How to nerf S-tier water civs

Disclaimer: hybrid maps are not considered

Last few years we have seen mostly 3 prime water civs. You know which they are:


Maybe you can come up with a good idea to open the field for other civs:

  1. Vikings eco nerfed, free handcars and wheelbarrow replaced by techs are free but not researched instantly. Also helps nerf them on empire wars. Maybe buff the infantry HP bonus slightly to compensate

  2. Portugueses UT carrack gets replaced, they don’t need plus armor and plus HP. Also gives the change to buff them on land instead

  3. Italians
    Not sure how, the reason for this thread. What’s your ideas?


The problem are their feitorias, not their UT

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Here’s a radical idea: why don’t we nerf S tier civs by buffing other civs or changing meta or by changing unit stats? Like the recent proposed changes to militia line. The changes are not enough to make them a regular user units, but a step in right direction. Militias line are a small speed buff and champion upgrade cost reduction away from becoming more feasible units. Similarly, change the meta of water play by maybe adding some blockades, or making some unit changes to fires and galleys?


The only change water needs in my opinion is removing feudal fire galleys. Civ variety is not really important on water, gameplay is very limited anyway, at least galley fighting is funny and increases a bit the skill ceiling instead of being all about who has the best build order.


I think it’s the sum of the elements.
+10% more hp, less gold to train regular ships, faster research, good UU (caravel), carrack AND feitoria.
Feitoria alone is only good in the ultra late game.

On the other hand on land maps Portuguese are really a mediocre civ. Feitoria adds some nice quirks to some enclosed maps like Arena.


On arena you can’t finish your wood and feitorias are generally useless for that reason. On water maps,on the other hand you can

If you do that you get back at vikings wars only, since with just galleys, you need only numbers, and with cheaper docks (more docks) and cheaper galley, they are the ones that can mass more units.

Fire galleys are a defensive unit, to keep enemy galleys occupied while you relocate you fish.

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I think Koreans, Japanese, Malay and Berbers can receive naval buff to provide variety in water maps.

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On Arena feitorias are not used for wood, but as a boost for fast imp strategies. It’s a rather limited strategy for a limited map.

Fast imp feitorias is a meme strat

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I don’t think buffing half bad water civs like Japanese, malay, Berber etc will do the game any good.

Just further increase the unfairness of a random Bulgarian on ilands vs an actual water civ.

Instead of alleviating a few more civs to the plateau of the current water trifecta, lowering those civs to be on the same level as other civs will be much easier to do and make fairer games with more open meta.

Power creep is a posion many games habe succumbed too. Nerfs are the way even if unpopular


If it works, meme or not is a strategy nevertheless. Not everyone plays at 2000+ Elo levels.
Nerf feitoria and you might as well just remove it.
No use on land maps, no use on water maps, 250G 250S to look pretty?

Either make feitorias numbers capped by something else than population so player can not shift all their villager population into feitorias when wood runs out, or keep the feitorias marginalised in order to not let it break balance.

IF major reworks are unwanted then keeping the status quo is propably best

The point is that it doesn’t work at a decent level.

Literally the only scenario in which feitorias are (way too) good is on water maps because wood runs out fast when you making a ■■■■ ton of boats

You’re right, but would that be worse than current water meta?

Not really, you can definitely win water only going for fire ship in most cases, and mixing galleys and fire ships early on is definitely the worst thing you can do since galleys are useless vs fire in low numbers. And most of the time fire galleys is the best unit choice.

Maybe more civs should have no access to feudal fire ships.

Keep the castle age fire ships but restrict feudal ones, so for example, Portuguese lose access to feudal fires but keep the castle age ones.

But honestly other than vikings, very water Civ without feudal fires would be garbage compared to civs that have access then.

Then how about Feitoria can’t be built if you built a dock, or as Geojak said just limit it to 1 if you have a dock?
On islands, nobody would go to imperial age without docks, then build feitorias, then build docks. Destroying your own docks before making Feitorias shouldn’t work as losing barracks can’t stop you from building stables.
On land maps there’s plenty of wood usually, or you can’t build docks at all.
The point is Feitoria is the most unique thing about Portuguese, if it’s useless because of nerfs, then remove it and call it a mistake. There’s no need for useless gimmicks just to fill the the “uniqueness” slot. Give Portuguese something else then.


Simply change their ship discount. Currently 15%/15%/20%, reducing it would make them weaker. I don’t know at what percentage they’d be on even footing with Japanese, but the discount could be slowly reduced until they hit the right power level

15/15/20 → 15/15/15 → 10/15/15 → 10/10/15 → 10/10/10 → 5/10/10 → 5/5/10 → 5/5/5

Vikings will be in the middle of A tier before you’ve hit 5%/5%/5%.


I completely agree with changing carrack. It’s worse than silly that one civ has +10% hp and +1/+1 armour. Those 2 bonuses should be spread out between 2 different civs.

Other nerfs are possible if they proof necessary, but that should be the first step. As you noted already it will also make them more interesting on land.


Now that the dock discount has been coupled to the university discount it’s no longer an easy water balance adjustment nob. Still you could tweak (or even remove) their fishing ships discount.

As a more radical balancing attempt, you could take the wrecking ball to their tech tree. Losing Fast FIre, Dry Dock or Ship Wright would really hurt.
After that I suspect they’d need a water buff – which fortunately is easy to achieve. (By increasing the age-up discount, dock discount, or fishing ship discount. If such a scenario were to arise I do actually trust the devs & pros to chose the right tweaks.)


I know you didn’t mention them, but I’d really really love to see good turtle ships. It should basically be a pop-efficient version of the fire ship, losing with equal resources but winning with equal numbers. It should also have a similar gold weight – 40% gold 60% wood.

If Turtle ships became good (in the same way that longboats and caravels are good – you see them most games) Koreans would probably need to lose Shipwright.

Probably unpopular opinion from a passionate water player: The current situation is fine, no balance changes needed.
There are three roughly equally suitable civs for pure water maps, and depending who faces whom, the matches play out quite differently. What is the problem?
I don’t think it is worthwhile to mess around with the civ balance in order to make random civ viable on water maps.
Also, the water civ triangle pertains only to (team) islands. Archipelago and migration are already a different story, and this holds so much more for baltic and mediterranean (hello Byzantines!).

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Italians, Portuguese and Vikings are still here, as long as those keep dominating (Like Franks in land TGs) other civs like Koreans, Berbers, Saracens, Byzantines, Spanish can’t just compete.
Seriously is time to do more nerfs than buffs, this game proved enough that buffing more is pointless and bad for the civs.

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