Pre-game lobby vote for Villager count


I was thinking about how people are debating the ideal starting number of villagers.

I think in the pre-game lobby it would be nice if the players could vote on the starting number of villagers in a similar way to how we vote for a map before the game begins.

So if people want a faster game they will vote higher, and if they want slower they will go for a lower number of starting vills.



people generally have no idea what they actually want, most people think they do, but they dont actually

i would bet big money you would simply get most people voting “standard” because they are afraid of change

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Careful… I’ve heard these words before

On a more serious note, I do think people don’t ‘know’ if they would enjoy more villagers at the start of the game simply because they don’t have the ability to test it out. But ‘wanting to try it out’ and ‘knowing what you want’ aren’t the same

oh god no. the entire game is balanced around the standard start. Just a few consequences of this:
a buff to Huns as everyone starts housed
a buff to mayans who are usually the only ones who are housed at the start, but still have 1 extra vil
a nerf to Goths, because instant loom is no longer a benefit, everyone will research it at the start while housed anyways
a nerf to civs with early food bonuses: franks, mongols as there is now less food needed for vils and getting horse collar before making farms is easier

this sounds like an unbalanced mess of a game mode and should stay in custom lobbies. if you want a faster game, play empire wars or DM.

I am not totally opposed to an option like ‘random civ’ where if both players chose it, it gets applied to both. but something like map selection where someone else would be able to ban 3 vil start would make me uninstall the game


I think it is obvious that all other civs would receive houses at the start with less initial wood to compensate as in EW, as well as a balance in the amount of initial food. Assuming this discussion is due the Warlords tournament, if the 9 villager start is the most popular experimental start, then starting with 2 houses for 15 initial pop suffices.

I agree, but a general nerf to Mayans is probably needed anyway. If this change is made alongside a nerf to Mayans then they would balance out.

Again, Goths is a very problematic civ from a design perspective since always because they are too one dimensional on a unit type that has always been weak historically speaking. The problem is with Goths, not with the game mode itself, as in the case of Mayans.

I think this is not correct guessing. My prediction for Mongols is that now you can go for crazy fast build orders as now you are able to skip the whole sheep gathering phase and instantly go hunting (although laming should be harder) alongside the scouting bonus which is amazing when you have less time to explore the map. As for Franks, I’m not worried in terms of win rates at all (they have 58% ish winrate, only behind Gurjaras, so any nerf to them is a good thing in any case). Besides, Franks should be even better, as you start sending foragers faster and benefiting from instant upgrades every time they age up (which should be much faster).

It is possible that ripple effects would happen with a different opening, but I think your examples are not good as a way of disuading people from testing this game mode. I personally think it’s should be an interesting thing to test out in a competitive way and see how it sticks.


I think voting in the pre-game lobby is already obnoxious as is, especially when you can’t talk to the group you’re queueing with in-game. You’ll only get a minute after the match is found.

It’s better if different vill starts are left for Custom Maps - then, you can just host the map if you want to play with those settings, and similar style maps can be added into the Ranked mode if they are balanced enough around it like in Warlords. Picking such a map means you’ll all be playing on that setting.


in EW you don’t start with less wood. a house costs more than just wood, do you also compensate that somehow? what about civs with wood discounts?

not the point, also this is ad-hoc arguing. the point is that standard start is by far the most popular and competitive game setting. this is what balancing is focussed on. you are suggesting to introduce an unbalanced game mode.

Goths and Mongols were also just examples of how this might affect balancing. there are tons more and it’s very possible that the examp### I am thinking of will play out differently

I am not opposed (actually in favour) of adding this game mode in custom lobbies. maybe make it customizable: every player starts with +X villagers, +Y scouts, +Z houses, +A food etc. But in my opinion it has no place in the ranked queue

a tournament with civ bans suits this better and then its own queue. the same way Chinese were globally banned in RedBull Wololo 1 because they were OP.

its hilarious how you come to this conclusion and then base everything else off of it. do you assume we’re all idiots? and then work your way from there?

“they are idiots, so oBvIoUsLy they didnt think of housing”

ding ding! exactly

wont even need a nerf, this change is an indirect nerf to chinese and mayans, and arguably civs like hindus and potentially even bengalis (sad elephant noises) because their additional vils later on are worth less in relation

pretty sure this suggestion was brought up a while ago, like most “new” things it takes a while for the community to work up the courage to accept that it might be better and/or more enjoyable

ask @MatCauthon3 I think he was suggesting it last time, think the community was generally against it (like everything else that is different)

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i base it off the post as it’s written. if the idea was presented better it would come to these misunderstandings. Also having prebuilt houses has its own issues:

  • it buffs Mayans (unless you add a multiple of 5 vils),
  • removes the decision of where to build houses
  • removes decisions on how many houses to build, eg incas can build only one house if they want
  • nerfs huns a little
    and messes with balance in general

I am not opposed to testing this. i just dont think it should be tested on people in ranked queue

Voting and having it be different every game sounds pretty annoying honestly.

I’d rather they just pick a number and make that how the game works from now on. Something from 6-9 probably.

Honestly the game seems much better that way than the 3 villager start we’ve had forever.

AoE2 suffers somewhat from having the start be very slow and mostly uninteresting compared to many other RTS games.

On the other hand Empire Wars takes it too far. No time to scout, buildings are already built everywhere you probably don’t want them, etc…

and half the playerbase leaves the game. Why do you think this would be popular?

Why do you think half the playerbase would leave the game? That seems awfully dramatic.

that’s just your opinion. i like the “slow” start, it gives just enough time to scout your opponent. when watching matches it gives the casters time to analyze the civ matchup etc.

because people have practiced build orders for years and they suddenly become suboptimal/impossible.
in the time it takes to make the first 3-6 vils you are usually scouting and gathering resources. if you just start the game at that point you are down quite a bit of res
currently if you are trying to hit your opponent with maa or other early attack you just about have enough time to find your sheep, boar and gold. then find your opponent.
with 5 extra vils you are 2 minutes behind in scouting.
with even just 4 extra vils you would want to build a lumbercamp instantly but might not even see a forest when the game starts
it just unnecessarily messes with so much stuff and for what? because people don’t have the attention span to spend 2 more ingame minutes in dark age?

why change something that isn’t broken?
tbf claiming that half the playerbase would leave is dramatic

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regicide, regicide fortress, and rm are ideal.