[Polling] Secret DLC bonus: bug or feature

edit: Should be +4 instead of +5

Legionary bonus damage against infantry
  • Keep +5 bonus damage against infantry
  • Remove +5 bonus damage against infantry
  • I don’t care
0 voters

In every expansion of Age of Empires II (AOE2) since its release in 1999, there seems to be a hidden bonus feature not explicitly mentioned in the description. This ‘secret’ element often results in a civilization or unit becoming overpowered, effectively incentivizing fans to purchase the DLC. If this bonus later proves to imbalance the game, it is commonly addressed as a bug and subsequently removed.

(Kindly correct or add to the following if any inaccuracies are spotted)

The Conquerors Expansion
The War Wagon possesses an undisclosed bonus damage against the Mangonel line of units.

The Forgotten Expansion
I haven’t played this particular DLC, so no specific insights can be shared at this moment.

The African Kingdoms Expansion
The Berber’s unique technology, Maghrebi Camels, applies to all players. This allows Camel Riders and Camel Archers to regenerate 15 hit points per minute. (credit @Apocalypso4826)

Rise of the Rajas Expansion
The Arambai unit benefits from an unmentioned +2 armor against anti-cavalry archer attacks.

The Last Khans Expansion
The Cumans civilization boasts a mysterious feature related to their second town center (TC) build time.

Lords of the West Expansion
The Burgundians’ unique unit, the Coustillier, exhibits a charge attack that inflicts double damage on cavalry archer class units. (credit @SMUM15236 )

Dawn of the Dukes Expansion
The Obuch unit can be trained in a surprisingly short span of just 9 seconds as a cavalry civilization.

Dynasties of India Expansion
The Dravidians’ unique unit, the Urumi Swordsman, possesses an area of effect (AOE) damage during its charge attack. This fact, interestingly, was never explicitly stated in any description. Despite this, the Urumi Swordsman is generally perceived as a weaker unit, so the feature has been retained. Additionally, the Gurjaras’ mounted units benefit from a bonus damage of +50% with rounding error.

Return of Rome Expansion
The Legionary unit enjoys a +4 bonus damage against infantry units.

In Conquerors, Saracens had a hidden tech called “Camelry” that only was researched in Post-Imp games. It gave Mamelukes +25 Cavalry Armor:


Maghrebi Camels didn’t just apply to the whole team, but all players, including your enemies. That was a bug, not a feature.


Kind of like the old Huns Atheism which prolong Wonder and Relic victories for all players instead of just your enemies

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Yeah, kinda, except that was an intentional effect. This was obviously unintentional, and was fixed rather quickly.

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I think being a little better against Infantry is a core part of their identity.
I don’t think that’s a secret.
In many ways they are halfway between a Champion and an Elite Jaguar Warrior.

I think the Elite Jaguar Warrior is the unit that needs a redesign.

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The bonus damage value is 4, rather than 5. :slight_smile:

Also some of the other points in the list have long since been patched out of the game.
The LotW note was removed in a hotfix for example, Winged Hussars doing +4 damage versus gunpowder units seems like the more appropriate mention for little known DLC facts.


I found this video from MikeEmpires.

Interestingly the Roman comp of Centurion + Legionary is beaten hy a whole bunch of other UUs. Includings several Melee infanty:

We’re speakig here of the Roman endgame comp, not just spamming one single unit.
If there wasn’t for this Bonus damage the Comp would also lose to other Infantry units like
Flemish (!)

Leaving only the specialised UU Infantry that aren’t intended to be generally strong in combat to be beaten.

So yes, I think the Bonus is pretty much needed for Romans.

Also interestingly, as so many people claimed how OP the Roman units would be. The Comp is in total beaton by about 1/3 of all single UUs in the game. In comparison there are single UUs like Leitis, Coustillier, Obuch or even the Urumi which are beaten by only about Half of that amount.

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Kamauyk and Condotterio not getting attack bonus vs Eagle.

Umm…what mysterious feauture?

*Cavalry Archer.

How does that a bug or feature? Real bug is Obuch converted by Sicilians player could build Donjon.


I think that is exactly why Legionary gets exactly +4 attack bonus. And in upcoming patch, new Persians UU that replaces Cavalier and Paladin, will have exact +4 attack bonus vs Archer.


The 2nd TC for Cumans builds slower in Feudal Age.


Yeah, that’s for balance. I don’t see any mystery to this.


At least for Kamayuk, I think the Kamayuks would lose if there was only one-two Centurions (preferably not in battle) buffing up the Legionaries.

In fact, full Legionary beat the Legionary + Centurion combo. That’s them going against the very strong Centurion unit that also buffs up enemy Legionary!

I suppose similar results would happen if there were fewer Centurion, so the Legionaries actually end up doing more bonus damage, so units like TKs would die too. But then again, it’s a MikeEmpires video. You’re not going to get anything based in reality from it 11

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Nice topic i never expected reading the devs defending their OP free bonuses, is there any explanation or any compensation measure for lets say aztec’s champions? why do we have so many copy pasta unit stats now? more hp, more armor, faster creation and charge attack wasn’t enough or it was merely for selling more?

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None of the bonuses mentioned are really all that OP. At least, the ones that still remain.

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You get comparison in sheer “power” of units from it.

And then we see stuff like this in the forums:

Why are so many complaining about the “OP” Legionaries but nobody about Leitis, Coustillier etc?

Cause these units trash the Legionaries performance and not by a slim margin. Nobody even talks about it.

Yes they have been nerfed since their release, but they are still super powerful. Which is also their selling point. Cause When you throw in Paladin in the same test they actually would perform similar (if not slightly better) than the Centurion + Legionariy combo. The only way you can make an incentive to go for a cavalry UU is to make it so OP, it’s basically beating everything.

If Legionaries are nerfed we also need to nerf Paladins, Cause not only Paladins are better in their sheer fighting perfomance. They also have mobility which the Legionaries don’t have.

And yes a big part of that comes from the missing Suipplies for Romans, which is imo one of the weirdest missings in the game for “balance” reasons. If one civ should have Supplies it’s actually the Romans.
But this missing just makes the Legionaries way more expensive which leads to that seemingly worse performance than their stats sugggest.
They have the superior stats to the Champs and the Bonus damage, but the way higher cost makes it you can’t afford the same numbers.

And it’s also intereesting that the Poll actually shows that most people in the Forum actually share this interpretation and it’s only a very vocal minority that complains about one single “hidden” stat. Not reflecting that this is actually more than compensated by the missing of supplies.

There are a few bonusses from Romans which aren’t “OP”, but that are hard to deal with if you haven’t the experience.
The double BS bonus is one of these. It benefits both their milita and spear lines which then can be used super efficient against archers or cavalry. WHEN the opponent engages.
And that’s sadly still one of the biggest mistakes unexperienced players do with their units, that they too often engage when they don’t have to.

Hera also revealed in one of his videos that there is nothing a feudal player can do against LS with castle age BS armor. They have 5 PA. TCs and Archers do only 1 damage to them. Scouts or you own MAA would possibly the best “options”, but bothe would still have to fight against a unit from an age above with two extra melee armor. (Edit: Just checked, even those only tickle the roman LS, so there’s literally nothing to deal with them)
Ofc it’s not so easy to get there for Romans. But it’s definitely a strategic option that needs to be accounted for. Meaning you can’t play an extended feudal against Romans. And if you don’t know that, you are in very high danger to be trashed by the early castle age LS + BS Armor powerspike.

But all this has nothing to do with the Legionary.

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I’m in big favor of Romans getting Supplies. Maybe even Gambeson. Then balance Legionary accordingly.

Yet their win rate falls at that time period. So maybe not as big of a concern as Hera may suggest.

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How does a player discover it?

The big issue is all this hidden bonus or bonus suggested. I played serveral years before discovering that there is more bonus than pikeman against cav. (at this time internet wasn’t common and spirit of the law didn’t exist yet) I discover the javelin have bonus against bowman much later.
Aoe2 doesn’t say that there is hidden bonus. They say that x unit is good against x unit and as a regular human I beleive it’s because of the unit stat (hp, armor, attack…).
I have friend who understand there is something fishie behind that and make an excel which each unit with the result of each fight and the cost of each fight. It was few days of full time job only because they hide the fact that there is hidden bonuses. Last year a friend who is quite good (2k) didn’t know that the upgrade for battle ship increase the production speed… he thanks it was use less because he build drakkar. And also that janisary doesn’t have anti infanterie bonus

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No, not Gambesons. Nuh-uh. Their swordsmen are tanky enough already.


But it is biased. Ranged units very rarely have a chance, so melee units will perform better against them. Since there’s no micro, melee units almost always beat the ranged ones. But using MikeEmpires videos about Urumi winning most matches should not be used as proof for whether the unit is good or bad, as an example, nor can we call it biased.

In this instance, as I said - if there were only a few Centurion and more Legionaries, and the Centurion was ####### (or just not engaging), some of the results would flip for sure.

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