Fixing Delhi

Update nerfs Delhi to the ground. To be fair, spear buff helps against early knight rush, though that was already something Delhi could deal with reasonably. Faster dark and feudal research is a good change. French hulk nerf helps with water maps. So it’s not all bad.


  1. x15 research in imp is absurdly long. Scholars don’t just cost gold, they take up pop space. More wood, gold and pop space required to get remotely reasonable imp research times is excessive. Plus the production buildings taking so much longer to research mean you have to build extra production buildings just for that purpose because they’re out of commission for so long (even with scholars). Should start with x8 and adjust from there. x15 is way too big a move for the first update. I do understand the desire for some increase - prior to the patch it felt like a fully upgraded imp army was automatic with little thought for prioritization, but x15 is a gross overreaction. If something’s not a game-breaking problem (and honestly, where are the posts complaining about OP Delhi imperial armies?), you balance with small incremental adjustments, not giant moves.

  2. Elephants now need a buff. I believe spear and xbow buffs were targetted at knights and maa, but the consequence is elephants are in a pretty difficult spot now, particularly against xbows. They were already not cost effective against much of anything other than cavalry (obviously they were pop efficient due to high stats, but not resource efficient). I think war and tower elephants need a significant pierce armor buff now. Maybe an elite upgrade as well.

  3. Horsemen nerf. I made a separate post about this, but the gist is it’s even harder to deal with xbows, springalds and bombards now than before. Not only is it harder for Delhi to deal with early man-at-arms (which was already a problem for all the civs that don’t have early maa or early knights), but elephants are even more vulnerable to springalds and xbows because horsemen are less effective against those. Horsemen need hp revert, dmg/armor buff against siege, and a dmg/armor nerf against other cavalry only so they don’t trade effectively against armored cavalry.

  4. Sanctity change is overkill. I think the right compromise would be requiring feudal to actually cap the sites, but still allowing the research to start in dark age. If it’s going to be moved to feudal it needs to be significantly faster. I completely understand not wanting Delhi to spend 10 minutes in dark age just fortifying the map and gobbling up gold from sacred sites, but the implemented changes were an overreaction.

  5. This isn’t anything the patch considered in the first place, but getting garrisoned mosques to buff dock tech research time is usually pretty impractical relative to the land buildings. I think the research time of Delhi dock techs needs to be reduced.

Parting thoughts: I’m not trying to make Delhi OP here. I just want their unique aspects (scholars, early sacred sites and elephants) to feel good. Right now they feel bad. The already didn’t have much of a viable early rush (no early knights or maa, delayed acquisition of siege engineers for ram pushes) other than grabbing sacred sites (now notably delayed), and elephants don’t feel as powerful as they should. One non-Delhi change that would help is allowing the TC to target specific units. That would have a major impact on the early maa/ram pushes. Something has to be done about the already default xbow/springald meta being a direct counter to elephants though. If making elephants doesn’t cause the opponent to do anything differently, what’s the point of elephants?


Just remove sanctity as a researchable tech and give Delhi an ability to capture sacred sites in the feudal age.

Make elephants not to be treated as cavalry or ranged unit. Right now Elephants especially Tower elephants can be countered by spear with triple damage, horsemen with double damage and even with crossbows and springalds. Sometimes I have 15 elephants and they melt like butter even against average sized army. " Sad big teddy bears :elephant:"
Instead just make them a siege class unit only to just be countered by springalds… after all they are most effective against buildings. Even when springalds got nerfed they could still counter the slow moving elephants.

Instead of x15 longer research time just make imperial age techs not free but with half the cost of other civilizations and retain the 5x research time. That will be the best nerf. After all you are still investing in gold and population by making scholars. So half cost imp. techs will be the best way to counter queued techs.

I still think Delhi can be a well balanced fun to play civ but alas! developers lack attention to detail or will to make it a balanced civ. The nerfs to Delhi are a hasty decisions. I hope they reverse the change and put some serious thought to make a beautiful elephant civilization a playable balanced civ. Fingers crossed.


Then you lose out the double gold which is necessary for Delhi to compete. I don’t think there was anything wrong with sanctity before.


Then make sanctity to give them double gold and an ability to capture sacred sites in the feudal age. The whole point of the nerf was to limit the Delhi to capture sacred sites in dark age. But with the nerf players won’t even want to go for sacred sites but instead to a fast castle. They just killed a fun to play tactic totally instead of delaying it.

I totally agree with you… It was very easy for the opposition to deny Delhi early sacred sites. A hard to play tactic didn’t need any nerf at all.


Decent analysis overall, especially elephant and horseman side considerations.

Only observation is I don’t think there was anything wrong with Sanctity before. I’ve never heard anyone complain Delhi was OP before. Not once. The Viper said Sancity was the very core of Delhi’s charm and uniqueness and an interesting diversity in the game, plus it was necessary for the civ. He harshly criticized the Sanctity change and the ridiculous backbreaking 15X slower tech in imp.

Delhi nerf is beyond inept, more than overreaction. It is serious treachery against the game, at this point it is even fair to wonder about ulterior motives.



I think a cool and unique change would be to have all research available from Dark Age but with their current age research time. e.g. you can directly start researching an imperial tech, but it will take 25+mins.
This would make them unique and fit their whole “research based” theme. Also opens up the faction to many different strategies.


An interesting suggestion. You can queue imperial age techs in the dark age if you have required buildings in masses. 15x time will make them impossible to be researched before imp age actually started but with a significant investment in scholars can make them researched right b4 or after imperial age. Then everyone will start complaining that Delhi is an OP civ and the developers will have no choice but to revert Delhi to Factory default.

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5x research time is not worth half cost. If you’re going to do the scholar thing, the research has to be free. You invest a bunch of resources and pop into getting your scholar base established just to get a usable research time. The 5x multiplier is still way too slow to be viable - you still need scholars. The advantage is just that you can get all of them for free so you can tech swap more freely if necessary. 50% cost savings isn’t enough to justify the scholar system when you’re now only going to grab the techs you absolutely must have.

I think elephants have to count as cavalry. If you can’t counter them with mass spearmen (though I think it should take at least 3 or 4 spears per elephant) they will be OP. I’m also not sure if making them count as siege wouldn’t open them up to weird weaknesses. Someone with more technical knowledge will have to answer that (I don’t have all the AoE4 bonuses memorized yet like I do AoE2). Basically I think they should be countered by spears and springalds, and be very strong against archers, horsemen, knights and MAA. They should take damage from crossbows, but not nearly as much as they currently do. I just think springalds and especially crossbows right now, as well as man-at-arms to a somewhat lesser degree, are too effective. Man at arms should NOT trade cost effectively vs elephants. That’s just ridiculous on its face. Spearmen should trade cost effectively. Springalds should work. Crossbows should work in very large numbers. Archers, horsemen, knights and MAA should be a losing proposition. I’m not sure about camels… that’s a very specific balance case I don’t have enough experience with.


Not a bad idea. But unnecessary, they could just adjust the research time of that specific tech to achieve the same timing, and the tech also gives double gold from sites so that would be gone or they’d need to make it part of the civ bonus.

Hate this idea though. Totally unnecessary. There is somewhere between the 5x and 15x that is fair.


i absolutely agree with this post, right now Delhi is impossible to play, no gold from sacred sites, researchs from dark age and feudal age taking longer to finish (must be a bug), and late game is basically impossible to accomplish since is 15 to 20 minutes each, honestly even if is a bug and they fix it, the previous Delhi is far better than this, at least i was able to do something on lategame, now they made one early civ that
lose to everyone.

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What do you mean no gold from Sacred Sites? So you can’t cheese out dark age spears and scholars to wall sacred sites in first 5 min so you can’t win? Ridiculous argument. If that’s the case, the faction has way more fundamental problems if they can’t win without this one thing. Delhi can still take them in feudal age.

Perhaps 15x is too much for imperial techs (maybe 10x?), but I think Relic made the right move balance-wise and thematically when it comes to trying to make Delhi a “late game powerhouse” similar to china, but needing quite a bit of time and infrastructure to get there.

If Delhi needs buffs, I think they could benefit from early Lancer or early War elephants (shores up their ability to hold feudal sacred sites and themes well as a technologically advanced civ).

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Correct. They can’t win without this one thing, and the devs took it away, now they are F tier garbage. They took a 1 dimensional civ and made them 0 dimensional and unplayable. Not a good change.


Anyone able to clarify… with the adjusted research times… does the more mosques u have work better now then it did before? I know it increased speed with more mosques and scholars but it was “wifi” (a term used by one youtuber) or weaker on secondary mosques vs your original mosque. Is the speed now consistent across all mosques?

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I posted this on reddit. Probably pointless but hey, I like your ideas and feel like the just destroyed the factions identity.

By no means an expert, in fact a newb (1100-1200 Elo) and I only played Delhi, and only in 1v1. I’m a boomer and haven’t done RTS consistently since AOE2 in the early 2000s. Learning more than one Civ was going to be too hard for me and my time constraints. (Ha, Jokes on me!)

Probably a meaningless post (I’m no game designer), but I feel they could have taken this multiple directions and overcorrected.

With delayed Sanctity; Currently Fast Castle (and never leave) feels like the only viable strategy for Delhi

  • This is due to lack of answers to Feudal Age aggression coupled with Imperial Age not being worth it; The games over before my Imperial Age tech will kick in and it’s over if I can’t get to castle in one piece
  • So First: Fix Bugs – We really won’t know the relative strength of Delhi until research bugs are fixed.

2nd - Rebuild Identity with potential balance changes

Sanctity Researchable in Dark Ages – But can’t Cap until Feudal – This should lead to meaningful choices and might be the happy medium

  • Sanctity “Rushes” relied on delaying Feudal Age for Two Mosques and one Dark Age Barracks
  • Fast Feudal Limits you to one Mosque, limiting unit support
  • One Mosque start also means having to make a choice between Efficient Production and delaying Sanctity or visa versa

Professional Scouts Researchable in Dark Ages – Might be broken?

  • Increases skill cap/floor - Might be too micro heavy for game philosophy
  • As is, I can’t justify going professional scouts unless I know the opponent is not going to. With delayed research time if you’re looking to contest your about 2-3 minutes too late.
  • Having Professional scouts will help with turtling to get to castle age
  • Creates a choice between researching Professional Scouts or other techs on first Windmill for timing reasons
    • I wanted to try Efficient Production into Stable w/first scholar into Professional Scouts, but it’s just too slow and I’m too slow.
  • Multitasking both capping sacred sights and professional scouts would be difficult for most people, and probably would mean having to choose between one or the other
    • If you can do both effectively, I was never going to beat you anyway, Kudos.

Rebalance Imperial Age Research

  • Don’t know what the right answer is, but 15x doesn’t seem like it.
  • Is free research just too hard to balance?

Outside the box suggestion would be to make research cost half (on all ages) instead of being free and reduce the research penalty to 2x-4x(?) depending on ages and give scholars diminishing returns

  • This would mean I don’t just randomly click all research and must make a decision if its worth the cost and time.
  • Adds more choices to and fees into Sanctity, Professional Scouts and/or Efficient Production choices early game – going all three would come with a cost - Assign a comparable cost to unique research because what is 50% of unknown?
  • Gives me a choice on to go heavy into scholars and maximize research or go another route and go leaner on specific tech
  • Bonus: I actually just fixed a bug and get some technology score for my research. (Albeit Half) I’m paying for it now and all I really play this game for is to have the bigglyiest score at the end of the game - win or lose.

nice changes , i added you to my thread

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You’re right, they need to fix all the bugs. It’s definitely difficult to test the intended design when it doesn’t work as intended. From what I’ve read there are still issues with Tower of Victory and the Hisar Academy as well, though I haven’t specifically tested those.

I really, really, really dislike any version of discounted techs in combination with scholars. They’re either free, or there are no scholar requirements. The investment into scholars is too high (cost, plus game time, plus your mental attention, plus population, plus space for buildings, plus villager time building those buildings) for even a 50% cost discount. If you have to pay for the research, even at 50%, your optimum play is to get only the ones you really need. All the work of scholars to make that happen at the same pace as other civs isn’t worth it. The big benefit of the scholars is you get ALL the techs for free so you can easily tech swap as needed. Getting just the ones you need at a discount with the extra cost/hassle of scholars doesn’t make Delhi any different than the other civs except that you have to work harder for the same outcome. Any such implementation would be a major nerf and contrary to the core concept of Delhi. The spirit of the civ is to research all knowledge whether or not you know exactly how it’s going to benefit you in the long run.

I don’t think the free research is too hard to balance. I don’t think it’s a problem. Delhi weren’t OP in imperial age to begin with (or any age for that matter). They lack any unique siege tech, and that’s what dominates the current imperial meta. They were disadvantaged in feudal by the extended research time cause you couldn’t field enough scholars to adequately reduce it that early, and they had access to a dark age gimmick that could still be countered by opponents if they scouted it (the biggest mistake most players made was getting distracted by the sacred sites when the Delhi base is usually pretty vulnerable to raiding if they’re doing that - the gold income isn’t useful until they hit feudal anyway).

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Very good points here! More importantly, very eloquently worded and presented in a constructive manner.

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Early elephants would probably be impossible (neat idea though). Elephants are barely viable in Castle because they are so damn expensive.

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If this one trick pony strat is so “unique” and mandatory to be always researched immediately it should be a civ bonus instead of a tech.


Agreed. The problem is they’re still relatively slow and only trade cost effectively vs. cavalry. I don’t really think early elephants are a viable idea (you’d have to make them weaker and less expensive, which I think spoils the concept).

On a mostly unrelated note, I think lot of Feudal age balance issues are solvable by making the TC able to selectively target enemy units. Some civs will still be able to grab a lot of map in Feudal, but the civs that want to turtle (e.g. Delhi and Chinese) without early MAA, knights or longbows will be in a better position.

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