Tower Elephant Critique

This unit has a long aoe4 history of being broken (OP and buggy). Originally the HP pool on this unit was insane and it’s movement speed made it extremely hard to “snare”. Reasonably so the unit needed a nerf, but sadly it got a nerf, followed by a nerf, nerf… and now it’s an aesthetics unit or one you can make early if you have a crap ton of resources to dump within a niche window of opportunity. Below I will list all the aspects of this unit:

· Expensive- 400food 600gold

· Long Training Time- 60s no garrisoned scholar or BSM speed upgrade

· SLOWEST Bio Unit in Game—0.88 tiles/s; only siege is slower

· Standard Range- 5 tiles

· Weak DPS/Cost- 15 range damage by 2 on a 1.38 attack speed is HIGH in a vacuum but when you consider the 1000 resources; you’d get higher DPS from FEUDAL archers (that’s just 12 standard archers no upgrades…)

· Decent to High EHPPC vs Range Units—I spoke on Effective HP Per Cost before in a different thread; basically it’s a metric to gage how well your HP + armor can soak incoming dmg vs each enemy unit type. It’s calculated as : 100 * ( RequiredStrikes X EnemyBaseDmg ) / [ 100 * (YourUnitCost) ]. For example Tower Elephants 600HP + 7 range armor vs Veteran archer 7 damage; makes the Tower Elephant impervious to such damage; and the EHPPC comes out to 420/100 HPPC; which is THE HIGHEST EHPPC in the game for any bio unit!! HOWEVER; its only this high vs standard archers… and not against Malian Archers; Abbasid Composite Bow* Archers when you factor for DPS; not against any cav archers, not against Crossbowman, not against Javelin Throwers, nor Janissaries and it won’t be this high vs HC …… So, basically your enemy NEEDS to field full Longbowman mass or standard archer mass so this backline** unit of yours can reign supreme. Oh, and all melee units effectively and EFFICIENTLY counter this unit so, it has to play keep away to live. And it can’t dodge Mangonel shots.

· Resource Dump—very few factions have any unit options, outside the lancer and mango, to quickly trade lots of resources for lots of power. And the way Delhi design is the resources you save upfront from NOT having to pay resources for veteran upgrades and eco upgrades etc etc can readily be dumped into units to press the military issue. Although, the Tower Elephant IS a resource dump unit option, due to it’s low DPS/Cost and niche role, IMO it’s NOT a favorable resource dump over the mangonel, nor the lancer.

· Power/Population—in an ALL-OUT slugfest of max pop vs max pop armies clashing and micro; 20+ Tower Elephants fully “woke” (all upgrades) would need very little support (some springalds and some body-blocking units) to completely and utterly devastate most enemy compositions. Again this isn’t something you’re gonna see except in team games and extremely late late “infinite resource” 1 v 1 games.

Overall, I give the current iteration of the Tower Elephant a C minus!

It needed to be nerf from its original OP status however now it’s too expensive for what LITTLE it can still do. IMO, reduce the cost to that of 500 resources; or significantly add more DPS to this very slow unit to make it a legit bio alternative to the mangonel (high dps but slow and vulnerable to melee) and it needs higher initial range armor; it is completely unfair to a unit that virtually cannot run away is also soft-countered by nonstandard archer range units. Verus spearmen, 1 Tower Elephants DPS is equivalent to 2.5 veteran archers; so imagine you had 2.5 archers that won’t die to range damage and has to play the “keep away” game…. And you’d have a Tower Elephant equivalent for 1/5 th the cost (this does not factor in the tusk dmg….but you want to consider tusk damage vs spearman???).

I have a legit legit legit fix to this unit and to delhi playstyle as a whole!!!

Without getting too deep into the linearity of Delhi playstyle, one of the main issues of the sacred site playstyle is the lack of efficient purposes for the free gold. Due to scholar healing nerfs and by the time you capture sacred sites you’d only have blacksmith upgrades still researching, making tons and tons of scholars with the gold is mostly useless. While marketing the gold is the current META that quickly becomes inefficient and reduces your effectiven 9 gold gathering villagers to as low as 3 ish 4ish food/wood gathering villagers equivalent.

What Delhi needs is a UNIT it can make with this abundance of gold and what better unit to make then the one unit THAT SHOULD have been the face of this civilization than the TOWER ELEPHANT?!!

of course it would have to be a feudal age variation similar to how we have early knights and feudal MAA; but in feudal??? This unit would be godly!!! It would still be clearly countered by melee and its comparative DPS to archers and nonexistent feudal crosbows would stil be much lower. HOWEVER in an age dominated by archers what better archer to have than the one immune to archer damage???

I believe the community would loveeee to see Elephants EARLY and Tower Elephant would be competitive in feudal and not deviate from delhi’s design. Keep the cost of this unit at 1000 and it keep it from snowballing. 1000 early early resources isn’t something you want to throw away into a small group of spears or raiding horsemen and GG go next.

This can work!!!
(Tower Elephant still would need work in castle age and imperial but not as much work if accessible early the way mongols have keshiks early).