Ideas about this thingy called siege

I’ll skip the complaints.

I envision siege as something bulky, powerful on the offensive and hella weak on the defensive. With that, it should be a game changer (as usually is), but also must be protected, guarded, or it should be easily destroyed by a few melee units.

Speaking unit by unit:
Rams: They are fine, now;

Siege towers: People gotta use more walls before I can talk about them;

Springalds: They are actually fine, although is weird that they are such snipers, still. Specially in castle age, is hard to deal with them if you really need siege to face your opponent in the battlefield. I would recommend a slight reduction in range, so they are powerful, but must expose themselves (and don’t have the same range as Culverins, with RST imp tech);

Mangonels: I believe this is the only piece of siege workshop unit I think is fine. It hits like a truck, have nice setup times, is not exactly fast moving (although would be nice to move slightly slower) and it’s not a tank by itself;

Counterweight Trebuchets: I love this unit. Great setup times, nice damage output, the best range out there and must be protected, either by units or terrain. Can force a turtled up opponent to come out, or just make him constantly repair, so he spend resources and his villagers don’t gather more. BUT it’s too expensive, for my taste. 750 total resources is heavy for Castle. Probably reduce it to 650 total res, or 700 even. Just a little something so we see more of them on the field, allowing us to see more Castle Age endings, instead of everything dragging out until bombards.

Traction Trebuchet: Just don’t allow this to be built in the field and we are ok. Can even reduce it’s cost, if the other treb receive such treatment. Yes, I know the mongol player can just move his siege workshop forward, but that’s not the same. It adds a queue time, it cannot be power built, still demands 300w investment from him, and so on. Besides, he will probably want Greased Axles, so it’s not a net loss;

Bombards: Well… this is tricky. They are powerful, yes, and it’s good they don’t deal area of effect damage. Their price feels right, but they more faster than they should feel, are tanky as heck and setup too fast. So, in order: reduce their movespeed, like 5-10% of it, their HP must go down by some 30% (even if their price 1k res) to allow proper diving in order to torch them and their setup times must increase by 1,5x-2x time. Yes, I know that’s a lot, but hear me out. This will demand from players to always have units around their bombards. We have a problem with mass bombards that can run by themselves and still fight well against melee units before they close in. This way, if you leave your bombards unnatended, they should die, even when massed up. And I know, cavalry could try and dive in to kill your bombards… unless you have a few spears there to protect them. Or a lot of spears if cavalry is the bulk of the opponents army lol. The point is: you’ll have this mini-game of “protect the siege”. As bombards have only 10 range (could be 8, for my taste, but one thing at a time), you have to expose both the bombard and your army, in a forward position, in order to properly siege a Keep, or walls. So if you don’t protect your siege, you’ll lose a lot of unit in said siege (which feels right, honestly. Have you tried climbing up walls with people throwing rocks, oil and arrows at you?) and reap no rewards. If you sucessfully protect you siege, you get to trample your opponent lol.
French Cannons: Same as bombards, but with reduced setup time. That’s their advantage, and allow for a lot more flexibility in the battlefield and siege situations. And that’s fair, to my eyes.
Culverins: Considering they are an anti-siege unit, I believe they should kill bombards (non-clocktower) in one hit. Usually, as bombards are massed up, they can fire back into the culvs and generally win. The reason for that is that the Culverin player cannot mass them up, due to the fact that they are way to expensive for anything than destroying siege. If culvs could deal some damage to building, it would be nice, but I still prefer that they have their setup time heavily diminished, or even removed, so they can be microed, at the very least. Besides, against Springalds… it’s just sad. I know that culvs are more population efficient, but even at max range they usually kill one springald… and die to the other 3-5 of them (specially due to springald range, actually). So this is the thing, increase Culv bonus damage against siege, being only clocktower bombards the one to survive it’s shot, and reduce/remove its setup time, paired with reduction in springald range. There you go, these bois can work, now. And it will pump Abbassids win rate up, too!

And about some techs:
Improved Roller Shutter-Triggers and Improved Siege Engineering: I know mongols learned a lot by integrating other cultures they conquered, but game-wise long range springalds is a Rus thing, while building stuff in the field is an Abbassid thing. Yes, I understand the thing about cultural exchanges and whatnot, but I repeat: that’s a lot going for this civ. Let them have other advantages, regarding their units, but it’s weird that they have the Traction Trebuchet, due to having “weaker siege” or something, but being able to have those springalds and build stuff on the field like that. It just doesn’t feel right.

And I think that’s it! Did I forget something?

EDIT: I forgot the Ribauldequin!! Oh lord. it’s been days since I created this topic and I just remembered this poor siege piece now. Well… It’s a very nice unit, but it’s range it’s usually it’s downfall. It needs a very strong frontline to shield it. Well… I think that reducing it’s cost can be nice, because is a unit with a high chance of just dying.


All true observations.

The problem is: It basically goes back to what AOE2/3 did, and reverses the “Design Decisions” of the AOE4 team.
By how slowly and half arsed they handled siege related changes (which have been some of the loudest and most repeated requests in the community), they seem to prefer keeping the game in their little rainbow colored design bubble and any kind of reality check against siege gameplay of previous titles is brushed off as “toxic players who cannot handle change”.

At the end of the day so much could be achieved just by stirring in that pot of unbalanced floating point values and giving us some directions to test (like the ones you propose here). But instead they hold on to bs like the clocktower cannon or those race car springalds.

Don’t hold your breath, m8.

In my opinion, the solution for siege is actually quite simple, and aoe2 shows us how:

Make the siege projectiles not following the unit targeted, but instead make them hit the place where the unit was when the shot was fired.

In other words, or in aoe2 words, remove ballistics from the siege. That way using siege it would require a lot more effort and skills, and fast units would actually be able to kills even the biggest mass of bombards or manganels.

The remove of ballistics and tumb ring effects from aoe2 to aoe4 was always a mistake in my opinion, but it was especially a problem for siege as we can see, since it doesn’t require any skills to use, besides massing it.


Make aoe4 siege more like aoe2 siege


And age 3 siege…

Literally all other age siege.

Attack ground has been a staple of the age series, the fact that attacks track on units and we have homing mangonel shots and heat seeking arrows is just a blatant failure in comparison to other age games.


Yes I know mangonel shots can be dodged but the shots still home onto the unit unless it goes out of range, so unless you dodge by going out of range your units will still get hit.


Not a fan of those either, but they aren’t that game breaking after all.

But the siege is really too much simply to use. In the late game, there is no skill of correctly micro your siege, but it’s a stalking context where wins who is defending or who has more numbers and can afford to lose some siege. That would change is siege would be more difficult to use, instead of just patrolling it.

Yeah, it is not even consistent: You still can dodge (start moving the units AFTER the salvo was fired), but it is much less logical and therefore harder to learn naturally compared to AOE2’s system. Same goes for things like animation cancelling. Nothing fun about executing that micro task, while AOE2’s dodging via movement felt right.
They literally replaced simple systems with pure cheese and ticked some “modernized successfully” checkbox.

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About animation cancelling, there’s on the top of the list for bug fixes. It was never intended.


Yeah but you need to change direction after the shot is fired.

In aoe2, even if the unit is just moving from the point A to B, and a manganel fire at him, if the unit is able to move out of the place that was when the shot was fired, the projectiles won’t follow the unit.

To actually hit the unit, you have to use the attack ground command, which requires skills and careful planning.


Counterweight Trebuchet

Think is too expensive outside of that its fine.

For bombards. They’re late game unit and should be powerful. I don’t see issues with them. They’re already slow and if someone goes heavy comp then just hit them somewhere they’re not and slowly wear them down and not just go a move to their comp

Mangonels and Springalds more like AoE2. But please, cannon more like AoE3.

I would rather not see cannonballs move slowly through the air like a balloon.

They should be fast and hit the location where the unit was at the time of firing, like in AoE2 and AoE3. And cannon should be very weak to melee. But please no slow moving cannonballs. That doesn’t feel realistic.

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Ok, cannonballs should be fast, ok, but not a tracking missile. If the unit moves, it should be able to avoid being hit.

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Everything’s been said, Aoe4 siege feels like tanks or laser-guided missiles in COH. but it should be like AOE2: slow, dumb (missing) and easily destroyed by any group of 10+units. Even 1 knight.

I’ve had success retreating from mangonel, then as soon as the shot fires, running back towards the mangonel to destroy it, completely missing any damage from the shot. Timing is key with mangoes, once the shot leaves the mangonel it can be avoided

All Sounds good to me.

Exactly. Mangonel should get same treatment as NoB. Very slow shot animation before it does anything

In my opinion castle age siege is fine. The problem is when late game comes in and it becomes an all out siege brawl, to the point where you can have your whole screen covered in smoke because of how many canons are on the field and you can’t even tell what is going on.

I think bombards need to move much slower and have much less hp than what they have right now.
If there is one game that handles siege well is aoe3. Even though that game has loads of issues the one thing they do well is handling siege, yes its a different time period but their principles can definitely be applied on this game too, specially when imperial is reached. Their canons are powerful and game changers but they do take time to set up and shoot, they move slower and really limit the mobility of the army, cavalry is a real threat and most importantly anti-siege(culverins) do the job perfectly well. Aoe3 culverins outrange every single siege unit except for mortars which are used as anti building only and can’t target units, and they do the damage that they should.
On this game siege is way too mobile and tanks and one civ has a much tankier and faster bombard that has the same range as anti-siege and that can also do high damage to buildings and units and on top of that they trade cost effectively against units that are supposed to be their counter.


Thats exactly what I meant : |
My post contained the link to AgeOfNoob’s video about the topic… Maybe I should’ve marked it better:
Age of Noob - Deep Analysis of AoE4’s Mangonels! - 5:44

He mentiones that the ping could be problematic for hitting that dodge-window. But I’d argue that even the sometimes horrible input delay can be a problem.
It definitely introduces a skill check. But not a fun one.

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That’s an interesting point, most of my mangonel shot dodging is vs ai, Ping could make or break that ability easily