Church cards and saloon cards: worth it?

I’d like to know people’s thoughts on this, which stems from earlier discussions about merc changes and church upgrades.

For church cards (those that unlock 3 unique techs for European civs): very few are useful. You need already one card investment, and the first tech, though free, always comes with a penalty which is usually annoying. These are what I feel are more useful:
- The techs that instantly grant you a ~20 pop units. However very few strategies evolve around them. I sometimes see people using the Spanish halberdier tech.
- Dutch coffee trade: though -10% speed is bad, +2 church is really crucial.
- German Tilly’s discipline and French Code Napoleon: their penalties are increased costs, so they can be used when you’ve already built up your army or eco buildings.

For saloon/monastery cards (specifically those that unlock one new merc): I just never see anyone using them. That’s one card investment, and the unit unlocked (Ronin/Iron Troop/Yojimbo/Jat Lancer) is either less cost-effective or overlaps with regular units. I’d rather directly send a merc card for them.

What do people think?

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I generally think there are a lot of very useless cards.
It removes variety from the game and makes it harder to learn for new players.
They have to find out which cards you are supposed to use and which not. Some cards are absolutely must have while others are basically useless.
There are even some cards that are just worse variants of other cards like none infinite versions that ship the same number as infinite ones.

Buffing some underused cards would mix things up. Maybe some cards could be combined.
What if the Church card would also ship a Church?
Or combine it with some other card that is Church related like Surgeons.

Same with Saloon but we have another thread about Mercenary changes going on already.

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Most church cards are pretty horrid, they could do with a rework. Mostly the downside is not worth what you get in return.
Spain had that Halberdier tactic you mentioned, and the Dutch do really need those +2 banks in the late game. I don’t think I’ve seen any others used that much beside perhaps Ottomans.
Tilly’s discipline isn’t very good, units die alot and now you gotta rebuild them. If you were gonna win before you needed to rebuild, you probably wouldn’t have needed Tilly’s discipline anyway.
Code Napoleon is just an economic theory card with a downside, I know what I’d rather send.

Another downside to the church cards is that theyre age II cards, that’s a crowded slot as is.

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most of them are used in treaty, they are competitive just not for 1 vs 1.

i like the Russian 1 for rush games as well, so many resources saved on upgrades and i can keep a pretty diverse army.

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Not all cards are for supremacy or 1v1. Just like not all cards are useful in treaty.

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Imo some penalties are not good for treaty either…

Recently the balancing seems to be focusing on the most well-established, widely-used builds of the older civs, while many interesting but useless cards remain untouched.
To name a few: church cards, everything related to surgeons, most hero buffs. Some bonuses just don’t worth one card’s investment, compared to some crazier bonuses and traits added to the new civs. I’d like to see how they can add more varieties to the strategies of the game.

I do like the redesigned Spanish Gold card. It adds some new strategic ideas for Spain, which actually fits quite well with the civ’s overall design and playstyle.

Is the Portuguese one worth it for the Besteiro?

I’d rather directly switch to cassadors…

What about Nizam Fusilier’s?

I think Spanish Gold should work like the German Uhlans and just be a civilisation feature instead of a card. 200 Coin in Age2 cards, 400 Coin in Age3 cards and 600 Coin in Age 4 cards.

Hero cards, Church cards, Saloon cards, should all be improved and/or merged.
Why not combine the effect with a shipment of a Church or Saloon? Or even better a shipment and an increase of the built limit.
Unlock Ronin, ship a Salon Wagon and increase the Saloon limit by 1. That something worth considering.
Or Unique Church card also ships a Church and increases the Church limit by 1. That’s something worth considering in Age2.

They are cool and all but how many Janissaries are you going to ship in Age 3 and 4?
You can’t train them.

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For Brits, the availability of Skirmisher is nice in 1v1 but they’re untrainable, the red line upgrade only useful in the scenario where there is stalemate in late late game, but that is easily countered by cannon, unless vs lakota, aztec, and indian. The highlander merc is not attractive enough so putting this card in deck is questionable in many games.

For Dutch, this card is a must when playing treaty due to the increase for bank limits. The stradiot itself can make an interesting age 3 timing push and it cost 1k coin for 5 stradiots. Stadhouder give untrainable guard musk in age 4, so it have it’s own use if the game gets that long. Overall a nice card to bring for Dutch in any type of game, but not a priority that needs to be immediately shipped in age 2.

For French, the card only use is in treaty just for the code napoleon once you already have many building. The grenadier it give have not much use for French, but the last upgrade give it a royal guard status, this card also synergies well with the grenade launcher card for better attack and imperial upgrade. Overall this card have no use in 1v1 but good to have if you want some grenadier shenanigans with French in treaty. No one expects French Grenadier.

For German, Tilly Discipline is a must have for any German infantry, but the contract and zweihander is questionable at all. So in any case you most of the time receive only 1 or 2 benefit from this card. 5.2 speed Skirmisher is fun, and 5.8 Speed Doppelsoldnerr can make a suicide unit to snipe building. Get it if you gotta go fast.

For Ottoman, it’s one of the best version of the church card. The new New Order Infantry grant cav multiplier to any Heavy Infantry, the age 4 upgrade grants 3 Bombard at cheap price. Overall it’s a nice card to have in any game type that can reach to age 4 and late game.

For Ports, the card use in 1v1 is if you do lots of xbow, the black rider it have coming way to late that dragoon are better, but they got cool name. Overall this card is good to have in treaty game with for the mill gather bonus since Ports army are food starved, the penalty most of the time only affected plantation gather rate, but port dont need that much coin anyway.

For Russian, this card is a must have in any deck and better to be send prior to reaching age 3. The unit it give also nice as Russian lacks tanky cavalry and dragoon. Can go no wrong with this card in deck.

For Spanish, the card is very questionable, Corselet nerf Rods play, Halb is worse than Rods. The only saving grace is the 10 Harquebus in age 4, but that food cost better spend to train lancer or hussar. Overall not that worthy to put in deck in most game.

For Sweden, Push of Pikes + Military Drum will make Swedes pikeman into semi rodelero, but we rarely see Swedes that play pikes. Any percentage increase for merc is always good, and the Savolax is no exceptions for Jaeger. Finally the Gustav Guard is the only questionable use as all Sweden infantry already counter cavalry. Overall good to have if there is slot in age 2 deck.

In the end all card have more of it’s use in late game scenario than in 1v1.

Spanish already has faster shipment. That would be too OP.

But indeed some card effects can be combined, especially those more “conservative” ones in the earliest version which are really out-of-date right now.

French church card would be good with the grenade launcher card if they hadn’t nerfed their age 3 grens