On Battle Elephants and Bengali

I feel like that identity is for Persians. I’d rather not see another Paladin + EBE civ since that niche identity is fully taken by Persians.

Buff their speed. 0.85 to 0.9

It is I, the neighbourhood “buff BE speed” guy.

Vote yes for speed

Obligatory speed post.

One day we’ll get it, and then I can say these spammy comments over the years finally paid off.


This suggestion might be bit radical, but I think the game desperately needs a separate bonus/balance/nerf that applies only in TGs. This would allow the devs a lot of leeway in how civs are balanced and at the same time changing the meta drastically.

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What do you have in mind? It sounds like a messy to have different bonuses for TG

Why Dravidians have HC then? They even have FU Arbalester. Even Khmer doesn’t need HC with Scorpion and arbalester. Also EA is not good against spearman actually as they have no bonus damage, and PT gives them only 2 instead of 4.

That’s true. Their building destroying ability comes with a very high damage from pike/halb and being useless against monk.

I disagree. They cost too much food, not gold. And having such low gold cost making them harder to balance as you can spam them in TG with infinite gold.

That is one of the biggest reason for them being a terrible unit.


You took my statement out of context. There are definitely units worth 70 gold or more that I would gladly make, like knight and boyar. But considering what BE does currently and how easily it is countered, I would not pay 70 gold in 1v1.

They will never not cost too much food. BE are big and fat, so they must cost too much food for what they do.

I don’t understand this. You currently can spam BE in TG with trade gold. Reducing the gold cost won’t change that. It only makes is easier to use in 1v1.

Exactly. With new EA buff, I think them and Bengalis are more of EA civ than BE civ now.

I will give both BE and EA at least 8 bonus armor so that they don’t get bonus damage from scorpion.

Ok. I got it.

And that’s the problem. They do basically … nothing in 1v1 while a moving ram that can’t be countered by knight in TG. I don’t see any reason why you have to use logic of being fat to justify their food cost. Balance comes first.

You got the opposite. If resource is not an issue, BE costing less gold and being faster to train than knights make them OP. BE costing only 70 gold is a big reason BE has been nerfed to the ground over time. They should cost more gold but less food.

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Nope, disagree heavily.
Eles are insanely strong lategame units. A full Ele push is very hard to stop in 1v1 closed maps already. And in TG Ele + siege (and probably some Archer/CA as addition) is also really hard.

Eles have the highest pop efficiency in the game and their main lategame counter (as monks aren’t viable there anymore) is one of the least pop efficient units in the game.

So it’s absolutely necessary that eles have that Gold cost otherwise they would be completely unbalanced in these lategame situations where they are already strong.
The problem is more how to get to the situations where Eles are strong.

And this is one of the reasons why and how I designed my Chariot/Ratha trash unit to accompany the Eles. Cause this is a unit that you can transition easily into in castle age as it only needs wood. It’s a kinda weak unit but it is good for raiding and you don’t need much eco to make some of them. When you have build up your eco you then can use your Gold to invest into the eles. In my opinion this would be the most “elegant” ways to make Eles more viable.
A) You would have a natural trash partner (knigh/skirm, archer/spear, CA/Light cav, Ele/Chariot)
B) The trash unit especially thrives in more open maps where eles on their own are kinda bad, so there is no need to completely redesign the eles just in order to make the combo not OP in any setting
C) The chariot doesn’t need a lot of eco, it actually needs only wood, so it’s the ideal economic complement for a unit that has a lot of food and some gold requirement. Which leads to
D) The easy chariot transition in Castle Age would allow to save the Gold for the later addtion of Eles, leading to more available Gold in the very lategame in comparison to the other main comps. This ofc comes with the price of a more vulnerable middle game where you need to raid with your chariots and try to prodect your own eco with other stuff like castles etc.
E) The trash unit on it’s own is fairly easy to counter (Any Cavalry or skirms) just like the ele, but the combination kinda hard. But it takes a while to get all the necessary eco and upgrades to get to that lategame comp and allows the other players several counterplay strategies. It still would probably the least Gold intensive main comp in the game which would naturally (witht the pop efficiency) also make it the best lategame comp.

So the succession of the main comp dominancies would be:
Feudal: Archer/Spear
Castle: Knight/Skirm
Imp: CA/Hussar
Late Imp: Ele/Chariot

I’m not too sure about that. Imo BE always have been a lategame unit and ofc for that their gold ratio shouldn’t be too high. For TG the high gold cost isn’t that restrictive anyways, so I also don’t see a reason from that perspective. I think the current Gold amount is good for 1v1 balance. It’s just the problem how to get to that lategame situation where you can push with that beefy boys.#
And ofc you can argue that the pop efficiency causes the problem there why they are so strong in these sitations… But haven’t eles been implemente with exactly that pop efficiency in mind?

this is a good joke.

i dont understand this joke though. skirms counter monks. do you not train monks?

this is also a good joke, but not as funny as the first one. I can’t imagine how lopsided closed matches would be if FU EBE were even cheaper on gold.

Have you met manatee? I think you guys will get along well

I also just want to mention this:
If you let 50 Vietnamese EBEs fight 50 FU Halbs, the EBEs not only win, they also lose less ressources spent in that fight than the Halb player losses. So it is possible once you are in that state to just completely overpower the counter with sheer pop efficiency.
That’s how the unit is currently designed.
Yes, Halb is a very efficient counter, but only until it comes to that state when the pop efficiency kicks in.

afaik then only mass scorpion and certain UUs like kamayuk, ETK, Mame etc can stop eles.

Same. Problem is neither elephant nor SL are anywhere close to fulfil the role. At least camel rider got there. Hopefully in the future elephant and SL will also be viable.

Not trying to steal the topic. But this is also why militia line is not meta.

Problem is only 15% game will go to that stage. Castle age is the bread and better of the game. And 80% of the time good dark/feudal age = good castle age = win.

True but food cost is completely opposite. A cost rework of 105f/80g or even the opposite 80 or 85f/100 or 105g will also be oaky. This should definitely comes with a much slower production time and other buffs like speed and/or bonus armor.

My proposal is

Cost 120f/70g → 105f/80g
Training Time 24 sec → 36 sec
Bonus armor → +8 (minimum so that scorpion doesn’t get any bonus damage against them)
Speed 0.85 → 0.9 (optional. Can also be done through a new tech)


Imo just for general balance reasons I think it would be better if there were techs that reduce foot unit pop consumption. Not for all civs (goths definetely don’t need that) but with this there would be a way to generally reduce the bonus damage of the spear line vs eles and therefore eles better balanced at all stages of the game.
It probably looks a bit complicated but it really isn’t that much. Currently the pikes need a lot of bonus damage so all the civs that don’t have halb can at least counter eles a bit. But when the pikes eg would only need .6 pop space or so, they could have like 20-25 % less damage output vs eles and still be viable in the lategame to counter them.
Also almost all ele civs have good units they can pair with the eles and can and should pair them with the eles against pik/halb floods:
Persians: Trashbow
Vietnamese: Skirms
Burmese: Infantry
Malay: Infantry
Khmer: Ballista Eles / scorps

All of these units would also be affected by the pop space decrease.

Imo this would be the easies solution for that problem. If pikes in castle age wouldn’t kill the eles as fast anymore eles would naturally be more viable. But atm they have to cause otherwise pikes stood no chance in imp.

I don’t think battle elephants need any change, nor elephant archers. Do you know what is the problem? It is you and most people who think battle elephants are not viable. I used battle elephants many times in 1v1 and it is not a problem. More speed is big no, this is elephant in the end, nor more attack. You should know that elephants in general are support, finishing and late game units, but at the same time 10 to 20 of them early/mid castle age can really make a big problem to your enemy in 1v1. All elephants civs have good eco and bonuses to support their elephant play. On the other hand, Bengalis and Dravidians elephant archers are good and not bad at all.

well there we have it guys. finemood has solved the problem. we obviously just need to spend 2400 food on BE in castle age (excluding tech)


I feel like we’ve had this debate ad nauseam now. Main problems I see are (in no particular order)

  • the food cost is too much for castle age in that it doesn’t provide enough utility to justify the delay to Imp
  • the unit just isn’t that good at anything, it can’t raid, can’t disengage from counters, can’t defend against raids, isn’t special at taking down buildings or routing enemy armys. It just has no purpose that another unit can’t fill and do a better job at.
  • Is too hard countered by both spears and monks and can’t even disengage from said counters. Spear line in particular is more efficient against eles than they are against knights despite knights having far superior utility in nearly every way.
  • Can’t force fights, it’s no better against buildings than knights and pretty much every unit can run away from it.

I agree with Hera who said only value is when you are already miles ahead and just go for a single one off suprise mass to simply overwhelm the enemy base. Even then you still need other units to clean up the fleeing units. I really want eles to work but atm they have no value outside of some super niche situation.


I guess 50 Bengalis BE will perform even better. But how often that actually happens though? 1 in a million matches? (1v1 obviously)


Yeah agreee…
Idk when I designed my Bengali Eles I thought about “ok, how can I make them useful, how can I differ them a bit and give a special utility?”
And then I gave them increased blast Radius and extra Bonus vs Buildings, but removed the Bonus damage reduction. Then the Eles can at least break in enemy bases a bit fsater and also possibly damage multiple walls/Buildings at once. I don’t think it would overpower the common Battle eles if they just had a bit more damage vs Buildings cause the counter mechanics would still work. But with a good surprise attack (possibly with a sneak or whatever) they can possibly do a bit mayham in an enemy base before the opponent can react.

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Could be. I’ve been impressed with their EA so far. The unit is less of a headache to tech into than Ratha, although doesn’t answer halbs like you’d expect since they have no bonus damage of any sort and only +2 from Parthian despite not being a UU.


I don’t think it’s possible to ‘fix’ Elephant units with tweaks. The design is rotten from the core.

I’ve had a lot of fun with EBE in some games, swarming my opponent with Vietnamese EBEs for example. But in terms of balance, BE need a complete rework from scratch, scrapping the whole Elephant armour class and all the statistics, keeping only the graphics.

We have a unit that in Castle age can’t be produced in large enough numbers, and gets murdered by Xbows, pikes and knights.
Then in Post-imp it’s much easier to produce (because food is less valuable than gold when gold starts running out), takes more than twice as many hits as Paladin from ranged units, and can fight Paladins cost-effectively. Meanwhile pikes and monks can be countered by ranged-unit spam at that stage of the game.
And in team games its even worse.

The whole design --cost; speed; armour classes; etc-- contributes to a unit that is useless in Castle age and yet very strong in certain late game situations.
For elephants to become relevant in 1v1 Castle age (which they should be, because they’re fun) the whole design needs to be torn down.


Well as someone who came from AOE3, I like to think about the comparison to the Mahout unit in that game. The mahout is quite usable in FF(FC) builds, particularly as a timing push similar to FC knights. It would be ideal if BE had that level of viability. Not a dominant unit but something with genuine uses. Civs like Burmese and Bengalis really rely on them as their late game power unit.

Compared to BE, Mahout Lancer costs 7 population, have considerably better trample damage and speed. Take the same amount of damage from pikemen as regular cavalry do. As I understand it, AOE2 players are constitutionally opposed to having scaling population costs for units (except the Karambit warrior, it seems). This prohibits making BE a more well-rounded power unit with scaled costs.

Given that players don’t want to accept this solution, how can we give elephants a valuable tradeoff where knights aren’t just better? Survivalist’s current opinion is that everything a Burmese or Vietnamese battle elephant does, a knight just does better. Increasing the speed is my preferred answer- they will still be slower than Knights or Hussars but actually able to leverage their better stat block for a higher cost. If we instead want to double down on their identity as slow, powerful units, then more trample damage than 25% of attack is needed. Could switch to a flat rate of trample (a la Cataphracts) if Tusk swords are a concern, or just increase the number back up to 33.

I realize people don’t love the idea, but a 2 or 3 population space change would really allow the team to solve the problems in the design of the unit, making it more powerful for 1v1 but less population efficient for team games.

I’m brainstorming here.