Shrivamsha Riders have their dodge mechanic, Hussite Wagons provide cover for nearby ranged units, Urumi Swordsmen and Coustilliers have their charge attack, Obuchs shred armor, and so forth. There are plenty of unique unit gimmicks in AoE2 thus far, but there’s still room for more.
What kinds of unique mechanics would you want to see added to the game at some point? I’ll have my own list below. Note these would only be for UU’s, not generic units.
A poison mechanic. This would be ideal on the Arambai since they’re technically throwing poisoned darts. Hitting an enemy unit would inflict a temporary damage-over-time effect on it that ignores armor. This poison does not stack, but reapplying it will refresh the duration. The poison can kill, but it would not deal sufficient damage so that one hit would doom a Villager at full health. Siege units, ships, and buildings would be immune to poison damage.
A “thorns” mechanic. When a unit with this effect is attacked in melee combat, it inflicts 1-2 damage back to the attacker. This has no effect against ranged units or against siege units (i.e. in the case of Rams), but does affect Kamayuks and Steppe Lancers. Put this on a unit with reasonable durability but unimpressive attack damage.
A melee infantry unit that can switch between a “tough” and “fast” mode. This unit would be capable of switching between having higher movement speed or higher armor. This mechanic would use the same hotkey that the Ratha does to switch between weapons. When in “armor mode”, the unit becomes slow and easily outrun by other units. When in “speed mode”, the unit is much faster but has much less armor, making it vulnerable to damage. Switching between modes has no effect on its damage output or HP.
A melee infantry unit that gains bonus attack damage as its health gets lower. While one’s first thought might be the Viking Berserker, that already has its own mechanics, so adding this would unbalance it. This would need to be on a new UU.
A melee infantry unit that gains bonus movement speed as its health gets lower. Same as the above, this would not be ideal for the Viking Berserker, and would need to be on a new UU.
I’ll add more if I think of it. But please, share your own ideas and thoughts.
If balanced, I like it. I’m an AoE2 fan at heart, but the mechanics of AoE4 have made me fall in love with it. Things like hero abilities in the campaign, Khan signal arrows, palings, firing while moving, the Pavisse, that sort of thing.
I’d love some unique units that can function as human alternative to siege weapons (looking at you, Meso civs). For example:
an infantry engineer that undermines the foundation of walls, one section at a time. Resistant to arrows but weak against cav and other infantry, so would need protecting. Grouped, they’d be like a battering ram and do massive damage to walls and buildings (maybe not castles or towers?) but have little attack against other units, so they’d need to be protected. Individually, they could be used to slowly, stealthily open a hole in a wall to let units in. I guess they’re a bit like petards, but without the gunpowder, blast damage and vulnerabilities to arrows.
a type of archer that can garrison and ‘occupy’ enemy towers, essentially turning the tower against its owner. They’d be highly vulnerable to all attack, so would require protection as they approach their target, but once garrisoned in the tower are hard to expel.
I like the idea of throwing some disruptive, guerrilla tactics into the game to keep the more formulaic players on their toes.
I don’t think this discussion is about balance, but I was thinking of some UU that has low DPS like a skirmisher that reduces DPS of other units. I don’t know how to balance it; I just think this ability would be interesting.
A garrisonable wagon that, when garrisoned, heals units(is effected by herbal meds) and (optional) increases arrow volley in a similar fashion to the amount of that volleys comes out of an organ gun based on how many and what type of unit is garrisoned.
I also would like some kind of doctor/medic unit as a common unit in the tech tree. I was imagining some guy with a cart which travels at the speed of squire militia line (so faster than a monk but way slower than cavalry), has the ability to deploy (kinda like trebs) into a field hospital building/tent which heals all units inside a radius, as long as there are no enemies close.