thanks for your detailed response, its nice to see someone responding this well thought to my very big Text wall.
To respond a bit to your response now after i played the new Civs the last few Days:
I still cant really judge the Flemish Revolution. Its super all in, and there might exist a very strong fast Imp Flemish Rush strat, but for now I hadnt a Game as such. I think the Fact its an Imp Tech makes a Rush pretty Hard, an the fact its all Infantery very situational. After all a Infantery all in is much stronger vs an enemy going Cav then against an enemy with Archers. For now I rarely used it because losing all your Vils is after all a huge deal so we will have to see about this Tech.
For the Costilliers are many nice suggestions out by now, but they all depend on what kind of Unit it should be. The suggestions to reduce its Pierce Armor and Hp would be good vs Archers, a reduced Charge Attack might be good for melee Units (especially Halbs) and a move speed penalty to counter them by Cav. All things might work, but depend on what the Devs want the Unit to be. (btw atm the Charge attack does double Dmg vs Archer. This way even with a reduced Charge Dmg they would still be very good vs Archers)
All in all except their Unique Unit the Burgandians seem kinda fine. I played some Games in which i avoided their UU on purpose and they didnt feelt OP this way. The Cavalier in Castle Age is fairly Balanced by the Lack of Bloodlines and the Strong early Game Powerspike of Cavalier and Paladin is then followed by a fall of in Post Imp of their Cav, kinda forcing them into other Options like their good Halbs, HC and so on.
The Eco Bonus is still hard to judge imo. Its hard to get a good BO to get the Upgrade in Dark Age without any big loses so time will tell if their is an abusive BO found out in the future, like it had been with the Lithuanian Drush a few Months after release.
- The First Crusade will be nerfed probably. The most important thing for me is not how it will be, but what their compensation will be. Without the First Crusade the Civ dont feels all that special atm by the Games i played. Donjons are as i predicted to expensive for a Feudal Age Tower Rush and their Eco Bonus is not on paar with other Eco bonuses, because it has no effect before early Castle Age (the first Horse Collar Farms normaly run out right after reaching Castle Age)
And as my Math above shows its not even this much then compared to other good Eco bonuses.
On top of that their Tech tree dont has a good “main” Unit to base your army around except the Serjant, which is hard to mass, because you either need Castles or Donjons, which are both very expensive.
I think with a Nerf to the first Crusade they will need a Buff somewhere else, and considering their whole Civ design is around the Serjant, I think a buff the the Serjant (not in stats, but in accessibility) might be nice.
As stated above I think the 2 main problems of the Serjant are its costs and the fact it needs a Stone Building. I would like to compare it to a Champion instead of another Unique Infantery Unit like a Berserk/ Wood Raider/ Tk for the reason that all other Civs with a Unique Infantery Unit have different Options in their Tech tree and arent depending on their UU because of that. (Teuton have good Halb/ Pala/ Siege; Celts good Siege/ Halbs; Viking good Arbs/ Siege/ Champions and so on)
This way the Serjant is more the Bulk of their Army and by this needs to be accessible.
→ My 3 Main Idears would still be:
1: reducing its Cost a bit (for example 55/30 or 55/25 to get a bit closer to Champions 45/20)
2: giving a Bonus which makes it easier to produce many Donjons like a passive stone bonus or exchanging the Imp UT with another one that makes Donjons more accessible (for example by reducing its cost or giving Stone instead of Gold) (Imo not the best way because this way the Player could build Donjons all over the Enemy Base in Post Imp which would be frustrating to play against)
3: (my preferred Idear) giving a bonus which makes Serjants faster to produce (probably by another Imp UT, because the current UT feels very underwhelming and boring).
One option would be a Tech that lowers the production time of Serjants in Donjons (atm they produce in 20 seconds, Champs in Barracks do in 21) or to give them the ability to produce Serjants out of Barracks like Huns/ Goths can do. This way the Donjon would more be about a weird Tower Rush Strat or a Tower Push with Serjants and less of a production building, giving the Donjon a higher focus on its unique abilities in Feudal/ Castle Age.
I think Option 1 must happen no matter what and in addition to option one either 2 or 3, because the unit is only accessible if its Cost isnt to High and its production isnt limited to much by its Building, but as said i would prefer a combination of option 1 and 3, because option 2 might end in a frustrating Imp Tower Push Strat.
- “Shouldnt they have more Bonuses to Water”
I understand the thinking, (and i havent tested them on Water yet) but they might be good on Water.
Their Water tech tree is pretty good with a wide array of options. Their Bonus to get more food from the farm upgrades is also not bad on water maps, because you always make 6-8 farms in Feudal Age to get to Castle which then last a bit longer, which can help to get faster to Imp. Also the Bonus safes some Wood which is not bad on Island, which can run out of Wood in the Late Game.
Over all I would say they are above average on Water, but cant contest with the top tier water Civs like Italians, Vikings and so on, but might be able to go punch for punch with other non top tier Water Civs like Malay. If you want them to be top tier then they might need another Team Bonus.
The Team Bonus i probably designed to transport some Serjants to then build Donjons, but as said I doubt Donjns being a valid Feudal Age Strat, and until Castle Age Water Control (Naval War) is to Important to lose it.
To the Question responses:
1: “I dont like the 1 time use Techs”
Me neither. They dont feel exciting because you dont feel to get anything special out of it. But I would say I like Vine Fields the most, because it has a mechanic to play around → More Food = more value → its good to wait longer tog et it, but then you lose out on the passive Gold after the research for the time period.
3: I would agree a Water Bonus seems fitting for Sicilians, but the transport Bonus feels kinda useless on Games like 1v1 Island. After all Transports are mainly used for sneaks instead of going trough the enemy Army. But there might be an interesting Strat to mix in some Transports into your army to soak up some Dmg in the late Game, similar to the way people mix in Rams vs Archers. Sadly Water maps are very snowballing which might make a bonus with early Game use more useful.
Have a nice Day