A try to analyze why x-bows and arbs upgrades feel too strong

It’s actually simple:

XBows counter feudal skirms, there is no feudal unit you can make to stop them.
Arbs counter castle age skirms, except of rams, no castle age units have enough pierce armor to stop them.

That’s why theses powerspikes are so strong. The knight line can still be countered by the spear line units of 1 age below.

Edit: If you don’t use these powerspikes, the archer line is actually underperforming.

I always see a mix of archer/skirm war in feudal age. If archer is that strong, no one will use skirm.

You want to flatten the powerspike for? I think the problem is more like the melee pathing


lower archer line attack speed by 10-15% would do since people kept on crying about them. or introduce firing delay rather than changing attack damage, or hp or cost

Feudal skirms work just fine countering xbows in terms of dmg/armor. The problem is +2 range advantage which leads to rhe ability to outmicro them. But if you can close the gap feudal skirms actually do better vs xbows than spears vs knights (at least in equal numbers maybe not in terms of cost efficiency though).

Aside from that the main reason why seem so strong imo are the worst melee pathing we’ve had in a long time and also the drush/maa meta that usually leads to archer instead of cav follow up. Also the fact that people are abusing market like crazy atm favors the xbow play as the res loss by selling and possibly rebuying stone afterwards can easily be outweighed by the dmg you inflict with xbow in early castle age.


Even that is already wrong. Castle xbows with bodkin have higher dps vs feudal skirms than vice versa.

But ofc the range advantage is also there.

AGAIN: Feudal Skirms are Countered by XBow. It’s that easy.

Depends on the upgrades involved.

With the standard upgrades both players have in that situation xbow needs 10 shots to kill feudal skirm while the other way around it is 7. As you probably will micro these units and you shoot when you have a good angle the faster firing of xbows cannot necessarily be used so in equal numbers skirms could win.

And even if you let both units shoot at each other without moving and xbow marginally wins it’s still completely fine for defensively player considering you play with units from one age earlier. The idea is to not die here. If your opponent has good xbow numbers you probably still lose the fight without dealing much dmg to xbow bit again that’s because of the range advantage and the micro possibilities resulting from that.

I have the first archer armor then always… what else to do with the food while you go up?

You should calc again… maybe this time with the rof included. Also shorter ROF is always an advantage in these ranged battles.

It’s basically a guaranteed die if you try that. Really, you can’t stay in feudal an make skirms vs xbows. You have to make towers, it’s the only thing to somehow buy enough time to stabilize and get up.

And ofc the thing is you have to know that. And I doubt more than 1 % of the players in ranked now that actually. About those who don’t play ranked… yeah…
I see 1900 + players who don’t know that. So…

When both players run in the correct angle from each other (without ballistics ofc) the rof rarely matters (you usually shoot when the opponent stops to shoot themselves). So calculation dps doesn’t apply to this scenario. Ofc you take the higher rof but if you van use it is another question.

Well you don’t stay in feudal ofc. Usually you are like 30 sec or 1 min from castle age yourself (or even already there and waiting for slower elite skirm upgrade). And for that purpose skirm is fine to defend vs xbow just to buy the time needed.

If you wanna imply full feudal skirm vs xbows that’s just a bad strategy then. Full feudal play needs spamming scouts with all upgrades. I mean xbows at some point cannot be engaged by only skirms just as you can’t rely on spears as defense from knights longer than the initial 3 or 4 knights.

actually about 1.5- 2.5 min later to castle is the worst timing in general.
.5 - 1 minute is often fine.
Usually when you see the opponent hitting castle age with army and you haven’t clicked up you want to stay even longer in feudal and make feudal units + towers to stabilize. Cause you know your “current advantage” is that you should have more res which you can invest into military so you can just outspam him until he is forced to stabilize. Then you can go up.
But this play is only viable vs knights. Vs xbows you must go up asap + add towers. It’s your only chance, and it’s not a big one. One reason for it is that you would most likely want to transition into full elite skirm play but this upgrade is so slow, the opponent will have often added siege before you can even get it.
Scouts isn’t an option cause the xbow player can just add 2nd tc and stay at home until you are out of steam.

Yes you can. It’s common strat to do that (but usually you add some scouts to try counterraid a bit, also useful vs siege).

Edit: The reason why “just outspam the xbows” with skirms and the ressource advantage doesn’t work is that at some point you have to click up to castle age and then your ressource advantage is gone. And as explained xbows counter feudal skirms with equal investment.
(acutally one more important thing to mention: skirms cost also food which is really expensive in the midgame, that’s why you usually don’t get higher skirm than archer numbers - often it’s actually easier to get more archers than skirms bec of that, even though archers cost almost 20 % more res and are trained slower)

In this scenario you’re already dead basically unless maybe opponent goes for 16 min fc with saracens or a similar form of no eco fc. If you go deliberately full feudal that’s fine but then you should already knocking at your opponents door with bloodlines scouts and whatnot.

I’m not sure what exactly is the purpose of the thread but if irrespective of that you should assume regular game situation and not people making mistakes in misreading the game. Your opponent suddenly reaching castle age while you had no idea and were chilling in feudal certainly is pretty irrelevant here (again that’s bad strategy).

Again it’s not. Knights take a bit longer to get to critical numbers but once your opponent has 10 knights there isn’t anything you can do if you are not already raiding his base hard. It basically the same scenario for skirms. You need 20+ spears to engage and even if you have that knights have mobility advantage and aren’t really kept away by tcs and towers. There is a reason when it’s full feudal vs castle age you mostly see scouts and spears vs knights (tbf these rarely happen on arabia but on other maps that are very hard to wall).

It’s about why the xbows and arbs sometimes feel “unfair” to play against.
The situation you described is very rare, but I explained while full feudal isn’t an option vs xbow play. Maybe you tricked me in answering the wrong thing. It’s usually already a problem if the xbow player hits feudal about 1 minute ahead cause then your elite skirm upgrade comes most often already way too late. Whilst if a knight player hits castle age 1 minute ahead you can usually add just more spears to wait for the pikeman upgrade. Cause spears still somewhat counter knights.
With skirms vs xbow this often is just the nail if the coffin if you add more cause you often won’t have any left when you get your elite skirm upgrade (or you won’t have working vills left).

The situations I explained are actually way more common in non-pro play. Pros know about this stuff and are very careful to not get in these situations cause they know how bad they are, especially vs the xbows.

No it was just an honest question as to what you implied (as that wasn’t completely clear here to me).

You’re right it’s usually not (meaning sometimes it can be if you successfully counterraid but that’s my point it is really the same for knights even if xbow and knight vs full feudal have their respective advantages).

Yes and that is the main problem not that you don’t have an answer as full feudal. Full feudal is a completely different scenario with its own win condition while most of the time what is the problem vs early castle xbow is that one min. And I’d agree that powerspike feels a little over the top which is why I agree with the proposal made here and in other threads to make the xbow upgrade somewhat more expensive and longer to research.

I think it’s even more prevalent in pro play. Ofc these guys are better aware of timings and how to use them or how to defend from them but I’d say in 1 out of two games you see one player having 30s advantage with xbow while the other player has their own ranges units and tries to buy time. How you do the latter obviously depends on the game and consists in things like adding more skirms, towering exposed spots, building housewalls in front amd so on.

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That is maybe maybe ONE of the reasons. But even if you somehow changed it it wouldn’t help in all the other cases where you didn’t mass feudal skirms. Archers are inherently better due to the load on your eco as well as their flexibility against various targets

Do FU castle age knights really get countered by feudal spears? This sounds like nonsense.are they jap/boh spears v malay knights? I’m not even going to test it when we know knights can beat pikes nevermind spears

Xbow and ARB techs need cost increases.

Trash techs (pike, skirm) could easily do with minor cost reductions due to the way Arabia has been changed to favour aggression already, thereby offsetting the balance that already favoured the cheaper aggressive techs (xbow, cavalier etc)

It’s kinda balanced matchup. Generally I think the knight player has higher chances (maybe 2:1 or something like this) with all the options he has.
The play is more about “what is your best option in this situation to have a comeback”.

Disagree in Castle vs Feudal. Spearman doesn’t counter Knight. And knight/cavalry always has its advantage of running away from its trash counter.

I was about to say the same.

Not so true, FU Feudal Scouts used to deal nicely with Xbows (unless there were tons of Spears around), back when the melee pathing used to be smooth.

Powerspikes are essential in a strategy game, Age supiriority is a crucial componenet in this game. Currently, it is too strong I agree.

That’s not accurate. With enough Micro you can kill all Spears and heal your Knights. I remind you Spear dont even have Squires, microing against them is just too easy.
Besides that, it’s an unfair comparison. Xbows rely on mass, while Knights dont.

Again. The only way to solve this Archery-Range meta, is fixing Arabia (back to what it was in 19988-2019) and melee pathing.

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Nah I can’t really accomodate that.

Imo the first thing that should happen is a reduction of skirm pierce armor by 1 but a higher ROF and more bonus damage. Potentially skirms also get a small amount of archer armor, so they don’t counter themselves that hard anyomre.
Then feudal skirms could deal a bit better with castle xbows and castle skirms can deal a bit better with arbs.

If this isn’t enough we could start reducing the powerspikes a bit, but then in the exchange there must be a buff to FU xbows and arbs to compensate for the powerspike reduction.

this is kind of the point of xbow and arb: they spike hard when you get their upgrades, but then drop off fast, unless you keep them massed and together as one group

Is it really “the point”?
I think for a long time thought it’s really just a question of numbers with xbows.
And I think a lot of people still believe this or at least don’t think about that powerspike and the implications.

It’s probably also not relevant for most games until 1600 elo or what cause then other things usually decide. (Though I might be wrong with this assessment, at least I don’t think so).
And then ofc it’s also no wonder archers somewhat “underperform” in low and mid elo cause the players just don’t use the powerspikes they need to make them really work.

In my opinion it would only benefit the game if the powerspikes would be flattened a bit - the units a bit stronger in between, but the spikes themselves a bit smaller. I’m not against powerspikes. I actually like them a lot - I just think the xbow and arb powerspikes are a bit too extreme.

And I currently see some people here in the forum completely unnecessarily pounding on archer/xbows. And I doubt they are even at the level where archer civs start to be at even close level as knight civs. It’s really weird. They act as if archers into knights was never a thing before, which is absurd. Archers into knights was always a thing and there are a lot of reasons why this is and not scouts into xbows. And it is fine.

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