[Helping weak civs: wrap-up]

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!


A lot of discussion, proposed changes, went into this.



Just to specify, the 3 free upgrades (the feudal one in particular) should come without the necessity of building a blacksmith, like the magyars’ bonus.
And in my opinion we could decrease the TT of GC by 4s.

Also, remember that we should balance this by removing shipwright.

edited (Post must have at least 20 characters)

Also Byzantines, although not weak

  • reduce cost of Elite Cataphract upgrade by 400 food

  • Free town patrol


No issues with those changes so long as nothing else changes to Byzantines.


Free archee armor should be for koreans or Portuguese, not for italians

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Why, italians are the one with pavise, it’s their teme, and they could use land only bonus.

This will be very nice.
I also propose in other topic give Byz old Korean bonus - faster building fortification, it will be realy good fit for defensive civ.


considering Byzantines surprisingly don’t have treadmill crane, it’d be great

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It could work, but considering that they already have the tankiest building, it shouldn’t be too hight.

That’s why. Cheaper up to castle age means you have extra resources. If you have free armor for their archers, plus the resources to pavisez could be a power spike too big

But the point is that armor is always postponed, especially in castle age, you have to research xbow, BA, ballistics, TR and then the armor, plus, maybe you delay it even further if you need armor or attack for infantry/cavalry. It’s not about the resources, 150f/g aren’t that much for castle age, even with the cheap age up, considering that by the time you will research it you will have a good eco up and running. It’s more the time saved, that you always have more armor than the enemy, not only in super late when you finally research pavise.


Age of Empires [image]Edit

  • Elephant Archers cost 180F/60G.
  • Elephant Archers have 5 attack.

Definitive Edition [image]Edit

  • Elephant Archers now cost 180F/45G. BIG BUFF
  • Elephant Archers now have 6 attack. BIG BUFF

Well, +1 attack is better than nothing, however, to see of the AE work as a unit, we should compare it to the korean’s WW, since it’s probably the most similar units.

Now, WW beat the EA in damage output, range, bonus damage vs buildings, speed and cost less.
EA have more HP (almost half more), less frame delay and more PA (the base armor is lower, but Indians get PT) while costing more, so they are tankier and can absorb more arrow-fire, but it also get less bonus damage vs halbs and similar (cavalry armor take less damage than elephant, about 30 vs 60).
To wrap things up, personally, I’ll always choose WW over EA.

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Closed as requested by original poster.