What if Monasteries took Stone?

Monks are an exceptionally powerful unit, one that many pro players are critical of for how they can completely turn a fight. They are almost singlehandedly responsible for many units, especially the elephant types, being almost useless in castle age.

So I have an interesting idea; what if Monasteries took a little stone to build?

This would mean you couldn’t build one right away at the start of castle age, slowing down how fast you could get one out unless you sacrifice one of your TCs.

It would also mean you would need to be a bit more careful with them, since losing one would now be a much more significant loss.

It wouldn’t need to be a huge amount. Maybe 50, or even 25. But that alone would go a long ways towards moderating the unbridled strength of monks, and unfetter the use of early power units.



Only defensive buildings cost stone. Monasteries dont shoot arrows or provide LOS like outpost.

Monks are great counter to heavy cav and siege but not a powerful raiding unit though they can somehow harass villagers.

I don’t like it.

Okay, let the pro players advocate for their own interests; they do not go unheard by the devs. If this is something that’s relevant to how you play the game at your level, I’d recommend that you build your suggestions from that foundation. For the majority of the playerbase I think monks are underused and perhaps not even in the “potentially OP” conversation.

And Feitorias, but that’s a necessary balance as they provide stone. But I agree that the monastery is not a good candidate to break what is otherwise the convention of stone buildings filling an explicitly defensive role. This also just seems like a needless and annoying way of nerfing monks. If one insists that a monk nerf is needed, there are simpler ways of doing that. Even making monasteries cost +25 wood is a possibility, and it doesn’t seem unintuitive or arbitrary in the way that a stone cost does.


The only other resource to build a monastery which makes sense is gold, since the Vatican is full of gold. And monks + their technologies only cost gold.


Except for the fact that Monasteries represent a lot more than just the Vatican.

Most religious buildings are full of gold. The Vatican was just an example.


Destroying one should give gold then.

The entire point of a monastery is that you can quickly counter knights. So, no. Monks are fine as they are, till late castle age, for the most part.


My main personal investment is elephants. I love them, want to use them more, but even a relative amateur can crank out a monastery and a few monks and hard counter you in early castle age. Even worse, they can do so so cheaply, they can full boom behind it.

By slowing down the deployment of monks, even just a little bit, especially in a way that hinders full booming behind, it would make elephants much more viable by comparison and increase diversity significantly.

The monastery does provide gold by proxy, via its healing mechanic. So costing gold or stone wouldn’t be uncalled for.

Besides, the idea that stone is limited for defensive buildings is just a made up rule.

IS that the entire point of a monastery? IMO, monks are pretty balanced from mid-castle on, it’s only in the earliest parts that they’re quite OP. They’re fine when you’ve got the economy to soak it up, but unlike Spearmen, which can kill your army, monks can turn your army against you and completely end a game in 5 seconds based largely on luck.

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It is not a bad thing to have multiple counters to the most population efficient units in the game. With the exception of the Malay, Elephant civilizations by in large do not have Heresy with reason. Camels are not counters to Elephants, so assuming regionals or generics, you choose between Elephant, Halb or Monk play. Not everyone has Halbs, and a lot of civilizations have poor monks.

I figured. Can’t miss your monthly monk-related elephant buff suggestion thread:

Even so, this is far from making eles “much more viable” and in most cases will be a more impactful nerf of monks as counters to knights or siege. Eles are still slow, economically taxing, and hard to surprise anyone with, so this will make monks more inconvenient to use across the board, yet the ele-monk counter dynamic will be one of the least affected by the change.

Well, yes. It’s a game, and as such all of its rules are “just made up.” You could certainly make an AoE2-like game where monasteries (and most other buildings) had a partial stone cost regardless of any defensive purpose. But in AoE2 there ought to be a better reason to buck the existing convention than making monks slightly more difficult to access.

I don’t hate the idea of monasteries costing a bit of gold, since that’s thematically appropriate and generally a lesser inconvenience, although I don’t think that’s necessary. Also don’t think it’s going to do much to move the needle WRT elephants being hard-countered by monks.


Can you blame me? Is there a single unit type that needs it more?

I’m a bit honored you searched me up, though.

The big strength of elephant units currently being ignored is their powerful initial stats. Knights require much more time to sufficiently mass, and more upgrades, while elephants produce very rapidly and have great stats out the gate. Combined with their high cost, delaying monks will help them far more than knights or siege.

More accurately, a rule made up by you, not the devs; one they’ve already broken once and could easily break again, if it were best for the game.

And honestly, I don’t see this breaking things for anyone. It’ll improve the game for higher skill players, and lower skill players already make enough mistakes they really won’t notice the difference.

It’s not the entire point, it’s one of many reasons to build one. If you’re making knights yourself, it’s essential to have your own monastery to heal them. And also to get relics, especially if you have a relic bonus like Lithuanians, Aztecs, Burgundians, Burmese etc. Monks can also be an alternative to ranged units in one particular early castle age scenario where your knights are forward and trying to break in, using the monk trick to switch between converting enemy villagers to prevent them from walling behind.

As you should be, I appreciate the value of history, although at times like this, the déjà vu does most of the work. Nothing wrong with wanting eles to become more viable though, I’m with you on that.

Like their powerful 0.85 base speed that makes them unable to run away from almost anything? The powerful extra damage they take from spearline and scorps? Or perhaps you mean their powerfully high food cost, or their armor and attack speed which is powerfully lower than knight line’s? Their advantage is in their HP pool and higher DPS, which makes them decent in closed map TGs, although for general purposes and situations knights tend to be far more useful. And for the most part, nobody is ignoring the potential of eles. If they were better, people would use them more, as they did when stats were significantly better in the HD era.

If by “made up by me,” you mean that I’ve given an accurate description of the existing pattern created by the devs, then you’re right! I’ve already acknowledged that there is an exception, and as they say, the exception proves the rule. There could be another exception, but I don’t think that this is a strong candidate.

It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it will mess with a lot of builds with only a minor and double-edged “payoff.” Whereas some of the other monk nerf proposals I’ve seen manage to be both less disruptive and more effective. As for whether the pros would like it, you’d have to ask them. The saving grace of some of your ideas is that they will almost surely never be implemented, so you can eternally assume that things will play out in the way that you propose. Although I think it’s simple enough to cast a preponderance of doubt on those assumptions. Convincing you is another thing, but that will probably always be outside the scope of my efforts.


Insult him a little more, why don’t you.

I disagree; the reason people aren’t using them is because they can’t, due to their disproportionate weakness to monks. Pikes alone can be dealt with, but the slow speed and high cost of elephants makes them far too much of a risk to give to the enemy.

Absent monks, their slower speed really doesn’t matter, not if you can force engagements with vastly superior firepower and dramatically higher production speed.

Um, no, you’ve taken a circumstantial coincidence and extrapolated it into a hard rule that the devs must obey, and ignore the clear and obvious example that disproves the ‘rule’.

There is no real reason they couldn’t make another building cost stone.

Let’s be fair here, almost NO suggestions will ever be implemented, but some may be, or may at least inspire similar changes. I don’t expect anything I suggest here to ever be implemented; the objective is, instead, to discuss and refine them so that devs looking into the subject later can easily spot some of the pitfalls that might otherwise be missed, or at least be reassured that there aren’t any they’re not thinking about.

Anyway, I don’t see it being particularly disruptive of anything. Fast monk builds will actually be even faster, because they can spend stone directly instead of selling it.

On the whole, I don’t think you’re really thinking it through, and I’d invite you to consider the idea more deeply, rather than only analyzing it at its shallowest surface level.

Up until African Kingdoms, stone was only used for buildings that had a “range benefit”. Castles, towers and town centers shoot arrows, and Outpost have a long line of sight. Then came the feitoria, and it was necessary to make it cost stone because of the wide economic bonus it provides. Monasteries are just like any other military building: it creates units and researches technologies. It doesn’t have a “range benefit” as I described; this is why monasteries should not cost stone.

I dunno, that sounds vague and general enough to fit just about anything. Anything that has attack, or long LOS, or generates resources?

Honestly, even if that WERE the requirement, Monasteries do create a unit which can directly supplement your economy by taking enemy units and healing your own.