How is that weak ? The problem of cavalry should mostly be castle age. In imperial, you should go to your main options.
Why would cav archers replace cavalry ? Just for raiding ? They have the same counters as Arbalesters. Do you expect 2v2 team game to go Arbalests + HCA instead of Arbalests + cavaliers ?
How is that a problem ? You could also say that Celts cavalry get overshadowed by Cumans cavalry as well…
Why should they be top tier ?
The problem should be in castle age. It doesnt make sense with the current balance state to look for melee cavalry option in imperial.
I fully agree that the balance is strongly against civs with poor cavalry in open maps at imperial age. While cavalry civs always get HCA, HC or Hscorpions to do something.
I dont know what can be done, but I heavily disagree with your statement that it is only the problem of Dravidians.
A problem of Dravidians is that they are fine for pros, so devs may not buff them further, which is a shame when compared to chinese, who are also undererforming at low level, but are great all rounders at high level…
Give them Husbandry.
Make the 20 HP/Minute regeneration a civilisation bonus. (that’s the same as a Berserker without UT has and that has a lot less HP)
Give them a new UT that makes Battle Elephants 20% faster.
Then they would end up at 1.105 speed. Not very fast but they could barely run away from a Pikeman with Squires that moves at 1.1 speed.
They would still not get Elite Battle Elephant but with the 20% movement speed and Wootz Steel it might still have some uses in Imperial Age.
Effectively Wootz Steel gives you at last +3 attack against most units from most civilisations. Elite Battle Elephant only gives +2.
The civ getting some random cavalry bonus is completely against the civ design and should also not be a blueprint for any future civ designs. A civ is allowed to have weaknesses, or we’re going to get situations like Hindustanis and Gurjaras who have very few weaknesses (if any).
Nevermind that several of the ‘compensations’ listed aren’t really ‘mobile compensations’. Ratha and War Wagon definitely aren’t mobile as they’re very clunky. Koreans also have Hussar, but is not listed. What’s the criteria for having something be considered compensation here?
Having a stationary civ is fine, and that has been the design of several civs already. Koreans, Bengalis, Bohemians are all designed around having a deathball that rolls over, not something that is very fast and can raid in several places.
Instead, we should look for ways to help Dravidians either defend themselves better, or have means to get to their deathball. Bengalis getting the +3/+3 armor on Monks catapulted them to one of the best civs on closed maps.
Personally, I think Dravidians should just get a better Castle UT. Medical Corps is laughable. The problem comes from finding a good alternative, as buffing their elephants could feel too much of a copy of a different civ, even though similar precedents have already been set by cavalry civs. Maybe it could just reduce the cost of Elephant units by X%? After all, that has typically been the design for a weak part in the tech tree.
That, or the strong parts in the tech tree are given military bonuses (e.g. how Turks get additional PA on Scout-line). Faster firing Elephant Archers is great, but you need time to get to it. Faster firing Skirms however is not good enough, unless they can fire even faster. The barracks bonus is also nice, but Infantry is simply not in the meta as much as Hussars would be. Perhaps the techs could research faster on top of being cheaper, so teching into Champions could be a viable alternative in terms of timings?
I don’t know the native/imported horses ratio, but if it leans to higher proportion of imported arabian horses, then that’s a nod to history on dravidians having bad cavalry.
I’ve made an investigation attempt on the topic and the only thing repeating again and again everywhere was basically “Chola army had cavalry”. The only furtherly detailed description I’ve found is from a Quora answer from a historian : " The cavalry was known for its speed and agility and was used for reconnaissance, raiding, and pursuit". Not precisely what heavy cavalry is supposed to do. So it doesn’t seem unproper.
If I’m not wrong, heavy armor was rather uncommon in South India. I would expect the same going on for horses. It doesn’t feel that much “unhistorical”.
They have usable light cavalry with wootz steel, a unit you can spam almost endlessly. It can be understood as the deployment of a significant amount of cavalry, as you say.
Barrack techs ALSO produce 2x the intended effect - Long swords spam can start much earlier in castle age.
Supplies changes to gold infantry costing -15 food in general with some other civ units’ costs re-adjusted and Barrack techs impact all military units except monks and siege. So archers will be very good after squires, elephants will benefit from supplies and be cheaper, urumi swordsmen might be a little less niche.
A larger mid game bonus - either trickle of one type of resources from another like wood from farms or food from lumberjacks or something else creative. Like a building that boosts work rate within its range. This would keep them a fast paced civ like Vikings that can age up much earlier and the risks of falling apart before getting to the infantry/arbalesters point is low.
The very obvious option but the one a lot of people won’t like because it changes the civ design - make a slightly weaker version of Shrivamsha riders a regional unit for these 3 civs. Similar to Battle elephants for ROR civs where each civ gets a special bonus on them, Gurjaras could have their current version which is stronger than the new generic, Bengali ones could maybe attack faster or take less bonus damage, Dravidian ones could be generic but get benefitted from both of their UT.
Maybe their age up bonus should be improved.
From 200 Wood flat to:
200 → 400 → 600 Wood in Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
That would help them a little in early Castle where they now just get 200 more Wood.
The additional 400 Wood in Imperial Age shouldn’t make that much of a difference anymore though.
That is actually a pretty good idea. 50% faster Barracks techs would mean they have better timings in multiple stages of the game.
So -30 Food from supplies, +4 attack against buildings from Arson and +20% speed from Squires?
This would make Celts look bad that “only” get 15% faster Infantry.
They are very very powerful. It’s just the civilisation behind them is very weak.
Just inflates their power further on water while not being much impactful on land. At a bare glance 400 extra wood in castle age might seem like a crazy strong bonus but its still a power spike for a civ with no proper military units on land. A long lasting mid game bonus is the right way to push them ahead.
Knights, husbandry, 20% faster shooting siege and a much better eco, fast moving unique unit. And yet you can still argue for a minor buff to Celts because they are a weak civ on most open maps as well.
I don’t know who said that but obviously they’re wrong. And I don’t understand how could anyone consider a 0 p.armor, not so fast, super expensive melee unit as even strong.
Make any ranged units and they’ll melt. Its not tanky, its not fast, its not cheap, it has no utility whatsoever compared to a very cheap and easy alternative in champions or halberdiers for Dravidians. Every “good” unique unit offers a special property that makes them worth the extra effort and investment into castles.
What, there were a couple - from changing Medical Corps with some suggestions, even faster firing Skirms/EAs, and/or having Barracks techs research 50% faster on top of being cheaper as well.
Their problem is simply that you need a Castle, so they don’t come into play when Dravidians are at their weakest. Dravidians have no problems late-game, IMO.
Are you kidding? They’re fast enough for a melee UU (as fast as Berserks), it costs 65 food 20 gold so I don’t get where your ‘super expensive’ is coming from (you don’t need Wootz Steel with them, but it will help a lot), with the AoE attack that has them win all melee fights. Their only problem is that they’re squishy to ranged fire. And you have great Skirmishers to back them up.
I think that bonus is very nice but it should be reserved for a different Civilisations.
It would probably work perfectly with some North American civilisation.
Had this in mind as the primary bonus for the Haudenosaunee in my North American concepts.
I have a better idea (copied from AoE3):
Elephants trickle wood.
Since they cost a lot you won’t actually make them to get wood but as long as you have some in your army you will have a small passive income.
Elephants were used in the Wood industry so it makes sense thematically.
It would become their Castle Age UT while the HP generation becomes a Civilisation Bonus.