Balancing Ballista Elephant

Ballista elephants have always been tricky to balance they are kind of bad when not massed but also powerful once massed with little counterplay. I hate the argument of just don’t let them get to X but in this case it is somewhat valid. The combination of being Expensive, created in castles, “requiring” a UT and being weak in small number actually makes the risk of going BE justify the reward and If you are able to kill their BE before they reach a critical you can easily win the game. Their are gamemode and maps where BE are viable but I also don’t think they Khmer would be viable without BE in these scenarios. Many people what to make them be more viable but even a small buff could make it easier that much easier to get an deathball. This conclude the section where I pretend that weren’t given +2 attack in Dynasty of India as well as being resistant to armor ignoring attacks such as leitis

While some would might for having these change to be revert (or pretend like this is perfectly balanced because of course) I would rather nerf other elements of the BA so that they have more options for counter play.

  1. Increased training time this makes them harder to mass giving your opponent a bigger time window for counter play.

  2. Remove siege armor class and replace it with Archer and cavarcher also they are now effected by archer armor. Technically, they are Cavalry and do have a very big crossbow. Real world siege weapons are typically characterized being Stationary, used against building, and made of wood and metal. yes Siege doesn’t receive bonus damage from Fire Galley Fire Tower or heated shot. But balancing decisions don’t always have to be realistic.

  3. Add a unique armor class that makes them vulnerable against I don’t know something

  4. Change the cost to 60F 40W 90G adding wood was not just for realism or uniqueness it makes them it makes them more expensive in Imperial age without affecting them negatively in castle age.

  5. This might be drastic but BA elephants are no longer affected by Double Crossbow but get more attack or range from the Elite upgrade. Also Replace Double crossbow with something that changes show scorpions are used either armor-penetration or Flaming Bolts.

That’s kind of a bunch of random changes? Also lol archer/CA class just makes sure they are even less used in 1v1 while buffing them on BF cuz then they no longer take bonus damage from onagers and BBC.
I’m really not sure what suggestion 5 is supposed to be needed, isn’t it doing its job just fine rn?


Those seem to me like bad ideas.

If you have to nerf them, just reduce the pass through damage they do and give them hussite wagon type armour (I know the latter sounds a bit silly but it fits well with Ballista Eles to give them a weakness to other siege)

Tbh for what they cost they are already really sad against siege

That’s, fair I dont know why i didn’y think of this but Elephant archer have -7 antiCA armor. Alternatively they could be both Ca and Siege sort of like how Mamalukes used to be classified as archer but not CA for balancing reasons.

Ballista elephant just needs to be affected by the battle elephant speed bonus and then are fine.

But they got attack +2 attack also armor-negation-negation

It would make more sense for Elephants in general although they would need a buff first. Also it makes no sense that strapping a ballista to an Elephant its back will cause it to take more damage from a Cannon. but then again this is the same game where riding a horse while carrying a bow decreases the number of javelins you can take to the face.

With this change you basically turned them into an Elephant Archer with a small difference- Blast damage at a price of not benefiting from Ballistics.
Why would you mess up with their uniqueness, one of the very few Ranged units that are actually immune to Skirms. (Gbeto, Axeman and Chakram are meh vs Skirms)

Meh, reminds me of posts that try to make Conq a little bit more of a CA.

That’s too complicated for the AOE universe and for the intuition of the average player, however, it might work if you pull it off nicely, perhaps 50f 50w 90g to make it appeal better.

Besides that, I dont think this unit needs a buff, I use it frequently in high elo games, the beauty about it, it kills almost every ranged unit, including all Archery Range units which is so Unique strategically. So please dont push toward the “generic yet viable” role. (Khmer main, 1700-1900)

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The goal is not to make them more or less viable overall but to make them more viable in Castle age and worse in imperial age so that they are slightly less snowbally

Also what is there to understand you the many LEL’s just send vills to every resource with little regard for what composition they wish to make, then allocate villager reactively.

Elephants as a whole seem hard to balance. Either the circumstances render them so expensive as to make them a meme unit, or the resources are available to make them borderline unstoppable.

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yeah community games, I don’t know why they insist on making elephants one pop such popefficency can be very powerful. but they just die to pikes and monks in 1v1 so no one cares.

All units having 1 pop (aside from the zergling… er Karambit) its one of the things that sets Aoe 2 apart from most RTSs and is a good part of its charm. Such things are core to design and balance. This sort of thing requires a good more thought put into it than one thinks.

Ballista Elephants can be stopped by using siege mainly (there are other units but not all civs get them).
The problem is people try to stop 50 of them with 5 onagers and then complain that they’re unstoppable because they’re used to that against crossbows.
50 Ballista Elephants are 9000 resources, the same amount of 30 onagers, you can’t defend with 2-3 onagers against 20-30 like you’d do against crossbows.
If anyone in the team has Siege Onagers they stand no chance on equal resources.

The cost change wouldn’t even work because a unit can only cost 3 resources, and population is already one of those.

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That would imply that population is calculated very weirdly instead of it being a count of how many units you have it is a resource that is depleted/created when you a unit is created or destroyed. I might be interpreting this wrong but under this system wouldn’t Queueing a unit take pop space and is it possible for population to be programed so that it isn’t a resource? Also, weird hypthotetical could increasing your wonder/relic timer be classified as a cost?