Basically, there’s a large lists of Civilisations that almost never used horse archers, or expressed their surprise, difficulty and frustration when dealing with enemies that used them (eg. Crusades, the Romans, etc.)
Further, for these Civilisations the CA is either nigh-useless or never used in their build orders anyway.
So for the follow Civs CA should be removed from the tech tree. It would make Civs having acess cavalry archers feel more ‘flavourful’, even ones with very average ones like Armenians, Byzantines, Goths or Slavs.
CIVS TO REMOVE CA FROM TECH TREE:
REPLACE CA WITH ELEPHANT ARCHER
Pretty much none of these civs use CA competitively anyway, so game balance wise the change would be minimal.
I think skilled players (not just DauT) should be using cav archers more. Either to scout (when you already have archer upgrades), or for small or medium engagements, like harassing woodlines. Or bring one or two cav archers along when you try to break through walls, to make it just a bit harder to wall behind.
Higher skillcap than if they weren’t available at all.
I like the general idea and agree. Maybe the civs must be think like pyramids: the regional common features, and then some uniqueness. It adds a layer to the common base from which civs are built on, and will give more flavour.
It should be a relatively weak only situationally useful unit.
Not a single Western European civilisation has Parthian Tactics anyway.
+4 vs. Cavalry
This would make them situationally useful against cavalry but not overpowered in anyway.
Introducing any change to any civilisation always needs to consider balance though.
Alternatively the unit could also have different costs too.
I think regional units are one of the coolest concepts of AoE2.
It also makes different civilisations from one region feel like they are actually from the same region.
If you ignore the different architectures you couldn’t really tell if the Koreans or the Franks are neighbours of the Italians.
Nothing in their civilisation design makes them “feel” as if they are from the same geographic region.
The Korean tech tree is probably even closer to the Italian once since they are both Naval+Archer civilisations.
The Paladin is the only European “regional unit” and it’s only since it got removed from the Persians and only if you consider the Cumans and Huns European.
Let’s make a statistic.
Civilisations with real regional units
Aztecs (Eagle Warrior)
Cumans (Steppe Lancer)
Incans (Eagle Warrior)
Mayans (Eagle Warrior)
Mongols (Steppe Lancer)
Tatars (Steppe Lancer)
Civilisations with “partner” units/buildings
Georgians (Fortified Church and Mule Cart)
Poles and Lithuanians (Winged Hussar)
Civilisations with only Camels
Civilisations with only Paladin
Civilisations without regional unit
The Europeans have less regional units then other civilisations. Regional units currently kinda serve the purpose of making none European armies like less European.
There are only two none European civilisation in the list of civilisations with absolutely no regional unit, both of them also happen to be neighbours.
Now the only overlap between Camels and Paladin are the Cumans, that don’t even have Heavy Camel Riders.
The most common real regional units are Elephants.
(I combined all 3 Elephant units for simplicity)
A new Wester European regional units plus an East Asian one could give almost every civilisation some kind of regional unit.
Only Slavs and Vikings are outliers.
By the way, I also suggest to remove native American civs’ arbalisters and any upgraded siege machines , SE Asian (except for VN) civs’ cavalries and heavy CAs, but add imperial skrimishers to them.
Burmese actually had EAs in history, they also used javelins on the warelephants.In fact, as a weapon used on the warelephant, bow is better than sth like sword or spear , as elephant is taller than horse, the archer could get better sight and longer range on it while any arm like sword or spear is a little short for elephant’s size and close combat may make warelephant lost in control more easily than shooting with the enemy by bow or javelin.
The game’s core identity is built around European / middle eastern warfare from roughly 1000 AD to 1400 (high to late middle ages). Apart from some exceptions all units fall into that category and the rest is just regional, not only in a geographic sense but also timeframe wise. For example late antiquity / dark age civs get dromons because the game’s core unit design is beyond year 1000 like meso civs get eagle warriors because of their geography which is peripheral and out of the main scope of the game. Very little stuff for mesoamerica and not much campaigns set before 1000.
Further dlcs have constantly been expanding the game’s scope but retaining the medieval European core which in a sense will always be there unless you just want to make a basically different game but I think it should be amended over time because the more the game goes on the more the core starts to contradict new additions (one of most popular examples being unique castles).
The conclusion is basically things we already said over and over like regional skins, units, buildings, techs… In a word differentiation to the point where even Europe will be just a region among others (you won’t probably ever reach that point but let’s say as a “guiding star”). But this is just a matter of Devs wanting or not to acknowledge these discrepancies and doing something about that since I think the road has already been taken one way or another with regional specific ##############
For example Indian civs used heavy cavalry I guess but instead of taking advantage of the occasion you really want to make yet another cavalier civ (there’s an Indian hero with a cavalier model already and it’s so jarring to see)? That’s already laughable for late antiquity civs but it depends on how much Devs still feel invested in this game… Regional skins and names would be the bare minimum at this point while one could argue for heavy cavalry filling slightly different roles in different regions even if that’s more of a chore to balance.
Then there are people saying that all pre gunpowder civs should get dromons, like cumans or Aztecs… I guess it depends on the intention you attribute to the addition of dromons, either strictly as a Mediterranean regional unit or as a more broad cannon galleon reskin. To me it seems more the former since otherwise something more generic and similar to a cannon like a catapult ship would have been added instead. Also adding dromons as a semi generic cannon galleon replacement kinda feels like taking a step back from where the game is aiming to, where the aim is as I said to increase variety, and revert to the abstract “everyone uses European galleons” of the original core design.
If your answer to this is “but without giving them galleons or advanced siege and other Euro units certain meso or south African or Polynesian civs will never be powerful enough in a battle against Europeans” then you’re basically saying these civs don’t belong to the game which is kinda true if you stick to the core 99 formula (not even Romans or goths would fit) but if you’re consistent with your desire to add to the game more non euro civs then it’s kinda pointless to give them late medieval euro units (like Goths getting hand cannons) just to make them fit. Feels like modern colonialism or hyper rationalism if anything lol.
Of course we shouldn’t kid ourselves, it’s true that Oceanian or dark age civs couldn’t compete with a full fledged European army of the mid 16th century since expeditions of hundreds of men were often enough to put empires and kingdoms to an end but I’m sure there’s still a way to include them and depict them fighting roughly on equal terms realistically, even without resorting to give them euro units.
For example making use of the scenario editor canoa… Idk make it a trash ship or a regional unit instead of fire ships or galleons for certain civs? Very economic and weak but fast and annoying. The good thing about a videogame is that numbers don’t need that much realism so you could make a canoa have more attack than a galleon if you’re really desperate to find a balance. You need more creativity for designing civs outside the game’s main scope but it could very rewarding in the end, at least more than to have Mayan galleons lol.