Civilizations should be more balanced on water maps

What the title says basically, right now there are 2/3 civs that are competitive on water (Vikings, Italians and maybe Portuguese) now, this doesn’t mean you can’t win on water with other civs, but you are at a severe disadvantage.

I don’t know why it is like that, in my humble opinion, half, or at least a quarter of all civs, especially those with historically competent navies like Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Khmer, Turks (Ottomans) Byzantines, Sicilians and Spanish should be balanced to able to go toe to toe with Vikings and Italians in water maps, and again, I’m not saying that those are super OP and are not beatable on water, but there’s a reason pros always pick them for water maps, they are clearly the best…

There’s a reason why water maps are way less popular than land maps, I think it’s because of the lack of variety, some of that is due to having way less units to work with, but a lot is also because there are clear best civs for those types of maps, unlike on land maps in which all are roughly balanced.

On the topic of landings, yes, technically you can land early and not fight on water, but while this is feasible in some situations I don’t think it’s an excuse for like ~92% (I did the math) of the civs to not be that balanced in a lot of different maps.

Also “Making those civs good on water and land would be unbalanced” is not an argument, since Vikings are an amazing civ for both water and land maps.

I don’t know what buffs or changes I would implement, I just want to bring up this topic which I consider an issue, I don’t think I’m qualified to suggest what to rebalance in so many civs, so I’ll leave that to more experienced folks.

I’m not a pro, I don’t claim to know everything and I’m open for counter-arguments, but I really want to see if someone else feels this way and thinks water matches are really boring because of the unbalance.


Water is already pretty niche to get all civs balanced here, Italians are already nerfed here, but Vikings are the ones that are clearly too strong here, free WH and HC techs, discount warships, OP unique warship and cheaper docks? is just too much for a single civ, I would just remove the discount on feudal age (one of the reasons of why they are so strong is becasue they can start massing navy at feudal pretty easily) and reduce the team bonus as well.

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I agree. The thing ks there’s several good civs in water… But portos and vikings just excel too much in pure water maps, leaving everyone behind. This is so true that civs with more than 1 waterbonus (malay, koreans) are never seen in islands, for example. Italians were are not that OP as they use to be, I believe now they are between Vikings and Portosz and the rest.

Long story short, I don’t believe civs should be buffed, but nerfed instead


I personally want to see more civs perform really really good in water maps other than the water monster trio. It would be great to see at least 10 civs can easily compete with each other in water maps (Island & Team Island to be more specific).


Note that in my post I never said that those other civs should be buffed, just that they should be able to go toe to toe with the current best water civs, a nerf to the best ones should accomplish that

But I still think more civs should have water bonuses, like Khmer, which is one of the most powerful maritime water powers of the AoE2 timeframe and they have just an ok-ish navy, I’m not just arguing for historical accuracy’s sake mind you (gameplay always should come first) but having more civs with good water bonuses would make for more variety, which always helps keeping things fresh

This is exactly what I mean, 2 or 3 civs is waaay too little varity, but even if you have 5 or 6 I still would think it’s to low, I think around 10 to 15 civs should be able to compete pretty closely on full water maps, this would also allow for civs that are water focused to be buffed a bit on land as well (Like Portuguese and Italians, tho they have been buffed on land recently, so that part is already done I guess)

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Italians are good all game long on water, while at least Vikings and Portuguese have weaknesses in the early game (no fires/no eco bonus) So the Italians feel like they are still the best.

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100% agree with the original post. Here are some ideas:


  1. Elite Turtle Ship upgrade cost reduced from 1000 food 800 gold to 800 food 600 gold
    There is no way anyone makes so many turtle ships that this upgrade is worth to buy. Turtle ships are rather used as tanks in front of the galleys so the other player is forced to target-shoot, from this it follows that you don’t make turtle ships that often, therefore the upgrade is never worth to buy thanks to the expensiveness of the cost
  2. +3 LOS for fishing ships too as civ bonus (not for only villagers)
    Slight hybrid map and water map buff, easier to find new deep fish (and you don’t have to constantly macro them), and much better for early exploration


  1. Lose free handcart
    Vikings clearly need both a land and a water nerf, this can easily do it (must mention it affects land more, because people make more farms in land maps)
  2. Docks cost -20% instead of -15%
  3. Warships cost -15% all ages
    Vikings are currently weak in the early water game compared to other water meta civs, while they are very strong in the late water game (except against portuguese if they can get the caravels going). These two changes can solve this problem and help balance it out, so they’ll be stronger in early game and weaker in late game.


  1. Building HP bonus down to +10/15/20/25% in Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age, but get access to masonry
    Currently it hurts Byzantines very much on water maps that they don’t have access to masonry and therefore to more building HP armor, because enemy fire ships can destroy their docks too easily
  2. Greek Fire UT also improves accuracy of their fire ships instead of decreasing it
    So their fire ships can get competitive with enemy galleys in lategame


  1. Have access to shipwright
    Berbers have a good potential to be a top water civ, since their +10% speed on ships makes them a very good micro galley civ, but in lategame they dont have anything special, and are much weaker than other civs because of no access to shipwright. Not to mention that the faster ships bonus doesn’t come in that much handy than in the early-game. This buff will help berbers very much in the late-game, and therefore they’ll have the potential to become a very strong water civ.

Probably Spanish, Malay and Japanese could also get some minor buffs, but I don’t have any idea for them

I came to the same conclusion, because since Koreans don’t get demos to fight fire galleys, this bonus would let their fishing ships spot enemy fire galleys before being seen by said fires.

Malay and Japanese are already legit water civs, it’s just that people only go for the top 3, Spanish would need a whole new eco bonus to be able to do anything meaningful on water before imperial age.

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It’s actually the other way around.

?? they don’t get fire ships early, and in the late game longboats are better than galleys

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What about galleys in Feudal?

Give Saracens and Berbers Shipwright.