[Helping weak civs] some minor ideas for improvements

Hi all,
I want just to summarize the topic since it is almost 1000 replies and I still cannot edit the original post because of my trust level.

{So if a mod can help me, we can update my original post in the other topic with this text and close this new topic}.

We have discussed several minor ideas to help the weak civs of the game, which is not very important for the meta maybe, but for players liking “random civ”, like a lot of us, is pretty desirable. This approach to help minor civs seems well supported also from the devs, who are making the game more and more enjoyable, for instance with recent buffs of Vietnamese and Teutons, which now are very funny civs, while pretty underwhelming before.
Several civs do quite poorly except specific contests (the extreme case is arabia for Turks and Italians, considered basically just arena and water civs)
I recommend to read the topics if interested in the reasons why we think these solutions may be quite balanced, especially in terms of numbers

We hope that this long topic, here just summarized, can inspire other discussions to the community, and maybe help with some balance ideas, since having a balanced game is one of the main goal of every game!

Here the small wrap-up:


Their problems are so well-known, they are perceived by many as the worst civ.
We have discussed a lot and come up with 3 philosophies to balance them.

  1. improved their trash army.
    To avoid to give the e-skyrms (trivial solution, clearly possible and balanced but a bit against their identity) we have reasoned on other solutions. The goal is to make their trash unique, since this is clearly a signature feature for them right now. Here some ideas:
  • give them spammable trash, like e-skyrms trained super fast (-60/80% training time) [or]
  • boost their spearmen/skyrms with extra HP from castle (+30hp) [or]
  • trashpions (trash scorpions). This is the most discussed point. The idea is removing heavy scorpion from their tech tree (how many of them have you seen in 20 years?) and giving them no-gold scorpions as additional effect of their imperial UT. From some computations, this may be balance around a trashpion wood cost which is at least 4-5 times the one of a persian trashbow.
  1. improved their gold income
    The idea is to allow Turks to have more gold to use their options, since Turks are designed to work with gold units. Instead of boosting their trash, they can just use more gold. This is close to the identity of the Turks as “gold civ”
    The two main options are:
  • gold mines last longer (still a good percentage is needed for balancing) [or]
  • gold trickle in castle/imperial equal to 1/2 relics (we know from 20 years of aoe2 that 1/2 relic boost is both useful and balanced)
  1. improve their gold power
    The idea is to improve the power of Turks in the time window where they have access to gold. Basically Turks will be more powerful in this time frame, so they will have more possibilities to close the game before trash wars. This power is needed to close the game asap as they do not received any buff in their trash. This solution helps to reduce in particular their weakness to archers.
    We have discussed three possible implementations:
  • add paladins [or]
  • decrease the cost of their ram/ram upgrades in imperial age, even by 50% [or]
  • let that sipahi (castle UT) affects knight line. This way, their cavalier would be just a bit worse than the Byz paladin. We estimated a balanced cost for this UT around 400F 250G, close to the Bulgarians UT


The second most discussed civ. We focused on making them a bit more viable on land. Currently they are top civ in pure water maps, but actually islands is the less played map according to stats. On land they are clearly underwhelming, so we found two suggestion which help to make them decent.

We think they need just a couple of small changes:

  • free archer armors (locked by the blacksmith, as for Magyars attack). This is maybe the proposal with the highest consensus in the topic. This gives them a time window in which they have a small military advantage especially in archer wars, until the opponent researches the archer armor. Then, once pavise UT is researched, Italians will restore they armor advantage. This buff follows the Italian land identity of armored archers, suggested the nature of the pavise UT
  • decrease training time of (elite) genoese crossbowmen by at least 3 seconds. Currently, despite being an archer, its training time is comparable to cataphract

Implementing both of them is clearly enough to make Italians decent on land. As for Turks, we do not want that Italians become an “arabia civ”
However, we have discussed other solutions, in particular a lot of focus on the possibility of a better balance between dock techs and age up discounts (currently 50% vs 15%). Despite a more balanced set (40%-20%) sounds reasonable, it does not really provide extra help on land, while it is a bit more substantial nerf on water. This can be implemented in addition to the others if it is desired to nerf Italians on islands, but it seems that this is not very necessary.


Portos are another underwhelming civ outside water. We believe that they need more help in early and middle stages of the game. This can be done with a couple of small changes:

  • extension of gold discount to techs (not a lot, but, for instance, it means no-gold drush!)
  • free ballistics. Still we believe that this should be locked behind university because it is very powerful. An less attractive alternative (despite still good) is a discount on all university tech
    With both these small changes, Portos will have the small boosts in ealy feudal and early castle that they miss to reach their good late game.
    Ballistics also boost them in water maps, where they are supposed to be good.


Still they need some love from early stages. We discussed some small changes to help them also in water.

  • wood discount to -20%, and siege workshop costing 100 wood. The other parallel proposal was the extension of the current 15% to siege, but that would be more helpful in late game, where clearly Koreans do not need a buff
  • extension of the LoS villager bonus to fishing ships. Just a small help on waterA clear help towards their identity of onager/water civ (in addition to towers). The idea of wood discount introduced in DE is very good, so with a small variations Koreans can become really enjoyable! No be monitor is the 20% is too good on water, maybe removing shipwright will be needed for balancing.

Let me thank all the guys joining the topic and offering their contribution to these set of ideas.
So, anyone else willing to discuss? Still Turks, which is probably the main civ needing help, are an open issue!

@RadiatingBlade edit as requested.


I don’t see the idea of a gold trickle going very far for Turks. Either it’s too weak to really help, either you end up not even needing to pick up relics.

If Italian are below average on land it’s fine.

Now it’s Lithuanian territory tho

Well, Italians would have a super easy time landing archers, as you need the attack upgrades for your war galleys anyway. And you could easily defend against archer landings with your skirms. So it would totally make Italian even more dominant on water.

If you try to use monks in feudal, you’re just asking for your enemy to get an easy fast castle (as monks are slow to create and work best with siege) or to scout rush you to death. Assuming that you slowed ur eco down by spamming spears to protect your monks, then the enemy just have to spam a bajilion skirms to kill everything you have. Even if you convert some, do you really want to spend 100 gold to get a bad feudal skirm that won’t ever be upgradeable? Besides making Arena team players rage because they get monk+siege pushed in feudal because someone is memeing with a Burmese+Cuman team, I don’t see this going anywhere.

Going to feudal costs - %15.
It has always been good for the early scout agression. So I don’t think italians need a buff.

The problem of burmese is NOT their unavailable monks. Their monks are good. GOOD. The thing about burmese is their lack of pierce armor. But they are a very strong melee civ and I personally think when pathfinding gets improved, burmese will improve at the same time.

Well they have free huzar. A no gold unit.

Wouldn’t it be better to go for relics when you are playing with turks? Instead of a suggetsion that (sorry) to me doesn’t make any sense.

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The idea for Turks was to buff late game with no gold. I agree that free hussar is nice and that as Turks I should go for relics, but still my impression is that without gold Turks are really weak, arguably the weakest civ. For a trash war, Turks will be still pretty bad even with a free relic.

Never happy if I get Turks Arabia 1v1…

If the problem with Burmese is the armor, would you give them the second archer armor? It seems a good point to me!

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Yes. In my humble opinion (sorry if sometimes I look irrespectful but its my way of thinkng) i would give burmese 1 more archer blacksmith armor. But if you do that, you also have to nerf arambais, becouse arambais are already good and they don’t need any buff. Maybe - 1 atack or - 2 atack.

Sure with arambai nerf if they get armor, I would see a much easier path maa->archers->arambai. Like it

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Yeah for example in arabia. Burmese are really good with men at arms rush. Also they have free lumberjack upgrade wich is actually really good for going scouts too.

The main problem is that this game is very focused on archers and lacking pierce armor is not a minor thing.

Let’s make turks get trashbows, ie. spears cost -50% wood on castle age, -100% wood imperial age.

That’d be a meme.


11 what you guys think about giving turks castle age pikemens?

I mean I am not sure about it, because then jenissaries +pikemen combo would become op maybe

Janissary + pikemen are super weak to archers and skirmishers

I also support the idea that burmese should be better versus archers in some way


Burmese were balanced arround howda giving 2pa to elephants. It was their answer against archers.

They need something to deal with archers. Maybe better skirms, maybe something else.

Turks also need an answer against archers/skirmishers. I would give them some pseudo trash unit specialized in killing archers or maybe extea damage against archers for light cav/hussar

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I feel like free huzars actually perform really good against those units.

And I have never felt like janissaries were completely weak fighting at them.


Does the Persian bonus affect the scout line?

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No it doesn’t. I have just edited. Thanks

Actually giving the Turks a similar bonus on scout lines is not a bad idea

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But then just remember that huzar is actually free.
I can’ t deny that it might be a good idea for burmese for example, but for turks it might be too much light cav bonuses.
Huzars already perform good against those units, doesn’t they?

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It’s actually 1 pierce armor and 1 melee.

Mmm free armor upgrades would help, but not that much in my opinion, in another discussion I proposed to lower the training of GC, as for pavise affecting the skirms, that’s now Lituanians’ UT, that’s why in that discussion I proposed to extend it to condos.

I’m sorry, but hard no, with their bonus, having monks in feudal would mean that they will always win the relics war, since they can also see where they are. Maybe something else.

Could work, I made a topic too some days ago if someone is interested.

Free archer armor upgrades would be op. They would just win the feudal archer rushes easily and save resourses to go castle age EVEN easier and faster than they already do.
They already have a good %15 discount to go next age.

Can someone explain whats the bad thing about genoese crosbows? They have a crazy +7 against all mounted units. It’s super effective en my opinion but I still would like to hear why you guys say it should be buffed.