I want to share some cold data about the current game balance. I rewatched several games played in the last Nili’s apartment cup trying to find what pros do when it comes to army composition in feudal and castle age. As I thought, range units are absolutely dominant, specially in feudal age, making almost imposible to play safe without building one or even two archery ranges. Here’s the data of the first seven games played in arabia in Nili’s apartment cup:
Liereyy vs Laaan -> full archers vs 3 maa into full archers and skirms
Yo vs TheMax -> 3 militia into full archers, 3 militia into full archers
Viper vs Hera -> 4 maa into full archers, 4 maa into full archers
Tatoh vs Daut -> 4 maa into full archers, 3 maa into scauts and skirms
Hera VS Villesse -> 3 militia into full archers, scauts and skirms
Yo vs Daut -> 3 militia into full archers, Scauts.
Archers have been the strong option since forever, but the pathing in DE is accentuating the problem even more. Pro players don’t even go for scauts in serious games, because they know his oponent will wall his base up pretty early. Men at arms are too slow and weak against archers and bloodlines scauts can kill them quite efficiently.
I refuse to accept the current situation as a good balance. I think cavalry civs should have the option to play cavalry in feudal (they kind of can in open maps) and infantry civs should have the option to play infantry ( they can’t at all, maybe malians or other exception could)
So what is my action plan?
Number one and most important: Fix infantry units. Look at supplies. This tech reduces food cost a lot and still it’s not a valid option for any serious player until they rich imperial age (except for malians maybe). I would make maa and long swordsman +2 pierce armor instead of +1. As I suggested before, I would move squires or arson to feudal age too.
Second. I would reduce archer fire accuracy against units at long distances or against moving targets until ballistics is researched. Finding the right balance here is the key. I think this should lead to a more fun and varied meta and even could make some civs more viable. Specially infantry civs, as teutons or goths.