The lower range is probably some balance handicap, the training time indeed needs to be reduced by 3-4 secs and cheaper Elite upgrade. 900f 750g is a complete joke for 5HP, training time and slightly more bonus damage
I think pushing their range up to match arbalests is a really poor idea. Italians get FU hussars. Since they have Hussars to kill siege, and Genoese to kill Cavalry and Infantry, the only effective unit to deal with the Genoese at that point is some form of archer, or a mixed army with siege and protective units from raiding cavalry. Give them one more range, and you’ll be knocking Archers off of the effective units list.
Don’t forget about Pavise. Five pierce armor on an archer (one more than a generic FU arbalest) with more HP makes them much more resilient against a ranged unit that no longer has the range advantage. Your changes are pushing the Italians towards a one-unit composition with the option to make counter units for specific problems instead of actively trying to make a well-balanced army.
I agree on the Unique unit upgrade being too expensive, both the research and the cost should be halved. Give them an extra attack (instead of range) to make them slightly stronger against everything, but specifically the Halbs that will inevitably be brought to handle your Hussars.
Halved creation time is a bit excessive. Maybe trim off a few seconds, but they don’t need to have a ten second creation time. That’s pushing it for a unit that denies your opponent two classes of unit types by itself when massed. The unit is absurd in numbers, the numbers are simply too difficult at this time. Don’t mistake that as being a weakness of the unit itself.
I like this idea.
But the GC would have to be countered properly by skirms, arbs & siege.
Too many things in AOE are the way they are because they got implemented that way sometime and everyone assumes there must have been a good reason.
A suitable buff could result in Italians having a legitimate composition in GC + Arbs, which no other civ has. (I mean that no current civ would go for an archer UU + Arbs composition, probably Goth’s Champs + Huscarls comes closest.) If that is the aim the upgrade cost needs to come down, as the others said already.
which would make this a really bad idea, as @WoeIsToWho explained
Given Pavise researched, archers are not effective against GC either. Rams and Onagers are always effective against GC. It’s acceptable to give +1 range for elite version. It does not make it OP though it may not be necessary if +1 atk is given for elite. -4s TT for both non-elite and elite while keeping the cost with a bit buff for elite version should be enough. The upgrade cost will be kept as it is similar to other unique foot archer upgrade cost (Rattan, Longbow, Chu ko nu, Plumed). Stats buff is more likely to be introduced.
Not necessarily an amazing option, but if you lack good siege, you probably have good archers, and good archers have always been at least workable against Genoese. Especially Skirm options, which have the extra range to get the first hit in and the bonus damage to make it painful. Outranging your enemy means you can get more units firing at any one time, which means more damage. It’s partially offset by Pavise, but one more pierce armor doesn’t really compensate effectively for one less range.
Tagging one range, just one range, onto the Genoese makes them outrange Chu Ko Nu and generic Hand Cannons, which would go from usable to terrible in a literal flash. And it’ll take away that initial firing advantage the generic E.Skirm has to compensate for it’s higher HP and armor over the base archer. That would make Genoese better than Arbalests against E.Skirm, and at that point there would be zero reason whatsoever to make the Arbalest. It’d kill Cavalry units better than an Arbalest with literally zero downsides. This is a terrible idea.
If also possible to make the GC a more interesting unit if it had a range disadvantage, at least in my opinion.
It can have all kinds of advantages, including a greatly reduced TT without overshadowed Arbs, a long as it is murdered by things that exploit the range.
If you give it+1 range, at most you can give it a couple of seconds of TT reduction and some minor stat buffs.
Production and upgrade cost would be limiting. Not certain how that would play out tbh, bit I feel like the great potential of GC in some specific scenarios would force it to be hamstringed in most scenario’s.
I did 20 tests 20 arbs (Japanese) vs 20 elite GC. Arbs have a win rate of 65% with 2-5 units survived. GC can win sometimes given that they move into a good position fast. But this requires luck. I would still prefer a mangonel to wipe out GC or other archers fast even I have a bad siege.
This would be true even though elite GC is not OP with +1 range, given that they have higher HP. Unless GC training time remains the same, +1 range almost remove arbs’ role as arbs only save you some wood.
The buff I’d give the Genoese Crossbowman is updating a part of their tool tip to say “Strong vs. cavalry archers, elephants, and infantry. Weak vs. units at close range and siege weapons.” so players stop mistaking the GC for a hard counter to Knights due to poor in-game information.
Despite the GC clearly needs a buff, I want to say that:
TT is way more relevant than a stat buff. GC is a counter unit so it needs a very small TT to be effective from a castle
the elite upgrade is so expensive but just because the devs forgot to fix it; it the past it was a good upgrade since it improved the rof
Also, the civ needs a buff independent from the UU. A good solution proposed in some discussions is giving Italian archers -40%TT. This should fix both the civ and the UU. If so, no needs for a stat buff of GC…
I’m glad to see that in my absence people keep fighting my battles
That’s not really necessary, reducing the cost of the upgrade is easier, more balanced and more acceptable by the majority. Plus, at that point (assuming that the TT is fixed too) Italians won’t have reasons to use arbs.
That’s not completely true, since most of other archers are either cheaper (like standard arbs) and so more “massable”, or they have better statistics (more HP/armor, range, attack/arrows).
Even with pavise and on short distances, the GC lose vs all other archers UU.
Not that archers should be the first thing to trow against GC, but in both cases most of the time you would still win.
This is more reasonable, but I would still prefer a cheaper upgrade, since it would help them more on their job of countering cavalry.
Consider though that arbs cost almost half of the wood, and are trained at a range, so it’s more likely that they would not only outrange GC, but also outnumber them.
It is fun because it was exactly you that did it then I supported it and tweaked the percentages a bit.
Just to trow in some data and examples on how well GC counter cavalry (sarcasm)…
With all their bonus damage and range, cavalry will always have speed and mobility over the GC, so you may have an all powerful army of GC, but you may still be unable to force engagements, and so wasting resources on unsued units.
I am not against the idea of giving elite GC +1 range. GC has expensive upgrade cost and production cost (require castle). I did the test because I was trying to understand the opposing idea. Skirmishers and siege will be still effective counter units.
Training time needs reduction
is funny how Genoese Crossbows and Rattan Archers are very expensive to upgrade yet not top tier archers while the Chu Ko Nu with massive attack and arrows is cheaper and faster to create.