Chineese Dynasty System currently feels pointless past Song Dynasty

One of the most unique aspect of Chineese Civilisation in AOE 4, is there ability to build both of each age landmarks in order to enter a new dynasty. Dynasties can be seen as half age up as they grant you different bonuses, give you access to special units and special buildings in return for spending the cost of a second landmark.

But actually, the dynasty system seems a bit off, as the only one worth making seems to be Song Dynasty (Age II Dynasty). Past that point dynasties start become really expensive and their bonuses less attractive. Moreover entering Yuan Dynasty (Age III) also means give up on Song Dynasty’s nice booming bonus (massive improvement of villager production speed + Village) and its special unit (Repeater crossbow), as entering a new dynasty remove all the previous dynasty bonuses and granted abilities.

All these downside plus the fact that making new dynasties is delaying your age up by a lot, make that I almost never want to enter Yuan Dynasty (I only do it when I’m far ahead after a long time pasted in Imperial Age) and I absolutly never do Ming Dynasty (Age IV Dynasty).

I find it pretty sad as I really think this system could bring a lot of diversity into Chineese gameplay and counterplay.
But I also think some simple change could make it feel better and more usable:

1. Swap Imperial Academy (currently Age II) with Spirit Way (currently Age IV)

Currently those two landmarks feels off. Imperial Academy got a little bit better with last Update Taxe buff (taxe collection cooldown reduced to 15sec) but it still feel a bit of a edgy gold generation strategy. And Spirit way feel useless as you almost never invest in your dynasty units even after age IV. Spirit way only feels like a default choice for aging up to imperial age if you don’t have stone walls everywhere…

Spirit Way Age II:
Making spirit way an Age II landmark would have a benefic impact on a lot of chineese current issues and help them in having a more unique gameplay. This change would allow them to compensate there early weakness by being able to produce cheaper units. The cost reduction could also be changed to increase with the number of dynasties you currently achieved, inciting you to make more dynasties to reduce your unique units cost. This change would also remove the downside of loosing your unique units when Dynasting up and allow you to invest freely in those units upgrades.
Last point, it could be interresting to give Spirit way the Dynasty Units upgrades and make them free upon new Dynasty completion. Like that you could still pay for the upgrade in production buildings, if you don’t plan on making the dynasty, or wait for your dynasty to get the free upgrade and mitigate the cost of your dynasty. This would have no impact on Song dynasty (Age II) but would make Yuan Dynasty far more interresting, as it would really enhance its half age purpose. Yuan dynasty would be an interresting choice in an Age III with a lot of pressure and in which you would have gained a little lead, giving you a little bonus to all in and finish your opponent. It would also remains balanced defensively has it would requires investing ressources you would better spend in immediate units than in a time consuming upgrade.

Imperial Academy Age IV:
This change could also benefit Imperial Academy. How about making Imperial Academy a real Academy with extra technologies to improves Taxes collection. This way it would reduce weird gold generation early (letting this unique specificity to Rus) and give it back in Age IV. It would also give you a little eco bonus by removing the need to pay for an academy to access academy technologies.
Another change that could be made would be to lower the base limit of Imperial officials, and allow imperial academy to raise it (this could be based on the number of dynasty achieved or not…).

From an Historical point of view this swap would totally make sens as Chineese Civilization always been highly spiritual and several new fields of study were promoted at the Guozijian (Imperial Academy) during Ming Dynasty.

2. Balance Dynasty Units

Currently some dynasty units don’t feel really worth, but with the first change a lot could have change. Currently I think Zhuge Nu are already fine units, but Fire Lancer seems a bit off and Grenadier are awful…

Fire Lancer:
Maybe giving them a little bit of armor (III : 1/1, IV: 2/2) and making them heavy units would do the trick. They would be a bit stronger against archers and buildings and have a new counter with crossbowman.
I don’t know at all… They just feel useless currently… (Do you have any idea?)

3. Balance some other aspects of Chineese

Right now chineese are really one sided, with some crazy strong bonuses (Song booming bonus, gold generation, late game techs (siege bonus range)) and big down side (lack of early resilience). Since previous change helped smoothing some down sides, it could be a good opportunity to balance some of chineese too strong bonuses without hurting them as much as before or making them useless.

Do you also think Chineese Dynasty System is not in a good spot right now? Do you think those changes could help? Or do you have other ideas to make it more relevant?

PS: English is not my first langage. I’m sorry if some parts are not clear and/or full of mistakes.

That’s like 40% of my imp army lol

Firelancer is great for the price, love it. Quick, very cheap, line formation with explosive charge can wreck, can fast torch artillery and buildings… So good. Treat them like throw away kamikaze and trade well and just churn these out.

Grenadier is actually known to be overpowered, though I rarely get to build it, because the game is over at that point. I get the other 2 dynasties and I often don’t have walls and can’t be bothered to build one to get ming. Grenadiers are one of the strongest units in the game.

Zhuge Nu is ok, I use it in early and late game, mixing it in with crossbows and handcannons. Very cheap, fills the ranks, makes it harder to target my high value ranged. Quick to replace.

Can’t afford to constantly replace a gold heavy army, so having Zhuge Nu and Firelancers is great.

1 Like

I think the idea is that you mass villagers with Song dynasty - and once you have enough (whatever that is) you can shift over to Yuan. You should have our 3 villages up - and can now buff up your farms with granaries. So unless you need to recover because a bunch of villagers died, you are only really giving up the repeating crossbow guys.

As you say though to get to Ming you’ve spent effectively an extra 3600 food and 1800 gold. This is a crazy amount of resources. If you had that advantage over your opponent, just put it into an army and go win. If you turned up with 20 extra knights, 40 MAA, a dozen Springalds or a mix… you are just going to crush the opponent.

I also think the Spirit Way sucks tbh. There’s this sort of “Fire Lancers are good tho, so it could therefore be amazing” running around the internet. Sure - fire lancers are good (especially now given what’s happened to Horsemen) - but you save 36 resources a Lancer. On paper sure - that’s a decent reduction in cost. But to make this comparable to other economic landmarks in the game you’ve got to make loads fire lancers to get a meaningful return. So sure, you make 100 Fire Lancers and its been a great saving. But I feel the game has gone really weird if that actually happens. You are late game Chinese, just get the Clockwork artillery train up and go finish the game.

Grenadiers are great - but again, if you had the edge to get this far, you could have just won.

1 Like

I can’t really imagine a scenario where clockwork doesn’t get nerfed though.

1 Like

You all arent using firelancers properly if you think regular lancers are better. FIrelancers can wipe out an entire army instantly…their charge attack kills both faster and cheaper than mangonels. 10 of them you could wipe out any infantry army, 20 you could wipe out a knight/lancer army. They can be counterplayed by spreading units properly but that isnt always an option and it has to be done fast because fire lancers are a very fast unit. If enemy is countering with spears thats there grenadiers become the better option to do a similiar job, but firelancers still make a great building/siege sniper unit if thats the case.

Technically you can cancel the charge with spears, but people rarely do it correctly. Both fire lancers and grenadiers are insane units if you get to them, they don’t need buffs.

1 Like

I somewhat agree. I don’t like Fire Lancers, they seem too gimmicky and situational, and hard to integrate in an army composition. I also don’t think Yuan and Ming are worth the price. You always want to get Age IV before getting Yuan, because all the civ advantages unlock there. Then Ming seems slightly better, as it unlocks Grenadiers, buffs your army HP, and the 9100HP walls can be useful. Yuan at this point gives you Granaries, but your farms are usually already in place, Fire Lancers which are weird as they only seem useful en masse and for hit and run tactics (they die very fast and feel risky to dive for the siege with), and spying on enemy vils which is another gimmicky feature.

1 Like

I may have underestimate Fire Lancers and Grenadiers…

Fire Lancers:
The thing is, I feel like Fire Lancers are only “good” right now because of their insane building damage. But they are still slow cavalry units without Yuan Dynasty Buff, they are really squishy and get destroyed by every other units. That make them cheessy units that don’t really belong in any army composition.
Maybe if they nerfed their torch damages against buildings (What everyone seems to complain about) but not their damage against siege, and give them a little bit of pierce armor it would be fine…
It would reduce this feeling of having this unfair instant threat for opposing players, and keep Fire Lancers relevant as raiding and siege counter units. They would still be a threat for buildings but they would take more time to destroy them.
I still think making them “Heavy” units for crossbowmen to conter them would be an interresting choice. But not in a way to strengthen them against Knights or spikemans. Maybe just a little bit of pierce armor (III 0/1, IV 0/2).
I didn’t like the fact that Horseman would win against them but, since horseman got nerf it’s not relevant anymore…

Maybe I need to try them more…
I just keep asking myself why would prefer to make grenadier above nest of bees in late game…?
They are faster than nest of bees but are still really slow. Their range is really short. They may not have minimum range, wich is cool but in a pretty late game with probably a lot of handcannoneer and almost no pack of light infantery, their use might not be optimal (nest of bees as well by the way)…
I still feel nest of bees’ range would make me prefer them as they are safer, even if they deal less damage for equivalent cost. But I might have oversestimate grenadier cost since Spirit Way unit cost reduction is a big factor in the equation…

I’m pretty sure, haven’t tested in depth or anything, but the only thing that beats a decent sized mass of fire lancers is probably knights (and spears/longbows if properly bracing and using palings which is often hard to do properly in big lategame fights). The charge splash damage just implodes any unit mass and they melt siege and buildings. Also the only way you have them without the Yuan dynasty buff is if you switch dynasties and make them at the spirit way so that’s hardly an argument for changing them.

I’m not too familiar with why Grenadiers are so good, I just know they beat like every unit and if you can just spam some out with spirit way reduction, it’s basically a win condition. It might be because they only use 1 pop unlike nest of bees, are faster than siege, can kite (because no setup time) and don’t count as siege thus don’t take bonus damage from springalds/culverins and are more massed thus can’t be countered by bombards. The only unit that deals with them somewhat effectively I believe are multiple mangonels.

1 Like