Camel Archer changes missed the mark

In the recent two patches Camel Archers had a few changes, namely increased base damage, but decreased bonus damage, decreased health and no more access to the imperial camel barding tech. The stated goal was to push the unit into a support role for your army without enabling camel archer only armies.

Let’s look at the two goals seperately. First off camel only armies. They used to be quite potent in imperial age because camel archers got access to a lot of upgrades. One of them, which provides armor, got taken away and health got reduced. The goal seems to be achieved since camel archer only armies are too squishy to stay in a long fight vs ranged units.

Second is the support role. Since Camel Archer have high bonus damage vs light infantry (mainly spears and rarely landsknechte) the obvious choice is to pair them with cavalry. However, this got nerfed massively with the changes. The unit usually has to take out spears quickly while tanking arrow fire. In feudal age the changes mean that now 4 shots are required instead of 3 to take out a spearmen and only 28 arrows can be tanked instead of 35. The +2 damage let’s them perform slightly better against armored units like maa, but if these get supported by archers, which is commonly the case, the effectiveness of Camel Archers will be very limited. In castle age the impact of the nerfs is smaller, but it’s still a direct nerf to the support role of camel archers.

Overall, they feel relegated to being a raid unit early on and a pure buff/debuff once camel support is unlocked with a little bit of supporting knights in mid game if you even choose to do so.

Did I miss something? Is there some hidden potential to the unit that I’m not aware of?

Nah, you coverd pretty much all of it. Pretty sure relic is just too dumb to test units with composite comps and all internal testing is just a list of 1v1s between various units.