The Burgundians are a cavalry civilization that relies primarily on heavy cavalry and gunpowder units for combat, and good timing for its economy since they can research economic technologies one age earlier. Compared to other civilizations they are difficult to learn: being both mechanically complex and micro-intensive.
Their economy is one of the best in the game, as they can research all economic technologies one age earlier and with reduced food cost. They also have Burgundian Vineyards as a unique technology, which enables their farmers to generate gold (31 Villagers equals approximately 1 Relic) and changes half of their food into gold in a 2:1 ratio. Relics captured by Burgundians and their allies also generate a trickle of food.
Their Knights can be upgraded to Cavaliers in the Castle Age, and all Stable technologies cost 50% less. They also have the Coustillier as their unique unit, which is a variant of the Knight with lower statistics overall, but with a powerful charge attack that enables them to kill most foot units in one strike. They have almost all upgrades for cavalry available, lacking only Bloodlines.
Despite cavalry bonuses Burgundians lack Bloodlines, putting them at a late-game disadvantage. This requires micromanagement or a superior economy to to win against with civilizations with superior cavalry . Similarly, with their gunpowder units, they lack Ring Archer Armor and Siege Engineers, so their Hand Cannoneers are less protected and the Bombard Cannons have less range.
In contrast with their cavalry, their archers are fairly weak, lacking most upgrades and technologies. The same goes for their Siege Workshop, since aside from the Bombard Cannons with better attack, they not only lack Siege Engineers, but they can't fully improve any of the other Siege units, lacking Heavy Scorpion, Siege Onager, and Siege Ram.
Furthermore the Burgundians are difficult to master as the Coustillier is a micro-intensive unit which excels in small fights with their charged attack. Using this attack on foot units is highly effective, but on poor target (i.e. durable units, such as Battle Elephant) results in low efficiency. Because the Burgundians lack any military bonuses in the Dark and Feudal Age, they are susceptible to rush strategies.
Similarly, their unique technologies Burgundian Vineyards and Flemish Revolution are strong, but require the the correct situation or else they can backfire if used inappropriately. Burgundian Vineyards converts half the player's Food stockpile into Gold (2:1 ratio) which can negatively affect producing units or technologies unless strong food production is established. Likewise, Flemish Revolution converts all Villagers into Flemish Militia units, sacrificing their economy for a large number of infantry. This can turn the tide of a battle, close out games, or provide enough time to rebuild Villagers should things go wrong.
Finally, the Burgundians are a civilization that requires precise timing when researching economic technologies to have an advantage over the opponent. This means the Burgundians will need to boom to have a significant advantage over their opponent and research economic technologies in the right time.
When playing with the Burgundians, timing is essential. They can in theory start the game by researching Wheelbarrow, but that is not recomended, since it takes a long time to research that its better spent creating Villagers. In order to get the most benefit of the early economic technologies, the player must have a plan in mind beforehand and research those technologies when they can optimally make use of their effects. Normally, a player with Burgundians must research Double-Bit Axe first, since taking wood early in the Dark Age will enable them to create buildings and Farms earlier; Wheelbarrow may be researched in some circumstances (not all) when the player has at least 23 population; and Horse Collar, and Gold Mining should be researched once the player is advancing to the Feudal Age. Since Stone is not essential for the early economy, Stone Mining and Stone Shaft Mining may be left ignored, unless the player wants to make an unorthodox Tower Rush with the Burgundians. The Burgundians, unlike any other civilization, may delay their advance to the Feudal Age in order to improve their economy.
One of their best strategies is an Economic Boom into Cavalier Rush in Castle Age (unique to Burgundians). For this, once the player is in the Feudal Age, they must research Bow Saw and Heavy Plow as soon as possible. In the case of Hand Cart, it must only be researched if the player has at least 8 Farms already. The player must them create two buildings for Aging up and Stables; and once aging up, research Gold Shaft Mining. Once in the Castle Age, the player must research the Cavalier upgrade as early as possible. Again, when doing all of this, the timing should be optimized. If playing on a team game, the player may also research Caravan in order to get gold early from Trade Carts and Trade Cogs, and if water is available, also research Gillnets for their Fishing Ships.
Burgundians reach their peak in the Castle Age, when they can research all economic technologies and produce Cavaliers or their unique unit the Coustillier. The Coustillier is a heavy cavalry similar to the Knight line, but with a powerful charge attack. This causes their first strike deal a lot more damage than the subsequent attacks, but must be recharged (like Monk's faith) which takes 40 seconds. Coustillier accel at Hit-and-Run tactics, recharging their ability while retreating, or raiding the opponent's economy asthey can kill Villagers in two attacks (one as Elite). Optimal use of the Coustilliers ability requires good timing.
Burgundians and their allies gain small amounts of food passively from Relics in addition to their gold. Their Castle Age unique technology Burgundian Vineyards changes all the food collected into gold in a 2:1 ratio and gives farmers a trickle of gold. This gold can be used for Market interchange for needed goods, and in combination with the food generating Relics, this gives Burgundians an edge in the late game, particularly in "Trash Wars", since they have alternative ways to generate food and gold, unlike most civilizations. It is also recommended to build as many Town Centers as possible in the Castle Age, as the Town Centers can become military production buildings for Flemish Militia in the Imperial Age when Flemish Revolution is researched.
In the Imperial Age, Burgundians can keep on making cavalry raids, but the main game-changer for them is their second unique technology, Flemish Revolution, which upgrades all their existing Villagers into Flemish Militia (which is an infantry similar to a Halberdier) and enables this unit at the Town Center. Burgundians using this technology can finish off an opponent in one massive attack, but alternatively, they can use this for quick defense in case of an emergency or for breaking a stalemate if both players are sustaining a battle with no clear winner. The player must remember to reestablish their economy later. Burgundians in the Imperial Age also have access to attack-boosted gunpowder units, which are a great addition for backing their army at range.
On water maps, Burgundians have few advantages, since their Cannon Galleons' attack is better, but outside of this, the rest of the navy is mediocre at the late game and naval encounters must be avoided.
In update 47820, the Burgundians have their economic technologies cost 50% less food. While the Burgundians are still vulnerable to Dark and Feudal Age rushes, the food discount makes it significantly easier for the Burgundians to boom and hit their powerspikes earlier than their opponent. It is possible to boom up into the Castle Age and transition into their Cavalier rush in 15 minutes. In addition, the Burgundian Vineyards unique technology now only converts half of the food stockpile into gold instead of their entire food stockpile, and farmers generate even more gold from Farms. Their team bonus has also been buffed where the food generation is equal to that of Relic gold generation, making them more viable in team games. The Flemish Militia bonus damage is also nerfed, but they are nonetheless still a strong well-rounded infantry unit.
With the food discount of economic technologies in mind, it is now possible for Burgundians to make a starting build order like this: Town Center creates one Villager, researches Loom, then creates another two Villagers. Villager 1 gathers food from Sheep, the second Villager gathers 10 wood, then gathers Sheep, and the third Villager creates a House and a Lumber Camp. Immediately research Double-bit Axe, then create the second House and return to gathering wood. With this start build order, the player will be able to sustain wood economy with just one Villager until they have at least 12 Villagers (11 working on food and the lumberjack). From that point, the player may add more lumberjacks, then create a Mining Camp for gold and a Mill and research the technologies on those buildings. Another build order that can be made due to this change which is more viable in closed maps like Arena is basically do the same but instead make two Houses and two Villagers early; make one Villager , research Wheelbarrow, Loom and Double bit Axe, use two Villagers for gathering 25 wood for making the first House, then place one of them on food while the remaining lumberjack repeats a cicle of collecting wood then make a House (since in this build order, the player exhausts the wood stockpile). When finishing to research the Town Center technologies, start to make more Villagers, which will be already improved; while this second startup has a time cost and will require manual drop off of resources, since Wheelbarrow occupies the same time of researching as creating three Villagers, these early improvements will start to pay of even before the player clicks on the Feudal Age.
Burgundians are an interesting case in team games. They can be played as a Springboard or as a Spring on Springboard tactics, due to their early access to economic upgrades and access to heavy cavalry and gunpowder. It is preferable that they stay in the pocket position in order to perform an economic boom and use their resource surplus for paying tribute to their allies.
As a cavalry-oriented civilization, Burgundians benefit greatly from team bonuses that boost cavalry, and particularly the Knight-line units. The Hunnic team bonus will add creation speed to the stable, enabling the Burgundians to spawn their Cavaliers abd Paladins even faster. The Persian team bonus is also helpful, as this furthers the capabilities of the Paladin when facing archers. The Frankish Team bonus increases the Line of Sight of the early Burgundian Cavaliers and their Paladins. If facing a gold shortage while battling hostile archer-based civilizations,the anti-archer bonus for friendly Hussars from Polish teammates can be a practical gold-free countermeasure.
The Paladin is a common target for Monks, since it lacks the conversion resistance that other cavalry units feature, while also being a powerful unit by itself, so having a Teuton as an ally is good, since Paladins are the backbone of any Burgundian army. The same applies to the Coustillieur.
Burgundians also benefit from economic team bonuses in regards to the farm production, as they already have early access to farm upgrades, Wheelbarrow, and Hand Cart. The Inca team bonus enables them to create farms faster (and also, the Burgundians can cover the Incas' lack of cavalry), and the Chinese team bonus adds more food for each farm. Considering Burgundians can research their economic technologies an age earlier, having a Bohemian teammate will allow the Burgundian player to get all Market technologies even faster and earlier, as Bohemians provide better workrate for Markets as their team bonus.
Burgundian also benefit from team bonuses that encourage the use of gunpowder units, The Turks' team bonus is probably the most useful for creating those units faster, the Briton and Celtic team bonus also increases creation speed for Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons, respectively.
The Burgundian team bonus (Relics generate food alongside the gold) is a bonus that is particularly useful in combination with other bonuses regarding Relics. The Aztec (Relics generate more gold) and Burmese team bonus (Relics visible since the start of the match) synergize nicely. The Relic bonus of the Burgundians is useful to all civilizations, but probably the most favored from this (alongside Aztecs and Burmese) are the Lithuanians (since each Relic grants +1 attack for their heavy cavalry, maximum +4) and Indians (the Sultans technology increases gold production, including Relics).
Berbers may not be an obvious option, but since the two unique technologies of the Burgundians may rely on good timing, Kasbah may help to use Flemish Revolution and Burgundian Vineyards on time. Also, Genitours fit well into the cavalry-oriented army of the Burgundians, despite being unable to fully upgrade them.
Compared advantages and disadvantages
Advantages vs other civilizations
Disadvantages vs other civilizations
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