Worst designed civs of AOE 3?

Based on the other thread in AOE 2

  • British
  • Dutch
  • French
  • Germans
  • Ottomans
  • Portuguese
  • Russians
  • Spanish
  • Aztecs
  • Haudenosaunee
  • Lakota
  • Chinese
  • Indians
  • Japanese
  • Incas
  • Swedes
  • United States

0 voters


EDIT: I think we should separate bad representation and bad gameplay.

Bad gameplay (original list):
Aztecs: This civ surely has some creative designs and unique strengths…I just feel there is something lacking, but I cannot tell.
Japanese: Lame. Possibility to stack buffs on buffs and produce absurd stats.
Swedes: Lamer.
Incas: Not too op, but half of the units are useless.
US: Not lame or op, even on the weaker side, but it’s so weird that I have no idea what their true advantages are and what to go for (very innovative though)

Bad representation:
Germans: a mixture of HRE, Prussia, Austria, Bohemia, even Poland, but does not look like any of them.
Chinese: flamethrower is from Song dynasty, long before the period of the game; meteor hammers are mostly for martial arts, or used as a side-side-arm; shaolin kungfu monks…
Indians: a mixture of Mughals, Maratha, and the East India Company; and they shouldn’t have camel-only cavalry
Ottomans: too European


i voted french because they have straight up too much flexibility, they do EVERYTHING, their only minor weakness is to enemy melee cavalry, which who cares when you got the best melee cav to begin with?


In terms of gameplay I would say Aztecs as they are mainly focused on military and have a bad middle to lategame eco.

In terms of fitting within AoE III the USA, because its not a people group, we had revolutions and it is pretty late time period wise. (the unique design is good though, but I think the Africans got the same type of mechanic so maybe the US was also partly a test)


I voted Aztecs, even tho they’re my mains.

I feel like TWC civs were unfinished but mostly Aztecs, especially if you compare them to Incas and their game design very similar.

It’s as if they were part of Age of Mythology, but without the God powers and the whole mythology.

It’s better since release of DE, but I think they’re lacking at least one big identity, and as I suggested a Temple mechanic would be a wonderful addition.

You can see interesting opinions other than just mine > there < or even > there < :slight_smile:


imo: Almost every TWC civ, Lakota has the most coherent identity as a civ but lacks options and diversity, Aztec has the most options but just lacks a strong incentive to use them, this could probably be fixed with some cards or tweaking(example why would you use azzys over inca). And hauds man…they have more options than Lakota but just no way to effectively execute them, they’re the ones with the most confusing identity. Their strongest unit is locked until age4, but everything else around them is designed to be relentless rush civ. If I could rework one TWC civ it would be this one, they just don’t feel good to play at all. other than that…

Swedes: Obvious reasons, but can be fixed with a numbers tweak. Torps are more well designed than Shrines imo because they require a finite ‘fuel’. I think Caros should be adjusted so the player actually has to fill gaps in their military, like using mercenaries and artillery. Right now they’re too good at doing everything.

Spain: This civ since 2005 has always been locked into only being able to do one strategy, for a while it was FF and now it’s just age 2 all in. I think it’s probably their units, the Lancer incentivizes rushing to age3 but past that they don’t really have anything good. Their royal guard unit isn’t really a unit that you want to be making past fortress, and their other unique unit(rods) only fill an extremely niche purpose.

My last vote was dutch, just because they’re extremely linear too. Encourages stagnant play, spammable Ruyter, age 2 skirmisher(just give them crossbowmen no???), but I get it they’re supposed to be the turtling euro civ so maybe its just me being salty because they counter all my main civs


i think the united states is a very good civi, militia is very good in all aspects fast unit has a lot of hp and the cost is very good

1 Like


The Chimu Runner pathing is just poorly made it. Because you can’t snare them, they can literally just go through enemy units like they are not there and kill the artillery.

I cannot share old games because you some people cannot watch old records (Another feature that needs to be added in), but I will share a video of a game played between Harrison and Noel to illustrate what I am saying:

This is what I’m talking about: See how Noel’s Chimu Runners just go through Harrison’s Musketeers like they ain’t there and kill the falconets when Harrison try to push? The Chimu Runner is the only unit in the game that can make that because there are not snarable.

This is made even worst because of the whole “let’s just retreat the troops to stronghold, tamboos, trade posts, etc”. Inca have the ability to retreat units to those buildings, and they get a bonus on the attack when units are inside.

So this creates a contradiction, that you cannot win a game against Inca without having a lot of artillery (As you need to push on their base full of tamboos and strongholds). But you also have a very hard time defending your artillery because Chimu Runners just go through units like they don’t exist and kill your artillery.

I just have a aneurysm everytime I have to push into a Incan base. Good thing that I’m playing the Indians lately since their siege elephants can run away from Chimus (Probably the only civilization that does not need to deal with this bad pathing problem from the Chimus) and not much people play the Incas in general.

And also, sometimes you gonna see some people saying that the Incas are a “better version” of the Aztecs. This is a exaggeration, but is based on the fact that they are the only two civilizations that have shock infantry instead of cavalry, plus they have similar anti-artillery units and the Priestess are basically a copy of the Warrior Priests. So they are indeed, quite similar in some cases.

The only meaningful difference between this War Priests and Priestess, is that Priestess have a ability to convert enemy units. But the ability is pretty useless, since it takes a looooooong time to finish. It’s takes so much time that is almost impossible to actually convert units efficiently.
And the thing is: This is a hability that will never be balanced, because if the ability of converting enemy units to your side is doable, then will be straight up broken. As you not only get free units, but you also steals your enemy units.

So yeah, I think if we gonna list all the design flaws per civ, Inca is probably the worst one. And I can say that is the only civilization in the game that I don’t like playing with or against it.

EDIT: I am surprised to see US that high. :no_mouth:

Maybe is justifiable, if you consider that the Chinese Immigrants cards are still not working properly and there is also the build that turns wagons to build fortifications considerably cheap.


the lakota. some civs are strong or weak, but they are just terribly designed and the reason I avoided moving to tad all these years. the online population of the twc was always a joke even when tad was released for a reason.

bow riders. 10k+ chief respawning in seconds and one shotting cannons. bow riders. siege dance. bow riders. 4 axe rider shipment.

250 hp 20 damage 1.5 rof cheaper than a dragoon no vill penalty can siege fast speed with war chief.

its just absurd.


I believe you forgot about the bow riders. Dog Soldiers big button. Bow riders. Warchief being so fast that he always wins the race for TP/livestock. Bow riders. The original cav. box cancer from legacy. The bow riders. And finally the Warchief aura increasing the speed of the bow riders. :cowboy_hat_face:


incas -
units are stupid, eco is stupid (“dancing lamas?”), generating houses, boring turtly gamestyle. Oh and water is a meme in AOE 3 DE anyway, but Inca with 1 warship completely takes the crown lol


A “well designed civ” is one that I know how to beat. A “poorly designed civ” is one that I haven’t figured out how to beat.


I voted Haud, I don’t think swede or any other civ with houses that generate res are badly designed, they are just poorly balanced, I mean inca has always had the kanchas and is a well balanced civ, it’s just taken them a while to correctly balance sweden and japan but it looks like this next patch will do that.

In regards to haud I think it’s poorly designed, it’s age 2 units cost a lot of wood and are expensive particularly the kanya. Age 3 it has the best skirmisher in the game and 1 of the top tier dragoons but a poor eco to support production(unless on water, and uncontested).
They also have terrible siege weaponry, and no cannon until age 4, their bad eco makes it hard to get to age 4 and until then there’s nothing than can really deal with enemy artillery cost effectively.


The Lakota all in all feel like they belong in a mod. Lazy design, boring gameplay, and honestly only two voice actors is an embarassment, not to mention the quality of the voice acting.

With Germans I find it a very odd design that they have the potential to have the best farm eco in the game but don’t have a single unit that costs more food than gold to make use of it. Overall lack of interesting bonuses.


For Historical purposes:

Portuguese - Like Spain they should be a civ focused on early and middle game - using tercio tactics and muskets and not a late game counter cav civ.

Germans - Its the Austrian controlled HRE, but then there are references to Poland and Prussia that dont make sense. The devs didnt want initially to separate the 3 entities (Austria/Prussia/Poland) and what we got was a mess.

Indians - Again a civ with no identity. Instead of a civ that begins with archaic units like rajputs, arsonists chakrams etc. they start with late 1700 east india company troops like the Sepoy and Ghurka regiments. Also camels and elephants are linked to mugal and not east india company so its just a mess.

Regarding gameplay:

Japanese ability to send shipments twice is the most broken bonus in the game, making them so flexible, you can almost have only one deck. Also, being able to use units like daimyo so early kinda is game breaking.


There’s a mod out there that splits the german civ into two civs, one gets the free Uhlans the other has the mercenary theme and doppelsoldners and Landsknects are pretty much swapped for historical accuracy.


USA. Post-colonial civ that doesnt fit the game.
This is basically a “european greatest hits” civ and i don’t mean that as a compliment.


the Germans in game dont seem to include Poland at all in their design, there is only 1 card that references them and that is in relation to the siege of Vienna.

1 Like

British. Because of imperial longbows. Wouldnt mind if british got age 3 skirms with the same stats, i just dislike the looks of arrow volleys in a (post-) napoleonic era


Yeah why don’t the british have green jackets instead of longbows?

But I can live with it