A few modest change proposals for Bengalis

I like playing Bengalis, they’re one of my favorite civs. They have a powerful economy and units, but they also have glaring weaknesses that should be adressed. Here are my proposed changes:

  • Added an ability on the Bengali Castle that allows the player to decide whether Rathas are created in ranged or melee mode.

Rathas are too cumbersome to micro. Imagine you have Archery Ranges and a Castle and you’re getting ram-pushed. Building Rathas to counter the Rams is the obvious choice. But you have to switch every single Ratha to melee mode for them to do anything. This is too cumbersome in a high-stress situation.

Alternatively: Rathas are automatically created in the mode that the majority of Rathas already on the field are in.

  • Ratha attack cooldown reduced from 2 to 1.75.
  • Rathas no longer benefit from Paiks.

Rathas require too many upgrades. They are comparable to Knights in Castle Age, with the added bonuses of costing wood instead of food and having the option to switch to ranged mode. However, Rathas already require a Castle to be built, then require Stable upgrades, as well as Blacksmith upgrades. AND THEN Paiks. This is way too much of an initial investment.

  • Elite Ratha health increased from 115 to 130.

The Elite upgrade for Rathas only adds 10 hp and +2/+1 attack in melee/ranged mode. This is worse than the Cavalier upgrade which costs much less. And then there’s the much more powerful Paladin upgrade available to many civs on top of that, which makes Rathas fall off even more. Since the attack speed of Rathas will be slightly lower (1.75 instead of 1.67) with the above change, this will counteract the slight nerf to their attack speed in the late game.

  • Bengalis gain access to Plate Mail Armor.
  • Bengalis lose access to Gambesons.

Bengalis have no counter to cavalry and are especially vulnerable to cavalry raids. They absolutely need fully-upgraded Halberdiers, but have no need for fully-upgraded Champions.

  • Paiks now increases the attack speed of Town Centers by 20%.

Since Paiks is losing the bonus for Rathas, we can put another small bonus on the upgrade. Bengalis are a defensive civilization and need to be able to better protect against cavalry raids. This is a minor bonus that might help a bit and is also flavorful, given the historical description of Paiks (from the age of empires wiki):
“Paiks were commoners who worked for eastern Indian states between the 13th and 19th centuries as a form of labor tax. This work often took the form of military service and production, such as the fabrication of arrows.”

Alternatively: Affect Towers and/or Castles. However, Celts already have a similar tech.

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Are you Bengali by any chance? Because I have never heard a player that said Bengalis is their favourite.


No, I just like booming and Elephants.


A lot of great suggestions. I’d actually give an option for the Bengali player to choose the mode while queuing up and the option to change it if needed… Like a hotkey or a button. If that’s active, rathas are created in melee by default and ranged otherwise.

Like the default rof and paiks related change as well. Imo, they also need to be a part of the conversion and anti-bonus damage bonus. Like rathas and elephant units resist conversion and 25% lower bonus damage. Or simply +3 archer class armor in melee mode to take half damage from skirms.

Like the infantry changes as well… Doesn’t make much sense to deny fully upgradable halbs to a civ meant for late game. Gambesons without +4 for a civ with generic infantry doesn’t make much sense either.

Paiks affecting town center is ok, but not quite necessary. They do get full upgrades on light cav. That should be fine but its not going to be a lot if they get that either.

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This is a good change imo. It makes the bonus more streamlined to elephants, and it isn’t overpowered because you need a long while to get a mass of rathas anyway.

Not necessary. Bengalis can afford extra vils with mahayana anyway. Is there any need to make them harder to raid? I would be open to a price decrease for some of the techs, but this just isn’t necessary.

I don’t agree with this at all. The big issue here is that Bengalis are a top tier closed map civ. They are definitely in the top 3. Once the halbs get the last armour, halb+elephant archer/battle elephant+light cav combo will be far too strong. You need to remember that their cavalry get +2 bonus damage against skirms. FU halbs and cav with bonus damage against skirms is too much on closed maps.

Also, they have bonus damage resistance for all units. Meaning, their halbs take less damage from skirms. This poses a huge trouble for civs like berbers, franks, and lithuanians who need to rely on skirms to take down bengali halbs, if are FU.

Only bengali Elephant Units Take less Bonus damage.

I think it’s interesting to have a cavalry unit that is countered by Skirms; the Ratha doesn’t need to become just another Knight. It’s power level should just be adequate to make it worth going for it despite that weakness.

That’s a good point. I’d just like to have more tools against cavalry raids. You’re basically forced to go Halbs to deal with them and they’re not FU. With Bengalis, it feels like you’re constantly on the back-foot and don’t really have the mobility and the ability to counter-raid to keep up. Having better static defenses in some way would help; therefore my proposal for the Paiks.

3 bonus damage from skirms is enough for that differentiation. Skirms will get killed in moderate or lower numbers but will be effective in good numbers.
Taking full bonus damage even in melee mode defeats the purpose of it. Both modes get countered by skirms easily. Melee mode would also die to camels, pikes, not be as good as knights against other ranged units because of lower p.armor. That’s also fine if ranged mode has 2 extra base attack and melee has 2 lesser than their current values. Then it will be a ranged unit primarily from castle age itself. And melee will strictly be a mode to kill siege.

While this is true, I don’t think this is a big issue. Most civs without camels/hussars do have use their own halbs to deal with raids. This includes civs like Dravidians, Vikings, Japanese (they do have towers), Ethiopians, etc.

Also, you don’t need FU halbs to deal with raids. Unupgraded halbs will easily kill hussars, especially with support fire from TC/Castle fire.

Bengalis do have a counter raid option. That’s the rathas. In fact, that’s kinda the point of rathas. They do melee attack to break through walls, and have archer mode to stop walling behind, and snipe vils.

Rathas are cav archers, and you should be using them to raid.

In my opinion, everything you’ve pointed out are flaws of dravidians, not bengalis. Dravidians don’t have a good counter raiding unit, they have a huge weakness to raiding and lack the mobility to deal with hussars effectively.

Bengali late game is totally fine as-is. If we’re to buff them, I’d give them something for early game. That’s where their weakness is, especially on open maps.