Steppe Lancer Knight-line Replacement mod

A few months ago, Azot-Spike created a Reddit post on how Steppe Lancers can be modified so that they can be a viable replacement for Knight-line units. I’ve created a mod based on Azot-Spike’s analysis, which you can download below:

This mod also comes with a UI mod. However, I don’t feel like uploading a separate mod onto the AoE website. Instead, you can download the UI mod at this link. To install, extract the Steppe Knight Replacement UI folder into your Local mods folder.

Mod Features:

  • Replaces Knights, Cavaliers and Paladins with Steppe Lancers, Elite Steppe Lancers and Heavy Steppe Lancers (new unit) for the Cumans, Huns, Magyars, Mongols, Tatars and Turks
  • Cost changed to 50F, 70G
  • Base armor changed to 1/2
  • Sipahi applies to Turk Steppe Lancers
  • Mongol faster attacking Cavalry Archers now also apply to Steppe Lancers
  • Steppe Lancers/Elite Steppe Lancers now have 80/95 HP and 28s/22s training time
  • Steppe Lancers are now upgraded with the Cavaliers and Paladins technologies
  • Cost to upgrade to Elite Steppe Lancers changed 400F, 350G

Heavy Steppe Lancer stats:

  • Upgrade cost: 700F, 700G
  • Base HP: 125
  • Training time: 22s
  • Attack: 13s
  • Armor: 1/2

Heavy Steppe Lancers have the same appearance as Sogdian Cataphracts, but I did not want to give the Heavy Steppe Lancers a glowing hero icon. I initially tried giving the Heavy SL a custom icon, but for some reason, I just couldn’t do so. In turn, I just gave Heavy Steppe Lancers the Centurion’s icon, because at least Sogdian Cataphracts and Centurions both have shields.

The default Promi AI can train Heavy Steppe Lancers, despite the fact that Heavy Steppe Lancers are custom units. This is because the Advance Genie Editor’s upgrade effect can be used to trick the AI into recruiting custom units. For this mod in particular, I used the upgrade effect to upgrade Knight-line units into their Steppe Lancer equivalents. Even though they are different units, the AI will still treat these upgraded Steppe Lancers as Knight-line units. This includes treating Heavy Steppe Lancers as Paladins, a unit the Promi AI can obviously recruit by default.

This upgrade effect trick is also why Steppe Lancers are upgraded with the Cavaliers and Paladins techs instead of with separate Steppe Lancer techs. Given that Heavy Steppe Lancers are custom units, the AI will never recognize any custom tech that will upgrade Elite Steppe Lancers to their Heavy versions.

Finally, there has been discussion in Azot-Spike’s post on whether these changes would make Steppe Lancers overpowered. I haven’t tested these units much outside of making sure the stats are correct, so I would like hear what people on this forum think about Azot-Spike’s suggestions.