It’s kind of a given that in an RTS, you should have access to tools to fight back against whatever your enemy throws at you. If you can’t, you either instantly lose or have to overcorrect your disadvantage in some other way.
Right now, there are no counters for armored units in the Feudal age. You could argue that spearmen counter knights and that archers, in mass, would prevent a MaA push from being effective (even though they can’t really kill them). The problem is that you need so many of those units to effectively counter the enemy that this will imply a significant investment in your military in the Feudal age.
As such, a civ that is supposed to shine in the late game will have to invest just as much, if not more, in their feudal age military as civs who shine in the feudal age. This creates an incredibly stale meta where feudal age oriented civs are king and where the only viable strategy is a feudal age push. Personally, I found that aggravating to watch during the Genesis tournament and even worse to play. I loved how everything felt fresh in the beta and you could try out different strategies, now it’s all about who can win a battle and ram the fastest in the feudal age and I find it boring.
I don’t think that the “early ram push” strat should disappear completely, but it should not be as oppressive as it is now. As such, having access to crossbowmen in the Feudal age would largely improve things. You still have to invest in your military during the Feudal age as a late game faction, but you no longer have to invest into 40 archers so you can kill 2 men at arms or knights should the enemy produce them.
So, you can get away with investing less, booming, aging up faster and reaching the sweet spot of your civ.
Band-Aids solutions such as giving the crossbowmen in the feudal age only to China might work fine for now, but it would just lead to more problems down the line when more late game factions are added into the game.
I agree with this. And it seems like a reasonable solution for most civs.
I agree with you. Most of the matches last in feudal age and this makes crossbowmen obsolete.
When playing as Chinese, I find there is no way to counter English MAA+longbow combo in feudal age. So everytime I see the opponent have MMAs popping out, I have to mass 30-50 spearmen and abandon my whole base sending all 30 villagers along with them to burn down their TC and landmark. That’s the only way I can win.
I agree with OP, we should have crossbowmen in feudal age.
i agree we should have xbows in feudal
BUT they must have reduced stats, and require a tech in castle to bring them up to the current level.
Finally they will need a longer TT in feudal.
Imo we have to do this to prevent over massing of them in feudal, and then suddenly have a FU xbow ball in castle, since in many cases the xbow is just a blatantly superior choice to archers against most units.
And you also need to consider the counter argument of countering a civ that has both feudal archers and xbows, especially when the lower tier civs get their buffs, and the top tier get their nerfs.
I thought about that. And in my opinion, light horsemen also need a buff. This would make them an effective counter to ranged units so going crossbows + archers would be counterable.
Defensive buildings are also very effective against ranged units, since they can’t burn them down effectively.
In a sense, AoE IV crossbows are kind of like AoE II archers and AoE IV archers are kind of like stronger AoE II skirmishers. This army comp existed in AoE II but was counterable by either going cav or skirmishers
I have been asking for early crossbows for a while. Delhi, HRE, and Chinese should get them.
All 3 civs are slow
HRE have infantry speed buff that would be a good synergy
Chinese invented the crossbow
Giving them to one faction out of 2 would make things confusing imo. It would be better to just give them to everybody as a baseline anti armor unit, and tune their feudal age stats accordingly
They already do this for MAA which is what we are discussing. I don’t think it would be too far fetched to give a vanguard crossbow to Chinese and early to HRE and Delhi.