What if the Two-Handed Swordsman was a Castle Age unit

What if the Two-Handed Swordsman was a Castle Age unit for every civilisation?

What does Two-Handed Swordsman offer?

  • +3 Attack
  • +2 vs. Eagle Warrior
  • +1 vs. Standard Building
  • +1 Line of Sight
  • Cost: 300 Food 100 Gold

The upgrade compared to the Long Swordsman is not that massive, the survivability doesn’t improve at all.
In some cases this upgrade is worse then Gambesons.

Why move the Two-Handed Swordsman to Castle Age?

  1. To allow more different strategies without adding another early Castle power spike unit
  2. To allow adding a new unit at the end of the Militia line as an upgrade from the Champion

2 upgrades in Castle Age? That’s crazy!

This is not an entirely new concept for Age of Empires.
In Age of Empires 1 you had to research Short Sword and Broad Sword in Bronze Age followed by Long Swordsman and Legionary in Iron Age.
The line didn’t start in Stone Age though because the Clubman line ends with the Axeman in Tool Age though.

What does the Champion upgrade offer?

  • +1 attack
  • +10 HP (+16.6%)

What does the Paladin upgrade offer in comparison?

  • +2 attack (but slightly lower rate of fire)
  • +40 HP (+33.3% or 28.6% with Bloodlines)
  • +1 Pierce Armour

The Paladin offers almost 2x as much of an attack upgrade 12 → 14 as the Champion 12 → 13 that only gets slights reduced by the very small rate for fire reduction.
The HP increase is also 2x for civilisations without Bloodlines.
While the Champion upgrade doesn’t offer any armour improvement.

Elite Champion (temporary name)

  • 14 attack (+1)
  • 80 HP (+10)
  • 2/1 armour (+1/0)

The attack and HP are brought in line with the Paladin.
Unlike the Paladin the Elite Champion gets +1 melee armour to keep the weakness against archers but make them more useful against Infantry and Cavalry.

The exact numbers are up for debate of course.

Elite Champion availability

The Elite Champion should only be available to around 10 civilisation similar to the Paladin (11 civilisations).

Currently 10 civilisations don’t have the Champion, but 2 off them have a massive bonus for the Two-Handed Swordsman (Bulgarians and Malay) and one civilisation has a Unique replacement (Romans).
A similar number of civilisations (8) doesn’t have access to the Cavalier.

The civilisations that get Elite Champions should have to give up something else in return.
Maybe no Gambeson, reduced civilisation bonus on Infantry, weakend unique technology etc.

Aztec, Burmese, Celtic, Dravidian, Goth, Japanese, Slave and Vikings shouldn’t just get this unit without giving up something in return.
Even without the Elite Champion upgrade the fact that Two-Handed Swordsman and Champion are faster to tech into gives them an advantage already.

Two-Handed Swordsman and Champion availability

The availability of those two units will be unchanged.
Everyone but the Persians will keep the Two-Handed Swordsman.

Upgrade cost

Since the Champion is not the end of the line anymore it’s upgrade cost should be reduced.
The Elite Champion cost should not be that high either though because the line already has so many upgrades in it.

Civilisation changes

Some civilisation bonuses have to be adjusted if the Elite Champion becomes available.
Also some Castle Age bonuses might have to be reduced to prevent the early Two-Handed Swordsman from becoming too powerful.
For example Bulgarians shouldn’t get Two-Handed Swordsman for free anymore.

Unique Unit changes

Some Infantry unique units need to be buffed to keep up with the Two Handed Swordsman in Castle Age and to not become a worse version of the Elite Champion in Imperial Age.
But unlike Gambeson the Elite Champion will only be available to a very limited number of civilisations so not ever Imperial Age Unique Unit will have to be improved.

Alternative Elite Champion ideas

Instead of a stat boost compared to the Champion the Elite Champion could have more unique bonuses instead:

  • Small AoE attack instead of higher base attack (worse then Druzhina trample damage)
  • Small attack bonus vs. Cavalry instead of higher base attack (worse then Chieftains bonus)
  • Attack bonus vs. Scout line specifically instead of higher base attack (to become a true trash killer)
  • Resistance vs. attacks from specific units like Cavalry or defensive buildings instead of higher melee armour (Similar to the effect of Royal Heirs but without the resistance against Cavalry Archers)

This idea best fits a new civi.


Having the Two-Handed Swordsman in Castle Age is not that much of a bonus if you have to pay full upgrade costs for it, especially after also having to upgrade to Long Swordsman first.

While on the other hand the Champion upgrade feels very underwhelming as a second tier Imperial Age upgrade.
Arbalester, Halberdier and Hussar are all less common then Champion.

My idea is similar to the Champions should be like Paladins, exclusive, expensive, and powerful idea in some way but instead of changing the stats of an existing unit I add a new one.
And because having 3 units in a row in one Age would be crazy I decided to move the Two-Handed Swordsman to Castle Age.

Both? Not sure what you are talking about.
Infantry UUs compared to the Militia Line?

Elite Steppe Lancers just got buffed, not sure how much more useful they are now. Without an attack bonus they are functionally similar to the Scout and Knight line anyway.

Sorry. I thought you made them 2 separate line unit.

Militia line needs a big buff since AoC… they never got anything to compensate that cavalry got BL and archers TR… and neither was a small buff.

My idea would be somthing like

Militia no changes
M@A 50hp 0/1 armor 6dmg 150F Upgade Cost
LS 65hp 1/1 armor 8dmg 150F 50G UC
2HS 70hp 2/1 armor 11dmg 250F 100G UC
CH 75hp 2/2 armor 14dmg 400F 200G UC

Interesting, I actually felt like champions are much better than THS but just learnt that it is just a +10hp +1attack upgrade (prob still much better but much less in numbers than I thought)

Castle age THS looks interesting but I guess we need some minor tweaks for some civs afterwards.

Im against a new “Elite Champion”. The Militia line would have too many upgrades.

But I like the idead of the TH swordsmen at Caste Age, I’ve suggested it another topic. It could be a possibility to play an all in strategy THS and be able to take a forum without siege. Now it’s possible but you loose too many units vs forums. And a bonus attack and armor should be given to Champions.

It implies a buff to infantry UU to keep a balance. Otherwise champions could be stronger than every infantry melee UU.

PS One like for you topic because it’s constructive and detailed.

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The idea is interessting, but after all I think it is a too fundamental change to the game, to change the age of an unit.

I thought a bit about Longswords and my conclusion is that there are good for some civs with boni for them, but not good enough for bad infantry civs.

Longswords should be a very available generic unit for almost every civ, that is an option as base line for every army. And I think this can be accived by making them just cheaper. Supplies should reduce the costs by 5 more and should be available for more civs.

When you have a unit concept that many don’t like, doubeling down with more expensive upgrades is not the solution imo. The solution is to lower the cost until it feels like you don’t waste much even if you don’t like the mechanic of the unit.

The only reason Champion is researched because THS doesn’t give any HP. If they even had 65 HP, Champion would be seen a lot less.

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The THS used to give 5HP because the Long Swordsman was only 55HP.

Adding a Bloodlines for Infantry (+10HP) would make it easier to balance different civilisations because it gives the option to remove other technologies like the Champion upgrade from them without really making them worse (only losing +1 attack).

Yeah and THS got +1 attack in return.

You have not 1, but 2 techs for militia line now.

I dont remember which campaign but we have access to 2HS already on Castle Age for free (like Capped Ram in some cases), its probably old Bari or Tariq

I think gambesons basically accomplished the same thing. Taking less damage from arrows is the same as having higher proportional hp , at least in that matchup.