Hello my fellow Players,
once again I wanna talk about the new Civs (Burgundians and Sicilians), because they still seem in a bad spot and I think the Buffs in these Patch kinda miss their identitiy:
1: How to Balance
2: Clarification what isnt as strong as people think
3: How to change Sicilians
4: How to change Burgundians
Disclaimer: Obviously i make my suggestions from my perspective of the Game and Iam around 1600 Elo atm, which defines my View on strength. For Example I take a big value on resource and production efficiency, because its important by my personal experience.
1: How to Balance:
First we need to establish “how” we wanna make a bad Civ stronger. Ofc just giving them a big Tech tree and Eco Bonuses would make any Civ strong, but Civs normaly have an identity. Therefore for balancing one should try to figure out a Civs identity and then balance them according to these. (more details in Civ section)
2: Clarification on Civ strengths:
At release some people thought some Bonuses might be OP. Because I wanna talk about Buffs for the 2 Civs I wanan establish why these arent as strong:
Stables: with lacking Bloodlines their Cavaliers are just like Knights with +2 Attack. Their Palas are significantly weaker (like Byz Palas. Byz Rarly go Palas). Its a good early Game bonus but falls of later on.
Dmg reduce: Dmg reduce is strong in Feudal Age, because it affects their Scout/ Archer opening, but in Castle Age most Games will be played with Knights vs Crossbow or XBow vs Siege.
Ofc counter Units get build, but the most commenly builded Units (Cav, Archer, Siege) dont have any Bonus against each other (except Siege vs Siege, but the Bonus doesnt affect Siege)
Farm Upgrade: The Farm Upgrade Bonus isnt very strong. Compared to the Teuton Bonus they safe less Wood and also safe it later on in the Game.
For a more detailed explanation on the Power of these Bonuses, especially the Farming one look at my old Post , I made the Math for the Farming Bonus there: New Civs Discusion and potential Changes (Sicilians/ Burgundians)
Now to the actuall balance Discussion:
3: How to change Sicilians:
1: What is their Identity
2: What seems to be their Problem
3: Ideas of potential Changes to buff them
1: What is their Identity:
By a look at the Sicilians Tech Tree we can see that they neither have Paladins nor FU (Fully Upgraded) Arbalests. They also dont have special Units like Camels, Ele, Eagels or FU Cav Archers, which are normaly alternatives of Civs who dont have one of the main Unit Lines (Heavy Cav/ Archer).
They also dont have a super strong Eco to finish the Game fast with weaker Units.
But we can see they are having the Serjeant, which seems designed to be a strong unit and be builded in mass, because it can be build from somewhere else then a Castle.
We seemingly have a Civ which cant finish Games super fast with an S Tier early Game, but get an advantage in Feudal age with their more resilient Scouts/ Archer.
Then they can boom a bit in Castle Age with faster build TCs and then in Lategame they seem Designed around a Serjeant+ Halb combo.
Their heavy Cav and Arbs are no outstanding Lategame option and both dont get carried enough by reduced Bonus Dmg (because Halbs still deal +16 and cost no Gold, and Skirms 4 Pierce armor is a big Part of their Counter nature)
Halbs on the other hand get Bonus Dmg from Arbs/ Skirms and are effected quite well by the Sicilian Bonus. On top of That Serjeants are bad vs Heavy Cav (explained later) which gives good Synergie with Halbs.
As conclusion: they seem to be intended as a Civ which plays their early to Mid game normal with an Eco Focus to then go into full Serjeant+ Halbs in Lategame, because these are their only strong Lategame Unit options.
2 What is their Problem
Lets start with what isnt:
Their early to Lategame seems fine. They arent the strongest in this period of the Game and can be outpaced by Faster Civs like Franks, Mayans, Huns … but thats Ok, because by their Design without any fast Eco Bonuses they arent intended to be the best early on.
Their Problem seems to be that their intended Serjant + Halb Combo wont work.
Why is that?
The Serjeant has 2 major Problems:
1: Power, 2: Accessibility.
The Serjeant seems to have nice Stats and can beat a Champion 1v1, BUT its a bad trade.
Before the Buff of 10 HP a Serjeant won by 1 Hit vs a Champion and now after the Buff it will be by 2 Hits (Champ has 13+4 Dmg; Serjeant 4+3 Armor → 10 Dmg; Buff got +10 Hp → 1 more Hit)
Winning this close vs a Champion which costs 45 Food (supplies) and 20 Gold with a Serjeant which costs 60/ 35 F/G is a very bad trade. The Serjeant costs 75% more Gold and only remains with 17% of its max HP. On top of that Serjeants are also bad vs Heavy Cav, because the Serjeant has low Attack and high Armor while Heavy cav has high Armor and high Attack.
High armor is more effective against enemys with low Attack, because it reduces a higher % of their total Dmg. Thats why Heavy Cav is a good counter to Serjeants.
Serjeants are also slow which means Siege is another viable counter. In the end they are only good vs Archers.
As an Army Comp Serjeant + Halb would work vs Archers and Cav, but get destroyed by Siege and generic Infantery. As the only main Unit Option of Sicilians their main Army comp should perform better.
The Serjeant needs a Stone Building to be produced. By this there will always be less production capacity then with normal Champions. Because of that Champions counter them in equal costs as well because of the fact that Champions will always outnumber the Serjeants.
Ofc the stone cost got reduced, but you will still need like at least 10 Donjons to produce them in a fast pace, which is 1750 Stone (which is hard to have in Post imp).
Also its quite normal in the Imperial Age to build forward production Buildings while you are pushing. Building 8 forward Barracks in no problem in Post imp, getting 1500 stone to get 8 forward Donjons is.
Also they arent ranged Units like Mangudais. Range Units can be produced Slower, because they dont die as much, but melee Units are right in the battle, die a lot and because of this need to be replaced fast.
Just look at other Civs: Nearly all Melee UU are underused, except units like the Huskarl, which are more accessible.
3 How to Buff them while keeping their Identity:
To buff Sicilians while keeping their Identity a Serjeant play needs to be viable.
How to do it:
*Power:*The Serjeants Cost should be lower to around 30 to 25 Gold to be able to beat generic Champions in equal resources. This way their Halb + Serjant Comp could fight Archers, Cav and Generic Infantery, but would still get countered by Civs with stronger Champs (like Teuton, Aztec, Burmese) as well as Siege (like a lot of Scorpions) because they are a slow Infantery Composition. Keep in mind Sicilians dont have Bombard Cannon, which means Siege would be a solid counter to this Composition.
I would probably say a Cost of 55 F and 25 G might be a good first try.
(Problem: with this change Donjon rushs might get to strong, if Serjeants are cheaper, which is why it would make most sense to make them cheaper in Imperial Age. [Idear how to is in next text])
Accessibility: The Serjeant needs to be able to be mass produced for this Comp. There are 3 Idears of mine of how to do it:
For all of these I would exchange their Imperial Unique Tech. The Tech that gives 1 time Gold is pretty underwhelming and also kinda random. (what exactly is the design synergy with the Civ of getting 1 time Gold).
Idears depend on how you want the Civ to be:
If the Civ should be defensive a Tech like Royal Heirs would do that. With an Imp UT that lets Serjeants produce much faster from Donjons/ Castles it would be possible to mass from a few Donjons in your Base. But then it would be hard to finish a Game, because all died and replaced Serjeants would need to walk slowly accross the Map. (my least favourite Idear because Crusaders are supposed to attack agressvily, but an Option if people want them to be a defensive Civ)
2: Agressive Anarchy: A similar Unit to the Serjeant is the Huskarl. Its also good vs Archers, bad vs Heavy Cav and supposed to be the Main unit of its Civ. Huskarls are only viable because they can get mass produced. → give Sicilians a UT like Goths/Huns to let Serjeants produce from Barracks.
3: Agressive special: To not make it all about Barracks it would be possible to get a UT that lets the Serjeant produce a new Building (a Crusader Camp). This Crusader Camp can only be builded by Serjeants, costs only Wood and can produce only Serjeants (and maybe also Halbs for the Comp).
This Way it would be possible to get something similar to Anarchy, but you would still need to produce a bigger mass of Serjeants at home and then walk out with them to establish some forward camps. To balance it this building should probably build rather slow to force players to build them with like 8 Serjeants at once. This way it wouldnt be possible to build new Camps while fighting, because they would build to slow with only 1 Serjeant, and using more would reduce your fighting army.
In all cases this Tech should additionally reduce the Serjeants cost to the before mentioned amount of 55F 25G. This way they would be as expensive as right now before Imperial Age, to prevent overpowered Serjeant Cheese strats.
The Serjeant should cost less and be easier to produce. For that exchanging the Imp UT could be an Idea, because the current one is pretty underwhelming anyways. To prevent Serjeants being to cheap in feudal Age for cheese rushes this Tech should reduce its cost.
With such a change the Serjeant + Halb Comp would be a viable lategame strat, because it could produce as many Serjeants as needed, as well as trade rather cost effective against Champions.
It also would still have counters, because Siege would counter this Composition. Also stronger Infantery Civs like Teuton, Aztec … could still use Champs very effectively.
In these cases the Sicilian player would then need to switch to either Cavalier to counter enemy Siege or Arbs to counter strong enemy Champions. This way Sicilians would have a good main Lategame Comp, which can be countered, as well as an interesting playstyle which can react to its counters, resulting in both Players cycling trough counters.
All in all it would give their Serjeants the Deus Vult they need without making it to strong.
4: How to change Burgundians
1 What is their identity:
2 What is their Problem:
3 How to fix it:
1 What is their identity:
Burgundians seem to have 2 seperate Identitiys before and after Post imp:
Before Post Imp: They have access to Cavaliers, fast weak Palas and earlier Eco Upgrades. This combination seems like they are supposed to overwhelm their enemy early with a huge mass of Cavalier/ Palas supported by their stronger eco, but then fall of in Lategame when their Palas are weaker then normal, as well as their Eco becoming normal.
Past Post Imp: After the Paladin rush failed they have FU Halbs as well as strong Gunpowder Units to support their Halbs. To be able to afford these Gunpoweder Units they can produce Gold with Vineyeards.
2 What is their Problem
First of all, I think with their Buff Burgundians winrate will be fine now, because cheaper eco Upgrades will give their Eco a huge boost.
Before Post Imp: before the Update their eco was simply not good enough, because noone could afford the Upgrades earlier, but now after the buff this section should be fine.
Past Post Imp: Again with the Buffs to the Gold generation of Farms they should be fine now.
I only would address that their Relics generating Food makes no sense synergy wise.
Because of Vineyards a Burgundian Player wants as many Farms as possible to get more Gold. Therefore Food will never be an issue, which makes Food from Relics useless.
3 Potential Change
Before Post Imp: I have no Change atm, seems fine.
Past Post Imp: I think it might be a good change to let Relics generate Wood instead of Food. With Vineyards a Player wants as many Farms as possible. These Farms need Lumberjacks to be supported. If Relics give Wood instead of Food then the Player could Balance its Eco in a way that has fewer Lumbers and more Farms, without spending more supply on Vils.
Burgundians should see a good winrate increase soon and might be fine now, but the Relic Bonus makes no sense in combination with their other Bonuses, which is why I suggested a change.
Sicilians will still be bad as they are and would need some drastic changes as i mentioned, to make it possible to play around their Serjeant, as it was seemingly intended.
Therefore a better accessibility as well as a lower cost would be needed I think, otherwise Serjeants arent playable. I understand the Devs thought Donjons might be enough to mass produce, but not for a slow Melee unit, which dies a lot and needs a lot of time to walk from its production place to the battlefield. Especially if its not a Support but a main Unit, and by this needs to be in constantly big Numbers.
All in all I feel like the new Civs have same bad Synergies in their Design, with Civ Bonuses that work against each other (like Burgundian extra food and Vineyards) or just no good way to use their Techtree as intended (like Sicilians have with their focus on their Serjeant). Sometimes the easy and already used answer might be the best (look at Goth/ Huns Huskarl Spam) or a slight twist on it (like “Crusader Camps”).
Pls tell me what you think about the new Civs, my Ideas on how to change them and especially on how to make Sicilians playable without changing their identity.
I would like to hear your Input and Ideas,