Elephant archers and Siege elephants for Southeast Asians

It would be cool if Southeast Asian civs got their Cav Archers and Rams replaced respectively by Elephant Archers and Armored/Siege Elephants. It would reinforce their elephant civs identity, and make them more aligned with their real-life historical links to the medieval Indosphere.

Moreover, each civ would extend their Battle Elephant civ bonuses and unique techs to those new elephants:

  • Malay would have cheaper Elephant Archers and Armored/Siege Elephants, albeit with a smaller discount (10/20% just like Hun Cav Archers) for E. Archers;
  • Vietnamese E. Archers would have 20% more hitpoints, and Chatras would increase them even more (albeit less than Battle Elephants, maybe +40HP) and make Armored/Siege ellies tougher;
  • Khmer would have faster E. Archers and Armored/Siege Elephants, and their Tusk Swords would benefit the latter, increasing also their attack bonus vs. buildings;
  • And Burmese would have fairly-armored E. Archers (with their civ bonus and Howdah compensating their lack of Leather/Ring Archer Armor) and well-armored siege ellies.

What do you think?


Well I would be against this change. Usage of elephants was pretty much the bedrock of the armies of the subcontinent. No where else was it so widespread.

For the South east Asian civs just like the persians it should be a special unit(like the War elephant and the ballista elephant). Not some generic archer and ram.


Most Elephant usage in S.E. Asia was more like the battle elephants (a halberd-wielding rider(s)), and not the elephant archer or siege elephant.

In fact the siege elephant exists because battering rams were specifically not used in the Indian sub-continent.

The only exception I have is Burmese getting elephant archers, because they are geographically the closest to the South Asian civs, and it would also help them verses archers in castle age a little.


And the Burmese get the howdah tech which refers to elephant archer’s seat for carrying the rider.


I’d be okay with only 2.

  1. Burmese getting EA and changing the civ bonus to +1/+2 PA in Castle/Imperial Age.
  2. Khmer getting Armored ele. Civ bonus changed to 15% and lose Husbandry.

Is the world ready for malay discount ele rams and archers


Even with this sounding powerful, losing cav archer could hurt them a bit. Vietnamese cav archers are viable in some situations and, more importantly, have the speed vietnamese lack.

This, in comparison, is a straight buff given that their cav archers are useless with no thumb ring nor armor.


I don’t want to see Indian looking elephants (EAs and AEs) for Vietnamese, it will look out of place. They are fine with BEs.



I would like this one too

This one tho

The geographical disconnection to the indian subcontinent (with Burmese in-between) makes it weird for Khmer to get siege elephants but not Burmese.

Khmer need this the most. It’s a shame a civilization unique in every aspect (cultural, military, economic), that made extensive use of elephants in warfare, and that almost didn’t use war horses at all… is played as a knight spam civ.
It feels like a such a misrepresentation and wasted opportunity.
Something extreme should be done. Like removing cavaliers and/or hussars and getting buffs in other aspects, like getting back their food bonus in full shape.


Just want to see an elephant with cannon

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So I’ve gone back and forth on this.

When SOTL made his video discussing a mod that did thus (among other changes) initially I was supportive.

In general the SEA civs were struggling on the ladder, and many of those civs had some other relevant bonuses, so it seemed it would help struggling civs while also being thematically appropriate.

Admittedly the Khmer, Vietnmaese, and Burmese all had UUs that would overlap with the elephant archer (and the siege elephant in the case of the ballista elephant). However I thought, and still think that could possibly be addressed with some stats tweaking.

Since then however

  1. In general SEA civs have been buffed. Khmer had their ballista elephant armor tweaked. I think overall it was a buff. Burmese changes are basically a meme, and not all changes were unambiguous buffs, but finally they’re an averag-ish civ it seems. Vietnamese and Malay were buffed big time overall over the last two patches.
  2. I looked more into how SEA civs historically used elephants and they primarily used them similar to what the battle elephant unit is. Not as rams or archers as was the case in india.

So as of right now I’m not particularly receptive to this idea. SEA are all averagish civs so they don’t need a buff, their inclusion wouldn’t be historically accurate (which isn’t the end all be all in a game, game design should be the driving principle but if we’re going to be historically inaccurate AND it doesn’t solve any problem then it’s just bad all around IMO), and lastly the issue of the Arambai, Ballista Elelphant, and Rattan Archer competing with those units would still have to somehow be addressed.

Best case scenario, you end up trying to fix civs that aren’t broken anymore, by adding a historically anachronistic units, only to give yourself the new problem of making sure their UUs don’t conflict with those new units.

As someone who formally was very favorable towards this concept, as someone who championed it in forum threads and youtube comments, I believe at best it’s an idea whose time has passed, at worst a very stupid idea that never had any merit in the first place.

That is a generalization over the four civs though. The burmese would have the best case historically for their inclusion, and the malay would have no overlap with their UU. I don’t think that makes it a GOOD idea for those civs, but generally the argument for adding elephant archers and siege elephants to those civs is stronger than it is for Khmer and Vietnamese.

Khmer is classified as Siege and Elephant civ. So I thought they could get Siege Elephant. They already have one type of siege elephant, but another one won’t hurt.

Also this is at least way better than European looking units.

I’m not suggesting give them Armored Elephant. I’m just not against it.


I want the Khmer to get AE and EA because I really love elephants (they’re my favorite animal), so having a civ that can train four elephant units would be awesome.


Have you been to Angkor Wat? Khmer get siege elephants is the fact that they do have these thing in their history.



Malays not getting elite elephant archer but only bare bodied elephant archers will fit thematically in my opinion with cheaper discount extended over them.

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Some civ should have BE + EA + Ram, some with Knight + EA + Ram, some with BE + CA + AE and as such.

Similarly some should have Elite/Siege upgrades, some should not.

This will make different combination and more variety.


I like the suggestions being made to make the civs thematically correct. But in the end it will end up weakening the civ and will need more balance changes.

Khmer was buffed so many times till they had a respectable winning rate and ended up playing as a knight spam civ.

Vietnamese just had a big eco-boost added. EAs in place of cav archers will be a nerf to them and make their unique unit even more useless.

Finally the Armoured elephant line has been nerfed successively and Elephants design in AOE2 is pretty much as hodgepodge of ticks and misses. If Armoured elephant can move as fast as Battle elephants and have the same HP, I see it as a design which can be re-used by other civs. Otherwise its a WIP.

You know I meant the elephant ram, not any siege unit in the form of an elephant.


I don’t like it.

Maybe a new SEA civ could have access to EAs or Siege Elephants but I wouldn’t add them to any existing SEA civs.


ahem The Siamese…