Is Boar Hunt a good feature of AoE 2 early game, or not?

Boar hunting on Arabia, for example :

→ 2 Boars to hunt
→ Not optional, you have to do it, otherwise you won’t have as good a build order as opponent who will hunt boars.
→ Few exceptions aside, almost all build orders will have the boar hunts happen at the same time in the same order.

Is this a good or a bad feature of AoE 2’s dark age early game?


• it complexifies the early game unecessarily, and make it more intimidating for new players to learn.

• those actions are not particularly interesting. They don’t require strategical choice, or thinking. They are just mechanical repetitive early game actions we have to do everytime like clockwork.

• it “wastes” a few minutes every single game, which could be bypassed to get faster to the actual action/strategy choices.


Let me know what PROS you find in boar hunting and why it could be interesting to keep it

Many people like boar hunting but only because they are “used” to it. They’ve been doing it for years, some for decades. So boar hunting is natural to them, they are confortable with it. But I’m not asking here about whether people like it or not, but objectively if it is a good game design feature or not.

Some people argue that boar hunting is needed because it adds “skill” to the game, and removing it would lower the skill cap of AoE2. Personally I would disagree. There’s no depth in boar hunting. Yes, it is skillful, in a sense, to hunt boar correctly, but so is everything else that comes after. I’d rather skip directly to the actual strategical build order without having to do unecessary repetitive actions at the start of the game.

Those are the reasons I feel they made a good choice for AoE4, by not putting boar hunting in. Makes for a smoother early game for everyone, and also an easier game to pick up by beginners. Smart choice there.

Easy to pick up, hard to master. This should be a goal design for every RTS game.
Any feature that make it hard to pick up unecessarily (without adding any interesting compensation in terms of gameplay and strategy) isn’t a good feature, in my opinion.

Take starcraft, for example. The early game macro is simple, easy to pick up. The game itself is deep and hard to master.
It could be done in AoE2 without changing current build orders much by removing boars and adding extra sheep or more food per sheep, for example.

Let me know what you think, and if you can envision an AoE2 early game without boar hunts (on every map).


I’m sorry but I’d rather boars stay. It gives the game more variety. Sc2 is a fun game but it’s very different from aoe2.


I would like the boars to stay, I would even encourage having more variety of maps in the pool with some maps with more or less boars than the regular 2; but I wouldn’t take them out of the game

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When I first started playing, I never hunted boars or deer. Too much trouble, I thought.

At some point, I would get loom and have my pack of villagers hunt boars together.

Then, I had a single loomed villager lure the boar to the TC.

Then, I did it without loom.

Eventually, I milled deer, too.

And finally, I learned to use my scout to bring the deer in.

The beauty of this game is that it provides small goals and rewards to improve your skill set. The boars and deer are actually challenges/rewards rather than annoyances. They demonstrate skill progression.


IMO boar luring is one of the easiest sources of food. I have much more trouble trying to get villagers to take sheep one at a time or having the scout push deer in (do they really need to run all the way back if you’re slow on one click?). Even farm placement takes some planning, but messing that up doesn’t result in a dead villager, just Minor inefficiency. At least berries are easy :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Why not just play empire wars if you find boar luring boring?


It is so a good feature that I think there should be more boars, deers and bushes spread on the map, just like any other resource


It would be fun if standard maps occasionally (1%) provided extra food. Like, a couple of extra sheep or deer.

It would be even more fun in Mega Random occasionally provided wayyyyyy too much food. Like 20 boars or 100 sheep. What a start that would be!

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I think boars should definitely stay. They are interesting, add a bit of diversity to the game, and although I’m not really a fan of it, they do let people go for strats like laming. Also, they do add some skill I think, because of the timing of getting boars in most builds. It’s quite cool really. You normally have the vil come out that has to build the next house, while the boar lurer is running back to the TC, and the vils under the TC are just finishing sheep. It all comes together really nicely and is quite satisfying, but if you mess it up then that can make the game rather … interesting. That’s my view on it. It would really feel like something was missing if they weren’t there.


I got used to Boar luring and Deer pushing, but I really must say that I find it still quite annoying.
If huntables were removed and simply replaced with more sheeps/berries I wouldn’t complain at all.

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I feel like the map would look more bland though if they were removed. Also, they do rather fit the medieval kind of theme, because hunting was quite a big thing.

That has a lot to do with habit. It would feel that way because we are so used to it now. If boar luring had never existed in AoE2, nobody would feel that “something is missing”.
On the contrary, it’s adding it that would feel “weird”. Just a matter of perspective.

So, from what I’ve read so far, the most solid PRO argument, in my opinion, is " it adds diversity". Which is a good point. Not sure it outweights the negatives in my mind tho, as far as I’m concerned.

Empire wars starts too far into the game, at a point when strategic build order choices could have been made differently. (in other words, it removes a lot of the strategy choices compared from a regular match).

What I’m interested in is the point in early game when everything before that is almost identical for every build order out there. I think that point is around after the 2nd boar hunt.

95% of build orders (on arabia) go : 6 food → 4 wood → boar → houses → mill → 2nd boar → point A

Between point A and the empire wars starting point, there can be a lot of variations in a regular match.

If there is a new mode that starts at point A described above, I’d play it.

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And how do you achieve that by removing the fastest source of food in the early game? How much minutes does it take you to perform an action that most players do in a few seconds?

And hunt is exactly that. You can still do decently in aoe2 without hunt. Even at lower levels.

As your skill level gets better you work in boar lures and deer pushing.

Aoe2 is very much an easy to pick up game.


There are boars in AoE4 and you can hunt them. They are kind of a risky tho.

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If you believe this to any degree your entire point is baseless.

boar timing (minimizing idle time and/or rot), front vs back, civ variety (■■■■ I’m goths!), cow vs sheep, etc.

Okay, yes, you actually believe that. Alright. Nothing else I need to see here. Complaining because you don’t like the nuance, or can’t see the nuance, and then pushing change for change’s sake, just like literally every other “change this” thread in these forums.

Be honest. You just want it removed. You left your “add your own reasons to keep boar luring” in order to feign even the barest amount of impartiality.


Another point worth mentioning here is that boars and other hunted animals bring in food much faster than food collected from sheep and berries. The difficulty of dark age is to get enough food to continuously make vills while also accumulating enough food to go feudal. Having just sheep or berries would take too long to get 500 food while continuously making vills, and investing in dark age farms is far from ideal.

The amount of free food is really well-balanced atm, there being enough food to bring you to feudal age when you can start investing in a lot of feudal farms which have enough food to be worth the wood investment. Without boars, fast feudal as we know it wouldnt exist. And if you’ve ever been in the situation where you get through all the standard food and have to make farms to get to feudal, you’ll know what kind of limbo that is

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The argument would inevitably follow towards “we could just increase the amount of foods in the other sources and/or increase the rates” to facilitate a similar start without the need to lure.

The argument is also really lame. By the same token we could just push everyone towards mining a “food vein” with probes so as to simplify the early phase even more. We always like talking about SC for examples and never seem to think about how convenient it is that every planet has glowing blue crystals and glowing green gas we need for all the technologies we’ve previously invented and never need to adapt to different resources.

Too bad we’ve got this world full of antelopes, zebra, cows, sheep, goats, deer, boars, elephants, rhinocerous, buffalo, fish, berries, rice, and grains. So inconvenient compared to just chewing on some sparkling grass. ( - . - )


There are many ways to change that. Increasing food rate from sheep for example, and adding more food per sheep or more sheep.
You could even just don’t change anything at all, and build orders will just have to adapt.
Keep in mind the current build orders have been designed with what ressources we have at hand. It’s not like these exact build orders have objective value and should stay no matter what.

Build orders don’t seem to rely on them and you probably don’t get far behind your opponent if you don’t hunt them, I think?
The problem in AoE2 is that boars are such a powerful source of income that you can’t skip them. If you don’t do them you simply lose the game. (if both players have same level)

Those are details that everyone after a certain elo will have mastered. Civ variety represent a small pourcentage, 90+ % of all civ do them in the exact same order at the exact same time.

With some rare nuances, it’s almost always more or less :
6 food (sheep) → 3 or 4 wood → boar → houses → mill → 2nd boar

Did I ever say otherwise? I thought it was obvious from the start that my opinion is that I want them removed. Guess not everybody caught up on that right away.
People are welcome to give their own arguments if their opinion is different.

Not really, it’s like saying you can do well in starcraft if you start with half the workers. I guess it’s true in a sense, you could still win games. Yet you start with a big handicap and you won’t go very far.
Usually people who start AoE2 do in fact learn boar luring right away, if their plan is to improve and play ladder. I’ve watched a bunch of people start learning the game from scratch on stream. Boar luring is one of the first things on the list.
If the goal is just to chill, of course you don’t need to do anything optimally.

Well, you can’t really use the realism argument there. Because boars are indeed just waiting there on the same spot, almost immobile, waiting to be picked up. Also they literally keep running towards you after taking several arrows. How realist and convenient is that.

Nothing about that boar lure is “realist”. Boars should be moving non-stop around the map and run away at the first arrow you fire at them, and die from one or 2 arrows.

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Been a while since I’ve mastered boar luring. Even use the forum trick.
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t want boar luring to be removed because I don’t know how to do it or have any problems doing it, but because for me, they are just annoying repetitive actions to have to do at the start every single game.

Imagine if feudal age cost 1200 food instead of 500, and you actually had to lure 4 boars instead of 2 ?
Would it be skillful? In a sense, yeah. Would it add diversity to the game. In a sense, yeah, since it’s different from sheep or berries or farms.
Would it be interesting in terms of gameplay? For me, no. Would it feel like a waste of time to have to do those repetitive actions everygame like clockwork because there is no way around it and if you don’t do it you’ll have a handicap (because your opponent is doing the exact same thing)? For me, yes.
I feel the same way for 2 boars as I’d do for 4 boars.

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