Nerfing...and Buffing the Huns

Greetings fellow empire-builders and conquerors!

One thing that I have sit well, as a historian and as a AoE gamer, is that the Huns civ can train Paladins. Historically speaking of course…the Huns never had fulled armored heavy cavalry with plate mail armor. Gameplay reasons though, seem to be that the devs back when AoC expansion was being developed, that the Huns needed some heavy cavalry kick to their Stable roster.

Now, I would be willing to accept the fact that Huns get Paladins if it were not for the Hunnic Paladins making the Hunnic unique unit, the Tarken, obsolete in some ways.

Now, as SOTL has shown in his video Tarken vs Knight , the Knight-line is weaker than the Tarken in resisting arrow fire, making the Tarken better at raiding and destroying enemy economy (assuming you need to take down Town Centers, Towers, and Castles to crack open the proverbial egg of the enemy’s eco)
Tarkan vs Knight [AoE2] - YouTube

Tarkan | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
Paladin | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

But…the Paladin is the usually preferred unit compared to the Tarken, because the Paladin is a better all-around unit, being tough enough against infantry and other enemy cavalry. Heck, the Paladin even gives the traditional anti-cavalry counters, the Halberdier and the Heavy Camel a run for their money. This, SOTL, also points out in his video. The only reason to use the Tarken (or even bother to research the Marauder Tech) is to save on gold cost compared to Paladins (Tarkens are 15 gold cheaper per unit compared to Paladins, plus researching Elite Tarkan is together MUCH cheaper than researching Cavalier and Paladin upgrades)

So here is my proposal:

  • Buff Tarkans by increasing their rate-of-attack (currently they have 2.1s compared to Knight/Cavalier’s 1.8s rate of attack and Paladin’s 1.9s rate) This is to make Tarkans more desirable to train


  • Keep Tarkan as they already are, but remove the Paladin upgrade from the Hunnic tech tree, and add Steppe Lancer and Elite Steppe Lancer with a Hunnic civ bonus that makes their Steppe Lancers cheaper along with their cheaper Cavalry Archers.
    The idea is to add a more “nomadic feel” to the Hunnic tech tree by removing a late-medieval European era unit, and replacing it with a Nomadic, Asian unit. Plus, the Steppe Lancer is a pretty good raiding unit, being better at running down and killing enemy vills than even Paladins, albeit with less capability to resist arrow fire. But by extending the reduction cost that Huns get for Cav Archers to also include Steppe Lancers, would basically allow a Hun player to train more Steppe Lancers than Paladins. And, like the first proposal option: this would all make the Hunnic Tarkan more desirable to train up, as they share–and surpass–the Paladin’s arrow resistance perk.

But what do you think? Comment below!


SIDE TOPIC: I personally also want the Huns to be given a new architecture style than the Central European one. I want to see the Huns have a “ruined building” architecture, to match the fact that they, as nomads, scorn living in houses and because seeing Huns being in the neat-and-tidy buildings that they share with Goths, Vikings, and Teutons just does not seem right, for a people that were known for their dirty-ness and rough lifestyle.

In the scenario editor, there are already ruined buildings, so recycling some of them for a new Hunnic specific architecture set is feasible.


This literally removes huns best team game option. Not a fan


With the correct buff to SL that I think they need, I like this idea


I agree to change Huns architecture, i even think they should make a new architecture for Mongols and Huns with more nomadic style.

About removing Paladin and adding steppe lancer, i also agree, and i have another suggestion to make Huns as a cav civ have some balance after removing Paladin, i suggest to give them free Marauder, which means once they hit castle age they have Tarken at their stables, and give them a new UT rather than Marauder which is now a free civ bonus.


Agreed, Huns having Central / Northern European architecture is a bit weird, they should have their own nomadic architectural style (same thing can be said about the Mongols having sedentary East Asian architecture).

And I support the idea of removing their Paladin and adding the Steppe Lancer, which gives them a more Central Asian feel.


Well you mention all the reasons a player would want to goTarkans instead of paladins, but then shrug them off just because the paladins are easier to use.

But in the grand scheme of things it’s fine. Tarkans are very fun to use and can do things that paladins can’t, so it’s still a great UU.

Time to nuke castles even harder ig

MASSIVE NERF . Ok that’s because SL are meh but even if it wasn’t, I don’t think they should replace knights (like people have already suggested in the past for Tatar/Cuman) They should be an opportunity for more options, not replace an existing one.

Regarding the whole European vs Asian feel, I think they shouldn’t be changed this way because they have been such an iconic AoE2 civ for so long. time to call me conservative now

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No, Huns are fine
And big 2 to removing paladins

The thing is hidtorical reality cant be the argument for re-balancing a civ, if it was the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans should be nerfed out of existence.

There are going to be historical inaccuracies in the game because competitive balance is more important.


If I came off in saying that Tarkans are “useless”, then I apologize, because that is not what I really was trying to make a point of. Rather, my intention was to underline that Paladins are usually chosen over Tarkans by most Hunnic players, simply because the former has more utility uses than the latter. Of course I, Antelope962027 love the Tarkan and the role that it is meant to fulfill: be better at raiding than Paladins, while also being more tanky against enemy archers.
But…the fact remains that they are underused compared to the Paladin…even WITH the Marauder tech. Comparing Huns to Goths for instance…you see that Perfusion is a must have if you are Goths. But Huns? …most players ignore Marauders entirely, and just go for Paladins.

I understand that this is a nerf. But the Tarkan does fulfill the raid-the-enemies-base qualification quite well. Also: without Paladin, Hunnic players can still go with Hussar and (if my proposal were to go into effect) Steppe Lancers. Plus, Heavy Cavalry Archers are still very cheap for Huns. In fact, by removing Paladin, it might make Heavy Cavalry Archers desirable again playing as Huns.

You have a point. But…one could make the same argument for Byzantines. Byzantines for a very long time have had the Middle Eastern architecture set, and yet most players, old and new alike, were happy when Byzantines were changed to the Mediterranean set.
Spanish were also changed as well from Western European to Mediterranean when DE came out. As Spanish came out in AoC at the same time for Huns, I don’t see a reason why Huns could get an architecture change as well.

:laughing: Ha ha. Nah…you good, dude. Even I feel a surge of conservatism when I see an outrageous and wild change proposal to AoE2 that I just cannot agree with. I used to be VERY adverse to ANY changes made to AoE2, but over time, I have become more willing to see some changes and alterations made for the betterment for this game.

I mostly agree with what you are saying. Though, as a historian, I do want to see some historical accuracy preserved. Now, Huns having Paladins are not too history-breaking. The hordes of Atilla the Hun were recorded by Roman historians to have some elements of fierce heavy cavalry. But I do feel like the Huns do not deserve Paladins when as the Magyars exist. Since the Huns were from an earlier era (Late Antiquity) in the Balkans, where heavy cavalry were largely primitive in their development, the Magyars came to Europe at a later time (early to mid-Medieval Ages) where the Knight was becoming the mainstay of armies in Europe as the model heavy cavalryman, and so the Magyars have more of a right to Paladin than the Huns do.
In terms of game-balance concerns, my justification for removing Paladins from Huns would be to give them Steppe Lancers, and just have Lancers for Huns be with the same resource-cost reduction as for Cavalry Archers. So…by removing Paladins, a heavy cavalry unit…the Huns can get a cheaper pseudo-heavy cavalry unit, the Steppe Lancer, but be able to produce MORE of them dirt cheap. (Keep in mind, that I am also saying that the Huns should keep Cavalier upgrade, so that they can still have the Knight-line to rely on)

Of course…if my proposal were to go into effect, it would have to be thoroughly tested first for Huns to see if the removal of Paladin for Steppe Lancer does detract from them in terms of win-rate.

To be clear: I do not want to have Huns be made weaker. Just rearranged.

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Well here’s my question - are the huns imbalanced? I’d say they’re a civ in a good state. I’m all for nerfing op civs, and buffing up civs and using historical reality. For example: nerf aztecs and take away champions, a unit they never would have had (no necessarily actually advocating for this just hypothetical). But we should start with civs that need change, not balanced civs. But I like your point of trying to achieve both more historical realism and balance!

I will say cheap steppe Lancers produced 20% faster would be interesting to test regarding viability… since slightly cheaper and reduced TT is my current favorite re-balance suggestion for the SL.


The Huns I would say are decently balanced but slightly imbalanced. In other words, they get a really powerful heavy cavalry unit at the Stable (Paladin) but they also get cheap Heavy Cavalry Archers (Archery Range) but also a really good raiding, anti-building unit the Tarkan (Stable and Castle). The Hun meta used to be all-Cavalry Archer back in the HD days when Cav Archers were un-nerfed. But after their initial nerfing in DE, Paladins Paladins and more Paladins became the rule of the day. (with Hussars as back-up if gold becomes scarce). Cav Archers have been given slight buff recently, which is making them more useful again…but Hunnic players still are going for all-Paladin armies.
I think that it is unfair that the Tarkan exists, but is not utilized that much because the Hunnic Paladin exists as a strong option.

Now, this is NOT to say that civs should only be designed so that they have to train and use their unique units. As Chinese for instance, you are perfectly fine if you stick with Arbalesters instead of Chu ko Nus, and same goes with Britons: Arbalesters instead of Longbowmen.

The fact that Huns get cheap Cavalry Archers AND fully upgraded Paladins from a Stable that works 20% faster I would say is a bit imbalanced. The Franks by comparison, get stronger Paladins, but their Archery Range options suck. Lacking Ring Archer Armor and Bracer make Frankish Elite Skirms and Hand Cannoneers a bit lackluster as ranged options. The Huns on the other hand, can resort to Bracer/Ring Archer Armor Elite Skirms if they have to, as well as Hussars. Franks do not get Hussars.

The Huns I feel are among the STRONGEST cavalry civs in the entire game, if not THE most powerful cavalry civ. Mongols get Mangudai, but lack Ring Archer Armor AND Plate Barding Armor, as well as Paladin.

Anyway…I can go on with the civ comparisons, but in summary: I think that Huns need to be nicked just a little bit, with the removal of Paladin, but then compensated for it with cheap Steppe Lancers.

Honestly, if my proposed changes do NOT get implemented, I would not be too surprised. But I would to see the removal of Paladin from at least one Paladin civ, and have it be Huns, since we got Burgundians as the newcomer Paladin civ.

Huns don’t need any nerf or buff. Especially if the reason behind it is " the Huns never had fulled armored heavy cavalry"

Whats next? Remove the whole militia line because american’s civs never forged a sword before?

Let me tell you this: this it’s not gonna happen, I’m sorry but we have aztecs with steel swords and xbows and wheels on siege weapons that they never used. There is a lot of inconsistency in the history of units through the civs.

The best thing that we can hope for, is a mod that changes the appearance of the units with the different civs, like the meso monks, or the ships flags, but that’s it.

They will simply never sacrifice balance for historical accuracy. Even if you think that the changes that you suggested will make the Huns balanced again (which won’t, but let’s suppose that they do) it’s simply not worth it, and the devs will simply not take the risk.

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Obviously, it goes without saying that not ALL historical accuracy can be or will be observed in this videogame. I understand that more than anyone here, I who has played Age of Empires, World of Warships, World of Warplanes and several other games.

But there is no harm in making posts, such as this one, in proposing some changes to the game. Honestly, I am not expecting my Hun change proposals to be fully agreed upon, much less entirely endorsed by the whole Community and the devs. But I wanted to let out my thoughts on the matter.

Well…you never know. :wink:

I think it’s a bit late for changes in core-gameplay ambits. We have to accept that this game was never intended for 100% historical accuracy, and in most cases it’s a “what if”. Plus there’s no point in potentially ruin a civ (or take away key aspects of it most people already enjoy of it) because we have to redesign it so it completely fits historical standards

When you start with one, you other members of the community will want the rest too. So there aren’t many half measures.

And of course you can make topic to discuss it, until you don’t spam it.

If that makes you feel better by any means…

I’d like this not to be a massive nerf, but Elite Step Lancers aren’t serviceable as post-imp cav option in their current state. Just look at how often Cumans get the ESL tech.

It does sound like it could be fun, having ESL against melee threats and Marauders against archer threats.

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such as… auto-scout, adding new civs and units (fire galleys, demo rafts, steppe lancers, etc.), boars chase after 1 hit, etc?
This is kind of a poor argument when we have all been playing HD and DE which both have introduced a lot of core gameplay changes from the base game from 1999. 20 years in, I don’t think anyone can logically argue its “too late” for changes.
Regarding the OPs idea… I can see the argument for removing palas from huns. I dont know about adding SL, other than for the historical element. I would rather see the Tarkan made to be a more prominent element of hun cav options, since it would spark some creative strategies and stuff. I think it would be worth a try.
A new nomadic architecture would be cool, but I think you’d need more than 2 civs to make it worth it.

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