What if Elite Teutonic Knights had 3 base pierce armor?

Teutonic Knights are something you almost never see because they’re too slow, they’re expensive for an infantry unit, and they die so easily to Arbalesters, Hand Cannoneers, etc. While I don’t think they should be given any more movement speed, I think that giving the Elite version 1 more pierce armor could make them more viable. This would make them tougher against Arbalesters and Heavy Cavalry Archers, but it would not have much effect against Hand Cannoneers, which would still take them out in 5 shots.

Note that this would only apply to the Imperial Age upgrade, so Castle Age Teutonic Knights would not suddenly become too tanky for Crossbows to deal with.

Also, even if it makes them tankier against archers, they would still have to deal with being slow. However, giving them more speed would cause them to lose their identity as a sluggish, powerful infantry. Enhancing their pierce armor retains that identity.


Will it be suddenly too hard to counter teuton castle drop for civs lack HC?

By the time the Teutons reach Imperial Age and get Elite TK’s, you should have a way to counter them. Arbs would still be good against them since you’d still be able to kite them; it’d just take longer to kill them.

Im going to say yes for both castle age and Imp.

Remeber this unit costs 125 resources, only 7.5% less than a knight. Even at 5/7 pierce armor in castle/imp this unit isnt that efficient as a pincushion. The relevant metric is resource damage per arrow where lower is better.

Knights take 3.38 from xbow. 5 PA TK would take 3.125. Cavalier take 3.85, 7 PA ETK would take 3.75. Paladin is well below both of these at 2.25.On top of this higher pierce damage takes advantage of the ETKs lower HP for its cost, not to mention the low speed. E.g. vs CA in castle age knights take 4.5 while 5 PA TK would take 4.69. Vs something like a conq its even worse where knights have 13.5 and TK would have 17.1 which is a 30% difference.

We know how this dynamic works on a unit that is much faster and arguablely better at defending siege due to its speed. So im leaning toward it being unlikely to be OP.

Basically it would effect the following tradeoff in terms of using knight vs tk:

  • Lose: weakness to halbs, camels, lots of speed
  • Gain: weakness to infantry damage, scorpions/gunpowder/high ranged dmg; better building dps, melee combat
  • About the same: weakness to arrows, monks.
  • Unknown: ability to protect siege, synergy with crenellations.

This looks like a reasonable tradeoff set to me. Basically just moving “weakness to arrows” from the gain category to about the same.

I think ETK are rarely seen not because they’re bad, but because they will a nice that is needed rarely: An infantry unit that kills any melee unit it encounters, at the cost of beeing unabel to chase anything.

This makes them problematic by design. They are way too good at what they’re good at, but the only situation this matters is if your opponent counters halb/siege play by going infantry (eg champions). And even then, most of the time you’re better off just adding your own champions to protect the siege.

Now if we start buffing them to fill more roles it might quickly get to a point where in certain situations, there are no more counters to them. So I am not sure if a straight up buff is the right direction (alltough 1 PA would probably be managable), but i think they need an entire rework.

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Teutonic Knights are in a good spot and already good vs civs like Goths, Malians, or Bulgarians. They have their niche and don’t need to be strong in areas they are meant to be weak in.

More importantly, Teutons is already a civ that makes sense design-wise, and Teutons defense doesn’t need to be even stronger, they already have good Halbs, Paladins, Siege and Crenellations Castles.

They are also somewhat inexpensive in terms of Gold so you can actually spam them in Imp once food becomes abundant.

Also, if you buff ETK, 2 notes:

  1. how are civs like Bulgarians, who are already bad in terms of ranged options available to them, gonna deal with ETK? Keep in mind the civ has no HC, no Arbalest, no Xbow.

  2. when you consider infantry units/infantry UUs, you need to consider how adding Halbs to them would work. E.g. yes Huskarl dies to Cavalier, but it’s never just Huskarl, it’s Huskarl + Halb and opponent can even pull the Huskarls to the back row, depending on how much Cavalier he sees.

Would ETK + Halb be good? Possibly. I reckon if we buff ETK further, ETK + Halb + Rams becomes a thing even more, and I don’t see good reason to buff Teutons late game, they are already a very good civ late game, even in Arabia 1v1.

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The Bulgarian HCA is playable. You have to do a Knight to HCA play, which is not optimal, and some players just cannot get it right.


I’m aware that HCA is a thing, but still ETK design-wise makes sense, overwhelmingly strong in melee, it shouldn’t be strong vs ranged also. I get some people want to create the ultimate unit but infantry is the last unit you want to be meta, just look at Goths in low elo, buff infantry enough, and you get that, but in high elo.

Let’s remember that infantry is very cheap, not very gold-intensive and breaks buildings way faster than any non-siege unit in the game.

Tarkans say hi. They aren’t siege.

ok, you found 1 unit that MAYBE beats infantry. The point stands, infantry already has their niche technically, they are:

a) less gold-intensive than Knights
b) trade about as effectively as Knights in melee (including beating Knights 2v1 and equally trading in mass battels)
c) break buildings faster
d) suffer from less counters (e.g. don’t get countered by Pikemen or Monks)

I’d say infantry isn’t half as bad as some people want to say, and in some cases (Aztecs, Goths, Burmese), even good.

Give Champions +5 bonus vs Hussar and call it a day.

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Teutonic Knight problem is the speed, not PA.

This is like saying, that Paladin problem is the fact that gold on the map is finite, or Siege Ram problem is that it takes too long to tech into.

Are units even allowed to have weaknesses anymore? TK make sense in a handful of matchups, such as vs Goths/Aztecs, and they make sense in more matchups where you can mix them as secondary unit/not main unit (e.g. vs Berbers shortly after a castle drop).


Also don’t frget TK is THE melee specialist in the game. It already has quite High Pierce Armor for that role.

Your Arbs or HCA need to have Bracer + Chemistry to be really viable vs Teutonic Knights already, as TK have this 1 more PA than the regular Champs.

By what metric though? As far as I can tell it only has “high” pierce armour by the naive metric of 2 pierce armour. But what determines the ability to absorb damage without bleeding resources in a real game is related to the combination of cost, HP, and pierce armour.

I mean using the natural “resource damage per hit” metric (which directly contributes to enemy efficiency/trade value) we can look at other melee powerhouse units:

Elite Malay elephants: 2.04
Champions (which are very strong with certain civ buffs): 4.64
Kamayuks: 4.5
Leitis: 4
Obuch: 3.13
ETK: 5

So the ETK is worse than all of these units, many of whom are more flexible in melee because they can more effectively chase a melee target trying to disengage.

ETK aren’t particularly dangerous in melee against anything dealing ranged damage either because of their high cost and low speed. They simply don’t have enough swords swinging to bring down the units. Tons of ranged units can literally just sit there unmicroed and win or break even against ETK which puts a giant asterisk on “melee specialist”.

Then there’s the fact that many melee units can break even or win vs ETK. Burmese and Aztec champs will beat ETK cost effectively. Leitis and Cataphract crush them. Jaguar warriors and samurai actually have a niche here by winning and jaguars especially need a buff.

Like the selection bias the unit faces has to be taken into account. Every melee unit that can’t win will just disengage and almost no one has 0 ranged support in the form of scorpions or arbs or hand cannons or whatever if they’ve seen ETK being made. So I’d say the unit could get some more pierce armour (or lower cost) and not be broken.

I don’t know excatly what metric you use here. But many of these units are more flexible in melee? including generic champion? Leitis still have weakness against anti-cavarly unit that make not much flexible in melee. Needless to say general problems of elephants. Obuch is quite exceptional here that many people think they should be nerfed.

What about Japanese/Goths Champion or Bulgarian 2HS? these units never have a chance against ETK. You are picking very exceptional case of only 2 civs champion that can have a chance against ETK. Also considering research time and cost for Burmese/Aztecs champion. Especially Aztecs that their bonus is not free. They need all upgrade to champion and Garland War You can’t say that fight is cost-effective for Aztecs considering all these upgrade cost and timing.

Work as intended. Units designed to crush high melee armor unit and infantry.

Yes that is true. Jaguar Warrior/Samurai need more buff here, but not ETK, even they lose against SOME infantry cost-effectively, they still beat most of cavarly which is never be a case for other infantry UU like Jaguar or Samurai.

More PA for ETK means arb suddenly become only soft-counter for them that they can’t counter if they lack some upgrades or number. It means ETK can be broken in some matchup like Malians, Aztecs or Bulgarians as pointed out earlier. ETK still have niche role and they shouldn’t be good for their intended weakness.

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The metric is resource damage per hit:

  • unit_cost / ceil(HP / (atk - def))

This metric basically shows how fast you bleed resources under archer fire. It is an extremely easy but informative metric when comparing units defenses.

Regarding melee flexibility you need to take into account the selection bias. Almost everything that will lose against ETK can run away and not take the fight. Some other dimensions:

  • Their DPS against buildings is worse than champs when adjusted for cost. So youre losing some flexibility there in terms of applying pressure.
  • Champs and Kamayuks and other lower priced units actually force archers to kite because their DPS in melee is much higher for their cost
  • Champs upgrade cost is almost identical to ETK
  • Many other melee units are better at protecting siege or other infantry complements because of higher dps for the cost or higher speed.

To my knowledge the following civs have a unit that breaks even or beats ETK in melee when adjusting for cost:

  • Poles (obuch)
  • Persians (War elephant)
  • Lithuanians (Leitis)
  • Byzantines (cataphract)
  • Aztecs (Garland Champ, jaguar)
  • Burmese (Champ)
  • Japanese (Samurai)
  • Dravidians (wootz 2hs/champ, prob others)
  • Burgundians (Coustillier, slight micro need 2 charge attacks)

On top of that the ETK doesnt win by all that much against:

  • Khmer (tusk sword EBE)
  • Slav (Druzhina champs)

Overall the ETK doesnt really seem to fit its niche super well given the trade-off of being weaker against arrows than pretty much all of these units. 1 more PA is one possible option to balance the unit.

Malians have hand cannons and very serviceable monks, Aztecs have their OP monks and jaguars and SE scorpions, Bulgarians have more than serviceable cav archers, kreposts, and SE scorpions. Remeber teutons conversion resistance doesnt mean much for a unit that takes 10s to close the 9 range gap with a monk.

Remember even in castle age TK with 5 PA would be not much more tanky than a knight but almost 40% slower plus scorpions are relatively stronger in castle age.

Dont see a reason not to do it.

They already got a speed buff. And PA is the second important stat for slow melee units.

The “weakness” to archers is why we usually see TK paired with Siege. And this usually works quite well-

Why are we always talking about single units interactions?
Every unit has weaknesses. That’s the design of the game.
Every unit NEEDS weaknesses, otherwise it’s just OP.

Teutons have in most cases good answers to other civs that have a specific ETK counter.
And there are only a few civs that have this kind of counter. Ofc we can debate if it’s so senseful by the devs to give certain civs units that are definitiely made to specifically counter ETK. But I can’t blame the devs really, cause the ETK is just so dominant in most melee matchups-

What do teutons have against other civs with ETK counters?

First Obuch doesn’t counter ETK. It’s solid, but by no means a counter.
Teutons have good siege + HC to counter obuch.

Teutons have good Monks and Halbs.

Halbs agian, but probably one of the hardest units to deal with as Teutons, agreed.

Teuton Paladins are good vs Catas. Ofc Teutons need to be careful against the good byz trash. But also Monks work. Again a tough matchup, but not impossible.

Garland Champs are jokes against ETK. But Jags are strong, no doubt. Teutons HC can deal with them though.

Not a counter, again.

Samurai are good against many melee civs. That’s nothing special to teutons. But the Teuton HC can still deal with them.

It’s a very hard matchup in the very lategame for teutons, agreed. Ofc Wootz steel need to be in, giving Teutons a lot of time to damage the Darvidians before this comes in. Dravidians midgame is quite bad, so Teutons have usually ways to prevent this.

Coustillier is a totally broken unit. It can beat basically everything when used that way.
But execution is sometimes harder than theorycrafts…

Weird you forgot to list the best TK counter which is the Slinger.

Currently the only change I would possibly do to the TK is to give the non-elite variant 1 more melee armor, so there is more incentive to add them in castle age.

Right usually you have weaknesses as tradeoffs for strengths.

But realistically, the melee performance of ETK isnt particularly strong, which is what that list and the discussion of selection bias points out. All of those units are such that you cannot reasonably gain an advantage by switching into ETK; you simply wont trade efficiently enough.

ETK paired with siege ironically is reasonably easy to stop with a combo of redemption monks, bbc, cheap infantry or cavalry spam, etc. Basically a bunch of the things you wouldnt think works against infantry + siege.

I mean if youre playing against ETK + X the smart play has always been to kill whatever supporting units are there and/or raid. Leave the ETK to be killed by something ranged or overwhelm them after the fact with a unit that does OK. They lack the speed, DPS per res, or raw mass to effectively prevent it.

This behavior is not exacty a strength. Which begs the question, why does their ranged defense need to be lower than other units? Im not saying its the best way but at the same time its not uncalled for.