War Elephants - Are they EVER useful?

Yup, once you reach a mass like that they become nearly impossible to stop. People seem to forget they have 600+HP. And have trample dmg.


Most games are closed long before that moment.

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Thank the heavens for that lmao! Also a few good rushes can completely ruin the intent of going for a war ele mass. Though i have to admit I’ve fallen victim to them myself once, the xbows and war eles combo is pretty good. :rofl:

Maybe the question should really be “are they ever FUN?”

And the answer is yes, they are a lot of fun. Booming Team Games, DM, games with treaties, infinite res games stuff like that.


War Elephants are the ultimate diplo game UU, and as such they add a great dimension to the game.

The fact that Persians are balanced without them means they can stay as they are, IMO.

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IMO, War Elephants are balanced, but it would be nice to explore the 2 pop idea

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No it wouldn’t, it would make elephants suck. They would have to be even stronger to compensate. If an elephant costs 2 population I want to have double hit points. An elite war elephant (with bloodlines) now has 1220 HP then.


if anything that means their war elephants are too weak.

You realize how broken that would be right? 4 elephants would literally have the HP of a castle. If 2 pop is the way to go, I think decreasing the cost might be the balance for it. That way, you get something that becomes a bit more affordable in 1v1s, but is restricted in numbers for teamgames, because 1v1s probably still won’t reach those numbers.


Yes, WE are useful in some very rare circumstances – this is the reason they can’t receive a pure buff.

EWE beat paladin and heavy camels even when outnumbered 2:1, and the cost of an EWE is less than the cost of 2 paladin. 1 EWE is also better at soaking up arrows than 2 paladins (more hp, same PA).

The main downsides of WE compared with the knight-line are

  1. they need castles
  2. mobility
  3. weakness to halbs
  4. weakness to monks

I’m a fan of the idea of making them 2-pop, reducing their vulnerability to halbs by adjusting the elephant armour class, and reducing the problems with mobility and monks by reworking the mahouts UT (just give the speed for free and let mahouts grant WE an effect similar to Heresy or Faith).

That way I think WE could become viable in both 1v1s and team games, without ever being overpowered :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

(Cost and stat adjustments could be made in addition to the changes listed above. I trust the devs and the pros to figure out such details if necessary.)


Except this nerfs them in team games. Arguably making them underpowered where they used to shine.

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calm down ok?

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Eith some more thought and a little experimentation, WE, including non upgraded types, do have a place against infantry spam. Infantry becoming more usable lately will likely increase elephant use, though I’d be surprised to ever see the elite upgrade at a really high level.

Halbs don’t counter them especially well given how easy it is to mass skirms and such, but monks still hard counter them in anything but large numbers.

Well, my team just got stomped in very long drawn out a 4v4 deathmatch by WE

Even my bohemian halbs were useless.
Houfnice were great and wagons could hold the line until enemy mixed in on agers.

Enemy team war elefants meatshield proved impossible to beat.

Atleast on amazon tunnel, war elefants are broken

The best use for War elephants in 1v1 I’ve seen is probably when 1 or 3 were made as a Suprise in castle age, War elephants are very easy to counter but they are otherwise very powerful. So they have a very short time window to be effective. In 4v4’s they are can be more viable with a Teuton ally but are still an expensive investment.

I think nobody tries to make a case for war eles being viable on 1v1s (except maybe something like black forest.
It’s indeed a TG unit and also there only for a few maps. But that’s fine otherwise it would be totally op in these situations where they are already quite strong. Don’t forget, they concurr with paladins in the persian unit roster.

not viable but something that you can throw at your opponent defensively to catch them off guard. By the time your opponent can switch to monks or pikes them your war elephants they have hopefully gotten good value and if you can bait them into a tech switch that’s even better.

first you need a castle for it.
second, war eles have actually quite low dps for their cost and are slow. 3 of them don’t pose real danger to anybody, you just make a monk as you basically have all time in the world.

Maybe it’s workoing on lower eco though when players don’t know that they shouldn’t panic.

No all these slow clunky units with high hp but comparably low dps for the cost work best in big groups were they can use their pop efficiency.

You underestimate Trample damage
War Elephants Stand Ground Against Karambit Warriors Swarm | AoE II: Definitive Edition - YouTube

and what do you do in the meantime
A. Do you focus the elephants and suffer trample damage making the monks pointless
B. Retreat buying your opponent all of the time they need as you wait for monks which take 51 seconds to train. Also, your opponent likely has an Eco advantage because you prioritized agression

find a different angle? War eles are so slow, they can’t follow you fast enough.