Should infantry be the only units who can build Battering ram?

Infantry has always felt underwhelming in their uses. Sure, they can be cost effective, and spears are as good of a counter to cavalry as always. But there’s never really been a “wow” factor for going infantry in any of the Age games. (Perhaps the Goths spam being the only exception.)

At the same time, the early meta is showing that all-in battery ram pushes are very strong. Often, the battering rams are built by archers, who can also pick off villagers that come in to defend versus the rams.

So, why not give this strong abillity of building rams to Infantry only? This would a) indirectly nerf the battering ram strategy a bit, and b) give an additional and unique reason to go for infantry.

What do you think?


I like the idea but the balance overall needs to be revisited for sure.
Infantry in AoE4 seems to be very strong already, not like in AoE2.

I dont think it could ever feel right to me to see a unit building another unit that can also be trained in a building. Allowing the exact same units to be trained in multiple ways (including out of multiple buildings, which also is a thing in AoE4 but no other Age game) just feels like watered down, repetitive design.

If one specific unit (and not a variety of foot soldiers and no buildings at all) were the only means of creating a Ram, I could get used to it. That would be a pretty cool feature for a unit, to be honest.


Archers take wood to make, which is the only resource cost rams ask for.
Infantry can burn buildings while archers cannot.
Infantry can steamroll archers with proper armor.

So I think it’s already balanced.

This has been a thing in aoe2 for goths and Huns for a very long time, and more recently for Bulgarians and Sicilians.

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Oh, in the Goths, the Huskarls are trained both in the Castle and Barracks? It seems pretty limited in AoE2 and used to distinguish a couple civs, right? Perhaps there may be some other limited exceptions in the franchise, too.

I like this idea. Another potential buff you could give to (some?) infantry is a bonus to units using a Torch weapon. Currently, it’s pretty hard for men at arms and pikemen to actually protect the rams. It would be interesting if one or both of them got a bonus if the defending unit has a torch in hand.

E.G. Villagers with torches ready to attack rams would take bonus damage. Infantry and Cavalry units that have torches out would also take bonus damage

This would allow infantry to better defend siege units (including rams) since they feel much weaker than just using cavalry.

It also creates a decision on the defending players side to take down rams and take bonus damage, or take out the units.

Note: this damage bonus would probably have to be small. And it would take a lot of playtesting to balance

i don’t see a problem with letting archers make them
even villagers could make them

they could give infantry some better anti-building powers maybe (without needing to buy rams). maybe that’s already in the game. idk

I find them awkward to be build on the field to then move on their own. I wish they acted more like weapon platforms in Company of Heroes so they only move and attack with units inside. Empty they’d just sit on the field for anyone to pick up.

Should infantry be the only units who can build Battering ram?

Yes. Plain and simple, it is very weird that Archers can build siege too.

In medieval era, all military units helped to build siege weapons on the batle field, by cuting tree close to the sieged city

Only the canon that was a exception.

please no. Archers costs alot of wood and can be countered by horsemen. Ram pushes are only strong if the other is only doing a tc + outpost boom and not making any counter units to hold of the push. Making rams limited to infantory only means more investment in resources and slowing the push alot so this game will end up as another boom fest like aoe2 de. We need aoe4 to be more agressive.

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Imho that is a subjective feeling, I like that mechanic quite a lot.


I think the main downsite right now is:

Cavalary can not really raid enemy villagers effectifly, they are, compared to archers quite weak in doing so. And they can not tank TC fire like infantry can. All you got is mobility but in Age4 defensive play seems to be more rewarding then offensive play with mobile units (obviously the pushes with infantry or archers as offensive option have been seen often, probably because they can also drop siege)

Overall, probably cavalary just needs a higher damage vs siege and vs villagers and you got a decent balance between the several options of archers / infantry / cav.

Or I am totally wrong since I am a Noob :smiley: :smiley:

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Correct. I tried to signal that by making myself the subject of the sentences in that post. Most of this forum boils down to subjectivity.

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I can see how one could dislike this design, but I am slightly confused on it feeling watered down. Doesn’t this add complexity? Personally, I feel like this adds some depth to siege weapons, especially since this can be unlocked either by research or a specific civ bonus. The Abbasid bonus even adds additional siege weapons, which adds some flavour and additional depth.

Infantry being siege weapons feels like a valid approach to give infantry some power as well as some identity, which is very nice for a unit type lacking both in multiple previous entries to the franchise. This does certainly have a fairly big impact on balance though, which needs to be monitored.

So far this feels fine for infantry, but I am slightly worried about the power level of archers being able to make rams.

cav has mobility so it can kill alot of villagers much faster then infantry units. Here is a good high level gameplay video where only cav is used - Age of Empires 4 - StriKeR vs Matiz (Pro Gameplay) - YouTube

Building rams with infantry troops and destroying my enemies with it was one of the most fun things about the open beta.

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Fair enough question – I didnt explain very well, and I apologize.

I like the mechanic of melee infantry building siege weapons. I dont recall any unit in any of our five existing games doing this, and even if there is one, it certainly is very rare. And I agree that allowing one unit to train another unit absolutely adds complexity. It’s unique. AoE4 needs unique stuff.

But giving this same exact unique mechanic to multiple different units in every civ across the board, all of a sudden the mechanic isn’t unique anymore at all. It is now ubiquitous in the game, and that cheapens the design, making it feel far less punchy and interesting than had they given this power to (1) just one unit that appears in multiple civs, or (2) to multiple units that appear in just one civ, or even (3) to just one unit that appears in just one civ.

I believe that presently every unit in every Barracks (and possibly every unit in every Archery Range?) can build both Rams and Siege Towers, right? And those same exact Rams and Siege Towers can also be built in every Siege Workshop?

In my view based on my experiences, this admittedly complex, novel mechanic no longer feels all that interesting to me. They take the mechanic and repeat it over and over again across the landscape of the game. They overplayed their hand. They watered it down.

Think of how much more the civ design would pop if they gave the ability for a unit to train Rams to maybe one civ and the ability for a different unit to train Siege Towers or something else to a different civ. And then if they gave yet a third or fourth civ one or two other unique mechanics. If they kept that up and strung enough of these together, we’d actually have asymmetric civs.

Presently in AoE4, the ability for all those identical units to train all those identical siege units in every single civ completely waters down the promise of asymmetric civs. It may be a little more complex of a design, but it sure is just as symmetric as anything else in the game.

What I am describing isn’t far-fetched. It’s essentially how AoM, AoEO, and AoE3 are designed. In AoEO, there is a unit that fights with a bow but close up fights with a sword. That’s a novel mechanic. But it’s special because it is unique to just one unit in the game: the Persian Immortal. There’s also a priest that sacrifices herdable animals to cause different buffs. Again, it is special because just one unit in the game does it: the Celtic Auger. Similarly, Norse infantry are the only units in the game that can build military buildings. That’s what makes it special. The list goes on and on.

Edit: I have some facts wrong, but I believe my point stands.

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Yeah castle/barracks for Goth Huskarls, castle/stable for Hun Tarkans. Sicilians can make Sargents out of castles and Donjons (special tower that can be built/repaired by Sargents and villagers). Similarly Bulgarians can make Konniks out of castles and Kreposts (fortress like a mini castle). So currently at least in all four cases it’s castles and one other building.