Notice how good they are against ships. In the MikeEmpires video, they win against fire ships without micro. Of course, this is without balancing the resources. They also destroy bombard ships, and are cheaper, and does not require chemistry. Meaning, you’ll be able to mass 4-5 of them before your opponent can even begin to mass their bombard ships. Dromons are a ship that’s also available to huns, goths and byzantines, so you will encounter them regardless of Romans.
So, let’s take a usual water fight. The Romans (Or byzantines, or other civs) have a mass of galleons up front, and 5-6 dromons at the back. Additionally, they have a few fire ships/demo ships for support. Note that Romans don’t get demos, but the rest of the civs with dromons do.
What is a cost-efficient counter here? Especially for civs without heavy demo ship or fast fire ships?
If you make galleons, their dromons will snipe them. Dromons have an insane 12 range. If you try to get close to snipe them, they can back away, and your opponent’s fire ships and galleys will destory you.
You could make fire ships, but they will get blocked or destroyed by the galley mass, with dromons piling their damage on top. A small mass of demos will suffer the same fate, especially if you don’t get heavy demo ships.
The only counter I can think of is mass heavy demo ships. And that sucks.
The way I see it, these things are onagers of the sea. That in of itself is not an issue. But, think of how onagers are countered on land. You either use cavalry to rush them, or use bombard cannons to snipe them. Onagers have a huge weakness in how slow they are. However, Dromons aren’t weak to cannon galleons, and it is difficult to rush units in the sea. Additionally, Dromons aren’t that slow to be easily rushed.
I have a strong suspicion that they will need some tuning. Making them vulnerable to bombard cannons and cannon galleons, and reducing their ship damage might be a good start. But hey, this is just an inference from first previews.