Is anyone aware of how bad Korean cavalry is?

When I watched a video by MikeEmpires on a bunch of Korean hussars versus Teutonic scouts, I was shocked by the results. Teutons win that fight somehow. This got me really thinking about why that would happen. Koreans might have the worst stats on their cavalry of any civilization if you think about it: no bloodlines, final armor upgrade, or blast furnace, and is the only civ that can say that. Therefore, Korean hussars have the same attack as the scouts at 9, only 10 more HP, and 3 less melee armor.

This of course, got me thinking some more. I thought “If all civs could have paladins, who would have the worst?”. My ultimate conclusion came from testing. That conclusion is: Meso civs and Koreans are tied for the worst (in melee), because I tested some fights and it was a tossup. Malay are 2nd worst due to missing bloodlines and 2 armor upgrades, but they aren’t the worst because the Meso civs lack that first armor. The 3rd worst is any civ that lacks bloodlines and the final armor, but gets blast furnace (this one is largely dependent on the situation, as archers will shred them, but they aren’t as bad as the 4th one in melee for a reason I will cover). 4th is any civ that has no bloodlines or blast furnace, but gets the final armor. Blast furnace gives +2 attack, but the final armor give only 1 armor to counter that, so these guys are worse in melee than #3. Finally, the 5th is any civ that lacks the final armor, but gets bloodlines and blast furnace (once again I will say that this depends on the situation, but I consider archers a bigger danger in imp than other paladins if you are missing the final armor, and archers are quite common so I consider these worse than if you are missing blast furnace).

As Koreans main… Yeah I know how bad they are :smiley:
What doesn’t mean you should never make them :wink:


Not really. When you test to see what is the worst, you test to see what they are the worst at what they’re meant to be doing, not who’s the worst fighting each other

The worst paladins will be the ones that can’t do the job they’re meant to do

Mangudai lose cost effectively Vs Tatar HCA, that doesn’t mean mangudai are worse than them. They’re still by far the best CA in the game because they’re the best at doing everything else.

Malian champs will lose to generic champs, nevermind any infantry civs champs, yet Malian champs are the most usable in the entire game in the most situations


Uh Oh.

I don’t think these kind of comparisons are very meaningful outside of the context of the civ’s other advantages. For all their weaknesses, Korean stables are far more useful than Dravidian.

But yeah, most people realize that the Korean stable is pretty bad, and that hypothetical American paladins will be the worst, lacking all cavalry techs.


I’m comparing stats, not how many stable units they have.

Koreans and Mayans have no bonuses or anything special at all that would help paladins in almost any way, and besides, they both do the worst at what they are supposed to be good at. I also realized that it would be unfair to say Koreans were tied with Mayans for worst because they have more PA, so I corrected it to clarify that I mean in melee.

Completely agree with the post. Koreans “secretly” have one of the worst stable in the game…
And no apparent “compensation” unit for that (Eagle for Meso civs, Cheap Elephant for Malays etc.) WW can be only Koreans unit which is somewhat tanky and some players keep insisting to nerf WW more…

Feels bad for Forgotten Empires that they take out 1 extra range of Onager, nerf Tower rush of them and only minimal wood discount for compensation (they get buffed for getting free archer armor but still mediocre state I think).

Not really “by far” the best. Tatars/Turks/Magyars CAs are better than Mangudai vs anything ranged unit with more Pierce armor. Mangudai is better against melee unit and seige.

A very poorly kept “secret,” since nobody is surprised to hear that Koreans have weak cavalry.

Because their light cav line is weak, but still fills the role of a raiding unit. And their siege (BBC, SO) is good at dealing with other civs’s Siege. And they’re more of a deathball civ than a raiding civ. Compare this to Dravidians, who until the upcoming buff have neither a strong raiding unit, nor an answer to siege.

Every civ has some tech weakness, doesn’t mean they all need more “compensation” than they have now. Could Koreans use some kind of general buff? Probably, but that doesn’t really seem to be the thesis of this thread.


I’ve never seen Koreans use Hussars and Cavaliers. Never.

Since this civilization is widely believed to need to be buffed, why not give them a more useful stable?
It doesn’t have to be fully upgraded. It’s enough to make their cavalry as good as the Japanese ones. No Hussars but Bloodlines and Blast Furnace.

Regarding the problem of too little wood discount, someone has put forward an idea before, that is, let the wood discount be a fixed number. For example, -10 wood for land units and -20 wood for ships. This allows all units (including siege weapons) to be benefited from the bonus (which like the Portuguese gold discount), while the original cost of WWs and Turtle Ships need to be adjusted as the change.

Congratulations? Obviously not their most common unit, but they’re not exactly Bigfoot either, especially in longer games when its worth throwing down stables to raid and use your excess food. Like I said, Koreans are more of a deathball civ than a raiding civ, and their stable is still more useful overall than Dravidians.’

Those are 2 major buffs that will give them FU infantry as well as fully viable knight play in Castle Age. Giving them Bloodlines is more than enough.

That sounds reasonable. I would try that first, and then see if they need further buffs (e.g. Stable techs).

Even in the late game with too much food, I’ve never seen anyone use hussars, which is why I say I’ve never seen them. From my experience, people would rather train large numbers of Halberdiers and Elite Skirmishers, even their Halberdiers still lack Blast Furnace.

The fact that their cavalry is better than the Dravidians does not mean that their cavalry is useful, nor does it mean that it is a mistake to make their cavalry better.

Even having both of these would not break the balance.
Except for Halberdiers, their infantry and cavalry did not receive any bonuses. Also, the most important thing for Halberdiers is the attack bonus rather than Blast Furnace.

Perhaps not, but at that point it seems the argument has shifted to giving them BF just because doing so wouldn’t break them, rather than targeting any specific need (like how Dravidians either specifically needed better cav or BBC to deal with siege, and they’re getting BBC). There are easily a dozen or so mid-low tier civs that could be given additional techs without making them OP, but that’s not a very compelling reason to give them those techs in preference to any other kind of buff.

But I’m sympathetic to the Bloodlines suggestion so that Koreans aren’t overpaying for 15 HP on light cav, and that alone would probably improve their winrates, but beyond that I’d prefer improving their civ bonuses over giving them more generic techs.

The specific need is to make their cavalry decent enough to be used in the game, no longer a mere existence in the tech tree. Even Japanese Light Cavalries are likely to be seen in the late game, but few would want to use such fragile Korean Hussars to raid.

If you don’t want their Blast Furnace, then Plate Barding Armor is a must, otherwise the cavalry are still not decent enough. Whether it is Blast Furnace or Plate Barding Armor, because they also gain Bloodlines, it is necessary to abandon the Hussar upgrade.

The Koreans already have good archers, siege weapons, defensive buildings and ships, except for making these more better by adjusting the wood discount, maybe all they lack is decent cavalry.

I meant more in the sense of being able to respond well to certain enemy compositions that they currently cannot, otherwise the same need can be said to exist for any civ with a significant tech weakness. This would include Dravidians and Viking stables, Spanish/Bulgarian Archerline, all of the Burmese Archery Range, and arguably Gurjara/Turk spearline and Tatar Barracks. Having bad tech in one area and strengths in another is a part of what makes civs unique.

I don’t think this is necessary, but I like it better than giving them blast furnace since that is more of a focused solution. Still, definitely open to it as long as many of the other weak civs also get some buffs.

Better cavalry means better handling of siege weapons and large numbers of Elite Skirmishers in the late game, and better raiding of opponent bases. If something like this interpretation is what you want.

Sometimes they have flaws to reflect their historical military culture. Sometimes they have flaws because their other dimensions are good enough that this shortcoming must be maintained or the balance will be broken.

Anyway, I don’t feel that the Korean cavalry belongs to these. In terms of reflecting history, they are not suitable to have Hussars that even the Chinese do not have, and they should not have cavalry worse than the Japanes ones. In terms of balance, their advantages such as archers are not strong enough to have to make cavalry weaker than historically.

  • People are aware that Korean are bottom 6 stables in the game, along with incas, aztecs, mayans, Vkings and argubly malays.
  • People don’t expect every civ to begood in every departement
  • Korean stable units can still be used
  • If you find koreans too bad for you, play other civs and let people who enjoy playing koreans play them

S-tier 1v1 tournament between 2 of the best players in the world where korean hussars waa the game winnin move:

I also remember a recent 1v1 tourbament game where Koreans made cavaliers and it worked, maybe hera or daut.

Anyways, it is clearly not going to be the default strategy, but it can be used from time to time, and works out if the opponent does not expect it.


I think it’s pretty well known that Korean cavalry is bad, even outside of implausible MikeEmpires video situations. The obvious “fix” (if it needs fixing) is to give them Bloodlines, but I’m apprehensive about that for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, Bloodlines affects War Wagons (you can test it with full tech tree), so it would inevitably come with an HP reduction for them to avoid buffing them as well as other cavalry units.

Secondly, Koreans have had many changes over the years. Most of those changes were nerfs, and most of them weakened the civ’s identity somewhat. (The only change that enhanced their identity was the addition of free Archer armour upgrades.) Based on the August PUP patch, they’re due even more nerfs, despite generally underperforming. I do think they need a buff, but I’d rather they get one that enhances their identity rather than dilutes it.


You know what’s even better? Remove the Knight line entirely for East Asian civs and replace it with a unit called the Flail Rider. Cavalry using flail was quite common in medieval East Asia and was used by Tanguts, Jurchens, Chinese, Koreans, Mongols, and possibly Vietnamese.

We could make this unit a bit weaker than a standard knight, let’s say 90 HP and 9 melee attack (a knight has 100 HP and 10 melee). To compensate, we could give this unit +2 vs infantry or +2 vs spearman.

All East Asian civs would have access to the Flail Rider and its upgrade the Elite Flail Rider, but only the Jurchens would have access to the Imperial Flail Rider upgrade, which is more or less equivalent to an eastern version of Paladin.


You rarely take engagements against ranged units with CA without some sort of meatshield in lategame


I don’t know if Koreans need a buff, the free archer armor upgrades was a big buff to them, and they are not that bad in general. Maybe giving them bloodlines would be helpful, their CA play will become much better especially with the free armor upgrades and will give them mobility, but at the same time their wagons should lose 20hp since wagons have CA class. And what about making the wood discount include siege units?

But at the same time, if the got any of those buffs (bloodlines or siege wood discount) I think they should lose the free armor upgrades, so I don’t know, maybe just keep them as they are, they are not that bad in general.