Can the stale Knight/Archer TG meta be diversified?

As the title suggests, this is a discussion thread about if and how the TG meta can be changed to make more diverse TGs. First I’d like to make a poll if people even want it to be changed and if they think there is a way to change.

  • I like the current TG meta
  • I don’t like it, but I fear it only gets worse if we try to change
  • If anything, there should only be minor changes
  • The meta is fine, but I think there could be more civs with unique strats
  • I don’t want to have the meta changed, just less stale
  • I’d like to have more strong strategies
  • I’d like to have everything working to the same extend as in 1v1s
  • Meta is bad, make everything equally strong
  • The meta needs to be overhauled, other units need to be stronger

0 voters

Then I’d like to summarize what imo causes this stale meta. It’s several points, so be prepared for a trip.

A) Positions: There are flank and pocket civs. Flanks are closer to the opponent (and therefore don’t need as much mobility) and pockets who are more distant and therefore need more mobility on their units. Flanks are also more prone to the attacks of the opponents (cause of shorter travel) and must defend themselves more often. Defending is easier with ranged units than melee units, especially if you are 1v2 - ed.

B) Knights + Archers have the least weaknesses and cover each others weaknesses aswell. There is almost no unit which can deal with both. Only Boyar and Eagle come to mind. But the eagles don’t work as well cause of the next reason:

C) Pop efficiency. TG cause of the way they are usually played tend to last way longer than 1v1s, at least at equal skill level. I don’t want to go deeper into this, it’s just a matter of fact at this point. That means especially melee units with low pop efficiency have a hard time being competitive. This also applies to the eagle which in 1v1s would counter both, Knights and Archers. Interesting here is, that Cav Archers, besides being way more pop efficient than archers don’t see as much play. Which leads us to

D) Convenience + Transitioning. Knights and Archer plays are just the most convenient of all, also in 1v1s. Which is even more crucial for TGs. Not because of the single player, but the other teammates. To play good in a team you need to know the strengts and weaknesses of your mates. If your Team members play something you aren’t familiar with you can’t support him as well as if he plays something you know. Especially transitions are problematic in TGs as they need to be communicated, they can easily lead to a fast loss if executed at the wrong moment. And tbh in most TGs once the fight has started there are only a few “right” moments when you could justify a transition.

E) Gold from Trade. In 1v1s Gold is limited. In TGs it’s actually the opposite. The other ressources are limited. (ok most arabia TGs don’t reach the state of a wood game, but it can happen)
This naturally makes all the Gold units more viable, which for occurance are Archers + Knights.

Just to mention: I know that there are several other strats that work in TGs. You can’t even call them off-meta anymore, more like “counter-meta”. Or even also just meta on different “closed” map types. For most of these strats also apply most of the reasons mentioned above. I just use Knight/Archer as paragon here, to make it more easy to understand the reasoning.
I am pretty sure I also forgot some other important things here, so please feel free to correct me there. I currently don’t play a lot of TGs, so I am a bit “out of shape”.


I would love to see more diversity in TG, but tbh - with the way how game works its very hard, since there isnt a charge mechanic (burgundians UU try, but it is not the same). 2 armies of xbows shouting and 2 group of knights in the middle, dancing to douch arrows - its ridiculus, but if melee units cannot attack in movement we cannot change this. But we talk about the core of the game so for me the change is almost impossible.

Then, composition xbow - knight its just easier to mass than any UU, and infranty, even after buffs doesnt work very well in the most part of TGs

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I assume this is about Arabia? Because kts+archers isn’t as dominant on nomad or closed maps.


Just let all UUs being created in standard buildings but more TT than in castles


Same goes for 1v1s ever since they messed up with the generation of Arabia, nothing much you can do about it but first addressing the map.

Check my post regarding this subject

I’d like to see skirmishers get a bit more melee armour and pikemen a bit more pierce armour. Skirms will still die pretty hard to knights but they will be able survive and escape a little longer and pikemen will still be cleaned up with crossbow but not so quickly. Neither of these changes would affect skirms vs. crossbow or knights vs. pikemen fights but it might break the knights/crossbow stalemate and make counter units more viable. And maybe also make them both closer to Byzantines price for all civs and give Byzantines a further discount.

Alternatively (or additionally) could give Huns and Goths a different unique tech to replace Marauders and Anarchy and just give all civs access to their unique units from their respective military buildings if they research a relatively expensive university tech (e.g. Throwing Axemen or Bezerks from barracks) but with a slightly slower creation speed than from castles. I think that’s why the meta always ends up being knights and crossbow because it’s such an eco investment to save up the stone for castles and it’s hard to keep up with knights and Xbow production with only one castle, so you often don’t see unique units until imp.


teamgames on land maps have been trash after they forced position-picking into the game

knight and xbow both need nerfs, but the bigger problem is that you only face the strongest versions of those units instead of the fair ones because of position-guarantees


Yes, good point. Not only about arabia, but all open map. On arena or nomad there can be more variety, but some closed map works best with xbow+knights combo (es. hideout). There can be some small variation, depends on the civs

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Without position picking you may get civ wins*, with it you get boring repetitive games with briton/ethiopians/viet flank + frank/indian/lith pocket (random compositions).
Either way it’s not optimal because some civs are arguably too one-dimensional and others are way too strong in certain maps in team games.
Let’s face the fact that team games are terribly balanced, way, way worse than 1v1.

*By civ wins I mean something like getting Burmese flank and Viking pocket against something like Saracen flank + Franks/Huns pocket.

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Someone should definitely make a mod or something so that this can be tested.


Didn’t even know that was possible; that would be great if a mod like that could be playable

Yes let’s make it easy to mass up mangudai and the like…

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The train time could be significantly reduced for some units, and some civs would almost certainly miss the ability entirely, if it even got implemented.

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I proposed a time ago a new Imp tech that let you train UU in generic buildings.
Goths and Huns can lack of this tech because they have it an age earlier. Stil have part of their identity, most for Goth that usually want to have their husckarls in barracks asap…

Some civs could lack of this tech just for balance, like Mongols, Tartars, Mayans, etc…

or you could decrease the bonus damage they receive from archer to 1 or 2

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Then how you balance snowbally units like Gbetos, Leitis, Coustilier, Keshik, Karambit warrior, Shotel Warrior, etc… you break madly these civs.


Triple or more the TT in standard buildings could work?

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I think a blunt “make UUs easier to mass” attempt can’t really help here. I listed 5 base reasons for the stale meta, the convenience + commodity is only 1/2 of the points there.
The matter is complicated. But it might be a possible approach for certain civs to make their UUs easier acessable in TGs. How this could be achieved is a different quetion.

Don’t forget there are already several strong TG UUs that could be insanely OP if they wouldn’t need castles to be produced.

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No it doesn’t (20 chars)

1 - play anything that isn’t open Land Maps

2 - disallow position picking

3 - play random civs

Here’s you three easy ways to break kts/xbows meta without destroying 1v1 balance