This is a question, which I believe many of us asked themselves before the release of the Lords of The West. And in my opinion, one of the 2 new civilizations, The Burgundians, came out a bit too similar to The Franks, a civilization, which used to represent Burgundy in the campaigns before the release of the new DLC.
I will support this claim by my relatively compact analysis of the two civs’ technology tree:
Archery Range Both civs have barely usable archery ranges and rely on hand cannoneer at best. The only other civ, similar to this is The Spanish, although their situation is better as they diversify their archery with Conquistadors. Both Burgundians and The Franks miss arbalester, thumb ring and some crucial upgrades at the Blacksmith. The Burgundians seem better than Franks with their civ bonus for Cannoneers and Bracer though.
Barracks Honestly, all non-infantry civs have almost the same barracks tree, so i won’t consider this a huge point.
Stable Both civs, despite being cavalry civs, focus specifically on knights, while also missing an important tech - Bloodlines and covering up that weakness with civ bonuses I can’t think of any other civ that would fit this description. Although many people say that these civs are different - because Franks have a long-term bonus, while Burgundians a powerspike. But most of the time, Franks don’t achieve victory because of the brute force paladins, but by a knight rush backed by a strong economy. Burgundians seem to be doing just that, although with a different eco bonus and a +2 attack on their cavalry. I also wouldn’t write them off Imperial age either as they can quickly get a paladin upgrade, which can be very important.
Siege Workshop Both civs have mediocre siege with a focus on bombard cannons This is also an interesting comparison: The Franks have extra range, while Burgundians more damage from a civ bonus.
Dock Both civs are mediocre on water and lack important techs and naval - specific bonuses Burgundians have Bracer though, which makes them somewhat of a better pick.
Monastery Burgundians are stronger because of more techs and a gold supply from the unique tech.
Defences Franks have cheaper castles, Burgundians a better technology tree overall.
Economy Both civs recieve upgrades quickly and establish a strong economy to supply a knight rush Pretty self-explanatory, although Burgundian bonus is truly interesting and unique - I won’t deny that.
While some of these might be okay in a game with 37 civs, all of those similarities at once create a sense that Burgundians should have been replaced with some other civ. They do have quite unique concept for Coustilier and UT’s, but the way they play seems incredibly similar to the Franks, although flashier. Burgundians also seem even stronger than Franks in areas such as ranged units, monks, navy, a long-term economy, and most importantly, a knight rush, which previously made the Franks number 1 civ by winrate.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
No, they have worse Infantry than Franks, and a slightly better Archery Range.
Frank Knights still wipe the floor with Burngundians, though, and Throwing Axemen demolish Flemish Militia, and are just better than any boosted Hand Cannoneer.
The Frank bonuses are best for early scout rushes and very late paladin play, the Burgundian bonuses favor late castle age and early imperial. I would say that as far as knight civs go they are mechanically pretty dissimilar.
EDIT: Okay, that’s mostly the berries and the HP on Franks, the cheap castles are actually very good in late castle and early imperial. But the Bunrgundians don’t have an equivalent bonus to that.
I was actually surprised at how the devs made another Knight civ, that does not actually play like Franks, Huns, Persians, Teutons or Spanish.
Franks have always been very similar to Teutons, especially back into AoC. I would say even today it would be super hard to say which civ between Teuton and Burgundian is the closer to Franks.
Oh, that’s interesting. So you suggest that Burgundians shouldn’t go for a scout rush, but focus on Fast Castle instead?
That’s going to depend on a lot of factors, like “do I think I can get away with that without being punished?” and “scouts are cool, do I really want to skip them?”
But the only bonus they get that even could impact a scout rush is the earlier economy upgrades, and the effect of that is not that big in early feudal and mostly helps wood production rather than food. Compared to a civ like Mongols, Franks and kind of Persians (some extra starting resources, and a bit less of a villager issue from arriving in castle age later) the scout rush is going to be a bit weaker/harder to pull off. And if you get stuck in a long feudal war you don’t get bloodlines.
There is still synergy between scouts and knights, any blacksmith upgrades you get still work for your knights, any scouts you have left can still be used for scouting or sniping monks or just be mixed in with the knights. I pick quite some Berbers, they don’t get anything special on their scouts either and I still love going for scouts.
But even that isn’t a completely fair comparison either, because the Berber powerspike goes live in early castle age. You can already have bloodlines, the cavalry discount makes knights easier to produce from the word go and you can mix in camels if the opponent has a knight lead at that point. With Burgundians the power spike starts basically when cavalier comes in, which could be either an argument against scouts (you’re in more of a hurry to get up the ages) or for them (you don’t think you can get to cavalier unharmed with just some men at arms and walling). The eco techs do make a difference before cavalier comes in, but I don’t think they quite make up for knights without bloodlines yet, especially considering many opposing civs have some sort of eco bonus working as well.
So in short: I don’t know what the meta is going to be, my elo is too low for this. But it’s certainly worth considering and trying out.
Especially because trying things out can be fun.
Interesting, i never really thought about the Burgundians in this way, if they could reliably get away with Fast Castle while skipping scout rush, they could indeed be a more interesting approach to a knight civ. Thanks for the discussion!
Very similar like how Tatars are too close to the Mongols and Turks TBH.
But still I don’t get their inclusion while other more impactful empires and kingdoms existed (Georgians for example).
at this point Burgundians feel as a waste of civilization slot, they are even worse than Sicilians.
Silicians are better culturally but still…
A lot of people wanted Dutch, because AoE3 was such a bust.
Really, that is the biggest reason, to get a civ for the Low Countries.
Sicilians (Normans) are a great addition, and I would have much rather get Swiss (more interesting and actually ended Medieval combat), Bohemians (crucial as the pre-Reformation Reformers) or Georgians (a border people between East and West that weathered conqueror after conqueror), rather than Burgundians.
But Dutch have money and fans, so they were bound to get into the game anyway, even though they did basically nothing the the Middle Ages, or after the Early Modern Period, really.
At least they get a true Medieval civ to represent them, instead of the nonsense they wanted to add to AoE2 (Ruyters and Fluyts, because the Low Countries were really not important before Colonialism).
With them we have a civ that is actively incentivized to go cav+HC, since every other pala+HC civ will probs use a different combination to counter halbs because of their tech tree or bonuses. Franks would rather go axemen, Persian trashbows, ect.