Relic please save delhi

The pick rate for this faction is dead last with LESS THAN 7000 games played so far as Delhi for ranks platinum and up. For prospective the most played civ at plat+ is English with 26 thousands games, and 3rd most is ottoman at 18k and also Mali, a unbalanced civ still has 11.7k games played…

So what’s the problem?? IMO the elephants not being central and optimal in the meta, and the stagnant playstyle of the civ (get sacred sites gg).

Also the slow yet free upgrades. I think if you gave delhi the option to buy standard upgrades but make delhis cost option be 15%-20% more costly, then the player would have a dynamic whereby they could overpay to get pertinent techs in a timely fashion meanwhile going the slow free route on techs they can afford to get overtime.

Example i would gladly pay 1150-1200 resources to upgrade my tower elephants to crossbow tower elephants and likewise another to get incendiary arrows!! Vs having 21 scholars in mosques or even having 10 scholars building 3 delhi uni’s and getting 3 techs 10min+.

Tower elephants have been OP for a long time and the most recent nerf may have over nerfed them? May a slight cost reduction for tower elephants maybe in order.

War elephants are super niche, I’d like a speed boost and a stat reassignment to give this elephant a generic function. Something like 1.38 tiles/s speed with a attack speed of 1.38s, 20 base spear dmg with with only 30 bonus vs cav; and keep the tusk dmg as is (30 melee on a 2.88s attack speed). The point of this change would be to make this unit semi function like a heavy meaty maa with speeds like a palace guard and a bonus vs cav. This buff would promote having 1 or 2 (in a mid size fight) frontline your army and soak dmg while forcing enemy to kite and flank. Vs what happens now where this unit likely dies before it even reaches 1 target bc it’s efficiently kited to death.


I wish Delhi had some more alternative strategies. The scramble for sacred sites is so pivotal, predictable, and just not that interesting after a while.


I asked for a small change in the area of the mosque, but I don’t know how far down the priority list it is xd

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Yeah. I think they need another gimmick. It feels like you have a long feudal fight over the sacred sites or you go fast(ish) Castle and probably focus on a lot of Lancers. But this “option” applies to just about every civ in the game (with greater/lesser bonuses depending).

The fact Elephants and Imperial Landmarks don’t really go anywhere just makes it feel a bit one-dimensional.

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I agree with this, I’ve been playing with Delhi recently to learn more about them, and I think they need a little more improvement. Elephants are supposed to be one of the central parts of civilization, but now I don’t see them looking so much. Perhaps giving war elephants damage to multiple units could buff that rarely seen unit a bit.

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I just played a 1hr game at the diamond level on dry arabia vs ottoman; I was leading the whole game but couldn’t finish (b/c im bad) but also b/c I insisted on using War Elephants (b/c i love them…), but those maa/jans would melt them!!! So I’d have to switch to HC/archers get to regain control; then I would do the elephant thing again…and each time he’d fairly easily wipe them out! It wasn’t until I just resigned to the LAME and super massed tower elephants; had like 30? And it was around that same time he mistakenly went full knights+maa; that was the ONLY time full elephant won the whole game b/c he was too late to transition back to Jans esp vs so many elephants.

P.S. raiding him wasn’t a thing b/c he had a lil corner of the map field with keeps; meanwhile I had 67 bombard stone towers as my “wall” protecting my trade; so neither of use could raid effectively.

This is why I suggested in another Elephanto thread that they seriously increase the siege dmg on the War Elephant ONLY, such that it functions like 2 rams per 1 War Elephant.

I think one of the biggest problems with Delhi is its unique unit Elephants. They are so expensive of a unit that when you lose them it’s like throwing away a huge chunk of your army. If elephants got nerfed all around in the stats (around 33%) but got cheaper the respectively and have 2 pop instead of 3 then more people could bring more of them to the table.

Of course, civ has other problems like they all seemed to be dependent on sacred sites for extra income and maybe we need to bring the dark age sacred site back to give the civ its unique craziness.

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Another cool delhi idea:

version 1) Delhi gets a special ability that works similar to vizor points AND what it allows is for delhi to upgrade 2 technologies for free BUT at the 1/4 the delhi rate; In this iteration make it EXACTLY like the vizor points with a max of 5 charges allowing for 10 total technologies at 1/4 the standard delhi rate (200% the standard delhi rate).

example @ the 5min ish mark the first “delhi vizor point” comes in and to activate the buff you click on the glowing icon (same spot as standard vizor points, and we need a hot-key for vizor menu please relic…); once you click the glowing icon the next technology you click will get the 1/4th delhi rate applied. You’ll have to click the icon a total of twice per “delhi vizor point”. ALSO!! unlike standard vizor points, you can CANCEL the upgrade and apply the buff on ANOTHER tech as you see fit; as long you cancel the technology before it completes.

So say as delhi I aged to feudal with a standard build order @ 4min 15s; having the vizor point kick in at 5min means you won’t use it on sacred sites (at least not on a standard BO); but you could use it on 2 blacksmith upgrades OR save them and let stack up for castle and have 4 total free fast upgrade techs! @ the 10min+ mark.

Either have the Delhi vizor points come at static 5min intervals until you get all 5 charges (10 total free fast tech buffs). OR allow delhi to start the game with 2 already BUT the next one doesn’t come in until 10mins AND you can’t use the techs on the mosque UTNIL castle (this is to prevent the meta from shifting to ultra fast sacred sites defense meta).

All standard rate reductions apply WITH the ultra fast free tech buff; for example: Delhi’s Imperial technologies take 12 times the standard civ rate (18mins for most imperial techs). Using the ultra fast free tech WITH ZERO SCHOLARS HOUSED would result in Incendiary Arrow taking 4min 30s to que; again this is with ZERO scholars housed! So imagine you have 6 housed (8min 54s divided by 4 = 2min 13.5s). One more example, all military unit upgrades get halved by having a scholar housed, so using the ultra fast free tech on Elite knight Lancer upgrade with ONLY having 1 scholar in the stable will result in a total time of 1min 30s! (12min divided by 2[housed scholar] then divided by 4[ultra fast free tech].

This would make going Imperial a thing again without having that insane power spike Delhi had when the game released and you could research all your techs at standard rates with only 9 scholars! Simply Getting to Imp after the 15min mark would mean 2 techs would be basically immediately ready for Imp pushes/timings.


  1. Delhi gets 2 ultra fast free technologies buffs that can be applied to any technology and speeds up the research time by 200%.

  2. The ultra fast free technologies buffs stack with standard scholar reduction mechanics

  3. Ultra fast free technologies buffs are applied 1 at a time by clicking with the “vizor point” like menu (which needs a hotkey) then selecting the technology you wish to speed up.

  4. Ultra fast free technologies buff CAN BE CANCELED and reapplied to another tech as long as you canceled before that research completes.

  5. Ultra fast free technologies buff appear every 5mins for a total of 5 charges, allowing for 10 total ultra fast free technologies buffs.

  6. We need an elephant unique sound effect to indicate that the ultra fast free technologies buffs is in! For the esthetics :slight_smile: .

  7. Technologies being researched with the ultra fast free technologies buff will have a glowing outline both on the global UI and in the actual building housing the technology for easy indication. AND an echoing click to help indicate the buff was consumed.

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The 2nd idea is similar to the first however you start with 4 buffs already cached and you get 4 more every 10 minutes for a total of 12 buffs (20mins of gameplay to get all 12).

But the way these buffs works is you get whatever technologies you want AT THE STANDARD CIV RATE HOWEVER!!! ALL other technologies in que or that gets qued will FREEZE until the buff’d technologies all complete!!

For example if you use one of your 4 starting buffs on wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow will take 90s to complete instead of 4mins 30s (no scholar). HOWEVER in that 90s of buffed wheelbarrow all other technologies will FREEZE in place, unless otherwise also activated with one of your other buffs.

These buffs work on every technology EXCEPT ONE! The sacred site technology caNNOT be buffed and for that matter that technology is the ONLY technology that will NOT freeze in research time while buffed technologies are in que.


  1. Start with 4 delhi research buffs that allow for STANDARD civ research speeds for free and completely ignores all scholar reduction speed mechs.

  2. Multiple buffed researching is allowed, HOWEVER all NON-buffed researches will FREEZE in place until the buffed researches are all completed. The only exception is the sacred site technology which will not freeze but also CANNOT be buffed.

  3. Still needs a cool Elephant sound effect to indicate we got a shipment of Delhi research buffs

  4. Still need a glow to indicate the buff is being used on said researched technology along with a echoing click!


Delhi can start the game with 5 buffs, but canNOT get ANYMORE; but these buffs allow for standard researches to continue along side with NO FREEZING/HALTING. Now the min-game becomes how to best utilitze your 5 buffs (Do I sit on them and wait for castle? or Imp? or do I use them all asap for a quicker boom/feudal push?). To make these buffs worth while it allows the technologies buffed to complete in 20s (ignores all scholar research reduction mechs). And this buff STILL does NOT work with the sacred site technology.

A quick wheelbarrow, into an 8+ man landmark build into an immediate stable for sub 4min pro scouts!?? AND Delhi would not have spent the 350 resources to unlock the pro scouts.

Hmmm, looking at Delhi win rate over game length at the plat, diamond, conq ranks it appears the 15-19min game length (and sometimes the 20-24min) is the delhi sweet spot. And this correlates well with the fact that’s when All delhi’s feudal upgrades are in effect, typically at that time delhi has 5+ scholars on the field, a shit-ton of horseman + archers; alternatively had Delhi went for a Fast Castle, that would still be the time all the feudal eco upgrades kicked in, grabbed a relic or 2 along with some sites and have MAA raiding and taking names.

But that’s it? Delhi has the ONE powerspike, with the singular strat? Include that with the Tower Elephant nerf (which was needed) and the exceptionally “niche” function of the War Elephant… Delhi has no uniqueness by the castle age.

Everyone has “scholars”, knights, maa, archers, crossbows, spearman, horseman by the castle age; everyone has a little special upgrade for those generic units; and everyone can research their techs immediately as needed compared to Delhi.

So when I really think about it, EVEN IF Relic were to make it so Delhi has more immediate impact on some/all of castle + upgrades; without doing something major about the Elephants…Delhi would be THE most vanilla civ in the game??

So this is my complete idea:
Give Delhi the 3 technology buffs per age (dark, feudal, castle, imp for a total of 12 tech buffs). The buffs can used on ANY technology except the sacred site tech; and using the buff would either make that technology research instantly, really fast based on the number of scholars housed, or at minimum the standard game rate.


I just realized the new buff interaction as I described it would be utter cumbersome to have to click a vizor like menu to activate the buff THEN go find your technology in whatever building it’s in to apply the buff; AND if you made a mistake, you could cancel the qued buffed tech, but have to start alllll over again at clicking this special menu. MY brain is slow… we’ll just copy the mongol special upgrade system EXACTLY. Or copy the Ottoman vizor system and list ALLLL of delhi’s technologies in that special menu and you’ll be able to que whatever techs as long as the proper facilities are built.


Next, Tower Elephants price needs to come down to 800 resources (200f, 600g). Tower Elephants are exceptionally strong units as it, but with the necessary HP nerf, they are now NOT worth 1000 resources IMO. Following that change, give the War Elephant some combo of speed and splash (all speed boost no splash up to all splash no speed). If you give the War Elephant all speed boost (1.5 tiles/s), they effectively become a beefy costly knight; alternatively giving them some speed and some splash makes them a beefy landsknecht…

Changes like these will refocus the Delhi around Elephants, and allow for some/all castle + upgrades to be more immediately impactful.


War Elephants getting easily snipped immediately in imperial is a problem… what if Imperial War Elephant upgrade that gives them +3 armor was instead a charge system that gave them +20 range resist for 10s on a 2min recast? Ten seconds would allow the War Elephants to get into the mix BUT 10s isn’t so long that they’d be immortal for the fight. This would allow for a strategic soaking of enemy fire.

Delhi sweet spot is feudal/early castle.

Everyone has monks yes but Delhi saving all the gold from upgrades is the way you get near 10 or more monks “free” because you have not to spend that gold on research.

I’m in favor of some buffs and changes to Delhi, but right now I’m learning and using Delhi a lot in team games and I find them very strong in platinum rank.

I start the game always the same, I build 2 blacksmith, 1 barrack and 1 archery range and start the spam of spearmen and archers while the sacred feudal sites are investigated.

I use the units to build pallisades along the map and secure sacred sites, and then I capture most of them and use all the units and between 6-8 monks to support my trops.

I figured out that people thinks that if you have 30 units they will win you making 40, but they don’t take into account the monks healing!!

I know it’s the basic Delhi usage, but I’m happy because I’m finally using Delhi properly.

IMO, what you describe is essentially the ONLY* optimal Delhi playstyle.

Delhi gold plus assortment of other resources saved on upgrades is what keeps delhi comparable in that feudal early castle play. Delhli is actually best verus civs that want to play greedy (abbasid, china, Rus), because delhi can be moderately aggressive while getting upgrades in the background. However since Delhi has this singular playstyle, Delhi struggles 50/50 (or worse) vs ultra aggression (French, English, Mongols***) and has another 50/50 or worse vs FC (Ottoman, Mali, HRE).

If you look at the Delhi win rates at plat + diam+ and conq + you’ll basically see what i detailed and yet if you then go look up the win rate over game length vs these civs; Delhi still always peaks at the same points regardless of matchup…b/c it only has the one playstyle.

Yep, playing Delhi I am always trying to get as much advantage as I can in feudal and castle.

Until you pass to imperial, getting the MAA upgrade for example can last 4 minutes.

If the enemy is attacking you are on a disadvantage for 4 minutes, and that happens to every imperial tech.

One “error” I commited before was just use the monks to garrison them and get techs faster, but now I start garrisoning 3 on the initial mosque and the next ones goes to the sacred sites.

And when capture sacred sites is researched then I ungarrison them all and give support to my army while I train and garrison the next ones.

The free technology perk of delhi is also the very thing that causes delhi BO rigidity. And the only work around so to speak of having to prep all your upgrades early such that they come in when you need them most is: to building multiple multiple facilities and or having several several scholars housed in order to meet the timing requirements.

Help tip with scholars. With efficiency production all military buildings get their research times cut in half AFTER your overall scholar influence reduction. For example of you have 6 scholars in mosques all your technologies research times gets cut by 2.02 times but additionally if you have, say 1 scholar in your barracks too!! Your veteran upgrade for your spearman will be divided 2.02 bc of the network reduction then another divide by 2 bc of the scholar in barracks. So that original 5min castle veteran upgrade will now take about 1min 15s with only 7 scholars properly housed. Alternatively if you wanted to get that same 1min 15s timing by JUST having the scholars in mosques you would’ve needed 13!!! Of them (that’s 5 mosques as well ).

This scholar math thing adds also to the complications of Delhi of having to understand and or figure out the combinations scholars houses in what AND the number of facilities working in parallel to get what you NEED in the time you NEED it!!!

Fedual age you need 3 housed scholars in mosque and 2 BSMs.
Castle age you need at least 6 housed and 1 scholar per production facility (barracks, archer range, stable, siege shop) that’s 10 total scholars and 4+ total BSMs.
IMP you need at least 10 housed in mosques to cut all times by 3 then 1 per production for a total cut of by 6 (so your delhi elite upgrades only take twice that of standard civ elite upgrades). That’s 14 scholars minimum. However if you can afford it bring that 10 up to 18 and you’ll have ALL your imp times only taking twice as long as a standard civ.

Delhi, though low in pick rate, has an even win rate in Platinum and Diamond. Delhi is an all-in civ. Your win rate spikes during 15min-20min window. Early castle age elephants are suffocating to deal with if you have enough archers to quickly kill enemy spears and Usain Bolt imams to heal those elephants.

How to get to that 15 to 20 min window is varied. I think that Delhi is really fun and doesn’t necessarily get bottled into one strategy as many might think.

You can commit army population and fight long feudal to gain control of sacred sites, or you can box your enemy in with walls. With sacred sites, you get the gold income to double produce elephants as soon as you get.

If you think about it, other civs are not that varied in what they do either. All civs are predictable to a great degree.

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Delhi, though low in pick rate, has an even win rate in Platinum and Diamond

No one plays Delhi. Low pick rate destroys the validity of win rate.

Fun, it’s the fun, people are talking about the fun! It’s the elephants. Delhi fun is the elephants, elephants are crap. Same thing with Ottomans Great Bombard, Janissary etc

It’s still thousands of games played, so I don’t see how low pick rate destroys win rate.

A low pick rate doesn’t mean no fun. They’re not logically exclusive. Delhi is simply a harder civ to master and has many more things to juggle, leading to less pick rate.

At platinum + delhi puck rate is comparable to other mid tier civs pick rates.

In another related topic use to have a win rate over game length per personal stats. I’m curious to see what my delhi win rate over game length looks like compared to the average.

Delhi Sultanate (SUL)

  • Compound of the Defender Landmark

    • Contains the following defensive technologies that ignore age requirement:

      • Village Fortress

        • Research time reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes and 45 seconds
      • Boiling Oil

      • Court Architects

      • Slow Burning Defenses

  • House of Learning Landmark

    • Reinforced Foundations technology allows villagers and infantry to garrison in houses and fire garrison arrows, houses gain +50% HP

    • Tranquil Venue technology healing per second increased from 1 to 2

    • Lookout Towers technology now also adds +1 weapon range to Outposts

    • Hearty Rations technology moved from Imperial Age to Castle Age

  • Hisar Academy Landmark

    • Acts as a Madrasa and Food generation increased by 20%
  • Palace of the Sultan Landmark

    • Now trains the new unique Sultan’s Elite Tower Elephant, a mounted Elephant with two Handcannoneer riders.

    • While activated, the Palace of the Sultan will train an Elephant every 200 seconds.

    • You can garrison Scholars into the landmark to speed up production, with 4 scholars reducing train time down to 90 seconds.

  • War Elephant

    • Cost reduced from #### 400g to 400f 350g

    • HP reduced from 1400 to 850

    • Armor increased from 4/2 to 4/5

    • Tusk damage increased from 30 to 50

    • Spear damage increased from 20 to 25

    • Tusk Siege damage gains +100 vs buildings

  • Tower Elephant

    • Tusk Siege damage gains +50 vs buildings
  • Armored Beasts Technology

    • Now grants War Elephants +25% HP and +4 Ranged armor
  • Siege Elephants

    • Technology renamed to “Howdahs”

    • In addition to equipping Tower Elephants with crowssbows, grants +30% HP and +4 Ranged armor

  • Fixed an issue where Fishing Ships would not benefit from ranged damage Blacksmith upgrades.

  • Fixed Lookout Tower technology not affecting outposts built after researching the technology.

  • Zeal Technology

    • Now adds a gold glow to affected units

    • Buff effect no longer stacks

    • Fixed a bug where buff was giving much less attack speed than intended

  • Scholars which are garrisoned in a Mosque will now have their automatic healing ability toggled on when leaving the hold.

(had to repost in a more relevant thread)

Yeah Tower Eles got nerfed too much. The first nerf to 800HP was fine imo, that way there was room to buff them in other ways. But now 600HP is hardly anything. Even without the nerfs it was hard to have and maintain an elephant presence when they were in Imp because of gunpowder. And War Eles are too niche.