Hi, I wanted to share a few reflexion about possible future trash units and know your opinion about it.
First, what do we have so far?
- We have 3 common trash military units (the Militia, Skirmisher and Scout Cavalry lines), one for each of the main land military lines (not counting siege weapons), plus the Villager, Fishing Ship and Transport Ship which are usually not counted.
- We have 1 Castle UU (Magyar Utzar line) whose Gold cost can be removed entirely through a Castle Age UT, plus 1 team bonus non castle UU (Genitour line) from outside the Castle with no gold cost from the start and one team bonus upgrade for the Skirmisher.
- In addition to the Magyars, Malays have Forced Levy (Imperial Age UT) to turn the Militia line’s Gold cost into Food cost, Persians have Kamandaran (Castle Age UT) to remove the Archer line’s Gold cost and replaces it with a slightly lesser Wood cost, and the Bohemians have the Hussite Reforms (Imperial Age UT) to completely replace all monastery Gold cost with Food, including for Monks.
- Malays and Persians both lack the last upgrade from their respective “trashified unit”. Persians also lack Bracer, and until recently Malays had Gambeson. On the opposite, Bohemians have all techs benefiting Monks.
- Poles have Slachta Privileges (Castle Age UT), which removes 60% of the Knight line’s Gold cost and doesn’t replace it with additional Food cost. They don’t have access to Paladins and Plate Barding Armor. It is not exactly a trash unit, but it’s quite probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to trash cavaliers.
- Persians, Bohemians and Poles don’t have any civ bonus benefitting their trashified (or semi-trashified) common unit. Malays only have the benefit of infantry armor upgrades being free.
We can already see a few patterns.
- So far we only have seen common units’ Gold cost removal through UT, never through a civ’s bonus or team bonus. Those UT always cost gold, which means you need to train a certain number of those units before you would make a profit. If the unit can be upgraded, it loses the last version and will generally (but not always) lack at least another tech to be fully upgraded.
- Some units won’t just replace their Gold cost with another one, possibly because it would then cost too much of one resource and/or because removing the Gold cost entirely would make them to easy to spam.
- Stone doesn’t factor in this equation since there are no units with Stone cost, but if it did it would probably play the same role as Gold rather than Wood and Food, since it is the easiest resource to entirely run out of on a map. Aguably you could say that all buildings with only Wood cost are trash building.
With that, let’s explore a few ideas. I won’t suggest new common trash units because the possibilities are limitless, but you free to do so if you want to.
Since the Magyar Uszar only costs Food after Corvinian Army is researched, maybe we could get a new civ whose UU would exclusively cost Wood instead. One could argue that it’s already the case for Genitours, though they are not a Castle UU and are a trash unit from the start. Anyway, I don’t have any suggestion for which civ and UU it could be about.
A new American civ could receive trash Eagle Warriors (75 Food) as long as it doesn’t have access to the Elite Eagle Warrior. It would probably come as a Castle Age UT and this tech could also affect Xolotl Warriors (which are already quite garbage anyway) which means the civ should also have Redemption. Civs such as Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Chimu or Mapuche could all receive such UT.
Trash cavalry archers could also be an interesting option, though it would bring their Wood cost to 100 and it should probably be slightly reduced (80-90?). Among the existing civs, all those it would make the most sense to receive this UT also have the Heavy Cavalry Archer (most of them fully upgraded) which they would need to lose. In my opinion, it would be a better addition to a new Steppe nomad civ such as the Khitans, ######## Uzbeks or Pechenegs, probably as the Castle UT.
Despite them not having any upgrade, trash Hand Cannoneer could be an interesting option. Their Gold cost could be replaced with either Wood or more Food (maybe with a slight cost reduction), and there are quite a few already existing civs (Japanese as a replacement for Kataparuto, for instance) that could receive it, or new ones such as the Kanuri. It should obviously be an Imperial Age tech, as Hand Cannoneers can’t be trained in Castle Age.
Despite one of the main issues with Battle Elephants, Armored Elephants Elephant Archers being their lack of cost efficiency, I don’t think a trashifying UT would make them more attractive, especially since their Food cost may be more of a problem than their Gold cost. Maybe replacing (part of) the Food cost with Wood would be a solution (at least for the Archer Elephant) but it would probably make things worse especially on water maps. Trash elephants would be a weird concept anyway, as they are specifically meant to not be trash.
Trash Camel Rider may be an interesting idea, though considering their cost it should either receive the Persian or Pole treatment imo (so 55 Food / 20-25 Gold OR around 100 Food). Such civ should also maybe share the Scout Archer with the Gurjara. Just like for the Cavalry Archer, the civs such UT would make the most sense for have access to fully upgraded Heavy Camelr Riders and some of them have unique bonus for them, I would personally add them to a new African civ such as the Songhai or the Somalis (preferably the latter, as a nod to the fact that modern day Somalia is the country with the most camels in the world).
Trash Steppe Lancer would also be an interesting idea (I would also reduce their price to 100 Food), and it could be added to a civ without the unit so far such as the Huns or Magyars (preferably the Magyars, as it could be a secondary benefit to the Corvinian army). Otherwise it could be added to another new Steppe Nomad civ such as the the one I mentioned for the trash Cavalry Archer, or maybe the Jurchens (though I think the Jurchens should get the fully upgraded unit, so probably not them). It’s also possible to give trash Cavalry Archer AND trash Steppe Lancer to the same civ.
Siege Workshop units could all receive the Pole treatment. Augmenting their Wood cost would not really make them more benefitial except for maybe the scorpion. No matter the unit (and even more so if it affects the entire Siege Workshop), it shouldn’t be as huge a cost reduction as -60%, maybe something like -40% would work better. Trash Trebuchet or Bombard Cannon should definitely not be a thing. Any such UT should come in Imperial Age.
Trade Carts and Trade Cogs are sort of already covered by Silk Road, even though it affects both their Wood AND Gold cost. I don’t think another version should exist for another civ, but as an Imperial Age civ it maybe comes a little bit too late in the game (and is useless if you’re not in a team).
Ships in general are a little bit problematic, as in water maps where they are the most relevant, Wood is usually as precious as Gold. It would probably work better to just reduce the Gold cost without changing anything else (Pole solution) or to replace it with Food. Another solution is to reduce the Wood cost instead. Obviously I’m speaking in general, I don’t think any civ would benefit from having all their ships be trash ships in late game. Maybe a new naval civ such as Javanese could maybe receive trash Galley line or trash Fire Ships (Venetians would definitely not be trash, I don’t think anyone should have trash Dromon or Cannon Galleon and trash Demo Ship would be extremely underwhelming to use and frustrating to fight.
For trash Petard, see trash Demo Ship and multiply it by 1000 as their initial Gold cost is only 20.
Finally, an UT could reduce the Stone cost for Town Centers, Castles and/or the Tower line (not remove it entirely, as it would make tower rush tactics far too easy), maybe replacing it with Wood. Ideally not Castle, though, but it may be an interesting idea for the other two.