Before Ratha come out, most people say that it would be super OP and must be nerf after patch. Eventually this unit is not that good and getting buff patch by patch but still weak. I look at the COST EFFICIENCY of this unit against all other unit in different form. I find that one should always find a right form of Ratha when against different unit. For example against high armor unit you go for archer form and against high PA unit you go for melee form.
Ratha is very good on paper but why Ratha is so bad in practice?
I think the main reason is that the skill of “switch form” is a new mechanism that have never been appeared before this unit. You can argue that Trebuchet also switch form but DE Trebuchet have QOL that it can auto pack and repack with right click on building or ground. I am not asking for QOL of Ratha that will auto switch form base on DPS. I think there should be more unit to have this mechanism and it will force player to learn thiis mechanism in different unit. For those who did not buy the DLC don’t even know where the switch hotkey is.
I know this act will make Ratha as a unique unit not unique anymore. But you all know this mechanism should be on Samurai originally. And actually the original mechanism of switching melee and range is villager: melee on wolf and become range on boar / deer. If Ratha will auto switch like what villager did will be super OP but it is not I ask for.
First of all switching should be automatic but i think the problem is different.
Ratha’s unit size too big so they cant stack up and attack. War ###### have very big size too but they can easly stack up so it is not much a problem.You can feel the diff between rathas and wv.
Rathas need to many upgrade but it cost a lot. Investing for rathas is a risky move.
Also rathas dont scale very well. They shine at mid castle but pretty weak at imperial. Even after you get all upgrade, skirmishers, knights etc can outperform rathas. For example mangudais need tons of upgrade too but when you get them, they become mounted terminators.
Rathas need better scaling, better stacking etc.
The whole idea is just broken.
There’s a reason why we usually work with ranged/melee army comps. And those comps are costly to tech in, which usually leads to a “natural” progression in the game.
Then comes a Ratha which is it’s own unit comp. But in order to be balanced it must have some serious drawbacks.
The biggest is that you need to make castles. And it’s not only the cost of the castles but the timing disadvantage. Castles need ages to be built and can only be placed after actually reaching castle age. Knights and CA can directly be trained from buildings you can already prepare before actually reaching that age.
It’s btw the one thing that makes all these broken cav units balanced that were added since de:
If you look how they perform, they actually shred basically everything except pikes/halbs. But even against them they perform way better than the Knights.
Rathas are even more complicated cause they have the double funcion. Everybody who played against CA + Knight all-ins knows how difficult it is to deal with it. And Rathas are this comp in a single unit. And for balance reasons both forms must kinda underperform if you factor in the castle disadvantage cause it would otherwise basically be impossible to deal with them.
I think devs should now just cut their losses and give up on the ratha design. There is just no place for a unit that has basically no caounter as it is it’s own army comp.
The counter resistant cav UUs of DE where already stretching out quite far, actually too far for my sense into that direction of “counter resisitancy” and the Rathas showed that if you try to go even one step further you have to tune down the units so much they become basically useless as they can’t offer the sheer powerspikes of the units they try replace.
I personally think the Ratha would be a great trash unit additon to the Bengali eles, if redesigned in a fashionable way. Cause I think that’s actually the bast way to buff eles, to add a trash unit that synergizes well with it. Here is my idea for a trash ratha .
I think the switch should have some QoL upgrades, like a quick switch by holding a key.
This mean, I have a group of rathas in range mode, and while holding quick switch key I command to attack an specific target in melee mode, onces the target is dead or I give my rathas another command they continue attacking in range mode.
Another change could be the unification of ratha’s modes when I switch a group of them with different modes
You can sorta do that already with good micro. One of my favorite tactics with the Ratha is to charge a group of them directly under a TC in melee mode, start tearing it down, switch to ranged mode to snipe any units coming to kill them, then switch back and continue the assault. With enough attention, the transition is quite smooth, and very deadly.
I don’t think they’re particularly bad. They face the same challenges faced by, say, Mangudai; cavalry archers are slow to mass, and you need a critical mass to be effective, which is hard to reach with castles.
And they basically are CAs. They’re CAs that are less vulnerable to knights and can do more damage to buildings. They’re strong against pikes and weak against skirms, just like CAs, and opposite knights.
If they have a problem, it’s that getting into both them and battle elephants at the same time is too hard.
The unit is really strong in paper and stats and it can be abused since it only cost wood ans gold, their main issue that whenever you switch btw ranged or melee attacks you need to control two separated army groups cause the game recognizes as a different unit, trying to hit and run might cause you loses cause the units on different attack wont be following the rest.
Then you have the second flaw, they have a #### ### size, they actually uses more spaces than war wagons so they just open so bad the position trying to flank a single target that puts in danger all the units just because of that.
I am not a fan of boosting them more, cause i know they can be abused and create another meme strategy for years.
Rathas have always felt like clunky and difficult units imo. When I play bengalis, I never make them. They are good at a few things. First, they can handle rams pretty well, and second, they are pretty good raiding units. They can attack in melee and ranged at once to take down buildings a bit more quickly, and snipe vils in ranged mode.
However, they’ll never make a good unique unit like mangudai or kipchaks imo. The double modes make them a nightmare to balance, and it feels totally out of place in AoE2.
Multiple modes is essentially a unit ability, and we’ve never had it in this game. That’s more of a warcraft thing. I don’t think they should ever add another unit like this.
I think the switch thing is ok.
What I don’t like is inconsistancy like the centurion aura. It’s a realy complicated game and a crucial part of it is to see wether an engagement favors you or not. And this is taken away with these kind of effects.
But switching these modes is a micro skill that can be learned and also learned to deal with, as both modes are clearly destinct from each other, so you have the crucial visual information and only need experience to make the right assessment of the situation.
I also quite like Rathas against Eagle Warriors, because they’ll function as both Knight and Cavalry Archer at the same time, both of which are good counters to Eagle Warriors. You can have few of them engage in melee while most of your units that’d usually get blocked by pathing stay behind and shoot.
It just still kinda falls over to Skirmishers, and all Meso civs have at least above average Skirmishers.