Changing the meta

So many people get the arithmetic so wrong on this it’s hilarious.

Archers and xbow timings get more powerful when you nerf walls, not less (duh). The 2 militia drush works because you force resource walls, after which the player can’t afford to go for full walls within a reasonable time and you hit the isolated vills with your archers because you have free reign to move out and about.

Do you genuinely think people will stop walling if you make it expensive enough? You’ll only have more people resource wall than before.

The game requires you to be full walled by the time castle age begins, otherwise you’re just gonna die to more mobile civs, who can afford to just throw away knights into your TCs and force your entire economy to be idle. Game just becomes an APM check of how many places can you distract and attack and defend at the same time (like AoE4)

People who suggest this should try playing without walls and see how quickly they die to random suicide raids.


Yeah the game is just designed in a way you currently rarely get away without walls.
Nobody likes it, but it’s actually not THAT bad cause it allows for intersting unit comps and strategies. Wihtout walls, why you would add siege in castle age? ^^

Walls hinder most (not all) games from becoming a pure raiding feast. So even if they are annoying themselves they actually make the game more interesting overall.

And sometimes you need something to cast the blame on…

And that’s a good tradeoff. You’re taking a risk which currently is not really a risk because it has huge rewards.

The arbs player doesn’t have to “fully” boom, just 3 tcs can lead to faster imp times and they’ll have army. At a point where knight player hits imp, which in that scenario will be about 2 or 3 mins afterwards, the arbs player can add halbs while pushing. And I hope you know that its a big investment to get castles and towers up everywhere to protect your entire base against 1-tc imp arbs. And they can still be destroyed by bombard canons and will eventually lead to slow death. That’s a very powerful winning strategy. Almost all upsets in Kotd-4 were based on that strategy.

Your talking from the standpoint that this strategy MUST remain the meta and should not be a risk. While in fact it should quite be the opposite case. Going 1-tc imp on an open map should have merits and equally proportionate risks.

Except it isn’t feudal wars. Its just less than a dozen units made till walls are complete and then its just eco. 11 mins you clicked up in 8.5 mins and even that delay is because of investing into those 10-12 units, getting fletching to avoid being overrun, eco upgrades like wheelbarrow. Unlike castle age, its a namesake investment. Players don’t actually do like 2 stables, 2 ranges or 3 ranges. FU scouts–spears/skirms-archers. Doing something like that is super risky with the current meta because before you break-in and deal damage, opponent will hit castle age, get tc up or have castle age army.

what would you do when you do a 21 pop MAA into skirms or archers, disturb opponent eco and opponent has made a few archers and skirms of their own? You’ll almost always be preparing for castle age and never think about adding stables and getting +1 cav armor to add scouts.

It was a counter argument to someone who said that the idea of having Arson in feudal age is dumb, like it would be OP. We don’t see that many scouts or maa simply because the damage potential of these units is quite low. And this is true for all feudal units. You won’t see 3 or 4 ranges plays either. And this in turn makes the civs with good bonuses for feudal age aggression inferior.

The thing is if you kill 7-8 vills in mid castle age, you won’t try to pull army back and hit imp. You’ll instead add more buildings and go for the kill. But if you kill 2-3 vills in feudal, you’ll plan for castle age. LONGER feudal play isn’t something you’d go for, that’s the difference.

Not at all. The 2 militia drush works only when opponent has no loom and can’t fight back. Otherwise it almost does nothing. By the time you 2-milita drushed and have archers, your opponent obviously will have more archers or a mix of archers and skirms.

What will you do with resource walls if opponent has a big bunch of feudal army like 15 archers, 6-7 scouts etc. Everything you have been saying is fully based on the current meta of doing stray feudal army, killing 1 or 2 vills and hitting castle age. Whereas the whole post is about making feudal age relatively more important and prolonged.

Again almost all points based on the current castle age meta. Look for some Daut vs Capoch or Daut vs chris archives from Zeroempires channel on youtube. You’ll see how the game does NOT require you to be fully walled by the time castle age begins and how to play with army at ALL ages. Even Viper vs Liereyy final game of RBW-5 is a great example of how you can play feudal, do some damage and defend well with defensive units in an unwallable map.

I’ve played from the times where War wagons costed 80w, 60g and had 6 range, Chinese had just -150 food penalty for 3 extra vills, teuton town centers had 3 extra range by default :smiley: and people just tower rushed with spear, skirms and roamed around with CA as Huns in unwallable AOC Arabia, with lag and boars spawning miles away from tc. So obviously I’ve played hundreds of games without walls and extended feudal play.

Walls should be there to buy you sometime to pull back your army which is out of place, to defend against opponent’s. It shouldn’t be strong enough to prevent feudal army from breaking in and doing damage.

Imagine if stone walls costed 2 stone, were built in 5 seconds and had 10000 hp. Everyone will double layer stone wall and boom to cut with onagers because castle age army can never break in or if it did break in by the time it did opponent is either in imp or has castles all over. So obviously all the post-imp strong civs will be the meta. This is the castle age equivalent situation currently.

1 extra second x the number of palisades needed to wall off your base is actually a lot. And it’s often the difference between winning or losing the game, because losing vils and economy so early has a snowball effect further down the line. You might need 30 to 50+ palisades to fully wall depending on how open your map is. Imagine all those games lost in Feudal and how much further ahead you would have been if the opponent invested in scouts and you managed to finish your walls 30 to 50+ seconds earlier?

So you agree all civs would just go scouts? What an exciting new meta.

Did you know horsies’ movement speed is 55% faster than spears and 1 scout can just lead each spear away while the other 3 scouts kill it with really basic micro? And while you’re running circles round his base disrupting his economy making him chase you and invest in spears, your economy is running smooth and untouched at home.

3x dark age units walking slowly around my base which die much harder to my TC / can’t run past my TC vs. fast scouts running around freely, sniping in and out, running past TC

It’s funny that the OP thinks he is buffing scouts when he made it impossible to go scout in the face of m@a

Oh wow you went so far, you basically overkilled AOE II.

The change we need is first to address the map, rather than turning AOE 2 into AOE 2.5, slow down and find the root cause of this dull meta, it’s not something this game has always had. It’s quite recent. (due to poor changes by the development team)

You can check my posts regarding this phenomena:

Arabia and Meta

TR Arabia as a possible solution


I agree with xbow/ arbalester upgrade more expensive and with the increased wood cost for archers only.

Archers are not that great and are balanced in late game, increasing gold will make a minor differences in ealry game but will put a massive nerf for arba play in late game which are currently not pop efficient and expensive.

No need to nerf direct stats that’s not the issue with this unit.

As for training time, maybe but that will be too many changes at once.

I’m ok with it for britons however, for the huns, i do not agree especially it that affect 1v1 in which they are balanced.

That’s not the issue with militia-line.

issue is both cost and transition time which make it hard to see in castle age for no particular reason.
The second issue (which are not an issue to me) is the fact that they are countered by two most used units in many maps : the crossbows and the knights even the ca and monks (which are common) counter it very easily; their goal is to destroy eagles and trash but the cost of it make it rarely viable to counter them especially considering that it only counter and cannot easily make damage in someone which are booming behind some trash or eagles to gain map control.

In imp, they are balanced to me and do the job in which this unit is supposed to do.

As for spear and eagles they are balanced, no need to buff them.

Too many changes, begin with construction times increased and maybe house nerf.

Lierrey is literally the best at the “suicide raid until you die” technique against unwalled opponents. Forces open walls, breaks in with timings, stays low eco into castle age and just spams Knights everywhere while taking 2-3 fights and raids at the same time, usually being able to close out massive eco disadvantages.

And congratulations, you played AoE2 for atleast 9 years and didn’t realise that the old stronger walls had more feudal play than now when walls are nerfed and xbow timing is the singular most common strategy at a high level.

Players are foregoing Horse Collar and sometimes even DBA to get their timings because of the wall nerfs, and for some reason you think that continuing in the wall nerf direction will change the meta from timings to feudal play. Half of all EW games have been decided by one sneak army of 4-6 xbows getting in and taking out 5 vills and that’s gg. You want to see more feudal play? Make it so that there are options to counter the timing play (WALLS) rather than being forced to do the timing play yourself to match.

Also your comments on 2 militia drush being useless are a little bit too confident. It’s so useless that it’s the standard opening on ladder for 2k2 and above.

Seriously, I’m at a loss at how you can write “What will resource walls do vs 15 archers and 6-7 scouts” and not realise that what you need to do vs the threat of 15 archers and 6-7 scouts is get to Castle faster and neutralise the enemy threat with tech up. 6 xbow bodkin are honestly even better than 15 archers & 6/7 scouts vs resource walls.

My entire point is that if you think your changes will change the meta, you’re arguing against an year of data that showed the game was pushed further into timings play by nerfing walls.

30-50 extra seconds of villager time is less than 20 resources. Its an unimpactful change and that’s why it didn’t change the walling meta whatsoever. All the games lost in feudal to Scout aggression is a consequence of overgreedy walling without spears or cases where there was a hole in the wall. Otherwise 1 second is a negligible nerf.

You can go towers, spear-skirms and a lot of possibilities. Unlike knights+crossbows which is NOT there for every civ.

Did you know that will happen only when you’re greedy and make just 1 spear and try to chase multiple scouts away ? Did you know if you have your own archers, and didn’t just try to fc, you can kill more scouts when opponent is trying to micro-nerd their scouts against your spears? Did you know you can counter attack with 4-5 archers and 3 spears because they can’t wall either? And did you know that all this means feudal age play becomes naturally important and its more feasible for the feudal age bonus civs to get ahead of the meta civs and not die to them in castle age.

The idea of drushing is to cause villager idle time, force them off berries for a while, force mistakes like missed eco upgrades or delay the stable or get them houses. When walling is harder, scouts will be a popular choice but you can delay scout rushes with regular or pre-mill drush.

Partly it is. In late imp, obviously you’ll need to transition into trash units or some other power units for the civ and the weakness is natural. Its the early game where costing just 70 resources and yet being super powerful makes them the most meta.

I was thinking from the part where after walls are nerfed, 20% faster stables would be quite strong.

Ya that’s true and that’s partly because they’re super slow and you’ll lose quite some numbers to the meta units when you retreat.
Not buffing the eagles, I’ve expicitly mentioned that their base speeds will be re-adjusted according to this bonus.

Congratulations, you’ve proved that you know nothing about maps in AOE 2. That was played in Land Madness, which has unwallable terrain running across the map and resources are scattered across the map in smaller groups. This means walling and staying inside isn’t possible. And hence the aggressive feudal play. Chrazini and others had to come up with designs where walling isn’t possible to actually force feudal play. Haboob, Land Madness, Bad lands etc

There seems to be absolutely no logic here. Horse collar is postponed intentionally for walling and hitting castle age early. SNEAK with a few archers and stay hidden till castle age is also based on the current walling with a very small bunch of army. All of this is strongly related to the castle age meta and is irrelevant for feudal age play. No one will try to sneak 4-5 archers when you’re not walling and wrecking their base with a bunch of feudal army, because that will reduce their army numbers while having to take a fight. Currently because the opponent knows you’re not going to make that much feudal army and even if you did, you can’t break their WALLS and enter, they do such sneaky things.

When you’re fully walled and xbows hit from behind your walls that’s true. When you just have palisade walls around your wood and gold, 6 scouts with armor and 15 archers with upgrades hit your base, the opponent can just kill a lot of your vills, force enormous idle time. The 6 xbows won’t save you. Today you just go castle age because the opponent has to break the outer walls, stop your walling behind, break the house foundations and then enter. During this time your 6 xbows will kill many of those units and force the feudal army to retreat.

The entire discussion you’ve been talking about going to castle age faster, hitting castle age faster and getting xbows, foregoing horse collar to go castle age faster. This shows how unimpactful and low-valued long feudal plays are. The whole point of the wall nerf is not to keep the current castle age meta and make feudal age play more important. And make heavy military investments in feudal age, a good option in more situations.

IMO one thing that would really change the meta and make it more versatile would be, again, to increase the viability of most unused units, that includes Scorpion and Infantry.

You can’t hope for a more varied meta if you have units with such a ridiculous niche use that they are never seen.

With this concept in mind, I would make the following changes to M@A:

Food Cost from 60 -> 55
Supplies from 15 -> 10 discount
MAA, Longswords, THS & Champs +1 Attack
Bonus vs Eagles affects the Scout-Cavalry Line

The cost changes aim at making Longswords more viable for non-supplies civs.

A higher attack means they win trades better and are stronger at forcing fights by threatening buildings.

Of course all of these would require adjustments to civ-specific bonuses (Goths & Malians mostly) and unique units, but I won’t delve into that.

As for Archers & Knights, I think Knights are fine and Archers could use a cost increase in the Crossbow upgrade. Knights have some counters and only Franks are really cancer because of their accumulated bonuses, but Archers are dominating the meta (even Cavalry Civs usually open Archers due to how easy it is to stop Scouts in feudal).


The base cost reduction certainly helps a bit with drush, man-at-arms and a nice indirect buff for Goths. But otherwise these are negligible changes for generic civs. Ultimately people don’t go for a huge number of man-at-arms or long swords without supplies. I had also added squires 15% faster to make long swords play more feasible. Long swords still won’t be viable in most situations because they’re food intense and die easily to the crossbows, but might be a decent option at least for the infantry civs.
And I don’t think two-handed swords and champs need an additional attack because they’re quite good for late imp compositions after full boom.

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I’m only against this because it would affect Halbs as well, and Halbs should absolutely NOT get buffed in any way. They are completely fine at the moment with the exception of being a bit overtuned vs Elephants.

If anything is needed speed-wise, then it should only affect the M@A

In theory, yes. In practice not really, unless you are completely ignoring pop-efficiency which usually comes to play in late-game scenarios… I don’t think they are good unless your civ has ridiculous bonuses for them, but then the problem would be the bonuses, not the unit.

Except men at arms literally needs no buffs. Its a very commonly used opener.

In the situations where ths and champs are used they are the pop efficient units. I agree giving post feudal scouts the eagle afmor is a good idea.

No if one player goes full wall their base that’s like 400 res or so invested (palisade walls + vil idle time). If you play maa archer and keep attacking walls your opponent needs to make defensive range and keep repairing. In this case full wall is less efficient. Making minimal defensive army and small wall is always better for this reason on an open map. That’s why you basically never see dark age full wall past a certain elo.

You always have the eco efficiency over that guy. If someone does this stone wall thing in castle age you can just go for faster 3 tc boom and make minimal aggressission with one mango to force more defensive moves from opponent. Castle age stonewall is bad in most cases because it actually gives you less efficient eco than opponent.

That’s how you punish this play. Thinking my opponent plays ultra defensive so I play ultra aggressive can be a mistake.

At max about 35-40 palisade walls = 105-120 wood. 280 seconds of constructions time = 90-110 resources in dark age. An additional 50-60 seconds of movement time = 20 resources. Overall its at max 250 resources.

Yes and in that case you do 2 archers, 3-4 skirms and defend that off. Its true that players might not be fully walled before feudal unless they do a pre-mill drush but are definitely walled along the side facing the opponent and get fully walled a few mins into feudal. And I originally proposed even longer build times for palisades in this post.

Exactly. Unfortunately you can’t do any of that stuff to a player who walls in feudal age and tries to hit castle age soon. The relative strength of feudal age military is quite low to break palisades and enter cause disturbance. Hence the wall and maa change suggestions.

Like 3 or at max 4 of them are made. If you’re lucky and opponent didn’t scout your maa opening, you can kill a villager or keep them off berries for a while. Once opponent gets 2 archers and fletching, they become completely useless. Its one of the reasons why maa based civs like Dravidians, Goths, Bulgarians, Burmese are so weak. One of their bonuses has very little impact.

I loaded up 3 arabia gens and to get full wall with closest woodlines I needed 55-60 palisades. Walling smaller to tc in front was 45-50. So it’s definitely more. And then you have to calculate for early walling behind and repairing when maa hit. Btw if you go full wall it’s almost impossible to go 19 pop archers because you invest so much wood early on. I mean the strat gives you a good defensive position if you take little initial dmg but I don’t think it’s resources efficient which is why most people go for small walls here.

In that case you can keep attacking from different angles, have more efficient eco behind and have competitive castle age time. I don’t see the problem here. Early walling is a heavy investment and you take the appropriate strategy decisions after that. And it’s not like there isn’t any aggressive potential. Especially if there is forward stone you can keep harrassing that.

If anything it’s the other way around. Despite these civs suffering in certain areas (except for Bulgarians, they’re just solid) they still have very good MAA openings which helps the civ’s standing

But beyond that opening I agree MAA are next to useless

Have to agree with pulikesi, it’s only the rush where they’re good

Eagle warriors gain an automatic speed boost with their tech, so either this could be reduced, and squires increased or LS(onwards) base speed could be increased independently or squires could affect militia line differently , like Parthian tactics(least favourite)

Pikes which move at the speed of Celt pikes aren’t going to suddenly break the game either so I wouldn’t worry about them.

And Celt pikes moving at the speed of Lith pikes won’t break the game either

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And imagine how much better they will be with dark age (3 seconds more) and feudal walling (1 second) taking longer and palisades having less armor, as well as men st arms dealing an extra damage to buildings baseline ln top of that.

Thats a lot of buffs in favor of the men at arms already, which will make them much better as is.

You dont buff an already good unit 5 ways.

So yeah. Fyi arbs have a training time of 27 seconds. Not sure where you get 30 seconds from.

I agree with the title