Dravidians - the only civ with no (good) raiding unit

Dravidians have always felt a bit off to me. Like some core part of the civ is missing. People have complaints about the mobility of the civ, but that in of itself hasn’t felt like a huge deal, personally.

Knights have traditionally been the all-rounder and raiding unit. When the meso civs were included, the devs recognized the issue and added eagles as an alternative. Then, the Indian civs came out. Gurjaras got Shrivamsha raider, Hindustanis got ghulams, and Bengalis got Rathas. That leaves Dravidians with no knights, and no knight alternatives for raiding.

So, it feels like the devs have taken every other civ into consideration for this issue. Let me repeat, every civ except Dravidians get a decent raiding unit.

This isn’t just a “the worst stable in the game” issue. This is a “a central part of mechanics is missing” issue.

Just to be clear, let me describe a raiding unit. A mid-game raiding unit should be mobile (speed of ~1.2 or above) and, it should have decent pierce armor ##### ## above). Gold isn’t a huge issue at this stage of the game. So, expensive units are fine. However, they should have enough health to withstand 3-4 volleys of arrows from fully garrisoned TCs, and 2-3 volleys from ungarrisoned castles.

Urumis might have counted a decent raiding unit, except they drop like flies to castle or tc fire.

Lastly, I want to emphasize how important a general raiding unit is in the game. This is the unit you send out around the map to find your opponent’s secondary bases. This is the unit that you use when your opponent make 2-3 scorpions to deal with archers/infantry. You need this unit to pick off trebs under an enemy castle in early imp (before you get bombards out) and most importantly, you need this unit to threaten your opponent’s cav archers.

This seems pretty weird to me, as raiding is one of the most important part of open land map games. Do you think this is a problem? How would you fix this?


They do have light cav, don’t they?
And light cav possess the two qualities that you described. +2 pierce armor, and reasonable speed.

Granted, without bloodlines and husbandry it’s not a great unit, not at all. But at least the civ has something that fulfills the role you described.


You are technically correct. They do fulfill the criterias I mentioned. But they don’t fulfill the uses that I’ve layed out in examples.

For example, they can’t be used against cav archers without husbandry and bloodlines. They’ll get wiped in seconds. They also can’t be used to threaten trebs.

Scout cavalry generally isn’t considered anti-archer units despite their decent Pierce armor.

Looks like I need to edit the definition of raiding unit. Because I think that the point still stands.

EDIT: I’ve better outlined what I was going for. That is, these units should have a bit of durability for withstanding castle and TC arrow fire. Pierce armour in of itself is meaningless, if you don’t take HP into consideration. A unit with 4 pierce armour and 1 HP would have satisfied the previous condition, but it wouldn’t work as a raiding unit, for example.


Maybe if the “medical corps” tech buffed light cav as well. As it is the Dravidians light cav are basically worthless.


I don’t mind civs that lack certain tactics and have to make up for what is lacking though other means. I think it gives them a different playstyle and that is really what I want from a new civ.


Ratha is a raiding unit? It is produced by castle and die to skirms


There is no play style without raiding in open maps. There could be, if there were insanely strong eco bonuses to overcome vil losses due to your enemy raiding. Or ways to save your vils during enemy raids like khmer or teutons have. Dravidians have none of these options. And its reflected in them being a bottom tier civ in open maps.

A raiding unit can be produced in castle, absolutely. Ghulams and Tarkans are other examples. Their vulnerability to skirms is an issue that people have been complaining about, but that has nothing to do with them being a raiding unit or not. Heavy Cav archers and mangudai are raiding units, but they are vulnerable to skirms.

So yeah, Rathas are raiding units.


Yup! Completely agree with the premise. Dravidians have a huge void in the raiding, defense and economy departments. So without counter-raiding, the civ will die pretty quickly in castle age when economy has to expand. I doubt slow 30 HP healing elephants even as a civ bonus can fix it.
I did the same exercise of re-working the civ. Link Here. I ended up having to make the Urumi a Knight replacement with unique way of functioning similar to eagles and woad riders. It needed squires to be faster than 1.2 tps. It may need some re-work on cost due to gambersons.

Cost            : 85 Food  25 Gold [**CHANGE**]  Increase food by 20 and Gold 5
Training time   : 12 seconds [**CHANGE**] Increase time by +3 sec
Hit points      : 55, 65 (Elite)
Melee Attack    : 8, 10 (Elite)  same as now
Attack bonus    : +2, +3 (Elite) vs Cavalry [**CHANGE**] (Changed from Eagle)
                  +1, +2 (Elite) vs Siege [**CHANGE**] (Changed from Building)
Rate of Fire    : 1 [**CHANGE**] (Changed from 2) 100% faster
Melee armor     : 1 
Pierce armor    : 0 
Armor class     : Infantry, Unique unit
Speed           : 1.15 [**CHANGE**] 0.1 Buff
Line of Sight   : 3
Ability         : Charges its attack by 12 (15 Elite) damage over 24 (20 Elite) seconds and
                     dealing a blast attack of 50% strength in 0.75 tiles radius.
                  [**NEW**] The charge bar is also a damage avoiding bar.
                  [**NEW**] The charge bar recharges only when Urumi is not attacking.
                  [**NEW**] Once charge attack is made on enemy unit, the bar becomes empty.

Unit evolution  : Elite Urumi Swordsman
Upgrade cost    : 900 food, 450 gold
Upgrade time    : 45 seconds

I don’t think every civ but Dravidians has a decent raiding unit. Koreans Hussar and Malay THS are far behind from being a decent raiding unit. But I’ll agree that Dravidians raiding units are the worst in the game.

I used to. But now I have got used to it and accepted the fact as their identity.

Right now I won’t. I’ll wait and see how the patch is played out.


Koreans have war wagons as a raiding unit. War wagons have high Pierce armour, and relatively high speed.

Malay have knights. But also, karambit warriors. Now, karambits are an unorthodox raiding unit, but they do have 1 base Pierce armour and only cost half a pop space. But, they are extremely cheap, quickly produced, and fairly mobile. This means you can just spam raid with them. You can trade 3 karambits for 1 enemy vil in the mid game and it would still be a decent trade.

Do you have any other examples?


I’ve ranted a lot about this . The replies I’ve got are rather one-dimensional.

“Hey! Urumis are insane. They melt everything.”

“Wootzsteel is broke. 20 chars.”

“Scout-cavalry ignores armour.”

That’s obviously true if you watched MikeEmpires pit Urumis against one type of unit (either just cavalry or infantry for eg.) and SOTL’s exaggerated videos about Wootzsteel Tech on YouTube.

(Elite) Urumis are not raiding units. They are only fine 1v1, easily die to composite armies, and TC and Castle fires.

Actually Urumis are not and can not be a replacement to knights and neither should Bengalis’ Rathas and Hindustanis’ Ghulams be seen as one on a serious note. Besides, Bengalis and Hindustanis have fully upgraded Scouts/Camels and their UUs can do all three - kill vills, snipe siege and flee better than Dravidian Light Cavalry.


Here are some solutions to Dravidians’ lack of good raiding units:

  • Medical corps affect Scout-Cavalry line.

  • All land units cheaper, tankier and self-regenerate.

  • Make Dravidians an eco civ.

For more details refer to my forum topic here - Dravidians redsign ideas

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It is fine to deviate from meta and I welcome the same. However, Dravidians don’t have something(s) to offset their imbalance.

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I just don’t like solving imbalance by removing their weaknesses, it is like buffing the Saracens by giving them access to Paladin.

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Not the perfect example for a raiding unit, but Rathas (in melee mode I guess?) do +2 bonus damage vs Skirmishers after the new patch.

I agree with the main point of this thread as it’s something that’s been mentioned often WRT Dravidians, and many of us have been calling for Urumis to be reworked into more of a raiding unit and/or at least one more tech for their terrible light cav for quite some time. That said, I think the intention remains to keep Dravidians the civ with the worst raiding units, as recent changes all seem focused on other areas.

Maybe this is nitpicky, but I don’t think these are all great examples of “raiding units” or why Dravidians need them. (1) is just scoutline, which they get. (2) can be performed by eagle/knightline or by your own siege (mangos) on which Dravidians just got a large discount. (3) is the best case for something like eagle/knightline, but can also be done with a small mass of any decent melee unit, even Urumis with their high frontloaded damage. And (4) can indeed be done by knights, but Dravidians have stronger skirms and now cheaper siege to help vs HCA.

Really I don’t think it’s more complicated than the general lack of strong, highly mobile units that can use their mobility to kill villagers (which I think is 90+% of what people normally mean when they refer to “raiding units”). Dravidians may be the worst in that particular dimension, but they’re not the only civ with a significant weakness.

Eh, Malay knights may as well not exist. They could probably be removed with minimal effects on WR. Similar case for Viking or Korean cavaliers.

This would be the thing to do. I think people are underestimating how the civ will perform after the siege buff (also MedCorps is still weird, but now it’s stronger, and EAs have been buffed somewhat). Maybe we wait to see how the overhauled civs play out before we immediately propose new overhauls.

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When I said ‘imbalace’ I didn’t mean removing their weakness or identity, bad choice of words from me.

Saracens getting Paladins is different from ‘Dravidians - the only civ with no (good) raiding unit’.

I don’t know how being unable to raid, scout better and snipe sige are offsetted for Dravidians - not even a defensive civ to begin with. And my proposed changes don’t make them mobile.

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He did not say “Give Knight line to Dravidians”. He says “Design the civ like Meso civs were made”. There are plenty of individual suggestions in the thread.

  • remove medical corps and replace with Mahouts

  • Make medical corps apply to light cav

  • Give better food economy bonus like faster food production to spam light cav and elephants etc

But the patch has given 33% discounted siege which is a rip-off of slav bonus and does not address the castle age problem. The civ was supposed to be a infantry and naval civ. But now its castle age unique tech buffs elephants and imperial age bonus is siege discount. Tell me any smart player who will do so many transitions from m@a to archers to elephants to siege with a couple of below par eco bonuses which fizzle out by castle age start. Now Dravidians have too many spread-out bonuses on different units and the bonuses don’t help one another. Without redemption, its very easy to build a monk army against Dravidians to counter Siege and elephants in castle age. I’m sure nobody wanted this siege bonus.

What dravidians need is a early food bonus which works on land and water, as well as wood discount for making ships affordable. To match other cavalry civs on an even keel, they need a unit which can raid under TC, clear up Hussar raids and become a death ball in large numbers. Urumi only fullfil the last role. So re-making that unit is paramount.

I’m sure with this patch Dravidians will be dead last on Arabia and irrelevant on Arena.


SMUM15236 and filtercoffee488 Koreans are a DEFENSIVE Civ in the first place and not a free raiding civ like Burgundians. So, Korean Stable is better than Dravidians’. Koreans playstyle is supposed to be different from Dravidians, right? But turns out that Dravidians are forced to play defensive, redendering quickly upgraded Barracks units and Barracks tech bonus a bit useless like SirWiedreich said in his thread.

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Yeah. According to your criteria Eagle Warrior is not a raiding unit as their speed is less than 1.2. Also PA value alone has no meaning unless you also give an HP criteria.

There are three actually.

  1. Very aggressive early game to kill your opponent. Celts (old one when they had infantry speed in Dark Age, now not that much), Goths and Dravidians are designed around this. All of them have an awkward mid game but excellent late game potential.
  2. Hold and turtle until late game. Koreans is designed like that.
  3. This one you mentioned. Better villager number than your opponent. Malay and Bengalis are designed like this.

Issue is - Neither of these styles of gameplay works against good mid game civs in Arabia. Arabia meta is literally based on whoever gets the lead on Castle Age. You will win the game 2/3rd of the time in this way. To get the lead you either need a very good early game followed by a decent mid game (Castle Age) options like Franks, Gurjaras, Hindustanis, Aztecs, Mayans, Huns, Lithuanians or you need some bonuses that give a huge powerspike or pays off in Castle Age like Berbers, Vikings, Cumans.

Too gold intensive to fit that role. Also why EA is not a raiding unit then?

Be advised - Never train them for raiding. Make them only to counter skirmishers and siege.

Fair enough except the last part. 75f/45g for 1 villager? Not a good trade at all.

Bengalis don’t have Hussar. But LC with all armor and BL is decent enough raider anyway.

What about waiting 1 more months and see how the siege discount and EA buff plays out?