Im not entierly sure why, but to me, the HRE feel so damn boring to play. All there bonuses are just passive boni that you notice, but dont change anything on how you should play the game. You get 40% gather rate with prelates and youre vills carry 40% more ressources. To me, this bonus feels like in previous test builds, the HRE were weak so they gave vills more carry capacity in order to accomedate for the improved gather rates, so that their eco would be strict 40% more effective then other civs. Also you get +200% relic gold from the Regnitz Cathedreal, which again is just a passive bonus to income.
Also their unique unit Landsknecht is pretty garbo and never build.
Their gimmick of being a religious civ with focus on relics also isnt really properly expanded on. They are supposed to be a defensive civ, which is only visible by the auto repai abbiltiy and reduced cost for stone walls and keeps [At least in their tech tree descreption Keeps are mentioned. In reality, they either removed the cost reduction for Keeps after Stress test or long ago and forgot to adjust the techtree]. So here are my suggested changes to the civ:
[1.] Make relics more important: Right now, even tho you can put relics into buildings like Keeps, everyone rather builds the Regnitz Cathedreal and enjoys 300% relic gold (900 gold per min). I would change it, so you cant put relics into the landmark itself. Rather the landmark gives you a passive bonus that putting relics into (nonreligious) buildings gives you extra +100% goldgeneration (so 200 gold a min). Aside that, make the regnitz act like a monastary so it can train Prelates and do the upgrades.
Also i would change it that HRE can put relics into production buiildings, making the building produce 50% faster and 50% cheaper (good use for siege engines for example). This change would make sure that HRE dont just put them into the cathedreal and enjoy big amunts of gold. Instead, they would want to use the relics more offensivly on the frontline for siege engines for example, which comes with the risk of losing the relics.
[2.] Keeps act as military production: Give the HRE the castles that english get with the production capabilities. Further with the change of Nr. 1, your buildings would produce faster and cheaper. Combined with the already existing bonus to keep damage and hp from relics, would make the HRE rely a lot on relics and keeps.
[3.] Landsknecht: Remove the the “light infantry” attribute, so that archers dont deal bonus dmg vs them. It should keep them squishy since they dont have armor and few hp, but dont make them die in like 5 arrows. Also maybe give them more movespeed and bonus damage vs armored targets, making them good vs Men at arms and slightly better vs Knights.
RIght now, full upgrades Elite-Landsknecht have (if im not mistaken) 26 dmg with 1,25 attack speed and 110 health. Compared to knights that with charge attack do 40< dmg and 30< dmg with normal attacks.
[4.] Change the eco boni: To accomadate for the suggested changes, nerf or remove the stupid eco boni they get from prelate or remove the extra carry capacity. My suggestion would be to change the bonus to 20% early with an upgrade to 30% in the monastary.
[5.]Prelates aura: Right now, the prelates have the abbility to inspire military and to give them +15% attack damage and +1 armor. However, this is quite difficult to actually use, since the prelates only inspire units that are almost directly next to them and this doesnt work while combat. My suggestion would be to change it to an instant aura around the prelate (just like Camel archers) that sticks for 5 seconds after leaving the aura. 1 Prelate can inspire at max. 10 units with this. This way, the buff doesnt feel so cluncky to use, while giving enemies the possiblity to snipe prelates for counterplay. Right now, inspired units keep the buff for like 30 seconds if im not mistaken. Further more, this would give the HRE feel more like a big heavy but slow army feeling, since prelates are pretty slow and they need to be in your army. Also this increases their usefullness in combat in generel making them a 2nd unique unit (that doesnt suck) in combat.
[6.] Change the Burgrave Palace [Age 3 Landmark]: Right now, the burgrave palace acts as 5 barracks but worse, since you have to pay the cost for all 5 units up front so you have to save up a lot of ressources. The change i would like to see is have the landmark produce for 30% cheaper, thus setting aside the big ressource cost and additionally making it an attractive option besides the regnitz cathedral. I know this is a big buff, but when compared to for example french keep influence buffs, its still in the realm of logical balance.
[7. Bigger Radius for the Aachen Chapel: This is just a personal nitpick but id like the aachen chapel to have a bigger aura radius, because right now, it really doesnt cover that much. Most of the time, you can get like 1-2 ressources + your towncenter covered. This buff is just optimal and more quality of life then anything else and not needed.]
All these changes are supposed to make the HRE feel more unique and differentiate them from other civs with boni that are more then just have 40% more ressources then the other civs. Also with the reduced prelate inspired buff, the civ will have a weaker early game but a way more rewarding midgame starting in castle age. I think these changes would be pretty easy to implement since they wouldnt have to design new features but only add existing features to the HRE.
What do you guys think about it?