Militia Line Proposal - Thought Experiment

Hey all!

I put this in another thread regarding the use of the sword line but wanted to post it here for some discussion.

Disclaimer: Just a thought experiment, I don’t expect the devs to add any of my ideas to the game. Lol.

So every 14 seconds a post is made on this forum regarding buffing the militia line due to under use, and the Militia are compared to Archers and Knights. I would like to propose that the reason Archers and Knights are such core units is not so much due to base stats, but their ability to be micro’d.
Archers - can do hit and run, as well as split and dance to avoid taking damage from mangos, skirms, and other archers.
Knights - can avoid taking damage by running away from bad fights due to their mobility.

The Militia line cannot be effectively micro’d to the same extent. Most ideas I’ve read are about buffing base stats or cost. But those are actually areas the units already good at so if you buff their base stats or spam-ability they just get better at what they can already do, which would then result in more people just flooding infantry to the enemy base, which is a brainless, micro-less strategy. Think goth spam, or eagle spam.

If there is a fix, I think it needs to occur at the micro level. In other words give a buff that requires skill to use. My suggestion:

A new formation specifically for sword line and infantry UUs: Shield wall. This is a tight pack formation that boosts pierce armor, but nerfs speed. Specific stats could be determined but it would give your infantry the ability to continue to exist in the presence of archers.

There is obviously historical precedence since infantry have been using shields against archers since phalanx and testuto formations in antiquity.

Your specific infantry counters are still just as strong, such as hand cannons, and scorpions (even stronger actually since its tight packed) but I would boost the pierce armor enough that it makes the xbow line relatively unhelpful. Strategically you could use infantry in shield wall in a similar way to rams. Knights would still do fine against it which is good since they cost more.

I already know the argument of “no new mechanics in the game” and I respect that :slight_smile: my question is, as a thought experiment what would this type of formation do for the viability of infantry throughout more stages of the game?

::Edit:: Units in Shield wall can’t fight. So you can’t do damage when you have the pierce armor bonus.


not much honestly. serjeants are insanely beastly pierce armor wise. as are Malian infantry. yet how often do you honestly see them used? and both are faster then what this would put infantry at due to their speed being slowed.

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Malian infantry you’ll often see in imp when they have that +3 pierce armor. Sergeants have other issues which are being addressed in the upcoming balance patch.

Also, high pierce armor infantry are clearly effective in the game, look at huskarls and eagles, the pierce increase I’d be looking at is more akin to those units. But the trade off here would be mobility.

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often? no. situationally? yes.

doesn’t matter - fact is that slow infantry don’t work - look at the TK/ETK.

and what do those units have in common, insane mobility. the thing you would be taking away with this formation. the serjeant has more anti archer armor then eagles do - and yet we don’t see them do we?

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What about just making infantry stack better?
This would scale with the players skills to micro them in postions where they can make use of the massed attack.

Besides that the militia line is actually almost fine, it has its utility. Besides I think it could be buffed vs buildings (stacking can help here, too), I don’t think that line should be buffed to a state it can compete with archers and knights - just because of the low gold cost.

Maybe, though I don’t know that that would make them more micro intensive, that seems like a passive buff that players would benefit from without having to micro.

I agree, I’m fine with the current meta, sword line has great utility in Dark age, feudal age, and Imp, with situational uses in-between. But a lot of people in the community don’t seem to be happy with that. My question is if we approach it differently then raw stat buffs could we give them viability and utility throughout the game without breaking the whole balance. Note I’m not saying I want it to compete with archers/knights, rather giving militia line a way to continue to survive when archers/knights are on the field.

Personally I think they’re already pretty good against buildings. You can wipe out a TC with just Swordsman in Castle age relatively quickly.

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Because it would be very micro intensive to stack them against an also microing opponent who can use range and mobility against your attempt to stack.

And low elso can’t even stack because they havent learned to use the different stances for that purpose.

I think it would be a great Idea for the serjeants to try: Make them stackable. Then we can see how it influeces their viability and maybe add it then to the militia line if it looks as it has a nice impact to gameplay. I like the Idea of giving immobile melee units a utility scaling with micro, i would like to see it for elephants, too.

TKs have a pretty major cost as well as needing castles which make them less viable. But if you got to a point where you have 60 ETKs in your base, you can’t stop them haha.

Im not trying to change the roll of the militia line, that would stay the same, just add the ability for them to stay alive better if archers are on the field.

So here’s what I’m saying, let’s say you’re being pushed by archers in early castle. My proposal would allow you to put 15 swords man in shield wall in front of skirms to eat up arrows similar to rams while skirms do your heavy lifting. In other words with micro they aren’t hard countered by archers, but also they still aren’t hard countering archers or knights.

Now that I think about it, I would say swordsman in shield wall can’t fight, otherwise they’d tank buildings and bases.

Well archers are designed to counter them, so i’m against that idea. But I like the general idea of giving a utility which scales with micro capacities.

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but the point is - it clearly wouldn’t work. look at serjeants and malian infantry. insanely situational despite the .99 speed. imagine if they were even slower.

Well i have an idea, but it is exactly the opposite from your idea. I suggest to give the militia line big fast powerful charge attack, what does this mean? This mean if you have 10 LSs there will be a feature on box formation for this attack, this attack increase the infantry speed by 25% and increase the attack +10, but any melee/pierce armor that the militia line have during this attack will disappear and their hp will reduced by 10. This will give the militia line sick powerful one shot attack that can make a big trouble to any enemy in their face. But honestly i don’t see the militia line need anything except -10 food cost, and make supplies give another -10 so they will cost 40f/20g

I think M@As and LSwords should have more pierce armour. They have SHIELDS ffs, they should be able to absorb more arrow fire.

Then make a fork in the tech tree to choose either THS/Champs or Heavy swordsmen/Foot knight. One sacrifices some attack for better pierce armour and vice versa.

The usage, or lack thereof, is NOT a good indicator for the necessity to change the underlying stats of a specific unit. :smiley: :smiley:

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Huskarls: Did someone say PIERCE ARMOUR? :smiley: :smiley:

@Equalizer938341 haha yeah that is the exact opposite lol, it’s an interesting idea! I I thats similair in a way to the Costillier.

My thought was to give them a way to micro to avoid damage, much like archers and knights, rather then give them a way to micro for more power, since that could change the balance a lot more.

Yeah that’s part of my thought, basically higher pierce armor when they’re holding up their shield in formation but the same as now when they are moving at normal speed and fighting. Your branching idea is interesting, I feel like we will see more formations like I’m thinking, and maybe more branching like that in AOE4.

Entirely agree with you. I’m not arguing for a base stat change, rather I’m suggesting a new formation for infantry where they can reduce the damage taken by arrows, but also lose mobility and not be able to attack in that formation. Also, I’m actually fine with the current meta, but my idea is just a new approach to consider for the ongoing sword line buff argument that a lot of people make.

I would currently say that the sword line has a level of utility in most games, I’d think adding the option to go into a defensive mode where they take a lot less damage from arrows would add a bit to that utility. You disagree, that’s ok, I’m not sure I can convince you of my perspective.

yeah which was my point. the serjeant has almost as much PA as the huskarl. yet is rarely seen. why?

i’m thinking i want my aoe2 to remain aoe2 and not become an abomination with formations that change stats.

No worries my man, I’m not changing AOE2 I’m just a guy in a forum. :slight_smile:

This is a nice idea, though probably not likely to be implemented. Age of Empires has been a franchise without many activable abilities, and this seems like something which would go against this principle.

Totally agree, if this was in AOE2 it would probably just be a special function of a new UU for a civ. More likely to be a part of AOE4 honestly. That’s why I tried to emphasize that this is just me playing with a thought experiment (which if we’re honest is every post on these forums)

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I like the idea and don’t think it is so weird and out of AOE2 essence… Just think in rams that change their stats when infantry garrison in it. It gives a micro’s reward, and it looks cool. Formations are not really too well exploded in AOE2 and they really are a thing in medieval wars from AOE2 took inspiration.