Indian pierce armour bonus

I’m making this thread because I would like to ask for a bit of clarity:
Is the Indian pierce armour bonus strong? If so, how? Is it weak; does it need to be buffed?

I do not have a lot of experience playing as the Indians, so my knowledge is sparse, but I’ve always been somewhat confused by this bonus.
The way I see it, is it makes their Light Cavalry & Camels excellent versus archers in Castle, but it falls off in Imperial due to it replacing Plate Barding Armour, thus effectively giving their cavalry -1 melee armour.

I have not heard much discussion on this bonus lately, so I’d like to sate my curiosity here.

1 Like

It’s a pretty good bonus. You can deal very effectively with archers in Castle Age, as you’ve already stated and because of the Indian economy you should be able to hit Imperial Age faster than your opponent.

The extra pierce armor is especially great against archer civs because you can engange in early Imp where you have instant +4 on your light cav while your opponent is still on the way up. In late Imp the bonus falls off slightly because of the 1 missing melee armor, but frankly that is such a minor problem when your economy carries you through big time. (also in Hussar wars you still have camels and melee armor doesn’t matter vs halbs) :slight_smile:
Treat Indians like Byzantines and you have an amazing civ on your hands! :slight_smile:


Imo it’s the most underrated military bonus in the game. It’s actually insane how your light cav counter archers and cav archers once you have +2 armor.

This bonus isnt super easy to play as in early castle you still might lack the numbers or upgrades to fight xbows but at some point you basically force your opponent to make different units than archers which is huge vs archer civs

In imp it’s nice because you save research time and cost for plate barding although the advantage from that obviously is way smaller than extra armor in castle age. And yes you effectively lack one melee armor but that’s not too important.


People overrate this bonus by a lot, isn’t really that amazing because even with the extra PA camels still suck vs crossbows due to the way less attack, as for light cavalry, I would rather play Turks (which get free LC upgrqde and free extra PA), in Imp is just generic PA while less MA, so basically, a poorly designed bonus for a poorly designed civ.


However, Turks don’t have good eco to produce mass Light cav in castle age, and Indians can produce with their insane eco. Turks are much stronger in imp for sure, but you cannot underestimate Indians in castle age.

I still think that is so weirdly designed bonus to drop their PA of camel in imp and keeping castle age +1PA camel at the same time, (and also keeping their light cav line competitive). That bonus was designed because people falsely claimed that they are weak in 1v1.

I would rather completely remove that bonus and giving plate barding armor again for Indians. That is overall nerf in 1v1, but I think that is acceptable due to the fact that their winrate in Arabia is one of the top and frequently picked in last Arabia tournament. Maybe some compensation can be given to buff their HC.


Meh. I think the civ is pretty well designed balance wise. Maybe the “Indians” label isn’t as fitting for the tech tree and all, but the civ is among the top 5 civs in the game. They are drafted in every tournament, Turks aren’t.


THeres other stuff in civ design beyond balance

there are 2 civs with which full Light Cav in Castle Age is a viable tactic, and those are Indians and Turks. Interestingly, both have above average Light Cav to vompensate for their lack of some key Castle Age units (Pikeman and E.Skirms for Turks, and Knights for Indians).

Both bonuses are pretty strong. The -1 melee armor in late game doesn’t hold back Indians much, because Hussar is a raiding unit and although I’m sure you can find a SotL video explaining how 1 extra melee armor matters, in general you should not be seeking Hussar vs Hussar mass battles as Indians.

In general, Indians are a mid tier civ, with a few clear weaknesses (notably Halberdier and Siege are strong civ killers), but they arw one of the more well-designed civs in the game with clear power spikes without being oppressive.

1 Like

The bonus is balanced, but it is pretty clear it’s a big bandaid fix because the devs were starting to run out of ideas to balance the civ, so many people don’t like the bonus for this reason (and the overlap with Tatars and Turks). But at least it wasn’t a straight nerf and the civ is playable just fine.

honestly i would rather have a flat and simple +1PA for camels and light cav in castle age and full upgrade for blacksmith but it overlaps a bit with turks. still, it’s not like 1 PA is going to make your camels knights replacement in castle age so i do no see it as a huge bonus even in that stage of the game

They took plate barding from indians for a reason. Their camels were insane in team games


“Turks don’t have good eco”


Queues up as Turks, builds a market and puts 20 on gold


how can just 1 PA more than base camel suddenly make them insane? it’s just 1 PA. stronger, yes, but insane seems like an overstatement, since imperial camel rider with 4 total or 5 total PA is hardly going to make them steamroll everything considering a regular cavalier FU has 6

ranges would still be quite effective and they would still be countered by the same things

I mean, 1 PA difference is very important, depending on the breakpoints. Can be the difference of being one-shot by a mass of Crossbows/Arbalests vs not, and that difference is very meaningful.

Same way why Obuch paired with ranged units is so strong, removing one PA can already mean basically a 30% increase in damage.


Because camels already shredded paladins hard. That 1 pa meant another 20% survival against archers. Keep in mind camels moce faster, train faster, and are cheaper then cavalier too boot.

1 Like

Malians Camels is bettter than Imperial Camel, isn’t it. +1 more attack, +1 melee armor in exchange for +20 hp and +4 vs buildings. Imperial Camel is slightly stronger tha Malians Camel overall, however, Malians Camel doesn’t need 1200f 600g Imperial Camel upgrade which make Malians Camel better than Imperial Camel.

Malian Camels do need Plate Barding Armour & Farimba to catch up with Indian Camels, however, which equal 1,000f 600g. It’s not as much as Imperial Camel + Blast Furnace, but Malian Camels aren’t too far behind in the investment department.


Another advantage of Farimba is that it strengthen Cavalier and Light Cav as well. It also has timing advantage. Imperial Camel upgrade time is 125 seconds and it is a lot of time.

Dont forget Indian camels train faster. That definitely helps.

But my comparison esrlier was abour why they got nerfed.

1 Like

I didn’t know that. I have checked now, Imperial Camel is produced in 20 seconds while heavy camel is 22 seconds. It is unimportant bonus.