- Common abilities:
- Deals bombard-type damage, effective against District defenses.
- -17 Bombard Strength against land units.
- Special abilities:
- Can move and attack on the same turn.
- Exerts zone of control.
- Special traits:
In the game where everyone is striving to go as wide as possible, there are two civilizations that favor building a tall empire: the Khmer and the Maya. Nevertheless, the key difference between these two civilizations is that the Maya is punished for going wide while the Khmer isn't. Having small satellite cities as does not slow down any progress of the Khmer, as these cities still provide Faith as long as they build Aqueducts and Holy Sites, and Culture from the Prasat, and they come with free Amenities from Aqueducts and the River Goddess pantheon to sustain themselves. For that reason, if the Khmer feels the need to claim more space, they have the Domrey, the only unique siege unit in the game. The Domrey are unlocked with Military Engineering which just happens to be boosted by your Aqueducts that you will build within your cities.
The Domrey isn't as clunky as a typical siege unit, since it can move and shoot in the same turn from the get-go without any requirement. Also, it exerts zone of control, which means that three of them can place a city under siege, unless the City Center is next to a water tile, or there is a river involved to complicate the matter. Two to three Domrey, together with some melee or cavalry units to back them up, can quickly punch through medieval city defenses, allowing their user to expand their empire through conquest in the middle stages of the game.
Unfortunately, as one would expect, this unit does not come without its own downside. First and foremost, the fact that the only unique siege unit in the game belongs to a civilization without any bonuses towards war is perplexing. If you want to use your unique unit, which is quite strong, you always have to go out of your way and shift the current focus of your empire from infrastructure to building an army. Furthermore, without other bonuses that help you win the wars, the outcomes of your aggression depends a lot on who is your neighbor and how underprepared they are. Not to mention, since this is a siege unit, there are no policy cards to aid in building an army of them any faster, which means if your conquest doesn't result in anything, you now just waste a lot of Production on units that are borderline useless (siege units, being slow, unwieldy and have penalties towards attacking units, cannot be used for defense in any situations). The Khmer are a civilization that already has trouble with Production since they require a lot of infrastructure pieces (Holy Sites, Aqueducts, etc.) to utilize their bonuses, so the Domrey is strong yet hard to use in a lot of situations. You should focus Production to build this unit en masse only if your neighbors are civilizations without significant defensive bonuses or have very small armies. Otherwise, if you just want a regular game aiming for a Cultural Victory with a Religious Victory backup, there isn't much justification for building a lot of Domrey.
This unit can be slightly better in combination with the Grand Master's Chapel. The Khmer have strong bonuses to their Faith output, meaning that they can utilize this building to quickly amass multiple Domrey and a supportive army by purchasing them with Faith. Pair this with Theocracy to make said purchases cheaper, as well as gaining extra Faith from cities with Governors to spend on more units. Again, deciding whether or not you should use this unit depends a lot on individual games, random factors (such as who your neighbors are, how much territory you already own and if you need any more, how ideal your starting location is, etc) should be considered before you pour resources into this unit. Otherwise, if you don't have any intention to go to war, it should only act like a source of 4 Era Score.
If there aren't enough horses for your cavalry, why not use the mighty elephant to crush and terrify your enemies?
The Khmer joined a long tradition of employing war elephants in their military campaigns. Research suggests that the Indians first used elephants in their military campaigns around 1,100 BCE, tuning what was at that point a farming helper animal and turning its 12,000 pounds of might into sound and terror for their opponents on the battlefield (at least until the invention of gunpowder evened the odds).
The mount of kings, military leaders would ride elephants into the battlefield, using their lines to stampede through enemy forces.
Khmer riders would use the precision of double crossbows to supplement the raw power of their elephants. However this domrey variant adds a bit more sheer force with a mounted ballista to impale the bold soldier not wise enough to run away.
- Domrey simply means "elephant" in Khmer (ដំរី).