Royal House Unit Rework

Many of the royal house units are painfully generic and lack any connection whatsoever to the royal houses they supposedly represent. The units should not just be “Royal ____” without any connection to the dynasties they serve. There are numerous units from history that could replace the most uninspired royal house rosters. In order to be halfway historical, the Habsburg, Oldenburg, Vasa, and Bourbon need a rework of their units. The rest of the royal houses have solid units but could use a few minor adjustments to techs, abilities, and names.

Habsburg

Current Units:

Issues:

“Line Infantry” is waaay too generic and should be the name of a unit tag, not a unit itself. The musket infantry tag applies to units like Tomahawks and Gascenya which clearly don’t have muskets, so renaming that tag would improve clarity. The Line Infantry unit is also poorly designed with very unintuitive attack speeds. Line Infantry should be removed from the Habsburgs and reworked into a Lieb Guard for Oldenburg. Giving a different unit to Habsburgs would also conflict less with Bourbons who they often overlap with and also have a beefy musketeer unit.

Calling a unit “Dismounted Infantry” is beyond ridiculous. The concept of a dismounting unit is interesting, but this example does not do it justice. Mounted Infantry should be removed from the Habsburgs and reworked into a Chasseur for Bourbons.

New Units:

Grenzer:

Unlike the current generic units, Grenzers are about as Habsburg as it gets. Wikipedia even lists their “country” as the Habsburg monarchy. There is currently a Grenzer unit available through the Hungarian revolution, but Grenzers were overwhelmingly Slavs and Vlachs guarding the frontiers, not Hungarian. A Honvéd unit could be a replacement for the Hungarian revolution.

Grenz infantry - Wikipedia

The Austrians regarded Grenzers to be something between light infantry and line infantry. They could conform to this description by being a heavy infantry unit with a ranged multiplier against other heavy infantry.

Houfnice:

Houfnice were the original howitzers first used in Bohemia. They first appeared in the 1400s so they could even make sense as age 2 units. The howitzers produced by the Skoda Works in Bohemia continued to arm Austria-Hungary into the World Wars so the unit works for both the early and late Habsburg reign.

Howitzer - Wikipedia

They would also be a nod to the AoE2 unit of the same name.

Houfnice | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

There is currently no example of a native artillery unit and the Royal Houses are the perfect opportunity to introduce one such as a Houfnice. Since it would be a zero population artillery unit, it could be limited to age 3 and possibly have some drawbacks like reduced ranged resist or slower firing rate.

Oldenburg

Current Units:

Issues:

Hunting was a prominent pastime for many royals and aristocrats, but there isn’t really a connection to Oldenburg. The closest connection is a modern Jager Corps and a Danish band. The unit itself is also pretty clunky with it losing its hunting ability with an upgrade, but still not being able to be trained in batches. An economic unit like the Royal Hunter would work best if it was shifted to Vasa to replace the Royal Arquebusier.

A “Northern Musketeer” simply isn’t a thing. There’s no history behind it, and it’s just a made up bland unit to fill a roster.

New Units:

Lieb Guard:

The Lieb Guard grew out of the Toy army of Peter the Great. Features like changing stats with stance and promotions would fit well for a highly trained royal unit, so Line Infantry could be reworked into this unit.

A Toy Army card for the Russians would be a great opportunity to ship them and possibly buff their infantry’s low stats.

Royal bodyguards are the ideal units for royal houses, and the Romanov branch of the Oldenburgs has the perfect potential unit in the Lieb Guard. These would be tanky musketeers that could have some of the features Habsburg Line Infantry currently do. They could even use the same skin as the Northern Musketeers.

Baltic Marine:

Both Denmark and Russia have had marines since the 1600s. Adding a “Baltic” prefix would help distinguish them from the American Marine unit and give them a stronger connection to the northern domains of the Oldenburgs.

Marine Regiment (Denmark) - Wikipedia

Russian Naval Infantry - Wikipedia

An infantry unit with some siege resist and bonuses against ships, buildings, and artillery. Similar to Darood Militia and United States Marines but more general purpose and close range. Most of the maps Oldenburg appears on are water maps so this unit synergizes well with that.

Honourable Mention: Snapphane

A Snapphane or Friskytter was a Scanian partisan that fought for Denmark against Swedish occupation. They would also be a fitting unit for the Danish Oldenburgs, but I think they should be reserved for being a unit for an actual Danish civ.

Snapphane - Wikipedia

Technologies:

League of Armed Neutrality

This tech never made sense in the first place since it was about protecting neutral shipping against British searches and has nothing to do with hunters or land troops.

League of Armed Neutrality - Wikipedia

This tech could be reworked to grant Fishing Boats an attack proportional to the number of units onboard. Baltic Marines could also count as double when determining attack strength.

Vasa

Current Units:

Issues:

Royal Arquebusier is another wholly made up unit. There’s no connection between arquebusiers and royalty, much less a connection to Vasa.

Winged Hussars are awesome and appropriate for Vasa. However, if Poland is ever to be added, something else will need to take the place of this unit.

New Units:

Sami Hunter or Royal Huntsman:

The Sami are a people from northern Scandinavia who subsist on reindeer hunting and herding. A Sami Hunter could represent them and take on the role the Royal Huntsmen currently fill. They would be more economic focused than Royal Hunters and could gather from livestock as well. The Sami use a suopunki lasso to capture reindeer. This could be incorporated by making them interact with animal herds in a unique way. Herds attacked by a Sami Hunter could run towards them instead of away. Their ranged attacks could also snare enemies similar to Bolas Warriors.

Sámi - Wikipedia

If Sami is too specific to one region, the existing “Royal Huntsman” could still fit for Vasa. Instead of upgrading to a “Royal Hunter” that can’t hunt, still isn’t batch trained, and is visually identical, it could instead be upgraded into the Karelian Jager that’s currently available via the Finland revolution. Jager means hunter, so it would simplify some translations, and Karelian Jaegers are already an economic unit that can gather most resources after a card is sent. The Finland revolution is also weak enough that giving Karelian Jagers the native tag wouldn’t be broken. Constructing buildings and gathering some resources could be gated behind the revolution.

Sami Hunters would be a mostly economic unit that can hunt and gather from livestock. They could also have a unique herding mechanic.

Alternatively, a more conservative approach would be to move the Royal Huntsman to Vasa. Its upgrade could instead be the Karelian Jager or they could forgo the ‘upgrade’ for the sake of simplicity.

Petyhorcy:

There are several more obscure types of Polish cavalry that served similar roles to the Winged Hussars but might not make the cut for a Polish civ. Petyhorcy are one such type of cavalry.

Petyhorcy - Wikipedia

The Pancerni were another type of Polish cavalry, but Jagelleon already has a Pancerni tech.

Petyhorcy could replace Winged Hussars if Poland were ever added.

Bourbon

Current Units:

Issues:

As far as “Royal ____” units go, the Bourbon ones are the least objectionable. Royal Musketeers actually do have a historical basis and should be retained with some minor adjustments.

Dragoons also have a tenuous historical link to the Bourbons. During the persecution of Huguenots under Louis XV, a policy of billeting Dragoons in Huguenot households knowns as the Dragonnades was instituted. However, these were just regular Dragoons, and there was nothing royal about them.

New/Revised Units:

Chasseur:

The Habsburg Mounted/Dismounted Infantry is by far the most poorly named unit in the game, but it does possess some interesting mechanics. These mechanics could be preserved by giving them to a real historical unit such as a Chasseur. However, Chasseurs were French, not Habsburg, so they make more sense as a Bourbon unit.

Chasseur - Wikipedia

Chasseurs were rapid action French and Belgian troops that functioned as both light cavalry and light infantry. The Mounted/Dismounted Infantry should be reskinned and given to Bourbons as a similar functioning unit with a much better name and historical basis.

Royal Musketeer:

The Musketeers of the Guard and Three Musketeers provide a strong justification for this unit. However, its design is rather poor. Its charged pistol attack is very redundant since it’s already armed with a musket.

The Royal Musketeer should lose its pistol charged attack and instead lean into the Three Musketeers theme. Their charged attack should be a piercing rapier attack (similar to a lance charge). This would also align better with their design of excelling in melee.

Technologies:

Royals Tax -> Dragonnades:

Royal Tax is an exceptionally uninspired and underwhelming tech. It should instead be replaced with a Dragonnades tech that would compensate for the loss of the Royal Dragoon unit.

Dragonnades: Each current and newly constructed house spawns a Dragoon

Maison du Roi:

Instead of shipping Royal Horsemen, this would ship Swiss Guards. The Swiss Guard were very notable for their defense of the French monarchy, to the point of being slaughtered while defending the Tuileries Palace.

Royal Horsemen are another poorly named and poorly designed unit. They are supposed to represent a royal guard, but their ability damages everything they come near. Their name is also terrible since it is extremely generic, and makes them easily confused for a royal house unit.

The Royal Horseman mechanics would be much better applied to Elephant units since it would help offset their pathing issues and would make much more sense thematically. Replacing Royal Horsemen with scaled up a White Elephant mercenary would make much more sense.

Other Royal Houses

New/Revised Units:

Shock Rider -> Rascian:

The unit itself is fine, Shock Rider is just a terrible name. They are supposed to be Serbo-Croatian, so renaming them something like Rascian would be better.

Rascians - Wikipedia

This Jagiellon unit needs a name change only.

Sacred Band Infantry:

Sacred Band Infantry | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

Black Brunswicker | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

These guys look way too similar to Black Brunswickers.

Technologies:

Folwarks:

Folwarks is a good name for a tech, but its function is extremely boring. A more compelling bonus would be nice. Maybe Folwarks could be an actual building that is enabled by this tech.

Folwarks | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

Oktoberfest:

Oktoberfest is another good name for a tech, but its function is also extremely boring. A more compelling bonus would be nice. Maybe this could ship a tavern and increase the Tavern build limit.

Oktoberfest | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

Leipzig Trade Fair:

I can’t see this ever being a beneficial tech. You’ll only ever want to sparingly buy and sell at the market since the exchange rates aren’t great. Spending another 300 resources to reset this once seems like a bad deal. I think this should also have the benefit of passively returning the market rates back to the equilibrium values.

Leipzig Trade Fair | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

Greek Shipyards:

The House of Phanar appears on some landlocked maps, so this tech should probably be locked on those maps to prevent people from accidentally researching it.

Greek Shipyards | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

Royal House Abilities:

Greek Revolution:

A Greek revolution needs to be an actual revolution available to Ottomans, Italy, and Malta. Its very disappointing that the revolutions have been so badly neglected. They had enormous potential, but they have become anathema since the USA and Mexico broke the game’s consistency.

Phanar should have a different ability that replaces the Greek Revolution.

10 Likes

Sacred band looked like Black Brunswickers because they were modelled after the latter:
“ The men of the Sacred Band wore uniforms inspired by the Black Brunswickers[1] made of black wool felt.”
From Wikipedia

Also for some European native units, their roles are either representing the respective royal family and/or filling the gap of certain real historical units that do not fit into the regular unit roster.
For example, “Royal Arquebusier” is basically a 30 years war infantry with a skirmisher role which does not fit into the unit roster, neither the appearance (unupgraded musketeers are 30 years war infantry but with bayonets) nor the role (unupgraded caroleans look like a normal thirty years war unit but still a musketeer, and European skirmishers use rifles).
“Royal Dragoon” and chevaux légers are more of a representation of later dragoons with mainly a shock role.
“Mounted Infantry” is the earlier “mounted infantry” type of dragoon.
Oddly the legacy dragoon as a light counter cavalry is the least accurate. Same with the musketeers that start with bayonets. But the game has already been designed as so, thus the more accurate but out of place designs are thrown into natives and mercenaries. That’s probably one of the reason these units are given a generic name.

2 Likes

I don’t understand why markets don’t passively reset rates. I think they should do it by default and this improvement should increase speed and increase/decrease prices when selling/buying. I had a similar idea as regarding this improvement.

2 Likes

I fully support all these suggestions, great job!

How about that and/or a mini-cease fire?

2 Likes

I completely agree with this approach. However, the problem is that these are not real units. For example, “Northern Musketeer” was just entirely made up. Replacing them with a real unit such as Leib Guards wouldn’t even require a reskin.

I disagree, the “Royal Arquibusier” model doesn’t even look like an arquebusier of the 30 years war. If you wanted that, it should at a minimum be depicted with the bandolier of powder charges and should probably have a Morion helmet.

But the main problem is that it has absolutely no connection to royalty, much less the Vasa royal house. The royal house units should ideally have some connection to royalty, or at least a connection to the lands ruled by the royal house. Arquebusiers are neither.

“Mounted Infantry” are definitely not representative of earlier dragoons. They have a very modern depiction so that they are distinguishable from dragoons. There were other units that fought this way, so I’d much prefer a unit with a better name such as Chasseur.

The legacy dragoons were designed to fit into a light cavalry class with horse archers. Cavalry archers historically countered heavy cavalry with hit and run tactics and later fell out of use when massed ranged infantry formations became prominent with gunpowder weapons. Caracole tactics were the gunpowder era’s equivalent to the horse archers’ fighting style, so linking the two units isn’t too much of a stretch. Later dragoons also ditched the dismounting, so that’s the depiction of them they went with. Now that there’s dismounting, it feels weird that Dragoons can’t do it, but it would be a pretty huge change to alter a standard unit that much.

First of all I’m all for better unit names and representations. I’m just arguing over some details.

Thirty years war musketeers wear both helmets and hats because there was no standardized uniforms. To contrast the “heavier” pikemen with helmet, the image of arquebusiers/musketeers typically wear hats.



Especially the Swedes who preferred lighter and more mobile styles:

Even earlier arquebusiers/musketeers with helmets and pods are represented in the game as cannoneers

And Swedes during the thirty years war had guard companies which definitely contained arquebusiers.

As for the “mounted infantry”, the model looks more like a Austrian jaeger. So a better name would be at least “mounted rifleman” while the current mounted rifleman should be renamed to chasseur.
Also because almost every appearance of historical dragoons had been used in the game (helmet, tricorne, wide brim hat), they may have to force a mounted jaeger image into it.

3 Likes

Including Arquebusiers would be cool, but doing it via a royal house is a very bad way to do it. I think it would be best as a standard unit available to a few civs. It could fall somewhere between the stats of Skirmishers and Crossbowmen and be available in Age 2. Having melee resist like the Royal Arquebusier would further differentiate it.

  • Dutch could have them instead of early Skirmishers
  • Sweden could have them instead of Crossbows or Skirmishers
  • Spain could have a Tercio army (a group of 4 Pikemen and 2 Arquebusiers similar to a banner army)
  • Portugal could have Cassadors moved to Age 4, and Arquebusiers to fill the gap

The Chinese Arquebusier could be renamed something like Jingal, Jiaozhi Arquebus, or Shenjiying.

Visually the Mounted Rifleman looks pretty much exactly like what a Chasseur should look like. But this is another unit that’s just as terrible as most of the royal house units. Its name is terrible and its function is even worse. Intuitively, players expect their Skirmishers will counter ranged cavalry at range. For every other matchup this is true (the few exceptions like Hakkapelits are more of a stalemate). But Mounted Riflemen are ranged cavalry that hard counter Skirmishers at range. They also have a weird multiplier against hand infantry that makes them terrible versus shock infantry and pikemen.

Chaussures could also work as a mercenary, but the only similarity it should have with the Mounted Rifleman is appearance.

Mounted Infantry of any name are also a very poor fit for Habsburg. The Habsburgs lost most battles to Napoleon due to being outmaneuvered so having their special unit be one based on rapid maneuvers is a bad fit. Especially when more iconic units like Grenzers and some native artillery would be a far superior way to represent them.

1 Like

I did steal your idea for that. I’m not so sure it should be a default feature, but it could be a good feature for the advanced market card.

1 Like

The moment I saw the unit, I knew he had to be the classical “grey calf”, a Russian Empire trooper of 19-20th centuries, whose origin KotM felt a need to obscure in both name & history entry.

And what did I find? The model is a spitting image of this art. “Russian army uniform, 1812 Ryazan Regiment”.

3 Likes

Good for Germans civ if be changed to Austrians civ.

Good for potentially Prussians civ.

Maybe better option is added a new Royal House - Romanov

Definitely right!

Pancerni only for Polish civ or Jagielon Royal House!

Winged Hussar for Poles civ is obviously!

Vasa Royal House has needed a Swedish, Finish, Karelian, Estonian or Sami units!

Rename this unit is obviously.
Maybe a good option is add a new Royal House from Balkan region?

Folwark is ideally name for unique economic building for Polish civ. Folwark is a system of huge farms ownered by szlachta (Polish nobility)

They do have real uniforms, but the name comes from nowhere.

As far as I am aware from reading the AoE II history page for houfnice and looking online for anything (with no succes and only getting the howitzer page of Wikipedia) it appears to be just the czech word for a cannon that functioned like a sort of mortar, but being used during the Hussite wars, which falls outside the period in which the Habsburgs controlled Bohemia.

I dont like when units of the same type, in this case natives, work the same as others with maybe just slightly different stats. Same reason I dislike some of the original natives, like how the Klamath rifleman is very similar to the Cree tracker. I rather have them have something more unique for natives, with usually the theme being that the natives are a “cheaper” but weaker version of a major civ’s unit.

But all in all I do agree that the new natives need a name change, because I never liked the generic stuff they did, with also the previous additions.

1 Like

There’s more explanation behind the units if you look at the hidden text in my post. I think that might clear up your issues.

You’re only getting the page for howitzers because that’s what a houfnice is. Houfnice were the original howitzers (guns that fire at a medium trajectory). They were first used in the Hussite wars which is before the Habsburgs, but they continued to be used for the entire rule of the Habsburgs.

I’m not suggesting having Line Infantry and Lieb Guards with the same stats. I’m suggesting completely eliminating “Line Infantry” and replacing them with similar functioning Lieb Guards. But the weird attack rate of Line Infantry should not be retained in the new unit.

As far as I am aware did the Habsburgs not use specific Bohemian howitzer regiments, atleast not to the extend of it being characteristic for the Habsburg, and if they did do you have a source for me to read?

1 Like

I don’t know of any specifically Bohemian regiments, but the manufacturing of artillery was definitely concentrated in Bohemia. Places like the Skoda Works provided much of the empire’s artillery, so that’s the connection I’m going with to link them to Habsburgs.

1 Like

I think it could be interesting to add an Ottoman royal house and maybe move Boyars to a Romanian royal house so Otto territories aren’t covered in only Phanar houses. They could also add Sufis at least to Anatolia.

I agree with a Greek rev, but it should probably be available to the Russians as well since they apparently helped in Greece’s independence.

Edit: Bulgaria could be a revolution as well. They gained their independence from the Ottomans in 1878 (for reference, Greek independence was in 1829).

The name of this type of units is Opolchenie (:ru: Ополчение) and indeed it looks like the “Northern Musketeer” is based on these units (to represent the Russian branch of the Oldenburg House). The term Opolchenie is used to refer to people’s militia units also in Bulgaria (:bulgaria: Опълченци).

A single Opolchenie soldier is called an Opolchenets.


2 Likes

Phanar is Romanian as well as Greek so I think they’re fine having Boyars. The house of Osman seems somewhat removed from the other European royal houses so I’m not too sure about them. Sufi should appear on Anatolia though. They have a Turkic unit now, and Phanar isn’t used to it’s full potential on landlocked maps.

Russia doesn’t make sense for Greece. They ruled over Greek territory and Britain and France also aided the Greeks in a similar manner.

The main revolutions that are missing are Greece and Ukraine. If every Balkan state like Bulgaria were included it would be getting pretty crowded.

I don’t even know why Anatolia is a landlocked map given it’s the Asian part of Turkey and that is famously surrounded by water. The AoM version at least has two stripes of water.

Anatolia is huge, and it seems like the map represents the plateau which is far from the coasts. I don’t think that’s a wrong depiction, it just doesn’t work well with the natives available.

2 Likes