I hear a lot of pros complain that castle age English is super weak so wanted to start a discussion on how it can be fixed. Here are some of my ideas, which centre around leaning into a strong defensive narrative for the English, and diversification of castle age options for gameplay.
Make Armor Clad technology apply to knights as well.
Make abbey of kings have a larger radius, and apply a smaller healing buff to villagers out of combat (so they cant be 2 hit by raiding knights for example). Alternatively allow the Abbey to garrison villagers like a Chinese village. This might incentivize building farms around the abbey in the same vein as the Aachen Chapel, but with the purpose of protecting those villagers from raids rather than providing an economic buff.
Merge the current two Age 3 landmarks into one functionality. So a building with more health than a TC but lesser health than a keep that can make both villagers and military units, but can also have emplacements added to it.
3.5 Create a new age 3 landmark that centres around a buff to the English wood economy, therefore incentivizing longbowmen and rams/trebs in castle. This could also be based in the narrative of the medieval English propensity to clear woodland for farms. This landmark could house three or four unique techs, for example one which buffs English villager wood drop off rates similar to Improved Processing in the House of Wisdom, a second which buffs English ram damage and/or health, and a third which buffs longbowman damage against armored units. This building could also include some sort of passive functionality such as the ability to make rams from a building.
These are just some preliminary thoughts on how to improve the English castle age. Let me know your thoughts or what you’d like to see added!