List of units that need buffs/reworks [Personal opinion]

Probably an unpopular opinion, but here is a list of units that whenever I try to use/mass, even when including all upgrades and cards, personally feel way too underwhelming no matter what (I tried to used them in all possible roles).

Of course, all in relation to cost and population, since there always seem to be better options.


Excludes water units, native allies and pets/disciples. Since those feel pretty balanced.


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  • Arsonist | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
    It’s a worse version of the grenadier, it’s very fragile and the damage doesn’t even get the grenade launcher upgrade, the siege is nice tho, but for the cost, you are better off with pikemen.

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  • Shotel Warrior (Age of Empires III) | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
    Low damage, low speed, gold intensive, not good enough for raiding and doesn’t even train fast as in AoE2DE.
    In comparation to chimus and coyote warriors, they have similar cost, but overall worse, especially against cavalry because of the base damage (Counting in the faster damage rate). The multiplier only makes them do the same base damage against infantry.
    The one thing they are better in comparation is that they have 30/15 extra HP to chimus and coyotes, respectively.

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  • Flail Elephant | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
    They are like haudenosaunee rams, but more expensive. On the roles it performs there are better options for the same price, at least it can defend itself from cannons and archers if they ever collide (Speed doesn’t help though, but they are better than the units listed above).

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  • Huaraca | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
    The Inca already lack a long range artillery deterrent, the huaracas are supposed to be the solution but they are not durable enough to get close to them, the upgrades still leave them at the range of falconets which means whoever shoots first, wins.
    They are gold intensive and can’t really defend themselves against any unit, I have to strongly rely on chimus and the light artillery big button to fill the roles (Even siege is not good enough, I prefer to go captured mortars or spearmen).
    The shooting animation is the main thing turning them down, as well as the next unit…

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  • Bolas Warrior | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
    Haven’t tested them yet with the PUP update, but all other times I used them, they were underwhelming. They are an expensive support unit to bowmen at range, supposedly filling the role of a “Slow dragoon”.
    They could also be used to fill the role of falconets since they have ranged aoe damage, but without multipliers and decent HP, it’s reduced to only heavy and light cavalry (In the PUP it’s going to be awful against infantry now).
    Hopefully they get to fill the roles they are meant to far better in the PUP update, fingers crossed.

These units feel like they need a bit of a buff or a rework, the bolas warrior is already being looked at with the cost and firing speed being improved, so maybe later they…

  • Improve the costs of the Flail Elephant
  • Improve the speed of the Arsonist and Grenadier.
  • Give the Zouave a charged attack.
  • Improve the training speed and multiplier of the shotel warrior (To make a defensive role unit).
  • Give huaracas faster speed to close in to artillery.

Or maybe i’m too bad at using them. Doing my best here. :stuck_out_tongue:


Sorry if one was ur favorite unit :cry:

14 Likes

i think grenadiers just need to have a multiplier of 1.5 against all infantry and it would probably fix them, if that is too much then nerf the siege dmg.

8 Likes

Just played them in the latest PUP, love’em.
I can kite with them now and mass them with less coin requirement.

They fill their roll of cavalry counter and even though they get wrecked by skirmishers, they can do some support against heavy infantry from afar.

Nice update :grin:

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I would like to add spies to the mix. They are supposed to be anti-mercenary units, but can only fight in melée. About two thirds of mercs are either ranged or horse units (or both) which means they are easily kited away once you spot them.

In another thread I suggested spies should get a ranged snipe attack with recharge timer (like explorers) to make them a more effective counter against all of their target units.

10 Likes


Canada’s bear, they should have 10,000 hp.

Just kidding XD

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In all seriousness Canada’s bear shouldn’t have a penalty vs. artillery, among other buffs Canada should get. It sucks they basically don’t exist they are so poor. It didn’t used to and got nerfed accidentally because US California bear flag could be dropped on artillery.

Really most melee heavy inf qualify too. There’s a reason giving most things ranged resist over melee is such a massive buff. Sigh.

As for spies, it’s hard. I’d rework them altogether and limit their number and make them relevant in a non combat role. I mean sure you don’t want stealth to be too powerful but ehh… there’s a lot of things you can do when it comes to non combat.

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Swedens lands Knecht jaeger combo in post imp with all card and politician is ridiculous unit stats.

Please rework that.

Make the imperial age politician that boost merc stats also increase merc prices by atleast 25%

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Well… either speed OR cost anyone of the improvement is enough for them.

Thanks for creating this post. I was surprised not to see these guys on your list

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Super expensive for what they do, pop heavy and you get kited to hell because they are so slow. Cherry on top, they have the worst cards compared to their power. In Age II 500f for mandarin duck squad while 2 leather canons cost only 150f and do way better, 2 Flames card for Age III (as if they were equivalent to 2 falcs lol); the only decent one is ‘’ Iron Cap Princes’ Army’’ in Age III but even that one could use a reduction to 750 food.

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I was thinking about puttin this one up, but was conflicted about it…

Types: Infantry, siege.
Cost: 170w+170c + 4pop
Dps vs infantry: 60 (siege) + 1aoe
Armor: 64% vs. Ranged


Yes, experienced player know best to kite them down even if they have all that ranged resist, they get wrecked by cavalry and they are pretty expensive. Pretty much a “slower Urumi” but with more damage.
But as a defensive unit, BOY, they do some work.


On a 1v1 this one time…

Let me paint a picture for u:

"There were 40 or so musks and some scattered crossbowmen sieging down my TC.

The enemy was sure to win since he defeated my main army and my settlers were idle for a while, he was relaxed by the favorable situation (Probably went back to tend to his economy).

Now, on a lack of food and war academies I only had 1 type of unit being trained on an adjacent castle (next to TC), 3 flamethrowers, they were my last stand.

When they trained, they came right out of the castle and right on top of the enemy army, right away they started to attack, and in a VERY brief moment (Too fast for the enemy to react) his entire army was down.

He put all his resources and did a lot of sacrifices to pull out that massive rush, so gg was called shortly after."


Look, on an open field, if your enemy does notice you have flamethrowers charging down on him, of course they are getting kited down or run down with cavalry, but as a DEFENSIVE unit, they are awesome, you just need a small moment of distraction and you can defeat an army.

A possible way to use them non-defensibly against a kiting infantry army would be to surround the enemy or corner them, cavalry would be the best bet, even if the army is made of musks, because then, the enemy has 2 options:

  1. If they stop to attack the cavalry the flamethrowers can get in and do the work (The cavalry wont go down as fast as the musks will, it’s a nice trade of units).
  2. If they decide to retreat, they get it even worse, the cavalry snare them and the flamthrowers catch up.

I do believe they need a buff (mainly in armor, since they do cost more than a Cuirassier but aren’t as resistant) but I can’t find them useless with that sort of damage.


Anyway, that’s my defense for the unit :3

1 Like

Great, i feel that this is one of the most important things to improve in the game and on civilization balance, rescue the not so good units that could add so much to the game and improve it a lot. The only one that i´m not sure about is the flail elephant, because i play treaty mostly, so i can tell you that in treaty is a BEAST, i´ll probably say the best unit india has, although in supremacy i´m not sure, i would say it is ok, or even good, cause the main purpose is dealing siege, and in that excels, and its range resistance makes it perfect to reach that buildings and siege them, and it can also keep light infantry (skirms) busy for years, and sometimes even reach them, you sould make a few flail elephants and combine them with gurkhas, that way only cav can do something to you, and by that time their city would be gone xd, also flail elephants get affected by elephant cards so they end up being 2 pop and costing 112.5 of each resource wich is not bad, so i don´t really know if they need a little buff, because i haven´t really played them that much, maybe they do, but a little buff, because maybe they don´t really need it. Also i wanted to add a few more, wich i´m not gonna put all and explain them cause i want to make another post of those in particular, but for example the samurai, it´s my favorite unit, and it is far from bad, specially in treaty, but it still should be a little better, and most of my units are melee inf actually, i´m not saying they should buff all, like for example pikemen and halberdiers fullfill their role, but units like samurai, doppelsoldner, maceman, JPK, changdao swordsman and rodelero, are ok, but they should be a bitt better, for example, JPKs are perfectly fine, i would only suggest adding a +10% speed somewhere in a card, so they can have 4.95 speed, for maceman i loved the ranged resistance and the 2.5 area of effect damage, and their speed is perfect, but i would probably buff a little their hitpoints and their attack, for rodelero and doppelsoldner only their cav multiplier, i feel like x3 is a bit too niche, i mean, pikeman is only for cav with that x5 and siege, and musketeer already have x3 AND has a ranged attack, so their melee attack can use it only for cav, and sometimes for skirms and cannons, etc. but rodelero has x3.5 and has only melee attack, i know that with their speed it increases the probability of they melee attack usage but still, i think they should have lower than x3, just like x2.5 or x2.75 at least, and because of that, increase their melee attack, from 11 to 15 or something, i mean, it is a lot, but rodelero has almost the same attack than a pikeman, and the only reason it only compares with other melee cav is because of unction, that makes it 40 atk but that should be in normal mode, although with 15 atk it reaches 36 so is not much, that is fine in my opinion, then for doppelsoldnerm, the same, change the multiplier from x3 to x2.25, because is a swordman xd it should be able to deal real damage not only to cav, so x2.25 should be fine, and increase melee atk from 20 to 25; then, the changdao, for that i don´t have much suggestions yet because i haven´t watch them in a while but i tink they have a multiplier vs cav of x2.25 so maybe x2.5, and maybe increase their hitpoints and attack just a little but i´m not sure. And finally, for samurai i would say that as we now know that not only 1-2-3-4-5 numbers are able to be the area of efect damage, but 2.5 llike maceman, i think samurai can have 1.5 aoe damage, and maybe increase their base speed to 4.75 and improve the age 3 card of speed cause it seems a bit unfair +10% for +10% cost, but anyway, i didn´t want to explain andd justify all this xd so i´m gonna stop now hahaha.

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Hey great analysis! From experience I have to agree with you in a lot of it.

Flamethrowers do very well in stationary battles, no doubt. Just like you, the only way I’ve managed to get some success with them is with a snaring unit and getting good surrounds. Now I think that put into context of the civ, it is not so great (supremacy).

They are an Age II unit and the only snaring cav you have is a very weak Steppe rider that you can only train in mixed armies, so the snaring effect is quite limited. Moreover, this is the only anti infantry unit that I can think of that needs of another type of unit to even land some damage into the unit they counter and basically do their job. If you build just flames as a counter to infantry timing push, you are screwed because you get easily kited and can’t catch up to units. This totally goes against the basic counter system and it doesn’t take thaaat much skill to kite either.

The other problem is that you need anticav to defend this thing. I’ve seen 5 flamethrowers die to a colonial age huss shipment and I know it’s supposed to be a counter but considering the cost of these things and that they don’t have the range of a falconet to be protected damn… Besides I’m sure you are aware of China’s struggle vs cav, which makes this even harder to deal with. Either way I think that’s acceptable cause there is a counter system in the game that should be respected.

So if the question is ‘‘are they useless?’’ then no, but neither are a lot of the units on the original list. Now do they need a buff? Yes. I actually have a different view on the kind of buff, I think the only buff I would give them besides correlating their actual value to their cards is giving them way more speed (4.75 perhaps) so they can do their job as anti-infantry as intended without being countered by the units they are supposed to counter (because they don’t have the range of a skirm or a falconet either, so they still have to take the risk of getting close and personal which is fine if they have the speed) , and if you wanna counter them you just build some cav and/or artillery later in the game. This doesn’t upset any late game balance linked to the unit either, but it sure helps for it’s viability in supremacy (cause right now I am yet to see this unit in the competitive scene).

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These are the units that I think should be improved:

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Comanche Horse Archer: I think this friend deserves a little more power considering that Comanches were excellent horsemen and warriors. He might improve his cadence or damage capacity a bit more.

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The Zamburak: He must improve his reach and his field of vision in the late game. (I already mentioned it in my forum, but not as a bad unit, only as a unit to improve). Dragons can reach Rank 14 with the Arsenal. Zamburaks could improve one point of reach at age 3 and at age 4.

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The Aztec coyote runner: It is the only “cavalry” of the Aztecs. I think in the late game they should earn bonuses against cannons and guerrillas. I consider that the base damage is not enough. A fully powered treaty faction with dragons and skirmishers and cannons puts them a bit sideways.

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Arrow Knight: It does its job well, but it should have tolerance for siege attacks in addition to ranged attacks.


I don’t consider them outdated and that’s why I don’t put them on my ‘almost outdated stuff’ forum. The ones that I would put is the Indian insendiary and the grenadier who, although they are good units in theory, they are not so much in practice.

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Totally agree with you, all the points are correct, so yeah, they need a speed buff (Or cost improvement).

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Hello there.
Nice analysis of the units, the half about the heavy infantry has some good points, it’d be nice if rodeleros had a higher base attack since they are quite the bad investment (Heavy cav counter ONLY).


Now, about the Indian part, I made a lil’ study, took like 5 minutes and a dive in the wiki:

These are the attacks of all Indian cavalry and the Rajput, they all have their costs and siege dps at the end giving a number of SIEGE DAMAGE PER 1 RESOURCE.

As you can see, I have to agree with you, they are the Indian unit with the most efficiency at sieging buildings, their damage is better than any other according to it’s cost. HOWEVER, they are not the “Oprichnick of building raiding” because of 1 main point, their speed.

In contrary to the Mahout lancer and the siege elephant, the flail elephant doesn’t have nor the range, nor the speed to get close before the enemy spots you.

Also, it can’t defend itself as well, it has comparable damage and health vs archers by cost to the Mahout lancer, but without the speed, it can easily get kited down to death.


I will try to use Flail elephants in my next match, because of it’s efficiency, but it really feels like more of a “in the end” unit, as in “you are already pushing in the enemy base with the other units and now you are making flail elephants to destroy the buildings”.


I do always opt to go age 3 to siege them down, in age 2 I mostly raid their units, but interesting efficiency nonetheless.

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This one could use that buff, it’s mostly a “culverin like” unit instead of a mortar, so would be nice to see them last more on the fields when artillery fights back.


Not so sure about the rest though…
I never really had too many issues with them in my games, coyote for example would only need like a 1 or maybe 2 base damage increase, but not much else.

Also, Zamburak have a speed of like 7,5 and are available in commerce age, so not too necessary to buff the 12 range attack, dragoons have 12 range too.

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It has to be seen from the perspective of the treaty.
The dragon can potentially have a reach of 14. I know its base attack is 12. So I suggest that the zamburak improve one point of reach in tersera and another in fourth age.

The coyote racer specializes against cannons and skirmishers, but has infantry stats and is vulnerable to cannons and just about everything Europeans have (Musketeers, swordsmen, halberdiers, dragons, mele cavalry, pikemen). Giving him a bonus for its specialty would do him good.


Now I know that coyotes are not labeled ‘infantry’, but I think it still requires an added advantage over cannons and skirmishers. The Skirmishers + Dragons + Cannons cobinasion is very strong.

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Yeah I guess this could be done with the Coyote card that costs gold perhaps

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Agree with everything, USA carbine cavalry still need a buff.