Let's talk about Italy (again)

Make them native. To avoid clogging the shipment queue. Or their shipments should arrive like in Brazil.

Yes that’s right. Lombard is not an economic building now. It’s just a shop for buying wood for ships.

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What economic power are we talking though. Without traderoutes you are talking about a civ without 2 factories and just normal card support (beyond movement speed on still bugged farms) for gather rate.

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Their civ bonus alone carries a lot of hidden power, every tech researched basically carries another +100 res value, they basically start the game with 2 TCs. Also the fact that the architect is a free xp trickle, if Italy plays sim-city and doesn’t leave their base they have one of the most powerful booms in the game, but unlike other booms it falls off in mid-late age4. Italy is meant to hit it’s spike in the mid-game.

Ofc if you’re talking about treaty yeah they’re trash because their late game econ is garbage, but in the midgame I’d say they pull ahead of many other civs.

If they could actually… do something with that eco yeah. Most of the time the res are sunk into lombards or aging because their age 3 composition options are either garbage or outclassed. Shipment penalty and mediocre upgrade cards certainly don’t help. They can’t even upgrade their grens at the arsenal without shipping “launchers” - the whole civ is just left floundering until age 4 it seems. It feels unfinished.

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The problems with Architects and Lombards are somewhat related. Thematically Italy should just have the same Banks as the Dutch. However, that would be stealing some of the uniqueness of the Dutch and would be immediately OP alongside Architects. So that’s why we ended up with Lombards as a “bank” compromise that doesn’t quite work.

I think it would have been better to give Italy limited access to Banks via wagons obtained through cards and techs (so that they’re independent of Architects), and have a different unique building instead of Lombards. One good candidate could be the impressive Tower Houses that Italian nobles created for protection and prestige. They could be enhanced houses that can fire when garrisoned and could have techs or functions related to the merchant families that lived in them (even an investment mechanic similar to Lombards).

They were most popular a few hundred years prior to the time of AoE3, but many were still in use and being renovated at least at the start of the time period.

That is just not accurate though because a lot of techs are not worth it even with the settler and become a noob trap. NVM that the military you are backing up with that supposedly boosted eco in age 3 is basically a bad joke as dansil92 pointed out. So in essence you are then going into the 4th age, are highly vulnerable to an FF or rush and then there you still take time to do so are getting outperformed due to only 1 factory.

Congrats your eco highpoint is the point where you do not want to fight ever. Your ECO later can’t support your army ontop of said army sucking from age 3 onwards.

Or, hear me out, you allow lombards to passivly gather coin like saloons, could even lower it by 50% compared to the saloon remove the tratoria card and make improved lombards gather at the rate of a normal saloon passivly ontop of the mechanic and voila, you finally got a reason to ship said card whilest also somewhat compensating the factory and finaly allowing italy to spec into mercs.