Varangian Guard are Trash

These byzantine MAA cost more than standard maa and has a few unique upgrades YET cost for cost they lose to every other civ that have MAA upgrades??? MAA vs MAA and besides building ships and a cool rampage animation don’t benefit your army much???

English chad at arms have superior armor standard maa cost faster training and networking for high dps

Japan has several attack upgrades trains standard maa timing lower gold cost and synergize with bannermen and Bugatti.

HRE…still the best in game

Abbasids also better

Delhi TOV (nobody goes hone blade landmark but delhi still better maa without).

So what is this unit good against??? Mixing it in with the byz spearman negates the walk speed spearman bonus??? So such the comp can kill knights the 2 units dont synergize respective buffs.

this should at least had been a feudal If NOT a dark age unit IMO. Especially with these stats.


I’d have to see them in action to see how they perform vs other civs, but they look like they should perform about as good as other civ unique MAA barring HRE. They have the same cost as samurai which only have a bonus of ignoring 1 attack until out of combat for awhile.

I do think it is really weird giving them bonus stats near wonders and ability to build transports since both of those abilities are ridiculously niche to the point of mostly being fun flavour text.

15% attack speed along with 1 melee armor and 1 base attack are pretty solid buffs to the MAA unit and the berserk ability can be really good vs certain units or if you are in a favourable situation, especially combined with the pilgrim flask.

The upgrades make them actually really good raiding units in imp with 30% movespeed bonus when berserking letting them run down vills.


I feel this. I want to love this unit so badly, but it never lives long enough to earn my love. They are best in my opinion with mass Landsknechts though. That’s when berserking makes sense - the other situation being killing ranged units and villagers.

I honestly prefer going eastern mercenary contract and using ghulams to supplement my army of cavalry, spears and archers. I think the Chinese palace guard are the superior raiding/siege sniping infantry they have better mobility in castle age.
I think that the Varangian Guard Berserking ability could be changed to +15% movement speed +4 attack. then Ferocious Speed should improve their ability by +15% movement speed +2 attack. Their imperial age stats will stay the same but they will be more useful in castle age to catch enemy archers, siege and villagers. Another Idea is giving them Ferocious Speed in castle age, and in Imperial Age Tenacious Valor (Beserking Varangian Guards keep fighting for 3 seconds after their health bar is fully depleted)

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Rather than the Varangian being bad, the “thing” is that the Byzantines have “So many” other Build options for 3rd age (thanks to their unique mercenary mechanic), that using the Varangian Guard is not necessarily the first option.

Their Cataphract in 3rd Age already fulfills the “Tank” position very well with its extreme HP, while the infantry side can be filled with mercenaries such as English “Long Shot Archers”, or even “Ghulam” of the Abbasid.

I just suppose it’s more useful to consider a Varangian Guard build against civs that have big bonuses against cavalry like the Mali or the Abbasid.

But of course I’m just theorizing, I’m going to try some random games to see how it goes.

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Cataphract are the 2nd most expensive standard heavy cav in the game (not counting the useless war elephants); you need a substantial amount of eco to sustain them.

They have good synergy with the pilgrims flask. Cheaper units like Archers or Limitanei can help fill the gaps

Their gold cost is really high. I wonder if they were originally meant to also cost some oil, technically being mercenaries.

My issue with them is that their ability doesn’t have a clear usage. It is seemingly better against units with high damage (20 +), as their armour will have been made redundant by that point.

The issue is that battlefields are rarely so black and white where you will be fighting these units individually. The chances are that any advantage gained by using this ability, will be nullified by every other unit that would’ve otherwise barely done damage.

The question then becomes, what is the point of an ability that yields results that barely differ from not using it? I think there should be an obvious usage to an ability, otherwise it might as well be a passive trait.

I understand that the idea of this “Berserking” is meant to be kind of boost that comes with a drawback. The drawback should however not be in the same league of making their damage redundant. Meaning, it should offer a weakness that does not make the extra damage they do meaningless. For otherwise, what is the point?

In making them die quicker to deal “more” damage, nothing is being achieved. Limitanei’s shield wall is a good example of a drawback that doesn’t influence outcome. Varangian’s “Berserking” ability should be looked at again.

That basically says it all. In my games, the Varangians often die too quickly for their ability to have much of an effect or for the unit to be that useful.

I haven’t used the varangian guards that much for this reason, I don’t feel like I’m getting my moneys worth to buy these units. Something feels off with them, and they feel weaker than other similar units from other civs but can’t quite place the finger to what that is.

You are %100 right there is also no reason to use their ability its boost to damage need to be more i think or need to do area damage like landsnakes

Well for a start varaguian guards got 15 less HP but +1 melee armor compared to classic maa in castle.
I think the problems start here. Yes, you are tankier against another classic maa and even beat it with a good margin thanks to the “tear drop shield” tech (+15% attack speed).
Thing is range attacks are a far bigger issue for maa in castle even from TCs, or knights were those extra HP would help.

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