Yes, not a great bonus imo because a bit limited, useful for
Free elite skirm upgrade is huge. The main drawback of that upgrade atm is that it’s quite expensive to get (and also takes more research time than the xbow upgrade). 230 wood in early castle age is no joke, that sets back your boom a lot. Also it’s quite probable to accompany skirms in castle age by knights and the saved gold cost helps here as well.
You cannot give that to any civ without nerfing something about them like taking away men at arms (which nobody wants). Getting flechting for free means you save a lot of resources and time (not only by the tech itself but also by saving on building an early blacksmith). Would easily outclass any existing archer civ in the early game.
Not as op as free offensive upgrades but still very strong. Would probably result in having the best archers early feudal age. Not sure if there is a civ weak enough to get that.
I realized that was a bad idea, but thanks for explaining.
Well, early feudal economy is way more important. Water civs like Portugues, Italians, and Koreans (when they are not needing mining) have very weak early eco on land, so they will put in play less units. Being behind 2-3 archers is worse than having less armor. Actually it sounds to me as an ok bonus for making these civs more playable on land, despite I think it is also possible to buff their existing bonus to make them more playable.
For civs having the eco lead (celts, aztecs, huns), stronger bonus especially on archers (vietnamese) or both (britons, mayans) it is too much, but I guess that we agree that they do not require any buff on that.
Having an eco bonus would certainly be more impactful in mid or late feudal age but the early rushing potential with that would be insane especially since it gives you a lot of flexibility. I think balance changes as this one have to be discussed by looking at the kind of momentum they give in particular stages of the game. So a civ that has free archer armor would usually go for men at arms to be the first one to apply pressure and maybe prevent the other one from walling. If your opponent responds with archers you do your own archers but add 1 or 2 skirms before which (precisely because of that armor) can’t be touched by regular archers. So even if you have a weaker eco or worse archers later on you could force your opponent into defensive skirms and thus keep him from building up a large archer mass.
I’m not saying it’s indefendable but it gives one player a sort of momentum that seems too much for early stages of the game. It reminds me of a bit of meso civs that are so dominant on open maps because they can dictate the pace of the game (i.e. forcing opponent into men at arms themselves). I agree that the civs you mentioned are rather on the weaker side as archer civs but all of them at least have decent late game options. Giving such a civ free archer armor would be too much imo. If one civ was to get it I think that should be their main military bonus (making them a rushing civ) and not something that helps them surviving early on.
I don’t want to be cocky but I think it was me who came with the idea, and I thought it a a bonus for koreans, although it could be for Portuguese as well.altough not op like free attack upgrade, it will make them win feudal’s archers wars (or force the enemy to research the tech as well)
Then maybe just 50% cheaper? Again, I am talking about Portoguese, Koreans and Italians.
But I have the feeling that these civs can be balanced just by improving their current bonuses.
Personally, I do not like a buff on a single unit kind for Portuguese, since versatility is one of their main strengths. It sounds better for Koreans/Italians. But yeah, Portuguese need something and free archer armor can work.
Yeah, I guess you’re right. Some help to get fsster ballistics would help Portuguese greatly