On Battle Elephants and Bengali

It’s not optimal, but I force battle elephants in most games where I have the option. So it happens more often than that!

:heart: :heart: :heart:

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Then eles would be less pop efficient than standard cav… which is weird

Imo better the other way around again: Make techs that reduce foot army pop space requirements.

This… Just make eles ocuppy more than 1 pop space. Is the only variable that could scale well from 1v1 to TG…

Stats are constant. You can’t make BE having different stats for TG

Cost is constant. You can’t make BE having different cost for TG

Resources are finite in 1v1, and virtually infinite in TG. You can’t put a crystal ceiling for gold generation by trading.

Pop space is constant, but if you break this by a imp tech, then you can make eles viable for 1v1 and locks the pop efficiency behind this expensive imp tech.

Some eles civs could even lack of this imp tech. Bengalis could have very strong eles but lacks this tech. Compensate with their imp UT.


Summarizing your points and adding mine -

  1. Too much food cost.
  2. Very slow. This leads to
    a) Not being able to raid as villagers outrun.
    b) Getting hard countered by monk.
    c) Not being able to run away from bad fights.
    d) Can’t force fight.
    e) Can’t kill siege as effectively as cavalry or camel do.
  3. Hard countered by spearman line.
  4. Very fast training time compared to its pop efficiency.
  5. Low gold cost compared to its pop efficiency.

On top of my mind, Eles can get buffs in TG and maybe cost reduction in 1v1s. Nerfing Brit range in TGs. Most of dev balance changes are for 1v1 Arabia, but if you look at ranked and unranked TGs, the player numbers vastly outnumber the 1v1 Arabia players. I understand 1v1 Arabia is important but they shouldn’t neglect the larger playerbase.


I wasn’t gonna go there

This changes the balance of the entire game.

Increasing the pop on BE is one unit, and therefore you can tweak that single unit depending on the pop, as opposed to buffing every foot unit and changing the dynamic between everything that can interact with foot units


Just for fun… What if damage bonus is spreaded in other units. This is:

Spear-line: lose bonus vs War Elephant (keep the bonus vs cavalry, obviusly)
Skirmisher-line: Gain +4/+6 vs War Elephant
Scorpion-line: Gain +12/+16 vs War Elephant
Mangonel-Line: Gain +15/+20/+25 vs War Elephant

Numbers are tentive, the idea is change the counter dynamic into something less unidimensional, forcing the defender to chose the mix to counter the elephants and invest more than just spam pikes or monks.
Maybe it could lead to more variety in units combos.

Give him a price to this poor man

If skirmshers got bonus damage vs elephants, the unit would be dead in the ground.

What’s the point of having 400 health if lots of units secretly get bonus damage against you? That’s just a 150 health unit with extra, under the hood steps.


Sounds crazy, I know, but lets see the numbers:
ESkirm make 3 base damage + 2 Upgrades = 5 total Pierce
BE have 2 base PA + 2 Upgrades = 4 total PA
1 pierce + 6 bonus = 7 per hit => 39 hits to kill (against 6 nowadays pikeman)
Maybe +4/+6 is too much, If it would be +3/+4, total damage would be 5 (54 hits to kill).

With the high Frame delay and min range of skirms maybe could a fair fight. Movement speed of BE with Husbandry is almost the same as skirms (which haven’t any speed upgrade)

The point is forcing the enemy to invest in more than just one unit with hardcore bonus against your unit.
Just pikes wouldn’t work, just skirms wouldn’t work.

Well it is actually a tweak I would like t see in general in the game cause indeed foot units have a too low pop efficiency in the very lategame. This then leads to stuff like Halbs having absurd amounts of bonus damage to “overcompensate” for that.
I’m currently not sure what would be the “ideal” amount of pop space reduction, it’s probably somwhere in between 20-40 %. And then ofc Halbs could see a small nerf to their bonus damage in the exchange.

This would lead to civs lacking the halb upgrade having a more balanced lategame even without that unit. Also in general the archer civs would have a (more complicated) tool against the paladin powerspike. Though they ofc need to get too these techs and train the units before the opponent gets palading what might not be that easy to get to.
In the exchange the Halb powerspike itself would be reduced a bit as halbs then could have less bonus damage.

It’s just a little tweak that would in general adress the lategame pop efficiency issue that leads to a lot of like mismatches that formerly have been tried to solve in creative fashion, but a lot of them couldn’t.
Alone the little bit of higher pop efficiency of the hussars makes a huge difference and could possibly be balanced with that little change so that all trash units in the very lategame have (almost) even value.
And it would open a tool to tweak certain civs lategame potential like vikings, aztecs and some other of the archer civs that fall of a bit.

But yeah it probably won’t happen, but it shouldn’t be forbidden to dream, no?

Sounds interesting, I would atually like a solution in that fashion. Like more units that “soft counter” eles but no unit that hardcounters them. But I think to achieve that we also need to change the Monk interaction, no?
(And ofc with more soft counters and less hard counters the pop efficiency issue is even more problematic)

I like the skirm bonus damage cause it is the historical correct way how eles have been countered (reportedly).
Mass scorpions (meatshield) already counter eles effectively and need no extra bonus damage. And also the mangonel line can be used effectively but needs some micro for that - and I think it’s perfectly fine the way this is currently. Cause Siege Onagers are already OP as hell, don’t need any buffs.

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I would add gunpowdwe units to the list. And maybe flaming camels should remain as they are.

Monks are ok. They are a hard counter but they are hard to use in high numbers so the usability is mainly in castle age. Any elephant rush could be problematic in castle age if they only had soft counters.

What was your design? Where can I see it?

Well, if you want to make them as meta as knight, you just have to make them a knight clone…maybe similar to Boyar that takes more arrow shot than Paladin.

I’m thinking about militia line getting bonus damage against elephants, potentially camel as well and maybe even SL. Making them an anti-regional unit.

No, why would I (or you) want them to be a knight clone?
I think you can pick ~2 core features to design around, and the rest of the unit is then mostly fixed by the demands of good design.
For example, you could pick “BE are slower than knights”, “BE are chonky (lots of hp)”. There are some more minor choices to make, but I think that starting from there you probably end up with a unit that is faster than xbows&pikes, has 1/1, 1/2 or 2/2 PA in Castle/Imperial age, and costs 1.5 or 2 pop per unit.
For the more minor features you could give them bonus damage against cav, bonus damage against buildings, splash damage, extra bonus damage from particular units, etcetera. But these minor features are greatly constrained by the base design. For example if the base design is weaker against xbow civs than against knight civs, you can’t give BE bonus damage against cav.

The devs appear to have picked the core features “Takes double bonus damage from pikes”, “1 pop”, “Chonky”, and “Slower than pikes”. I think this was a poor starting point. The demands these 4 core features put on the design of the unit contradict each other.
Adding Splash Damage as a secondary feature only made it worse.


I remember some old video where the devs talked about that logic. I cannot find it now. I don’t mind making them cost even 0 food, if it helps make them useful. I still don’t see them playing a role (or do their job better than their alternatives) in most 1v1 situations.

I can see how the train time is an issue for team games, but not 1v1. Halbs are standard in 1v1 and you cannot mass elephants till imp while not fighting. You will have to spend a lot of gold on other units prior to affording a lot of BE. If you use your BE before you have a mass, the enemy will hard counter them. If you try to fight castle age with just trash units (so that you can afford BE later), your opponent can kill you with 2 gold units and siege/castle drops.

So, mangudai, houfnice, Goths are allowed to be OP if you can get to their ideal states but considered “balanced” by making it hard to reach. Skirms don’t even work against mangudai. What is their counter? However, you want to balance BE around how powerful they are once you get to their ideal state and disregard how hard it is to get there.

I feel like these pop efficiency discussions ignore how many more villagers it takes to make and maintain a large number of BE compared to paladin. Also, pop efficiency is not very important in most 1v1 situations. I agree it is important for TG.

Monks have a job - gather relics, convert enemies and heal units. I can work around their weaknesses to get their benefits. Siege elephants cost more food, more gold and slower than BE, but are good at destroying buildings. So, I can make other units to fight enemy units and use siege elephants to destroy buildings. BE do not have a role to play in situations that arise in 1v1. There is 1 niche late game situation where they can be good, but everyone runs out of gold before then in 1v1.

If you allow your opponent to boom to imp with nothing but trash units, you deserve to to be rolled by EBE. It is no more OP than Goths.

I mean if you want to give them same role as knight and as much meta as knight, there is no other way. If you want to keep them different as it is, then you don’t need to make them knight clone. You have to assign them a role though. Right now they can’t play any.

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Less food and more gold cost will help them balance as in TG you need to spend more gold to afford them. For example 70 to 80 gold means 12.5% less BE in late game TG. But in 1v1 you will see them more. That being said cost is not the only issue.

Funny how halbs kill EBE faster than Pikes kill BE and still EBE is an OP unit in late game.

Castle Age Pike
Dravidians and Malay = 5 hits
Burmese and Khmer = 6 hits
Bengalis and Vietnamese = 8 hits

Imperial Age Halb
Dravidians = 4 hits
Malay = 5 hits
Burmese and Khmer = 5 hits
Bengalis and Vietnamese = 7 hits

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Do you think this is OK? I think is not too bad, the problem is the cost of each unit when the game is in late Imperial when gold stars to run out
Maybe adjust everything to make one more hit in Castle and create a tech that make the Eles cheaper in late Imperial

Yeah it is okay. Same trend can be seen for knight line and Camel line. This is to balance pop efficient unit in late game.

I think the tech should be in castle age or just change the base cost directly.