My first ever balance suggestion on Militia line

LONG POST

Militia line is a hot topic in the community. There have been a lot of proposal on this. I suggested a lot of changes in the past but never asked one for militia line.

Now for militia line, often it is said that their biggest issue is their slow speed. Obviously there are also other factors like food intensive, expensive and time consuming to tech into and over all weaker stat.

I always found it really weird that all 3 barracks units have almost same HP. All 3 units have 45/55/60 HP in Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. Armor is a bit different. And Champion being second Imperial upgtade, have a bit more HP. Imho militia line being a “Heavy Infantry” or at least be heavier than spearman line should have better HP, not just armor.

So I observed some other slow but high HP+armor infantry units, Serjeant and Obuch, and their utility and performance. Both have same speed as Militia line and a bit more expensive in terms of cost. But both of them can be seen quite often. I think both of these units are on balanced side. Serjeant can be oppressing if the YouPudding strategy works. And Serjeant can be trained from a much cheaper building than castle. So I’ll focus on the other unit, the Obuch.

I’m really impressed by the Obuch. They are more expensive than militia line after Supplies. But they have an amazing stat of 80 HP, 2/2 armor, attack starts from 8 and increases by 1 after each attack. At release, I thought their stat were pretty OP. Instead they were balanced for the most part and only nerf was on their training time. It was the opposite all along. Almost all infantries were underpowered. This unit single handedly forced other infantry UU to be buffed and eventually addressed Gambeson for militia line. This made me thinking that expensive unit with good stat is more preferable than cheap unit with bad stat.

Of course we can’t give Obuch like stat to militia line as cost of castle is huge compared to barracks. But an FU Long Swordsman cost 425 food, 280 gold (even excluding Arson). That’s literally more expensive than a Castle! So affording LS with Gambeson is as difficult as affording a Castle. After the initial castle though, the case is different. Before DE, an FU LS used to cost 300 food, 105 gold. Maybe we can justify something in between current and pre-DE cost with improved stat on base unit.

Despite saying all of these, just straight buffing militia unit won’t be good for balance. Militia line can overwhelm others in late game as they have the fastest training time among all the generic units, as well as lowest gold cost among all gold units. On top of these, they also have attack bonus vs buildings. For these reason, I think Champion should be as rare as Paladin. So around 10 civs will have them. And only 7-8 of them will have FU.

Sorry for such a big introduction. Here is my proposal :

General

Supplies and Arson are removed.
Militia line training time is increased 21 → 25 seconds.
Gambesons cost reduced 100 food, 100 gold → 50 food, 60 gold. Gambesons now gives +1/+1 armor.

Militia

HP increased 40 → 45. (Drush has become too weak nowadays as people are very good at quick wall and saving villagers. +5HP won’t be that big of a deal.)

Man At Arms

HP increased 45 → 55. (This is the hardest part as this unit is the most balanced in the entire line. I wanted to have them +1 MA to beat Bloodline Scout but I guess that will be too powerful).

Long Swordsman

HP increased 60 → 70
Upgrade cost increased 150 food, 65 gold → 175 food, 75 gold
Upgrade time increased 40 → 45 seconds

Two Handed Swordsman

HP increased 60 → 80
Attack reduced 12 → 11
Upgrade cost 300 food, 100 gold → 350 food, 150 gold
Upgrade time reduced 60 → 50 seconds

Champion

HP increased 70 → 90
Attack bonus vs Standard Building increased 4 → 5 (Still 1 less than current as Arson is removed)
Speed increased 0.90 → 0.95
Upgrade time reduced 85 → 75 seconds
I really want 100 HP for champion for everyone like current Armenians. But with so many civ bonuses, I know that will be too powerful.

Civilization Specific Changes

Armenians
Warrior Priest HP reduced 80 → 70
Sanctity effect changed “Monks +15 HP” → “Monks +50% HP”.

Aztecs
Champion is removed from tech tree.
(Elite) Jaguar Warrior speed increased 1.00 → 1.15 (Same speed as Eagle Warrior)

Bengalis, Berbers, Bohemians, Burgundians, Celts, Chinese, Cumans, Hindustanis, Incas, Italians, Lithuanians, Magyars, Mongols, Poles, Turks
Champion is removed from tech tree.

Georgians
Gambeson and Champion are removed from tech tree.

Goths
Infantries are 20%/25%/30%/35% cheaper in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age → Infantries are 15%/20%/25%/30% cheaper in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
“Infantries +1 attack bonus vs Standard Building per age” bonus is removed.

Gurjaras, Khmer, Tatars
Two-Handed Swordsman is removed from tech tree.

Japanese
(Elite) Samurai HP increased 70 (80) → 75, 85
(Elite) Samurai now takes 3 (5) less damage from UU.
Champion is removed from tech tree.

Malians
Barracks units +1 PA per age → Barracks units +1/+2 PA in the Castle/Imperial Age.
(This will make their MAA generic. But Malians have plenty of options anyway. So it won’t be an issue).
Alternative idea - Keep the civ bonus as it is. Remove Champion but add Blast Furnace. Reduce Farimba effect from +5 attack to +3 attack.

Portuguese, Sicilians
Gambesons is removed from tech tree.

Romans
Bloodlines is removed from Tech Tree.
(Elite) Centurion HP increased 110 (155) → 125 (175)
Legionary HP increased 75 → 85
Knight line doesn’t benefit from Comitatenses UT.
(This one was the hardest to balance. They have probably the best MAA and LS in the game. Changing their infantry bonus will only make them a pure cavalry civ which they already kinda are. So I tried the other way around).

Teutons
Elite Teutonic Knight PA increased 2 → 3.

Vietnamese
Gambeson is added to tech tree.

Vikings
Champion is removed from tech tree.
(Elite) Berserk HP increased 54 (62) → 62 (70) [Due to civ bonus will be Increased 65 (74) → 74 (84)]

It took me 3-4 months to finalize all the changes on this topic. Hopefully I didn’t ask for something totally stupid. Your opinion is highly requested. Thanks a lot everyone for your time.

6 Likes

When you move Gambesons to feudal but leave the maa as it is I am happy.

(PS this also means I don’t think the changes in training time/buiding time for militia/barracks are required - I think just increasing the HP for militia will do it until castle age.)

I am not against the HP buff. But

Obuch forms a good combination with arbalest while militia would not be even with HP buff. Infantry UU that are seen often have a role. Berserk, Shotel, Condo, huskarl, cheap karambit all have their roles. Militia’s role is limited with towers and fight pikes+ onagers.

Pikes forms a good combination with xbow against knight. And a good combination with siege against knight/ light cav. Pikes also forms a good combination with knight against camels.

Regarding the upgrade time, at least LS upgrade onwards can be much shorter (even down to 10s wont be OP)

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What is the reason behind removing Champion from so many civs that’re supposed to have good Militia?

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Probably because the UUs are infantry too.

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Right. Militia line doesn’t have a good companion to pair with.

Maybe. But without Supplies and Arson you can save some time. Anyway I edited and reduced THS and Champion upgrade time by 10 seconds each.

I think the “idea” behind that is to make it more like a paladin-like upgrade.

But imo Champion is already a very strong upgrade with a high priority when the civ has it. I think it’s good so many civs have olid champs, as in so many cases the militia line is it’s own “counter” in the lategame which means subtile differences can ######### #### ##############
So I’m against that. I also wouldn’t reduce the attack of THS. Considering the loss of Supplies would mean a lot of civ effectively will end with a worse version than currently

A lot of people complain about Champion being too expensive. But in reality we see this upgrade all the time when people make a champ switch lategame. So I don’t think this point is valid. I think it’s the other upgrades (LS and THS) that need to be improved more. Cause we basically don’t see them before the Champ switch.
Paladin upgrade is balanced by putting you on a timer, as the Knight line can’t be spammed forever. Ok Champs can’t either, but way longer than Paladins. That low gold cost is why the Champion Upgrade can’t give the same powerspike as Paladins.

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Man at arms is probably already the best unit in the entire line. Gambesons in Feudal will help them more than 10 HP. And if you don’t remove Supplies pre requisite, no one would be able to afford Supplies + Gambesons in Feudal Age anyway.

in prolonged feudal. But investing into Gambesons additionally will be a lot of investment for a simple MAA Rush. So it’s inteded to basically act similar to “bloodlines” and enable to play maa after the initial rush more or even transition into maa later in feudal.
I prefer that much over buffing maa directly as for the moment it seems the MAA rush is pretty much balanced and doesn’t needs any buffs.
Yes +1/+1 armor is probably better than +10 HP, but it comes with a cost.

You removed supplies already, don’t you. And I think thats quite reasonable. I just would then move Gambesons to feudal to replace supplies with a tech that is more suitable for the line.

Oh I didn’t realize you’re taking my changes as the base. I thought this. Gambeson in Feudal can work tbh.

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Pretty much is an overall nerf to the militia line.
The game needs a way to make the militia line being used, what you proposed is increase the cost and time to improve the militia line.
The suggestions about the UU are fine.
Romans are boring to play and even more to suggest something.

Spear cost 35f, 25w while skirm cost 25f, 35w and both 60 resource in total as support units. Militia is supposed to be support units (at least from castle age). I think they can cost 60 resource in total as well (40f, 20g). Plus some bonus damage +5 vs spear and +2/+6/+8 vs light cav. Even bonus dmg vs camels/siege should be fine. Arson should work better on wood-craft siege than buildings even tho it should be applied automatically. Gambeson can give damage reduction against mangonels maybe.

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Disagree. I think it’s very much a tweak. Maintaining the lategame strength of the line (tradeoff of cheapness vs more HP), but enable to play it more during the midgame.
I would even consider this a small buff overall. And reasonable.

Gnerally it fits my own perception of when the line needs help and when not quite well, which surprises me a bit, as @SMUM15236 and me not always had the same view on different things. But I have to admit that the general concept is very much in the same direction I would tweak it to. Ofc with some difference in specific details.

Well I think Supplies had it’s fair chance. I don’t think it did what it was intendet to. And I also don’t agree with

Cause which units you want to “support” with militia? The three trash units cover pretty much everything you fight against: scouts for monks and siege, spears for cavalry and skirms for archer type units.
Ok, when the opponent goes full trash it could work… but nobody goes full trash in the midgame (unless forced to). The Gold units are just too strong there to miss out on and btw trash upgrades are expensive, especially when you want to upgrade several types at once.

So no, militia is definitely no “support” unit in the midgame.
It’s still in a kinda awkward spot cause it doesn’t really fit in any of the meta plays.

I know there were some people here spreading the rumor that infantry was “designed” to be “support” only. And I actually don’t even know what “support” shall mean in this context. Cause for my knowldege from this game we only spoke ever from ranged “support”. And when we want to refer to composition partners in general we usually say either this or “trash unit”. And militia never filled that role, both because of the gold cost but also because it was never used in the same way.

tbh, I don’'t think we should push militia more into that “trash counter” role. I don’t think a unit that becomes an auto-win when the opponent runs out of gold is a very bad idea actually. It puts an extra requirement on all the other unit types to be balanced around that lategame interaction which heavily restricts a lot of interactions during all the game. But most games never get to this situation.
So it’s silly to have this kind of interaction that basically never comes into play but has so much influence on all the other games just for the few cases it comes into play.

That’s actually a very good idea. Still one of the main issues with slow infantry is how they interact with siege. In case of halbs it’s not that important, as halbs can be spammed like crazy. But as long as the infantry costs gold, being so vulnerable to Siege is a heavy downside.
And we don’t have a good counter to halb/siege atm. I think the militia line could fit that spot, though ofc not as a hard-counter. But a well-chosen reduction in the taken damage could possibly at least enable the militia line as an option against that.
Imo the role as halb/siege counter is much better for a unit design than as a “trash counter” - and atm basically all civs have good infantry counters for the lategame (though ofc since gambesons archer civs have a disadvantage there in comparison to CA and HC which have higher base damage). So there are ways to counteract this role.

I specifically also talk about potentially counteriing sutff like halb/houfnice here - ofc to a balanced degree. Imo it’s a bit silly that rn in this very complex game there is one civ that is basically entirely designed to get to that simple of an endgame comp and there are only a very few civs that can counter it.
(And btw Bohemians have enough different options they could play, they don’t entirely rely on this strat. It’s just why should they play anything different when they can play halb/houfnice?)

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Well, currently it does not fill the role of support. But it lacks either range or mobility. It can’t be a power unit. There can be more situations that militia is more functional.

Scorpion can be one like Romans while monks can also be one when facing knight rush.

With bonus vs spear, they will have more advantage vs knight+pikes. But this has to be pair with cheaper and faster LS upgrade. Maybe competing relics in arena as well.

With gambeson reducing onager damage, Militia can counter pikes+ onagers harder. Plus, killing mangonel support when several mangonels backing up xbow vs xbow wars.

Champions are serviceable if you are refering to halbs+onagers but may need rams in choke points. Bombard towers or keeps with arrowslit is also good.

I like some of the changes except what’s suggested for 2-handed and champion. I think the unit 2-handed should be removed and it should just be a direct champion upgrade. Civs that lack champion for balance like Gurjaras, Mayans should just stay with the newly buffed up 70 hp longswords (I’d make it 65) and not proceed any further. Civs like Bulgarians can get champion upgrade and bagains can be reduced to +4 armor if needed.

To add to some of these changes I’d recommend that their speed automatically increase to 0.95 in feudal instead of increasing through champion upgrade. I’d also move squires to feudal age, keep longswords at 65 hp and the next upgrade champion to 75 hp but costing just the 2hs upgrade.

135 hp warrior priest could be a bit too much.

Unnecessary imo. Malian infantry is situational.

I’d change gold cost to 20, give elites 2 p.armor and leave it there.

I’d just do the speed change and give +10 hp for elite jaguars.

Bad for balance. The civ has a ton of options.

Because THS doesn’t give a single HP. The +1 attack makes little to no difference. So essentially you’re paying 10 HP for 750 food and 350 gold.

IDK what you wrote because censoring. But wouldn’t we see Vikings and Armenians THS more? Technically Vikings THS as as good as generic champ. But we see Berserk almost every time (except Hera I guess).

Why do you think so?

Did you intentionally pick and choose this part and ignore HP and MA increase part?

IDK. If that was Sandy Peterson’s idea back in 1999, a gold unit as support unit sounds flawed to me. And this explains this unit’s condition 25 years later. They are -

  1. Too expensive to be a support unit to the point that other cheaper units are better.
  2. Too weak stat to be a main unit.

There you go. So if you want to make them one, you have to make them as cheap as other support units even in late game.

Maybe, just maybe, toughness will be the new 3rd property of a power unit.

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It’s +3 atk vs +10 HP and +1 atk. Ofc the Champion upgrade gives more, but it also way more expensive - so overall valuewise I would still assess, depending on the units you face that 2HS gives like 50-100 % more value for your bucks.

Yeah sorry. I can’t exactly remember what exactly I wrote there. But I was trying to express that as in these super lategame situations there is basically no counterplay to Champs as it’s counters all the trash units. So it often ends up in a mirroring strat where the small differences snowball very hard.
That’s why in the current state of the line I don’t want too big differences spread over the Civs cause it can feel very unfair then when the opponent has access to champs but you don’t.

We see this also with other unit types when both civs have the same main unit line they want to play about. Like the matchup of Franks vs Khmer. Both civs are overall quite comparably strong (atm in 1v1s I think Khmer actually have generally the edge because of the timing advantage). But when the civs are paired against each others Franks with their HP bonus and finally Paladin Upgrade are one of the toughest matchups for Khmer.

I think we already have discussed this in various other threads. We see a lot of the UU Infantry as it is usually way more accessible. It takes very long to upgrade the militia line from scratch. And isn’t super cheap either. UU Infnatry on the other hand have very little “commitment” and therefore can be added very easily.
Ofc there was discussion already about changing the militia line to be as accessible as the UU Infantries, which is surely also one general direction path we could attempt to go. But it’s not part of this topic.

There is also the mentioned issue that the vast majority of games doesn’t even get to the state where champions spams are decisive. And that was also why I made these statements in the first place - I feel for a strategy that comes into play so rarely it has way too much impact in the rest of the game.

I think when we speak about “Power Units” we refer to a unit we plan on building up our entire game strat upon. A unit that, despite having counters, can’t be shut down entirely and gives consistant value when played. And we have easy to add composition Partners to that unit to counter whatever the opponent puts up against it.
Ofc range and Speed are helpful for that. But there are various examples of units that have range and/or speed and would never be considered a “power unit”.

But for me it’s also clear that there never can be a “power unit” that’s driven by it’s sheer stats It would be way too dominant, especially on lower Elos and unfun to play against. So imo a power unit needs at least one speciality that requires skill to execute.
Ofc this can also be something simple like relying on timing usage. Atm it’s the opposite, but when the line would be super cheap and easy to upgrade at each age it would have that speciality. And we see in the MAA and the Vatious Infantry UUsthat this concept can work for Infnatry practically.

But I don’t see this proposal bringing the Militia line anywhere close to a “power unit”. It just would make the line more acessible in the midgame for now

Wow, you took the effort to make some good changes and balance most affected civs. Congrats!
Looking at the gist of it though. It seems like you want to make swordsmen viable with a 10-20 HP boost. I would rather do it as a individual technology like ‘bloodlines’ in castle age. I will not remove any current techs either.

My changes are as follows:

  1. Move ‘Arson’ to feudal age. Will cover lack of Siege in feudal age and make for interesting plays.

  2. For speed, I’ll go with Hera’s suggestion. I would change speed of M@A to 0.92 straight away. If you want swordsmen to counter pikeman or halbs just remove squires from non-infantry civs. Pikeman of non-infantry civs will be stuck at 1.0 tps and swordsmen of infantry civ with squires will be 1.01. Speed is the prime reason swordsmen don’t counter anything.

  3. Introduce a new technology in place of Arson called “Ration” costing 100 food, it increases HP of infantry by 10 HP. Then Balance Halbs, Eagles, civ bonuses and Unique units.

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I can see all of them are reasonable. But it is highly unlikely to remove THS altogether.

It is just +10 HP. Not a big deal as they are the only infantry countered by a trash unit.

Champion that can take 45 arbalester shot is not something you want to face in your game.

Don’t mind the cost. But 2 PA means there is no trade off between them and generic line. I want to avoid that.

Only in high elo though. And even there, they perform poorly against eagle civs.

Hypothetical question, if your civ lack Champion upgrade but Imperial Age UT gives +10 HP, +1 attack, would you pay 750 food, 350 gold for that?

Don’t be. There is nothing to apologize for when the system has all the control.

Thing is, at least me, highly see those low gold game where a player spam Champion and opponent is stuck at trash. Maybe my 90 HP champion will make the situation more frequent. That’s why I’m all for real combat stat instead of attack bonus vs building. Let’s allow the champion destroy my trash army. Good luck destroying my castles as you have spent all your gold to champion. And even if you afford some siege, my hussar can just run away from champion and kill them.

I’m on the same page then. I considered “Power unit” = “Meta unit”. Almost all (not all) infantry civs should have a plan to build up Militia line or UU entire game just the same way all (literally all) cavalry civs have a plan to build up Knight entire game.

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Ofc. As UT it would be even better as you can research it whilst doing the other required upgrades. So your tch switch is faster.
Let me put it as this: The majore issue for the line isn’t the cost for any individual upgrade. It’s if you tech in it at all. And as there is no trash counter every little thing you can improve it is very valueable, cause at later stages the only real feasible unit against it is the militia line itself.

And when there is still a lot of gold for the opponent to use it simply makes no sense (for most civs) to make that tech swithc.