So, we have other civilizations that bring unique non castle units. For example the italians, the berbers and the veitnamese.
So, here is what it would take in my opinion to make camels strong as a pick.
Indians now allow all friendly civs to research imperial camels instead of giving them +4 damage vs buildings. Imperial camels are reworked and now do 2 bonus damage to buildings. Overall this is a nerf to indian camels damage vs buildings by 2 damage, but it allows all other civs to make imperial camels while allied with indians.
Berber mahgrebi camels now affects the entire team. All camels on the team regenerate. This is not really an in combat buff so much as a buff to not having to build monks to support the camels. Also, of important note is that this tech is far less impactful on the camels than on the camel archers that berbers bring, because camel archers take less damage than camels, and have more time to actually heal, thus lower turnover. However, an extra 5-10 points of hp between battles could mean the difference between a camel taking 5 hits or 6 hits to kill. Its a slight edge, nothing more.
Saracen zealotry now affects the entire team. This is a major buff, because it gives all camels 20 hp.
In team games, with the right civilization composition it could make more sense to go camels than to go knights. However the setup would be telegraphed early, and its still possible to counter by massed pikemen. But at least such camels would be a better choice than knights for the civilizations which are “camel” civilizations. Honestly! When a civ is described as a “camel” civilization, they should be going camels and not knights. >:(
I just think that their gold ratio is a bit too high for “not a power unit”, but maybe the higher speed somewhat compensates for it a bit.
idk, I think they could be tweaked a bit to cost less gold but then imp camels need to be tweaked again…
that’s still a far cry from “Camels Suck” though. Could they be tweaked? a little bit maybe. but they do what they are supposed to do. if anything i’d raise the PA of Heavy Camels by 1 to at least give them a bit more of a fighting chance against CA - but then again that still has the same problem you mentioned before. Imperial Camels.
I wouldn’t add things like Maghrebi Camels or Zealotry affect whole team. It’s very rare that you want two Camel civs in a team. Could be still useful in random vs random team battles, but let’s face it, those do not happen all that much.
What about giving Camels a couple of bonus damages Vs Cav Archers in order to avoid the imperial camels problem ? 3 Heavy Camel hits means 72 damages Vs FU Cav Archers. I think it would be legit to kill them in 3 hits (except Turks and possibly Tatars)
+3 Cav Archers damages to kill FU Cav Archers in 3 hits.
+4 Cav Archers damages to kill FU Tatar Cav Archers in 3 hits.
I prefer to leave heavy camel alone. But Imperial camel deserve a buff. Lack of last armor upgrade hurt them a lot. It seems it is not possible to get the armor upgrade back. Then, Imperial Camel should have higher attack and speed