SWEDEN - [American Rev] Fort GUI Bug (Slot overload) - No Minutemen Levy Activation Option (Rev Deck)

Game Version:

  • Build: 100.13.18214.0
  • Platform: Steam
  • Operating System: Win10 Pro 64x
  • Gamertag: ArcticEidolon [I think?]


Note: While I have played AOE3 since its initial release, hence probably quite familiar - DE has some adjustments that I’m definitely not 100% aware of; ergo - this could just be PEBKAC.

A [ Sweden ] player with many Mercenary activations + hirable from Barracks encounters a GUI problem where specific elements are missing. Specifically, American revolution - using the Minutemen card should add the option to levy to forts (tested existing and new); this does not occur. Here ‘barracks’ should be understood to mean any building that a Fort would source from, under normal gameplay. It’s an issue at the forts, after all.

Testing this card with other civs and relatively empty barracks, shows correctly. Further, if no mercenaries are unlocked at the barracks, it works fine for Sweden (with the possible exception of Kalmar Castle)

Suspicion: Either Kalmar Forts are treated differently by the game, hence the GUI elements may not even be getting added properly OR an overflow-x in the GUI such that the toggle to levy is either overdrawn or wrap:hidden. I think it to be the latter, but I’ve only tested this with Kalmar castle enabled.

Therefore, the save game was ‘played’ with this in mind, attempting to overload the fort GUI.

All games have been vs. AI. Bug independent of match selection details.

############ Steps:

Here’s how to reproduce the problem:

  • Sweden
  • Multiple Merc Cards
  • Kalmar Castle [unsure]

The general spirit of ############ should be “overload Barracks with as many units on offer as possible” though these specific instructions should ensure this. I think the lowest I’ve explicitly noticed this bug with has been +3 units in the Barracks (so above Pike, Xbow, Carolean). Given the nature of Fort produced units, likely factors in any additional unit unlocks above normal for Cav as well.

  1. Sweden
  2. Mercs enabled for Barracks recruitment via normal gameplay (ie: their cards, the Mercenary Contractor for Commerce->Fortress). Minimum of 3 when I’ve noticed, may trigger with fewer.
  3. I believe it is requisite to take Merc Contractor Politician (the Jaeger+BR hire Comm->Fort iirc)
    4->a: Normal forts are bugged this way, go to 5 (untested)
    4->b: [ Kalmar Castle ] sent
  4. Age up with [ Revolution: America ] at any convenient time
  5. Send the (revolution deck) card enabling Minutemen levy at forts + no HP-loss/time
  6. ???
  7. No option to levy said minutemen, or at least, it doesn’t show in the fort GUI like it does for other civs

Whomp whomp, no minutemen nor glorious popcap exploitation.

Note: Save file cheated to all hell, but this does not influence this bug.

Save context:

  • Kalmar Castle has been sent
  • Merc Contractor (Jaeger hire + other stuff, taken for age up. I think it’s Comm->Fort)
  • Swiss Pikes, Fusiliers, Highlanders sent from HC
  • American Revolution Taken
  • Minuteman Levy card (the revolution deck one) sent
  • All choices geared to quickest route to this bug, ie, only the named cards sent

ATTACHMENTS: (updated, non-restricted links)

Ayyy… what a pain in the arse…


Hay ! The screenshot link you provided is private, and not accessible for anyone ! :slight_smile:

Nothing revolutionary (:drum:), it’s literally just the fort UI as it would appear to basically any other civ - if they didn’t ship the levy card. Or at least, that’s what it looks like. In reality, I did ship the American Revolution deck’s levy card, so something is in arrears.

Fixed the save-game link too, while I was at it.

The instructions themselves are reliable for recreation, if you’re doing that and it’s not happening then I would welcome any input on what you’re seeing, in case I’m just being a troglodyte.

You only mentioned the lack of Levy, but it’s obvious that other non-unit functions have been squeezed out too: no shipment buttons, no Revetment & Star Fort techs, which you haven’t researched judging from the stats.

The problem should be caused by the way AoE3 handles button rows and how the Fort buttons are defined in protoy.xml.

The OP's example
The OP’s example

basic fort
Basic Swedish Fort with nothing added

Additionally, if I’m not mistaken, you’ve only enabled 5 out of 6 buildable mercenaries. You can still add Landsknecht to the buildable options by shipping Contract Landsknecht Mercenaries or German Mercenary Contracts.

With everything enabled, I think a Swedish Fort can theoretically have 21 buttons at maximum:

  • 8 starting units
  • 2 Fort techs
  • 2 shipment waypoint commands
  • 6 mercenaries
  • 1 Gatling Gun from US revolution
  • 1 Levy from the US revolution card Conscription
  • 1 Conscription from sending the Town Militia card before revolting

In that case, even without the “row overflow” issue, you can squeeze out as many as three button.

Well look at that, it’s even worse than I thought xD

I completely blanked on that, but indeed, you are right. Looks like I did find a bug.

Thanks for mentioning that, at least now I can be relatively sure I’m not just an idiot.

I’m reminded of another potential “button wall” - Native Embassy.

First, in one game, a player can ally with a maximum of 5 different minor civs.

When you’re already allied with 5 cultures, you will be unable to build a TP on a 6th’s settlement, and interestingly, the UI preview will only show the native units it offers, not its native techs.

Apparently this is how AoE3 has always worked, though I don’t know if the recent native TP update has changed that.

5 alliances
Embassy panel showing native units from 5 cultures

Since a minor native enables at most 2 units in the Embassy, theoretically the native units can occupy 10 buttons in the Embassy panel at most.


Meanwhile, a Mexican player can add 6 buttons to an Embassy by doing this:

  1. Age 2 Tlaxcala
  2. Ship Tlaxcala Alliance for 1 Conquistador, 1 Conquistador upgrade, 2 Jesuit techs, 2 minor Aztec/Tlaxcala techs

Afterwards, the player can add 5 buttons by normal age-up:

  1. Age 4 Guerrero
  2. Ship Aztec Pueblos for 2 minor Aztec units
  3. Age 5 Oaxaca
  4. Ship Zapotec Valley for 3 Zapotec techs

Mexican Native Embassy 3 Oaxaca Zapotec Valley
Embassy panel after shipping the 3 federal cards

OR add another 6 buttons by Maya revolution:

  1. Revolt as Maya
  2. Ship Kinship Ties to add 1 Villager

Mexican Native Embassy 4 Maya sans Kinship Ties
Embassy panel after Tlaxcala Alliance and Maya revolution, before Villager is added

By choosing these options, the Embassy panel can be filled up with 11 or 12 buttons from federal or revolution cards alone, leaving only 7 or 6 vacant slots.


Of course, a normal map will only ever spawn 3 different minor civs at most. (unless you are playing Unknown, which has no such limit). But the Embassy must also suffer from the Swedish Fort’s “row overflow”: if we perform the above steps to add 11/12 Embassy buttons, then ally with natives that add more than 3 units, the top unit row will expand, and push out the two techs of the bottom row.

Remaining question:
Some of these cards or age-up options, also including the African age-ups and the US Tammany Festival (ally with Cree), are mechanically treated as the player allying with a minor civ, at least for the purpose of the Native Treaties card.

How do they interact with AoE3’s built-in 5 minor ally limit?

I wonder if I missed an earlier bug report, given I thought this was unique to Sweden… might be worth renaming the topic, you think?

Then call it “Build panel overflow - Swedish Fort US Revolution; Mexican Native Embassy” :slight_smile:

I’ve heard that Indian treasure Settler/CdB, Mexican General may also have an overflow scenario, but haven’t looked into it. Frankly, if a hero has a problem, it wouldn’t be as marginal as what’s discussed here, and has a better chance to get fixed.

The big button added to the Mexican Town Center by Aztec Pueblos also feels suspicious, because nothing is as cumbersome as a third of the panel getting cut off.

Some thoughts for devs:

The topic covers two problems:

  1. Rows of different types do not cross over into each other. Devs normally place unit buttons in the train row, and other buttons in the tech row. When the train row expands to triple size, it will push the whole tech row out of the panel. In original AoE3, rows are labeled on the UI (“Train”, “Improve”, etc.). The labels are undisplayed in AoE3DE, but the mechanism hasn’t changed.

  2. The excess of buttons, enough to squeeze out a few buttons without the row overflow.


For Swedish Fort, the factors are, in descending order of importance:

  • Train rows: Swedish ability to add as many as 6 mercenaries;

  • Train rows: The post-release update making 3 “light artillery” units buildable (Leather Cannon, Falconet, Gatling Gun);

  • Tech row: The US revolution’s addition of 2 militia buttons;

  • Tech row: The need for every defensive building to dedicate 2 buttons to the shipment waypoint.

At launch, the Swedish Fort should start with only 2 rows: a 6-button train row, and a 4-button tech row.
It probably was supposed to fill out the panel without error, by enabling all 6 mercenaries (2nd train row) & US revolution militia (added to tech row).

The “Fort light artillery” update has added 3 more buttons to train rows, and was the direct cause that pushed the units past the middle row.

The problem seems hard to solve, as each factor is a corollary of a design principle, and removing any is a break of design patterns.

In my UI notes there’s a proposal to redesign the “universal commands” UI and move shipment buttons out of the build panel, though it doesn’t solve the problem here.


For Mexican Embassy:

  1. The No. 1 factor is that Mexicans can’t use the African pattern, where alliance techs are added to the natural research building of University/Monastery - the Mexican Cathedral is already extremely loaded, and some of these techs are poor thematic fits. Instead, they went into Embassy, whose default purpose is being a blank slate for a custom unit roster, with no precedence of research (other than being borrowed for a Tavern equivalent).

  2. The Embassy is also simply given options to the point of excess.

  • Does a Maya player ever need villagers from the Embassy at the cost of a shipment?

  • Previously, Native Scout in Embassy is only available to Lakota & Haud, not Aztecs, then why Maya? To be fair, Aztecs instead have the War Chief train Eagle Scouts, but do Maya really need an equivalent?

  • And so on.

If we ignore the maximum of 10 native units and only consider the practical case of 6, there may be a quick but ugly fix that frees up a full Embassy row: move the Jesuit techs to the Cathedral, which IIRC still has 3 vacant slots. (Cathedral only has 1 vacant.)

On the brighter side, these Mexican abilities are isolated effects that follow no consistent pattern other than “pile them all onto the Embassy”, not derived from principles. They are easier to change.

Remaining question:
Again, we still haven’t tested how African alliances/US Tammany Festival/Mexican cards interact with the hardcoded 5-minor limit - if they exist outside the limit or not. If they are counted in the limit, there most likely will be oddities abound.

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While I am unsure it makes a meaningful difference, having to re-set up AOE the other day - I noticed that there are different options for the user interface.

The one I have selected for the relevant save + use generally is [ Classic ] for those players who are already used to the default AOE3 (nonDE) UI.

Apparently 2022 October Update 13.27885 has an undocumented change: Swedish contract mercenaries are no longer buildable from Fort. That’s one problem solved.

With this patch adding unique Royal Embassy cards to Germans (Prince-Electors) and French (Ancien Régime), I wonder if anything’s done with Mexicans.