First for all I want to share my “solution”, but I’d like to see your ways aswell.
If we get enough approaches together we probably also could make a poll in the end, which one is the best in the eyes of the community.
Second: My solution also contains influences of other changes in the meta gameplay I want to compensate at the same time. I will try to explain the Reasonings behind that. Be aware that there are often more complicated interactions behind this which I won’t explain as it’s a) often too hard for people who don’t have the insights and b) would make the post way too long and clunky.
- (Elite) Elephant archer losses the “Cavalry Archer” armor class.
This class should be reserved for very fast archery type units. Also with the other changes I propose it’s no longer necesary for Balance reasons.
- When Elephant units are converted, they don’t join the side of the opponent directly. They instead become “neutral” and can be converted by either side.
Monks have always been the cryptonite of elephants as eles are so costly and slow. With the change Monks still have nice utility against the Eles, but aren’t as oppressive anymore. The ele player can try to add some Monks on his own to convert back his Eles before they can be used to stop his push completely.
- War and Battle Elephants get a “speed charge”. When it is up, it can be activated by ordering them to attack an enemy unit. Then their movement speed is increased by 80 % for 10 seconds. Takes 40 seconds to recharge.
This is to give the melee eles some micro ability. With this speed charge they can force some favorable engagements or even try to run away from less favorable ones (though the last one is probably less effective against generally speedier units).
Spear line +.1 Speed => 1.1
Pikeman upgrade cost reduced to 200 F, 50 G
Pikeman: +1 atk => 5
Pikeman: - 10 vs War Elephant => 15
Halberdier upgrade cost reduced to 250 F, 450 G
Halberdier: - 4 atk vs Cavalry => 28
Halberdier: - 6 atk vs Camel => 20
Halberdier: - 13 atk cs War Elephant => 15
This is the first tweak where there come in also other aspects than just the eles. Currently the spear line struggles in general with “doing their job” against cavalry. We have become too good in using the mobility of the Cavalry. This is compensated by a speed buff of the spear line.
Then it showed that the Pikeman upgrade is often too expensive to counteract a Knight rush. Whilst I think it’s still important that the initial Knight rush does damage, I think a small decrease in upgrade cost can make the midgame less dominated by Knight play. Pikemen also get one more base attack, so they become just a little bit more versatile at this stage. This is especially designed for Arena type maps which are currently dominated by light cav + monk in the midgame. With the higher speed and +1 base attack, pikes can possibly become a counterplay to this meta strat and therefore increase the diversity on these maps. Pikes in compensation lose a huge chunk of their anti-elephant bonus damage. Making Pikes less of a hard-counter of Elephants in the midgame. They will still counter Eles, but way less than currently.
The Halberdier upgrade also gets cheaper. As it provides less. Halberdiers lose some Bonus against cavalry, just enough so that it takes 1 more hit to kill cavalier and (not-teuton, not-frank) Paladins. Also they lose some bonus against Camels, as Camels are hard-countered by them anyways. Doesn’t need to be that oppressive.
Lastly, the bonus vs Eles is adjusted to the same values of Spears and Pikes. Some civs don’t get the Halb upgrade and it would be a too big powerboost against the Eles if the Halbs would get more bonus damage. It’s just not possible with the current super-pop efficient design of the Eles that Halbs are much better against them than Pikes.
- Knight Line: Cost changed to 75 F, 60 G
Optional change to the Knight line. It’s an adjustment to make the Knights less spammable in the midgame put more sustainable later on when the line often falls of a bit. If the Paladins become too strong with that, the Paladin upgrade Gold cost could be increased a bit.
- Armored Elephant: War Elephant Armor + 17 => + 4
- Siege Elephant: War Elephant Armor + 18 => + 5
Compensation for Spear line upgrades losing bonus damage.
- Skirmisher: +5 atk vs War Elephant => 5
Elite Skirmissher: +7 atk vs War Elephant => 7
That’s a huge one. After all the Buffs to the eles, now we get an indirect nerf. The Skirmisher line becomes a soft counter of eles. Opening more strats against eles. It’s historically documented that skirmishers were used effectively to counter elephants. As long as the SKirmishers can keep the distance they now will have an even higher damage output against Elephants than Archers. I can’t tell exactly rn if I hit the perfect numbers there, but it should be around that ballpark. This is also the compensation for EA losing the Cav Archer armor class.
- TC Castle Age tech: Urbanization: (All civs but Goths)
50 S, 100 G, 25 s
Reduces Pop space consumption of foot military units by 20 %. Also increases the HP of Vilagers by 20 and their melee armor by 2.
- TC Imperial Age tech: Ordnance: (List of civs needed)
200 F, 300 G, 120 s
Reduces pop space consumption of foot military units by 17 % => (total 1/3 less pop space with Urbanization)
In the middle ages there emerged robber barons which terrorized lands in a lot of regions. People started to move in together in towns and built castles and walls for Protection. They also built up urban militia that were responsible for the defence of these towns. In Germany this even had influence in our naming of “citizens” of these towns. They are called “Bürger” which refers to our naming of catles: “Burg”. So our town citizens were named after the castles they built in order to protect themselves from the robbber barons. The urbanization tech has 2 parts. First, it’s basically a second “loom”, so the Villagers don’t die as fast from raidings. It’s more expensive than loom, so it’s not always a cheap pickup. But it’s intended to be a bit more protective against raids. I hope to change the current meta of base designing on open maps: Less warlls, more expanded eco. Players more willing to take a bit higher risk with their expansion. When the vills don’t die as fast, you can justify to be a bit more “bold” instead of building up a basically unraidable base with 5 TCs in a very dense area. I don’t really like the current hyper defendable base layouts and want to encourage taking a bit more risk.
The second effect is the reduction of pop consumption by military foot units. This is to compensate the currenly way lower pop efficiency of the foot units in comparison to the mounted ones. Kights and Camels still maintain a slightly higher pop efficiency which is compensated by a bit less bonus damage taken from the Halberdiers. Eles maintain their pop efficiency advantage over the other cavalry, but the pop efficiency over foot units is reduced a bit. This is the key factor that allows for the Spearman line to deal way less bonus damage against the Elephants. The tradeoff proposed is: Less direct countering for less pop efficiency discrepancy. Especially in the midgame with pikes having way less bonus damage against the eles, this might help eles to get to a “usable” state without becoming opressive.
Already conceivable Civ Changes
Ideas to solve certain forseeable issues with certain civs:
- Malay: Elephant discount changed to 25 % (Castle age) and 30 % (Imperial age). Receive 100 F when reaching the next age.
- Goths: Receive Arbalester. Villagers get + 10 HP with every age-up
There could also be an issue with the Power of vills from these civs:
Can’t exactly call now wether they will be too strong or not.
- Nerf to offensive castles => reduce anti-building attack?
An issue that might come with the “2nd loom”, that offensive castles might become “unstoppable”. The 2nd loom is intended against the effectivity of raidings, not to increase the chances for successfull castle drops. As I currently have no idea how to make it easier to stop, I instead propose to reduce the anti-building damage of the castle drops, so they are at least a bit easier to “contain”.