Many of the revolts should be reworked

Hello! I make Youtube videos mostly centered around late-game builds. FFAs, big team games, and some Treaty. One thing I love to do is try late-game revolts.
I have done this with South Africa as both the Dutch and British, I have used Canada as British, and I have even used Argentina as Spain in a 60-minute Treaty. While some of these have worked better than others I have enjoyed playing all of them. But there aren’t really Any Other good late-game revolts. (Not counting Mexico) I think there is a way to make these revolts late-game viable without making them OP in 1v1s by following this simple design
The design should be: When you revolt you get an immediate boost to your army or eco, making you slightly better than late age 4, but then it starts to fall off early age 5. But instead of ending there as most revolts do, give them all some kind of way to get, at least, a couple of imp units.
Lemme know your thoughts!


I’m a big fan of the revolution mechanic. I like the all-in concept as a strategic option as well as the opportunity it affords to explore some different country’s history and offer different strategic options to the player.

It is key to note that the typical trade-off for revolting is the loss of Age 5.

  • No Age 5 unit upgrades (+50% attack/ +50% hp)
  • No Age 5 economic upgrades (+50% resource harvest rates)
  • No spies, no blockade
  • No refresh on your unit cards from Ages 2-4

In exchange for giving up Age 5, you get:

  • An all-in where your army effectively doubles in size for a major push
  • Access to a new, curated revolution deck with new play style

Like in real-life, a revolt for independence is a huge gamble. You give up a lot in order to win. You devastate your economy. Doing it requires some preparation (the right decks, the right timing, having a bank of resources while your economy rebuilds, and the strategic flexibility as a player to realign how you play to achieve victory if the all-in fails).

The original revolutions however, have gotten a little formulaic and stale. You sort of do the same things with all of them:

  • Order the all-in attack
  • Send citizenship card
  • Start rebuilding economy
  • Get the handful of unique cards for your revolution
  • Spam forts for defense
  • Swarm out units as fast as you can in hopes of overwhelming with cheap, weak cannon fodder units

I think a lot of people would agree that the Mexican civ DLC opened up a lot of potential for revolutions to be reworked. All 3 of their Age 5 revolutions (Maya, Texas, California) are unique, viable, and fun to play. Not only that, but they break with the standard formula of revolution cards to give greater strategic depth. The new French revolution is an excellent addition along those same lines. Naturally, I’d like to see all of the revolutions reworked with that level of care.

I do want to note that I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are some good ideas in the original/current revolutions that are worth keeping in place, even as the decks are built out and the concepts refined.

  • The idea of relying on heavy defenses and weak units is a viable strategy and should remain as a theme for some of these revolutions. Both Hungary and Romania work really well with the turtle/static defense push style.
  • The USA/Canada/Mexico pattern of opening up 3 native alliances for supplemental units is excellent as long as there’s an option to get the wood to actually use them.
  • Spain does a lot of realigning economies to heavily food-based economies to encourage the use their revolutionary units like Argentina’s granadero or Peru’s revolutionary with mortar attacks.
  • Adding a hero unit like Simón Bolívar or Jose de San Martín are also excellent ways to make civs unique.
  • Lastly, the idea of stacking bonuses which invest in the long-term repetition of INF cards like Indonesia’s elephants or S. Africa’s wanderlust is a great idea as well. These are some of my favorite revolutions.

However, there’s opportunity to refine these:

  • The stacking mechanic gets stale fast. You’re not really making any strategic choice with stacking mechanics. Just get the one-shot wonder cards, then spam that one.

Improve stacking mechanics by:

  1. Offering strategic choice. You get multiple stacking options to choose from. So you can focus only on one or choose to balance a mix of each of the stacking mechanics over time.
  2. Offering the choice between more units or unit upgrades, stronger units or a stronger economy, which particular unit among several types to specialize in, etc
  3. Capping certain mechanics which could become too strong if stacked infinitely over time (ex. capping Mexican → Texas at 6 forts or Mexican → California at 10 haciendas)
  4. Limiting the stacking mechanic to a small number of units, or even just to a hero unit
  • Swarm units are a great idea, but if you’ve ever tried to play with Brazil, you know that very quickly, the VdP clog up your population cap and actually become an impediment to making an army with the punch to actually kill anything. You literally just spam hordes of VdP to get mowed down while you’re pop capped and can’t make the cav or artillery needed to support them. That SUCKS and it actually weakens you the more you go rather than strengthening you. Swarm units need game mechanic support to make them compelling and balanced.

Improve swarm mechanics by:

  1. Allow swarm units to consume 1/2 population
  2. Put the swarm units on alternate population counters (like native units get capped per tribe)
  3. Instead of increasing the number of swarm units, increase the rate of spawn
  4. Have a finite number of cards to increase number, then infinite cards to increase swarm unit power
  5. Have the swarm mechanic spawn armies rather than one unit type, so there’s better balance
  • The economic re-alignment is a major theme of several revolutions. It is important to remember that revolutions lose the Age 5 economic upgrades here, and the loss of factories/livestock pens (Finland) are crippling. Economic re-alignment strategies have to be well supported by the revolution decks.

Improve economic re-alignment strategies by:

  1. Ensuring that key passive buildings may be rebuilt if lost. Retain building caps as necessary for thing like banks/factories, but for livestock pens, mills, estates, etc these aren’t necessary. The rebuilding cost in resources, build time, lost production time is a sufficient penalty for losing the buildings.
  2. Remembering that wood is the finite resource in Age 3. It must be made infinitely harvestable if re-aligning to a wood-based economy (ie minor tribal units or heavy siege).
  3. Minimize the micromanagement of livestock harvesting for food-based re-aligned economies. The Mexican hacienda’s barbacoa auto-harvest mechanic is exemplary. In the late-game we want to micro armies, not micro shepherding.
  4. Ensure sufficient gold income via estate rate increases or passive sources like banks to support gold-aligned (ie mercs) economies.
  • Consider some new strategic options for revolutions
  1. Building around a hero unit. Colombia’s Simón Bolívar is a perfect example of a commander who could have his attack, hp, and aura boosted via various mechanics, or be given special attacks. So much of Age 3 is building massive armies and playing rock-paper-scissors. Highlighting a single unit is a big strategic choice that could be a ton of fun! It shouldn’t replace the army, but be a very prominent part of it, such that losing him would be a major penalty.
  2. Building around additional abilities. We’ve seen this as FE have attempted to make grenadiers not suck. Now they have mortar attacks. Now we see unit promotions added. Now we see a bunch of charged abilities added in. These are all excellent mechanics to explore with revolution cards. Imagine a USA revolution built around upgrading militia/revolutionary units with long-rifles, better training, better clothing, etc so they eventually become the bulk of your main revolutionary army, not as swarm units and cannon fodder, but as proper units after enough upgrades.
  3. Embrace mercs/outlaws. Hungary and Romania, the Barbary States and Egypt feature shipments of mercs. The shipments should be repeatable. If preventing those waves from being too strong like with Hungary spawning from every tower, cap that effect at 1 time, then have repeated sends give a set number of units like how Egypt gets 1 mameluke per shipment. Or add a gold cost to recruit the mercs/outlaws. And add proper card support with attack/hp upgrades for these supplemental units to compete with Age 5 units the enemy can field.

Anyway, this is now quite long, so I’ll wrap it up. I hope this will be helpful to devs thinking about how to redesign these revolutions to make things more interesting. I know we typically get a lot of nationalistic discussion which is great, but my goal here was to focus on game play because, after all, that’s why we play.


The new french revolution is great.


I like the idea, just that they don’t implement more infinite improvement mechanics like wanderlust from South Africa or the population of the Holcan lancer from the Mayans.