Improving Cumans

Cumans are my favourite civ. Recently I noticed that many players find them problematic and I agree with this sentiment. In recent polls they are voted 6th worst designed civ:

Here is a great video from youtuber Ornlu the Wolf who thinks Cumans are far from complete too:

I think general consensus is that they need major changes. So I would like to share my ideas:

  1. Removal of Paladin (doesn’t fit Cuman nomadic identity imho).
  2. Addition of Bracer.
  3. Removal of Plate Mail Armor.
  4. Cost of Kipchack is increased with +5 gold (to balance addition of bracer)
  5. Cuman Mercenaries overhaul: Team can create kiphacks in archery rangers (Including you. Kiphack training time in archery ranges increased to 23 seconds). You receive 10 gold each time allies create kipchack.
  6. Cost of Steppe Lancers is decreased with - 5 food. They get 10 hp buff (So that they could replace missing paladin for Cumans. They fit Cuman identity so using them instead of paladins would be more immersive for Cumans. It is a buff for all civs who have steppe lancers. They are still weak and need a buff).
  7. Team bonus of palisade walls hp buff is increased to 66% health bonus (33% is too weak).
    What do you think about these ideas? Would it make them too op or too weak?

Biggest problem of Cumans is their second TC which is either super strong bonus or totally useless.
Removing Paladin and last infantry armor would be really problematic for team games, without Heavy Camel and without Paladin then Cumans would die to other cavalry civs in team games, becoming just a (way) worse version of Tatars.
Steppe Lancer would need a massive buff to compete with Paladin, probably it would be better to add some “imperial” steppe lancer just for Cumans then, with buffed stats.

So you turned Cumans into a generic CA - Steppe civ, Bravo, Tatars 2.0

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It depends on how well you use 2nd TC in feudal and how your opponent reacts to it. Totally skill dependent so I think it is balanced.
As for last infantry armor, Huns don’t have it and they are fine. I think it is a price I am willing to pay for getting Bracer. Removing infantry armor to emphasize them as a cavalry civ isn’t a bad idea, right?

Just because they get Bracer and lose plate mail armor does not mean they are Tatars now. They are still played differently. Btw, they are a CA - steppe civ already and they have always meant to be it.

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Not a fan of this, because Tatar and Mongol ESL would be too good. If ESL is to be a Paladin replacement for Cumans, it has to be better than Tatar ESL.

Though I’d prefer this over the sad current state of Cuman HCA, I’m still not a fan of this because it makes civs more similar.

It used to be 50%, but apparently some people thought that was too strong.

I can appreciate this as an aim, but I don’t think it should be done. Cumans are currently slightly weak. Buffing their ELS play would turn them into an ESL civ without nerfing them. If the ‘buffed’ ESL still aren’t preferred over Paladin, the unit should be buffed further, otherwise forcing Cumans into ESL via Paladin removal will nerf the civ even below where they are now.

To try to not be 100% critical:
I agree with your (apparent) goals of making Cumans an ESL civ, improving their HCA, and replacing the Cuman Mercenaries UT with something else.

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I think 10 hp wouldn’t make a huge difference. Tatar ESL would get 10 more hp and mongol would get 13 and -5 food cost. Doesn’t seem like it would make them too good. It would make them at least playable

They are already pretty similar. As I said before it wouldn’t make them Tatars or Mongol just because of Bracer. I mean like literally all other civs that have unique ranged unit have Bracer. It doesn’t make them all same. Why can’t Cumans have it too? It is unfair.
Meso civs have very similar blacksmith upgrades yet everyone is fine with them but when Cumans get only Bracer, they are Tatars now. I really don’t get how it works…

Lol I didn’t know that. Perhaps they had too much winrate because of OP palisade walls 11

The idea is to make them Kipchack/ESL or Hussar civ. But generally all revolve around Kipchacks which in their current state are bad. I just really dislike that their only viable option right now is Paladin which is very unimmersive for Central Asian Nomadic civ.

See? I told you

Anyway, i personally think that Kipchucks with Bracers are OP, and considering the new Unique Tech would allow for:
Magyar Kipchucks with +1 range and attack
Turkish Kipchucks with +20 HP
Mongol Kipchuck with +25% attack speed
I see that this would get out of hand why too hard

I think Cumans are in a decent spot and don’t need change.

See what?

20 characters

At first glance, I almost agreed with you but on second thought Magyars, Turks and Mongols already get access for Kipchaks through Cuman Mercenaeries that are fully upgraded and with all these bonuses. Does it make them OP? Idk… Mongol Mangudai is still better. Magyar buff and Bracer aren’t so op as they seem because Kipchaks have higher chance of missing their other 2 arrows with bigger range. It is not like Kipchack are free for allies too. They are gonna be paid for. Without Bracer Kipchaks aren’t even viable for allies to hire, with it they aren’t OP at all. Slightly more range, two other arrows don’t deal much damage. As for hp, Kipchaks are already glass cannons, they have 15 less hp and 1 less PA than HCA. HCA is still much more viable alternative for Turks then you think.

Let’s summarize all arguments and critique I received so far:
1. “2nd TC is their biggest problem”.
It is skill dependent bonus so I think it is balanced. Totally depends on how well you execute it and defend yourself if you try to go for 2 TC boom in feudal.
2. "Removing Paladin and last infantry armor would be really problematic for team games"
Removing Paladin wouldn’t be problematic if slightly buffed ESL take their place as they should and Kiphacks become viable. Removing last infantry armor wouldn’t make them problematic in team games because the only unit they need in Barracks are halbs that are perfectly fine without last armor with their role of melting cavalry. Champs aren’t viable because supplies are missing.
3. "Tatar and Mongol ESL would be too good"
Ah yes 10 hp buff to Tatar lancers and 13 hp buff to Mongol lancers would make them OP (no).
4. "Addition of Bracer would make them too similar to others"
Every other civ with ranged unique unit has Bracer except Cumans. Are they too similar now?! Nonsense.
5. "Kipchaks with Bracer are OP. They would be much more OP if Turks, Magyars and Mongol get access to them"
it is not true. Kipchaks with Bracer are still weaker then HCA. They have 15 less hp, -1 PA. Less attack damage (Their other two arrows miss frequently and are countered by PA). Magyar buff would make them miss more frequently but buff their damage slightly (Their HCA are still better then Kiphacks). Mongol Mangudai are just much better hands down. Turkish HCA is better with more hp. With Turkish buff Kipchaks would just be less of a glass cannon they currently are.
Dishonorable mentions (nonsensical trolling without any meaning):
“You turned Cumans into a generic CA - Steppe civ, Bravo, Tatars 2.0!!1”
“Cumans are in a decent spot and don’t need change!1!”
Honorable mentions (actually good ideas and arguments):
“Steppe Lancer would need a massive buff to compete with Paladin, probably it would be better to add some “imperial” steppe lancer just for Cumans then, with buffed stats.”
Imperial Steppe Lancer actually seems like a good idea. But balance-wise it would be hard to implement them well without making them too powerful. Personally, I prefer simply buffing current SL and ESL without ISL. It is actually a good take though.
“If the ‘buffed’ ESL still aren’t preferred over Paladin, the unit should be buffed further, otherwise forcing Cumans into ESL via Paladin removal will nerf the civ even below where they are now.”
True. Removing Paladin without buffing ESL and Kipchaks (with addition of Bracer) would make Cumans abysmal to play.
Kinda dissaponted that half of the comments don’t have any constructive critique or ideas. Hopefully there would be more good takes.

It will take more then “slight buffs” to make the ESL replace the Paladin. you’re talking about a unit that attacks much slower and has much lower armor all around and having lower base damage and health.
the key to paladins isn’t really damage output, it’s how much they can tank.
Let’s take Arbs as an example - a Cuman Paladin can tank 60 Arb Shots. while an ESL only tanks 20. even if you adjust for gold cost and double the number of ESL to Paladins its still only 60 vs 40.

they are also cheaper, faster, and no, those extra arrows aren’t just flat countered by PA. and furthermore the Elite Version fires 3 extra arrows, not 2.

against units with high PA like the Paladin Kipchaks would be much better, which makes these a serious team game threat.

True, that’s why I propose decreasing ESL food cost by - 5 food and increasing their hp by 10.

Actually, they ARE just flat countered by PA. Each deals just 1 damage in the late game and some miss all the time.

That’s why I proposed +5 gold cost and increased training time in archery ranges with Cuman Mercenaries overhaul idea. Them being so fast is just Cuman civ bonus.

As I said they still deal just 1 damage per additional arrow to Paladins. They also would miss arrows much more frequently with such range. Thus with Bracer (and chemistry) they would deal 12 damage (13 with Recurve bow of Magyars) if all arrows hit the target which of course not gonna always happen. It is not a lot at all. Magyar HCA would deal 12 damage on a regular basis while Kipchacks would miss all the time, be less tanky, less accurate, less damagy. Of cource all damage mentioned above is negated by PA. Have it in mind. Kipchacks would just be an alternative but not a super good one.

giving them 10 more HP means they tank a whole 2 extra arrow shots. still not going to be enough to compare to paladin. like i said, if you want them to be a paladin replacement you’re going to need more then minor buffs, which then brings in concerns about tatar and mongol Steppe Lancers.

okay? so if the enemy is all bunched up (Like they routinely are in team games) thats 1 enemy getting hit for full damage, and 3 extra units around tanking extra damage each. per each kipchak. that adds up fast.

still would be cheaper.

not in team games where units are routinely all bunched up at the time paladins are out they wouldn’t miss much.

would happen more often then not.

Magyar HCA deal 12 damage before armor, a total of 5 damage to paladins after armor.
meanwhile the cheaper kipchak deals 3 + up to 3 to other units around it.

ESL are faster than Paladin, reach more and are melting low hp targets like butter. Sometimes I had more success dealing with huge deathballs of arbs with ESL than Paladin. Anyway, ESL role is dealing with infantry and raiding.10 more hp would give them some chances against knight line as well. Cumans already have Hussar spam to deal with ranged units.

It is actually worse to hit several targets at once than one especially with just 1 damage shot which is just scratching.

Harder to mass though, but yes cheaper as they should be because they are glass cannons with many disadventages.

Oh come on… Paladins wouldn’t give a damn about 1 damage arrows. To take down Paladn death ball you need to focus more on 1 or 2 targets than many.

Exactly. That’s why Kipchaks are WORSE against Paladins.

team games the only low HP units are archers, and those will wreck ESL like its nothing.

at what level? because i find this incredibly hard to believe.

and what about archers? you know? the unit that is at the core of team games? how would they fit into team games without paladins then?

not when you have a ball of 30 kipchaks its not.

and they have those disadvantages, which is why so many are against what you are proposing.

about 1 1 damage arrow? not so much. but against 30 to 40 kipchaks firing 30-40 3 damage arrows and 90 to 120 extra arrows each doing 1 extra damage? they would absolutely care

math says otherwise.

What if the second TC in feudal, instead of take more building time, it’d cost 25% more (340W 125S)?

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You really think ESL are gonna be alone in that? Did I forget to tell about Kipchaks buff and Hussar?

Ah, so you are just going to ignore that Cumans have fully upgraded Hussar that spam like goth infantry and with bracer they will have fully upgraded skirmishers. Ok good luck ignoring reality for the sake of your argument.

30 kipchaks - 90 damage, other arrows miss sometimes. They wouldn’t even oneshot Paladin. Paladins would annihalate them.

What? I am literally proposing to buff them because they are just not viable due to those disadvanteges…

Still would struggle against Paladin. HCA are better.

Nah, it is better when each shot kills a Paladin and you don’t have to waste another to kill him. Math is on my side.

Sounds pretty good! I think it would make it more balanced. I would make it 375 wood though because 340 is too low imho.

go watch some team games and tell me how often you see people fielding 3 different units on their own. is this guy a flank or pocket? because it makes no sense for him to be fielding kipchaks, hussars and ESL. furthermore if he’s fielding all 3 he’s going to get wrecked no matter what.

so you’re just going to assume all 90 other arrows miss? come on man. you’re not even being honest.

all those units? in team games? do you know what you’re talking about?

not viable? i must have missed something because Elite/Kipchaks are bloody great.

without bracer sure. witch bracer? they would wreck Paladin harder then HCA do.

you know how many HCA you need to 1 Shot a Paladin? 45. Assuming all the arrows hit the target. which isn’t a guarantee. tell me. how often do you honestly see 45 HCA on the field? and for the cost of 45 HCA, how many Kipchaks could you field?