There’s no two ways about it: the camel scout, a camel rider “prevolution” unique to the Gurjaras, is obviously going to be the coolest unit in the entire game, by virtue of it being a feudal age unit, a cavalry unit, and an animal-that-is-not-a-horse unit. But will it be any good in play?
I’ve done some light spreadsheeting, and my prediction is that it will have the following stats:
Cost 55 food 60 gold (camel rider line)
Build time 42s
Speed 1.15 dark age, 1.45 feudal age
Attack speed 2
Damage 3 dark age, 5 feudal age (same as scout cavalry)
Bonus: none in dark age, +1 to cavalry, camels, ships and fishing ships starting in feudal age.
Armor: 0/0 (same as camel rider)
The build time is based on the scout cavalry’s 30 seconds. 42 seconds lets you spend resources on camel scouts just the barest miminum faster than on scout cavalry. Eagle scout takes 60 seconds to build, but that’s to force the cost of a seconds barracks to offset not needing a stable. 40-45 seems like the reasonable range for the camel scout. This does not account for the team bonus of the Gurjaras, where camel units produce 25% faster. Given that there are other civs that get bonuses to their scouts it seems fair to base the 42s on a hypothetical generic camel scout.
Dark age speed sits between eagle scout (1.1) and scout cavalry (1.2). It will be slightly worse for long lames than the eagle, slightly better than the scout cavalry. And exactly the other way around for blocking villagers or boars. The speed in feudal age is the same as that of the camel rider. There is an argument to be made for an extra 0.05 speed on top of that, like the scout cavalry has, but that feels a bit like a weird exception for the sake of an exception. The speed of the camel scout being lower than that of the only contemporary cavalry unit does mean it’s not going to be as good at chasing cavalry down as we’re used to in castle age. Its speed is mostly used for running away from spearmen and archers.
The 60 hp means the camel scout takes about one third longer to die from melee attacks than the scout cavalry. (It’s less bad vs spearmen as well, taking 5 hits to die with the feudal armor in vs 3 for the scout cavalry.) This corresponds roughly with the difference in cost and training time. It’s as much health as a light cav has, but it’s still 40 hp less than a castle age camel rider, so it seems quite reasonable. It also means that in dark age the camel scout can beat the faster scout cavalry (takes 20 hits, needs to deal only 15) but loses to the slower eagle (takes 15 hits, needs to deal 17). Something like 55 hp might based on that be even better for dark age, but 60 feels like a good minimum for feudal age. Because while the survival time against melee units may seem reasonably fair, the camel scout dies faster to archers than either alternative. An archer gets the kill in 15 hits vs 23 for a scout cavalry and 25 for an eagle scout. Skirmishers are a camel scouts best friends.
The camel scout does a little extra well vs scout cavalry, thanks to its bonus damage. The camel scout kills in 9 hits, the scout cavalry takes 15 hits to return the favor. A bonus like +2 vs cavalry would be defendable, but the only civ that gets these things, the gurjaras, already get a bonus to bonus damage, so it might become too much relatively soon, especially as I ignored their faster production bonus earlier. In general I would prefer extra hp or attack over bonus damage, because the feudal meta is small enough without focusing on killing one specific unit.
As a scout, finding resources and enemy woodlines and such, the unit will be the worst of the bunch. Its slightly lower speed makes it slightly worse than the scout cavalry in dark age, and it does not get a line of sight bonus in feudal age. So it might pay to bring one or two regular scout cavalry along for vision. Their higher speed would probably put them mostly in front automatically, so as a bonus they’d also be the ones running headlong into surprise arrow fire.
Do you have different ideas/hopes/predictions? Are you hyped for the unit? Do you want to
build a snowman get camel scout rushed? This is the thread for you.