I posted this idea in the AoE2 forums, but wanted to pitch the idea for AoE4. It might be more feasible for AoE4. I’ve added some things to the idea here…
- I think civs should be able to plant a few rudimentary traps per game in the AoE4 equivalent of the Dark Age that the enemy would have a tough time seeing unless they’re quite observant. Or, possibly (probably), completely invisible to the enemy (a case could be made here).
I remember a board game called, Stratego. I liked that you could place bomb tiles where your enemy had no clue where they were. It was fun to randomly place those ‘traps’, so to speak. There was tension from not knowing where your enemy placed theirs. Other board games and video games (Spy vs. Spy) have had ‘traps’. Personally, I find they’ve almost always added to the game rather than detracted.
So, for AoE4, something like:
- Boulder-related traps, Burmese tiger pits, and the like. I don’t know names of any traps from ancient or medieval times; or what variations there were per civ. Maybe there weren’t many? If not, devs could make some up that fit the times.
- Some interesting and unique traps could be made. From the classic ‘leaves and twigs covering a pit with spears at bottom’ trap, to spring-loaded branch on a tree with blades on it that gets triggered by tripwires, to boulders on cliffside that crush, to quicksand-like traps, etc.
- Defensively, you’re spending time building them with a villager(s) – taking time away from your econ - but with the hope that an enemy scout or other units will stumble into one of them. Cost of traps would need consideration. Don’t want it to be too expensive, but also probably don’t want it to be free. (But I could see a case for making them free, to be honest – where each player gets to make a limited number, say, 2 or 3, for sake of argument.)
- It’s a unique way to be slightly defensive early on, without being guaranteed anything. The enemy may never stumble upon them. If that happened, time and maybe resources wasted. That’s the risk, but it could also help prevent laming or early attack damage if successful.
- AoE4 maps will likely be big, so the chance of stumbling on them may be minimal. So, strategically placing the traps would be good, and/or devs could make each trap be a decent size so the there’s at least ‘some’ acceptable chance of them being triggered if the enemy wanders near. Or, maybe more than 3 traps should be constructable.
- Enemy could very well lose multiple units at once in a tiger pit, for example – if the units are tightly marching.
- The traps would last the entire game if never tripped or never deleted. Or, possibly, if they are made to only exist in the Dark Age, then they’d fade away after aging up.
- As some other ideas/input, one player, Phoenix1089, suggested maybe the traps do damage to the first unit to step on them, or they slow enemy units (2 different types of traps)
- Another player, RobotRoom, suggested a trap that looks like an open wall segment. “The caster yells ‘Oh no! He has a hole between those two buildings!’ Bam – it kills the first invader and splash damages units within one tile.”
I’d prefer every civ be able to make traps, rather than just a few or 50% of them. I think about Stratego and Spy vs. Spy where this was possible, and it was fun that both players got to place traps.
In my opinion, it’d add an interesting and enjoyable gameplay element. Randmoness and unpredictability isn’t always bad in games, imo.
Maybe in later ages, you can plant a few more traps (different kinds or sizes)… and/or you can upgrade earlier traps to be bigger. But I’d also be okay if they only existed in the Dark Age.
If you build a trap, I feel your own units should walk freely over them. I don’t have any ‘real world’ justification for why this should happen, but it just makes gameplay sense to me. Otherwise, would be lame for an enemy to just watch your units walk around a 3x3 piece of land for not reason – thus identifying a trap location.
Thoughts? Variations on/fine-tuning of idea? Maybe just one or two traps max allowed? Make them slightly visible, if so, how visible? Etc. Is it workable?
I’m not looking for it to change the tides of war 100% of the time, or to be a massively overpowered defensive strat. I’m looking for a small percent of success so laming or early attacks can still happen, but with a bit more risk added for doing so. And also adding a bit of fun and hope for those who get lamed or attacked early on and hate it when players do that. It would give those players some hope and fun, if their traps succceed.