Counter to MAA in Dark/Feudal

So what is the counter to Dark Age/ Feudal age MAA?

In dark you only have access to tower/spearman/scouts. In the PUP they gave English 100 more starting wood so now the go to strategy is dark age maa rush and with english towers buff you get MAA with 100 HP +3/+3 armor and 8 attack/1 sec delay between attacks (while under the influence of the tower)??

Scouts can’t match them? Double spear to their 1 MAA (cost more and require more time to que) can’t beat them? Once in feudal ASSUMING your eco and everything is in tact archers can kite vs them but you need a million bow to kill them? Horseman still can’t match them even though they cost the same total resource but they easily negate your horseman comp by adding just a few spears?

I’m not the brightest but what’s supposed to be the counter to MAA in dark/feudal age?


Good question - I’d like to know that, too.

Some potential answers:

  • Horsemen, but you’re required to make them charge, then run away again, charge again and so on
  • towers/Archers but you have to reserach +1 attack for both asap
  • you have to keep them away with wooden walls till you’re able to defend
  • you have to counter attack their base with e. g. archers

I can’t think of anything else right away

5/8 civs have effective / equal counters to maa in feudal.
Abbasid: Camel archer have high damage per shot, even 2 camels can kite and kill a large group of maa that is sent to your base as long as you keep being active, shooting and running.
English+HRE: your own MAA
French+Rus: Early knight/ Royal knights are cost effective in trade against maa.

If you aren’t one of those 5 civs, use towers.
It takes 5 maa to effectively destroy a tower, its not a good trade for them. Chinese towers with handcannon emplacement which bypass the maa armor especially. Maa are sluggish, its easy to see them coming and pin a tower to stop their advancement.
You shouldn’t only count on the tower tho, as they can come in larger mass or idle your eco. Any additional military next to the tower to poke them with helps. There is no real counter to generic civs. so just stick around your defenses and poke the health off the maa. Try to raid the enemy base as maa cant chase you back, and usuall an maa all-in means they have nothing to defend with at home, while mma are too invested and slow to go back


What’s with the charging and retreating? Horsemen as far as I know don’t have a charge attack, it’s only Knights/Lancers that do. Maybe I’m wrong though; not sure where to look to get this information pinned down for sure. The fandom wiki lists the knights as having separate Sword and Lance attacks but just lists one attack type for the Horseman.

I’m one of those generic civs… so no camel no maa myself no knights…

I faced english FTWcheese doing an English maa/tower rush (depending on my reactions). He sent a vil immediately at the start of the game to go build a forward barracks; then pumps out 1-3 maa to harrass exposed gold mines. Now I understand the value of scouting and how I should scout english base immediately for this strat… but given english can do this maa dark age rush or fast feudal longbow aggression… this puts us generic (aka china players lulz…) in a pinch.

In Dark age my towers have no cannon emplacements no arrow slits. I can’t BBQ his FB b/c of his MAA will kill my forward villagers. Even if I manage to stabilized with minimal early loses I’ll have a group of maa roaming my base and retreating back to their landmark for healing?

I tried some semi fast castle defense…maybe I just need to tighten up the BO; b/c mass arrows didnt work; well originally mass archers worked but then he mixed in some horsemen which Ithen mix in spears, but his comp is easier to just LEFT CLICK… while the archer/spear has to do all the work?

Good point - I’m confused.

Horsemen certainly have a charge animation. I just assumed it also did additional damage. Can someone confirm or deny?

Horsemen don’t have any charge. Knights and Lancers have that

I dont think tower can solve all problems in the new patch.
If English build barracks at the beginning of the game (with extra lumbers in the new patch)
and send a MAA to gold mine.
I think it will be very difficult to counter, since
you can only build the tower within range of TC otherwise you village will be harassed;
Building horseman is invalid since it cant beat MAA.
As a result, if your gold mine is in the front, I guess most civs can’t defend that

They do have a charge animation. It does not deal additional damage,though. However, it has the advantage of being quicker than the normal attack animation which helps start off a fight in your favour. This is true for most melee units. E.g. spears and maa have a pretty nice charge animation, too.

I think you have to accept some idle time because he can hit you with maa before you can age up. (Maybe going for a super fast age up as China could be a solution already.) However, maa are snails. As long as you micro well you should not lose any vills to them.

In feudal I would go with horsemen and handcannon slits. Horsemen do ok in a fight and with good micro i.e. charge - retreat - charge again to make up for their slower attack speed they become pretty efficient. The melee attack upgrade helps a lot, too. They also give you the flexibility of counterattacking. The English player has to mine gold for the maa play which gives you a nice attack target.

Take this with a grain of salt. This is from my experience with maa on live servers, but I haven’t played the matchup on pup yet. Maybe the english maa rush is much stronger than I expect it to be.

I know it wouldn’t be that hard to work it out for myself, but has anyone done any testing on how cost effective wooden walls are, when trading off the resources used to build and repair them vs the resources used to make units? So you build walls, the MAA attack the walls, which costs you resources to repair. You have archers that attack the MAA, so the opponent loses the resources used to make those. You could have made more archers instead of spending the resources on building and repairing the walls, and allowed the MAA to kill some of them. Has anyone worked out which approach costs fewest resources?

Or even ignoring the cost of building a wall, just a really simple scenario - one MAA attacking a wall, one villager repairing, and one archer killing the MAA. Which side loses most resources in that exchange?

I asked the same question on the age of empires discord and the response I got for china PUP was:

Early scout for forward villager if one is being sent; otherwise scout enemy base for the BO.
immediate distribution of 2 vil on gold and remaining vil on food. Build your base as much as possible within the safety of your TC fire.

You endeavor to get 150 gold but that is unlikely to happen to so get as much as you can.

From the moment you’re pushed off gold go cut straggler trees to build a lumber camp.

Now you’ll build an IO to collect taxes for the remaining gold needed.

once you have enough resource for age up go BBQ defensively to reclaim whatever resource u want protected.

Now it’s up to the level of aggression and what you wanna do?

Standard play is to go archers and kite the maa force the fights as archers are faster than maa, heavy micro. Build towers if you need to expand/protect another resource.

Non-standard play is to macro for FC castle guards/bees.

Having said all that about what I’ve heard will counter dark/feudal age british maa… it appears the person facing bit needs to exhibit much higher skill than the English player in order to effectively counter the maa rush?? HOw is that fair.

This brit opener is so simple…
start 2 on straggler wood, 3 on sheep and 1sent forward to build your barracks mid map or even closeif you can.
Build house with food villager
Quickly scout the 5 or so sheep near your base and click them back to food vil then send your scout to immediately find exposed gold and or other resource of enemy’s.
By the time your fb finishes building the rax instantly que 1 maa.
Note: the fb vil will tend to be idle…feel free to optimize… like i have it fell trees for future gathering…
By now you should have found the exposed gold and youll rally your maa to said gold.
Make 1 to 2 more maa as needed.
Make tower near enemy woodline or somewhere where it provides vision and decent network of castles aura for future fights.
Once tower is being build switch your macro to get age up.

From there you do the brit thing of spamming fars and getting nearby hunts while pumping maa to harass and run-by.

If enemy goes horsemen add 2 or more spears. Ezz. If they kite eith archers then supplement horsemen. 12 or so maa is more than enough to cause trouble so after that many I’d macro for castle age.

I can’t try pup because I’m on game pass. Someone have tried to open with 2 scouts and try to burn down barracks while is in construction? Now there is a 50% more damage on building in construction and scout have reduced meele attack cooldown from 4 to 2 seconds, I don’t know if also torch is faster now

Torxhing is not faster. But if you spot the villager before it builds the forward base ATTACK the villager!!! One acput will kill a villager in 50s. So if you start with one scout and bring in another scout tht villager will absolutely die if it does abort mission and run bsck to town. Even if enemy scout attacks your scout just keep hitting the villager until your acout is very low then send low scout back to scouting.

Double scout openings are pretty standard as is so this is doable.