Ive read many many posts on this major issue since many years, and decided to finally speak up.
I cant beleive the devs havent fixed this massively unusable UU already. It has basically remained untweaked since african kingdoms (and look at Hera’s latest video on UU tiers).
They buffed the Tarkans, Axemen, Berserks, War Wagons, Battle eles, Condos, Konniks, Turtles etc many times (regardless of if the civ was strong or not) AND gave them actual competitive viability but never even showed interest in fixing EAs.
It pains me to see such a forgotten unit that is still passed as a UU, no civilization deserves this.
Hence I propose EA should get these changes with no changes to their current stats/price:
I DONT EXPECT EVERY ONE TO LIKE THE EXACT CHANGES I PROPOSE , we just need to MAKE some BIG CHANGE HAPPEN to EA in next patch!(Not just +1 range, more fire rate etc, the unit must HAVE A real PURPOSE)
THE STATUS QUO HAS REMAINED FOR TOO LONG
Two archers on the back instead of one (like the african hero in the editor), only one fires commanded unit and other auto-targets closest unit. Because EA does less damage than a SINGLE crossbow and costs 2.6 TIMES (not incl upgrade/castle cost and time)
Can garrison 2(3 for elite) foot units each, with foot archer units(incl HCs) adding max two more arrows based on total attack of units inside.
While ofcourse not a stat buff and difficult to micro, it allows unique strategies like defending towns with elephant towers! and hopping in monks as scouts close in and convert on their retreat!!
This would make them truly unique(compared to just increasing fire rate) and give EA a role in imperial/trash wars, allowing a few skirms/HC/monks to shelter themselves mid battle if faced with a mass of counters/cavalry.
PLUS it wont allow any higher levels of focus firing (half the arrows auto target) while fixing the excruciatingly low damage output.
My sentiment about these two ideas are already being echoed(although not yet as both changes together) by a LOT OF people on the aoe site forum now.
Considering EAs still die like flies to halbs and skirms after these changes, EAs will function as temporary meatshields for any ranged army that also does some spray damage at the start of a battle/a defense.
Also there is no increase to range!! So it can be in the frontlines!
I hereby plead all to consider that making this unit a tower/archer hybrid with higher damage output is unlikely to make the Indians OP, and bring unique battle strategies in the game. Even if that happens, its price can be increased further(but its UNIQUENESS/USABILITY should not be lost)