I feel like HRE stops being a unique civ as soon as you hit imperial. You wanna get imperial to catch up in vil count and for elite upgrades. You can usually do so earlier than the opponent. But what then…?
With the recent Meinwerk change, HRE does not have a single unique upgrade in age IV. There simply is nothing. The lategame army is weak, expensive and doesn’t do anything compared to other armies. Every other civ has lategame scaleability, HRE only has discounted bombard towers, which were nerfed with the latest patch, and culverins (as do three other civs). The bombard tower nerf is mainly a HRE and ####### nerf, because HRE and Mongols were the only civs that actually spammed them. Mongols for the lack of keeps and to get yam, HRE because their army is just trash.
I just don’t get it. How can this be fine? How are you supposed to win longer games, when your army just doesn’t cut it? The eco is good, yeah, but Aachen for example also makes the army worse. And other civs also have great or even better lategame eco (Abbasids, China, English, even Rus with the right bounty and cabin setup) or discounts on strong units (French, Ottos, Rus again (Streltsy). Or they have a much stronger trade or outright superior units or mechanics (Mongols, Malians, English Network, Delhi (Elephants, 20% attackspeed on all inf)).
What does HRE have? MAA that are good, but not that good to make a lategame difference. Boot camp Abbasid infantry is much better in lategame than HRE infantry. MAA are one of the worst late game units anyway. Then they got 10% speed for inf, which is nice, but nothing that stands out or is unique. Other civs with speed bonus even have 15%. Landsknechte? The least cost efficient unit in the game. They just die in lategame, while not even getting close to a bearable ROI (all you need is a staggered formation or a lil bit of kiting to counter them). Meinwerk cav, which is nice, but nothing that wins you games in late + it makes your eco much worse. And then there is the probably worst mechanic when it comes to unit buffs: Inspired Warriors, which is just unusable in lategame, when you constantly produce and fight. Prelates just don’t inspire well enough and do not even work in fight. The fact that healing inspires units is also very much useless in lategame. There is just nothing. Not a single unique age IV strength. And I am waiting for something like that since release and frankly I am tired of it.
Every civ is getting nice things, new mechanics, units, buffs, but HRE is kept boring and lackluster just because they have Aachen, the stupid Burgrave and Swabia. Things that are either overtuned or outright oversold, since they only exist to balance out HRE weaknesses.
If you compare the armies and the unique boni of the civs, HRE is dead last. It’s my by far favorite civ, but it’s so frustrating to always see your army being chanceless compared to others. You can’t win vs Network, you can’t win vs Chinese, you can’t win vs Ottos, you are inferior to French, Rus… Everybody. It just sucks.
I’ve said it often and continue to do so. HRE lacks depth, lategame scaleability and a good unit comp. Stomping opponents with an overtuned Burgrave is stupid, not a sign of the civ being good. And the higher you get, the worse Burgrave gets as well, because people learn how to react to it. And Regnitz is nothing but a shadow of its former glory.
Don’t get me wrong. HRE is more or less fine in Feudal and Castle. But as soon as it goes into an extended imperial, the civ just stops working. You can stil win games, but the manner in which you do so is by spamming bombard towers, culverins and raiding the oppo eco. You cannot win with your army. Every other civ can, even Malians, but not HRE. Because there is not a single thing in age IV that gives them an edge or makes them interesting to play or poses a menace to the opponent.
Yes, this is kind of a ranty post, but the rant has substance. Everybody that is able to compare the tech trees and civ strenghts has to see that. The HRE as a civ has so much more to offer, but the resemblance in game is just pathetic in comparison. Every patch I get my hopes up, only to find them shattered. What baffles me the most: Already strong lategame civs become even stronger with the newest patches. I just don’t get it.