8 reasons why the Archer-line is flat out BROKEN

There is a reason, no, many reasons come DE we have casters like Memb refer to Archers as “Siege Onagers” in pretty much every game he casted the entire year.


  1. Near zero lag with server based system implying huge buff to micro intensive units(read: Archer line for most of the game).

  2. Horrible Pathing, which still seems unsolved. This is a perennial issue and is gut-wrenching. For all the units that lost to Archers.

  3. In HD we already had the tendency for half the civs to go for Archer rush and then Crossbow. Many even ignored their supposed area of specialty and went for only the Xbow line as primary army. Because that has always been the optimal play for half the civs , even in HD.

  4. Many UUs are still unused after so many years (most of them melee) of introduction and therefore arguably underpowered. So there is a power vaccuum.

  5. Archer line can now micro against their supposed counters like Mangonels and even Skirms and winn with points 1 and 2 above.

  6. Stacking that is player controlled has always given Archer line specifically unfair advantages(this strategy doesn’t work with skirms)

  7. Longswordsmen have been withheld from any semblance of power or shred of viability in Castle Age, even for completely Infantry specialist civs, meaning even they plan ahead for Crossbows as bulk of their army.

  8. Arbalest of course do the Hand Cannoneer job of clearing out Infantry just as well (faster firing, 100% acc, Ballistics, much cheaper, more range, more HP, less frame delay, less opportunity cost, no techblock, wood(not food) cost etc etc the math works out) for much cheaper, as is discussed in other threads on HC.
    So HC viability is cannibalized by the archer line right from Castle Age itself, that is unless the overpriced HC are buffed in a big way.


The Archer-line is so incredibly OP that it is completely BROKEN. They hard-counter Infantry, hard-counter Light Cavalry and Camels, hard-counter CA and even hold their own against Heavy Cavalry, Skirms and Onagers.

What in the hel is supposed to really counter them?

Xbows are destroying the game right now.

Notice any pattern?

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Saracens - “Camel and Naval civ”
Dark Age -> ArcherEatWall Age -> CrossbowEatTC Age -> ArbalestEatAll Age

Dark Age -> ArcherEatAll Age -> CrossbowEatAll Age -> ArbalestEatAll Age

Incas - “Infantry civ”
Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Japanese - “Infantry civ”
Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Malay - “Infantry and Naval civ”
Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest/Plume Age

Portuguese - “Gunpowder and Naval civ”
Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Vikings - “Infantry civ”
Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Arbalest Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Eagle Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Camel Archer Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> HD: CeltEatTC, DE: XbowEatMangonel Age -> ArbalestEatSO Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Paladin Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> HD: T90Wall, DE: Crossbowman Age -> Goth Spam Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> HD: CA, DE: Crossbowman Age -> Paladin Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> HD: Knight, DE: Crossbowman Age -> Elephant Age

Dark Age -> HD: Tower, DE: Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Tower Age

Dark Age -> HD: Scout, DE: Archer Age -> HD: Knight, DE: Crossbowman Age -> Paladin Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Farimba Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> Mangudai Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Crossbowman Age -> CA/Keshik Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Knight Age -> Paladin/Crossbowman Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Arambai Age

Dark Age -> HD: Scout, DE: Archer Age -> Knight Age -> Paladin Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Camel Age -> Imperial Camel Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Knight Age -> Leitis Age

Dark Age -> HD: Scout, DE: Archer Age -> Knight Age -> Paladin(=Boyar) Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Knight Age -> Paladin Age

Dark Age -> Archer Age -> Jani Age -> OutOfGold Age

Dark Age -> T90Wall Age -> Krepost Age -> iKonnik Age

Dark Age -> T90Wall Age -> Conq Age

This is why Units need to be balanced.

There are MANY reasons for this, not just Pathing.


can i get a source for this? because many people have reported that pathing feels much improved.

whats wrong with that?

lets see the only “ignored” unique units from AoK civs are the War Elephant (who see use in team games and death matches), Samurai (who could def use some love), and Cataphracts (who were expensive and that just got a huge boost too). in AoC civs the Tarkan doesn’t see much 1v1 use but sees use in Death Matches quite a bit, and the Jaguar Warrior sees situational use against the likes of goths and other such situations. in the HD and beyond the only unused UU left unbuffed are the Expensive Elephants.

so your list of Many is in fact - Elephants, Samurai, and a couple unique units who just got buffed. not many.

i want to see an archer beat skirms 1v1. even if they somehow do, i bet they don’t win cost effecitvely overall, as for archers beating mangonel, it requires a lot of control, micro, and precision, all of which SHOULD be rewarded, and this happened even back in HD.

this has no bearing on the power of the archer, and frankly doesn’t matter, as the militia line isn’t supposed to be a unit designed to compete with archers and knights, per descriptions in the tech tree.

The Archer says

Create Archer (Cost: 25W 45G)

Ranged unit. Strong vs. units at long range. Weak vs. Skirmishers and units at close range.

The Milita Line says

Create Militia (Cost: 60F 20G)

All-purpose infantry unit. Strong vs. buildings and infantry. Weak vs. archers at long range.

The Knight Line says

Create Knight (Cost: 60F 75G)

Powerful all-purpose cavalry. Strong vs. infantry and archers. Weak vs. Pikemen, Camel Riders, and Monks.

seems like everything is working as intended. if the Longsword is supposed to compete with Knights and Archers, please show me where in game it says this is supposed to happen, complete with a source.

oh no an archer civ going archers!

lets pretend they don’t mix in a lot of trash to make our argument look better! and ignore that their UU just got buffed!

oh no, an archer civ is going for archers!

a civ with a bonus that lets their archers perform well is going for archers, oh no!

oh no an archer civ is going for archers!

lets pretend they don’t mix in eagles and pikes, no one will notice! nor are they known for going tower rushes/villagers!

oh no, an archer civ is going for archers!

lets pretend they don’t use their trash swordsman line or elephants to make our argument look better! oh and their UU just got buffed, expect more play out of that one.

oh no, an archer civ is going archers.

actually this civ now can basically do whatever it wants. it can open knights or crossbows. but lets pretend they solely stick to archers because it makes my argument look better

oh no an archer civ is going for archers. also lets pretend they don’t use their unique unit!

lets pretend they don’t use berserks!

what else are they supposed to use? that’s all they have.

yes lets pretend they don’t take advantage of their cheap stable units and go for knights or camels!

you must ignore more pro games then you say you watch because all i see is kipchaks from these guys, and knights.

i rarely see goths go archers. something about missing thumb ring

yeah let’s pretend they don’t use cav archers!

again, rarely see archers out of this civ, might be because they miss thumb ring. i do agree they like elephants though!

oh no a civ with an excellent late game archer unique and a wood discount bonus goes for a unit that benefits from both!

i see far more cav archer and cavalry play then archer play from these guys.

yeah lets pretend they don’t go knights in the castle age, or that their infantry aren’t stellar

or knights, or scouts, or cav archers but hey whatever, you already proven you don’t care about the truth so long as you can press an agenda.

again, i see a lot more cav archers from these guys in the castle age.

man its almost like they are taking advantage of their good tech tree!

a civ with a cav archer UU is going to make the transition as seemless as possible? how irresponsible of them!

i want to see this franks going archers as often as you claim. i see scouts more.

yeah, sorry, i rarely see Lithuanians go archers. more often i see them go trash unit in the feudal age, or just rush to castle age for some reason.

Teutons archers in Feudal? i don’t see this too often.

6 games in the last 4 months. 0 times going for archers.

why? because you blatantly stretch the truth, twist words, or outright lie?


wow MatCauthon3, thanks for taking the time to demonstrate with solid arguments that what the guy put up is a complete fallacy, you described each point in detail with a lot of information and sources, this type of comment is appreciated.


The observations I presented in the second part of my post is completely factual, about every civ.

It lists what unit we see each age for the majority of games with that civ.
You know this change if you have seen many pro games from years.

funny, one pro alone proved you wrong in how many videos? and that was just in the past 8 or 9 months tops!
by the way. still waiting for your source on pathing not being improved.
also waiting for your source that the longsword is supposed to be equal to the archer and knight.

Why should I present you a source to prove something I never even thought to ever claim?

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you did in the longsword thread! you even linked the picture from this article


I said they should be viable and seen in Castle Age like the Crossbows and Knights are

So you mean to say Knights = Crossbows?

you just proved it again.
you are actively comparing them to knights and crossbows! they don’t fill the same role! why should they be seen as much as crossbows and knights are?

and here is another example of you making it clear you think that they should be the equivalent of the knight or crossbow for infantry civs.

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  • posts his own opinion without any arguments at all
  • gets a detailed answer, backed up by arguments and sources
  • ignores all of it and writes:

This is why arguing with you is completely pointless. Why are you even here if you have no interest whatsoever to even consider what other people are thinking? I’m seriously asking this: What do you expect to achieve with your attitude? Convince everyone of your great understanding of the game and everyone who sees it differently is wrong by default? Your wording in your posts seems pretty decent and gives to impression that you have some kind of education and are not completely stupid. But it would lead me to think that you’re at least somewhat capable of reflecting what’s happening here.

I think you do have some understanding understanding and you could be fun person to discuss the game with - it’s just not good enough to make claims about what is objectively right and wrong (whos’ is?). So why don’t you just start considering that there might actually be some things that you are wrong about?

You should be thankful that there are people like MatCauthon3 who still respond to you in a serious way and take their time to make arguments.


Microing archers vs manganels and onager yes (though, not every time the micro is successful, and it require a lot of attention) but vs skirms, I don’t think so.

I think that you wathced too many pros gameplays, since you can count the people who can perform such micro in the finghers of a hand (maybe 2).

The majority of the playerbase doesn’t have that level of skill micro.

On that, I agree, it could be reduced a bit, but not too much.

Those aren’t the reason why arbs are preffered over HC.

The problem is that HC come in too late (after chemistry in imp) while you can start mass archers in feudal.

It’s simply more easy to use xbows.

I see every day more militia line, they still aren’t meta, but it takes time to change people’s habits.

Archer civs going for archers… I don’t see the problem

Also civs with FU arbs (or near FU) using them… again if they have them maybe they are supposed to use them.

Probably those civs have other kind of weakness.

Also, you trew a buch of other base strats of various civs… so it’s not that clear… so basically seem that every civ is going for their strongest options… again, where is the point?

Agree. I have had my personal @MatCauthon3 in job for 4 years, and he helped me a lot to grow as a person and proffesional. Indeed now I have a mental scheme that always I revise before submiting job. Basically, it consists in “what could Mat say about my statements”? So, I can correct my arguments before he does.

I think my case is similar to those of most people here. If you find it useful for your lifes, use it without doubt.

Regarding the topic… At low elo, i have no problems with archers nor walls, or even knights. My major problem is ship spamming in water maps (i think it is boring). So i am ok with archers and want to learn to use them properly.


and frankly, if someone can micro that well, then so be it. skill should be rewarded.

yep i have no problems with stacking being nerfed a little bit.


I cannot take the original post seriously, sorry @Parthnan (because you base all of your points on theorycarfting instead of actual game experience (and theorycrafting). Saying pathfinding is bad absolutely makes no sence since the latest update)



Yeah, that plus keeping improving the pathfinding should do the trick.

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Even if someone can micro better, archers trade so poorly vs skirms that the presumptions in the OP are totally overstated.

If your skirm army gets cleaned by archers, you focused too much on eco rather than army. That’s a game intelligence issue not a balance issue.

Personally, I’m excited any time someone picks Britons or Ethiopians bc I know exactly the meta to expect from them. Then it’s just army trapping, counters and winning in eco.


That is not their role dude. It almost looks like you don’t even play the game

So if ‘being seen’ is not the LS’s role according to you therefore you say ‘not being seen’ is their role then?

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They just need to nerf 2 things about Archers:

  1. Their collision box/spacing between units (Patrol-stacking abuse).
  2. The Crossbow and Arbalest upgrade cost. A very low upgrade cost compared to other units. (It’s way too easy to mass Archers during Feudal Age and reach Castle with enough resources to instantly research Crossbow + Blacksmith upgrades. Same for Imperial Age).
  1. I’d nerf the collision box of archers
  2. Improve melee pathing