Purely hypothetical Ideas for new trash units

Basically every other unit ruins that. But is this bad? Look at water with its perfect counter wheel.

No I actually think the opposite. It’s good that every age has it’s power unit: archer => knight => HCA. This gives the game a natural development. The only “sad” thing about that is that it leads to kinda repetitive gameplay cause all of them also synergize so well with one of the trash units, leading to converge to 3 basically always viable unit comps.
The Idea of this thread is trying to break this repetitive meta stuff with something explicitely designed to counter these meta strats so we are forced to think a bit more outside of the “meta box” we have put ourselves in.

And cause the units are only given to a small selection of civs (that also often underperform) it’s very unlikely it will break the game, just a way to make these civs more interesting to play with and against.

Like the Genitour is only given to Portuguese, Spanish, Malians and Saracens.

Eh, it’s a breath of fresh air compared with some of the wacky ideas that get thrown around as if they’re god’s gift to balance and need to be implemented right now! Everyone has ideas and while I’m down for discussion, most of them are not so good that they’ll make it into the game. The OP did well by leading his ideas with a little intellectual humility.

That said, I have trouble having a strong opinion either way on “hypothetical” units, since there’s not much of any tangible metric of assessing the usefulness or strengths/weakness of a unit that is designed with the intent of not actually being included in the game. The more hypothetical something is, the less its (hypothetical) quality can be tested with real metrics. Then again, every unit/design people come up with is “hypothetical” until it actually is included in a mod/game.

It seems like this unit has a lot going for it for a non-gold unit. Infantry bonus, high melee armor and faster moving than its gold-costing counterparts? Kinda seems like you just described a lower-range, goldless version of the Plumed Archer that is better vs melee. So I think this unit’s strengths are at odds with it being a trash unit.

While the other ideas are interesting (particularly Genitour, which I agree should be an Iberian regional unit rather than a TB unit), some I find rather uncompelling. The shieldman is an odd one in terms of trying to find historical precedents, and its role as a front-line damage soaker is already fulfilled by other units, to varying degrees (militia line, TKs, huskarls, even light cav line does ok at this role despite halb weakness)

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Well I think you still got me wrong. The hypothetical aspect wasn’t in respect of the exact design, I actually work on that. But it’s way more complicated than I thought cause of the nature of these units. So I wanted to make a teaser first also to remind myself for “what I actually wanted to accomplish”. The hypothetical is indeed that I just want it for fun. I mean I would really like seeing one of these units in action but yeah as you said

So I have no right to claim that mine would be any better than others. But I have fun thinking about new unit concepts and sharing them regardless if they are implemented one day.

Your’e not wrong. Many of these units have kinda lot going for them which makes the design so hard. I think it can be balanced though if the general damage per shot is in the same ballpark as skirms. Potentially even 2 less range than xbows and/or lower firerate.
When designing it I will orient it on the slinger, making it about as good against infantry but worse against basically everything else. So basically a “trash slinger”. (Though the slinger is already kinda specialised so it’s also an option to make the slinger more versatile in the process.)

I think you will be rather surprised by my design then. I think it’s kinda cool concept but also hard to fit in cause of it’s uniqueness. It’s literally just a big meatshield - probably really strong against skirms, but otherwise just meat to chew on for the opponent - ideal to pair with the kinda “glass cannons” of the spear and militia line.
The complexity with this unit is to make it useful against the skirm/knight comp but not overbuffing them so that all civs which have it can just use it as huskarl replacement for a semi-goth flood. Not that it should be impossible, but I think it would be decrimental to the game if this would become their gameplan.

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So… let’s come to the Shieldman.
The Shieldman was even more complicated than the Genitour cause the intended design just didn’t work. Cause the melee unit target selection is too good. Meaning the units are too clever to make it work, sadly.
The Idea was to make the Shieldman an high HP damage soaker mostly, but if you do it so it will basically not be targeted by the enemy units, meaning it’s just meat hanging around and nobody cares about it.
The only viable solution I came up with that is “justificable” is to make it a super cheap low HP unit like the other infantry units. That way it becomes targeted more often. But it also makes it essential that it has a) half the collision size (so you can fit more in a line) and also b) just half the pop space like karambit. There were a lot of different other Ideas I had but ruled out as it would require to implement new mechanics which I think would be better suited for some UUs in the future:
A) Actively “Shield” nearby units by increasing their stats
B) Take part of the damage dealt to nearby units instead of them
C) Attract enemy units to attack it
D) Go always in front of a formation
… and some other I already forgot.

With the new design there came some difficulties as it is potetially also better for a “semi-goth” flood cause it’s just better spammable and cause of the lower pop efficieny I was forced to increase the HP/cost which also plays in favor of that utility.

(Heavy) Shieldman - Very cheap Infantry unit. Very low and slow attack, but comparably high pierce armor for an infantry. Good against Skirmishers
Occupies only half a population space and can be packed twice as dense in a line as regular infantry.
15 F, 10 W
50 (60) HP
1 Atk (+2 vs Archers), Melee
4 Rof
2 Pierce Armor
0 Melee Armor
Speed 0.9

The unit on it’s own is kinda useless (except against skirms) it only gets it’s strength when used together with other units like the militia or archer line by just soaking damage.
The extremely low damage output is necessary otherwise it would counter halbs/pikes which would lead to shieldman + halb dominating full trash wars with these civs. The way proposed it’s softcountered by halbs which makes it an interestig addition to trash wars but you still need the other trash units.

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So, let’s get to the next unit concept. This time potentially the easiest one. The Lightbowman or Composite Bowman or however you wanna name it is just designed to kill enemy infantry, but nothing else BUT infantry. For this reason it has a low base damage and also shorter range than archers. It is very cheap but has meaningful bonus against Infantry.
The low cost makes it also kinda good against monks, as the intended composition partner is camels which are often countered by monks aswell. Because of the camel as comp partner it has quite high speed for an archer unit but not as high that it could keep track with cavalry, just faster than most infantry.
The design was kinda easy as I could use the Slinger as reference and only had to keep track it doesn’t ouperforms slingers in any utility but with the higher speed.

(Elite) Lightbowman (Composite Bowman) - Cheap anti-Infantry archer. Fast, but frail. Available from Castle Age at the archery range.
30 F, 20 W
20 (25) HP
Atk: 3 pierce, +5 (+7) vs Infantry, +5 (+7) vs condottiero (potential bonus dmg vs rams if necessary vs pike/ram)
RoF: 2
Range: 4
Acc: 70 % (80%)
0 Pierce armor
0 Melee armor (Potentially increase if they don’t perform as good as intended)
Speed: 1.2

And I come to the final trash unit concept I had proposed. The Chariot.
The Chariot is inspired by the Ratha but has very specialised usage. The Idea I got is to make it syngergize very well with eles. And Eles in their current design. I also thought about adjusting Eles first and then design Chariots to fit to that hypothetical new eles, but as there are like a million Ways to change Eles I can’t really predict one.

So… The Chariot is intended to be kinda good raiding unit, strong vs monks and pikeman from distance. Deals also considerable damage vs camels but bec of the low HP camels still counter it. The Melee mode of the Chariot is for dealing with Siege.
To perform all of that chariots need to be almost absurdly fast.
That’s a lot of utility in one unit. Which means it needs to have some serious tradeoffs, like being countered by basically everything they aren’t designed against.
The Chariot is quite expensive cause then it synergizes better with the also pop efficient elephant.

The Ratha then could be just the “Gold Version” of the Chariot basically. Instead of having bonus damage vs special unit the Ratha would have mostly base damage. This would normally mean that it would be mostly used as a cav archer type of unit, But I think if we give the melee ratha trample damage we could add an additional utility against cheap mass units.

Enough Spoken, let’s go into it:

(Heavy) Chariot 120 W (Trainable in Ranges)
HP: 35 (45)
Atk ranged: 3 Pierce, + 2 vs camels, + 5 (6) vs spears, + 3 vs monks
Atk melee: 4 (5) melee, + 8 (12) vs siege
ROF: 1.5
Range: 5
Speed: 1.5
Acc: 80 %
Armor: 0/0 Pierce
Armor Classes: Cavalry, Cavalry Archer, Archer
Conversion Resistance

(Elite) Ratha 60 W, 60 G, (14 (10) s training time)
HP: 80 (90)
Atk ranged: 5 (6) Pierce
Atk melee: 11 (14) melee, 1 tile 25% trample damage
ROF: 1.5
Range: 5
Speed: 1.5
Acc: 80 %
Armor: 2(4) Melee / 0 Pierce
Armor Classes: Cavalry, Cavalry Archer, Archer, Unique Unit
Conversion Resistance

If these stats are familiar with you somehow, I used a design I made for fun for a “Trash Ratha” version in a different Thread but adjusted it a bit for this a bit different perspective.

Edit: I had to change the Range, it was shorter than archers which would lead to weird interactions when microing the comp. In the exchange I removed some HP.

45 hp and no Rmour for a trash unit that costs 120 resources seems pretty awful

Tbh I domt like your Ratha changes that much either tbh

Yeah it’s quite squishy, but super fast. Don’t forget it benefits from bloodlines so it’s 55 / 65 in the aftermath after that.
It has kinda good damage output and high speed for a trash unit that’s why it needs to be that squishy.

Also cause it’s only wood the 120 res is a bit misleading, 120 wood are about as much worth as 80-90 g or even about 75 F at the beginning of castle age.

What do you criticize?

Mostly that they are not quite bad vs ranged umits. Tbh its not a massive deal and its prob fine too but I prefer their current design

Its still way too little I think. I would prob prefer to go full light cav and maybe mix some skirms

What? They are kinda strong against archers and CA. Ok they don’t completely dominate, but they beat both in a cost efficient fight. Ofc they are kinda countered by skirms as a CA type unit. But otherwise they are still basically as strong as they are currently, just a bit differen with better rof but lowe HP. And they are way faster than currently.

Actually they are better with my design bec of the higher speed and range than they are currently, just with more Damage over Tankyness.

Edit: I did some calc and adjusted my Ratha design ever so slightly and gave just 5 HP more. It was indeed a bit weaker than the current version vs xbows. It still beated them, but not by a considerable margin. I don’t want to give it extra pierce armor cause with pathian tactics they would become so insanely powerful vs archers and CA in the lategame, that it would be total domination.

1 Hounds
-50 food
-Fast and deals a little extra damage to vills, no armor at all.
-Dogge skin needed

2 Falconeer
-85 food
-When idle for 3 seconds a hawk fly around with great vision range
-No damage
-Normal speed and def

3 Brawler
-65 food 10 wood
-10 sec in TC
-A better stat vill
-Quick meatshields in base

An infantry unit. Cheap, faster to train, good for harass. A kind of trash eagle warrior.

Feudal Age / Castle Age Upgrade (Elite)
HP: 35 / 45
Armor: MA 0 PA 1 / MA 0 PA 1
Attack: 4 / 7 (+2/+3 bonus vs Building)
ROF: 1.8
Speed: 1.15
Cost: 40 F 25 W
TT: 20 sec
Upgrade Cost: 200F 75G

Is affected by Supplies, Squires and Arson

Funny idea.
But i fear that this will make scrushes obsolete.
Also I don’t know what Gold unit it would synergizes with, it looks to me just like a solid standalone raiding unit.
And strong in trash wars also.

Maybe 4 attack is a little high for Feudal… 3 attack could work, because is -2 than scouts.

it’s actually more about the food cost, you could make basically 2 x as much of them as you can make scouts

I think the Problem with infantry is very complex. It took me also a while to bring the shieldman in a state where I think it is kind of balanced.
With infantry having so few usable counters especially gold efficient counters they have a very high risk of being completely broken with no or very low gold cost. And we must be very careful with designing them… at least how the game is currently designed.

Btw your design has very high similarity to the karambit actually.

After I finally made the Civilisation Hub complete I found some time to Start making the Mod I wanted to with these units.

The plan is to Make 5 civs now, but 2 of them are just edited old ones that can use an overhaul. It took me a long time to find the best civilisation fits for these units, but I think I found them:


Bengalis (no-brainer)


Swiss. Swiss were famous for their Infantry and though I don’t found evidence for a pure shieldman in their compositions, they actually used a lot of differently equipped Infantry to combine their individual strength. So the shieldman is just basically an analogy for the characteristics of the “Gewalthaufen”. Swiss also offer different things that can be very useful when designing a civ that is mostly built around infantry. Certain bonusses that make it (hopefully) viable.


Aragonese: Aragonese fought off the Berbers together with Castille. The current Spanish is mostly inspired by castille so I chose Aragonese which are also generally more fitting to the concept I have in mind, cause Aragonese were less focussed on heavy cavalry and instead used a lot of different Weaponry.


Songhai: Songhai give a good mix of Archer / Cavalry combination that fits the concept of the camel/lightbow combination I strive. It allows also to test one thing I always wanted and this is a civ without chemistry. Ofc they get a UT as replacement for their archer line, but all the other stuff doesn’t
gets it anymore.

The Civs that will be removed/changed to the new ones are: Burgundians, Sicilians and Poles. Because of their gimmicky techs.

Then I decided to add one more Unit. This is against Halb/Siege and for combination with Steppe Lancers. It is given to Cumans cause I need to remove cuman mercenaries to make space for swiss mercenaries and it gives me an excuse to remove the Cuman 2nd TC. Haha.
It is the Flamethrower, a weapon Cumans adopted from the Byzantines and used for a short time in their army for their famous sieges. Flamethrowers deal pierce-through damage like the Chakrams, but with way lower attack values. Instead they attack faster and have bonus against Spears, Siege and Wall/Gate. This should complement the Steppe lancers perfectly against all non-camel civs.
Against Camels I plan to adjust the Kipchak, removing the extra arrows, but giving bonus damage vs Camels, so it becomes a CA specialised for anti-camel. As Cumans miss Bracer this is viable in my opinion. For all other CA civs it would probably be too oppressive.

Name Flamethrower Elite Flamethrower
Armor Class Archer Archer
Produced at Archery Range Archery Range
Production Time 30 s 30 s
Production Cost 30 F, 60 W 30 F, 60 W
HP 50 60
Speed 1.15 1.15
ROF 0.75 0.75
Attack 4 Melee 5 Melee
Atk Bonus 2 vs Spearmen 3 vs Spearmen
2 vs Siege 3 vs Siege
4 vs Wall and Gate 5 vs Wall and Gate
Range 4 4
Accuracy 100% 100%
Melee Armor 0 0
Pierce Armor 0 0
Benefits from Archer Armor, Chemistry Archer Armor, Chemistry
Upgrade Cost 100 s 600 G, 500 W
Special Pierce-through damage
Projectiles travel 2 Tiles longer than targeted

(I will most like revise this design cause the pierce-through damage stuff is hard to balance in theory and needs a lot of testing.)

Thanks to all the diligent Civ Concept designers for inspiring me.

Hope you know how to do datamodding. :wink:

As far as I can see datamodding isn’t so complicated.
The things I am concerned about are more:

Why doesn’t have steam a good version management system?
How do I get Models for the units? (I’m really bad in that, so I can’t make my own unit models)
Reading in all the weird stuff the devs implemented for workarounds that aren’t self-explanatory.
Where are the files to change?

For pubishing as far as I understand it I just pack all “changed files” into one single zip folder (just the files, no directories or whatever). But I will figure that out once I have done the mod.

It’s weird, there is no tutorial how to mod, why? I don’t think it’s so complicated, you just need to know where the stuff is you want to change. And ofc this banal stuff like “if you add a new unit you need to change the language file, too and ofc tell the editor where to look in the language file.”
Stuff you just need to “know”.

And for the beginning I mostly just copy stuff and then change individual values, this way I can gradually get an understanding what which value does and learn also the syntax “passively”. That’s generally how I approach when I try to learn new technical stuff and so far it worked just fine.

Then you would need to find someone willing to do it.

It’s not like that. You need your directory folder structure, if you make a datamod, it should be something like yourmod > resources > _common > dat. You then zip all of that, and you can upload it. If you want to do graphical changes, you need a second mod. If you want to do stuff relating to renaming units, you need to write a modded string file, which, depending on how much you are doing, will take a while to a very long time, and then you package that as a separate mod, with directions to install both. The string file is a subset of your graphics mod, going in the directory yourothermod > resources > en > strings > key-value. I’m pretty sure the reason you do it as two is because either A) something breaks if you do it as one, or B) because your string changes would only apply if you loaded something with the datamod.