Age of statistics shows that Burmese are underpowered while Gurjaras are overpowered.
Burmese have bonuses for 3 of Aoe2’s most situational units: infantry, monks, Battle elephants and none of the bonuses really help make them less situational. They have a decent eco bonus, but other civs have better ones. Their UU used to be extremely good, but since then it has been nerfed and now it is decent but not great. What makes them really weak is that they lose access to the 2nd archer armor upgrade (Leather Archer Armor), leaving them very vulnerable to archers without any real compensation for it. Even non-archer civs can just double down on archers vs Burmese and still win (See Hera’s video). Devs have tried to fix Burmese over many patches, but the situation has not changed.
Gurjaras on the other hand have one of the highest win rates. They have excellent gold units (like Turks) to counter anything the enemy makes and bad trash units excluding Hussar (like Turks). They also have a food bonus to help in the most important stages of the game. This helps them execute one of the fastest archer openings possible in the game. I think they need a slight nerf, but not a big one as the civ already has some weaknesses and none of the units feel OP.
Burmese get access to Leather Archer Armor
Gurjaras lose access to Leather Archer Armor
Giving Burmese leather archer armor really helps them play against archers in castle age when they are weakest against archers without making them strong vs. archers in the long run. It helps them get to Imp where they have other ways to fight archers. Burmese will still be weak to archer civs that have bonuses for archers, but they would be able compete with non-archer civs. I realize that this changes the identity of the civ, but the identity just is not working (See Ornlu’s video about Burmese design). There are other civs with better eco and units that can manage without 2nd archer armor (for example, Gurjaras), but not Burmese.
Taking leather archer armor from Gurjaras reinforces their similarities with Turks by giving them the 2nd worst skirms. It also disrupts their castle age transition. Gurjaras have incentives to open archers in Feudal Age, but when they get to castle age, their xbow/skirms will be weaker than generic without leather archer armor. Unlike Burmese, Gurjaras have a counter to xbow/skirms - Shrivamsha Rider. It just takes a lot of food for early Castle Age. So, the Gurjara player will have a challenge in balancing the eco to support a more rapid transition to SR. This gives the enemy an opening to do damage with their own xbow/skirms.
Gurjaras isn’t cause of their skirms they are so good, but removing that armour tech makes their skirms basically unusable which would make them really awkward in a lot of matchups. They then either dominate or get stomped…
Burmese I would give some bonus to the siege actually. It’s kinda their identity they have that bad skirms. Yes it’s their weakness but that is their identity now somehow. So I think a bonus to their siege should compensate for that.
And? You basically make them more generic this way. How to you solve their identity crisis within this change?
Game isn’t just about balance, the root problem of Burmese:
Arabia being way too deserted, tiny multiple woodlines that pretty much feed this single dimensional Meta of Archery Range units. It’s okay to be weak vs. Archers relatively, it’s not okay that 95% of the games have Archers as the core militaristic component.
This pseudo aggressive Skirmishers-Wars meta solely relies on how poor Arabia has become. Read for more. Recently made TR Arabia however is a solid solution.
More trees per woodline, less woodlines, and therefore less Archers.
Being an “Elephant Civ”, while the viability of Battle Elephants is little to none. Battle Elephants of Burmese are just weak vs. Archers, no reason to invest this much food in an unit that Archers outrun. This is supposed to be their unique answer to Archers and by that making them a well-rounded civ with a rich unique identity.
The only way to solve it is to increase the viability of this awful unit.
The solution must be decreasing the luxuriousness of BE, enough of the Unique Techs and fancy upgrades, expensive units NEED passive bonuses or else you’ll never see them in Vanilla formats. (obviously excluding Post-Imp TG situations, aka BF fantasy)
Solution: Howdah Removed from the game.
Battle Elephants have passively 0/2 armor
Instead of the current 1/1 passively + 1/1 Howdah
I can’t take a discussion about Gurjaras seriously if it does not address the Shrivamsha Riders deeply. The first thing to be nerfed, it’s a poor design (just like Steppe Lancers), that the only way developers could implement it and make it useful is by making it OP (just like they did with Steppe Lancer when they just came out).
This unit needs to be repriced and have its stats adjusted, one option: Instead of 70f 20g, make it 30f 60g Instead of 8 , 11 damage, make it 7, 9
This unit relies too much on a big farming eco, makes the comeback mechanism vs. Archer play almost impossible, economically it’s as bad as making Steppe Lancers.
Especially for a civ that has almost a FU Hussar, no reason to be obsessed here with gold efficiency, you rather need an early game answer. Similarly to (well designed) Eagles.
The damage nerf just proffesionalize them instead of making them a Keshik, aka, a cheap version of Knight, which is a general unit that’s good almost against anything. I’d argue giving them bonus vs. Archers.
To conclude, I like the fact you preserved the idea that there should be (atleast) one civ in the game that lacks access to Leather Archer Armor. Most other posts here just call to fill holes in civs tech tree recklessly. So I appreciate your unique method. However it doesnt serve any purpose but balancing, you basically give up dealing with Burmese as an Elephant civ and basically just turning them into another generic Portuguese civ.
Just want to mention with -5 hp shrivamshas take 1 less hit from spears and pikes.
But really the thing is that the dodge mechanic is so weird in the regard that it is insanely strong vs basically everything ranged that isn’t a crossbow. Cause xbows are cheap and fire fast.
It should be damage dodge instead, this way it would be way easier to balance.
This makes no sense. Eagles don’t have two trash counters like your version of the shrivamsha. 7 base attack in castle means they lose to even unupgraded spears anyway. 9 base damage in imp is garbage for a civ with no blast furnace and “almost FU hussar” doesn’t change the fact there is not even pikes and that the usual low gold unit of choice is barely better than a Persian longswords.
Good luck chasing after the fastest unit in the game with Spears. I remind you Shrivamsha is a raiding unit, not an identitical twin to Knight.
The low gold cost means HIGH food cost per value, which leads into a boomy game, just like with Steppe Lancers, Elephants and Longswords. This doesnt allow forming a win condition that solely rely on exhasting the enemy with raidings. It has to be a boomy macro game rather than micro-intense. Which is pitty considering how micro-able this unit is.
I think the only thing that needs to happen with Burmese is a UT switch. Survivalist is having a lot of success with elephant + monk play at the moment which is actually not too bad. The free armor for elephants lets you save the res for chain barding so you can actually open with elephants.
Speed doesn’t matter if your current issue is a mass of xbows in your base. The spears only need to be around the xbows anyway. And kts aren’t exactly reserved for “boomy games”, so why would the shrivamsha be as well even with a bigger food cost? I also don’t get your grip about being a “kts twin”, a low attack, gold bleeding shrivamsha is way more of an eagle twin, with the difference it’s way easier to counter.
Knts definitely aren’t, they’re res efficient unit, and more particularly, food efficient per value.
However Steppe Lancers and Elephants aren’t.
Knights are well designed. Most other units dont justify their absurd high food cost, and therefore barely get to see in vanilla games.
Developers tried to make it a Knight-like unit, unsuccessfully, it’s just broken atm, purposelessly broken.
It’s far from being an Eagle, I wish it was an Eagle like unit. Extra mobility at the price of being ineffective vs. Trash units. But unlike Eagles the Srivamsha Rider:
Doesnt do as well against the meta Xbow mass.
Cost the opposite of what Eagle does. Which makes him more of a farming-eco dependant. (aka boom oriented unit, unlike the versatile Eagle)
So, it is okay for Burmese to get those awkward matchups? Burmese are not favored in any matchup as much as Gurjaras are in theirs. Gurjara win rate is really high and have great matchups vs. almost all civs. Balanced civs should have some awkward matchups.
Burmese are not a siege civ. They are an elephant, infantry and monk civ. They should not get a siege bonus. Also, I don’t think there is any siege bonus left to give them that is relevant for Castle age.
Why does it have to be their “identity”? They can not manage with it. Civs like Franks have far better bonuses to support not making skirms. But, they still have the 2nd archer armor tech for no reason. Let some other civ work with that “identity”. If Burmese had a knight bonus for early Castle age that make theem easier to produce or increases their value vs. archers. But, that would make them a knight civ which no one wants.
I don’t disagree that SR need some changes. But, atleast Gurjaras have an alternative that they can use vs. archers. I think removing 2nd archer armor from Gurjaras should be part of the changes to the civ to make them more like Turks. Otherwise, Gurjaras would have great gold units and usable trash which I think is too strong.
I think it does solve their identity indirectly. Their identity is they are an elephant, infantry and monk civ. With bonuses for such situational units, the only way for Burmese to use their bonuses is to use their tech tree to force the enemy off meta and into units that Burmese can counter with their bonuses. But, they cannot do this without 2nd archer armor.
Elephants will never be viable for the stage of the game that Burmese need them. They are designed to be expensive and slow. Khmer got the speed bonus and Malay got the cost bonus, so nothing left for Burmese to counter archers with. I am not opposed to making generic BE more usable, but it won’t help solve Burmese problem.
How does this make them viable in castle age vs. archers? They have these bonuses currently and are still weak to archers.
70 food is not too much, but I like your change to the cost also. Not sure it is needed since Viper did not have a problem using SR vs. xbow in his latest video.
I would compensate this by giving more bonus vs. archers.
It is a wierd bonus, but still I think Burmese should not get a siege bonus since they are an infantry, elephant and monk civ. They should not have bonus for every unit they can make. It also breaks mangonel vs. mangonel matchups. Burmese mangos would always hit while enemy mangonel can be dodged atleast to avoid death.
I didnt disagree with this statement, I find it solid!
It doesn’t “counter” Archers, but force them into Pikes or else it’d be really hard for the Archer player to engage efficiently offensively, Archers will do 1 damage to a high HP unit, it’s impossible to micro, despite the speed advantage.
You buy enough time, which Burmese really need, and the most important thing, you force them into Pikes, which are great vs. Elephants, however gives the Burmese the option to go Siege that counters both and gives the Burmese players the opportunity to transition the defence into an offense.
Once you force them into the Pike investment they won’t be able to add Cavalry or Mango’s of their own this easily.
So consider it an indirect counter, space creator, and a potential mid-game win condition eventually.
Malay and Khmer indeed took the better bonuses, and this is why you gotta be bolder when it comes to armor bonus or else it’ll be a luxurious accesory for team games.
Thank you for this reference, I’ll watch it. 70 food is too much per value, just like Steppe Lancers syndrome, or even worse- Light Cavs.
Xbow player will not be forced into pikes. He will just run from the elephant and kill villagers. Also, Burmese can only afford a handful of elephants in castle age and a handful of elephants can be countered by half as many monks. Bengalis took the conversion resistance bonus, so there is no way to change this. Cheap atonement won’t help (takes time during which Burmese cannot make monks) and Burmese cannot afford monks as well as elephants faster than the enemy can afford xbow+few monks.
You want your Archer opponent to go for Monks, it’s a passive-defensive unit, again as I said, you dont aim to defeat the opponent, but buying time while teching into the right units.
I’m far from saying that BE is a good unit, nor Burmese is a good design. They need an addressing, asap. However I do say it takes more than just Archer Armor, you basically burry your head in the sand by doing so, this civ deserves a better treatment. Not a band-aid.