State of the Ballista-Elephant

So with the latest update Ballista-Elephant got +2 attack for both basic and elite.
I just recently played a random game as Khmer against Japanese, where I decided to put in some Ballista-Elephants. I’m still not quite convinced by the unit, or rather I’m not sure how you’re supposed to use it, or rather what its niche is. I kind of used them to snipe monks and clear out the masses of Pikes or later Halbs the Enemy threw at my Elephants (Like obviously a japanese player would/should do against Khmer).
I think they did a decent job, however I think normal archers/CavArchers or even Elephant Archers would do a similar if not better job, especially with parthian tactics.
So I think the +2Attack are definitely good and are apprecheated, but I’m not 100% convinced it is enough to make the BaE a viable Unit.
What is your opinion on the current BaE, both regular and elite?

Lets’ make them affected by the battle elephant speed bonus and then are fine.

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I think they’re pretty good if you have enough of them. with the unique tech they’re pretty hard to stop once massed, but onagers will take care of them easily. However i wouldn’t use them ever to snipe monks.

Use them to cut trees in arena and surprise the enemy, only need 1 ballista elephant to do that 11

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Ballista eles were already a moderately strong (mostly TG unit like most ele units) option before the damage buff. They don’t need another buff right on the back of their increased damage, and Khmer don’t need a buff as a civ.

Ballista eles > elephant archers in most cases including this one, where their pass-through damage makes them much more effective vs massed halbs. If anything, elephant archers need a buff (lower cost, faster creation time, or less bonus damage) to reach a level of viability similar to the ballista elephant, despite their not requiring a Castle.

I would suggest figuring out basic stuff like this before implying that a unit needs a buff. Ballista eles are weak vs. siege, but are effective vs most melee and archer units when they have a meat shield. They’re most often used paired with Hussar or battle ele as a halb killer.

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I would appreacheate a less condescending tone. I mean I’m asking other players, is that an inacceptable way of figuring stuff out? How many matches as Khmer do I need to have played until I’m allowed to discuss the Balista Elephant?
On topic: Unless the enemies are really bunched up, so that you get a lot of pass-through damage the DPS of most other units is a lot better and even then, the normal scorpion does a better job as a backline halb-killer. The BaE has high health and no minimum Range, so I thought maybe there is a use-case, where these attributes come in handy. Sure, they’re always nice to have, but Range and damage output is more important for a backline ranged unit.


But the Ballista Elephant isn’t really for back up, they’re quite tanky so it’s better to get them where the action is. The scorpion however will die to just about anything that gets close enough. It’s a situational choice i’d say, if you need 9 range go for scorpions, if you need something that can stand the heat go ballistas. Also ballista elephants move a bit faster than scorpions, and benefit from armor upgrades and bloodlines. I’ve seen some people drop a castle and make ballistas and it works pretty well.

How you use them is up to you though, personal preference and all, and how your eco is set up. Depends on how many castles you can make vs how many siege workshops, which map you’re playing also plays a role in that decision.

Tried them out recently and the unit is insanely strong now. I doesn’t change the fact that it’s not realistic to get in most circumstances but I think now you can at least make the argument to produce them in some 1v1 late game scenarios (before it was basically only tgs).

Btw you don’t make a few in castle age and you don’t open with them in imp. You need like 140 vils (especially huge amount of farmers) and then you go all out on that unit without making any other unit (except for trebs). If you get the critical mass up you basically win (they still have a weakness to SO but they kill those now way faster than before) if you don’t get that mass you lose the game.

Basically only a viable strat for closed maps. If you can afford these in arabia games you could have gone for other comps and win with muss less risk involved. There are some niche scenarios when you might wanna make them here but that rarely happens.

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This unit is balanced, and quite useful, let me explain why.
Besides the niche use: Cutting trees and a Fantasy Post-Imp composition, this unit has a very unique role in Castle Age.

Khmer go for Knights with all the essential upgrades (+2 armor, husbandry…), against civs that go for CA you can just transition for Balista Elephants after buying some time with plain Cavalry units, you’ll already have a food eco set up for this unit and no need for ANY additional upgrade, that’s so rare in AOE, arguably the smoothest UU transition in AOE.

They win vs. CA at a reasonable ratio, cant find a better counter unit to CA. And of course very useful against Xbows, even against Arbs, all it takes is +4, you dont even need the Elite tech since base pierce armor is flat 3.

Please do not touch this unit, it’s strong enough.
You can argue about the viability of all UU, which is poor in the current meta/ version of Arabia, but that’s a subject for another thread.

This unit is a death machine in bloom fast 4v4 late games like black forest. Leave it alone.

Ballista Elephant has never been the Khmer’s best unit. But I still enjoy using it and I think it’s in a good spot right now. Definitely meant to be a mid-line between your Scorpions and Battle Elephants, plus it has the niche of being able to cut trees in Castle, which doesn’t come up often but yeah is a thing.

Ballista elephant doesn’t work here. It’s actually even the worst play you can go for here super. When you go for knights vs ca play you just make scorps. Khmer scorpions are really strong vs ca.

Ballista elephant do not only are too expensive and take too much time to get they also have rather little range so your opponent makes couples of monks and you’re donating tanks to your opponent while they have accomplished nothing for you (unless costing you 1k res).

wasn’t it +1? unless i mis read

Its was indeed +2

oh it was +2

this might be a bit too much. well until it becomes new meta they’ll nerf it back down to +1

Man pre buff ballista elephant attack was just quite pathetic, 10 in castle age and 11 for elite are enough motivations to make the unit.

Scorps are more defensive, I’m talking about a win condition that does not rely on just a passive Khmer boom. With Ballista Elephant you can actually finish the game in Castle Age.

*You can always Hoang-style with Khmer’s Scorps, but still, Balista is another viable strategy.

Well if you’re up vs ca you usually boom behind that. But irrespective of that ballista elephants in castle age is no win condition. You’ll lose if you do that bc they just get converted without dealing any damage and then investment was useless. You basically need light cav switch before that. But with that res it’s better to make more knights and go imp.

Post-Boom Imperial Age isn’t the only win condition vs. CA.
First you can always go 1 TC Arbalerster (with a decent map), secondly, Balista allows you to go head to head in Castle Age with maximum efficiency.

I’ve won so many matches with Balista as Khmer, my favorite civ, (though always random civ enabled), 1700-1900 1v1 Elo. The key is the element of surprise, most players just dont expect it, and how legitimately solid it is.

No ofc you don’t need post imp as khmer to win against ca civs but you need post imp full boom if you wanna play ballista elephants. The unit is just trash with low eco. Maybe you can try full castle age ballista elephants but you still need huge eco with like 50 farmers. Again ballista elephant just die to monks if you trickle them in. And if you add ranged units your comp dies to mangos.

Well I guess people just don’t know how to play against it maybe because they never face it 11

It still serves just 1 purpose in 1v1s - make 1, cut through the trees and surprise the opponent.
In TG, you could make these in Black Forest like maps sometimes.