Malta has an identity crisis

As the title says, Malta has an identity crisis–and I don’t just mean strategically. My question is: Is Malta supposed to be Malta, or are they supposed to be the Knights Hospitaller? We could argue that Malta is just a bad choice and should be Sicily, but if we’re gonna have the “Maltese” civ, why then are just the Knights Hospitallers represented? Why not the British or the French occupation as well? I don’t mean to say this just to point out that this is inconsistent with other civ designs (representing peoples, rather than groups), but to point it out to push for a more interesting Maltese civilization–and maybe even balance out their early and late game better.
Before I go into too many changes, I think we need to ask the question…what should Malta be good at? Should they boom, should they rush, or should they turtle? Now almost all the civilizations in the game have some capacity to do at least 2 of those really well; Malta’s two right now are, I would argue, a strong age 2 pike/xbow rush, and a somewhat strong German tongue sorta-boom. I would say they used to have a strong turtle, but with the nerfs to the fixed gun that is no longer true–the loss of hp and range was just too much to come back from. So where do we go from here? I would argue that just based on Maltese history, a boom/turtle civ is the correct way to go–this is due to the nature of the island as well as their connection to the farm-rich island of Sicily. Now to destroy the pike/bow rush without destroying the whole of the Maltese Age 2 army will be hard, but I have some suggestions that I think could work.

  1. The new British Tongue strategy.
    First, we will move pikemen and Sentinels to defensive buildings (outposts, forts, town centers) this will do a few things. It will allow some sort of xbow/pike rush to be possible, via the age-age2 outpost age up–but without the 400 wood age up it will be much weaker/take a bit more time to set up. I think it would also be kind of cool historically to make your sentry-type unit (pikes) and your sentinels come outpost and such. It would also push for more early outpost play, which I think fits the civilization thematically.
    Now you may be worried that Malta would be too weak to the early hand cavalry, and they wouldn’t be able to fight for map control without the pike mass, but that’s where the new British Tongue comes in…

REWORKED: British Tongue; ships 5 hussars, 10% hp and attack. Longbows are unnecessary for Malta, and this would allow Maltese hussars to better protect their Crossbows from cavalry.
You may think such a change to the British tongue feels weird–it giving you an upgrade and not even enabling a new unit–but it will fit with the rest of my changes. I will suggest changes for all the tongue cards, as I find them Simply enabling other euro units rather lazy.

  1. The better outpost strategy.
    For a start, we do the same thing as in the first suggestion–moving the pikeman and sentinel to outposts. But instead of changing the British tongue, to counter cav without making massing pikes super easy early on, we’ll instead make some changes to the Maltese outpost.

NEW: Lascaris towers (replaces inf 2 outposts [frontier defense]); ships two outposts wagons and gives outposts a greater multiplier vs cavalry.
Completing the trifecta of Wignacourt, and the De Redin Towers, the Lascaris Towers will enable you to effectively defend your crossbows with towers, taking their multiplier from 1.5 to 3–dealing a little more than double the damage they do now.

I have more ideas for changes (such as more French and British influence), but this is the start, let me know what you all think!

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Malta don’t need any drastic changes, though perhaps a combat card for tongue units would be nice so they get used, most of them are useless other than german tongue. I’d say they should revert the 2%xp penalty now that not all units receive 2% hp per shipment.

Funny thing is malta were the civ with 2nd lowest win rate in the game across elo levels before they nerfed the fixed gun and gave them xp penalty, in exchange they got +1 range on sentinels lol. Fixed gun should get +1% hp per shipment like other artillery or remove xp penalty. I’d also consider reverting the wignacourt nerf. On paper malta look great but that just doesn’t translate to wins in game.


I’d say at least age 4+ they could use some pretty drastic ones. As bad as Malta is in comp, they’re worse in late game focused game modes. Like I said this should be the Maltese, not the Knights Hostpitalers, so some British and French representation lategame would make me really happy. And getting rid of revolutions…I have no idea why they have those.

As for their nerfs, I think the reason they did that was not because they were too good (they weren’t), but because people found them “annoying” to play against.

Also, I do stand by Malta shouldn’t have such a good rush.

Fixed Guns lose the shoot when the objective die. The bullet does not show, nor make any damage. Even if the unit die, they should still put the bullet on enemy army. As a result of missed shots, the Fixed Gun is not very useful as a substitute of artillery.

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“Malta should just be Sicily” is definitely a take I didn’t expect in here, ngl.


I’ve done a lot of reading about Malta and the Knights of Saint John, and honestly, now I just think they shouldn’t be civ at all. Malta was a sublease to the knights from the Kingdom of Sicily—so if you wanted to represent Malta and the knights you could do that with a “Sicily” civ. But I’ve realized that almost the entirety of the “Maltese” civ (at least the military) is based on one siege towards the end of the 16th century, and other than that, they were pirates and then were conquered by the French and after that the British. So my argument is this, if you want to have Malta, have Malta, from the siege and the knights to the French and the British. But if you want the Knights Hospitallers then you should have the Knights Hospitallers—not this civ with silly mostly useless Tongue cards.

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For the relevant time period hospitaller identity fits them well.


It’s strange, indeed. I think that the Knights are miles away more famous than Sicily itself during the period.

The Kingdom of Naples, and later Sicily, was a political backwater at this point, a corrupt and destitute state that demonstrated all the worst aspects of feudalism. It was always governed by foreign kings, whether they were Spanish or French, who had few ties to the land and its people. The Sicilian military performed poorly in almost every major war it partook in, especially after the end of the Renaissance. They launched no overseas voyages or expeditions.

Otherwise, I want to like the Maltese civ, they should ooze coolness by evoking crusading and high seas adventure. However, just the way everything fits into the civilization, I think ruins the experience.

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Then I’d say the tongue cards should actually be good and important—the order was quite literally made up of them. As the guy in the video mentioned, after that one big siege they basically sat there and got rich until the French and then the British took them over. So while representing Malta with the knights works, although I’d say without proper tongue representation, not showing the French or British occupation feels weird to me.

Thanks for the video, I love stuff like that.

I honestly don’t know enough about Sicily that I probably shouldn’t have made that statement, but I still have to say that Malta right now is just…strange. I don’t think they did enough to be a civ, but now that they’re here I want want them to embrace some kind of identity.

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What else did you expect? This civ doesn’t deserve to be a playable civ. It deserved to be a minor civ and instead Polish civ must have been added, or Danish.


I didn’t expect much, I just want them to at least make them make some sense now that they’re here.

Apparently, there were 8 “Tongues” that made up the Knights of Saint John: Provence, Auvergne, France, Aragon, England, and Germany. I know that’s 7 but Castille and Portugal split from Aragon and became their own. The game developers got the Russian Tongue from the fact that after the Knights were kicked from Malta by Nepolean, many of them found refuge in Russia.
So, if Malta is going to be represented by the Knights, I would like to see a lot more focus, both thematically and game-wise, on these 8 Tongues+Russia (please get rid of the rockets, at least for Sentinels).
So here we go…

Germany, Age 1, 450 wood. Does the same thing it does now.

Auvergne, Age 1, 500 food. Ships one Hostpitalar and 5 semi-fattened cattle, enabling cattle to trickle coin. Unlike Italy, Malta wasn’t given anything to offset their only having 1 factory–Auvergne is known for its cattle and Dairy products, so I thought this might be interesting.

Provence, Age 2, 500 wood. Ships 5 hussars and increases their damage and hp by 10%. Why would it do this? Historically, I don’t know–I can’t find anything about them having special cav, but I can’t find them having any special other soldiers. So this would just be a nice Hussar shipment, and make late-game Maltese hussars not quite so bad.

Italy, Age 2, 500 wood. Ships 8 Pavisiers, grants Crossbows a 5% siege resist when on stagger mode.
Nice shipment, might make for some cool timings. The 5% is for flavor, not sure it will actually do a whole lot.

England, Age 3, 750 wood. Ships 15 Musketeers, grants 20% hp to sentinels but makes them 20% slower. This will allow for some fun age 3 timings and make Sentinels worth a bit more of their pop while making them slower–this is also in the context that they would lose their rocket ability.

Aragon, Age 3, 750 wood. Ships 8 Lancers, grants Hussars a 5% speed boost.
A nice shipment, for a nice little buff.

Portugal/Castille, Age 4, 1500 wood. Ships 12 Dragoons, grants them +2 range. Increases dragoon cost by 5 food and 5 coin.

France, Age 4, 1500 wood. Ships 9 Cuirassiers, reduced speed, attack speed, and damage taken nerfs for hussars when set to trample mode. Increases hussar cost by 5 food and 5 coin.

Russian Hospitality, age 4, 1000 food, wood, and coin. Ships 5 Commanderies, enables a 1-time spawn of 10 Industrial age Rekruts from each commandary.

Germans, Lakota, Indians: “First time?”


Ignore this, I was mistaken.

I agree with the British tongue change. If you get the age 3 Steel bolts your Xbow gonna be the most legit cheap strong archaic in the sup game. Also cheaper than Longbows and they dont need the discount card too.

Only good thing about Longbow is the Shadowtech and slightly longer range before steel bolts

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They still have longer range after steal bolts. But my suggestions here are that the tongue cards would be shipments of units, and give you some upgrade. None of these units would be trainable. Except the SWs and cows.

I think Malta doesn’t have an identity problem. or rather it’s fine that it does because for most of its history it was a military base for one foreign power or another or a collection of powers. That’s why all units other than settlers, fire throwers, and sentinels have voice lines of different civs.

Also the tongues unlock unique units of the seven original civs excluding ottomen, musketeers are not unique units.


I would be fine with this, except they Don’t really show this–they don’t really show the French influence when Napoleon took it over, or any influence from the British occupation–and no, being lazy and having the crossbows speak French is not a proper representation.
I wouldn’t even say that their identity problem is a problem just because it seems a good bit a-historical, but because they don’t know what they are, they’re less fun to play.
I see no reason why the tongue cards Should unlock unique units of other civs–it just seems like a lazy way to try to boost the sub-par army to which Malta has access. And it doesn’t even work because they really aren’t that good or at all necessary right now.

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