I’ve been wanting to start a series of forum threads taking analysis of various units. Especially some that might be under-appreciated or need changes. The first unit I felt worthy of analysis was the Kipchak. Discussion is welcome here, and needed.
Cumans have seen a pretty wild ride since DE was released. The Kipchak went from a powerhouse unit to being hit by some pretty broad strokes against it, along with the Steppe Lancer. To add to the great Cuman anaylsis by @WoelsToWho here (mainly on the Steppe Lancer and Plate Barding Armor, but also on the Cumans broadly and the Kipchak) and some discussion started by @MasterSncKnight here, I thought this deserved a more in-depth analysis.
Before commentary, some data. We will compare in Post-Imp, with equal resources, how the Elite Kipchak performs against it’s most comparable unit: the Elite Mangudai. It also will be compared in a battle against FU Elite Skirmishers.
the Mongols do not have access to Ring Archer Armor, losing out on 2 pierce armor - 4 on Mangudai, 6 on Kipchak. The Cumans are missing Bracer, and also have a lower minimum range to begin with, giving the Kipchak a considerably lower firing range of 6 when compared to the Mangudai’s 7, or Skirmisher’s 8. Damage output is considerably lower on the Kipchak, topping out at 8 vs Mangudai’s 12. HP is also lower on the Kipchak, 65 vs 80. The firing rate is also 30% faster on the Mangudai - the damage output is significantly larger when compared to the Kipchak, even with the 2 additional arrows at 3 pierce, 0 melee each.
In all battles, units are patrolled in.
In a battle of equal resources (30 Mangudai, 38 Kipchak), the Kipchak win with an average of 5 units remaining. In equal numbers, the Mangudai slaughter with over half their army (17) remaining.
In equal resource battles against 40 skirmishers (38 Kipchak, 30 Mangudai), the Mangudai narrowly outperform the Kipchaks with 4 skirmishers remaining for the Mangudai vs 6 for Kipchaks.
The Kipchak is very fast - narrowly outspeeding an already extremely quick Elite Mangudai in Post-Imp, although the speeds are almost identical. Interestingly enough, this allows them to outrun Camel Riders. Mangudai can as well, just not as cleanly, as their speeds are evenly matched with Camel Riders.
The Cumans have an awkward position with the Kipchak. When upgraded, it is a fairly strong unit. However, it is very frail and requires numbers to be effective even more so than Mangudai - it is decimated in groups without a numbers advantage. Kipchaks do train in 25% less time (30% faster - 20s vs 26s). However, the Kipchak is more situational with it’s limited range. It has a frame delay of 0, making hit-and run tactics even more effective than Mangudai with a Frame Delay of 5 (Cav Archers have a frame delay of 10), however, due to its low damage output it performs very poorly against well-armored units, even in mass, when compared to the Mangudai.
The Mangudai gets bonus damage against the targets usually most resistant to archer fire, siege. Kipchaks are more effective against rams than the Mangudai by a small margin due to melee damage on their arrows, but do much more poorly against Trebuchets and other armored units. Against FU Paladin, Kipchaks do 1 damage, while Mangudai do 5. Assuming all arrows hit from a Kipchak, that raises to 3, but the accuracy on additional arrows is very low.
The Kipchak is an interesting unit, but it’s one unique feature - firing multiple arrows - is less useful against siege than the Mangudai, and less useful against armored units do to an extreme damage advantage by the Mangudai.
Missing Bracer is also a massive weakness to all of the Cumans archers (and buildings), arguably worse than missing Ring Archer Armor.
My personal proposal is between a few options :
a) increase the amount of arrows fired from 2>3 for Kipchak, and 3>4 for Elite Kipchak. This would reinforce the unique attributes of the unit.
b) increase the base damage of the Kipchak by 1, and Elite Kipchak by 1. This would allow them to do a reasonable amount of damage to upgraded Cavalry.
c) increase the base HP of Kipchak from 40>50, and 45>50. This would make the unit more versatile, and perform a little better in pitched battles.
d) Give Cumans Bracer. This would definitely require further balancing to the tech tree if done, however.