Is it just me or Roman is actually pretty terrible

I have been experimenting Arabia Roman since its release.


  • 5% eco bonus sounds great on paper, but feels like it is the only true bonus and it is not enough

  • Infantry armor

    • Maa armor is a joke, too expensive (blacksmith causes 150W) and does not solve the problem maa has(lack of speed and cannot reach)
    • Longsword feels like joke too without supplies…
    • Spearman 2/2 armor does not feel impactful
    • Pikeman 4/4 armor seem to be the only actual impactful use of the double armor bonus, but pikeman itself do too little damage
  • Scrops are cheap, but they (scrop+infantry!!!) get shutdown by mangoels too easily. Have to rely on rams/mangos to do the work (which Roman have 0 bonus on mangos and marginal bonus for ram plus pikeman)

  • UU are fine, but they produce giga slowly.

  • Feels like I have to play knight anyway, but then why am I not playing Berbers/Franks?

Also would like to see how Roman does in water/closed maps


Romans are fine.
Just play them as your typical Knight civ. You can open anything standard into Knights.
And in the very lategame you have these nice options with the legionaries and ballistas.
Centurions are really only there for their aura on the legionaires, just make 1 or 2 of them to apply the buff.

Not the most exciting civ, but with the solid eco they can work kinda.

The eco is just too far from fine, like Slav and Khmer have multiple bonuses and much faster farming speed than Roman.

I can prob name a few more civs thay have superior bonuses - the problem is then, "why I even bother with Roman if I can play X instead?)

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Roman eco is better than Slavs.
Khmer is probably still a bit better tahn Romans, but not massively. Romans have an advantage against Khmer in that their pikes have more armor, so you have a small advantage in that Knight + Pike mirror matchup.

Romans eco is generally a bit more flexible than Khmer, so i can see some advantages there.
And ofc Roman lategam is superior to Khmer, so you can make arguments for it.

Posssibly they fall behind Khmer in the current Arabia meta, but that’s not so much surprising to me.

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Any particular reason?

Afaik Slavs actually have better eco if we are comparing farm plays only.

First Romans bonus kicks in already in Dark Age.
Then they have bonus to Wood which helps building up that Farming eco. So whilst Slavs might have faster working farmers, romans can just have more and earlier, that way their eco is way better balanced in the transitioning phase to castle age.

And ofc Romans have bonus to all ressources, not only farms. They can even jsut put 6 on Gold and spam double range archers if they like. Or get the stone for a castle a bit faster.

Yes this is on paper.

On actual gameplay I can only run a 19min Castle age with Romans, but I can always do 17min with Khmer and only slightly slower for Slavs.

I suspect that the eco bonus does not work on farms tbh.

I don’t think so.
I think the biggest mistake people do with Romans atm is trying to go for Ballistas + Ballistics in castle age.
The upgrade is just way too expensive at this stage, and mass ballistas still don’t work as mangos + onagers exist.

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Would like to prove wrong, but I just tested locally and a Roman vill takes ~25sec to collect 10F while it takes 20sec for slav vills

I tested the roman eco when they released it. And despite the overall farming rate is increased by about 10 % since DE was released, romans still had 5 % more as the eco bonus suggest. And the same with all the other res.
I would be very surprised if devs would have changed that.


I know that 5% bonus is supposed to be strong, but I just feel so disappointed after actual playing, that it is not game changing.

The eco and infantry is good imo, just not op.

Romans seem similar to Vikings. (Unspecific eco bonus, tanky infantry and strong navy.) But Vikings are maybe just a bit better, except for Scorpions and Cavalry.

I wonder why so many navy civs are also Infantry civs. Vikings, Malay, Romans, Japanese, Dravidians. Is it a pattern?

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Can you explain more?
Specifically the points I mentioned - I feel like the infantry bonus is next to nothing

It’s navy + archers which synergizes well as they both benefit from the same upgrades.
Then Archers are usually well paired with infantry, so many archer civs get good infantry bonusses or vice versa many “infantry” civs have good archer play despite missing some upgrades.

Can you explain more?
Specifically the points I mentioned - I feel like the infantry bonus is next to nothing

The Infantry has +1 armor and+1 pierce armor in feudal age, so archers only do 2 instead of 3 damage, what is meaningful since it is the main counter, that isn’t much of a counter because of this. But what I have more in mind is going for like 10 MAA later not a rush at the beginning of feudal. The disadvanatage of not having supplies only kicks in after 10 MAAs.

In Castle age the infantry has +2 meele armor and +1 piece armor compared to gambeson civs. It is actually better than Mailan Longswords because of the meele armor, but mor expenciv because of the lack of Supplies. But there is not much of a counter to Roman Longswords. Good piece armor make them good against Archers and they also have an edge against Cavalry because of the meele armor. 1 centurion in addirion makes theme even better. The good thing is that it is good against everything, and you can blindly make them.

In imperial age the infantry has just +2 meele armor compared to gambeson civ infantry, and a bonus against infantry. So there is not a piece armor advantage anymore, but then tehre is also the unique tech, which make them hit hard, especially if Centurions are around. But the Infantry ######## more conterable in Imperial age with ranged units. So I think the goal is to end the game in Castle/Early Imperial age with Infantry push, but the good eco makes it possible. But I like civs like Vikings and Malieans where this kind of Infantry play is possible, and Romans are just similar.

Also the bonus armor for the Pikemen-line is something special, that makes them better against cavalry than other civs. Is there a better Pikemen-line civ? Mabye just Goths and Byzanties because its so cheap.

Issue of MAA is that

  • It is too food extensive, and
  • It just got kited/walled forever.

The moment you have 10 MAA your home is likely struggling to 4 archers already.

+1 armor in feudal age is not cheap and I dont see the benefit justify the cost.

Xbows really counter them unfortunately, with good enough micro.
Otherwise we would see more Malian longsword plays against meso civs.

They seem to do better on closed maps, where Legionnary spam is really powerful with 2 centurions. But Gunpowder civs look quite hard counter to Romans sadly.

5% better villagers is superior to slavs bonus in most cases. It applies in the dark age, not just in the feudal age; it applies to ALL your villagers, not just your farmers, and it also lets you build faster. For example, a roman player could likely build 3 houses instead of 2 without getting housed, which gains you around 10 free resources right there. Roman players in treb battles will usually beat non-roman players because of faster repairs. Etc.

Issue of MAA is that

  • It is too food extensive, and
  • It just got kited/walled forever.

Yeah, but the Roman eco bonus and the extra armor help in both regards. If it is enough is another question, but which civ has actually better MAAs?

Japanese attack bonus seems useless against kiting, unless you have an overwhelming amount of MAA, that is only possible on specific maps like Four Lakes.

Goth cheap MAAs are imo worse against Archers compared to Malians/Romans. The army numbers seem to matter less than the armor in this regard.

Burmese +1 attack useless like Japanese against kiting.

What is similarily good are Malian MAAs, because it is also +1 piece armor. It is the best thing you can give to MAAs.

Celt MAAs are maybe ok, but I have not much experience with them.

So I would say Roman MAAs are top tier MAAs. If MAAs are just bad regardless is another question, and this may depend on elo. So if there is a problem it is a problem of MAAs in general and not a problem of the Romans.

They both have better MAAs.

The timing of MAAs are the most important - so MAA bonuses that does not require a blacksmith is much better than Romans.

You can do e.g. 18P MAA with archer followup with Japan, but for Roman you just have to wait for a blacksmith and 100F for it to work, which is so terrible.

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