Buff ideas for gunpowder civs

Hi guys,

Currently the common conception of the community is that the weakest civs on land maps are the gunpowder civs, to be exact the italians, portuguese and turks. One solution is to buff them independently from each other (there were many discussions about how to buff each civ) but I think that buffing their common strength (which turns out to be kinda weak) would be a good idea: buffing gunpowder in general. Of course this buff only comes in when the player advances to imperial age, so there will still be some kinda big weaknesses in the early game, but now atleast they will have a huge strength (which basicly defines the civilizations thus gives a big reason to play them), which is very needed.

Potential change ideas:

  1. Reduce the research time of chemistry
    Now this one would be pretty huge. Turks are known as one of the best civs that can execute a fast-imperial strategy, since they get chemistry for free. But the other gunpowder civs for example italians, portuguese (spanish and maybe indians aswell) are really slow compared to them, therefore their fast-imperial strategy often turns out to be pretty weak, since the oppenet has the time to react. Reducing the research time of chemistry wouldn’t buff the turks who are already the best civ in FI gunpowder startegies, but would buff the other civs that excel in gunpowder but are still pretty weak compared to other non-gunpowder FI strategies, like going arbalests. My recommendiation is to reduce it by 10 or maybe 15 seconds, but definitely don’t go further from 20 seconds (currently chemistry has 100 seconds research time).

  2. Buff hand cannoneers
    Now this is a change a lot of people has been asking for. I don’t necessary agree with a need for a big buff, but I think a small buff would make the game healthier, since it opens possibilities for more strategies which are weak currently. A small accuracy increase is definitely something I would be in favour of, but nothing drastical like 20% like some people suggest, I’d be totally fine with 5%.

  3. Buff the units which gunpowder counter: infantry
    There are a lot of complex reasons why each unit is used or not used. Many want give huge buffs units like the jaguar warrior or condottiero, so they will have more uses, but that’s something I don’t really agree with. Those are units that useful in special cases, and don’t have other places to shine. Instead of increasing the number of places where they can shine (which definitely needs huge changes to be made and to be balanced after), why not just increase the commoness of these special cases? For example buffing gunpowder would increase the use of condottieros and buffing infantry would increase the use of jaguar warriors. Let’s see what effects would buffing infantry have:
    -Increased uses of infantry
    -Increased uses of gunpowder units to counter infantry
    -Increased uses of UUs that counter infantry for example jaguar warriors and cataphracts
    -Decreased uses of units that infantry counter, for example eagle warriors and trash units
    -Increased uses of the counters of gunpowder units
    -Theoritically infinite number of increased/decreased uses that are practically negligible therefore we shouldn’t take them in account
    All of these changes would make the game much diverse and healthier. I’ve once made a post where I explained what I would change (supplies decreased cost, LS, THS +1 attack, champion decreased research cost and time).

It is likely that all 3 of these changes are needed in some form to make the gunpowder civs stronger and more appealing to play, but it is certain that something needs to be done to buff gunpowder. It is also likely that these changes won’t fix the problematic civilizations single-handedly, italians, portuguese and turks will all need some changes that only effect each of the civ (for exmaple UU buffs, new bonuses, etc), but most importantly this change would greatly highlight their identites and more and more people will find it fun to play with them, and they will be used in competitve matches aswell.


Imo we need two separate buff kinds. One, the most important for the weak civs, the other one directly for gunpowder.

For instance, regarding the direct buff:


  • free archer armors
  • reduced TT of genoese xbow
  • potential condo buff


  • gold discount extended to tech
  • increase rof of organ guns
  • a small water buff (UTs researched in university)

Regarding gunpowder:


HCs are:

  • gold intensive
  • weak to archers
  • super weak to skirms

So the easiest way is to buff HC imo (between your proposals).

Ideally, it should be late game version of arbalests. It has one less range but more attack. I would give it similar (maybe just a bit worse) accuracy and rof of an arbalest…

Somehow HC could be similar to ckn, but with a weakness to rams, skyrms, and way more expensive.

So HC should be a bit better than ckn vs infantry, similar vs archers and cavalry, but:

  • weaker to rams
  • weaker to skyrms
  • more expensive

Exactly what I was writing at the end:


Small condo buff is something I’d consider after gunpowder gets buffed, but currently I disagree with it.
Small water buff is something which we discussed a lot about (I disagree with it), but lets focus now on land.
All others I agree with.

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Probably this should be a new role. Trivially, a bonus vs eagles and -15g as effect of the imperial UT would make it the italian champion (italians should loose champion in this case)

Regarding gunpowder, people have proposed to lock the buff behind a tech

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I think it would be too slow then to tech into gunpowder, it is already too slow, that’s the reason why chemistry research time should be decreased.

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In that case, turks would need a big buff, because one of their main strenghts is being able to train gunpowder units while the enemys are still researching chemistry. After that, they lose some of their impact.

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Indeed, buffed janissaries or a strong way to deal with archers

Mst Gunpowder units are fine. BBCs, Cannon Galleons, Conqs, Jans… all have a place in the game.

Hand Cannoneers are the units that are suffering.
I think they deserve an extra 15HP, and perhaps an upgrade for accuracy.


Agreed, but you won’t go fast imp just to have access to any of those units, since going fast imp just like all other strategies should be determined in dark age, and you won’t know if the enemy will build a castle for example in dark age.

+15 HP wouldn’t do much in early imperial
Neither an upgrade

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I really like the idea of buffing HCs but if they become a sort of go-to unit the bonus damage should be split in half (+5) then to not make infantry obsolete against gunpowder civs in the lategame. Chemistry research time is fine, it keeps Fast Imp Arbs in check and it historically makes sense that gunpowder comes some time after Imp for most of the civs. As for the weaker gunpowder civs, they still need a bit more going for them early game in land maps, I wouldn’t even mind eco boni seeing how every civ gets these nowadays…


You will as Turks.
In Water maps, you will also go Imp and go for Chemistry first, in order to get Cannon Galleons, because coastal Castles are a pain to deal with for Ships.

No civ that has BBC, even without Siege Engineers, complains that BBC has no role, and they are often used.

Chemistry is also popular with Archer and Naval civs, since it is an upgrade for their favoured units.

Good, because HCs are not an early Imperial unit, unless you are Turks, and those already get +HP.
HCs are meant as a counter to Champions, Elite Eagle Warriors, Halberdiers and several UUs; most of which are not early Imperial units either.


All Gunpowder civs have eco bonii as it is.

This is exactly what we want to adress

Then I disagree. earlier HCs would be abusable against Pikes and 2HS.

Gold eco boni don’t really matter though.
We don’t need HC to keep infantry in check. Most Infantry gets countered by Arbs and those who don’t by Knight-Line and Champs.


It actually does matter, though, since it allows you to actually field a lot of expensive units, like Knights, Monks, Ships, and the Gunpowder units themselves.

Eco Bonii does not mean bonus to Food or Wood gathering. Gold is the most important resource in the Imperial Age, and almost all Gunpowder civs are meant to go for Fast Imp, with the only exception being the Spanish.

This is what I wanted to say all along and those bonuses are ment to help it and then you replied:

You are making statments in one post and then calling your own statements false in an other? Or tell me if I misunderstood.

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When talking about boni, we all mean those that matter in the Dark and Feudal Age and to a much lesser extent those early Castle like cheaper TCs. And the reason the non-gold boni are good is because gold has already a fast gather rate + they are so flexible that you can do anything with them. For a gold eco bonus to matter you need to go mass archers which limits you a lot and makes you predictable.
In Imperial Age gold is important, yes, but only because it is scarce, only Portuguese have good access to more gold then.