Individial balance for lobby games

Hi guys.

I really love AoE and I really enjoy lobby games with friends (so this is not about the ranked stuff, but it might be interesting for those who really like to have a fun game with their friends, who are far away from getting an even game). But since more often than not there is a big skill gap within a certain group, there are only a few ways to balance things out (like going 2v1, one goes random or picks an awful civ for a certain map). But these options often lead in the same way. What could be awesome for lobby games, could be the option for a “disadvantage mode” (I’m not very creative about the title tbh), which you could use to balance things for you and your friends (this should of course be agreed to by both sides). This could include the following possibilities:

  • Individual Pop Cap for both sides / Teams (2v1 on a Black Forest game is basically insta-gg for the stronger player)
  • Countdown for one side, during which they cannot do anything (this is already possible by kindly asking, but it would be nice to include this as an actual feature in the game)
  • A system which affects the mapmaking (for example the stronger Player gets fewer goldspots / stonespots / berries / reliques, more aggressive wolves, only 2 vills; or the weaker Player could start fully walled, with a tower near his gold, stone and berries or with a military building). This could come with a level System, the higher, the harder your map, the lower, the better your map.
  • A one sided regicide / sudden death mode. (If one loses the king / TC, it’s over, but that’s not the case for the other side; also this would mean for SD that one side cannot build more TCs)
  • Map is revealed for one side / more LOS for buildings and units.
  • Restrictions in which techs can be researched (no loom Spikes me, but maybe restrictions for the archer / cav / infantry line could work as well; also no eco Upgrades could be a nice… well, addition)

I am fairly sure this would not work for lobby games you play with random strangers, but this might make matches with your friends more even. And it would be nice to hear other suggestions.

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