Archers and Crossbows

Train time 35s → 40s

Train time 27s → 35s
Upgrade cost 125f 75g 35s → 175f 125g 50s

Maybe even a frame delay nerf should be considered.

Not much else to say. Archers into market abuse fast-ish castle time and crossbow timing is way too dominant on all levels. Even the pros are tired of the ranged unit meta.

The current balance was reasonable in 2001 when due to lag it was almost impossible to micro crossbows, now that the crossbow player can always poke and take no damage in return, even with improved melee unit pathfinding (arguable), ranged units have been indirectly shadow buffed way too much by the new server infrastructure.


I have literally never seen any pro complaining about archers and I watch streamers a lot.


T90 complaining about archers attack move a lot at the moment.

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Didn’t they nerf that?

good suggestions and very reasonable in keeping Crossbow strong without making it a useless unit but not OP either.

Nerfing train time in particular has the effect that it’s more valuable to keep every Crossbow alive, as opposed to flooding groups of 8, losing them and re-making them just because they build so fast and require so little economic setup.

Very reductive point of view, so you only Crossbows in this meta- and you decide to nerf them directly. That’s so narrow, you don’t see the whole picture.

We see almost exclusively Archery Range units, no matter the civ match up. Which is somthing we didnt have couple of months/years ago. Or even Pre-DE. We used to have much more viable strategies, even Hoang himself goes for mass Skirms/Archers sadly.

There are two main factors:

  1. Arabia being basically deserted.
  2. Melee pathing is just awful.

Once you fix these two, Crossbows would still have their Alpha predator place in the meta, however not as dominant as they are today, we’d see more variety, even Unique Units which we almost never get to see these days.

This post reminds me of other posts who offered to make Archers more expensive.


crossbows were overpowered and had no cost-effective counter in 1.0c too

removal of lag helps melee units actually be used instead of just autolosing vs crossbow/monk. the unit is overpowered because having 0 rotation delay and easy massability and no counterplay has always been fundamentally overpowered, not because of servers

the only difference today is that it’s easier for everyone to micro them (instead of only good players being able to micro them). on the old version, the crossbows were actually stronger than now because melee units would get stuck and waste frames pathing/bumping


Melee pathing is still pretty bad at times.

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I think the biggest issue is actually not archers but scouts.
Scouts cost a lot of food and they can’t attack through the mini walls we see a lot. Also , generally are scouts basically useless once the opponent is fully walled except for annoying the opponent by repeatedly changing the angle of attack and gaining some map control.

In another thread I already discussed about giving scouts +1 range so they can attack through a single palisade like steppe lancers (but reduce their damage in the exchange).

When it comes to xbows I don’t think they are overpowered. Actually kind of the opposite. Knigthts are the best castle age units. The reason why xbows can shine there is that you can upgrade them from your feudal archers and the upgrades are mostly fast and cheap.
TR and ballistics are kinda situational techs in this regard.

So the only change I would support in regards to xbows is to increase the cost/upgrade time of the xbow and bodkin upgrades slightly. In the exchange I would increase the effect of TR on the xbow rof slightly (from 1.7 to 1.6 or even 1.5).
The biggest thing I would change is then actually to a different unit…
The mangonel.
I personally think the mangonel aoe should be increased but the damage reduced. And they should get a bonus vs archers. This should solve the “archers dodging mango shots” thing.

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Why not just increase the projectile speed quite a bit for mangonels?

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That would work against archers, but also make mangos considerably better against infantry.
Not that they are bad vs infantry but i see no reason to make them better vs them.

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Watch tournament games and check in how many arabias they open on scouts instead of something involving archers then.

Yes, and forcing an investment into more ranges if you want a mass, resulting in later ballistics/less farms for imping.

We don’t see CA and the only reason we see skirms is because we see crossbows. Effectively, crossbows are the main culprit.

That is very unreasonable, but I do think that scout and light cav attack speed should be buffed to 1.9 (currently 2), alongside a train time buff, or cost reduction to 75f (not ideal, because hussars should cost 80f and train in 30s, they are already too good in imp). The main issue here is how food heavy they are and how much scouts and skirms delay age ups, and in both of those, I would be avant-garde and say that the solution is to make farms cost 50w instead of 60w. Such changes and discussions though are out of the scope of this post though.

I do believe that skirms, scorps and mangonels should be harder counters to the archer line, and able to force engagements more. Currently only skirms (with ballistics, mind you) and two armors can reliably chase crossbows around the map, and by the time you afford all of that, the crossbow player can just get out a mangonel, or even better- go up to imp with all the food he didn’t invest into upgrades and units. Bringing down the speed of the archer line (currently 0.96) to 0.9 (same as militia line) would be a start, considering skirmishers have a speed of 1.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a change to skirmishers too- thumb ring affecting their fire rate as well, not just the accuracy. There is no denying that elite skirms are the weakest trash unit in imp, but again, this is out of the scope of this thread.

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Then Hussars need to be nerfed imo. They are already one of the best lategame units…
Another Idea would be to further increase the movement speed of scouts + light cav. I know that this sounds a bit silly, but if you pay that much food at that stage of the game you want to get something with a unique utility. And as scouts are already the fastest units (except shrivamsha ofc) they could potentially be improved even more in that regard. Probably some people then even decide to stick with light cav in castle age cause they are so good in unit control that they can use the speed advantage really well.
Again, this has the to come with a compensatory nerf to hussars.

Hussars already attack every 1.9 seconds, this buff doesn’t impact them, only LC and scouts.

I don’t think reducig the rof to 1.9 would make a big difference tbh. So I estimated you would make it at least 1.8 or even lower.
I also don’t think this is a key factor for scouts. It actually only makes them better in situations they are already kinda good. And the problem for them is more to get scouts in these situations.

That’s true, I meant Feudal Archery Units. (Excluding CA, Elephant Archer, Genitour, Slingers and HC)

Either way in order to solve this syndrome we have to go back to 2019, where people used to actually make more units than just Xbows. Meta was at its peak of diversity.
Rather than just tweak some numbers.

I mean since the release of DE CA was a joke unit for so long anyway… I think the easier micro aspect changes meta the most.

More like they were fine at the start then people convinced themselves DE secretely nerfed them and they started claiming they are bad. Which gives me the feeling that FE could borderline claim to have nerfed the xbow’s frame delay without actually doing so or only applying a minimal nerf people you would get memes like Huns llongswords over xbows again 11

I have a strange Idea…
What about you can build a stable in dark age? You can’t do anything with it until feudal, but you can build it so you can immediately produce scouts when you hit feudal…

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Crossbows are overpresent that is sure. It is the correct play to go crossbow with any civ that has access to it even civs with literally the worst crossbows in the game. This was one of Viper’s big lessons to Jordan coming back to modern meta that he needs to go Xbow with Khmer and even Franks for that knight transition.

You just have that really really good advantage of having a cheap (only costing gold and wood, nothing of this limited treasure called food in late feudal, early castle age you need to boom) ranged unit (a big advantage by itself) that you have a production advantage with due to being upgraded from a feudal unit you can mass for ages.

For all of that the crossbow upgrade is really WAY to cheap for what it does:

               +1 range, +1 attack, +5hp, +20% production speed and +5pp accuracy

Like it is cheaper than the upgrade from MAA to LS which is insane.

So I would propose increasing the upgrades cost and remove the production boost for a starter:

                       125f, 75g -> 200f, 125g and 27s -> 35s production time