It's just a never ending game of harassment

Literally every match is like this now. Mongol, or French, continuously harassing your base. Over and over again. Rinse and repeat. From villager pack to villager pack. Kill some villagers, run away. Run run run. This is all this game is now. It is sad, and extremely not fun. Is this really what you meant the game to be, developers? Absolute joke.


Build walls, build towers, put pressure on your opponent - there are quite some ways to make it harder for your opponent or grab initiative yourself.
But if you expect to just sit back, greedily boom and not get punished for it, you’re playing the wrong game I think. I’m glad this game has more strategies to offer than big frontal attacks.


I think the problem is that the defensive capabilities are weak. Stone walls get destroyed by far to easy. The towers on stone walls are also not strong. Same for castles. The placing of units on walls is also not very useful because the stone walls are so weak.

Furthermore it is necessary to place units in an outpost that they even shoot. They should shoot without the need to place units in it.

Besides there should be central updates for all outpost. It is annoying upgrading every outpost by his own.

Moreover there should be an upgrade which will change the wooden walls to stone walls.

Unfortunately the games orientates more on rushers than people who like defensive play and counter attacks later.

Now that the cost of wonders has increased it would be appropriate to increase the defense capabilities. Otherwise non-rushers are too much disadvantaged.


They are so strong that they were completely banned in the biggest AoE4 tournament…
I think you have wrong expectations and that is that by placing some buildings for a few hundred ressources you should be able to completely nullify an army worth 10x as much. The game would be terrible, if that was possible.

They do. You just need to pay for it…which is good. Defense needs to cost something, unless you basically want to play wonder race.

Unfortunately “people who like defensive play” is most of the time used to cover up that fact that it describes just bad players. Defensive play works. Actually the biggest tournament so far was won by probably the most defensive pro player. He uses walls and defensive structures more than (possibly) any other top level player. His strategic understanding is amazing.

You can play defensive very well, it’s just that it still needs skill and more effort than placing a tower and then going afk. What you want is the game making up for your lack of skill by buffing defense structures, so attacking is basically not an option anymore.

This game is difficult and that’s good. Just like chess is a difficult game and it’s good. Learn to deal with hard situations or just play casually and accept that there will always be players better than you, whose attacks you will not be able to defend. Both are perfectly valid options. Buffing defensive structure beyond reasonable margins, just so that bad players have no trouble defending, is not!


Good players will harass your economy.
Simply put.
Either defend your base with walls and towers or accept that your open base will get raided.

Yeah it seems to be the case, what is the alternative? Should they balance the game so that both players should just sit there and wait till age 3?
As most RTS games go, being proactive and aggressive has its advantages.

Outposts do shoot if you upgrade weapon emplacements onto them.

You just need to learn to deffend better.
For average players this game highly rewards aggression and highly punish passiveness.
But you will see that this is not the case on higher level games because as players become more skilled at deffending their rank goes up.
You can see in the n4c how the most aggressive civs are the ones with lowest win rates, including mongols.


I understand your frustration, and it takes awhile to figure out how to defend against early aggression. Some tips I have learned against pre-patch French and Mongols as Abbasid (when they were awful):

  1. Understand your opponent is sacrificing economy to attack you in Dark or Feudal. If you are able to fend off these early attacks, you should be in a stronger position. Keep your buildings and units as close to the TC as possible. Don’t give up!
  2. Scout. I can’t stress this enough. Your opponent can switch up strategies quite easily. Or rush with specific combos that you will need to counter. Or circle your base, looking for a soft spot. Knowing what’s coming and where will give you time to counter with units of your own. A two scout opening can also gather sheep so you can safely collect food under your TC.
  3. That being said, French will always attack with knights (and possibly archers), English will with longbows. Post a few spears proactively near your economy against the French, which should scare them away and give you time to build behind.
  4. I would argue against too many outposts unless your gold mine, treeline, berry/hunts spawned a bit too far from your Town center. The reason is because a tower is static and expensive early on. Units are weaker, and require more micro and time to mass, but give you more flexibility.
  5. If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em. A good defense is a strong offense. Etc. I started playing as the French and just out-aggressed other French.

I hope this helps. If you can recognize the early aggression is coming, it is very satisfying to beat them back and punish your opponent.


Well, with the new patch we will have arena thanks to modder, so that should solve your problem.


They’ll just start complaining that rams are OP.

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Welcome to competitive RTS. Forcing your enemy to make mistakes by playing aggressive is such a basic thing in competitive RTS I seriously don’t know why you are complaining. It’s no problem if ppl are not having fun with it, they can still play with other casual players or just do some no attack until xx matches. However, complaining about one of the core elements of competitive RTS is just not valid as its a concept the game design is based on.


The main issue here is that units which are under attack, are not being slowed down in movement speed.
That’s why you can never punish an army which is inferior to yours.

Yes, bcse there is little micro and therefore battles are boring. The best thing to do is just run then attack and repeat with military units, with vills you don’t have any choice but to run. This is why the game is so boring as it focuses too much on macro.


That’s the nucleus of a RTS game—things to react to in real time.

I wish all Civs could harass from Age 1 and that Age 4 was some rare occurrence in big team games. Or in other words, I wish this game were like other games in which the early game is worth playing well.

If you’re being rushed by knights or whatever is happening in your matches, react in real time with an appropriate counter; if you can’t think of one in the moment, analyze the replay until you can. If that doesn’t work, come here and put into practice what others offer.

Always blame the game last.

Anyway, to avoid getting spanked by Knight rush, you simply have to scout well so you can prep properly. Nothing cookie cutter, just do what will obviously work.

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If you want to protect your farms in a good manner, make 8 farms and 1 tower around a mill.

Wall it with palisades and you are basically good to go for the rest of the game, withstanding food eco harasment.
(Make sure you have one gate in direction of your TC)

If you can hold it out, without arrowslits on the towers do so, and upgrade to springald inplacement in castle age.
And make it an stone tower.

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2 to 3 bombardment shots are enough to blow away a stone wall. By strong walls I mean something else.

Stone walls help if you build them in the second age. From the 3rd age onwards, they are whittled away like pudding.

Building stone walls means using villagers for stone early on, which means you can build fewer units.

This also means that you get to the 3rd age less quickly. When you reach the 3rd age, however, the walls are no longer worth anything.

The cost-benefit ratio for stone walls should be much better.

As an alternative to strengthening the stone walls, one could also reduce the siege unit damage, especially from bombards.

Outposts should be able to shoot without an upgrade. Then they would be more efficient at the beginning of the game to make raids more difficult.

In addition, one should not have to update each outpost individually. This is too much micro-work.

@breeminator Rams are ok. They don’t have excessive damage like bombards, for example.

I think trebuchet are also fine. They destroy stone walls quickly, but they are weak against units.

The biggest problem are the overpowered bombards.

@Julian7494 Unfortunately there is no mode to allow attacks only after x minutes. Even if you play with people you know, there is always someone who doesn’t stick to the agreement. There needs to be an option that makes it impossible to attack before the x minutes. Unfortunately this does not exist.

@Pomknight Please not. There are many players who enjoy it more when fully developed armies meet in the 4th age. If all the civs attacked in the first age, the game would be even more of a rush.

I find the comparisons with pro players problematic because they are a very, very small percentage of the player base and most players will never play in that league.


Thank you very much for the good tips. There should be an Art of War challenge that learns how to defend well from raids and in general. Among other things, your tips should be mentioned. This would especially help new players not to stop playing after a few frustrating games.

I look forward to the arena. It would still need the option to attack only after X minutes.

I think certain features that you know from earlier Age of Empires titles should also be expected to be delivered by the developers… But I am very happy and thankful that there are great mods who add such things.

I think with the modding tool that’s just about to be released (or has it already?) there will be no problem implementing the game mode your looking for.


I hope so. Would be highly appreciated.

Nobody has to become a pro or only attack in the early game, they simply have to understand the basics of RTS.

Those who don’t learn to scout will simply never achieve adecuate counter play in an RTS game, no matter how the game is rebalanced or modded in favor of the super late game, unless they mod it into something other than an RTS.

Besides that, it is inevitable that one day the general level of skill will be what I am playing at right now as the meta becomes standard across the board.