Should Samurai be overhauled/changed?

I would love to see Samurais being able to switch between Melee & Ranged as it was originally intended, even if it takes a while to balance it would be so cool!! And we would have one Infantry and one Cavalry unit that can switch, which is also nice and unique enough.

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The way your poll is set up is a little odd since one of the choices has two options. It would be more informative if it was broken down into 3 options: no change, ranged/melee toggle, or some other kind of buff.

I made a thread about this a little while ago:

This is discussed in the other thread, but I don’t know that this necessarily has to be true about a toggle samurai any more than it is with the Ratha. The bonus damage is a complicating factor for sure, but that can be mitigated by reducing the base pierce damage, or in other ways, such that the ranged form has quite low DPS except against UUs.

IMO rarely being seen/made =/= in a good place, I get that it theoretically serves to preempt a few other other UUs, but mutual cancelation is a poor role for any unit, and isn’t much of a factor in most other antagonistic pairings (e.g. eagles vs longswords, knights vs pikes). The problem is, in addition to not countering that many UUs well, the Samurai isn’t really even a better version of the militia line that justifies its much higher cost.

Why make them a foot Ratha? There are other ways of doing this, such as giving more UU damage/better stats to the melee form. If you take away their bonus damage in melee form, they become meh-to-bad vs the only units they’re currently good against right now (melee infantry UUs).

The way I see it, there are 2 main ways to buff Samurai. One is to make them actually good in their stated purpose as a versatile UU killer (giving them toggle would be IMO the best way to achieve this). The other way is to actually make them an infantry power unit that players would choose to make over the militia line. This could be done via reduced cost, increased armor, attack, speed, etc. In the past I’ve argued for this myself, but it seems like kind of a lazy solution compared to the toggle mechanic. PA/HP/Cost buffs would make them somewhat better where they’re already good (e.g. melee fights where they can close in), but still about equally bad vs. ranged units and cav. This would be better than nothing of course, but I think the devs have the opportunity to make a very interesting and versatile unit with a ranged/melee Samurai. If nothing else, I would want this functionality in the scenario editor.

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That’s exactly why you cant implement it any more. It’s called an Unique Unit after all.

Regarding other possible changes, yeah Samurai needs a change, it’s one of the nichiest units in the game, the Anti UU bonus damage is a gimmick since it serves no use beyond its dry stats, most UU are either faster than them or just ranged.

Needless to say it doesn’t fit Japanese tech tree, having both Arbalester and a fancy Champion, you’d have to really work hard justifying it. Imagine Bengalis having a fully upgraded CA and a solid Knight line, it makes no sense strategically, it drains all the purposefullness out of the Rathas and further more push them into the gimmicky role.

I dont see any way to fix this identity syndrome that the Samurai has. But only proffesionalize them even more by giving them more damage vs. Unique Units, and/or giving them a whole different dimension to play around, just like the hybrid ranged-melee feature, but something else, UNIQUE, like:

*Unique Armor Type (resistance against UU’s damage) - It’s not intuitive and barely playable, but an option.
*Free Elite upgrade, yet worse stats- this will create a power-spike no civ has, and by adjusting the stats you can differentiate from the Japanese Champion.
*Lifesteal feature- kinda lame, but we dont have it in AOE.

The list goes on and on, it’s quite hard to find the right bonus since many are already taken, and we dont want the game to feel like a circus of gimmicks. (Urumi)

We have foot and mounted versions of most abilities of UUs, like chu ko nus and kipchaks, teutonic knights and boyars, leitis and wootz steel infantry, etc. Why should the Ratha be the exception?

Vast majority of UUs have higher speed or range than the Samurai. So more bonus damage is useless if the Samurai can never engage them.

I think the way to change them would be to give the samurai a ranged mode with 1 pierce damage and 5 range that also applies its bonus vs UUs. That way, the samurai keeps its current role while being a lot better at it. 1 pierce damage is low enough that it would be pointless vs. anything but UUs and also encourage the player to use the melee mode if he can. 5 base range is enough to range most UUs and stop them from just kiting the samurai and it also allows the samurai to hit some UUs before they run away. Sure, this can be used to attack villagers, but 1 damage is going to be more of a nuisance than a real threat.
Another issue with the samurai that others have highlighted is that the new Urumi Swordsman beats Samurai with full upgrades. If Samurai get a weak ranged attack that deals bonus damage, then Samurai would be Urumi Swordsman, restoring its role as anti-UU.

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if they have a very low range, maybe…

Boyar is an awful design btw. Same goes for Urumi.
And Kipchak is far from being a Chukonu, it’s low damage high-micro unit that shoot multiple arrows at once, chukonu is practically a HC that’s affected by ballistics.

I agree about that, that’s why Samurai needs a rework or a tweak, we agree about that.

Interesting!, I can see this being useful actually. 5+3 range?
Very creative idea I gotta admit!

Random idea, what if instead archer/melee samurai could have a mounted/dismounted thing. Slower horses than regular knight line and numbers not to hight.
Just as a comment.

I would add a +0 Unique Unit bonis damage to all ranged UU, and some Unique Unit antiarmor to the samurai.

This way, samurai would be nuch better against ranged UU, the same against melee UU, and a bit “worse” against samurais

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I think it can be changed, as Japanese currently lack any distinct features, and I wouldn’t mind them getting an extra UU, or a unique building.

Like all other civs should, at least 2 Unique “things” and at least 2 Unique Techs for proper game diversity.

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Good idea. Actually it will be also good implement this as Unique Tech (replacing Kataparuto), so Samurai would become overall good late game unit for Japanese.

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Yeah. It may be more acceptable to the community to make this new thing UT.
Maybe named “Bushido” or “Kyudo”.

I prefer Bushido, its naming is like Chivalry of the Franks.

Why not replace the cav archer line for Japanese with Samurai archers or add a Samurai lancer line ?

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Because, originally Samurai was a foot unit that’ll do switch between Infantry/Archer not a counter-UU infantry as it is now. Removed mainly due to limit of space in UI. Delete button removal added many option to units. Like Serjeant got a space now which can make buildings.
Basically goal of this post is whether or not it should be revert back to original theme of the unit since we have more functional ranged/melee switch with DE now compared to what we had in past.

I think Samurai are fine. A unit doesn’t need to be viable in 40/40 matchups to be “balanced”. Samurais are good in matchups like Goth/Teutons/Malay etc. You don’t need a ton of matchups, some units are more niche.

Ideally I’d like to see the UU armour class removed, but any change to Samurai has the potential to be a good change.

What about give Samurais the ability of wound enemies making lose a trickle of HP after an attack.
Could be a reference to damascus steel and katanas.
The effect could persist until the unit is full healed by monks or garrisone

The unit has been there since AOK, it would be too much of a change for an original civ.

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That does play a big factor to keep it as it is.
However almost every single civs changed their role a lot ever since release. They hardly look anything same compared to its original release 1999 release. Like Teutonic Knight being extremely slow unit is quite fast melee unit now. Saracens went away from its Cav Archer identity and now a Camel/Foot Archer civ and so on.

The TK retains its identity of a slow, tanky infantry unit. Its speed was increased because it was considered too slow, any modifier on speed has a brutal effect. But still, any other infantry will outrun it easily, it’s still the slowest, most resistant (at least in melee) and hardest-hitting infantry unit in the game.

The Saracens have always been intended to be a camel civ, if the meta made them a cav archer civ early it was unintended, perhabs because the devs underestimated how much players would micro (also explaining why the TK’s speed had to be increased)

Why make a new unit (Samurai again, but this time, it’s on a horse!) when you can have a unit perform different roles? See my linked thread on why Samurai should have the weapon toggle ability.

Problem is, in most of those matchups, Japanese militia line does as well if not better. vs Mixed comps (say, Huskarl + Champ), samurai’s bonus vs the UU is overshadowed by them not being any better vs. generic units, for a higher cost. Japanese militia line beats everything that comes out of Goth and Malay barracks and Castles. You might pull samurai out if for some reason a player makes Teutonic knights, but those are easy enough to counter with any of the Japanese ranged units. So far from 40/40, it’s maybe something like 8/40 matchups where Samurai are even viable, and probably only 4/40 where they’re good/ideal.

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