I hope their presence in a FINALS of Empire Wars shows that this civ is not weak. It is apparently a good civ on open maps, too, since it was picked on Land Madness of all maps.
According to Viper, reasoning for picking the civ in EW are:
- it’s still a cavalry civ, and cavalry civs excel on open maps. You might not be able to force Knights vs Knights fights, but you still can kill a ton of villagers and cause massive idle time
- farm savings bonus is 1 of best long-term bonuses in the game, comparable to Indians eco for example (over 50 farms, for example, you save 1200 wood).
- the extra room in TCs and towers means the civ is harder to raid (for example, you can keep 10 on gold, which is about as many as you generally want in early Castle age and not suffer any losses to raids)
Then the civ has minor perks like:
- free Herbal Medicine (if you build a Castle, you can garrison your Knights inside and heal them up without going through the bothersome process of necessarily building a Monastery and waiting for the tech - basically your Knights get more HP circumstantially.
- better fortifications (Castles being Bombard Cannon-proof is not a small feat and already kicks out of the door a lot of common comps, such as late game Ethiopians or Bohemians, forcing you to use exclusively Trebs)
- Knights extra melee armor means that even though they lack Bloodlines, they ARE better in some circumstances than generic Knights and in some circumstances you want Teutons Knights.
- resistance to conversion means that full Knights in Castle age is way more viable, especially in those 10 vs 10 fights where it’s Knight/Monk/Pike mix between 2 cavalry civs, the Teuton player has an advantage not only due to melee armor on Knights, but also army composition-wise.
Yes the civ “dies to cav archer” (which I don’t believe is necessarily true, you just need to play super defensive, with tons of Castles, TCs and Skirms), but many other civs have bad matchups: Franks are bad into Saracens, Berbers are bad vs Ethiopians/Vikings, and so on.
This post was mostly because I am annoyed by how many people fanboy Teutons so much, which is understandable but I really don’t think this civ needs buffs. It has one of the best eco bonuses in the game, far stronger than, e.g. Lithuanian bonus (yes you can say all you want that Lithuanian bonus is better early and allows you to go 18 pop Scouts, which is true and all, but afterwards your eco is ■■■■ and Lithuanian eco gets worse and worse while Teutons eco gets better throughout the game including in late Castle and Imp). It has a reasonable tech tree, and plenty of options, only some are non-traditional/niche, for example Halb Siege is not very common because it’s hard to play but it’s a really good comp if you get it going and here Teutons have extra armor on Halbs AND on Siege (common counter to something like Scorpions is mass Knights and here having +3 melee armor definitely helps).