A couple of civs are too overpowered [discussion]

I’m speaking of hindustanis, gurjaras, bohemians in particular. Some unique units from these civs (Ghulam, Shrivamsha Riders on open maps and Houfnice on closed maps such as Black Forest and Arena) are too strong and cover the civilization’s weaknesses too well, to the point you can’t really do anything against said civ. I really wish we’d consider nerfing all of them in some ways, either to limit their easy avaiability (higher cost, castle requirement, slower training time or stuff like that) or their stats/special ability.
The Shrivramsha is too easy to mass and fast for a unit that without any upgrades already dominates any ranged unit you can possibly make, really all you can attempt to do vs this civ is going infantry, which is slow and expensive to get going and they get an amazing infantry counter as UU anyways.
The Houfnice is too all around strong (bombards already decide games on closed maps, having a bombard that’s strictly better at everything and will always dominate any other siege is too much, again the cavalry weakness of this unit is negated by bohemian halbs being the best in the game so you just try to hold against it until they mass 10+ and then you can’t hold anymore no matter what you get).
The ghulam is just too cheap and effective covering hindustanis’ possible weakness to archers/pikemen/eagles too well.
In my opinion something drastic has to happen to these units or to the civ’s tech tree to make them less dominant and autopilot to play… What do you think about this?


This is a bit of a meta response but given how often balance threads get posed its appropriate IMO:

This post touches on the broader topic that the developers should have a policy/heuristic in place that immediately imply changes to the game based on observed interactions between units.

Unfortunately the discipline that studies this type of policy is economics and I would be very surprised if anyone on the development team has any formal economics training. Which means even if these particular problems gets changed others will remain or be introduced. In any case the lack of economics training means these things take forever to resolve.

For example the Shrivamsha interaction with ranged units is a classic case where you need to be aware of near pareto dominance. Shrivamshas could very well be almost strictly superior to knights because of their cost-effectiveness vs ranged and very high speed. Most effects brought about by using knights could be improved upon by using Shrivamshas + other. The + other is possible because shrivamshas are so much cheaper. Whether this is true is something better players would need to answer.

Why did I bring up such an unrealistic and seemingly nonsense counterfactual? Because any time a unit possesses this property its a red flag. It indicates the trade-offs for the unit are improperly calibrated in the sense that the strengths of the unit allow you to afford something which completely makes up for the weaknesses in the vast majority of situations. The whole reason Pareto improvements are studied in economics is because this kind of relationship is very important in optimization. Since AoE2 is a dynamic optimization game its also an important relationship in AoE2 to look out for if the objective is varied strategies being meta.

If you want to delay shrivamshas, training time is the easiest or a required castle or unlock tech. If you want to change their marginal performance vs all units, unit cost increases are the way to go. If you want to change their relative performance things like negative melee armor or negative cavalry armor are an option, as is moving some of their base damage to archer bonus damage. What change is made depends on what good players think the best relationship to be changed is.

The work for ghulams and houfnice are left as homework.

Bottom line here is these types of threads have kept popping up and will keep popping up as long as the time it take relational issues (not necessarily balance, just relations which affect the game poorly) to be identified and fixed is on the order of years. If you ask the right questions and engage in the right counterfactual analysis these things are identifiable orders of magnitude faster than waiting for it to show up in player sentiment.

At this point its appropriate to ask: why does it still take so long for issues like this to be identified and addressed?


I love these “Nerf everything but Franks” Threads.


Franks are nerfed in another way due to a lot of camel civs were introduced.

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I didn’t knew that Camels only counter Franks Cavakry.
Thaks for the clarification.


On the things you name, only Shri riders need a speed nerf, but:

Live with that, Houfnice is already nerfed, and Bohemian halbs are still inferior to Japanese halbs vs cavalry, I would rather have a useful upgrade than a worthless and expensive one. and Turks and Poles are right now way more problematic on closed maps.

Again, Ghulam got a HP nerf, they now die to Hussars, go and try that, leave Ghulam as is, we want good infantry units, also, if you truly want an infantry UU that’s truly OP I present you the Obuch, that needs a nerf (-1 PA).

Also I love how super biased is the people but hey let Franks7Britons/Mayans/Chinese enjoy their OPness overall and Turks on Arena, as well Vikings on water.


Shrivamsha only need to work properly, not dodge splash - despite what patch notes said, they still dodge Onager shots - and melee projectiles. Change it to arrows and they’re balanced IMO.

Ghulam and Houfnice are fine now,


Patch notes didn’t say they don’t dodge splash, they said they don’t absorb it from neighbouring units anymore. Previously one shrivamsha among crossbows would protect them from a mango shot, not anymore tho.


Houfnice is already nerfed enough. Turks BBC has 14 range and 100HP that out micro Houfnice and cheaper to get it btw. Bohemians are not even one of the strongest civ in closed map. Turks/Poles are more problematic in closed map right now.

I agree that shivamsha is too strong for their mechanic but Chakrams were nerfed significantly and civ as a whole might be more balanced after that. Ghulams are not even that strong. Might be better to nerf Hinudstanis vil discount like 10/10/15/20% from 10/15/20/25%.

People are super biased and now Poles are most problematic civ in any land map and Turks/Burgundians are more broken than Bohemians but not even mentioned in this post.

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I prefer buff every underpowered Civs than Nerf OP Civs.


any thread that talks of overpowered civs and doesn’t even include the most OP of all, Poles, cannot be taken seriously.

Gurjaras are mid-tier now, their Camels are weaker than Hindustanis ones and their UU is ruined. They don’t have a decent Imperial Age composition anymore and likely die to full Halb now.

Bohemians are good on closed maps but that feels fair, they were designed that way.

Hindustanis could use a small nerf sure like maybe miss Blast Furnace and Imperial Camels +1 attack, but they are nowhere as oppressive as Poles.

I am not sure. When a houseman can dodge arrows, how can’t they dodge melee projectiles and Onager shots when they are much much slower than the arrow? i think they should not able to dodge bullet which according to the historial fact only people in Matrix is able to do so


We are not talking about reality here tbf. In reality, you’d only really make spear/polearm units and archers, with a few fully armoured soldiers (those were expensive). Cavalry also works very differently.

Honestly, I think everyone should boycott OP civs. If you match with someone who picks them, just wait for 5 mins and resign. Sure, their ELO will go up. But if everyone at low-mid levels do this, these people will have significantly higher elo than their skill. Which means they will get stomped if they try to play anything else. Also, you deny them the pleasure of a civ win.

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Yes. This is actually a very good idea. I am a Team Game player and I also use this method to boycott players who choose unplayable map like michi


Boy promoting 5 minute game drop here. Rage!!


I disagree with the requirement of realism, or you’d have one elephant taking up all the pop space in a Transport Ship etc. Its design is put in the game, therefore we take it how it is and balance around it.

The reason they shouldn’t dodge anything but arrows is that most other projectiles are proportionally much more damaging. Dodging a conquistador’s or hand cannoneer’s shots is WAY more impactful than that of an Archer’s. Same for Onagers.


and the issue is that they are designed with archers in mind
Which means that they are so much stronger vs basically all other ranged units.

Yes i agree with you. I think they should only able to dodge arrow which the damage is smaller than 15

Franks are not even close to be S tier right now, but ok


Did you read the patch notes? Hindustanis, Gurjaras have been nerfed in both the previous patches.

They’ve all been nerfed considerably already. If you nerf their special ability, they become useless and can’t even counter the units they were supposed to counter.

Closed maps is supposed to be the Bohemian strength. If you nerf them there, where and how will the civ be used?

Extremely wrong, very hard to mass in early castle age. 70 food is A LOT at that point. The easy to mass part is post 30 mins when you have 40 farms and Kshatriyas researched. Just play them like how you would play against a cavalry civ with an archer/infantry civ.

They do well against Mayans yes, with other civs you have cavalry.

Just feel like you’re picking random and playing against these civs with super weak or average civs like Koreans, Burmese, Malians or Slavs and getting overwhelmed.

Try playing against these civs with strong civs and suddenly they won’t be as deadly as you previously felt. And lastly its a very good thing to the game that there are NEW strong civs. Otherwise its a stale game of lets see which other civs lose to the OG S tier civs.