Militia line units are underrepresented wouldn't you say?

Hello guys, I love Age of Empires 2 and love to see that they are trying to get militia line units to be more competitive with the new upgrade, but I still think that they are borderline unusable after a Militia/M@A rush until mid/late Imperial age if you have a good infantry Civ.
Slavs (AoE damage)
Aztecs (but they usually run eagles)
Goths (Gotta love the goth champs spam)
Japanese (but only because of their crazy good attack speed bonus)
Malians (Only because of their ChampSkarls)
and Vikings (because of the HP bonus) (but still rare for vikings to use)

These are only really viable because they have special bonuses that apply for their Champs.
In addition, there are 25 Civs that have access to Champions, yet the only ones that consistently use them in a competitive scene are the ones that I have listed above.
Why? because the militia line units, especially in Late feudal when archers are all over everywhere, and in Castle age, when knights or mass Xbows steamroll everything and Long Swords can’t compete, militia line units just cannot stand toe to toe against such armies. They just aren’t good enough.
How do we make them more viable? We add a new barracks Tech of course.

Like Bloodlines for the Barracks, we should add the upgrade “Toughness” in the feudal age which, for 125 food and 75 gold, gives Militia line and unique infantry units +10 Hit points. this upgrade should not apply to Eagles or Pikes, because Eagles are already very strong and the Go-To for most meso civs except mayans in Castle+, and Giving Pikes more hp would severely change the Anti-Cavalry meta which I think is already perfect, and buffing pikes would make camels unusable for anyone trying to counter mass Cavalry except Indians because they’re indians.

How would this upgrade change the meta and how to prevent OP champions?
First, don’t give this to Goths. that’d be insane.
Also not for the Ethiopians, their Shotels would be OP.
This should be available to most civs with access to champion or 2HSword, especially those with an infantry unique unit that is unused or underperforming such as the Teutonic Knight. Strong yes, but easily countered. A small buff like this won’t instantly make them perfect, but more usable yes.

I think this upgrade would be perfect to test on the Age2DE Beta before the full release drops. Such a change would of course need loads of testing just as any change like this would. I hope you guys consider this as I think it could be a great change to the game and make a unit that is usually not used be more competitive against other more meta units.


I have also thought, that militia-line units need little bit more HP, so they don’t die so easily to arrows and can actually accomplish something in battle. Their slowness makes it hard for them to reach enemy units units before dying to ranged attacks and extra HP would really help in that regard.
Maybe they should have extra HP even without the tech

making militia line units usable is a must in my opinion. Historically, infantry was the backbone of almost every army, and was always represented in some form - even in hordes.
Crusades? european infantry and heavy cavalry vs sarracen light infantry and cavalry. Agincourt? english archers and infantry vs french calvalry and infantry. Chinese armies? all the infantry you could ever see and chu ko nus.
every nation had infantry plus something from their culture. But we never see the militia line units in the game unless it is part of their culture.
It grinds my gears that they just die to almost anything in AOE2.

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IKR yeah it kind of speaks for how unusable Champions are most of the time when they cost more than 50% less gold than Archers and almost 4x less gold than Knights, yet they are far less used except in such specific situations.

SotL said in one of his videos that the one thing that champs are good at are Trash Unit slaying. This is true, but if this is the only viable use of this unit outside the Goths and Slavs, then they should be first in line for a bit of a stat buff

Like when was the last time you saw a Professional player go full Long Swords in Early Castle age instead of the Xbow push or knight raids? Never. I don’t think I have seen it a single time. The only time you even see Long Swords is if they’re spamming the upgrades to hit Champion asap.

Castle age is supposed to open the door to loads of options: Pikes, Knights, Xbows, Unique Unit, Eco booming, etc. Nobody goes fast castle to push with Long Swords. Never seen it. Too low Hp, Average at best attack, far too slow even if you’re Celts. The only upside is you can begin the spam far before you hit castle by pre-building loads of M@A, which i guess is a plus over the knights, but oh wait archers do that too and they hardcounter Long Swords.

Militia Line really just needs SOMETHIN to make them Viable

The issue about the militia line is that they just don’t have a proper role in the game. They’re slow, fragile and don’t do much, and any unit they can counter are already countered by far better and more useful units.
However, the one interesting thing ik about them and that i don’t see many people using them for is to attack buildings. They’re the only non-unique infantry that gets a decent bonus damage against buildings starting from man-at-arms, so having that in mind those are the ideas I had to the militia line:

  • Give the entire line +2 extra bonus damage against buildings (so militia would have 2, man-at-arms would have 4, long swordman would have 5, two handed swordman and champion would have 6)
  • (This could be either a passive or a feudal age upgrade) Buildings under atk from milita line have their repair rate reduced by 25% for as long as they’re being atked by them.
  • (This could be either a passive or a dark age upgrade) The entire milita line gets pierce armor bonus against buildings arrows (so pretty much arrows from TCs, towers and castles do less damage, but archers and everything else do normal damage), going like: +2 for militia, +3 for man-at-arms, +4 for long swordman and two handed swordman and +5 for champion.

This would give them a role of a weaker but faster ram that can be built from dark age, they easily die to archer unlike rams, but can defend themselves from melee instead, and they should also be a great help when defending your base from tower rushes and persian douches strats, which apparently only pro players are able to properly counter them as things are rn. They could also combo amazingly well with rams and also give ram’s transport ability actual competitive use, so rams would protect them from archers fire, but as soon as any melee units come near the swordmans could leave and attack them, and then also attack the building itself if needed, all of that while almost ignoring fire from TCs, castles and towers.

In the AOE2:DE demo the food cost for the militia line appeared to be reduced to 45 food. That would help with making the barracks units more useful.

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Food cost doesn’t really matter if they just get slaughtered. if your’e spamming champions and they have any gold unit against you, you’ll run out of gold and you’ll get pushed back because your champs will melt so you’ll perpetually be outnumbered because your opponent never lets you get back to max pop by pressuring you, your new champs arrive to the battle too slowly, so it snowballs into being outnumbered even if you are spamming as fast as you can.

Maybe Champions are good at killing buildings, but they’re still never seen in pro games outside of Goths or Slavs, and they’re never used in Team games because Long swords are worthless in the decisive castle age battles.

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Food cost absolutely matters, in fact it’s the main limiting factor in why they are NOT commonly seen in competitive play mid game.

In castle age your natural gold resources are essentially unlimited. You have as much gold as you can collect without worrying about it running out. Food you can only gather from farms at this point which you have to invest into which makes it harder to boom and make food heavy military.

If you have to make a food costing unit, you can either have a knight which costs 60 food, or a long sword, which also costs 60 food. It’s not really much of a choice at the moment, knights are simply better for the same food investment. The only exception is vs meso civs going full eagles, in which case you do see longswords used as an answer to this infrequent strategy - especially seen with civs with weak/no knights.

A great example of a recent game (played last week) involving heavy standard infantry usage was the Yo vs Liereyy game on the map Seize the Hump in the tournament Mangrove Shallows Cup.

Now i wanna see that game cause i looked it up on YT but I couldn’t find it. xD

Even if Long Swords do counter eagles, but eagles are still faster and better at raiding, and the counter is not the same especially in castle age. Long Swords melt to mass knights or xbows, but just get better trades on the eagles. LS do have an advantage vs eagles, but its not the same as getting absolutely murdered.

Longswords absolutely murder eagles if you can force the fight. You always full wall vs eagles to prevent the raiding while you go forward and make them react to you.

As for the game I mentioned you can find it here. Go to 1:42:00. Don’t really want to spoiler the series more than that as it was a great set.

K fair enough i see that they do, but Id still prefer eagles. and full walling is easier said than done sometimes.

Use cavalry to kill archers, not champions…


The improvement of supplies in Feudal for the militia (in showmatch AoE2DE) could have not only -15F but also +1 Pierce Armor and +10 hp. Or also change from 0.9 to 1.0 speed, because the archers go to 0.96 (more disadvantage). The Spearman have 1.0.

I say keep M@A the way it is now. Just give 1/2 armor from Castle and rest of the unit lines(kinda ok not having this buff) and a slight speed buff(it’s a must. seems like never can’t run away from bad fight) and introduce shield wall feature for this unit(concept idea is here: [Suggestion] Shield Wall feature for Infantry)

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no HP buff but can get Pierce Armor for Long Sword instead. Speed buff is a must. Toooo slow to run for bad engagement.

I’m fine Cavs being counter to Swordsman line(not spear).

I mean use cavalry to kill archers. Don’t use champions to kill archers.

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mm I think it’s the right thing. If we put more hp or more armor or more speed to the infantry they would become cavalry. The idea is not to lose the essence of each unit. Maybe being cheaper and improving your Pathfinding would be the best.

You know, the one upgrade I rly like for infantry in AoE1 is the one that makes infantry only take half the pop space, so 10 infantry would only take 5 pop space.
Maybe the swordman line could get a tuned down version of it, so 3 units occupy 2 spaces (aka each swordman would take 2/3 of a pop space)

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