African Reworks and Ethiopia Balance

General African Buffs

Artillery Training

Paying influence to research Imported Cannons to even get the chance to train cannons for another 500 influence each is practically unachievable in a normal game and needs to be reworked. The latest patch reduces this from 300 to 150, but that’s still not enough.

Cannons should be trained/shipped in the manner of the Italian Basilica and available by default. This would eliminate the expensive upfront tech but have the drawback of taking up bandwidth in the shipment queue. Cost should still be 500 influence, and the batch size should be limited to one.

The Imported Cannons upgrade should be replaced by a European Advisors upgrade that enables the following:

  • Allows cannons to be trained normally in batches and not take up shipment bandwidth
  • Cannon cost changes from 100% influence to 80% influence and 20% wood
  • Grants the guard and imperial upgrades to all artillery once the appropriate age is reached

Increase Field Size

The small capacity and slow creation time of Fields makes it unduly difficult to transition to farming when natural resources run out. In a previous post, I detailed a way to double their capacity but still fit around Granaries:

Rework Levied Units

The African Levied units simply don’t function in a way that fits the role of how militia units should work. They cost too much of a resource that is generally in short supply and trickle out too slowly and dispersed to be able to make an impact. In this post I covered some of the issues with African and Native militias and some possible solutions:

Rework African Outlaws

The African outlaws are simultaneously too much and too little. They’re supposed to cover the gaps in the African unit rosters by giving Ethiopia viable cavalry and light infantry, and Hausa a heavy infantry option. But the units that aren’t filling those gaps are redundant and unnecessarily bloat the number of units the Africans have. Even the units that are needed have been significantly nerfed due to certain strategies and are only marginally viable now. The outlaws are also very bland and generic, and more outlaws could be added to provide more variety and better fit the needs of these civilizations:

General African Nerfs

Remove Shadow Teching

Instead of needing to buy upgrades for natives, artillery, and alliance units, Africans get these granted automatically and for free upon ageing up. It is understandable considering how expensive it would be to upgrade each native unit individually, but there is another way to do this that I think would be more fair. The African units have grouped upgrades that could be extended to apply to all the units they have available instead of just the ones in their standard roster. Ethiopia has these upgrades split between infantry and cavalry, while Hausa has it split between ranged units and melee cavalry, but this could easily be extended to all melee units. Artillery could be upgraded by the European Advisors tech mentioned above.

Javelin Rider

The latest health nerf was probably justified, but tweaking them like this is eventually going to lead to them being Ruyter clones. A different approach to nerfing them would be to reduce their range instead. This would make them fight less efficiently in the late game, and overall have a harder time initiating a fight and pursuing fleeing units. It would also force them to go into melee more often to play to their strengths. And it just makes more sense that a guy with a javelin wouldn’t be able to strike as far away as a guy with a gun.

Ethiopia Specific Changes

Shotel Warrior

Shotels should have a RoF that is more consistent and comparable with their Oromo counterparts. Oromos now have a RoF of 1.25, so Shotels could be adjusted to have a higher base attack and lower infantry multiplier. Having their stats altered to be more generalist would help Ethiopia to have a more effective early raiding unit.

Shotel Altered Stats.PNG

With the latest update Shotels now have a card to upgrade their attack and health by 15% in Age 3. However, this takes up another card slot and only brings them in line with the base stats of Oromo Warriors. With cards like Shewa Riders, Oromos become the clearly superior unit.

Age 2 is when Shotels need a bit of a buff to their stats to make them viable. This could be easily achieved by making the Gascenya hitpoints and damage cards also apply to Shotels. Almost every other age 2 card that gives a 15% buff applies to multiple units so this would be quite in line with the cards available to other civs. If that proves to be too powerful, the health card could be moved to age 3.

Sebastopol Mortar

This unit has just been nerfed into oblivion. Even with the meager buffs in the latest update, its stats only justify a cost of ~700 influence and 6 population.

If its massive cost is to remain, it should at a minimum have a x0.33 multiplier vs artillery and a x1.5 vs infantry and buildings. It should also have a range and line of sight at least as far as a Light Cannon (32 range, 36 LoS).

Abuns and Mountain Monasteries

This isn’t really a buff or nerf, but replacing the age up Monastery wagon with an Abun would be a cleaner design. Nearly every age up comes with a wagon so it gets pretty cluttered also having a Monastery wagon. Just having an Abun would simplify this wagon dump and avoid the situation where you’re already at the Monastery build limit and have a useless wagon.

To compensate the extra wood cost of building the Monasteries, an upgrade that gives them population space could be appropriate.


Jesuit Influence should be available in age 1. It was moved very early on after Ethiopia’s release when the Dervish rush strategies were being abused. Since that has been addressed and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a more flexible opening and the option to get an extra 100 influence out of the card.

Loyal Warriors was recently moved to age 3 which is another pretty big nerf. It is a very strong card, but without it, creating natives in age 2 is quite costly. It would be worth considering returning it to age 2 in a reduced form (such as only reducing gold and influence costs). Or leaving it in age 3 but buffing it to also affect artillery could be a better option.

Lalibela Rock Church and possibly also Tabot should also increase your Mountain Monastery build limit. It’s really annoying when they run out and you have to scramble to find one to delete and place again. Or when you can’t actually build the wagon because you’re already at the limit.


Javelin riders need to be two population. They have the hit points of a dragoon but can be built in twice the number. Only thing good against them is skirms and shotels wreck skirms, you can build dragoons against shotels but they aren’t good against javelin riders. Shotels should be more vulnerable to cannons. On top of that they can spam out javelin riders and shotels and still build artillery.

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With the nerf of the update they seem good now, but before that totally agree with u, ethiopian javelins used to have the same stats of a dragoon.

Wouldn’t heavy infantry easily counter that combination? Especially in age 2 when Ethiopia doesn’t have a skirmisher.

And I’d much rather they just reduced the stats of Javelin Riders rather than making them 2 pop. Just cut their health by ~15 and drop their range a little and they should be fine.

You can build heavy infantry against it but they still don’t work the best. I’m also talking about a late game situation where they are building units in large numbers. So if you build musks they just mix in a lot of skirms and they still can build artillery using their influence / I forget what it’s called. The issue is that javelin riders have the hit points of a dragoon but can be built in twice the number. Ruyters are only 1 population but their stats are much lower then regular dragoons including their hit points so countering them isn’t an issue