Conquistador is too strong as a "win more" unit

Don’t get me wrong, overall Spanish are a weak civ. The fact that they are precluded Archer line offensively means that, if they don’t go to Stone, you can expect only Knights from them in Castle Age, and this is a big limitation. On closed maps, where early eco bonuses aren’t as incisive, Spanish are better, because their late Castle/early Imp are stellar.

We all know this basic flaw of Spanish though, and here I want to talk about something else. The premise I wrote is mostly to point out that I am assuming somehow the Spanish player got ahead, be it on a closed map by pre-spawned Stone Walls, or lucky map gen on Arabia. Let’s assume the Spanish player managed to get a Castle at around minute 20 on Arabia or Arena, or Nomad or whatever. It is possible to prevent this from happening, but in some cases, it WILL happen, even in high elo games between e.g. TheViper and Hera.

Does anyone else feel that, once Conquistadors numbers get going, they are too strong in current patch? It is OK to have power spikes, every civ has that. Franks have their early CA uptime with 2-3 stable Knights flood, Burgundians have something similar with early Cavalier, and Ethiopians get free resources, free Pikeman and better Crossbows. Every civ has nice things and Spanish deserve some too.

However, after the recent gunpowder buff (+5 HP on Handcannoneer and faster projectiles), I feel Handcannons have become usable/balanced (they can hit moving targets from 4 tiles away now), but Conquistadors have become too strong. Keep in mind that Conquistadors are MOUNTED Handcannoneers, who have mobility. Compare Crossbow & Cav Archer, and Handcannoneer and Conquistador:

25w 45g
35 HP
5 pierce attack
2.0 rate of fire
5 range
0/0 armor

Cav archer:
40w 60g
50 HP (70 with Bloodlines)
6 pierce attack
2.0 rate of fire
4 range
0/0 armor
(requires lots of upgrades to be considered “usable”, Bloodlines, Husbandry, Ballistics and Thumb Ring which together amount to around 1200 resources).

45f 50g
40 HP
17 pierce (+10 vs infantry)
3.45 rate of fire
7 range
1/0 armor

60f 70g
55 HP (75 with Bloodlines)
16 pierce
2.9 rate of fire
6 range
2/2 armor

The increase in resources is similar to the Archer → Cav Archer increase. However, compared to that increase, you get:

  • 2/2 armor (Knight-tier of armor). This makes the unit resilient to melee chasers such as Knights and partially resilient to counters like Skirmishers. Having this much armor as base level is quite significant, and you can count the units that have such high armor levels on… the palm of 1 hand. Most units, even gold units, in this game, have 1/0, or 0/1, those are GOOD armor levels. 2/2 is insane and extremely rare.
  • increased RoF (2.9 down from 3.45 for some reason).

You get more than your money’s worth from this unit. Also remember that Handcannoneer is an IMPERIAL AGE unit, you are essentially getting an Imp unit in Castle Age and mounted too!.

The biggest problem with Conquistador, is that strong Unique Units generally can be still countered, for example, Mangudai is 1 of the strongest units in the game, but a proportion of 0.5-0.7 Skirmishers with most upgrades still scares Mangudai away. THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR CONQUISTADORS where you get 1 chance to mass Skirmishers, and if you have a ratio of let’s say, 1.3 Skirms for each Conq, then you can fend them off. Anything lower, generally crumbles under the pressure of the Conq numbers because Skirm armor doesn’t protect you at all and Conqus 4 or 5 shot you anyway. Basically, you need to:

a) Scout out that the Spanish player is doing Conqs (not always possible as high elo players hide their strats through walls and an “entry level” army that is there to bait you into some bad composition (e.g. Spanish player might open with 5 Knights in early CA).
b) constantly check how many Conqus he has (you don’t wanna have too many Skirms, either, as they are bad vs nearly everything else the Spanish player can do) to make sure you have adequate numbers
c) chase Conquistadors with Skirmishers around the map (old dilemma of how to counter mobility when you don’t have mobility).

Countering old Conqs was possible, mostly because they would never hit from 4+ tiles away, due to slow projectiles. As such, them running into your TC wasn’t a great threat (albeit still a threat). Now, however, the new Conqs are capable of running next to a TC and securing far more villager kills than before. Vs fleeing armies, e.g. Knights, Skirms etc. they are also capable of outputting far more damage than before and with greater accuracy.

It is also very possible, that at some point the Spanish player just decides to get off Conqs and do something else, like Knights or Mangonels, and at that point, it’s very hard to tech transition off of Skirmishers into something else (4-5 Knights beat basically any number of Skirms).

tl;dr: Conqs are too much of a win-more unit, good vs every unit type, including their counter unit, Skirmishers, and force awkward tech transitions by the opponent. Any time a Spanish player has a good Conq mass, the game is basically over as for the Spanish player it’s enough to mix 5-10 units that counter your Skirmishers and Conqs can kill anything else. Their latest buff turned an already strong unit to an over the top one. The best way to kill a Spanish player is prevent him from EVER getting Conq numbers up, if he manages to get to 15-20 Conqs, the game is over and this is a design problem.


As the main and core identity of the civilization, the conquistadors kidnap the Spanish. The more the conquerors were nerfed, the more the Spanish were nerfed, which means the adjustments to the conquistadors will be too risky and may be lethal.

We should give the Spanish more strategical flexibility in the early game, e.g. make techs other than unit upgrades at barracks, stables, archery ranges also require no gold, give them access to crossbowmen, etc. In this way, adjustments to the conquistadors may not easily become too lethal, and it won’t have much of an impact on their primary way of gameplay. The player will still try to build a castle and use conquistadors first, but there will be other leeway if the conquistadors are countered back. Meanwhile, the opponent will no longer have to face such the intractable conquistadors, but will also have to face other Spanish units later.


One thing you are missing is that Conquistadors have a frame delay of 13 compared to a CA’s 35 meaning are even more effective at hit and running making and giving better survivability vs calvary

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They don’t scale very well imho.
Very, very strong in castle age, underwhelming in imperial age, it’s very rare that a UU is like that, it’s usually the opposite.


Here is the Problem:
Spanish Civ identity:
Nice Trade

What a great civ design


How do they not scale in Imperial Age? They are still extremely strong in early Imp, 1 shotting basically anything, from yet-to-be-fully-upgraded Skirms to +4 Knights. They might fall off in late Imp when u are full pop and spamming Skirms from 10+ ranges but that’s a 50+ min consideration. They are extremely strong early/mid-Imp.

true also.

I mean, I maybe have worded my OP poorly, but Conqs were ALREADY like top 5 UUs in the game before the buff, arguably even top 3. THEN the gunpowder buff happened. It’s not like Spanish were struggling before gunpowder buff, they were always a solild Nomad/Arena civ, for example.

I’ve yet to see properly micro’d Conqs be countered back in high level games. Normally, the only way a Spanish player loses, is if they mismicro the EARLY Conqs and waste them (first 3-5) because that allows opponent to reach critical mass of Skirms before you can dish out 10+ Conqs. But this is basically admitting that the Spanish player is lazy, it’s akin to suiciding Knights into Spearmen.

I’m willing to give Spanish buffs elsewhere even though I think Conqs are not just “very strong”, they are “very OP” at the moment. They could easily get +5, maybe +10 resources, or maybe -5/-10 HP and still be an amazing unit. Conqs with, say, -10 HP, would leave Spanish as an amazing civ on closed maps/Nomad.


I meant the elite version.
There’s really zero reason to go for it in 1v1 (too expensive), and even less in team games as spanish get paladins.

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Don’t forget the best counter to conqs: monks. If you open monastery instead of skirms you can defend for quite some time with couple of monks and boom behind. And when your opponent can make light cav or whatever to counter monks or has large enough mass where monks get hard to micro you have the eco to mass another unit. Also even if u open skirm you can boom behind that while your opponent cant really do that. So I don’t think conqs are that strong. Ofc it’s super dangerous if you get a castle in your face but that’s on you if you didn’t prevent that.


Isn’t the same thing with Mongols?
Conqs are strong in castle age but you can say the same about Mangudai in Imperial.

Then you have pre nerf Konnik and pre nerf Leitis (opposites)11
I do agree that Elite Conq might need something but conqs in castle age are soo dominant, same thing with pre nerf Arambai, the nerf, while adressed the OPness in castle age, essentially turned the unit into the worst designed unit ever.
Should I ping @Tocaraca? Looks like he has good knowledge about Conqs in castle age


The same happens with Arambai

The unit doesnt attack faster than Spanish hand canoneer, and when cpared to Bohemian castle age hand canoneer they still have less attack anf range.

And if you compare the advantage over foot units with a mounted cav archer UU then it looks fine.

Not to mention HCs arent very good so the comparison isnt great.

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I guess fire any kind of weapon on horseback is harder than shooting it on foot

Conquistadors are NOT over-powered in a wholistic prespective.

Yet every couple of days there are posts of people complaining of Conqs being OP, or Elite Conq being too weak.
Trying to box this unit into a very generic CA type, rather than accepting its Castle Age supriority. Conqs aren’t just another unit, they’re an emerging win-condition, relying on mass and map control, it’s beyong just stats.

They aren’t meant to be a part of a bigger army composition nor being that unit who scales within the ages, that’s not the case here, Spanish have a great CA and a wonferful Knight-line and trash units. This unit serves a whole role in a nerative rather than another militaristic option.

Please save your single-dimensional analysis to other games, AOE II deserves better.


Other games? Why would you play other games? AoE2 is just better than most of them.

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You mistyped it, here, I fixed it for you:

War Wagons are too much of a win-more unit, good vs every unit type, including their counter unit, Skirmishers, and force awkward tech transitions by the opponent. Any time a Korean player has a good WW mass, the game is basically over as for the Korean player it’s enough to mix 5-10 units that counter your Knights and WWs can kill anything else. Their latest buff turned an already strong unit to an over the top one. The best way to kill a Korean player is prevent him from EVER getting War Wagon numbers up, if he manages to get to 15-20 WWs, the game is over and this is a design problem.


Ever since the gunpowder projectile buff, monks are a lousy counter, they have to be combined with something else in order to get any value at all otherwise they just get sniped before getting any conversions.

that’s another thing they rely on Rng and relying on rng to stop a snowballing unit is a risky strategy.

BTW where are the “Too strong” complaints of Jannissaries, Hussite Wagons and Organ Guns in castle age? Jannis in castle age are one of the main reasosn of why Turks are S+++ (divine) tier on arena, 8 range they just outrange everything, castle drop and jannissaries is really hard to stop, Hussite Wagons need mangonels and monks as Counters because those don’t get a trash counter unlike conqs, war wagons and jannissaries, and with double castle organ gun is even just worse lol, 25 Organ guns are enough to bring chaos to your base (all from an arena perpesctive).


Let’s be honest castle drop into strong UU will always be strong on certain map types.
There are just a few civs that have these strong midgame UUs. And that’s fine imo.
I would like to see spanish “adjusted” a bit in the way that their building speed bonus (except for TCs and Castles for obvious reasons) would be made a bit stronger and the conq nerfed just a bit in the “exchange”. But I would neither just nerf the conq or bluntly buff spanish in general, as spanish have very strong and very weak maps.
I’d like to see spanish less “specialised” to say so.

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I faced a lot of spanish recently especially on hideout. I had no issues at all countering conqs with monks. Also you can always open double monastery if you fear one isn’t enough. You still have way better boom behind that than someone who invests into castle and food intensive UU. Besides until your opponent has conqs out you oftentimea can snag at least 2 relics.