Siege Suggestions

Playing with siege should be fun, rewarding if it works (Mangonels), while also involved with a risk to use them.
For me, the counter to Siege is Units and not Siege itself. The hard counter should be Melee Cavalry or soft counter melee infantry.

There are multiple problems imo with the current siege meta. It is their speed, range and yeh they are also rly tanky in general, but it is also the packing and unpacking time and the time it takes to actually make your first shot and you moving out again. Also, Castles, walls and even stealth forests add as well to the use of a lot of sieges.

If the siege age begins, nothing is scarier than not having vision into a stealth forest, while u expect there to be mangonels / bombards waiting for you. This leads often to a boring gaming experience, where both players just wait for a mistake, fight for the vision advantage until one side is confident enough that he has now a setup that wins even if he does a small mistake.

Here are my suggestions to nerf Siege

Some speed values in comparison: M@A default movement speed 1.12 tiles / sec, lancer / knights 1.62 Tiles / sec, Springalds before movement speed upgrade 0,94 tiles / sec and after upgrade 1,12 tiles / sec. The Trebuchet has before upgrades 0,62 tiles / sec and after upgrades 0,74 tiles / sec.

1.) Reduce the Speed. The fastest any siege should be able to move after the movement speed upgrade is 20% slower than M@A, so roughly 0,90 tiles/sec and before upgrades 0,72 tiles/sec. While trebs should be slowest and springalds the fastest unit imo.
1.1) Consider removing the movement speed technology entirely to have a more balanced fitting default speed that is in line with other melee units
2.) Create a bigger time window for the siege to actually shoot. There is not much time to react to, to move your units again out of range after you spot them and I think after they started their attack, they will not cancel it and the projectile will hit regardless you move away or not.
3.) Most important I think is to give all Siege a longer minimum delay of 1.5-3 seconds depending on the range and speed they have. They can not move after they shot, just turn. I would like to have it a skill when to engage, he shot with all his bombards simultaneously on my castle? Now it is my turn to go in, he has not just delayed his next attack, also the option to move the siege out again for some time.
Another option would be to make the siege speed up over time, so it would not feel so clunky in using them. It could also feel bad after you shot and nothing is happening, except the turning and you panic and start spamming the right mouse button. Probably speeding them up from a small starting value over 5 seconds or so to their max speed again would feel the best.
4.) Mangonel: If packed and you make your first shot, the mangonel should start with an animation before shooting. The animation can be fast though. The current one is quite slow and just kicks in after you shot already and it is charging up for the 2. shot
5.) Mangonel: The position where the mangonel will shoot at, will not change when the animation starts. This way you can dodge the damage more efficiently. If you face fast units, you need to ground attack and predict where they will be with the mangonels to actually hit them. If a simple patrol attack allows you to still hit knights trying to engage an mangonel, the trajectory and speed the boulders fly could be adjusted to be able to engage them without receiving big hits. There i would wish that a single mangonel would always miss a single knight if just used with attack move or by simply clicking on it, but if you go in with a bigger group of knights where they start to line up, they should be punished and get damaged. So it is good to just send a few units towards this “weak” but dangerous thread, but not too many.
6.) Mangonel: I would not like to see their damage getting reduced, it should be just easier to take them out and give us some counter plays to it. They should be still able to destroy an entire blob of Archers and give you some comeback potential if you land some successful hits with them. They have already a dead zone, where they can not shoot. If they are easier to kill and slower and don’t hit so easy that should be enough. With all the nerfs, they could be buffed actually slightly in damage
7.) Mangonel, reduce its range by 1 tile, to 8 tiles
8). Mangonel Boulder projectiles should be reworked, to make it more clear where they will damage and how big the radius will be. It looks so small, but in reality, it hits so much … but not always, smth feels just off there
9.) Mangonels should have a longer reload time, you need some time to do smth else with your units then moving them away from 2 mangonels shooting at your backline
10.) If you play the first time AoE 4, everyone would expect a Knight to perform much better than a spearmen vs Siege, considering its cost and fighting strength. But both do the same DPS, while the knight has more sustain and is faster, it is the better choice but the DPS is the same. Since all buildings take also torch damage and rebalancing all would be tough as well. And just letting them use the melee damage would also introduce problems such as defending with villagers vs ram pushes … So I think they need to reduce the health of some siege units and add extra damage vs siege for some units (*13.)
11.) Springalds by design counter each other. The best counter to Springalds, should not be Springalds. So they should actually do dmg to units and not to Siege like the devs first intention was of the unit. Even though the last nerf helped as a hotfix a bit in the current meta. Now it is springalds into mangonels.
Their initial stats and the 60 dmg were too much, that we all saw but maybe 40 Range Damage and just 10 Siege Bonus Damage. It would solve the problem that they counter each other so well. And I think their range should be less, 9 tiles maybe and no upgrades on the range. It is still a decent range and the unit would be strong overall and good for sniping weak targets, while being way more vulnerable thanks to the speed nerf and cav extra dmg and such
12.) Remove the springalds extra range technology and replace it with attack speed or health, so it becomes a good siege unit to kill single range units
13.) Give Cavalry extra Damage vs Siege by default just some static values for each melee cav in the game proportional to their cost, tier or fighting strength, so they feel more powerful to take down Siege and a Tech for Melee Infantry to perform better as well.
14.) Reduce the cost of Trebuchet, or increase its damage
15.) Bombards should do half the base damage they do now and reduce their bonus damage vs buildings just a bit by maybe 20% and they should take 4-5 pop space.
16.) Culverin or other anti siege Canons, should not be anti siege as well imo. They should do decent damage vs units, cost a lot and take more pop space. I also don’t want castle camping to be too strong by having canons under a castle sniping my bombards or rams, this would again lead to a boring gaming experience
17.) Considering removing Canons from the game … i don’t see any real use-case for them, they don’t spice anything up, nor I feel them fitting in general. They could maybe be an efficient Unit per pop space, to dominate your opponent in late-game, but I personally would like them to be removed
18.) Hide the numbers of how many units are in an enemy ram or transport ship. I would not like to have this information and on the other side want to be able to surprise my opponent with a ram push full of units
19.) Give rams extra upgrades, like on units. So it is a more viable choice in castle age and imp to push through with them or dive a castle, especially if the damage on other units vs siege should be increased, they should get health upgrades throughout the next ages, but these rams can be just produced from a siege workshop!?
20.) Reduce the amount a villager can repair siege
21.) Allow us to build rams from a siege workshop, they could replace the canons, sometimes you have a forward siege workshop and just cavalry is still alive, you dont find the time to make an ram dance and producing it from a workshop would be the better option in this case and there are civs with bonuses that could benefit aswell from it. I would like to see them getting more used to apply pressure on keeps especially.

With a trebuchet, bombard or rams you would be able to force the fight, but you would never over invest into siege. It could go all wrong and you underestimated the army size or strength of your opponent and risk losing them all at once, they are great in certain scenarios, but overall not always the best choice.
Diving a castle with a ram is also again more viable thanks to no anti siege, Siege.

Right now you can not initiate into a stealth forest either and it is hard to get vision on it without constantly losing smth. I want to see his army, I send a scout it dies, he has still too many sieges… let’s try building a tower, the springalds kill the villagers, I saw he has still too much … The solution, in this case, is just getting so much army and siege up, that it does not matter if you lose a bunch by letting him the first hit.

It should be also a bit risky to just shoot with your siege on anything random that is in range. You don’t have much to fear if no other anti siege weapon is super close to being in fire range. You get away with hitting while not getting punished in return.

While you try to make sure archers don’t shoot on heavy infantry or cavalry, the same should apply to springalds. Aim for some low health, high damage targets and reduce their numbers instead of blindly just firing on anything that is in range. And to not do a lot of over damage it could be wise to just build 3 on purpose to one-shot a certain unit type. And for Mangonels, it would be nice if one rly good shot is enough in some cases to make up for their cost. Hard to land a nice shot, but if executed it feels rly rewarding.

Siege has the potential to be an interesting and supporting element in the game that can turn the tables in a battle.
I think all Siege need to be redesigned / balanced to actually provide a more enjoyable gaming experience