Team Games - Britons/Ethiopians & Castle Age Mangonels

This topic is not meant to bash the respective civs or ‘an angry noob wants to nerf civs for his own agenda’.

This discussion will revolve around making team games more fun, balanced and as unpredictable as possible. So please provide your input and opinion to this discussion.

First let’s understand why players picks Britons and Ethiopians more than any other civs:


  1. Shephards work 25% faster (Good Dark age eco)
  2. Archery ranges produce archers 20% faster for you and your allies
  3. +1 free range in castle, +1 free range in imperial
  4. 150 wood for a town center
  5. Access to Cavalier


  1. Archers fire 18% faster
  2. Receive +100 gold, +100 food when advancing to the next age
  3. Access To Camels
  4. Access To Thumb ring
  5. Pikeman upgrade free

Obviously in team games. I’m putting the emphasis on team games here - the free bonuses give Britons a massive lead in castle age. Not will they only easily counter/out-range mangonels from you or your allies but also create town centers and boom faster.

Ethiopians have the most aggressive kit for Castle Age. the fast firing bonus (18%) + thumb ring (18%), a total of 36% firing speed will render their foot archers deal nearly double the damage output than normal archers do… In your opinion, is that fair in a 2v2 engagement?

Now let’s talk about versatility which in my opinion makes Age of empires 2 very fun to play. I agree with the fact that an archery civ is never safe in imperial age against siege onagers, cavalry units so yes it makes sense to either have decent infantry line or Cavalry line.

Now the issue we see with both civilizations:

Ethiopians [Problem] => Castle Age Burst + Overloaded Kit (Archery, Camel, Infantry Civ):

Though they miss the imperial age cavalry armor and bloodlines yet heavy camel access is by itself good enough to deal with cavalry units. Do not forget that this civ also excels as an infantry civ too.

Britons [Problem] => Castle Age Boom + Overloaded Kit (Archery, Cavalier, Infantry Civ):

Britons also miss the bloodlines but unlike Ethiopians they get full blacksmith upgrades for cavalry units and Cavalier Upgrade. Infantry line is not missing anything either.

Small Balance Suggestions

  • Remove +1 range for Britons in Castle Age and receive it back in Imperial age.
  • Remove Thumb ring upgrade for Ethiopians.

The goal of these little changes to give more versatility in team games than just the usual Britons/Ethiopians pick. So what you think guys? Let’s hear all your opinions about this I’m sure you have something to say.

Thank you <3

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What? lmao

The most picked civ in TG is Franks, followed by Britons, followed by Mayans. Ethiopians are fourth.

This is 50% of the reasons Britons is picked.

This is 30% of them.

Eco bonuses are 20% of them. Cavaliers aren’t relevant. Same as Camels not being relevant for Ethiopians.

Ethiopians are picked solely because of the fast fletching, faster firing archers, and access to BBC. Nothing about Camels, Pikemen, Thumb ring or what have you.

With your changes you remove all the civ identity from both of those.

And regarding balance- you are horribly, horribly, horribly misguided where the issues are stemming from.

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I’m assuming we are talking mainly about arabia tgs:

Those are good reasons, but what makes a britons a must in team is his team bonus. Not having the same number of archers on both flank is the real problem

Since we are talking about team games, this point is not a real concern. No one will ever make the kts line as brit in tg

Those are what make ethiopians good (mostly the faster fire rate)

While those are useless. As a flank you’ll never make pikes in castle age, let alone weak camels

Their camels are bad. They are decent when it comes to 1v1 in castle age, but no one will ever make camel as flank

Same goes for Brits. No one will make kts line in tg as a flank, especially not one wothout bloodlines

So, you are giving them generic xbows without any compensation? Britons needs their extra range in castle, otherwise they’d be just bad in 1v1

Thumb ring affects not only the fire speed, but also the accuracy. In 1v1 ethiopians need a boost on their xbows because it’s all they have.

Thar those changes makes little sense. Both civs will become worse in 1v1, Brits would still be picked in tgs because of their team bonus and instead of ethiopians you would have only Mayans 100% of the games


To be a bit more constructive though-

Mayans should get an eco nerf.

Britons should have the faster producing archery ranges removed and scrapped for a useless team bonus, or moved to a civ bonus, not a team bonus. But still, with how strong they are overall, I won’t mind seeing it gone from their kit altogether.

Mind you, those aren’t my proposals. They are of all the pro players, mid elo players, and us the bad players who come here to complain.


I apreciate your post, and I agree Britons are too strong in TGs, but Ethiopians aren’t a problematic civ here (Not great tech tree) but Mayans are outright OP in both 1v1 and TGs (30% discounted fully upgraded arbalests is stupid), also where are the Franks, most picked civ in both 1v1 and TGs, their broken paladin spam has to be adressed somehow.

Also Longbows should be the main long ranged archer for britons, but they are out performed by the Britons OP arbalests. Nerfing the TB won’t adress that fact (btw they outrange siege and skirms, isn’t even fun).
Let’s not talk about Plumes too.
Is fun how all people talk about new civs being OP while the some of the OG ones are the true problem. (hence why people still demand Vietnamese, Italians, Magyars buffs, because noone of these civs can’t even compete with OP ones and make look them horribly UP in comparison).


I think the real “problem” of TG is that very stale knight/archer meta.
I once made the suggestion to use the Team bonusses to mix this a bit up. Like making the Byzantine Trash discount a TB and so on.
I don’t know if this is a high priority to the devs though. Any dev there to say something about it?

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Mine is for the archer line to not get a bonus against spearmen anymore, putting a lot more emphasis on skirms for supporting scouts, but archers being better at dealing overall damage, making things in a lot more complex throughout all stages of the game by introducing trash units into the mix.

Currently an archer in feudal deals 8 damage to spears and this just shouldn’t be happening.

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I think you just need to learn how to play against archer civs, or you just have a problem with them. Where is the Franks nerf according to your reasoning?

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I think there’s also another problem here that DracKen pointed out in AoEZone once, the Xbow upgrade is just way too cheap for the amount of powerspike you gain for it, I won’t be against nerfing the upgrade cost tho.

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The compensation seems like a fair idea, What do you have in mind?

As far as I’m concerned, the Huns for example get generic cavalry archers but they are cheap. So Britons get generic archers but they are created 20% faster do not seem generic tbh.

What do you think about giving Mangonels +1 range in castle age? Does that solve the problem or create another problem somewhere?

Because we have an illogical situation. Mangonels are supposed to counter archers but Britons archers counter mangonels with basic micro. That +1 range in castle age narrows down the versatility of counters down to knights only. And let’s be fair and not deny the fact that units in aoe2 collide with each other meaning that knights will bump into each other for some time before they get a good engage plus knights are less effective in narrow spaces.

Yes maybe that’s true, but skirmishers are a hard counter & 1 mangonel shot can flatten a big group of them with ease. They also have bad mobility so I think it is balanced well.

Skirm upgrade costs 230 wood and 130 gold and skirms also cost food to create, if you go archers then skirms takes queue time and space.

Thank you for that graph that illustrate the issue. Britons may be second, and Franks first but have you noticed that both civs are played in binary together? they complement each other and ensure the win.

Franks may be abused the most but they are not as problematic as Britons. You counter knights with knights or pikes but Britons with what? Mangonels, skirmishers do not work.

No, Huns cav archers aren’t generic, being 20% cheaper is a strenght, but at the same time lack Ring Archer Armor (Main complaint for Mayans lol)

In Imperial Frankish paladins are outright stronger than other paladins, and the 40% faster creation (OP spam) makes that margin massive and stupid, pikes and halbs aren’t option because get sniped by archers or gunpowder. (btw Franks are a ridiculous problem for TGs yet FE nerfed Lithuanian paladins despite not being even a top pick in TGs, not even close).

If the Briton team bonus is so important, (I didn’t realise it was 50% of the reason to pick Britons) it should just definitely be removed from Britons. And given to one of the archer civs with a low teamgame pick rate. Eg Inca’s, Tatars, Saracens.

To make this specific:
Swap the Briton and Inca team bonuses

  • yes
  • no

0 voters

Wrecking the signature British military bonus or reducing Ethiopians to weaker-than-FU Arbalests (as the OP suggests) does not sound like a good idea.

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Rather switch it with Magyars and give Incas the old Chinese team bonus

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Doesn’t invalidates the whole “Knight + Archer meta” thematic.
You always can disagree with specific opinions and arguments but this doesn’t make the

I mean, he is more bothered about Briton cavalry than Frank or Lithuanian cavalry, and he is mentioning Ethiopian pikes as if they mattered in TG, so the post still misses the mark so much it sounds like an elaborate joke.

Don’t touch their range, just change their team bonus. The archery range becomes a civ bonus and that’s it

Britons and Ethiopians are indeed OP in Team Games, but in order to fix it all you need to do is making players color have no impact on the in-game position, if you want to eliminate any form of abuse you can just force random civ rather than modify all civs.

Regarding the actual changes, Britons, unlike Ethiopians, are awfully designed, they need a quite amount of rework to make them a good civ design wise. It’s the most uninspired civ in the pool, alongside Franks, a straightforward meta heavy single-unit-composition backed up by strong eco since Dark Age.

In order to make it work you’d have to first deal with their Longbows, they serve no purpose in this game, Britons have Arbalesters that can potentiall do the same, all Longbows add is +1 damage that becomes meaningful only against Elite Eagles/Paladins, which by this point you better have your FU Halbs/Champs.
Britons Archer line shouldn’t benefit from the extra range what so ever if you want to make use of their Unique Unit. Make Yeoman cheaper however, so their Archer line won’t be generic yet relies on some sort of investment.

Ethiopians are fully balanced in 1v1’s, and conceptually a great design, I wouldn’t touch them.

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