New Civ concept: Hephthalites

Ok, first time I have posted a civ concept here. So bare with me if there are any layout errors or things I have forgotten.

Civ shield emblem

Who are the Hephthalites?
They were a Central Asian peoples that lived from the 5th to 8th Century in what is now Uzbekistan, Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan. They were also known by the name “White Huns” or “White Hunas”, as Hunnic culture associates points on the compass with colours, although they bore no known direct connection to the Huns that ravaged Europe. Like most Central Asian peoples, they were known for being cavalry users, and their armies were widely feared.

They came into conflict with the Sassanid Persians, armies of Western India and the Arabs.

Eventually the Hephthalites settled into various parts of Southern Central Asia and Western South Asia. Forming many different later groups.

Nezak Tarkhan

For current campaigns, they would replace:

  • Tatars (representing the Hunas) in Devapala
  • Cumans & Mongols (representing the Uzbeks) in Babur
  • Mongols (representing the White Huns) in Bukhara

Cavalry Civilization

Architecture set: Central Asian
Language: Bactrian
Trade Cart: European
The Buddhas of Bamiyan

Civ Bonuses:

  • Cavalry units are affected by Parthian Tactics
  • Stables and Archery Ranges work 10% faster
  • Free Husbandry
  • Hunters drop off 10% more food
  • Start the game with a horse as well as a Scout

Team Bonus:
Trade Carts have 100% more HP

Unique Unit:
Grivpanvar - Cavalry unit that has both a ranged and melee mode. 50 Food 65 Gold

HP: 100, 125 (Elite)

Attack: 10, 12 (Elite) melee

4, 5 (Elite) pierce

Rate of Fire: 1.7

Frame Delay: Ranged - 14

Attack Delay: Ranged - 0.33

Range: Ranged - 5

Accuracy: Ranged - 70%, 80% (Elite)

Projectile Speed: 7

Melee Armor: 2

Pierce Armor: 2

Armor Classes: Archer, Cavalry Archer, Cavalry, Unique Unit

Speed: 1.4

Line of Sight: 6

Creation Time: 18 Seconds

Unique Techs:
(Castle Age) - Bactrian Archery: 500 Food 400 Gold
Cavalry Archers and Elephant Archers fire a second projectile.

(Imperial Age) - Sogdian Lances: 600 Wood 400 Gold
Steppe Lancer line has +1 Range

Missing Techs Tree:

Eagle Scout, Two-Handed Swordsman, Halberdier, Gambesons

Archery Range:
Crossbowman, Hand Cannoneer, Elite Elephant Archer

Knight, Battle Elephant

Siege Workshop:
Battering Ram, Siege Onager, Bombard Cannon


Galleon, Cannon Galleon, Shipwright

Sanctity, Heresy

Plate Mail Armor

Architecture, Bombard Tower, Siege Engineers, Arrowslits

Crop Rotation, Stone Shaft Mining

I wanted to get across a civ that was more Early Middle Ages; so things like gunpowder and crossbows wouldn’t be available. And as they were semi-nomadic, their defenses and infantry wouldn’t be very good either. Their dock also isn’t amazing, as they were a land-locked civilization (contact with the Byzantines meant I kept the Fast Fire Ship, Dromon & Heavy Demo ship).

Instead the civ relies on their extremely broad cavalry access to fill the gaps. Extra-powerful Hussars gives them a fantastic trash option, Grivpanvar act as a weird substitute for the knight, Steppe Lancers are the main bulk of the army, fully-upgrade Cavalry Archers for raiding, camels to counter other cavalry & elephants for the late game as a death-ball.

The faster working stables & archery range is to play on their similarity to the Huns.

Parthian Tactics affecting the whole stable is something I have always wanted to see, and a steppe civ is the perfect place for it. It gives their cavalry a lot more defense in the late game, and a way to cut through the spearmen-line quicker, making up for the lack of other units to do the job.

Free Husbandry is to show their steppe horse-breeding. And the hunting bonus is to represent how important it is to Steppe culture.

Keeping with the nomadic theme, they also start with a horse, to essentially double their ability to scout, but this also prevents insane laming.

Extra HP on trade carts represents the importance of the silk road to the Hephthalites, but also gives them a more secure gold source during the later stages of team games. Which they need to finance their heavy cavalry.

Lack of halberdiers is to compensate for their +50% damage Hussars, which would be a powerhouse in trash wars. And they can still counter other cavalry via faster-producing fully-upgraded camels.

The Grivpanvar is a heavy cavalry unit that can also shoot. It has a longer range than cavalry archers, but a lower rate of fire. This is to make it easier to use (switching between modes is less stressful), but shouldn’t do more damage at range than the cavalry archer.

Costs and stats I…am not sure on. I made best guesses from similar techs, and based the Grivpanvar’s on a mix of Knight & Ratha but changed them to try and make the unit fit the design I was intending better, but still have trade-offs.

Their South Asian architecture represents them raiding and eventually settling in the area, while their European trade carts show that they are not actually from South Asia, and how they are strongly associated with horses.

I did try to keep the civ from being overpowered, as that tends to skew the conversation/discussion. I may have gone too far the other way though…we will see haha.

Let me know what you think :slight_smile:


These aren’t enough, civ virtually have no eco and military bonuses and have to pay UTs to gain military bonus. Civ without any bonus equals to F tier.

Which means cavalry units have +1/2 armor as well as +2 vs attack Spear-line.

If this civ has these 2 bonuses and FU Hussar, Plate Barding must be missing. Otherwise, Late Game Hussar will kill everything, including Halberdier.

Too low Pierce attack and generally very low statistics comparing to similar unit, Rathas of Bengalis. 13, 17 attack and 6,7 attack is needed at least to be okay unit.

I think you should think over more about design of your civilization.

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Nice to see a rarely mentioned civ receive some love!
Interesting design, but I’m not sure about the two horses replacing the scout, as they won’t be upgraded afterward. Maybe you could have even weaker scouts that are turned into regular scouts once you reach Feudal Age/build a stable instead?
In missing techs you didn’t mention anything in military range that isn’t an unit upgrade, did you forget about it or do they have access to everything? I find it surprising that a very cavalry oriented Central Asian civ with no Imperial Age infantry would have all of the other barrack upgrades (especially considering Huns, Tatars, Cumans and Mongols all miss Supplies AND Gambeson). That being said, they already have poor infantry so I guess they don’t need to have it nerfed even further.

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Wait…so the civ is both too weak and too powerful?

Anything with an attack I would still be worried would be used to lame. If the horses just get extended line of sight as you age up, then they are probably still worth it. As by the time Husbandry is available, you have already seen quite a lot, and two scouting units is still better than one.

I did originally write the concept ages ago, before Gambesons existed haha. But you’re right on both counts, they probably shouldn’t have it just for being a Steppe civ, but also their infantry is kinda awful anyway.


Civ is easily killed in earl game, Castle Age and Early Imperial Age. However, if civ can survive until late Imperial Age (which isn’t possible), it can beat every civ with spamming only Hussar. It has +1 Pierce armor more than Tatars Hussar, attack faster (+50%) than Bulgarian Stirrups (+33%) Hussar as well as +2 attack vs Halberdier. It isn’t well thought design clearly.

You know, you can get your point across a little less rudely…

Ok, this is a better explanation of the problems.

I’m surprised the civ is killed in the early game, when it has an early-game bonus (something Magyars for example, lack). But sure, I recognise that the mid-game is weak. What would fix this?

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Magyars has 15% cheaper and free +1 attack Scout-line.Castle Age is only stage of the game Magyars being weak

Only early bonus of this civ is that 2 horses (more scouting) in early game. 100% hunting capacity is very weak. Free bloodlines and Husbandry will help as well as extra bonus to another unit, maybe Skirmisher having +1 attack more.

Cool. These all seem reasonable.

I can probably replace the Castle Tech with something else then. Possibly something to help with an archery range unit, to at least spread the buffs around other parts of the tech tree.

Not Central Asian?

Hmm. Very unorthodox. They take population space, right? So you will be behind in 1 villager. Also they don’t have any eco bonus.

Over all I liked the civ. But the UU looks pretty OP. And also very late game oriented civ that have little to nothing in early game. Kinda feels like Magyars tbh.

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Congrats on your first go. Here are my thoughts:

In a vacuum this might be okay, but I don’t like that it’s both a stronger and more expansive version of Silk Armor (and would be for Hauberk as well if they got knightline). I think if one of those techs didn’t exist, this might be fine, but it just ends up looking too similar to both of them.


I think this is too situational, like the Goth bonus pre-buff (of which it is also reminiscent). Doesn’t help with lured boars or deer, and on maps with a lot of hunt you’d much rather have Mongols or even Goths or Mayans.

Interesting idea, but not having an early combat unit is a big nerf. I imagine you intend them to be good on open maps, but this is a large disadvantage even there, and more so on closed maps like Arena or BF. I would suggest that the civ have a normal scout as well as a horse. The horse can be restricted in some way, perhaps with lower speed/LOS.

This might be fine, but seems unnecessarily large.

Too much concentrated strength on the scoutline. Attacking 50% faster than Bulgarian Hussars on top of having “Hauberk” with pikemen bonus is overkill. I strongly recommend against unique bonuses/techs that make existing bonuses/techs look terrible by comparison.

Don’t mind this, but as with the Scoutline buffs, I wouldn’t pair this with anything else. SLs with +1 Range is more than enough to give them their unique niche without extra armor.

I don’t usually say this, but I actually think this civ could stand to be a little more “gimmicky” - most of the bonuses are highly similar to existing bonuses, and I think it would benefit from a little more novelty, or at least, more bonuses that aren’t so directly similar to other bonuses. And in general I think the civ could be stronger early/midgame and lose some of the excessive power of their post-imp cav.


I uuumed and aaahed over it for a while. I settled on South Asian to represent the areas they ended up settling in later on. But Hephthalites sit on this weird crossroads of Persian, Central Asian and South Asian. So frankly either would fit.

Horse would take half a pop space. So the two together would equal the same. So people aren’t put behind.

Is the UU really that nasty? I tried to make it a Ratha that was easier to use, but a little worse.

Agree. I have already replaced it.

I’m thinking that perhaps the perfect solution would be to start with a scout and a horse. So no less combat power, but extra scouting.

I was worried it would be awful if it was too low.

Agree. I am going to replace it. I’m thinking something that boosts the mounted archer units instead. This sorts out of a lot of problems with the civ in one go.

I was worried about being too gimmicky with the Parthian Tactics thing, and the horses. But sure, what do you recommend?

And yeah, the Castle Age tech is going to be fixed.


Why not something like 10% more drop-off for hunted food? That alone would be a nice early bonus enough that they wouldn’t really need anything else for early game.

Also “instead of a scout” can be a huge disadvantage even if two because you cant kill an enemy scout meaning if they get caught they’re dead. You also cant use it to lure boars

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That’s pretty good.

Added it, and also fixed the scouting problem.

Also I gave them a new Castle Age tech to boost their mounted archers. It’s a second projectile, albeit much weaker (like most additional projectiles are).

10% more drop-off is strong eco bonus. Free Bloodlines should be removed after this, only free Husbandry is decent.

As for UU, it is too expensive. It should be 50f 65g in line with its strength. Its speed should be 1.4 I think, 1.3 is a bit low for a medium cavalry unit.

All good points. Implemented them.

I dunno it seems odd to see them with indian do have the gurjaras who might have nomadic roots.

Funnily the Gurjaras nomadic roots come from this civ haha.

Anyway, I thought about it. Switched them back to Central Asian. Fits their power-base being in Uzbekistan more.

Would love to see them. It’s not impossible that the famous Persian rework could include them, specially because of Bukhara, along with the gokturks, an even more obvious miss in the game.

Some time ago I imagined my own version of it. It’s crap but you can take inspiration if you want.

Hephthalites (from 5th century to 710)
Civilization known for its cavalry and siege

Showcases the white Huns and other eastern Hunnish tribes (alchon and nezak) in Sogdia and bactria and their federation lasting from late antiquity to early middle ages, until Islamic invasion, they battled against the Sassanids, the Armenians, the Chinese and the Gupta empire in India
Architecture: probably central Asia

Wonder: Buddhas of bamiyan

Language: Bactrian or Sogdian

Campaign: khushnavaz (ruler of the hephthalites in the 5th century who defeated multiple times peroz I of the Sassanids and Georgian king vakhtang)

Strategy: the ultimate anti archer/cavalry archer civ despite missing the elite skirmisher upgrade but with anti archers camels and Sogdian cataphracts


Berry bushes last 50% longer and are gathered 75% faster

Cavalry attack rate +5% in feudal age, +15% in castle age, +30% in imperial age (non cumulative)

Mangonel and scorpion line +3 pierce armour

Unique unit:

Sogdian cataphract (available in castle age, high pierce armour cavalry with a bonus against archers)

Unique techs:

Double suspension system (available in castle age, Camel rider line attack bonus Vs cavalry archers +4 and +2 Vs archers)

Iranian cavalry (available in imperial age, steppe lancers regenerate hp)

Team bonus: trebuchets move faster (or have more HP)

Missing techs:

Archery range: elephant archer, hand cannoneer, elite skirmisher

Barracks: champion, halberdiers, squires

Stable: paladin, battle elephant, light cavalry

Blacksmith: plate barding armour

Siege workshop: armoured elephant, siege onager, bombard cannon

Dock: elite cannon galleon, shipwright, heavy demolition ship

University: keep, bombard tower, heated shot, arrowslits

Castle: sappers


Economy: two man saw, guilds

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Ok now THAT is a good idea! And a good point. I forgot their wonder.

I tried to look this guy up earlier, but the problem is that he might not have been a single person, and instead might have been a title. So not much to go on. Kinda annoying with some peoples that had all the stuff they wrote down decayed or destroyed.

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I guess you could say the same about nezak tarkhan being nezak a dynasty or ethnic group and tarkhan a Turkish title. But among alchons and other hunas I remember there were some rulers worthy of a campaign. This only if you use hepthalithes as an umbrella for all Asiatic Huns, white and red (basically from kidarites on).