DISCLAIMER: I don’t hate Franks and I think they are fun to play, but I do think they are over tuned atm, I don’t think the civ should be nerfed to the ground or removed from existence but a few tweaks here and there wouldn’t hurt.
I wanted to start this topic to present a few arguments as to why I think the Franks deserve a considerable nerf, maybe a redesign (nerf 1 thing, buff another) for 1v1 Open Maps. It boils down to Power , Timing and Ease of Play.
We all know the Franks are focused on arguably the strongest generic unit-line in the game: The Knight-line. With multiple bonuses (+20% HP, +2 LOS, +40% Training Speed & 2 Eco Bonuses) working together to enable this unit, it is insane how strong they are in the cavalry department. That wouldn’t be a problem in and of itself, Magyars, Bulgarians and Teutons all have very strong Knights and are nowhere near as frustrating, bringing up my second argument:
With 2 good eco bonuses, Franks timings are ridiculous to match, making them very frustrating to deal with in most situations and on top of that they have arguably the strongest Scout opening because of said timings (until you get Bloodlines, but then again timing is key here, you can argue that Magyars are stronger but they have no eco bonuses in Dark Age and will eventually need to pay for Horse Collar/Bloodlines). And on top of that you will eventually have to deal with a Castle drop on your face thanks to that cheaper Castle bonuses which allow Franks to start mining stone much later than you, stacking up to the other 2 eco bonuses mentioned earlier. Even if you are the one pressuring, they can use said Castle defensively and secure their base until they have enough Knights to move out.
But hey, it all comes up to the better Player right? Well, here comes my third point:
Ease of Play
My last argument against Franks is simple: They are waaay too easy to play and too effective in what they do. Assuming 2 similarly skilled Players, Franks have all their bonuses geared towards what they want to do anyway, meaning mistakes can be forgiven by how smooth they are, requiring the other player to play perfectly in order to level the playing field. Sure, Franks have counters, particularly Camel civs or civs with much earlier timings such as Aztecs or Mayans, but having counters does not automatically mean the civ is balanced.
Yes, it is true that Franks are ridiculously predictable since all of their bonuses are geared towards Knights, but even then, their timings are usually so perfect that predictability is a non-issue.
And I should say, they are much more versatile than people give them credit for. I’ve won multiple games as Franks by rushing Archers against Camel civs and even by going Axe-Throwing Thingies once.
- Pros think they are fine
True, most pros don’t seem to see Franks as a problem, which is a completely valid argument. But I’m a math nerd guy and Franks have been performing statistically very well in both Tournaments and Ladder Games. You don’t have to take my word for it tho, check it for yourself: aoestats - Civs
- They have been nerfed already
Again, true and its another valid argument, but stats don’t lie. Even after the nerfs, they are still top 1 civ in ladder simply because they are smooth, forgiving and focus on a very strong unit, games usually don’t even get to Imperial Age.
I hope this doesn’t post doesn’t come off as butthurt, babyrage or trolling, I win and lose against Franks as much as I win or lose against any other civ, but of all 42 Civilizations they are the only that sometimes can feel very unfair and unfun to play against, which to me is a problem since the game is supposed to be fun, even when losing.
Thanks for reading guys, can’t wait to read your counter-arguments, I’m not the best player but I think my arguments are valid.