Imperial Unit Type Upgrades and Balance

Hey so I’ve noticed a common theme in games lately that imperial upgrades on units are essentially sealing the deal on battles very suddenly and punishing multi-unit compositions vs all single unit compositions (with imp ups) or castle units.

I had the idea that maybe one way to balance this without changing too many statistics would be to make unit upgrades between castle and imperial age require a garrison process or a slow priest process that requires full health in both cases. This will keep all the unit stats the same, but allow for more of a dynamic late game where an aggressive player with a lot of units on the board can suddenly pop up to instant victory through this condition.

Make castle units return to the castle to receive new armors and have a fast process run (denying new prodcution) and only appying to units that have recovered to full health. As a secondary option the monks could apply the new armor on a slower time scale after healing to full health. New unit productions would have the imp upgrades immediately.

I think this would help stop imp rush snowballing where 1 unit comps suddenly decimate well formed 2/2/2 armies of castle units with mixed units types, where gold expenditures were virtually the same, but suddenly, because of the synergy of the imp type, and the +3 ups only needing to be on the ups for that type, leading to very one sided fights.


Imperial age > castle age. You should get to imperial too. The game has worked this way always and this is for sure the one thing that is not going to change. Suggesting from this:

You haven’t played the game too much (and theres nothing wrong with that), since this is not something that has “lately just appeared” but instead has always been the case in this game. So I’d just like to urge you to keep getting more familiar with how this game works, so you can become a better player too. :+1: There is more to this game than just spamming equal amounts of every possible unit you can make.

To say any more than that on what is the actual issue is quite hard without you giving any actual examples as to what kind of situations (which units they were using vs. which units you were using) you have been in that this has happened, that you could not have done basically the same thing against them, upgraded to imperial and upgraded your own units to fight back.


Slightly off topic, But your point reinforces something I’ve been saying about Goths for a long time: They need access to the Imperial Age infantry armor tech already. It’s like a Castle age unit fighting in the Imperial age with Goth Infantry. Their infantry units are bad because they lack the last armor upgrade and with all the power creep of other civs it’s about time they get it already.

Your idea would only add tons of tedious micro, that wouldn’t be cool. Also mono-unit compositions don’t work that well since you can just counter that with spamming the counter unit. However people avoid doing fancy armies with like 6 different unit types because first it’s not even guaranteed your civ has that much good units types to field, and most importantly too many units in your army will lose to enemy units without countering anything. For instance if the enemy has skirms + paladins and you have champion + camels + arbs + cav archers, you won’t have enough champions to counter his skirms, not enough camels to kill the cav, and not enough archers to try and focus fire. Oh and of course: upgrading too many units is super expensive.


This is something that sounds interesting on the surface, but I can assure you, the amount of micro-management of units in order to do this would make the game significantly less fun. This game’s mechanics have been in place for 20 years, and they work well. Your suggestion might work for a game where you only control a handful of units for most of the game, in AoE2, you’re often producing hundreds of units in the game. You need to be able to pay for an upgrade and have it apply to all of your units in that category, across the board. Otherwise the game would be super imbalanced and not enjoyable to play.

Getting up to the next age and having upgrades before your opponent is all part of the strategy in the game. If you advance to early and don’t have the economy or military you need, your opponent could overrun you with less advanced units but having a major numbers advantage.

Just watch professional players play online, and get a feel for the mechanics of the game. It’s a lot of fun to play once you master it.


@Hardform I’ve been playing AOE since initial release as a middle school aged child. scoffs at new to this title.

Yes I see it too often that one unit comps are simply overpowering mixed armies at a certain stage of the game. Not a full imp rush, but slightly after that where they might have saved on the upgrades to get the gold to start imp, then hard swap over to gold mining and drop 2-3 forges to fast upgrade the one unit. Its very hard to counter this because as soon as they hit the timing for their castle unit upgrade finishing, they’re basically maxed out and the survivability difference just breaks the chances or repelling. It is a high skill move, but it leaves the question of effectiveness of gold spent not adding up all that well.

I used to do a huge mixed army (mostly on Black forest) had large infantry on one side, calvary on the other and ranged units center with siege behind. This strategy can let you keep most options open to you and is very hard to counter. Seemingly this composition is less effective in the new release due to a few unit additions and balance changes. 2/2/2 castle units need to trade just slightly better vs imp upped units with or without 3’s in.

So the issue is where someone has foot on throat situation controling all mid stones patches and keeping map control using a unit that can go up one type in imp (or 2 for calvary). It just makes sense to give a window where someone can come back from this.

And so have I. But your first argument showed that you were not familiar with how multiplayer has worked for quite some time.

You are telling me you are having a massive army in the castle age of 3 unit types fully upgraded + mixed with siege units all the while you are letting the enemy get to imperial? That’s just too much. What I can deduce from this so far is you have not been using this force for anything useful. And even then that is just too much stuff done in the castle age if you aren’t having momentum and getting on top of your enemy. If you’ve managed to get all upgrades for all your units in the castle age and are not even planning to imp yourself, then don’t you think you should probably not get every single upgrade in the castle age and focus more on trying to get to imp yourself too? Again, you are not supposed to be making all types of units just for the sake of making them, you are supposed to scout what the enemy is making and then make units that suit that situation. I can’t think of 1 unit in the game that forces you to make all kinds of units. What your strategy is actually doing here, if you are doing this purposefully every game without actually needing to do this, is gimping yourself from ever getting to Imperial in time. :man_shrugging:

Again more information is needed on what is actually going on, to help you out any further as to what it is that you are actually doing wrong. Since people aren’t actually complaining about this kind of stuff.

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You make it look like that getting upgrades for 1 or 2 units is fast and easy. Except that said upgrades end up being more expensive than researching Imp, that no matter how much buildings you have some stuff like Chemistry or Paladin is going to take eons, and that critically the enemy isn’t going to just let everything happen without raiding or upgrading themselves.

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