To garrison a unit means to put it inside a unit or building.
There are several advantages to garrisoning units. Garrisoned units are safe from attacks until ungarrisoned and in Age of Empires II, they will slowly heal. Once units are inside, the garrisoning building often gains an attack, or a greater attack.
Age of Empires Edit
The concept of garrison is foreign to the original Age of Empires. However, land units can "garrison" inside a transport ship, and the game even refers to this as "load".
Age of Empires II Edit
Buildings EditAge of Empires II introduced the concept of garrisoning units inside buildings to the series (as a historical note, one year after StarCraft (1998) introduced the Bunker building to the RTS genre).
Units can be garrisoned in a building by selecting the units the player wants garrisoned, holding ALT, and then right clicking the building. The player can also tap the default hotkey 'G' with units selected and left or right click the desired building to issue the command. Note that if a building gets damaged to a certain degree, it is impossible to garrison units inside it and all units that were garrisoned are ejected from that building.
There are two main types of buildings that players may opt to use as garrisons. Firstly there are towers, Town Centers, and Castles and certain other defensive buildings, in which the player can freely direct their units to shelter within (usually this comes with a restriction to human-sized foot units). Secondly, unit-producing structures can hold up to 10 units as they are trained, to release them together in a wave (which can protect them from being overwhelmed one at a time). A list of these buildings is as follows:
- Defensive garrison
- Town Center: Up to 15 Villagers, foot archers, and/or infantry (25 for the Teutons)
- All towers (except Outposts): Up to five Villagers, foot archers, and/or infantry (10 for the Teutons)
- Castle1: Up to 20 of any non-siege unit (i.e. includes cavalry)
- Houses: Up to five Villagers (only for the Khmer)
- Harbor2: Ships (Malay only)
- Production garrison
- Barracks2: Infantry
- Dock2: Ships
- Archery Range2: Archers
- Monastery3: Monks and Relics
- If the gather point is set to the Castle itself, Trebuchets and Organ Guns can be garrisoned inside as an exception to the "non-siege" classification, but these units cannot reenter after ejecting. In other words – for siege units trained there, the Castle may function as a production garrison.
- Buildings may only garrison up to ten units trained at the building itself upon creation by means of a gather point. Once ejected, the dropped units cannot reenter the building.
- The Monastery may only garrison Monks if the gather point is set on the Monastery itself. Monks may eject, but cannot reenter the building. Relics, however, may be garrisoned (by a carrying Monk) and ejected at any time. Garrison limit: 10.
- While garrisoned, units are immune to damage or conversion. If the structure is destroyed or heavily damaged (remaining HP ≤ 20%), they are dropped out of the building without taking any damage to this point. If a building with units garrisoned in it gets converted, all the units that were garrisoned in the building will be automatically ejected.
- Also, damaged units slowly regenerate health while spending their time inside a building. Castles in particular have a faster regeneration rate than other buildings; towers heal garrisoned units 0.1 health per second, while Castles heal twice as fast, at 0.2 health per second. Researching Herbal Medicine further increases the regeneration rate.
- Also, garrisoned Villagers and archers increase the damage output of Watch Towers, Guard Towers, Keeps, Castles, and Town Centers. That is very useful considering the fact that the garrisoned units do not take damage while dishing out plenty of their own.
- Finally, if the enemy scouts a building or has Spies researched, garrisoned units inside buildings will keep opponents guessing as to the true makeup of a player's army since there are always just flags on top of the building, no matter what kind of units or how many units are garrisoned inside.
There are special commands relating garrisoning. The player can command all Villagers to automatically find the nearest defensive garrison and go inside by ringing the Town Bell. Issuing the command again will send the workers to the task they were previously doing before the Town Bell was rung. This takes into account the capacities of the player's buildings. If the player does not wish to order all the Villagers to garrison, it is possible to order Villagers at each building to "return to work" separately.
Units tend to be ejected or ungarrisoned at the south side of the building (in front of the building sprite) unless a gather point is set, in which case they will be organized in a way that they are on the closest side of the building to the gather point.
Some units can also garrison other units:
- Transport Ship: Up to five units (+5 with Careening researched, another +10 with Dry Dock researched; +5 for the Saracens)
- Battering Ram: Up to four Villagers and/or foot soldiers
- Capped Ram: Up to five Villagers and/or foot soldiers
- Siege Ram: Up to six Villagers and/or foot soldiers
- Siege Tower: Up to 10 foot soldiers
Unlike with buildings, garrisoned units are not ejected if the garrison unit is heavily damaged. If a unit with garrison is converted, the garrisoned units are not converted, but stay inside the garrison unit. Only the new owner can eject the enemy units.
Units garrisoned in other units are not healed, even if they can regenerate.
- The unconstructable buildings Fortress and Poenari Castle can also hold up to 30 and 25 non-siege units, respectively.
- The stats of a Teutonic Sea Tower indicate that it can hold five units inside, but no units can actually garrison in it. This is because all Teutonic towers add an additional five units to their garrison stats, but Sea Towers are a type of tower that cannot hold any units.
- The stats of Trade Workshops and Mosques indicate that they can hold ten units, but there are no apparent units that can enter. The Trade Workshop has this feature since it was originally supposed to hold Villagers inside for converting resources to Trade Goods, but this idea was scrapped and the garrison count remains.
Age of Mythology Edit
In Age of Mythology, the buildings in which players may garrison units are:
- Town Center/Citadel Center: Up to 25 worker, foot archer, and/or infantry type units
- Dock: Up to 10 naval units
- Sentry Tower/Watch Tower/Guard Tower/Ballista Tower: Up to 5 worker, foot archer, infantry type units, and/or heroes (including mounted heroes, such as Contarius Hero)
- Manor: Up to 5 worker, foot archer, infantry type units, and/or heroes (including mounted heroes, such as Contarius Hero)
- Castle-type buildings (Fortress, Migdol Stronghold, Hill Fort, Palace, Castle): Up to 10 worker, foot archer, infantry, and/or cavalry type units
- Lighthouse: Up to 5 worker, foot archer, and/or infantry type units
- All military buildings can garrison trained units but only upon creation.
Some general rules about garrison differ from Age of Empires II. Units may only garrison into a building once its construction is completed but can enter and exit at any time. If the building is destroyed or removed, units will be ejected and line up around its perimeter or head to a gather point designated for that building, prior to being destroyed. The gather point can be another building in which units can garrison. Units garrisoned in a building will not regenerate HP and cannot be healed by healers but they can remain within regardless of how much HP it has left. Defensive structures (except for towers) do more damage as more units garrison in them. There needs to be at least one ship garrisoned in a Dock for it to be able to attack. Units that are garrisoned within a building are not only protected from attacks but also from all god powers. Monks cannot convert units garrisoned in a building.
The following units can also garrison other units:
The Helepolis and Siege Towers are the only siege weapons in which units can garrison. The Helepolis gains extra damage from units garrisoned inside, while the Siege Tower does not. These are especially useful for maps with large natural obstacles, such as Jotunheim (cliffs), Islands (water), and Deep Jungle (trees). Here, players can garrison units in the siege weapons then garrison the siege weapons in transport type units, reducing the amount of the latter that need to be trained. Both siege weapons can garrison up to 5 worker, foot archer, and/or infantry type units.
Each civilization has its own variant of a Transport Ship. These can initially only garrison 10 units (12 for the Atlanteans) but that number doubles if Enclosed Deck is researched. The Norse arrow ship, the Longboat, can garrison 5 units, which can also be upgraded by Enclosed Deck. Furthermore, the Egyptians can train two myth units that can act as transports. The Roc (the only airborne transport) and the Leviathan can garrison 15 and 20 units, respectively. These units are a more risky means of transport because if they are sunk or killed, all the cargo they carry will be killed as well.
Charon’s Ferry and the Pirate Ship are transports that are exclusively encountered in the Fall of the Trident campaign. The Raft and Monkey Raft are Easter egg transports that can be found in the Scenario Editor.
Age of Empires III Edit
- Agra Fort1: Up to 50 villagers
- Blockhouse1: Up to 20 villagers
- Castle1: Up to 40 villagers
- Dock2: Up to 20 Fishing Boats
- Fort1: Up to 50 units
- Nobles' Hut1: Up to 15 villagers
- Outpost1: Up to 10 villagers
- Town Center2: Up to 30 villagers
- Village2: Up to 20 villagers
- War Hut1: Up to 20 villagers
- These structures receive a boost to their attack in proportion to the units inside. Once the Town Bell is rung, villagers will run there and garrison inside the closest available defensive structure or Town Center. Once the danger is over, the Bell may be rung again to release all villagers and send them back to work.
- These three structures are in a special category because they lack an attack by default, though this is partially averted by the Town Center, which can use an anti-ship attack. Either way, Docks, Town Centers, and Villages require villagers to be garrisoned if they are to fire against nearby enemy units. The Village also requires a Home City Card named Village Defenses in order to be able to fire, supplied from the Chinese Home City Cards.
The units to which units might be garrisoned are limited entirely to ships. According to the type of ship, the amount of units that can be garrisoned varies:
- Flat-bottomed Boats* might garrison up to 15 units.
- Canoes and Marathan Catamarans might garrison up to 20 units.
- War Canoes and Tlaloc Canoes might garrison up to 40 units.
- As for the rest of the ships that may garrison units, they can garrison up to 50 units. This also includes Morgan's Flagship* and Lizzie's Flagship*.
- Ships that may not garrison units are Dinghies*, Fishing Boats, Fire Junks, Fire Ships*, and Treasure Ships*. The rest of the ships may freely accommodate any land unit in the game, including artillery, herdable animals, and wagons.
* Campaign exclusives