I considered this some time ago, but never really thought it completely through.
The basic Idea is, that currently the team game Meta is very stale, it’s basically archers + knights all the time, every game. Flank makes archers, pocket knights. Almost no diversity.
Some Civs can somewhat break this with either Bonusses to unusual tactics like tower rushes and castle drops or with specific UUs that add another Dimension - often as tool to 2v1 one player in the midgame. War Wagons, Conqs and Arambai (before the nerf) are an example for this. But also certain lategame units like the imp camel can break the meta. Sometimes even certain cav archer civs can have lategame impact.
But this is more the exception than the rule. In most cases we have just archers + knights, every game.
This leads to several civs falling of heavily in TG. Basically all civs which don’t have a bonus to archers or knights, missing important upgrades of them, having no great eco and no competitice “off-meta strat” available are terrible TG civs.
So the basic Idea is to use the team bonus to compensate for the lack of the mentioned indicators for a “good” team game civ. It would also be very interesting of these new team boni would lead to a diverification of tg meta. Ideally these boni would amplifiy off-meta strats to an extend they become competitive. Ideally these bonusses would use the already known specifications of the civs they are associated with and allow the whole team to make use of it. I will make some examples to explain what I’m talking about. But first lets find the civs which could use some tg buffs to make them more viable there.
No eco, just FU arbs makes them a bad flank civ that needs a lot of help, the reduced counter units are almost useless in TG. Cheaper imp can’t save them really.
Bad scaling of the archer line. the cav archer transition is nice, but can rarely be pulled of in a real TG. Also silk armor doesn’t help to improve the attacking power of them, their backline use isn’t improved significantly, but the tatar player need to invest even more. Tatars can be played as flank or pocket though, so “if” there should be a buff to improve the more weaker side of this (which is probably pocket).
FU arbs plus some saving on camps isn’t enough to make a good TG civ. Infantry rarely has impact in TG.
Extra HP on archers is nice on 1v1, but in TG it has way less impact. The eco bonus is also not the strongest.
Since the Arambai nerf Burmese are one of the weakest TG civs. The last buff of elephant armour can’t compensate for that. Burmese only have arambai to add to a TG currently and the unit sucks atm.
Besides Aztecs have a nice eco bonus, the lack of a FU power line hurts massively. Whilst their good infantry is nice in 1v1, this almost never plays a role in tg.
Khmer also have a nice eco, but they miss thumb ring and Paladin. As their eco bonus is only for food, they have no clear role in the current TG meta. Also their eles can’t compensate for that.
Comparable to Khmer and Aztecs, but with even worse eco. Kamayuk doesn’t have enough pierce armor to replace the knight line.
Also comparable to Khmer. Besides they have FU Arbs, they can’t really compete with the other archer powerhouses.
Would be a strong Pocket civ if they had a unit comparable to Paladin. Konnik isn’t a full worthy compensation.
Weird Civ, also in 1v1. The Janissary is a nice unit, but not enough to compensate for a lack of strong meta units. Whilst their cav archers can be very strong in the lategame, they don’t have a “role” they can excel in until that.
Have an insane Eco, but the bad lategame scaling of their cav makes them only usable as a flank civ. In this role their folwark eco is exposed and they are basically forced to make crazy plays with their stone mining bonus. This is a weird TG civ to say the least.
Also a very weird TG Civ. The Hussite wagons are too weak against cavalry, their archers aren’t FU. Hussite wagon also has not the best synergy with standard xbows, so bohemians are more a “stand alone” civ than a tg civ. Whilst their early to midgame archery can be competitive they fall of heavily in the lategame. One of the worst TG civs in my eyes. (Still waiting for stats)
So how I would approach this theme:
Team Bonus becomes “Skrimishers and Spearmen are 25 % cheaper”, the current civ bonus is reduced to only apply to camels and the current team bonus for monks becomes a civ bonus. Possibly allowing their teammates to make more trash to fight of the opponents units. This could lead to some interesting synergies.
Team bonus becomes Parthian Tactics and Thumb RIng free. The current Team bonus becomes the civ bonus. Allowing Tatars to be played as either Pocket or flank, a so called “flex”.
Here I break with the rule to change the meta, cause I think that the tatars as a possible flex civ also improve the tg diversity. Not only for pros, but Players who master that civ can play them as pocket or flank then, which is important for a civ that needs a lot of experience to be played to it’s full strength.
TB: Mills and Mining Camps are 50 % cheaper. A nice bonus for pocket and flank, but not overpowered. The LOS if Galleys becomes a civ bonus. Also doesn’t changes the meta, but japanes don’t offer much for a meta change.
Skirmishers have +1/+2 attack against cavalry in the feudal/castle age. Imp skirm becomes a civ bonus. Imp skirms are a weird Team bonus, as they are so weak against cav. A team bonus giving skirms some bonus against cavalry would possibly allow the team to make skirms instead of arbs as their skirms would have a reasonable dps against cavalry. Not comparable to xbows or arbs, but still in an acceptable range. It would still be a “do or die” mechanic - if the protecting cavalry can’t hold the ground the skirms will still die heavily to the opponents’ cav (also because of the minimum range). In 1v1s this would rarely have any impact, vietnemese wouldn’t make skirms to counter cav.
Team Bonus: Monks have +0/+2 Armour. Finally some monk bonus. I think Burmese can use it both in 1v1 and TG. Monks have a hard time in TG currently because they are so vunerable to archers. A bonus to their pierce armor makes them possibly viable in TG, but maybe even more for the team members like aztecs. I prefer it this way cause I still hope for the arambai to be impactful in TG, it was a nice tactical addition to the otherwise stale meta. The Relic reveal doesn’t need to be a team bonus cause when they become relevant, you should already have built a market.
+50 Gold at the start and +33 % gold income through relics are exchanged. As Aztecs already have the best monks in the game, they should use them. The other civs is helped more by a small starting bonus, even if gold isn’t the most important ressource it can still be neat.
“Tusk Swords” changed to “Structural Geoingeneering” - which allows battle elephants to move 20 % faster. Whilst this effect would be comparable in 1v1s, in TG faster moving elephants should be much better than eles with higher attack. Finally allowing Khmer to be a strong pocket civ aswell with eles intead of the knight line.
Standard and elite kamayuks receive +1 pierce armour. TG bonus becomes “Infantry moves 10 % faster, starting in castle age”. Kamayuks could add a lot in TG, as they are a well rounded unit. Just a small tweak can make them a nice replacement of the knight line in team lategame, whilst not really changing their 1v1 utility, where nobody would come to the idea to make them against archery. The transition would still be weird as incas are still more a flank civ.
Team Bonus becomes "Advancing in Age is 20 % faster, the civ bonus is reduced to 40 % (120 % * 140 % = 168 %). This is the unique bonus of malay. If you have other team members with interesting powerspikes you want to use, the addition of malay can then help to achieve better timings with these powerspikes. A new concept added which hopefully can add depth in team games.
The Blacksmith boni get swapped. Faster working BS isn’t so strong in TG where each team member usually focusses on one line only.
Free chemistry and faster gunpowder creation speed swapped. Again, a team bonus to a unit hardly used there makes no sense. Free chemistry for the team members is a nice addition though.
I personally think the best bonus for poles would be to make winged hussar available in the castle for 100 f / 10 sec training time. Then the poles player could get like 15 g per trained winged hussar, allowing the poles flank to sustain arb production and his pocket teammates to spam winged hussars, allowing for the team to make a competitive comp even without setting up tradelines.
Poles bad cavalry scaling makes them a quite bad tg civ currently - so creative solutions are asked for.
Imagine Turks or Tatars winged hussars to support poles arbs. Anpther Option would be to redesign the UTs of poles in a way winged hussars become viable as a pole pocket. Like giving their winged hussars 20 + extra HP. In conjunction with the folwark bonus these winged hussars could possibly replace the lack of the fu knight line. But I think for that it would need at least 30 if not even 40 hp to make these 4 PA Winged Hussars comparable to the standard cavalry powerhouses. I don’t think it’s a real option especially as this would possibly make the knight line useless in the lategame, even with the discount.
It would also be an option if lechitic legacy would just give the winged hussars their missing 2 pierce armor back.
Probably one of the hardest to propose changes for. As it isn’t even clear yet, what their role in TG is. I’d like to see more gunpowder in TG but as flank it is almost impossible to pull it of - also because it is less micro revarding than archery. As Pocket even bohemian gunpowder is too slow. I’d like to see a speed increase for hussite wagons for that, but this would make them even less vulnerable to siege.
One Idea could be to make Bohemians a better “standalone” flank civ, by allowing to garrison infantry in their hussite wagons, then the hussite wagon + pike comp could possibly carry them through the midgame, giving the pockets more time to build up for the lategame. Would also hardly influence 1v1 gameplay as you basically never encounter archer/knight comps there - and hussite wagons are usually only made against archers and pikes against cavalry, so building this comp in 1v1s doesn’t really make sense at all.
I’m also not convinced with the Team Bonus, I think faster markets are somewhat useless - if you build up trade you usually have enough wood to just make a few more markets if you like. Instead of this TB I would rather use the BS, Monastery and University discount. Even with garrisonable hussite wagons bohemians don’t make a great teamgame civ, but with a team bonus of that caliber, they possibly can compensate for their otherwise comparably bad TG capabilities. The current Team Bonus could be converted to “Market technologies are 25% cheaper” and become a civ bonus.
All these Suggestions are just proposals. As there are a lot of comparably “bad” teamgame civs and I don’t have experiene with all of them (also because most of them aren’t played much in TG) it is sometimes hard to tell what exactly holds these civs back. I’m also not completely sure about a few of these civs. So feel free if you might have better insight of certain civs or other ideas how they could be improved in team games. Especially if you have ideas how “off-meta” strats could be emphatised with new team bonusses, to challenge the currently stale TG meta.