How many civs do you see that use their UU in the game?! We have now more than 35 civs and these are only like 3 or 4 civs use their UU frequently, which they are (Mongols, Koreans, Burmese, Spanish, Goths), other civs it is rarely to see. I don’t know if the devs like to remove the identity of the civs, but their decisions about the UU are always bad, i mean for example when DE came out everyone was using the Konniks & Letits then woop they are disapeared. I really think the UU should have more availability in the game, it is really good which show more identity for the civs in the game, so what i suggest?!
-Reduce some costs/times of the UUs like Persian war elephant, Khmer ballistic elephant, Saracens Mameluke and Slavs Boyars.
-Increase the attack speed for Konniks, and get back the +1 Pa for Litits.
-Get back the 0 frame delay for the Kipchak or give the Cumans bracer and so on.
In general those what i mentioned are just an examples and we have many other civs their UU need to be improved, my main ideai is that i think the game should really have more availability and easy switching to use the UU for every civ in the game.
Honestly I’d live with broken UUs.
Imperial Age should be Unique Unit age, not Paladin age. Unique Units are the most fun and iconic part of the civ. The good thing is they buff one single UU with a big upgrade. Genoese Crossbows are much better now. Cavalry and Infantry UUs are pretty bad overall and Kipchaks too.
Cataphracts: Too expensive
Kipchak: Too weak after losing its identity
Samurais: Too expensive
War Elephants: LOL this unit can’t be balanced 11
Mameluke: Too expensive
Teutonic Knight: Too expensive
Janissary: Elite version is very underwhelming
Conquistador: Elite version is underwhelming
Elephant Archer: Too useless in every aspect 11
Boyar: Too expensive
Organ Guns: Elite version is underwhelming
Arambai: Elite version is underwhelming
Ballista Elephant: Too useless in every aspect
Karambit Warrior: Too expensive and squishy
Konniks: Too weak compared to Knight also too expensive
Leitis: To weak to arrows, nerf damage instead
One of the main problems is that Unique Units need castles to be build.
Castles are very expensive.
Also Castles have the role of the main defence building too so you might have to place it in a place that is bad for unit production.
Also Castles do other things like Researching a lot of technologies that take away training time. It’s easy to have 5 barracks and use 2 of them for upgrades while 3 produce units, not so much with a Castle.
Cataphracts probably not
Samurai are just champions created from a castle. Let them get affected by Supplies and you are good
Mameluke just needs a slight cost reduction. Ive suggested -10g +5f before.
Teutonic Knight. I would say the same as for samurai. Let them get affected by Supplies.
War Elephants, indeed cant really be balanced.
Kipchak: Due to their short range and low HP they should have lower attack delay than mangudai. Not 0, but lower.
Leitis: And now that it is nerfed its never seen anymore.
Konnik is fine, and I agree with your assessment about all the castle age unique units (except for maybe the organ gun, dont have a strong opinion on that)
Boyar: Slight gold reduction -5 should be fine to make it viable.
All the archer UUs are pretty much fine, including the Cavalry archers except for Kipchak and Elephant archer.
Elephant archer doesnt need much imo: Increasing movement speed to be equal to Crossbows after husbandry should be good. Alternatively, or in addition I would like it, if Parthian tactics affected them the same it does the Cavalry Archer. i.e. give +4 damage against spearman instead of +2.
The problem with Elephant archers is imo only their weakness to helbardiers. You dont need skirms for them (which do okay) you can just overrun them with spears if you dont have mass archers behind (while Indians dont get good archers, only cavalry archers).
In general I could also imagine that a new technology gets introduced to the game, similar as they did with supplies. This technology available int he Imperial age in the castle does reduce training time for the unique unit. This could help especially the cavalry unique units to see more use. Making it a technology allows for giving it only to specific civs, that need it for their unique unit. Making it an Imp tech doesnt buff fast castle into unique unit strats, and not just combining it with the elite upgrade allows us to balance it even more as we can adjust the cost of the technology according to how strong it appears to be, without nerfing the civ by making the elite upgrade too expensive.