The basic strategy of the Indians focuses on the economy, and in a powerful cavalry and gunpowder units.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Indians are one of the best civilizations in the late game, and excel at booming due to their cheaper villagers. Their first unique technology, Sultans, boosts gold income by 10%, which is especially useful when in possession of Relics and/or trading with allies. In maps with water and lots of nearby shore fish, Indians can boost their economy with their shorefishing bonus instead of making fishing ships in early game, as their civilization bonus allows their fishermen to fish +10% faster. They also have almost every economic upgrade, lacking only Crop Rotation.
The Indians possess the strongest camels in the game as their civilization bonuses provide extra armor and extra damage against buildings. In addition, they are the only civilization able to research the Imperial Camel Rider upgrade, which can fulfil the role of the Paladin, making Indian camels useful for raids or frontal battles, instead of just for countering cavalry. The Indians can also field an army of archers in support, since they only lack Ring Archer Armor. Their unique unit, the Elephant Archer, is a powerful and durable ranged unit, which is good against other archers. Their second unique technology is Shatagni, which improves the range of Hand Cannoneers, countering Infantry from afar..
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
The Indians lack Knights; their powerful Camels can somewhat compensate for this, but Camels are not a perfect substitute for the Knight line, as Camels 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 armour also tends to make the Indian Camel worse against mass crossbows.
Much like the Persians, the Indians also lack Heresy, meaning their more expensive units, the Elephant Archers and Imperial Camels, are very vulnerable to conversion.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Indians 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, an Indian player should consider a scout rush in the Feudal Age. The cheaper villagers allow for scout production while maintaining steady villager production. Camels 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 camels do.
An Indian player must 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, Indians fare best on maps with high wood content.
Indian armies should primarily consist of Imperial Camels and Hand Cannoneers, which are an incredibly effective combination with all applicable technologies researched. Imperial Camels practically eat through cavalry, while Hand Cannoneers can easily deal with infantry that would otherwise trouble Camels in large quantities. Elephant Archers can be occasionally mixed in to help soak up arrow fire and deal with enemy Archers. It is not advisable to go overboard on Elephants though, as they have relatively low damage output and are too costly and large to mass effectively (in addition, the Elephant Archer is susceptible to being converted by enemy Monks), so the Elephants Archer's role is to support the troops and must be treated as a movable tower that can be healed. Bombard Cannons should be the Siege Engine of choice, except in cases where Trebuchets are preferred.
When forced to go defensive, Imperial Camels 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 must use them.
On the water, Indians miss out on Shipwright and Fast Fire Ship, so the player must try to avoid mass Galleon wars. Their villager shore fishing bonus helps a bit on water maps, allowing for Indian players to delay a little the mass creation of Fishing Ships, thus saving some wood.
Strategy changes in The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]
Their Villager cost bonus is now increased by 5% and they now receive Guilds, making the Indian economy more solid and enabling for them to better perform their boom.
The Elephant Archer and its Elite counterpart received a tweak in their stats for balancing purposes, but still have their tactical place as a tanking unit and archer good against other archers, due to their hit points and armor. In addition, their cost is reduced to 100 food 80 gold, making them slightly easier to amass. Also, they receive Ring Archer Armor, so their archers are more valuable, including the Hand Cannoneer.
Camels are no longer considered ships by the game, which also applies to the Imperial Camel, making them a formidable raiding unit and a more practical replacement for the Knight for the Indians, as they will have less to worry about enemy towers and Castles. However, they still suffer from small bonus damage, so while stronger than before, they still are not as resilient under building fire as their Knight-line counterparts.
Strategy changes in Rise of the Rajas[edit | edit source]
In patch 5.5, the Arbalester tech was removed from the Indians. This is meant to balance out their Villager discount economic bonus and to discourage players from going for an archer rush (since the Indians don't have access to Knights, an archer rush allowed them to easily transition into the early Imperial Age, where the player can upgrade any archers from the Feudal and Castle Age into Arbalests, and the archer line itself is more cost effective than Hand Cannoneers in most situations). This discourages the Indians from going for an archer rush and instead put more focus on their late-game units, such as Elephant Archers, Imperial Camels, and Hand Cannoneers.
In addition, patch 5.7 lets the Spearman line deal more damage against Camels. This puts the Indians at a significant disadvantage against civilizations with strong infantry lines, such as Goths, Japanese, Slavs, and Burmese, as the Indians are heavily dependent on their Imperial Camels in the late-game, due to the lack of access to the Knight line as their main front-line cavalry unit.
Strategy changes in the Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]
Indians received, like all civilzations, the new technology Supplies, which synergizes very well with their cheaper Villagers and gives them a good choice to use swordsmen to protect their strong Camel Riders against Halberdiers.
In update 36906, Indians got their fishermen bonus reduced to 10%, and their extra food carried was removed. This was intended to prevent abuse of the new mechanic of Docks as dropsite for fishermen, as well as wanting more diversity of civilizations in maps where shore fish are abundant (Because Indians were always picked in that maps).
Update 37650 reduced the gold cost of the Elephant Archer to 70 and their reload time of attacks to 2,0. This made them more efficient with the Sultans technology and even firing as fast as Arbalests or Cavalry Archers, and thus being able to defend themselves better against Halberdiers and other ranged units. Their team bonus was also improved to properly deal damage against all buildings and no longer being blocked by Masonry or Architecture upgrades, making their camels even more effective against buildings.
In update 42848, several changes were made for their main bonuses of camel units; the extra pierce armor granted to only Camel Riders now includes Light Cavalry and is extended to +2 in the Imperial Age, but at the cost of losing Plate Barding Armor. This makes their Light Cavalry a strong unit to raid in the Castle Age and to fight off archers backed by their cheaper Villagers and their Camel Riders like always, but in the Imperial Age, the pierce armor of both Hussars and Imperial Camels is the same as other civilizations with Plate Barding Armor, while their melee armor is lower, meaning that both are more prone to units with high melee attack (For example, a Lithuanian Paladin with all 4 Relics collected can deal 20 damage to the Imperial Camel). However, this has little impact to the Imperial Camel, as they are already a deadly unit to any cavalry unit, but also more prone to infantry. The team bonus was reduced to 4, which makes them less effective against buildings. All of these changes had the purpose to balance team games, because the Imperial Camel can completely destroy the enemy Paladins from the pocket positions and being able to survive a long time against arrows and even kill archers due to their speed, giving to their team a huge advantage and viewed as a totally unbalanced unit.
Alliances[edit | edit source]
Largely considered a booming civilization, Indians excel in pocket position and as the spring in a Springboard 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 camels 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 must 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. Indians are perfect as both Springs and Springboards in Springboard tactics, as they have a solid economy and great Castle and Imperial Age units and tech tree.
As a teammate, Indians provide allied Camels with +4 attack bonus to buildings. This bonus is helpful for civilizations that have access to Camels, but more especially for civilizations that have specific Camel bonuses and unique upgrades, like the Berbers, Malians, Saracens, and Byzantines. This team bonus is useless to civilizations that don't have Camels.
Indians benefit greatly from the Turkish team bonus that boosts the production of gunpowder units, the Spanish team bonus that improves the gold production from trade units, the Aztec team bonus for the Relics (these two last cases add more gold when researching Sultans), the Burgundian team bonus (Relics generate food alongside the gold they would normally provide), the Burmese team bonus (they reveal the locations of relics for their allies, and considering Indians to be a gold hungry faction relics, aid in that regard), and bonuses that improve or are supportive to their Elephant Archer,such as the Teutonic team bonus (making this unit less vulnerable to conversion) and Byzantine team bonus (allows to monks to heal faster, furthering the lifespan of a unit like the Elephant Archer even more). Also the Britons' team bonus, the Hun team bonus and the Celt team bonus help the Indians to faster spawn their Hand Cannoneers, Imperial Camels and Bombard Cannons, respectively.
The Vietnamese and Sicilians, by Paper Money and Scutage, grant a decent bankroll for Indian players for extra camels, elephant archers or gunpowder units. Besides, Imperial Skirmishers from the Vietnamese team bonus can even screen Indian camels and elephants from enemy spear units.
Compared advantages and disadvantages[edit | edit source]
Advantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Disadvantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Situational advantages[edit | edit source]