game though.


Yes, but they don’t train units that already belong to specific civs.

By the way, I miss a few Royal Houses for specific regions of Europe, e.g.:

  1. Ottomans Royal House for the Balkan maps
  2. Trastamara, Aviz, Borgia, Medici, Savoy and Sforza Royal Houses for the Mediterranean maps
  3. Rurikid and Romanov Royal Houses for the Eastern European maps
  4. Tudor and Stuard Royal Houses for the British Islands and Ireland maps
  5. Ascania, WĂĽrttemberg, Luxembourg, Hohenzollern, Nassau and Hochberg Royal Houses for Central European maps
  6. Valois Royal House for French maps
  7. Bagrationi Royal House (Georgian dynasty) for Caucassian maps

In this way, you could use these Royal Houses to represent nations that have no representation in the game.

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They said it would be like those units but not exactly those units.
The proposed units are a little too similar atm though I agree.

My post was just generally about the Knights Hospitaller being added.

could have factions of the orthodox church

It would be the same units, they’d just need adjustments to balance them being zero population native units. It was never my intention to try and make this coexist with the Maltese civ.

You want Malta to be removed as a playable faction?

Ideally yes, but I have no illusions of that ever happening.

Realistically it’s a tiny island of crusader pirates that has no business being a full civ. Its implementation is also very poor so it looks like a crappy mod and promotes cheese gameplay. In contrast, the Hospitallers fit extremely well as a minor civ and still provide all the coolest features features of the full civ.

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It’s fair if you don’t like the civilisation but don’t take other people something away that they enjoy.

I’m not taking anything away, I’m just putting an idea on the forum. And anyways, there are probably just as many people that would enjoy having Malta replaced with a minor civ as there are that want to keep it.

Taking a civilisation away (and yes turning into a minor civilisation is practically taking it away) will never happen in any Age of Empires game, ever.

If you don’t like it, don’t play it.

If it triggers you to meet them in Multiplayer then why do Lakota in Afrika and Japanese in Europe not trigger you?

The loss of a civilisation ways a lot more for the people that actually play it then it does for the people that sometimes encounter others using it.