My take on the HRE (Long Post)

Updated with Prelate info in comparison to the French Royal Knight

No worries! IRT your statement here -

I touched on it with the following,

I do agree that the HRE can go other units outside of Infantry, so thank you for giving me a gateway to express that outside of my post (which made it seem like the HRE ONLY gets Barracks lol). My point is primarily that Barracks units alone tend to be lackluster and, despite being the archetype unit of the HRE, remain lackluster with upgrades. I added some stats on upgrades which I’ll quote here

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Thanks, this will made me stop playing with HRE xD

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Kind of feel the HRE economy is okay. I guess it would be nice to produce some resource collection curves in game to prove it - but on paper, 8 vils+prelate collect in 25% more resources than 9 vils. You will recover that extra 100 gold vs 50 food incredibly fast. Early game wheelbarrow really shouldn’t amount to very much - because your guys should be essentially standing on the resources. Its nice to have to run away from say harassing Knights - but the idea that getting this 15 seconds later 4 minutes into the game has a big impact is hard to meaningfully quantify. This is completely dwarfed versus just bringing 40% more resources.

As said, the issue is that there’s a lack of a military go-to early on. Sure if England just runs longbows into your MAA they may lose. But Longbows+MAA+Network of Castles is kind of better than MAA+regular archers (and they can easily snipe out some vils to even up the economy). Equally knights can keep charging in then running away. They can be okay versus civs who just like to spam archers early on - but I don’t think they are great. Late game I think MAA+Handcannons+Bombards+Prelates is decent - backed by a fully Prelated/reliced up economy to just spam this out - but lots of civs get a bit crazy on 100ish vils and fully upgraded late Imperial.

Landsknecht are also a dead unit. I can see why the developers wouldn’t necessarily want them to just be MAA or Spears who have an AoE attack (hence leading to why ever take regular MAA/Spears?) But at the moment the result is just “why ever take Landsknecht”? They die to anything that looks at them funny. They just trade if someone spams pure MMA or Spears. Which, outside if 4v4… they won’t.

Mostly agreed - I probably should have made it more clear that the gameplay feeling as a player is lackluster. I’m making trade-off’s early game so I can get… mediocre infantry?

I’m just really baffled by this decision too. I was playing Rus for the fun of it and the Strelet’s… Good god, the Strelet’s are nutty. 61 damage, with more health, an equivalent attack speed and deal the same damage to buildings. This was all un-buffed by the Warrior Priests AND not including their 10 second movement and set-up speed passive as well. It baffles me because Relic clearly knows what a strong unit is - we Delhi having Elephants gated, China with Grenadiers, Rus with Strelet’s but then the HRE get’s… a bizarre unit? That has no skill expression and only works when the game clumps?

Let’s not forget the best benefit of the Strelet - selecting it gives you the audio cue of someone it’s singing after one too many Vodka shots xD


I think the major issue is that yes - you have “unit improvements” which factions just get for free - and then you get special uniques, some of which are often just bad by comparison. Landsknecht are in a similar boat to Zhuge Nu. In some imagined scenario its better - in practice it just isn’t.

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I must say, I strongly disagree with half of the points you make.

HRE is forced to play on defense

Yes, this is intentional game design. Aggressive factions get more agency, that’s exactly the point.

Prelate delays your economy

Buffed units are 40% more effective, and comparing 1.4 vills to 2 vills is incorrect, because you start at 6 vills. 40% production buff means your 10 vills equal to enemy’s 14. This is the intentional trade off. Your vills also carry 4 additional resource even without wheelbarrow so they have to move and waste time less often.

HRE Landmarks are underwhelming compared to french/english

HRE gets THE most insane economy landmark, which produced 900 gold/m at no cost or population, only requiring grabbing 3 relics with your previously made prelates. There’s nothing even remotely close in the game. Yes, it’s more of a endgame benefit, but, again, this is exactly the point of HRE.

HRE military is bad compared to other factions, it has no goal and lack stats

That just shows you don’t understand the point of HRE honestly. HRE is an endgame faction, aiming at winning in age3/4 when you get endless gold, very strong defense and decent siege (one of only 2 factions which get culverins by default). This is pretty much the intended way to play HRE - Get economy, get defenses (+hp for buildings, cheaper emplacements, etc), go age 4 standouts with superior siege and free gold. What you are proposing is basically to change HRE from this vision into something what can have more agency, so we are getting to your final point.

I don’t want any nerfs

I dunno how you can say that, because otherwise your solution to being oppressed by aggressive factions is to make yourself more aggressive (conversion of siege units??), which will make HRE both good at aggression and defense, which makes no sense. The problem is exactly aggressive factions are too oppressive and there’s too little other factions can do prior age 3, we can’t and shouldn’t buff everyone to french’s level of ridiculousness, because right now french exactly have everything going for them at nearly no weakness. Moreover, there’s a real need to introduce better tools during feudal age for non-elite factions since right now there’s simply no units at feudal which even cost gold and can counter MAA, relic should at least make crossbows available, this would give a very reasonable counter to both early knights and MAA. But other than that french really needs a nerf, since even if you remove half of their economy bonuses, they will still be number 1 civ because of early healing knights.

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Not trying to be an ass, as I do realize it’s an extremely long post, but please re-read it. I address all of those issues point by point.

That being said, I’ll bite on some of them.

No. The French get an equivalent landmark that provides free gold with no relic requirement. The English get a TC at Tech 3 which allows them to boom while tech’ing.Delhi gets a landmark that gives free units and alleviates a high food, gold and population cost unit.

I’m sorry but this is just a misinformed statement. If you think the Tech 3 landmark focusing on relics for the HRE is one of the best economic landmarks in a compettive game… ahh… Hmm.

And I’m sorry, but this shows you just don’t get the point of my post. You don’t base a factions strength solely on it’s endgame capabilities… You base it off of it’s capabilities in respect to the competition. You base your in-game decisions off of the decisions you have. Again, I touched on this in the post, but as the HRE you don’t play the same into the English as you do the French. Also note that more games are over - boith figuratively and literally - by the 20 minute mark. My entire argument is that the HRE has a signficantly weaker Late Early / Early Mid game that other factions (read: Rus / Eng / French) are capable of both punishing the HRE and excelling in while also have a significantly more terrifying end-game.

I mean, your argument just ignores the booming capabilities of the French and English alone. You make the point of Culverins - you know the French get better Culverins earlier than the HRE, right? The games you’re describing are the ones I’d find in the custom match browser with the title “Noobs no rush 40 minutes” because they ignore the setbacks the HRE faces from competent players.

Ahh, what? My solution stated that the HRE should be able to invest 150 wood + research costs + opportunity costs as a route to give them options in repelling Tech 2 aggression… You do realize this upgrade path isn’t an insta-win, right? The Imam from the Abassid dynasty gets a similar upgrade in Tech 4 and it doesn’t convert instantly. Relics don’t instantly convert. Prelates have 0 armor and 90 health… Imagine an Age of Empires 2 monk in the Feudal Age. Is it strong? Situationally, yes. But there are counters to it there and here… Archers? Cavalry if the Prelate is alone? Counter-raiding the enemy while his Prelates is away from the base? The counter to knight aggression now is the just set yourself even further behind by turtling up even harder and focusing on food / wood over gold.

You’ve stated, and therefore agree, with my assessment that the HRE is a longer-game faction and therefore unable to field as many units early as other factions. My fix gives the Prelate the ability to zone early Knights. Again, I don’t say this to be an ass, but I kinda laughed when you stated Prelates would be converting Siege equipment. Uhh… Huh? We’re talking about Tech 2. And if a Prelate manages to convert a siege engine in Tech 3, at which point the Prelate STILL has 90 health and is extremely squishy, then you legit deserve to win because your opponent was not paying attention to a critical engagement.

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Updated with additional solutions - longer discussion on the Prelate as a unit in regards to Player engagement.

The French get an equivalent landmark that provides free gold with no relic requirement.

60 resources per minute (initial) to 600 resources if you don’t take them vs 900 gold per minute constant. Just no.

Delhi gets a landmark that gives free units and alleviates a high food, gold and population cost unit.

Age 4 landmark which only produce 1k worth of resources once in 100 seconds and requires 4 monks. It’s obviously not comparable.

other factions (read: Rus / Eng / French) are capable of both punishing the HRE and excelling in while also have a significantly more terrifying end-game.

They only have better end-game, because they are able to get more early game. Out of them all only rus can actually get on same foot as HRE in lategame because of insane siege techs they have. Both eng and french have very subpar siege with french having more issues with gold.

I mean, your argument just ignores the booming capabilities of the French and English alone.

Booming is not the late game, late game is exactly when you’ve finished booming. Yes, they have better booming options, but their postimp is not as good, that’s also the intentional balance point.

You make the point of Culverins - you know the French get better Culverins earlier than the HRE, right?

French get culverins in same time as HRE, you both need age 4, french get it by making the landmark, HRE get it in siege workshop built in age 3. More over, french culverins are worse because they have lower hp and can only be produced at landmark.

I kinda laughed when you stated Prelates would be converting Siege equipment

Okay, I’ve misread that one as your suggestion was to convert single units, not siege units, to which I still disagree with, because it would be the counter only HRE will be getting. Delhi is just as vulnerable to early game aggression/all-ins but giving them conversion as well just does not make sense. Removing conversion from generic monks was another clear decision by relic which I’m in favor of protecting.

Lol, Ok man. Like… legit not trying to be a jerk, but if we can’t find common ground on what “late game” is, OR agree on whether or not the French can win on Age 4 Tech with access to literally the highest damage siege cannons in the game… then there’s no point in continuing the discussion. Again, not trying to be an ass, but we are clearly playing two different game or unable to comprehend the others argument.

I will end with attempting to find some common ground - I too dislike the change with relics. It feels very gimmicky and removed some unique factions. It’s partially an issue also of why ‘going bigger and more’ always hurts RTS games… In Age 2 you could be caught off guard by a conversion push but still recover because you only lost one unit at a time… Here a single conversion could cost you the game. Hopefully the conversion system is adjusted to allow for more variety - and terrifying ‘Wolololo’s’ like the Aztecs in Age 2 had.

Just leaving this here:

Coincidence not a single high-rank player picked HRE for the tourney?
I think not.


I dont why would anyone think of hre as an end game civ, infantry melt in end game, french, rus, china, deli all have better end game army. No hre is stuck in a weird place where it doesn’t have a military advantage in any time period. Yeah you can produce prelate early and put them right next to relic, but unless your are playing against an ai or extremely incompetent player your weak military cant give you the map control, enemy will simply kill your prelate as your army cant match theirs in the field and therefore negate a big chunk of your eco bonus and eco landmark. There is a reason hre have zero pick rate in tourney and theviper ranked them as the only c tier civ

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Dozensoup doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about. I actually laughed when he said “only requiring 3 relics” right after saying “yes aggressive factions get more agency” you can basically ignore him as someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Like if HRE is a defensive faction with no agency how are they supposed to get their 3 relics with no map control? Think man.

Welcome to HRE the only faction who don’t get their economic bonus if they can’t go into age three with map control and have no tools to gain map control.

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You make a lot of valid points in your post, well written! Comparing the Landsknecht to a unit of equal gold cost (French knight) backed up some of my feelings as to why the unit is lack luster. However; I do believe your analysis is flawed in the economics section.

I know this is far from a perfect test but it will give you an idea of the early game economy of the HRE vs another civ. I propose you do a test to see how much the prelate impacts the early economy of the HRE. Create a custom game where you play as the HRE train a prelate and two vills plus create a mining camp and then at the 2 minute mark send them all to work at the gold mine. 5 minutes later make note of how much gold you have. Now do the same thing on another civ of your choice but train 3 vills instead of two vills and a prelate. After 5 minutes make note of how much gold you have. You can even try a third time with any civ you like but this time research wheel barrow first then send your vills to work for 5 minutes and once again record how much gold you have.
What do you think?

(to ensure equal working time you could set an alarm once you send tour units to work and once 5 minutes are up record your gold)


I’ve definitely been meaning to do some more testing like this… Sadly life and my enjoyment with playing the Rus lately has torn me from it.

I am actually kinda frustrated as well with the Forum editor - I added a long-ish section on the Prelate here but it wouldn’t save. Basically I argued that, ignoring any bonuses it gives, it’s not a rewarding unit from a gameplay perspective. Think of how you use it - you tell it to go with a pack of workers and… that’s it? In fact you probably get more immediate frustration with the Prelate since there’s no player feedback for their eco bonus - you just kind of notice your villagers glowing and hope it’s helping enough. Couple this with the frustration you might feel when quickly bringing your scattered army to bear in one location and realizing you just removed all your prelates from your workers line… AND have no way to assign them back due to the UI’s lack of managing individual units within the same group.

I talked with a really smart friend about this and he thinks they should be able to be garrisoned inside of economic buildings, like the Delhi and their Scholars. It has some merits when I gave it more thought.


I wrote a long message but very few would read it so here is a summary instead:

  1. HRE prelate techs from monastery, at least building and military ones, need big buffs. Prelates shouldn’t show up in choose all military hotkeys or prevent villagers from building.

  2. Landschencht need a big buff or extra tech to make them considerably sturdier (at least +40 hp)

  3. Spearmen need their melee armor tech already in castle age (+2 instead of +3)

  4. HRE need some kind of Unique tech to buff some backline unit, like crossbows, mangonels or hand cannoneers. They can’t rely on just infantry.

  5. HRE castle age barracks landmark is just underwhelming and needs one of the following 1) Discount for mass training units or 2) a few unique infantry techs unobtainable otherwise

  6. HRE castles should be able to train siege


For me, fix prelate bug, fix damage reduction vs armoured that happens when you get both MAA techs (assuming that’s unintentional), buff landsknecht (maybe more health and/or speed boost) and then see how HRE does from there - just those would make me very happy.

Excellent point about the castles, it’s a little odd that the defensive oriented faction can’t train from them… but the English can?

If HRE gets nothing else I’d like to see the Landsknecht buffed.

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I would like early crossbows for the HRE and chinese. It would combo with the infantry movement speed bonus along with maybe increasing that to an extra 5%.

As for mangonels it would be cool to take the “powder keg” tech from my Teutonic Faction idea post. Where it is a somewhat expensive upgrade that lets mangonels gain extra area of effect and deal slightly more damage to buildings and siege. It would also let the mangonel benefit from the chemestry research.

These would give the HRE a decent presence in both the early and late game. It would seem I underestimated the HRE lackluster in the community. I mean not being even chosen in the tournament? That is a damn shame.

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