Old title is: So the trick of British is “get to average everything faster”
They get the economy startup faster with more villagers than any other civ in the mid-early game but have average maximum economy with little bonus.
They get upgrades on their main units faster but none of them is impressive when many other civs get their upgrades.
Even for meme units like battleship they get one faster for free before everyone else but it has no special ability or upgrade like other European civs now.
Outside the game they got their major rework faster than others but none of the new cards has major impact on how the civ plays.
I feel this core idea of simple, straightforward and strong booming economy kinda restricted the design of this civ, as any gimmick added to it will be broken. So when other civs get new cards that are more historically/culturally relevant, and may open up new builds and make up for their weaknesses, British keep getting conservative, mediocre ones.
Is it possible to make the civ more interesting after the nerf to its extremely fast start?
(Edit: I kinda like the change on their early eco because every time one proposes something more unique about them, it gets gate-kept by “but manor boom”)
The devs keep trying to make GMT useful but won’t make it this time either.
My point is, Britain has one of the most interesting early modern history. However while a single incident or a lore could become some interesting unique cards for some other civs, they still remain the most generic civ with some very important aspects irl ignored:
- Industrial revolution: missing this is like missing the French revolution (which finally gets the representation it deserves after 17 years). the only civs that have unique factory bonus are US and Mexico. British has actually no late game eco buffs besides manor training villagers (because they could boom fast), and they become average in the industrial age.
- Navy: almost generic. With naval buff cards more common across civs, their only bonus is one free battleship (with no buffs).
- They still have among the most limited unit roster, not even their own mercenaries, while others civs gradually get more.
That was all covered by the fact that “they could rush and boom in age 2 at the same time”. Maybe every creative idea is gatekeeped by “but they could rush and boom in age 2 at the same time”.
But if this is gone, problems originating from its really blend design will emerge one after another. Now the quick start is gone, so is there anything else interesting for it in the later game? No. If it is simple and strong people will still use it. If the only advantage is simple then they are quickly forgotten, so they should be more enriched at the same time. Look at some extreme one-trick-pony AOK civs in AOE2 that were not updated by the “modern” standard.
There may be considerations of keeping a “simple and easy-to-learn civ”. But I think that idea is outdated. The game has developed to a stage where “simple and easy-to-learn builds/strategies” could almost hold as sub-civs. Civs going for one deck/upgrade path do not play like the same civs going for another. One can still keep the “simple and easy-to-learn strategy” while making a very diverse civ.
Back in 2005, would any first time player look at the vanilla British and figure out 700w-600w-manor boom? No. They still remained to be dug out by some top players, then other players learn and copy them. It’s simple to learn but still needs to be taught.
On the other hand, for the very diverse DE civs especially the overstuffed US and Mexico, they still have “simple and easy-to-learn strategies” that everyone could learn and copy. In fact, despite how many options one is provided, they always converge to a few metas.
So I don’t understand the conservativeness in this civ’s design. It is questionable. Swedes and Japanese are designed as “mutant British” with a somewhat similar pacing and macro. Look at how many options and uniqueness they are given. Most not useful (which is natural), but these make the civ at least more interesting. After I boom, I could buff one or two good units into insanity with unique traits and abilities. I could play improved artillery units. I could mass mercenaries. I cannot get all of them in one game for sure but there are different paths to choose.
British? Manor musket longbow dragoon falconet rocket. Among them dragoons are hard to switch to because you cannot FF. Falconet is average. Rocket is the best I can get (I’d rather have heavy cannons) and only useful because of one good shipment.
Rangers should be avaliable from default. Not sure if it would make any difference, but they went very conservative with this.
I think Britain should be allowed to rebuild factories (for a very high price) as a civ bonus (due to Industrial revolution).
And British factories should also be able to produce any artillery unit for free (takes less time to produce a falconet than a rocket), and gunpowder units around factories can have more speed.
Since this is a very late game effect, it will not take away from British being an easy to learn civ.
Yeah, I also thought it was odd that the nation that initiated the Industrial Revolution long before others has no real mention or quirks regarding it.
Also agree that Rangers should just be available automatically in Industrial.
What I’d really love to see is some sort of Empire shipments allowing training of Highlanders, Sepoys and other units that may have been slinked to Britain (kind of like how Germans can access certain Germanic native houses via shipments now). Of course it would most likely break the game!
What if brits could double upgrade their factories? like having a 2nd tier of upgrades to further increase resource generation by 15%?
I agree their ships are kind of meh. I’d argue they need better industrial age fleet cards, something that ships a frigate and also increases firgate HP and attack by 25%
Rangers should just be made available, at this point they’ve gone to the trouble of making this unit that I have yet to see in a ranked brit game and like 10% of matches are vs brit. It’s not OP in the slightest so I don’t understand why it just isn’t available automatically, or make it age 4 only but with a card it’s trainable in age 3.
The way i’d rework brits:
Keep current nerfs but:
- Make rangers available by default age3, similar to how many factions get both skirmishers and xbows. Separate cards completely between rangers and longbows, so you can’t max both.
- Ships: unique card for improving late game warships (monitor and frigate). Both get +25% HP and attack.
- Economy: Factories get unique 2nd tier upgrades to improve economy.
- New card for hussars to gain an additional 10% speed. In age 2 or age 3.
- GMT: makes trade posts tickle additional XP in addition to current effects.
200W 200F wood 200G resource crates (age 2)
naval domination (age 1):fishing ships tickle XP while gathering
industrial logistics (age 4): all units train 10% faster
Personally I don’t like bonuses which are just stats improvements (such as second factory upgrade, hussar extra speed). This is the way AoE2 bonuses work where all civs do essentially the same stuff, but with the numbers changed (either due to a bonus or a malus such as lack of an upgrade).
I like new abilities (such as fishing ship gather xp). This in my opinion is how civs should be set apart.
Most of your suggestions aren’t reworks. These are numerical changes.
but I don’t see how we can rework british to better reflect its naval domination other than maybe giving them complete unique new warships? Like maybe having actual iron clad frigates instead of wooden ones? With different (better stats)?
How about musketeers?
Start as redcoats by default, they gain 10% HP, +2 range and +10% attack, while costing 7% more than a normal musketeer. The RG upgrade is removed, and has a normal guard upgrade.
How about hussars?
Start as lifeguards by default, they gain 10% speed and 10% atack, while costing 7% more. The RG upgrade is removed, and has a normal guard upgrade.
I’m just thinking out loud here, but what if British musketeers have some ability where fighting stationary in a line gives them increased damage and hp. But breaking formation makes them like ordinary musketeers. This is a feature of strelets in AoE4.
As for navy, British caravels should have some set fire ability (British fire ships destroyed the Armada). Frigates can block attacks like the US ironclad.
I already talked about industrial rev inspired mechanics in a post above.
They should give brit fire ships actually, that alone would make them better on water.
So i had this idea today for industrial revolution for brits: a revolution based solely around factories.
All villigers turn into some sort of unit with low combat capability. There is no way to make new ones.
Can’t train longbowmen. Fishing ships turn into some low power combat vessels.
Factory build limit increased to 15.
Pop set to 200.
Shipments cost 5% more.
New card: inf factory wagon.
New card: industrial construction : allows factories to build covered wagons, fort wagons and military wagons.
New card: industrial weaponry : all gunpowder, melee units gain 50% HP and attack.
New card: Ironworks : allows building unique iron clad warships, which have 50% attack and 60% more hp than their counterparts, but move 20% slower. For Galeon and caravels, gain 20% hp and attack, and 5% slower.
New card: inf 30 musketeers (500gold, 500food)
New card: inf 20 hussars (500g, 500f)
New card: artillery something: falconets and horse artillery get 2 range
New card: industrial baloons: allows factories to train hot air baloons (limit 5)
New card: artillery line assembly : allow training artillery (batches of 5) from factory. Cost per unit 100/100 in addition to idling the factory. Same training time as artillery foundry.
new card: industrial something with bullets : gunpowder units gain +2 range.
I was thinking of something less radical.
Because factories are very powerful buildings on their own, giving them additional gather rate buffs might be broken (the only “unique factory buff” which is Mexican just buffs hp).
So something like “increasing the work rate of nearby buildings or gather rare of nearby villagers” like the ####### ####### cards would be good enough.
EDIT: why the Italian military upgrade building is censored?
I kind of agree the British are a bit lackluster in terms of having a niche, but they’re not too bad imo. I’m almost a dedicated Brit main because I like redcoats, but I find myself playing a lot of the other civs just because the Brits can be a bit dull, but that’s probably a good thing. Either way, if I was directing an update to the Brits to make them more themeatic I would focus on factories and navies like has already been suggested. I like the idea of the British being mediocre unless/until they boom, and then just being incredibly oppresive and powerful with a matchless econ and endless waves of redcoats.
Here are some ideas for the brits I have:
- I guess the simplest thing would be to just give them another factory.
- Or maybe they get their factory wagons for free on aging up to industrial. That way they get factories before almost anyone else, which is thematic. Plus they would get 2 card slots for free by not having to have the factory cards, which is huge. Maybe if too OP could just be 1 factory on age up.
- They could get the ability for their factories to produce coal mine wagons (to represent their early coal industries)? Would be micro intensive to keep building the mines and tasking vills but potentially extremely profitable
- Or, completely radical here, what if they could build (or ship) a new unique dock building called a shipyard or dockyard, that acts like a naval factory which produces ships for free over time?
- Another naval card idea would be a card which ships a galleon with troops and a town centre wagon inside. Call it something like “colonial expedition” It would be a cool age 3 card.
- Considering the “victorian age” upgrade at Hanover, what if they had access to some extreme late-game cards for the imperial age? Something that costs some obscene amount of resources to send but gives some incredible benefit. E.g. a card called like “pax britannica” which costs 10k of each resources but gives an additional post-imperial upgrade to all units with like another +50% power.
Yeah my only request is more historical/cultural reference. Balance-wise I’m not the expert and there will be experts on that.
Among the existing civs, DE civs got much more references for sure (US and Mexico maybe too many).
Asians and native Americans remain kind of stereotypical, but that’s another topic.
For the reworked vanilla civs, I like Ottomans, French and Germans. They added a lot of flavor to them. They got their ruling dynasties, renowned units, important social movements, and buffs on some underused aspects. Other civs as well.
British though is still quite blend…Again maybe they can do a strong, quick age 2 boom so everything surrounds that, but now this is gone, and there is not much interesting stuff left.
My biggest complaint is: if one battle or incident, or a (failed) act in one state could become a unique card with unique mechanics, how come there is no mention of the industrial revolution at all? (not talking about the card that is just another factory wagon)