- +3 Attack
- +2 vs. Eagle Warrior
- +1 vs. Standard Building
- +1 Line of Sight
- Cost: 300 Food 100 Gold
The upgrade compared to the Long Swordsman is not that massive, the survivability doesn’t improve at all.
In some cases this upgrade is worse then Gambesons.
- To allow more different strategies without adding another early Castle power spike unit
- To allow adding a new unit at the end of the Militia line as an upgrade from the Champion
This is not an entirely new concept for Age of Empires.
In Age of Empires 1 you had to research Short Sword and Broad Sword in Bronze Age followed by Long Swordsman and Legionary in Iron Age.
The line didn’t start in Stone Age though because the Clubman line ends with the Axeman in Tool Age though.
- +1 attack
- +10 HP (+16.6%)
- +2 attack (but slightly lower rate of fire)
- +40 HP (+33.3% or 28.6% with Bloodlines)
- +1 Pierce Armour
The Paladin offers almost 2x as much of an attack upgrade 12 → 14 as the Champion 12 → 13 that only gets slights reduced by the very small rate for fire reduction.
The HP increase is also 2x for civilisations without Bloodlines.
While the Champion upgrade doesn’t offer any armour improvement.
- 14 attack (+1)
- 80 HP (+10)
- 2/1 armour (+1/0)
The attack and HP are brought in line with the Paladin.
Unlike the Paladin the Elite Champion gets +1 melee armour to keep the weakness against archers but make them more useful against Infantry and Cavalry.
The exact numbers are up for debate of course.
The Elite Champion should only be available to around 10 civilisation similar to the Paladin (11 civilisations).
Currently 10 civilisations don’t have the Champion, but 2 off them have a massive bonus for the Two-Handed Swordsman (Bulgarians and Malay) and one civilisation has a Unique replacement (Romans).
A similar number of civilisations (8) doesn’t have access to the Cavalier.
The civilisations that get Elite Champions should have to give up something else in return.
Maybe no Gambeson, reduced civilisation bonus on Infantry, weakend unique technology etc.
Aztec, Burmese, Celtic, Dravidian, Goth, Japanese, Slave and Vikings shouldn’t just get this unit without giving up something in return.
Even without the Elite Champion upgrade the fact that Two-Handed Swordsman and Champion are faster to tech into gives them an advantage already.
The availability of those two units will be unchanged.
Everyone but the Persians will keep the Two-Handed Swordsman.
Since the Champion is not the end of the line anymore it’s upgrade cost should be reduced.
The Elite Champion cost should not be that high either though because the line already has so many upgrades in it.
Some civilisation bonuses have to be adjusted if the Elite Champion becomes available.
Also some Castle Age bonuses might have to be reduced to prevent the early Two-Handed Swordsman from becoming too powerful.
For example Bulgarians shouldn’t get Two-Handed Swordsman for free anymore.
Some Infantry unique units need to be buffed to keep up with the Two Handed Swordsman in Castle Age and to not become a worse version of the Elite Champion in Imperial Age.
But unlike Gambeson the Elite Champion will only be available to a very limited number of civilisations so not ever Imperial Age Unique Unit will have to be improved.
Instead of a stat boost compared to the Champion the Elite Champion could have more unique bonuses instead:
- Small AoE attack instead of higher base attack (worse then Druzhina trample damage)
- Small attack bonus vs. Cavalry instead of higher base attack (worse then Chieftains bonus)
- Attack bonus vs. Scout line specifically instead of higher base attack (to become a true trash killer)
- Resistance vs. attacks from specific units like Cavalry or defensive buildings instead of higher melee armour (Similar to the effect of Royal Heirs but without the resistance against Cavalry Archers)