Are elephants balanced or should them be quicker?

So, DE brought several balance changes in vainilla units. For me the biggest one was the nerf on elite battle elephants attack, from 16 to 14, due to their overwhelming power in TG. I agree with this change and logic, because 16 attack it was indeed too much, but again, wasn’t that change, totally crippling?

Let’s check the unit values: a ton of life. (more than the double amount of life a knight have) More expensive in food than a knight, about of the same cost of gold. 2 more attack in castle age, 1 less meelee armor. same attack, and pierce armor in imperial (comparing it to the paladin), otherwise, 2 more attack and 1 more pierce armor than cavs.

Looks good on paper. So, why we don’t even see elephants, except for khmer elite battle elephant in TG, and cheap battle elephants for malay, in 1v1?

And I came to the conclusion that, regardless it might look, Elephants are far from being the unstoppable force they seem to be at first glance.

Some say “they’re too expensive to make in castle age” and yes, they cost lots of food, but again, with the attack and life advantages they should compensate with knight line in equal resources. Yes, it’s true that you might want to raid with knights, which is not the idea with elephants. Still, why Burmese and Khmer usually go for knights?

And the answer is obvious : speed.

Knights and elefantos share the same counters: halbs and monks (and camelsz until certain point).

The thing is, knights can chose fightsz deal damage and outrun counters. Elephants no. In castle age, when you can afford a few elephants, monks can doom you in a second, and elephants won’t be able to run. In imperial age, EBE extra life doesn’t matter, since they can’t outrun halbs, whom destroy them in the most cost-effective way of the game.

In hd edition, Burmese was supposed to be a elephants civ, why? Because elite battle elephants had this 16 attack, and burmese had a decent eco to create them (both viets and khmer didn’t). Now this civs have both good eco, so why we still Don’t see elephants?

Because with elephants you always risk to waste a ton of resources.

I think elephants should be faster. 0.9 speed would be good. That way, with Husbandry, they would be able to catch vils, and will have the same speed that halbs without squires.

Think about it. When was the last time you saw Burmese or viets playing elephants, despite their elephants being “highly usable?” only khmer with their extra 15% get to use them (and even so, they seem kinda slow). Of course this bonus should be adjusted according to the new speed of the unit. What do tou think?

P. S: this also explains why Burmese seem that weak: they specialize in 3 situational units (infantry, monks, elephants), while having generic knights and bad archers.

Making Battle Elephants units in 1 vs 1 games is not a viable strategy to begin with, even before the nerf. Battle elephants are still deadly units. They are basically battering rams that can defend themselves. Elephants excel in team games where there’s lots of trade and choke points.

Battle Elephants have a damage bonus against buildings. And beat any unit 1v1 up close apart from a War Elephant. They are hard units to balance because despite the nerf, they are still deadly units. Unless a player is a complete idiot and only make Battle Elephants and don’t make any units to cover their weakness. On your typical poor resource map with no chokepoints elephants are not very viable. Nor are they very viable outside of team games.

The only thing that’s holding back elephants is their cost. The cost of the unit is there for a good reason.

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yeah so any buffs to them will make khmer even worse on blackforest in team games…

There are 2 problems with Battle Elephant balancing:

  • Their counters, pikes and monks counter them HARD. Now you can’t nerf the pike bonus damage because it also keeps elephants balanced in the Imperial Age (don’t forget some civs don’t get helbs) so you would have to increase the conversion resistance for elephants but because of things that are fundamental to elephants (slow speed even if you increase it a bit, high cost) monks will always be a good counter.
  • Because you will see less pikes and monks in TG, elephants are more viable there. So you need to be careful to not overbuff them in general.

I like the idea of a speed increase though because of the points you made. A different buff could be to give Vietnamese, Malay and Burmese another general buff for their elephants as Khmer elephants are already viable. But elephants are among the hardest units to balance, a general buff would need a lot of testing. So I think the only thing we will see in that regard are buffs to the elephant UTs Khmer excluded, or maybe not because Khmer are supposed to be THE elephant civ.

Burmese have decent knights and Arambai also. They are weak because they lack Leather Archer Armor which means they don’t have an answer against archers. It is just too harsh to not give a civ essential Castle Age upgrades, see also Turks.

The point is that, even if you make them much faster, you will not have the eco to produce them until late game. A couple of elephants can be used defensively in castle age if your opponent is towering you, or maybe against knights, but nothing more.

Battle elephants are very good in late imp TG, where pop efficiency matters a lot.

I disagree. The thing that hold them back is their speed. Their cost is balanced with every other unit. Their speed is not.

Making elephants in 1v1 is not viable due to their speed

Their slow speed is done for balancing reasons. If battle elephants were fast to begin with then war elephants would have to be fast as well. Fast war elephants would be ridiculous OP. The fact is, battle elephants beat any unit 1 vs 1 up close, apart from a war elephant.

If you were to turn elephants or battle elephants into sonic the hedgehog, they would kill everything.

War Elephants had definitely no impact on the balancing of Battle Elephants 11

Also nice strawman. Khmer Elephants are faster than other Elephants and they seem to be ok balanced, so a small speed increase for the other BE might be ok.

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OK so, so how are onagers meant to stop elephants now if they move fast? They struggle enough already, so now it’s even harder? Even a slight speed bonus could tip the balance to them being OP.

They are no counter to elephants to begin with. How good Onagers are against elephants has absolutely no impact on the power of elephants.

attack ground or halbs in front?

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They are no counter to elephants to begin with. How good Onagers are against elephants has absolutely no impact on the power of elephants.

What are you talking about? Manlukes and genoese crossbowmen burn elephants. And Halbs kill them cost effectively. The elephants weakness is they cost lots of resources.

attack ground or halbs in front?

Not sure if that would work. At least not all the time.

well it works for me against the fastest elephant, the khmer one

well it works for me against the fastest elephant, the khmer one

But now the Khmer elephant is even faster.

well just remove the bonus, they already have tusk swords as distinctive from others

You were talking about Onagers, not Mamelukes or Genuese xbows, I don’t get it.

You said there were no counters to elephants.

They (onagers), not there. An important difference 11


No, it’s not. I put it clearly in my original post

And no, believe me. An elephant mooving as fast as a champion wouldn’t be “sonic the hedgehog”. Not by far. He will still be caught by halbs. And countered by monks.

Using Battle elephants is situational and for me it’s OK. You don’t need to see them every game. In the early game like Khmer you can use other units.

The problem I see that the Khmer Battle elephants have great buff due to there higher food production, stronger attacks and higher movements speed. And other civ like Malay or Vietnamese it does not make sense to plan them in your strategy. There I agree with.

So my idea is to generally increase their movement speed 15% and not only for Khmer.

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