How could a new "Power Unit" Infantry look like?

I already have some Ideas, but I don’t want to spoil too much, so I only leave like a fewconceptional ideas out here for anybody who is interested in creating something.

A) Weaponry: The unit must have some “cool” weaponry that allows for iconic animations

B) Interaction with the other Power units. Both in terms of fighting against each other, but also from strategical aspects

C) Micro potential. Very important for me. It must feel revarding to micro these guys. So they must have something that can turn the tide in battles

D) Powerspikes. When shall the unit appear first, when shall it have it’s biggest powerspike? Other powerspikes also?

E) Other utilities? Something that compensates for lacking range and mobility?

F) Gold ratio. Not as important as the others, but can define the strategical utility. With a high gold ratio the unit can be made quite strong and could be used with low economical investment, a lower gold ratio would make it more sustainable , potentially even allow to switch to other power units at later stages of the game.

G) Unit Comps. What are the units it should be paired with. Especially what Trash unit it should synergize with the most?

H) Counters. Yeah, what options should the opponent have to deal with them. Also think about trash or semi-trash (militia line) again.

Just a few suggestions of me, what you can think over. Ofc you can add other aspects if you see that’s not completely covering the “needs” for a new power unit design.

I would personally focus on making militia-line more usable atm and less trash. Then add other units

9 Likes

Even if the Militia line could act as a semi-trash counter to that new power infantry?

Well if a new unit is widely generic like Knights then i agree…if it’s something like Eagles which 3 civs have the nothing would change

2 Likes

Beyond I think Militia-line should be the infantry “power unit”, I can imagine the new one in a spot between sarjeant and Obuch.
Tentative stats (castle/Imp):
HP: 75/90
Attack: 10/13
Armor classes: Melee 2/3; Pierce 2/3; Infantry 4/8
RoF: 2
Speed: 0.95
Bonus: +2,+3 vs Eagle Warrior; +2,+3 vs Standard Buildings; +4, +6 vs Siege
Cost: 70F 40G (Is not affected by supplies)
TT: 25

Adding a completely new generic infantry to all civilisations seems a bit extreme.
But I agree the game doesn’t have enough cool and also viable infantry units.

How about some regional Infantry Units?
The only regional infantry unit atm is a cavalry replacement.

Shieldbearer

  • Available to South-Eastern/Eastern Asian civilisations (Not for Japan)
  • Equipped with shield and spear (No Spearman armour class!)
  • High piercing armour
  • medium attack bonus against cavalry
  • weak to infantry (maybe even Eagle Warrior armour class)
  • Can switch to offensive mode, removing the shield (and therefor the armour) but gaining a little speed and extra attack damage.
  • No attack bonus against building (other then Arson)

This unit would soft counter Archers and Cavalry but be countered by Infantry, especially the Milita Line. That means they should come out on top in a trade with Knights and Crossbows with a small margin but lose hard against Milita line units.
They have 2 modes, one with the shield in their hand and one where they put the shield on their back so they can 2 hand their spear.
In Default Mode they are a little slower then Milita Line but faster then Teutonic Knight (0.85), in Offensive Mode they are as fast as Spearman (1.0). They are also effected by Squires.

The switching of the modes would require some micro.

If they become available in Castle Age they would be a good answer to Knights because they don’t require an upgrade. Being a good answer to both Knights and Crossbows they might be a little too good.
But they don’t have that much offensive potential because they don’t do much anti building damage.

Axeman

  • Available to Northern/Eastern European civilisations
  • High attack damage
  • Spearman armour class (very weak to most ranged units)
  • Medium attack bonus against infantry (like +50%)

A good infantry counter for civilisations that don’t have good ranged units. They also do decent against Cavalry.
Their Spearman armour class makes them a bad choice against any ranged unit.

This unit should maybe be already available in Feudal Age. That would also remove a potential early Castle Age power spike.

Guandao/Naginata/Glaive/ngao/Woldo Infantry

  • Probably eastern Asian but theocratically also European
  • Uses a spear with a large blade at the end
  • Does AoE damage
  • small attack bonus against cavalry
  • absolute trash killer

This unit would double down on the anti trash role of the Militia Line.
The anti cavalry attack damage makes them also better against Scout Line units.
But they are not as good against Eagle Warriors and Buildings compared the the Militia Line.

Also potential power spike in early Castle because they don’t require an upgrade. Good answer to Knight rushes.
They might also be the most useful in late game where AoE damage becomes more important. And obviously because they are good against all trash units.

This unit is in conflict with my first suggestion as it would be kinda similar in some ways.

Bax de Corbin

  • Available to Western Europeans, Imperial Age only
  • Attack ignores armour

They would do well in both anti Infantry and anti Cavalry roles.
Pretty good against some unique units.

This unit would only really be useful in some matchups, generally against civilisations that use a lot of melee armour.

Scimitar Infantry

  • Available to Middle Eastern and South Asian civilisations
  • Fast infantry that is good against Archers and Spearman
  • Decent Pierce armour bad Melee armour
  • Bad against cavalry and other Infantry

One of the main weaknesses of infantry is the slow speed. This unit wouldn’t have that issue.
It’s also kinda a trash killer, being good against Skirmishers and Spearman.
Most of the civilisations that can train this units have good camels so they don’t need an infantry that is good against cavalry.

Not sure when, or if, this unit would have a power spike.

5 Likes

Most of those sound like UUs, and the last sounds a whole lot like a Ghulam without the pierce attack.

2 Likes

Regional units are like half unique units.
Only available to a hand full of civilisations.

I think they are the perfect kind of addition to AoE2.
AoE2 civilisations felt very different on release because there weren’t that many of them
Now we have so many that they could need some more differences.
Regional units don’t exist in a vacuum, they are used in combination with unique units and of course generic ones. Giving more civilisations more interesting unit combinations that are not just Crossbows and Knights.

2 Likes

My impression is that it would be easier to comprehed fpr the community if it’s just one infantry unit.
Don’t say it needs to be given to all Civs. It’s thinkable that only part of them (like only the european civs) get access to it.

But why shouldn’t there be inspirations from regional units/weaponry to make it?


Here’s my own impression, what it could look like:

The main thing for me is, that I currently struggle with finding a “good weaponry” for this unit. As imo to make it work in the midgame it must be stronger against both x-bows and knights. Mre pierce armor is usually signalised with a shield, but if you wear a shield you can’t use a spear or pole weapon effectively, which is usually the indicator for being good vs cavalry.
Ofc one option could be a heavy-armored foot soldier armed with some kind of pole weapon.
Like in this video:

The heavy armor could then justify a very high gold ratio of that unit. Potentially even higher than that of Knights. Meaningthe unit would only have one or two powerspike in the midgame and early lategame where it can be produced sustainably.
The question is then ofc, what are the counters?
And I think it should be mainly the militia line. Especially as most civs have absolutely viable militias in the midgame. Another Option would be to give it the spearman armor class, but with some armor/resistance to it. Then skirmishers could be kind of a soft counter. But it would make archers a counter again (which could be compensated by making it generally a bit stronger).
But with this design of high gold cost, is it really necessary to have a pure trash counter? Or is it probably sufficient to be countered by semi-trash (militia) like the eagles?

The issue with the high gold cost is, that it will fall of very, very hard in the very lategame. Even more than heavy cav does currently. As it even can’t run away AND being melee like the heavy cav.
Some ideas:

One Idea is a “disbanding payback loan”.
When you disband/delete that unit, it will give you a slow income, a trickle of ressources like the feitoria. But for a limited amount of time. In the aftermath you gain back either what you spent or potentially even more than you spent originally. It just takes time, so it’s not really sufficient to empower your eco (in the midgame) with it. It’s just when you see a situation where it doesn’t gives good value anymore you can delete them and use the income for transition to other units.
This can also be used as “kind of” micro utility of the unit. As when you fight, especially in melee, you could delete the units that are already in the verge of being killed to get that ressource trickle. This would be especially interesting for pro players to use.
The idea comes from the pillaging aspect of the mercenaries at that time. They pillaged the regions they were fighting in and brought the goods home for a better living. This means the pillaged goods added to the economy of their homelands. The time delay is ofc representative for their journey home and then spending it over the course of their afterlife.
And the more soldiers you send home, the more you can benefit your economy.

I think 1-2 regional units per DLC would be a good pase of adding them.
There are also potential none Infantry ones to be added too of course.
But so far all regional units are some kind of cavalry or cavalry replacement.

So adding one infantry and one archer regional units per DLC doesn’t seem to much.

The unit you describe just look like the perfect counter to a Swordsman in real life.

1 Like

Well that’s “kind of” true. The thing is… Swordsman were just not good. Especially one-handed swords.
Whilst the militia line carries a sword it actually acts more out like an axeman. And Axes are great against heavy armored infantry units.
Am I responsible for the devs chosing the wrong weaponry for militia in the first place?

Do you know the history behind the Milita Line?

It was supposed to be 2 unit lines.
The Sword and Shield one starting in Castle Age. (That’s why MAA look like Knights and Long Swordsman look like Cavaliers)
And the Two Handed Sword Line starting in Imperial.

The Spearman was supposed to be the Dark Age unit.

AoE4 revived that idea. The HRE is pretty much that.
AoE4 also brought back the separate Archer and Crossbow lines and also Lancers as cavalry.

AoE2 is a very old game and people have been playing it for decades.
There is no way a fundamental change to one of the main unit lines can happen. Not only because people don’t like change but also because it would completely destroy balance.
Adding new regional units that mix things up is a different story though.

I think the Campion should keep it’s role as a trash killer and therefor be bad against armoured units.

I’d rather give the Champion and Two Handed Swordsman a small AoE.

1 Like

IDK… I think that new power infantry unit gives also the opportunity to make the militia line an interesting tool against that power infantry in the midgame.
Especially as the militia line has comparably high upgrade and food cost which fits the other counters designs, that they uusally need a bit more time, giving the power unit an initial powerspike until the counters can push them back.

The interesting part is that it would give an incentive to make militia in the midgame. Which I think is a cool sideeffect.

OK, here’s my first attempt. I know I made different proposals on other threads, but it’s not like there was ONE single solution or approach that can lead to a good result.
I read some of the ideas of other people in the Forum and used this as inspiration for that unit design.

In this attempt I try to make the interactions with the other melee units as easy to comprehend for the players. So the design is chose around that principle that a single “Guard”, as I chosen to name the unit is evenly matched with a Knight and a Longsword. Meaning from a cost efficiency perspective it will counter Knights but be countered by Longswords- And it’s easy to assess an outcome of a battle, by just looking at the amount of units involved. When there are more Knights than Guards, the Knights will win, if there are more Guards than LS, the Guards will win. Doesn’t mean nevesarily a “good trade”, but makes it easier to see immediately who will probably win the fight. Sinple interactions, that make it easier to get a feeling for the unit. I think that’s an important feature if we discuss about a new power unit, that it’s combat interactions are easily comprehendable for all players.

To achieve this, I gave the Guard the Eagle armor class and some bonus damage against Cavalry. Wasn’t too hard to then just tweak stats until I got the desired results. I also gave the Guard quite high Pierce armor (2 / 3) , so it takes a bit less ranged damage. Especially important was this for me with respect of Raiding utility. I think the unis should be a decent raiding unit to justify the high gold cost. The higher pierce armor doesn’t makes it an archer counter, especially as archer civs will add some LS as meatshield, which are a good counter.

For cost and Training Time I also oriented on the Knight. It has the same Gold Cost and Training time as a Knight. Meaning if you fight this with Knights in equal numbers you both will lose basically the same amount of Gold. This interaction gives heavy cav players the option to just try to get a bigger mass and trade then, saving a lot of Gold in the process. I don’t know if it’s really a sweet spot, but it’s easy to understand and comprehend: If you manage to outmass the Guards with your Knights, you can still get a favorable trade. It’s “just” numbers.
Ofc as there are huge difrerences between Cavalier and Paladin in the lategame I had to make the imperial Guard to slightly counter Cavalier in equal numbers and being countered by paladin in even numbers. This is ofset by an upgrade cost in between the two upgrades.

Lastly I gave the Guards a special ability. And this might be very controversial. If you disband a guard, you get all it’s Gold cost back, as a trickle over 150 s. But you get MORE food back. You get 150 F over 150 s. The idea behind this is that Guards can be used in castle age as protectors of the eco against possible Knight raids and later disbanded when they are countered by other units like HC. Ofc it’s only possible to disband them while they are still alive, so it will be kinda uncomment to get both military benefits and the ######### payback. But especially to give a micro feature. If you are fast, you can disband guards IN the battle shortly before they would die anyways. This way you can get both. But that’s easier said than done.
The economic payback is chosen in a way that from an economic perspective with booming in mind, you qould basically get an equal payback if you first make an guard and then immediately disband it as if you would sell the gold to make more villagers. So you can’t boost your eco with it. The main idea is, as these unist have many counters in the lategame (HC/Militia, Arbs with Meatshields), they will become useless very fast. The trickleback after disbanding would allow to make a transition to a better fit for the situation. Like the Militia line. But as transitions are costly you need an emphasis to do so, which I try to achieve by giving more food back than originally expended. But only more food, not gold.
Ofc if this trickleback turns out to be too good it can be tweaked down. I just want to make it attractive in the beginning to put an emphasis on trying it out and what you can then do with it.
So it is basically “intentionally put on the edge of being broken”, to see if it will be perceived as a “cool mechanic” by the community.

I chose to make the unit very depending on BS upgrades and also require the LS and be affected by Supplues (with supplies the Food cost goes down from 45 to 30). This way it’s even more costly to tech into it than into the Pikes, giving the Knights and XBows some time in early castle age. Especially in respect to the interactions with Knights this delay is imo quite important. I don’t want to take away the Knight powerspike, I think it’s quite important for Knights to have that in early castle age (though I would probably reduce it a bit, ### not by giving too easy access to a tool that could shut down it before it’s even there). The unit is designed to be more a “late Castle Age” power unit, leaving the other units their usual powerspikes at the beginning of each the ages.
So here is the design, finally:

Name Guard Lord’s Guard
Armor Class Infantry Infantry
Armor Class Eagle Warrior Eagle Warrior
Produced at Barracks Barracks
Production Time 30 s 30 s
Production Cost 75 G, 45 F 75 G, 45 F
HP 100 120
Speed 0.9 0.9
ROF 2 2
Attack 9 Melee 11 Melee
Atk Bonus 3 vs Standard Building 4 vs Standard Building
Atk Bonus 3 vs Cavalry 5 vs Cavalry
Range - -
Accuracy - -
Melee Armor 2 4
Pierce Armor 2 3
Benefits from Infantry Upgrades + Supplies
Upgrade 150 s, 1000 F, 200 G
Special When disbandend its gives a trickleback of the required Training cost over 120 s
Special Requires Long Swordsman Upgrade to be trainable

I very much like change. I also think an old game that does not change is sentenced to death basically, and the game already has changed over the years…so yeah imho a rework could be possible. The real question is if they are willing to do so.

Atm militia is basically a non-unit. Could be removed from the game and no one would notice. So any change is welcomed imho

1 Like

I think that one of the biggest missing unit here is a proper shield based infantry. From a historic perspective, shield formation were pretty common.

From my understanding, shielded infantry were the best melee unit to survive archers. Cavalry weren’t that great unless they could close the distance to archers. Horses were huge targets which were difficult to cover up. This is how the British longbows destroyed French cavalry even while being vastly outnumbered.

So, it doesn’t make any sense to my why none of the generic infantry have shields. There should be an archer-resistant, shielded melee unit imo.

Another idea, which is probably a bit more unrealistic, is a heavey weapons specialist, weilding a mace or war hammer. A slow unit which is good against heavily armoured opponents.

Exactly. I think that buff militia line and add a trash counter unit for it is a better path than add a new power infantry unit.
I proposed the shieldman trash unit a time ago. Casusincorrabil made it too.

I think if militia-line would have a proper trash counter then finally we could have a viable mid game infantry unit

2 Likes

I think the original devs wanted an easy counter triangle. Infantry beats Cav, Cav beats Archers, Archers beat infantry.
And I think that’s a devent approach cause it makes stuff more comprehensible. That’s why I also think, that future infantry in general shouldn’t be an archer counter.

We also see with the example of the Huskarls how strong pure infantry floods can become if one of the units becomes too strong vs archers. The Huskarl is ofc a special case as it often only takes 1 damage per hit and has an additional bonus damage, general high damage output aswell.

Our designs mostly differ in the point of pop efficiency. Something what I figured out when testing with at that time is that archers prefer shooting “weak” targets. So if you make a shieldman to “soak up” arrow damage for your com, it most likely wouldn’t work. Only if you make the Shieldmans appear as “weak target” to the archers they will be targeted more and then soak the fire.
The difference with Huskarls is, that Huskarls just are operated differently. The whole Goth flood is based upon contionuusly sending units in the enemy base. So it doesn’t matter if the Huskarls isn’t targeted first, it’s only relevant that it is targeted at some point and then takes forever to be taken out.
If you want a unit that performs well as arrow soaker you need to trick the archers thinking it would be an easy target.

Not sure about that… I think the low performance of infnatry in the midgame is just due to that archers knights give more value. Especially due to their low food ratio, utility and raiding ability.
And I don’t see the militia filling that complex requirements for being a good midgame unit tbh.

But yeah there are always different views on things. In my opinion it would be better to just leave militia basically as it is, maybe give minor buffs. And make a new, coll mid-game infantry unit that’s fun to play with. Or ofc you can take the position and say why didn’t we made the militia line that appealing unit in the first place?

I do agree that this might have been the original intent, but I don’t think this holds up well at this point. It’s not just huskarl, there are also eagles and ghulam, which are counter-archer infantry. There are cavlary counter archers, such as the genoese crossbow, but mangudai, heavy cav archers and elephant archers can do pretty well against cavalry with a bit of support.

The new unit I’m suggesting is not a full archer counter like huskarl, mind you. They don’t even need to have bonus damage against archers. It’s just a heavy infantry with shields and high pierce armour. The armor can even be directional (afterall, shields only work in one direction).

That gives me an even better idea, albeit for a unique unit. Something like “trample armour” would be cool, I think. This isn’t armour against trample damage, this is a small bonus to armour for all nearby units. Borrowing from the idea of a shield wall, this unit gives an extra 1 pierce armour to adjacent units of the same type, up to a maximum of 2. So, your units will do well against archers as long as they remain in formation, but break the formation, and you are much weaker.

1 Like

I think it’s better to have something that can be counteracted by actively targeting the weaker units.

As I said, archers naturally tend to target the “weak” appearing units more.
This can be abused by letting the arrow soakers appear weaker then they actually are.

For example with something like the shrivamsha shield, but also just by making these unist less pop efficient and taking up less pop space like karambits.

Another Idea could be to give the shield units the Hussite Wagon damage reduction ability (but no damage taken themselves). This way archers would try to target the weaker units behind the Shieldmen, but deal much less Damage in the long run than if they would first target down the Shieldmen and then kill the units behind.

Ofc these are only 2 of probably many solutions. But for me that’s really important to still keep that active micro reward high.

As we I think are conform in the aspect that we want a unit that participates in micro battles and isn’t just patrolled in and then forgotten.