I am sorry if this post is extremely long. Still pending more edits. It is my fault because I screwed up earlier and had to put all my posts together into one long read. As a result I probably won’t be making to many posts on account of most of my thoughts and opinions are already here. Future posts should be less cumbersome. Anyway read on and enjoy. I hope you guys can give me good feedback on what I have written here and I hope its mostly positive. TOPICS I. UNIT TASKS II. ARTILLERY CREWS III. AMMUNITION IV. CAPTURING UNITS V. POLITICS VI. ROADS VII. LIVESTOCK VIII. HORSES IX. SCOUTS AND SPIES X. TERRAIN XI. ECONOMICS XII. I. UNITS TASKS: I can't stand it when a unit is assigned a task and when the task is completed it just stands there idle and waiting to get killed. I would like to assign a secondary task that the unit can default to when the primary task assigned is completed or fails to complete. II. ARTILLERY CREW: I always found it annoying looking at artillery in AoE and AoK be created and move about as if they were robots on the field Here are two ways to possibly resolve this: 1. I think at the very least when creating artillery units that its animation includes a visible crew that operates and defends it. Because of this, each artillery piece with crew counts as that many people from the population. When attacked whenever the amount of damage points a normal soldier could take is received by the artillery piece a crew member "dies" and the artillery unit is inoperable because their is not enough crew to operate it. If the numbers of “crew units” remaining are still enough to keep it operable then you should reduce the rate of fire the artillery piece can make and the speed by which the unit moves across terrain will also be reduced. This "crew unit" can be replaced by giving a command to one of your soldiers in the same way you might command a unit to enter a battering ram. 2. When creating artillery units that they are treated as movable building units just as if they were a mobile house. They can only be moved and operated by assigning a minimum number of soldiers to operate it by using a follow or defend command. When these men are attacked treat the same as above in regards to damage, rate of fire, and movement. In addition, if assigned more than a necessary crew the extra units can automatically replace the missing crew. These additional units don’t necessarily have to follow the artillery unit. Any soldier can be assigned a secondary task if his primary task is completed or not possible. (as suggested above in my suggestion to assigning units tasks) III. AMMUNITION FOR ARCHERS, JAVELIN MEN, AND ARTILLERY UNITS: Archers, Javelin men, and Artillery units should be allowed to run out of ammunition Here are a few ideas on how that ammunition can be replenished on the battlefield: 1. Javelins and arrows that don’t hit any targets can be reused if they are picked up off the ground. Something that could make this effect more interesting is that units might prefer to pick up their own used arrow or javelin if encountered otherwise they would use any that are found. Exceptions to reuse might be: A. Roman pila on account of their tips were designed to bend or fall off after use, B. arrows that get stuck in any shields, C. arrows that hit hard surfaces such as stone or trees, D. anything that hits water 2. Use of the enemy's arrows, javelins, or artillery ammunition. In the case of artillery rounds reuse of their ammunition can be represented by the capture of opponent’s artillery and as long as the ammunition is compatible with yours you can use it. For instance smaller catapult ammunition could probably be reused in a larger catapult. Ammunition might represented by a pile of stones or a box of stones next to the artillery piece that moves with the artillery piece and artillery crew. 3. All ammunition for units that are in a fortification might automatically be in greater quantity due to the fact that such a building represents a storage for such ammunition. So that units in the field can enter a fortification to replenish their ammunition. 4. A field army could replenish ammunition by accessing a stockpile from a building designated to be a stockpile such as a fortification or town center or to any of the structures that produce archer’s javelin men and artillery units. The way these buildings would be designated is by creating a link between this building and a raw material refinery such as a mill, mason, or smithy or this building can be linked directly to a mine (as in the case of collecting stone balls for catapults). Through this link you can designate a certain amount of material to go to this stockpile and you can assign the rate at which this material is sent. A unit or wagon then can be given a command to collect ammunition from this stockpile and bring it to a rally point thereby forming a supply train and route. At this rally point troops would come to resupply their ammo. Or this unit can go to each individual unit to resupply them in a similar fashion that AoE priests healed troops. The cost of resupply should be half or less what it takes to create a unit. Of course if the stockpile building is nearby any unit should be able to go there to resupply itself. 5. Another way field artillery might be able to resupply itself is through access or establishment of a nearby stone quarry. Soldiers can be sent to mine these quarries and bring the contents directly to the artillery or to a rally point. 6. When stockpiles run out ammunition these can be replenished by removing stone or any needed material from any building. This process naturally weakens any of the buildings being used this way until they are destroyed. All the consequences of such structure weakening and losses are to be normally applied. The way this can be done is that building or fortification made of the appropriate materials is linked to a designated stockpile and then watch people take it apart. For instance if it takes 100 wood to build a house then lets say half of that wood is available to use for arrow stock pile before the structure is destroyed and depleted this house is linked to the stockpile and 50 wood is transferred there. Then lets half the cost of what it takes to create an archer would the cost to resupply one single archer with a full quiver of arrows. This assumes that archers require both wood and money to make. These methods would make it easier for whoever has more supplies to fight off someone with limited supplies. These allow for interesting logistics and ambushes of field army supplies These suggestions along with some others I mention here help create realistic and exciting sieges IV. CAPTURING UNITS: I always found the ability of priests in AoE to be able to convert your units and turn them against you kind of cheesy. But you can fix this if instead of turning units against you that you instead use this ability to capture and imprison or enslave units. This ability can be applied when a pair or more "teamed" units attack an individual enemy unit. They can be given a command to capture and the unit will become subdued unless it manages to get away. Commanders when in the field can have the ability to "influence" a surrender of a besieged structure or community. This causes the besieged enemy units to leave their post and become a prisoner of any designated capture team. Those most "influenced" by the surrender will be any peasants or villagers and then lower ranking soldiers and so on up the ranks. Another factor for surrendering is if the besieged is suffering rapid loss of units and supplies. A trigger can be created that if there are a certain percentage of losses due to artillery or due loss of stockpiles that susceptibility to surrender begins to occur in random amounts. The captured unit is then brought off to: A. a designated way point at which point their has to be a guard B. the soldiers bring the prisoner to a prison or a coral C. bring them to a wagon to be carted off to designated prison or dungeon at a specified time or by specific quantity of prisoners Enslaved prisoners can act as additional laborers to work farms and mines. These slaves work slower, produce less, and can die after a period of time. These prisoners will always try to escape. The good thing about the enslavement strategy is that it allows you to expand your work force without adding to your population. The bad thing about it is that it’s only a short term strategy and because these units can perish it allows your opponent to continue to generate new units. Capturing can allow for additional diplomacy such as ransoming as well as create scenarios such as prison breaks. When the prisoner are in their assigned prison they can be very idle but then start to act up when one of their own kind is nearby this helps when it comes to prison breaks. Prisoners might behave more aggressively to escape and might more difficult to put down. You might even be able to win a game just by capturing prisoners because of population limitations because the prisoners will still count as a member of your population Some civilizations might be immune to capture like Carthage maybe. They might fight to the death. Players might also designate certain civilizations as to never be captured. You should be able to kill off any of your units that are captured or surrendered to your enemy in order to prevent population lockout. V. POLITICS: I always found the "Ally, Neutral, Enemy" modes in other games frustratingly over simplified First off it seems to create inflexible modes between the Players and AI and between Players and Players. It seems more like an all or nothing situation. I think instead a player should be allowed more flexible options that can allow trade between players but still have certain areas or resources on each others terrain off limits. If another player tries to destroy a particular structure or intrudes in a certain area it does not have to cause an all out war. You should be able to select a given amount of tiles and designate this area as off limits or a shared area. The units can be given different modes such as only defend without having all your forces automatically kill every unit that belongs to the violating player. This way trade and certain exchanges don't have to stop. Perhaps you can have diplomacy rules like War, Hostile Ally, Trade Partner, and Full Ally This allows for more strategic alliances. Since you have actual unique ethnic character names you can end up with a scenario in which peace hinges on whether an ally gives up an officer or hero to be imprisoned or executed by you for performing raids on your territory. VI. ROADS: I feel that the roads were very cosmetic in AoE and Aok. There was no advantage of having roads in those games aside from making the ground blend better with the buildings In reality paved roads (and many unpaved ones too that went through difficult terrain) were a construction that set Romans apart from the rest of their world The advantages of roads are: 1. it makes it easier and faster in getting from one point to another. Troops in large numbers, wagons, and horses move quicker over roads. Of course that advantage is true for the enemy as well. 2. They make a good reference point, meaning that you were no longer lost in a wilderness once you were on a road. 3. Paved roads are less susceptible to weather like dirt roads that would become muddy and disappear completely in short time 4. You can use the ability to build roads to be a requirement to advance between phases such as a Roman camp to a town or city Dirt roads shouldn't be totally cosmetic either. A dirt road just like paved roads should be constructed. The cool thing about constructing dirt roads is that they take no resources to build. It only means your changing one kind of terrain into another resulting in a clearing. This kind of terrain clearing might affect farm animals in the sense that there is now less grazing land which perhaps over time affects how long the livestock live. The ability to make dirt roads (and only the ability to make dirt roads) can also be used to create a special clearing for battlefields so that horses and chariots have a terrain advantage as the Persians often did when they battled with Greek forces Because of the disadvantages due to weather and time there would be an incentive to build paved roads over dirt roads. And because over time (time effects would be like over growth with vegetation) and weather (like sand storms in desert climates)dirt roads can disappear it requires that soldiers periodically have to maintain them in the same way farmers need to maintain crops. Perhaps a roman soldier in the game should be able to build roads using stone resources collected for paved roads and when it comes to making dirt roads only time is lost Of course now that space can no longer be used for other things like grazing, buildings, and farms. This leads to the player to consider carefully about when and where to build roads VII. LIVESTOCK: I always found it odd in other games that the only way to gain more livestock was by finding them in the "wild.” Farmers who have livestock should be able to grow more over time. Of course the livestock should be factored into the population limit. If there are too many livestock then a player has to: 1. Kill off some for food, 2. Trade some to an ally, 3. Allow some wolf or lion to come kill their livestock. A helpful feature would be to automatically kill off livestock at a specific rate or when the livestock population gets in the way of creating more units the necessary amount of livestock are slaughtered. A way to automatically kill off livestock is if you build a slaughterhouse or designate some such structure to function as one. Some ways to grow livestock are: 1. To find or steal a ram, bull, Billy (which could be an uncommon unit) 2. When you build a coral. Slaughtering livestock is not the only way to maintain them. As I suggested earlier if you have grazing terrain each terrain tile should only be able to support a certain amount of livestock. When that livestock such as sheep or cows deplete all the terrain resources they will die over time. This limits the number of livestock one can have on their land. This kind of depletion also creates incentive to use other peoples grazing land causing conflicts to occur. Perhaps there can be an agreement between parties to allow each others livestock to graze on their land. Perhaps it results in a strategy not maintain your own livestock but to instead just steal other players livestock just like the Celts Germans, and Huns did. Regarding stealing livestock maybe any unit can steal livestock not just farmers but maybe the more advanced civilizations require farmers or peasants to manage them such as Rome or Carthage. VIII. HORSES: A portion of the price to create Horse warriors should be requiring Horses as a livestock resource in the same way you need a certain amount of money to train these warriors. The livestock suggestions above should be a guideline to be applied when it comes to the management of horses. Horses like other livestock are not only found in the wild but also be stolen from the fields and stables of other peoples. Just like other Livestock horses will require Stallions to grow more to supply the cavalry. People who can farm might be able to provide food supplies for the horses more readily than civilizations that depend on the horses grazing. The cavalry garrison can include a stable to stockpile horses. Civilizations like the Celts, Germans, and Huns might be skilled at horse stealing. This might allow them to steal from a Roman or Greek stable or coral. Perhaps certain civilizations can also be able to kill and knock off only the riders from their horses and later steal them. If warriors are allowed to live when they lose their horse in battle will have to return to their Cavalry garrison to get a new horse. THE ECONOMICS OF BUILDINGS: Each civ already has different structures and so each will have diff abilities when it comes to morale for the civ and economics for the civ Buildings of certain types should be able to generate a certain amount of revenue such as temples markets and arenas There should be trade system in the game between cities and civilizations this can be accomplished by designing building units that are dependent on each other and having it could go something like this: 1. You have a raw resource such as wood you then would construct a lumber yard- 2. This structure could then be linked to a city center or to a market to store the goods 3. A market would be able to load pack animals, wagons, boats, and traders with a certain amount of a 4. Material based on their load bearing capacity- 5. Then these traders and pack animals can go to different markets and trade for money 6. And then the trader returns to unload the money and pick up a new load the player should be able to assign the type and amount of items to supply the market and the player should be able to choose which markets to supply in his own territory - the player should then be able to establish a trade route using way points - these units can attacked and maybe even robbed I think gates should allow allies through them but they must come through at a price I think wonders should promote tourism to a city and be part of a network economy of different villages and towns to the city - Tourism can come in the form of the availability of more mercenaries to recruit and more villagers that are generated from the AI These will be neutral people from the countryside that later can be recruited They don’t have to be countrymen - the cool thing is they can each carry money to contribute to temples and city gates and to markets which they trade between cities especially since they are neutral characters SCOUTS AND SPIES: Units that are functioning as scouts should always have a limited capability to gather information. A scout should only be able to get information from the periphery of an enemy's position without getting caught. This is because scouts she can be easily recognizable when seen. At most scouts should only be able to hide behind objects. When standing still behind large enough and qualified objects (qualified can be indicated by the object flashing a certain color when a scout comes close enough to an object) the scout is invisible to the "enemy." The scout should only be able to see when it’s behind some kind of bush, wooden fence, or high ground. A scout should be easily spotted when near a tower due to the fact the tower is high ground and can see over many objects and in that case lose any invisibility the scout would normally have. Just about any military unit should be able to become a scout by simply giving it a command similar to the way it can be commanded to guard or patrol. Spies on other hand are different. They should not look like soldiers. They might appear as merchants or villagers. Of course the advantage of a spy over a scout is that a spy can walk about the "enemy" unnoticed. The disadvantage is that they are easy to kill (because slow, no armor, and limited weapon like a knife) and very expensive. Here are a few suggestions on how to recruit spies: 1. If a civilization has a Market, a tavern, or another some such public gathering place it is from here that a spy can be recruited. 2. A captured prisoner that is of low rank may be converted into a spy after which this spy is now subject to population cap limits (an enemy may wonder if the prisoner is dead or may have turned coat if all of a sudden his population has gone down) 3. A "foreigner unit" that comes to your town or city as a merchant or to pay homage to a temple can be recruited. I don't think that what these units see should automatically be known to the player until the scout or spy returns to an assigned rally point or sends a dove with messages. Sending the dove would be the quickest way to send information Prior to such action, all things seen by these units are invisible to the player with the exception of the raw terrain so that the unit can be manipulated to travel and hide. Of course the unit can be killed or captured prior to completing such actions. The dove can be killed with arrow fire prior to leaving the view screen. The spy/scout units will be able to defend themselves but it would be like fighting the invisible. You just can't see what he is fighting unless the message has been delivered. These actions of going to a rally point or to send out a dove can be automatically triggered by reaching a set of listed goals given to the unit. These goal triggers would be set through a menu that is similar to victory conditions in other games. 1. When a particular type/s of unit or building is seen 2. When attacked 3. After reaching a way point 4. After killing/destroying a certain unit/building 5. After reaching high ground (such as being on a higher elevation) 6. upon reaching a barrier (such as walls, water, and cliffs) A few ways to spot spies: 1. He is seen killing someone or destroying a building 2. You see doves being let loose (this also applies to scouts) 3. You can't recruit a "foreigner unit" to become a spy Time Terrain and weather how about having flexible time in the game such as when civs are building things time speeds up a bit to represent the time it takes to build and time speeds up when there are battles occurring and instead of just regular weather like rain and snow how about earthquakes and volcanoes and iced rivers Weather could be used to deteriorate buildings over time meaning a civ would have constantly repair or rebuild using resources Hot desert climates might have powerful sand storms from time to time the natives might have an advantage while invaders will have a disadvantage as far as coping with it -- perhaps non-native units move slower or cant use archers or artillery during the storm or these units might miss more often The same things can be considered for rain and snow and for different terrains Chariots and horses should be at a huge disadvantage in rocky and mountainous terrain and horses can get spooked by thunder and lightning but natives might be immune to these things As far as volcanoes are concerned there could be an unknown or a known volcano like Mt. Vesuvius and people would settle near them because of the valuable resources they provide such a rich ores and gems temples and shrines would be best built near them too because of the rich mineral baths and gaseous vents such as existed in the oracle of Delphi but if an earthquake every now then might damage or destroy weak buildings something that is tolerable and easy to repair and replace and maybe on a special scenario or trigger it can erupt icy rivers would be great too if u have heavy objects like elephants or horses crossing there might be spots that might break this can change the course of a battle and reverse or even the odds Terrain: Having terrain that can replenish itself over time such as grass animals fish and small trees These areas would regrow as long as nothing builds on them and as long as that part of the land is not completely used up so for as long as there is enough of something left it will grow back. Of course this wouldn’t apply to things like ores and stones how about allowing engineer build booby traps for their fortifications like ditches pit traps and spike traps fires should be easier to set during the dry seasons in certain kinds of terrain this can pose a danger to any side as well as an advantage for instance if there is dry grass fields then any flaming arrows can set off a runaway fire in the tiles that contain these grasses and injuring anyone or thing in it at the same time it cane make clearing an area much easier and quick and take away any advantage of concealment by any opponent in that area as well burn down structures that would harbor enemies Crossing Water: Units that enter and cross water will be at a disadvantage to attack even if they are on horseback for these reasons: Movement is slower Moving water prevents aiming Units moving through water without a boat or raft should usually be allowed only in cases of shallow, slow, or still bodies of water. Moats maybe crossed by soldiers that can float across with inflated bladders like Assyrian soldiers used to do when they want to cross a moat which was too deep even for horses Many of my suggestions when applied in variation can easily and fairly represent the differences of population sizes and resources available to the various Civilizations 0A.D.