Should Elephants cost more than 1 population space?

One of the big problems with balancing Elephant units in AoE2 is that they cost only 1 population space each. This forces them to have some massive drawbacks or they become oppressive when massed. But because they’re forced to have such huge drawbacks, they lack the popularity of Xbows and Knights.

The Malay have shown that a unit that doesn’t adhere to the 1 population space rule can work, with Karambit Warriors being the ultimate swarming/Zerging unit. Mahayana, the Bengali’s Imperial Age UT, also reduces the population cost of Villagers by 10%, freeing up more space for other units. As such, it’s not impossible for the devs to change the population requirement for units.

The big question is whether they should do this for Elephants. Changing them to cost more than 1 population space would allow for them to give more power to each individual Elephant. This could come in the form of movement speed, durability, attack, etc. And because they’d cost more population space, you wouldn’t be able to have a massive 60+ Elephant deathball in a 200 population game because you’d max out. But even if they cost more than 1 population space, they can still be very population efficient; they just can’t be in as many places at once.

So, just for some discussion, do you think Elephants should cost more than 1 population space? Assume that if this change were made, the Elephants would be buffed as compensation.


I would reverse it and actually add techs that reduce the pop space requirements for military foot units in the lategame.

Eles are designed to be more pop efficient than regular cavalry.


Elephants can still do that while costing more pop space. They’d just need their stats tweaked.


All the extra functions such as 0.5 population of Krambit Warrior, charge of Coustillier and shield of Shrivamsha Rider looks weird as F.


Do you know why aoe3 is not as popuplar as aoe2 ? Because of pop space stupidity.
The main problem about battle elephants are their damage. 14 base damage is not enough for such type of unit. They cant clear halb waves or other counter at enough time in late game which they affordable.

What problem would this solve?

Midgame pop space isn’t really a constraint, and that’s where their viability is most questionable. Without significant buffs, this is just a lategame limitation. And without proposing significant buffs (trending threads have done this extensively already), the unit is no more viable in Castle/early Imp. The fundamental issues with the ele relate to its speed, cost, and counters. Pop space is a minor consideration overall.

Interesting concept, IMO not a good fit for AoE2 aside from the existing implementation on the Karambit.


Do you know that before DE Khmer Elite Battle eles could kill halbs in 3 hits?

Ignoring armor is fine.


Have you seen war elephants in aoe4?. That is a prime example of what you are asking

The elephant is specifically only good in castle age.

It’s not about costing more pop, ita about raising it’s stats, and having a higher pop, limits the snowball viability later in the game. As opposed to only raising stats and then still having to contend with OP matchups when elephant masses become too strong

I think the list is quite long, pop space isn’t the only factor, it’s one of many. And it’s actually the fact that there’s too many, as in people would have still liked it if it had some differences/odd things, but not when there were so many

Neither does 2 pop BE/WE = 7 pop elephants in aoe2. Similarity doesn’t = extreme opposite

Either way, as much as I would like to see it, i don’t think it’ll change because it’s too different for aoe2. Something that big of a change has to come from the minds of the Devs (if at all)

But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Imagine suggesting HC in castle age, or how many people asked for charge attack, or a unit that reduces the damage taken to units behind it. All of these would’ve been heavily disagreed on, but they’re now in the game and most people don’t even mention it (except coustilier but that’s more a balance issue)


(20 charactersssss)

I posted this idea a time ago.
Non-elite BE should be buffed and occupy more than 1 pop space.
Elite upgrade cheaper but less significant buff than today (Cost similar to chavalier upgrade). New expensive imperial tech (cost like nowdays elite BE upgrade) that reduce the BE pop space.
Civs with this new tech: Burmese, Vietnamese, Khemer?
Civs without this new tech: Malay, Bengalies, Dravidians?

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Nah if anything it would make sense then to make War Eles the new battle Eles (with 2 pop space and 170 F / 100 G cost) and Increase the cost of the new War Eles by 20-30 % but the stats by like 30-40%.
No techs that reduce the pop consumption.
Also something that improves Eles in general vs monks like the idea I had before that when converting an ele once it becames “neutral” and you need a second conversion to turn it (back) to your side.

But idk… maybe we need a complete redesign for eles. I thought always Eles would be ideal to just completely crush immobile foot armies. Then other types of units could counter eles instead. Like skirms, HC, Siege and Defences (CA by just slowly widdling them down).
As we already have a War Ele Armor class and all war eles also have the Cavalry Armor class we could just remove the cavalry armor class from the eles and get way more flexible with the design as we wouldn’t be bound to the cavalry bonus damages of units anymore.
It would also be more transparent how much bonus the eles actually receive.

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If their conversion resistance, food cost and amount of bonus damage they take from spear-line are all reduced accordingly then sure, it might be a decent idea worth exploring.


I like massing hordes of elephants I hate this sort of suggestion! I want elephant with bombard cannons on their backs to crush my enemies if this was implemented. If not see siege onagers on their backs!

This would be extremely unfair. Elephants ay already very costly units that need masses of firms and trade cars to be produced on a large scale. Even then there are plenty of counter units.

If elephants cost 2 population they should have double the HP. If War Elephants costs 2 pop?

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No, if they have 2 pop you hit them in TGs, where they can be too strong, and open up the opportunity to fix them for 1v1s, by decreasing their cost, increasing their speed, that sort of thing.

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Should Elephants cost more than 1 population space?

Better question. Why would Elephants need to take up more than 1 population space?

Is it because there’s an Elephant, and a Rider? That would make for two, but Persian war elephants don’t have anyone riding on their backs so that wouldn’t make sense.


More than 1 pop space… I used to be heavily against it but since we got mahayana which is far more complex and weird, and still it doesn’t bother me as much as I would have thought, then I think the idea of 2 pop space elephant is worth exploring.

This was exactly the reason I diskiled it at first.

And this is the correct answer

Edit: Forgot to add. It’s also kind of intuitive to think that a big fat living unit could cost more population space than all the other units.

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Because they are too strong in TGs, and too weak in 1v1s. Limiting their numbers for TGs allows you to buff them to a point where they become viable in all forms of play, it has very little to do with what makes realistic sense to my mind.


Yes the new elephant can be have 1 range or even 2 range attack but have a very big collision box so that they are bad in large number fight but good at defending objective. If we are not going to buff the speed I think it is the way to buff it so that it won’t be too op in TG and too weak in 1v1

Large numbers fight is where they should be good. Just decrease their cost, increase their speed, increase their pop space, and decrease the damage they get from spears.