Comparing the Mangonel and the Nest of Bees

TL;DR: The Mangonel is too strong compared to the Nest of Bees, and could use a nerf in general. Thus, nerf Mango HP so it is 2-shot by Springalds, instead of 3-shot.


I was browsing the unit statistics over at the wonderful, and came accross the pages for the Nest of Bees and the Mangonel. Now, as a China main, I’ve always felt since release that Mangonels were stronger, and scarier, than Nest of Bees. So I thought I’d do a direct comparison between the two here.

Mangonel Nest of Bees
Cost 600 (400 W, 200 G) 600 (300 W, 300 G)
HP 240 (288 w/ Siege Works) 200 (240 w/ Siege Works)
(Ranged) Armor 8 (11 w/ Siege Works) 8 (11 w/ Siege Works)
Attack 3 attacks of 12 8 attacks of 10
Attack Speed 6.75 seconds 5.5 seconds
Move Speed 0.75 (0.9 w/ Greased Axles) 0.81 (0.97 w/ Greased Axles)
Range 9 8 (9.6 w/ Pyrotechnics)

So, on paper, the Nest of Bees and the Mangonel seem to be sidegrades of each other. They cost the same, the Mango has more HP and Range, while the NOB deals more damage, moves faster, and reloads faster. The Mango has an Imp upgrade to reduce it’s reload time by 25%, while the NOB has an upgrade to reduce its cost by 25% (and Pyrotechnics, of course). But because of various factors, in practice, the Mangonel performs much better than the Nest of Bees.

First, let’s talk about defense. The increased mangonel HP actually makes a huge difference, as Springalds will 3-shot Mangonels, but 2-shot Nest of Bees. This wasn’t really an issue when clocktower supervision was still a thing, as clockwork NOB were also 3 shot, but China can no longer rely solely on the clocktower for siege, a lot of its NOB are now 2-shot. This is compounded that, in Castle, NOB have one less range, meaning that they have to expose themselves to cav and springalds more. Thus, overall, NOB are much more vulnerable compared to Mangonels.

Next, let’s talk damage. On paper, the Mango does 36 total damage per attack, while the NOB does 80. It would seem that the NOB is much better in this regard. But due to how it attacks, the damage doesn’t necessarily translate. In testing I did with my friend a few weeks ago, we found that against a clumped up group of MAA, it took four volleys from both a Mango and a NOB to kill the clump. Furthermore, because the NOB attacks over a short duration, it is much easier to mitigate its damage through micro compared to the Mangonel, which does its attack in one big burst. A player is given much more reaction time to dodge at least some of the NOB’s attack. These factors often mean that the NOB kills armies slower than the Mangonel can.

So, at this point, I’m sure many of you are expecting me to call for buffs to the NOB. Which, some would say, could cause a return to the toxic China siege deathball. But rather, I think the NOB is in a good spot. It does a decent amount of damage, but it’s damage can be mitigated with good micro. And it has to expose itself in order to do that damage. In many games, it’s not a NOB deathball that we see - it’s a Mangonel deathball.

Thus, the Mangonel should be nerfed. I propose that Mangonel HP be reduced so that, at least without Siege Works, the unit is 2-shot by Springalds. This will provide easier counterplay to Mangonels, which are dominant in the meta right now, and make the Nest of Bees more appealing as a unique unit.

I want to end off by noting two persistent bugs with the Nest of Bees, which are really annoying and I hope the devs can address soon.

The first is that Nest of Bees still cannot fire when they are standing on a river crossing, like on Danube River or Mongolian Heights. Some have said that this is an intended mechanic - wet gunpowder - except no other gunpowder unit has this issue. It’s also ugly design for my units to just stop working at a certain part of the map.

The second is that Chemistry still does not apply properly to the Nest of Bees, and the apparent reason is hilarious. Chinese is supposed to get Chemistry for free immediately upon hitting Imperial, which should boost the NOB attack from 8x10 to 8x12. Right now, it remains at 8x10. And the reason why is because, when they decided to buff NOB damage from 8x8 to 8x10, they did so not by increasing the unit’s attack directly, but by just having Chinese automatically get Chemistry in Castle. There’s no other gunpowder unit in Castle, so no other unit is affected. But, if you pay attention, you can see that when the clocktower is built, 32 tax gold is already on the structure - the exact amount of tax you get when you research an upgrade.
This is made even more apparent in the PUP, where, because of the UI improvements they made, the NOB’s attack is listed as 8x(8+2). I think the devs secretly put Chemistry on the Clocktower and had it automatically research when China hit Castle. For some reason they thought this was a better solution than just increasing the base value.

I would ask that the devs fix these bugs, and consider my suggestion to nerf Mangonel HP.


I did some updated testing with Mangonels and Bees vs Spears and MAA, at popular request. All tests were conducted at Castle Age with generic castle age units (besides Palace Guard for China) and all relevant castle age upgrades researched. We tested with the NOB/Mangonel vs 15 Spearmen/MAA clumped together.

On Spearmen, the NOB took 3 volleys to begin killing spearmen, while the Mangonel took 4 volleys to begin killing spearmen. However, the 3rd Mango volley left all 15 spears on 2 health. Meanwhile, after the 3rd NOB volley, the spearmen on the edges of the clump were still alive; only the ones in the center died, while after the 4th Mango volley, all 15 spears were dead.

On MAA, the NOB took 3 volleys to begin killing MAA, while the Mangonel took 5 volleys to begin killing Palace Guard. However, the NOB took 6 volleys to kill 13 of the 15 MAA, as only the ones in the center died initially. Meanwhile, the Mangonel killed 12/15 Palace guard after 5 volleys.

From these tests, there are few things we can conclude:
Neither NOB nor Mangonels are affected by armor. However, Nest of Bees have much lower splash radius, and there appears to be a damage falloff from the center of the projectile. Meanwhile, Mangonels have no such damage falloff, and their splash appears to be much better distributed. Thus, Mangonels are a more reliable, effective, and tankier splash unit than the NOB.


Nest of Bees should be a stronger Mangonel. No discussion about this is needed. Its a fact said by the developers on their own stream: Unique units should be stronger than non-unique units. HRE MAA, Rus Handcannoneers, Longbows are some easy examples.

And despite this the devs contradict themselves in their own game design. Chinese NoB are much worse Mangonels and have been ever since the stress test. Only recently did they receive a bugfix, but they are still worse Mangonels.

Whats even more outrageous is the Clocktower nerf and (hopefully not going to happen) Imperial Official nerfs. The Clocktower nerf needs to be reverted. Because its impossible to build NoB from any building other than the Clocktower. Otherwise they are destroyed by 2 springald shots instead of 3. Mangonels take 3 shots.


I agree.
But I think now.
They are same USA government.
Microsoft too. Relic Entertainment is employee for USA government and Microsoft .
Global (USA,West) anti China now.
My English isn’t that good.
I am Thai at Thailand.
สวัสดี ขอบคุณ

Well there was a time nest of bees were OP…

Outside fixing the bugs i hope they’ll change the NOB to average out a noticeable dps over the mango. For example in your spearmen example they should randomize the shots to take from 2 to 4 shots to wipe out 80% of those 15 clumped up spears meanwhile it remains to require a consistent 4 shots for mangos to kill the same number of spears.

This will allow for some RNG plus element of surprise to really reward the use of NOBs.

Finally only change I’d like to see with mangos is a longer reload.


Could we please have nerfs to mangonels and Nest of Bees that aren’t oriented around springalds? Surely we should not be further encouraging a meta where springalds are the only real option to handle siege?


I mean, nerfing Mangonel HP also renders them more vulnerable to infantry and cav diving them as well, so it’s not like it only helps Springlads. But if you have another suggestion on a better way to nerf Mangos without touching the Nest of Bees I’m all for it

Nest of bees are better then mangonels, they shred everything, I’ve played games where nest of bees by themselves were charged by massed knights and just destroyed all the knights

And how are you not sure that an equal amount of mangonels wouldn’t also have shredded those knights? You can see in the tests I conducted that the mangos were better at killing both maa and spearman, and thus they should also be better at killing knights


Because I don’t get shredded by mangonels like I do nest of bees

Ah, so anecdotal experience with no factual basis. Well, I can say that in my personal experience, mangos destroy my lancers much better than my Bees do to enemy knights.

If you would like to do a test, like how I did above with MAA and Spearman, and let us know how many attacks it takes for a mango to kill a clump of knights vs a nest of bees, and try to provide some actual data to support your position, that would be more productive.


So experience is not factual, interesting logic you have. But then go on to talk about your own experience when playing against siege. Either way siege is OP and needs to be fixed

No, I say that personal, anecdoal experience is not factual or data driven. I then prove this point by providing a personal, anecdotal experience that contradicts your personal, anecdotal experience. We are now at an impasse, because we both have equally valid experiences. That is why you cannot use personal experience in a discussion like this.

I then provide a way for us to resolve this impasse through you conducting a test on the effectiveness of mangos and bees vs knights, much as I did above with MAA and Spearmen.

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Ohh Is see what your saying. Well I say they both need to be nerfed

This is why the game should have had an in-game scenario editor at launch. So much discussion around balance has been unproductive due to the difficulty of conducting controlled tests.


While I disagree that both need to be nerfed, that is not the point of my thread here. My point is that the Mangonel is a better unit than the NOB, but the way it should be is that the NOB should be better, or at least as good as, the Mangonel. Perhaps both units need to be nerfed; I am not going to argue that here. But if so, the Mangonel needs to be nerfed more than the NOB.


I hope a modmaker is making a test map somewhere, like in SC2’s arcade

No, NOB should be more powerful than Mangonel, and more than a little. As a Characteristic unit, it should be much more powerful than units of the same nature. Can you imagine that the elephants in Delhi Sultan are only a little better than knights?


Elephant cost way more than a knight it’s normal he is better , NOB cost the same than a mangonel it’s normal he can’t be a lot better
And full upgraded NOB are good , more range less costs , I think NOB fine like that

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