I have one big issue with the handicap system

So it is great that they added in a handicap system for custom games. It allows us to more easily create balanced matches between friends.

For example, a group of us play AoE2 once a week and we leave me at 100% and then up everyone to an amount where they feel pretty even, mostly around 120%, some a bit higher.

The handicap multiplies gathering speed, production speed, etc… which is all fine.

The one I take issue with is that is also multiples bonus damage done by units.

This entirely changes the game not just in situations of me vs one of them, but also when they fight each other. Counters are suddenly much harder and more punishing.


I agree. The bonus damage ruins the flow of the game and forces you into only gold units.


Yeah it really feels like it screws with the balance. Halbs for example, become absurd against the units they counter.

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Setting AI to 120% and setting humans to 120% are two different things. One is meant to make it harder, the other is to let people who are learning grow faster by cheating the economy and whatnot so it becomes about strategy again. From the lens of teaching someone and making it about strategy I think it is great to include bonus damage multiplier. It helps friends learn to “See” the bonus damage to positively reinforce the counters to units.

“Woah, he made knights and my pikes WRECKED him! I’m gonna make pikes next time!” “Hey, those crossbows really just eat up my pikes… dang it! let me switch to something else… man ! Skirms are just murdering those! they must be a good counter!”

As far as two people with handicap: are you suggesting it should add a sicilian bonus resistance in addition to bonus damage so 120% gets 20% more bonus against people who are just 100%, but the other 120% people would resist that bonus damage back down to the normal 100%?

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I’m suggesting it shouldn’t mess with the damage values at all.

The other buffs are plenty and don’t screw with unit to unit balance really.

I don’t buy the helping learn counters as a valid excuse at all. Counters already work without being X% stronger (which most likely ends up being more than that % stronger considering break points and armor values).