Bulgarians tweak

Giving Ring Armor to fully upgrade the CA seems to me to be decent, but no Stirrups.
Bulgars were semi-nomadic, so using CA makes sense.

Perhaps Bagains can give some armor to Dismounted Konniks too.
Siege Engineers also cost -50% of food.

Free Ballistics runs the risk of being broken until the middle stage of Castle age. CAs, Towers, Kreposts, and even feudal age Archers and Skirmishers, become extremely powerful due to free Ballistics.
As defensive buildings, Kreposts should already be good against archers, and you still can just buff Kreposts themselves if needed.

that would depend on how cheap is “pretty cheap”. heavy scorp is 800f/900w so having it cost 400f/900w isn’t exactly cheap especially in castle age where food and wood are needed so much for everything else. the only decent viable option would be onager with 8 range and 1 more PA which would be a big boost for bulgarians only if they invest into this costly tech

like I said enabling this for them 1 age earlier prob dont do much but MIGHT give us some niche play which i’d be happy to see

What if Krepost also have a healing aura for Konnik or maybe even all cavalry? Is this too similar to Celts?

Too similar. The Krepost already has a solid identity as a mini-Castle that costs less than Frankish/Inca/Slavic Castles.

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I figured as much. I’ll stick to my scorpion opinion. And scorpion, just like militia line, should have got more love to be meta unit.

please no more auras. none of this magic shit

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Sure…but that’s a distinction without a difference. If Bulgarians went siege, CA, Hussar, that’s not unique cause it has bad archers, that’s a common Mongol and Magyar comp. Perhaps the reasons to go for that comp are unique, but not the comp itself.

CA + Konnik/Cavalier (read heavy cav) is a Magyar and Hun comp.

I will say tho, pairing Infantry and CA, is as far as I can tell pretty unique. most CA civs have lackluster if not terrible infantry. The closest would probably be Japanese and I wouldn’t call it a go to strategy for them.

Also just because something is unique, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s congruent with the rest of their identity. We could give Steppe Lancers to Aztecs and wax poetic about how unique Eagle Warriors combined with SL is, but it wouldn’t be congruent with the Aztec identity. Seems to me that Bulgarians really want to focus on melee infantry and cavalry, and pushing their CA moves them into the direction of a lot of other CA civs.

Personally I really like CA, so on paper i’m ok with more good CA in the game, I just don’t know if Bulgarians should be the ones to have good CA.

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The Bulgarians were steppe nomads that settled down and mixed with the local Slavic population.
Giving them an early bonus for their Cavalry Archers would fit that theme while not making them stronger in the late game.

My ideas:

  • Cavalry Archer have 100% accuracy (worse then free Thumb Ring)
  • Kreposts can train Cavalry Archers

This makes it a little cheaper to tech into Cavalry Archers (on top of cheaper Blacksmith upgrades) since you don’t really need Thumb Ring for them.
You can still eventually research it if you have floating resources for the small attack speed boost and the accuracy of Skirmishers.

Being able to train them from Kreposts (as suggested before) would make them easier to train.
That means you can get them out without having to build a single Archery Range.
In the long run Archery Ranges are still cheaper because they don’t cost Wood.

So both changes would have little impact on the Late Game where Bulgarians are already strong enough.

To be fair monks are also magic units,I still agree with you we have enough things with auras now.

So I double checked aoe2 stats, and i think you’re onto something. Bulgarians are slighty underperforming at all stages of the game, 48-49% winrate, but not awful, except for the 20-30 minute games, where they tank hard. winning only about 1/3 of those games.

So yeah, it seems like their late game options are fine, but their early game options leave them on the back foot.

However a castle age buff might be too late to help. I think a feudal age buff could help tho. Maybe split Bagains like how Zealotry was split for a while. have +1 or +2, or +1/+2 MA to the militia line as a bonus, and then bagains made cheaper but only gives +3 or +4. +2 as a bonus is better than romans MAA MA but romans also have 5% better vills and roman bonus helps spears whereas this wouldn’t. And besides, Bulgarians kinda NEED to be aggressive, which makes it expected, so you need a good bonus to counteract that.

Infantry + anything that is not siege is unique.
Maybe the whole Bulgarians is not interesting lays on the base that Infantry is not interesting.

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CAs take time to build, so they wouldn’t benefit particularly much. Towers and Kreposts and TCs would be the main beneficiary, but honestly, that’s the whole point. If they want to attack you, they need to take some damage.

The nice thing is, it hits right when they’re weak, but quickly fades off afterwards.

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In my opinion, what I suggest or any Feudal/Castle Age important tech given for free offers them a solution in the mid game without offering them buffs in the late game where they are already strong.

As someone pointed out, M@A is the only opening strategy going for them to utilise their bonuses, after which it fizzles out. It’s better we move the TC stone discount to Cumans (which can actually use it), and give Bulgarians some strong bonuses to their eco/military/defensive play.

I am all for free Ballistics, early Siege Engineers, 100% accurate CA, provided it helps Bulgarians be a meta pick, not a counter pick to Aztecs and Incas.

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Aztecs have really good answers to armored infantry and amazing skirms for cav archer slaughter

If Kreposts were allowed to research not only Elite Konnik but also the UTs then Stirrups would be a lot easier to get to and would come at a timing where help is very much needed for Bulgarians.

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I absolutely hate same bonus twice for same civ. Fortunately devs got rid of that from Saracens. Now only Burmese is remaining. And I can assure you, buffing militia line won’t do anything for Bulgars.

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Do you hate it because you don’t like how it plays out or you hate it cause it seems really ugly design-wise? I’ll admit I’m in that second camp. I wasn’t a fan of the zealotry split design wise, but it was a buff so I got it. I am happy that it’s been re-worked into a bonus.

I’m on the same boat. Ugly design.

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Have any of you tried going for early Kreposts? Everyone always seems to go for a castle first, but it feels like that’s a mistake to me. Going for Castle+Stirrups costs 1250 resources and only really pays off once you produce a significant amount of units.

By contrast, a Krepost costs 350 resources - and gives you the equivalent of 4 houses and ~1.5 stables. That’s basically 360 wood worth of resources right there, while giving functional immunity to archers in its radius as well, AND allowing you to go to Imp if you want.

Given their big weakness is in early to mid castle age, this seems like a strategy that directly addresses their biggest weakness, and it’s almost free.

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People go for castles because the Krepost can only make the unique unit. Which is fine until imperial age, at which point the krepost not being able to make trebuchets is a massive drawback.

Going into the UU is a risk and an expensive one at that. It’s all too easy to just get Stirrups/Bagains, Conscription, and then only use the castles for the trebs they need. They are more than capable of fielding a well-rounded army from just their standard production buildings without depending on expensive stone fortifications.