I also didn’t want to speak about the elefant in the room too much, but I think we have too…
Eles can’t really raid. But that’s essential for main unit in a composition that they can.
That’s why I in my thread purely hypothetical ideas for new trash units created a chariot that is designed to synergize with eles and is an excellent raiding unit.
But if we talk about making battle eles more viable we probably need to talk about raiding and the impact it has why certain units are considered so strong and others don’t. And how good a unit has to be in fighting to compensate for not being able to raid. And if it’s a good idea to design such a unit, if we want to have to deal with “sheer power” units. And that the impact of good raiding potential in actual evalueation “how good” a unit is varies with skill level…
It’s a whole bunch of things that are associated with raiding.
Just have a look at the shrivamsha. It’s actually not that strong of a unit. (Besides it counters some units very heavily) But it is probably the best raiding unit in the game which makes it decide a lot of games at high level of play. A few shrivamshas in your base is all a good player needs to kill you.
Eles on the other hand are useless in low numbers cause they can’t raid and they don’t even threaten any thing cause in low numbers they get still killed by all kind of defences. In high numbers the opponent can just move his eco cause the eles are too slow to kill the running away vills.
pretty much how I feel about eles. Not to mention that their attack isn’t even that impressive for how slow and expensive they are, they used to have 16 attack and 50% trample damage and larger trample radius to compensate for their high cost and slow speed but that got nerfed tin to oblivion just because they overdid khmer bonuses for elephants. Tho, I think what they seriously need is speed buff to 0.95 or something like that.
But it’s maybe not what you expected. It’s a very fast trash unit that is designed to herass the opponent. Conparable low damage output (but with upgrades good enough for raiding) and low HP. So you need to take care of it to make it work.
It’s basically the opposite of an ele: Fast and squishy.
50% trample damage is insanely OP. There is a video that 2 War Elephant beat 15 Magyar Huszar (this unit is not a joke). For a comparison 5 or 6 Magyar Huszar beat 2 Paladins. 33% trample damage and buff the Castle Age Elephants is okay I guess.
yes, the old khmer BE was kinda ridiculous but instead of just nerfing khmer, they touched the base unit and it affected everyone else while the base unit even with the bonus on top was still not viable at that time. Tbf, they recently buffed Viet and Burmese BEs so I guess they just need speed buff.
I think the main problem of Elephant units is that they are an expensive and inflexible unit with very hard counters, namely Monks and the Spear line. Although they seem to give reasonable results in late game with large economies due their high population efficiency and their cost being less of a limiting factor, in early castle age none of these selling points apply while being easily denied by minimum investment. A way to solve this is to probably make their hard counters well… less hard.
For Monks, I think an easy solution would be to increase their Minimum Conversion Interval (similar to the treatment of the Scout and Eagle line a couple of patches ago) to make them less prone to super fast conversions. This wouldn’t eliminate the incentive of making Monks against Elephants, as they are bulky, slow, expensive units, but to me it seems fair that such a high reward conversion requires a longer (and riskier) time as well. I would personally increase it from 4 s to 7 s (the same as scout units) to allow the player to have a better chance to react to the conversion attempt, to either run away, delete the unit or engage the Monk in melee. This doesn’t really affect late game, as Monks are very clunky to micro in large scale battles, but addresses one of their Castle Age weaknesses.
For the Spear line is a bit trickier as they are more usual as a counter to elephants in late game. However, given the inability of elephants to choose their fights and the larger resource investment, it seems unfair that they end up having a similar melee performance against the Spear line compared to the Knight line, all while the latter has much more versatility and speed. Hence, I would suggest reducing the bonus damage that the Spear line deals to elephant units (maybe with the exception of the War Elephant) to at least force the spearman player to gather larger armies before taking the engagement to prevent the elephant player from gaining momentum, maybe reducing the bonus damage by -8 or -10 can allow elephants to fare slightly better against such a cheap counter.
Optionally, giving Elephants extra movement speed akin to the one of infantry (~0.9 t/s) sounds reasonable as well, given the points already explained, as well as some extra utility outside of those two matchups.
This would be ok if BE killed buildings fast enough. They don’t have to and shouldn’t fill the same roles as other units.
Vils can run away and rebuild but that’s still a big loss to the eco, if BE killed the stuff fast enough.
Consider them as a hybrid ram. Rams cant chase or even harm Vils. Does that make them a bad unit?
Armoured eles are a great unit, how much can they do to a fleeing vil?
That being said, BE are also in a poor position because architecture (+3) negates BE bonus damage (+4). Masonry (+6 total) negates EBE(+7). So if we factor attack speed and especially cost, the Knight line is almost better at killing buildings the moment the opponent techs. This is ludicrous
The nice thing about it being a game is you can tweak the unit in any direction. Either make it better at fighting units(+0.05 speed +4 cavalry armour) or forcing fights for example. How would BE fair if we upped the bonus damage to +8 for example. It’s still not remotely the same as an armoured ele, but can force fights.
At that stage there’s still more granularity between BE and AE compared to tarkans and keshiks