First of all, I have to say that I’m agree on the fact that Indias were too good of a pocket civ. and needed a nerf.
But after thinking about the nerf (and make some tests) I’ve come to the conclusion that this nerf wasn’t to accurate, and also a little odd.
I base this claim in a few points:
A) No cavalry civ lacks plate barding armor. Hurts not only their camels, but mainly their hussars, in a way that indians now have less answers to anything that’s not a Knight/Cavalier/Palading/Elephant/Cavalry UU.
B) Indians imperial camels are worst than Saracens Camels with zealotry: Before the nerf, Indians IC won with a really small advantage, Now, Saracens camels won with a considerable advantage (more or less 10% to 15% remaining HP). Also, They do better against ranged units (since they have same PA and 10 extra HP). It’s feels plain weird that a civ that gets one upgrade+UT behaves better than a civ that gets 2 upgrades (imagine stirups or farimba cavaliers being better than vanilla paladins, or chieftains pikemen behaving better than halbs)
For me, indians present a mistake in the core concept of the civs: Camels have to both replace knights and at the same time counter them. This have led to a (obvious) problem to balance them, but I think that the main problem was not in their late game, but in castle age.
In Castle Age, they melt knights, and endure archers too well, due to the pierce armor bonus. But why they have this extra PA? well, because, the need to fill the role of both camel and knight. and that’s where the problem is.
Let’s translate the problem to the other animal in the game: Elephants. If you pick a Khmer pocket (post patch), or maybe a Burmese, you know that you’re sacrificing speed in order to get tankiness. It’s one thing for other. a fair exchange. that’s what keeps unit balanced.
In castle age, indians melt knights, as camels do, but at the same time, don’t die to arrows as easily as camels do. that, combined with an amazing eco, makes indians arrive to imperial age with a lot of army and great eco.
So, what alternatives do we have to balance indians ?
well, I though about a few, but most of all I came about 1 conclusion: Give back plate barding armor, and take away the +1PA.
In exchange, give indians camels extra atack, either to knights or to archers.
If they have extra attack to knights, they will melt them faster (the advantage of indians pocket against paladin civ pocket) but they still die to arrows (the dissadvantage).
If the have extra attack to archers, they became a glass canon unit, dying to archers, but still more resisting to them than regular camels (in a way).
I would preffer the first. it feels more balanced to me.
With no extra PA, imperial camels are not broken. sure, they kill palas, but still die easy to arrows, and halbs (normal camel counters).
what do you think ?