Their special units are Barracks units, Ele Archers, and Urumis. All these units have poor LOS and/or speed. The worst unit of these for Michi is Urumis.
Foot units are extremely weak to Heavy scorpions, Chakrams, Ballista Elephants and Mangonels. What I have said is true when you are trying to hold your position in the middle forest strip.
Once you make your way in to the enemy’s side, you need units to help you with some scouting. Dravidians is the worst civ in scouting. So, you need BBC or trebs to give you some LOS so that your units can see where to fight and where not to. Usually players build too many defensive structures near the forest line. So, you definitely need siege units to help with pushing.
They get cheaper siege units (just on the wood side) and that’s just that. Dravidian siege units are slower than their main units. They don’t get speed bonus. So, until your siege units come to battle line, defending your position with just infantry and elephant archers is too hard. If you lose Ele Archers, they too take a lot of time to come to the battle line. Also they occupy too much space but their fire range is too small. So, in order to be effective, all your Ele Archers have to be in the desired 4 range which means you need to clear the forest horizontally for them, not vertically cutting through.
Elephant Archers are too expensive to play. Once you lose the first couple of batches, you may run out of food. Ele Archers take time to be built and are too slow without Husbandry. They die easily to Onagers and Trebs and have no chance against siege onagers and civs with siege engineers. Also, they are weak to Halberdiers (no Parthian Tactics and Bloodlines), Eagles, and Shrivamsha Riders.
Honestly, Gurjaras are so very good in Michi. Chakrams obliterate infantry, Shrivamshas tank arrows, camels strong against cavalry, hussars can raid. They also get BBC. Oh! Their units cost less food and get really cool bonuses suited for michi.
But I played another game as Bengalis 3v3 against AI on Michi today with a comp of Battle Elephants and EA, I could afford a push because of a more than solid economy from farming and trade.
I do not know about this, because whenever I play as Gurjaras, I would tend to go open maps and early pressure because of their better early game. Late game-wise, they are not as great as early (playing vs AI so far)
Imo, they are pretty strong on michi. However, you need a really tight build order to make them work.
Remember that their late game eco is garbage, and they don’t get any of the upgrades. That means you need more vils on wood and food. Meaning, your army is smaller.
If my allies are going cavalry, I usually prefer halbs/elephant archers comp with Siege Onagers, and BBC as siege. But, you need vils to make guard towers, bombard towers, and production buildings. This is key. At least 5 vils should be on the front line at all times.
If your opponents don’t have good ranged units (which is super rare tbh), dravidian infantry with urumis, champions and halbs will roll over everything. Even cataphracts will die, unless they are FU.
All in all, I would place them in high A-tier, if your allies can cover your weak points. If they can’t, high B tier.
I’m not sure I agree with this assessment. Chakrams on closed teamgames are extremely vulnerable to enemy Siege, which is something you’d expect to meet on Michi too. In fact, Dravidians have a perfect counter to what you’ve listed (Scorpions, Chakrams, Ballista Elephants): Siege Onager. Just having that as a power unit is enough to make Dravidians at the very least ‘decent’ on Michi. Elephant Archers, unless you’re literally throwing them into enemy Siege Onagers, stay alive long enough that even though you don’t get a real eco bonus for late-game armies, you’ll still have a strong enough stationary force to hold and/or push with.
Dravidians also get Bombard Towers, which are very important on closed map games such as Michi. You even have Bombard Cannons to potentially snipe enemy Trebuchets with!
I do agree that outside of Halberdiers, you’re likely not wanting to make other Infantry units. Urumis are rather fragile and at best might work earlier, or as some sort of supporting unit made from one Castle only (though you’d rather want to make Trebuchets).
Dravidians having discounted Barracks techs also means that in case you are against heavy Halberdier spam, you have your own Champions (or even just Halberdiers) out to support your Elephant Archers with. It’s definitely not as bad as you say, as even lacking those two techs Elephant Archers will still be tanky enough to take hits from whatever, excluding 10 SO shots at once. And get this, late-game the fighting is generally so all over that Medical Corps actually becomes useful, as the likelihood of opponents microing groups of Skirmishers to snipe your EAs one by one is… less likely!
Bengalis in my opinion are definitely stronger when it comes to Elephant Archers (they win in a 1v1), and if you make Siege Onagers, they have very strong Monks to defend it with. Bengalis also have a much more solid economy than Dravidians do, thanks to the additional villagers on age up and Mahayana.
What I’ve noticed seeing Gurjaras being played on BF (and probably Michi), is that instead of Chakram Throwers, they also tend to go for Elephant Archers as their main unit despite Gurjaras clearly having the worst Elephant Archers of the bunch. Even the extra melee armor doesn’t matter that much, but Kshatriyas does come in handy when you want to make them, I guess.