Reduce the discount of Szlachta Privileges by 15-20%.
Remove the Cavalry Archer from their tech tree.
These should be enough to limit their Castle Age power-spike significantly without disrupting the civ’s identity.
Add the Halberdier to their tech tree.
Give them Plate Barding Armor OR Ring Archer Armor.
Halberdiers and one of the techs aren’t relevant until Imperial Age, which is the civ’s weakest state as of now.
Thus you’d sacrifice their huge Castle Age potential for a more flexible Imperial Age and better chances against dedicated Heavy Cavalry, Camel and Archer civs in the late game.
I decided to post this quote here because it’s a great suggestion on how to make the Folwark more viable in competitive, raid-heavy games.
Perhaps not of the highest priority, yet an interesting concept, particularly as the Folwark is part mill - part house anyway.
I believe the Poles are overpowered or at least top tier in Castle Age, yet one of the worst civs in games lasting until Imperial Age.
The Knight discount paired with the Folwark’s fast food income and additional gold when mining stone for a Castle to research Szlachta just synergize too well.
I’d neither nerf the Gold trickle nor the Folwark as firstly both are well designed bonusses with unique mechanics and secondly the Poles only have these two bonusses as far as economy goes.
Instead nerfing Szlachta Privileges seems like a logical solution, to limit the Poles’ Knight rush potential without impairing all their other mid-game options due to a weaker economy.
Removing the civ’s access to (Heavy) Cavalry Archers would also lower their Castle Age potential which is not to be underestimated in combination with cheap Knights / Light Cavalry, complementing each other’s weaknesses.
Their Hussars and Cavaliers fulfill very similar roles, i.e. functioning as trash cavalry. Naturally they are frail in melee combat, yet don’t work very well as raiding units missing the +2 Pierce Armor in Imperial Age.
Therefore defensive buildings and Archers become too dangerous. The concept of “Middle Cavalry” is an ambitious one but hard to implement when Hussars and Cavaliers don’t perform properly at any tasks.
Giving them Plate Barding Armor would furthermore help the Poles when dealing with the Goths’ Huskarl and Halberdier flood, which otherwise simply overrun you as Obuchs from castles can’t nearly keep up with that production speed.
No Siege Engineers and Siege Onagers coupled with subpar Archers and Skirmishers because of missing Ring Archer Armor or a bonus are another issue coming up only in Imperial Age when facing Archer Civs.
This could be alleviated by giving them Siege Onagers or the last Archer Armor Upgrade, while I believe the latter to have less of an impact while keeping them distinguished from the Slavs.
Giving Poles plate barding is a terrible idea. They dont need any help against Goths (Obuch and FU Champions with strong eco is fine enough) and having a civ that has both the best trash unit in the game and a farming bonus is just too much. Im down for them getting siege engineers or ring archer armour though.
Maybe swaping both UTs would be a better idea. The cavaliers are still pretty good btw, some of the best cav on melee late game and still fairly okay cost effective against archers.
At least you partly agree with my suggestions, that’s a win for me. Ring Archer Armor would genuinely make their Imperial Age much more promising.
I didn’t propose the last Cav Armor Upgrade for them to precisely beat Goths but I’m not quite convinced that facing Huskarl infantry with your own is ever a good idea and they don’t get Hand Cannoneers either.
On the other hand, without giving them Plate Barding Armor a nerf of Szlachta Privileges would be a bad idea.
What interests me most though is, why do you think they have the best trash unit in game?
Rn, Magyar Huszars are the best trash units in the game thanks to the better resistance against archers, but Poles have the better trash melee unit. Remove the archer weakness from a unit that can be spammed from the stables, has amazing stats as well as blast damage for a civ that has the perfect eco to keep the production of that unit and really I dont think there would be much that would be able to face them properly.
I disagree that giving the Hussars an additional 1 Pierce Armor would make a big difference when facing Archers.
Without Paladins and Plate Barding Armor their late game Cavalry poorly performs in melee combat, 5 trample damage or not. Besides I assume most people to try and split forces when facing Polish Hussars as you do against Cataphracts.
Perhaps you are right and leaving their Cavalry features as they are but giving them at least FU Archers while adjusting Szlachta’s discount is the solution.
I’ll just drop few lines from wikipedia here, quite accurate:
One of the finest examples of usage of the early Polish cavalry was the Battle of Grunwald of 1410. During the battle, the Polish armoured cavalry was used to break through the Teutonic lines. In addition, the Polish forces were helped by Lithuanian light cavalry of Eastern origins and by Tartar skirmishers, who used mostly hit-and-run tactics. During the battle, after initial clashes of the light cavalry, the Teutonic Order split its forces, which were then defeated by an armoured cavalry charge.
it’s not even about balance in the game, but it’s just weird that Poles don’t have either paladins or at least the last armor upgrade in the game (which, combined with the knight-line price discount, would somehow compensate for the lack of paladins). This is just wrong.
imagine that in the game we are playing the above-mentioned battle of 1410. Poles should have at their disposal a cavalry better armored and with more attack than the Lithuanians, practically as strong as the Teutonic Paladin, on a plus side, the Obuch in such a game seems to be a suitable unit to weaken the Teutonic Knight’s armor.