So I had this idea some time ago, just as a fun exercise of how to introduce and balance a unit, but the idea stayed with me, and by now I think adding it would actually benefit the game and introduce more variety.
So what’s a camel scout?
Basically a downgrade of the Camel Rider available in feudal age for the same cost (55f 65g) of the Camel Rider. This could either be a general unit, or what I think would be a better Idea, a unique unit.
Why would you want to introduce a camel scout?
To add variety. I like the if a civ offers a unique strategy, and as long as it does not result to an objectively best strategy on certain maps this diversifies and improves the game in my opinion. A camel scout would be an alternative to the scout cavalry line in feudal age, and could be used both, for raiding and as a counter for other Cavalry civilizations. It would have the advantage of being a scout counter, and of transitioning much better into castle age than a scout rush, at the disadvantage of:
Lower pierce armor, lower movement speed and higher cost.
What should the stats be?
6 dmg. (+4 vs cav. +2 vs camels and ships)
2.0 rate of fire
What do those stats translate to? Why those stats?
They are an alternative to the scouts for raiding: 3 camel scouts (360 ressources) have the same raiding potential as 4 Scouts (320 ressources). Without forging, each one of the group needs to attack a villager 3 times to kill, and the group takes a total of 12 hits from spearmen.
The camel scout would kill an enemy scout with 5 hits, while taking 10.
However the camel scout would be a bit slower (by 0.1 to be precise) and would be more vulnerable
towards arrow fire.
The camel scout also takes 22 seconds to train instead of the 30 of a Scout cavalry. So training 4 camel scouts would take around as much time as it does to train 3 Scout cavalries.
Now what Civ would this be good for?
My personal favourite would be the Saracens:
They don’t have the best win rate right now and already a camel theme. This would be an interesting way to buff them, while their market bonus would also allow to quickly get the necessary gold for a feudal camel rush.
They are heavily reliant on camels already and have very strong camels. I believe in this case the additional pierce armor bonus would have to be changed, to only affect camels in castle age.
With the bonus damage against buildings however I believe that this would be an interesting way to break the meta of feudal walls. Scout rushes are pretty useless on most maps including Arabia in DE. An Indian camel scout rush would circumvent two of the problems a scout rush has:
Being completely negated by palisades, and not translating well to castle age.
An additional nerf could be imposed of having to upgrade the camel scout to the camel rider in castle age though. For Saracens I would make this a free immediate upgrade, however with Indians I would gate this behind another upgrade. This would be an adjust, with new options rather than a straight out buff for Indians.
They already have the theme of being able to do a lot of things a bit earlier than other civs. Camel Scouts would fit well into this theme. In addition, the transition to an immediate Camel army in castle age might be very strong for other civs. I find it hard to assess. Cumans could have this strong camel army, but it wouldnt make too much sense for them to commit to them long term, as they do not get the heavy camel upgrade in Imperial age.
Now, the biggest problem of the camel scout in Feudal age would be the high gold cost. Turks would be able to make more use of them, as they gather gold quicker than other civilizations. In addition they currently do not have a lot of early game options, so this would give the civilization some more options to play around with.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this would be useless/op? How would you fix that?
Do you think this is a good idea to improve the game at all? Do you think they would be used in Feudal age at all, or only be massed up on the way to castle age, which would make it rather boring again?