Reworking Germany for better historical representation

If they do it for American natives why not for Europeans?

The goal: to rework the German civ in such a way that it better represents the HRE without requiring new unit or building models so that all can be done in programming.


Leader: Charles V

Home city: Vienna

In the Definitive edition, the German flag has been changed to the imperial standard of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE from now on). Clearly (in my eyes) stating that the German civ represents the HRE, however small things still remain that oppose this view upon the German Civ. The name Germany and Germans are understandable an technically not incorrect. People in the Holy Roman Empire certainly wouldn’t call themselves holy romans, They sooner call themselves Bavarians, Saxons, Bohemians or wherever they would be from. Germany and Germans are acceptable catch-all terms when representing this civ. However the Leader and home city are Frederick the Great and Berlin. While those are definitely German, they are also a more modern German and do not represent the HRE Germany this game tries to represent. Frederick the Great was foremost King of Brandenburg-Prussia, while situated (partly) in the HRE. Frederick the Great was not ruler of the HRE, “merely” the Elector of Brandenburg. While he did have a say in electing the Emperor, he never was himself. He was more known for opposing the Austrians in fact.
Speaking of Austrians, the house of Habsburg was the prime supplier of Holy Roman emperors in the game’s time period. A more proper representative of the HRE would therefore be one of them. Maximillian I, Charles V and Ferdinand II would be good candidates in my opinion. I personally prefer Charles V as he led the HRE during the period in which it was the largest and even contained Spain and the new world under Habsburg rule. An Austrian leader would also mean Berlin changing into Vienna as home city, an easy change to make which I already did myself in game even. With these changes you could even say Austria is in the game without even adding an Austrian civ. To be fair this is the only change that would require artwork to be done, which was something I wanted to avoid. But then again it’s easy to pluck a portrait of Charles V from the internet and plaster it over Frederick’s portrait. New voice lines would be nice, but ultimately you will rarely see them anyway. There are only a few voice lines that blatantly state “I am Frederick” just remove those and nobody will notice.
Charles V.2


  1. Mercenary shipments contain more troops and can be send twice.

  2. Starts with three settler wagons.

  3. Royal Guard units: Skirmisher (Landwehr) Uhlan (Czapka Uhlan).

Extra mercenaries remain as the only remnant of the old German ability, to make it a bit more exciting you can now send each mercenary card twice (Japanese style). The change to the German ability is made to give Germany a stronger mercenary play, please note that Uhlans are mercenaries in this rework and are referred to as Polish Uhlans. More about that further below

A simple name change for the Royal Guard skirmisher removes the Prussian connection and gives it a more HRE feel.

Worth mentioning is that the experience required for shipments is set to normal.

Unique Units:

  1. Settler Wagon: A German villager that is more expensive but gathers faster than a Settler.

  2. Doppelsoldner: Heavy swordsman with a sweep attack.

  3. War Wagon: Hussite horse-drawn wagon outfitted with cannon.

  4. Uhlan: Polish Light cavalry Mercenary with high attack and low HP.

Uhlans are not German at all, but Polish. To reference this, Uhlans are now considered Polish mercenaries. This means they are upgraded by the improved mercenaries card and the mercenary contractor politician and making their shipments (which remain unchanged) keep sending them in the same amounts as before and even let players send those cards twice for that all in play. To differentiate them from other mercenaries and to not change too much for players who really liked Germany for the Uhlan game plan their cost remains as it currently is (note that their home city cards are still free of cost, unique for a mercenary card). Uhlans are unique to Germany and are the only mercenary in the game that costs a resource besides gold. Their upgrades to veteran, guard and imperial are still available and are situated in the Brauhaus where they are now produced instead of the stables. The goal of this change is foremost to give the Germans a more HRE feel. But I didn’t want to delete the old play style completely, but this way the German player has to make an actual choice if he wants to harass your town in the early game instead of just getting the cavalry and figuring “eh… might as well.”. German players no longer get free army when they to choose to go for economy.

Since the Uhlan is now a mercenary, War wagons are the sole unit build in the German stables.

Unique Buildings:

Brauhaus: The German version of the saloon, has a build limit of three and always contains the Uhlan, Landsknecht, Black Rider and Jaeger. Does not contain outlaws or other mercenaries.

I wanted to let Germany get their mercenaries in a way besides shipments, but the best way to do it was taken by the Swedes and I didn’t just want to copy that. Three saloons mirror the maximum number of three native embassies and Beer houses seemed like a nice and proper German name. I wouldn’t mind the regular saloon look, but if visual difference is preferred a recolour doesn’t seem like an awful lot of work.


  1. Gran Colombia

  2. Argentina

  3. Hungary

  4. Mexico

Mexico is added to the revolutions list for the Germans. It is a small reference to Emperor Maximillian I of Mexico, who was a Habsburg and the brother to Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Home city cards

Removed cards:

    • (TEAM) 10 cree allies
    • Dance Hall
    • Lipizzaner Cavalry
    • Cavalry Hitpoints
    • Cavalry Combat

I wanted to add another native card, and the team cree card is really the only native card the Germans had.

Since Germany doesn’t build saloons, dance hall is an easy remove.

Lipizzaner Cavalry is removed because Uhlans are mercenaries now and gain +20 atk and hp from improved mercenaries and from the mercenary contractor. They can miss that 15%.

Cav HP and combat are removed because they now only affect war wagons, better to combine that in one new card.

New cards:

    • (Repeatable) Jesuit Allies: sends 6 Jesuit Conquistadors.
    • Improved War Wagons: +20% atk and HP.
    • Peace of Augsburg: Ships a church wagon and increases the church build limit by 1.
    • Fugger bank: Sends a bank wagon.
    • Sack of Rome: increased experience gain from destroying buildings

All Europeans except the Germans and Ottomans have a repeatable age IV natives card. I wanted to add one for the Germans but no natives seemed to really fit. Except for the Jesuits. The Jesuit order was founded in 1540 just before start of the counter-reformation and played a major part in it. As a bonus the unit they provide is Spanish, which links them nicely to the Spanish Habsburgs.

The improved war wagon card is a slight nerf to the total HP of war wagons after all cards are send, but a small buff to their damage. Also it require less total cards send.

The Peace of Augsburg card was an idea I had earlier to increase the German XP gain. In this rework it is maybe not needed, but I was very pleased with the idea of the card and just wanted to show it off. The Peace of Augsburg basically legalized the Lutheran religion as an alternative too Catholicism in the HRE (If your ruler decided to be Lutheran that is). So 2 religions, 2 churches seemed like a good fit for the XP hungry Germans.

Jacob Fugger “the rich” lend vast amounts of money to the Habsburg for them to buy the election of emperor. I wanted to reference the Fuggers and what better way than with a bank. I also nicely plays in a more mercenary styled gameplay.

The Sack of Rome card was thought of in the same way as the Peace of Augsburg card, but I liked the idea too much not too share it.

Reworked cards:

Peace of Westphalia

  1. Von Wallenstein’s Contracts: Mercenaries are produced quicker and mercenary shipments arrive faster.

  2. Tilly’s Discipline: No change.

  3. Zweihander: Name changed to Swabian League

The current Von Wallenstein’s Contracts is laughably bad, increased production speed and shipping speed for mercenaries allows the Germans to have mercenaries on the field in no time at all. Balanced out by a max of three productions buildings for them.

Zweihander is just the name of the sword, the Swabian league was considered to be the first Landsknecht army raised in Germany by Maximillian I.


I really wish I could find a good excuse to add musketeers to the German barracks. I think every European civ should have musketeers anyway, or a special unit version of them.


I very much agree with your statements. Especially in making the German faction less Prussian and more referring to the Holy Germanic Roman Empire. My only disagreement is with the leader being Charles V, after all it would be strange for the Spanish king to fight against Spain itself, instead of him, I believe Leopold I or Joseph II.
Although I don’t think the Germans are a weak civilization, I wish that somehow they could train musketeers, in addition to the option of revolution. In fact, I wish the Dutch could do it too, all European civilizations should have access to this unit. Please don’t tell me it’s not like that in the name of balance because the Japanese have samurai who are better than doppelsolders and ashigarus who are better than the European musketeer.


I don’t agree with some of your opinions. It has to do with balance and game concept.
However, I think the opinions of the parts not related to balance are good.
Some cards and descriptions would be better renamed as in your opinion.

I’m not sure I agree with these changes.
The germans were a messy collection of small principalities and independent cities during that time. They became even more fragmented during protestant reforms.
Germans as a nation only started to become stronger and more unified because of Prussia. Prussia/Brandenburg was the most powerful kingdom of the HRE, was it not? Stronger than bavaria. And Prussia’s capital was berlin. After Prussia defeated France, that’s when germans REALLY could consider themselves a superpower.

Can some german person in this forum comment about all the german units in this game and from which era they are? I assume the germans represented in AOE3 are largely from 19th century.



Uhlans were Polish-Lithuanian light cavalry units armed with lances and, sabres and pistols. The Polish uhlans became the model for many general-purpose cavalry units throughout Europe as use of traditional heavy cavalry declined starting in the early 19th century.
Uhlans typically wore a double-breasted jacket (kurtka) with a coloured panel (plastron) at the front, a coloured sash, and a square-topped Polish lancer cap (rogatywka, also called czapka). This cap or cavalry helmet was derived from a traditional design of Polish cap, made more formal and stylised for military use.
The Uhlan regiment formed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1740, the so-called Natzmer-uhlans, was used ineptly, employing heavy-cavalry tactics against fortified positions. The regiment failed to distinguish itself favorably in the first of the Silesian Wars and was disbanded shortly afterwards.

Disclaimer: I’m not German, but these are what I know (someone correct me if I’m wrong)
- Settler Wagons are dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing (according to
- Dopplesoldners were members of landsknecht mercenaries, which were raised in many states from the 15th to 16th century.
- “Prussian Needle Gunner” skirmishers are obviously Prussian. Dreyse needle guns were used by the Prussians in mid-late 19c.
- The word “uhlan” originated from Poland, but many Germanic states, including Prussia, named their lancer units “uhlan” since the 18c (Uhlan - Wikipedia).
- War Wagons, according to the game history text, referred to those of the Hussites during the Hussite Wars, so they are likely from 15c Bohemia.

So it’s more like a mixture of the generic HRE (15~16c) and the independent Prussian kingdom (after 18c)

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Ye I wish they looked at Portugal aswell.

If you look at cases such as Doppelsoldner and hussite wagons, you can see that they apparently tried to include medieval Germany as well.
Also, even before the German Empire colonized Africa, Austria established East India companies and began to engage in colonization.
I am positive that the German flag has changed with the release of this definitive edition.
If it doesn’t affect the balance, I would like to see more of HRE’s appearance through several renames for Germany.

Interestingly though, I feel like Austria is rather under-represented in the “German” civ. The new Hungarian revolution is actually more Austrian than the “Germans” (pandurs and grenzers were Austrian border troops).

So the devs did it right. Use the HRE flag because the civ has many aspects of german minor states (and bohemia, which was HRE but not german lol).
But the leader remains Frederick because Prussia was the most powerful german kingdom.
I don’t agree with the capital being Vienna. I would keep it as Berlin.

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The strongest nation in the HRE was Austria… Prussia itself was not situated in the HRE (capital Konigsberg). Prussia became “part” of the HRE when it didnt produce a male heir and married into Brandenburg and so creating Brandenburg-Prussia. The capital was moved to Berlin in 1701. Prussia’s defeat of France in 1871 was long after the fall of the HRE.

A Doppelsoldner is just a Landsknecht soldier armed with a two-handed sword or a halberd. The standard weapon of a Landsknecht soldier was the pike. The landsknecht mercenaries we have ingame are actually doppelsoldners as well.

Not just German states… all over europe. The Uhlan is as German as it is Russian, Spanish or Italian for that matter.

Im not that familiar with Portugese history. Care to share what is wrong with the depiction of Portugal?


It could be more flavourful.
Caravel is a basic unit for everyone, and it has a Carrack skin, organ guns weren’t really a Portugal thing, Cassadors are really an Imperial age thing, Portuguese Explorers could be Military Leaders (as they often were) like war chiefs, and they used greatswords quite a bit, Ports pikes should be better, and if not Halberds should come earlier, (Montantes (greatsword) and halberdier were used quite a lot since the early 16th century, royal guard included) ports cav was very limited and not that good( had its moments to shine tho but not the best dragoons that’s for sure).

It’s not a bad representation, but its bland, should have better native cards aswell, as Portugal used native troops and allies (and slaves) quite a bit in combat.

They do have besteiros do conto, but they could have Espingardeiros (rifleman) do conto, which was their direct replacement.
Knights of the tower and sword were never as important as the Sao Thiago or Christ ones.
The church upgrade mesnada I think, is not really a Portuguese thing, but Spanish.

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Great ideas but to implement all the suggested changes like these must be gradual.

Making a civ too dependent on mercenaries is not a good idea.

If i played against this new German civ i would just make Church, send Agents card and make a few spies/agents. This would completely shut down enemy’s cavalry, which is a guarantee, thanks to the “free” uhlans with shipments. And no cavalry option in stables. (Also means stables would now be purely age III building)

And as the Germany would have these new saloons available, everything from those would be shut down as well. The only units Germany could then use, would be Dopps, Pikes and Xbows in age II. All pretty underwhelming units.

This would force Germans FF as their only competitive option. And if you can predict your enemy’s strategy, you are on a good way to victory already.

Mercenaries are also uncompetitive in a longer games like treaty or 3v3/4v4, as they are outperformed by now cheaper and stronger guard and later on imperial units, which take up less pop. Mercenaries are intended as an expensive single-use boost to your army, which can catch your opponent with their pants down. They are not a long-term solution.

Leave Germans as they are gameplay-wise. It is one of the most balanced civs out there, with unique gameplay. Usually when you have unique gameplay, the civ is either underperforming or overpowered. (as we all know ehm…SwEdEn*cough) If you want to change them just from design perspective, sure. But its never gonna be perfect, as they contain elements of HRE, Prussia, Bohemia, and Poland.

Sounds like a good reason to add those musketeers to the Geman barracks!

I would prefer an Austria civilization.

How would you differentiate Austria from Germany?

Actually I would easily differentiate Austria from Prussia.

Please be specific on how? Such vague statements do your suggestion no justice.

The Germans in AoE 3 are the most chaotic civilization in the game. It is not known what exactly represents HRE, Prussia or a united Germany. The flag of Germany is the HRE flag, but the leader is the King of Prussia - CHAOTIC !. If that was not enough - Polish uhlans (as if there were no German units in history) and a Czech war wagon (if the Germans represent the HRE, okay, if the united Germans or Prussians are wrong). One should also mention the “winged hussars” card - as if ever in history Polish hussars fought in any other army …


Well I’m not a great specialist of Austria, but Habsburg Empire was a truly great power in Europe at the time of the game, and one of the main opponents of Napoleon with Prussia, England and Russia, so why do not include them in the game ?
I’m sure there is a plenty of things to do:

  • maybe economic advantages, because their units were not the best (if u compare with the French or English one), with supplies of several provinces of the austrian empire :
  • with cards, monastery, or as guard units : hungarian, polish (winged hussards), italian troops, etc.,
  • grenzers and WindbĂĽchse Jägers as skirmishers
    Also, isn’t Vienna one of the most important cities during Renaissance, until 18th century ?
    Actually, I just don’t understand why they have not and could be not include in the game…
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