The Cumans were OP when they came out merely because of 3 features.
- 2nd TC available in Feudal Age (but created faster back then).
- Overpowered Steppe Lancers (shared with Tatars) - they were faster, cheaper on gold, had 1 more attack and most importantly much easily stackable, as if they were Kamayuks.
- The Cavalry speed bonus was straight +10% starting im Feudal Age and also had access to Husbadry. This really didn’t mean much in Feudal Age but in Castle Age with cheap husbandry available, the potential for +21% Cavalry speed was there over that of Teutons. Remember, the Steppe Lancers were also naturally fast.
The civilization has been nerfed so hard and the Steppe Lancer has been nerfed even harder. They are one of the weaker civs on Arabia.
Just touching on Tatars a bit. They have a clear game plan to go from Scouts/Archers to Cavalry Archers with free stuff like extra sheep and Thumb Ring. Lancers are rare. Knights are rarer. In late game they do have Keshiks and Hussars as options though.
Back to Cumans. I was watching Hera’s “So you want to play Cumans” and he said that Cumans struggle against archer civilizations. I checked on aoestats.io fot both 1650+ and all. The former had 500 games and didn’t have a trend. There were Italians and Ethiopians in worst matchups. In all, I saw they had best results against Portuguese, Italians. They are also good against Byzantines in both (but Byzantinnes aren’t an archer civ even though they have no other option). Against all elos, I found them weak against Infantry civs.
I checked upon the tech tree and found they had no anti-infantry options other than brute force options (Champions and Paladins). They along with Huns do not have gunpowder units, but have Cavalry.
I do not feel they are bad against archers. They have above average Hussars, good Paladins and Siege Rams. But if the devs feel, they can give them free Elite Skirmisher upgrade.
However, if the devs feel they are weak against Infantry, I have no idea what to do. They lacl Arbalesters and Bracer. No Hand Cannoneer allowed. They do not have Heavy Scorpions. In Castle Age, Infantry isn’t much of a problem since crossbowmen are good at that point. Knights are also good against Eagles im Castle Age as they always are.
In Imperial Age, Eagles hard counter ranged units especially cavalry archers. However, at this point only Kipchaks are the cavalry archers from Cumans. Paladins can be good against Eagles provided proper research time is given (atleast 5 minutes from Knights to Paladins). Cumans do not have the best Champions but they are decent. Basically against Eagles, you have to go champions with any civ.
Countering Halberdiers is dicey. Even though you have subpar Skirmishers, most of the times they will work. Also Kipchaks maybe a bad choice because of their poorer HP and range. If you miss to micor for some time, say good bye to your Kipchaks.
Countering Swordsmen like infantry is a great problem. You cannot match with your subpar Champions. Paladins are more expensive both gold wise and research time wise, and you cannot match Champions against trash. You definitely aren’t using your subpar SO against Champion like units. So what do you do?
Supplies - talking about champion like infantry, you may notice that even though Berserks and Champions are similar, Champions cost too little food in DE.
Well I propose thar Supplies reduced the food cost on infantry units* by 20% (20% because every food cost in game is divisible by 5). Multiplicant because -20% on Karambit warriors is better balanced than -15 food cost. It is self adjusting for units.
Infantry units* = all infantry except Spearmen line and Eagle line. [Make infantry food cost ×0.8 and then food cost of these 6 units ×1.25].
Forced Levy - basically since Supplies works as -15F, Forced Levy works as +20F. If Supplies is implemented as -20% cost, Forced Levy has to be modified to +37.5% (66 Food now).