Roman place in aoe2

After the release of some information about the return of rome DLC, the feedback has been mostly negative, at least here on the forum.

I’m the first that have to make ammend, as I had different expectations and wasn’t really well receptive versus the new content.

Now, we still don’t know how the romans will be introduced inside aoe2, SotL thinks that it’ll be a campaign civ only, but I personally think that it’ll playable in raked too, so here now I want to look at how this might be possible without too much redundancy with the civs of italians and byzantines, as well as predicting and analyze how the romans will be introduced.

First of all, I believe that there might be room for the romans, as long as the civ represent the late antiquity empire spanning from constantine since the battle of the yarmuk, which signed the decline of the empire and confinement into nothing more than a regional kingdom.

From there on, the byzantines can represent the evolution of the empire into a medioeval state.

On the other hand, the Italians should be more confined into either the lombards that descended into the giustian Italy, or one of the city states that came into being a regional power (either milan, venice or florence). That’s in order to give them a clear and distinct identity from the romans.

From a design prospective, I believe that their eco bonus should respect the roman ability to implement an effect taxation on the land, the bonus might be something like:

  • Every farm built or reseed give you +5 gold.

The old aoe1 civ also gave them a bonus of cheap but weak towers, represent their habit building mobile weak encampments. That doesn’t really represent the late antiquity empire, but a defensive bonus should be in order, maybe something like:

  • Hoardings technology is free.

They should also receive a bonus capable of allowing to age up quickly, maybe they should get the Italians 15% cheaper age up, since as I like the Italians design, I believe that such bonus would thematically fits the roman better.

Another bonus might be:

  • Barracks and dock are 33% cheaper.

As for their units, we have a glance of what the centurion does, but we just know that the logionary is a tanky infantry, I think that they could take inspiration from the aoe3 papal units, or a unit that absorb the damage from nearby units, like the hussite wagon but better.

They’ll likely have a strong cavalry and Infantry, and a not so strong archer line, but with solid cav archers and siege. The navy too will be strong probably, as the mediterranean wasn’t called mare nostrum for nothing.

I have no ideas for their TB or UTs thought…

What do you guys think?


First of all I’m glad you’re probably the first to get that late Romans were a thing from 284 to 640 circa. Not confined to western empire but just late Roman indeed. They’re mostly a byzantines split.

However about Italians it’s another thing completely and papal states have not much in common to them either despite being their spiritual successor (but everyone claimed to be Roman successor in the dark ages). I personally think Italians should be split and Lombards are not Italians, they were a Germanic population like goths so I don’t know why people think Italians represent Lombards (in campaigns they’re usually represented by goths indeed). By the way it’s really incredible to me how this game still not have Lombards. I hope this dlc will set a precedent for looking more in depth into late antiquity which is a completely deserted era in games in general. I’d like to hear people lament this as much as they lament about Africa and America (rightfully so).

But apart from that, you could take a look on a YouTube channel called robbylava where me and Robby tried to imagine an aoe2 Roman civ. His take tries to push the boundaries while mine is more straightforward, maybe more in line with your ideas, but we both influenced each others…

The idea was of an empire in decay, relying on very strong but also very expensive units, pretty tough in middle game and quite underwhelming later (to mimic the bankrupt that was what definitely put an end to the west).

Romans (from 284 to 7th century)
Defensive civilization known for its infantry

Militia line units cost 60 food and 30 gold, skirmishers and spearmen lines cost gold instead of wood and food respectively
Blacksmith’s techs for infantry and armour upgrades for archers double their effect
Outposts can shoot arrows when garrisoning military units, units garrisoned in outposts heal 8x once herbal medicine is researched
Fortified walls and ballistics free (once reached castle ages)

Unique units:
Legionary (heavy infantry unit, upgrade from long swordsman, available in the imperial age from barracks, bonus against buildings)
Centurion (heavy cavalry unit, available from the castle in castle age, gets stronger the more units it kills in a row, bonus against infantry)

Unique techs:
Foederati (available in castle age, you can train unique units of your allies from the castle)
Fasti consulares (available in imperial age, wonders of your team generate food)

Team bonus: units behind a wall get 25% less damage

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It is not just thinking. The devs have stated Romans will be SP and unranked MP only. It wont be available for ranked.


I think that we needed another discussion about this DLC, 49 so far, thank you.


And you made another one to complain… genius…

By the way, you can always ignore the topics, it’s the best way to sabotage topics that you don’t like.

Just In case someone hasn’t figured it out yet, for the millionth time:

“The devs have stated Romans will be Single Player and unranked Multi Player only. It wont be available for ranked”.

Yes :grin: I did, it was genius, thank you for noticing :+1::grin:

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Yeah I saw the description into the steam page…

Personally I have mixed feelings about this, on one hand we already have the byzantines which are romans, on the other hand there could have been the potential to explore more the late antiquity period which is often underrated and it’s included into the timeframe of the game.

Still, it would ne nice to imagine how the civ would be introduced in ranked, I personally think that it would have the following bonus:

Civilization bonus:

  • Aging up cost 15% less.
  • Every farm built or reseeded tribute you 5 gold, heavy plow increase it to 10 gold.
  • Hoardings technology is free.
  • Barracks units take half of the population.

Team Bonus:

  • Docks are built 100% faster and works 10% faster.

What I’m worried about is whether or not Romans will be selected when choosing random as civilisation.


I think the DLC looks super interesting and I’ll take a break from AoE3 for a little bit to give it a shot.

I also consider historical timeline arguments to be entirely unpersuasive.


It’ll depends if you will be on ranked or unranked probably.

I believe that the problem is more that the byzantines already represents the romans, more than the timeframe.

The fact is, romans can be introduced to some extent, but it needs some careful thinking along some explanation…

The division among west and east is what people usually picture when thinking of romans and byzantines, and in this case there is no room to add a civ, as they were the same state, with the same government, politics, army, economy, religion, culture and so on.

A more accurate division can be made between the the late antiquity empire (more than well enclosed in the aoe2 timeframe and that includes both west and east) and the medioeval roman empire or byzantine empire, which would represent what survived of the empire after the arab expansion.

This is justified by the fact that, while the empire was always evolving, we can see a certain continuity into its structure from diocletian until eraclius, but after the losing the east and egypt to the caliphate, the romans were forced to radically change their state in order to survive.

Examples of 2 civilizations representing the same civ in 2 different periods are already in the game, most notably goths and spanish.

Of course, the romans should still represent the late empire, not the cesar or trajan era.


This is how I would design the romans for the ranked ladder based on the late empire:

Civilization bonus:

  • Aging up cost 20% less.
  • Every farm built or reseeded tribute you 5 gold. After heavy plow it’s increased at 10 gold.
  • Barracks units take half population.
  • Hoardings technology is free.

Team Bonus:

  • Docks are built 100% faster and works 10% faster.

Unique Units:

  • Comitatensi: a heavy infantry unit that absorb part of the damage dealt to nearby units non siege units.
  • Magister: an heavy cavalry that increase the attack of nearby militia lines by +1 per age.

Unique Technologies:

  • Martirium: whenever a monk or magister dies, all units in the area gain immediately regenerate respectively +5/+20 HP.
  • Engineering Corps: comitatensi can slowly build rams and scorpions, and they can absorb damage from siege units too.

As I’ve said in another thread:
Romans here are much closer to an official mod (a very impressive one), than a proper expansion of the 2DE offering, which obviously is focused on part of human history that came specifically after the end of the Roman Empire. Inclusion is not heresy or sacrilege, at the same time it should be obvious why it might be a questionable idea to go all in and just 100% bring Roman Empire to AoE2. If they will I might not care that much, but from a theme/historical consistency perspective - I don’t desire or need it.

Most of complaints are based on nothing of substance, only a small fraction of people engage in actual analysis from gameplay and historical point of view. Sadly it was expected and that initial period is not a good time to really dwell on that.
After the official reveal and initial dump on info, the majority of ‘feedback’ is just an emotional expression of personal hopes and assumptions, on nothing that was hinted or promised by the creators of the game.

Of course the inclusion of another civ is never an heresy, but it’s understandable that people can be upset if they had different expectations after months of silence…

For me, what made me upset was going for the trope of legionaries and centurions just because they are more famous. The late antiquity is very underrated, and the late antiquity army wasn’t worth less than the high empire or republican periods legions.

This is why I’m trying to see how the romans can be successfully introduced into aoe2 as a full fledged civilization.

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