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

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.

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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.

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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

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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


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.

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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.

Just to complete the circle, you missed things like the Cataphract, as an anti-infantry counter.

But these are UUs that intentionally were made to break with the counter rules.
They would lose their destinct specialty if we would spread it too much.

I think making an Infantry that is less vulnerable to archer fire is fine. As long as it isn’t directly countering it, it can be an interesting additon to certain comps (or key part of a new comp we haven’t seen yet).

I don’t know if I want to see a common GC unit then if there would be an anti-archer infantry unit…
Or an everymans Cataphract… we already had such a thing basically in the Sicilian Knights… And not really fun tbh.

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Sure sure, I just felt like the Cata was missing from the list, and I wanted to include it.

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Had to adjust my Guard unit concept a bit. It would have been too easy to cheese out infinite Food out of it. Now you only get back what you would have to pay for a new unit when you disband one.

I think that might be an interesting concept for a unique unit of a civilisation bonus for a civilisation but I don’t think it should be something that many civilisations can do.

Me too. But many don’t.

I think he want’s an archer resistant infantry not an archer counter.
An infantry that doesn’t get killed by archer quickly but also doesn’t do any bonus damage against archers either.

That’s actually a cool idea but I’m not sure if the AoE2 engine can do that.
AoE3 has similar bonuses already. Some units get more HP if other units of the same type are close by.


Imperial Age stats

Base stats

  • 30 Food 40 Gold
  • 70 HP
  • Infantry and Eagle Warrior Armour class

Defence mode

  • 10 Attack
  • +5 vs cavalry (camels, elephants, etc.)
  • 2/4 armour
  • 0.9 speed
  • gives +1/1 armour to surrounding units (max +2/2) in range of 1 tile
  • Is build in this mode by default
  • Toggle button always switches to this mode in mixed selection

Offence mode

  • 15 attack
  • +10 vs cavalry (camels, elephants, etc.)
  • 0/0 armour
  • 1.1 speed

In offence mode with equal blacksmith upgrades they would lose a 1v1 vs. a Cavalier with bloodlines with a small margin.
The Shieldbearer has exaclty half the HP (70 vs 140), does effectively do 23 damage while receiving 12 damage in return, if the attack speed is the same. But the cost of the Shieldbearer are nearly half.
In defence mode they would do worse because they do less bonus damage against cavalry.
If you have Paladins you don’t really need to be afraid of them anymore.

In offence mode they do more damage (+3) and a little more bonus damage against cavalry (+2) compared to Flemlish Militia.
But they have 5 less HP, 1/1 less armour and also cost more Gold, but less Food.

Compared to a Elite Ghulam they do nearly the same damage against Archers (only 1 less in offence mode) but have the same armour (defence mode) but not both at the same time.
Also the Ghulam is faster and does 50% extra damage to a second enemy unit.

Against most infantry they would just die. They can only hold up against Halberdiers because they have basically no base damage and only +1 against Eagle Warrior.

Champions would kill them relatively effective thanks to their +8 Eagle Warrior attack bonus. And they also cost half as much Gold.
Even a Long Swordsman might trade equal against them.

Castle Age stats

Base stats

  • 30 Food 40 Gold
  • 60 HP
  • Infantry and Eagle Warrior Armour class

Defence mode

  • 8 Attack
  • +4 vs cavalry (camels, elephants, etc.)
  • 1/2 armour
  • 0.9 speed
  • gives +1/1 armour to surrounding units (max +2/2) in range of 1 tile
  • Is build in this mode by default
  • Toggle button always switches to this mode in mixed selection

Offence mode

  • 12 attack
  • +8 vs cavalry (camels, elephants, etc.)
  • 0/0 armour
  • 1.0 speed

The difference between the 2 modes is a little smaller because the armour of the Defence mode is lower and the speed bonus of offence mode is half as much.
The bonus to surrounding stays the same but you will likely not be able to mass as many of them but at the same time they are more dependent on this bonus because of their lower base armour.


It is hard to tell how well they would to against archers in practice.
They don’t process armour and speed because they have to choose between either of those.
Anti Archer units usually need both.

They should hold out quit well against cavalry in most cases but cavalry can always choose it’s fights.

Generally they want to be in offence mode when fighting melee units because up to 4 more armour is probably worth less then 5 more attack.
Also the range of the armour bonus is only 1 tile so in many fights many of them won’t have the full armour bonus.

The other hard to answer is how they would combine with other units.
Adding some Skirmishers would make the combination very good against archers while still being resistant against cavalry.
Adding both Skirmishers and Spearman would make it a very well rounded army against anything but the Militia line.
The Spearman and Skirmishers would benefit a lot form getting more armour.

They are also inherently weak against siege because they want to stay close to weak units (like Skirmishers and Archers) to give them cover.

Balancing options

  • Attack speed: Tweaking it between 1.8 (knights) and 2 (Long Swordsman). It could also depend on the mode they are in.
  • Training time: A slow training rate would make them bad at reacting to enemy compositions quickly and also make them harder to mass
  • Needing technologies like Long Swordsman to be researched to be trainable would remove a potential early Castle Age powerspike.
  • Upgrade cost and time to Imperial version would determiner how viable they are in early Imperial Age.

This could potentially be problematic. If you mix just a few of them into pure militias you get militia with 3/3 armor. Basically a combination of Teuton and Malian militia bonusses. Even halbs would get a boost against skirms, taking 2 less damage per shot.
This would basically allow any civ to make a goth-like army comp. Ofc not usable in the same way as goths do it with their flood, but it would still be a very potent combo that would be really hard to deal without any specific infantry counter like HC.

You potentially also could just mix in a few of them in the defensive mode into most of them in the attack mode. Imagine these things in the attack mode but with 2/2 armor…

I personally would prefer if this has only one mode, the defensive one. But instead of giving the units around pierce armor, it has just very high pierce armor itself and the Hussite Wagon ability of reducing the damage dealt to units behind.
So you can use it to soak arrowfire against your vulnerable other units. This way you would need to costantly reposition the Shieldbearers to get the desired effect.

I’m also not too sure if I want to give them more PA or more HP. I think more HP is potentially better. Giving them too much PA would make them essentially just an Archer counter which in my opinion defies the general counter wheel mechanics. Then a mix of these plus Pikes would beat basically kill the whole Knight/Archer meta. Imo it would potentially be sufficient if they had like 2 pierce armor but 90-100 HP. This way they would especially excel against Skirms but be less effective against archers.

In the aftermath this unit wouldn’t be a “Power Unit” but rather a tool to protect your own trash units better against the counters of the opponent. It can help pikes against skirms and skirms agains cavalry, even light cav against pikes.
So not a real “power unit” but a nice unit to increase the diversity and dynamic of the already established power unit matchups.

Just want to mention, just found this channel on youtube:

Whilst I think the footman he proposes has some disadvantages, like it has basically no counter except HC. It’s slowness and sheer stats don’t allow for any micro utility.
I also think the design concept of being a “rush counter” unit is a bit weird. I would like to have my power units being active than just standing at home waiting for enemy rushes to beat them up…
I also doubt it would work as intendet due to the lack of mobility. Pikes already have a hard time chasing Knights.

But this guy makes nice videos and has some interesting ideas.
I especially like that he doesn’t takes himself too serious and gives basically all his units a likelyhood below 5/10 .

In general I would also like to talk about which trash unit would potentially pair well with a “power infantry” unit. Skirms? Skirm dps vs archers actually isn’t any higher than archer v archer. Maybe we would need some different, new type of trash unit then?
I personally would like if skirms would be changed to have highe dps v archers, but I’m realistic enough to see that probably won’t happen, just because people are so used to how it’s currently designed.
But maybe there is a potential for a new ranged trash unit that focusses more on damage vs the units it’s supposed to counter but is extremely fragila and needs therefore a meatshield to be of any use.
Any ideas?

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The shield effect should only effect the unit directly standing next to them.
So you would need at last 50% to get the full bonus to other units and you would have to have a perfect checker board formation.
That would require a massive amount of micro.

Ranged units will less likely benefit from the bonus because the formation system will make them stand to far away from the Shieldbearer by default.

Also having to make your army stand close together makes it weak against siege.

Same issue again. You would need at last 50% in defence mode.
Also one of the main advantage of attack mode is higher speed so you would completely lose that if some of them are in defence mode.

That would actually make them them stronger then my proposal.
Imagine the Chinese getting them, they could just park their Chu Ko Nu behind them and basically nothing could counter them other then siege.

This unit is very weak to the Militia line that is already a trash counter.
So mixing trash with them would make the composition very vulnerable against Champions.

Also they are the are very Gold heavy so you can likely not afford making a lot of them in a trash war.

But it is intended that adding some Pikes or Skirms to a Shieldbearer army makes it a good counter against Cavalry or Archers but you can’t add to much or you will weaken the whole formation.
To many Pikes and you become vulnerable against Archers.
To many Skirms and you become vulnerable against Cavalry.

Maybe there is a perfect ratio of Skirms and Pikes that makes the army too strong against everything (besides Infantry) but that’s really hard to tell without testing.