Why i don't like Indians nerf

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 ?


I agree. I hate Indians in aoe2. I hate their representation, tech tree, TG potential and 1v1 potential.

I just want them to remove Imperial Camels since it’s just a stupid unit. It’s either broken or just a Heavy Camel for the 2x price of Zealotry or Farimba. Remove the pierce armor as well and give them Plate Barding Armor, Cavaliers and Elite Battle Elephants.

Of course there is no complaining about Indians without mentioning their completely useless unit; the Elephant Archer. The worst, the most useless thing ever made in Age Of Empires II.


Here’s my draft:

  • Remove the villager discount of Dark Age.
  • Give back the last cav armor upgrade.
  • Remove that non-sensical new bonus.
  • Replace the bonus with something related to camels, like free heavy camel upgrade.
  • Make the Imperial camel speed slower (much like how paladin attack slower than cavalier).
  • Sultans allows Elephant Archer at the Archery Range.
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This would be even worse than the current Indians. Villager discount means that they won’t reach Feudal faster and have a strong Scout opening. Removing pierce armor bonus is radical, because it’s one of the strongest bonus for a unit. Free Heavy Camel/15% faster attacking/10% extra speed etc feels useless when you compare it to extra pierce armor. Elephant Arches wouldn’t be useless anymore vs Archer civs, but Indians would still easy die to any American or Goths.


I’m pretty sure that the food savings in dark age have an impact later, any 2k level probably know that and could make even 1 extra villager, translated into a smooth boom to Imperial Camel spam in TG, remember, Persians had TC/Dock workrate speed extended into dark age, and looked so small, but that was the thing that made the Persians instapick in any hybrid map and with always growing econimy aka OP.

Lol I would prefer to use an unused bonus rather than making a mediocre one that makes Indian LC a Tatar/Turk clone in castle age. And free Heavy Camel is much better, helps them in 1v1 against cavalry civs and even allows them to get the Imperial camel sooner.

The Shatagni should be buffed to +2 range and extra 4 attack.

Indians save the same food as Italians in Dark Age. It’s nowhere OP. Indians are strong thanks to their Feudal and mainly Castle Age economy.

Free Heavy Camel is useless vs Crossbowman in Castle Age.

If Goths and American civs don’t kill Indians in Castle they do it always before Indians research Chemistry. Mayans have freaking El Dorado Eagles before Chemistry.

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I think if you replace the PA with extra damage to knights, you’d merely make the units even more imbalanced. Indians already have trouble in Castle age if there are no knights around (ie against archers, eagles, and goths.)

If you replace the PA with damage vs archers, that still doesn’t help against eagles or goths.

Maybe they should just get knights.


The balance to Indians in TGs is totally perfect.

Lets give Indians everything…I think they need Paladins, Arbalest and Siege Onager.

I cant believe what I m reading here sometimes…

You guys dont understand the concept of a civ identity? Give Indians knights…no words.

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Just don’t give them cavalier. It’ll be fine.

Knights could be removed at a later date if the Devs ever get round to rebalancing cavalry.

why would cavalry need to be rebalanced?

Currently Knights can’t be replaced, not even by camels+elephants. Maybe SL+camels+elephants would come close to having the versatility knights have on their own. Imo this is completely understandable for historical reasons, but it’s also silly/bad design.

elephants are clearly intended to be a team game unit, thus the numerous nerfs to them. as for camels, camels are a counter unit through and through, so of course they can’t replace knights. if they were intended to be a more well rounded unit they would have higher base attack, lower bonus damage, a higher cost and training time more in line with the knight or scout cavalry line.

according to you - but here’s the thing - go look at pretty much every RTS ever and what do you see? you see units that are split into generalist and role specific uses. and that’s exactly what aoe2 does as well. the archery range sees the same thing with crossbows being the generalist, the skirmisher being the anti archer, the HC being the anti infantry, and the cav archer being the high mobility supreme late game unit.
sc2 has the same as well - for terran at the barracks they have a generalist unit, an anti armored unit, a light speedy scouting unit, and a counter unit.
wc3 human barracks has the footman - a cheap disposable melee unit, and two more expensive units, 1 ranged (Rifleman) and one a bulky mounted unit (knight).

so your idea of “Bad design” literally runs counter to core RTS design.

just thinking about making the camel more well rounded brings balance nightmares. lets look at the basic camel rider in castle age.
even if you bump up its base attack and lower its bonus damage and keep those equal at the end, then you still run into problems.
lets say you bump its base attack to 9 and bonus down to 6. now i have a unit that costs less then a knight, and trains significantly faster, and moves faster, but at the same time it also has no real armor to speak of - so it still wouldn’t replace the knight, because it would still get wrecked by archers as an example. so how do you make it more well rounded? well you’d have to give it some armor. now that its got higher base attack and armor, you’re gonna have to increase the cost and training time.
so now that you’ve got this unit that counters cavalry, but still performs well against everything else, why bother making knights?

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Again, Indians dont have knights its their identity. As Britons get more archer range, Turks dont have pikes or Celts no Arbalest etc…

Its not fine so stop advising it as a balance change…

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so question for you then - how do you propose Indians deal with Infantry civs, specifically the Eagle and the Huskarl? i’m all for bad matchups, but even in bad matchups you should stand a fighting shot to beat them.

how do Indians beat those civs?

No I dont understand, Indians had Imperial Camels since they gave us the civ. Its their identity, what are you referring to?

Yes Indians are still strong but way worse against Knight / Archer Combos cuz of less armor. Thats exactly what the civ needed.

No question they need a 1v1 buff but thats a completely other topic since this nerf was ONLY to balance TGs. A 1500 player understands that aswell, its not that complicated and referred to a skill level.

I agree with your point, but as I said thats a complete other topic. This nerf was only made to balance TGs where the Imp Camels were too strong.

Indians are horrible vs Meso civs, but so are Celts vs Italians on water maps. There will always be bad matchups. For example they have huge advantages vs Berbers or Huns. You cant buff all civs just because they struggle in specific situations, that is just how the game is designed.

All in all I agree that Indians need a 1v1 buff, but most likely they will always struggle against meso. Similar how all other civs struggle on some maps against other civs.

I hardly get your question. Same would be how can Franks beat Italians on Islands…

and that’s a problem. any time a balance change is made 1v1 should absolutely be taken into account.

apples and oranges. i’m fine with civs having maps where they excel (See water play, maps with lots of hunt, etc), i’m fine with civs having weaker matchups (see goths wrecking archer civs), but even in those matchups where you’re weaker on a standard arabia, you should still have a reasonable chance of winning.

yes let’s use water, which sees something like 2% playrate vs making sure every civ is reasonable on a standard arabia game. i’m not asking for Indians to be 50% against meso and goths, but they should at least be able to do more then bend over and kiss it goodbye.
let me reiterate that. water maps are seen TOTAL, across ALL civs, across all play levels, around 2-3% of the time. the odds of playing on them are 1 in 33. the odds of getting a completely terrible matchup on them even lower.
the odds of playing on Arabia is 3 in 5. the odds of playing against a meso or goth civ is around 1 in 6.
so yeah, i definitely going to put a little bit more weight on one over the other.

if goths and mongols are running over Indians on maps with lots of hunt - fine, i can understand that. they get a huge boost there. if Indians run over other civs on maps with lots of shore fish, fine i can understand that.

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Yeah but all you talk about is another topic. The question for you is “how to buff Indians”.
I think there is another topic for that, this is only about how well the Indian Camel nerf was done.

I m not participating in the Indian buff topic, I only care about that this annoying unit is finally nerfed for TGs. My quick answer is: Improve CA and HC.