All in Feudal play

Hi there,

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.

good scouting is something that matters no matter your ELO.

All warfare is based on deception.
If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. - sun tzu

if your opponents going for a full scouts as britons but you assumed archers and made skirms you’re going to be in for a very bad day.

because all ins are all or nothing. if your opponent can defend well enough (and at that skill level this isn’t that hard), to reach castle age, while you’re stuck with feudal units…

Ok, first of all, the scouting thing: that’s literally the most important thing. If you scout correctly you can cut way many corners than you think. Always find time to scout what your opponent is doing.
Now, onto the other stuff:

double archey is a big investment for two reason: first of all you are delaying fletching, exposing yourself to a player with better micro: it doesn’t matter how many archers do you have if you can’t engage. The second reason is that double archery is countered by mono-archery skirms. You are investing way more than him and, unless you also have scouts and he moved out, those skirms will buy him time to go up to the castle age faster than you, which means bodkin and xbows.

Bloodlines is a very big investment too. You are spending both food and gold too improve a unit which is usually counter by literally walls. If you go full scouts and he did scouts himself he could just make spears to complement his scout rush and still win, if he did archers he could just stay behind his walls and go up faster. In general, if you want to spend more time in feudal, it’s way better make scout and then add an archery to counter his spears and prevent walling behind. Scout and archers is still the best combo in feudal age. Full scouts? Not so much.

Because it’s easily defendable, especially after you’ve managed to go up to castle age. Feudal all-in are easy to defend if the map is not super open like land madness.

Just scout it. Once you spot, wall yourself (like you should be doing anyway, just do it faster) and hold their push with whatever unit is needed. Once you are up to castle they are dead


Playing blind is never a good idea, since you dont have any idea on what the enemy is making.

In the current meta full feudal is mostly dead, because people understand nowadays much better how to wall and these walls combined with limited military are enough to reach castle age without taking much damage at all. That is why higher rated players, like Hera and Viper almost never go all in feudal. That risk is just too high for its reward.

Scout what your opponents is going to do and act accordingly. If you see them going two ranges in feudal age, then propare some skirms as defence. 2 range archers are beaten by 1 range skirms. If you are much faster in castle age, you have to superior units to just kill his big investment of castle age.

The problem at lower levels are that the up times are much less clear. For someone like Hera of TheViper seeing the up time of the enemy already says a lot about the strategy pick. With less well executed build orders (and much tight BOs as well), this might give you a bit less info. That would also be a difference between pros and you.

1 Like

Just palisade everything in dark age, place 1 tower where needed and skip Feudal and win with knights or Xbow - works every time. Place a market where he is about to break in and go full turtle
You will “improve” very rapidly in 1v1 with that because that is what closer resources, civs with insane eco bonuses, and weaker towers led to.

If you have OP UU like Conqs, Magudai, Organs, War Wagons, etc. just plant a defensive castle and ruin the opponent mentally and literally. If you lose a couple of vills it doesnt matter, booming makes this lose minimal

Yes. and If you spot that kind of play at your elo, you should consider placing stone walls. It’s not so good when you climb the latter because usually players are less all-in then, they may adapt to it.
But playing with stone walls early against an all-in can help you when your defensive skills aren’t so well developed that you can save your walling vils under pressure.
With more experience you can start to wall later or even completely switch to palisades and houses.

Also placing some towers in crucial places of your base can defend an archer all-in quite nicely. It’s usually faster than stone-walling but also not fast enough if you are hit completely unprepared.

Well if your opponent doing 2 ranges rush that’s not a full feudal ? maybe do you mean after maa ? if so that’s in most cases a mistake since he cannot afford fletching and castle age soon enough and you can just countered him witch 1 archery skirm +1 +1, as of pure archers rush well that’s also the counter anyway but he will get castle age quite soon as well so you need else to catch all feudal archers else be sure do not die on crossbows in early castle age (typical uptime for archer rush is about 22min)

as for full scouts just make spear +1 def (in some case even add 2nd barracks) and wall your wood / gold, be careful to any tower forward use outpost to this and to any transition to archers which can became really difficult to defend whitout army as well be careful even if they are a lot of feudal units it’s not that difficult to up as he wants by just stopping army for 1min or use market so don’t assume he will stay feudal for ever and yeah SCOUT him that’s the most powerful advice to deal with any strategy especially agressive one

This is terrible advice. If you wall everything in dark age and place a tower, the other person is going to see it, going to go up only slightly later with a three tc boom. Good luck “out booming” that instead of extra tcs.

Only place a tower, when you cannot defend otherwise: super open forward gold, or 20 archers knocking on the door.

The correct answer is: if you suspect 2 range archers, go 1 range skirms and wall. Stay defensive, never move out. Don’t let him break in by placing a market if need be, or walling with houses behind palisade. again, Only place a tower if you cannot defend the position in another way. If you are forced to build a tower in feudal, often going for a 1 tc castle all in is a good follow up, with knights and forward siege.

If he goes full scouts: wall him out. If you are too open to wall him out, you sometimes cannot rely on Spears alone., you better make scouts or spear too to defend until you are closed.

Oh yeah, final thing: from your question, I suspect you tempt to blind fc a lot, because only then you will have problems with feudal all ins. Otherwise, your early military would provide you enough scouting info to see what’s coming your way. Maybe try to see if you can be a bit more aggressive yourself, until you are fully walled?

Stone walling seem terrible. It really slows you down and is almost never worth it. I feel if you stone wall, then you have to make an all in castle age push, or even go full feudal yourself. You cant really boom behind stone walling your base.

Yeah in higher elos it doesn’t makes sense. But against 1300 all-ins it’s a viable strat, because all you need is to get to that castle age powerspike, after that you don’t need to boom, you can easily push back and win the game. Only if your opponent hits castle age himself and you can’t finish him of, it’s better to transit into boom behind then.

Holding off the all-in attack with 1-range skirms or (in the case of scouts) a solid number of spears and walls around your base should often lead to a better castle age time for you since your opponent heavily invested in feudal units. In this case you should choose how you will clean up their feudal army before you transition into your main composition and/or booming.

For example, if your opponent has a lot of archers and you have a faster uptime, you can pump 4-5 knights from a couple of stables and hopefully clean up the archers before your opponent hits castle age and has the chance to upgrade them, giving you a good amount of tempo.

Alternatively, you can opt for a defensive siege workshop and do the same cleanup with a mangonel or two, from there you should have a slight advantage and can transition into a siege push, knight raids, or drop a couple of TCs and get ahead in economy.

Obviously this is easier said than done, and if your opponent manages to do a good amount of damage to your eco and harm your uptime, you’ll be playing from behind for the rest of the game.

guys, thanks a lot for all the comments! I wish I could go over each individually, but it would make a somewhat boring and unnatural response. Regardless, I read all with interest and learned many new things, so thanks! Especially the 1 range Skirms > 2 ranges Archers is something I didn’t know and is really useful (of course I know that Skirms need full upgrades to compete with archers in same age)

1 Like