Fix for infranty according to Sandy

For the third time Bored with Nelly had interview with Sandy Petersen (If you don’t know who is he, how you eve call yourself AoE II fan? 11). Asked, how to fix infranty, Sandy said: “I would made it cheaper”.

What do you, guys, think?

There is video:


You should use a better timestamp that leads to the right spot in the video.

The video is also very hard to follow as it tangents a lot of different stuff on shallow subjective perspectives. And they aren’t even really “coherent”.

Sandy says on one end that he wanted to keep as many stuff in that people figured out independently what wasn’t “on design”.
That is also a big part of why Archers and Knights became so popular as they are the units that can deal the most economic damage with the fewest investment. It wasn’t necesariy intended that raids become so determining in the meta.
Sandy also refers to that, when he says that Archers have that Range and Knights the speed and Infantry just have the ability to “counter cavalry”. So he is aware that the Infantry is missing that speciality to use for an advantage compared to the archers and cavarly.

And that’s what infantry is currently missing, some special utility it has that separates it from the cavalry and archery that can be used to deal eco damage to the opponent. And it should be something “interactive”. Like if we just for example add a lot of anti-building damage, it will only turn into a repair or backwall war, which will necesarily lead to one side just winning it and the other losing the game cause of the snowball. With the current raids of archers / knights under the thread of counter units when both players do their jobs fairly well it’s usually less decisive on a single encounter.

Making Infantry just cheaper won’t work cause it would only lead to frustration. As in the current state Infantry just doesn’t have this “interactive” element to it.
We see that with the Goths. They already have that cheaper Infantry. Almoest nobody likes them.

I tried to collect some ideas what could be given to a new “Power Unit” Infantry in this Thread:

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This is what the DE Supplies tech did, although IDK if Sandy is familiar with that. Obviously Supplies helped, but swordsmen are still pretty rough in midgame.

I agree that stat buffs are probably not the answer, although I wouldn’t decrease the cost directly either (maybe by 5 res max). But the idea of making them cheaper is closely aligned with other accessibility buffs that some of us have advocated for - cheaper and faster upgrades, and shorter training times. Even things like cheaper barracks (150W) or the 2H upgrade being available in Castle Age may be worth considering.

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Upgrades to the line should be made cheaper. But then again we have Bulgarians with completely free upgrades for the unit line and still it is not seen as often as we would think it should be.

I think giving the sword line more bonus damage to buildings, particularly walls, would give them their niche.


To del eco damage, militia could have bonus vs villagers, to kill then 1 hit sooner. They could also have a combination of cheaper-faster imp upgrades cheaper arson, and bonus vs light cav line to prooerly counter trash


On point. Make them cheaper, make their upgrades like squires, supplies, mail armors cheaper and most of all decrease the cost of barracks to something like 130w or 140w. Or increase the impact of those techs like squires giving 15% or 20% faster infantry with base speed of faster infantry units re-adjusted or squires getting a predecessor in feudal age that increases speed by 10% and then by a further 10% with a second upgrade.

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I wonder why every sentence Sandy says gets so much attention.
Do people think that Death of the Author does not apply to video games?

On topic: Imho making the units cheaper is possibly the worst approach. It will make them stronger when spammed - ie in lategame. It will help far less in the early/midgame, where the problem is that you can’t afford the upgrades and have no clear transition into mass infantry. So making them even cheaper is high risk (of breaking the late game) with mediocre reward (low chances of actually seeing infantry midgames, unles you make them so much cheaper the will dominate lategame even harder).


LS +1 attack (vs cavalry) will improve their ability to “counter cavalry” as they will kill knights 3 hits sooner.
18 → 15

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One important question that we have to ask is.
Should Infantry be good in Castle Age?

I’ve seen a lot of people wanting to buff infantry or add new stronger infantry units, but does the game need that?

I thing the Milita line should neither counter Knights nor Crossbows.


The book on AoE2 is still being written, and a lot of people still think it’s important to keep future changes at least somewhat in line with the intentions of the original designers. That doesn’t mean we have to run with whatever he says on any given topic (which nobody in this thread does BTW), but Sandy may be the single person most responsible for why you still care about a 23 year old game. Not shocking that he’s maintained some influence.

For all of his takes, I have to account for his current distance from the game (IDK if he knows about “Supplies”), but I think he’s broadly on the right track of making infantry more accessible, as suggested by myself and others.

It’s a bit of a nuanced topic, but I’d lean more towards “yes” than “no.” If you answer with a firm “no,” I would wonder why you think they’re even there (or Goths, or other civs designated as “infantry civs”). And I would have no sympathy if you think that infantry “should” be bad yet find the knight/xbow meta or infrequency of (infantry) UU sightings the least bit stale.


Ok I think I need to add that I was thinking about generic Infantry as in Long Swordsman without any civilisation bonuses.
I’m a very big fan of the idea of adding Infantry regional units. atm all regional units are cavalry (Including Siege Elephant) or cavalry replacement (Eagle Warrior).

I think they should have a role but the role should not be to be good against Crossbows and Knights.
Like what if the Militia Line had an attack bonus against the Scout Line, for example?

i think infantry has two major problems
you can use them only reactive (they can’t choose where to fight)
and when you have the opportunity to attack, you can’t really push with them.
You can’t jump under TC. There will die before you even reach a Villager. Villager can run away from them.
And they can easily be stopped by walls.

I think cheaper infantry can help because with a critical mass of infantry, the enemy has to react to it. Yeah knights out speed them and can attack our eco but then you can leave enough troops behind to defend and still have enough for attacking. But that’s alone is not enough. Infantry alone can’t push / kill economy.
And the solution for this is a game mechanics that AOE 4 implemented.
Infantry gets the skill to build Rams in the Field.

So you can mass enough infantry ,to cheaper cost, to defended from multiple angel against Knight. And when you have enough troops you can push out, and the enemy has to react to it. And with building, Rams in the Field, they gain the ability to push the base from the enemy.

For this it will be impotent that rams are accessible in Feudal age.
The ability for building rams in the field can be make accessible via a tech in the blacksmith. (to balance it out).
I cant say how much cheaper infantry it has to get. ( I am not good enough withe balancing math for this )

i hope it is understandable what I want to say. :smile:


Infantry should be able to slow/snare enemy units. Problem solved!!

How do you counter units from the Milita line?
There is no generic unit with an attack bonus against infantry in Castle Age, only against Spearman.

If the Milita line get’s buffed too much then it would be hard to stop for a lot of civilisations.
You can only make them stronger by adding new ways to effectively counter them.
As a trash killer there are also limited options to counter them when you run out of Gold.
As soon as they stop being weak they will be hard to stop.

I think the best solution would be to add new Infantry that gets countered by the Milita line.
Like a generic but weaker Eagle Warrior.

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Lets just take q spoon out of aoe4s Playbook and give infantry the ability to build Siegeweapons in the field. Maybe a little bit more expansive but (if enough units used) much quicker than producing within the SW.


What about giving more Attack Bonus against buildings to infantry and/or increasing the effect of arson? That way infantry could Break Walls and destroy production buildings faster and force you to fight them without changing the interaction against other units.

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This is really great idea, I was thinking about it a lot. the problem is knight line is doing it well due to high base attack. So, in order to making this works is increased building armor and infantry bonuses vs building. This is how it supposed to work in real: cavalry is great in open field when can charge, in close space (siege, city battle) infantry should have advantage.

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Not counter them, but i think at least since they have no range or mobility they should be cost effective against knights when you get to them, since knight can always disengage, so they should get punished more

Also i think if a unit is available in a certain Age, It should be viable in that Age, otherwise you are only paying for 1 more upgrade that is wasted. And you see this approach for many unit in the game

Even pike, light cav, and ES have their uses with their castle Age upgrade. It’s only longswords that serve no purpose unless you already massively ahead of you opponent after feudal. Currently only purpose of infantry in castle is counter Eagle, which they can’t reach anyway and are already expensive to upgrade from militia to LS, so poeple go for knights anyway

It’s not a matter of making infantry strong and the meta in castle, but merely to even put them on the table of options in some shape or form

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Giving them a role also means giving them a strong counter.
Long Swordsman have a lot of soft counters but no hard counter (besides unique units) so if they are made stronger or more cost effective they become hard to stop, especially if you consider civilisation bonuses.

Civilisation bonuses like the Japanese 33% faster attack or the Vikings 20% more HP can get out of hand pretty quickly.

Also if Long Swordsman get buffed then all unique infantry need to get buffed too? Else most of them would become quit useless in Castle Age.

So maybe the secret in making Infantry more viable and interesting in Castle Age lies in changing other units instead of changing the Milita Line itself.

My favourite option would be to add new generic units but that would be a very big change.
Making the Eagle Warrior Tag a more common “Shock Trooper” Tag would give the Milita Line a role in more matchups.