Does Archer play have too many advantages?

Well, if you’re arguing that aoe 2 is perfect and nothing should be changed, just say that. Betting on a hypothetical is something you don’t need to put any money on, because you will never have a chance to cash in anyway.

Find me a quote in my post where I said that and I’ll gratify it with a response lol
I stated that it was objectively very successful before DE

Sure, and all I’m saying is arguing about what people would have enjoyed or enjoy at the moment and using that as a basis for an argument is folly. Especially when the topic is about archers.

Does Archer play have too many advantages?

Ofcourse it does. There is a reason, no, many reasons come DE we have casters like Memb refer to Archers as “Siege Onagers” in pretty much every game he casted the entire year. 11

  1. Near zero lag with server based system implying huge buff to micro intensive units(read: Archer line for most of the game).

  2. Horrible Pathing, which still seems unsolved.

  3. In HD we already had the tendency for half the civs to go for Archer rush and then Crossbow. Many even ignored their supposed area of specialty and went for only the Xbow line as primary army. Because that has always been the optimal play for half the civs , even in HD.

  4. Many UUs(most of which are melee) are still unused after so many years of introduction and therefore arguably underpowered. So there is a power vaccuum.

  5. Archer line can now micro against their supposed counters like Mangonels and even Skirms and winn with points 1 and 2 above.

  6. Stacking that is player controlled has always given Archer line specifically unfair advantages(this strategy doesn’t work with skirms)

  7. Longswordsmen have been withheld from any semblance of power or shred of viability in Castle Age, even for completely Infantry specialist civs, meaning even they plan ahead for Crossbows as bulk of their army.

  8. Arbalest of course do the Hand Cannoneer job of clearing out Infantry just as well (faster firing, 100% acc, Ballistics, much cheaper, more range, more HP, less frame delay, less opportunity cost, no techblock, wood(not food) cost etc etc the math works out) for much cheaper, as is discussed in other threads on HC.
    So HC viability is cannibalized by the archer line right from Castle Age itself, that is unless the overpriced HC are buffed in a big way.


You are correct, it surprises me that there are those who would even dispute this. Archers rule the Feudal Age and Crossbows rule the Castle Age. Archer-line has been “the meta” for a long time for reasons outlined here and in other places, I don’t think any more needs to be said on the matter.

The one thing I will say though is let’s wait and see how the pathing changes in the last patch affects the balance before discussing any changes.


Those winrates are useless and should never be used to argue anything. Most people don’t play with random civ which will distort the figures.

Let’s assume for example that the Mayans, a very popular pick currently, are an S-tier civ. If a player would start using this civ regularly he would initially have a higher win rate but this would cause him to gain ELO and face tougher opponents until he reaches a 50-50 win rate. At this point he would have equal win rates, not because the civ is perfectly balanced but because the matchmaking makes him face more skilled opponents.


I see no issue with this.


Archers all day, every day!

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even at higher skill levels though, archer civs aren’t seeing OP winrates.
here you go. the winrates of the best of the best.

we have
1)Franks 55+% Cavalry
2) Celts 55+% Xbows into SIege and Woads
3) Goths 53+ the Flood
4) Slavs 53+ Cavalry/Infantry/Siege
5) Khmer 52+ ELEPHANTS
6) Huns 52+ Cav/Cav Archers
7) Spanish 52+ CONQS
8) Chinese 51+ Archers
9) Mayans 51+ Archers
10) Saracens 50+ Archers/Camels

hardly overbearing win rates


Lol, is that the official name.


Yes, it is called Goth Flood, since the game released in 1999.

Archers are only OP against players who did not prepare for them by training Skirms.
As soon as you see one Archery Range from your opponent, you should drop one yourself and prepare a few Skirms at least.

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Just reminds me of Halo (, and tbh the goths do look similar:


Thems fightin’ words!

Meet me behind the Old Oak, and bring your axe!

I am aware of what the recorded winrates are of course, but this does nothing to address the problems I mentioned with these statistics. On top of the fundamental issue I described you’re also looking at games played on vastly different types of maps when we know that top-tier water civs are often bottom tier-land and top-Arena is often bottom-tier Arabia, and most of us when discussing balance are interested in the Arabia-balance. One could also question the sample size of the numbers of games for each civ in this ELO-bracket, or the large range of the bracket itself, varying from 1650 all the way to 2300.

When the top players in AOE ranks the civs vastly differently from recorded win rates your first thought should be to question the stats, not conclude that the top players are simply ignorant.


We all love our X-bows but we also all know the true king of the middle ages will and should always be the Knight :smile:


there is only two top tier water civs. Italians and Vikings. if you’re gonna tell me Vikings are a bad land civ, i got ocean front property in Iowa to sell you.

except the latest ranking i’ve seen from a pro on the matter is from viper and is like 2-3 patches outdated.
and viper was asked if he thinks any civs need to be nerfed and he said the only one he thought might need a nerf was aztecs.
but funnily enough

8 of the top 10 in the rankings i gave you?
are in his S or A tiers.
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That’s certainly one way of summarising it, aonther would be to say that none of his S-tier is in top 7, or that the 3rd ranked civ is ranked is D-tier by Viper. Another important point is the win-rates range between 47 -53% for about 80% of the civs, i.e…most civs are almost perfectly balanced according to win rate-stats.

No, in reality, when looking at things on the whole there is a huge discrepancy between Vipers ratings and win rates.


Just to be clear i agree pathing is helping a lot. And i dont think archer civs are auto win. But we have to admit they are much easier to win with especially when coupled to generally amazing ecos.

As Polycarp mentioned. The game does also theoretically balance the player with the elo. I never thought of that but it definitely has a factor.

Lets look at pick rate. Either we say the community is stupid and as a whole doesn’t know how good a civ is or we accept that yes maybe the community does know which civs are easier to win with…

If we accept theory 2…then we can accept that from elo 1250 archer civs(mofo britons, mayans) or civs that have an eco and can generally tech into archers (aztec, Chinese, vikings) absolutely dominate the meta on pick rates.

It takes less micro to use an archer army to get the same results than it does to use other civs effectively. It’s easier to dodge a mango shot then it is to catch a staggered/split formation of archers. Its easier to stand on a hill near a corner than it is to try catch those archers out in the open.

Its easier to bombard the enemy base with trebs or send in rams and then just have your archers stand back and snipe.

Distraction rams? Micro the archers to shoot the opposing troops. Whatever res you spent on a distraction ram is less res on actual fighting units. Include the cost of the siege works.

Guys here say “use mangos” " use rams on britons" so which is it? If you’re using a ram to distract britons why not use the same ram on other civs. If you’re using a mango the britons will snipe it. Poor skirms for non archer civs mak it worse as well.

There’s a lot of reasons archer or archer capable civs have such monstrously high pick rates. Only uber paladin with eco(franks /huns) or siege civ with eco(cells) competes…


Im pretty sure this is a common point of contention in a lot of games. The sniper vs the melee translates across tons of games.

Tons of people prefer to sit back and attack from distance or have their armies do so. Whereas tons prefer to get in close and fight like that and usually the close in fighters get frustrated by the guys that sit back.

How many people hate on tau for having range centric armies, or hate on snipers in FPS it’s a never ending struggle…

I also prefer short range over long. But you won’t change people’s preferences…

I’m going chu ko nu with piercing armour! Bring it on!


It was a big problem in world of warcraft. Tom Cruise made a very useful summary of the issues a while back: