I’m a relatively new player and recently I managed to climb to about ~1300 elo. I think I am getting cleaner at the game, and understanding more when I wanna boom, when I wanna push, and so on, I am getting better at trying to create advantages but that’s not what I wanna talk about.
Most of my losses are generally due to some form of Feudal all-in play. Very often, this is some form of 2x ranges Archer rush (both Ranges are added immediately at the start of Feudal age for an extra 4-5 archers compared to what a “normal” 2x ranges BO would give, where the 2nd range is typically added at around ~27 pop or so when one can afford to send more villagers to gold and the economy is more solid to allow such big production), or full Scouts with Bloodlines.
I think the counter to this is often good scouting (which though I try to also be good at, is not something I think should yet be very relevant at my elo which I consider an “intermediate” elo). The problem is, sometimes I could have lost my Scout by doing a Drush or just due to being unlucky early game, and then there is no easy way to scout again without using a lot of resources (e.g. to build a Stable).
Very often, my opponents (who are also 1300 elo hence bad/average players I think) also don’t really know what they are doing and I am pretty sure they are praying that their archer rush will work (they rush in across the map without scouting and often pray that there won’t be enough counter units and so on). Anyway, this strategy often catches me off guard as I tend to not make a lot of army in Feudal age because I see Viper and Hera play in a similar way (i.e. play with single Range, single Stable and add 2nd production building only relatively late in Feudal and only if needed). Viper/Hera generally stick to a “1-1-1” approach in most of their games (1 Stable, 1 Archery Range, 1 Barracks) and typically do their main unit as an opening + transition into the counter unit with the 2nd building (e.g. spearman or skirmisher). Most high elo players I see also tend not to flood Feudal with units from 2-3 production buildings of the same type and instead try to go to Castle age as fast as possible, making only moderately-sized armies.
Any tips on how to counter this Feudal play? Scouting better is obviously a choice, but sometimes one could be on the backfoot, or the buildings happen to just be out of your scouting route. I could have also randomly lost my Scout somehow. More generally, why is all-in Feudal play avoided by high elo players? The only type of all-in I see high level players perform is all-in Scouts, which generally happens in late Feudal, and which makes sense since after all upgrades, Scouts are a relatively strong Feudal unit that can sort of hold their ground vs early game Castle units (e.g. Knights by surrounding them), and furthermore they also allow you to enter Castle age with an already working economy of 30+ farmers. Massing Archers from 2-3 ranges, or massing Scouts from 2 Stables at the START of Feudal, in contrast, often seems to hit your economy too hard resource-wise (for example, 2 stable Scouts is 80x2 food every 30s, which early Feudal simply cannot sustain, leaving you without double bit axe, horse collar and likely with some idle time on TC.
I would like to hear about how to approach these all-in plays, all-in Castle age seems more comfortable to manage but all-in Feudal often surprises me.