Naval Combat

I would like to see more efficient naval combat where you can attack to bases with more naval friendly map designs. So we can have more strategic options and more fun. I would love to know how naval combat changed or is it changed or not.


I usually am kind of sceptic of heavy water maps. If you can win the game with only water control, the map just becomes a race to water control and once that is decided, gg gets called. either there needs to be a way to safely boom on land or at least have good possibilities to send a sneaky landing party over to the enemy even when water control is lost.


I mean water control should not be just for meat. Ships can bombard base but with a limited range so when other player moves it’s town center and buildings a bit far from sea, it won’t be able to fire. Maybe on late ages, ships can have an upgrade for more range to dominate or specific ranged units.


To ‘bridge’ the concept of water maps, there would probably be need of ‘beach’ gameplay, outer-sea gameplay and fieldland gameplay. However, since land and water are seperate, how woukd either be able to interact with the other?

Beach beats Land.
Land beats Water
Water beats Beach.


This are my thoughts on how I would like it to be, and probably far from what we’ll get.

Instead of building a huge navy of dispensable ships like AOE2, I think ships should be treated completely different in AOE4. Ships had huge crews working them, they could easily have a crew of over 100. Ships are huge and expensive, they take time to build, and likewise should take time to destroy. A couple of arrows wont take a ship down, they need a heavy pounding of cannon fire at the very least. In this regard, I believe the right way to think of a galleon should be more like a floating castle. You should be afraid, because its going to take some work to sink that floating fortress. At the climax of advanced naval warfare, a battle between two dozen ships sounds reasonable.

To counter your coastal base being decimated by ships alone, there needs to be a couple of considerations. Large ships can’t get to close to the coast, and therefore can’t reach too far inland into your base. If big ships were to come in too close, they would risk hitting rocks, reefs, or running a ground. In regards to coastal defences; artillery batteries should be your number one defence. They are no good at defending landforces, but ideally suited to bombarding ships out at sea. This should be where the main battle between base and warship happens. Knock out the strong land defences, and once the land defences are knocked out, you are free to rain cannon balls down on your enemy. Still not the best way to destroy a town. Cannon fire isn’t the most accurate. To finish off the town, landing an army is going to be essential. So having a strong navy will should only get you domination of the sea. You still need landforces to back up your navy. Other coastal defences could inculde: seawalls, artificial reefs (to build fortifcations on), and sea forts.

A lighthouse should give a huge line of sight, perhaps twice as much as the maximum firing capacity of artillery batteries.

Making coastal defences stronger and able to withstand moderate attack should help players from being “rushed”. Sure its easy to launch a small land attack in longboats, but to knock out a town, you’re going to need expensive hardware to do so. Knocking another player out of the game shouldn’t be a push over, it should be a well earned victory.


First of all: I absolutely fancy your idea.
I think naval warfare in AoE2 is mediocore if at all. In AoE3 it’s worse although ships were bigger there. You can arrange yourself with it but it’s very shallow. It hasn’t the same depth as land combat but on all water maps it means everything. Sure you don’t want the same complexity as land combat - it would be to much to handle on hybrid maps.
Your point of having huger battleships is the first time I really heard an idea that convinced me. It’s absolutely realistic and makes it harder to control the complete ocean because if a great ship uses 5-10pop you can’t build enough of them to be everywhere.
But I think there is plenty room for other types of ships like canoes who are hard to hit by big ships and of course the unique units like Long Boats. I would be happy if there were like 5-7 different types of ships instead of just 3. Small/big, slow/fast, different attack and armor types.
I’m no big fan of the concept that the units you transport with a ship make an actual fighting different, that would be to complex. Or that you can capture enemy ships in close combat. That would make naval and land combat way to different.

I don’t think that hitting rocks is necessary just make shallow water not accessable :smiley:

That’s something I don’t understand. AoE2 gives you great opportunities for that. With (Elite) Cannon Galleons you can shred enemy bases and coastal defenses. Otherwise the defender could make it impossible for you to land - building upgraded Towers everywhere.

Canoes never cross my mind, that would be cool! But yeah smaller boats that can navigate smaller inland rivers and the likes.

Though it makes more sense to transport units on these bigger ships than have a dedicated transport ship. Multitasking and removing an unnecessary unit. Capturing enemy ships is an interesting one. As you say, it does seem rather complex if we imagine battles like in AOE2, in which case it definitely doesn’t seem like a good idea. In reality, only a heavier more complex game type with micromanagement would be able to handle capturing ships in a more meaningful way. Still, at the end of the day its a battle, not a race to steal each others ships.

That works too! xD

I like naval combats…but it is a medieval game.Im medieval there is not so much ship game.they should focus on land

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Don’t worry AOE4 gunn be awesome with Naval combat.
Look what amazing features we already have in AOE2 DE naval combat!


Don’t worry ships are already focusing on land in AOE2 too!

Isn’t that an amazing feature???


We don’t know how the naval controls will be in age of empires 4, but I think something will come out quite well

This is an idea- what about the ability to build boats on land? This would let someone who lost water control be able to immediately try to retake it

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I’m really excited to see how they’ve done naval combat after the naval teaser!

To be fair I never cared much for naval combat, it had no interesting features and the engagements felt same-y. At least on land you had to manoeuvre your units around other units, impassable terrain, buildings, elevations and obstacles. Also, having to transport troops across water always frustrated me.

They did however say in the preview that naval combat will be more exciting but no specifics were mentioned.

Would be really neat if

  • most combat ships would only have access to deeper waters
  • players could build bridges on shallow water to connect landmasses/islands and to surprise the enemy
  • ships would move and turn slower to make battles more tactical and realistic (no front facing cannons this time please)
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