like all of you I am in love with Age of Empires IV and also very interested in the actual history part of the middle ages.
In the past I was enjoying playing HRE a lot, but like many of you I get the sense of something missing in the concept of the civ. Often times we hear people say that HRE in particular are feeling one-dimensional. Though there are some nuances, I would generally agree on that statement.
In the past couple of weeks I learned a lot about the HRE history and at the same time I was thinking about how the specialties of this time and this kind of “empire” can be translated into an intriguing game mechanic.
In short summary I would like to share with you that almost from the beginning of the HRE, Kings were elected by the so called “Kurfürsten”, mighty rulers of their territories. They formed an electoral college, which also consisted of the most important Archbishops of the empire. They elected the next King, who could only become King for a high cost of giving away privileges to the Empire (especially to the territories of the Kurfürsten themselves). In many cases the King was crowned Emperor by the Pope.
The Kurfürsten additionally each had their specific role/duty under the King/Emperor. You could compare it to todays ministeries. Some had military duties, some concerning the Church, some concerning ruling the country and managing the wealth.
Additionally in the flourishing time of the HRE we had a very(!) powerful trading union, the Hanseatic League. In short: they were very successful traders throughout all of Europe.
All this is actual history and I encourage you guys to learn more about this fantastic part of the past.
So, here are my ideas of spicing up HRE, bring new unique units and refreshing gameplay into the civ.
Addition of “Kurfürsten”, english:
Prince Electors or latin: Princeps Elector.
In Imperial Age the “Kurfürsten” are able to elect a new Emperor.
Each Kurfürst can be added to your empire over the course of time. They can be trained in the Landmark of each age, with some exceptions.
A military Kurfürst. He is a military leader and was historically responsible for the Emperors Army.
Cost: 300 food 250g, 60 seconds.
A sturdy knight. Automatically gets stronger after each age up.
Base stats: 230 HP, 20 dmg, 3/3 armor, 2 Pop.
Passiv Aura: grants all nearby infantry +5% movement speed (4 tiles).
Is affected by blacksmith and university upgrades.
When garrisoned into a military Building: increases the production and research speed of the same building types (e.g. all Stables) by 8/10/12%. Burgrave Palace is not affected.
The Erzmarschall might incentives more use of Meinwerk Palace and more feudal and generally more flexible playstyle of the HRE.
Trained in a Town Center.
- 200f 200w 200g 60 seconds, 100 HP, 6 melee damage, 2/2 armor, 2 Pop.
Can be garrisoned in different buildings for different buffs:
- Keeps, Universities, Blacksmiths (regular): reduces research time by 15%, cost by 15% in these particular buildings (e.g. when placed in Keep, buffs all Keeps)
- Town Centers: villager production 15% faster, 15% cheaper, eco upgrades 15% cheaper. Affects all non-Landmark TCs.
Can be garrisoned into a Market. By doing so you unlock the unique buff: “Hanseatic Trading”:
- Traders and Trading Ships produce 10% faster.
- Traders move 10% faster, Trading ships move 15% faster
- Traders randomly bring back additional ressources equivalent of 15% of the gold value (can also be additional gold)
The Erzkämmerer gives the HRE the option to go different routes in Age III other than relics. They are an option as well and still should be, as they were historically very important for the legitimacy of the Empire.
Has to be trained in a monastery.
Acts as a stronger Prelate.
Cost: 450f 450g, 60 seconds. 200 HP, 2/2 armor. 2 Pop.
Passiv Aura: automatically inspires nearby villagers and military (5 tile radius). Heals 15% faster.
When garrisoned in a Monastery gives all prelates the “Fervor” buff:
movement speed +5%, healing rate +15%, healing/inspiring range +3 tiles and inspiration time +15 seconds.
Kaiser/Holy Roman Emperor:
The election of the Emperor highly boosts the morale of your Empire, which is highlighted in stronger fighting spirit and and more productive economy. Also, as mentioned, the Elect has to give away privileges to become Emperor.
available in Age IV
cost: 1000f 1000g, research time 120 seconds
you have to have trained all the Kurfürsten/Prince Electors and have them alive
Elected in any monastery
the monastery (regular, Aachen Chapel or Regnitz Cathedral) will then become the “Seat of the Emperor”. The Builduing gains +1000 HP. The Building gets an indicator above it to show that it is now the “Seat”. A regular Monastery gets an updated visual. A royal sound is played upon completing the election.
The UI will show having an Emperor inside, but there won’t be an actual movable unit.
when this building is destroyed, a new Emperor has to be elected.
when an Emperor is elected, you are given the following global bonuses: Keeps, Walls and Outposts are 15% cheaper, +10% HP increase on all units, +10% attack/firing rate on all units, Traders move 5% faster, villagers drop off +10 additional ressources.
With the Emperor System you would have a progressive gameplay mechanic that leads you to a satisfying goal. It also gives HRE a little more late game scaling with improved trading and units progression.
I know this will most probably stay an idea or a concept. But I still wanted to share some of the work I put into this.
I would really like to hear what you have to say about my ideas.
Have a nice day!