Persians Tweaks, featuring Trash Infantry?

Persians are particularly bad right now, so my attention turns to them.

Persians Current Bonuses
• Start with +50 wood, food
• Town Center, Dock 2x hit points; work rate +10% Feudal, +15% Castle, +20% Imperial Age
• Team Bonus: Knights +2 damage to Archers.

Unique Techs:
• Kamandaran (Archer-line gold cost is replaced by additional wood cost)
• Mahouts (War Elephants 30% faster)

My goal, as always, is to preserve their existing theme, make minimal changes, and bring their win rate up to average.

1200+ Arabia Win Rate


1900+ Arabia Win Rate


To me, the stark difference between the two winrates indicates that their early-game bonus of +50 Food and Wood is not enough. Additionally, while they have a relatively reasonable midgame, their lategame falls significantly behind.

Change 1: Enhance their free resources bonus

Following that generalist theme, and their general weakness in the early game, I’d like to change their first bonus.

• Start with +50 wood, food → Start with +50 of all resources.

This modification will make them more potent in the earlier parts of the game, and the stone bonus especially will allow them to survive longer, so their better economy can better kick in. It’s also succinct and more unique than just +50 to two random resources.

Will this make them too powerful with a tower rush? I don’t think so. Persians already have the Persian Douche option available, and so players are already on their guard against that approach. And combining the two tactics(tower rushing and Persian Douche) works poorly, since you can’t build towers until feudal age, which delays the ###### unacceptably. On the whole, it certainly shouldn’t make them any worse than, say, the Koreans.

Change 2: Move Kamandaran to Imperial Age

Next up, I would like to move Kamandaran from Castle Age to Imperial Age. Generally speaking, this tech is rare to see in the castle age, as gold is plentiful at that stage, and the discount it provides isn’t generally enough to made it worth getting early on.

Combined with this, Mahouts should be removed, and rolled into the Elite upgrade. While this is not entirely ideal(as some players like to get this upgrade for their normal war elephants) ultimately the cost of not having an alternative tech is too expensive, given how little War Elephants are used.

Change 3: New Castle Age Unique Tech: Caliphs

Near the end of the Persian Empire, several caliphs were allowed to take power over their local areas, allowing them to control the area more efficiently, save on costs, and extend the fall of the empire by over a century.

Caliphs would attempt to emulate that, AND follow the theme established by Kamandaran, by offering significant retroactive savings on the Swordsman Line.

Caliphs: Militia Line returns 60% of value on death.

This bonus would have multiple effects. One effect would be making earlier investment into the militia line much more attractive, since you could recoup your investment later in the game. This would also make investing into them in the midgame much more attractive, since you could trade very efficiently with your enemies.

However, it would be self-balancing, since you cannot field a huge force immediately. You need to wait for them to die to get your resources back. In the midgame, this prevents you from being unstoppable, while in the lategame, the weakness of only having longswordsmen will keep the power in check.

Further, this would directly encourage the use of war elephants! One of the biggest challenges of War Elephants is that your normal openings of scouts into knights will prompt your enemy to go into the exact counters that shred war elephants; Monks and Halbs. By going for infantry instead, you will instead force the enemy into archers, which can then be countered by Kamandaran!


So, what has this achieved?

  1. The stronger early game resource bonus will give Persians the oomph needed to get their economy going.

  2. The prospect of having Caliphs available in the castle age will encourage more infantry play, and give them a significant castle age power spike.

  3. More infantry play will also encourage more war elephant usage, to counter heavy cavalry and siege.

  4. With more infantry on the field, the enemy will be more likely to go archers, increasing the relative value of Kamandaran.

Hopefully, this will gently push their win rates up by 2-3%, from a current average of 47% across all elos, to a new average of 50%.

Not really a fan. This does not really help Persians with their biggest problem; they are boring. Making their awful swordsman “worth it” by offering a refund feels like pity more than anything else.

If Persians’ problem was their winrate, then just tweaking some numbers around would have been enough. This misses the…elephant in the room.


The bigger thing is getting war elephants active earlier! As far as I can tell, only better infantry will achieve that goal without making them op in the lategame.

I mean, getting the War Elephant to work is cool. But from a more casual player’s perspective, I find the civ dull even WITH War Elephants being “viable”.

Usually refunding kind of bonuses are not the best imho because it feels like you’re playing to lose to get that working. They can work in some specific cases like with the heresy tech but one of the reasons madrasa was removed from Saracens is exactly because of this.
Also if current Persians are gonna represent Sassanids like I think they always tried to (I hope they rename and split them) then a tech named Caliphs doesn’t seem the best fit for their peculiar identity.
But I agree that the civ needs spice.


I agree when it comes to archers, and even knights to a certain extent, since those are units that you can usually Preserve for significant length of time. But that’s different for the Swordsman line. It’s quite difficult to keep them alive for any significant length of time, so a rebate feels perfectly tailored to them!

In fact, I think one of the main mistakes players often make with them is focusing too much on keeping them alive, rather than spending them to destroy a greater amount of resources. I’ve seen several pro games where a player pulled back their infantry just shy of destroying a production building, and the added production from that building ended up turning the tide and causing them to lose. By rewarding players when their infantry die, it could create exactly the impetus needed to make players use them the way they’re actually meant to be used!

As far as Zip is concerned, by Imperial age, they would have an army composed of War elephants, long swordsman, and trashbows, which is quite Zippy in my opinion!

No one gonna research that if they are blocked at LS

I would. It’s kinda like Szlachta Privileges, really, but more potent to compensate for the relatively lower power of the longswords. Honestly, I don’t think you could have a tech like this if you even have access to 2hs, the discount would be far too powerful even with the small reduction in power.

The big limiting factor would just be population efficiency, but since you have war elephants to compensate(By being far more population efficient than average), it would really work out fairly well overall.

Yes, but knight are much more versatile than LS since they have better stat and most of all they have SPEED. So they are able to raid and catch xbow unlike LS.

Secondly, this bonus only give you a discount upon units death unlike Szlachta Privileges. The only way for you to get a reward is them dying. Knowing their poor pop efficiancy compared to knight and xbow, even if you get the ressources back, your opponent will win this trade with map control and a pressure on your economy with the snowball that result from the fight.

Your proposition is just a worse version of malay trash 2hs


Well, hear me out; the idea is that you wouldn’t go JUST for them, they’d be used to compliment a larger army, and as your troops die off, you swap in increasing amounts of other units. So they might be used to compliment your very strong persian knights, or alternatively crossbows or even war elephants.

You’re right that if you try to go for just LS, you’ll end up losing map control and probably the game. But on the flipside, it will be virtually impossible for the enemy to take a cost effective trade against them in the long term. We’re talking about a unit that costs 18 food and 8 gold. Even if all they do is die, they’re still absorbing hits more efficiently than almost anything else in the game. They can be overwhelmed by raw power, but if the enemy does that, they’ll run straight into war elephants!

I think it would create a really interesting dynamic, as players try to perfectly balance the weakness of the unit with the sheer cost effectiveness they offer.

on mid game you cant afford to transition on several unit at once unless you have a very smooth bonus eco or military bonus like portuguese or chinese. And a transition at LS above that…

True, but don’t forget their economy and the enhanced early bonus that goes along with it. Persians are at their strongest right around then, so they’ll be in their best position to make a transition.

I remember watching a game where Viper went for persian longswords shortly after gambesons came out, and they worked remarkably well, and he won the game. Even he couldn’t go really all-in on them though, because you can’t go anywhere with them after that.

This would change that; you actually could go all-in with them, knowing that even if you start to lose, you can get more than half your investment back if things go wrong!

It still wouldn’t be something you’d do all the time, but at least it would give one viable path towards War Elephants being viable in the midgame!

We will be honest this time. On this video pikemen and monks were literally the winning move instead of LS here. They were almost useless. Their only utility ? Destroy building faster.

Change what? You cant make a castle + UT and full production of LS at the same time on mid game. Your video shows it. Viper only had the stone necessary to build a castle at 35 min which is far from what i call a “mid game”

He got some good fights with them, too! He absolutely supplemented his pikes and monks with them, but that’s okay, they still trade well at that point. I could see them being used to supplement knights as well, since they both benefit from the attack upgrades at least, so there’s some overlap there, and the LS upgrade is very cheap comparatively.

The point though, is he found some value and reason to make them there, and having Caliphs would widen that window and make them more accessible to everyone in the right circumstances.

Midgame is something of a fuzzy term, but I think it’s reasonable to expect to see a castle in that window, especially as a counter to archers countering your infantry. The great thing about insurance techs is, they apply retroactively as long as you don’t get too many of your units killed first. So you don’t need it when you’re making your early LS, you just need it before they all die!

It’s a bit of a risk, I’ll grant you, but that’s part of the fun!

He got none, pikemen done most of the killing. Except destroying building faster they were almost non existant. Even the SR converted by monks did a much better job than them for killing siege weapons.

where? lol? Find me a moment on that video where they did a better job than pikes honestly… Or at least were worth the cost. Because outside of destroying archery range faster than full pikes i didnt see them shine at all.

i think at the moment where imperial is near which is commonly around 35-40 min we can no longer call it “midgame”

First, the more important on melee units are armor upgrade. Secondly, both units all upgrade from blacksmith, stabble and barracks are more than 1500 ressources alone. If we add the castle and UT + training them it’s worse.

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Sure, but the LS did most of the tanking. If that had been pure pikes, I’m pretty sure they’d have all died at least once. And you can’t dismiss the building damage either; Pikes would never have broken the walls or survived the TC fire, so they never would have gotten into the fight in the first place. That’s valuable eco damage, even if just from idle time, not to mention distracting their army for a critical amount of time for Viper to beat back the raids and seal up his base and build more army.

I was just saying generally; LS trade well with pretty much every melee unit in castle age, while having less weaknesses overall. In this particular matchup the camels and scrivamsha riders were pretty well countered.

I’d say midgame often lasts at least until imp, and really for a little while longer still sometimes. To me, lategame starts when you stop fiddling with your economy quite as much and resources become more plentiful.

You don’t really need all the upgrades from the barracks, though. For the most part, you can skip squires and arson at the start at the bare minimum, and if you’re gonna get the melee upgrades anyway then that’s essentially free as well.

These are still longswords, and I’m not arguing they’re better than Longswords normally are, though. This tech would just remove one of the biggest weaknesses of longswords, the fact they often get caught out and die, and make them more viable, while matching the general theme of Kamandaran.

11 tank what? converted SR got rid of the mangonel and scorp. As for Kasva elephant archers he didnt mass them that much nor microing with them and Viper had the double amount of pikes killing it. As for the LS roaming inside Kasva base they did absolutely nothing except dying without taking a single vill and the idle time was only 15sec at best. For the SR that slip inside viper base. They got killed by pikes.

yes by pikes not by LS

that might be the case for infantry civ with bonus alongside it (like teutons, goth, slaves, malay, vikings) but not for a generic one. And dont show me sotl video of 15 knights being defeated by 30 LS( i dont renember exact numbers for both of them). Everyone know that this scenario is really far from reality.

Still around 1400 ressources spend just for upgrades and yet i ignored feudal blacksmith upgrades and iron casting…

Sorry do they cost 0 ressources? I think not.