In Age of Empires 4, certain scenarios will require the player to establish dominance over the seas. When it comes to naval trade and warfare, not every civilization is equipped in the same manner. Although every faction in the game possesses its own unique naval benefits, some civilizations inevitably outshine others.
The scale of naval warfare in Age of Empires 4 largely depends on the map type. For maps that contain significant bodies of water, building fast and sturdy fleets can't be avoided. Knowing which civilizations excel in the naval arena is useful information to keep in mind before a skirmish match commences.
6 The English Navy
Generally speaking, the English civilization is adept in most forms of combat, including naval engagements. Their knack for constructing Farms with less Wood is a nice bonus when looking to expand one's navy. Ships need plenty of Wood, after all! In a highly competitive match, those extra resources can come in handy.
First and foremost, the English can make use of a civilization bonus that bestows an extra +1 Range for all their Military Ships. When a fight breaks out, that additional range allows the English player to fire the first shot while an enemy vessel approaches. Furthermore, their Shipwrights technology reduces the cost of ships by -10%. Outproducing the enemy is crucial for a successful match.
5 The French Navy
Players shouldn't discount the French civilization where naval warfare is concerned. Although the French faction doesn't possess the same naval production bonuses as other civilizations, their ships tend to be much deadlier on the seas. France's mastery over gunpowder makes them fearsome naval foes in the Imperial Age.
The French can call upon a unique vessel, the Galleass, to fortify their navy. The Galleass employs a forward-mounted bombard cannon with significant range. In addition, the Long Guns naval technology further increases the damage of naval cannons by +10%. French guns, therefore, can decimate weaker fleets in no time at all.
4 The Mongolian Navy
Despite their nomadic characteristics, the navy of the Mongols civilization still packs a punch. The Mongols gain strength by raiding and plundering their enemies. That situation is no different on the high seas. The Mongols are certainly equipped to terrorize the waterways in much the same manner as they do on land.
The Mongols are unequaled in terms of executing amphibious landings on enemy shorelines. Their Transport Ships have +50% health and +15% movement speed compared to other factions. Thus, Mongolian transports loaded with troops stand a better chance of making it to their destination intact. The Piracy naval technology also bestows on the player +50 Wood and +50 Gold when sinking an enemy ship.
3 The Chinese Navy
A determined Chinese civilization can erect a sizeable fleet in no time. This faction possesses a few inherent civilization bonuses that aid in building construction speed and naval recruitment times. In this regard, attempting to outproduce the Chinese civilization in terms of fleets isn't always a straightforward endeavor.
Villagers can construct buildings +100% faster than their rivals. This generally means that multiple Docks can be established in a speedier amount of time. In addition, the Docks themselves produce units and technologies +20% faster. The Extra Hammocks naval technology gives Chinese Junks the ability to fire two additional arrows in every volley, which translates to more firepower in a battle.
2 The Abbasid Dynasty's Navy
Although the Abbasid Dynasty is noted for its excellent mounted troops, their navy can also hold its own in a fight. The Abbasid Dynasty's economy has the potential to be transformed into a veritable powerhouse if players manage to reach the highest tier of a Golden Age. This, in turn, can aid the Abbasid navy a great deal.
Most importantly, Docks for the Abbasid Dynasty can be built -50% cheaper compared to other civilizations. With more Docks in the player's possession, recruiting a sizeable fleet relatively quickly is made possible. The Teak Masts naval technology increases the health of all Dhows by +100. Thus, Abbasid ships have the capacity to outlast their opponents in a prolonged engagement.
1 The Rus Navy
The Rus navy is perhaps the most flexible out of all the other civilizations. Their naval units are highly adaptable, capable of performing both economic and military actions with ease. The Rus' ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances makes them dangerous opponents in the right hands.
On the economic front, Fishing Ships belonging to the Rus don't need to embark on a return trip to the Dock to deposit their payload. As a result, Food collected through Fishing Ships is highly efficient. The Rus also have access to a unique line of Lodya ships. These vessels are cheap and can be converted into any other type of ship.
The main drawback to the Rus navy is that they can't produce gunpowder naval units, which makes them weak in the late game. However, their naval technologies help pick up some of the slack. Clinker Construction increases the health of all Lodya Attack Ships by +200. Meanwhile, Cedar Hulls increases the health of Lodya Attack Ships by +200 and their ranged armor by +1.
Age of Empires 4 was released on October 28, 2021 and is currently available on PC.
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