NEW Byzantine UU (proposal) - Utilizes Greek fire UT

Cheirosiphon (“hand-siphon”), the earliest analogue to a modern flamethrower. It was portable projector of Greek fire.

It is extensively attested in the military documents of the 10th century by several authors. It first appears in the Tactica of emperor Leo VI the Wise, who claims to have invented it.

It was prescribed for use at land and in sieges, both against siege machines and against defenders on the walls, and their use is depicted in the Poliorcetica of Hero of Byzantium:

The illustration of Hero’s Poliorcetica shows the Cheirosiphon throwing the ignited substance.

The immediate question is, how is this going to be implemented in game?

These are the units that have attack bonus against siege weapons. Few of them have attack bonuses both against siege weapons and walls/gates, castles, buildings, and one of the latter is Petard.

Cheirosiphon (Petard upgrade). It Will be available after researching the already existing Castle age Unique tech Greek fire, additionally to its current effects.

Its exact design is up to conversation. Petards are slow moving (0.8 - also Teutonic Knight movement speed), and if it will not be for one-time use, then it can have a range of 2-3, competing with the slower siege units (0.6) of the opponent and their buildings (with attack bonuses), damaging over-time instead of immediately, like a Fire ship on land. With a proper design, can be a magnificent defensive tool in the hands of the Defensive Civilization, iconic for the game, utilizing more convincingly on land the Castle age UT.


I don’t forget the other popular proposal, the heavy infantry unit Varangian, but the idea of Cheirosiphon recently comes up hot :fire: like its spout substance.


The fact that it upgrades Petard but it is not of one-time use, is problematic tho.

In the comments below another idea has been proposed; a short range, fast firing, Mangonel-like siege unit (with the appearance of a footman carrying a flamethrower), with attack bonuses against siege units & buildings (wooden things, so “stone defense” armor class should be excluded), unlocked in Castle age, after Greek fire UT research, trained at Castle.


These guys are so powerful that to be balanced, their companies are of a tiny number in M2TW.

We expect this unit do deal monstruous AOE damage, and if implemented it should deliver. It’s a flamethrower after all. So the first thing to balance it, it should be quite pricy. It’s also a flamethrower, a weapon that is probably not anyone’s first choice when it comes to surgical accuracy, so like the mangonel, it should damage both friends and foe within its spash damage radius, which would require being more careful than just putting some in an infantry formation, lest you barbecue your own men.

Overall, I’d say it should be a short-range, fast-firing mangonel. With indeed bonuses against siege ships and wooden buildings (it would be a poor choice against stone walls…).

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It has to be the same price if it’s upgrade of Petard and play exactly the same role, because the player will replace Petard with it. So it has to be balanced accordingly, else it will have to be independent Castle unit.

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Honestly, that’s a terrible idea. The petard sucks, and replacing the petard would just be a total waste of the amazing potential the flamethrower has.


ask sapsan and ceasar to create one, they should be able to

Yea, but I don’t think that devs would like to see a proposal of a revolutionary unit that will come as a threat to the established balance, especially for an old civ that does not come with a DLC. For the old civs, I guess they are more willing to implement customizations on existing “measured” units. That’s why.

It can be an independent Castle unit still. I chose Petard because of its role similarity with the prescribed role of that flamethrower.

Instead of an upgrade over the petard, what about outright replacing it ?


It can be an outright replacement, but that way Greek fire UT would not be involved as a prerequisite.

Or we may not need to replace or upgrade the petard, as it could take the same slot of the Tatar flaming camel upon researching greek fire.


True, there is already that Imperial age UT, of Tatars, that reveals the Flaming Camel in a dedicated spot in Castle.

So, Cheirosiphon can be an independent footman unit in that spot, as @TheConqueror753 prefers, unlocked in Castle age, after Greek fire UT research. I’m not sure about its new role tho, I can only think of it as a Fire ship on land. And I guess we should stick to the, by the sources, prescribed use.


If I was making it, it would set units on fire, and then they burn for X damage over Y seconds. Also just spews fire everywhere. Something like that probably.

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But it has to be feasible with the engine of the game. There is no damage over time debuff mechanism in AoE, there is only that continuously bombardment with invisible projectiles by a stationed attacker (the known spew of fire sprite, of Fire ships). Nor stray fire here and there.

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Not yet. But with changes to the engine, it could be done.

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With the current engine, my idea of indiscriminate splash damage like the mangonel, but on a much shorter range, would fit a flamethrower best. Making it a high-risk high-reward unit, you could either barbecue the enemy line or your own men with it.

Byzantines already have an outstanding anti-infantry option, the cataphract, so to differenciate it, it should come with the risk. It’s a civ that already needs to think tactically (relying a lot on counter-units) instead of brute force.

(they will not fire automatically if your units would be hit in the blast… but you can order them to do so :innocent: )

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I like the short range, fast firing, Mangonel-like siege unit, with attack bonuses against siege units & regular buildings (wooden things).

I don’t know how much is in danger to end up a gimmick tho. I will think about the whole concept.

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We’re talking about adding a brand new UU to a classic AOK civ, so it’s inevitable the unit would be somewhat gimmicky to avoid changing the civ too much. But then it’s mainly about how to balance it.

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I think it’s better for Greek fire to unlock Flame tower that already exists from the campaign instead and it fits their defensive theme more.


If the devs are okay with doing huge changes to AoK civs, I think the flamethrower could become the main UU for the Byzantines while the cataphract would be rebalanced and turned into a regional unit replacing cavaliers and paladins for Byzantines, Persians, Chinese and probably other Asian civs.
In addition to bonus damages against buildings, sieges and ships (balanced by really poor damage against any other unit), this unit could have the unique ability of dealing damages to garrisoned units while attacking buildings and rams. Kings should probably be imune to this effect, as the unit would become op in regicide otherwise.

They have, kind of, already made that in the April patch, buffing slightly the Byzantine Bombard Tower (it deals friendly fire now, tho):

They should increase the blast damage, or the blast area, or both btw. That tower comes in, the same age the treb comes in, and costs gold. Friendly fire is for good.

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yeah, but what they gave to byz’s bombard tower is kinda useless. Real flame tower is better.