Hi there, just made an account to share some conclusions from a fruitful discussion on English from Steam Forums.
There is a paradox with English - designed to be a defensive powerhouse, best fit for booming, instead they have to be an aggressive warmonger with feudal all-ins and ram pushes. This makes them one-dimensional, and their current implementation problematic.
There are several reasons as to this dichotomy:
- English get an incredible power spike in feudal due to how Council Hall currently works;
- said power spike is their only one, they quickly fall off to have average and trivial units in castle and especially imperial, having to rely on Network of Citadels to win their fights;
- English feudal economy is average, with farming boni irrelevant early game, as such trying to boom early is suboptimal for English, as many civs will simply outboom them while also enjoying a better late game;
- English feudal landmarks need addressing:
- Council Hall should ideally be redesigned entirely: unlike School of Cavalry that produces cavalry and Chamber of Commerce that boosts our… well, commerce, it makes no sense for Council Hall to be spitting out longbowmen - instead, it should be turned into Economic Landmark, intended to give English better feudal economy and support their booming.
- Abbey of Kings is good on paper, but is awfully limited/weak, especially compared to the other option. It could benefit from a buff focused on creating a defensive strongpoint - maybe it could also inspire nearby units, granting them armor or something.
- English longbowmen should be redesigned:
- the relatively novel game design decision of “ranged don’t counter siege” (we can still see them doing so in Norman campaign) hurts longbowmen in particular (with English overreliant on them) in that they simply don’t get a role late game, when everyone fields either knights or m@a or siege, with longbows woefully ineffective against either;
- consequentially, many English players abandon investing into longbows and their upgrades entirely, swearing by crossbowmen instead, especially since those got much better in 8324;
- a proposed remedy is to go the same way Crusader Kings III did about it and indulge the fantasy that longbowmen are a counter to heavy class. Longbowmen don’t really need extra damage to be good against spearmen, while extra damage to knights and m@a (as blacksmith upgrade in imperial?) would give them an edge and more agency in the late game (alternatively, I guess they could benefit from major bonus damage to spearmen and minor bonus damage to heavy - the idea that a certain unit can be a counter to two kinds of units at the same time is interesting to explore).