Why doesn't Ethiopia get Halberdiers for free anymore?

I’m just curious- why did the balance team decide to take this bonus away and give Ethiopia only the Pikeman upgrade for free instead of both Pikeman and Halberdier? No one was seething over this bonus being too strong, or they shouldn’t have been at least, and taking away the free halberdier upgrade really just takes away from their identity as a civilization with strong powerspikes right as they age up- they now have no real imperial age spike as the extra 200 resources are pretty irrelevant by the time you go Imperial. They are a thoroughly lackluster civilization as of right now, and I don’t think restoring the free Halberdier upgrade would make them too strong- certainly they still wouldn’t even come close to displacing the best civs like Hindustanis, Gurjaras, Britons, or Burgundians. I personally would have absolutely no reason to pick this civilization up if i hadn’t happened to learn the game on them by sheer coincidence, and i think giving them back the halberdier upgrade for free would make them more attractive.

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my guess is that 600 gold for free and no research time is too much of a power spike especially they dominate early to mid game with their archers.


It’s not though. I would argue Bohemians getting chemistry for free and being allowed to build hand cannoneers in the castle age is way more of a power spike than that, and they’re not even considered one of the best civs. And if not having any research time is an issue you could just make it cost no resources but take full time. Plus the bonuses Ethiopia gets to the actual quality of their units is very underwhelming- the faster fire rate on their archers doesn’t actually help that much (if you don’t believe me you can run the simulated archer battles yourself), and their unique unit and techs are fairly niche in their use. The point of the civ is really just the power spikes with the free resources. Without that they’re incredibly underwhelming.

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Ethiopians get free 100f and 100g per age and their arbalests fire 18% faster, they also get free pikeman upgrade, back at release that was deemed overpowered because it made impossible for cavalry civs to play against Ethiopians (On Arena was also too strong combined with Torsion Engines, their early Imperial was unstoppable).


Bohemians don’t have Chemistry for free, just one age early
Turks have Chemistry for free and it’s a huge power spike in Imperial


Like I said the faster fire rate really doesn’t do much at all, Torsion Engines is okay but really only affects mangonels and won’t do much if you split properly, and again sticking with Bohemia as the comparison if you think having free halberdier makes it impossible for cavalry civs to counter then why can’t the same be said for Bohemians, since their pikeman have nearly the same attack against cavalry as halberdiers anyway just due to their flat bonus
Plenty of civs are good at countering others if the other player only ever plays one comp, for example Vietnamese are basically tailor made to fight other archer civs, but good players can just get around this by not going into the same comp every game even if their civ is designed for it

It’s actually really good, especially if you actually micro. You don’t need to wait as long for your archers to attack, so you can better dodge shots, as well as having a higher damage output in general.

Mangonels with more blast radius can be deadly, splitting isn’t always an option anymore. It also affects rams, letting them damage more buildings at once if they are packed in, scorpions, so they shred massed units better, BBCs, which become lethal, and much harder to micro against, and trebs I guess, but that isn’t usually as applicable.


Torsion engine Scorpions are crazy (situational yes, like scorps in general, but crazy, even very strong vs cav).

That said, while I don’t know that Ethiopians need free halb back, I think you can make the argument given civs like Poles, Gurjaras, Hindustanis, etc.

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They don’t tho, Bohemians have it in Castle Age but have to pay for it and Turks have if for free in Imperial Age

And Bohemian hand cannons are deadly, but take a lot of resources and time to get going

As someone who loves to play as the Ethiopians, I think they are fine

what the hell are you talking about? they are the best archer civ, even stronger than britons for feudal and early castle because of fast firing. control the map much easier because they dominate.

wrong, infact torsion engine scorps would rekt infantry, archer and cav archer and the like. you only really got siege and cavalry to counter it and it also does decently well against cavalry.

chemistry is hella expensive and takes a long time to research. handcannoneer is more expensive and loses to archer in castle age anyway for a frontal fight even without micro, and archer can be microed much easier than HC can.


yeah, it was seen as overpower bonus because cav civs have no chance against them in early imp, and the amount of resource they save + food/gold bonus per age are too much power spike. I would argue they shouldn’t even have free pikemen upgrade and give this bonus plus free halb or a different civ, maybe a new civ in the future.

Having both streamlined over-the-top Archers and free Halb is impossible to be implemented in AOE II, It’s way too convinient. In a strategy you want to have the user make clever decisions.

I definitely see a case where a new civ has free Halb (It’d be quite weird since It cant have free Pikes since Ethiopians already have it), So perhaps something bizarre like a civ that has only Spear in Castle age that turns instantly into a Halb.

Anyways it takes a civ that has no Arbalester / Bracer, over-conviniency kills strategy.

the faster firing literally does not even guarantee they will win an even fight every time against a civ with no bonuses to archers. Almost all other archer civs (Britons obviously included) get a better flat bonus to their archers. Extra range for Britons is infinitely better if you are actually microing (granted, it doesn’t kick in until castle age), extra HP for vietnamese performs better in simulated fights whether or not you micro, etc.

That is definitely not the case, how much have you actually used the bonus in a realistic situation? You are definitely underselling it. Even without micro, it’s a decent damage buff, with micro, it’s really quite good. Ethiopians are a top 5 archer civ, and it’s basically just because of that bonus.


Thing is ethipians army (apart from siege and UT) is super cheap already. The main cost fir getting halbs out is getting the actual upgrade (contrary to something like turks where hussar costs quite some res for the units themselves). Also halbs are a counter unit so you’d have halbs way before your opponent has even cavalier upgrade researched. Free halbs is too snowbally imo and I guess that’s why they removed it. Btw ethiopians really is one of the civs I don’t see any reason to change balance wise. You have clear powerspikes but your late game is somewhat lacking (at least for open maos because on closed maps their post imp even is insanely strong).

Well you haven’t played against their SO then, have you? Because there is no way splitting against these. And you know how people call houfnice op? TE bbc are kinda similar in strenghts vs units (less atk but even bigger blast radius).


Are you forgetting that Britons lack TR because of this? How much faster does an Ethiopian archer fire compared to a Briton archer? ie how much better is the dps on an eth archer compared to a Briton archer?

How much does that extra range help when cavalry is already in your face?

How bad is Briton siege in comparison to eth siege? How bad are Brit camels compared to eth camels? (You get it now?)

Do Brits get an automatic spike against cavalry in castle age? In imperial age eth would simply have to have some pikes left over for an automatic huge spike in capability.

Bohemians are one of the worst civs on Arabia ATM. I can’t believe you are making that comparison to eth and implying they’re better off . They have huge holes in their tech tree with civ bonuses that are primarily geared to closed maps. Chemistry is expensive and kicks in late, HC come very late and are a huge drain on your eco, again on a civ with a lacklustre open map eco.

My point is you can’t compare single traits in a vacuum, especially when the game is primarily balanced around Arabia/open maps


even the best players in age of empries disagrees. good players take advantage of faster firing and the snowball effect it gives to control map, thats literally the whole point of them. you don’t use them properly and think the bonus is useless, thats on you.

Torsion is good for skorps, bbcs and even siege rams, not just mangonels mate

Why is it cheap? They don’t have any bonuses to make their units cheaper, and they don’t have any eco bonuses at all besides the 200 resources they get when they age up. Do you just mean that generic arbalest-halberdier is generally a relatively cheap comp and that’s usually their best option? Because if so i feel like that’s not really a very good argument.

Sure, if you get there. Do you know how expensive that upgrade is? What proportion of games go long enough for any civilization to go into siege onagers? 5%? Maybe less?

The thing that makes Houfnice good is the extra attack. It allows them to one shot all other siege units while none of those units are able to one shot them, thus making them completely unbeatable in long range siege duels. Doesn’t apply for Ethiopian BBC at all. The extra splash doesn’t really do all that much and it doesn’t particularly fit with what BBC are generally used for anyway which is killing buildings and other siege units. But again, I don’t really consider either of these things OP per se because, again, the vast majority of games will never even get there. Perhaps houfnice are OP on Amazon Tunnel or something. But not on normal ranked maps. Not even on arena.

No, I’m not forgetting that. It’s only fair that they would be missing something with a bonus that broken, but even so thumb ring is the least important archer upgrade. Even the armor upgrades are arguably more useful. Certainly it’s nowhere near enough to offset the massive benefit of having 3(!) extra range in late game. Good players often don’t even get thumb ring before they click up to castle age because it’s not even worth cutting your archer production for.

About as much as Thumb Ring does, I would say. Archers don’t beat cav when they’re in your face, that’s how the game works.

Uh, yeah, that’s literally the point.