Anyway let’s start. The power of Tai, or Thai, or those people in the Siam area of the map.
They were migratory, settled in this Siamese area and had many empires. The Thai start with the Lavo kingdom. And follows with the Sukothai and the Haripinchi and the Ayutthaya which lasted until after the end. I’d explain more had I the time.
Tai (450 on) - A defensive and Elephant Civ
- Builds the Storehouse instead of 3 dropsites. Storehouses act like an all-purpose drop site and has all said research techs provided it’s available to the Tai tech tree. It costs 100w and is otherwise unremarkable but building two counts as two separate buildings for Feudal Age unlocking. Or I could make it so you need only 1 to unlock Feudal Age button.
Historically speaking, the Tai people were migratory. Fleeing supposedly from somewhere in China, all the way to Thailand! Nomadic peoples settle hard! As an eco bonus, this may seem a bit situational, but that time your gold and berries are next to each other or your wood is right next to gold, etc. You can potentially save more than a Japanese player if you play shrewdly.
- Buildings +1/1 and +1 building armor per age. +3/3/3 In Imp or 4 if starting Dark.
Just a way to keep out your elephant neighbors. The Thai cities were hard to breach. Just ask Burmese attempts.
- +70food/stone/food when hitting Feudal, +125 hitting Castle and +200 hitting Imperial.
The wood isn’t the most historical bonus, but there’s enough jungle about. Also lots of rice, but not nearly as much food as Ethiopia. Had to fit a rice bonus in somewhere! It’s not the most original bonus but it’s very functional. And extra wood and resources? That’s very functional.
- Elephants +2 damage vs Standard buildings per age (+4)
The ability to have King Naersuam march through and end the Toungoo empire in 1599 (this is where the Burmese timeline ends in game)
Team Bonus: Elephants and Scout Cav line +3 armor vs. cavalry attacks.
When you have the rare elephant teammate. Keep in mind this effects all elephants including Ballista, Archer, Siege and War and any others I’m forgetting. +3 vs elephant damage is nice but most anti-cav still have massive bonuses!
- Barracks: Eagle Scout, Arson
- Archery Range: Elite Elephant Archer, Cavalry Archer
- Stable: Hussar, Paladin, Elite Steppe Lancer, Camel
- Siege Workshop: Battering Ram, Bombard Cannon, Siege Elephant
- Blacksmith: Blast Furnace
- University: Heated Shot, Keep, Siege Engineers
- Dock: Heavy Demo Ship, Fast Fire Ship
- Monastery: Faith, Heresy, Theocracy
- Economy: Stone Shaft Mining, Town Patrol
*What an interesting tech tree it has. Elephant Archers without Elites? That hurts. Same for not having the Siege Elephant upgrade. But there’s a tech to help both units get around this lack of upgrade.
Hand Cannons will defend your Battle elephants quite well. You also can see both Faith AND Heresy missing. That matters, especially without Hussars and even more especially when those non-Hussars are 2 damage behind other Hussars. I might give them back but being hyper monk weak is a design choice.
You can probably squish monks and archers with Siege Onagers, this is the only Battle Elephant civ that gets them after all. This can get expensive.
UU: Royal Elephant - A uniquely statted, defensive elephant whose Ngao (hooked longspear) skewers Unique Units and topples Elephants. Hits hard but has melee accuracy issues. If it misses, then the trample also misses. Expensive and lacks Monastery tech support. Bring Light Cav.
|Armor (Elephant, Cavalry, UU)||2/2 (+6 cav, +5 ele)||3/2 (+7 cav, +6 ele)|
|Attack||18 (+6 vs UU, +17 vs Elephant, +7 vs cavalry)||23 (+10 vs UU, +24 Elephant, +10 vs cavalry)|
|Line of Sight||5||5|
|Rate of Fire||2.2||2.2|
This unit has… problems. Its stats look amazing. 2/2 on a unit with that much HP is nothing to sneeze at. It’s not weak. Far from it. It’s got the durability to tank, to topple and is just all around not awful. That said, it does move a bit slow. Compounded with a lack of Heresy and Faith? Not the best fate to have. If you focus on this unit, you build your supportive military to dish damage while enemies focus fire upon it.
Castle UT: Irregulars - Can train swordsmen and Skirmishers (Maybe also Hand Cannons??) at the Storehouse. Swordsmen +2 damage.
Also not uniquely Thai, but the area was known for not the most regular of combat. This will be vital as your elephant army will likely need these units to cut down their most common threats. The swordsmen +2 damage is because no Blast Furnace. If too soon for infantry damage I could add it to the imperial UT.
Cost: 500f/800w 65s
Imperial UT: Ngao – Elephant units +1 range. Also increases trample/splash radius. Cost: 1400f/700g 40sec
Not uniquely Tai. On the other hand, Tusk Swords, Howdahs, Mahouts, and Chatras aren’t unique to those civs who have them ‘uniquely’ either! Still, +1 range to your elephant spears is a good thing. It might enable you to consider Ele Archers even without the Elite Upgrade. Now you see why they lack Blast Furnace and the Imp upgrade to the regional elephant techs, well that and their UU’s 22 Elite base damage. The Elephant Rams have serious trample and building splash thats bigger than the .5 of capped rams (as this is 1 instead of .5)
The Thai army is illusory vast. It has decent Halbs and champs, full Skirm and Hand Cannon and access to Siege Onagers and BBC and BBT. These units can all probably find use. The trick is making sure you can get to a point where you can trample everything with +1 range elephants! This bonus is no joke as it even effects your Armored and Elephant Archers despite not getting their imperial upgrades.
The ability to rock early game Thai is the ability to know how to get as much value out of a single Storehouse. Do you build 1 tile further from gold or wood so you can save 100w to get both? This might be a noob trap, but getting all your resources right up against the wood line never hurts or just 2 nodes nearby is fantastic time saver.
Then when you age up you should have enough stone to go on a tower based offensive. Late game it’s a very gold and food heavy civ, but all the wood saved on drop site diversity goes a long way towards farming. Sadly no farming bonus but age up food hopefully helps! Being able to train armies at 100w buildings is not a bad thing especially saving up to 75w/15seconds per building. Arbs are completely out of the question! Best of luck in Thai encounters!
In truth not sure if all the bonuses are of balance. In the late 4v4 mass trade, infinite resource era, this civ could be terrifying, but getting there? It wishes it had faster units, although it works fine with full crossbow or knights and extra wood/food to use them well. The stone focus might promote early tower.