A question regarding the Italians

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a good time!

As the title suggests, there is something I want to ask regarding the Italian civilization. Let me start off by saying that even though I have been playing this game since I was 6, I consider myself to be a very weak player in terms of skill, so I am not sure I can completely understand the (often) thin line that is this game’s balance between all the different civs.

So, I played some games as Italians the other day, and I noticed something which seemed very strange to me. They can upgrade their Scout line into Hussars, yet they completely lack the Paladin upgrade for their Knight line. As stated before, I am not sure if giving the Italians the ability to create Paladins would make them super strong of break the game’s balance under any way in general, but from a historical point of view, wouldn’t it make much more sense for them to be able to upgrade Cavaliers into Paladins but then entirely lack the ability to create Hussars? To my knowledge, Hussars ware mostly originating from Slavic civilizations.

What are your guys’ thoughts on this?


the hussar is a light cavalry unit (Faster, lower attack and armor, and cheaper overall), while the Paladin is a heavy cavalry unit (Slower, higher attack and armor, more expensive).
the game doesn’t really do regional units, so the Hussar, despite yes, being eastern europe in history, just represent the final form of light cavalry in this game.
much like despite not having any metallurgy or wheels, Native American civs have wheeled siege, swords, armor, and crossbows.

basically its a balancing mechanism.
and while i doubt giving them the Paladin would make Italians overpowered, I can’t remember Italians ever being known for their exceptional use of Heavy Cavalry.


I definitely see your points. I actually feel kinda silly now for not rationalizing my thought a bit better before posting! :sweat_smile:

Thank you for the super-fast reply and the insight! <3 Greatly appreciated!


don’t feel silly for asking questions (Unless its a truly stupid question), just take it as a learning experience.

sure no problem. just an FYI though, i am not an Italian History expert or anything, so i could very well be wrong and they did in fact use lots of heavy cavalry.
best to ask @DoctBaghi for further clarification, seeing as he is very much an Italian himself, and very invested in the civilization and making it better balanced in landplay.


For the Italians hussars are more of a support unit for their archers and gunpowder, so they need them as a fast and cheap meatshield.

Also, italians eco would struggle to afford the paladins upgrade, and they would struggle to sustain production too.

While paladins for sure have the most raw power, hussar are more versitile and easy to afford. Also Italians still have fully upgraded cavaliers, which isn’t that bad.

There aren’t silly questions, eventually just rude answers, we are all here to talk about this.


What a wholesome thread :smiley:


Noted. Thanks!

Eh, you are right. Game’s balance aside, I guess I just really wanted to be able to create Italian Paladins. I do not know why, but the lack of that upgrade gave me a “lackluster” feeling for some reason. But then again, this could very easily be attributed to me not understanding the game enough.

Thank you DoctBaghi!


you could always play vs the AI and enable all techs.


It could be because in the end, italians lack any powerful late game units since they don’t have paladins, siege onagers or siege rams, heavy cavalry archers or a powerful UU, but that’s simply how they are designed.


They also don’t have access to Halberdier, Camels (but that’s probably not too bad since Genoese Crossbowman counters Cavalry units anyway), and Heavy Scorpions!

That plus the things you listed could be why they felt lacking to me. Being Italian myself, I feel like it would be way more fun if the Devs added just a bit more flavor to the civ, so they’d be more interesting. Currently, it feels kind of “clunky” to play them. That’s my opinion anyways, so take it with a grain of salt.

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I’m Italian too, and I know that they are a bit lacking on land, that’s why here we are discussing of potential improvements for the civ.

To summarize it, the main buff that they need is a serious reduction of the training time of their castle UU (the Genovese Crossbowman, GC for short) since, like you said, they lack both halbs and camels, and GC still need to be massed to do its job, now that it simply takes too long.

As for a general buff, there are various theories and ideas in that link. That improvement mainly would come into the form of another bonus.

However, at least now, their other UU, the condo, seems good right now after the patch.

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Paladins is only available to 10 civs out of 35 and most of them are specialized in cavalry. Italians actually gets pretty good heavy cavalry line as a non-cavalry civilization. Italians can train FU cavalier. Their stable is not bad at all.

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I completely agree with you. I don’t blame their Stable per se for them feeling clunky to play for me. It just feels like that upgrade should have been there too, yet for some reason isn’t.

Basically, the initial thought I had which led me to the opening of this thread was to ask if, according to you guys, it would be a game-breaking change to remove the Hussar upgrade from the Italians and instead give them the Paladin one, as I think it would be more accurate from a historical point of view.

But as MatCauthon3 noted very accurately:

^ And that is that I guess. I’m still thankful that they at least get to have good Cavaliers, like you stated. It’s just that as a civ, it left me with something more to be desired.