Romans need an Overhaul, not a patch

Lets say you are porting another game into your game. It is a huge effort and also a huge gamble. Your original fanbase might be unhappy that your game is being neglected, they might complain or lose interest in your game as it is no longer changing. People with no interest in this other game aren’t going to pay to try it out.

But being a savvy game designer, you have an idea. With your release of this other game, you will also put out some new content, a new playable character, one that has been teased for a while. You cannot put too much time into it, but you have a couple passionate developers willing to do it, maybe they even suggested it.

The testers, coders and artists are busy on your other game, but you can reuse a bunch of art assets already in the game, a few bonuses from some other characters and you won’t release them for multiplayer, so the lack of testing won’t matter.

This is the Romans, they are not new, bold or interesting, but people hear the name and they stop thinking of the civ.

If you stop to think for a second, they don’t fit the Romans historically at all. Centurions weren’t cavalry soldiers, they were infantry, they were used to replace knights in the Goth campaign because knights aren’t very Roman (these Romans get good knights).

Roman tactics involved a lot of throwing spears and big shields. Often they set up in defensive positions and harassed their opponent and then tried to withstand their charge with their shields. So in the game this is represented by them getting awful skirmishers, amazing armour and a charge bonus with decent cav support.

We have Huns, Mayans and Turtle ships, I don’t mind having Romans, but this is not a good design for a civ. It is a stand-in for not getting an expansion and if it is going to be added to the game in full, it needs to change in a lot of ways.


I agree that the design is kind of weird in some ways. Everybody knew it was going to be an infantry/scorpion civ, but the scorp bonuses seem kind of over the top, and the naval bonuses seem excessive. Is this kind of design unexpected? Not really:

But yeah, between the reuse of existing assets (the only two new objects being seen months ago through leaks), minimal new content, and all of the bonuses being either very derivative (I’ve seen literally all of them proposed several times) or very gimmicky (unit aura bonus) or both (more units with a charge attack!), it feels like a slightly above-average mod concept the devs found on Reddit and decided to run with. Then again, I’ve been pretty biased against this project from the start, so it’s unlikely that I’ll be very objective about the design. Tone down the water and possibly scorp bonuses, and it might be fine.


My take on it is this: new content is new content. Is it a bit broken? Yes. But I’m grateful that the game is still getting supported at all, and y’all should be grateful too. They could’ve stopped supporting the game in 2017 and left it a dated mess, but they didn’t. Heck, Forgotten Empires could’ve stayed a mod or even not existed at all, and the most recent content we’d have would be The Conquerors from 2000! Be grateful those aren’t the timelines we live in.


I agree in general with OP. Outside of the look of the new UUs that are admittedly sick (the new centurions have a different appearance from the old ones), all the bonuses are either reused and too overlapping with previous ones (faster firing galleys from saracens and scorpions from celts, extra armor on ships from Portuguese, the armor bonus is kind of a combination of the Malian and Teuton bonus…), not very interesting (villagers work 5% faster… not thought provoking imo), and over the top (4 specific bonuses for scorpions alone and other 3 for galleys, what the hell 11?). To be fair, they have lots of holes on the tech tree to give them a different vibe, but are still puzzling choices.

Besides my impression that Romans are redundant to add to the civ roster, they don’t even capture the fell of late antiquity Romans. Infantry and siege is there, but great navy isn’t a quality of late Rome afaik, their cavalry wasn’t special, centurions are basically expensive paladins, their skirmishers should be great, is one of their main military strengths in history, but here they are below average, and charge mechanic for legionaries, which goes fundamentally against the whole tactical philosophy of using legionaries 11. Again, for people saying “the game is not an emulator and it’s not realistic” i know, but if you are not even trying to portray the historical counterparts you might as well put fantasy races at this point.


New content doesn’t have to be bad content, a little loving care and the Romans could be up to the standard of the other new interesting Civs. The Romans have the unique position of us knowing a lot about their history and they have a uniquely interesting history as well, which is more than can be said for many recent civs that have been published. Maybe Romans shouldn’t get castles, they should get forts, then they can research unique upgrades from their TCs. I don’t know, I am not a game designer, but the current version is just boring.


That is very much unlike AoE2, and therefore a bad idea. This version is a good compromise for now, but it definitely should be nerfed. At least the unique Roman Castle is a fort.

It’s impossible to make the Roman Empire boring. Its presence is immediately cool no matter what.

The support DE receives is a double edged sword. Considering how many major, long-lasting bugs are introduced with each update (especially in the Scenario Editor), I’m kind of picky about what it is that they’re going to be breaking the game for. Frequently it seems that the devs are taking bricks from the foundation to add a fancy tower.

A commendable sentiment in general, yes. But telling people to like things they don’t like “because it’s better than nothing” usually won’t convince them.

Yeah, honestly I thought some of the “hypothetical Roman designs” on this forum had ideas which better captured the feel of a Roman civ. Stuff like legionaries’ being able to build (some) buildings, have a special defensive formation, or have a ranged form (e.g. being able to throw 3 javelins then automatically switching to melee). Or some kind of skirm bonus or Foederati UU/UT.

Well so are unit aura bonuses and releasing a whole other game as an “AoE2 DLC”, but here we are.

Apparently that’s what they were banking on people thinking when they made this design. It’s a bold strategy, we’ll see if it pays off.



Damn yes

I don’t even care anymore if Romans belong or not to AoE2. The civ is a joke of a design. Excessively gimmicky and doesn’t hesitate to outright taking bonuses from other civs.
Villagers being plain 5% better is the most uninspired and lazy bonus I can ever come up with. It doesn’t incentivize any special strategy or makes you work around a different build order. At least the aztec bonus is implemented in a clever way and not outright increasing gathering stats.

And the centurion aura… ok, I’m biased that I dislike new mechanics. But haven’t they learned anything from the hussite wagon. The lack of aura effect indicators (I hope those are never added) and the clunckyness of the game makes it troublesome to make proper use of these kind of mechanics.
It’s gonna be a 10% speed and attack speed increase within a 10 tiles radius. No one will pay attention if their units are in or out such a big area, and the effect is so minimum that no one will actually care about if the whole army is making proper use of the aura bonus.
If they’re going to add special mechanics (which I do not want), make them at least feel special. These kind of implementations makes the game look unpolished and sloppy. Feels like a feature that has been implemented properly and has to be fixed.


Jeez, you guys are a hard room.

I believe that they aren’t that unbalanced as they are now, I would just have some changes, both for a better balance, and for a better historical represention:

For their tech tree:

  • Gains bracer and thumb ring.
  • Lose crossbowman and galleon upgrades.

For their bonuses:


  • Their villagers, fishing ships gather, build and repair 5% faster. Trade units generate +5% gold.


  • Lose the +1 attack on galley line
  • Galley line and dromons get +1/1 armor for each age starting in feudal (max of +3/3).
  • Scorpions are 40% cheaper on gold and it’s projectiles are 100% faster (but not affected by ballistics).

Unique Units & Technologies:

Comitatus → renamedBarritus
Legionary → renamedComitatensi
Centurion → renamedPalatini
The palatini aura affects just the moving speed comitatensi and not the attack speed.
Ballista cost -100 wood.

AoE2 Romans are designed for celebrating the RoR launch, not balanced for PvP. Of course, they seem unbalanced. If you guys complaining about “civ is broken”, then the devs will choose the fastest and easiest way; “Getting Romans out of the picture.”

This is about to happen, if game has about 40-50 different civs, that bonuses start to repeat between civs and it will continue even more, if they keep adding more civs to game.

I won’t start recommending anything about the civ until they officially come out and I don’t see some games. However I’ll say something about the new regional unit Dromon as this will be available anyway.

Dromon looks OP atm. They are somewhat comparable to DOI release armored elephant line that replaced battering ram. Armored elephant line was stronger than ram in most cases but it also had more gold cost and a bigger weakness against spearman line. However thing is opposite to Dromon vs Cannon Galleon. Dromon is cheaper and this unit doesn’t have a greater weakness to anything compared to CG. Both of these need to be addressed.

I’d also say that if the scorpion unit needs those 4 bonuses to become viable, the scorpion general unit needs a plain buff.

This strategy of over-buffing a weak unit for a specific civ reminds me of other mistakes AOE made in the past.


I also think it is silly that a cannon mounted ship is worse than a catapult mounted ship. I wouldn’t mind Cannon Galleons getting a buff instead of the Dromon getting a nerf though, giving the siege ships some utility outside of taking down buildings would be good.

that is not our complaint, the bonuses aren’t interesting, and they don’t reflect the civilization they claim to be.

The devs said they will be available for ranked in the future.

Can be done both tbh.

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or they should just lose those water bonuses altogether and replace them with something else (something defensive or buffing their scorpions more?)

Nah I believe that they should have one water bonus, having the extra armor start from feudal and buff it it’s the way to go in my opinion.

As for their scorps they are already quite powerful, so probably they need to be tuned down a bit…