Ballista elephants cutting trees in castle age

Move tree cutting to the elite version of this unit.

No other civ can cut trees in castle age.
Ballista elephants are already an extremely powerful unit. Cutting trees may be a niche use, but Khmer doesn’t need this extra bonus over other civs. Should we just give Frank knights the ability to cut trees too? It’s just silly and unfair on maps like hideout. Trying to kill Ballista elephants in a choke is practically impossible. Especially given that this unit has no true counter. The best you can do is make onagers and mangonels are not powerful enough to counter this in castle age.

Ofc anytime you ask for a balance change you’ll get a torrent of “git gud” and personal attacks, but It’s not like I’m some chump who got wrecked by a goth player and decided to make the “NeRf HuSkArLs” post we all know about.

This is pretty niche, but it provides an unfair advantage in some circumstances as no other civ has access to a unit that can cut forests at this stage in the game. Moving this ability to the elite version of the unit would not ruin Khmer. I just think the idea of cutting forests has always been an imperial strategy and should stay that way.


Ballista Elephants are one, if not the most uselsess unique unit in the game (High cost, Castle needing, to many weakness, especially against eagles and Rams).
and you want to remove the funny distinctive of the unit?


All I want to say is this removal is totally unnecessary and does not improve the balance in any way.
Not to mention that Ballista cutting trees is highly inefficient, extremely micro intensive and does not really serve much practical use.
You want to say they benefit disproportionally on certain maps? Does it benefit Arabia? Arena? No? Then the impact does not exist. This is not the same as Mayan and Chinese getting 1 and 3 more villagers at the start in nomad maps respectively. Not to mention ballista elephant itself does not really see much use in castle age.


I’ve seen one arabia game where Khmer made Ballista Elephants. Dropped a forward castle on an exposed gold, had a one-tree gap at the edge of some dark age palisades, never even occurred to him to use the cut.

They’re so underutilized that even when they are used they rarely exercise this ability.

I have won once because of this feature. My scouting was soo bad that i didnt knew my enemy was walling me in on HideOut (i noticed it very late). So i just used this Elephants to cut the trees to his base. Almost instant GG of him. Priceless. He never considered that option.



Did you… create the OP? 11


Surprise always strong.

For maps like Hideout I hate onager cut. I want to fight outside but I fight near my eco. On Castle Age imagine 20 elephants coming 1 ballista cutting trees.

There are trolls like The Viper’s “Wood Please”. He cut nearly every single enemy tree on Arabia. He was in Castle Age when doing it.

No but throwing axemen should

More seriously, there are so many ways to counter this. On Hideout, if you think they are going to cut through, build outposts on your wood line to see it coming. Mangos are a better counter than you give them credit for, since they deal bonus damage to ballista elephants (they have the siege weapon armour class) and outrange them. Monks also are very good because they outrange them even more and ballista elephants take eons to kill each other, so the converted ballista elephants will buy you even more time.


I recently played a game like this on Arena. My ally was Khmer, he went Fast Castle into a single Ballista Elephant. I played with a generic civ, I also went Fast Castle into a couple of knights. He had to cut exactly one tree and I bring in my Knights.

My opponent didn’t even have Loom!

I don’t think this is OP though. I mean, you could also just make two petards with your Castle to destroy a single piece of Stone Wall. Heck, you don’t even need a Castle, you can just build a Siege Tower in Castle Age!

And while the strategy is strong on low ELO (such as I), good players will know this strategy and then it’s easy to counter. If your opponent is Khmer, pay extra attention to scouting. If he arrives with a Ballista Elephant, just add a few wall wall tiles or a couple of buildings. The Khmer player, on the other hand, has to invest 650 stone into a Castle.


Cutting trees seems unfair. But factor in, it takes a lot of time before a castle is up. So, if you put pressure on the Khmer, you should not even see this unit. Plus you won’t have time to cut all the trees down.

Monks burn them with ease. They are very costly units. Rams counter them. They are deadly in large numbers if supported by other units like monks to heal them and battle elephants. They work great in team game overall.

i think this is the bigger issue. the “abuse” of cutting a tree so easily i think is more impactful in more open maps(as opposed to BF or hideout) where fewer trees have a larger impact as they form key points of a wall, allowing the cutting to gain benefits sooner, while reducing the response time.

we all know the ballista ele is not a great unit and has balancing issues because the rest of khmer is so strong. but it doesnt mean they should have a potentially abusable mechanic regardless of how corner case it is.

simple, allow only elites to cut trees. afaik the treb is the only unit that can cut trees without being upgraded, and it’s slow/unreliable at that and only appears in imperial…

the alternative is that theoretically anyone that faces a khmer player has to wall every tree in castle or risk having a hole punched through and elephants or allied cavalry pushing through…

Make rams/mangonel to break through buildings is for plebs, make ballista elephant and break through trees is for pros

But if you lock the tree cutting ability behind the elite upgrade they are strictly ouclassed by onagers. And tree cutting on Arabia of all thing is probs not worth it. The eles are slow and need a castle so if you didn’t scout the strat it’s just your fault, and if you think it’s OP just wait until you learn what petards can do to a stonewall tile for roughly the same price.


And usually they get a lot more value from just dropping said castle on the front of the opponent’s base and breaking through that way.

There are quite a few of these unique bonuses that break a rule the rest of the game adheres by, like the infinite fish traps of the Malay, or the infinite stone income from Portuguese feitoria. The castle age wood cutting from the Khmer Ballista Elephant is quite possibly the least game breaking one.

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I never claimed this ability to be a huge power bonus so I have no idea why someone is bringing up chinese/aztec on nomad. I just thought that with the recent changes, they wanted to make Mongols not have a ridiculous bonus on maps like Yucatan. In line with this new thinking, Ballista elephants on a map thats forested gain an advantage. Idk why people are claiming they are weak, probably the same idiots who think scorpions are useless too. Ballista elephants at a critical mass are neigh invincible and can only be taken out effectively with onagers. And no, I can’t just switch to paladins.

If they were to make a change, I’d suggest moving it to the imperial version and then allowing it to cut trees with some minor splash damage. Giving them more effective tree cutting capability, whilst removing this surprise tactic from castle age.

This was not a “NeRf KhMeR” post. All I did was suggest they were moved in line with every other civ on one, mostly unimportant issue. But it happens every so often it’s worth mentioning. Tree cutting should be imperial only, as it has always been.

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Recent? That’s been a while the Mongol hunt bonus has been nerfed. And they will still be the best on hunt maps unless you remove the bonus entirely, this nerf isn’t targeted at a situation in general.

Then let’s say they are situational, shall we? Because either you have the food and gold to spend on an elephant unit, and since battle elephants are made from stables and don’t need the same ridiculous numbers to be dangerous they are better, either you want a ballista unit and then scorpions are almost always better because they have more range, more damage, come out of a siege workshop and can’t be converted without a 475 gold technology.
What is even worse is that the Khmer civ buffs normal BEs and scorpions more than it helps ballista eles.
And heck even in Black Forest type maps even if you decide to use them there will probs be a SO civ that will ruin your day.
Even normal onagers can, because they are a better siege weapon to mass and directly counter ballista eles. And Khmer have no BBC. And even if you give ballsita ele an area of effect anti-trees effect they still will be worse at this in imp than onagers.

So in the end, we end up with a unit that is outclassed by like 3 different unit lines in the immense majority of situations. Add to that the cost and the fact monks are so good in castle age and said niche is almost non existent in castle age, but apparently we should be concerned about a bit of this niche.

Imagine being surprised by a strategy that requires at least 650 stone, that will be transformed into a huge obvious building, that will then eventually produce a huge, slow unit that still needs to crawl toward your base. And the bad fire rate of the ballista ele means it will clear trees super slowly. Sounds like the rule breaking mechanic that requires a lot of “if” to happens.


As if players stonewalled readily on open maps. Just wait till the petard busts start happening on Palisade gates. Annnnnnd they’re in.

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A big 650 stone building isn’t so obvious when it’s inside of their walls on hideout or BF which are the literral maps I am talking about with regards to the proposed change and you’re just deciding to ignore that fact for the sake of a stronger argument. So yes, it is a surprise when I’m pocket and 20 elephants appear out of the forest. And they’re not that hard to make, as if this is a play that never happens because they are inconcievably expensive. You’re exaggerating how hard it is to make them. They are 5 gold and 40 food more than a knight and I’ve seen plenty of double stables before. It’s barely a nerf and with my proposition is a buff in imperial age. And yeah, it’s worse than onagers, but if you weren’t going to make onagers then spending 800 food and 500 gold just to cut trees better makes no sense. Giving them a tree cutting buff in imperial would make a noticable difference.

Monks can convert them yes, but without block printing they will die before they get the chance. The monk counter only works in early castle age if hes tryng to rush you with a few of these guys. Try converting 20+ of them with some monks, you would need equal numbers. "Oh no, I’m being attacked by ballista elephants, I guess I’ll spend 2000 gold on some monks. That’s why the “JuST mAkE MoNkS” argument is so stupid. Yeah, making monks works great against a knight rush, but I’m not talking about a rush. Monks only become viable again with Imperial techs vs such large numbers. They are too costly in the mid castle age to use against this unit.

All I’m saying is you should not be able to cut trees until imperial age. Who would have thought it would be so controversial. It’s as if some people read my post and their brain processes it differently.
“Ballista elephants cutting trees in castle age should be moved to imperial age” turns into “NERF KHMER, KHMER TOO STRONK, BALLISTA ELEPHANT TOO STRONK” and then we get the usual recoiling from Khmer players.

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If your strategy is so strong why don’t we see it more in team games.

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So you plan on investing 3.6k res in castle age into an army that has to cut a forrest tree by tree, and takes nearly 7 minutes to train, and cant actually deal with castles or rewalling, just for the surprise effect? Go ahead. But i hope you realize that by the time you made it across the map, your opponent is full boomed in imp and just smashes you with whatever he wants.