The Small Wall is an early part of fortification available for all civilizations in Age of Empires.
Built with stone, this is the first wall that can be built for a civilization, an artificial barrier that can’t be passed by any unit, but can be destroyed. The Small Wall does not offer much resistance compared to other buildings, but is cheap and can be built far more quickly. This makes it ideal to cordon off a place on the map and defend it against early rushes from the Stone to the Tool Age. Walls have no attack, and is used only for obstructing and protecting vulnerable areas. Players often place towers, archers or other long range units behind the walls.
The Small Wall can be researched in the Granary, and cost 5 units of stone. It can be upgraded into Medium Wall. Like all buildings, when Architecture is researched, its hit points increases (totaling up to 240) and build time is reduced.
Civilization Bonuses Edit
- Babylonian and Shang Small Walls have twice as much hit points, totaling up to 480 hit points with Architecture researched and 400 without which offers similar durability to a Fortification built by other civilizations.
- All civilizations have the ability to construct Small Walls once all prerequisites are met.
In his book, A History of Warfare, John Keegan speaks of three forms of fortification—refuges, strongholds, and strategic defenses. He describes the refuge as a place of short-term safety from an enemy who does not possess the means for a protracted siege or who wishes only to raid and carry off plunder, perhaps repeatedly over time. The earliest walls were built to protect food supplies from nomadic raiders who found readily available supplies of food an irresistible attraction. The existence of a Granary made necessary the provision of a wall or the Granary would be pillaged quickly. A Small Wall represents the defense provided by a refuge. The modest investment in a wooden palisade or simple wall of dirt stopped the casual raider, but would not seriously delay a large army set on destroying or capturing a refuge.