Tuning the Byzantine Romans

The Byzantines have had remarkable stability which is a strength for the civilization and remains somewhat viable due to an excellent flow and synergy of bonuses. While it may be a bit soon, perhaps we should look at tuning them to face what are becoming potent competitors.

The Byzantines largely rely on excellent counter units to work their way up to a cheap and powerful Imperial Age. Historically they lack Blast Furnace, and Bloodlines, but in turn have fairly versatile unit spread due to their Camels trading cost effectively, and their fully upgraded Arbalesters. These may not be enough with some of the upgrades civilizations are getting.

My proposition is:
Bloodlines added

Counter unit upgrades cost 40% less and research 50% faster (Including Cataphracts). They are trained 5% faster.

Cataphracts are now a Counter unit for the discount, based on the original Cataphract price.

The accuracy of Fireships is adjusted to the increased range when Greek Fire is researched. Ships, buildings and siege units hit by them cannot be repaired for 5 real time seconds. The ship will also move 5% faster.

Greek Fire adds small area of effect damage to Archer lines (Foot and CA). Ships, buildings and siege units hit by them cannot be repaired for 2 real time seconds.

I avoided giving the Byzantine Romans Blast Furnace, which would have strengthened their Halbs and Camels to maintain the original feel. Giving them Bloodlines really is not anathema and enables them to fight off the more potent cavalry that is running about at this time. Some civilizations will find this difficult to compete with.

Lowering the cost of Hand Cannoneers is another choice in place of the Cataphracts but I think it might be well too much. Both are supposed to be difficult transitions. (Cataphracts may have to have their base HP lowered by 10 to make this fair)

The choice to have it affect Archers was a reference to handheld Greek Fire. It can simply be countered through formation play. The area of effect is not large, but it could be useful. Area of effect damage will be low.

I really do not care if they get the Steppe Lancer.

Allowing Greek Fire to affect the ability to repair will transform the technology significantly. I do not foresee a need to change the price.

To clarify, by counter unit upgrades I mean: Heavy Camel Rider, Pikeman, Halberdier, Elite Skirmisher, and Elite Cataphract. In addition, it would also apply to related team bonus upgrades.

Add Bloodlines, Blast furnace, Masonry and Architechture and make available all siege units and techs.

Ask me if I care about balance


So like do you think Byzantine has a 4% winrate or something!?


I think that a big shift is on the horizon given the recent adjustments. The Archer boost was more in the spirit of the Bombard Tower, though the repair time will help compensate for weaker Monk defense.

Yea but bombard towers arent mobile units that you can mass quickly from 10 different training facilities

If you pur it ANYWHERE put it in the hyper expensive logistica not that Im condoning it


By that I meant if you know it is there, it will never affect your game.

But why?

You mention a ton of good things about Byzantines - remarkable stability, flow and synergy of bonuses, excellent counter units, cheap Imp, and then go on to suggest several major buffs. And the justification seems to be…preemptively strengthening the Byzantines to bridge a power gap that hasn’t materialized yet. I get that power creep is a thing, but trying to preempt power creep like this isn’t going to work (and presupposes the need for massive overhauls of probably a couple dozen other civs).

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Byzantines are fine and having preserved their identity so well since Aok/C is a good thing.


Byznatines are the kind of anti civ that doesnt really feel power creep all that much anyway because they have some sort of answer no matter what


I wish that were true, but I feel that units are starting to overpower their counters, sometimes convincingly.

Counter units are not necessarily supposed to beat what they counter but do so cost effectively. The Byzantines had that down more than competitors in the past. Do they now?

Well compared to other counter unit civs? Remind me which civs those even are that have similar focus on defensive counterplay adaptation


The Incas are sometimes compared to the Byzantines because they have solutions that are cost efficient against nearly every problem. Hand Cannons sharply excepted…

I genuinely like the Byzantine design. If I could I would restrict changes to the Fireship, which has been in need of a minor rehaul. I have no problem with alternate proposals.

TBH Slingers are a better counter unit than Hand Cannons. However there are other dimensions besides counter units in which Byzantines compare favorably to Incas.

Well, my “alternate proposal” is simply to do nothing, at least for now. Maybe at some point Byzantines will need a buff or two, but the generally accepted evidence of that would be tanking general win rates and consistently poor performance or absence in tourneys. Now a mild flavor buff may be on the table, as it should be for many other “mid” civs.


The Greek Fire Archer thing was meant that way with a minor bite in the repair time to emphasize that it was Greek Fire through the lost repair time and BBT level area of effect which can be easily avoided. It could be effective offensively but by the time you would have it (Castle and all), repair villagers would be ineffective near archers outside of Mangonel, BBC or Treb repair. It would perhaps be wise to have it not affect fortifications since I could see it being abused. The ship had a typo 5, which was supposed to be a 2 (Same as the Archers) but would have a bearing on an actual naval battle, raising their naval rank back up a bit.

Adjusting the hit rate of Fireships with Greek Fire has been wanted by players in general.

any one of these by itself would be OP for byzantines. adding them all is madness

byzantines have super cheap camels and halbs to deal with potent cavalry. they really don’t need bloodlines. most civs will find this difficult to compete with. what unit would still counter byzantine camels (also considering that they can super cheaply counter every unit the opponent makes to counter camels (skirms vs archers and halbs)). not to mention that this makes their cataphracts even stronger, along with their light-cav line and paladins

without formations this means that 30 arbs can just delete entire blobs. with formations they are waaaaay more susceptible to cavalry units. this is completely absurd.

a categoric “no” to status effects.

byzantines were one of the most picked civs in NAC V, with a good winrate (don’t have the exact stats, but this was shown on stream at some point). I can’t emphasise enough how much they DON’T need any buffs


Byzantines feels like the civ that all other civ power levels should be judged against. If the other civ against it creeps its winrate too high or too low then you know where the issue actually is


After the free town patrol, byz needs no change. Their cavalry can be stronger than FU generic one despite no bloodlines/blast furnace. Cataphract is all-rounded unit that only weak to stronger cavalry. Fu arbalest+ hand cannoneer is complimentary to cheaper imp age up.

I tried blast radius for archer, it’s ridiculously OP even if the blast damage only does 1 damage. If you want greekfire to be more useful, I recommend either unlocking Flame Tower or Increasing blast damage for siege by 50% (not the direct damage).

Adding blood line is great to have, but I would rather have siege engineer instead, just my imo.