[Poll] Bulgarians : What should be their main source of pierce damage?

This is a follow up of my previous thread on Bulgarians.

Basically they have never been touched in two consecutive S tier tournaments - NAC5 and HC5. And they are the only civ that goes through this. Clearly pros are not finding them as attractive.

The biggest reason must be in today’s meta not having crossbowman is a big loss. The other civ that lacks crossbowman has an wonderful UU to provide the ranged support.

Bulgarians on the other hand, use various units or buildings for the ranged support. They have Krepost. Tower and TC are also an option as their TC cost less stone. Sometimes siege comes in handy as their upgrade is cheaper on food. And finally, a lot of players use CA as blacksmith discount makes it easier to transition into CA. And on top of that, they can keep their pace with Bulgarians main melee Cavalry army. However, it seems like nothing is enough to attract pros.

So which one you think should be the main source of pierce damage for Bulgarians to compensate the lack of crossbowman? [The only correct answer is always “It depends”. But I still want to hear your opinion.]

  • Defensive structure (Tower, TC, Krepost, Castle)
  • Cavalry Archer
  • Siege Units
  • Something new like Skirmisher
  • Just give them Crossbowman
  • Give them Hand Cannoner
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In general, CA have fallen out of meta.
Bulgarians have solid CA which were seen sometimes when Bulgarians were picked by pros.

And when it comes to the main “Selling points” of Bulgarians at their release which was the early MAA Agression, the Krepost and the UU…

SInce then a lot of Civs have been released that do at least one of it way better than Bulgarians, so Bulgarians feel subpar for whatever strat you want to go with.

Edit: One idea for the CA could be to make them affected by Stirrups but remove either TR or Parthian Tactics in Compensation.

Cav. Archer (cheaper & faster blacksmith upgrades) & Scorpion (cheaper upgrade) are already a benefited source of pierce damage, no? So, both those are already their main source?

Maybe if Stirrups also affects Cav. Archers will give them a positive boost?

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Why? What’s different compared to 2 or 3 years ago?

I also think if LS were even slightly good Bulgarians would be in a good spot, but that’s not the subject of this thread.

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My suspect is that it’s an aftermath in the changes of the base layouts.
The bases have become very compact whilst also not allowing to run full circle with your military to idle all the time this way. The formerly understanding of “expansion” is almost not present anymore.

But it’s hard to prove this as causing that kind of meta shift.

One other aspect is, that for now we know, that we don’t need a lot of military to damage the opponent. Especially with units like Knights. But when you play CA you want exactly that: a lot of military. So naturally people tend to pick more the unit lines that don’t require that much investment.

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I assume you are talking about people becoming better at small walling? That kind of results from the more and more open generation of Arabia. (Seriously 9 out of 10 games I can’t find a single ideal spot for the 2nd TC, wtf)

But I think as long as the wall is not fortified by another layer of house CA can still find damage.

That’s true. In low numbers CA are bad vs either xbow or knights, and completely horrible vs lancers. Not even to mention camels.

As a Huns CA enjoyer I feel sad.

CA is expensive. CA + Konnik is super expensive. Usually civs with bad archers get HC. Celts and Bulgarians are the exceptions. But Woad raiders isn’t expensive. Woad raiders+ siege is affordable. Konnik+ siege is expensive. Konnik+ HC is more affordable.

People are preferring CA both here and reddit. I thought that would make them more similar to Magyars and wouldn’t be picked over them.

That’s true, but I think when people use CAs they don’t use Konniks at the same time.
For example when you are on the flank, you will train CAs or Scorpions and let your pocket training melee cavalry units.
The CAs don’t need to be very outstanding, but just simply fully upgraded.

One of reasons of preferring CAs is the Bulgars (direct ancestors of Bulgarians) were nomads.
But which ranged attack they need depends on when they need it and what they need it against.
HCs are the easy pick but only serve late games and against infantry, and they have quite good swordsmen.

I always think making University technologies free of wood costs is a nice new bonus. It will buff CAs, Towers, Kreposts and Seiges decently and not excessively. Also, give them the last archer armor is needed.

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I also tended to CA. But I had a look at the stats of Bulgarians.
It looks like their “weakest” phase is the transitioning to Castle age. Which makes sense as they don’t really get any notable bonus there.

Except access to Kreposts.

Which may possibly, from the balance perspective - the easiest adaption. We could just eg reduce the cost of Kreposts slightly and it would be fine. Since Sicilians Donjons have in many places taken the role of Kreposts better, it makes a lot of sense to now bring back Kreposts to a comparable state.


Then I prefer scorpions. CA just requires too many techs.

I wish they will be more like Spanish instead of Magyars by having gunpowder.

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Need to unlock Ring Archer Armor so they gains FU Cavalry Archer. Maybe Cavalry Archers get regeneration rate as civ bonus or a effect in stirrups.

But Scorpions are more expensive and easier to be countered. It’s hard to use them to push the enemy in the Castle age.

Due to the history they might be doomed to be similar to the Magyars. I think that’s fine, they aren’t really highly similar and CAs indeed can help them. If the use of Kreposts and siege can be more used, they would be more different.
In addition to making University technologies free of wood costs and giving Ring Archer Armor, it would also be nice to have UTs accessible in Kreposts, which means there’s a chance for Konniks with stirrups to appear in the Castle Age.

I expect there will be militia line buff in near future hopefully. I dont mind giving them FU CA. But militia buff will be more impactful. I suppose militia+scorpions better than militia+CA.

I noticed that on KoTD5 and right after that tournament I proposed a 2 seconds buff on their training time.

Seeing this a lot lately. I feel like it will be too late as CA itself has fallen.

You can literally add all the underperforming civ in this list.

Did you notice how Celts have some of best siege in the game along with a wood bonus. As Celts, when you reach Castle Age, you immediately get 2 siege bonuses. On top of that you do have xbow to buy time for your siege to be on the field. Bulgarians can’t do it and their siege bonus is in Imperial Age. BTW, you missed Romans and Slavs. And these 2 civs also have siege bonuses in Castle Age. Romans have 20 scorpion bonuses in Castle Age and Slavs have cheaper siege.

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Then, allow heavy scorpion upgrade in castle age and make upgrade even cheaper. Siege upgrade cost half of all resouces.

free ballistics (requiring a university). if that seems OP, maybe make it free only in Imperial Age, but still non-free in castle age.
But I think free ballistics since castle age would help them with middle game which is where they struggle most.
archers with free ballistics in castle age would compensate for not having xbows. it would also buff their CA
would also make skirms more useful during castle age if you go heavy on infantry (which is their focus) and want some anti-archer auxiliary units

Ok…….I’m gonna lob this out there.

Bulgarian pierce attack……at least sometimes, should actually be steppe lancers. I know they do melee, but hear me out.

Bulgarians want to be aggressive in the early game, and SL are pretty good at breaking down palisade walls, giving another option beyond krepost drop.

Bulgarians want to go cavalry and infantry, at least if you agree with the description and their UTs. But it’s really hard to use both of their UTs. If you try THS w cavalier or Konnik, it’s double melee, and that doesn’t work the best. But SL can attack from behind THS which would work better, and with stirrups, SL would be putting out some considerable dps.

And the bulgars were a steppe people before merging with slavic peoples in the southern balkans, becoming Bulgarians, so getting SL isn’t indefensible.

Bulgarians I think really want the SL, and simultaneously they are unique amongst the semi-nomadic civs (Bulgarians, Turks, and Magyars) for having average CA. And they arguably have the worst light cav. Turks have extra PA and are upgraded for free, and Magyars have cheaper light cav, and the Magyar hussar which beats Bulgarian faster attacking hussar. At the very least it’s not clearly better.

Of Turks, bulgarians, and Magyars, bulgarians feel like their nomadic roots are the least represented.

It’d double down on their nomadic roots, double down on their cav identity and in a way that’d better compliment their infantry, double down on them wanting to play aggressively, give them another “ranged” option, and give them a unique comp.


For what it’s worth, no micro, no siege, just 30 THS backed by 30 Elite SL…
Beats 30 halb 30 CA (same gold cost) and 33 halb and 33 CA (same resource cost) both Magyars and Japanese.

Loses to 30 imperial camels and 30 hand cannoneers (hindustanis). Giving yourself 6 more THS and 6 more SL to balance resources, it can go either way. If you balance by gold, you absolutely obliterate the camel+HC.

Even against 30 jags and 30 gen xbows you win, and you’re not only resource efficient, but gold efficient as well.


Maybe they could get 8 range just like Castle. Or a 25 stone reduction. But I don’t think that will cut it.

For sure devs don’t want to give them FU trash with faster firing Hussar.

Georgians already have it.

Now I think stirrup affecting them will be a nice idea. Cheaper blacksmith techs along with 33% faster firing will probably make them interesting.

BTW, Bagains cost is also too high. Need to be reduced 900 food, 450 gold → 700 food, 350 gold