Villagers should seek refuge as parte of their AI

Hello, first of all, i am loving this game, and it is already my favorite AoE.
But while the game is fantastic, it has room for improvement. One such improvement would be the implementation of self-protective behavior for workers’ AI.
Just as soldiers immediately engage in combat against enemy units that get too close, workers should seek refuge on their own when an enemy unit approaches.
This implementation would greatly improve the players’ experience, as they could focus more on the big fights and economy by not having to bail out every time a small group of enemies attack a workplace.
This could be an optional behavior, in the settings or in the HUD of the worker units.

Thank you for the amazing game and keep on the good work.


A massive part of competitive play is raiding, and sneaky moves while the enemy army isnt at base, this level of automation would remove way too much of the competition, there are also times when you dont need to garrison your vills, with this you could just run a single knight through the enemy town and idle there entire economy.


Definitely not. That’s removing a bunch of skill from the game.


Yeah, reaction times are part of competitive gaming. Also, at some point, automation must be replaced by manual skill. For example, scouts could automatically explore the map, avoid enemy fire, and bring sheeps home. Or Villagers could have an auto-queue button. I think the options provided by Age 4 work well though. I love how easy it is to set all TC’s in one hotkey, and the special button to find Scouts (/).


I agree auto moving into a building would be breaking, however there are two things I wish to see happen with the workers, One would be if they are attacked by wildlife they need to attack back instead of just walking to there deaths…the other thing would be…we need the town bell back…clicking on guys and hitting the garrison button for each group is hard and annoying most of the time I misclick and lose half my guys…

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As others have said, this is a pretty core part of the game.

I recently learned you can simplify this using the following steps:

  • ctrl + shift + v: This selects all villagers so you don’t have to go looking for them.
  • g (maybe ctrl + g, I forget right now): This tells them to run to safety.

This will help you out a lot early game when it’s likely that all your villagers are threatened or just while you’re learning.

Eventually you’ll want to only garrison the villagers that you have to so your economy doesn’t grind to a halt, but you don’t need to play at high level to beat even the intermediate AI, so you should be able to have a good time in several modes while you work on your macro.

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Thank you for te reply, man.

I believe that adding self-preservation behavior for workers would not interfere much with the game, it’s just a logical reaction for units in life-threatening situations.
But I respect and understand your point of view, however, it could be an optional feature, which could be disabled in PVP contests.

Thak you for the reply, man.

But by your reasoning, maybe it would be better to remove the aggressive behavior of the soldiers as well, after all, if giving commands to individual units is something important for the gameplay, it would be fantastic for you to have to individually command each of your soldiers during the attack. This would increase the “Skill” needed to master this game, and a very good mouse too.

Well for the most part people are telling their soldiers to attack, either through attack move or targeting specific units, but that is mostly besides the point. In AoE2 villagers will run away when attacked directly, which would be fine, but they are not going to auto-garrison when enemies approach.

Your villagers auto-garrisoning would be more like your military units automatically pulling back when their health gets low. That is part of the micro that you have to do in a fight.

This is also ignoring the fact that even if the auto-garrison behavior was in the game it would mostly be detrimental. With that behavior I just have to periodically run a couple cavalry through the enemy base and all of their villagers get idled.

This would be a bad feature, most people would not want it, and it is definitely not one worth spending any time working on when we have a bunch of actual things that need fixed in the game.


Incoming sarcasm.

Yes, fully agree. Relic should also change it so new rally units get automatically added to their correct control groups. While we are at it, my spare units should automatically raid on the flanks and when done join back to my main army.

More. When I have idle vils, the game should automatically seek new resources and build the appropriate mill, lumber camp, etc.

There’s a lot more things that should be automated, but now I’m concerned the game could be played with only 1 finger.

In unranked games, perhaps it would be fun to have user mods with different automation options, at your own risk :smiley:

RTS games can require 1000+ APM to be played perfectly according to AlphaStar in SC2, so there might be room for automation after all. You can create a modding community with micro-intensive units or Heroes like in BFME2, so you can spend your free time in new ways.