Suggestions to further improve balance

Hello there,

it has been a while since I have posted something, but I have never stopped playing the game and most certainly did not stop caring for it.
I think most of the recent changes have been very good for the game and I really like the direction it has taken.

I am also looking forward to the revamp of water gameplay. This post here, however, is about further improving the balance between the civs in this game, while also trying to reduce the effectiveness of oppressive strategies or techs in the game. But nobody likes only nerfs. Especially not for the civ they like the most. This is why I also tried to compensate civs for some of the nerfs I am about to suggest. Some civs receive more changes than others, which mostly means that the civs that receive little change are in a very good spot in my opinion and do not need much changing.

Please bear in mind that these are just suggestions. None of my ideas are set in stone. And I’d like to hear your opinion on these changes. As always some will like them, while others will hate them. Let’s just try to be civil about it. :slight_smile:

Here we go:

All civs:

  • Crossbow bonus dmg to heavy cav stays at 11, but vs heavy inf is reduced to 8. Crossbows are too effective against MAA. It might be the most effective counter in the game and should thus be tuned down. Knights are fine with the +11, since they have more hp and decide when to engage thanks to their mobility.

  • CB bonus dmg has been increased from 8 to 11 way back, but was actually aimed towards making knights less effective. It is my understanding that MAA suffered collateral dmg along the way without being the intended target. Crossbows still hard counter MAA with this change, but they won’t be as effective anymore. I find this change also necessary, because mangonels can counter range well, but not reliably. You can never be sure that they’ll be able to do what they are supposed to as their handling is so much different compared to actual human units. Once mangos are dead, they are also hard to replace and the units they are supposed to counter can reign supreme way too freely. I don’t want the mango meta to come back, hence I suggest to make CBs just slightly less effective against MAA.


The English late game needs a nerf, while landmarks and Castle Age need a buff:

  • ‘Raise a Fyrd’ available in Abbey of Kings: In this landmark you can now build only the lower version of the unit upgrades available in your age. If you have Early MAA available, you can only build Vanguard MAA here. If you have Elite MAA, you can only build Veteran MAA etc. It applies to MAA, spearmen, horsemen and knights. Allow building horsemen from this landmark starting in age III and knights in age IV, because the landmark can never build the best version of a unit that is available in the current age.
    Each unit gets its cost reduced by 30% in age II, 40% in age III and 50% in age IV (if that’s too much, 30% across all ages). Production speed is also increased by 100/200/300% per age. The former healing effect of the Abbey gets removed. The goal for this landmark is to attack or defend by numbers for little cost instead of quality. The units would get a ‘Fyrd’ prefix to not only be distinguished by upgrades but also by name (Fyrd spearman, fyrd man at arms, etc).

  • Council Hall now also has Crossbows available in Castle Age and allows research of incendiary arrows for -50% cost in age IV.

  • Enclosures get nerfed, so 1 farm equals 8gpm, but the tech becomes available in Castle Age. There will be an imperial upgrade to improve gpm to 10 (or 12, not quite sure. Definitely not more than 12) per farm. Right now it is very frustrating to fight a 50% NoC English with infinite gold that doesn’t need map control and can turtle themselves in like no other civ can. There is barely anyhing you can do to counter English lategame, unless you are much ahead. Which also explains the following suggestion.

  • Network of Castles gets nerfed to 20% attackspeed. Network of Citadels now heals all units in the area by 1hp/1s (possibly too strong. If so 1hp/2sec) and has its gold cost reduced to 100 down from 200. NoC in live version is actual insanity. You can’t beat the English with an equal or even slightly superior army, if they are under the NoC effect. Esp. with 50%, which is just unreasonable. Hence these change suggestions to give NoC significantly less punch, while still providing a powerful buff to the army. The healing effect effectively increases the hp of all units affected. This becomes even stronger with an Iron Chad MAA frontline. That way NoC would still be very powerful, but not as oppressive as it has been.

  • Outpost and stonetower range of NoC effect reduced by 1 or 2 tile(s) in radius. Castle and TC remain unchanged.

  • White Tower: Units are being produced 100% faster, so production wise it acts as two keeps for the English.

  • Kings Palace can now garrison 15 villagers instead of 10 and has its hitpoints increased to 3k.


  • Streltsy ranged attack dmg reduced to 30, melee dmg reduced to 42 to make them less of a deathball and to better reflect their 25% reduced cost compared to HC. With their stance buff at max and chemistry researched, they’ll still deal an insane 45 dmg, which becomes 48 with maxed Saints Blessing.
    Streltsies in live version are just way too cost efficient for no comprehensible reason. They always fight with at least one stack of their stationary buff, which means that they are not only cheaper but also way stronger than HCs. And they only become stronger and stronger. I don’t want to remove their cost discount, so reducing their dmg seems the most reasonable thing to do in order to reduce their effectiveness a little bit. They’d still be cheaper and better than HC, but now with a little downside.

  • Have Kremlin additionally reduce cost of Spearmen, Archers and Horsemen by 10% to give this landmark a more significant role for the rest of the game. (if too strong, remove archers from the discount)

  • Spasskaya Tower: In addition to its normal effect it now also increases wood dropped off at lumber camps by 10%. With this eco boost it might be more reasonable to sometimes choose this over the artillery landmark.

  • Boyars Fortitude reduced to +15 hp down from 20.

  • Warrior Monks should be slowed down to 1 speed, when carrying a relic. That way you can actually catch them, when they want to run away. Right now only knights and horsemen are really able to intercept Warrior Monks. The Warrior Monk speed advantage over other monks is already big. It should not be that big. Give the opponent a chance to stop Warrior Monks, who have gathered a relic. They would still be faster than other monks, whose speed is reduced below 1 when carrying a relic.


  • Max Springald range with upgrades reduced to 12.5 down from 13. Because 13 is too much and Mongol siege already receive several boni due to ovoo techs.

  • Kurultai dmg bonus reduced to 20%, but it now actually stays active for 30 seconds for all units after leaving Kurultai range. If Kurultai is positioned next to a neutral or allied market, trade benefits from that market are improved by 10% per trader. That way Kurultai can be used in a military and an economic way and would also synergize with silver tree.

  • Improved Biology reduced from +30% hp to +25% hp.

  • Khaganate Palace: Instead of its normal effect this landmark now decreases the cost of all mounted units (Horsemen, Scouts, Lancers and Mangudai) by 20% (which also applies to stone costs with the ovoo effect). Right now there is no reason to ever go Khagante Palace. This could change that.


  • Firelancer building dmg reduced by 5.

  • Second landmark needed to found a new dynasty has its cost reduced by 10% in all ages. This is aimed towards giving the Chinese a better flow.

  • Give NoB the mango treatment. Reduce area of effect, but increase dmg to ranged by 50%. NoB has impeccable aiming and can be very frustrating to play against. Hence its effectiveness should be given a clearer role to also better match the role of the mangonel.


  • Hisar Academy and Tower of Victory get interchanged. Hisar is now available in age II and ToV in age IV. This gives the scaling effect of Hisar more relevance and makes age IV a decision between infantry and elephants.

  • Research time for Village Fortresses gets reduced from 300 seconds to 180 seconds.

  • Swiftness should improve scholar movement speed to 1.5 and not higher, because anything higher is and looks absolutely ridiculous. There was an oversight when all monks had their speed improved from 1 to 1.12, so now Swiftness lets scholars run with 1.69 speed. They are faster than a knight. 1.5 is reasonable and would still stand out very much compared to other civs.


  • Landsknechte hitpoints increased to 100 (+20) to improve their terrible cost and pop efficiency. Instead of 114 hp fully upgraded, they’d end up with 138 hp, which helps justifying their cost. They’d still be glass cannons and still die fairly quickly, but just not as quickly anymore. Their costs would be more justified without making this unit too strong.

  • Prelates: Allow prelates to inspire while patrolling. This should help to make prelates slightly more viable in later stages of the game and especially when Aachen was not chosen.

  • Benediction: Moved to imperial, cost changed to 350f/350g. Now increases movement speed for prelates and all military units except siege by 5%. If Inspired Warriors is researched, Benediction now also extends IW’s buff to additionally increase attack speed by 20%. Reason: HRE offers barely nothing in imperial except the standard imperial stuff everybody gets. With this change HRE has more possibilities if prelates are used well or Elzbach is being chosen. It also incentivizes the use of prelates with the army in lategame. It’s almost impossible to have every unit inspired at once, which is why this change would not make IW too strong, but much more rewarding.

  • Meinwerk Palace discount increased to 50% and now additionally offers the mace upgrade for MAA to be researched in age II. This change is aimed towards giving HRE a better answer to knights in feudal, while sacrificing the Aachen setup.

  • Burgrave Palace: Production and research speed reduced to 250% down from 400%. Unit costs reduced by 15/25% per age for the landmark to not become useless with the progression of the match. Without the Regnitz gold, the HRE struggles to entertain this landmark. This change is aimed towards improving that.

  • Swabia Palace: Discount to age up reduced from 20% to 10%. This will make rushing to imperial harder, while the idea of Swabia as a catch up landmark remains. Naked imperial attempts would also be easier to punish with this change.

  • Elzbach Palace: Now additionally inspires military units within 3 tiles in radius (which is rather small). It works like Aachen, but only for military units. After leaving the Elzbach inspiration influence, the buff lasts the usual 1 minute. With this, Elzbach would be a reasonable choice to reward multi tc play in feudal and castle age. With this, an army could be completely inspired, but with the downside of being limited to staying close to the landmark. This should help to make Elzbach become a more viable defensive landmark without making it too similar to Red Palace or Berkshire. It’d have a unique touch to it that synergizes well with the inpsiration identity of this civ.

  • The HRE needs more diversity and options. They lack unique units, techs and/or tactics and have a rather thin tech tree and an arguably poor lategame. But what they also lack is a coat of arms! Their shields are blank (aside from two thin lines). Why do they still lack the coat of arms? MAA and knights should carry the Eagle. And if there were a tech that made a reference to the Teutonic Order (for exmpale “Return of the Crusader”: Increase knight hp by 10 and armor by 1/1), the coat of arms could be changed into the Teutonic cross. Just give this civ something more.


  • Abbasids have by far the best trash army (no gold cost army) in the game. There is phalanx, bootcamp, camel support, camel archers, composite bow (barely used because CA are so powerful, but Abbasids have also the best archers in the game)… That is why I think there are some adjustments to be made. I want to suggest to nerf the overperforming camel archers to make archers more attractive for Abbasids altogether, while also reducing their costs as a tradeoff. On top of that I want to give the camel support aura to camel riders only or reduce its effect, because when all Abbasid upgrades come together, the cost effecitveness of their army is a little bit too great and is very hard to counter.

  • Camel Archer dmg reduced to 10/12/13 from 12/14/15 and bonus dmg to light reduced to 10/11/12 from 12/14/15. Food cost get reduced by 30 to 150f/60w. This makes camel archers less effective in all stages of the game (since they overperform), but they also become more available.

  • Camel support (+2 armor for all infantry) is only given by camel riders to a) make camel riders an integreal part of the lategame army no matter if there are enemy horses and b) to make counterplay easier, since camel archers tend to live very long.

  • OR: Reduce the area of effect for the armor, so camels that are not very close to the infantry do not give the bonus.

  • OR: Revert its effect back to +1 instead of +2


  • I’ll go with Beasty here: Revert the cost change of chivalry, but make it an active ability with cooldown. Forget to click it: No healing. Click it and it heals until reentering combat. Cooldown 45 seconds.
    This change is aimed towards making French a tad bit more difficult to play by giving it more room for mistakes.

  • Royal Bloodlines reduced to 30% down from 35%. French knights are just too chunky with this. Especially in Castle Age. → With the changes to Rus and Mongols, French knights are still the most chunky ones in the game. Just all bonus hp knights have gotten a little less chunky.

  • Allow barracks to also profit from castle influence cost reduction to muster cheap MAA and Spears.


The Ottomans start off with Janissaries, Mehtars, Sipahis, Great Bombard, Horse Archers and who knows what else. The Malians are so unique in so many different ways. And civs like HRE and English look pathetic in comparison; even Mongols who also only have the Mangudai as a unique unit. These civs need to get more uniqueness, more techs, more units. They simply need more to choose from. The Landsknecht does not have a single unique upgrade for himself and is the only unique military unit for HRE. That’s not enough. Their MAA eventually are only MAA and not a unique unit, but they are still more unique than this lackluster Landsknecht.

For HRE I could suggest several new unique units like another unit from the Landsknecht line (arquebus for example that replaces HC), Ritterbruder or Ordensritter (heavily armored, expensive knight on horseback) that resembles the Teutonic Order, Black Rider etc. I don’t say include them all, I just think that some civs got the short end and lack a kind of uniqueness that other civs have. And HRE lacks either another UU or a few new or improved unique techs.

For English I have the Fyrd army in mind, which could be turned into a new kind of unique unit set that becomes baseline for the civ, while the Abbey of Kings allows for faster and even cheaper production for example. The idea is a quick to produce, cheap army that can be massed to either support aggression or help defend. It should be a kind of army the English is always somewhat able to muster, and that grows in strength by numbers. The more Fyrd soldiers there are, the stronger each and every one becomes in the vicinity, while there are limits. Since they are cheaper, they should always be weaker than the regular units, while massing them rewards you with some kind of a buff. Each Fyrd soldier could for example give 0.5% bonus to max hp with a limit of +30% to all the Fyrd soldiers around him. Same for dmg, attack speed and so on. 10 Fyrd soldiers are rather weak, 30 are acceptably strong and 60 each have (for example) 30% more max hp, 25% more dmg and 20% more attacks speed.

For Mongols there should actually be a unique horseman version. Since Ottoman horsemen get a berserk ability, Mongol horsemen could get a “full gallop” ability, increasing their horsemen speed by 20 or 30% for 5 seconds for example. There could be a lategame version for the Mangudai to give him better tools for hit and run tactics in lategame. It could improve attack speed and movement speed or only one of both for 5 seconds with a cooldown of 45 for example. Just to give the core units of this civ something more to make them more unique and in line with other civs that offer more uniqueness altogether.


What I’m trying to say is that the problem of HRE is not that it’s too powerful or too weak, but its growth model is still obviously deformed.

On the one hand, it did not grow fast enough to survive the aggressive French and Mongol early attack.
On the other hand, it developed so fast that the English and Chinese couldn’t keep up with it at all.

Perhaps we should consider other ways to highlight the HRE’s characteristic than some sort of sickly economic growth rate.
There may be some other better ways.


These are some really good suggestions. I really like the idea of giving mace upgrades in the meinwerk palace.
I would like to add barbican now builds 2x slower when built within 20 tiles of opponent’s TC. Some civs can really struggle with that rush, specially HRE.


For us non pros the civs from top to bottom are on average 3.7٪‽ apart top to bottom in terms of win rates. Besides specific matchups most civs are almost 50 50 vs any other civ.

Currently at the diamond plus delhi china english are the 3 stragglers.

For china and delhi i recommended a simple straightforward buff of 50w exta at start. Delhi can speed up their age up and get upgrades started faster. And china can reap from the village benefit asap which feeds into a faster song dynasty and defensive retreat!

All healer healing needs to be capped at 3 healers simultaneously healing 1 unit. OR healing should have a burst/regen effect on a cd.

For english the lb camp fire ability can now work on ALL bio units inside the aura while out of combat

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Thank you for your ideas. That’s what I like to see and that is what this thread is for. To collect ideas for each of the civs to make them feel better in all stages of the game. And to maybe give them more variety. With the new civs coming, some old civs might feel outdated as in limited or one dimensional. In my opinion that is especially true for the HRE and the English. But you can argue in favor of the French as well as any other civ. The greatest unit variety is probably offered and used by the Abbasids and Chinese, while the English go NoC MAA flood with enclosures and the HRE builds masses of horsemen as well as towers, because they lack lategame efficiency with pure unit comps. And Rus do not care about the meatshield their streltsies get. As long as there is a meatshield for them, they are happily massing their one unit, because it is just too cost and pop efficient. That is for example why I want them to have the possibility of cheaper f/w units with weaker streltsies to have them make more use of Warrior Monks, who are also underused in their lategame, because all you need is the artillery landmark and mass streltsies. This would give the Rus a strong trash unit gameplay option, while still keeping streltsies and their artillery as their unique strength.

I also like your idea about the lb campfire. But instead of a healing for all units, it might be more interesting to have it slightly increase dmg to buildings by giving it the fire arrow visual. Incendiary arrows would simply overwrite the visual to always have fire arrows, but with the campfire effect the lb dmg to buildings would also still be increased (with and without incendiary arrows). Let’s say 20% more dmg to buildings for example. This would give the English another edge in feudal while not being able to move too much in order to keep the effect. The cooldown for campfire should be rather high as in 2 minutes per unit or smth like that.

As I see it, the campfire healing effect is barely used. And with my suggestions to NoC, the English would get a very effective mass heal for all units during a battle while under the NoC effect. This is why I’d like the campfire to have a different use.

I have made some updates to the suggestions. My personal vision of the game is to have different civs that all feel somewhat similar in regards of their level of uniqueness. That means that no civ is supposed to end up too boring to play.
There will always be bigger differences between certain civs than others, while other civs might even reinvent the wheel (Malians for example, which is not just fine, but great). But I think some civs do feel like a little bit outdated or rather lacking in regards of uniqueness and/or abilities, which is why I extended this post by a few suggestions in between and more so at the end. HRE, English and Mongols have the least unique units and I think that these civs deserve a little bit more to choose from. But these suggestions are not yet very elaborated and are supposed to only serve as an orientation if anything.

I think the game would get overly complicated, if it ended up with 16, 18 or even more civs eventually. In order to uphold its quality and balance, new civs should only be introduced very carefully, while the old ones still receive some updates that go beyond mere balance changes. A good mix out of AoE 2 (new civs) and Starcraft 2 (updates to existing civs) additions. All civs should stay as equally attractive and interesting to play as possible in my opinion. That’s the great quality as well as challenge of AoE 4, which needs to be nourished continuously. Without overdoing it.

The civs are very well balanced right now though. Winrates are quite tight. There are a few landmark pairs that probably need tweaked.

I agree. Balance is very good right now. But it could always be better. There are still some things that are too powerful or too weak.

But these suggestions here are only partially because of balance. The main goal is to keep everything rather fresh. So that when new civs are being introduced, old civs are not being forgotten. And new civs will only be more unique in new and different ways. So at one point, the older civs need to receive some updating as well, which goes beyond simple patch changes, because they will feel outdated or boring. And if you want to keep their core gameplay intact, which I say you should, then you can only refresh these civs by adding new stuff to their already existing roster. In my opinion civs with only one military unique unit like English, HRE and Mongols already feel a little bit stale and limited, whereas other civs have more ways to be played and are altogether more versatile and interesting to play as they offer way more synergies or tactics to choose from. You could also add French to the list, who are undeniably powerful since the very beginning of the game, but also are rather boring to play, because French do not invite you to ever go out of your knightly way. You actually always do the same strat with French, the variations are minimal.

Don’t forget bombard towers, those are absolutely garbage in big numbers.
And French need nerf, too insane gold economy, It’s IMPOSSIBLE to cripple French eco in bigger games.
It seems like firelancers all over again. IMBA

And I think they have to do something to landmark victory, it’s just too painfull to chase gigantic maps to deliver killing blow

LoL, my first impression after some long break from the game was that at last they made balance changes, but I WAS WRONG!11 Game is beyond broken after 30min… before that 30min mark I think it’s pretty versatile, unless it’s French…

sorry for ranting about it,… but after 20 games in short period of time it is just too obvious that something really needs to happen…

The game is more balanced than ever (only some landmark to adjust and some unique unit are missing). Another thing is that the metagame you do not like.

If you are bad vs France, you will have to learn to play against them.


Healing is not balanced. The issue is mostly prevalence during delhi games…and sonce those are THE least played games…mostly goes unnoticeable. However the infamous Bee and a few other have gone mass healers with a few other civs. IMO the number of healers that can heal a single unit needs to be capped at 2-3 OR healing should work like a regen and still capped at 2-3 healers healing simultaneously 1 unit. Having said this i think the balanced healer needs more healing range or at least an upgrade for more range, say 200g for plus 3 tiles healing range?

I think all spears SHOULD absolutely have a .75 or even 1 tile normal attack range because they are spears!!! A a sword or mace should NOT have the same range, AND already in game this is the case for knights when charging?! This mechanically woulf help spears vs cav and spearsmen during body blocking.

Zhuge Nu need a 4.75 tile range OR a movement speed of 1.25 tiles/s; regular archers should not be able to both outrange them and run fast enough to shoot and scoot. (China needs viable non-all early aggression options and/or viable faster tech options…they sit at the bottom of almost every rank…)

Pro scouts needs attention, evenly under used bc its too expensive and or risky given the expense. I suggest keeping the cost AS IS however… allow a single scout to carry up to 2 carcasses!!! Or reduce the gold cost down to 125g (75w 125g). Also move the tech to the Dark age such that it can be researched in transition rather than at 4-5min.

I know there is more but drawing a blank


Must be heal cheats. Solved. Next pls.

Jokes(?) aside, We see the option to play smth new, new army composition, and people like: “hey, it’s something new, I am loosing to it let’s ban it from the game”

Most people still do not play healers, and noobs are losing healers either way. so the idea to force top1% players to play the only archers + horses and pikes.

Other improvements to do include turning the Horse Archer, Camel Rider, and War Elephant all into regional units.


  • Add 1 IO cap per dynasty unlocked
  • Reduce food cost of IO, from 100F 50G to 50F 50G.
  • Start with a free IO, but -50F -50G, this is similar to HRE free Prelate change and should fix China’s mediocre early game WR, OR get a free IO each age up.

You’re suggesting either or per bullet or you suggesting ALL OF THEM??

So basically, what you want is everything to be nerfed and buff hre buff hre buff hre?

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I think MOngols SHOULD get a slightly different function to their Ovoo stone when it comes to ECONOMIC upgrades; instead of getting those MEASLY extra percentages at FULL price mind you? Why not make it so all economic upgrades can be researched with JUST stone alternatively and having a 30-40% discount on original cost if you’re using stone??? But no longer having access to stronger eco bonuses! just stone costing alternative that’s CHEAPER! Military bonuses will remain as is.

This concept would mirror the Malian’s mining pit function in that the passive income could be used to gain eco advantages effectively for free!

All of them as these changes directly address CN early weakness problem.