Northern Refugees is a weird villager card for China. Unlike normal villager cards provide free villagers directly. Northern Refugees’ effect basically depends on the village amount, and makes its value lower than normal villager cards.
Northern Refugees current effect is:
Each village and tc do a one-time muster of 1 villager.
The condition of village and tc’s amount restricts Northern Refugees itself, and also restricts China’s development in the early game. That’s because in current meta, this card forces Chinese players to gather extra wood and build villages for additional villagers from it. If they want to get 3 villagers by sending Northern Refugees, they need to build 2 villages. If they want to start with tp, they build 1 village, and only get 2 villagers after sending this card. Northern Refugees is just like a card that players need to pay 180 wood for each additional villager, while normal villager cards don’t. Chinese players pay extra resource and only get a normal feedback (3 villagers) from this card. This is kind of unreasonable.
Northern Refugees restricts China’s early strategy, and makes China age up late. Without a worth treasure, China won’t age up before 4:30 stably. This disadvantage combines with Chinese weak military make China very hard to deal with the fast rush from Aztecs, Iros and India.
Compare with other Asian civs (Japan and India), China only has a simple eco advantage ─ a goat, while India has free market wood tech, 70 wood house, free villager with shipment, exp trickle from livestock, and Japan have shrine, Portuguese consulate to boost eco and reduce age up cost. Also, unlike European civs, Chinese players are difficult to start with market, tp, or docks, if they do so, it means they have to sacrifice 1 villager from Northern Refugees.
In view of this, I think we need to adjust Northern Refugees’ effect like this:
Each village do a one-time muster of 1 villager, and tc do a one-time muster of 2 villagers.
This change make China get a reasonable feedback from Northern Refugees. Let Chinese players can choose to have 4 villagers with 2 village, or 3 villagers with 1 tp and 1 village to age up faster in ideal time. It may also make Chinese players have more variable choice to start with tp and send the cards such as Trade Empire or Good Faith Agreements, because this change makes China have enough villagers to support the early eco and age up stably. Most importantly, it helps China have better eco to train their cheap but weak army, and deal with the rush in age 2.
How do u think, guys? Please leave ur opinions.