Changes to the Wokou Junk

The Wokou Junk is an Asian Mercenary Warship. A few civs can send it in from the home city, but all civs can train them from the dock on Asian maps with a Chinese/Japanese theme if the player has built a native TP, similar to Canoes.

Just to list the stats: it costs 800c with a build limit of 3. It’s hp is 1500, speed 7.5, attack 70 with 23 range and 1.5x vs buildings. a Broadside attack is listed but inaccessible. Its displayed tags are “War Ship” and “Mercenary Warship”

Unusually, the Wokou Junk can train several units depending on the context. It will always be able to train pet Orangutans (200f build limit 5). It can train Wokou Outlaws, but which kind is dependent on the set outlaws of the map (i.e. the outlaws you can train in the Saloon). If the map has no Wokou Outlaws, then the Junk won’t train any. Additionally, if your civ cannot train Wokou Outlaws because the outlaws are set (TWC, Africa, USA, Mexico) then you cannot train the Wokou Outlaws from the Junk even on maps with the map has them accessible. All the above is also true of the Marathan Catamaran btw, just for Marathan Outlaws (Dacoit and Thugees). Weirdest of all, it can train Hussars, but not other standard cavalry units.

My proposed changes would be:

-Reduce the cost from 800c to ~600c. Maybe you think 800c is a fair price for it’s stats in combination with the ability to train units, but 800c is a big barrier to actually train them. Making it cheaper would make it easier to make and possibly encourage its use more. Somewhere between 600c and 800c feels right to me, although I’d prefer closer to the lower end.

-Implement the Broadside attack. The Wokou Junk’s combat stats are already fairly competitive, somewhere between the Caravel and the Frigate, but it’s just weird there’s one listed that’s unusable. However, this is probably the least necessary change of all my proposals.

-Set the Wokou units. While I do kinda like making the Wokou Junk an extension of the Saloon, and it’s a good way to keep them on theme for the map, I think it would be better to have the units the Junk can make hard set. Ideally, I would like to give the most options to the player and have all 4 Wokou Outlaws trainable on all maps. It’s not like any of these units are anywhere close to overpowered so I hardly see this as “Meta Defining” just more fun and flexibility. This would also have 2 more positive effects: 1) civs that can send Wokou Junks from the Homecity will always be able to train units from them on every map and 2) civs that couldn’t train Wokou Outlaws before will now be able to on maps where they can obtain the Junk (Hokkaido, Manchuria, etc)

-Keep the Hussar and expand the idea. Honestly this is probably an oversight, but the fact it’s survived this long is rather charming to me (maybe posting about this on the forum was a mistake?) and I don’t see why it should change. Instead of removing it, I think all civs should be able to train their standard melee cav or shock-infantry from the Wokou Junk. No ranged cav or specialty heavy cav, just the regular stuff.

The exhaustive list would be: Uhlan, Cossack, Kanya, Axe, Coyote, Nagi, Steppe, Sowar, Chimu, Raiders, Shotel, and Chinaco.

I don’t see any of these as being too strong since most civs can already make all the above and more from their Galleon or an equivalent ship. The main exception would be the TWC civs, but I honestly don’t see Coyote landings being particularly toxic, at least no more than Halberdier or Oprichnik landing.

The only wrinkle I see in the above is China. There’s no great way to fit their banner army mechanic into the Junk’s design. The Forbidden Army seems the most natural choice since it’s a double melee cav batch, and it’s probably the best solution tbh, but I feel like Steppes fit the mold better and the Iron Flail and Meteor Hammer are a bit to “heavy” to fit with the other cav I’ve listed. Maybe the Mongolian Army could work then? But now they get the Keshik too. Before I go too far down this rabbit hole maybe this could be the one weird exception to the banner army rule and China can train Steppes normally from the Wokou Junk.

And that’s kinda it. Overall, I think the Wokou Junk is mostly fine. It’s a unique and interesting niche warship that already stands out. But the above changes would push it into a state that’s more consistent, usable, and fun.