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Trying to Trace Back the Citizen Soldier


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Disclaimer: This was done on one night, based heavily on one person’s comment, from one small voice (me) who is a peasant exercising his right on free speech.

Quote in the "Resource System & Map control Elements"


If I remember the original discussion at the start of the 0 AD project several forums ago, one reason for giving the citizen/ gatherers a combat capability was to give them a fighting chance. This was a problem in AoE that everyone was trying to fix in the mods. It's why the Citizen/cavalry gatherers.

Following on @Wesley's comment, I went and tried to trace back the original intention of the Citizen Soldier up to the state they are currently in (not with research, but with assumptions, so go ahead and fault me for that).

Now if 0 A.D.’s thesis in the Starting Game is “Make each Faction immediately recognizable”, then I believe they are successful in that. If I chose “Random” before we start, then I can immediately tell what Faction I’m controlling just by looking at the Civic Center and the units I have without looking at the Emblem at the center top part of the UI. This is where 0 A.D. improves over AoE2.

Now, the Citizen Soldiers have inherited that aspect. Although they’re being mocked as “Soldiers who can gather”, they’re actually “Villagers who can fight” (Yes I’ll be relying on "'living' is not the same as 'not dying'" logic). If you’re complaining that you’d rather gather with these guys, then you shouldn't since they were intended to do that. It's players like me who are the ones using them in an un-orthodox manner (sending them to war). The reason why we have Champion Spams back then is that it is the original intention of the game: Gather with Citizen Soldiers, then send the Champions to war.

But then, some things happened over the years:
Horsemen have become a lot faster (they were nearly as fast as walking soldiers back then).
Champion (Pure Military) Units have increased their train time.
Citizen Soldiers received some rebalancing of stats.

What all this all means is that the Citizen Soldiers have taken center stage both in the Economy and Military side of things. And, you know what? This further led me to recognize what @DarcReaver has been actively harping over the forums recently: Citizen Soldiers broke the game.

1. You can’t Distinguish between Economic and Military Units
New players shouldn’t be going “Oh, my soldiers can gather and build. That’s cool!”.
They should’ve been going “Oh, my villagers can defend themselves. That’s cool!”

They don’t see Citizen Soldiers as Economic Units with Fighting as an add-on,
they identify them as Military Units with Gather/Build as the add-on.
The reason why we see @drsingh complaining about the Civic Center being able to train Military Units is that he doesn’t see the Citizen Soldiers as Economic Units.
And judging from the game’s current state his complaint has become valid.

2. Lack of Military Unit Diversity
And here's another
problem, guys. If you’re wondering why we don’t have enough diversity in Champions or any Pure Military Units for that matter, then the reason is that most of the units went into the Citizen Soldier category. This must be the reason why I feel that Phase 2 is the emptiest phase in the game. You’re not presented with more military, you're presented with more gatherers.
ere’s another thing. The elephant is a Soldier-type unit for whatever reason. But looking at a certain unit progression. I believe the original intention was this:

Phase 1 – Citizen Soldiers + Women
Phase 2 – Soldiers
Phase 3 – Champions + Heroes

That’s one way I can make sense for why there is a soldier-type unit.

Now with all that in mind, I think we should not remove the gathering ability of the Citizen Soldiers since that was the original intention. Rather, something must be done with the military strength they obtained over the years. I think they should be nerfed. Rush Cavs (as much as I personally like to have that strategy available) should not be possible. Cavs should either lose their gathering capabilities, or they are not available in the Civic Center. A little harassment here and there can still be a staple in the early game, but rushes might not be good for a game that has city-building also in mind. Make Town Phase more relevant by putting the Town Phase Units from Citizen Soldiers to Soldier category.

Yes, I know this post has come to a set of suggestions, but I believe this was the original gameflow of 0 A.D. Only that much of the playerbase has dictated to where it is now. Now, go. Tear down my arguments. I was just here to ramble.

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We need hybrid and improved experience and stats system.


economy stats, if this experience or stats are  increased the unit is bad as  fighter.

military stats / experience, like current bad villager if they have higher level of experience.

in some way like the RPG game, you can't mastery all stats. 




Other solution is have more variety of roles, like DE.

female villager

slaves---( this concept can be improved)

peasants ( villagers) that can defends with a knife or a club. Suits for some cultures.

militia :very mediocre military unit, like a policeman or patroller even a watchman, many of citizen units can kill him. ( similar to militia vs villagers in AOK)

citizen soldier:basic , advanced, elite, like actual but may be switch mode, like was suggested by another users in  this forum.

profesional soldier = champion

Champion= a semi Hero that serves to Hero to defend him, an elite version of champion. Basically a promoted champion. ( similar to EE2 Art of Supremacy)




Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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I tend to agree with DarcRearver on some points. The one's he's apparently harping about. lol. Not the word I would use.

The challenge is can we retain the particular features of 0AD, particularly honor Ken “TheRealDeal” Wood idea's. Since he did not leave he was taken by cancer. I know of another project that ended up divided because people were trying to honor a programmer that got unlucky on 9/11. When they realised that the problem was solved. 

If unit morale was up this would be easy. Just give your citizen soldiers very low morale on enemy territory. They could then still attack, harass, etc without being too over whelming early on. Three hits and they run away. How far off is full implementation of morale?

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1 hour ago, feneur said:

It can be a bit tricky to get to work in some cases, I've found that putting a period or a comma and then start to write it usually makes it work.

.@ feneur I will try.  lol failed again. Whats the full syntax. @ before the name?

nope derpy derp. I need to do more homework. 
PS got very distracted researching the Sarmatians when I stumbled across an inverse world map. 


Edited by Wesley
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What I think, is that citizen soldiers, champions and regular soldier need to be having different stats. For example, modeling on the Hellenic Army, you have the Hoplitai Haploi, Hippakonistai and Akonistai first tier, the regular Hoplites, Tarantine Cavalry and Peltastai 2nd tier, and lastly you get thorakitai, polemarch's guard, and Cretan archers or Rhodian Slingers. Hoplitai Haploi, and Akonistai, and Hipp-Akonistai would have the ability to gather, and in 2nd and 3rd ages you gain the capability to train better soldiers, where the rest come in.

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I was thinking more the lines of "Citizen Soldiers should only exist in the Civic Center and nothing more". They can serve both as your melee and ranged hunters/miners/lumberjacks at the start of the game. Women will retain their foraging specialty.

The rest should be regular soldiers... and then transition into champions and heroes.

As long as they can keep their cultural distinctiveness at the start of the game (aesthetics), then they've done their part. Citizen Soldiers can be kept as a unique feature, but not as the central feature.

Looking back at it, I never had a problem with Soldiers gathering. But now it seems silly to me when I look at it from a Villager perspective:
Civic Center- Oh look, gatherers!
Barracks - Oh look, more gatherers!
Embassies - Oh look, I can hire gatherers!
Battles - Oh look, I'm sending my gatherers to war!
I have never treated the feature that I love in such a mocking way. It amuses me because I still love it nonetheless.

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1 hour ago, sphyrth said:

Civic Center- Oh look, gatherers!
Barracks - Oh look, more gatherers!
Embassies - Oh look, I can hire gatherers!
Battles - Oh look, I'm sending my gatherers to war!

Sure, you can look at it this way, but that is how the world works. In the real world, in peace time your people create economic value. Sending them off to fight in a war and die is destroys economic value. I think this kind of reality is what the originbal design was trying to mimic. For instance, a Greek city-state's hoplites 99% of their lives do not fight, they create economic value by being potters, sculptors, merchants, farmers, etc. Sending them off to war stops them from creating economic value. That's life. i know this is a game, but I'm just telling you the dynamic the game is trying to emulate.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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Well, that happens to be my main argument: Historical Accuracy. My strongest example would be Marius' Mules. Soldiers who can build their forts and forage for food, but still capable of fighting... even if they can't realistically do both at the same time.

My perspective about them changed when I looked at them from the angle of Villagers, and not Soldiers.

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Did you illustrate that, Lion? nice.



I will post a thread regarding my gameplay proposal and especially the citizen-soldier concept in a different thread. Since it is relevant to this thread, I will post the units/citizen-soldier concept here:




Okay, what about this. Take inspiration from my Principate Romans civ in Delenda Est.

Can have Slaves. These are like Dwarves in Age of Mythology. They do nothing but gather resources and cost 1 pop. Low health, capturable, slowly die over time unless healed. These are your strictly economic units.

Citizens cost 2 pop, take longer to tain. Have a "Slave Masters" aura that replaces the female citizen aura. It boosts the production rates of the Slaves. Citizens can gather too, but not nearly as good as the Slaves. Their main benefit besides managing the Slaves is that they build buildings.

Now, I propose there be a change to the Town Bell. So that, with the Town Bell, the Slaves run and hid, while Citizens don a militia kit and fight against invaders. For Greco-civs this kit is that of a light-armored hoplite for example. This still makes raids effective, as while they do this they aren't gathering, of course. If the Town Bell isn't rung, then the Citizens only fight back with knives and pitchforks -- would be cool if they fight back with whatever econ tool they were using -- hoes and pitchforks if they were farming, axe if they were wood cutting, mallets and hammers if they were building, etc. Obviously low attack strength, armor low, very weak, easy to kill. When Town Bell rings they don armor and true spears after a "Muster Time" which can be reduced with techs. Attack and armor doubled when called up. But while in this state they are a formidable defensive force, you do not want to keep them in this state for longer than necessary, because you want them to go empower slaves to gather resources, build or repair buildings, etc., basically you want them to go back to civilian life asap. The Town Bell is given to Storehouses and Farmsteads now too, with smaller radius, so that if a resourcing operation is being raided, you can ring the bell for that Storehouse, for example, and the Slaves hide in the Storehouse while the Citizens don their kit after mustering and attempt to defend the site.

Citizen-Soldiers are train from the Barracks. They have the Slave Masters aura too, a nod to their citizen status, but they do not gather. They are mustered to fight and are always ready for battle. They can, however, build some select military and defensive buildings, like soldiers throughout history. These guys are battalion troops. They are trained in battalions, live build fight and die in battalions. They accrue experience and rank up, just like the current Citizen-soldiers do. They tend to only cost Food and Wood, your "trash" units, but some like swordsmen can cost small amounts of iron or slingers a small amount of stone instead of wood. 


Next up are your professional soldiers, the Champions. Just like currently, they do nothing but fight and are usually trained from the Fortress or some other strong or special building. Like Citizen-Soldiers, they live fight and die in battalions. They aren't Slave Masters, so have zero economic benefit, but they boost the effectiveness of Citizen-Soldier battalions who fight nearby. Champion battalions guys can be bolstered with battalion upgrades, like Standard Bearers and Officers, that give benefits. A Standard Bearer unlocks the inspiration aura that boosts nearby citizen-soldiers, while the Officer boosts that particular Champion battalion. Can add Noise Makers for other neat little things. Champions have a battalion limit determined by gameplay testing, but generally 3 or 4 max, if a typical army ends up being 10-15 battalions of Citizen-Soldiers. Champions are supposed to be the best of the best, your shock troops, while the Citizen-Soldiers are the "rank 'n file" line troops. Champions cost Food and Precious Metal.


Heroes can come with guard battalions --usually champions or modified champions -- or as single units, depending on the hero and his historical and gameplay role. For instance, Chanakya, the advisor and teacher, would come as a single unit while Leonidas would train with a battalion of heavy-duty Spartiate Hippeis hoplite champions. Of course, in Atlas for scenarios it's possible to have the individual hero available. Heroes have special abilities and auras. About 10 standard auras and abilities should be decided through testings and debate, and then doled out to the heroes based on history, IMHO, with maybe some minor variations, and of course with custom names. Right now the auras are very scattered and unbalanced. Tighten that up.


Mercenaries cost 0 pop, but have a low train limit, something like 3 battalions per captured Mercenary Camp. 


Okay, there you have my proposal for units. A way to maintain some citizen-soldier features while implementing a real battalion combat system with cool upgrades. Integrates a lot of what has been talked about on various threads. 





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My turn. 

  • Woman as is no change. Cheap and can be made at houses.
  • Villager: various names per civilisation: slave, worker, peasant, tributary, tribe kin, etc. Intermediate between woman and citizen soldier in cost, stats and fighting ability. Better at gathering wood and mining than citizen soldier.
  • If named slave capture speed is tripled, faster. They don't need supervision. Few slaves did in rome for example. 
  • Citizen soldier: more or less as is but with really bad morale on enemy ground. They fight defensively with a bonus on their territory's land. This means they can defend and raid, but limits the over whelming early rush because in taking damage they run home to mommy.  Still level up and diminish in gathering skill but the moral limit matters. Morale can be buffed with a hero aura making them useful in a final battle. 
    Expediting morale could solve a few other problems. 


Almost as is but with: 

  • A high value ore added. Copper, Silver, Gold, Amber, Opal, All this is just the name you get in the menu text and when you mouse over. You could set it so that the name field is name_high_value_ore, name_high_value_material with the game engine filling in the blank in both resource counter and the unit requirements. Allows you to further differentiate the maps, civilisations and champaign stories. Long term though.    
  • Techs at the town center that boosts the carrying capacity of gatherers to keep up with gathering speed. So the ant train is not needed. 
  • Wagons, pack animals and sleds added to different races. These count as drop off points for loggers and miners and when full these pack up path to the nearest storehouse and drop and then return. Their carrying capacity is 5 to 15 times that of a gatherer. Move the stuff faster to prevent gatherer spam.
  • Mine workings. Buildable on a stone or ore body. Only available high in the mining technology tree. Greatly reduced yield than mining but never runs out and is unmanned. No operator needed. Automatically feeds to nearest store house but with a distance limit. 10 tiles maybe. Capturable so needs protecting.
  • Coppice. Special resource technology, high in the logging tree. Once researched when a tree is felled it is replaced with a coppiced stump. After a short period it becomes a mature coppice tree which may be logged again. 2 models Stump and tree see picture.  



  • Secondary farm. This is the other farm model from older builds. Set it to only be built by the woman, tiny bit higher cost in food not wood. It provides the same continuous yield of food but also provides a tiny yield of wood prunings. Also makes the farms visually more interesting.

As a result you can't absolutely run out of resources late game and have to lag the game out with trade carts.  

Crafting Technology.

A new building class: Master craftsman = +3 population and allows several artizan processes. Gemcrafter: Consumes food and Stone and produces a small amount of silver and iron. Tailor: Consumes food and iron and makes a small amount of silver. Fine carpentry: consumes food and wood and makes two times the wood consumed: actually making the wood go further. Leather worker: consumes food and wood and makes Iron: actually making the iron go further.
The first two are simply alternatives to trading while the second two are about efficiency of resource use fleshed out a little. The small Population boost is due to the historical fact that they tended to be homes.   


  1. Barracks units the same as now but with citizen soldiers already upgraded as far as fighting is concerned with down graded gathering but much higher moral and fractionally higher cost and if possible in battalions.
  2. Barracks scout units are nerfed to make them true scouts. Give them low morale.
  3. Battalions like boats: Path marker = single pathing element and single hit bar. All Actors reference the path marker which is also a translucent ground plane under them. Essentially a semi visible land boat. It's selectable. Thus only the path marker is selectable, pathable and in some cases attackable. The actors on it have animations and fire points but do not move relative to the path marker. When the hit bar reaches 5-30%, depending on civ and upgrades the battalion is removed with all actors removed and replaced with 1 to 4 units of the same type on half damage. The survivors. Battalions have morale.
  4. Barracks and building make Battalions with cost slightly less than individual unit cost multiplied by the number in the battalion. Some smaller battalions are garacanable. Barracks can still make some single units.
  5. Mixed unit battalions from Barracks, fort or wonder.
  6. All large boats have a separate battalion capacity of one or two but they are not shown on deck.
  7. New military class robbers: Spy, pocher, thief, bandit, raider. Name varies by faction/ civ. High armor and morale very low damage. A wimpy tank. Any attack from them adds a small bonus of stolen loot to the robber. He then needs to get back to a drop off point when load is full, Small load. Creating a very low yield random resource with other uses as a slow foot scout, decoy or kiting unit. Basicly just another late game resource source and tool for campaigns. Many wars were started by thieves fleeing back home and having a good story. High armor because stealth is not in the game yet. May deploy to hide from the player plus an aura that reduces view distance.

General map

Some barbarian NPC units, buildings and pre-placed mine works on random maps. Not a gaia faction. Controlled by gaia AI but with no build units.  

Some maps larger or with fewer factions in the menu. 


Edited by Wesley
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The difference with slave, is they can give you a boost economy but can be expensive, the concept is supossed the same as 

SC2 Mule.


The Mobile Utility Lunar Excavator (MULE) is a temporary unit that can mine minerals and repair for the Terran forces. MULEs are called down from the Orbital Command at the cost of 50 energy. They last 64 seconds. If the MULE is cast on a mineral patch it will begin to mine minerals as soon as it spawns. It takes slightly under 64 seconds for an orbital command to generate 50 energy,[1] meaning that a MULE can be called down at almost the same time as the previous one expires.

Despite their timed life and Orbital Command energy cost, a MULE has several advantages over an SCV. A MULE costs no supply. MULEs have a mining time 3.85x longer than an SCV, but have the same movement speed and acceleration. MULEs carry 5 times more minerals per trip than an SCV on normal minerals, gathering 25 minerals per trip on all types of mineral patches. Their timed life allows 9/10 mining trips which totals 225/250 minerals respectively on any mineral patch. This works out to 210/233 minerals per in-game minute. A MULE can mine a mineral patch alongside an SCV thus providing extra income on expansions that are already saturated. However, only one MULE at a time can be harvesting a mineral patch.

MULEs are as effective as around 3.8 SCVs, as SCVs average 58.75 minerals per game-minute on blue mineral patches (for two or less workers per patch).


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On 25/03/2017 at 11:08 PM, Lion.Kanzen said:

The difference with slave, is they can give you a boost economy but can be expensive, the concept is supossed the same as 

SC2 Mule.


OK I get it I keep planning to play that game but never get around to it. 

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Slave ( male female): bonus for gathering, but they die if the work is inhumanity, can help to build, and have bonus to build but decreases their lives.
Peasant/ foreman/ overseer: defense vs animal wild, bonus to gather farm  animal.( men)
Women villager: as vanilla same bonus from farming and foraging. More hp.
Militia: a villager that are strong vs villager can work but is primary military  basic unit.(men) militia is the first unit can you train  and their role is reading , keep safe new settlements , can use range and melee weapons but, don't use armor, don't have access to upgrades from blacksmith, can have bonus vs predators, ( wolfs , lions, tigers, etc) is weak vs citizen soldier, only can be good to keep save by a raid by light cavalry and uses defenses very well, like towers, turrets, sentry tower. Can repairing building. 
Slave master( Roman, Carthaginian and Hellenistic) this rol is replaced for the Overseer in other cultures.( men and women only needs a variation).
Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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I'm going to stick to my proposal of:


  1. Slave - pure econ, very slowly dies when gathering, perhaps has male and female versions with slightly different roles
  2. Citizen - who can muster into militia when called; has aura that boosts slave gathering, aka "Slave Ownership"; who is the primary builder unit
  3. Citizen-Solders - these are your cheap barracks military units that you use to mass for attacks or defense, who also boost slave gathering rates because they are citizens with the "Slave Ownership" aura; who can build military buildings, but do not gather; who are trained as battalions
  4. Champions - trained in battalions from fortress or special buildings; your professional soldiers; can upgrade each battalion individually with cool units to boost their battalion effectiveness or boost nearby citizen soldier battalions; limited training in some way, either hard limit or some sort of soft limit.
  5. Heroes - some, usually fighters like Leonidas or Scipio Africanus, are trained in battalions, while others, like Chanakya for example, are trained as singles; number of auras is reduced and/or rebalanced.
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