I Hear you: “Italians are pretty strong they are in no need of a buff”
I understand, if you ask me nothing is comparable to Italians on water. And on Land they have pretty good bonuses too: Cheaper advances, Genoese are like arbalests, but with bonus against cavalry, Condottieri are basically champions without needing to tech into it, gunpowder is cheaper…
But all of these bonuses really need post imp to really be effective, Condo-Genoese is a pretty beefy combo, but it requires all blacksmith tech, and in Castle Age Italias are sub par, really.
Especially againts Halberdier/Siege Ram Civs… If italians are attacked during their castle age with rams there is really nothing they can do.
I play a lot of italians (almost only them) and I find that once Rams and halbs are out, for them it’s nearly impossible to win. Their cavalry sucks in castle age and is easily countered by pikemen, if you tech into infantry to save your skin you’ll never have gold to go Imp or you’ll have no resources to tech into archery, if you have a lot of genoese (maybe some CavArch?) the Rams basically nullify them. If you manage to get to Imp, you only get Pikemen and cavalier, not nearly enough to counter Siege Rams and Halbs. Condottieri are good agains Siege Ram civs, but they come in only in Imp, when most of the damage is done, Hussars have a similar issue, and die too easily to Halbs. Bombard cannons could work with some archers, but you might as well have already lost when you get to chemistry (remember that your worst time is Castle age, where you spend like crazy to survive) All these solutions are really expensive, while rams and haberdiers are incredibly cheap for the enemy…
If you think about it then, Italians are Almost impossible to bring to victory against Goths… Their infantry will be out much earlier then your Condottieri, and stronger, they basically ignore gunpowder and genoese are a joke to them… also their infantry is stronger than Italians Cav. So Goths are basically impossible. Yes you have to catch them early, but italians aren’t really a fast civ…
So what would make this civ not superior, but at least give it a chance against Siegeram and Halbs civ?
I have 3 possible Ideas
Allow condottieri in Castle Age (I don’t really like this one, Condos are really strong and would be too OP in Castle Age, without having some sort of “non-Elité” version of them.
Give Italians Siege Rams or SO (Could work, The rams could be useful against the enemy rams with a ton of micro, using Archers for the halbs, would make defending against this composition feasible, but not easy)
Give Italians Haberdiers (This one I think would be the best. It’s not game breaking and it levels the playing field quite a bit, if you think about it, Ita Cav sucks, and their Infantry needs Post Imp to become decent, not amazing, but decent, they only have Archers before post imp. Even Britons get Halbs!!!)
If giving Halbs is too much for infantry, I think anyone would agree that Italians could renounce Champions…
I I would like to know what you guys think, right now I feel like Italians against Rams and Pikes are basically a worst version of britons…