Too many shadow techs now

I can probably understand why that is the case. If you have too many variations of units that are unlocked throughout the game, it’s hard to design an upgrade for all of them. But the unit types you get from consulates or US forts are very limited compared to the African palace.
But there is a solution: make a tech that universally upgrades those units like you did for the War Camp units.

And I do not know why even mercenaries automatically shadow tech for the Africans (while most other civs need a upgrade option to eventually reach the same effect in age 5, and some do not have that option at all). You can also simply implement a technology to do that.


I think there should be a global all Mercenaries and a all Natives upgrade for each age for each civilisation.

It is kinda annoying that you have to upgrade the units of each native individually and I think it’s extreme that the Africans get that for free.
A good compromise would be a global upgrade for all natives (like it’s already in Imperial Age) for all ages.
And the same for mercenaries. You shouldn’t have to pick a specific Age Up Option for that.

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I think the reasoning here is that all native and merc related stuff for african civs cost a special resource, so the trade off between getting an upgrade or a mass of units is very different then for Euro civs.

Like for vet tech, thats about 500 resources, 1k for guard and 3k for Imp. If this was influence then the upgrade tech is almost never worth it, even if it upgrades all units. A similar thing can be seen with the normal guard upgrade for African civs, I find them particularly cumbersome to get even if they are upgrading 2 units.

Euro civs get a free shadow tech now if they go for the merc contractor and their mercs only cost gold so I think its about balanced right now tbh( not withstanding the weird ethiopian cheap merc thing). Also I havent done the math on this but I am not sure which is merc is stronger, African Shadow tech merc or Germany and Swede with Mercenary contractor and their Merc Combat card

That’s true, but the mercenary contractor is one option that can be skipped. If you want to go for the 2 heavy cannons, etc. you lost that forever, while Africans can get the upgrade whatever they do.
Also they have a better curve. Mercs of most other civs do not get any better before age 5, but African mercs with the shadow techs would always have an advantage over the others before age 5 (not to mention Asians who never had the upgrade).
I think the African mercs should have only one shadow tech at age 5 (same effect as the age 5 mercenary contractor), because mercs already have above-veteran ~ guard stats and giving them one “imperial” upgrade is well enough. Then also give Asians some way to improve them.
African natives can keep their free upgrades as a unique trait.

I dont know how much the higher stats are an advantage tbh, since at that stat level a lot of mercs tend to overkill, especially range units. this leads to the weird thing about the cannoneers being that they are actually lesser abus guns but since they overkill less and cost one pop they are more effective.

after a bit of testing, I think the boost that they get is the same as the mercenary contractor actually, just staggered across the age ups.

age 4 mercs get only one boost when going to age 5 of about 30%
age 3 mercs get 2 boost totaling 50% when going to 5 ( 20% in age 4 and 30% in 5)
the only exception to this is currently the cannoneer since they are available starting age 2 so they get a total boost of 70%

This actually makes their mercs still lesser then the two euro merc civs actually since the age 4 boost is less then or equal to the upgrade cards that those civs can use ( german gives 20% in age 3 and swede gives 25% in age 4), Hausa has an upgrade card, but it only gives 10%. not to mention that Euro civs can have additional upgrades on top of that with arsenals and more universal combat cards. The only exception to this is the cannoneer since I don’t know how it interacts with the mercenary contractor

They get a free mercenary contractor in age 5 but like I said im not sure how much of an advantage that is unless you are in a merc vs merc fight, other civs can just grind down your army and you lose a not easy to get resource for nothing.

As for asian civs, they have more obscure bonuses that kinda already work with mercs so im not sure how you want to buff mercs for them tbh, also only china really uses mercs since the other two civs already have high stats unit in the lategame.
China has a total of 15% HP and 8% attack boost for all units from Western reforms and the brit consulate and also guaranteed acess to the second most powerful merc in the game imo the iron troops. also more obscure stuff like universal artillery cards ( not too relevant but very fun with bombards)
Japan has 7% attack boost from consulate, golden pavilion +auras ( both of which scales from current stat so they already scale pretty well) and also arsenal techs - In addition, Japan is the only civ that has mercs with a total of 110% shadow tech stat boost from the japanese consulate
India is probbaly the weakest here with +12% HP and 5% attack from the Shivaji tactic and the brit consulate

Japan is probably already fine, india for mercs tbh I kinda want to create a new elephant mercs and make it unlockable by India to take advatage of their unique elepant cards ( reduced cost, pop and 20% combat cards).

For china, I just want to be able to make manchus trainable together with iron troops. Maybe if you want to get further funky make one of the monk techs give addition 10% boost to mercs as well ( they are supposed to be repentant after all)