So, since it seem that on the post-update topics, the italians are the most discussed civ, I thought of making a separate topic just for them.
First, I like to talk about the new condos, how they fell and work. In my opinions they are in a really good spot, they have some occasional use, their stats are good and the need of a castle act as a buffer, so they are neither OP nor useless as before.
Still, they need testing, so I appreciate your feedbacks.
We should keep in mind that if we discuss of further buff to the civs, since we should avoid to indirectly buff them in order to prevent them to be nerfed again (for example, buffing their cheaper age up is an indirect buff to the condos rush too).
Second, I would like to talk about further minor buff to the civs, specifically to their archers.
First of all, the Trainig Time of the Genovese Crossbowmen (TT of GC for short) should be reduced.
That has being discuss over and over, and all (or most of us at least) seems to agree to TT reduction so that it is more similar to other archer UU (all of them have 16-18 seconds of TT, GC have 22 seconds).
Then there are the discussion regarding a bonus to their standard xbow line, since pavise alone (+1/1 armor) an a pretty lacking eco seem to put the italians archers even behind other non-archer civs (like aztecs, that lack TR but compensate a lot with faster TT and better eco).
There are 2 main ideas for a potential bonus:
- Giving italians a bonus of free archer armor upgrades:
So basically the idea is similar to magyar free melee attack bonus, it would require a blacksmith to work (even if you still have to build one for the other upgrades) and when you age up, you instantly receive for free that age archer armor upgrade for free.
That allow them to save some resources and time, and you would have a small time window when you easily outech your opponent, but then after a bit he eventually can catch up, and so in the end you still end up you your pavise arbs with nothing more.
The genral idea, is to close a bit the gap between italians archers and other archers civs, like britons, mayans, viets and so on, but by putting them on the same level.
This bonus help the italians more defensively than offensively, but it could give them a small help for archer rush too.
- The second idea is to give them a bonus that in feudal age, their archers (standard xbow line only) have +1PA for free, stackable with the blacksmith upgrades and pavise techs (basically +6PA in the end).
So the idea is again to close the gap between italians and other archer civs.
Righ now, italians arbs with pavise are about on the level of etiopians and viets if you confront only the pure stats of the xbow/arbs and you let them fight (without considering micro of course), all other archer civs are stronger. And a lot of non-archer civs with better eco are better too.
The problem is, that both etiopians and viets get their bonus for free (let’s call it the “resources” problem ) and a lot sooner (the “time” problem ), so to compensate that, on the late game after buying pavise, their arbs should be more powerful.
So the +1PA would act as a bonus that let you archer still keep up with other archers civs on a military level from the faudal age (solvig the “time” problem ) but still with the eco disadvantage.
Then pavise would come into play on mid/late castle, and their arbs would finally be better, since you pay for them (solving the “resources” problem ).
There are also some variants of those 2 bonus (some stronger, some weaker), that I’ll link here below, but I would prefer to talk about the condos and the 2 main proposals for archer before those:
- The +1PA start from castle age
- The +1PA is instead +1/1 (both MA and PA) stackable with pavise, though there isn’t a lot of difference between +1 and +2 MA.
- The +1PA affect both standard xbow and skirms (a bit like when old pavise affect them in AoE2HD).
- Italians get the free archer armor upgrades bonus and pavise is buffed to +1/2 for standard xbows line (GC and condos still get +1/1 only). For that we could also consider a small cost increase of pavise.
- They get a free bonus (either in feudal or castle) that their standard xbow line get +1 attack.
The last 2 secondary proposal are for sure the strongest, and they are borderline OP, still they worth discussing in my opinion.