Reasons to give Byzantines Treadmill Crane - a Primer

Okay, let’s start from the top:

According to, Byzantines have a lower than 50% winrate, across all skill levels, and aggregate among all maps. This comports with the arguments some have made in the recent past as to their effective strength, generally speaking they aren’t good enough.

This is in agreement with the developers, who, in the last patch, gave them Town Watch as a defensive minded buff. (This is inaccurate, I’ve misspoken. They’ve had that for a good long while) But there’s a far more important defensive buff we’re leaving out.

The romans, as far as I can tell, are credited with the first Treadmill crane, and the Byzantines are the remains of the Roman empire. Yet the Byzantines lack Treadmill crane, a tech that has seen a lot of indecision over the years as to whether or not certain civs should have it:

The Conquerors

  • With patch 1.0b, Treadmill Crane costs 300F/200W.
  • Huns: Can research Treadmill Crane.

The Forgotten

  • Goths: Treadmill Crane removed from their technology tree.
  • Huns: Treadmill Crane removed from their technology tree.
  • Vikings: Treadmill Crane added to their technology tree.

The African Kingdoms

  • Japanese: With patch 4.8, Treadmill Crane is added to their technology tree.

I contend that the Byzantines should be added to this list, for three reasons:

  1. It’ll help with the fast construction of defenses and military buildings.
  2. It won’t cause the same problems that are visible with the Goths or Huns (who had their treadmill crane removed), as the main threat of quick production from few buildings isn’t a real threat from the Byzantines for raiding purposes, especially lacking Blast furnace.
  3. It’s literally a Roman tech.

Giving Byzantines treadmill crane will give them a serious leg up in the construction of fortifications and in conjunction with their much cheaper Imperial age, could make for a very significant buff where they probably should have had it to begin with. Discuss. Edited for correction.

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I cant really tell whether you are serious or not.

For a troll, you put way too much effort in this.

But why would you demand a tech so absurdly useless that i who learned play the game with byz didnt even know they are lacking??

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I guess he is a DM player.


Hm true, that would make sense, thats the one situation the tech actually matters.

Treadmill crane is not useless. No, I’m not a DM player.

The Byzantines do not have a very population efficient composition. Most of their most effective single units lack upgrades (no Blast furnace, no Siege Engineers). Adding treadmill crane gives them the option of both shortening their reinforcement lines quicker (forward buildings) and supplementing with fortifications (towers, castles, etc.) which will make your army more efficient.

If you have any want or need to send villagers out for buildings, be it a forward Siege Workshop or controlling a hill / resources with a Castle, you want Treadmill crane. You don’t need it and there’s certainly people who do without, but it’s foolish to assert that Treadmill crane is useless.

Turk BBT spam in TG’s relies on Treadmill crane. Their main benefit to the strategy is the free, instant upgrade to the option, but physically making the tower push takes a long time and measurably longer without Treadmill crane. This would help the Byz in team games with a similar strategy.

Certainly treadmill crane would help in DM, but that’s not why I’ve suggested it.

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Tread Mill crane is waste of resources in RM, unless you spam Towers with Koreans, Japanese, Turks or Portuguese.

No, you don’t want it, because it’s just useless.


proceeds to give a use I’ve mentioned

It’s best not to contradict yourself when making an argument.

Am I to assume, based off of the mood of the thread, that none of you disagree with the fact that we can give Byzantines Treadmill Crane? Because that’s what it seems like.

Adding treadmill crane gives them the option of both shortening their reinforcement lines quicker (forward buildings) and supplementing with fortifications (towers, castles, etc.) which will make your army more efficient.

Well, then just send 5 more vills to build those rax/stable/ranges. Heck, send 15 more. The ressources you lose from them not gathering for a while will be a lot less than the cost of treadmill: Treadmill costs about 25 villager minutes and saves you 10 villager seconds per barracks. You need to construct an amazing 150 barracks to get back your investment. Im not even sure you could fit that many on the map. As i said above, the tech is just bad.

Actually, i once saw a pro player get it. In RBW1. Because of point victory. Thats literally the only reason anyone ever got that tech in a tournament: Because its a way to boost score.

Turk BBT spam in TG’s relies on Treadmill crane.

But you were talking byz, not Turk BBT spam. That might actually be the one case it is useful.

Am I to assume, based off of the mood of the thread, that none of you disagree with the fact that we can give Byzantines Treadmill Crane? Because that’s what it seems like.

Hm, would it not be a nerf to them in RM? As weaker players might then waste ressources on it? :wink: But yes, no one will notice if you give it to them, so i dont really oppose the change.


The capability of any civ to perform any strategy effectively depends on the techs they have access to and the civ itself. The Turks have Treadmill Crane. Byz does not.

Turks still have Artillery, so they’d still inarguably have the better BBT’s in practice, but at least the Byzantines wouldn’t be incapable of putting them up in time to be meaningful.

That being said, seems like you don’t have a problem with them getting treadmill crane, so you agree with the premise of the thread despite underestimating the effect. That’s fine. I think the effect is rather small myself, but distinctly meaningful.

Also, since you guys seem to know more about DM than I do, is Byz considered to be good in DM? I wouldn’t believe them to be, they seem to be missing a lot of important options and their cavalry is lackluster. Assuming I’m right, that’s another reason to add it, I guess?

Here. The party isn’t playing along. Let me give you one clear, distinct situation where the Byz could use treadmill crane.

Water map landings. All things considered, the Byz navy is actually very, very strong. Faster firing fire ships, a completely full dock tech tree. The only things they are missing are Heated shot (oh my) (yes that was sarcasm)… and Treadmill crane. Faster construction means the first building is finished quicker and the following buildings are up sooner.

It also means that they’d be better at securing landings on neutral areas. Water maps magnify this specific effect which I’ve already outlined in the original post, being able to secure resources and territory. On water maps, I think we’d agree this has a measurable benefit.

Thats such a weird scenario. A post imp situation where you lost water but are still able to sneak transports? That just doesnt happen. Sneak landings happen in feudal, sometimes in castle.

Just admit you overestimated the effect of the tech instead of making up weird scenarios where it might have an impact 11

You don’t need to sneak for a water landing to be necessary and useful. Water in the lategame can very easily be a stalemate or a mixed army scenario where the landings are as important as the water itself to abuse construction/mass rams to mess with the enemy units and force micro inefficiency and/or overkill, not to mention simply controlling neutral resources on extra islands.

How many buildings you have for contesting island control and winning on land is determined by how fast you can build them in practically any case, and in those cases, Treadmill crane is invaluable.

Treadmill crane helps with all of these scenarios and I find it hard to believe you’re going to spite this point just because you didn’t think of it because you don’t play water maps. A reasonable poster would concede that “Oh, I didn’t think of that, yeah, in that case it’d be a good thing to have” not

which… What even are you trying to do with such a statement? Are you trying to win the argument by making the case that since I didn’t preface the discussion with this option in mind, that it’s somehow irrelevant to the discussion of giving the Byzantines treadmill crane? That’s foolish. It just shows how limited the scope of your game knowledge is to assert that there’s no use for it to have this thrown at you later.

Concede the point or fight bitterly to the end, I’ll have it both ways, but one looks better to someone trying to assess credibility. The tech has purpose. Whether you’ll acknowledge that is a matter of whether or not you’ll die on a poorly picked hill or not. Your choice.

Uh what? It was back in AoC no?

So for historical reasons you’re asking for treadmill crane while you could ask for siege engineer, heavy scorpion AND siege onager? You lack ambition on that one

I lack strong, easily made justification for those stronger buffs, not ambition.

I think you’d be hard pressed to make the argument that Treadmill crane would be too much an edge for Byzantines, even in the best cases. I think you could easily make the argument that giving them Siege engineers, for example, could really rewrite the Byz gameplan, especially against stronger ranged compositions. Siege Engineers would drastically change the Byzantines-Chinese matchup, as the clear and obvious example as to why I’m not just pushing for some huge change.

I want to start with the things that I think no reasonable person would agree makes sense for them to miss. I don’t think anyone with any sense about them would argue that Byzantines missing treadmill crane makes a modicum of sense for gameplay, balance, or design reasons whatsoever. We can argue about the extra stuff once they aren’t just inexplicably missing obvious things

You are right, I don’t know why I believed they were handed town watch recently. I’ll edit the post to reflect. My bad.

You guys just just like to complain. I don’t believe giving them that tech would make much difference in his win rate but why not give it anyway even if it isn’t very useful? How bad would that be? At least it would be historically accurate and there would be more room for another minor buff.