French Crossbow Balance talk

I am making this a seperate thread now to not spam the royal knights balance talks with this subtopic in the future.

Don’t take it as a flametopic pls.
I love the French design and think it’s a cool civ overall, but don’t think that their crossbows design right now have anything to do with the rock/paper/scissors concept of this game anymore.

This is going to be my first balance take and while I don’t think I’ve figured the balance of this game out overall, this one here seems really obvious to me.

While I personally think royal knights are in a great spot rn, the french crossbows seem to be absolutely overpowered.

With the gambeson upgrade they have more armour than a knight (6 meele with just gambeson, 10 in imperial) while beeing light ranged type (so neither getting bonus dmged by archers (bonus vs light meele) nor crossbows or HRE maa (bonus vs heavy)).

Crossbows are good against absolutely everything and get 8 meele armour and 2/7 ranged armour in castle age, making them immune against everything as well.

It’s absolutely impossible to stop a french player slowly leapfrogging forward with siegespam when the only thing that can damage those crossbows are gunpowder units in imperial or some lucky mass mangonel shots into his missplay.

My balance suggestion:
The +5 armour on gambeson need to be reduced heavily to +2 or some rebalancing have to be done by making them heavy ranged type so some counter mechanics can grip on them with bonus dmg vs heavy.

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Might as well rename it to leather armor if we are gonna keep damage reduction historically accurate lol. But seriously the fact that it provides more armor than the HRE Ringmail upgrade is crazy.

I generally thing Archers should get an attack bonus against Crossbows and Hand Cannons.

To give us a cheap ranged counter against them in late game.

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Yep, Gambesons upgrade is too good. Should be reduced down to +3 melee armor instead of +5.

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Yeah, thats the best way.

But their health is low. Armor is something but it is not enough to be strong.

They should balance around the cost french knight should be more expensive same for ENG longbow etc do this with every civs