Bohemians are unbearable on closed map team games

I have been playing quite a bit of black forest, and in the most recent map rotation, a few games on michi. In these maps where you usually get to imperial age and grind it out, Bohemians are the worst to deal with, by a country mile. With every other, you feel like you can do something. You have options in one form or another. With Bohemian death ball (and persians, but that’s a different story), there’s literally nothing you can do but overwhelm with numbers.

The Bohemian deathball composition is this: Front line Halberdiers, who do 25% extra damage. Backline houfnice, which are good against pretty much everything at a range. Trash monks for support. Midline HCs, or Hussite Wagons, depending on the composition.

Cavalry against this is a death sentence, as the halbs alone will eat you, with the midline providing support and monks taking your units.

Archers? Houfnice have larger blast radius, and more damage, and a single shot will level a lot of archers, who have a shorter range to begin with. The Wagons will protect the houfnice regardless. Infantry? HCs will eat those alive.

The usual counter here is to make like 10 siege onagers, but even that won’t work in this case. Not only does the houfnice have longer range, but they will also destroy your SOs in one shot. On the other hand, houfnice will not go down in one SO shot. But even that is secondary, because their trash monks will convert your onagers anyway. And once they do, they will use attack ground to suicide bomb your army.

“BuT WhY Do YoU PlaY MiCHi?”. Because I randomed into it. But even otherwise, this is an issue. Just because you don’t like a map doesn’t mean that a civ should be OP in it. The same issue exists in maps like amazon tunnel and black forest, which are fairly popular.

Now, I am not necessarily asking for a nerf, if someone can help me with a strategy here. All siege is useless in front of houfnice and trash monks. Cavalry is weak to their extra strong halbs, and archers aren’t doing much here either. What is the solution here?


Since we’re talking about the late game I assume you have like 30 to 40 trade carts. And about 100 villagers. You might need to kill a few of your villagers and trade carts to make pop space.

Italians may potentially be very good here since their team unit is anti-gunpowder. The Condottiero may deal with a lot of the Bohemian’s units very well.

Few civs that might be able to break through this. Mass turks bombard cannons may notify many of their units since they out range them. Back them up allied with some tanky units like back battle elephants/war elephants (and some units to defend the elephants) a goth ally would be perfect it in this role. Since he can spam so many champions to distract the halbs, allowing the elephants to close the distance and melt their siege. Turkish bombards will severely weaken and possibly kill many of their units from the distance. Having a British ally would be potentially very good as well since their longbows may severely weaken the halbs.


All of that sounds reasonable.

This actually doesn’t work at all. As I said, bohemians usually have at least 5-10 trash monks at the back which they can quickly replenish. If you go in with 20-30 elephants, 5-10 of those will get converted.

Feels like Turks is the only solution, but that isn’t an actual solution to the problem.

If you have infantry civs, bohemians will usually go for HCs as the middle line. Those HCs will destroy your champions, and converted eles will add to that. This will again boil down to who can throw more bodies quickly. That is usually not a good strategy imo because if you can’t quickly destroy them and push, you’ll tax your economy more quickly, and they’ll win over time.

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have you try Aztecs monk

The answer is - do damage to Bohemians before they get to their deathball. This is easier done on BF and harder on Michi, though, as you can only hit them in Imperial through a cut.

Bohemians are very slow, so it could be worth trying to just stall them out whereever the Bohemians’ main army is at, and cutting to raid them elsewhere. Khmer can cut in Castle Age, if you want to try some earlier shenanigans, but that’s kind of an all-in tactic and functions better in 1v1s/2v2s, in my opinion. That can kill the enemy when it’s just 1-2 players, but you won’t be able to kill all four in 4v4s.

Trash monks are a very late game addition, so you could try using monks to convert the Houfnice. Chances are, earlier in Imp Bohemians won’t actually have that many monks around (if at all) since their first comp will be Halb/Hand Cannon and Houfnice, so you can smush. But once you do show the monks, they can do their own and it’ll be an Atonement war.

Hussite Wagons are a meme unit and if the Bohemians are making Hussite Wagons, you should be in a winning position. Arbalesters are at best very early Imp unit, unless you’re Britons, so late-game you should look for some other unit unless you’re stuck with no other options.

And as someone said, if you get Michi and suspect enemy picking Bohemians, you can try for Condotierro. That’ll wreck Bohemians completely. Ethiopians with Torsion Engines, Turks with +2 range bombards can also contest Houfnice.

You’ll just want to kill Bohemians before they get to their actual deathball, and it will take some time until they get to that point. This means, you need to leverage timings to hit them before that. A ton of Halbs, Houfnice, Hand Cannons, Hussite Wagons, and Monks on top of that means the Bohemian player has been able to just boom safely and have tons of trade untouched. They can’t have that composition during min 29-30.

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That might work for this particular thing, but aztecs are a terrible closed map team game civ tbh. Closed map team games are heavily reliant on power units like elephants, paladins, and siege like bombard cannons. Aztecs do have Siege onagers, but they don’t have anything else for these games. They even lack halbs.

You are confirming what I already suspect. Also, this is hard even on black forest, if Bohemians are playing as pocket. I think this is bad design, because you want most civs to be able to counter this. If you have to pick one (or one amoung 3-4) civ specifically to counter Bohemians, they absolutely need a nerf.

HCs are easy to afford. The most expensive out of this is houfnice. Hussite reforms is roughly 900 resources, and they’ll need another 2000 food for monastry techs and trash monks. Halbs is another expense.
On the other hand, you’ll be spending way more siege to make siege onagers.
To summarize, sure, they do need to spend quite a bit. ### it’s not significantly more than other civs need for their upgrades as well.

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Sounds to me like a composition it is very bad to approach with power units. If you try to run that over with paladins, you will be countered on 4 levels; the high damage of the wagons will pierce through your armor, the bonus damage of the halberds will ignore your armor, the monks will convert your armor, and the bombards won’t care about your armor.

Seems to me the correct response would actually be Infantry. Champions will destroy the halberds, the wagons won’t do any more damage to them than to anything else, monks can’t convert them efficiently, and the bombards will tend to Overkill on them if anything.

Their composition is extremely expensive, so you need to at least match it in terms of resources. Build about 100 champions, and send them all in at the same time.

The more dangerous composition would be against hand cannoneers. They would more actively counter Infantry. However, they are in turn countered by arbalests, which really are not that countered by houfice. Use a different formation if that’s a problem.

Not really, having Siege Engineers and SO already propels them into A-tier. Atlatl skirms are also fine, and with Infantry getting slowly buffed they do have options late-game. You said closed map team games are reliant on power units, and Aztecs get one of the strongest power units in the game. You’d rather have SO than generic bombards. They also have the best monks, and on maps where you can do castle age aggression, they’re definitely not ‘terrible’.

But it’s a team game, so not necessarily. You want your composition to synergize and hopefully counter the enemy. One way you can look and judge civs is by their ideal ‘deathball’ composition, and how easy it is to stop. Usually, the strongest deathballs take the longest to get to (f.e. Mongols with Drill SO/Rams and Mangudais behind, Britons with Warwolf Trebs and 100+ Longbows, etc.) and Bohemians is one of those.

Again, it’s a team game. If you have Elephants, then those can just run the enemy over. Yes, Bohemians have great halbs, but you also have a teammate that can hopefully counter Halberdiers. It’s not a situation of ‘oh no we can literally do nothing now!’, it’s a case of how badly your team is playing vs how well the enemy team is playing, as rather there are only some civ matchups that will have nearly no answers at all. And in a team game, you must have unlucked really hard for your teammate to also have no options.

… no? Food is the scarcest resource, so doing Hussite Reforms immediately is just poor play from Bohemians, it’s something you’ll do late game and you don’t want to do monk techs with food. If the Bohemian player is doing all of that, with fully upgraded Monks, Halberdiers, Hand Cannons, Houfnice, Hussite Wagons… you’ve spent 50+ minutes doing nothing? A civ freebooming into just Halb + SO spends less and will be faster, you don’t even need to get SO immediately - you just need Onager to cut and raid. Bohemians have no mobility, for example Aztecs can just flood in Eagle Warriors, snipe the Houfnice and raid. Yes, the Hand cannons will kill 15-20, but Eagle Warrior + Onager is cheaper than all of what you said for Bohemians.

Or even better, your ally has a mobile unit, and you just do Onager first. You don’t need to get SO immediately, you just need to cut before Bohemians get their deathball rolling. AoE2 is designed around some civs being stronger in the early game/mid game, and weaker in late game. Try to leverage that against Bohemians, who are generic up until late game.

Hussite Wagons are such a bad unit their damage output is so low melee Cavalry will be fine enough to counter that. In fact, if the Bohemian player is doing Hand Cannon + Houfnice + Wagons and some Monks behind this (there’s no way they’ll have a large mass of them all), Paladins will run over them when it’s just this.

Also, the amount of micro the Bohemian player has to have to efficiently convert enough Paladins for it to make a difference, on top of microing the Houfnice, Hand Cannons and more is much higher than the Paladin player will have to do (snipe Houfnice, monks, patrol into rest), and much easier as it’s all just one unit.

Going infantry is probably one of the worse things you can do for Bohemians.

Only if they’re going for the hand cannons, but at that point, just going Skirmishers will pretty much hard counter them. I don’t think it’s wise to go for both wagons and hand cannons at the same time.

Hussite Wagons without hand cannons aren’t bad against Paladins. They do about 19 damage per round, compared to 10 from a hand cannon. They need a meat shield of course, but unlike hand cannons, they actually have the hp to survive for long enough for halbs to do their job. Especially if complimented by monks to convert a few of the paladins on the way in. It doesn’t take much to turn things around.

In that case, infantry are going to be a better choice than paladins. Hussite wagons will only do an extra 1 damage to champions compared to paladins, and monks are much less effective against them, and halbs are useless against them. You’ll lose some troops, of course, but in short order the hussite wagons will be running away and then it’s all over.

The trick is you need enough to outnumber them. Assuming you have something like 30 halbs, 10 hussite wagons, and 5 houfnice, that’s enough resources to fund 97 champions. Send them at them all at once and you WILL win that fight.

That won’t work well against hand cannons, but again, against hand cannons all you need are skirms.

If you go Skirmishers in a closed map team game you’ve just lost the game.

Where do you get that calculation first of all, secondly - they fire slowly and clunkily, just damage is not a good metric. Thirdly, Hand Cannons can stack together much better and have better maneuverability than wagons. Fourthly, Wagons have 0 melee armor, train much slower, cost so much more that in every way imaginable they will perform worse against even just Paladins than Hand Cannoneers will.

The Hussite Wagon is really just not a good unit, and this is already not taking into account that one-two onager shots and all of your expensive Wagons are dead. Is your Bohemian player making just 1-2? That’s 1-2 dead population.

Houfnice will clear any Skirms you face as well. By the way, by the time your Champions have managed to kill some Halberdiers, the Bohemian player will already have some Hand Cannons out on the field, or their ally will have something to take care of your Champions.

well, some civs are balanced around having a weak feudal/castle age and a stronger imperial to compensate. can’t really balance that on a map that removes half the game

The hussite wagon does a single 20 damage shot followed by three two damage shots. It fires in the same interval as a hand canoneer. And let’s be honest, while the hand Cannon is clearly better at micro, it’s not like either one of them is particularly excellent at it. Accounting for accuracy, the wagon is actually better against paladins from a resource perspective. It does the same or better DPS, and more than twice the HP per resources. Assuming I had some bombards to protect me from onagers, I would generally prefer the wagons.

As far as skirmishers are concerned, in most cases I would agree with you, but when your enemy is coming at you primarily with units that are weak to them, it’s hard to find a better choice than putting down 10 or 15 archery ranges and spamming skirmishers at them until they explode. As long as you path them into them in a spread out formation, the bombard damage will be relatively minimal.

Then all you have to do is wait for a brief respite when they aren’t able to restore their pikes fast enough and you can wipe out the entire line at once.

That is, after all, the main weakness of compositions like this; it is slow and prone to finding itself in situations it can’t easily Escape from.

Absolutely not. Siege Onagers is really nice, mind you. But, they aren’t enough in of themselves. For the late game type maps In talking about, you need one good siege, one power unit, and either FU halbs or FU hussars.

The power unit can be squishy, if they are ranged. So, Ethiopian arbs and mangudai counts here.

Aztecs have siege, but they don’t have a good power unit. The closest they have are monks/eagles, both of which aren’t good enough. Monks might have sufficed, if one can micro like a computer.

They also lack halbs, hussars, and bombard cannons. That makes them bottom B tier at best imo.

Everything you’ve written after argues that you don’t have to pick from one of like 3 civs to counter bohemians. It doesn’t sound like you disagree with the premise at all.

Forget bohemians for a second. Do you disagree with the statement “If you have to pick one of 3 civs counter one specific civ in a team game, that civ needs a nerf”?

Why are you assuming this? They can just get monks and the basic techs with gold to begin with. Then they can slowly transition into food monks.

This is just bad design is my argument. Also, they also have an ally, and they can prevent your cutting as well as you can cut. There shouldn’t be any deathball composition which cannot be countered by spending even a bit more on a counter composition.

Organ guns and bombard cannons beat that

I did it last week. 2v1 on the flank cuz one of my allies left the game in a 4v4. And i held till the other side won their side and came and helped me.

You got to have good micro and snipe his bombards with your own. Civs that have seige engineers and or bonuses to bombards are good. Turks, Portuguese, Spanish. I even beat a bohemians in a cannon shootout with regular Poles cannons in michi recently.

Then you pair your bombards with things that kill halb

Arb hussar bombards

Champs bombards

Skirm obuch bombards

Hand cannons, halb bombards

Paladin hand cannons bombards

Paladin skirm bombards

Khemer scorpion hussar bombards

Chackram thrower bombards

Teutonic knight seige onager bombards

Yes, they are. And they are a power unit, it’s the very reason why Celts, Mongols are the best civs on maps like BF. Bohemians are usually third. Both Celts and Mongols have their own deathballs that are very hard to stop.

I don’t know which level we’re talking at, at mediocre level monk players are already strong, so I’m disagreeing with you here - Aztec monks are definitely a power unit. Maybe at very low ratings where you can’t micro at all, but then you can just task your SO to hit the Houfnice and chances are, nobody’s microing so the shot goes through.

If you’re counting Arbalesters as power unit, then Monks and Eagles have to be as well. Arbalesters are one of the weaker units you can make in closed map games, only viable in early Imperial.

The problem with the statement is that it’s about Bohemians, so you can’t forget about them. You’re losing the context. If the civ is only strong in this specific map or niche, then it’s fine. Bohemians are not unstoppable, and have very clear weaknesses as well (early game). Why nerf an area that makes Bohemians competitive? You’d have to buff Bohemians somehow in return, because otherwise the civ will be the worst.

You aren’t calling for a nerf on Celts or Mongols, are you?

My question is, how did you let the game reach the point where Bohemians can seemingly afford upgrading Halberdiers, Hand Cannoneers, Houfnice, Hussite Wagons, and Monks. The player is making five units, so what is your team doing? What are you doing, or your ally?

I didn’t say it cannot be countered. One mistake and the deathball is gone, and a cavalry player can still just keep on sniping the Houfnice. If you’re another strong gunpowder civ, you can still contest Hand Cannons/Houfnice. If you’re a civ with strong/fast eco, you can get to gunpowder earlier than they do. You can simply kill Bohemians before they get to their deathball. Even tanky Archer units can just snipe the Houfnice, like Dravidians and Bengalis - both civs you detest. :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, wait. Now you are being a little facecious. Both those civs have Siege onagers which are far far faaaaaar better than SO with SE.

Mongols have SOs so fast that they can catch up with pretty much all non-cavalry units. That is on top of mangudai, and extra good hussars. This civ full fills all three of my requirements.

Celts have faster firing siege with extra HP, on top of extra fast FU halbs, on top of stronger castles which can heal, and stronger towers. Celt scorpions are difficult to deal with, even when you have Generic SOs or bombards.

So no, the onagers aren’t the sole reason these civs are so good.

I should have been more clear. Generic FU arbs aren’t power units. They need something else, like faster firing with ethiopians, or longer range with britons.

Let me first say, your skills in argumentation has improved substancially since I first saw you here. You had a lot of holes in your logic earlier, but they are put together much better now.

In this context though, I’m asking you a hypothetical to figure out your principles. This will determine where our disagreement is. Allow me to repeat, please forget Bohemians and answer that question. If your answer is yes, such a civ should be nerfed, then we can discuss if Bohemians lie in that category or not. If your answer is no, then the issue is with the way you and I think about game balance. That is a much deeper issue, not even exclusive to AoE2.

If the civ is only strong in this specific map or niche, then it’s fine.

I don’t know if you really believe this. Let’s take another hypothetical with a civ which is only good in a specific map/niche.

Would you be okay with a civ having 70% win rates in closed maps with water? How about arena team games? Or even 1v1 Amazon forest?

Assume that they have the deathball, but you have your own. You have generic units like paladins, FU siege onagers, or bombard cannon. Tell me how to counter them.

They didn’t make 5 units. To start with, it’s always houfnice, halbs, and a few monks. Then they add HCs.

I was holding them off fine, with mongols. Expense on my end was much higher, because they were eating up my SOs, but I was handling it. But then the celts started breaking through and our malian player was having a hard time with that. So I went there. The other two players could hold bohemians+the other civ, and we lost.

Good one 11. Bengalis are actually decent here not just because of the eles, but their extra strong monks.

Dravidians suck as they generally do because even if you snipe a few houfnice, their monks are going to get your eles and it’ll be a bad trade.

If Celts and Mongols did not have Siege Onagers, they wouldn’t be nearly as good as they are. Sure, they would have strong options (well, Mongols would), but having Siege Onagers -is- the reason.

It’s also the reason why other SO civs are very strong. Sure, Koreans and Ethiopians also get top tier SO, and Slavs can spam them more than others, but Sicilians for example also have a fighting chance.

I would rather have Sicilians with SE SO than Slavs who haven’t teched SO yet.

My answer is no because for me, the context is necessary. Saying 'this civ can only be countered by 3 other civs (out of 40+ or however many we have right now) is vastly different from ‘this civ can only be countered by 3 other civs on niche maps’.

Bohemians are easily countered by most civs on Arabia. Bohemians are very strong and have very good matchups against many other civs - almost the reverse situation- on closed maps. I think that’s fine, as the game is more than just Arabia or Black Forest, Arena, etc. We’re not calling to get Dravidians nerfed just because they might be contesting the #1 spot for Water maps, right?

We don’t see Bohemians almost at all in open map tournaments, so the civ being strong on some other maps is nice, as we’ll at least get to see them. If a civ has no clear strengths on any map is when there’s a problem, or when that particular civ is the only civ that does much better than any other civ on such a map.

So as an answer to this:

Are there other civs who also have similar win rates, then? Are those particular civs not strong on Arabia-like maps (where they might have, hypothetically the opposite, a 30% winrate for example?) so that these map settings are the only times they get to shine? If so, then yes. I don’t have a problem with Bohemians because there are several other very strong civs who also shine on Michi or Black Forest or Arena. Those civs can easily compete with Bohemians without being direct counters (like Condotierri might be).

First, it’s a team game. What is the Bohemian deathball like, what is their ally’s? It might be easier if you just recounted your past game where you felt helpless. (I see you posted later about having Mongols, your ally was Malians, who had the Paladins then? They had Celts?) What were your civs? If you have Siege Engineers and are confident in your micro, you can try to outmicro Houfnice. Let’s assume it was a ranked game, so everyone is equal instead and that’s not the case. If you have FU SO and Paladins, you can use the mobility of Paladins to your advantage. Snipe the Houfnice with Paladins, so you force them to make a choice - do they try to take care of your SO and lose Houfnice to Paladins, or retreat and leave your SO to flatten their army.

Of course, easier said than done and another problem is if it’s in a chokepoint or a much more open map, what other units are on the field etc. I’m picturing a larger open area in a lategame situation with full trade running, so both players can throw away SO and Houfnice more or less at will. If it’s in a choke, you can make room with SO or be defensive and force Bohemian player through the choke - after all, if they don’t make Onagers, they’re forced to go through a choke and then you can just easily mop them up with even standard bombard cannons.

Depending on how early it was, as Mongols, you could also just do full Mangudai and just tech into Onager to cut, which will still endanger incoming HCs. Halbs, monks, and Houfnice will die to Mangudai. Even Hand Cannons will, to be fair. If you’re worried about their monks converting your Onagers, you can always get Heresy.

Drill Onagers should also be able to snipe Houfnice or their army, just don’t send all of your (Siege) Onagers to take them out at once, once you get Siege Onagers you’ll only need two to flatten most of their army for example.

Depends on how many monks are around, not really. The biggest danger to Dravidians in this case would be if you were going through a narrower choke that Houfnice can land a shot on, or enemy Siege Onagers. Sure, their monks might convert 5-10 Ele Archers, but then your Ele Archers will have waddled over and taken them all out, converted Ele Archers included. Don’t engage when you don’t have a good mass. Your Urumis can support your Ele Archers really well, too (or even just Halberdiers/Champions, thanks to Wootz Steel).

Probably in a low-gold lategame situation your Halberdier-Skirmisher spam can deal with it too, where you’ll just use Skirmishers to snipe Houfnice or force them away, especially with your own cheap Siege behind it.

You shouldn’t make Urumis and Barracks units against Bohemians. Urumis + Ele Archers is the worst combo of Dravidians because both units cost food and gold. Bohemians get one of the best HC and they will kill infantry units easily and Wootzstell is literally useless. Bohemian HCs also move 25% faster and so Dravidian Champs cannot outrun HCs.

Hussite Wagons soak up arrows and Ele Archers are not worth making as a result. But you can make Ele Archers if your opponent has not built at least one castle.

You should play onagers and archers in Castle as Dravidians against Bohemians. Onager-line is, in fact, the best answer. Siege Onagers are good against HCs and particularly Hussites.

Dravidian player will lose the game if Bohemian player gets to Houfnice. Bohemians are generally good against Dravidians. The only thing Dravidians have in their favour is their cheap siege units. But Bohemians have siege engineers and Houfnice. So, Dravidian Siege Onagers and BBC are inferior to Bohemians’.

Units behind Hussite Wagons take less damage. So, if Hussites and Halbs are in the front and HCs are a tile behind, they can prove to be quite deadly.

Bohemians are also a Monk civ and Dravidian Monastery isn’t good enough firstly. Bohemians also get mining tech free and last mill upgrade. So, their eco is better than Dravidians.

HC+Halbs+Houfnice is one of the best army compositions in the game.

Even pros can’t play Dravidians against Bohemians. In both the above matches, Dravidian player was the loser.

Why are you talking about games that have no relevancy here while ignoring the context brought forward?