Why I don't like the Gambesons tech

There are several Reasons, why I think Gambesons should be reversed.

The first is a general design flaw in the units. Cavalry units have way too high HP for their cost which makes them too much of allrounders. This paired with their generally higher pop efficiency makes them so much more useful in many situations where Infantry and Archers struggle. Against Siege (Scorpion/Mangonel), when passing defences - especially in the raid situations
A way beter solution would have been to generally increase the HP of other unit types (possibly also through a tech) but give that Gambesons (like) Tech for Cavalry. This would make the Cavalry more specialised against archers and for Raid situations and open up possibilities to shine for other units in other situations.

Cause currently how the game is designed the Infantry with Gambesons is still way worse against Archers and Defences. First ofc because they have lower HP, but also just because of their way lower speed.

On the other hand, we now have the weird effect that archers/arbs now can struggle heavily against lategame Infantry + Siege play. This is now the time for HC to shine. And guess which civs usually get HC? The Cav civs, right. This questions heavily the general game design of cavalry>archery>infantry>cavalry. Cause for some weird reason now the Cav civs have the better Inf counter in Imp, this paired with the better units against siege (cavalry) now leads to a weird lategame disbalance of the cavarly civs being actually way stronger against the Infantry civs in the lategame than the Archer civs. So against what Cav civs are now suppoed to be bad?

I also want to remind that Infantry was considered bad in ALL matchups before. Not only against archer civs. So a buff that basically only affects the matchup against Archer civs feels very weird. Cause even when Cav civs open archers by the time you get Gambesons they usually already teched out of it.

Which brings us to the last point. The tech comes in too late. The main weakness of Infantry was always the Castle Age powerspike.And this is still completely unaffected as Gambesons is not something you grab up immediately after reaching castle age. The effect is way to specific and weaker than the armor upgrades anyways. Leaving that crucial timewindow of early Castle age open. Whilst, as mentioned before, Infnatry now can feel kind of oppressive agaisnt archers in the very lategame, due to comparably high tanking efficiency as cavalry paired with a lower gold cost AND no weakness to halbs.

Instead of trying to push Infantry to become better by “fixing their weaknesses” what about trying to destinct their utiltiy more from the other unit types? Like I acutally see no reasons why Cavalry + Siege is such a good army comp to pressure opponents. There is no need for that. Infantry + Siege and Archers + Siege should work way better. Cavalry is good for raiding and taking Map Control, they don’t need to also excel in push situations.
And that’s the main takeaway. When we want Infantry to have a place in the game, we need to specifically target the situations they are supposed to shine rather try to cover all their weaknesses. Casue if we do that, we will only have a weird “on/off” effect. Only games where they either totally suck or feel completely oppressive, cause once ahead there is basically no counter anymore. And ofc when Infantry is supposed to play a bigger role, we also need exactly that: A specific trash Infantry counter.


Your reasoning has some merit, but your solution is completely backwards. The solution isn’t to remove gambersons, it’s to nerf cav civs. Maybe nerf HCs a bit by increasing their gold cost, and needing one or two techs for it to work properly.

Also, you don’t really need a trash infantry counter. Archer and Cav civs are far stronger during the castle age (with maybe the exception of malians and incas after the recent buffs). Gain your advantage at that point, and win. Gurjaras were the strongest civ for the longest time despite having one of the worst imperial age, and late game.

All of this is not even getting into the fact that hussars are cost-effective against champions in the late game. That needs to go, imo.

I don’t like Gambesons either. It has the opposite effect that it should have in some way.

tbh, AoE1 has the solution to the pop efficiency issue.
The Technology Logistics makes all barracks units cost 0.5 population.
Having 0.5 population pikeman would mean that they can fight Knights population efficiently.
Currently the Spearman Line needs crazy high bonus damage, especially against elephants, to have a chance at countering those units.
Giving the Spearman Line 0.5 population would allow them to need a lot less crazy bonus damage. (Especially when the Elephants are changed to 2 population, but this thread is not about Elephants)

I think they should add a “heavy infantry” armour class and give the Scout Line -3 attack vs it.
They added code to allow negative attacks in the last patch.

The Militia Line and some Infantry UUs would get that armour class.

This armour class could then also be used to give some other civilisations a way to counter those units. Some old UUs could get attack bonus against heavy infantry if the civilisations struggle against those units.


I like the idea of infantry costing less pop… Maybe .5 is too low, but to overwhelm with numbers could be their identity

And here we can see why units in AoE3 cost different pop.


One thing I don’t understand is the Supllies tech.

It was initially given to everyone because Militia-line is trash and the cost is too high, so from Feudal there is a 25% less cost to it.

Now a group of civs don’t have it and they pay 33% more to build sword infantry. So they NEVER make it because they cost too much.

Why the militia-line still cost so much resources when everyone think it is not worth it? Why not decrease the cost of it? (even decreasing the Gold cost if necessary)

I’m pretty sure there is a cost-point where they are efficient, but instead we will keep giving them armor and whatever bonus instead of making them worth for their role?

I think AoE3 and especially AoM overdid it though with a lot of units costing 2+ population.
Only giving the Spear Line 0.5 pop and Elephants 2 pop would work pretty well.
Then Elephants could get better stats without being unstoppable while the Spear Line needs less crazy bonus damage.

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I don’t like gambesons either.
Half population doesn’t solve the early and mid game issue with infantry.
I think the problem with militia is the food cost and what the unit gives you in return through the ages.

FEUDAL: The meta is train a couple of MAA in feudal early and then switch archers, because MAA just can deal damage if you catch your opponent early or unawared. If not, quickwalls just make them useless. So, supplies is rarely researched in feudal. Even BS infantry upgrades are rarely researched until Castle Age (and mostly because you go eagles or swith to pikes). Being fair, BS upgrades for cavalry tend to run the same path.

CASTLE: An all-in strat with longswords is the most risky one, because you consume a lot of food and don’t have mobility which means, your opponent have more time to react and defensese do more damage because of less PA, less HP and lacks of balistics have less impact.
Ok, you choise to 3 TC boom, so you main use for food will be train vils, then with a couple of knights you have much more utility than a couple of LS.
Without taking in count that you come from a feudal age without any good reason to develop your infantry.

So, I propose some ideas:

  1. Remove supplies, or move it to imp and change the effect into half pop for Militia-line.
  2. Remove Gambesons, give the +1PA to Longsword upgrade by default.
  3. Change the militia line cost to 35F 50G. This way, you can play militia-line in a similar way yo play eagles, but changing mobility for more hp and attack.
  4. Give the “eagle” armor class to all trash (pikes, light cav, skirms). This way, in imp, when the gold is more valuable than food, each champion you can train have much more value.
  5. Give them, from MAA onward, more bonus vs “standard buildings” and give to stone defenses positive armor class to deny it. This way walling just with “wood” buildings will not be so effective. Stone walls are available from Feudal because of them, I guess.

I think .5 pop might be a bit too much. The sweet spot might be somewhere betwen .67 and .75 and everything in between .6 and .8 can certainly work aswell.
I also would actually like if that tech also affected other food units like archers and skirms.

TBH I don’t like this complicated abuse of armor classes. Just 1-2 more melee armor for the militia would already help a lot against hussars but would have little impact against other units like knights and eles.

But anything except an all-in also looks kinda weak cause you need a lot of upgrades and the unit performs very underwhealming in low numbers. It’s usually quite easy to contain and just wait until you have the units to kill them.

It would be different when a few militia could pressure the opponents way better, like if they had enough anti-building attack in the castle age so that they are really hard to keep out. And as you only can fit as much of them on one house or wall piece you can make that work with only a few of them, forcing the opponent to somehow deal with them I would be totally fine if the stuff he does to deal with them is Knights But at least you would have that utility from the militia, that the oppponent can’t just easily contain against them.

Or some other utility, like generating res while attacking buildings. Would have a similar effect, the opponent would need to deal with them as he can’t give you that free res generation from military.

I think in general Infantry should be the units who can work in very low numbers as later on the ranged units will basically nevesarily decmate them and they also have limited utility outside of pressuring the opponent. So - and that is somewhat also the essence of a lot of others in the thread - reducing the upgrade cost for the militia would probably be the easiest solution to make them usedul in the midgame. No extra techs, just cheaper upgrades. Maybe wouldn’t bring them in the meta on generally open maps like arabia. But i can see them being somewhat useful on Maps like hideout then.

I think everything but 0.5 feels wrong.
It feels reasonable that 2 units count for 1 population.
But 3 units counting for 2 population is a little strange.
I also don’t like the 0.9 villager pop technology.

The Spear Line would become weaker and cheaper to make up for the lower population. So it’s balanced more like 0.66.
Reducing the cost by like 10 resources and of course their bonus damages too.

The Militia Line would not be affected by the change, they stay 1 pop.

Ranged units snowball a lot more then melee units. They can all attack in a large group wile melee units block each other.

Why not? I think that feels more natural then negative melee armour on rams.
I think that would feel better then giving Infantry a bonus damage against the Scout line.

I’m not against giving the Militia Ling +1 melee armour.

You always have to be careful to not overbuff the Milita Line.
Not every civilisation has a good Infantry counter because Infantry used to be so bad then countering it was not really required.

Another idea could be to buff supplies and gamesons to affect all infantry, the same way that BL and TR affect all cavs and archers.

Maybe supplies should be a 15 or 20% food discount (militia would be more expensive, but is I keep 15f eagles will be dirty cheap)
And gameson could be a +1/+1 armor (of course some of the last patch buffs to infantry UU should be rolled back if they get this upgrade)

Yeah I like the idea of changing the cost of man at arms onwards to be more like eagles (25F / 50G), but… I feel like the cost change should only affect man-at-arms, whereas early militia should still cost the same 60f / 20g. Because 3 militia rush (or delayed 3 militia rush into man at arms) has been such a key part of the game for over 20 years that it would be weird to mess with that. It’s rare to make more than 3x militia, especially before this gambesons tech was introduced, so those early rush strats would be unaffected.

I also think Gambesons should be armour against TC / tower arrows only and also give either +1 attack vs cavalry or armour vs cavalry to make infantry more flexible. They still won’t be as good as pikemen line vs. cavalry but they’ll perform a bit better against knights. This way the archer line will still serve their correct purpose of countering infantry and skirmishers won’t be completely useless against them in the late game. Can always give a little bit more secondary damage to Scorpions vs. infantry if the new Gambesons becomes too oppressive. Probably not necessary though, since the archer line would effectively be back to normal pre-Gambesons era.

Another way to improve militia line would be to give them a slight speed boost when they become man-at-arms. Increasing their speed to match Celts speed of 1.035 would be good, then you’d have to either boost Celts speed a little bit more or give them a different bonus to compensate.



THE META IS IN A GOOD PLACE DONT RUIN IT JUST CUZ U SUB 1000 ELOS CANT PLAY “MUH LONGSWORDS”. Have you noticed none of the pros complain about this? Its only the noobs who get 1 of each unit and celt cavalry archers then put them all in a control group with a monk so the whole multi diverse army moves at the speed of a monk


Anyway on a serious note the only thing left to do now is incorporate squires and supplies in the longsword upgrade. Theres just too many upgrades for the longswords. And they already cost alot. So make em cheap

Low quality melee infantry in warcraft 3 is handled like this. Weak but cheap

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I would put Infantry in 4 categories that have their own armour class:

  • Heavy Infantry
  • Spearman
  • Shock Trooper (Renamed Eagle Warrior armour class)
  • Medium Infantry (does not have an armour class)

Heavy Infantry

  • Milita Line (including Legionary)
  • Teutonic Knight
  • Serjeant
  • Berserk
  • Jaguar Warrior
  • Obuch
  • Samurai


  • Spearman Line

Shock Trooper

  • Eagle Warrior Line
  • Huskarl (Goths need a rework)
  • Ghulam (Stats changed back to before HP reduction)

Medium Infantry (not change to at all)

  • Woad Raider
  • Throwing Axeman
  • Kamayuk
  • Condottiero
  • Shotel Warrior
  • Gbeto
  • Karambit Warrior
  • Dismounted Konnik
  • Flemish Militia
  • Urumi Swordsman
  • Chakram Thrower

Technology changes


  • Moved to Feudal Age
  • Applies to all Heavy Infantry
  • Gives +1/+1 armour
  • Cost adjusted


  • Removed
  • All Castle/Imperial Age Infantry get +2 vs Standard Building


  • New University Technology
  • Spearman Line is 0.5 population
  • Transport Ships can carry 2x as many Spearman
  • Barracks work 33% faster (like Conscription)
  • Available to most civilisations

Heavy Bolts

  • New Castle Age Archery Range technology
  • Archer Line +2 vs Heavy Infantry
  • Only available to some civilisations (as common as Parthian Tactics)
  • For civilisations that else don’t have a way to counter Heavy Infantry

Unit changes

Spear Line

  • Cost changes to 30 Food 20 Wood (-5 Food and -5 Wood)
  • Attack bonus vs. Cavalry(+Camels) and especially War Elephants reduced
  • Halberdier removed from many civilisations

Militia Line

  • Two Handed Swordsman +1 Attack
  • Champion +10 HP (still only 1/2 of a Paladin without Bloodline)
  • Champion removed from many civilisations

Heavy Infantry

  • Attack bonus vs. Shock Trooper increased (like the Milita line already has)
  • Stats for UUs adjusted depending on if the civilisation has Gambesons

Scout Line

  • -2/-3/-3 attack vs. Heavy Infantry for Scout Cavalry/Light Cavalry/Hussar
  • Magyar and Winged Hussar -2 vs. Heavy Cavalry


  • Population changed to 2
  • Transport Ships can carry half as many Elephants.
  • Movements speed increased
  • Detailed changes depend on the unit


  • The Milita Line is held back because there is not good counter for it, if it was good it would be OP very quickly.
  • The Spear Line is held back because they cost the same population as much more powerful units like knights or even elephants.
  • Elephant units are held back because they are too population efficient, they can’t be buffed without being OP when massed.

I want fully upgraded Champions to be good. Not OP but good.
It should be something special if a civilisation has fully upgraded Champions.
Civilisations with fully upgraded Arbalester or Paladins are rare and having those is considered strong, especially for Paladins.
Despite Champions already being an upgrade to an Imperial Age units they are still more common then Arbalester.
And 3 civilisations that miss them do so because they have very strong Two Handed Swordsman bonuses (Malay and Bulgarians) or the Legionary for Romans.

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The same pros who play cavalry and archers in 99% of games? Nice observation.



the game has improved a lot from changes in the META, I don’t see de problem to make infantry viable to some civs with huge bonuses.

If the game was supposed to keep the META we should still have huns wars on land and vikings on water

I also find it weird to infstry was buffed agaiant their counters that’s is archers. Of all the options they had.

Should have mar cheiftans a baseline tech instead of gamberson to make all champions acitlaly beat hussars handily and work on against paladin. So that you have to go ranged to beat massed infstry.

Now gamberson did the opposite. Just go paladin.

Someone above said nerf handcannons. Cmon pls no, we fought so hard on this forum to get them actually buffed.


Yeah the same pros who have led aoe2 to a vibrant rennasaince in terms of e sports

Thats the point. Archer knight meta is in a good place and we shouldnt just make random changes for the hell of it. Sure buff infantry a little. They are more viable now. But we dont have to keep pushing and pushing till everyone starts using it and everything else is thrown out of wack

Ive heard people talking about extra movement speed and more armour WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT OF KNIGHTS THEN IF YOU MAKE INFANTRY SIMILAR TO KNIGHTS

The niche of infantry is the cheapness. Supplies and squires need to be baked into the longsword upgrade and THATS IT

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I am hearing a lot of extreme opinions which are also subjective. I don’t care for any of it, but I’ll just point out the mistakes with your viewpoint.

Who is asking to make random changes for the hell of it? I explained why I thought certain changes were good. Most people here has. I don’t know who you are talking about here.

Who said everyone should be using it? I like infantry way more than cavalry. If you like cavalry, that’s fine. Use cavalry, I don’t care.

Firstly, it isn’t cheap, especially in castle age. This point falls flat in its face immediately. Secondly, cheap is meaningless if utility doesn’t exist. A unit which costs 1 wood and 1 food is cheap, but it’s usless if it has 1 hp, 1 damage, and 50 secs of creation time.

Lastly, infantry isn’t cheap, and will never be cheap in one of the most important areas, population space.


Firstly, that’s not completely true. There are a lot of factors which have led to AoE2’s resurgence. Lack of good RTS games, nostalgia, streaming, and a sort of tribalism about seeing your people in a game all have contributed to it. T90 is not a “pro AoE player”, he is a caster, but he has done more for the game than most pros have.
Secondly, this has nothing to do with the point I made. The point is, most aoe2 pros don’t think longswords are good units.