Best civs for defense?

What are the best civilizations for playing heavy defense?

China and HRE i think.

HRE struggle defensively early on. But has the best defenses by far in imperial age.

Rus is the opposite, strong defenses in early game but weak defenses in imperial age.

China has good defenses at all ages.
English also has good defenses at all ages.

Rus china by far; close 3rd and 4th are map dependent mali and English.

Rus Kremlin can safety expansion with cheap defensive units, early knights and great wood and food gathering on top of passive gold income. Nothing beats rus streltsy spear wandering rams… nothing

China takes a lot more work but once the song dynasty gets going especially if safely into castle…china jas a 70% win rate after 24min in conq+. 70%!!!

English has the ultimate base defense and best farms in game but they nees expand for gold and their special units are among the slowest in game so matchups and maps make or break their overall defensive play styles.

Mali with 2 close pit mines and or 2 back of the map pit mines has an unstoppable castle sofa push that has no lul point and your cow boom is absolutely safe vs everything except ottomans…

Some other civs can do a thing here or there but if you want optimum defense then go RUS, CHINA.

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Why HRE has the best imperial defense?

3 tech that improve building hp and armor (2 unique and the university one), relics can be put in keeps, and the elisabeth palace landmark also increase the hp of everything.

Now im thinking it may be on par with china because their great wall gatehouse landmark is so strong.

But if it doesn’t have best defenses it’s at least second best.

Also Many civs have strong defensive landmark but you can only place it once. While HRE they definitely have the best “regular keeps” and best “regular outpost”.

Cannon emplacement with relic garrisoned is quite powerful.

That being said, remember that they only have good defense in castle/ imp. In feudal they have no defense.

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I still havent touched Russia. I should give it a try then