Is siege designed badly?

No, variety is good, I think siege is fine. Maybe Petards are a bit weird in that they’re suicide units, but I can understand that they’d be hard to balance in any other way. The original siege units of Age of Kings (Ram, Mangonel, Scorpion, Trebuchet, Bombard Cannon) were all intuitive to me even as a child.

Maybe the latest siege weapon, the Siege Tower could use some tweaking, as atm it’s pretty much a unit for memes only.

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Maybe gate busts are awesome and you need to put some respek on that name.

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Yes, it was always like that; I remembered it wrong.

That was my point; in their intent to make siege not “stupidly powerful”, the developers ended up with an akward mechanic.

Yes, I wish it too. That was one of my proposals: make more siege weapons available in the Workshop instead of the Castle.

The ability to garrison infantry inside them, and make rams faster and stronger, aids to that. But did you know that rams have a -3 melee armor? that means that a melee unit will cause 3 more damage to them. That is definitely something that could be changed, to make pushing in Castle more realistic, like you say.

Beware cuman feudal rams OP

Okay. To make an ammendment: Mangonels don’t have to get in range of Town Centers. For 20 years I thought that the Fletching line gave Town Centers more range, but I was wrong. Just yestarday I was playing scenario 2 of Moctezuma, and an ally did just that: tear down a garrisoned Town Center with a Mangonel.

But, even so. Suppose you want to put Pikemen in front of your Mangonels to protect them from Cavalry. It’s a certainty that said Pikemen will catch sight of the Town Center that you are trying to destroy, and they will charge at it, and will suffer from a shower of arrows. That’s the reason I’m insisting on the benefits of Siege weapons that have a long range: it’s not only to surpass enemy building range, but also so you can protect them with units in front.

The reason I’m so angry is because it was so simple in the first Age of Empires, but Ensemble Studios seem to have made an oath to make it convoluted in the sequel.

Micro is hard. That’s what makes the game intense in the highest levels of play.

But obviously, when the cavalry charge cometh, you micro the mangonels back to let the pikes cover them, and then do your best to cut off the knight approach going for the Mangonels. That’s pretty much the primary situation that explains why players go Monk+Mangonel in pushes. The monks are there to stop knights from knocking out your mangonels and stopping the push.

The better you get at the game, the more control you’ll naturally be able to exert over your units, the more easily you’ll be able to complement the push with something that makes it truly lethal, and do so successfully. It’s vastly deep. Maybe even infinitely so.


siege was designed badly in AOEI due to being soooooooo overpowered.
Now its perfect.
Expensive, lethal but useless if unprotected.
How it should be, actually


Rams, Mangonels, Bombard Cannons and Trebuchets are fine.

Scorpions could perhaps use a slight buff.

Petards and (especially) Siege Towers could use a substantial buff.

All in all it’s fine though.


Yup, removing the - 3 armour is an option, but I actually like the fact they are weak to mele and can even be fought off with vils in a pinch. They still can also wreck TCs and production buildings fine which is good.
And don’t get me wrong, siege engineers siege rams are definitely strong enough and don’t need touched.
Perhaps ordinary battering rams could get a wee buff, so they do +20% more damage vs fortified structures. Currently the acceptable standard is make 4 rams to push a castle (that’s a 840w 300g investment = 14 farms for imp). In almost no situation is that acceptable, going to imp is the better investment.

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But lets be honest, while AoE1 was really good, its no match for aoe2. Not even close. And if siege was OP in the worse game, why would anyone want to copy this?

Siege is in a really good place in AoE2 now, i think the main issue are siege towers (which are just too expensive) and castle age rams, which are a bit too slow imho.

Dude! if you keep saying this, I will keep longing for those times.

Exactly - going to Imperial is always preferable because Castle Age siege is akward.

Because being a worse game overall doesn’t mean that it doesn’t surpass the sequel in some aspects. Developers might lose their grip or overexert themselves. In fact, Siege in Age of Empires I wasn’t overpowered. This concept means that a unit has no weaknesses. Absence of Pikemen would make Paladins overpowered, for example. Catapults and Helepolis are powerfull and have a long range but they don’t have infinite Hitpoints or something like that, so they can be destroyed.

I agree that Bombard Cannons and Trebuchets are fine. They’re more than fine, in themselves. Their problem are of another kind. Trebuchets come out of the Castle, which sucks. And Cannons aren’t available to all civilizations. All of this makes me feel that the developers made Siege hard and inaccesible on purpose. Does anyone have information about this? Does anyone know for a fact that Ensemble Studios wanted to balance Siege by making these changes? I just want to make sure I’m not imagining stuff.

As a guy who grew up playing on the original Age of Kings disc, I really miss my monster range Teuton TCs.

That’s neither here nor there though.

I dont like the talk about weakening defenses in castle age, as I think castles having a portion of dominance in gameplay is an important and fun, though temporary, portion of the game.

The only siege that’s really not useful is the siege tower. I suppose that it could get an arrow firing mechanic again, or decreased cost, but it being mildly useless doesn’t hurt the game.

Maybe a slight scorpion buff, but they are getting some love again. Against players with good micro, scorpions are often a better Archer counter then mangos.

I guess I don’t see what the specific problems are? Sure, castles are powerful, extremely so in castle age, but they doesn’t make for bad gameplay. Quite the opposite in fact, RTS games that are solely offensive and aggressive without decent defensive options are offputting to the non-hardcore playerbase.

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I like the way siege is designed. I think devs should just lower the cost a bit for 2 units: siege towers and petards.

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I could get behind that

This seems like a good point. However, your inital statement was that siege is bad BECAUSE it is different to AOE1. As you point out, this would even be a dubious claim if AOE1 was the better game. It beeing the worse game makes the statment just weird. Yes, it might be smart to copy good stuff from a meh game but there is 0 proove siege in AOE1 was any good.

Thats wrong. Overpowered means it has too much power overall, not that it has no weaknesses. Not sure where your getting that from. And siege definitly was OP. The catapult has the strongpoints of a BBC, mangonel and treb all combined into one unit.

I dont have explicit information, but i know that droping a castle was supposed to be a major point in the game (once heard there was even an alert, similar to building a wonder). Therefor it makes sense that taking those things down would have to be difficult, near impossible in castle age. That beeing said, i dont care what Ensemble Studios “intended”. They created an amazing strategy game that is not about flashy micro, but about controll over strategicially important areas. Thats what counts.

I agree, I also like the way siege is designed and balanced right now.
I also agree with your statement that petards should be cheaper. As their only purpose is to surprise bust down a wall.
To do that you already need to invest 650stone into a castle. So petards should be cheaper. Maybe just charge food and no gold for them?

As siegetowers do something similar to petards they should get a changed mechanic. I suggest you keep the price as it is. But you can jump over not only one but an infinite amount of walls/palisades stacked behind each other.

Even calling AoE1 the worse game is VERY dubious. AoE1 still has more viewers than AoE2 for major tournaments and competitive play… So its better in some way, even if its just for a very localized demographic that represents the majority of AOE series viewers around the globe.

Source to back this claim up because I’ve literally never seen aoe tournaments advertised the way aoe2 ones are and rhe wiki has no aoe tournaments listed


You know we all do have a browser and can just go and check liquipedia, right? So making statments like will make you look pretty dumb?

AoE1 tournaments of the past 12 months were
-Some small brasilian 3v3 tournament, twice - TOTAL pricepool was 600 dollars. The matches never made it to YT, so i can’t check viewer numbers.

This list is comprehensive. Liquipedia does not list ANY other tournaments for aoe1. Only those two.

My main gripe with siege design is it’s emersion ruiningly unrealistic. Siege weapons in this era should be good against buildings and pretty much nothing else. They should be few in number and never unescorted. Show me the great battles in history where catapults charged archers, or where there were trains of battering rams. The only siege unit that’s done well is the treb. I look forward to more believability in aoe4.