I’ll skip the complaints.
I envision siege as something bulky, powerful on the offensive and hella weak on the defensive. With that, it should be a game changer (as usually is), but also must be protected, guarded, or it should be easily destroyed by a few melee units.
Speaking unit by unit:
Rams: They are fine, now;
Siege towers: People gotta use more walls before I can talk about them;
Springalds: They are actually fine, although is weird that they are such snipers, still. Specially in castle age, is hard to deal with them if you really need siege to face your opponent in the battlefield. I would recommend a slight reduction in range, so they are powerful, but must expose themselves (and don’t have the same range as Culverins, with RST imp tech);
Mangonels: I believe this is the only piece of siege workshop unit I think is fine. It hits like a truck, have nice setup times, is not exactly fast moving (although would be nice to move slightly slower) and it’s not a tank by itself;
Counterweight Trebuchets: I love this unit. Great setup times, nice damage output, the best range out there and must be protected, either by units or terrain. Can force a turtled up opponent to come out, or just make him constantly repair, so he spend resources and his villagers don’t gather more. BUT it’s too expensive, for my taste. 750 total resources is heavy for Castle. Probably reduce it to 650 total res, or 700 even. Just a little something so we see more of them on the field, allowing us to see more Castle Age endings, instead of everything dragging out until bombards.
Traction Trebuchet: Just don’t allow this to be built in the field and we are ok. Can even reduce it’s cost, if the other treb receive such treatment. Yes, I know the mongol player can just move his siege workshop forward, but that’s not the same. It adds a queue time, it cannot be power built, still demands 300w investment from him, and so on. Besides, he will probably want Greased Axles, so it’s not a net loss;
Bombards: Well… this is tricky. They are powerful, yes, and it’s good they don’t deal area of effect damage. Their price feels right, but they more faster than they should feel, are tanky as heck and setup too fast. So, in order: reduce their movespeed, like 5-10% of it, their HP must go down by some 30% (even if their price 1k res) to allow proper diving in order to torch them and their setup times must increase by 1,5x-2x time. Yes, I know that’s a lot, but hear me out. This will demand from players to always have units around their bombards. We have a problem with mass bombards that can run by themselves and still fight well against melee units before they close in. This way, if you leave your bombards unnatended, they should die, even when massed up. And I know, cavalry could try and dive in to kill your bombards… unless you have a few spears there to protect them. Or a lot of spears if cavalry is the bulk of the opponents army lol. The point is: you’ll have this mini-game of “protect the siege”. As bombards have only 10 range (could be 8, for my taste, but one thing at a time), you have to expose both the bombard and your army, in a forward position, in order to properly siege a Keep, or walls. So if you don’t protect your siege, you’ll lose a lot of unit in said siege (which feels right, honestly. Have you tried climbing up walls with people throwing rocks, oil and arrows at you?) and reap no rewards. If you sucessfully protect you siege, you get to trample your opponent lol.
French Cannons: Same as bombards, but with reduced setup time. That’s their advantage, and allow for a lot more flexibility in the battlefield and siege situations. And that’s fair, to my eyes.
Culverins: Considering they are an anti-siege unit, I believe they should kill bombards (non-clocktower) in one hit. Usually, as bombards are massed up, they can fire back into the culvs and generally win. The reason for that is that the Culverin player cannot mass them up, due to the fact that they are way to expensive for anything than destroying siege. If culvs could deal some damage to building, it would be nice, but I still prefer that they have their setup time heavily diminished, or even removed, so they can be microed, at the very least. Besides, against Springalds… it’s just sad. I know that culvs are more population efficient, but even at max range they usually kill one springald… and die to the other 3-5 of them (specially due to springald range, actually). So this is the thing, increase Culv bonus damage against siege, being only clocktower bombards the one to survive it’s shot, and reduce/remove its setup time, paired with reduction in springald range. There you go, these bois can work, now. And it will pump Abbassids win rate up, too!
And about some techs:
Improved Roller Shutter-Triggers and Improved Siege Engineering: I know mongols learned a lot by integrating other cultures they conquered, but game-wise long range springalds is a Rus thing, while building stuff in the field is an Abbassid thing. Yes, I understand the thing about cultural exchanges and whatnot, but I repeat: that’s a lot going for this civ. Let them have other advantages, regarding their units, but it’s weird that they have the Traction Trebuchet, due to having “weaker siege” or something, but being able to have those springalds and build stuff on the field like that. It just doesn’t feel right.
And I think that’s it! Did I forget something?
EDIT: I forgot the Ribauldequin!! Oh lord. it’s been days since I created this topic and I just remembered this poor siege piece now. Well… It’s a very nice unit, but it’s range it’s usually it’s downfall. It needs a very strong frontline to shield it. Well… I think that reducing it’s cost can be nice, because is a unit with a high chance of just dying.