Dravidians are terrible

Are mangonel + pikes or mangonel + xbows or full pikes not viable answer ?

I hope not every matchup resolves aroung having knights. When I play and go heavy or xbows with Malay or Koreans, I usually go mangonels to counter mangonels.

You have to assume full armor on knights and take reload time into account. So currently EA do 6-2 damage every 1.5+0.39 s and with the changes 7-2 damage every 2+0.39 s without thumb ring. The overall dps in this matchup would be similar. Not sure whether it is a meaningful change though.

If the devs want to double down on Dravidians not having knights, I am fine with it. If the civ cannot deal with mangonels properly, why not give redemption instead on only focussing on the civs design (no knights and glass canon cavalry) ? And ferver if you want.

I feel that 15% faster food is OP, it is like Slabs farm bonus + lituanians +150 food start + Japanese fish bonus (if you exclude early dock or premill drush). And more on maps with shore fish, more hunt or berries. And still having 200w every age up.
And Slavs bonus is only 10%…
So I would not exclude the concept of faster food incoke, but the numbers look really OP.

I agree that 2 EA in castle age are hard to kill with feudal army, but will also not damage much the economy. But 20 xbows would.

I didnt see any stats website putting Dravidians bottom 3 on arabia. aoepulse is the most uptodate as it got a few matches after the xbow nerf patch (so early September). There Dravidians is 8th last, with 45.5% win rate. Not stellar and worthy of buff, but we are very very far away from an urgent necessity, and other civs “would get priority”… Not saying that you would not support buffs for other arabia-weak civs, but point stands.

My bad, I took the numbers from wiki without realizing they were post imperial.

I don’t think this solves it either, though. The issue with mobility and weakness to knight-seige-trash push remains as is. Also, I don’t know if eagles are a huge weakness, since the milita line upgrades are 50% cheaper. It might be better to just make m@a.

They are also fast like knights. Militia line can’t catch up. And militia line does not have much use other than countering eagle. EA or archer is Dravidians main unit. You’re right though. Eagle is not as big problem as knight.


Are mangonel + pikes or mangonel + xbows or full pikes not viable answer ?

The full comp was knights+mangonel+skirms or pikes, depending on what they scouted. Skirms would counter archers, EAs, pikes, and monks.

I don’t want every matchup to go around knights. But they are one of the most common units now. So, every civ needs something to counter strategies around them.

If the devs want to double down on Dravidians not having knights, I am fine with it. If the civ cannot deal with mangonels properly, why not give redemption instead on only focussing on the civs design

I don’t want knights either tbh. I didn’t suggest that either. It’s not just mangonels, it’s mobility and raiding/counter-raiding. I’ve written it here. Archers and Cavlalry are the strongest two pillars of the game rn. Infantry is just weak. That is why infantry civs need two other pillars (archers, siege, monk, defence) to be strong to survive. Dravidians have only one (archers).

I don’t want 15% faster farming, that is OP. I’m fine if their water eco bonus remains as is, if something else changes.

I agree that 2 EA in castle age are hard to kill with feudal army, but will also not damage much the economy. But 20 xbows would.

We are looping again, though. You make crossbows, they make skirms. You make skirms, they make knights. If they add in monks too, you have zero counters they don’t have.

I am basing the stats on ageofstatistics. Last patch was an indirect nerf imo. I couldn’t find any other sites with reliable statistics, but I’ll check out the one you listed. So, why did I choose this civ over any other weak civ? because I like this one, simple as that. I’m an archer and infantry player, so this works for me. Also, devs try to balance all civs during patches, you don’t have to choose one over the other.

And your mangonel deals with that. Enemy tries to raid your walled base? You just push their base, you force the fight, and you defend behind. Monks in your base with some pikes will push away them trying to break in, you house wall/building wall behind like literally in any game…

I’m sorry, but your situations are literally boiling down to ‘your enemy has post-imp boom to afford everything and you have only 5 villagers to produce only one unit!!!’

Start making realistic scenarios, this is useless.

No, they were doing knights, mangonels, pikes, skirms. Good luck getting to Imperial! Oh wait, that was supposed to be my problem, right?

Okay. I guess you really don’t know how the game goes then.

I’m now asking you to make a realistic scenario. You haven’t given one yet.

I don’t know who said, it wasn’t me. I said Knights, Mangonel(without the s), pikes or skirms (depending on scouting). Read again.

And your mangonel deals with that. Enemy tries to raid your walled base? You just push their base, you force the fight, and you defend behind. Monks in your base with some pikes will push away them trying to break in, you house wall/building wall behind like literally in any game…

Right. 1) Enemy can wall their base too 2) they can just run with their knights, and force a fight too 3) wait, if your monks and pikes are at home, what army is attacking?
Everything you said is something the opponent can do, and usually can do better.

I wonder why pros don’t that and win if it’s that easy.
Match One: Hera vs Jordan Match

Dark vs KingstoNe. KingstoNe uses that exact combo, knights, skirms, mangonel Match

BadBoy vs FreakinAndy: It doesn’t work immediately. Badboy doesn’t move with skirms, he uses uses cav. But it compounds over time, and he wins. Match

JorDan vs MbL: skirms are bad enough. Now genitours too. Match

Against Gurjaras. Shrivamsha riders vipe Dravs. Match

I didn’t list these for you. I don’t think you can be convinced out of your position at this point. I don’t even know why I tried after that first break. You called this unrealistic, and said monk skirm will counter it. In one of these games(BadBoy vs FreakinAndy), that exact counter is used. See how it goes.

Whether you like it or not, this is the reality. Hera said it, and demonstrated how it works multiple times. OP has said it. Several posters here have. If somebody else sees this and disagrees, they can comment. Viper has commented on the lack of mobility multiple times as well. There are a few more matches. Interested people can look it up. Have a good one.


Fine, the part I quoted was only mentioning knights and mangonels. Then you can add more mangonels or your better skirms ?

That’s fair. Better monks or better defenses may be more easily accepted.

I thought the talk about 2 EA was to talk about how much damage you can do if you arrive to castle age 1:30 minutes earlier. Not saying that 30 xbows beat eveything.

Yeah, a noticeable nerf to civs with poor cavalry.

Dravidians are supposed to be weak in castle age, so there are 3 points to adress:

  • Is their Feudal age good enough to gain an advantage ?
  • Is their castle age not weak enough to give them fighting caoabilities assuming they got an early game edge ?
  • Is their late game good enough to give them an edge against most civs once they survived castle age ?

I may be enough to buff them in one of these 3 aspects, as long as they can follow this strategy. It may be interrsting to discuss which part they are lacking (and how much lacking) when duscussing the potentiak changes.


Fine, the part I quoted was only mentioning knights and mangonels. Then you can add more mangonels or your better skirms ?

Adding more units will only work if those extra units will offset the inherent disadvantage. You also need to consider that you need almost double the number of pikes to kill knights. Now, they can just increase their army as you increase yours. You add more pikes? They add more skirms. More mangonels? They can do the same, or use knights to destroy your mangonels.

You have two units which are vulnerable to knights (skirms and mangonels). All of your units are extremely vulnerable to mangonels.
They have one unit which is not vulnerable to mangonels, and you have no other advantage there.

Now, just think about this number-wise. You need to guard both skirms and mangonels with spears. If you split the spears, their knights might destroy your mangonels anyway. You need a gold unit there to balance it out, but you have no unit which will do the job. You can watch the matches I’ve linked above if you want to watch it in action.

If you are playing against dravidians, you should be making skirms. That is almost a given. Unless the drav players goes into their stable, in which case you just turtle and win lategame.

In a land map, Dravs have two early eco advantages, 200 wood bonus and cheaper m@a and spearmen upgrade. Both are one-off advantages. In my eyes, both aren’t good enough to hurt your opponent enough. They can just small wall and make skirms. There’s nothing you do afterwards. Or, scout rush you. (I’m speaking in generalities here. Not about weirdos who want to do some infinite militia rush with dravidians from the dark age. )

In 1v1s, games are most often decided during castle age, in my opinion. The best example is gurjaras, who have a mediocre to above average dark and feudal, an exceptional castle age, and a trash imperial age. They are the top civ by far. I’m confident that late game dravs would absolutely destroy them, especially if gold is running low(Gurjaras arguably have some of the worst trash units). But it never gets there. Currently, dravs have about 30% win rate against gurjaras, which is insane.

So, buffing their castle age is kinda essential imo


Quick and not enoughly thought question: what if wootz steel affected all melee damage isntad of cavalry and infantry? That would additionally include onagers and bombard cannons. Would it be enough for killing things faster? (like heavy cavalry in endgame).

Quick and not enoughly thought question: what if wootz steel affected all melee damage isntad of cavalry and infantry? That would additionally include onagers and bombard cannons. Would it be enough for killing things faster? (like heavy cavalry in endgame).

The scenario is too unrealistic since heavy cavalry will not die to siege. Dravidians are designed to push with infantry with archers/skirms support in late game. Woots steel is already s-tier tech. So Devs never gave siege engineers. Devs will not give any siege bonus for late game for dravidians.

The problem is not late game. The problem is early and mid castle age. The OP units that are problems are fast melee units like knights and eagles. So bombard cannon and onager willl not help.

We discussed this in depth and the only possible solution without involving knights was to give 25% food discount bonus to all military units and take away supplies as well as fish collection bonus. This makes their castle age power unit the ‘elephant archer’ cheaper than knights.

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This should not be a big problem, as 2 pikes are not morr expensive than one knight (70f 50w vs 60f 75g). You need more baracks than opponents has stable though.

Indeed, but it works in both ways. You add more army as they add more army. In the example, if it was your pikes+mango vs his knights+mango and he adds skirms, then you add mango…

Yes, without stable units basically every unit is weak to mangonels.

At this point, I think it is not a good idea to make skirms if the opponent does not go xbows or heavy skirms. If he is heavy on knights, you should focus more on xbows, mangonels, pikes, monks.

So, compared to what I said in my previous post:

  • their early game could be buffed. I agree that their boni are not enough to get a big edge, contrary to vikings and chinese eco or mongol, khmer and lituanians rush for examples
  • their mid game could be buffed.
  • their late game is fine as it is

We should not forget that dravidians do not need to apply pressure in castle age.
They can boom as monks and mangonels work nicely behind walls.
When applying pressure, an xbows ball with mangonels should be viable as well.

I dont want to re read all 250 comments to see proposed buffs, and I remember many were non reasonable (+15% food income, and “hugr buffs” to EA)

Isnt it the same for most civs ? I mean, you should not be more afraid to make some scouts in feudal compared to other civs without bloodlines (+teutons).

It would be an interesting little buff, but it would be useless as it affects the late game which should not be a time where dravidians struggle… They need dark age, feudal age and/or castle age bonus.

Making infantry ignore armor from the feudal age may be intersting. Infantry would win melee battles and pikes wouldnt need attack upgrades to 5 hit kill BL knights, and castle age FU pikes would 5hit kill imperial age BL cavaliers. Not sure if it is OP though.

I wouldnt say the subject was discussed in depth because their should be many more alternatives than this one…

Like I’ve already said that doesn’t matter because no one makes Samurais or Teutonic knights. Those units are unnecessary and are just CBA or King of the hill or closed map 4v4 TG units. Beyond a certain level, no one makes them in any 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 nor in open map 4v4.

You are joking indeed. Any civ arbalest, even without thumb ring is more than enough to kill urumis. Highly recommend you watch at least some 1700+ even elo matchup games.

Its a point that nobody is trying to reach. Watch DM world cup games where game starts from post imp with a ton of resources, and you’ll see urumis never a part of the main army. A few here and there to distract with raids or take out trebs. Main late game army for Dravidians is Elephant archers and halberdiers with their castle upgrades along with Bombard canons and maybe a few siege elephants. You’re right about Dravidians’ castle age problem and being unable to get to this EA-halb-canon combo.

Cataphract is a great unit by design and it fits so well for the civ it belongs to. Its not OP by any means as it lacks p.armor, the MOST important property for melee units and particularly cavalry units and the generic damage output is quite average till you do an expensive castle tech. And at the same time because the civ’s bonuses with cheap camels and skirms forces opponents to do gold infantry like eagles, champions or some infantry uu like woad raiders or obuchs, they add a lot of value in many situations. Its not meant for trash wars as its hard to accumulate 1000+ gold to do 15 cataphracts and that gold will most probably be spent on trebs or canons.

No you can’t afford an EA mass since Dravidians don’t have any food bonus and even lets say you did mass. EA are terribly slow and you can’t run away from conversions like knights can. And knights can take out mangonels, run through your base and raid or pull back to get healed, none of these EA can do.

Except longer feudal plays are no longer feasible on most maps. And even on the few maps where the feudal aggression pays off, civs need a knight or eagle follow-up to end the game in castle age.

That’s just absurd. Its probably ok to not have an answer to Janissary + light cav or Mangudai + siege or Coustillier + hand canons because these are combos only their civ can make and are also reasonably hard to get to. Whereas knights, monk and mangonels are generic units. Every civ MUST have answers to generic units like knights, crossbows.

No dark age eco bonus for doing that.

Very weak and power-spike eco bonus. And booming with a civ like this is only a way to get raided to death.

This is just as hypothetical as it gets. Why won’t your opponent pick relics if you have zero army and just plain booming? And why won’t they scout your base at least once every 5 mins? And lets say you did manage to mass like 25 elephants, what exactly do you expect your opponent to have – an open base with no walls, no castles, no army?? Imo, this kind of thing ONLY happens when you kill all the early military and like 20-30 vills in feudal and early castle age combined while not losing more than 5 yourself. And this just means that your opponent was already dead but was trying their luck to see if you’ll get disconnected. That’s the only situation where you can mass that many elephants with a zero food eco bonus civ like Dravidians and manage to do damage.

To get a sense of how terrible Dravidians is, watch Jordan’s game against Project Belgium from today’s(4-Nov-'22) stream. I was watching it on Memb’s stream. He did go aggressive in feudal with man-at-arms, archers, skirms. With close walls from woodlines to tc and a tower on gold, Belgium defended it easily and hit castle age sooner with no villager loss. Eventually Jordan lost the game in imp even though head to head Jordan has 86% winrate against Belgium (Memb showed that stat in his stream)


Instead, you can shoot the monks. I’m not arguing that it’s easy to mass up EA, I’m saying that the given scenario for the enemy was very food intensive + mangonels, on the same level as EAs + mangonels.

So… I guess RIP to all non-cav non-meso civs then? Your advantage is that you should be able to comfortably outproduce Archers than your opponent is, that you can leverage into harassing their eco while yours is safe and you can wall up in the meanwhile. So enemy cannot simply boom comfortably and beat you with knights + mangonels, especially when it’s painted out as a situation where you can just call the GG once enemy reaches Castle Age, apparently…

Yeah, and Dravidians do. You still have Light Cavalry against enemy monks, you still have your own monks, and a wood bonus to afford both at start of Castle Age. It’s simply unconventional, sort of like how Burmese play. What are meso civs supposed to do against late-game trash wars? Those are generic units, too. They don’t have a good answer to that (and/or gunpowder, too) because they’re designed to have their power spikes in Castle Age/early Imp.

All of this is weird hypotheticals about how somehow your enemy is sitting at double your villager count, affording to field and tech into every single unit in the game, while you’re constrained to only making Archers somehow.

Don’t know if I saw the right one or not (Jordan was vs Burgundians?) - uh, what’s that meant to prove? Burgundians having untouched eco is not something what you want?

Don’t know if I read the stats correctly on stream, but Burgundians winrate is 45% and Dravidians is 55%? So, civ is fine, I guess? (Would like to know what these stats actually are and what they’re taken from, though.)

Also, in that game, Jordan did deal with Castle Age Cavalier + Mangonels. He did defend, with monks, pikes, and Crossbow. He lost in late game, because the opponent’s civ just has a very strong economy if left untouched. If Belgium had a worse map, he could’ve disrupted that better and been in Imperial faster. He couldn’t push, and died. Are you going to suggest that any other Archer civ with weak Cavalry would’ve survived?

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That’s literally just Dravidians and Bengalis. Rest all have either Knights or eagles or similar fast good against archer units like ghulam or Shrivamsha rider.

Assume hypothetically you have a civ that combines eco/archer bonuses from more than 1 strong archer civ like say Mayans and Ethiopians or Britons and Vietnamese. If suppose this civ doesn’t have knights, that’s fine you can outproduce archers comfortably than your opponent. Otherwise how exactly are you going to outproduce when more than a dozen civs get much better eco and military options.

No they don’t.

Inspite of not having knights, these units lack many important upgrades. No husbandry for light cav to run fast enough and snipe monks before they finish converting your EA or Battle elephant or some siege, no bloodlines to be able to take an extra hit from spear or knight or camel.
Your own monks don’t have fervor to run around your pikes and save themselves, don’t have redemption to convert enemy mangonels.

what are you even saying man. Burmese get bloodline kts, elephants with extra armor and monks with all important techs and those techs are cheaper too.

What late game? Those civs are just ridiculously strong and end the game before its too late. Aztecs and Mayans get insanely good eco right from the starting of the game. And while Aztecs have fast military production, relic bonus and ridiculously strong monks, Mayans have dirt cheap archer line and their early imp units like plums and el dorado eagles are extremely hard to kill. Hypothetically even if you hit late game, Aztecs and Mayans have super strong skirms, Aztecs have relic bonus and Mayans have longer lasting gold and stone.
Incas are the only one that struggle a bit ### even they have eagles, slingers, monks with all necessary techs. Incas used to be good when towers were mainstream where they could tower rush, get ahead and then later use 10 p.armor eagles in imp or slingers or kamayuks. Even now they’re fine against knight-mangonel plays from mid-tier civs where they can go for cheaper castles and Kamayuks.

Prove that its very unlikely to be “aggressive early” in feudal age and do a lot of damage. If there’s a hole in your opponent’s wall or something, then fine you’re lucky otherwise dealing damage in feudal age is extremely difficult.

Why do you think the eco was untouched? Jordan “outproduced” crossbows, got pikes, added a forward monastery too. Like you said he was also “aggressive early” with man-at-arms followed by archers and skirms. But couldn’t do much damage. The better player couldn’t do damage to a weaker player in feudal age. That’s the ugly truth of feudal age. A handful of maps like Atacama, Wings, Volcanic swamp, Crater, Low tide (from RMS Cup 2) where feudal aggression is likely to pay off.
Otherwise feudal age is just a namesake commitment to complete walling, prevent forward vills and create some disturbance if you’re luck.

He didn’t. He lost so much military to clear 20 cavalier + 2 monks + 2 mangonels. 40-20 k/d, 5-1 eco k/d, 25 vills behind.

And that answers your point about booming to late game or booming into elephants. You CANT. Unless you face an opponent 400 elo lower than you, these things won’t work.

The chances would be much better. Those archer civs have knights, light cav with atleast husbandry or eagles, and either a solid bonus on archers or a great eco or both like Britons.


I meant more generally, non-cav focused. You can still have Knights and not want to make them.

Despite this, a major complaint of the civ has been throughout that they simply die to Archer civs! Funny, you can have all the knights you want and still die to Archers. Elephants are a non-factor, after all - those are too expensive to make! Burmese are unconventional, because to not die to Archer + pikes, you need to rely more on Siege to take down Archers. I didn’t say Dravidians did that better than Burmese, just the playstyle is different.

Exactly, so you don’t need an answer to… every generic unit. I’m not saying Meso civs are bad, you don’t need to lecture about their strengths. I’m just saying, they don’t have an answer in post-Imp trash wars, because they don’t need an answer to them. Dravidians don’t need an answer if they can be designed around it.

I’m not saying Dravidians are top tier, I’m saying 99% of the suggestions in the thread have been extremely unoriginal and remove the identity of the civ that they were designed with in mind. (And hence, a valid complaint you could make instead is, apparently - I don’t know, going off from other comments - if Dravidians IRL did field good cavalry, why are they designed with a weak stable?)

The eco would not have been untouched if Jordan had managed to get his Archers under the tower in time and deny the gold completely. A clutch quickwall saved that from happening.

He was behind in vills because Bugum had a stronger boom from the getgo, the k/d is obviously not going to shine when it’s Pikes against Cavalier. He had army left over (that he didn’t use after). The game wasn’t over in Castle Age as others in the thread would heavily suggest. He could’ve had a real shot if the map had been better.

Husbandry doesn’t matter as much on Light Cav, the conversion resistance is enough to kill monks… If a weak cav civ goes knights against…knights, guess who’s going to win? The knight civ. You need knights to what, clear Skirmishers? Mangonels or literally one-two Elephants can do that. You need to raid? If that weak cav civ sends Knights to raid, how are they going to fare any better than just Light Cav? You’re wasting gold.

So perhaps, Dravidians could have a buff on their existing bonuses? Again, I pointed out that the Kshatriyas swap with Medical Corps could be really interest and fitting. Their wood bonus can be increased, and so on. You don’t need to turn every underperforming civ into a Slavs copy. Their eco bonus is towards wood, so let’s work with that instead.


It’s pointless arguing with that guy, in my opinion. He wants to sacrifice viability of a civ for flavour. He was saying that Dravs can just work around their Knight-Mangonel-Skirm/Pike weakness, till I listed like 5 pro matches where that push (or a related variant) just ended the game. But that evidence doesn’t seem to have done anything either. He needs to play Dravs a bunch of times before he realizes the issue, we can’t explain something to someone who lacks a fundamental understanding.


Another alternative would be moving wootz steel to castle age, and replacing medical corps with something better for imperial age.


Yup! Good suggestion. But for castle age the tech needs to be cheaper too. Dravidians won’t even need to go imperial for a long time. They would only need to manage one or two early castle age pushes by opponents. Medical corps is useless either way. No player is going to make elephants without food eco bonus. It can stay as it is.

Now a bunch of morons will jump claiming it will be OP.

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Lets see what he says about this suggestion since the flavour will not change. It is a good suggestion too to hope to survive castle age. The player can boom without being cornered completely since he knows what to do to push back against cavalry. It makes sense to put down a stable with woots for light cav. The reckless aggression by Jordan to put monastry and siege workshop forward with crappy monks cost him all the bonus wood and gold collected. Such reckless play can be avoided.

I like the suggestion of exchanging kshatriyas with Dravidians. But lot of your arguments seem to indicate a player should be perfect in game play. AOE2 is best for flexible players who play with options for when they are aggressive and when they are defensive despite what civ they have. But Dravidians don’t have that and that is the core problem. They have a very fixed play style with power spike in feudal start reaching its zenith in mid-feudal then tapering down. As soon as castle age hits, it just nose-dives since there is no stone or cheap castle bonus for defensive play nor there is bonus to go on offense against heavy cavalry like goths.

You are basically saying “you have to be extremely lucky to win with Dravidians”. It is impossible to anticipate what goes wrong. Jordan wanted to surprise with a push and then tower off the gold. Did you watch the following match Jordan vs MBL? If the opponent massed Knights, Dravidians are dead.

Skirm + Knights = Dravidians + Dead