Chinese special units are underwhelming

Hey there!

Chinese isn’t doing too well at the moment. They have several issues from difficult base building, underwhelming but overpriced Landmarks, no more +2 starting villagers and weird Tax collection.

Lets take a look at their units, which I found underwhelming aswell.

Nest of Bees - worse version of mangonel

We all know this unit is just a weaker mangonel at this point. This unit has multiple bugs and issues.

  • Nest of Bees cannot fire when in shallow water
  • It does not benefit from Chemistry despite being a gunpowder unit
  • It deals significantly less damage than Mangonels despite showing 8x8 damage

Video proof: Mangos vs Bees.mp4 - Google Drive

Zhuge Nu Crossbowmen - overpriced “Archer” that will get kited by other Archers

This unit is an overpriced archer with a lot higher dps but extremely low range, which prevents it from being useful. It has only 4.5 range, which is 0.5 range less than a Crossbowmen, 0.5 less range than a normal Archer.

I don’t see any reason to build this unit. It loses against Archers because of its lower range. Against English Longbows its completely useless. It does poorly against all armor units. Its useless against French Arbaletiers with their +5 ranged armor shield.

This unit needs the same range as an Archer to be useful.
Its role overlaps directly with an Archer, but an Archer is cheaper and has more range, which makes Archers more effective against everything.

Palace Guard - worse version of Man at Arms

Compare this unit directly to other man at arms. It has 1 less melee and ranged armor and loses in direct combat to other man at arms. But it runs faster. So what? Thats a terrible tradeoff. Delhi has access to forced March on Man At arms, making them run 100% faster to run into melee range. But they have the same armor than normal man at arms. They also get a +3 attack damage upgrade in Age IV.

Whats even worse is the fact that upgrades for this unit are not available in Age III, only Age IV. Why is this not unlocked in Age III like the other upgrades?

  • Palace Guards have an upgrade for +30 HP in Age IV
  • English Man at Arms have an uprade for +2 armor both ranged and melee in Age III which is superiour to 30 more HP, especially as Man at Arms are upgraded to Elite and gain more HP
  • HRE has multiple upgrades for Man at Arms in Age III

The Palace guard used to have an area of effect attack which was given to the HRE Landsknecht. Instead, the palace guard now has less armor and moves faster.

Its basically a cheaper and worse version of a Knight but without the Charge attack. It loses against other Man At arms, it loses against Knights and due to having less armor its significantly worse against Archers aswell.

In my opinion, palace guards should have their additional move speed reduced to that of a normal MAA, get the same armor back and allow players to research +30 HP upgrade in Age III. Maybe they should have more attack range with their special polearm weapon or something. Or small additional damage against cavalry?

I’m looking forward to your feedback and suggestions!


Agree with your idea for extra range on the palace guard. Alternatively they can make the speed boost higher, because currently the extra speed on the palace guard really isn’t enough to justify the armor loss.

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Also, +30hp is just so much worse than getting extra armor. In general extra armor goes a much longer way than extra health because it stacks up over time against multiple attacks.


They really overdid it with the NoB nerf after the closed beta. I mean I’m glad they’re not single-handedly wiping out whole armies anymore, but they def. got overnerfed.

I agree though. The Chinese armies are definitely cool and I still love playing them, but the units aren’t competitive for sure.

Why do Palace guard need a weakness anyway? Just make the palace guard a faster MAA. No need to change the armor.


also the dynasty system seems useless as well. Getting extra landmarks seems appealing, but the cost is doubled too. Usually the very first fight can be engage between 8-15 min in a match. building walls probably delay a few mins. If the Chinese not building an army, then it’s a loses. building army == never getting in yuan or ming dynasty. basically the special units that the Chinese has are zhuge nu and palace guards. The most ironic thing is the Chinese get benefits from gum powder. Need to get in Age 4(for free chemistry ),yuan (for fire lancer) and ming(for granader). when some other civs has early economy buff(gethering speed buff from10%-25%). The Chinese need age 4 college to acquire the technology which give 5% boost per dynasty by spending 150 logs and 350 gold. however some civs has really good midgame unique technologies in their landmarks. BBBuff the Chinese, indeed!!!

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From a macro point of view, the Chinese civilization designed by the developers will not be able to give full play to its superior economic capabilities until the later stage, and cultivate a large number of ordinary but huge troops to defeat the enemy. However, you must first find a way to survive the second half of the game, otherwise you will be forced to use a civilization with a worse reward to fight against an enemy with a better reward. Because I like Chinese civilization, I use Chinese civilization, but after I realized the Chinese civilization positioning of the developer, I began to hesitate. This is not a camp that I can enjoy; the landmark effect is poor, the special unit is poor, and the economic rewards are complicated and troublesome. As some players on the forum said: This camp is not fun, you just use the worse camp in all directions, trying to win the better camp than you.

I hope developers will not give up this game. Maybe I will try to play other camps before the next patch, simpler and more powerful, until they provide the necessary enhancements for Chinese civilization.

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This is going to sound odd, but get a ram and pile your Zhuge Nu inside it. Best drive by raiders. 2-3 Zhuge Nu kill a villager on one hit, depending on Textile upgrade. Don’t try it vs Rus, French or English tho.

At this point, I’d say Chinese are on the backfoot but have a lot of potential. Imperial gunpowder is no joke.

I would rather buff their economy than their units. Cheaper TCs, cheaper military buildings, cheaper IO and more dynamic upgrades for them (upgrades to supervision, defense buffs, etc).

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In aoe4, Chinese civilization is rubbish. I don’t understand why Microsoft designed such a civilization to make people feel beaten? There is no civilization in aoe4 that lacks strong military units like Chinese civilization. I don’t play Chinese civilization now. This civilization is too boring and boring. It can only make people experience the pleasure of being beaten passively.

Laugh in Fire Lancer and Grenadier

I guess we forgot about Grenadiers and Fire Lancers.

The devs should make the Chinese units weaker and cheaper and increase the population cap to 250. Then it will be historically accurate as China never really was good in small numbers. They always had larger poorly equipped and trained armies who were originally farmers.

Just like AOE3

Their soldiers were actually better than their non-nomadic neighbors

Maybe the Khitan and Jurchen weren’t really full nomadic but I just group them together for short

China has more unique units than anyone. You should try doing some 4v4s so you can find out that fire lancers are probably the best unit in the game.

Extra health is needed to fight enemies with siege, Siege doesn’t care about armor. Cav crush siege were men at arms die horribly to mangonels. 100+ balance changes are coming.