How to balance Indian elephants

There are a lot of people who would like Indians to have Battle Elephants and decent Elephant Archers. (I won’t claim it’s a majority, though it might be.)

So, if they got these, how could the Indian civilisation remain balanced, and how could EA be buffed for maximal fun for everyone?

Looking at the Indian tech tree, it seems to me that BE and good EA would help most against archer civs. It seems plausible this could be compensated with the removal of Elite Skirms. Indians currently have FU ES, and the only other civ lacking ES is the Turks, so this would be a significant nerf.
You could in addition remove Halbedier / Pikes, but I don’t think that would have very much effect. Removing Champion might leave them a little weak against Skirms, and the matchup against Eagles would become… interesting. (They’d have to use EBE or HC or Camels.)

EA currently have slightly better defensive stats than BE (30 extra hp, and 0/3 instead of 1/2 in Castle, 30 extra hp in Imp) which seems good for a UU variant. I would like to see it receive the same trample damage as BE. This might be a bit tricky to program, but AOE2 is a huge bodge anyway, so I’m sure it can be done. EA and BE have the same attack speed, so after adding trample damage to EA the only difference in offence would be that BE deals double the OAE damage to its primary target whilst the EA shoots an arrow at it’s primary target. All units adjacent to the Elephant would get hit by the AOE damage.

A speed boost would also be really nice, but it might make the units OP.

One final note which might not seem connected: the Indian UT Shatagni (Cost: 500F 300G) [Hand cannoneers have +1 range]. I haven’t seen this tech used a lot, and I don’t get the impression that anyone is particularly fond of it. The actual gunpowder civs could benefit much more from this effect. It might be possible to replace this UT with an elephant tech.


  • (Please be constructive)
  • give Indians BE and EBE
  • remove Indian ES
  • change EA armour 0/3 -> 1/2
  • give EA trample damage
  • change the Indian UT

Any alternative or improved suggestions welcome :slight_smile:

  • Love Shatagni currently
  • Indifferent to Shatagni
  • Please change Shatagni

0 voters

Easy, Indians can get Elephants, but they will have to lose the Villager discount and Sultans, essentially becoming a D-tier civ.

I am serious with this, the Vill discount and the Sultans UT was the reason they never even got Knights in the first place.

Indians would have to become a crippled Khmer.

No, they wouldn’t lose the Villager discounts and Sultans, which is never used before mid Imp.

They don’t have Camels because of their civilization design. Camels are much more spammable than Knights because of their cost

You will never waste 400F for 10% faster working miners in Castle Age.

Camels are also weaker than Knights, and Indians got them buffed as to compensate, but not really replace Knights.

It does seem funny, I ask “how would you balance Indian BE” and you reply

  • remove vill discount
  • remove Sultans

But then you say

  • this would make Indians too weak.

Seems like your suggested balance isn’t a very good suggestion :wink:
There has to be some place between too weak and too strong?

I’ll give you another “Balance” which would make Indians too weak IMO:

  • remove EBE (BE only)
  • remove champs
  • remove pikes
  • remove ES
  • remove plate barding

No need to touch the vill discount if you want to make Indians D-tier! :wink:

But I’d prefer to focus on solutions which leave Indians Solid B- or A-tier

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Then the Camlels and Hussars would be terrible, and Indians would have no lategame Trash, essentially becoming a crippled version of Turks, but with BEs instead of Artillery.

That’s what I said :slight_smile:

No civ can have the most efficient Boom in the game, and have Battle Elephants. The savings on Vills alone can net you a lot of BEs.

Khmer. Khmer. Khmer. and Khmer.

Khmer Boom is nowhere as efficient as Indians Boom.

Yes, nowhere but you save 325 wood and go up with 22+0 into instant 3 TC

Wood does not directly translate into BEs, Food does.

Can we focus on positive suggestions to balance Indian BE please?

I’d suggest anyone who disagree’s with @JonOli12 ignores his posts. He’s made his opinion clear, and isn’t going to change his mind.

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We are speaking about booming and Khmer have clearly better eco than Indians overall in the game

Why do pro players choose Khmer over Indians on boom maps such as Gold Rush Hideout and Arena?

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Since every civ with Battle Elephants, Eagle Warriors or Steppe Lancer has some unique bonus to it.

Would it be possible to move the Imperial Camels to Saracens and give BE + EBE to Indians with some anti-cavalry bonus?

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The problem is that cavalry always can run out of battle elephant range. That bonus should affect elephant archer innorder to be useful.

I would prefer a bonus like faster elephant creation, but i dont think indians needs battle elephants at all. I would buff or redesign their elephant UU

I used to believe Indians needed BE. Then I got better in TG, and understood why it’s not a good idea.

Anyway, my best shoot to balance them would be:

-BE and EBE locked behind Sultans technology (like flaming camels with Timurian siège)
-Sultans become a litle more expensive (something like 500f)
-Indian camels +10% speed as a civ bonus
-indians lose Husbandry

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Maybe if it was a different unit that the BE, and more like an Elephant Ram (Flail Elephant?) that can be trained at the Castle after Sultans. Indians already lack Siege Ram, and this could be a pure Food costing unit (200 Food) that is only really good against buildings, and has a lot of Armour.

The regular BE would be overkill on Indians, they have the best Boom in the game by far.

Yeah, I agree. I was just trying to find a way to “fit” BE into indians

but isn’t the battle elephant as food demanding as the elephant archers in fact more expensive? how does that boom helpful? since in early game battle elephants are useless because of their speed. if you just mean the food production then franks, khmer are far better food creating civs than indians.

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