I thought about a unique unit for a potential Polynesians civ: the Koa.
It’s an axe-wielding, loincloth-wearing infantry dude with a coconut helmet. He’s relatively quick (slightly faster than a Jaguar Warrior), has slight melee and pierce armor, and has moderate attack. His main gimmick, though, is that he has a charge bar similar to the Shrivamsha Rider that, once full, allows him to dodge one melee attack before it has to recharge again. The recharge takes 20 seconds for the normal Koa and 15 seconds for the Elite Koa; unlike the Rider’s dodge mechanic, the Koa does not start with it fully charged and must wait for the effect to kick in. The dodge itself is signified by a dirt splash like when a Trebuchet projectile hits the ground (like the opponent’s weapon is missing the Koa and hitting the ground instead). This dodge mechanic would make the Koa more resilient to melee damage, but isn’t overbearing like the SVR’s dodge mechanic and would require actual skill and precision to use correctly.
Idk. If a unit shall have a gimmick, that gimmick should have a feelable impact.
The issue with charges as they are currently implemented is how snowbally they usually are. We’ve seen this with the coustilliers who are still one of the best if not the best UU in the game cause once you have enough of them, there is basically nothing to make which can stop them. Ofc if the opponent already has a seitzable mass of the counters it will work, but if he hasn’t, spamming them won’t cut the deal anymore.
Instead of charges I am much more a fan of activated abilties, cause they require skill to use effectively. Especially for slow melee units like infantry which otherwise have nothing to offer for micromanagement.
Like the mentioned Field Fortifictions.
The beauty of this charge is that it is simply a dodge of one melee attack before it has to recharge. If you don’t use it properly, you can squander it before a major fight and have problems as a result. But if you use it right, even late-game power units like Paladins won’t be as effective. It has a big impact, but only if used correctly, which I feel makes it balanced.
An idea would be an infantry that when on stand ground can tank arrow and gunpowder fire, but get damaged more by cavalry, specially elephants and when in movement get bonus vs archers, skirmishers, cammels, lightcav and steppe lancers and no longer take bonus damage from cavalry. Counter, mangonel, heavy cavalry, making them moove. Costs: 5 gold, 30 wood, 40 food. stated base damage non upgraded: 9, upgraded:11. HP: 60>75, armor 2/1> 4/2 bonus vs archer and skyrm:10>15, Bonus vs non heavy calvary units 15>20. movement speed = a lil bit less than an eagle but faster than a champ.