Forest Monastery - A home for the War Elephant

Forest Monasteries are a tradition in every region that practices Theravada Buddhism. The forests where these monasteries are found are also prime Asian elephant habitat.

The maps of Ceylon, Parallel Rivers, Indochina, Bengal, Himalayas, Deccan, Malaysia, and Siam (future), could all feature these settlements.

Unit: War Elephant

This would be a much better home for the unit that was formerly at the Sufi Mosque and currently at the Bhakti Temple. Elephants are hugely important in the cultures of Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia, and even have significance in Buddhism. One change is that all elephants should get the stampede attack that Royal Horsemen have to help offset their pathing challenges. The base attack could be small, but it could be upgradable with the Terror Charge tech.

Technologies:

Bodhi Trees - Ships a Grove Rickshaw and makes trees last slightly longer. Groves could also be actual trees instead of a building.

Kammaṭṭhāna - Villagers gather all resources slightly faster.

White Elephant - Enables training of powerful White Elephant mercenaries and improves War Elephant strength. The mercenary elephants could be like a cross between Royal Horsemen and War Elephants.

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Nice knowing about it!

I have only one curiosity: were they engaged into wars or battles? They seemed to be a rather peaceful faction.

Did the monks at these monasteries go to war? Almost certainly not, but that’s the case with pretty much all the religious settlements in the game. They’re more of a representation of the wider culture and religious community, and those people used war elephants extensively.

I think they’re a good fit because there’s a perfect overlap with the location of the monasteries and elephant populations (captive elephants are almost always originally captured from the wild). Elephants also seem to have a fair bit of significance in Buddhism:

I prefer a new type of elephant with two attack methods. The upper one takes a spear or attacks to cause a kind of damage, and the lower elephant uses ivory or tramples to cause damage, similar to the elephant in aoe4. There are two attack modes that can be carried out at the same time

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That’s basically what I’m suggesting by giving all elephants “stampede damage”. The stampede attack is similar to trample damage, but it is applied while the unit is moving instead of when attacking. The new Royal Horseman is the only unit does this. This ability is a very poor fit for a unit that’s supposed to be a bodyguard that should protect units around it, not be indiscriminately trampling everything around it. It would however be a perfect fit for elephant units that can crush units just by walking around. A White Elephant mercenary would be a much better fit for the role that Royal Horsemen currently fill.

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I like this idea, except the White Elephant tech. White elephants were sacred in South-East Asia, especially in Thailand, and so their owners weren’t allowed to use them for labor or war. Hell, the Siamese kings used the gifting of white elephants as a form of punishment to subjects that displeased them, since they couldn’t put those elephants to work, but still had to pay for their feed and sun care (since white elephants are just asian elephants with albinism and need to be left constantly under a shade to avoid sun burns).

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Their sacredness came from an association with kings so the kings themselves could have used them in battle. They also weren’t necessarily albino so they’re no less hardy than other elephants.

White elephants were involved in this conflict:

The article seems to indicate they were used as war elephants, not just as a casus belli for the war.

This isn’t completely true, since their sacredness came more from their association with good fortune and prosperity due to Brahmanic teachings and that’s why South-East Asian kings tried to accumulate as many as they could. They weren’t worshipped but were used by kings as a status symbol and an achievement in itself.

This is true and I stand corrected, though the albino one’s were usually of higher value.

White elephants were one of the motives for the conflict, but, besides the description of one image (that might’ve not even been proof-read), there’s nothing that indicates that these elephants were used in war.
The only examples of white war elephants that I’ve read that were used in war, were the ones used by the Sassanid Persians and the Kushan Empire.

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I’m kinda bothered they keep giving Asian maps only holy sites when African maps and some South American ones have multiple types of minor civs. I feel it would have been better if Asian maps also (or only) had minor civs that represented ethnicies.
Religious sites aren’t good for representing large regions anyway, as they only speak one language each.

Yes it’s not super clear whether or not they actually were used in battle, but it does seem plausible. It’s likely that one could be present at a battle for use as an observational platform for a king to oversee a battle and to bring good luck. Southeast Asian kings were also known to engage in elephant duels, so it’s not far fetched to think this could have happened on a white elephant.

Overall, a White Elephant would fit well as a mercenary. Both mercenaries and elephants are expensive and have high population requirements so a unit that is both would be be doubly so. Something like a 10+ population space would make them rare and burdensome just like real white elephants.

Basically a minor civ covering almost all south-east Asia.

The problem is that there aren’t a lot of Asian cultural groups that are widespread enough to use as settlements. Ainu, Tamils, Afghans, Bedouin, and Malay could possibly work but they would need way more maps and some could also be full civs. Sufis are being stretched way too far, but the other religious settlements are mostly fine. Especially if they’d add a Forest Monastery to take Zen out of Ceylon.

I’ve suggested Bedouin before. There’s already a unit in the historical battles and they could show up in both African and Asian maps

Which historical battle and units? Please tell us directly.

The Bedouin Horse Archer in the Morocco Historical Battle. I think that’s the only unit exclusive to them.

They should make Moroccan as “Berber” minor civ and and rename current「Berber」as “Tuareg”.
Berber#Arab, they’re Amazigh—indigenous of North West Africa.
“Bedouin” = Nomad, people use this vocabulary to indicate nomad of Arabian Peninsula, as people calling nomad of Siberia “Tartar”.
We definitely need an real Arab civ in AOE 3 DE, even they’re minor civ in the future still better than totally without them.

Berbers are okay as they are but Tuareg would be more accurate. Morocco should be an Arab/Berber full civ, not just a minor one.

Bedouins should make it in as an Arab minor civ and Omanis as an Arab full civ.

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Bedouins could show up in both African and Asian maps (I might have sade this in this same thread)