English: Longbowman vs Crossbowman

Hey there,

I just watched a Beastyqt youtube video where he was playing as the English.
Was pretty surprised to see him use only Longbowman, but not producing any Crossbowman. I thought Crossbowman was superior? He did have the Arrow Volley abillity of the Longbowman.

I’m comparing these two here …

Longbowman — English – Explorer – AoE4 World
Crossbowman — English – Explorer – AoE4 World
what are your thoughts, is it good enough to use only Longbowman ( with the Arrow Volley ) or should ppl go for the Crossbowman?

How are Longbowman against the opponent’s melee armor? I know Crossbowman can go through the melee.

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There is a challenge mode that teach how properly counter units. Give it a try and reach gold medal!
Longbows are good vs units with no armor like pikeman
Crossbows are good vs armored units like heavy cavalry and MAA

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It’s a situational thing! Though the longbowman loses some of its strength in castle age and beyond when every civ has access to armored MAA and Knights, they are still inherently very strong and remain good cost-effective counters to pikemen, crossbowmen, and hand cannons. They will do very poorly against an opponent with large numbers of men-at-arms and knights, however; in these cases, crossbowmen or hand cannons are a better choice.

Yes, like I said, Crossbowmen against melee armor, Longbowmen against units without armor.

Just really strange to see one of the best players in the world use Longbowmen throughout all the ages (with Arrow Volley in age IV), without switching to the crossbowmen ever.

There’s also one HUGE difference … it takes 22 seconds to make a Crossbowman, while it only takes 8 seconds to create a Longbowman

How can I see exactly how much damage each one does against melee units here?

Crossbowman — English – Explorer – AoE4 World


Longbowman — English – Explorer – AoE4 World

If you are using any unit other than horsemen to counter imperial longbows you are doing it wrong. MAA do not work against Longbows this late in the game. Especially when you have incendiary arrows. And all units in longbow mass can do dps while your melee units need physical contact to attack. MAA even Knights won’t work against Longbow mass because they are slow unless you have 50% to 75% of the mass of longbows to clean up. Horsemen are very cheap and can easily catch-up to longbows and you need them more than 25% of the mass of longbows and they will deal serious damage.

Really good answer. Thank you
But what do you mean:
“MAA do not work against Longbows this late in the game” - do MAA work earlier in the game against longbows?

You can look at dps of post imperial archer. It will be slightlyl higher than the imperial MAA (not english caz they have +5 chad armor). With larger mass and kiting they can ditch more damage to MAA. MAA are slow and need contact to do damage.

I think of it this way: Longbow is a general purpose unit and Crossbow is more of a niche unit.

Longbows in mass are effective against almost everything (just beware of those mangonels). They are especially good in the later stages of the game when that extra range really gives them an edge over other ranged units.

Crossbows are anti-armor, so they’ll do way better against Knights and MAA. They however cost gold and don’t have arrow volley nor that extra range. They’re also countered by the Horseman which is something you want to keep in mind as Horseman spam is common in the late game when they’re running out of gold.

In the end it depends on your composition and your opponents but I think in most cases it’s safer to bet on Longbows because you’re not investing gold and they, in large numbers, are still reasonably effective against armor. If you’re fighting Knights it is cheaper to invest in spearman than switch to crossbows. Not to mention that you can train them faster with the landmark.