Italians Silk Road change (and possibly Pavise?)

Hi! so i really dislike Silk Road, and think is one of the worst UT in the game especially for imperial age tech standard. according to a recent poll on the forum, it has been confirmed as one of the worst by many players.

The problem being that has a little impact, forces you to wait until a certain time to start trade to get benefit and, most of all, has 0 impact in 1 vs 1.

considering devs are changing useless or team-only Techs like paper money or madrasah and othodoxy, i feel it’s time to fix silk road too.
So how could this tech be changed? i am curious to get cool opinions

i’ll start with this: Silk road changes into a team bonus. maybe lowered discount if its too much like 33% (i don’t know how this compare with others trade bonuses like spanish), then Condottiero becomes a standard UU for italians, and the new imperial UT gives Condos a unique buff for italians and makes it available at barrack for everyone else as it is now

this would also be finally a good time to add the long awaited +3 or so bonus vs eagles to condos, which they lack for no reason apparently.

this is just an idea a user suggested a while ago that i liked, but everything would be better than silk road so be creative with suggestions!

On pavise, i do not think it’s a bad tech, but it’s the only buff italians have for their archers and is worse than what vietnamese get for free from feudal age. i Think pavise should affect skirmisher as well, as it used to do. or maybe spearmen.


I shared my ideas about UT here.

About Silk Road, I would like to rename it “Merchant Republics” (or Florentine Guilds, suggested by others) to let it more Italian. And, make its current effect also benefit the allies.

To make it also useful in 1v1, perhaps it could also give the player and allies a Merchant each. The Merchant would generate gold just like a Relic so the player should protect it like protecting the King.

About Pavise, I think it is okay.
If there has to be a change, maybe GC +1/+2, archer line and Condottieri +1/+1 armor.


The merchant idea is actually brilliant and very cool and could be implemented somehow. Could also be that every market you have generates a trickle of gold, improved by each market tech you have

On pavise, what bugs me Is that is the only thing Italians have for their Archer play, and its not bad, but it’s mathematically worse than what vietnamese have for free from feudal, which also affects skirmisher and CA. So i think making it affect skirmisher as well would be fair

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The only possible problem with Pavise is the price, I’d make it 100f 200g instead of 300f 150g. I see no reason to invest this much food in a Castle Age tech, as an “Archer civ”, it’s almost half the way to Imperial in terms of food cost which is so precious.

And Silk Road alongside many Trade techs/bonuses are useless in 1v1s, that’s a whole different subject, but since Italians are well defined in Imperial, I do see any urgency to change them at this phase of the game, they have a clear identity (Arbs, Condo, Gun powder, Hussars), and fully balanced, arguably stronger than the average civ in early Imp.

So if it’s not balance nor identity/diversity, why bothering? You have SO MUCH other things to fix, one of them sits in front of you, it’s Italians early game, which is a generic boring stage for them, and quite weak comparing to the others. So before buffing civ’s late-game you better address the early game, or else you’d end up with Portuguese 2.0

Fixing italians early game has very little to do with silk Road being trash. Is Simply not fair to have a precipua UT slot wasted when It could be used to do something cool

Saracens and slavs and vietnamese where fine too, but they all got new UT, neither of which is so strong to break them, but actually much cooler and fun to play with than the previous version

I see no reason why Italians could not have a early game buff to define their Boring and weak Archer play and a usable UT in Imperial age as well. Remember “interesting”, and “fun” does not equal to “strong”. We could have a more interesting and fun UT instead of silk Road, while not being super strong to buff their late game


Huh? How is this an identity… please explain this “clear identity”

When we have actual exciting and/or clear identities like Aztecs, Mayans, gurj, Hindus, poles, Mongols, etc

What are Italians? They’re the Portuguese clone? (Which is another civ that needs spicing up) Or are they Turks without camels? No wait, they’re Spanish without conqs.

You want late game identity? Look at HC +2 range. Or the most armoured cavalry or infantry. You want tech access diversity? Look at malians or poles or Magyar. Civs that not only have access to a lot of things, but impactful exciting benefits.

As mentioned above pavise hardly makes a difference. Do you seriously even notice when you or your opponent has pavise?

“Darn it these italian xbows are so much tougher to deal with” said no one ever

"I better watch out for his condo powerspike " said no one ever

“We better take an Italian ally for the massive team bonus” said no one ever


lol ok, make them even more resilient to the 1 counter they have in the game, Skirmishers. After this buff they would take a grand total of 1 regular damage from FU skirmishers while also having +10 HP over crossbows and a big bonus vs cavalry.

I don’t get why people want to buff Italians so hard, they are an amazing water maps civ and a really good land civ with some saved resources early on and a very good late game with FU Hussar and bombard Cannons as well as excellent archers.

The only good idea I read on forums, and the only one I an in favor of for Italians, is giving them something unique in the Monastery. They are literally strong in Dark, Feudal, and Imperial Ages. Only a bit awkward in Castle age. So buffing them here, e.g. giving them a Prelate or something would make sense.

Like on open maps/Arabia I think there are only 15 ish civs at best I would rather be than Italians, they are definitely better than Celts, Bulgarians, Cumans, and a ton more.

One very simple thing would be to add a secondary effect mainly good for 1v1. For instance: +3g when selling resources. This is definitely ok in 1v1 ultra late game when gold runs out.

Pavise is ok. Even if there are definitely better UTs.

To me Italians do need an ealy game bonus. If we do not want to add something like extra archer speed or armor, an option to buff the early game of the civ is making the pavise effect a civ bonus.

Then you can give them another UT over pavise, which maybe fix the lack of halbs since GCs are pretty underwhelming unless massed.

Well, this could be easily addressed by giving them negative archer armor value like -1 or -2.
It’s hard to fine tweak regular units because they’re shared, but with UUs we have a lot of possibilities.

but I don’t see why people hate Genoese, they are a nice unit, strong vs infantry and vs cavalry, average vs archers and bad vs Skirms. Sounds like a balanced unit to me. Maybe Elite upgrade could be cheaper, maybe not (would have to see how it performs in mass battles, I suspect a small bonus makes them steamroll hard vs mass cav).

like no? how are they strong in dark or feudal? they are weak if any.

oh and their archer are weaker than many non-archer civ, and without anithing cool going for them

also, even if someone think they are ok on land because they are strong on water, one could simply nerf a bit on water and give something cool on land, since the vast majority of the real action of the game is played on land map, with arabia being the gold standard

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no one hates genoese. everyone hates genoese elitè upgrade because its the worst in the game or pretty close to that for what you pay for, and that’s it

yeah the pavise bonus is pretty unnoticeable except for condos for which 1 more armor is good of course being infantry, but they are already underwhelming as is against anithing but gunpowder, which is the smallest niche one can have in this game, besides no bonus vs eagles which does make 0 sense

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It might be something small in feudal if it becomes a civ bonus. Then the new UT could do whatever we want

How does +2 range entails more identity than cheaper hc (making hc easier to get to) or archers that counter cav?

Italians have broader tech tree than these late game. At that point I don’t think there is any civ in the game that has as much diversity as Italians. Also their late game comp (hussar, genoese, bbc) is increadibly deadly. Hard to get to on open maps but if you do get there most civs will struggle hard.

If this is your intention then I’m all for it.
You’re right, it’s an empty UT slot pretty much.

But most people ask for OP techs, that will turn Italians early-game even harder to balance. That’s why I was worried.

They have Condo which I find one of the most unique UU in the game, not because it’s gimmicky anti-Gunpowder armor/damage, but its unique nature being the only instant-Elite UU in the game. (Land)
The power-spike potential is insane when it comes to Condo, it still needs however some adjustments.

Again, I’m talking relatively, Italians are far from having a solid identity on land maps, BUT, Imp is where they have the most of it. That’s where they’re Italians. (which is also not that impressive)
So I totally agree with you about that, Mongols, Aztecs, Hindus, Teutons, Byzantines, and much more, they all have clearer identity, in fact Italians are placed in the bottom 3 in this regard.

Pavise is a weak tech, and therefore should be cheaper, much cheaper. Not every UT should be dramatic, in fact there is something really nice about affordable bonuses, especially for a civ that likes to go low-eco fast-Imp strats.

what i mentioned in the opening i think was not OP, making condos available for allies and give a unique buff for them for italians. would keep silk road concept as a TB, and would give condos a chance to get an upgrade to be decent besides super early imp (where i never see them aniway tbf)

or could simply affect more units to be at least more comparable to viet bonus. or maybe give +2/+1 armor instead, or something else. it’s already a pretty cheap tech, i would rather have it more impactful than cheaper since its the only thing italians have for their archer play. should at least be noticeable

Fair enough, maybe this will be a nice way to buff Condos, though I do think they need a passive change, the whole beauty about this concept is the fact you just need Imp and a Barracks, Stone isn’t needed in this win condition, since this civ has a cheap BBC. Not a fan of pavise here, so yeah…

This is decent, but why not just a cheaper cost, why every upgrade should lead to an impressive post-Imp strength. Italians can be played in a very minimalistic way, which is highly playable due to their lack of eco bonus.
Another thing to consider, people love to compare Genoese with Rattan, which I find odd, Genoese is much more similar to Chukonu’s conceptually, while Rattan is basically a non-Trush Genitour.
Genoese and Chukonu belong to that Ballistics-HC type, ranged units that are good pretty much against anything, just like Jannisaries, however with the benefit of ballistics potentially. Rattan is closer to CA practically. So to force Italians into this symmetry of melee-armor-Archer civ vs. pierce-armor-Archer civ is wrong both conceptually and balancely, pierce armor is far supirior, Italians deserve a different identity.

You should stop throwing the word “gimmick” around so much. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I read it, I think of some useless or joke unit/bonus, with no practical application or fun. I know that isn’t necessarily the dictionary definition, but that’s what it means to me, and whenever you say gimmick, it implies something that may not be true.


Dark + Feudal are all about uptime + initiative, as Italians you can do 19-20 pop up very comfortably which allows you to make fights happen in front of his base and not in front of your (huge deal). I don’t know why people say Italians don’t have an eco bonus, cheaper uptime literally is and in particular fast Imp with them is a big deal because you save so many resources so the Arbalest timing is even stronger, but even getting to Castle Age is far easier and you should get there 1 min sooner or so which again, keeps the momentum going in favor of the Italians or allows you to clear the archers at your base with your own Crossbows.

I mean sure if you compare them to Ethiopians Britons Vietnamese they are worse. Those are also top archer civs.

If you compare them to mid tier civs like Bengalis Incas etc no. Incas for example are technically also an “archer civ” but I’d rather be Italians and not Incas on Arabia.

Civs I’d rather be over Italians: Chinese, Aztecs, Mayans, Britons, Khmer, Burgundians, Franks, Vikings, Mongols, Gurjaras, Hindustanis, MAYBE Lithuanians (they have a rly good Dark/Feudal due to extra food but start sucking more as the game goes on).

Civs I consider roughly same tier as Italians: Huns, Poles, Byzantines, Japanese, Saracens.

Everything else I consider a worse roll than Italians on Arabia-like map.

And I mean even if you compare Italians to something like Ethiopians, sure Ethiopians have the better archers, but they also have the far worse Stable, with no usable Cavaliers and no Hussar. A big selling point of Italians on land maps is the wide tech tree, much like for Byzantines, Chinese etc.

What makes Italians nice on Arabia-like maps is that you have something “non-generic” for every age: in Dark/Feudal you have a faster uptime which allows you to have the initiative and not the opponent vs every civ except maybe Britons, Mongols, Gurjaras, Khmer and Lithuanians. In Feudal you have the faster Castle Age timing due to, again, lower resources needed which allows you to reach Castle faster, so get Crossbow faster and start booming or all-in faster (if you choose to all-in, Italians again here have something non-generic with their fast Ballistics play where you get a bonus).

In early Imp, you have Arbalest timing like every archer civ and in late Imp you have Hussar spam, Genoese etc. etc. And Bombard Cannon, even without Siege Engineers, is like the best Siege unit in the game, you get them 20% cheaper and that’s definitely nice in late Imp since Bombard Cannons aren’t the cheapest unit.

Like the fact alone that Italians have FU Hussars puts them above most Arabia civs given how good of a unit Hussar is on Arabia.

And the fact that they have 4-5 viable late game units (Genoese, cheaper Handcannoneer, Arbalest, Hussar, Bombard Cannon, Cavalier…) makes them like top 10-15 best civs army composition-wise in late Imp. Sure this is no Mongols but it’s not something sh***y like Poles, either.

because the goal of the unit is countering gunpowder, they aren’t meant to be a better Champion…

again like I said you’d have to test in mass battles how the extra bonus dmg performs vs mass cavalier or so. On paper it looks small, but in practice it might be significant.