Civ Tweaks - Round FIVE THOUSAND!

I may have complained about Incas too much. But I would like a tweak to Incas.

Military units -10%/15%/20%/25% food → Barrack units -10%/15%/20%/25% food.

This is more than enough to compensate eagles nerf imo.


In that case the dark age Donjon shouldn’t cost stone. It should be restricted to 1 in dark age but doesn’t cost stone and can’t produce any military. In that case it can be used the way you suggest. A donjon preferably on wood plus another resource and saves on the 2nd camp while not costing any stone.

As you previously mentioned Sicilians are dominating lower elos due to Serjeant play while at top level its not just the difficulty in producing them, they still have the same issue as other slow melee units - get killed or driven away by the feudal ranged units. In a way your producing the opposite effect of what you intend. Not right away but this dark age Donjon and playing Serjeants right away upon hitting feudal can only lead to more gimmicks. Civ needs somewhat of a non-trivial stronger eco benefit or the original 50% bonus damage for a buff at higher elo and nerf at lower elos.

Because there’s no necessity to do so. The civ is weak as game goes on, has no mobile units and a lot of other drawbacks. But it has the early castle age power spike. The best course of action for the opponent is to let the effect of the power spike fade and bring in the mid-game weaknesses of the civ into play.

Elephants are food intense as many others have pointed out, can’t chase down and kill units to return the cost of investment. Food collection rate is 19/min or 21 with wheelbarrow per farm which is significantly slower than all the other resources. You need food for literally every eco upgrade, producing vills and advancing ages. This makes Elephants a significantly worse choice. You can never play those as a mainstream 1v1 unit because of this. Its strictly a TG unit for pop efficiency.

And finally if you want to give something against monks for making elephant units a bit more feasible, the most logical way is to give devotion for free. But anyways that will still not make Elephants a good 1v1 choice, and definitely not for a civ like Dravidians. What Dravidians need is something like what @Zelley00 mentioned - a reduced damage taken by their units or their ranged units dealing more damage to cavalry units.

En-mass, absolutely. But the goal here isn’t to just spam Serjeants, it’s to make Serjeants easy enough to use, streamlined enough to use, that you can effortlessly use them precisely where they are most useful - which is to say, by soaking up enemy damage, and building Donjons.

For example, since Donjons serve as a resource collection point now, you can use your first donjon to make serjeants that can then construct additional donjons at other resources around your base, saving the villager time, a functional eco bonus. You then use those serjeants, mixed in with your existing composition, to dramatically increase the HP totals of your army. For example, adding 1 serjeant to an army of 10 skirmishers will increase the effective HP of that force by 50%. Even if they only soak damage from one or two scouts, it’ll more than be worth the cost from a HP perspective alone.

In total, you might only make two or three serjeants in feudal age, but that would be more than enough to make your base virtually unraidable. In essence, you would be building towers and mining camps/mills/lumber camps in one building. Not only that, it won’t take any villager time to build, so it will actually be substantially cheaper than building those buildings with villagers. This allows you to survive until the farm bonus begins to give you the benefits you need to win.

But - and this is key - only if you’re building them near resources. If you use them aggressively, or without villagers to collect the resources, then the collection building aspect is useless. So your typical straight donjon rush will be ~10% slower, but building defensively will be close to twice as fast.

Here’s the basic question: Which is better? To spend 450 resources and 165 villager-seconds building a Barracks, Lumber Camp, and Tower? Or spending 275 resources and NO villager-seconds building a Donjon?

Dravidians don’t have an early castle age power spike at the moment. If anything, they have the opposite of an early castle age power spike; they’re at their absolute weakest in early castle age. They lose hard to both knights and siege, two units with great power right out the gate in castle age, and they have very little in the way of countermeasures to them, thanks to lacking Redemption, Husbandry Scouts, or Knights of their own.

Now, Elephants could fill that role. Much like with Serjeants, you don’t need a huge mass of elephants to be effective. For example, a single fully upgraded elephant archer can actually 1v1 a mangonel with no micro. It’s just that small numbers of elephants are incredibly weak to small numbers of monks. And, unfortunately, Devotion doesn’t actually change that dynamic, because it doesn’t actually threaten the monks. Having one extra second of reaction time just allows you to run away, it doesn’t actually allow you to engage. That’s a dynamic that takes damage, not resistance, to change - and ideally damage from a non-elephant unit, one not as vulnerable to conversion. Otherwise the gamble is still too high.

By allowing Dravidians to use their existing mass of skirmishers to effectively counter monks, it allows the use of small numbers of early elephant archers to counter siege, and battle elephants to counter knights. No, they’re still not going to be able to chase down knights, but that’s an intentional flaw of the civ; they’re slow, it’s unavoidable. But at least the knights are going to be unwilling to directly engage, since battle elephants trade very effectively with knights. Battle elephants can also effectively body block, reducing damage to skirmishers and forcing the enemy to take bad fights.

The quick power spike of the elephants can buy time for the game dynamics to evolve to the point where pikemen once again trade effectively with knights, as they do later in the castle age - and from then on, the Civ can play exactly as intended, but in a far more balanced way.

Do you ever see people just building towers around their base? This is not a functional bonus. Its a waste of resources. You have to gather stone, build a camp on it which are waste of resources. Can’t believe you watch pro player streams like Mbl and still you make such suggestions. Have your ever noticed him do 7-8 towers around the base for no reason. You wall, and just build 1 tower in a vulnerable area at best so that you can move forward to attack.

OMG 50%, see I never knew that. But its actually wrong math and not 50% of your total army and practically speaking this is a decorative stat which doesn’t matter. Its a SLOW MELEE unit. As with every suggestion of yours, the problem is SLOW MELEE units can’t force fights.

And spending a 175 extra stone per camp for no reason. Spending too much on defensive buildings that early puts you at a huge disadvantage. You’d spend more time on building and collecting stone which is not going to give back any value. Opponent will simply hit next ages sooner and win the game with that momentum. Something like this is not a high elo game, its a less than 500 elo game.

Spending 275 wood on just barracks, lumber camp and NO TOWER. You don’t need a tower in dark age or immediately upon hitting feudal. That’s necessary ONLY when your opponent does a forward rush and has more military or did a forward tower themself.

Its a low utility power spike but still a power spike nevertheless. And read with context - the point being their bonus fades out in a few minutes and there’s no benefit that lasts long. So no need for the opponent to rush them in early castle age. Its not like monaspa, leitis or mangudai are going to get produced after a while.

That’s a consequence of poor militia line utility in practice and being just on par or slower than many civs to the next age.

No they can’t. A lot of us have repeatedly mentioned the reason - SLOW and HIGH FOOD COST. If you’re uncomfortable or unable to understand from random people in forums, and since you watch Mbl’s streams maybe next time ask him why he’s never doing elephants as his main army in early castle. For that matter ask any pro player in their stream.

Its exactly there for that purpose. You can run out of range, regroup with more units or kill more monks before the conversions happen. Losing 3 elephant archers to conversion and killing 2 monks is a bad trade. Losing 2 elephant archers to conversion and killing 4 monks probably not.

It will just snipe the monk that’s healing or converting a defensive elephant and that’s a useful bonus.

Knights will just raid, pull back heal, repeat till they get a massive numbers advantage.

Elephants are never a power spike. Once again - food collection rate is slowest, elephants are slow, no range - these are still huge negatives even if you minimize weakness to conversion. Military units aren’t produced just for the sake of it, they are produced because they have some utility. Slow expensive melee units like elephants don’t have that in most situations. Again, talk to pro players in their stream, if you want to understand better why that’s the case.

No, but I’ve also never seen a civ have towers that are functionally completely free.

A better comparison would be Harbors, if they didn’t take Thalassocracy to get. You’d just get the benefits passively.

Yes, it would take stone, but Sicilians start with extra, making this even EASIER to do, and they’re going to want to take stone relatively early anyway.

Yes, they’re going to play differently from other civs, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

I’ve done better, I’ve watched tournaments, and I’ve seen small numbers of elephants used as a desperation defense several times in high-stakes tourneys. They inevitably crumble to monks, hence my suggestion, but the fact of the matter is, they actually offer better stats in every regard except for speed per cost, plus they produce vastly faster, and trade better almost universally. Pro players wouldn’t use it if they thought it was completely unviable.

They’re absolutely not going to be able to chase down the knights, but they don’t have to; they just need to keep them evading and running around, preventing them from doing the most damage possible, until the game progresses to the point where pikes can effectively counter them again.

Serjeant building it doesn’t make it free. It saves 40-50 seconds of work time for 4 vills which is about 60 resources but the building itself costs 250 resources (275 based on your update) which is 75-100 more compared to a generic civ.

Harbors are useless. No one ever complains because Malay have become less of a water and more of a land civ since last year.

They start with 100 extra but their tower replacement costs more proportionately. Both generic civs and Sicilians can do 2 of them by collecting just 50 stone that’s about it. Beyond this Sicilian actually have to pay a lot more.

That’s not a main army. And a very small buff to make that more feasible doesn’t compensate for its severe weaknesses. Will such a change be useful? Absolutely yes. Will that address their weakness and make them a usable civ? Absolutely not. And functionally it won’t turn out the way you expect it to be. If Dravidian monks tried converting the enemy monks which are converting their elephants/elephant archers from behind enemy knights, they have to move closer and light cav or knights themselves might kill them before the conversion happens. Atonement is more of an upgrade for pure clown fest.

In the presence of elephants, knights can run around kill a lot of vills and run away to get healed. You need to either make all Dravidian units take less damage or Dravidian ranged units plus defensive structures deal more damage to cavalry.

You save that time, and you get a lumber camp, mining camp, or mill, and a barracks. Just the latter two make it free, the saved time is just a cherry on top.

And then you get arrows out of it, too.

Exactly! I’m not talking about a main army, I’m talking about a small complimentary force that can synergize with a later main army, after keeping you alive through the weak period.

But they do have to run around. That alone makes a big difference.

But those don’t cost stone.

Buffing something for a niche use case will just strengthen Dravidian in that niche situation. It won’t be sufficient in general. If a civ is fully balanced otherwise and only need a small adjustment for such a niche situation, this can be a decent change. But not for a very weak civ like Dravidians. Since you mentioned tournaments, their winrate is 37%, 25% if migration (the only map where they are good) is excluded.

Best practical use case for Atonement that I can think is when Dravidian get siege pushed without cavalry units, Dravidian use their own siege to defend and when a redemption monk tries to convert that siege. Here all the units involved are slow and the free atonement can add value or force atonement from the opponent at the very least.

Its not. It makes a difference only when u have to stay and protect siege. The way you put it implied knights can’t get much damage if a few non-husbandry elephants are around. That’s absurd. Maybe if Dravidians had a bonus that slows enemy units in their base somehow, you can use this bonus.

Actually I checked and this almost never happened in S tier events. A couple of times in hidden cup qualifiers on Islands map, when there was a landing without monastery but just some skirms and siege, a couple of elephants were used to kill the siege. That’s it. Not a single S tier game where elephants were used in decent numbers for defending against knights, monks and siege.
If you say several then I don’t think you watch S or A tier events, maybe some C tier events or miscellaneous events like FFA. Either ways that’s a false claim.

Go back and watch again. I distinctly remember at least two games where it happened, once with battle elephants, and once with an elephant Archer.

Anyway, dictating from my phone today, so sorry if my formatting is a bit off.

Regarding stone, yes, it does take stone, but they start with extra stone, and as a civilization, they are going to want to start collecting more of it. Stone is just another resource until late game.

Regarding elephants, the point is not a niche situation, but rather a common one. A big part of the dravidian weakness has to do with how easily skirmishers can be killed off by knights. Allowing skirmishers to fill the role of light Cavalry opens the door to allowing elephants to defend those skirmishers, while not being as vulnerable to the normal Pikeman counters. Knights will still be a challenge, but that’s intentional. The point is, they will have a much larger list of options to defend against that weakness.

Simply by keeping their existing mass of skirmishers alive, it opens the door to almost any other strategy they should choose. Including ongoing aggression, which forces the enemy to be more defensive, which reduces the pressure on the dravidian base. It also allows the dravidians to be more effective against Siege, since right now they have essentially no answer to early Castle aged siege, but small numbers of elephant archers can effectively counter them, if not countered themselves by monks.

It might seem like a small change, but I would say it’s more akin to the Bengali monk armor bonus, which is deceptively potent against certain types of enemies.

Dravidians have been played 155 times in S and A tier main event. 300 if you include qualifiers. 2 games doesn’t imply several, its rather rare.

Its not a necessary resource for the early game. They start with extra stone but u cant even build a 2nd Donjon with it if you’re not gathering. And you were mentioning that they can build a whole bunch of Donjons instead of camps which is at least 700 stone down the drain.

Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of skirms getting extra attack against monks but just don’t think it will enable elephant play. Elephant usage for that niche situation might become more feasible but that’s not much of a balance change. Being weak against knight raids and not having an answer is fine is as long as economy is buffed or that weakness is addressed in some other way.

Keeping the skirms alive is good to snipe monks but other than that its not going to do much. Elephant play is bad in general due to several weaknesses. Food eco, slow and can’t force fights, hard to do counter damage and vulnerability to monks. Addressing one still keeps the othersremaining. So that’s never going to be a mainstream strategy for Dravidians. You’d have to severely buff elephant archers in general. Like much higher base range, either higher base damage or much lower food cost, very high accuracy/projectile speed, good bonus damage against scorps. Then you’d have addressed most of their weaknesses except speed and they will be usable in quite a few situations. Otherwise elephants or elephant archers are not going to be a 1v1 thing.

It fits Bengalis. They get good elephant units, long lasting eco advantage and past the early knight attack they get their own mobility with Rathas. Its not the same functionally for Dravidians.