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

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.

What I am actually concerned about is the Micro capability.
Imo to make a good power unit it needs to have some micro potential, to make it feel revarding to care about these.
To get people to like a unit it’s in my opinion essential that if you care about the unit, you get rewarded.

That’s one of the reasons why I don’t think this area of effect isn’t a good feature, as it’s either absurdly hard to get the units spread out as you want. Or you just add so many of them that you don’t need to care about the ########## ### then you basically lose all micro potential as the unit can’t be seen as one independent one but a part of a bulk that always has to move together.

If the Shieldbearer instead gets the mentioned feature of the Hussite Wagons it can and even needs to be used as it’s own independent ####### and keeping positioning of your army can work as some kind of micro feature. Especially in combination with pikes + xbow this would allow to get better trades in drawn-out skirmishes.

In my proposal I gave the “micro” ability of disbanding the unit. When you disband the Guards they will get back to their homes and spend the wealth they got from pillaging, which then benefits your eco over time.
I am not completely happy about this ability as it requires you to disband the unit, which isn’t necessarily “caring”. But it has the potential to achieve the desired effect: If you pay attention and disband the units which are on the verge of dying you get a reward in a ressource payback.

Other ideas for micro features I had already were regeneration and the different stances. But stances that only aplly to themselves, not the surrounding units.

In terms of Regeneration I could even imagins some kind of “indirect” Regeneration bar. A bar that slowly recharges like with a speed of 10-20 HP / MIn. But it depletes/heals the unit at a way higher speed like at 50-100 HP / min. Monks would heal up that bar after fully healing the unit, too. The bar could have like 50 % of the units HP. This would allow for some interesting skirmish features, that revard you for pulling back injured units and heal them up. They are then way faster able to participate in a new battle than other unit types. But the utility is limited, at some point you would need to recharge the bars if a lot of your army already used it up.

With the stances it would be kind of similar to your proposal, but without the area effect. In the “defensive” stance the units would have higher armor, but move way slower. In the agressive stance they would move faster and have increased damage output. This would be expecially useful in battles against archery and would allow to “micro” with the stances against the arrow salvos - switching to the defensive stance just at the moment the arrows arrive and then immediately back to agressive so they can continue chasing. This would potentially result in the unit being basically the hardest to micro, but also the unit where you can make the biggest impact with your micro (at least against archery).
If the agressive stance also adds range to the attack, it could also be very useful tool in battles against melee units, as you then could try to set up a frontline in the defensive stance and use the higher attack and range from behind to dish out damage. This ofc will be very hard to execute as the opponent most likely don’t will it make easy for you to set this up. Currently melee engagements work completely different to that “straigh line ideal”, so it will definetely be very hard to execute.

But I am actually more interested to hear if there are any other good ideas how to add a good micro potential to an infantry unit. The “easy ones” in speed and range are already gone.
But this allows us to get creative.

Imo it’s not that hard to make a “balanced” infantry unit in the midgame. It will most likely be a “soft counter” to Knights and be soft countered by xbows and/or CA. The harder part is to make it appealing from both the aspect of “good/cool looking” and also features that make it interesting/attractive to use them.
And tbh the Militia line is… neither. If any, it only has meme potential in the midgame.

More Ideas?

I’d like to see an infantry unit with both ranged and melee ability which either auto switches between the two depending on how many tiles they are away from the enemy or can be switched manually with a hotkey. This is historically pretty accurate, since ranged units usually had short swords or knives as backup to their ranged weapon.

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I think I already proposed one idea for this in reference to the roman legionaries.
It would be basically a Militis/Skirm combination with the twist that ths Skirm javelines are limited and recharge at a very low speed.
This would make the matchup with archers very dependent on the mass of units involved.

Idk if you can give the infantry “normal” arrows like archers. It’s very likely if you do so, they would just completely replace the archer line as the infantry units are so much more durable than the archers.

So if you give them some kind of ranged ability it has to be specialised for being useful in very specific unit interactions. Which ofc then brings the responsibilty of using that ranged ability well to the player.

I think this can become a great micro feature. We just need to think about for what this ranged stuff shall be useful and for what not. And ofc if there is any weaponry historically used that justifies our design…

I think they would play out more like the existing ranged infantry units already in the game like Throwing Axemen and Gbetos.

If I think of a “Power Infantry” unit I think about a melee unit…
Otherwise I would have used a term like “ranged” or so.

I also think it’s better to leave that kind of profession to the already made UUs in Chakram, TA and Gbeto.

I would be fine if the Infantry unit had some kind of ranged utility, but not as the main weaponry.

Maybe it could be a mainly melee infantry unit which has the ability to throw only one projectile before a melee fight which does big damage, but you can’t throw it again until your ranged weapon bar has recharged. Similar to Coustillier recharging or monks faith regeneration. Or maybe instead of recharging, the only way to get another projectile is to fully heal the ranged weapon bar with monks.


How about a dutch Goedendag infantry unit. Which is an infantry with a slingmace. Would be good against heavy armored (melee) units. Like Knights, Militia-line.
[A]: I corrected myself, it would be a Maceman or a Flail Maceman.

[B]: Which would create a triangle dynamic between three infantry units: Swordsman (Militia line) → Spearman → Maceman → Swordsman (Militia line).
It should have an ability against heavy units it would add a melee counter against knights, preferably more effective than spearman. And thus it should cost gold.

And preferably a bonus against heavy armored unique units: Coustillier, Cataphract, Huskarl, Ghulam, Leitis, Mameluke, Sergeant, Boyar, Teutonic Knight, Berserk.

Sadly i do think they might be too similar to the Dismounted Konnik (in aesthetics), Urumi swordsman and Obuch (in power dynamic or how their attack works).

But to create this i imagine there would be way more coding needed like armor classes and attack bonusses. Thus this would probably make it an overhaul of the armor system.

[A]: we often say Goedendag in Dutch but thats a form of pike, the actual name is Strijdvlegel in Dutch. Which is the mace on a sling. Where the Konnik uses a Morgenster, not to confuse the names.
So i’m refering to a “Flail”.

It was mostly used in Europe and Central Asia. But to make it a more generic unit it would probably be better to have a Maceman instead of a Flailmaceman. Thus allowing other cultures also access to this unit.

For example the Mesoamerican to have a more intense answer to european heavy infantry and knights.
Where Inca’s would not need this for they have slingers. But they’re also famous for having Maceman so i would also considser them for Inca’s.
African civilizations ofcourse too.
Since this unit itself will be a light armored one. And Spearmen and archers should have a bonus against it.

C: The maceman would be very effective against knights in early castle or any form of heavy infantry spam in early castle or late game. It should be weak against monks.
D: castle age against heavy units, and probably a counter for post imperial age heavy units.
E: You should be able to train it very fast because its weapon does not need much skill. And the bonus i explained earlier against unique armored units. It should have no range and it should have regular mobility, atleast faster than a swordsman.
F: I think it should cost around as much as a swordsman. But preferably making a swordsman more expensive. Because the maceman really is just a counter unit. Even if you train FU elite teutonic knights you would add in archers or spearmen to deal with the macemen.
G: it should be trained with skirmishers to deal with archers or the maceman should be combined archers or light cavalry to deal with monks.
H: spearmen, archers and probably also skirmishers, and ofcourse cavalry archers and monks should have bonusses against it. But imagining the regular mobility you would have to protect your monks though with some spearmen.

Maybe name it Militia Maceman?


Another idea to bring more balance would be an Arrowthrower with an Atl-Atl weapon for the Meso american civilizations (Aztecs and Mayans).
It would be a counter unit to heavy armored units. It would be a skirmisher with bonus against swordsmen and knights. Probably a melee armor ignoring ability.
It’s projectiles should be faster than a skirmisher and do more damage.

A: Atl-Atl, which is a drive/stick to launch a spear with your hand. Which gives it a lot more power, range, accuracy. And thus makes it way more lethal.
B: It should be good against militia line and knights. It would be weak to close combat. Light cavalry, infantry, archers. Kinda anything, it needs protection, a meatshield.
C: immense micro potential to take out heavy units like knights and champions. Or maybe also other european heavy armoured melee units.
D: they should be available in feudal age, and come to fruition against castle age units (knights, man at arms + long swordsmen).
E: high mobility and longe range, low armor, low hitpoints.
F: low gold cost. probably wood and gold. It would be a cavalry archer equivalent for Meso Americans (Aztecs, Mayans) since the CA also has the potential to take out knights in hit and run. Although this unit would not be able to outrun a knight.
G: spearmen and eagle warriors to protect it against cavalry and archers.
H: same as B: weak in close combat.

I hope this could inspire a bit.

Isnt this the flemish militia?

Flemish Militia has the spike goedendag, not the flail one.

I just want to list some Ideas I plan to elaborate at a later stage. They aren’t completel thought through yet, as they all have unique features that will completely change how they are working. I try to give my best in explaining my thoughts and ideas behind the concepts.
All the names are only “working” names and not to be seen as an elemental part of the design, just to give the units a name for once.

(Roman) Legionary

A unit armed with a Javeline/Spear and Shield. It also carries 3 Javelines that can be thrown at distant targets, pretty much like a skirmisher. These Javelines recharge, but at a quite low speed.
The unit is supposed to be used in the midgame as mostly an all-in tool. Good in masses against the two main lines in Archers and Knights (bonus damage) if you have a numbers advantage. Starts to fall of against higher numbers of archery units and is also vulnerable against other infantry (eagle armor class). The pushes can be stopped by defences and mangonels.
The micro ability of the Legionaries is restricted to the few javelines they can throw. Using them wisely is an important factor for the success with them.


Squires were the common accompagnions of the Knights. Often also using Horses that weren’t trained to participate in Combat. The squire gets trained on horse, but can’t fight from it’s back. He has to dismount to be able to fight. Then it will take some time until he can get up on the horse again.
Squires are strong in melee combat and against buildings. But they are as dismounted infantry unit also vulnerable against archers. The high mobility on the horseback makes them a good multi-use tool that can be shifted around to the locations it is needed.


An infantry unit with a one-time use Hand Cannon. Relaods very slowly. Comparable with the Legionary but the ranged attack is way more flexible in it’s utility. In the exchange it can’t be used as often. Can potentially have a higher weakness against archer type units but less against melee.


Inspired by one proposal here. It’s basically a Milita type unit that also carries a bow. Not a crossbow. So when using the bow it’s basically an unupgraded archer with higher HP. So the damage ouput is significantly lower than that of the xbows in castle age. In imp then basically comparable to the persian trashbows.Should still be quite weak against archery type units (potentially also skirms). But the ranged mode can be used as an herassment tool pretty much like crossbows. When using the ranged mode to weaken the Knights, they can be effective against Knights. Less effective when the ranged mode isn’t used to weaken them.


Unit that can walk over certain terrain types unpassable for most other units ( eg straggler trees). Can also build small bridges and field fortifications. These are basically palisades, but more expensive, faster to build, less HP and they have the Hussite Wagon effect of reducing the arrow damage (possibly even by 2/3 instead of 1/2). Pioneers can attack through these Field Fortifications (possibly just by having 1 range). It could also be thinkable of allowing all allied troops to attack through these fortifications.
BIggest weakness is the mangonel line which can kill the fortifications quite easily and therefore open the area for the other unist to pounce on the pioneers.

Staff Slinger

Also inspired by the thread about this unit. I think personally that it would make sense to give the slinging staff ability just to an Infantry unit. The slinging ability could have a quite long reload time but an area damage that can be used either against buildings, but also against enemy units. Whilst the sling ability needs to recharge, the unit can be used as a decent melee fighter, but is probably quite vulnerable to archers in this mode.
Can potentially be very effective against very defensive opponents. But potentially also very micro reliant like mangonels.
(Basically some kind of symbiosis between a mangonel and a militia).

Lastly I could also imagine, inspired by a proposal in this thread, some kind of mix between a TA and a militia type of unit. Like with the Legionary and the Handgunner the uses of whatever weapon is thrown are limited. The difference is that it deals melee damage and has lower range. This would change the matchup characteristics and possibly make the unit kinda bad against heavy cavalry in comparison to the other units unless it is given some bonus damage in the melee version.

FIrst unit, the Bowman.
The Bowman has two modes like the Ratha. One where it is basically an archer type unit and one where it is an Infantry. As the name suggest it uses a Bow in the ranged mode. In the Melee mode I’m not sure, but it could be a Glaive or Bardishe, a kinda light two handed polearm.
It is also different to the ratha in the aspect that it takes anti-archer bonus damage whil in the ranged form and anti-infantry bonus damage whilst in the melee form. In both forms it takes anti-eagle bonus damage.
The unit is intended to be a midgame unit of choice if you plan for a heavy army investment. Higher than your opponent does. It’s intended to be kinda snowbally and suited for a big push.
Atm it costs 45 G and 60 F and isn’t affected by Supplies. But there is the option to let it be affected by Supplies, to make it more easy to spam in higher numbers.
There could be a small conversion resistance added if Monks turn out to be too efficient in stopping a Bowman push.

Name Bowman Elite Bowman
Armor Class Eagle Warrior Eagle Warrior
Armor Class (melee) Infantry Infantry
Armor Class /rangerd Archer Archer
Produced at Barracks Barracks
Production Time 25 s 25 s
Production Cost 45 G, 60 F 45 G, 60 F
HP 100 120
Speed 0.9 0.9
ROF (melee) 2 2
Attack (melee) 11 Melee 13 Melee
Atk Bonus 6 vs Standard Building 8 vs Standard Building
Atk Bonus 2 vs Cavalry 4 vs Cavalry
ROF (ranged) 2 2
Attack (ranged) 4 Pierce 4 Pierce
Range 4 4
Accuracy 80% 85%
Melee Armor 1 1
Pierce Armor 1 1
Benefits from Infantry Upgrades + Archer attack upgrades
Upgrade 120 s, 500 F, 600 G

Main thing is a good balance between hp, p.armor, cost and speed. Another important thing is special property of that infantry unit - what it does and how is that useful in a common gameplay. Third thing is how well it sits with the tech tree of that civ. Like if its a good unit but the civ doesn’t even need them in most cases because of cheap or easier alternatives, then that’s not a “power unit” either.

Low speed, high gold and food cost, yes even after supplies. And the ranged version has poor stats to be useful. 4 attack and 4 range is just terrible and its much better to never switch modes. All you can do is when you have 50+ numbers, take a couple of hits in ranged mode before the melee units cover the distance and then switch to melee. But basically this is just a tankier Viking champion that costs 2x more gold.

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