After playing only Italy for the entire afternoon and evening of release day, I can deduce several remarks
- The initial start of only 3 vils and architect is really tough, and you need to rush market techs to catch up. It helps if you have a Dutch teammate that goes TEAM Nassau first, albeit can have drawbacks.
- Treasures can be really impactful for italy given how you wanna spam out the techs. Double so with Marco polo card, which is imo a must pick in team games with coordination. The bonuses are just mwah!
- Pavisieri are very flexible so long as they’re protected from hussars and such. One can easily do a Pike Xbow style comp with Italy to great success
- Basilica mechanic offers some really strong units, unfortunately the “training” conflicts with your normal shipments and is painfully slow. Truly a shame cause Schiavoni are amazing and I would love the opportunity to use them more.
- Italy could really use a 400w ageup option to set up defences quicker in fast games
- Focusing on hunts/herds and using your lombards to convert those into resources can be quite good, but requires time to ramp up and get the lombards online. Unironically, I can see italy going for a herdable focused strat if the map allows for it.
- Bersagliere are solid but their stun mechanic seems to not work a lot of times?
- Age 3 is ironically their weakest point unless you send the Pavisieri cards.
- Age 3 cheap arsenal card is perfect if youre not direly presssured and focusing on infantry, cause the techs become dirt cheap and easy to research for extra vils and military benefit.
- I love tonk but tonk does not love me
As someone who hasn’t played the civ yet, I have to ask, how competitive is their economy?
Starting with 5 (? you said 3) vils on top of having no villager shipments or other ways to boom early does seem like a huge drawback, especially when compared to civs like Brits, Dutch, even Germans and French really.
Maybe they need a card that makes all of their market techs free, but take thrice as long to research. Though that wouldn’t fix much, don’t they send eco theory or the Russian age1 wood trickle now?
Italian eco is extremely dependent on getting those market upgrades early, but afterwards it gets quite good. So many cheap techs to take advantage of and explode in vil numbers.
In age 1 you can take advantage of advanced politicians or Marco Polo with treasures to amp up your economy. There are several options available to Italy, question is just what do you need at that point.
Changing the team card names was a silly idea. No one knows what you mean by saying “team Nassau”.
Team free age 1 market upgrades(except hunting dogs, they still cost 50 coin)
I think italy are actually quite strong, typically you get 6 market upgrades age 1 in the standard build so that’s 6 additional villagers, once the basilica is built there’s 3 more cheap techs there so I don’t feel there’s any issue with their eco. Also if you send the age 1 advanced age up card and age with the tower you’ll actually get 2 towers and 200 gold so that really helps vs any early aggression.
I do think malta need some buffs, I’ve noticed while playing malta I get outscored vs opponents that I’d normally be beating in score on the ranked ladder and it feels more of a struggle than italy, I feel like I have to play much better than normal to win, whilst vs those same opponents I could use usa or brit or china etc and easily win just doing standard build orders.
We’ve had a crazy amount of success with Malta eco at least in team games last night. 3 vils into the Settler wagon card into the 30% gather card sets you up pretty well. Sending the half price vils in age 3 with 4 TCs actually pays off because the extra TC gets you another spot of 30% eco. Malta eco has been top every game and the sentinels have absurd stats as they scale. 1v1 I can see the issues though.
Yeah settler wagon card is hard to get away with in many match ups in 1v1. 500w seems a bit too much, for what is immediately the equivalent of 4 settlers and a stable.
The fact that you can train more settler wagons is what pushes it over the top though. It’s like starting with 3 TCs for a bit. As long as you can wall a little and defend it’s worth it.
Besides the math checks out for immediate payout - a multifunctional tower/stable should be worth about 250 wood, then 2 settler wagons is 400 resources right there. So you net 150 resource immediately but can now build more settler wagons which pay themselves back in about 2 minutes.
Italy for now seems to me a well balanced civ. neither too strong nor too weak. However, I would change a couple of things, which I think may affect the pace of the game.
The shipments of the cathedral and the metropolis should not be staked together, but each one separately.
It is necessary some indicator of when resources have the lombardas, being quite annoying to be checking them constantly.
Pavisieri seems like a very good unit to me, but falls short as the game progresses. Having to change all my macro from wood to gold to get Bersagliere, so it would be nice if a 4th politician would allow me to make the lookout upgrades for the Pavisieri (maybe just enable it with advanced politicians).
The lack of 1 factory, I’m not sure how much it can hurt (especially in treaty games).
The Italy start is 3 vils and an architect which takes 2 pop, so 5 pop total. It’s actually got a pretty demanding Age 1 and has to be done almost impeccably to age at a competitive time.