Battle Elephants for the Indians

Welp, the Imp camel has 0 base armor, so it’s not better than Heavy camel to represent that…


Well I do agree, I just felt like I should share some info about these awesome “Cataphract Camels”. You can find a lot of info about them by searching the word. :slight_smile:


Turks feels more suitable candidate than Persians. Indians deserves it now.

Actually it seems that people in the HC3 qualifiers have found ways to counter Indians on fish heavy maps ( Maybe it might be fine in the end, and Alpine lake is teh only map that makes them OP

Well for mongols they didnt change the whoe civ. Also Steppe Lancers are a useless meme unit at this point so it doesnt matter anyways. But once Steppe Lancers get kinda ballanced again the mongols will be probably the strongest. And that while Mongols are already the Civ with the best late game AND they have an ecobonus. So in my opinion even the steppe lancers for mongols were an awful idea. its just overloading the civ like crazy.

I don’t see much of a problem with Indians getting battle elephant from either a flavor/historical perspective or from a gameplay/balance perspective. They should still default to camels for cavalry, but since the two share their generic upgrades elephants could be a fun situational bonus, as an alternative to unupgraded siege, as a response to very specific units or as a more pop efficient pushing unit very late in close team games.

The only potential problem I see is that if it’s tried and there is a balance problem it’s a little tricky to balance. Aoe2 usually doesn’t just nerf a single unit for a single civilization, like “Indian battle elephants now have 20% less HP”. And I would want to avoid any nerfs that hit camels as well as elephants, because being the civilization with useful camels is the Indian’s unique selling point. But I guess there are some options, like removing the elite battle elephant upgrade.

P.S. The elite battle elephant should totally have been called the heavy battle elephant. That would raise so many questions about the weight of all the other elephants in the game.

Thats the point
I would try to make the archer elephant viable before considering giving them the battle elephant


Fun fact: Persian war elephants are supposedly of Indian origin… but they are actually represented by African elephants. What is the civ that actually used such elephants? Ethiopian. If next patch you get the option to produce elephants with bad upgrades, you will know who to thank 11


Were those “real” African elephants though?

I’m asking because Hannibal’s Carthaginian army that crossed the alps apparently used a now extinct Northern African subspecies of elephant, smaller and presumably more docile. One of the reasons we know this or think we know this is that his personal elephant, which was larger than the others, was named Surus, which means “(the) Syrian”, presumably making that one an Indian elephant imported through Syria. So it wouldn’t surprise me at all if other African civilizations that used elephants used that same smaller less murderous subspecies, rather than the giant Savanna elephants we think of when hearing “African elephant”.

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The devs likely were based of the current African elephant, since it’s the one people think about first when thinking about those, and since you can just look at a photo to know how they look like. So you could say that the Persian WE is a double design mistake.

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I meant the elephants the Ethiopians used, not the ones the devs drew for the Persians. :wink: I probably could have quoted better to make that clearer.

Edit: I legitimately don’t known though, my knowledge of Ethiopian history and most things related to the huge and diverse continent of Africa in general is severely lacking. That’s why I was asking.

Ooopsie. Then I guess you’re right.

Now that Mongols recieved Steppe Lancer, I think it is about time Indians should recieve Battle Elephant. I would like to breakdown some point before I actually talk about Indians Battle Elephant.

  1. Civ design in AoE2 should always be revolve around historical accuracy vs game balance. Because too much historical accurate will make the game unbalance and bad from game design perspective. Too much game balance will bring bad design decisions.
  2. Every civs in AoE2 are following one playstyle. Just small tweaks here and there. As a result too much historical accuracy not possible.
  3. Even with one playstyle manner civs can still get close to accuracy. Civs should be true to historically accurate from core side atleast.
  4. Steppe Lancer in AoE2 are part of unit choice. It is not something that is supposed to fill some other unit’s role. Like Steppe Lancer should not fill the role of Hussar or Knight. Hussar is no gold very mobile light unit. Knight on the other hand expensive heavy unit with lower mobility than Hussar. Steppe Lancer is more of a massable unit with small extra range. Designed to perform better in large groups.
    Now here comes the Battle Elephant. You won’t win the game simply massing Battle Elephant. This unit is designed for slow push. Often time Knights are proven better pick compared to Battle Elephant. Let’s not forget Battle Elephant got nerfed very hard in DE and very expensive. It got more counter options than Knights.
  5. I would like to divide civ bonus in two categories. Military bonus and Economy bonus. Military bonus in AoE2 are effective mostly in Castle Age. Some civs got an edge in Feudal Age. If those bonus feels too strong they gets staggered in general. This is also true for Economy bonus. But the point is those bonus are needed for RM games in general. In Post-Imp DM games they doesn’t have that much of an effect. Overall point is bonuses are designed to give slight edge at that situation. Not to be made something too much edge or dumbed down. Overbuffing and Overnerfing one bonus is something not good as well.
  6. Lastly there is no more DLC based exclusivity in DE. Now all civs considered as the part of the standalone game. There is no more reason to divide them further.

Now when it comes to Indians Battle Elephants many argues that it’ll make them too op. These questions I find in general.

  1. Q. Indians vils have cheap vil bonus.
    A. Indians cheap vils helps aging and booming in general. In Feudal Age helps you to make one or two extra scouts, add more Militia when drushing or get some upgrades earlier. Barely finds huge effect when it comes to Castle Age. (Although I agree that Indians vils are a bit too cheap)
  2. Q. Indians got better Camels
    A. Like I mentioned about unit choice. Camels are anti-Cavalry and doesn’t do well vs other units. Indians Camels got more pierce resistance compared to other civs. So, having a unit-line choice won’t make them any op.
  3. Q. Indians got more ranged Hand Cannoneer. Battle Elephant + Elephant Archer + Hand Cannoneer combination will make them unstoppable.
    A. You need to combine unit choices after all. Counter and Anti-Counter unit. Remember Khmer? Now they got far stronger eco bonus. Many other civs got far stronger combinations that are more hard to counter.

At the end, I maybe wrong as well. Because, we can keep arguing about civ balance. But we can judge the civ bonus only after we see them in action and see the changing result. But what I meant to say is it Indians from historical perspective deserves to receive this unitline like Mongols got with Steppe Lancer which was well balanced civ already.


Im not sure what you mean by that could you expand on that point? Do you mean it like Britons have playstyle archers, Goth have infantry etc.? That wouldnt really hold true since a lot of civs invite a lot of different playstyles.

Such a change could easily be done by simply mods. I’ve played such mods before and it makes the Indians somewhat op due their economy.

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Remember AoM? Greek, Egyptian and Norse each have different playstyle compared to AoE2. In AOE2 every civs follows same pattern.

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Slavs, Khmer are far more op with their eco bonus. I even stated the reason what makes it op and what isn’t.

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I would like Indians to get Battle elephants (without any bonus) Khmer, Burmese elephants would still be better… And Vietnamese maybe aswell. I don’t think it would be broken, since they are expensive, and thus, you won’t be mixing it with something expensive as well (elephan archer or imperial camel)


I even pointed out. Elephants with eco bonus still wouldn’t be any broken. I feel like they’ll just stay the same way as they were before. Military Bonus and Economy bonus are different. If you take away cheap vil bonus then they’ll be Saracens/Vietnamese 2.0

Each civ has several playstyles. Actually, all civs have many playstyles, even though only a few (but always more than 1) are viable. For instance you could play Teutons like you play Mongols, with scouts+CA. It’s just that if your opponent isn’t your potted plant you will have trouble.

The game is designed differently, but sometimes there is overlapping in playstyles even in AoM. Like Kronos and Loki being 2 rush factions based on myth units, or Odin and Ra being two factions for fast heroic.

Steppe lancers have a role : failing to counter Korean knights cost-effectively (Over buffing civilizations - #38 by Ptee92). Giving them to Mongols has 0 risk to be inbalanced.

A nerf to attack (that is still equal to that of a paladin) , followed to a buff to production speed. That’s not what I call “nerfed very hard”

False, Camels counter knights, but are just a waste of ressources against elephants. Many UUs like Teutonic knights, boyars, ect… can kill knights, but not elephants. It leaves massed Genoese crossbows/Kamayuks, Mamelukes and War elephants as the only UU that counters BE. FU Paladins have less trouble against Mangudai I guess? The actual difference is that monks and pikes are bigger threats to eles than to knights. But Indians don’t have any problem vs either.

Or you know, the BE was designed with 4 civs only in mind, and it remained good, unlike SL.

It’s literally the time of the game where you have at least 3 TCs spitting villagers non-stop. It’s here that it really starts to kick in.

Indians aren’t only about camels. They were meant to have no knights in part because of the Imp camel, of the food bonus, and likely other reasons as well. Also, they aren’t much better at camels than Sarracen and Malian, and on part with Berbers.

Khmer lack Champion, Thumb ring, they lacked Hussars and Arbs at release. They proved to be very weak (unlike Indian) so they got new techs and a food bonus because of that. Indians never were bottom tier like that. Also, Khmer already get HC and Ballista elephants on top of Battle eles, and no one ever though having all of these would make them inbalanced.

Slavs don’t get eles, and the boyar isn’t that good (people prefer Cavaliers). Khmer were bottom tier at start, so giving them something real strong was necessary.

Why shouldn’t we give Battle eles to Indian? Indians using eles in warfare is already represented by the fact their UU is an elephant unit. And more important, this game has never been so close to have all civs balanced close enough to each other. It’s no time to start altering everything just so that an historical fact (indian eles) can be represented twice instead of once.