I loved the Italian civ since its release, and I believe that the devs did a fantastic job on making it feeling unique to play. But there are a few things that bugs me a little bit…
One of these, are the papal lancer. The unit itself is fine, it’s strong, flexible in its use and balanced because with the basilica shipment sistem you can’t abuse them, but they aren’t neither a 1 time use unit like some other special units.
No what bugs me it’s their name… I know that it might seem stupid and not important as balance, but hear me out:
The unit should represent the elmetto, an Italian mercenary unit, by being its standard trainable unit, and it shares its appearance, but then it’s called papal lancer, like the spanish UU.
I mean, it doesn’t make much sense… I get that they papal lancer and the spanish lancer shares a similar anti infantry mechanic, but overall the 2 units are quite different, and belongs to 2 different civilizations, and have different historical inspirations.
I would suggest to:
Change the name of the Papal Lancers by renaming itCondottieri
Historically speaking, it make sense. An elmetto was an italians heavy cavalryman, and the condottieri (literally contractors) were the leaders of mercenaries groups, and often fought as elmetti. They were also followed by a couple of squires that while less armored, still functioned as heavy/medium cavalry, and then by a light cavalryman (you can see this represented in the broken lance company age 2 card).
So what do you think about this small rant of mine?
You are right, they should be renamed Condottieri
No, it’s a stupid idea
Meh, whatever… I care only about balance so it’s fine…
They’re not really Condottieri, both Elmetto and Papal Lancers are based on a Lancia units. I made a suggestion for more standardization between the Papal units and their mercenary equivalents with more detail on them:
Yeah but calling them lancia would probably make just as much confusion as papal lancers, so since condottieri often fought as lance or elmeti, it might be more accurate and iconic to call them as such…
But it’s just a minor request that I wanted to share, the unit itself is already one if my favorites.
I don’t think they should be called Lancia. It would just be more clear if the Papal units were not completely different from their mercenary equivalents. Papal Lancers were just Elmetti that fought for the Papal States. It’s even worse with Zouaves that have greatly different stats from Papal Zouaves.
The basilica doesn’t ship just papal units, so I don’t see it a problem if one unit doesn’t have the name papal in front. Also, condottieri, the military leaders themselves, fought as elmeti so it’s not that far fetch as the aoe2 unit, and it’s less bland than papal lancers.
Also, the lancia wasn’t really a unit, but a group of units, usually made up by an elmeto, some squires serving as medium or heavy cavalry (depending of their economic status), and then some light cavalry or footmen.
So, a condottiero could easily have a lancia as its retenue, and fight armed as an elmeto. And it sometimes those horsemen were referred as condotte, so it’s not far fetched and it would help both on distinguish the units better and on giving Italy more identity.
It wouldn’t be hard to balance. Papal Lancers are basically just Elmetto scaled down 25% so their cost could be adjusted accordingly. They also have a lower infantry multiplier which makes them not much of a lancer so that could be fixed too. The main issue with the Papal units is that they all shadow tech and end up with double their base health and attack by the final age. If they increased their base stats to be more consistent with their mercenary counterparts and then shifted their upgrades to techs or cards it would be a lot more reasonable.
Schiavoni are the only unit that bucks the trend. It seems like they were never intended for the Basilica but proved to be too powerful so the devs limited them to those shipments for balance. They probably also wanted them out of the barracks so that they didn’t get mistaken for regular light infantry.
In my opinion, it would make much more sense if Schiavoni were instead trained from Forts and Galleasses. They were Slavs recruited from the Venetian frontiers that were mainly fortified islands on the Dalmatian and Greek coasts so training like that fits and would avoid confusion in the Barracks.
The Basilica should be limited to Papal units only, not just generic Italian stuff like Schiavoni and Condottieri.
Replacing Papal Lancers with Condottieri just makes them a poor fit for the Basilica. There’s already an Elmetto mercenary so a Condottiero shouldn’t just be the same thing (especially when there are a lot of other lancer mercenaries too). There should have been a Condottiero in some capacity, but it would make more sense as a hero unit or even an age-up politician.
Exactly, they are 2 different units with similar but different roles.
The elmeto is basically a spanish lancer on steroids (like any other merc) while the papal lancer while act just partially like a lancer, and partially as a support unit that increases the durability of other units.
They already take a lot of time to be shipped, costing more would reduce the flexibility of the unit.
Overall, they are different units.
So you’ll never train them…
I see it differently, the basilica simply train powerful units that aren’t necessarily papal units.
For example, in the Republic of Venice, the schiavoni had its quartes centered aria church. So units that came from “churches” aren’t necessarily units under the control of the pope.
And in this case, the pope could simply pay for condottieri to fight for their allies, which is what, most of the times happened…
But they aren’t, the unit itself is different, it has half bonus damage against infantry and more than double of its HP, with an unique ability and then a charge attack.
My point is that they should not be. Historically, they were the exact same thing and gameplay wise, their roles are the same, one just has scaled up stats. Papal units should just be slightly modified versions of their non-Papal counterparts, with the “Papal” qualifier being more akin to the “Veteran” or “Guard” qualifiers.
This would only increase the utility of the unit. The resource cost would increase along with the stats but the shipping time would remain fixed and you’d be getting more worth out of each shipment.
Make them trainable from Outposts then too.
Is this your own hypothetical, or are you saying there’s a historical connection between Schiavoni and churches?
They are clearly there only for reasons of balance and clarity, otherwise they would have been affected by the Papal Arsenal card.
Condottiero is solidly a mercenary unit that in no way belongs to the Basilica only. If you want to mess around giving the Papal Lancer a different name or identity, that’s fair, but calling it a Condottiero is not an improvement.
There are already 3 lancer mercenaries (Elmetti, Jat Lancers, Bozniaks) so there doesn’t need to be a 4th. A Condottiero could be nearly any kind of unit, so a less saturated role would be better for it.
There are actually differences between those units though. There is no difference between a regular Elmetto, and one that fought for the Pope.
They really should have just made the Elmetto a uniquely Italian unit and the new Bosniak lancer could have filled it’s role for the mercenary. That’s what they did to Hakkapelits when Sweden was added.
The value of the units should remain the same. You’d just be paying a little more to get a little more. Which is actually a buff since the limiting factor is shipping time.
The problem is that they’re all mercenaries. Mercenaries are random and not map or civilization specific. If you keep adding more mercenary lancers then it will be more likely that when you build a tavern, the entire suite of mercenaries available to you is just different flavours of lancers.