You are missing the point. This civ offers nothing except MAA. It has no civ identiy, it has clunky and bad mechanics, the Landsknecht is terrible, they have no unique stuff for any other unit, they are all baseline, boring and terrible. There is nothing HRE about the HRE, it’s a generic infantry civ with no strengths other than MAA. They have the worst lategame. Culverin is nothing special, Springalds outperform them in most matches due to lower costs anyway (esp. from Rus and Mongols). Inspiration is ■■■■, the knights are the worst in the game (which is absolutely insufferable) and the infantry is not even that special as many other civs have good infantry techs alongside their actual strengths. The HRE falls short in every other regard. They have useless techs like Benediction and 2 techs for MAA where other civs have only one with the power of 2 like honed blades. Honed blades gives in one tech +3 attack for MAA AND knights. The HRE needs 2 techs of which each is equal to +3 attack for one unit type. The +6 vs heavy armor (which are reduced to +3 when combined with twohander, ■■■■■■■ ridiculous) is without the bug equal to +3 flat and the +2 dmg and +15 hp is also equal to +3 damage. The HRE has two techs, the Delhi one with the power of two. Also the Delhi has way better Religion mechanics. Their scholars are actually useful and they can be upgraded in age II already. But the HRE is supposed to be the Religion civ. I wonder why… There is nothing that justifies that. Prelates only give a good buff, but as a unit they are terrible and clunky, slow and weak. The Rus also have better religious techs and units. And the Mongol shamans are actually also better once ovoo upgraded. It’s a joke. Just as the age IV tech for HRE spearmen giving them +3 melee armor. What a freaking useless age IV tech that does barely anything. It’s such a mess.
The HRE is in a ■■■■ spot. Also it does not matter that MAA might trade well vs knights, because there is so much ■■■■ that just downright counters MAA. Especially in late game. And again: MAA is the only strength the HRE has. There is nothing else. No unique unit, no tech. Nothing.
The only thing the HRE has going for itself is a good early eco and early power potential due to Regnitz, if you can get the Relics and make it to castle age at all. That is why you might think they are in a better spot than China and Delhi. But that is not true. Improve China and Delhi early game and they actually offer a lot. China has the best late game and is very overpowered with their bombards and grenadiers. Delhi has good techs and all in all a strong lategame. The HRE has nothing of that sort. They end in castle age. There is no imperial age for them, because everything they have there is either baseline or simply inferior to what other civs have. The infantry speed is nice and probably the best tech of the whole civ, but it rarely helps. Mongols have yam network and just better units thanks to this ovoo ■■■■. The Abbasid infantry get 15% more hp, their archers attack 25% faster, their spearmen have double the range and camels buff infantry reliably. The French arbaletrier counters everything the HRE can muster unless it is siege. They end up with 10 melee armor, which outright negates any strength the HRE might have against them. The English have the tankiest MAA that do what they are supposed to: Be a front line. While all their other units profit from the network of castles and longbows are viable from early to late game. Also they have enclosure which makes Regnitz look like a shabby hut. The Rus have for some reason the strongest knights (roughly on par with French) and can reliably buff all their units with the warrior monk if you know how to use him (hit and run). They have a better version of the HRE inspiration, which is ■■■■ as it is a single target cast with 3 sec animation that only lasts 30 seconds. It’s trash. Your units are actually never inspired when it matters. And do not let me start on the Streltsy. What an overpowered unit that is… Much better than the hand cannoneer due to abilities and techs and then they are also 25% cheaper. What the hell? Then there is also the horse archer, who does not convince too much, but fully upgraded he is quite the raiding unit with 6.5 range. All other civs offer so much more than the HRE, who again have only good MAA whose techs are also and still bugged.
Addendum to the Landsknecht: The Landsknecht does not fill any role. He is the worst designed unit that is historically also inaccurate and he is never worth its costs. I am actually getting a mental breakdown when anybody tries to explain how they are used. They are a joke and you do not build them unless you know you are winning. Why would you waste 100 gold on a unit that dies to everything and not build a knight instead or use the gold for more MAA? It’s stupid to mix them in and it’s stupid that they are designed as an auxiliary ■■■■ unit. They need a massive overhaul or should just be deleted from the game. Also they are not a castle age unit, they should be imperial age. And they should be a quality unit at that. The HRE desperately needs another unique unit and more unique techs and not this shitshow of techs that are just inferior to all the other civs.
Nobody, who wants to achieve something, plays the HRE. They are never picked. For reasons. You only see them in low level matches, but the higher it gets, the less you see them. Had Delhi and China a better early game, the HRE would be bottom last and with quite some distance.
You talk about stuff that is powerful, but only due to numbers. It’s not their mechanics, it’s not their units, it’s not their identiy… They just get a lot of gold from Regnitz and a big boost from the prelate, because Relic didn’t know ■■■■ about what they wanted the HRE to be. They failed horribly in designing this civ.
What is there for the HRE aside from MAA? Only baseline ■■■■■■■■, a terrible unique unit and clunky mechanics garnished with boring and subpar techs. That’s it.