Short version up top for those that don't want to read and my reasoning (right or wrong you decide) for why.


Convert offense specs to elites
Spreads/Immune to plague
No food required
+1 to offense specialist

Basic thievery only
-1 to defense specialist
Can not train Elites

Elite - 3/7 9 NW
Racial spells : *Animate Dead (change below), Chasity

For ages undead is basically the 'other orc', in that they both will have high offense rates and low defensive values. Each age though it's either one or the other for the high damage stat depending on the negatives. Either becomes nerfed/gutted so that the other looks more viable. Why not change the formula around? Undead are the 'must attack' race to get valuable units in return for not being able to create said units. They also have substantial penalties due to a freed up building slot and great on hits passives. For the last few ages ever since Dark elves came into being, a few of us were playing a 'different' undead. Much more fun and satisfying where offense turns into defense. Has it's significant downsides (losing 1k+ offense due to deaths and conversion) but has the mentality of "build only offense and thieves."

Every age since then there has been a race that could do similar, with the past two ages being humans. Why not shift it straight to the undead totally then? Now instead of 2 'high damage' races, orcs are the ones who builds those high damage elites and undead has the mentality of 'only build offense' with the price that the elites can NOT be bought. Even after a war you'll be only able to build the inferior defense specs. This keeps them in check. For any that think this wouldn't keep them in check, humans have been able to do the same the last 2 ages and have been perfectly fine and they've been able to build those elites. You're removing the need for a personality for the build, opening up a plethora of options and play styles, and they have specific weaknesses that can be exploited.

*As for the spell change to animate dead, right now the spell just raises a few on defense. Any province that is being gutted by negative ops have the option (whether you can do it successfully or not) to attempt to kidnap some of your peasantry back. Due to their racial, undead can not so once gutted without aid they are the only ones that can't try and replenish themselves this way. Animate dead would then become similar to, but not exactly, magical propaganda. It's a fireball type spell, targeting peasantry that does damage half as much as one but insteads 'converts' some of the targets peasants into undead peasants that shamble to you. Ergo a 100 damage Animate Dead would be: "Our dark magic has slain 100 peasants, but only 50 have arisen and returned to us."

Flavorful and opens options. Humans can go to being whatever you wish them to be, or even the economic power they used to be. We'd also stop some more powercreep to just having more offense on both races and orcs can be balance in whatever way you wish (or you can make that dryad/orc lovechild) and still keep a bit of balance in it. That is my opinion but I'd love to hear any devs and more wise players in comments for/against anything in here.

Thanks for reading if you've gotten this far. *bows*