Proposed Balance Changes V.2

Checkout the new an improved version here.

Hello. This is the version 2 of my civ balance changes suggestions. The previous version was a lot more imprecise and vague. I have come up with this hopefully better balanced version, based on comments and further ideas from that last post. Some of the ideas have been influenced or taken from other balance suggestions.
Also, there are a lot of items on this list, if there are any that you disagree with, could correct, or support, please comment on specifics. Thanks.
Please note: I know that the numbers are largely outdated, I’m just including them to prevent anyone complaining that I didn’t look at the winrates.

The winrate statics are from aoe2stats and are only the 1650+ elo for 1v1 games.

Aztecs: (52.80% winrate)

  • No change.
    Aztecs are a balanced civ currently.
  • OR: Have the faster military production bonus change to a staggered 3/6/9/12 over the ages instead of constant.
    They rely on a lot of early pressure in order to win however, if their faster production was staggered, rushing would still be strong, but late-game spamming would be better than currently.

Berbers: (51.19% winrate)

  • No change.
    Berbers are balanced due to the powerful stables and Camel Archers.
  • OR: Genitour training time decreased from 25 seconds to 22 seconds, 20 for Elite. Speed increased from 1.35 to 1.4.
    This makes Genitours a better raiding unit, or a quick counter, because they are faster to mass and move quicker.
  • AND/OR: Genitour base attack from 3 to 4. Goes from 4 to 5 for Elite.
    This makes Genitour more viable in other situations, because it becomes a trash unit with decent hit and run.

Bohemians: (No current data)

  • Hussite Wagon Speed decreased from 0.85 to 0.77. After Wagenburg Tactics it now has 0.8855 speed, instead of 0.9775. This means it is now slower than Archers after the UT, as opposed to before.
    This allows archers to outrun it, while making mangonels a more effective counter due to projectiles being harder to dodge.
  • AND/OR: Hussite Wagons blocking effect is halved while it is moving.
    This is simply logic; if you are moving the wagon, it isn’t set up as a defense, and therefore shouldn’t function as one. If forces people to choose between attacking and shielding, or moving.
  • OR: Hussite Wagon receives negative melee armor.
    This makes it more vulnerable both to mangonels, and other melee units, which basically forces the player to put ranged units behind it.

Britons: (51.96% winrate)

  • No change.
    Britons are well balanced.

Bulgarians: (46.12% winrate)

  • No change.
    The playstyle can be tricky to pull off, but it can be very effective.
  • OR: Rams generate stone while attacking buildings with stone defense.
    Kreposts and Castles become easier to afford, further pushing the player towards Konniks.
  • AND/OR: Barracks, Blacksmith and Stables all cost -50 wood.
    This just plays further into their strengths, and makes it easier to mass produce the other options for main military other than Konniks, without hindering their economy too much.

Burgundians: (53.32% winrate)

  • Current Coustillier mechanic removed. When the Coustillier runs 5 or more tiles without stopping, turning more than 45% from the starting line of movement, or detouring around units or natural obstacles (player owned units don’t count), it deals +25 attack (Elite +30) upon attacking the next unit. It also deals an unblockable 3 damage to all enemy units within a 0.3 tile radius of where it ends it’s charge. It receives 10 unblockable damage if it charges on a Spearman line unit, a Flemish Militia, or a Kamayuk. If it doesn’t charge and use the charge attack to deal extra damage, it receives no extra unblockable damage. Speed increases from 1.35 to 1.45 while within 3 tiles of an enemy.
    The current Coustillier mechanic is kind of weird, this would add an actual cavalry charge type of mechanic to the game. Just to clarify, I don’t hate the current Coustillier, I would just rather see this instead.
  • AND/OR: Change Flemish Revolution. Revolution now goes from 1200F 650G, to 1000F 800G. Possibly, once Revolution is complete, all new Flemish Militia are added to the lowest available control group. Either this is the one instance where more than 60 units can be in a control group, or it spreads them as it runs out of space. Flemish Militia cost goes from 60F 25G to 60F 15G. It goes from 75HP to 65H, and base attack decreases from 12 to 11.
    This makes it easier to spam Flemish Militia even after Revolution, but makes them all weaker.
  • AND/OR: Revolution only converts Lumberjacks and Idles into Flemish Militia.
    This gives the player greater control over the number of Flemish Militia actually created. Wood is the least useful resource for the Burgundians usually, but there will still normally be enough on it for at least 30 Militia.
  • AND/OR: Revolution also possibly unlocks a new tech after 30 seconds: Political Stabilization. This new tech takes the same slot that revolution took, but may need a new icon. It costs 800F 1000G, and takes 30 seconds to research. When completed, all current Flemish Militia convert back into villagers, and either return to the task they were doing before Revolution, or just stand there.
    This helps with a reboom for the player if Revolution fails, but it still takes time for villagers to be reassigned to their tasks, a lot of them probably will have died, and they become vulnerable while returning.

Burmese: (47.94% winrate)

  • Seeing as most of their units need food, a food bonus would be more useful than the current wood bonus. The wood bonus exists due to the heavy presence of rainforest and other jungles, so what if lumberjacks slowly generated food while chopping trees? Maybe 10 food for every hundred wood?
    This makes it more viable to either go infantry, scouts, or Elephants. Elite Arambai also becomes easier to research, because it costs food, and your eco tends to be geared more towards wood and gold if you are massing Arambai.
  • AND/OR: Battle Elephants could do extra trample damage or knock down trees.
    The first of these is to try and push them towards Battle Elephants as the frontline. The second makes them an interesting option in maps like Black Forest, while also kind of making sense.
  • AND/OR: Add the second archer armor upgrade, to strengthen Arambai, but reduce Arambai pierce armor by 1.
    This makes an Archer rush more viable, as well as Arambai in general.

Byzantines: (47.06% winrate)

  • No change.
    Byzantines are balanced, and are strong if they can reach the lategame.
  • OR: Palisade walls are constructed 30% faster. Stone Walls are constructed 50% faster. Both types of Gate are built 40% faster.
    Although walls already build fast, this almost guarantees that they will be built in time to stop early aggression. It also makes sense, because the walls of Constantinople were almost impregnable, at least until gunpower.
  • OR: Advancing to Feudal age 10% cheaper, Castle Age 20% cheaper, Imperial 30% cheaper. Italian bonus changes from 15% cheaper to advance ages to 15% cheaper, 15% faster to advance ages possibly.
    This makes it easier to reach the lategame, where their strengths are.

Celts: (51.93% winrate)

  • No change.
    Celts are balanced, despite Hoang.

Chinese: (51.64% winrate)

  • Wait and see how recent nerf affects them.
    Chinese are OP, but they recently go nerfed.
  • OR: Chu Ko Nu gold cost increased from 35G to 40G, wood cost remains at 40W.
    Makes it slightly more expensive long term to mass Chu Ko Nu.
  • OR: Chu Ko Nu range decreased from 4 to 3. LoS remains the same.
    This plays more into the “low range, high damage” type of archer that Chu Ko Nu kind of are. Makes other archer hit and run a more viable counter.

Cumans: (42.38% winrate)

  • Remove the cav speed bonus. Add husbandry and heavy camel.
    An extra 5% speed isn’t as good as Heavy Camel and Husbandry in my opinion. Cumans currently don’t have a great counter to cav, because Halberdier can’t really keep up with the rest of the army, and having used Camels in Castle Age becomes quite hard to rapidly transition out of. The extra 20HP and 9 bonus attack are better than 5% on the weaker unit and everything else.
  • AND/OR: Remove siege workshop in Feudal Age, but Capped Ram is free in Castle Age.
    Cumans are very strong at Feudal all-ins, this might help to weaken that, especially as most people just use the 2TC boom and forget that they can even build rams.
  • AND: Cuman Mercenaries changed so that it now allows the creation of ten Kipchak Mercenaries. The first 10 of these are free, and then may be replaced via the normal training method at the Castle, as long as there are less than ten. The Kipchak Mercenary is a new unit, unaffected by blacksmith upgrades or any other technologies. Civ bonuses still affect it. It costs 30W 70G, and has a ten second training time (5 seconds for Cumans to make it better in 1v1s). It has 50 HP, 9 attack, fires 4 arrows, the extra arrows work the same as an Elite Kipchak, has +2 attack against Spearmen, 7 range, has 4/6 armor. It the same ROF, firing delay, accuracy, and frame delay as an Elite Kipchak with Thumb Ring, shares the same armor classes (Archer, Cav Archer, Cavalry, Unique Unit), has 1.4 speed, and has a LoS of 7.
    Cuman Mercenaries is a bad tech, especially in a 1v1. I think that this would be a good way to make it more viable.

Ethiopians: (47.62% winrate)

  • Torsion Engines increases the fire rate of Siege Units by 5%.
    Makes their siege slightly better, and also makes sense, because of how a torsion engine would probably throw projectiles/fire faster than a generic one.
  • OR: No change.
    Ethiopians are balanced.

Franks: (55.29% winrate)

  • Cavalry health bonus only applies starting in Castle Age.
    Makes a Feudal Age scout rush less viable, while still an option, and if the opponent goes Bloodline scouts as the counter, their Castle time suffers.
  • AND/OR: Chivalry increases the research speed of Stables by 40% and the training speed by 20%.
    Chivalry just allows for a mindless spam of Paladins in the lategame. This is especially problematic in the lategame, seeing as it stacks with the current Huns team bonus.

Goths: (50.22% winrate)

  • Wheelbarrow also researches instantly, like Loom.
    Although wheelbarrow itself won’t usually be super effective until the lategame, the 3 extra villagers both helps them reach the lategame where they really shine, and it also suits a Barbarian empire.
  • OR: No change.
    Goths are almost unstoppable if they can reach Post-Imperial in a good position, so they could be left as they are.

Huns: (52.83% winrate)

  • Team Bonus changed to stables work 15% faster.
    The current 20% is much too fast, and allows the Huns to rapidly outproduce most players, at least in terms of the Stable. It also stacks with the Franks’ Chivalry tech, creating problems in team games.

Incas: (48.39% winrate)

  • Slinger rate of fire reduced to 1.8 seconds and projectile speed increased to 6.
    Makes slingers easier to micro, and helps remind people that they exist.
  • AND/OR: Slinger attack +1.
    Makes slingers slightly better in general, as opposed to just anti-infantry.
  • AND: Team Bonus changed so that that A) lets farmers drop off food in Castles, and B) units attacking while standing on or within 1 tile of a completed farm that you own have their elevation level count as one level higher than the level they are actually on.
    This would reflect how Incas used a lot of terraced farming, and making it possible to farm around castles and then use those farms to increase attack strength.

Indians: (52.61% winrate)

  • Elephant Archer base range increased to 5, LoS increased to 8. (Both increases by 1).
    If you are sitting on an elephant, you probably have the range and field of vision to shoot nearby people. Just a comment.
  • AND/OR: Becomes able to fire while moving while not on “No Attack” stance. Speed decreased from 0.8 to 0.77.
    This also makes logical sense, because you can have more than one person on an elephant at once. It would also allow elephants to be a better hit and run unit, because they do both simultaneously. The speed nerf makes it even easier for Halberdiers and similar units to catch them
  • OR: Elephant Archer has it’s elevation automatically count as +1.
    Once again, if you are sitting on an Elephant, you have the high ground.

Italians: (48.15% winrate)

  • Genoese Crossbow range +1 up to base range of 5.
    Makes Genoese Crossbow a good alternative to Arbalester.
  • OR: Genoese Crossbow bonus damage decreased by 1, but attack increased by +1, up to 7.
    Generalizes the unit’s attack a bit more, to allow it more strength against other units, but Arbalester is still decent as well due to the extra range.

Japanese: (49.27% winrate)

  • Samurai gets +1 Pierce Armor.
    This makes it a better Anti-Archer unit, and makes it more viable.
  • AND/OR: Samurai receive +2 bonus attack while being the only unit attacking the targeted enemy.
    This follows the idea of the Samurai code of honor, and makes them win 1v1s.

Khmer: (45.77% winrate)

  • Ballista Elephants cut trees in a complete line, rather than the few trees near where the bolt lands.
    Just makes them better at cutting trees in maps like Black Forest.
  • AND: Scorpions get a 12% discount on gold cost. 66G rather than 75G.
    Makes it a lot easier for Khmer scorpions to reach the critical mass they need to be extremely effective. Because they are very much pushed towards Battle Elephant and Scorpion as their army composition, and both are gold intensive, this makes it a lot easier to build the army they need.

Koreans: (49.03% winrate)

  • Turtle Ship +0.1 movement speed. Normal goes from 0.9 to 1, Elite goes from 1.035 to 1.135.
    Makes hit and run less effective against Turtle ships.
  • AND/OR: Gains access to Fortified Tower in Imperial Age. Fortified Tower must be researched at the university. This is not the same as the current fortified tower, it has no regen feature. Fortified tower takes 130 seconds to research, costs 1000 food, 750 wood. It has 3 melee armor, 4 pierce armor and shares the same armor classes as previous towers. It has 9 base pierce attack, with +11 bonus damage against ships and fishing ships, +1 against camels, +2 against speamen, and +5 against stone defence (Extra projectiles only). It has 3000 base health.
    I think it would be interesting to have an actual Fortified tower in the game.

Lithuanians: (50.54% winrate)

  • No change.
    Lithuanians are well balanced.
  • OR: Faster Skirmishers and Spearmen only takes effect in Castle Age.
  • this is to make rushes more effective against Lithuanians, because scouts can’t even get Husbandry until the Castle Age, and it’s kind of unfair if spearmen can come pretty close to keeping up with them before that.*

Magyars: (47.81% winrate)

  • Villagers can now harvest 150 food from wild animals they kill. Wild animals count as huntables in terms of carry capacity and harvest rate.
    Makes Magyars better on maps with lots of predator animals, and gives them a slight eco bonus.
  • AND/OR: Herdables and huntables no longer decay as long as there is at least one villager working on it.
    This is just a small eco bonus that lets them have a better early economy, due to better food efficiency.

Malay: (44.04% winrate)

  • No change.
    Malay are strong on water and closed maps.
  • OR: Malay Battle Elephants receive +1/+1 armor in Imperial age.
    Helps make up for the lack of armor, and pushes them more towards Elephants in the late-game.
  • AND/OR: Team bonus now includes, Tributes are possible without a market, starting in Feudal Age.
    This is just a cool bonus to add, and should be more useful than just the docks have 2x LoS.

Malians: (53.98% winrate)

  • No change.

Mayans: (56.18% winrate)

  • Archer discount decrease to 5% in Feudal, 10% in Castle, 15% in Imp, instead of 10/20/30.
    This weakens the archer rush a bit, leaving it viable, but a little less cost effective, which is fair considering how it buys time for Plumed Archers, and the Mayans have longer lasting resources.
  • AND: El Dorado cost increased from 750F, 450G to 900F, 550G. Research time increases from 70 to 80.
    This makes El Dorado more resource intensive in the late-game, because Mayan Eagles are usually the strongest of the three Mesoamerican civs.

Mongols: (52.03% winrate)

  • Mangudai training time increases from 26 seconds to 29 seconds. Elite Mangudai HP increased from 60 to 65, normal remains at 60.
    Makes it slower to spam Mangudai.
  • AND/OR: Drill is replaced with new UT Nerge. Nerge is another of the one time effect techs that people hate. It instantly spawns 1 deer on each farm the Mongol player currently controls. Each deer is limited to remaining either on, or within 1 tile of the farm it was spawned on. Nerge costs 1400F, 600W. Possibly increase upgrade cost of Elite Mangudai from 1100F, 675G to 1200F, 675G.
    Gives the Mongols more of a lategame food spike, and removes the siege that can keep up with the cavalry hordes.
  • AND/OR: Nomads instantly unlocks the 200 pop limit, like the Huns have it.
    The current Nomad’s tech is almost useless, because in most cases, if you need it, you are already losing the game. Although this kind of copies the Huns, if people rush straight for it, I can definitely see that getting punished.

Persians: (42.60% winrate)

  • Parthian tactics available in Castle Age and does one of the following: 50% cheaper/Twice as fast to research/Instant research/Gives +1 range/Gives +1 attack.
    This makes sense from a logical standpoint, because the Persian came partly from the Parthians, whom the tech was named after, and, it pushes the Persians towards more cav archers in the midgame, but wood only crossbows with other cav in the lategame.

Poles: (50.04% winrate (I think))

  • Add halberdier, but nerf the gold:stone ratio from 1:2 to 1:3.
    Weakens their early game tower rush or fast castle into castle potential, in exchange for a better lategame Anti-cav, if people feel Obuch isn’t good enough.
  • OR: Do nothing.
    Poles are already well balanced.

Portuguese: (45.54% winrate)

  • Feitoria has 1000 less base HP. Cost reduced from 250S 250G, down to 200S 200G. Resource production rate increased by 50%. Maximum Feitorias becomes 1/2/3, I’m not sure which.
    This makes Feitorias easier to kill, while being cheaper and more effective. The limit hopefully limits their effectiveness on maps like Islands.
  • AND/OR: Possibly add squires.
    This makes the cheaper infantry more viable in the mid-game.
  • Normal Organ Gun fires five bullets, each doing full damage and having 5 attack. Elite Organ Gun has bullets doing 6 attack. Other stats remain the same.
    This makes the Organ Gun more useful as a unit, currently it consistently underperforms and sees little use. It is also weird for a multi-barrel gun to fire in the current way.

Saracens: (49.47% winrate)

  • No change.
    Saracens are well balanced, and the Market means that no change is a definite option.
  • OR: Towers and castles have +3 bonus attack against Infantry.
    This might address how Saracens don’t have a great counter to infantry that they are really being pushed towards, baring archers. It also reflects how the round Saracen towers of the Crusades were more effective than the European ones of the time, because their was nowhere for people to hide.

Sicilians: (42.48% winrate)

  • No change.
    With the recent buffs, Sicilians will perform better.
  • OR: Serjeants garrisoned in Donjons contribute 2.5 DPS to the attack, same as villagers.
    This makes it more viable to engage in a tower battle against counter towers.

Slavs: (45.71% winrate)

  • Slavs renamed to Rus or Ruthenians.
    This is due to the number of Slavic nations now in the game.
  • AND: Orthodoxy no longer affects monks having armor, but units being healed receive +3/+3 armor while being healed.
    Pushes Slavs more towards monks as a support unit for their infantry and Boyars. The current tech is rarely used.
  • AND/OR: The first 3 farms are free.
    This gives the farms a better early bonus, allowing the Slavs to start farming sooner.
  • OR: No change.
    Slavs are fairly balanced as they are.

Spanish: (48.18% winrate)

  • Building speed bonus doubled for houses.
    This makes it faster for the Spanish to boom up and reach Castle/Imperial age, where their power shines.

Tatars: (47.65% winrate)

  • Check out the Steppe Lancer buff at the bottom.
    It seems like a decent idea to me.
  • AND/OR: Begins with the locations of the closest 8 sheep revealed, including the sheep already found. In nomad games this takes effect after the construction of the TC and reveals the closest X sheep, where X is 8 - the number of sheep already found.
    This plays more into the sheep bonuses that already exist, and make it easier to safely start the economy.

Teutons: (50.46% winrate)

  • No change.
    Teutons are balanced.

Turks: (49.00% winrate)

  • No change.
    Turks are quite balanced.
  • OR: Scout Cavalry line gets +1 pierce armor starting in Castle Age.
    This pushes them more towards the Light cav that they both get upgrades for free on, and historically used.

Vietnamese: (43.28% winrate)

  • Rattan Archer no longer reveals it’s location to enemies it is attacking, but projectiles are still visable.
    This plays more into the Guerilla tactics that the Vietnamese usually employed against invaders, and makes Rattan Archers more than just anti-Archer units.
  • AND/OR: Battle Elephants train 16% faster. 20 seconds rather than 24 seconds.
    Makes it easier to amass Battle Elephants for the frontlines.

Vikings: (51.88% winrate)

  • No change.
    Vikings are balanced.
  • OR: Berserks lose the current healing mechanic. Berserk HP reduced from 61 (Castle Age), 64 (Imperial) and 75 Elite, to 52 (Castle), 55 (Imperial) and 65 Elite. When Berserks have less than 25 HP, (30 for Elite), they are replaced with a new unit, the Enraged Berserk. The Enraged Berserk has the same name ingame (Berserk/Elite Berserk) but functions very differently. If healed above the threshold, they return to normal Berserks. The Enraged Berserk has no armor, and is affected by no blacksmith armor upgrades. The Elite version has 1 pierce armor. The Enraged Berserk has speed 1.2, as opposed to 1.05. It has 15 base attack (20 for Elite) and is affected by attack upgrades. This is opposed to 9 and 14 base attack. The Enraged Berserk has a new model, with no shield, the cloak in tatters, and an axe in each hand. The rate of fire also goes from 2.0 to 1.9. The Enraged Berserk keeps the same armor classes and bonus attacks as the corresponding normal version.
    This would be a much cooler and more interesting effect than the current one, which although useful, is time consuming and boring.
  • AND: Berserkergang is changed. Only apply this if adding the Enraged Berserk. Berserkergang now causes Enraged Berserks, when they die, to perform a special death attack. This death attack deals 10 unblockable damage to all enemies in a 0.3 tile radius, and can be improved through blacksmith attack upgrades, or any other attack bonuses. This death attack has a new animation, and cannot be stopped. Only happens if the unit dies, possibly of a melee attack, and doesn’t occur it it is deleted.
    If the enraged Berserk was added, this would be needed, because Berserkergang would no longer have a point.
  • AND/OR: Berserk is renamed to Berserker.
    Why are they even called Berserks? They go berserk. They should be called Berserkers.

Battle Elephants:

  • Battle Elephant gold cost reduced from 70G to 60/65G.
    Makes it less gold intensive to amass an army, especially as most of the civs need the gold for other units as well.
  • AND: Elite Battle Elephant base attack increased from 14 to 15.
    Incentivizes Elite Battle Elephant more.
  • AND/OR: Elite Battle Elephant trample damage increased from 0.4 to 0.5 tiles.
    Makes Elite Battle Elephants better in pitched battles and makes the upgrade more useful.

Cavalry Archers:

  • Cavalry Archer frame delay from 35 to 25, and Heavy cav archer from 46 to 36. Possibly decrease speed from 1.4 to 1.35 to counteract this.
    It makes little sense for a unit that is meant to be micro intensive to have such a high frame delay.

Last one, Steppe Lancers:

  • Steppe Lancers gain a +4 bonus attack against villagers. Elite Steppe Lancers gain +9 bonus attack against villagers. This allows Steppe Lancers to three shot a generic villager when fully upgraded in Castle Age. This allows a fully upgraded Elite Steppe Lancer to two shot a generic or fully upgraded Incan villager. Below fully upgraded will three shot fully upgraded Incan villager. It four shots a Spanish Villager with Supremacy researched. This would possibly require armor class 38 to be created, just for villagers. The bonus attack could also be extended to trade units.
    This makes Steppe Lancers more useful as a raiding unit, because currently they don’t really have an assigned role.

Ok, that is my full list of changes, give me your take on how it should be done instead or how badly you think some of these will break either winrates or the game.

Moving the aggregated, unadjusted win rates for the sake of moving them is naive. Balance change suggestions are most useful in that they help the community and devs:

  • identify weaknesses that civs have which allow certain things to be insurmountable given the existing tech tree and bonuses. Similar for strengths which allow beating too many different things despite their tech tree and bonuses.
  • if one civ significantly outperforms all others in a role (e.g. castle age chivalry franks for team games)
  • identify if a unit or bonus meant to provide the novel experience, strategy options, theme, etc for a civ is not usable for one reason or another. (Pre DE genoese xbow)
  • identify issues common to many civs (like the pre-DE militia line being too expensive)
  • identify if a civ would be good but for X (like Burgundian eco techs needing a discount)
  • other things.

The pattern is that a problem is identified and a solution made for that problem. A civ needs buffs or nerfs related to X → execute on changing things related to X.

However your list is mostly small nudges for the sake of nudging the win rates. Even if most of these were worth implementing the vast majority don’t really solve anything except move the naive win rate data. I call the data naive because it’s unadjusted, uncontrolled, and not causal. As such interpreting things directly from it is extremely naive. The naive win rate data has significant problems in terms of player biases confounding civ design problems.

For example a significant problem with the rajas civs is that many players don’t want to bother learning how to use elephants to their full effect. It takes a lot of effort and there’s a lot of niche tricks available: reconverting your own elephants, faith, upgrade timing for the UTs and elite upgrade, when to get the blacksmith upgrades, complementary units, general practice with using a slow unit, etc. It’s a lot of work with the best possible upside that you obtain an average win rate with the relevant civs. This also applies to Persians somewhat. No amount of buffs can fix this directly.

Other problems like this exist. Like people don’t use nearly enough siege vs civs with extremely predictable anti-siege options like mayans.

Fundamentally the majority of decent players learn a handful of meta strategies + 1-2 others and get good at them. As a population the group doesn’t have the time, inclination, or even community support necessary to learn every niche strategies. Many niche strategies will go unpracticed by a significant chunk of that population just due to this constraint. So civs which rely on players to learn and practice them (e.g. Malay and their elephants) will have lower win rates.

The people who do have the time, inclination, and community support are most likely to be pros. However due to the drafting nature of tournaments even at that tier significant gaps can develop. You don’t exactly need to know how to use elephants for tournaments or streaming for example. The upside for novel strategies in a balanced game will also be pretty modest.

Bottom line is most of your list woudn’t do anything except change naive ladder win rates. It is mostly a list of solutions in search of a problem. Many would potentially have tons of side effects that create problems. Moving naive win rates for the sake of moving them is, as the name suggests, naive.

In terms of how I think it should be done there should be more players experimenting, providing feedback to each other, and generally trying to optimize playing different civs. Less balance posts, more “let’s try and make this work” posts. There should be more communication from the devs regarding tests performed when making balance changes so players know why something was held back or changed. This helps players narrow in on what the effects of the changes were and what wasn’t tested.

Finally players should stop bad-mouthing units. Creating this atmosphere of group think regarding what units people should avoid except as a last resort is incredibly dumb. Focus on how to get the most out of X instead of focusing on what you can get out of X. C.f. max vs argmax.

Most of these have nothing to do with balance changes to the game and everything to do with helping people get the most out of the existing game. Leave balance discussions until after a problem has been identified and no solution can be found in the existing game.

But that’s just like my opinion man.


How do you can propose changes for Bohemia when you don’t have data?

1 Like

You sure like the word naive.

Would you say I’m doing that?

What makes you say this? The inclusion of winrates? Very few of these suggestions are actually based on the winrates, I’m just including them because some people like to look at numbers.

Because I’m not basing it on the data for the most part. These changes are to stop Hussite Wagon being so powerful. Logically if it is moving, it hasn’t been set up as a wall, and therefore shouldn’t have the full wall effect. Other than that, it should never outrun archers, because it is a large tanky thing that is very good against archers, so if archers can’t escape them, that isn’t very fair. They should also be more vulnerable to mangonels, which have a speed of 0.6, before the UT.

But they arent…


I know, but it makes them less deadly against archers, because currently they have both super high pierce armor, move faster than archers after the UT, shield units behind them, and have decent damage output.

I say that most of them wouldn’t do anything except change the win rates because they don’t solve a problem. Many are solutions in search of a problem.

E.g. what is gained by nerfing Mayan archer numbers by 5.5%/12.5%/21.4% or increasing the total resources spent on archers by the same amount? What problem does that solve? Anyone who knows how to use siege can keep mayans in check. The civ is able to be exploited by siege more than almost any other civs:

  • heavy on archers
  • no redemption
  • no siege engineers for onager
  • no bombard cannon
  • predictable anti-siege response (eagles).

The only possible justification I can come up with for such a change is to drop their win rate.

This applies to a lot of your changes. They don’t solve some fundamental civ design problem. They are designed solely to adjust the win rates and it shows. It’s an incredibly naive method of balancing a game.


Well some of your ideas are interesting, but why do you want to give balance changes to almost every civ in the game ?

They’re a lot of unecessary or missplaced stuff because lot of the civs are just fine. Winrates doesn’t tell everything. I can explain more if you want, but for example if you were looking at ranked and competitive scene i’m sure you will not propose a big buff to CA.

Balancing should only focus on real problem few at the time.

About Feitoria for another example, the problem is not the production rate which is already less than vils, but the fact than you can have unlimited ressources on water map (that could be solved by limiting the number of feitoria build like 1 or 2, but enhance a bit the production rate to give it more rounded use)


Not necessarily, these are just ideas for people to look at.

That’s reasonable. I think they need a health nerf though, because they seem to have way to much HP.

It could be a greater frame delay than what I’m suggesting, but the with the amount of time and res that has to go into fully teching out CA, I think that it makes sense for them to be smoother to control, especially at the lower levels.

In your example, it requires people to know how to use siege. Now while a lot of people do know how to use siege, this would make Mayans easier to deal with at the lower levels. And even at the higher levels, Mayans are consistently picked, which to me at least, suggests something about how strong they are, even compared to civs with good siege.


How about berserks remain as is but give them a window after reaching 0 hp where they can still attack with increased attack before dying. Say, 5-15 in-game seconds.

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Making changes based on people not knowing how to use things is incredibly difficult to do. AoE2 gets around this by having multiple counters to almost everything. Lower ranked players can still use skirms or heavy cavalry for instance. It was an extremely smart design decision for ensemble studios to do this.

Even at higher levels player biases can be a problem. Fundamentally using siege against mayans requires stone walling or building walling at home to prevent eagle raids and infantry/cavalry + moderate siege numbers. Most of that is extremely non standard but it doesn’t change the fact that the option exists and it works well. There are several examples of pros doing this to good effect. Hera has a good example of shotel + siege onager vs MBL as mayans.

I mean balance changes come in two flavors: those that change what the best options are and those that simply change how good the (unchanged) best options are. The former changes strategic decision making and competitiveness the latter mostly just competitiveness and a few tactics edge cases like when to engage or not. The former is usually the more important type and your list has very few of them. Most of your list falls into the latter category. So in general your list doesn’t have many important/necessary changes in it.

The latter type can definitely be important but you need to be invoking a causal effect to justify them. For example if the frank scout rush isn’t the problem nerfing it doesn’t do much. Alternatively the Mayan archer discount is the linchpin of their techtree and nerfing it by the degree you suggest has huge effects on competitiveness.

I still think most of the balance problems aren’t related to the game directly anymore. They’re mostly related to how 39 civs is a lot to learn, that players are human and have biases, and that the incentives for exploration aren’t great. These have pretty big consequences for the data we see. That makes balance change lists like yours mostly gratuitous.


They will remain powerful against archers even if they move slower. Their function is to tank ranged damage.

The only thing I think they need is more weakness against mangonels. Nerfing their speed would be a solution but they could have negative melee armor and it would be ok as well, even if they move as fast as now.

Also, bohemians are top 5 in arena but below average in arabia. If we nerf hussite wagons, their winrate could drop in those 2 maps (or not)

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If you weaken melee armor though, they become even worse against general melee. I do think that mangonels should be a better counter though.

Really difficult to discuss if you dont describe the problems you want to solve… win rate is a result of problems, winrate itself is not a problem.


I’ll do that, but it might have to be version 3, because I can’t do it now, and the time will probably run out before I can.

If a civ is balanced, both on the win rate and because every bit of it works, don’t change it for the sake of changing it.

Just leave it alone, and this argument actually is applicable to most of the civs listed here.

Genitours are super rare, but they do their job. The problem of the unit is in its design, and +1 more attack or less TT won’t change that. Simply berbers are better off with stable units and camel archers.


47% is a perfectly healthy win rate, so I don’t see why they should get an early game bonus when they are clearly designed to be a late game civ.

I want to see chinese nerfed as much as anyone else, but that maybe it’s too much, and it would kill the unit.

What would 5% more RoF do? And also why?

You need to let it them either all TC techs or it wouldn’t be that much useful. WB is just the one that would benefit more.

Also, you would need to change the loom bonus, so that it is automatically researched when you click the feudal age.

This would only make GC a better version of the arb, making the civ more bland and less “choice-rewarding”. It’s also not what they need.

Wouldn’t make the unit more appealing.

Speed does little when you are just defending. That bonus is more about you rushing the enemy with pikes and skirms.

I would make it better: “animals don’t rot if they are killed by a magyar vill. If another civ vill starts gathering from such animals, the rotting restarts, if a magyar vill get back to such animal, it stops again.”

Malay low win rate may depend on the fact that they are a weird civ. They mess up your age up times and build orders. They incentives you to go for BE and stable units, when archers are their main to go unit.

They are just weird… but if I would have to give them a bonus, I always liked the idea that the middle of their TC may spawn a shore fish when hitting feudal or castle age. Though, it would probably be OP…

Why? Drill is a perfectly good tech.

Without bracer Persian CA aren’t that great, while their trashbows are the main ranged unit. So early PT wouldn’t do much…

It would be just a bad huns bonus.


I dont mind them being a bit weaker against melee units. They are supposed to provide cover to other units, and those units can handle that melee units (better halbs and monks vs cavalry, archers or HC against infantry)

I have not the DLC but one partner of mine spammed wagons against franks and got wrecked. I think they are fine.

It’s basically to complement the Leitis. You have faster skirms, so you can add those, and use them to chase down any Archers pretty effectively. You can usually get in an extra shot against CA as well.

Because they’re really easy to kill early game. They’re basically OK in team games for some niche strategies, and they’ll do all right on water, but on Arabia they really do struggle. Their early game is very exploitable.

I agree. I think Aztecs are good as they are. Strong early-mid game win potential.

I’d prefer Bersekergang to be not changed. It’s a nice and well thought out bonus. You basically save some gold by getting your units healed between engagements. It’s does not (and is not meant to) aid strongly during engagements itself. In essence, if you keep your berserks alive between engagement, and don’t do silly things like streaming them into a battle one by one, you can save a lot of gold.

I’d say, change the castle age UT to something else. Adding more HP to elephants is not a very useful bonus. Elephants already have a lot of HP. I’d also suggest changing the imperial age UT to give something else, the paper money is such a weak tech in general.

I’d say that Rattans are generally pretty slow to mass, so that could be an idea for a better UT. For second UT, maybe we could have lumberjacks generate a slow trickle of gold. Longer lasting unit production that way.

No change. They really do need that +1 PA. Making skirms with Turks is not something you really want.

They need a tower-rush related buff, and also a cost adjustment buff so that conq+meatshield line-up becomes affordable.


This is a very nice idea for Magyars.

This sounds OK enough to me.

Civ needs either a complete redesign, or preferrably, the old bonus given back to them.

sounds like an interesting idea :slight_smile:

Both Coustillier and FR are fine as they are.

Nice idea. I think blocking effect does not need to be nerfed, a speed reduction would be enough.