Civilization Idea: Avars

I posted this concept sometime last year, but I’ve made a few changes to it and I don’t feel like necro-ing the old post, so I’m reposting it.

The Avars represent the Pannonian Avars, the Avar Khaganate, and the Sabirs, who they were allied with in a manner similar to the Cumans and Kipchaks. They have the Eastern European architecture, which is meant to represent how they subjugated areas of Eastern Europe. They have a unique castle based on the ruined Markeli fortress, representing how the Avars attacked both the Byzantines and Bulgarians. Their Wonder is Didymoteicho Fortress, a ruined Byzantine fortress, which represents how the Avars attacked and then sacked multiple Byzantine cities after failing to pay their mercenary wages.

The Avars are a cavalry and siege civilization, primarily focusing on Steppe Lancers and light cavalry, with an additional strength of cavalry archers. While their siege is missing Siege Engineers, it is ultimately both tanky and cheap, a dangerous combination.

Like the Goths and Cumans, they do not have stone walls at all, but this is somewhat compensated for by making defensive structures cheaper to repair.

Let’s move on to the civ bonuses.

Civilization Bonuses

  • Shepherds and hunters don’t need drop-off buildings

As a nomadic society, the Avars would likely be collecting food as they traveled. They would’ve let their livestock graze in fields that they came across, while hunting animals in nearby woods.

  • Repairing costs -50% wood, -25% stone

While this is mainly meant to complement their UU, it represents the strong woodworking abilities of the Sabirs, an associated people group, while adding on an effect for stone to make repairing defensive structures more feasible.

  • Cavalry armor upgrades free

The Avars used heavy armor on their cavalry in warfare. The heavier cavalry was typically armed with lances or swords.

  • Siege weapons +25% HP

The Avars were highly skilled with siege weaponry, and knew how to construct effective, well-built siege engines. The Sabirs were also highly skilled with woodworking.

  • Team bonus: Steppe Lancers +2 attack vs cavalry

Lances were highly effective against cavalry because the shape of the weapon and the force from the momentum easily knocked a rider off his horse. The Avars especially made use of lancers, as did many other cultures, nomadic and otherwise.

Unique Unit: Sabir

  • This is a rather unique cavalry unit. It has slightly better armor and stats than a Light Cavalry, but also has the ability to repair siege weapons, ships, and buildings belonging to the player or teammates. This can give it much better success at defending a Castle than a group of villagers can, because it is not only hardier and tankier while repairing, but it can also dish out attacks of its own. It can also be used to repair siege weapons on the front lines without having to endanger villagers or pull them from the economy.

  • The Sabirs were woodworking nomads who were attacked and then subjugated by the Avars. They were skilled in building siege weapons and ships.

Unique Techs
Steppe Dynamics: Steppe Lancers and Light Cavalry +2 melee armor

  • Cost: 550 food, 350 gold

  • This technology makes Steppe Lancers and Light Cavalry much better in melee combat than before. Considering this is one of their biggest weaknesses, they become much stronger with an extra 2 melee armor than units like the Knight would. Combined with the free armor upgrades, the Avars have the potential to have some of the tankiest Light Cavalry on the field.

  • The tech name simply represents the process through steppe empires form: a losing faction flees from a more dominant power, allies with other defeated factions, appoints a leader, usually a khagan, and choose a name not necessarily related to others, but important. The effect is arbitrary, however.

Pannonian Woodworking: Siege weapons cost -30%

Cost: 1000 food, 400 gold

  • This technology, while providing less wood savings than the Dravidian bonus, also saves a significant amount of gold, making siege weapons significantly more affordable. Although Siege Engineers is missing, the fact that siege weapons have extra HP means they can be a scary combination of quality and quantity. However, the technology is rather expensive.

  • This technology once again represents the great skill in siegecraft that the Avars and Sabirs had, and they lived in the Pannonian Basin.

Tech Tree

Note: The Avars lack Stone Wall completely, like the Goths and Cumans.

Missing Units: Champion, Eagle line, Arbalester, Elephant Archer line, Hand Cannoneer, Paladin, Camel line, Battle Elephant line, Bombard Cannon, Cannon Galleon.

Missing Techs: Supplies, Redemption, Atonement, Heresy, Faith, Block Printing, Theocracy, Blast Furnace, Architecture, Fortified Wall, Guard Tower, Keep, Heated Shot, Bombard Tower, Siege Engineers, Two-Man Saw, Stone Shaft Mining.

  • The eco bonus is too weak as you won’t send Villagers away from TC anyway.
  • Team bonus looks too strong.
  • Castle Age UT is weak. Tatars one is much better.
  • Siege bonuses overlap too much with celts and slavs.
  • Better description and full stats of UU is required to understand your design.

Do they also represent Kazars?

Don’t underestimate it. The food is constantly dropped off like Khmer farmers, so you don’t have to wait for it. It also eliminates the need for pushing deer, which helps things run smoothly.

I can make it +1 instead.

Maybe it can be +3.

Maybe a little bit. Furor Celtica has a much greater effect later in the game for a cost, while the Avars get a weaker version of it for free. As for the Slavs, I can make the unique tech 40 or 50% instead.

No, not at all. To my knowledge, the Avars and Kazars were not connected at all.

This civ is more or less balanced, if slightly underpowered imo. Putting aside my personal gripes with more european civs, there are a few issues that I see.

First, they do need hand cannoneers. They don’t have anything great against infantry in the early imperial age.

Second, it makes no sense for cavalry units to repair (or build) anything on the battlefield, historically speaking. That’s the job for infantry.

Thirdly, that siege discount can be too much in late 1v1 games, especially against civs weak to siege. The wood is not the issue, the gold is. I am not sure how a civ like vietnamese, vikings or japanese can deal with this late game. The usual argument against that is, “kill them early”, but that’s tough on closed maps. Add the extra HP on siege, and siege-repairing cavalry, and it feels too strong.

I would say that this design doesn’t feel thematically coherent as your other one. This civ is far too siege focused, which isn’t generally a good combo with cavalry. There is a reason that the only cavalry-siege civ in the game has nothing till imperial age, and then has faster-moving siege. All my opinions, of course.

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Overall i like it.
I like Sabir as a mechanic on horse.
And sheperds and hunters bonus looks confortable for players with experience and good for newer players thst dont really know how to lure boars.

Well, yeah. And that’s about it. Over all collection rate increase will be negligible because shepard and hunter don’t walk around.

What? Did you really read my comment? You can’t do that. Villager away from TC is asking enemy Drush to kill your villager. Not to mention walking times of 3-4 villagers will add up and highly doubt overall efficiency over a generic civ that pushes deer.

Also a cavalry civ without any mid game eco needs better eco bonus than your proposal. Or they will just die to other civs.

I like the Avars civ. idea, they besieged Constantinople too:

I understand, but I would’ve preferred leaving gunpowder out of the civ.

It also makes no sense for a man wearing heavy armor to be carrying a huge gun while riding a horse. Yet, we have the Conquistador. Like the Conquistador, the Sabir is thematic of the namesake people group that was nomadic and built siege weapons and ships. It makes sense on an abstract level, if not a logical one.

What do you suggest to fix it without completely ruining the siege identity?

Pretty sure you can fire a shoulder held gun from a horse.

Nowadays, yes, but not those huge hulking guns from back then. They would’ve been far too heavy to use on a horse while also wearing steel armor. They would’ve used flintlock pistols instead.

Hey hey hey, you are making the history doesn’t matter that much argument. That’s my usual line, so I’ll fully concede here. This is not a game breaker or anything. It’s just a personal preference.

To be fair on this one point though, mounted gunners were decently common by what we consider as post imperial age in-game. It’s not that historically inaccurate. About the exact gun, you have to treat that as aesthetics imo. That’s generally true for all units.

That’s the problem with the siege-cavalry combo, it’s a pain to balance. The game plan for avars here is to get to castle age, and they get a huge powerspike with siege, and knight armour. That knight armour is beyond important, because it makes them a lot more resilient against TC, and especially archer fire.

Now, consider an archer opening against this civ. Once you get to castle age, you need 2 main upgrades, crossbow and bodkin. That’ll take you maybe 2-3 minutes. In that interval, though, you are extremely vulnerable to knights. Your army of like 20 archers will get wiped by like 3 knights. Meaning, you have to save your archers and pull back by late feudal. This time gap also gives avars time for a forward siege workshop. Then they can make a few scorpions and one or two mangonels slowly. For some civs like Dravidians, Vikings, Japanese and Vietnamese, this is a death sentence.

That extra HP on siege means mangonels will not go down with one direct shot. Meaning, you can’t trade with mangonels 1 for 1 even with a direct shot. Archer split micro takedown will also become far more difficult. This means you’ll have a very bad time with anything other than cavalry against this civ.

The mangonel 1 for 1 trade is super important for game balance. That means the extra HP on siege needs to go. If you notice, almost all civs that get a non-discount bonus for the mangonel line do so in imperial age. That’s for this reason.

Now, as for imperial age, I’d say, go all in on siege. Make them sort of like the goths for siege. Make the UT produce siege faster as well. Then, remove the frontline units. So, they shouldn’t get halbs, and should lack some of the armours. Reference celts here

Maybe I can then make the HP bonus for siege limited to the Imperial Age. Simple and clean, and means I don’t have to scrap the bonus entirely.

That’s a good idea. Siege weapons cost -50%, and are produced 100% faster. I like the sound of that, and it fits the whole mobility theme for the Avars.

Now I just need to fix the eco…

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I like the idea of having a military unit help with repairs (no construction) however I will suggest to be done 30 to 40% slower since they are armored and armed so they can not work as fast as villagers .

That’s too much. Remember, you can give massive discounts on units because you can take away upgrades. There are very few exceptions to this, namely, portugese bombard cannons, mayan archer line, and one more. Siege, on the other hand, has only one upgrade, and that matters mostly for range. Also, the more generalized a discount is, the smaller it has to be. That’s why romans can give 60% discount on one unit. 33% is pretty much the max you can discount on something like the siege line. The faster production is what matters here. You are aiming for one big early imperial push with all siege.

In principle, this would be fine. I don’t know if any other bonuses of this kind exist in the game though.

All right, 33% it is, even though it overlaps quite a bit with Dravidians and Slavs.

Well, people said that about units, buildings, and techs being available one age earlier, and they fit just fine.

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I’m toying with the idea of giving the Avars a second UU: a female cavalry archer available at the Archery Range, with a bonus against infantry. Its purpose is twofold: Representing the warrior women that fought in the Sabir armies, and giving the Avars an option against infantry, since I don’t want to give them the Hand Cannoneer. I was thinking the unit could be called the Wild Woman, as a reference to the Scythian Wild Woman.

I think this will be one of the weakest Arabia civ right now because of bad eco. Here is my improvement proposal.

Team Bonus

  • SL line +1 attack bonus vs cavalry.

Civ Bonus

  • Shepard and Hunter drop off 15% more food.
  • Cavalry Armors are free.
  • Building repair cost -40%. (Seems unnecessary tbh, also doesn’t go with their lack of defense design).
  • Siege Weapons deal +30%/+40% bonus damage against building.


  • LC, SL and CA +2 MA.
  • Mangonel can target moving unit.

Tech Tree
Gets Blast Furnace (Was it intentional?)
Loses SO.

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