Battle Elephantos state

hi all! just a simple question. how is the state of the battle elephants for the rajas civs? i tend to stay away from them cause of the fear of how easily countered by spears they are, but i also would like to learn how to use them if they are good, or if they simply were overnerfed and are weak or something like that.

are they a paladin/heavy cav substitute of some sort? are they good for their cost? or are they simply luckluster? and how to use them? BE + Skirms is an effective combo for the respective civs (like chatras BE + Imperial skirmisher for vietnamese)?

just generally curious to know about their current state

They are pretty good if you can keep the pikes away, skirms will work like you said. Then you’ll have to watch out for monks because they are very easy to convert. They don’t know a lot about religion and will follow any monk, so watch out. If you can keep the pikes and monks away, they’re a great unit that will win you the game. I’m a big fan of the Vietnamese elite battle elephants!


yeah those elephantos seems to really be fascinated by jesus somehow. anyway, it’s not that easy to keep them away from spears since spears are much faster then them, which is even more strange than religious elephants if you ask me…


Battle Elephants used to be much stronger. They used to have more attack than a paladin. They have been nerfed quite badly. The only really good in closed maps like arena or black Forest. Their biggest weakness is their cost. Battle elephants can become very powerful in boomfest late game. But in Arabia open like maps they are absolutely trash.

Elephants require heavy trade investment and large farms to mass produce them. Note, if battle elephants were cheap they would be broken OP. So they are hard to balance.

Battle Elephants need units like scorpions to keep the halbs away. Or an ally with champions to keep the halbs busy.


Malay elephants are the most viable imo.
They still pack a punch and don’t require much investment.
Once your opponent makes a bunch of spears, you can respond with archers.
Hard hitting and cheap combo.

Every other civs elephants are too slow to get going and are too easily countered for the cost you invest in them.


At 1100 1v1 ELO:

Vietnamese: For me EBE is sometimes worth switching into in mid/late imp. They’re good against archer counters.
Malay: Elephants are good vs cavalry.
Khmer: Elephants are pretty good, but scouts/knights/cavalier is almost always preferred (for me)
Burmese: Elephants are trash, but it’s not like you have any actual good options.

Also if your opponent doesn’t have halbs in his tech tree EBE is often a good option in Imp

In Imp monks usually aren’t an option.

Battle Elephants have some noticable power spikes. The first is in the very early Castle Age. Pump a few out as soon as you’re up, before the other person has a chance to roll out monks or mass anything strong of their own. The Malay are particularly deadly here, between their faster age up and their cheaper elephants. As a bonus elephants with their high attack can take up a little bit of a siege unit role, and early Castle bases usually aren’t that prepared for that. The second power spike, probably the weakest of the three, is in early Imperial. This is the same as for a lot of units. Have some elephants ready before the research completes, and immediately get as many of the relevant upgrades as you can. This works particularly well if you can get to Imp before the opponent. The final powerspike is at the pop cap. Elephants give you more bang for a single unit worth of space than something like a paladin does, and on top of that they’re a less gold intensive option. They mostly cost a lot of food, and you can farm plenty of that.

Outside of these three moments Battle Elephants are currently rarely worth using. But at these moments, given a bunch of right circumstances, they can work really well.

For my part just don’t like the implementation of the Eles. Because of their insane Pop efficiency they have some use in also highest level of play in the very lategame. Especially vietnamese seem to shine there. But only because of their sheer combat power, not because of any utility/strategic thing.
But it comes at the cost of Eles being basically useless at mid elo 1v1s (except for very few situations), but being hard to stop for low elos (especially tgs), as they struggle to get the counters out in the right amounts and/or microing them (monks).
I personally would prefer to give the Eles some micro utility so they can be used also in mid elo open map 1v1s from a skilled player effectively. In the exchange I would tune down them just a little bit (alternatively tune down the civ bonusses/techs again). This could put them in a more balanced spot where they can be useful in more situations but less “OP” in others.
I would give them a speed charge when ordered to attack an enemy unit so they can at least force a favorable engagement (though still can’t run away from a disadvantagous one).

I also strongly dislike the implementation of Eles. I’d love to see a rather fundamental redesign. The smallest combination of changes that I think could work would be:

  • BE aren’t effected by husbandry
    & BE have +15% base speed
    & EBE have 1 less pierce armour
    & BE don’t have the ‘elephant’ armour class anymore
    & BE have conversion resistance

This way Battle Elephants would have a utility window in early castle (before husbandry is researched), and would have an easier time running away from Monks and Pikes.
They’d also become less dominant in situations where they face Paladins with Archer support (such as in team games).

I’m probably missing something in the above list, and my actual preference would go to a rework where the devs work from scratch, keeping only the graphics and design the stats starting from the base principle “let’s make a balanced 2-pop unit”.

Also the civ bonuses should be adjusted, with Khmer losing an elephant bonus and Burmese getting +1 PA on their elephants for free and getting an extra elephant bonus to replace their elephant armour UT.

They are very strong in Team Games in the late game. The Khmer go to unit is the Elite Battle Elephant with Heavy Scorpions. Burmese can either go Arambai or Battle Elephants. I recommend making Arambais in the Castle Age then switch to Elephants in the Imperial Age. Malay and Vietnamese Elephants are also viable, however, I only recommend it if you are a pocket player. As a flank, Malay or Vietnamese Archers are superior.

I would like to see what happen if pikes have less bonus against Eles, but Scorpions gain more bonus against them.

Imo Eles doesn’t work in 1v1 because the counter is far away cheaper, trained in less time, require less upgrades, is faster, can be massed since Feudal and make an insane bonus damage even without blacksmith upgrades.

With the change I proposed, at least you have to invest in some scorpions or monks, not just pump pikes…

Theyre commonly used in TG, especially in late game situation (high pop efficiency).

In 1vs1 they are generally less viable. Expensive and easily countered by monks. Can usually achieve more with knights plus something. The exception is if you manage to hide the production and turn up somewhere with 15+ Ele, then you can take down TCs super quick.

They are good with Khmer, due to being faster and more deadly with the techs and bonuses, and they get really good if you can mix them in with a number of scorps. Other than that, Malay are probably the only other good elephant civ currently. Vietnamese are situational, but can be good.

Good on TGs on black forest and Arena, not as good at arabia, bad choice for 1v1 except maybe Malay.

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even better than vietnamese with chatras and imprial skirm to protect them? i mean, i worry elephants + archers to be kinda gold intensive for a composition

generally speaking i do not understand that well why halberd have such a massive bonus against them while they are not close to the persian war elephant HP, they are also way slower than a elephant is supposed to be.

would make their speed at least 1.0 require a serious rebalance of the unit? or maybe a new class armor different than war elephant with less bonus damage from spears?

just curious since i always tought it does not make sense that we have elephants slower than a man lol

Malay elephants and the average player’s inability to micro mass monks created a real problem for them.

When you’ve got an elephant which costs 40% less than other elephants that puts some incredibly hard constraints on the base stats. Fun fact about malay elephants is a 12 damage arrow does 3.36 resource damage per arrow. For khmer elephants its 2.97, barely a 12% difference.

Sure technically vs arbs the malay elephant is way worse but even then its only 20% more res damage per arrow than a paladin which means they are still incredibly tanky on an absolute resource adjusted basis. I’ve seen 2k+ players just spam an archer play to death, archers arent a good counter.

In any kind of melee fight or monk threat malay elephants just blow the other elephants away due to being able to afford 66% more units and heresy access if desired. Even accounting for how Malay are generally weak to scorpions due to their tech tree, they’re just way better.

Then in team games the only reliable non-civ specific counter to a mass of non-malay elephants supported by archers is 20 or so well microed monks. Obviously certain civ specific stuff will work well.

Not sure how to resolve this except dropping the cost for non malay elephants maybe 10% and reducing the discount of malay elephants accordingly. -15f, -5g malay discount reduced to 20% and 30%/35%.

Besides being a pop efficient unit for Post Imp Fantasy Black Forest games, they’re meant to be a mix between a Ram and a Knight, not a replacement for a Knight. You make them when you know you’re going to be on an offense, pushing the enemy base. That’s where you have a solid position and their lack of mobility plays no role.
Reason why we don’t see Elephants in order of importance:

  1. Monks, as long as micro is a crucial component of competitive play it takes 1 lucky conversion to flip the fight, Elephants take forever to kill each other, which buy so much time for the Pike/Xbows to hit them.
  2. New Arabia being too deserted for an innovative play, it’s all about Xbows, threatening tiny woodlines from range. Same reason why you pretty much dont see any other Unique Unit as a viable win condition.
  3. Elephants oddly enough having only 2 pierce armor at Castle Age, for some reason they’re fully symetrical to Knights in this regard despite having a completely different role. Battle Elephants should have a flat 3 pierce armor regarding the Age/Upgrade. (Elite Elephant would rather get more cleave radius and damage)
  4. Husbandry being a necessity, just like Squires for Longswords, Knights/Steppe/Camels are much less desperate for this upgrade, that basically gives no raw stats but movement speed at a high cost, so yeah on top of their high food cost you need to invest 150 food and wait 40 seconds of idle time on your Stable, which you can start teching only in Castle Age unlike Bloodlines. Yes, Elephants are being created 20% faster than Knights, but that’s not enough to make up for this.
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All very true, but completely without counters they would be outright broken. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

More Elephants units are coming with the new DLC (that’s what it looks like)
I would buff the speed of Eles to flat 1.0, same as Infantry
Not sure about increase the PA but I also give them more building bonus damage
One of the easiest counters of Eles after Monks in Castle are the Pikes/Halbs, the bonus damage it is too much but I understand the need to have a cheap counter for that kind of unit; maybe reduce the Eles HP and reduce the bonus damage