Why Russia's Halbs are Fundamentally Poor

Ok I’m sure you’re probably all aware now that Russia’s new age 2 halbs are absolutely garbage. Here is the thing, they are docked 40% stats from base, but only get the same 20% cost discount. The root issue is that Halbs are veteran by default, so that 40% is a significant nerf beyond what is theoretically intended.

Here’s how the math should look:

An age 2 halb should theoretically be 167 hp (200 ÷ 1.2) and have 23 hand attack.

If you deduct 20% from these stats it would put them at 133 hp and 18.7 dmg.

The unit in game has 120 hp and 16 dmg.

That’s a net difference of about 11%, and that discrepancy tracks as the unit is upgraded in all ages. With the stats above they would be mathematically consistent and actually gain the cost effectiveness that Russia’s infantry is supposed to have by design. Currently they are actually LESS cost effective than halbs (which are already borderline overpriced).


Yeah…it’s too bad the Russians don’t have a counter cavalry support unit at age 2, I wish there was a unit that possesses something like a counter cavalry melee weapon.

Strelets just look like a Musketeer type unit.
It’s just wrong that they are a Skirmisher type unit in the game.


It’s not that clear cut.
Bardiches were technically polearms however they were just treated as antiquated, big choppy axes with the number one use as gun rests. The Streltsy relied on nearby cavalry (they were almost always protected by such) for their melee and were there just for ranged support - melee was for fortifications defense/siege and out of necessity if forced into close combat.
Pointy and extremely long sticks are far better against cav than an axe.

Besides Streltsy are Light Infantry ingame - they’re there just for the supportive shooting (and so they should be - historically they did best afar, often on platforms or fortifications - the Musketeers that outlcassed them were far better use at range and melee)

However… Streltsy did however adopt and have Pike units in the 1600s (replaces later by Western style New Order pikemen), so potentially they could have some kind of pikemen.


I think your math is slighly exagerated (mostly due to the UI i think)

the attack is more like 16.8 (it will show 16 due to truncation) while the theoretical according to your model is (28*0.8)*0.8 = 17.92 which is more like a 7% difference

the difference should also be shrinking over upgrades as the in the second case the debuff works on the final stats so will reduce the amount of growth as well

at imp it will be just a 2.5% difference , 2.2 if you count in the 2 combat cards

I think the current way keeps it consistent with other russian units, where the vet upgrade effectively negates the russian debuff and makes it so that you get the age 2 level stats when you get the vet tech, which is kinda how its supposed to work and how it was working before this as well

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It is consistent, but then it really raises the question why a Russian player should ever train Poruchiks over Rekruts.

At Age 2:

  • Rekrut and Poruchik have the same HP and Melee RR.
  • (Important) Rekrut can do ranged attack, Poruchik cannot.
  • (Important) Rekrut cost less resources than Poruchik (75 resources vs 90 resources).
  • Poruchik is slightly faster than Rekrut (4.25 vs. 4).
  • (Important) Poruchik does a more siege than Rekrut (21 vs 16).
  • Poruchik does slightly more damage vs cav (32 vs 31.2).
  • Poruchik does more melee damage than Rekrut (16 vs 10.4).

The only major advantage Poruchik have over Rekrut is its siege. However, unlike Pikeman, it does not have the speed of 5 for a quick burn-and-run. Poruchik have better melee stats, but you are probably not using them to fight other HIs (Pikeman can run away, and they lose to Doppelsoldners and Rodelero). Its anti-cav advantage means that it (barely) kills Hussars one hit sooner, which can be evened out by the Rekrut shooting once at the Hussar.

For disadvantage, Poruchik cost significantly more, and cannot shoot.

So what is the purpose of this unit?


I mean you have listed out the reasons

The extra siege is pretty important for a civ that is doing base pressure in age 2

speed doesnt matter when you are the one going forward and is in the face of your opponent’s base. If you are doing hit and run might as well make cossacks.

But as Russia your goal is to overwhelm and trade, you are not running away.

Also remember the nature of the interaction between the base stats and upgrades.

The +10% stats card for the poruchik gives them more HP and atk then it gives the rekrut due to their base stats being vet


So they become much more dangerous the longer the game drags in age 2 as their scaling is just better


140 HP is also a super important break point. After the card CM TCs don’t one shot them.

That basically doubles the amount of siege damage they can deal if the only thing dealing damage is a CM TC

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it’s about a 7% difference from base stats, or around 11% net (133/120). dmg matches, but hp isn’t being truncated so we know it’s exactly a 40% reduction in game)

russian halbs prior to this were still less cost effective than regular halbs, for the same reason as above, their stat reduction is from veteran stats. they should lose 20% from their theoretical base stats, not from veteran stats.

this is how russia units work, yes, but the halbs will always be 13 hp less than they should be.

that exactly what the new unit isnt doing, that’s the problem. 20% improvement should put them at age 2 stats, but it isn’t, they’re still worse off. They end up at 160 hp in age 3, whereas if they were scaled correctly they would be 177 hp in age 3.

let me put it another way, the regular euro muskets are 180 hp when veteran, halbs are 200 hp - - halbs should be slightly tankier than muskets at all times before cards. The new units are BOTH 120 hp, again indicating the halb stat reduction is excessive and mathematically inconsistent.

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My impression is that the Poruchik starts out as a more expensive and less effective pikeman filling the pikeman role or as a less resource efficient halberdier.

Once he gets all his cards he’s like a halberdier who doesn’t get any cards. With all its cards it becomes a very interesting unit; a cheap instant production halberdier (I think it ends up being stronger than the previous Russian halberdier). But it is a terrible option before being improved.

The problem is that the Poruchik’s base stats are the same as a standard Halberdier. Therefore, he benefits much more from percentage improvements than a pikeman and now has more cards that improve him in combat. so to prevent it from becoming an OP unit in late games, the developers gave it a -40% damage and HP penalty being only 25% cheaper than a halberdier (-40% combat ability for -25% cost is a lousy deal.).

I can think of some solutions:

  • Withdraw or reduce the improvements that the Poruchik receives from the cards and that it does receive only -20% of penalty.

  • That the Poruchik’s base stats are lower and that it does not receive the -40% penalty (that it receives a minor penalty or that it does not receive a penalty.).

  • That the cards that improve the Poruchik also increase their cost and creation time and that it does receive -20% of penalty. (That would be very confusing since only the Poruchik should receive this penalty and not the other units that share the card.).

i agree is a 40% reduction (its visible in the files) but I think your model feels off somehow.

It feels like we are having the unit having 2 different base stats and it feels very bodge because we are applying to it an exceptional case. Having to calculate the debuff from a theoretical base but then the growth stats from the normal base feels very tacked on

why not then just calculate the growth as well from the theorethical base? It would be worse but I argue its systemically more consistent.

the other 2 case works since its both age 2 units but since its age 3 it feels off.

Like lets compare the rekrut as an example
like in normally a rekrut would have -20% in age 2 and as it gets upgrade due to growing from normal base stats it would get to 90% of normal musk HP by Imp

under your model then yes the poruchik hp would be -20% at age 2 compared to a theorethical age normal age 2 halb.

But beyond that the stats are better then the progression of the rekrut and you end up closer then you should be I would argue. This is kind of the case because effectively you age giving a vet tech that the halb doesnt get

while with the current system yes they are compared to the theoretical age 2 less are at -28% they are at -20% by age 3 and follow a similar progression to the rekrut from then on

tbh the only thing I would change about the poruchik right now is maybe just have their vet tech shadow teched when they get to age 3.

being able to mass halbs an age early and get upgrade for them upon age 3 might be pretty good

Is it though, their cost is -25% (the UI rounds it up)

I should probably specify, I don’t think a convoluted approach is ideal - my analysis is more looking at why the unit performs so terribly age 2 (see title)

Looking at it from a design perspective, the unit probably should be a unique unit entirely just have age 2 stats and the usual russian debuff. I’d argue for roughly 140 hp and 18 dmg in age 2. Then everything can scale from there. Cost can be adjusted slightly as well to be a cleaner number and just a tiny bit lower.

The model you’ve posted does show why halbs scale so well into age 5, because the upgrades are off their veteran stats. Because melee inf underperforms in late game, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but its also a relic from 2005 (skirms used to scale from age 3 stats too). The whole unit itself needs an adjustment but I’m mostly concerned about russia age 2 right now


I just think doing it from a lower base is just so detrimental to lategame performace like assuming 140 base stat it would be worse then it is now

I think a better way would be to give it some unique advantage, like maybe free shadow tech, kinda like how dutch is able to get skirms in age 2 and then get them vet in age 3 instantly allowing for an instant

Russia can mass halbs in age 2 now and getting a mass of age 3 level unit instantly might be an interesting play

i was meaning 140 hp after the 20% reduction that is expected of russian inf (168 hp? ) . Its probably slightly lower in age 5 but being useable in age 2 is probably better for the civ generally.


with 175 base you will get that and tbh that looks close enough

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ah, yeah 175 hp. That would be a solid enough base stat to scale from for sure, especially if they’re a touch cheaper

Russian halbs are balanced with 20% + 20% less hp and damage at age2. It is actually perfect change for Russians where they had no anti cav at age2

no, they’re not. they’re trash stats and deal 32 dmg to cav while costing more than pikes. they are garbage.


It is meant to be trash at age2 and should do less damage than any other common units since they r trained in groups.

The problem is not Russian Halbs, I think Halbs in general is expensive and I want to remind you that gold is actually gathered faster than wood and for age2 game with blockhouses, halbs costing gold is a good thing.

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is reading just difficult or…? they’re useless. they’re pointless. they arent better than ruskets. they are redundant. they are also the same hp as pikes. why is that complicated or even controversial