Steppe lance are underpowered

The steppe lancer is a unit which has seen very little use recently despite being available to several popular civs such as Tatars and Mongols. This is because it has no defined niche. There are no situations where you would use the steppe lancer instead of the knight or the light cav line. It’s too expensive to be light cav and too weak to be a knight. Something needs to change. There are, in my opinion, several ways to do things.

  1. Make it similar to the light cav. Cheapen its gold cost a bit and adjust its stats slightly, maybe reducing the attack reload time a little bit.

  2. Make it similar to the knight line. Keep the gold cost as it is and increase its stats to make it a weaker knight but with the extra range and slightly higher mobility.

  3. This idea is the one I like the most. Turn it into a new type of unit: shock cavalry. The way I see this, and the way I would also prefer the coustillier to be, is a unit with high attack but also high reload time or low health, making it weak in a head on fight but strong when microed without having a weird and buggy charge mechanic. This would mean you could use a group of them to quickly snipe siege or monks or even archers before you attack with your main force. Obviously if the unit does end up this way it won’t make up the main part of an army composition, just a small supporting part.


Steppe lancers should have cost reduction, more hp, and cheaper upgrade and lower ROF.

I think ESL is fine. SL without elite is a bit whacky.
If you make that shallow pure fighting power comparison.

The reality is, that these civs don’t need the steppe lancer. It doesn’t fit their gameplan. Cav archers are just the better “mass to win” unit. And even if you go ESL you often would end up in adding cav archers because you need to deal with a halb spam.

It’s just the wrong unit for the wrong civs in that context.

SL need a destinct role in these civs army composition or gameplan. A role that fits these civs.

Buffing/Nerfing the SL will just lead to an on/off effect. Either they are just OP and make cav archers look like funny jokes or they can’t compete with the utility of big cav archer balls and suck in comparison.


Basically, SL need to be massed to win. However, CA do much better than SL in this role and hit and run. SL fail to become intermediate between knight and light cav. SL does not have a good niche.

I would rather let them replace the job of swordsman to kill trash effectively. SL civs have weaker swordsman in general

Something has to be done with steppe lancers …

at the moment : their cost and movement speed is somewhere between knight and light cav, but :
HP and melee armor are much closer to the ones of the light cav.
their pierce armor is less than both.

the range does not compensate for it.

I think a buff of HP and attack, or pierce armor could do the trick and make SL useful.

Mongols and Cumans have FU champions, they lack only supplies.
Tatars have crappy infantry, yes, they lack supplies, 2 armor upgrades, the champion upgrade, their infantry is garbage basically.
But they have even another alternative to Steppe Lancer: the Keshik which costs even less, obviously is a castle unit so has the usual downsides of all UUs.

Steppe Lancers in their current state are terrible trash busters imho: they do too low dps (3/4 of champions) for double the gold (and 10 more food, as steppe civs lack supplies) while also being extremely weak against halberdiers and camels.
FU champions trade perfectly 1v1 against FU heavy camels, so that’s a plus to consider.

Civs that have steppe lancers should lose access to knights imo.

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What if civs that have steppe lancer lose there knight line? The steppe lancer line can be buffed to be able to compete with the knight line, but it can still have it’s own roll by having range

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Without the knight line what would happen to Cumans, which currently have FU Paladins? Tatars and Mongols have already super-strong cavalry archers and heavy camels to counter cavalry, but Cumans with only camel rider and very weak CA often rely on paladins as the go-to unit.

are they not massively overpriced?

massively? no, they aren’t massively overpriced. maybe a little overpriced but massive it is not.

I’d reduce the Elite upgrade cost, increase the HP by about 10, and reduce the cost to maybe 65 food and 35 gold.

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they obviously need a massive buff/price reduction

I think they need a niche.
Such that in certain situations I think of SL as my best choice.

I think that steppe lancers should not mix with other melee units in formation. Right now, they form a checker formation. However, if they formed a straight line behind other cavalry, then the other units would get their hits in guaranteed, thus buffing the group.

In addition, I think steppe lancers should get boiled leather armor or something. :confused:

They are not especially underpowered, but they don’t have a role compared to knights.

I think that just giving them more damage/armour/HP would be just going around the same path since the begining of DE.

I’d say the way out is adding bonus damage for them. Give them bonus damage against buildings, for example, and there you go. Or bonus damage against skirms, so those civs could combo them against counter CA.

I also think that Huns should get steppe lancers as well.

I like the idea of shock troops, and a unit that hard counters skirmishers would be nice. If steppe lancers could 1 hit skirms, but deal normal dmg to other types, that would be interesting. Like… +20 dmg vs skirms on hit, with trample dmg vs skirms.

I would be in favor of removing the knightline from civs that get steppe lancer and have the SL, in amended form, play that role. This is similar to how the Eagle Warrior functions in meso civs. Armored units like the knight don’t particularly fit lightly armored nomadic armies historically speaking, but more importantly game-balance wise it would create a function for the SL and spice up cavalry play.

I am not sure exactly how the SL could be buffed, to make it similar to knights (but not the same). Perhaps you could give the SL a bonus against camels (creating a similar triangle as on water) or buff them in a way that you can micro them more easily to use their ranged attack in hit and run engagements, which is how nomadic civs historically beat heavily-armored opponents, or even pikemen (which would give them a potential edge over knights).

Removing the knightline is just an idea, but even if that’s not an option then buffing SL in a way that it is more desirable to make them when available to your civ, will give this unit a place in the game. At least elephants and camels play respective roles for their civs, but i never see SL made unless for the memes.

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Mongols would be almost unscathed by this, Tatars at least would have Keshiks and FU Heavy Camels, not to mention more durable hussars, HCA and SL, but Cumans would be destroyed removing the knight line, expecially since they don’t even have access to Heavy Camels and lack Bracer for HCAs/Kipchaks.
Makes sense to me as a logistical choice, but game balance wise would be terrible at least for them.

Nomadic civs also used some form of heavy cavalry as well. Especially, Cumans used many heavy cavalry with European influence, which represent as game that they have Paladin.
I don’t think it make much sense to lose knight for Mongols, Tatars, Cumans. But civs didn’t have great cavalry like Southeast Asian civ still have knight.

Also, we already have bad design of Indians which lose knight and Camels become replacement of knight. Knight have a huge role in the game and we cannot balance it that easy.
I think those civ still keep knight but Steppe lancer can fill some niche role, not entirely replace the knight.