More specialisation for culture troop trees

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Basically I would like to see the troops of each culture have different strengths and weaknesses depending on what that culture is meant to be good at, rather than how generic they are now.

Atm there is a little variation in which troop trees excel at what, but it is typically because of that unit's equipment being slightly better or because of the upgrade options in the troop tree, not because of skill. Individual units are far too similar to one another, even when one culture is supposed to produce better units. Generally, archers perform like archers unless they're Fian Champions, infantry is infantry, etc. It'd be nice if some archers performed well at range but helpless in melee, whereas some perform worse at range but are fairly robust in melee (e.g. aside from fians, sharpshooters are probably the best at this because of their huge shields).

I've played around with making my own custom troop trees and balancing them - realised it was super fun to have to adapt to specialist units. I actually had to adapt tactics based not just on what %cav/horse-archer/ranged/inf they had, but on what culture units I had.

Examples of proposed specialisms:

  • Battania: they famously prefer to fight on foot, so why is their athletics skill the same as everyone else's? Their main advantage should be high athletics, even on their cavalry men, but should be disadvantaged by low riding skill and mediocre armour. I played around with a similar high athletics theme for my visigoth-inspired troop tree and its was super fun; you weren't super durable but you could attack and retreat quickly, perfect for ambushes and for dealing with cav (the two-handed speedy boi shock trooper was the most entertaining unit). Having mediocre cav with high athletics was also quite an interesting dynamic when they were dismounted or in sieges, as they performed as well as regular foot troops). They could also definitely do with basic unit bowman instead of the wildling or mounted skirmisher, to make up for fians being elite troops (those basic archers should be fast and fragile too).
  • Empire: Mostly seeing this one as the middle-ground and well-rounded as that's how it feels to be styled in the game, but would like if the cataphracts had relatively lower riding skill to make them more heavy cavalry. Would like to see taller menavliotons as well as historically were meant to be strong and sturdy anti-cav troops. Thinking maybe high-armour, lower athletics (opposite of battanians) to fit with their defensive theme.
  • Sturgia: Their T5 infantry is already pretty good, mainly for the line breakers, but I wouldn't complain if their infantry got 1H buffs to make them harder to meet head on with your own infantry. Could also balance it out by weakening their basic cav or archers.
  • Khuzaits: Given their horse archer dominance, their infantry should be the worst in the game, low athletics and one handed. Khuzaits and the Aserai should have the fastest cav in the game really, with offsets in armour and melee skill.
  • Vlandia: Honestly quite like where their troop tree is at atm, except the pikemen (haven't tried them with spear bracing in the game now tho). Should stay top tier melee cav and average inf and ranged.
  • Aserai: Mediocre armour but should have the best skirmishing troops. Replace mamluk axemen with dedicated lightly-armoured jereed troops. Should also have the best skirmisher light cav, in homage to the North African muslim cultures which the Aserai seem to be based on (i.e. Berbers).
To me, this sounds more entertaining than the same unit dressed up in different clothes. All the basic troops seem to perform near identical to similar troop types from different cultures.

What do other people think? Anyone have any of their own suggestions on how to make troop culture matter in a balanced way?
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