Dravidians - Civ Bonuses and Tech tree rework without Knights

Dravidian civ has a poor win rate and consequently play rate. There are a couple of big problems and a small problem I have sought to solve.

  1. Dravidians don’t get any long term eco bonuses or unit discounts. They can’t make more buildings or units once their 200 wood bonus is up. But south India was an economic powerhouse. Spices and cotton farming gave huge advantage to the region economically. Spice export made surpluses for the region against Romans, Portuguese and even the British. South India was referred as the gold sink of the world in medieval age. It makes sense to have a farm based bonus which exhibits this trait.
  2. Knights have crazy DPS in castle age. Dravidians don’t get them and don’t have any similar replacements like camels. So they lack a mobile, tanky raiding power unit in castle age which is poor design for an aoe2 civ. This gap in design needs to be closed.
  3. Monks don’t have fervor and redemption making them too easy to snipe by siege. Give Redemption. If not, give fervor and make Urumi a siege sniping unit.

Here is a rework of Dravidian civ bonuses based on the strategies we discussed and games I played this Christmas weekend:

Dravidian Civilization bonuses
* [**CHANGE**] Receive 150 extra wood at the start of the game.
* [**CHANGE**] Farms have 2 times the food as regular farms. (2 x 175 food)
* Barracks technologies cost -50%.
* Skirmishers and Elephant Archers attack 25% faster.
* Team bonus: Docks provide +5 population space

Unique units

* Urumi Swordsman: Melee infantry armed with a long steel whip. They do charge attack based on charge bar.
                   During charge attack, they deal 1/2 splash damage to units 0.75 tiles near them.
                   [**CHANGE**] Rate of attack is 100% faster and moves 0.1 tps faster
                   [**CHANGE**] The charge bar is also a damage avoiding bar like Shrivamsha Shield. 
                          Enemy attack on Urumi both melee and Pierce will reduce charge 
                          attack bar first before reducing Urumi’s real health bar.
                   [**CHANGE**] Exchange Eagle attack bonus and Building attack bonus 
                          for cavalry and Siege attack bonus.

* Thirisadai     : Warship that fires multiple projectiles

Unique technologies
Castle Age Unique tech   :  [**CHANGE**]  Strike Corps - Barrack technologies effect is doubled.
Imperial Age Unique tech :  Wootz Steel - Infantry and cavalry attacks ignore armor.

Tech Tree: [**CHANGE**]  *Dravidian Monks have access to redemption or fervour.*

The 200 wood per age is replaced with a +150 wood at the start of the game like Lithuanians. Since the next farm bonus is a wood bonus which kicks in later. The 200 wood per age has been reworked into a one time early wood bonus. This helps with early rush. Thus maintaining the civ identity too.

The new farm bonus is a replacement for +15 fish carry capacity bonus. The new farm bonus is essentially crop rotation baked in as a civ bonus. It saves 75 wood and 75 food by deferring Horse collar to late castle age and farms will save 120 wood in feudal age. This will help Dravidians float wood and redirect villagers to food when they need to switch to elephants or stone to place defensive castles without killing economy. In water maps, it helps to create more ships without stressing out the land economy.

Strike Corps: The effect of researched barrack technologies is doubled. Supplies, Squires and arson will have double the effect on their military units. It will make Militia line cheaper(30 food) and faster(1.08 tps), Pikes(1.2 tps) and Urumis faster(1.38) as well. The building attack bonus for all infantry(+2) helps against lack of siege engineers. This buffed up infantry is a good replacement for missing knights. With this change, Dravidians could overcome the absence of Knights and cavalry upgrades.

Urumi does not have any significant role in Dravidian gameplay. If we made some adjustments to the stats, they could become the Knight and Siege counter that Dravidians lack. Here is a Link to that post about Urumi stat changes. Urumi will be exactly equal to Knight in a one on one fight provided armour and attack upgrades are same. With charge attack, urumi can take Knight out always. But Knight will kill urumi otherwise. Urumi is a solid defensive unit vs Knight. Urumi can snipe siege even if Knight engages like current gameplay of normal Knight civs. So Urumi can be the Dravidian answer to a siege push.

Due to current meta, Knight is a vital capability, almost a civ bonus for castle age. The power gap has to be filled using eco bonuses and existing units available to Dravidians. So the new design distributes that power evenly across infantry and Urumis. This rework can make Dravidians a well rounded infantry and naval civ with wood bonus along with infantry power spike in late game. Despite the absence of Knights, Monks and Urumi along with skirms should make it #####ble to defend in castle age without falling behind too much. Please share your thoughts.

Does it replace the skirmisher bonus too?

Yup! I had Medical corps replace skirm bonus as a civ bonus. And introduced a new bonus called “Strike corps” to replace “Medical corps”.

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So like Sicilians? Or do they just get flat ‘farms have +175 food’?

Not a fan of them losing faster firing EAs and Skirmishers, that was one of their defining features. Right now as designed, they’ll play out worse than existing Dravidians do. At least you have faster firing Skirmishers right now (and EAs), now you’re even more generic with flat wood increases. Not sure how the ‘you need a Castle to make your infantry useful’ saves them from knights.

Farms have +175 food.

Medical corps is not locked behind a castle anymore. So either Battle elephants or Elephant archers are alternatives. Monks are always there as well and with redemption they will be more useful. Skirms were their defining feature because they had nothing else of repute. Skirms are never going to defend against Knights either.

It feels like you want to buff their eco to heavens in hope that their elephants will be usable, but you are not buffing elephants themselves enough, or not nerfing the other units (xbows/scorpions) enough.
I like the free elephant hp regeneration though, but i don’t think it makes them more attractive than xbows.

This dravidians gets virtually free horse collar + free heavy plow from dark age (+175f vs+ 200f per farms) plus more than 1000w from not having to reseed the ~20 feudal farms, plus the 200w per age. Which is huge, way better than vikings eco until very late in the game.

Of course a civ without knights needs a great eco to be popular/viable, but I feel like with this civ people will just continue the usuall archers into xbows and add 2 “free TCs” behind it, as their new eco covers the cost of 2x(TCs+5 farms). Or they will all in with 4 ranges xbows + 4 mangonels, as their eco give them virtually the mangonels for free.

So if you “just want to buff” Dravidians, I think +75f per farm is enough. It is a mix of franks free horse collar and of burgundians earlier eco upgrade, which is nice.
Alternatively, we could decrease the wood/age from +200 to +100w, and give free ballistics. This virtually saves 500w/175g in castle age, but there are better/equivalent boni (tatars, vikings, bengalis, poles, chinese) and this is an acceptable top eco when one do not have knights/camels and a playrate <1%.

But if you want to specifically buff them by making elephant units viable in castle age, you should either remove attractive options (xbows, scorpions that cost no food), or weaken the eco back and buff elephants directly (eg. elephants archers cost wood instead of food, or cost -50% food, or something crazy like batte elephants move 100% faster but are not affected by blacksmith upgrades).

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My point exactly. The civ needs serious rework to be viable.

Just like armoured elephants. We could have Scorpion elephants replacing Scorpions. But both elephant archer as well as scorpion elephants have to switch to costing wood and gold for it to work. In the current design that is not possible. Removing scorpions and arbalest from Dravidian tech tree is fine by me.

Like khmer ones? 20 char

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Yup! similar. 20 char.

My re-work has focussed on fixing Dravidian civ within the current game options.

Change log : Open question

Due to new wood bonus in the form of longer lasting farms, the old bonus may need to be nerfed. So I thought getting 200 more wood at the start of the game will have the same effect in feudal play as the current one does.

Will having 200 extra wood at the start of game lead to militia rush with 2 barracks?

I wouldn’t play that way. But Hoang might. But without scouting info. It is a waste.

I don’t think people would waste 175w on a second barracks.

But they will make 2 more fishing ships( + whatever we can do with 50w) on nomad/water/hybrid maps, to make them serious contender for best/OP civ on these settings.

And on land maps, they will make Khmer style of rush, as they can delay their lumber camp without problem and get a “free barracks”. And of course they can also make a pre-mill drush as smooth as Lituanians.

On closed maps, they will probably not be much later for the TCs rush as they will use the wood for 3 earlier farms.

So I would call this change a buff more than a nerf, even though the “total wood saved” would be lower.


Thank u. Thats quite accurate.

If the tweak was 100 wood, it might be appropriate for a rush civ. “Receive 100 extra wood at the start of the game”, the start will be good but not OP. One extra building or ship.

I personally feel Lithuanian 150+ food is OP. Otherwise I would have gone with the same amount of wood.


Its not about “x amount of resources saved by 30th or 40th minute”. Resources gained at earlier stages are a lot more valuable. For example if Dravidians got +150 wood in dark, feudal and castle age instead of +200 in feudal, castle and imp, its an enormous buff even though the net amount of free wood has reduced. Free wheelbarrow and handcart is not just resource savings. Its 12% faster farmers, 4-5% faster lumberjacks till the other player researches wheelbarrow. From then on its a +3 villager lead which translates to 60-70 extra resources per minute and possibly a much faster castle age. Free handcart in castle age is an additional 10% faster farmers and depending on how often you rebuild lumber camps, quite a bit of efficiency on lumberjacks as well. And this stays for quite a while until the other player techs into it which is very late castle age usually. Whereas the 2x food from farms pays off around 30th minute mark. This is why Sicilians eco is quite weak while civs with other farm bonuses like Poles or Khmer are much stronger. This bonus is average at best.

This is just a huge exaggeration. It doesn’t “cover” the cost of 2 tcs, just one. 200 wood on hitting castle and 75 wood from horse collar. The payoff from the extra food on farms happens at a much later stage of the game, and at that point the wood saved is only a small fraction of the total resources being collected per minute. All it does is help get imp up sooner and add buildings without having to reseed a lot of farms. And that’s important for a civ with no proper mid game units.

This is actually a fair trade but something that forces the Dravidian player to be aggressive with archers or galleys instead of having the current flexibility of deciding themselves on whether to add tcs or go more military. But overall its just a tradeoff not a buff. The civ desparately needs a buff.

Should be accompanied with cheaper barracks and barrack techs being -50% and available an age earlier.
Or should be a gradually increasing bonus - +100w dark, +150 feudal, +200 castle and +250 imp.


My current ideas:

[global change]

  • Supplies can also affect infantry UU.
    This may require a corresponding increase in the food cost of some infantry UUs for balance, such as Condottiero, Ghulam, Gbeto, Karambit, Obuch, Shotel, etc., so that after reducing food by 15 their cost would return to same as the current cost or slightly lower than the current cost.


  • Fishing bonus.
  • Barracks tech discount bonus.
  • Rate of fire bonus.
  • Team bonus.
  • Medical Corps. But maybe the effect can be increased to 30 HP per minute at most.


  • Gain Husbandry.
  • Gain Redemption, but may lose Block Printing for balance.
  • Wood bonus:
    Receive 10 wood for every existing Villager when hitting a new Age.
    Suppose the player holds 20/45/100 Villagers when hitting a new Age, then the player will receive 200/450/1000 wood in that order. Players can use more extra wood to build military buildings to rush or Farms to boom.

[some new bonuses might worth considering]

  • Archer line speed +5%/+10% in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • EA line speed is also +5%/+10% in the Castle/Imperial Age, but it might lose the rate of fire bonus for EA line.
    If the rate of fire bonus is lost, Compared to Bengali EA, it would have slightly 2% lower DPS, 20 lower HP, 1 lower melee armor and 2 lower pierce armor, but better accuracy, and crucially better mobility, which would make the effect of Medical Corps better too.
  • Choose one of the following BE bonuses:
    The first two would make the Malay BE lose the Elite upgrade and the discount, and make one of UTs of Malay allow the BE’s gold cost to turn into food cost.
    • Get the Elite upgrade and cost -20%.
    • Lose Chain Barding Armor in exchange for the Elite upgrade and cost -20%/-40% in the Castle/Imperial Age.
    • Free Elite upgrade, but might lose Chain Barding Armor in exchange.
  • If one of the above BE bonus is chosen, Wootz Steel might no longer affect cavalry, or just ignore 50% of armor.
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I fully agree.

I didn’t check up every civ, but I currently expects that an average civ eco bonus is around +0/+200/+300/+400 resources in dark/feudal/castle/imperial.
So taken alone, I agree that the +175 food per farm is average or below average, as it virtually saves 150 resources in feudal and 250 resources in castle age, plus:

  • in games with feudal wars something like 1000w in imperial age from not having to reseed the ~20 farms during castle age (my bad you don’t get them all at 20 minutes, but rather from minute 24 to minute 34).
  • in games with fast castle usually ~250w to ~500w in early castle age from not having to reseed the ~4 to 8 dark age farms, and then nothing in imperial

My bad, I used the wrong assumption that all farms get reseeded at 20 minutes, as I regulary hear a couple of farms expiring while aging up to castle age. So the “up to 1000w” I was talking about comes more around minute 30 than minute 20.

But with both the +175f / farm and the +200w / age, you still get ~400 more wood once in castle age compared to a civ with regular eco, which covers the building of a TC. Then the wood saved early castle age by not having to reseed farms kind of compensate (excluding the farmers working time maybe) for the 5 farms needed to run the TC.

So you are correct, 2 more TCs ends up being far from reality. But the original point stand: with both eco boni (better farms and wood/ageup), I would expect players to rather make another TC while keeping up with opponents xbows production rather than trying to make elephant units, which still feel too expensive for what they bring in early castle age.

But OP thinks about replacing the +200w/age with a starting +100w or so, which changes some aspects of the eco.

Yeah, +100w sounds entirely file. You power up the rushing ability in most maps but nerf the TCs booming in closed maps.

Depends on how much you want to buff the eco.

  • with cheaper barracks and barrack techs being -50% and available an age earlier sounds nice.
  • +100w dark, +150 feudal, +200 castle and +250 imp is a hard buff compared to the current +200w/ageup. This plus the +175f/farms would make the civ eco way too strong for me. +175f/farm is not only the wood saved by delaying the farms reseeding from 25 min onward (due to farms having +100f compared to a horse collar farm), it is also feels like a free horse collar / heavy plow (you still delay the feudal farm reseeding by 5 minutes if you only research the farm upgrades once in castle age).

Replacing +200w/ageup with +10_x_nbVillagers/ageup sounds like a nice idea, if people do not find it too gimicky. I really like the idea because it fits Dravidians very well:

  • they are strong in feudal thanks to early wood
  • they feel confortable in imperial when you manage to mass elephant archers
  • they are really ackward in castle age due to having no knights or replacements, and falling behing in eco compared to most civs.

So they basically would like to be rewarded if they manage to extend te feudal age. And with this bonus, the more they delay their & their opponent age up time, the more reward they get.

I would take redemption over block printing any day, due to the civ weakness to siege (and block printing not being available in castle age). I think this is good to give them another counter to mangonels they struggle against.

This is complicated, I am currently against it because as you said, many UUs will need to be rebalanced. So the idea may be interesting but need more thinking before looking meaningful.

Maybe many infantry UU need a plain buff after all, and having roughly the same food cost after the tech feels like a nerf. I would rather buff the non-elite version of “weak infantry UUs” one more time to make them more usable in late castle age, instead of giving some kind of late game buff.

This is because I think the cost of many infantry UUs needs to be reduced, such as Urumi. But not everyone needs to reduce as much as 15 food, so it is stated to increase some, so that they would not reduce, or only reduce 5 or 10 food in the end.

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This whole stuff looks really complicated to me…
Why not just giving Knights to Dravidians and see what happens?

Yeah screw civ identity, lets make them more generic!/s

I would prefer to give their skirms extra bonus vs siege as the TB or something like that before giving them knights. That shouldonly be done if absolutely necessary imo

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By mid castle age, good eco civs get like +600 atleast and that’s just raw numbers when both players do the same build. When you take a look at civs without knights, like Aztecs, Mayans or Gurjaras you constantly have a better eco than a generic civ throughout the early game which helps them advance faster and still they have a knight pseudo replacement unit that’s good against archers and great for raids. That’s why those civs are strong. If the handicap is stronger, the eco bonus and strength of other military should be greater. Its totally ok to have the current Dravidian 200 wood per age bonus alone if they got knights and CA. Even without bloodlines or husbandry is ok. But if you have neither, the eco should be stronger to get them far ahead much faster.
For example, in legacy AOC there was no eagle warrior upgrade in castle age. That’s why Aztecs had +5 carry capacity, +18% faster military and Mayans had 20% longer lasting resources apart from having a villager lead. The eco should be that strong from BEFORE castle age.

For comparison, Franks get those upgrades for free and they have knights with free extra hp, crossbows with bodkin and faster berries. With this proposed bonus, yes its like getting farm upgrades for free until then but you don’t have knights. So its totally “OK” to add tcs while keeping up crossbow production. Ultimately the only way for that civ to put up a fight is if they can get somewhat economically far ahead. This bonus itself isn’t sufficient for that but its a push in the right direction.

Yes, that’s just an awfully designed unit. For a decade, players have complained about it. Its totally ok to have it as an additional option in the range like Khmer BE existing along with knights or Genitours existing along with skirms for Berbers. But this just feels like the OG Indian civ designer guy forcing this unit on players - "JUST MAKE THEM PEOPLE, I spent several hours designing it. " but still no one does.

Thats the whole point. Just see the very beautiful tech tree they have and you’ll realize they don’t have much to do till imperial age even with that economy. Such a change will just make them a strong hybrid map civ.

Amazing set of changes especially the wood bonus, very much in proportion to what the civ needs. Personally I’d rather prefer block printing but some other monk tech removed (not sure which few ones they currently have)


Would rather keep the rof as its only used in Black forest TG as a slow push unit.

Makes malay elephants nearly unusable, these Dravidian elephants without armor aren’t going to be of any use either. If I remember correctly Malay get heresy and yet we barely see Elephant play in imperial age. Its not a 1v1 unit and without upgrades its not a useful open map tg unit either. It just gives Dravidians an additional option in Blackforest 4v4. Overall these set of changes don’t matter to most of the games.

Just remove supplies for Gurjaras, Hindustanis and Poles. Gbeto, Karambit, Shotel getting a food cost reduction isn’t the worst thing. Those units are almost as terrible as Urumi swordsmen as well. In general I’d prefer supplies being redefined as gold infantry cost -25% food, its cost changing to just 100 food and eagle’s base cost increased to 27 food. And if they currently don’t, mayans can lose supplies and have their eagle play considerably nerfed as part of the balance change. This will also slow down the Aztec eagle-monk-siege push because they’ll be forced to get supplies. And all the nearly useless infantry unique units like Teutonic knights, samurais, urumis won’t be an awfully expensive transition.

You’re not wrong, but I’ve seen you on other occasions have a strong taste for complexity. Perhaps just the time-honored penchant of some Germans for (over)engineering, but not always the most necessary thing in a relatively simple game like AoE2.

That said, giving them knights is something that would “work,” but I view that as a boring abandonment of the original intention as an infantry/ele and archer (because: meta) civ. And boosting their eco without making Urumis/eles more useful will just further cement them as an archer civ. I prefer making Urumi more of a raiding and less of a DPS unit, on top of something akin to @GentleEvening5’s idea in the other thread of having Barracks techs apply to ele units (Squires, Supplies, Arson).