Idea: the Indian civ is both unbalanced and unrepresentative right now. I think it would be interesting to have an expansion that completely reworks the Indian civ and adds some new South Asian civilizations. Here are some (really rough) ideas I had! They might be unbalanced, or not work, but I’m also curious about other ideas people have.
Reworked elephant archer: like the battle elephant, this is available to all south and southeast asian civs from archery range. Right now it is a bad archer because the attack is so low. One improvement might be to add multiple arrows, but increase cost or lower HP to compensate?
representing North Indian Hindu civilizations. The name is a little anachronistic, but was used quite generically by Mughals to refer to a lot of North Indian peoples and kingdoms so I think it fits with a lot of other aoe2 naming styles.
Concept: this is a versatile cavalry civ with access to heavy, light cavalry, camels (but not heavy camels), good cav archers, elephants etc. They get paladin and hussar. They inherit the Indians’ villager bonus to give a very strong knight rush. But they have weak archers (no bracer, no ring archer armour but do get hand cannoneers and arbalest) and decent infantry (full upgrades). Missing siege onager and siege ram. Weak navy because no bracer but OK in early game.
- Wonder: based on Khajuraho temples?
- Building style: South Asian
- Unique unit: Silladar cavalry. This is lance-wielding cavalry with high attack, but low armour. It’s designed more for hit and run or strong raiding because high attack.
- Unique techs: Damascus steel + 1 melee attack for infantry and cavalry
- Unique techs: Citadels: buildings gain extra armor against gunpowder units.
- bloodlines free
- villagers are 10%/15%/20%/25% cheaper in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age
- stable techs (including upgrades) don’t cost gold – possibly except Paladin upgrade as that would be too strong I think.
Team bonus: Buildings gain bonus armour vs siege units
Representing the Ghurids, Delhi Sultanate and early Mughal Empire, the Muslim kingdoms of India. I feel like these groups can be co-represented by one civ in AOE2 style, but I’m not sure what to name it.
Concept: These are a late game, gunpowder civilization, with a very strong imperial age rush. Experts at pushing against enemy fortifications. They also have good cavalry archers as something different. This civ would likely be defined by the bombard elephant, giving them a chance to push castles in castle age and a versatile alternative to trebuchets or bombard cannons in imperial age. They would need a different strategy to counter them. But given their other weaknesses, I don’t think this civ would be unbalanced. The civilization has weak cavalry (no bloodlines, no paladin, no hussar), but they do get camels and elephants, OK archers until late game (missing castle and imperial archer upgrades) and missing halberdier and supplies.
- Wonder: could reuse the Gol Gumbaz or Tughluq tombs for something less anachronistic
- Building style: Middle Eastern would work fine here
- Unique unit: Bombard elephant-- elephant with a small cannon. Much weaker than a bombard cannon, but just outranges castle age castles in castle age, and elite has further range and attack. It has a bonus vs buildings and slight splash damage. Slightly faster than existing bombard cannons and higher HP.
- Unique techs: inherits Shagtani from Indians
- Unit techs: Composite bows: cav archers +1 range
- Blacksmith techs don’t cost food
- hand cannons + 1 melee, +1 piece armour
- military units cost -5% gold starting castle age
Team bonus: gunpowder units train faster
Representing Bengali civilizations like Bengal sultanate and the Pala empire.
Concept: This is a really elephant-specialist civilization that also has some naval bonuses. The aim is for elephants to do a lot of work in the army, archers, siege and melee, supplemented by versatile trash units. This makes them very food intensive. They have a farming bonus that is really a wood bonus, but means they can transition to farming smoothly and put many more villagers into farming or fishing. They miss champion but get halberdier and supplies. They get full archer upgrades and all university technologies, and all monastery technologies except heresy. Missing plate barding, and plate mail armor for infantry.
- Wonder: based on the Nalanda University
- Architecture: South Asian
- Unique unit: Siege elephant (does trample damage and large bonus vs buildings, but very expensive)
- Unique techs: Elephant armor: elephants receive less bonus damage e.g. from camels, spears
- Unique techs: Elephant towers: elephant archers fire additional arrows
- University techs 30% cheaper castle age, 40% cheaper imperial age
- gillnets technology free
- farms last infinite long and do not need to be replenished
slight speed boost to naval units
Representing the Chola empire, as well as other Tamil kingdoms such as those in modern Sri Lanka.
Concept: This is an aggressive naval civilization whose economic bonuses are meant to supplement their wood and gold units. They have strong fireships that have an advantage vs grouped up units. Hopefully that would leave fireships more viable against mass galleons, and also neatly reflects Chola tech. On land they have a good archery range with full upgrades, and using those same resources. They get hussar but not paladin or camels, but do get full elephants and bloodlines. They get full infantry except the final armour upgrade.
Wonder: could plausibly inherit the Brihadisvara Temple from current indians
Architecture: South Asian
Unique unit: Colandia-- high attack, low armor ship with small bonus against buildings. Good for raiding or bombarding the shore but doesn’t trade favorably against galleons.
Unique unit: Villaligal-- archer with bonus against cavalry, camels and large bonus vs elephants. Also bonus vs ships.
Unique techs: pearl fishing: fishermen and fishing ships slowly generate gold
Unique techs: Payanam-- reduces the gold cost of military upgrades by 50%
- fishing ships gather from shorefish just as fast as normal fish. This seems weak but I think could be really strong. It would add great flexibility with dock placement, or for fishing from ponds.
- fire ships cause slight splash damage to nearby units
- Land technologies don’t cost wood (but dock technologies still do)
+3 armour on trade cogs and trade carts
Bonus (Not South Asian)
Concept: These have a really strong early game scout rush. I think it would be fun to have stronger scout rush possibilites now that archers seem to have become a little more dominant in the early game. This can transition to knights with conversion resistance or good cavalry archers. Reflecting that Khazars were strong in the early AoE2 period, villagers get worse as the game progresses, which I think might give interesting tradeoffs with regards to age advancement.
*Wonder: Sarkel fortress
*Architecture: Central Asian
*Unique Unit: Arsiyah-- Cavalry with bonus against cavalry archers and archers
*Unique tech: fortress +2 range for castles
*Unique tech: Judaism (only 150 gold and available in castle age)-- massive conversion resitsance increase (but they don’t get heresy)
- Light cavalry, cavalry archers and steppe lancers + 5 attack vs villagers, monks, trade carts
- villagers gather from natural resources (not farms) 5%/4%/3%/2% faster in dark, feudal, castle, imperial age
- Stables cost -100 wood
Team bonus: +10 attack vs trade units