How to Enhance the Militia-Line: Exploring Theories on Buffing LS Play in Castle Age If Gambesons Falls Short

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    I am excited to see how well the LS unit will perform with the April patch.

    There has been a lot of discussion on this topic recently, so I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

    It was suggested that giving the LS unit +1PA with Gambesons would not be enough, as the Malian LS already receives a free +2PA but still isn’t frequently used.

    In my opinion, the LS unit doesn’t necessarily need to be effective against Crossbows or Knights since they already trade efficiently against these units.

    Instead, they just need some extra protection against Archers.

    By giving them +1PA, they will take longer to be killed by Archers, and adding an additional bonus damage against buildings or requiring the Arson technology would make them more effective at razing enemy bases.

    While this may indirectly benefit Pikes, it shouldn’t be a problem since Pikes already have many counters and the LS unit will remain vulnerable to other units.

    By making the LS unit more viable, we may see the frequent use of other units like Battle Elephants, Teutonic Knights, Jaguars, and Boyars.

    Overall, I believe this change could make the militia line a strong anti-building option with decent melee combat capabilities.


    My proposal would be that archer’s (or all ranged units) reload time only active while standing still.

    This forces them out of the ‘only 1 unit army’ role they are now, and into the ‘is a support unit that breaks lancasters linear law’ like mangos and scorps.

    Obviously other aspects will need to be buffed or changed to compensate.

    But archers are the only unit that can easily eliminate an enemy force WITHOUT taking any damage.

    Knights beat LS and even pikes(in equal numbers), but will take damage in the process.

    10 xbow can take out 10 ls, with almost no casualties.

    Or w/e the critical mass to 1 shot LS is.


    No, at this point its time to confront the elephant in the room:

    There is no reason to use militia line if you have even the slightest access to knights.

    Knights should have their damage to buildings nerfed severely, and militia line should be the go to to break through buildings and walls in feudal and early castle age.


    Shift their unit cost to a more gold-heavy balance, say 30 food, 50 gold.

    Give them bonus damage against cav — not spear-line amounts of bonus damage, but enough that they clearly trade efficiently into knights in resource-balanced fights.

    Maybe consider buffing their movement speed or pierce armor further to mitigate their poor matchup into archers, but if you’re just looking for a “rock-paper-scissors” like some of the people in the sub seem to want, then maybe you just let them die to archers but do well into knights and leave it at that.

    Or — and this is my preferred approach — maybe you *stop trying to make opening longswords in castle good*.

    In aoe2, there are strong gold units that give you a power boost in early castle age and coexist well alongside a 3TC boom, there are trash units that make for effective eco sinks when you’ve boomed up and continue to be fieldable when gold runs low, and — as is the case for the militia line, and *not* the case for very many other units at all — there are units that sit somewhere in the middle.

    The militia line allows you to field a unit that outstats the trash trifecta, whilst stretching your gold reserves far further than they’ll go if you just produce the same gold unit line you opened with at the start of castle age.

    That’s an interesting place for the unit to fit within the eco and unit counter dynamics of the game, and I wish people would appreciate this rather than just getting mad about longswords sucking in early castle age.

    I don’t mind changes like gambesons, or reducing research time for militia-line upgrades.

    I’d probably be okay with trialing a small bonus against cav so that champs trade better into hussars.

    But if you really want to make longswords a good castle opener, really you probably need to give them a gold-heavy unit cost, so that you can field them with low farm eco in aggressive 1TC early castle strats, and so that they don’t overly burden farm eco that you need for vil production in a 3TC boom.

    Everyone realizes that gold becomes a scarce resource in late game, but it feels like a lot of people don’t realize that gold is easily taken early on, when food eco is at its most strained, and this has a major impact on what units are good in the early game.

    And we already have gold-heavy units that work in a similar space in early castle: eagles, camels, cav archers.

    Camels arguably fill the proposed “rock-paper-scissors” niche for longswords, of taking resource-efficient trades into cav while dying to xbow; cav archers *also* get good engagements on knights while being less ideal into archers, but with different implications for eco and fights; and eagles kinda go the other way, trouncing xbow while still trading decently into knights.

    Sure you could add longswords into the early castle mix somehow, but at the expense of their already interesting eco dynamic, and for dubious gain in terms of early castle military dynamics.

    If you think there’s something new and interesting to be found here, maybe just propose a new unit instead.


    I think giving them +4 damage against vills, and some sort of bonus against town centers, would bring them into the game.

    As a non-playing observer it seems that, currently, their main weakness is their inability to force an exchange: this should help them with that.

    If you have an army about to destroy your town center you’ll turn around to fight them.

    An interesting anti TC bonus would be they take less damage (20 to 40% less), or attack faster (20 or 30%) while near a TC (friendly or enemy).

    Obviously this will be really difficult to balance but it could breathe a little variety into the meta.


    Besides for making it either easier to tech into LS, or making LS less food intensive to produce.

    Something others haven’t mentioned here, a complimentary/alternative change, is buffing siege.

    Knights are not good at defending siege for the cost, they’re great at sniping it, but infantry is still better at defending it.

    This is just an example: increase castle ram attack rate, speed and allow it to move without a formation (this severely hinders their pathing of all the units in the game)

    Give mangonels (and scorps) bonus damage Vs ranged units.(like aoe4) and increase projectile velocity (slightly!!)

    The E skirm upgrade could definitely do with a cost reduction as well, similar to the pike upgrade.

    Both trash upgrades are simply extortionate for counter units.

    And one of the big reasons we have mono comp metas.


    Instead of inching towards inf viability – could come at it the other way and make them clearly OP and inch down.

    Sometimes it seems we don’t let things play out enough anymore and let people find solutions.


    Increase base movement speed to 1.05 (slightly faster than halb but slower than eagle warrior)


    – For the love of god just buff their HP to like 70

    – Drop cost of supplies to like 50f 50g and reduce upgrade time.

    – Reduce base cost to 55 and adjust supplies accordingly.

    maybe +1 attack vs buildings.

    – Reduce upgrade time of long swordsman upgrade slightly (-15%).

    – Give gambesons to more civs?

    Would have to look into that.

    – Reduce gambesons cost to 85f 85g.


    Longswords need too many upgrades (supplies, maa, ls, squires and now gambesons) while knights only need bloodlines and husbandry.

    – Buff 2h swordsman hp to 75 and champion to 85.

    You can nerf individual inf civ bonuses accordingly to balance it out.

    Either all that or just give them 2/2 base armor like knights, remove gambesons, give them +2 atk vs stone buildings like castles, walls and gates.

    Theyre too slow and expensive (esp to upgrade) for how squishy they are

    and ofc buff unique inf units to match, because they suck also like:

    – +1 pierce armor woad raider, +1 elite woad (total base 2->3), – 5 food cost so that they can actually raid and not die in 2 seconds, getting outclassed by tankier goldless and faster hussars rn.

    – +1/+1 armor for samurai, -10g cost, +5 hp elite samurai

    – buff kamayuk speed slightly so that they dont slow ur eagles down too much, -5f -5g cost

    – buff jag warrior speed significantly and hp (elite), -1 base melee armor

    – berserk has already been adequately buffed.

    – obuch is what an inf unique unit should bring to the table, power level speaking

    – dravidian uu seems balanced atm

    – reverse teutonic knight last speed buff,
    but give them +1 pierce armor, +5 hp to elite

    still making them (even more) vulnerable to siege but no longer significantly vulnerable to archers or anything else but jag warriors, samurai, leitis and hand cannons.

    – Buff heavy scorpions hp by 20 (50-> 70), so that there is another viable counter to (the now buffed) infantry lategame


    They will never be strong fighting units without fundamentally changing the identity of the unit.

    They’re the only gold unit other than rams to not have either range or mobility, and you need to have at least one of the two to be as effective as a gold unit should be.

    Think Teutonic Knights: they have amazing stats, but they cannot force an engage against most things and they are vulnerable to all sorts of ranged units kiting them.

    Pointy bois see a lot more play because they cost no gold and they have a clearly defined niche of being cost effective against cavalry.

    So imo this line needs a more clearly defined niche.

    1) Make them more threatening against buildings.

    Bonus damage from Arson seems like a good idea.

    Could also buff Ram damage when garrisoned.

    2) Reduce not only food but also a bit of gold cost after Supplies.

    This could make them a viable CA power spike (perhaps with forward Siege Workshop) while preserving gold for stronger late game units.

    This would also reinforce their role as late game trash busters.


    1 billion attack


    I like the changes you have outlined here.

    IMO though I think they need to nerf archers and give back whatever they take away with a tech.

    My idea is slow archers down and then have them benefit from squires.

    After squires their speed will be what it is now.

    This would mean archers wouldn’t be able to kit m@a as effectively which would mean m@a would see more use for all of feudal meaning it would make sense to keep producing them in castle.

    Also it raises the resources needed to FU archers up and means an archer player would need to keep their barracks alive at least until castle.



    Can be toggled on or off while infantry is marching.

    Blocks 25% of all attacks from the front until destroyed.

    Doesnt block attacks from the side or back.

    Slows movement and/or attack when up.

    Researched at barrack with wood and gold


    How about an auto free upgrade system as you advance through the ages?

    This way you could mass numbers and hit a timing attack right as you reach the next age.


    Speed increase from 0.9 to 1

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