What if there was another age? (Thought experiment)

Alright, it’s been said before - the power spike from Feudal to Castle is pretty big. But there are not many (any) upgrades and technologies that fit in between. What if there was another age in between Castle and Imperial?

We’ll have to call it something generic, like the Medieval age. Now if this existed what units and techs would be available? Obviously a few come to mind.

Cavalier and THS would fit right into this age, as well as other in between tech units like capped RAM and Onager. I would argue arbalests wouldn’t be too OP if ballistics and chemistry were made into Imperial techs.
As for heavy camel and elite genitour, I don’t know where they should land… depending on blacksmith techs.

I just feel that trebs and bombards can take out castles too quickly after construction, creating a mad rush for castle drops and going imp in team games. It takes away from the military aspect of the game, and it would cool if there was a mod out there that made technologies or aging up double the cost. Castle age only games can be fun, despite civs not being entirely balanced. I just wish there was something in between. Please share your ideas and remember this isn’t a balance change suggestion, just discussion on some what ifs.

I think the access to better siege weapon is a pretty good incentive for the game to move out of castle age. After all if age 4 isn’t the age of “finally I’m not blocked by castles anymore” then why even bother aging up. Just spam more knights/UUs/whatever.

Ballistics in imperial age, and with an age between castle and imp, would spell death to archer play tho. Especially if in the meantime the enemy can get better cav and better siege and you can’t get chemistry to try and actually damage the enemy when you finally hit.

Also, what about unique units? I feel like if you put a whole age between the time you unlock them and the time you can upgrade them to elite most of them would suffer from too much competition with generic units that can be upgraded in the meantime.

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at higher elos longer castle age games happen all the time… its only at lower elo that its always just a race to age up as fast as possible and spam one huge army and then fight… its like how we see people complain that there arent enough feudal fights…

but generally castles are simply too difficult to deal with in castle age, if we were stuck without the power siege units too many games would drag on indefinitely… which makes for an incredibly boring game once you have played enough games…

you would have to nerf the stone piles massively if imperial siege was delayed… as castles > everything else until imperial

You make a good point, castle drops would be much more common and annoying to react to. Onagers could get bonus damage vs castles, or trebs could be available in the medieval age, albeit a nerfed version that would need to be upgraded further.

Archers could get ballistics earlier, but bracer as an imp tech… as for UUs… that’s a tough call. The elite version would almost have to be available before Imp, which nullifies upgrades such as Paladin and Champ. Would almost need 3 different upgrades for UUs which complicates things.

Yeah, I’m thinking maybe I just need a mod for custom scenarios that double the cost of techs or something. I’m not a fan of certain civs getting gunpowder in the castle age tho, so buffing those UUs and throwing them up an age would make sense.

Unfortunately so many things would be overhauled to add another age into the game. Maybe with AoE4 we will see an additional age but I don’t see it happening here yet.

With all the new changes they HAVE made its not completely out the window, but we may see more gimmick civs like Burgundians getting Cavaliers an age early or what not - which I think is alright.

I don’t really see the point. You basically said it yourself:

An extra step before castle age could maybe work, with either light cav or pre-knights, battering rams or even some sort of basic rams, stuff like that. An age in which you can properly threaten a town center without having basically already won, but with less of a power spike from castle age.

An extra step after imperial age might also work, just upgrade everything further. Tack on Aoe3, basically.

I mean, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, both of these concepts would mess with how much resources are needed on a map, what the balance between civs is like etc. But for something like a mod they could be done.

The main difference between castle age and imperial age is trebs. I don’t see the sense in trying to split that up. Even the gunpowder units are already locked between a pretty perfectly timed research step of their own: chemistry. So there’s very little point to locking those away behind an age too (not to mention that we’d see even less hand cannoneers that way). The transition and balance between castle and imperial age is overall pretty spot on.

So I personally will probably skip this mod. I don’t see the point.