Medical Corps Test Results

I was curious how much Medical Corps effects the performance of Dravidians Battle Elephants, so I rigged up a test in the editor. I pitted 5 groups of 8 battle elephants against 12 persian knights, and tried it with each different upgrade, and then together.

The results below show the number of battle elephants left alive at the end of each of the five tests.

  • No Upgrades: -5 -5 -2 -3 -4

With no castle age upgrades, the battle elephants lost heavily against Fully Upgraded persian castle age knights, with between 5 and 2 enemy knights remaining. Not entirely surprising, considering these were completely unimproved battle elephants. I won’t record the number of knights remaining for further tests, I just thought it was important to show that it was a pretty major defeat here.

  • Armor Upgrade: 2 3 3 3 1

With just the castle age cavalry armor upgrade, the battle elephants now won, though by a relatively fine margin.

  • Damage Upgrade: 2 2 2 0 3

With the damage upgrade instead, they now won generally, but did lose in one case due to bad pathing. If I had to guess, higher damage tends to work better in cases of good pathing, but in cases of bad pathing tends to lead to very negative results, hence the one total loss.

  • Medical Corps Upgrade: 0 0 0 0 0

With just Medical Corps, all 5 groups lost. I didn’t count the number of knights remaining, but it is clear that getting it as your first upgrade doesn’t outweigh either of the blacksmith options.

  • Damage+Armor: 3 3 4 3 5

With both damage and armor upgrades, the battle elephants now did very well against knights, with almost half their number surviving. Dravidians Battle Elephants clearly have some decent potential in the castle age.

  • Damage+Medical Corps: 4 3 1 4 3

Again, we seem to be seeing a tendency towards bad pathing being punished, and this does not seem to perform quite as well as both blacksmith upgrades.

  • Armor+Medical Corps: 4 5 4 4 3

This seems to do a bit better than damage and medical corps, likely because they tend to multiple each other’s value. This combination seems to do roughly as well as armor plus damage.

  • Damage+Armor+Medical Corps: 7 6 5 6 5

Finally, taking all of them together sometimes results in the death of only a single battle elephant, and does seem to create a fairly significant difference. It seems likely that keeping even one unit alive a bit longer can quickly cause the enemy to become outnumbered and turn a minor victory into a major victory.

I think this shows fairly accurately how players can expect Medical Corps to impact their strategy. While it definitely shouldn’t be prioritized before armor upgrades, it can nonetheless make a significant difference even in relatively small numbers of elephants.

Lastly, just out of curiosity, I added one more battle elephant(Making the fight equal in terms of cost), and tested fully upgraded dravidian battle elephants against fully upgraded persian paladins. The fights were surprisingly even, with the battle elephants winning in 2 cases with 2 and 2 elephants left, and the paladins winning in 3 cases, with 3, 2, and 3 paladins left. In ten tests, the battle elephants won about half the time, which is surprisingly good considering they are lacking both the elite upgrade AND the final armor tech. Really shows the power of Wootz Steel; a tech which, notably, costs less than the elite battle elephant upgrade.


The fact that Dravidians miss basically every upgrade means they’re basically never going to go Battle Elephant anyway. The real test you probably should’ve done was for Elephant Archers, which actually are useful.


Very nice tests. If I may suggest a few things. Firstly, it would be better to just show the average, if there are no extreme cases.

So here, Damage+Armour, without Medical Corps, an average of 3.6 elephants survive. With Medical Corps+Damage+Armour, The average is 5.8. Now, I am surprised that it is this effective, and pathing might be playing a big role here.

Secondly, it would be useful to know how long the fights lasted, specifically for this tech. I suspect that it shouldn’t be over 1.5-2 mins. That is maybe 50 HP. The exact number, however, could give us a bit more perspective.

Lastly, it would be good to include the total resource cost of elephants and knights, and clarify that the knights were fully upgraded (at least, I assume that’s the case).

Now, that being said, monks will shut this down quick anyway. So, this is not that useful in an actual game.


I also think the test should be repeated on Elephant Archers (could perhaps also expand the test onto different units, I propose Knights, Archers, Skirmishers as the main three), since realistically you’re never going to do Battle Elephants, especially if you ‘have to’ get a Castle to actually make them useful.

But even then, I don’t view Medical Corps as a tech useful in battle, unless you’re against very low but passive damage (f.e. lategame fights against Archers or Skirms, but even then it’s less likely to have the enemy just patrol in few archers and not micro them). In my opinion, the tech is moreso meant as a post-combat tech that heals your units slowly up during times where they’re not under attack.

Or maybe if they were under TC/Tower/Castle fire? Medical Corps, the potential Dravidian raiding tech they need?! 11

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To me, this says their battle elephants could be a surprisingly powerful tool that others might not expect. While they lack Husbandry and Bloodlines, they make up the difference with medical corps, which gives similar value to bloodlines within a single fight, and more than that between fights.

And they won’t be entirely wasted on transition to Imperial age either, since wootz steel offers some significant value at a lower cost than the elite upgrade, and which transfers to your infantry as well. Going Battle Elephants allows a player to freely choose whether to swap to archers or infantry as the situation demands.

The fights lasted about 45 seconds on average. I think roughly equating it to bloodlines is a reasonable ballpark estimate, regenerating about 20hp per fight. At a cost of 2x bloodlines, I think that spending 150f and 100g might be a reasonable price to pay for the healing between fights.

Unfortunately testing archers is a lot more random and not as consistent or useful compared to melee fights. I might run a couple to see how it goes, but in my experience editor testing isn’t as useful.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to make tests that mean much when it comes to archer units, since patrolling archers into each other doesn’t have much to do with real-game conditions.

Just now I tried a few times, and against skirmishers it was pretty one sided no matter what upgrades were used, unless they were completely outnumbered. Against Arbalesters it was also one-sided, but in the opposite way, with the elephant archers largely being dominant. In pure archer vs archer battles, I think there are too many variables to really consider any one test very valid. For example, if your enemy has 20 arbalests, they’ll be dealing 60 damage per shot, and medical corps will likely let them survive one additional focus fire shot, which would be like boosting their HP by 25%. But if they have 21 arbalests, medical corps won’t make much difference.

Against melee units, however, the testing was somewhat more meaningful. I had to use 10 knights against 11 elephant archers to get a meaningful test.

With no upgrades, EAs all died. With just damage/range, they all died. With just armor, they all died. With damage/range and thumb ring, they won with an average of 4 survivors. With Thumb Ring, Bodkin, and Armor, they won with an average of 5.8 survivors. With Thumb Ring, Bodkin, and Medical Corps, they won with an average of 5 survivors. With all, they won with an average of 6.33 survivors.


Brought to you by Researchers at the MikeEmpires Academy of Hyper-Hypothetical Scenarios.

Guess I don’t see the point of these tests beyond a bit of trivia. Definitely agree that Medical Corps’ impact on EAs is much more relevant, although harder to convey comprehensively.

You can say that anything is good in a “surprise situation” because that implies the enemy has not scouted you or prepared any units that are strong against your “surprise.” The economics and logistical constraints of using Dravidian battle elephants make them uniquely bad at making appearances that are either surprising or powerful. Dravidian BEs are okay at pushing away full skirm, and that’s about it. Any other unit or mixed comp can easily destroy or avoid them.

Problem is, baseline (i.e. generic) BEs are just not a good unit in 1v1s. So having a UT that roughly approximates to making up for one of the key missing techs, while still missing other key techs and having no relevant eco bonus, is nowhere near enough to make Drav BEs worth it.

I don’t see the logic connecting these parts. Biggest offending word is “allows,” when making BEs as Dravidians is generally a liability, and not something that facilitates a switch to other units. Feel free to characterize your point more precisely, but to me it reads like “Executing a bad strategy gives you the freedom to later switch into a good strategy if the situation calls for it.”

Definitely agree with this though. Beyond some baseline observations, the best way to evaluate units with high micro potential is under high-micro situations.


The main goal is to get at least some idea of where it might fit in, compared to other technologies. People roughly know how armor or damage play out, because there’s lots of other armor and damage upgrades to compare and contrast with, but regeneration is much more rare, and medical corps especially is set apart by being on such a high-hp unit.

Placing it in context compared to other elephant-boosting technologies helps me better know when and when not to get it, and I figured others might be interested in the same thing.

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It would be cool if the dravidians get some anti-cav bonus for their battle eles. It will definitely increase their use while not making them overly powerful as they still die easily to halbs.