Steppe Lancers

hi all! i have a question about steppe lancers. are they just a bad unit? i know they have been super strong in the past but then they got heavily nerfed and now seem to just not have any role or niche.

they are supposed to be a blend of light and heavy cav, except this isn’ true since they are lighter than light cav, having the same HP but 1 less pierce armor, and of course nowhere near knight, despite costing a not-so-cheap 40 gold points

does they have a purpose? and if not, how to buff them? would make their HP a middle ground between light and heavy cav (75/80 HP) a good buff? or upping their armor by +1/+1 to make them lighter than knights but tougher than light cav (they are well armored from the model, and also historically)?

or if they are ok and have a good use, what is that? so that i can improve in using them

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a possible cool change could be remove the knight line from the steppe factions and just make the steppe lancer a steppe variant of the knight making some changes to the unit and creating an “IMperial steppe lancers” to offset loss of the paladin, but maybe that would be too big of a change

Except steppe lancers aren’t heavy cavalry. Thry are light cavalry. Removing knights from these civs would hurt them in early castle age.

Not only does the tech tree say this but civ bonuses reinforce light cavalry

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thus why i sayd “making some changes to the unit” to make them knight equivalent/variant. also, i know that would be a good amount of work and balance and probably never going to happen, but i find a bit odd to see mongols paladin when i could see much more flavourfull steppe lancers. in general, regional units are very cool to differentiate a civ.

and they does not seem light cavalry judging by both they description, their look, and their historical-real counterpart

that sayd, my main question is if steppe lancers are already good or in need of a buff/rework to make them stand out

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So let’s rebalance all these civs for no real reason. Change for the sake of change.

Except mongols don’t have paladins.

The description literally says light cav in it.


dude, can’t you just chill a little? you sound rude AF

why can’t one propose a change for the sake of a change? is a proposition, and changes made the game better in the past. imagine no one ever proposed to add halberdiers, new civ, hussar, new tech, and so on…we as players are absolutely entitled to propose changes, then the developers are absolutely entitled to not care one bit

the mongol example was just to say hat a steppe lancers rebalance to make them a valid alternative to knights would make the whole steppe civs more flavourful to play, which, to me, it’s an important part of the game cause makes for better immersion.

and again yes, they are lighter than knights of course, but their look clearly heavier than light cavalry, and the gold cost suggest they are not comparable to light cavalry alone, but a middle ground between light and heavy cav. That may just be a personal opinion of mine, but that does’nt change the fact that they are lighter than light cav atm, and i doubt the unit is supposed to be THAT light


of course you can suggest anything regarding the game thats why this forum is here for but you have to understand and respect someone’s opinion to be against it too.


i think i’m exaclty on your page. i absolutely respect anyone opinion

I’m just stating facts. If you think that’s rude imagine how I feel about you bringing mongol paladins up?

Because it is a pain from a rebalancing perspective? Because why change something so heavily if yourd just gonna turn lancers into knights?
You’re allowed to propose change for the sake of change. Just like others are allowed to be against it.

And thats fine, but mongols don’t have paladins, so you appear dishonest.

They have that 1 range. That’s why their pierce armor is so low, because they have an advantage over melee units.

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you just sounded rude imho and i told you that. if that was just my impression, then no problem and i’m glad it be that way of course :slight_smile:

anyway, back on the topic, i still have my opening topic: are steppe lancers good or in need of a buff/rework? and what could that possibly be?

I saw them used quite a bit in 1900 elo (mongols only). Fun units to use imo.

I’d buff them, just not sure how. For sure I’d refuce thr cost of the elite upgrade


then how can they be used effectively? i’m really trying to get better at them but feel i’m hurting myself in using them and spending gold on them instead of just doing knights

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I think SL are actually nice as a unit to mix into knights at my ELO.
When you patrol knights + SL into someone else’s army, you have significantly greater damage output and only a little reduced durability.

Possibly pro’s are too good at targeting the weak units to make the strategy good at tournament level.

But the ESL upgrade is never worth it. Never :sob:

how about what i proposed in the opening topic? like a bit more HP, or armor, or a combination of both?

Well how they are designed and were designed when they were op is “mass to win” unit.
At first I think this kind of design is already conceptionally wrong. Even Cav Archers, the normal “mass to win” unit need a meatshield to be effective. Steppe Lancers are their own meatshield.
Second SL need a lot of microing to be effective. This already has been nerfed, but is still there. This comes with their 1 range ability that needs stacking to maximize the damage output. And only a minor margin of players can pull off that kind of micro.
Third SL aren’t even better than CA as a mass to win unit. And that’s absolutely understandable as CA are OP, especially some CA UUs. And SL only come with Civs that have very strong CA (UUs).
So they are also just with the wrong civs, too.

But recently we see Cumans 2nd TC into steppe lancers quite frequently. Also in Tournaments I’ve seen eg Viper pulliing that off against I think Dragonstar. If your opponent doesn’t manages to punish your 2nd tc you can easily snowball your eco lead with massing SL in castle age, as SL are the better “snowball” unit than knights. So we actually see SL, weirdly enough from that civ that doesn’t have a special bonus to them.

Imo SL need to be pushed off that “mass to win” design: Less HP but more Range. This would allow the unit to be used as addition but not as main force. Ideal to snipe siege or add some extra punch to knight formations.

It’s a bit pricey yes. Especially if the unit is used as an addition the elite upgrade cost should be made much cheaper.

Some niche build that sometimes work is to setup a drush to fast castle 3 stable SL. Not the easiest to defend esp. if they get to castle age fast (you cannot repair behind single wall and SLs have a much easier time (than knight) killing vills while kiting if you allow them to enter your base). Really annoying to deal with 9 SLs running around (not to mention Mongol SLs are stronger)

  1. A conservative way is to give Lancers an attack bonus against infantry, especially against Spearman line, but keep weak against archers. This will allow them to gain new features without having to compare them to the Knight line and Scout Cavalry line. They can deal the weakness of Knights, the Knights can cover them by crushing the archers, and Hussars are still the best choice when no golds.

  2. Another more aggressive way is to nerf the stats of Lancers and to replace replace Light Cavalry and Hussars with them. In other words, the Scout Cavalry line of the Mongols, Tatars and Cumans is changed to Scout Cavalry → Lancer → Elite Lancer, and the upgrade cost will be a little more expensive than the common Scout Cavalry line upgrade. This turns Lancers into unique upgrade similar to Winged Hussars, making Lancer art module more common in the game.


I think 1 melee armor or a cost reduction (food) would br s good starting pojnt.


Well, Cumans get Steppe Husbandry, which makes massing Steppe Lancers much much easier. In a map with tons of resources, I can see Cumans be the strongest Steppe Lancer civ because of how much and how quickly they can mass them (maybe DM as well?).

Also, I think Steppe Lancers are moreso meant to be a support unit, I think Survivalist was the one trying out different combinations or ratios of Knights to Steppe Lancers, and mixing in some to your comp was actually very good!