State of Balance

Just curious as an AoE2 player
How is the state of Balance and interaction between the various Civilisations is in AoE3 compared to the level of balance in AoE2 and AoE1 ?

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they are generally fairly balanced, some factions are better at certain things that others, and all factions have a small handful of important units they build around with at least 1 being unique to them.


LoL maybe the low ranks are ok but on the high end the game I love is near dead. At least on quick search 1v1.
I seldom get matched with anything but players that are playing the op civs and metas.

I almost welcome seeing japan nowadays that’s how bad it’s gotten. They are op but manageable to an extent.

it’s american it’s Spanish immigrants

Spanish logistician.

Inca jungle bow and pikes boom or water.

Dutch bank boom turtle.

Ports water or turtle cm boom.

Swedes really!!

Always the same strays it’s terrible. I only keep playing because I love the game and don’t play anything else but if you don’t climb the meta ladder be prepared to be way underated and thus be the terror of low players and unsatisfActory games. Maybe one in 4 is a good match.

A sad state of affairs


you know you just stated multiple different viable strategies for multiple different factions right?

i dont play much 1 v 1 to begin with.

in vanilla its great with all civs but 1 seeing play, there may be 2 slight outliers but its the most balanced game ever was at the cost of card/map/unit options and similair civs. warchiefs was a disaster and its online population cratered, the worst product released by ensemble studios easily. in tad its a mess but in a better place than warchiefs, and in de its lopsided in favor of turtle play with some unbelievable pick/win rate differences between civs in the tournaments.

play vanilla if you want to pick any civ and have a roughly equal chance of winning though with very uniform and similair civs, de for variety and lots of differences between civs.

I tried to make this list left to right so that means Inca would be the best of the b tier for example and Chinese would be the worst of the A tier, Swedes could arguably be low S tier, Chinese could arguably go higher in A tier, and Indians could arguably be the top of B tier.

For a new player if you want to start playing and start improving I would recommend Germans, British, French, or Spanish, these are all civs that are good for new players that you can continue to improve on and start climbing the ladder with, some civs have mechanics that are difficult for new players to understand like Chinese, Inca, Dutch, Indians, and Japanese, once you get the hang of these civs they are strong.

If I had to make a comparison of those 4 civs to aoe2 civs I would say French are like Malians in aoe2 with thier flexibility
Germans are like the franks in aoe2 with thier age 2 cavalry opening into age 3 massing units
British are like Chinese in aoe2 because they get tons of extra villagers for free and two extra villagers in age 1 from manor houses
I can’t find a good comparison to Spanish since aoe2 doesn’t have a civ with a powerful early age 2 mass and a pretty good FC at the same time.

Well I’m not exactly a very good aoe2 player, since I don’t play often so it’s hard for me to compare, take the aoe2 comparison with a grain of salt, but I would say aoe3 has better balance other than new civs tend to be OP for the first month or two
( some longer some shorter )

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Well, I have like just 20 hours on age of empires 2 (And none of those are on multiplayer), so I don’t know exactly how to compare.

But I have being doing a sort of play all civs challenge lately. (Introducing the "Play all Civs" challenge - ESOCommunity), here what I can say about the civs that I played:

  • Portuguese: The Portuguese got a buff on the food collection rate on the DE, and thanks to that now they have one of the best age up times on age 1 using the 10/10 (You don’t build houses, just age with the 10 villagers limit that your initial Town Center provides).
    This opened a lot of new possibilities to Portugal, as they now can send ATP and take the TP line very effectively, and some funny age 2 musketeers play. For example: Now can you age up with 500 food, send 700 coin and 700 food and just go ham on the Musketeers while still producing Settlers from the two Town Centers.
    Which I think is interesting, because those age 2 plays with Portugal where not really that good on previous version of the game, and they almost always went for water play. They still do a lot of water, but they have some alternatives that are not that bad now.
    The Colonial Militia card is pretty problematic on the Portuguese hand thought, because they have so much Town Centers that they can hold off aggression by basically only calling Minutemen and rebuilding lost Town Centers (That got cheaper on DE).

  • Russia: Russia is funny, because if you asked me a couple of months ago I would have said that they are bad. Now I think they are ok apart from the fact that they don’t have a unit with decent range.
    This is because I underestimated the power of the Russian semi-ff (Semi-ff is when you send 700 coin at some point on age 2 and click up with the Exiled Prince to go relatively fast to the 3 age).
    This happens because on DE Town Center are cheaper then they used to be, and there are much more Town Center per game than it used to be.
    That is very helpful for Russia, as they have a batch training of settlers than trains slightly faster than the other civilizations. This bonus was not particularly relevant on older versions of the game, but now that games have a lot more Town Centers than they used to be, this eco bonus is actually quite relevant.
    They still suffers from the fact that they don’t have a any unit with more than 14 range, and this gets particularly tricky when you are matched against civilizations that have Dragoons with more than 14 range (Examples: German War Wagons, Indian Howdahs, Japanese Yabusame, etc)
    So in short: Russia is not the same that they were on previous versions of the game, because back them they had one of the best age 2 on the whole game, now there are considerable number of civilization that just have a better age 2 than they. But the fact that they semi-ff was indirectly buffed, kind of helped they in some way.

  • Swedes: Swedes can be problematic, but they are kind of map dependent. For example, they are not that great on maps with a lot of choke-points, as they need a lot of open space to expand they torps. They are also not very good on ATP maps, as they cannot really contest trade line as they spend all their wood on Torps.
    There have been a lot of animosity towards Swedes lately, as people think that they are quite busted. I do think that they are little bit stronger, but not as broken as people think they are.
    One thing that I honestly believe is that they get to Age 4 with much ease. If I had any power, I would replace the Exiled Prince Politician on Age 3 for a Scout Politician with 4 Hakkapelits

  • Aztecs: I don’t have a vast experience with them, but I think that they are quite underestimated.
    The access of a fast age politician on Age 2 gives them the best age time on the game, and you can even use it to correct overly greed age 1 builds. Eagle Runner Knights are a amazing unit. Skulls knights are very fun. And the civilization have a very interesting and unusual design as well, with I think makes they interesting.

  • United States: The newest civilization in the game. They have a very interesting design.
    They are a turtling civilization, as they are a lot of age 1 cards that cost resources to be sent but give considerable bonuses. So the fact that they need to gather a lot of extra resources on age 1 to send their cards, give them pretty bad age 2 time. This is compensated for good cards on the Fortress age and the ability to spam fortifications on age 3 to keep you safe, that you gladly do since your best units are trained in the Forts.
    They also are the only civilization in the game that can do 3 Saloons, so they can effectively have a whole army of outlaws/mercenaries. When you play a civilization like Germany, you always need to mix some Uhlas or Doppelsöldners on the army, as a single tavern just don’t train army fast enough. (EDIT: You need Doppelsöldner and Uhlas in age 2 agenda with outlaws, if you are going semi-ff you can use fortress age units. I’m just trying to say that you always need to mix in normal units as units from a single tavern not enough. US can have 3 Saloons, so you can effectively have a considerable army of pure mercenaries/outlaws)
    I have been playing around with the outlaws build, but honestly more often than not you need Chinese immigrants (As you need to send a lot of cards on age 1 for this to work), and currently on the game there is a pesky bug where you need to click a lot of times for a TP wagon to actually build a TP, which makes this particular build annoying to play.

Anyway, I just realized that I’m taking a lot of time writing this and I have some chores for me to do… Sorry if you where interested in a detailed breakdown, but I just don’t have enough time to write it :slightly_frowning_face:

So in short:
My opinion on the currently balance on Age of Empires 3 is that is okay-ish. I would rate 6/10. There is room to improve, but I don’t think is terrible as some people say it is.


I don’t know how is AOE2DE balance but AOE3DE in my opinion is completely mess balance (Since released).

Mostly fine but certain civs still toos strong (Chinese and Mayans, also Vikings on water), some crazy strats with certain civs that are quite weak (Koreans with double castle WW)

It’s a difficult game to balance but was good up until the Asian civs. Don’t know why they let it diverge so much since then. They were half way there already