Simple thing to consider, as of now unlike Battle Elephants, SL are too similar to knights and being less cost effective, are never seen. SL civs always go plain old Knights when going cavalry.
So a proposed solution to both, the underwhelming nature of SL as well as its non-use lies maybe in removing Knights altogether from Cumans, Tatars and Mongols, BUFFING the SL in exchange.
I do think Mongols and Tatars specifically should lose knights in exchange for a buff to SL.
This is because it solves two problems:
- SL are too similar to knights. Therefore, only one can see the light of day.
- SL civs never get to use them in serious play. Which is a consequence of the fact that SL can either be better or worse than Knights (1 above).
Cumans can keep Paladin with no bonus SL
OR Cumans can get a bonus upgrade on their SL(Imperial SL etc) to compensate for Paladin. But Tatars and Mongols with Knights is quite weird design-wise as well as balance-wise (for SL).
I know it would be more work, but this would also be a very easy way of improving unit variety in Castle Age and make the 3 civs more unique.
NOTE: I hope you as a reader understand that just 'being more work’ is not reason enough to counter-argue such changes, if for any.
I hope you are not part of NCBW (No Changes Because Winrate) or NCBMW (No Changes Because More Work) blocs.
Let us discuss keeping an open mind.