USA is pay to win

First thing first, hello everyone and Merry Christmas! May this year bring you much good stuff and minimum bad stuff :slight_smile:

Second, Age 3 at 6 minutes, plus a relatively large army early game is 100% pay to win (the blue curve attached is USA). The horrendous civ balance destroyed this game. The community is almost dead largely because of this. AOE 3 at higher ELO/rank, has become 98% civ choice, 1.9 luck and 0.1% skill. Congrats to the developers for transforming one of the best games of all time to this crap :slight_smile:


Word, word, would you care to “elaborate”?


Maybe a recording? or showing what the lines represent? :man_shrugging:


btw, we see the name of the guy…

As mentionned in the post, the graph shows an age up at 6:02 minutes, which is OP :wink:

US with 6:02 hit the age 3 is lack of eco. you can follow them to age 3 and use 2 Falcon cannon + musketeer to defence. if you can’t FF such as British, try to maximize your eco and use TC to attack Gatlin Gun, then use musketeer and hussar to have a decisive battle.


from that graph, wat is ur age up time?

also ur own civ?

the graph also implies that they age up around 3 mins to age 2 - so this is a relatively low eco build

I am also assuming that the graph is military unit? - then it still took to 7 mins for there to be a sizeable army so I dont buy the “relatively large army early game”

There is too little info to say anything

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While I agree the civ balance is totally wacked in this game I disagree that the USA is any better or worse than a lot of others. The game is a hot mess right now. Of course it is probably one of the most complicated games ever put together so by it’s very nature hard to make fair.

I don’t think that is so bad really, once you accept it and enjoy the richness of what it has to offer it somewhat smooths things over. What kills the community is the lamers who play broken civs and then demand nerfs from any other civ that has some small way to offer them any resistance.

They get to a spot higher in the ladder than their skills should permit. At that point they get put against players that are simply much better than they are but without the crutches. Then let the moaning begin… It is hard to take sometimes.

Unfortunately the game is in late game neglect. Much of what is broken may likely never be flattened out. Time will tell.

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The game got a lot of content in a very short amount of time, so it’s natural for people to find all sorts of things that seem imbalanced. It also takes time to give counter strategies. I’m sure there’s plenty.

Why the lolz is the word “count,er” banned?

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The graph represents the military population and my civ is Japan but it doesn’t matter, respectfully, you are missing the (huge) elephant in the room. What matters is that USA can age up to age 3 at 6 minutes and this graph proves it. The fact that it can also build a decent army while aging up is not the most important thing but makes it even more OP. Aging up that early gives access to upgrades and shipments that should not be available to any civilization (at 6 minutes) and creates an obviously very unfair situation.

Thanks for pointing at this, it is not visible anymore. Cheers

This took my interest, 6:02 is fast for a ff, so I’ll try to replicate it best I can with different civs.

Disclaimer: I’m not the best at impressive strategy crafting or the game in general.
´\ _ (°<°)_ /´

:arrow_forward: So, tried it for myself with USA.
Using the deck (sending the capitol card last, for faster age up) i managed to get to 3rd on a normal competitive map at [05:25].
Note that i went with the 700f age up (to 2nd age) and New Hampshire (for 3rd age) as the player you showed, that way i got 5 regulars at the age up, with 12 settlers at hand.

I had enough xp for the gatling guns to be sent next and push at the enemy (the 5 regulars to defend them).

:arrow_forward: Next I tried it with Ottomans.

Had high hopes 4 this 1, but i got to ff at [06:42], there was no way to accelerate the age up, so even if I clicked it at the same time as USA, without the capitol card, I can’t save the time.
Anyway, with the age up i received 4 Delis and had 14 settlers available.

I had enough xp and almost enough gold to send a manchu card, to push with the Delis at the enemy.
(Probably works best if you go for food instead of gold and send Spahi, as well as age up with abus guns to have a more diverse army to push with)

that’s what she said…

:arrow_forward: Next is Ethiopia, and boy oh boy, I suck at playing this civ.
With mostly crate shipments I aged up to 3rd at [07:42].
Nowhere near of a 3rd age shipment, I aged up with 7 Sudanese Dervish and 13 settlers. In desperation, I sacrificed 2 cows to the gods to go 2nd age quickly.

:arrow_forward: Next and last is Italy.
Somehow managed to get to 3rd age in [08:55], that worries me.
I aged up twice with the advanced politicians card, so I got 9 musketeers and 17 settlers at hand at that point.

I had a fair enough position where I could either send “2 falcons” or the “black company” card, which would be a strong push against an unsuspecting enemy.

So yeah, USA has a quick ff, still, many civs can chase it with it’s own ff at a decent timing, or defending well enough while you get there (since 3 Gatling guns ain’t a siege party).

2nd age options don’t totally suck, a successful defense against an early push would leave USA devastated since it wouldn’t have the economy to just bounce back after investment.

Then again, if you don’t hurry up, you are screwed, fun experiment. :+1:


The actual issue is caring about ELO. “At the higher ELO” will always be players using the best civs combined with the best unit compositions (such as exact same numbers of skirms/goons on each side microing each other to death). It wouldn’t be logical for it to be any other way. The price for caring about ELO is dramatically less enjoyment of the game. Streamers probably have to maintain a high ELO or else people don’t want to watch for some reason, so paradoxically their streams will also be boring to watch. Lionheart is one streamer who makes an effort to use funny strats and sometimes plays Mexico, an underused civ, or Italy, but only occasionally because he has to maintain a high ELO- he even says ‘in this current meta you have to use only top civs and traditional unit combos’, I assume he is referring to the latest balancing issues. So he is using mostly Otto, USA, Ports, etc, well at least he isn’t playing Sweden which is basically like cheating.

Why don’t you just pick a rarely used civ and make fun units and eventually your ELO will drop enough so that you will still win half of your games, but at the same time you will be having tons of fun experimenting with weird strats and unit combinations with rarely used civs? Sadly your opponents will likely only be using the top civs and OP strats at any ELO, but at least you won’t be, so there will be variety and fun in that. I agree that some civs such as China/Sweden just aren’t fun at all to place against, and if the civ you are using doesn’t have culverins you are basically just dead vs USA thanks to gatling guns which will be surrounded by muskets.

Nice testing. I main Ethiopia and can get a 6.30 min age 3 with with 10 jav riders/shotel warriors plus dervish, 16 vill and 2 abun. Can get 2 culvs or cannon to counter Gatlings by 8 minutes.

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Nice! Very interesting experiment. Thanks for sharing! :thinking:

In my opinion, that only proves my point. Normally, the main risk of a FF is to be rushed before or during the transition. If you age up at 6 minutes or even before as you managed to do, before any other FF or possible rushes (and you get these damn OP gatling guns on top of it), there is no risk whatsoever and the win is 100% guaranteed (unless you are much less skillful than your opponent or somehow manage to face an even more OP civ/build order).

From the testing that can be seen, in order to achieve this, you have to skip any eco card in age 1.

Effectively making it a 10/10 build.

Sure you are reaching age 3 faster but the only advantage you gain from doing this is being able to ship the Gatling

The timing is not that strange once you take that into account, port can do a 6 min ff timing

and so can france with a 12/10

Otto can achive this with silk road at 5:25

All of whom have much more eco access in age 3 then US.

Its a thing a lot of civs can do but its not as OP (well besides that time that france was able to do nothing but this)

The US (atleast in the experiment below) also had to use the 700f age up, which means they lose access to a lot of eco options as well


The weakness of these builds, while not immediately obvious is that you are reaching age 3 with next to no eco - so will be very shipment reliant and therefore have very obvious patterns and actions since shipments arrive every 40 secs

They can either try to mass quickly with shipments (taking atleast 2 because lets face it 5 regular and 3 gatling is not a threat - tc fire and a cav shipment /batch can deal with that) so that means you have atleast 80secs + walk time to counter mass and push back

If they are trying to boom off it by building tcs or something the answer is easier, just attack them.

edit: this is why the port feitoria build is considered strong enough to be banned atm, it allows for a 10/10 build but you end up with 16-18 vils instead of 12


I agree I don’t think it’s so bad. Have a decent meat screen a few cav and once you age a bit later than USA build a culvern (usually one is enough) and you generally come out alright.

They may age faster but have to wait a time for their gatlings to pop along with enough units to protect them. It usually times the same for each side to reach their comfort levels before the fighting begins. The advantage is yours though because you already know the composition of their army.

Have the culv menace the gatlings, run the cav around to make the heavy inf move to counter and the skirms run the other way. Shoot them all the while. It’s not so bad.

As Japan you could scout the USA deck and base on age up and if they are going for this very fast ff then send/make cav. 5 regulars wouldn’t stand up to nagis right?

USA aren’t OP. And their FF is weaker than civs like Otto and Spain.

I agree they are beatable and their strategy in the early game somewhat predictable.