War Elephants deserve a buff

As of now the unit is slightly viable only in the very specific cases of 4v4 BFs, in DM or in Michi, exactly as admitted by people here on this forum.

I’d say a +15% (0.6 to 0.69) speed will suffice for now , and I cannot see how this slight speed increase can break 4v4 BF or DM gameplay. The approach to buffing this is in the same vein as for the Teutonic Knight and the Turtle Ships, units that are not dissimilar in their philosophy.

Because it’s small enough of a change that affects only their logistics hence will not break any setting. And it could give them something to offer in a few more settings, although it might not be enough still.

The story of War Elephants is saddening. Such an expensive unit in small numbers is not an effective strategy with such a strong counter thats available to all civs. Be it unupgraded Monks, trash Halbs, mass Arbs or even pikes.

Giving +15% speed would result in every third player picking persians on black forest and persians would be undoubtably the best DM civ. War elephants are intended to be good in only postimperial games anyways, and there they are strong there so I do not see the problem. The fact that a unit isn’t used much in normal games doesn’t make it bad, especially a unit like war elephants.


They do not deserve a buff, they are intended to be a ultra late game unit in team game where you have no gold problem. They are super pop efficient and if you can force fight they are amazing in team games


I think a small QoL buff just to make them slightly more attractive would not bad a bad idea.
However I’d be very careful with buffing them, as they’re by far the most population effective unit. That has a lot of potential to be overpowered if they become too viable (so you might also ask: why take the risk? - Persians are fine as a civ).

I’d start even more carefully and just increase their speed to 0.65.

Btw. Elite War Elephants trade nearly cost efficiently vs Pikes (if you value gold the same as wood and food to be fair), only Halbs and Monks are good counters.


Doesn’t matter because in DM players pick mirror


Maybe in tournaments, not on DM ranked queue. Which is were most DM games are played. This is were it matters for 99% of the DM players.


Yes speed boost please, making them usable in castle age. Its still not OP because making them in castle age is a huge hit to your eco so its good if you can get something slightly more viable for that sacrifice.

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0.69 - I see what you did there


The game has never been balanced around DM.

Hardly 1% of the games are DM.
War Elephants deserve to be viable in the rest of the ge atleast a little bit.

And look at the result of the very similar TK speed buff from 0.7 to 0.8. Everyone thought TKs were gonna be great now, but nothing changed, practically no one uses them.

They already are viable. they aren’t optimal. learn what the difference is.

and more speed won’t make them seen more in 1v1 anyway, due to the problem being their cost.


surely the WE stats pre-Elite & pre-mahouts could be tweaked to make the units more viable in Castle, if that was desirable?
(No reason to touch the post-Elite post-Mahouts stats when doing so)

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i cannot think of a unit that has ever changed cost just by upgrading from one form to another.

I said this in other topics, but let me try to explain it better.

The role of the unit is late game pop efficiency. So, if you make it viable in 1v1 castle age, the risk is that it results unbalanced for its current role.

Assuming you want to keep the current role, you cannot change the stats or the cost, so the WE will never be a go to strategy for 1v1.

However you can think of a mechanics that bring some WEs in a 1v1 game, without changing at all their actual late game pop efficiency role.

I had the impression that pop-efficiency only mattered in Imp. So WE could be balanced to be cost-effective in fights with equal resources, whereas EWE is balanced to be cost-effective in fights with equal numbers.
This would mean WE could be much better relative to EWE than eg Knights relative to Paladins.

Phrased another way: Why would pop-efficiency matter for Castle-age balance?

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Why would pop-efficiency matter for Early-Imp and Mid-Imp balance?

Why would WE pop-efficiency matter when Persians already have FU Paladins which are basically Battle Elephants that are 70% faster, cost less than half food and take less damage from spear line?

The mechanics I proposed is a bit innovative for Aoe2 (less for AoM), and imo can fit all the elephant UUs which are surely underused in 1v1 (I guess @Parthnan agrees). Since it is a new mechanics, I expect some people being conservative.

Every X minutes if you have zero WEs, you get one for free (you can train it at zero cost). Some implications:

  • in late game with a lot of resources nothing changes. When you are going heavily on WEs the effect is not applicable since you have more than one
  • WEs will not become a go to strategy
  • you will always see/use one WE. This is useful for game variety. But it has a strategic impact: several knight fights involve less than 10-15 units. So even one single WE can change the destiny of the battle. Even a single WE can force your opponent to avoid some fights.

Overall the proposal is more for game variety, to see some elephant UUs. It does not change the meta (as we want), it is not a game changing buff for the civs (as we want) but it allows to see/use some elephant UUs. Sometimes it is a usles bonus (vs monks), but all the water bonuses are usles in arabia (see how underpowered Italians are)…

Don’t make things over-complicated, it’s that much more unlikely to happen.
Just buff units that are never seen in 99% of the games (games outside of Michi or DM)

if this was true, why was the battle elephant nerfed?

because they aren’t. we’ve already shown you just how population efficient elite war elephants are.
we literally showed you 50 halbs losing to 40 elite war elephants, with only 15ish losses on the war elephant side. that is insane population efficiency.

It is not complicated at all. It is just a different mechanics. Otherwise people will continue to tell you about DM, BF, late game, pop efficiency…

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That nerf affects them only in Imp practically and it was made because Khmer BE move faster than Infantry lines. No one in the entire community had issues with No-armor Malay EBE, slow-crap Viet and Burmese BE.

Just buff units that are never seen in 99% of the games (games outside of Michi or DM). Simple and strightforward. Can’t go wrong with this. Look at the recent TK buff. Or the Panokseon Turtle buff. It’s literally the same change as I propose. There is no risk.