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The basic strategy of the Hindustanis focuses on the economy, and in a powerful Camel Riders and gunpowder units, supported by their unique unit.


Hindustanis are one of the best civilizations in the late game, and excel at booming due to their cheaper Villagers. Their first unique technology, Grand Trunk Road, boosts gold income by 10%, which is especially useful when in possession of Relics and/or trading with allies. They also have almost every economic upgrade, lacking only Crop Rotation.

The Hindustanis possess one of the strongest Camel Riders in the game, as their civilization bonuses provide extra attack speed and extra damage against buildings. In addition, they have the unique Imperial Camel Rider upgrade, adding extra power to the punch. The Hindustanis can also field a strong army of archers in support, since they have all archer technologies available (except the Arbalester upgrade and Parthian Tactics). Their unique unit, the Ghulam, is a fast and durable infantry unit, which is good against archers, especially when they are packed in a tight formation, because of the Ghulam's ability to hit multiple targets. They also receive +1 melee and pierce armor on their gunpowder units, and their second unique technology is Shatagni, which improves the range of Hand Cannoneers. Therefore, in the Imperial Age, they have a strong unit to counter each of the three basic military unit types: the Imperial Camel Rider for cavalry, the Ghulam for archers, and the Hand Cannoneer for infantry. Countering siege units is a cakewalk, since any of Imperial Camel Riders, Ghulams, Hussars, and Bombard Cannons can be used.

The Hindustanis have a decent siege as well. While they do not get the Siege Onager or Heavy Scorpion, they have fully upgraded Trebuchets, Bombard Cannons, and Siege Elephants. Their Bombard Cannons have extra armor, protecting them against attacks from enemy cavalry.


The Hindustanis lack Knights; their powerful Camel Riders can somewhat compensate for this, but Camel Riders are not a perfect substitute for the Knight line, as Camel Riders lack the damage potential that knights possess, which in turn makes them more susceptible to counters for the Knight-line like Monks and Pikemen. The difference of two less pierce armor also tends to make the Hindustani Camel worse against massed archers.

Their defense is somewhat lacking as they cannot research Architecture, and do not get Keeps or Bombard Towers.

Much like the Persians, the Hindustanis also lack Heresy, meaning that their more expensive units, Imperial Camel Riders, are vulnerable to conversion.


Hindustanis should always focus on getting to the Imperial Age and booming as fast as possible. Almost all of their strengths are Post-Imperial Age bonuses. To do this, a Hindustani player should consider a drush or a Scout rush in the Feudal Age. The cheaper Villagers allow for Scout Cavalry production while maintaining steady Villager production. Camel Riders can be considered in the Castle Age, but archers are a safer option, as they do not suffer from more damage from defensive buildings like Camel Riders do.

A Hindustani player should continuously create Villagers into the Imperial Age to make the most use from their civilization bonus. The optimal amount of Villagers for late-game is one half of the total population. In a 200 population game, this means by late-game, the player should have 100 Villagers, in a 300 population game 150 Villagers, and so on. Lacking Crop Rotation, the Hindustanis fare best on maps with high wood content.

Hindustani armies should primarily consist of Imperial Camel Riders and Hand Cannoneers, which are an incredibly effective combination with all applicable technologies researched. Imperial Camel Riders practically eat through cavalry, while Hand Cannoneers can easily deal with infantry that would otherwise trouble Camel Riders in large quantities. Ghulams should be mixed in to help soak up arrow fire and counter enemy Archers, given that they perform a similar role to the Huskarl. Bombard Cannons should be the Siege Engine of choice, except in cases where Trebuchets are preferred.

The Ghulam is an infantry with good pierce armor and movement speed with attack bonus against archers, and its attack can damage the unit behind its main target, which makes them an excellent response against masses of archers. This attack mechanic can be compared to the Inca Kamayuk, but in the Ghulam's case, they lack range, and for the attack effect to take place, they need to have two units aligned one behind the other.

Their team bonus gives +2 attack vs building to the Camel Riders and Light Cavalry line. This change is very significant, especially for the early game, since Hindustanis are better able to do a Feudal Age Scout Cavalry rush, in which they can now tear down some early buildings; this change also enables Hindustanis to have more and better team synergies (see Alliances).

When forced to go defensive, Imperial Camel Riders are excellent for dealing with Paladins, which are one of the more common attacking units. Again, Hand Cannoneers easily deal with enemy infantry, so the player should use them.

On the water, the Hindustanis miss out on Shipwright and Fast Fire Ship, so the player should try to avoid mass Galleon wars.

They have the Siege Elephant, in replacement for rams. Siege Elephants are treated by the game as a cavalry unit rather than a siege weapon, with all that implies, except they benefit from Siege Engineers also. However, like rams, an enemy Monk has to be next to it to convert it. Siege Elephants with Husbandry move faster than rams.

In regards to their gunpowder units, now they have +1/+1 armor and Shatagni gives +2 more range to Hand Cannoneers. Their ranged siege weapon of choice should be now the Bombard Cannon, as they are slightly more resilient than others, and their Hand Cannoneers are more resilient while having more range.

They also share the regional building, the Caravanserai, with the Persians. The Caravanserai heals and increases the movement speed of allied Trade Carts (see alliances).

However, the Hindustanis navy power have been greatly nerfed, as they do not have access to Heavy Demolition Ships, Dry Dock. and Heated Shot. This cannot be compensated by the more armored Cannon Galleons.

In update 87863, the Hindustanis lost access to Guilds, but that is meant to offset the new effect of Grand Trunk Road, which is reducing the Market trading fee to 10% (being the middle point of Guilds and the Saracen civilization bonus), so Hindustanis can also use the Market more effectively.


Largely considered a booming civilization, the Hindustanis excel in pocket position and as the spring in a Sling strategy. This does NOT mean that they function poorly in a 1v1 situation. Cheaper Villagers mean more food in the bank to spend on scouts in the Feudal Age and their powerful Camel Riders in the Castle Age.

In team games, a standard Fast Castle often isn't the wisest idea, as it leaves the economy short of where it could be by staying in the Feudal Age a little bit longer. The players should get the resources and spare Villagers to quickly build the required structures to advance to the Imperial Age while waiting for the Castle Age, and enough spare resources before advancing to the Castle Age that the Imperial Age is affordable immediately after Castle Age research is complete and the required buildings built. It's important to not try to age up too fast, otherwise the player may end up economically deficient. Hindustanis are perfect as both Springs and Slings in Sling tactics, as they have a solid economy and great Castle and Imperial Age units and tech tree.

As a teammate, the Hindustanis provide allied camel units (Camel Riders, Mamelukes, Camel Archers, and even Flaming Camels) and light cavalry units (Scout Cavalry line, Steppe Lancers, Magyar Huszars, Shrivamsha Riders) +2 attack bonus against standard buildings. This bonus is helpful for civilizations that have access to camel units, but more especially for civilizations that have specific camel and or light cavalry bonuses and unique units/upgrades, like the Berbers, Malians, Saracens, Gurjaras, and Byzantines for the former and Poles, Mongols, Huns, Burmese, and Tatars for the latter; Poles and Mongols also provide team bonuses for Light Cavalry (+1 attack vs archers and +2 LOS respectively) so is a good idea to make a team including these three civilizations. The same logic applies to the Gurjaras (team bonus: faster training speed for elephant and camel units) and Huns (Stables work faster). The Hindustani team bonus is useless to Native American civilizations.

Hindustanis technically have a secondary team bonus in the form of their unique building, the Caravanserai. The Caravanserai is a building that improves the movement speed of allied Trade Carts while also heals them within eight tiles distance from any edge of the building. This can boost gold generation for all the team, not just the Hindustanis; and this bonus can stack up with the Spanish team bonus that improves the gold production from trade units, the Bohemian team bonus that improves the work rate of the Market, so Trade Carts are created faster, and the Bengali team bonus which enables trade units to generate food alongside gold. Indeed, a team that contains all of these four civilizations may arguably have the best trade of all the game. Caravanserais may also prove valuable for other civilizations with their own trade bonuses, such as Saracens and Italians. Caravanserais are an investment, so the team should protect those buildings.

Being a food-and-gold-hungry faction; Hindustanis benefit greatly from team bonuses regarding Relics, especially since their unique technology Grand Trunk Road increases all gold collection by 10%. In this regard, the Aztec team bonus (more Relic gold), the Burgundian team bonus (Relics generate food alongside gold) and the Burmese team bonus (they reveal the locations of Relics for their allies) have to be considered when forming the team.

Being a civilization with bonuses for gunpowder, the Hindustanis benefit greatly from the Turkish team bonus that boosts the production of gunpowder units. Also the Britons' team bonus, and the Celt team bonus help the Hindustanis to faster spawn their Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons, respectively.

Compared advantages and disadvantages[]

Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • As Hindustanis have several bonuses for Camel Riders (+2 attack vs buildings and faster attack) and can upgrade them to the Imperial Camel Riders, they can effectively counter any cavalry based army, so civilizations that may rely on cavalry, elephants or mounted archers (like Franks, Magyars, Burmese, Khmer, Persians, Mongols and Huns) will have a hard time against Hindustanis, especially in the early Imperial Age. The Byzantine Cataphract and the Sicilian Knight line (the latter to some extent) are the exceptions since they resist anti-cavalry attacks. Hindustanis also have almost complete upgrades for Cavalry Archers, so they can raid effectively in the mid-game with armies composed of Camel Riders and Cavalry Archers. Civilizations with regular mid-game (such as Spanish) may have a hard time against them.
  • As they have good Hand Cannoneers, they can effectively counter almost any kind of infantry (except Italian Condottieri; see in disadvantages), particularly in the late-game, so civilizations like Aztecs, Goths, Celts, and Vikings may struggle against a late-game Hindustanis Army composed of Hand Cannoneers.
  • As they have almost all Militia-related upgrades (only lacking the last armor upgrade at Blacksmith), their Champions may aid against trashing civilizations such as Magyars, Berbers, Vietnamese, Malay and Byzantines, and against Eagle Warrior civilizations.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • Since they completely lack the Knight line, while focusing primarily on Camel Riders as the mobile unit. Since towers and Castles still deal bonus damage against them, so civilizations with good towers and/or Castles (like Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Incas and Teutons) can counter a Hindustani raid effectively.
  • Italians can be a very unpleasant rival for Hindustanis. First of all, they have Condottieri that can counter both Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons, and even Ghulams to an extent. Secondly, their Genoese Crossbowmen can counter Camel Riders and Hussars.
  • Regarding naval, they lack Dry Dock, Shipwright, Heavy Demolition Ship and the Fast Fire Ship upgrades, so they lose at late-game against civilizations with either access to those technologies or that have cheaper boats (like the Vikings), or civilizations with late game sustainable economy (like the Malay and Portuguese). Since they don't get any naval bonus, apart from their extra armor on Cannon Galleons, the Hindustanis struggle to keep up with most naval focused civilization. They only have a chance in the early game due to cheaper Villagers.

Situational advantages[]

  • Hindustanis completely negate the Native American civilizations as soon as they get a Castle, since the Ghulam counters both Eagle Warriors and foot archers, which is usually the backbone of their army. Their Camel Riders are not entirely hopeless as other civilizations' because extra attack speed is useful, but they are nowhere close to Knights when countering Eagles.
  • As they have bonuses for gunpowder and Camel Riders, and a light infantry unique unit, and a strong Imperial Age economy, the Hindustanis are well suited for Post-Imperial Matches.
  • In Death Matches, as Gold scarcity is not an issue, they can more freely spam their Imperial Camel Riders and gunpowder units.
  • In the Budapest map, as every player starts with 2 Town Centers, the Hindustanis may get an edge, since their Villagers are cheaper, so they can boom their economy much faster in that map. Their Villager discount bonus may also aid in low-resource settings, as they aren't as constricted on food for producing Villagers as other civilizations may be. As the Villager discount bonus is stacked, if Hindustanis start on Feudal Age onwards they can get more out of this particular bonus.
  • Similarly to Turks, if playing in maps with rich gold deposits (such as Golden Pit or Gold Rush), the Hindustanis should go and take over the mines, as thanks to Grand Trunk Road, they can gather that gold 10% faster so they may neglect to their opponents getting that gold.
  • As any other late-game civilization, the Hindustanis may take an advantage in densely forested maps such as Black Forest, as they can wall up early, then develop their economy and then attack. The same logic applies to maps like Arena and Fortress, in which players starts already walled.
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