Slav improvements

I have a bit of a bias for Slavs, since they were the first civ i made sigificant progress with when i started playing ranked. Anyway, their use declines on higher elo, so I barely play them now. Don’t get me wrong, they are not garbage, but after all just an average civ and even that status is mostly carried by their eco.

Where they leak in my opinion:

a) very vulnerable to archers, especially cav archers, at least until they can spam mass hussar in late imp.
b) slow an weak early game.
c) identity as infantry civ is just based on a very expensive unique tech.
d) no source for pierce damage besides scorpion.
e) orthodoxy tech

Some ideas, that would make Slavs fancy (of course NOT all at once) would be:

  1. new civ bonus: skirmishers +1 range
    That bonus would give slavs a solid answer to archers, especially cav ones, and somewhat mitigate the weak early game. In imp, the lack of bracer an thumb ring takes care, that slav skirms still remain below average, so no significant improvement given there.

  2. free supplies available in dark age.
    Since supplies cost was reduced, slavs free supplies became became even more insignificant. Making it available for them in dark age would at least add some flavor to a drush while the food save would not be enough to make it op. It would also give some infantry civ identity.

  3. Druzhina cost reduction.
    Often propsed - a moderate reduction would maybe make us see the tech a bit more often in use.

  4. gunpowder. Ok, no one knows, how slavs would perform with gunpowder. Anyway, slavs archery range is one of if not the worst in the game. Usually, bad archer civs have hand canoneer as weaker compensation unit. Slavs miss that, but it would come handy in some situations, especially on maps like arena against strong infantry civs like teutons. Bombard canon would also fit nice with the siege discount but could maybe get a op.

  5. Orthodoxy:
    Every change with this tech would be welcome.
    Maybe a slight gain in gold for each conversion (the new faithful one donates all he has to the church), or a martyr mechanic like in aoe 1 (delete monk during conversion to instantly finish it). Just do anything with it.

Have fun discussing


It’s… ok at best. Imo you’d be better off turtling with towers/walls until you get access to knights to chase off cav/archers, then follow up with the Infantry/siege push.

I think this would be decent imo. Goths have much more of a discount advantage later on, so it wouldn’t clash with them either on timing or effect.

+1, if it’s a moderate reduction.

While I do understand what you’re saying, the Slavs as a civ were based on the Kievan Rus, right? They weren’t even around as an independent force by the time when gunpowder was widely introduced to E. European warfare, and even if you tie in Muscovy and Novgorod, or even the South Slavs for that matter, none of them were big users of gunpowder until nearly the end of the AOE2 timeline either. I feel at that point adding gunpowder to the Slavs would be a bit… anachronistic in that case. Yes, I know there are other civs that have that issue, but I personally don’t want more civs making that mistake.

Orthodoxy as it is rn give monks extra survivability when it comes to combat situations. I think, if we were to buff that aspect, maybe up it to +5/+5 armor and either add a percentage of health or negate bonus damage to their monks as well and complete the tanky monk identity? Of course the focus for Orthodoxy Monks would be the armor, but a bit more HP or bonus damage negation to synergize with the armor bonus could go a long way in allowing that one more conversion imo, and make the tech much more useful and worth the cost at the same time.

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i definitly feel like orthidoxy needs a buff be it a larger affect or a cheaper cost. i also agree the tweaking the free suplies bonus would be great. one possible alternative would be for it to be free suplies squires and arson. i dont think this would be op but its a nice bonus for going for infantry aswell as fiting with the free suplies theme



Eh, there are more versatile bonuses

No it’s one of the best UTs in the game, alongside Torsion Engines and Furor Celtica.

I still want to see that gunpowder skirmisher that I mentioned once. Call it a Strelet, give it weak-ish stats and 7/8 range in castle/imp, 30/35 HP, and make Orthodoxy either give it +1 range (and keep a flat 7), make it not cost gold, or a higher base attack, and it’s all set.

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So we basically have here another post of someone who’s eager to fill holes in civ’s tech tree.
Bracer for their Skirmishers and Gunpowder units.

Why? No deep reasoning behind it. Not addressing diversity, identity, playability, we’re here just for the sake of balance, that’s an easy one, we can just buff every civ like that and have a flat world, where all civs have almost everything.


free supplies available in dark age

Fair change, people have suggested it before, considering Slavs feel generic in Dark Age (Barracks gives 5 pop) unless you build farms, it might help polishing their identity in this stage of the game.

Druzhina cost reduction.

Meh, the reason this tech is expensive is because it applies to Halbs, which makes Slavs so strong in closed maps, this would just make them stronger. (considering they already have one of the best late-game eco bonuses in the game)

Agreed. This tech needs to be removed/replaced/reworked/redesigned/resomething.

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what?! no it isnt. all their buildings till have the shorter range, their archers are still awful. and more importantly, their skirms in feudal would be amazing…

i like all the other suggestions, but the monk ones certainly are the most unique, and might be the harder ones to balance.

druz is expensive, but iirc it makes their infantry the most cost effective infantry in grouped melee fights, better than any other infantry in the game, and since they need early buffs , any late game buffs would push them over the edge in some cases

As thread opener, i thank all posters in between. The discussion is good and every post till now in some way has a point.

I disagree, because even if this was an huge weakness of the civ (which I don’t feel it is due to cheaper Siege and effectively cheaper Cavalry) Slavs are not a Archer civ and there are better ways to deal with their weaknesses to Archers that is more in-theme with their primary playstyle of Melee + Monks + Siege,

Agreed, free Supples in Feudal Age doesn’t work aggressively due to the time window of effective militia rushes being cancelled out by their natural counter (Archers) becoming avaliable, and in the long-term it only saves an relatively inconsequent amount of time and resources (75f/75g and 35 seconds).

Agreed, as the Splash Damage whilst strong only buffs your infantry in relatively specific scenarios (against other mass melee) and thus has a poor Cost-to-Profit ratio in matchups against ranged centric Civs.

I’m a bit iffy on this because this is a bit of a subjective point, but I more or less agree as Slavs have the problem of a pretty-dry unit composition that is a bit overly similar composition to other Knight + Infantry civs like Bulgarians, Teutons, especially the former. Adding HCs would give them more interesting options that is perfectly inline with the Civ’s bonuses (Faster Farming + TB) and give a point to full Archer Armour upgrades, I also like the option that user @ElizaKolmakov suggests with a Strelet UU.

I don’t really feel that Slavs need BBCs on the basis that they already have an otherwise completely full Siege-line and they don’t seem to deal with any of the issues the Civ has, but I don’t inherently hate the idea

I think it would best if it just became a bonus of the Civ and the old UT were replaced, generally Castle Age Monk UTs have the huge issue of their cost-to-profit ratio being way too horrible for them to be decent option in typical Monk Rush strategies, and of being too low-impact once the window for a Castle Age Monk rush has disappeared. Making it a bonus would deal with this issue that is in-theme with the Civ’s playstyle.

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Bad idea. Siege is supposed to be your answer to archers, not skirms. It may be interesting to add a bonus damage of slav skorpions against archer armor, or maybe slightly increase the projectile speed though.

Good idea, but I think that it is already the case. Slavs should not have to wait until feudal to get the discount.

Why not, but not a fan. It should be expensive given what it does.

Bad idea. If you want gunpowders you should pick teutons instead. If you want to use hand cannoners, use skorpions instead. If you want to use bombard canons, use siege rams instead. Slavs are allowed to have (one of) the worst archery ranges in the game, someone has to.

Good idea. There are many possibilities to replace this tech, and the current tech is generally disliked by the community.

  • slight gold gain per conversion (50% of the unit ?) sounds like a very fun idea. The actual number should be balanced.
  • “aoe 1 - style martyr” sounds too strong. If you can always delete your monk right before he dies, monks get too strong against non-heresy civs (especially Persian paladins, non-Malay battle elephants, non-heresy siege onager civs such as Koreans, non-heresy BBC such as italians)

We could add:

  • increase range of monks (like +2) to get an edge in arena monk-fights
  • allow monks to converts rams and trebs with the same range as other units (9 to 12). Even only siege rams may be very nice in black forest games.

Or we could entirely replace the tech with a siege-related tech (maybe increasing pierce armor)

It’s not the case yet. The bonus only applies once you hit Feudal Age. But I agree that this is a really good idea for a buff.

Meh, Slavs have good siege and it’s a better counter to archers than skirms.


I’m not sure about this, it is only applied on infantry but it is still one of the best UTs in the game.

I’m not fan of this honestly.

Definitely! Either to be seriously buffed or reworked completely.

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Slavs are such a boring civ to play.
It’s not that they’re weak, just really bland.

Infantry splash damage should just be an implicit bonus of theirs and not a researchable tech.
Yeah it’s a strong bonus but it would hopefully encourage more infantry use in ages outside of Imperial.
Give them a new Imperial UT and buff or change Orthodoxy.
You’d probably need to remove some techs from their tech tree to compensate but that would fine.
It’d make them more interesting to play.


i agree on supplies in dark age. that would make much sense and would emphasize the infantry identity from the get-go. right now, you feel like you should wait for feudal to train the 3 MAA to save 45 food but then you lose momentum.

i also agree on othodoxy. monastery UT are already niche as heck but orthodoxy is just bad imho and also feels odd for slavs since they lack any monk focus aside from that and does not help in any sort of monk push since you have to get a castle and the tech, which already invalidates the rush timing

Druzhina is the most expensive tech in the game, and it strong because of halberdiers. but as an infantry civ it would be cool to actually use champions as the main unit and druzhina should help you in that. problem is that it cost like 26 champions… if the problem is that making it cheaper would be too strong on halberds, then just change the tech to do percentage trumple damage so that halberds are less impacted by it, then make it cheaper to like 1000F 400G or such. would still be very costly

another thing i would add is boyar which is amazing in castle age but not great in imperial being more expensive than paladin and overall weaker except in melee. Boayr is stronger in melee but melee situation in imperial are for the most part against halberds, which shreds them having lower HP and speed than paladin, and against other cav, which is faster and can simply dodge them. not a huge problem but feels appropriate to point it out being the expensive and slow to get (castle needed) paladin variant for slavs

I don’t think Slavs have to have an infantry bonus in dark age, after all no one would think Japanese or Vikings aren’t infantry civs because they have no bonus in dark age. It would be fine if they had all minor barracks techs for free.

As of druzhina maybe making it percentage based for champions but still a flat amount for halberdiers could work. Not too good for tech tree clarity but maybe it would help make people want to research the tech.

Boyars already got buffed like 3 times already, besides making the elite upgrade cheaper I don’t think more can be done.


Change Boyar cost to 65f 70g, makes them more viable in 1v1.

That wont mske Slavs less bland

Was thinking the supplies in dark age might be a little odd the way it would need to be listed in the tech tree. Alternative is to simply remove supplies and say militia line -15f. It also opens up options for tweaking such as improving the discount or adding additional bonuses to the same bonus.

Firstly it’s the first flat rate unit discount as opposed to %. And it doesn’t overlap with Goths as much as civs like Magyar and berbers overlap Or things like Turks, Indians and Tatars.

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+15f and -10g isnt going to make them more viable. It makes them harder to mass, especially in castle age, and only gives you access to 14% more Boyar over the length of a game. The ability to tack on an extra 5-10 boyar or whatever in imp isnt worth that tradeoff.

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Then how would you buff the Boyar even more, if you make the cost 80f 50g then you ask the unit to be completely broken.

Well for one thing both stone mining techs have been overpriced for decades so start there. Seems kind of silly to try to balance any UU when the primary mechanism to reduce the fixed cost of their production is inferior to almost every other investment one can make.

It also makes for one hell of a confounding variable. Is the boyar variable cost the problem or is it the fixed cost? Is it both? How can you tell?

Also jumping from a 14% change in numbers due to lower gold cost to a 60% change in numbers is kind of a false dichotomy. Not sure where these numbers are coming from.