Core unit / Unit Chart / Cavalry balance

After playing 50ish games (level 33), watching various levels of competitive play from beginner to expert I think it’s safe to say a few things about the core unit chart don’t quite work as well as they should. Now most of these are probably small, but they still exist.

First Spearmen, their “stop” (S) command works, but why should the defensive unit require more micro then the A move cavalry? While I’m fine with the concept of leaving your spearmen AFK near your backline it just doesn’t add up. I would recommend a toggle for them, “brace” (just like many other toggles) that will interrupt any attack action they have to do exactly that, go into their brace stance for cavalry. I think they preform their duties fine, but even with allowing them to toggle and A move, they still get shredded in the front line, so I don’t think it breaks them. Their stats seem sufficient to fulfill their role otherwise.

Horsemen are supposed to counter archers and crossbows. Except, they don’t have any pierce armor. Now I understand everything defensively is in a “neat little box” of either heavy armor or no armor, but I think an exception needs to be made here. Horsemen also can’t frontline at all. I think they should be able to very cost efficiently attack archer deathballs. I don’t think an attack damage bonus is sufficient here.

Finally the Knight, can’t have a conversation about the core unit balance without the knight. I think I may have read it somewhere on here, but I think the first step is to make their unit cost population be 2. The goal here is simply encourage unit diversification. With horsemen and spearmen not being able to remotely frontline at all, it makes sense to have knights and man at arms excel at that role, and they pretty much do.
After this first step I think their speed should perhaps be slower when they aren’t charging, so that they are slower than horsemen. Maybe their charge range could be slightly increased to compensate? (the first change alone might be sufficient as stats wise I think they are close, (except for maybe a bit too strong in feudal age performance)
I know they are meta right now, and their ability to shred villagers in 2/3 shots is insane.

I think all 3 suggestions would align the core units a bit more with the unit counter chart, and allow for a tighter Feudal balance.

I think Feudal balance is a bit harder to see right now due to most factions having “early” tier 3 units. Allowing for knights or man at arms to pretty much cover up a bit of the minor balance tweaks that are needed.

Currently Delhi (and Chinese) are good evidence of this. I don’t want the answer to be that all factions need access to 1 of the 3 core gold units in tier 2. I think the first reaction from the development team should be to get the core 6 unit balance spot on. (Yes I am a Delhi main).

I think the standard counter to Knights should be a clear combination (whatever %s) of horsemen (for health to absorb) and spearmen to deal damage to knights). I think the recommended changes would make this distinction far more clear. Overall this combination is a +2 point deviation. This shouldn’t be a close fight at all if the knights take the fight and don’t just run away. This currently is not the case. The population requirements alone are significant which is one thing I think may be missing from the development teams formula. I don’t mind requiring 2x the total number of units due to cost.

Thanks to all that have read this and I am looking forward to hearing from anyone who would like to participate in this discussion.

Overall I think unit balance is fantastic all things considered.


The armor on knights and MAA is just too high. You go from feudal units that all have 0/0 armor to knights/maa that have a base of 4/4 (3/3 for the early versions, still too high). If they want to keep it that way then I don’t think there should be any civs with access to those units in age 2.

I don’t think the armor is too high. Ranged units still dominate even with the high armor.

Currently the counter to Knights is spearmen and archers instead of spearmen and horsemen.

Man at Arms don’t really have a counter either. The + to +++ range just isn’t accurate right now. Horsemen should do a lot better than they do.

I don’t think horsemen should START off with pierce armor but I would like if there were additional techs ON TOP OF the standard blacksmith techs that specifically strengthen the horsemen and make into a hussar or winged hussar. But I would want their specific niche remain raiding, killing range units, and speed to surround slow seige units. All this can be accomplished thru the blacksmith and having certain bonus apply in feudal to allow for viable massive feudal fights where knights are NOT normally accessible.

Something like changing the bonus vs range from being twice the base dmg to 3 times and also increasing the hp by 20% (from 155hp to 186hp). In this case it would take 38 (instead of 31) shots from archers to snipe a “hussar” meanwhile they went from 7 Spearman attacks to 8 Spearman attacks to die (no harm there the counter is preserved). The 50% attack bonus would also bode well in mass fights.

Of course make the hussar upgrade cost the standard unit upgrade cost of elite upgrades (castle upgrade cost).


The hussar and wing hussar updates should be at the stable.

their damage bonus reduced, but increased pierce armor would actually make them useful.

Knight with population of 2 will kill that unit fór every nation which isnt French.

But does it really though? Play it out, all they have to do is make a few more houses here and there. It just slows it down slightly to allow for counter play. It encourages mixing in Horsemen both during the game and at the end game.

Currently the only viable and realistic response to mass archer mixed with crossbows is magonels. Which isn’t a problem but the response lacks mobility. Horsemen mixed with knights is another response BUT it requires you heavily out spend your opponent.

My hope is the patch will give horsemen a bigger bonus vs range infantry ESPECIALLY since Spearman and crossbow will be even stronger vs knights. IFF horsemen are NOT empowered THEN only maga will be a direct counter.

Another thing that could help cav in general is if they go bk to making range units forced to use weaker melee attacks when cav are right up pressed against their faces. In that case horsemen will do well to get a surround using flanking.