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Heavy camel
The basic strategy of the Indians focuses on the economy, and in a powerful cavalry and gunpowder units.

StrengthsEdit

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 +15% faster and carry +15 more food. 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 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 Cannoneer, allowing them to shoot first and ask questions never.

WeaknessesEdit

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 one less pierce armour also tends to make the Indian Camel worse against mass crossbows. 

They also have weak siege weapons as they do not have the Siege Onager, Siege Ram, or Heavy Scorpion, relying mainly on the Trebuchet and Bombard Cannon.

Their defense is also somewhat lacking as they can not research Architecture. In addition they lack the Keep upgrade and cannot build Bombard Towers.

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

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. 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 KingdomsEdit

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

In patch 5.5, the Arbalest 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.

Alliances Edit

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 +6 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 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 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, by Paper Money, grants a decent bankroll for Indian player for extra camels, elephant archers or gunpowder units. Besides, Imperial Skirmishers from their team bonus can even screen Indian camels and elephants from enemy spear units.

Compared advantages and disadvantages Edit

Advantages vs other civilizationsEdit

  • The Elephant Archer, being a cavalry archer with the tankiness of an elephant and attack bonus vs buildings, can counter most pierce attack units (such as Arbalests, Cavalry Archers, Scorpions, Hand Cannoneers, Briton Longbowmen, Chinese Chu Ko Nu, Mayan Plumed Archers, Mongol Mangudais, Korean War Wagons, etc.). Civilizations reliant on archers (like Britons and Mayans) or cavalry archers (like Huns, Mongols, and Magyars) may have a hard time against armies of Elephant Archers, especially if they don't make use of Skirmishers. Elephant Archers also are a good asset against enemy buildings, thanks to their tankiness and attack bonus, so civilizations like Huns, Mongols, Goth and Magyars who lacks good defense will struggle against an Indian elephant army, especially if supported by Bombard Cannons.
  • As Indians have several bonuses for Camels (+6 attack vs buildings and +1/+1 armor) and can upgrade them to the Imperial Camel, they can effectively counter any cavalry based army, so civilizations that may rely on cavalry, Elephants or Cavalry archers (like Franks, Magyars, Burmese, Khmer, Persians, Mongols and Huns) will have a hard time against Indians, especially in the early Imperial Age. Indians also have complete upgrades for Cavalry Archers, so they can raid effectively in the mid-game with armies composed of Camels and Cavalry Archers, so civilizations with regular mid.game (such as Spanish) may have a hard time against them.
  • As they have a great late-game economy, thanks to Sultans and their cheaper villagers, while also having 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 Indian Army composed of Hand Cannoneers.
  • As they have almost all Infantry upgrades (only lacking the last armor upgrade at Blacksmith) they have good Champions that may aid against trashing civilizations such as Magyars, Berbers, Vietnamese, Malay, and Byzantines. Also, their Halberdiers add more anti-cavalry capacity to their army, considering they also have great camelry.
  • Indians have all upgrades for Hussars and Skirmishers and only lack the last armory upgrade for infantry, so they have a fairly good trash army late-game. Civilizations with bad trash units or that lack champions will have a harder time in the super-late-game against Indians.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations Edit

  • Despite the tankiness of the Elephant Archers, this unit has several drawbacks, for various reasons. First of all, it falls in 5 armor class categories, so there are many ways to counter them. The most obvious counters for this unit are Skirmishers (which deal bonus damage against any cavalry archer) and Halberdiers, so any civilization with either good Skirmishers or Halberdiers can easily deal with them (such as Byzantines). Camels, Incan Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Genitours, and Japanese Samurais are also a threat to them. Secondly, as it is a large target with low conversion resistance and slow movement speed, they can be easily converted by monks, so civilizations with good monks (like Spanish, Slavs, Aztecs and Burmese) may amass an Elephant archer army on their own, especially if the Indian player doesn't make use of light cavalry to counter Monks. With that in mind, Elephant Archers should always be deployed with an escort.
  • Since they completely lack the Knight line, and despite the fact that their camels may fill to some extent that role, 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 an Indian raid effectively.
  • They have lackluster defenses and poor early-game, so civilizations with either early aggression (such as Huns and Aztecs) or civilizations with good siege units (such as Ethiopians or Celts) may destroy an Indian town with ease, especially in open maps like Arabia and if starting from Dark Age.
  • Italians can be a very unpleasant rival for Indians. First of all, they have Condottieri that can counter both Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons. Secondly, their Genoese Crossbowmen can counter Camels and Elephant Archers.
  • Mayans, Incas and Aztecs have Eagle Warriors that can effectively counter Camels, Bombard Cannons, Cavalry Archers, and Elephant Archers, thanks to their speed and pierce armor, as well as having bonus damage against cavalry, siege and camels.
  • Regarding naval, they lack the Shipwright and the Fast Fire Ship upgrades, so they may 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, aside of their fishermen working faster, they can be easily defeated by civilizations such as Berbers, Malay, Portuguese, Italians and Vikings in water maps.

Situational advantages Edit

  • As they have bonuses for gunpowder and camels, a tanky unique unit, and a strong Imperial Age economy, Indians are well suited for Post-Imperial Matches.
  • In Death Matches, as Gold scarcity is not an issue, they can more freely spam their Elephant Archers, Camels and Gunpowder units.
  • In the Budapest map, as every player starts with 2 Town Centers, Indians 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 Indians 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) Indians should go and take over the mines, as thanks to Sultans, they can gather that gold 10% faster so they may neglect to their opponents getting that gold.
  • As any other late-game civilization, Indians 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.
  • Their fishermen bonus not only aids on island maps, river maps or lake maps, but it is also highly valuable in amphibious maps (especially those featured in "Rise of the Rajas") and especially if there is plenty of shorefish. In "Water Nomad" they must pick a location with plenty of shorefish.
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