Vietnamese are absolutely awful in the recent patch: 32% win rate at 1900 elo!

That alone wouldn’t be a huge problem, but they’re also the lowest win rate across all elos, and aren’t particularly much better at team games, so yeah, they’re pretty miserable right now.

It seems like Gambesons is probably one of the main reasons; as an almost all-archer civ, losing a big chunk of their damage has to hurt them significantly. Which is fine, it’s great that infantry is seeing more play, but man is their current situation rough. What could be done to fix them?

They have two big problems, in my opinion.

The first is that many of their bonuses don’t kick in until much too late. Paper Money and the Imperial Skirmisher are both extreme lategame bonuses, and Conscription, while nice, doesn’t have much effect as a power spike in the early castle age, because you simply don’t have enough resources to take advantage of it!

The other half of their bonuses don’t achieve what they’re meant to do.

  • +20% archer HP doesn’t functionally change how well archers play; for melee units, an extra 20% hp can mean trading cost effectively with units they normally don’t trade effectively against, but when it comes to archers, you are almost always in an ‘all or nothing’ type scenario anyway, where a little extra HP doesn’t matter unless you’ve already screwed up. If your archers get caught out, they’re going to die whether or not they have 20% extra HP. Plus, it sorta makes them overlap a lot with the Rattan Archer, which also fills the durable archer niche. Vietnamese essentially have 3 different options to achieve different variations on the same thing.

  • Chatras is a tricky one. It makes them quite a bit more potent against things they already counter, but has relatively little impact against the things that actually counter elephants, like monks and halbs, and since those are the main things you have to worry about, you can’t really change how you play them, and as such they don’t offer much in the way of opportunities to take advantage of, with or without this tech.

  • Last of all, their ability to see the enemy spawn location, while convenient, doesn’t really do much when they don’t have the necessary eco upgrades to do anything about it. Other civs with more rushing potential can take advantage of the info in team games, but what is the vietnamese player going to do about it? Not much, in practice.

Ideas for changes.

Now, my #1 priority here is to preserve their identity. It’s easy to basically come up with a whole new civ, but I don’t want to do that; I want them to remain identifiably themselves, just better. So which of their bonuses need help?

  1. +20% Archer HP. This is the first and most important change, since archers are the core of this civ. They’re meant to have tanky archers, but they need to be tanky in a way that’s actually practical, but also not in a way that overlaps with their unique units. So, what still counters their unique unit? Skirmishers! What if their archers got +1 anti-archer armor? That would make them more difficult to counter, taking 33% less bonus damage in feudal and 25% less in castle age.

  2. Chatras - A similar approach here. +100HP isn’t worth much when halbs are on the field. What if instead of giving them 100HP, it gave them 50 again, but with maybe 15 elephant armor? Pikes would do 35 instead of 47, making these elephants much tougher against them, but not overwhelmingly so.

  3. Their last problem is an inability to really capitalize on their early knowledge. So what about this; What if they could collect wood 50% faster from straggler trees? Most players save them for later or ignore them entirely, but they could be a powerful way to get started, as well as making for a somewhat unique bonus.

These are just some thoughts of course. I’d be interested in seeing what others think!


I personally find their Imperial UT being too weak. And the bonus is too late to be good. It helps late game trash war when you want to siege or militia line. But Vietnamese don’t shine at those department either.


I like the ideas. I would hold off on #3 though (the straggler-tree eco bonus) since it may not be needed. In the Feudal Age, having archers that resist anti-archer damage would mean that less wood is needed to create/maintain an archer army. Combined with their existing wood eco bonus, the savings on wood-related costs (and potential market usage to age up faster) may end up meaning that further eco bonuses aren’t necessary.

I should point out that the +20% HP for Archery Range units lets their crossbows and elite skirmishers survive a direct mangonel shot (particularly in Castle Age), and is a useful bonus regardless of whether they’re leading or behind in a game. The extra Archer armor-class armor is more likely to only be useful when leading in a game, since that’s when players are more likely to encounter counter units (i.e. skirmishers) from their opponent. If the Vietnamese player is behind in the game and facing primarily gold-units from their opponent, the extra anti-archer armor wouldn’t help them recover. Considering their win-rate, I don’t think it’d be too strong for them to have both the armor-class and hp bonus (I couldn’t tell if you were saying to remove the +20% HP bonus).

As for Chatras, I think that’s a fine change overall (the exact numbers could be changed during balance testing). In my experience, Vietnamese have trouble dealing with high pierce-armor infantry combinations (ex: Huskarl + Halberdier). Giving bonus armor to their elephants would be a theme-appropriate way of improving their intended meat-shield against such army combinations.


One change that would help them as well as the game would be imho:

  • Make Imperial skirmisher a generic skirmisher upgrade for Imperia Age, available roughly as much as hussar is available now

  • make the TC location known bonus a new team bonus for vietnamese

  • give them a brand new civ bonus with the free slot

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They have been among bottom 7 civs (more and less) for two years in a row. Source: Vietnames is my fav civ and I have been saying this for 2 years in a row. Now that other worse civs have been buffed (malay, turks, portugese…), they are the worst now.

In my opinion, despite their supposed anti-archer design, they are quite generalistic. I would buff their generelastic aspect because the few pros that use vietamese, pick them as a “safe pick” in civ drafts. This could compensate for the recent nerf that archer civs have received and the meta switching towards cavalry-camel-infantry.



  1. Remove conscription from their tech tree
  2. New bonus: Militar buildings train units 11% faster in feuda, 22% in castle age and 33% in imperial age.

Resulting effect: No changes in imperial effect, but now they can outproduce their enemies a bit in earlier stages. One extra scout or knight in early fights could be decisive. In case you don’t like the feudal bonus being the same as aztecs, we can remove the feudal part of the bonus, because Vietnamese need help in early castle age the most.

That sounds interesting, but I think we must prioritize a more generalistic buff instead of a buff aimed for specific matchups (I man not saying they don’t need both!)

I have been opposed to this for a while, but now I think it is fair. A lot of civs have received regional units (mongol steppe lancer, bizantine/hun/goth dromon, Lithuanian winged hussar, hindustani siege elephant) while rise of raja civs “lost” the uniqueness of their battle elephant.
For instance, burmese receiving imperial skirm would be great.

The TC location bonus is now in fact a pseudo teambonus due to shared vision, so why not calling it that.

As for the new bonus (or team bonus), no idea. The only bonuses I can think of are very minor ones, like faster repairing villagers (romans repair 5% faster, so there is room for a civ with villagers repairing much faster), or unit upgrades are researched faster, or some others like that.


They could even expand the wood eco bonus a bit, like just eco tech researched gives 20 wood like spanish get 20 Gold for every tech, or remove last wood upgrade and make them profit twice from wood upgrades, which would also make their imp tech better

Or a Elephant bonus, but that would not help in early game

I had noticed the poor performance of Vietnamese. These changes could fix it. But it would be a 50% re-work of the civ.

* [RETAIN] Reveal enemy initial Town Centers location at the start of the game.

* [REMOVE] Economic upgrades cost no wood.
  [REPLACE] Receive 100 Wood and 100 stone arriving at the next age.

* [CHANGE] : Archery range units except skirms 20% more HP.

* [NEW] Battle Elephants, Rams and Siege Towers +50 HP.

* [RETAIN] Conscription is free.

* [REMOVE "Chatras" 100+ HP] Replacement: Castle Units and Galley line 25% cheaper.

[REMOVE "Team Bonus" ] Replacement team bonus: Fishermen and Fishing ship carry +10.

[BUFF] Imperial Skirmisher is made a regional unit of 'Rise of the Rajas' civs

I believe the problem with the Vietnamese is too few resources at early stage and no recurring bonuses as the game progresses. They don’t need imperial skirmishers since their normal foot archers are just as good as equivalent skirms in anti-archer role. These changes along with free conscription should help to push this civ up a notch.

Here is a link to that thread.

This one promotes tower rushing, combined with their “i know where you are” bonus. Are we sure about that?


How about extending the wood bonus to Archery Range techs as well as economic ones? It wouldn’t affect Crossbow and Arbalest upgrades, but would make Thumb Ring and Elite/Imperial Skirmisher much cheaper.

Thematically I like the idea of giving them elephant archers, but I don’t think they have the economy for that to be useful.

This does feel too similar to Aztecs to me. How about Conscription free and available in Castle Age, requires a castle? Or would that kick in too late?

Would it help to make Paper Money available in Castle Age, and Chatras in Imperial Age? I think Chatras seems like more of a late-game tech anyway.


I have no problem with these except Imperial Skirmisher becomes viable to a lot of civs. This should remain a 2nd UU for Vietnamese for now. What do you suggest about the new bonus? Also as pointed out, revealing enemy TC is a TB now.

I was thinking this for the past couple of days. It is very cheap and I don’t think it needs to be free if available one age earlier.

Actually how I see it, Chatras can be free civ bonus blend into their range units HP bonus. 50, 40 less HP for BE, EBE respectively but it’s free.

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Or all cadtle techs.

Sappers in castle age sounds cool in some cases. Hoardings wont make q difference in castle age

But the benefit of not having a castle for conscription is a 5hing they should maintain, imho

Oh, I forgot to mention that one. This is a high requested bonus for italians/koreans/Vietnamese. Although I dont see how it would make a difference in lots of matchups, cheaper thumb ring is a good thing for their already decent cav archers.


Considering gambesons are only available to roughly half the civs, its effect seems indeed brutal.

How did their win rate evolve vs civs with and without it ?

I was thinking about TR and Ballistic. Maybe only ballistic as this tech itself is too strong.

That’s a good point.

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There’s a “Civ vs Civ Heatmap” at the bottom of Insights - 1v1 Random Map | ALL Rating - aoestats that shows win rates. The civs that they do worst against tend to have pierce-damage resistant infantry and good siege (with some others, of course).

Seems like Gambeson is not the problem.

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Vietnamese have not been great for a while which pains me greatly as they are/were my favourite civ (been playing more games as Saracens recently)

I’ve always argued that their biggest weakness is against cav civs and that their “anti-archer” identity really doesn’t kick in until imp.

Personally I feel the best bet is to either give them a generic castle age boost that helps in all scenarios or double down on the anti archer (though I worry this could easily make them oppressive against archers civs)

Personally I think just 1 of the following would address the above

(a) free conscription as of castle age
(b) free elite skirm

Other options are additional bonuses for fixing elephants in 1v1 but I have long given up on the dream that this will happen :frowning:

Edit - biggest part of the issue is that pros seem to regard them as balanced / decent for tournaments which I think results in them not getting much attention


Good to see you back.

Can’t really say that according to stats though.

They seem bad against good elephants civs that actually goes elephants in 1v1. And Turks, Spanish are not a cavalry civ per se, they are gunpowder civ with good cavalry.

Thank you.

Hmm I accept my opinion is purely subjective opinion but I find it hard to read too much into those numbers given the insanely wide confidence interval and that there’s no map separation. As in Vietnamese were (when I still ran my site) bad on both open and closed which would be arguably for very different reasons. Not saying those numbers are wrong just that I would be very sceptical.


Here is a screenshot from Arabia only. Around 68% play rate.

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I think I would still stick to my previous opinion that the confidence intervals are too wide to make any meaningful inference here. The big thing that stands out to me here is a lack of any consistency eg weak to Ethiopians but strong to mayans and Koreans or strong to Berbers but weak to tutons and Spanish. Am very interested to see these numbers in a month’s time when there’s more data. At only 30 matches in each pairing it’s way too open to individual match up variation that doesn’t get averaged out.