Everybody knows that Vietnamese needs some love. Some say they’re strong post imp but fall behind because they don’t have a good eco bonus, thus an eco bonus would be for the best. Others say that paper money is too niche in a 1v1 (I think the recent change makes it more useful, but I see the point).
Personally, I’d like to see some more unconventional changes to the civ. Recently, I’ve been thinking that a bonus to their early game scouting could be extremely good.
It’s commonly thought that eagle scouts are better than scout cavalry because they increase LOS, but what most people don’t know is that the skirmisher makes a much better scout than the cav, only slightly worse than eagle.
Let’s compare some units in the dark age
Scout Cavalry: 4 LOS, 1.2 movespeed, scout rate of 626 tiles/minute.
Eagle Scout: 5 LOS, 1.1 movespeed, scout rate of 823 tiles/minute
Skirmisher: 6 LOS, 0.96 movespeed, scout rate of 797 tiles/minute .
Wild Boar: 1 movespeed.
The skirmisher would see ~44% more than an eagle, more than twice as much as a scout. Sure it moves slower, but that’s secretly a feature.
In our hypothetical buff, the Vietnamese player has this really fragile, slow scouting unit that is better at scouting. If we pair this with the Vietnamese team bonus of seeing where enemies start, a skirm scout is actually extremely powerful: skirms are by far the best unit you can use to lame a boar. It’s not even close. You can walk across the map with an unupgraded skirm, pick any boar, and lure it to any other point on the map.
Skirms walk just slower than a boar, so you don’t have to worry about microing it back to your TC, just click and forget. Skirms can lure the boar from a range, so they don’t have to worry about taking tons of damage pulling agro.
Yes, the vietnamese skirm-scout will get destroyed if the enemy catches them. However because you don’t have to weave the scout back and forth to avoid losing agro while drawing luring the boar, it can actually be quicker than with a scout, despite the slower walking speed. Like an eagle, the skirm can be healed in the TC, so any damage sustained while luring is superficial.
The potential to easily lame an enemy’s boar reinforces their economy and hurts the enemy, consider it an eco bonus . Is it guaranteed to get this extra food? No of course not, but if you choose not to lame you still have a unit that reveals more of the map than your enemy. If you wanted to lame however, you could attempt to steal the enemy’s boar as soon as the game started.
If your enemy loses their scout to your TC in dark age, then your skirm becomes much more annoying as it can hit enemies from afar (and do basically no damage, but interrupt them). Unlike scouts, the skirm wont suddenly become useful for offense in feudal age, but because you’re vietnamese it may likely become useful in post imperial.
Tl;DR Starting with a skirmisher would give you high risk, much higher reward scouting unit which has synergy with the civ’s team bonus. The vietnamese would have the best potential to lame an enemy opponent, but at the same time has no way of protecting the unit if caught in the act. If you’re not as interested in laming, the skirmisher is simply better in terms of how many tiles it reveals per minute.
The really nice thing about this buff is that it only changes the early game and affects 1v1s much more than team games where Vietnamese were always ok. Economy damage in the dark age can easily offset an economy bonus, but having a single skirm vs a scout cavalry is inconsequential in the castle age.
I want to demonstrate how good skirmishers are at luring boar:
All the way around the map without getting hit a single time. The queen is where the boar was, and the skirmisher started with the boar on the furthest edge of its sight
Furthermore, because the skirmisher is vietnamese, it has 36 HP, and thus can get hit 5 times before doing (4 times leaves it on 1 hp). That’s far better than any scout could ever do.