Formations should be a tech in Return of Rome (and other ideas)!

Hello, guys.

I was thinking about some interesting variations to mechanics from Age II that people are expecting to be brought into Age I, like scouts and formations, but haven’t seen this being discussed in much depth so far.

Historical context is always taken in consideration by the devs when thinking on new techs and mechanics, for preserving the game’s coherence with its historical setting as much as possible - from a gameplay point of view - for a better immersion. Scouts and Formations, for example, should be added to Return of Rome in a unique way, then!

Some people have suggested that Scouts should be included in a match start, like in Age II.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t make sense to add Scouts in a Skirmish game that begins in the Stone Age, simply because in the Stone Age horses were not domesticated yet!

I would suggest that a new unit should be created for this function, like an “Explorer”, for example - a guy dressed in furry clothes accompanied by a dog, that moves in the speed of the Eagle Warrior, that only appears in Skirmish games that begin in the Stone and Tool Ages and cannot be trained. Like this Scout unit from Empire Earth II:


About Formations, it makes sense for units in the Stone and Tool Ages to move like messy warbands, for historically it was only around the Copper Age that things like army divisions and formations began to show up.
Then, it should being researchable only in the Bronze Age, in the Government Center (or Academy), with a “Battle Formations” tech.

Age I never had a land unit for land commerce. In Age II, Trade Carts are created in the Market, but in Return of Rome the devs could implement the Trade Workshop (which only exists in the Editor) for this purpose!

Thinking about garrisoning, Age I Town Centers looks more like town plazas than administrative buildings like in Age II, so imagining arrows coming from them might look visually strange, but that’s a little graphical trouble.

I have wrote this post already on the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Getting Return of Rome DLC thread and now decided to turn it into a new topic, so to hear your thoughts on the subject!


I really like the concept of having a weak explorer unit at the beginning since mounted scouts would not make sense historically.

While this would make sense historically I think gameplay should be the priority here so I’m against this.

If villagers are able to garrison, the town centers cannot stay as they are. I mean how would you hide in this town center 11? I think they should be reworked to have some kind of shelter at least.


Comprehensible! Perhaps having formations since the Stone Age won’t look that much troublesome from a historical point of view, as even in those early times people might think on strategies to bring them an advantage over other tribes. Either way it’s open for debate!

Haha yeah, you are right! But as I said that’s a minor subject on the bigger scheme of things, and honestly I like Age I a lot and don’t expect the buildings to be changed like that. I’m anxious for new content, nevertheless!


It’s not a big deal if you don’t have access to enough military units though. It’s just a small grouping thing if you just have a few soldiers, not a big deal.

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I like the idea of a foot scout, but having a unit that can’t be trained feels weird, even if the unit is only useful for scouting. (I guess this scout would have a pretty weak attack.) I don’t see a problem with it being trainable from the Barracks. If it’s untrainable, maybe it could automatically upgrade to scout cavalry when you build a Stable?

AoE1’s handling of mounted units is a bit weird anyway, since you can train Cavalry immediately in the Bronze Age, whereas Chariots need Wheel to be researched first. So Cavalry come before Chariots, the opposite of what happened in real life. (Meanwhile, Stone Throwers don’t require Wheel despite having wheels!)

Either this, or just have Trade Carts available from the Market - I don’t have a preference. Would Trade Carts require Wheel?!

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about the garrison of the city center I would suggest that it was a technology from the bronze age, unlockable in the city center and as you suggested there was at least one building inside like a tower for example.

Actually Cavalry needed tech to research first, but that idea was discarded. There where lot units which initially needed unit tech to be researched, before you could train them, but most of these things were discarded.

Age of Empires - The Cutting Room Floor (


Interesting… but weird that they kept some of those upgrades. In particular, Short Swordsman needs an upgrade (not in DE) even though it’s weak compared with basically any other Bronze Age unit.

On second thought, I agree with you here! But…

…I liked this idea even more!

That’s right! In the game, chariots are the only cavalry units for some civilizations that historically never had cavalry in this sense, like the Egyptians. On the other hand, civs that had strong cavalry in their history also use chariots in the game, despite don’t being known for use them in battle, like the Romans.

Playing this game since childhood and never had thought about that :sweat_smile:

Well, I use to think more on a guy leading a donkey carrying some baskets, something like the Greek Donkey Caravan in Age of Mythology:




I guess they gave Romans chariots because the Romans famously raced in chariots. Romans could probably justifiably have the entire tech tree, so I guess the developers made their choices about what to give them based on what players (who probably get a lot of their knowledge of history from pop culture) would likely associate with them.


This makes sense a 100%! Other example is the placement of Hoplites as a universal heavy infantry unit by their popularity, despite being a spearman unit unique to the Greeks, at least by name.