The [Canoe] a Regional Ship for the Pre-Colombian Civilisations and the [Flare Archer]

I wanted to share these two ideas that I came up with recently that could potentially be added to the game in the future, where the [Canoe] could be added to the game as a trainable unit and another unit by the name of [Flare Archer] can replace the [Trebuchet] for some civilisations.

(1) The [Canoe] is an untrainable warship that was introduced in “Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten” (2013) and it could replace the [Galley] for the Aztec and possibly for the other Pre-Columbian Civilisations as well, where they will serve as weak warships that has the advantage of overwhelming other enemy ships through their numbers. When reaching the Castle Age these ships could be upgraded to the [War Canoe] and finally to the [Sturdy War Canoe] in the Imperial Age. The [Sturdy War Canoe] could as a ship possess a similar strength to the [Galleon], however, the trade-off is that they will have less hit points but is much more cheaper and can be trained quicker.

Another user by the name of @RomasterChief posted a similar suggestion about two years ago (2020 I believe) where the Aztecs could be given canoes (Suggestion - Canoe boat for the Aztecs).

(2) The [Flare Archer] could replace the [Trebuchet] for some civilisations in the game and serve as a long range siege unit that specialises in destroying walls and buildings. They can be trained from the [Siege Workshop] in the Imperial Age. The range of the [Flare Archer] will be somewhat shorter than the [Trebuchet] and they won’t deal as much damage individually, but they will be cheaper, have a faster fire rate and can be quickly massed in numbers. Another advantage that they could have is that they don’t have to pack and unpack like the [Trebuchet], however, they will have a slow movement speed and have to be escorted by other military units in order for them to survive.

The [Flare Archer] will only be good against buildings and other Flare Archers, including Trebuchets, but they will perform poorly against every other military unit type.

I was inspired by the [Arrow Knight] from “Age of Empires 3” when I came up with the idea of the [Flare Archer] which serves as a long range anti-building unit for the Aztecs in that game. The name [Flare Archer] might sound a bit silly at first but people may learn to appreciate the name over time. According to the Wikipedia the word “Flare” is probably related to the Latin Word “Flagro” (I burn) and the Norwegian “Flara” (To blaze) but the English word “Flutter” seems to predate it, so the name “Flare Archer” does make sense for a unit that will set things on fire.

And yes, I know that the Bow and Arrow did not rival the range of the Trebuchet in reality, but I think that it is important that there is at least one siege unit in the game that represents both the complete and partial lack of siege weapons for some civilisations in reality. Adding a siege unit that fires flaming arrows from an absurd range like the [Flare Archer] could be a necessary historical inaccuracy for the game and a better option than giving some civilisations like the Pre-Columbian ones access to the [Trebuchet].

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For some seconds I thought you were suggesting a warship that could carry units and whose attack would get stronger as its space filled up.

Even if you did misinterpret what I wrote for a short while, the thought of having a warship whose attack becomes stronger based on the amount of passengers, does sound intriguing.

Maybe that could be added as a feature for some ships in the game.

This is the whole problem conceptually for those American civs. They had no navies to speak of and were up against civilisations with centuries of ship building experience behind them who crossed oceans! Anything you make for those civs will have to be pure fantasy. I have said this again and again, I don’t think the American civs belong in the game.

@Bramkurtzio I also find it intriguing. Not sure how viable it would be tho.

@PryingIvy454910 You have every right to prefer some civs to others, my friend. But your argument is flawed. First, navy was never a criterion for adding civs to the game, so much so that the second expansion (the Conquerors) already added the Aztecs and Mayans.

But let’s imagine it was: while you’re right that the Native Americans never made galleons (or any other huge ships), they had traditions of using canoes for transport and warfare on the coast and in rivers (some even across the Caribbean Sea), what best suited their environment.

And since the game doesn’t care much about historical accuracy — most ships should have oars, Fire Ships should be unique to the Byzantines etc — there would be no problem adding these civs (assuming the ships criterion). I even wish there were regional maritime units as the OP suggests above.

A quick search gave me this very interesting answer (and several others) on this subject, if you want more.


Now do Polynesians.

Great, but you’re 22 years too late to make a difference there, so it seems like a weird thing to still be hung up on. I get that some people will never have a strong preference for more American civs and will usually latch onto any reason to justify their disinterest, which is fine, if a little annoying. But naval capability is a pretty poor reason to use to try and disqualify potential American civs given how many existing civs had weak or no navies to speak of historically (Bohemians, Bulgarians, Celts, Cumans, Goths, Huns, Magyars, even Mongols are somewhat iffy). Same issue with regards to gameplay, where water maps are pretty niche, and picking a civ without strong naval bonuses on islands is almost an auto-lose.

Overall I think adding a kind of canoe unit for some American civs makes sense, and it would help add some diversity to water play, which people have been asking for recently.


I fully agree with what both @SoleFrog1297715 and @SirWiedreich are saying.

Just because the Native American civilisation did not have a strong navy or any navy at all doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be a part of the game.

And even if they were to suddenly be removed from the game now after all of these years that have passed since they were added, some people would definitely become upset by this because there are players that are accustomed to playing as either the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans. And they probably consider them to be one of their main or favourite civilisations as well whenever they play [Age of Empires 2].

Funny part is not all europeans were sea going people too.If going for historical accuracy on ships chinese should have the best navy, the ming treasure fleet.


Yes but these are not technologically on par with the ships built in the old world so having them go up against galleons and such just feels silly.

Yes there is definitely alack of overall accuracy, and in fact I have criticised those in other threads, but this thread was about the American civs. Having said that having one or two units out of place here and there for the sake of balance is one thing, having an entire civ’s tech tree be essentially made up of fantasy units that not only did they not have access to but that those civs would not have ever even come into contact with or heard about is on a whole other level. Pretty much the entire tech tree of all the civs is modelled off Euro-Asian medieval technologies. The civilisations in Europe, Asia and North Africa were all in contact with each other for millenia. They traded and technologies flowed from one civ to another throughout this time period so much that the old world had more or less technological parity. The American civs evolved around completely different technologies and it is poorly represented in game. If anything I would argue its better to not include them at all if you are going to do such a haphazard job at integrating them. It is much more respectful this way. I actually think the way AOE3 did this was much better and considering overall I am a bigger fan of AOE2 I wish they’d had taken a similar approach in this. But then the entire game balance would have to be changed so I don’t know how they would do this. I certainly don’t want to see just a simple canoe reskin for a unit with the exact same stats as a war galley cause that’ll just look really really dumb. I know a lot of people couldn’t care less about this stuff, doesn’t mean I can’t like and dislike what I deem to be good or bad. To me immersion is still a thing and I have my standards.

Interesting read. Although I don’t know what its supposed to prove. If anything it just highlights my problem with the depiction of American navies in this game.

Well its still an issue with the game and I still play the game so kind of hard to ignore it. And in anycase its not like I am going around screaming about it every other day… its just that this thread is obviously about this topic so its a good chance to comment.

I suggest you don’t get annoyed so easily by what other people think.

Yes but as mentioned above this is only one problem in a long list of issues with the way American navies are depicted. Obviously this thread was about navies so that is the focus of the comments. But essentially their entire tech trees and units are fantasy. They literally didn’t have ANY of the things they are given in the game whereas other civs might have had an aspect of their units or techs tweaked here and there for balance reasons they overall feel much more authentic. The American civs ALWAYS felt as though they were leaning much more heavily on fiction rather than history whereas the other civs were at least somewhat grounded in reality.

I don’t hate this idea. If done well (which I am really doubtful it can be) it would definitely be better than the current silliness.

Curious what you mean by this (apart from AoE3 having much more freedom for divergent civ design). I personally would have designed Age2’s New World civs much differently, using many different mechanics and units, but that ship has sailed (pun intended), and Age2 is pretty rigid in the type of civ design that can be viable in competitive games. Even regarding ideas for new civs, people don’t give much leeway for deviation from the “standard” template for historical (or any other) reasons.

Same, so I accept it how it is. I’ll take a flawed representation that exists over a perfect one that doesn’t.

Is it an issue with the game, or the way you view the game by expecting it to have high historical fidelity? You can make valid points in terms of historicity, but it hasn’t been that kind of historical game since AoC (and was kind of iffy on many levels even in AoK). The genie’s out of the bottle and will never go back in, so not making peace with that seems like an unnecessary source of friction.

Eh, I don’t claim to be some kind of Zen Master™, so I can be annoyed by matters of low import from time to time, and I suspect you and everyone else here can as well.

So…love it or leave it? Again, it just makes more sense to me to accept the game for what it is, rather than being disappointed that it doesn’t match some alternate vision. These civs will never be removed or drastically changed, so this ends up just being a fruitless source of friction and distraction every time American civs are brought up. There are lots of things that I would have loved to have changed about the game when its identity and trajectories were far more malleable, for historical and other reasons, but now that its course is set, so to speak, advocating for them would be a waste of time and attention. Griping about the historicity and tech mismatch issues of New World civs is one of those things I’ve left behind, for good reason. Better to just make a mod or something if you have fundamental problems with how some civs are represented.


I haven’t played that game in a while but if I remember correctly they had something like cheap but also weak canoes that you could train which you could then use to get close to an enemy ship and shoow them with a bow. I mean it still looked kinda silly but it was at least “plausible” if you suspended your disbelif to a moderate degree.

Hence why they should have restricted the scope of the game to civs that thematically fitted better into that template.

Well yes it has, but we can still speculate even if just for the sake of arguing… I mean other ideas I had made it into the game so hey who knows…

Yes but flawed to AN EXTENT! As I said before, the fantasy to realism ratio with the American civs is far more skewed towards fantasy than all the other civs so their presence feels jarring and out of place and messes with the tone of the game. I mean people can say they just don’t care, which is a fair argument, but that doesn’t mean my points are not valid. It all just comes down to our own individual tastes and what we like seeing and not seeing and I don’t like seeing the tone of a game messed with. Its something that doesnt bother some people but it bothers me. So thats that.

Its an issue that I HAVE with the game. So yes its an issue. Again you can choose to not see it as an issue. That is your prerogative just as much as it is mine to take issue with whatever I choose.

I disagree again, it has always been loose with history yes, but not THIS LOOSE. Even all other civs since AOC have all been much more rooted in reality than the American civs. In fact you could argue they were even more historical than the base civs since a lot of them even introduced regional units.

Well hardly friction but I digress… they CAN still at least try to correct some of the historic wrongs and considering this is a game that is still being updated with new content all the time, hey we can always cross our fingers and hope for the best. They could go a long way in addressing some of these points by at least giving them some more accurate regional skins for a lot of the units and it will go a fair way in making them FEEL more authentic. It might not be a perfect solution but it’ll be better than nothing.

Yes but being annoyed by people opinions about videogames is pretty pettie to be honest and really just gives off the sense that you got nothing in the real world to be annoyed about. You don’t have to engage in this conversation if its annoying for you to hear other people’s opinions. Trust me you will not lose anything of value. Go outside, take a deep breath, touch some grass, look at some birds or ■■■■…

If it was a game that wasn’t being actively worked on then I would have agreed. As long as there is new content coming out I can always wish that by some miracle something might change. However slim that chance might be.

That would be cool, and actually has a non-zero chance of happening. Beyond that, major overhauls on the basis of historicity are the domain of mods.

Indeed, I’ve already acknowledged that they take the most liberties, so what? The fact that AoE2 has chosen to be the kind of game that includes Native American civs might suggest that you can expect it to be the kind of game that includes Native American civs.

My dude, you are reading way too much into this.
During a conversation, acknowledging a mild emotion (dislike, annoyance) in a neutral way is normal.
Trying to conjure deep insights about someone’s personal life from an innocuous statement, is not.
(To say nothing of the hokey virtue signaling).

The parts being worked on are new DLCs, balance changes, and bug fixes. Not fundamental reimaginings of legacy civs.

Then let me wish you luck on your wishful quest. Perhaps the Devs will see the light, and when they come back to work next week, promptly delete the American civs, and get to work on a new DLC that adds 10 more European civs, and 5 from Asia. :crossed_fingers: