Civilization Craft: Kazakhs

This is one of my oldest brainstorms and I haven’t altered it much, so bear with me as it may be a little rough.

The Kazakhs can represent the nomadic Kazakh people during the Middle Ages, as well as the various states that were present in Kazakhstan during the Middle Ages, including ones settled by Gokturks, Kipchaks, Tatars, Khazars, and others. There is a great deal of cultural overlap with the in-game Cumans, Tatars, Turks, Persians, Mongols, and potentially Hindustanis, providing a lot of campaign potential.

The Kazakhs in-game would be greatly focused on Steppe Lancers, reflecting how they were a nomadic horse-oriented people and seemed to mainly use cavalry wielding spears or lances. They would have the Central Asian architecture, shared with the Cumans and Tatars, as a nod to the architecture of the Muslim invaders in the region. The Kazakh Wonder is the Mausoleum of Aisha Bibi, a small but visually striking tomb dedicated to a noblewoman who died only an hour before she was due to meet her lover.

Now that I’ve provided some cultural background, let’s get down into the in-game bonuses themselves.

Civilization Bonuses:

  • Steppe Lancers +1 pierce armor in Castle, +2 in Imperial Age (for +3 total)
  • Can create two Trade Carts instantly and for free after building the first Market
  • Houses built 200% faster
  • Cavalry and cavalry archers affected by Arson

Team bonus: Cavalry archers +2 attack vs buildings

Unique Unit: Batyr (anti-fortification cavalry that slightly heals after each kill)

Unique Technologies: Kolbasy (all Knights currently created become Batyrs), Royal Armor (Steppe Lancers and Batyrs +20 HP)

Tech Tree Notes:

Kazakh infantry is decent. It is fully upgraded and none of the unit upgrades are missing, but it isn’t particularly special, since there are no bonuses for it of any kind.

The archers fare a bit better. While they’re missing the Arbalester, they do have Heavy Cavalry Archers with Parthian Tactics and Hand Cannoneers with all the upgrades. The Cavalry Archers even get a bit of extra damage against buildings. They’re quite serviceable.

The cavalry is a bit more situational. They’re missing the Hussar and even the Cavalier, and they only get up to Chain Barding Armor, though they do have Blast Furnace at least. Naturally, they have all the way to Heavy Camel. The Elite Steppe Lancers are quite tanky in terms of pierce armor and HP, since Bloodlines and Royal Armor stack for a combined total of 120 HP, comparable to a Knight with Bloodlines and a Cavalier without Bloodlines, and they have a total of 4 pierce armor in the Imperial Age. However, their unupgradable Knights are among the worst in the game, since they max out at only +2/+2 armor. It is best to use them for a standard Knight rush, then try to mass as many Steppe Lancers as possible, then research Kolbasy to suddenly gain extra attack against buildings, which can then be used to siege Castles with similar power to Battering Rams.

The siege is a bit strange. Since they lack anything beyond the Battering Ram, it is best to use Batyrs for dedicated fortification smashing, and use Battering Rams or regular cavalry for any other kind of building. They also lack Siege Onagers, though that is less of an issue, as they can use Bombard Cannons to take out any opposing onagers. However, they lack Siege Engineers.

The Monastery is pretty good. Although they miss both Heresy and Faith, as well as Block Printing, they have all the other techs. Monks can be used on the offensive, but other units themselves don’t have good conversion defense.

In terms of defenses, they are quite lacking. Although they have Fortified Wall and Arrowslits, they don’t have Architecture, Keep, or Bombard Tower. Even though they lack Treadmill Crane, Houses are built in half the time they usually are, so they can be used as a quick improvised wall.

In terms of economy, they don’t have Crop Rotation, Gold Shaft Mining, Stone Shaft Mining, or Guilds, but in team games, they do have the ability to immediately start making a profit with trade once they invest in a Market. In addition, the super speed House building allows them to minimize time wasted from being housed, causing everything to run just that more efficiently.

At the Dock, they lack Fast Fire Ship, Elite Cannon Galleon, Shipwright, or any kind of ship bonus, so it’s passable, but not great.

In conclusion, the best game plan for the Kazakhs is open with archers or scouts in the Feudal Age, then transition to either a Knight rush or Steppe Lancer rush in the Castle Age, as they continue to work towards dropping Castles and training Batyrs. Adding in some Cavalry Archers is not a bad idea. In the late game, forgoing Battering Rams altogether and using Batyrs combined with Steppe Lancers to tear down buildings is the best move.

In terms of defensive strategies, since they lack Architecture, quickly adding layers of Houses either in place of or behind Fortified Walls is a wise move. Bombard Cannons also can defend against enemy onagers, since their own onagers are lacking.

Stats and Costs:

Batyr Stats:

HP: 75, 85 (Elite)
Attack: 10, 12 (Elite)
Attack Bonuses: +10, +12 (Elite) vs Stone fortification, +12, +14 (Elite) vs Castle, +15, +17 (Elite) vs Wall and gate
Rate of Fire: 2.5
Range: 1
Armor: 2/1, 3/2 (Elite)
Speed: 1.4
LOS: 5

Cost: 75 food, 50 gold
Training Time: 15 seconds
Elite Upgrade Cost: 1200 food, 950 gold

Kolbasy Cost: 450 food, 325 gold
Kolbasy Research Time: 25 seconds

Royal Armor Cost: 900 food, 400 gold
Royal Armor Research Time: 65 seconds

Historical Explanations:

As I alluded to earlier, the Steppe Lancer armor bonus is meant to evoke the Kazakhs’ extensive usage of lance cavalry, and since they lived on the steppes, it makes sense to improve that unit.

The Trade Cart bonus represents the extensive trade network of the Kazakhs. Since they get two Trade Carts instantaneously and for free, this can help them get trade with allies off the ground more easily.

The House construction speed bonus references how the Kazakh people were nomadic for nearly their entire history, including during the Middle Ages, and how they remain nomadic to this day. It’s no Huns bonus, but it’s pretty close.

Both the cavalry/cavalry archer Arson bonus and the team bonus further increasing cavalry archer vs buildings generally references how Kazakh cavalry supposedly raided and destroyed fortresses, which is not an easy task.

The Kazakh unique unit, the Batyr, references Kazakh noble cavalry, as batyr is the term for “brave warrior.” The Batyr’s secondary gimmick of having an attack bonus against fortifications was originally completely contrived, but there seems to be some evidence that a few Batyrs were lauded for destroying fortresses. The primary gimmick of life-stealing is also arbitrary, but could represent Batyrs gaining some morale back after defeating an enemy.

A Kolbasy was a leader among the Batyrs in Kazakh society. This increases Steppe Lancer and Batyr attack bonus vs buildings, since Batyrs in the game have an attack bonus against fortifications specifically, and this is an extension of that.

Royal Armor is a reference to specific royal armor worn by Kazakh noble cavalry. The HP bonus is arbitrary, but improves the survivability of Steppe Lancers and Batyrs just like armor would, so it makes sense. Since Kazakh cavalry was primarily made up of lancers, those units are affected.


Sad news, Tatars already represent Kazakhs

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Do they COMPLETELY represent the Kazakhs? They might have some overlap, but I feel there has to be some distinction somewhere.

actually kazakhs and tatars are completely different people…

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Kazakhs literally have their original on the Kipchaks and other turkic people of the eurasian Steppe that later incorporated by the Mongols (aKa what Tatars represent).

And there aren’t reasons to do another Steppe civ that basically started to exist at the very end of the medieval era.

That’s a nice way to give their Steppe Lancer armor without buffing the rest of their infantry, I’d even think of +2 in Castle Age, and +1 in Imperial. To spice it up, since their Castle Age seems a little too generic in this specific regard.

Tarkan with lower HP, lower armor and accordingly lower cost, kinda. I like the fact the Elite upgrade is almost free, however this unit feels very underwhelming. The extra range seems quite nice, arguably abusive, against buildings, and fits nicely with their Steppe Lancers while serving a different role.

The deal an absurd amount of damage to buildings, 8 times the damage of Tarkan, with a faster movement speed, this unit is a little bit on the broken side on the one hand, on the other hand it serves nothing but an extremely mobile Siege Ram.

Yes, he’s not as immune to Ranged units as Ram, however he can just dodge them and rush down a Castle with a group of 5 Batyrs in just 15 seconds or less.

It’s way too convinient, the numbers dont make sense, these numbers fit a slow Infantry unit, a super mobile one with 1 range means maximum viablity to their damage against static units (aka buildings) and therefore the potential of an oppressive play. Which isn’t what we want.

How do we fix this one? it seems really hard. If we decrease the numbers it’ll end up a hybrid of Tarkan and Steppe Lancer, which barely makes sense nor serve any purpose but a gimmick. Feels like a whole remake/redesign since the root-problem is identity related.

That’s nice in Team Games, it definitely needs to be their Team Bonus. A single trade Cart for free. Love it.

I’d argue this one is an excellent eco bonus and further more a solid defensive tool with the right vill micro. I find it as good as Khmer houses bonus in Feudal Age.

So it’s relevant only in Arena, and save the player about 2 seconds? Very weak.
I’d remove this one. And rather give them something related as a passive civ bonus. Though I wouldn’t put any more emphasis on building-rate since that’s too Spanish already.

In order to address these techs, the civ first has to have a polished Unique Unit.

The civs lacks quite much, they need one or two new bonuses. It’s hard to judge, feels too rudimentary at this point. Try to add more volume.

But Siege Rams don’t have regular combat abilities, while Batyrs do, so while they are specialized, they’re less specialized than rams are. Food for thought.

I don’t know how to do it myself. Maybe I could just completely change the gimmick of the Batyr and give them actually viable rams, but I feel like that changes the identity of the civ too much. It’s hard to say.

I see your point, and I’ll try to think of something more interesting.

I heartily agree that it does seem to be lacking something.

Let me define some similar units for a reference:

Tarkan; More-efficient stronger version of Cavalier dealing with Ranged units, with an Anti-Buildings gimmick.

Keshik; Low-cost Paladin, with an additional gimmick of generating gold.

Leitisl; High damage Cavalier, with an additional gimmick of piercing armor.

Boyar; Melee-resistant version of Paladin. No gimmicks.

Most of the times the gimmicks serve no real purpose unless it’s a bizarre niche scenario, Keshik is basically 7 gold cheaper, the gimmick doesnt do much otherwise, Leitis has already high damage which pierces all forms of armor in the game, according to AOE mechanism it basically give them +3 to +5 damage against most units. Tarkan bonus vs. Buildings isn’t high enough to characterize it, Paladin does it nicely as well. And Huns have over the top Trebs and Siege Rams to deal with Stone walls. Boyar is the most boring one since it lacks any gimmick.

So you took the gimmick out of Tarkan and implemented it as the core identity of the unit rather than a side-kick, I totally get it, however, it doesn’t feel right on a mobile unit. As I said it takes 5 of them to destroy a Castle. It’s unbalancable, when it’s playable it becomes a Tarkan without the Anti-Archer core identity. It needs an out-of-the-box adjustment, try to figure it out.

The Ram-less concept can nicely work with civ that has an Infantry-Tarkan, or rather a civ that has a Trash-Ram.

Looking forward.

Perhaps I can give Batyrs innate trample damage, while reducing the building bonus a bit. I think I kinda overdid the bonus anyway, as the idea was to swarm the Castle with a large number of them and take it out that way. I guess I overestimated how strong Castles are. Giving Batyrs trample damage would make them strictly better in large battles than Steppe Lancers, while the fortification bonus is just the cherry on top.

I’m gonna stop you right there. Where are you getting infantry? The Batyr is a cavalry unit. You made that mistake both here and in your initial reply.

I get that you want to focus your designs on being historical and all, but this is just the same if not worse as the old Indian bonus who got removed for being badly designed. I dont see any reason to remove the armour upgrades gameplaywise either, it will just force you into using anything but cav units. Tbh they cant just have +3 pierce on FU steppe lancers, but still,lacking both armour techs seem unnecessary abd would push them to use cav archers and infantry instead

Nice, but a non factor in 1v1s

Their only eco bonus and its weak tbh. Would like to give them cheaper houses and a camel bonus

This would be the worst TB of the game

It seems overpriced, too weak vs archers and a bit too close vs tarkans

Why woulf you even make knights when they are so bad

Fine but feels very very weird to have a UT called royal armour and lacking the second and third armour upgrafed

Tarkan meets Cataphract?
(not to be mistaken with Tarkaphract which are Hauberk Knights [that really needs to be removed from AOE])

I think the Heavy Cavalry Unique Unit is inflated with so many units, Keshik, Leitis, Boyar, Coustillier, Cataphract, Tarkan, Konnik and arguably Ratha. There is little to no room for innovation in this department, the next step will be a hybrid of Konnik and Leitis?

I think its a very problematic niche.

I know it’s a Cavalry unit, that’s where it fails conceptually. If it was an Infantry one it was much more doable.

I think this one needs much more to be justified, perhaps an unique feature, completely unique, like immunity to buildings arrows, it’s VERY hard to think of something unique enough yet playable and not just gimmicky.

Funny enough, the Batyr originally WAS an infantry unit, and a ranged one at that, and the Kazakhs focused on infantry. But whenever I wrote it down on the computer years later, I figured out that wasn’t really historically accurate. Maybe I’m overthinking it.

The bonus damage vs buildings is way too high for a unit with fighting capabilities.
Really, these things pure existance in the tech tree will force the opponents to preemptively stay on 1 tc and mass spears when they see you going on stone.

Really, way too much bonus damage.

I think it would be nice to just make a mod for all of your civ craft. a lot of us dont wish the base game to change and be left as is, and I would leave civ to DLC content that dev puts out.

playing it as a mod would certainly be nice experience, just like the Dharma mod


As if you need spears when you have a unit that melts even vs skirmishers with how low their armour is.

Although yeah the bonus damage is too high indeed

Good point. I’ll have to reduce the damage or change the gimmick altogether.

That an interesting piece of information.
There was a nice Infantry-Siege concept recently here in the forums, it’s much more doable.

I could not play these guys if they claim to be a cav civ, but miss even one armor upgrade. I would tone down the PA bonus down to +1 in castle and another +1 in imp, or even just +2 PA in all ages, but give them all the armor upgrades. Steppe lancers start with 1 PA, so yours here would end up with 5 PA. Exactly the same as generic ones. Basically they trade 2 melee armor for 20 HP in imp, so they would be AWFUL.


I see your point. To be honest, I thought they were gonna be really broken, but clearly that isn’t the case.

Huns,Turks,Tatars,Cumans … Whatelse do you need bro.Maybe Uzbekhs and Gokturks too? Maybe even Kharakhans ? Then lets add Kirghizs and Turkomans??.. After all added game can be called Age of Turks :smiley: Game allready has 4 Turkic civs.
Huns for proto Turkic civs+Cumans for early period of Turks probably + Tatars for mid period of Turkic people and so Turks for late period of Turkic people (Seljuk and Ottoman oghuz branch of Western Turks)
I dont think we need more of Turks as a civ :slight_smile: 11