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.
- 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.
- 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!