Possible Italian Buff (Unique Monk upgrade)

What do you guys think of the idea to give Italians a unique upgrade to their monks, on one hand to buff the civilization but also to underscore the religious history of Italy.
What I envision would be an upgrade to the monk similar how Indians/Hindustani uniquely can upgrade the heavy Camel, or Bohemians upgrade the cannon.
There are lots of possible atributes this upgrade could grant (Health, armor, conversion effectiveness, conversion range, healing range, healing speed, movement speed, faith regeneration), depending on how strong one would want this upgrade to be.

Sure, consensus seems to be that Italians rather need an early game buff, but I think that even if they were to get this monk upgrade it probably still wouldn’t make them too strong, or even so strong that one couldn’t justify another additional early game buffs. After all monks are a somewhat more situational unit and that would most likely still remain that way, even if their monks were better.
Anyway I’m just spitballing the general idea.

Also what do you guys think of giving Slavs and Saracens weaker versions of their previous UTs as a Civ bonus, like +1/2 armor for Slav monks and Saracen monks return maybe 20% of their cost upon death? I don’t think these bonusses would make or break the civ or have really that much impact on their overall strength, but just be a nod to the religious history of Arabia/Russia. I mean sometimes civs get these minimal bonusses thrown in, just for flavor, like Teutons free herbal medicine.


I think this is a really nice idea also because I’m against eco buffs to Italians as I think they already have enough. But better Monks would make them a bit unique on land maps wihtout influencing water maps.

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Its actually great Idea!

Of course, I think Italians deserve earlier buff (for example, additional 1/1 armor for archers, on top of Pavise. Or more like Pavise on top of it, because this need to kick earlier, in Feudal or Castle for free), but giving them also additional unique upgrade for Monk is very fitting.
How we should name this unit? Abbot? Bishop? Cardinale?

Not if it replaces a UT. Then again, silk road is pretty trash, so :thinking:

Imo, monastery have enough techs to buff monks and Italians only misses one. It is more interesting to give feudal monks to civ with limited eco bonus. (not necessarily Italians)


This is indeed true. But as other coorectly said, the bonus cannot affect the eco, but rather the military units (archers ofc, but also a general military buff might make sense, like all the land military units do a thing a little better).

Very true, overall the idea of unique monk can work for several civs. Even current monk civs and can be combined with discounted monasteries. Not necessarly for Italians ofc, but the idea is cool

I made a similar proposal for a team bonus of Papal State new civ concept:

The idea of monks providing a military buff is very cool.

You shold probably think of some tune of the monk stats (faster or stronger or even cheaper).

Then yeah, monks can be available in feudal and also monasteries can be cheaper.

Probably the monk may just provide a small boost in attack speed (no eco boost to be used in water maps).

Even if just a flat 5% extra attack speed for land units as civ bonus would probably fix the Italians

no they don’t, wide tech tree, cheaper gunpowder, additional UU in Barracks and an eco bonus in the form of cheaper aging are more than enough.

I’m a Little against it simply because i feel like they much more need an Archer buff, since their Archer play is totally average outside for late Castle Age and pavise is not that strong to begin with

So before buffing their monks i would help their Archer in feudal, with my preferred choice being “foot archers (and skirmisher?)” Get +1/+1 armor from feudal, which would match the vietnamese bonus at that stage but be worse later until you double down on it with pavise, making the UT more appealing

Or maybe just “archery range units and Geno get +1 MA”

A monk buff would not help Italians when they most need help, and would only further emphasize the cultural mess the italians are. A monk focus could be a good idea for a future civ split with the addition of the Papal State, with a civ focused around heavy Cav and monks

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yes, they do need a earlier buff on land. also their archers are among the weakest of the archery civs. they just do not need an eco buff but a small military buff. does not have to be anithing big tough

a buff on land could be accompanied to a small nerf on water if needed of course

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Frankly speaking, I find the reasoning is pretty weird. He is saying for early buff. Yet these advantages kick in pretty late. Most techs are researched in Castle/Imp age. Condottiero is fairly powerful in early imp but fall short very soon. Wide tech tree and Condo are partially offset by its lack of other powerspike. Cheaper BBC is to compensate one of the worst siege. Italians have good archers so cheaper HC is not really that good after early imp. These bonus make up their powerspike in only imp.

As for cheaper aging up, its power depend on your opponent early eco.

Besides, it is kinda weird that you say Spanish is a weak civ while Italians is not weak at all. Both of their early game is pretty slow.


yes if you get a lot later on, you get very little early on, that’s how it’s supposed to work and that’s how it works for every other civ also, yet Italians STILL get something early on, I’m not sure why people act like the cheaper aging is nothing, it allows you all sorts of flexibility, for example 20 pop MAA or 19 pop archers etc.

Basically, every civs get something early on. If not direct eco bonus, there will be some sort of offensive/defensive capabilities.

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what do Byzantines get early on? What does a faction like Magyars get early on? Berbers? Bulgarians? Sicilians? Turks? Spanish? Portuguese?

Inb4 Byzantines get good Skirms. On most maps, you can 100% ignore offensive Skirms (not that offensive Skirms were ever a thing…) and fully wall them and do some FC or something.

Tons of civs with no eco bonus that can still be strong on Arabia-like maps.

In any case I think for how Italians look like, tech tree-wise, I think they don’t need more. I like Monk upgrade, and I wouldn’t be opposed to buffing their Gunpowder a bit… but no early game eco bonus ty. They get something nice early on (cheaper aging) and something nice later on (cheaper techs).

You can’t buff Italians in Imperial Age, guys, they’re already fully balanced at this stage and have a great identity with plenty of unique stuff. Their problem is early game, there is no point introducing another gimmick into the game that serves zero sense in terms of balance nor early game diversity.

Melee armor for archers would be unique and help in feudal mostly ( It would still be plain worse than vietnamese bonus HP) and could also help Geno crossbows be more unique, like a melee armor variant of the rattan, especially elite

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I wouldn’t buff Genoese, their deathball is potentially one of the strongest in AOE. They’re not Rattan, they’re far different from them, while Rattan serves as a Plumed / CA like unit, Genoese serves as a HC / Chu ko like unit type. It’s far from the reductive point of view that defines them by their melee/pierce armor.

I wouldn’t mind buffing their Feudal Age though. Melee Armor for Archers only I guess.

I agree on this. They have a strong early game eco bonus in cheaper fishing ships.

That is why the buff should be more military focus.

Yeah, possibly without touching the eco.

Either an archer buff (extra armor is ok if it affects also PA, extra attack or movement speed are more difficult to balance but might work) or a more generalized military bonus (similar tovthe sicilians which are not pushed towards a specific unit line), like 5% attack speed for land units.

There is also the option of a trash bonus (like skyrms/sperar reduced TT or similar).


Though it needs to be something specific and not too general like 5% global attack speed, since they lack identity in these early phases.