My suggestions for balancing siege units and the landsknecht

First, the setup and teardown time of siege units should be significantly increased, especially for bombards and trebuchets. 3 to 5 seconds should do it. This will make sending siege units a big commitment since they’re highly likely to be lost when retreating, and the players using sieges will probably have to have their army fighting under enemy keeps to protect their sieges. This will make the siege units feel like artillery of that time instead of modern tanks that can go into and retreat from battles easily.

Second, Chinese clocktower units should take even longer to setup and teardown or move slower or both if the 50% hp bonus is to be kept. 50% health is a much bigger buff compared to the 20% damage of French and 20% less cost of Rus, so there need to be some sort of trade off in clocktower units instead of just being the better version of regular units. The clocktower units should also take longer to produce since IO supervision can be used to make it possible to mass these units unlike the French royal artillery. Making it the equivalent of 1.5~2 siege workshops when supervised is my suggestion. This change also create a tradeoff between regular workshop units and clocktower units with the former being more mobile and the latter being tankier, increasing the complexity and depth of decision making for Chinese players.

Third, the fully upgraded Chinese bombards shouldn’t have the same range of culverins. Culverins should be a hard counter to siege units regardless of civilizations. Decreasing the additional range provided by pyrotechnics to 15% should fix it without changing the overall gameplay too much.

Regarding the landsknecht, it’s simply too squishy currently. They’re only useful after you take out enemy mangonels with springalds or culverins, at least that’s how I use them. I think giving them more armor and health and increasing the cost at the same time will make them more viable. For example, if both the food cost and health is doubled it will cost the same as a knight. Then for the same amount of resources, the player will have to choose between a knight to have better mobility, burst damage and more health, or a landsknecht that is slower and easier to kill, but can vaporize tightly packed land units with the aoe damage. This will make more players utilize the landsknecht and again, increasing the complexity of decision making for HRE players.

These ideas are just some suggestions for the overall directions and the values are used to provide a concrete example. I’m not suggesting that the game will be balanced using these exact values. I’d like to know you guys’ thoughts on my ideas and if they’ll make the game better or worse.

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I totally agree with you there.
Chinese bombards and culverins cost the same, both have 12 range, and bombards completely destroy them. In no way an unit should be able to trade so cost effectively against their counter.
Hopefully this will be addressed on the February patch.

There is already trade off?

Clockwork tower can produce at rate of 3x when IO is supervising it. Plus the clockwork siege is tied to clockwork tower and cannot be produced from siege workshop. Due this limitation they need the extra HP because it would be far too easy to out produce clockwork.

As of now its 4.5x production rate that opponent needs to outproduce china and this is without taking consideration how far away the clockwork tower is from the battlefield. In base defense its not as important while attacking and on maps that are bigger the reinforcing frontlines with clockwork takes a lot longer thus making production rate for opponent less.

Also IO is far more vulnerable than siege workshop itself. IO has 75 HP and basically can be killed by one single unit if they can raid chinese base which can be devastating.

If clockwork tower is touch in any form it means end of chinese viability.

Why? China has no access to culverin like 3 other civs or rus / mongols having increased range for springalds. This would put china to same level in terms of siege as english but far worse because early game sucks

Regarding being tied to the landmark, it’s the same for French royal siege units and it’s an age IV landmark for French, on top of that France doesn’t even have IO to accelerate production, so the clocktower, which is an age III landmark, is stronger than the French college of artillery in terms of both the units it produces and its production capability, which makes little sense for me.

IO is vulnerable but also quite easy to replace in late game since it only costs food so the supervision coverage should be high even if raided.

Even with pyrotechnics nerfed to 15%, China still has bombards with the longest range, highest rate of fire and the most HP. It will still be the best bombard in the game, my suggested changes just makes it easier for the units that’s supposed to hard counter the bombard to actually counter it.

I think the proper way of doing this is to buff China in early game for compensation, which also creates more variety in gameplay. Chinese meta being trying to hold off enemy and get to imperial age and mass produce OP bombards is not fun.


Not to be that guy but I feel like this is intended by design and shouldn’t be changed.

They really already do this if used correctly

I’m not sure I agree here,

The zhung nu death ball is an effective age 2 counter to early aggression for China.

French can produce springalds alongside their school of artillery and every landmark from french arsenal is vastly better than the landmarks from china outside of clockwork.

It would same if french could produce only their knights from school of cavalry at rate of 3x. Then you would have argument

It still takes 20 seconds to train new IO and if it goes unnoticed that the IO was killed at clockwork it might be down even longer.

Like I’ve been saying if they touch clockwork china needs massive buffs to early / mid game. Its not fun to fight against rus because of their bounty or english with mass LB or french with their knights or HRE with their 10min imperial. If something isn’t fun it doesn’t deserve get nerffed because of it

Zhuge Nu isn’t early at all. Its late feudal and costs lot to get them out. Plus they can be easily kited with archers.

I dunno I can reliably have zhung nu out by 7 mins if I go specifically for them

I thought the intended use of landsknecht is to mix in some in an army primarily made of MAA. At the current state this is simply not viable since landsknechts die instantly when enemy has mangonels while MAAs can take a few hits of mangonels.

I don’t need them to be as tanky as the MAA, just make them only slightly squishier than MAA instead of massively so will make mixing them in much more viable. The cost can be increased to balance the effect.

Yeah, but culverins can’t be used to destroy buildings or 1 shot units.
You can’t have an unit that can be used to wreck buildings, units and as anti siege.
I agree Chinese late game should be slightly stronger since it takes longer for them to get there, but in no way siege units should destroy their counter the way their bombards destroy culvs.
Every top player agrees that their bombards are OP.
If anti siege becomes a problem for them, then springalds should get a buff instead. But no civ should get siege and anti siege in the same unit.


The problem with Chinese landmarks is that the clocktower is too OP while others are vastly inferior except maybe the spirit way.

This is not good design since it reduces build order and gameplay variety. The proper way would indeed be nerfing the clocktower and buffing other landmarks.

By out you mean at enemys base with ram or just starting to produce?

If its later then its slow, because you just start producing expensive units and skipping eco. Most civs are already getting more units out or way to castle so the time you hit its too late. Sure works when playing against lower elo players but when it comes to optimized builds / scouting etc they’re too late

Clockwork tower is only good landmark from chinas arsenal and now that firelancers are dramatically changed they most likely will not be massed which is indirect nerf to spirit way, because the value of spirit way will decrease if unit is not used in masses even with the increase of food cost its hardly gonna change it.

And the issue with spirit way is that china either chooses between archer range or stables. Cant reliably have both mass producing especially when its again tied to location of spirit way which makes reinforcing harder the bigger the map is.

Landmarks would be fine if they either get massive cost reduction / dynasty bonuses would carry over to next dynasty (maybe slightly weaker)

I’m not sure “mixed armies” necessarily means “put all unit types together in the same block”

I usually keep my MAA and LS separate, and have them fight units I know they are good against while still supporting each other

For example, 30 MAA, form a line, engage infantry, LS comes around side from back of MAA to engage enemy archers or encircle and deal damage while my MAA soak enemy damage.

I mean a cluster of about 15 with 3-4 rams at enemy base.

I almost always do this against civs that I feel rush a lot, like mongols or Abbasid

I do that as well. Maybe I’m just lazy and want to mix them all together and attack move. However, I think buffing landsknecht HP and increase cost would also make playing against HRE more active because you would want to snipe them with archers instead of wiping a bunch of them with mangonels. I think the problem with landsknechts is that most player would find a knight more useful for 100 gold in the vast majority of situations, so we don’t see much landsknechts in high-level games.

On top of that, making landsknecht slightly tankier would also make historical sense since the cost and design of the landsknecht resemble that of the doppelsoldner, which is the front line of the HRE army in real history. I guess Relic just finds AOE3 doppelsoldner to be OP and want something different.

I actually do agree I found LS disappointingly weak and would personally love to see a return of the slow, tanky, heavy hitting doppelsnolder that made an appearance in age of empires 3


However, remember they were only so tanky because of card bonuses and other uprgades, and if not upgraded were actually quite similar to LS in 4

But those mechanics don’t exist here, I feel the imperial upgrade could be remade to turn LS to doppelsnolder, as I believe( I’m not sure however) LS were historically earlier medieval period less armored versions of doppelsnolder, however as the Chinese advance their dynasties and therefore time periods with age ups, it’d make sense to have an Imperial upgrade upgrade time periods of tech for a unit.

This is all probably way too complex for them to actually implement into a released game though I’m afraid.


In the spirit of consistency, I would like to point out that although I agree with the ideas about the LS, this should be a later priority to fixing bugs and other civ issues like Abbasids and Delhi. While I would love to see it done I still feel that HRE is one of the more complete of the civs

I love the AOE3 doppelsoldner as well, but making landsknechts like the doppelsoldners in AOE3 would probably make it just a stronger version of MAA. I think giving it more HP and making the imperial upgrade increase armor by 1, and compensate by increasing the food cost would be a good change. It would be more mobile than MAA, slower, squishier but hits harder than the knight and more viable in most situation than the current landsknecht.

Regarding the imperial upgrade changing the unit greatly, Relic can just give them unique upgrades in imperial age like the HRE spearman. Actually I think they should remove the riveted chain mail upgrade for spearman and give landsknecht some unique upgrades that increase HP and armor.

I feel every civ should get unique infantry or like guard unit upgrades like we had in aoe3, really adds a flare and a bit of strategic edge and adds personality to a civ I feel like all civs are lacking right now.

I really think the important thing is that splash damage, I feel like slow tankier units with splash damage would play better with HRE than quick squishy hit and run splash damage units.

I find speed being a nonfactor so long as I keep my line and reinforcements.

Sounds kind of sketchy to hit about 15 zhuge nus with 3-4 rams at enemy base at 7min mark. Considering that I go fast prof scout and hit 5min timer on it and maybe can get to song / 2nd tc at 7min mark. Got a build order?