Remove or update Mameluke armor class!

Only disappointing thing with the Saracens update is that they didn’t remove the ‘Mamelukes’ armor class, maybe in exchange for a slight nerf in stats. A brief history of Mamelukes:

AoK: Mamelukes count as cavalry and infantry, so they take +22 from Pikemen. Halberdiers haven’t been invented yet. Mamelukes take normal damage from castles. Camel Riders also count as cavalry, so they take +22 from Pikemen. Mameluke bonus damage applies when attacking Camel Riders.

AoC: Mamelukes count as cavalry, ships (camels count as ships), and archers, and gain +11 anti-cavalry armor. Pikemen gain +11 attack against ships (and camels). Mamelukes now take (22-11) anti-cavalry damage and +11 anti-ship damage from Pikemen, total 22 again. They also now take 11 extra damage per secondary castle arrow, since they are ships. The new Halberdier does +16 to ships (and camels) and +32 to cavalry, which becomes 16+32-11 = 37 against Mamelukes. A hidden technology, Camelry, is only researched in Post-Imperial starts like Deathmatch and gives Mamelukes +25 anti-cavalry armor so Halberdiers only do 16 bonus damage, and Pikemen only do 11. Camel Riders also take 11 damage from Pikemen, 16 from Halberdiers, and 11 from secondary castle arrows. Mamelukes no longer have any bonus against Camel Riders.

Summary: Mamelukes take less bonus damage than standard cavalry from Spearmen, (Heavy) Camel Riders, and Mamelukes, the same from Pikemen, and more from Halberdiers. In Post-Imperial starts, they take less damage than standard cavalry from all of those units.

The Forgotten: bonus damage against camels is buffed (to 80% of anti-cavalry damage), which means Mamelukes now take more bonus damage than cavalry from Pikemen and Spearmen and much more than cavalry from Halberdiers, a unit that didn’t exist when Mamelukes were introduced. In order to prevent halberdiers from three-shotting fully-upgraded Mamelukes, a unique armor class is introduced in a later patch, bringing Halberdier bonus from +47 down to +42.

DE: Halberdier bonus is nerfed again, from +42 to +37, still more than the bonus vs cavalry of +32, while Spearmen still do just +16.

Just remove Mameluke armor. It penalizes civilizations without access to Halberdier (not to mention Turks who lack even Pikemen). If necessary to keep the unit balanced with its cost of 55F 85G, remove this +10 HP buff, or switch the camel armor + mameluke armor combo for pure cavalry armor. Mamelukes were never intended to take more bonus damage than cavalry; initially they took the same, then in AoC they took the same or less from all but the new Halberdier, and less from everything if the hidden Camelry tech was researched. If there is an intention for them to take more, they should take more from all sources, including Eagle Warriors, Genoese Crossbows, Viking berserks and champions, Flemish militia, and Camel Riders.

Since infantry have +0 vs cavalry so they work with Chieftains (the reason negative cavalry armor was bad for Ballista elephants), making Mamelukes take more damage might mean just reworking Mameluke armor class so all anti-cavalry units have +2 in it, or just copying cavalry armor and adding 2 to it and using just that instead of cavalry armor. But I don’t think an extra bonus against Mamelukes is necessary.

If you’re going to listen to me lol, also change Cataphracts to have Camel armor class to make counters more reliable and understandable. If Elite Cataphracts had +10 Camel armor instead of +16 Cavalry armor, Halberdiers would do the same (+16 net) but Pikemen would do +8 instead of +6, and Turkish Spearmen would do +2 instead of +0. (Heavy Camels would get +0, though, down from +2, so maybe it would be better to just give Cataphracts Sicilian-style bonus damage resistance, even if also means messing up Samurai bonus damage.)

And remove the +0 melee damage from Chu Ko Nu arrows, which is probably just a data entry mistake by the person who designed them 24 years ago, possibly even predating the design of rams with -3 melee armor. And stop double-dipping bonus damage against towers with units like War Elephants! And I hope the designers are aware that Citadels giving castles +3 vs rams won’t affect siege rams; previous developer notes in updates have indicated awareness that siege rams have +2 ram armor, but the playerbase seems to believe that Persian castles will suddenly do huge damage to rams.

It’s not a mistake. The 0 melee damage is precisely to make Chu Ko Nu inflict 3 damage per arrow against rams.

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Yup. The fact that they replicated that with Kipchaks is no accident.

Mamelukes can hit n run, unlike other melee cavalry. They are also not countered by skirms. So halbs need to hit them hard. It’s hard to deal with for civs without good archers.

You don’t think it’s more likely (via Occam’s Razor) that they just reused the same projectile unit for Kipchaks without making an explicit decision about how much damage it should do to rams? Considering that the Chu Ko Nu first arrow does 0 melee damage, but the Kipchak first arrow lacks this data (no melee attack).

Can you explain the logic behind Chu Ko Nu arrows doing 3 damage to rams, but Longboat extra arrows, the extra javelin for skirmishers from Hul’che Javelineers, and even the extra bolt for Ballista Elephants and Scorpions from Double Crossbow only doing 1 damage due to lack of 0 melee attack? I’m sure that the best you can come up with would be “the developers surely know what they’re doing and could justify the value of any statistic in the game.”

If you really think that, then you should support increasing the bonus that Spearmen and Pikemen do to Mamelukes. Make it more like the bonus to elephants, which is +15 Spearmen, +25 Pikemen, +28 Halberdier (i.e. halberdier bonus is less than twice spearmen bonus).

Current anti-Mameluke bonus is +4 Spearmen, +11 Halberdier and Pikemen.

You really think making spearmen-line an especially good counter to mamelukes makes more sense than making all units better vs mamelukes? Basically, you’re saying that Mamelukes should be good against all units that aren’t spearmen, similar to elephants?

Didn’t I just say they suck vs archers? But for non-archer civs like Franks, you have to rely on halb/siege.