Hand Cannoneers are still underpowered

By the way, weren’t people saying during the pros playtesting that the new Shatagni Hand Cannoneers are OP?

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Pretty sure someone did in a stream yes. Original Poster likely is referring to regular Hand Cannoneers, not those of the Hindustanis.

Regular HC still succ, and that is a big problem. Hindustani HC is a matter yet to be seen, I wouldn’t start calling them OP already, that won’t be fair.
Infact even Hindustani may not go for HC that often in actual games on competitive maps like Arabia, Nomad, etc. which form 90% of all play in AOE2

But why is calling them underpowered (or any new unit, for that matter) fair?

All of the new units, new civs, are a matter yet to be seen. Apply same logic to everything you do, not just cherrypick.

And idk, I don’t think HC suck, they do their job very effectively and still pack a punch against cavalry. Even in teamgames you see people transitioning into HC eventually (unless there are better generalist options available). They just don’t make them early Imp when they still have a Crossbow mass left over to upgrade into Arbalests instead.

I don’t know how you use them that they don’t work for you, honestly.


Then have you never seen a game of Low Elo Legends casted by our beloved T90official?

Because in those cases a consensus has already formed that those units/techs are weak and may need to be buffed
Such as the Elephant Archer, all the casters yesterday I saw were really surprised by the low performance of this unit after losing 50HP and lots of PA.

It isn’t a single civ’s UU anymore. Now being a regional unit exclusive to few civs, it seems fair for it to be highly situational, similar to Steppe Lancers which are much worse off.

I can understand bad micro resulting in them dying, I’ve done that myself, but that’s not the unit’s fault. xd

Which consensus? You spamming every single thread how every single thing is underpowered (funny, you call CloudAct out on doing the opposite? What was it you said about glass houses?) is not a consensus, it’s your spam. For Hand Cannoneers, I’m still not sure what you mean by the unit being weak. The unit isn’t, just the use case or window to use them is very narrow. If you go Archers, you’ll first do Arbalests. Later, if the enemy is heavy on Infantry, you’ll want to do Hand Cannoneers, but you’re likely going to look at gold availability.

Them costing food will make it also awkward if you’re heavy on wood and gold, because of their food cost. However, they require nearly no upgrades, so someone going Heavy Cavalry can supplement their army very well with just a few Hand Cannoneers, not needing 40 of them to mow down incoming Halberdiers. Hand Cannoneers do their function very effectively.

Afaik, everyone has only played the new civs against eachother, and not among other civs, so the general idea of how strong or weak the new civs and their units are is already going to be flawed. We’ll see their state better and the first few patches after a release will balance every under or overperforming units quickly, as seen in past launches.

From what I’ve seen, everyone’s made EAs and some civs were even pretty strong with them (I think Gujaras or Bengalis, don’t remember which, think was the one who gets Ratha), but you have to consider that they only played those against other Indian civs.


Buffs to the unit stats do basically nothing to solve those issues without causing scope creep like making generic hand cannons extremely strong vs cavalry. The whole point of the matrix is to show you are constrained by the design vs various comps.

Anyone can make hand cannons useable. Just pick a random stat and buff it then repeat until its used. Making sure buffed hand cannons + halb/hussar cant faceroll franks, slavs, Burmese, etc. is another issue.

Also last time i checked attack move combined with defensive <> no attack switching solved the overkill problem becausr it causes staggered firing. But i could be misremembering.

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I think that’s the whole point of my input here.
Ofc it isn’t a problem making HC strong. But it would be better if it is designed to fit certain common situation you end up in the lategame.
The question is then if HC should be the last powerspike in a (or different) chain of counter choices or shall there be at least one unit the opponent would like to transition to. If it’s the last powerspike it’s important that it is not too strong, so the transition is only viable if you have still access to a lot of gold eg. If it is the other because of the lategame situation and the associated complexity and cost to make a transition (though HC are way cheaper than most other transitions) it needs to be a quite strong powerspike.
I don’t think it is a good idea to just blatantly buff the HC in one or different ways without having in mind what function they shall have.

So what are the most common lategame comps? Arb + Halb, Cav Archer + light cav, heavy cav + skirm, halb + siege. Most often with support of onagers, BBC and Trebs. Have I forgot something? Oh yeah, full trash comp. Sometimes also infantry floods, but it is rare due basically only 1 civ has an outstanding one.

The HC most often comes with Cav Civs. These most of the time already have out skirms against the non-cav civs. The skirms counter Arb + Halb but are countered by light cav + siege. They also counter cav archers fairly well, but have problems against the light cav meatshield. So what can HC possibly add? One option was to make them total DPS monsters, killing the meatshields of the opponents so the skirms and heavy cav havve better access to the enemy backline. But then HCs need to have weaknesses against stuff like siege otherwise they would just end everything. Lower range + low HP for example. Also if they are designed to kill light cav they need to have ballistics. That would be a viable concept for the HC, a frontline buster, designed to kill trash meatshields.
And that would indeed be an interesting unit design. A unit that costs a serious amount of gold to kill trash meatshields in the lategame.
Good vs Halbs + Hussars, but bad vs archery, light cav and siege.

How is this achievable? By giving them some kind of “splash damage” - For example extremely low accuracy with a wide spread, so that with every “salvo” a lot of opponent units are damaged, possibly even with full damage. To make them especially good vs light cav but bad vs heavy cav their shots could have both melee and pierce damage (then they also need no bonus vs rams) but no bonus vs infantry anymore (possibly a minor bonus vs cav, to compensate for light cav having so much more hp than halbs). This in conjecture with the heavy cav having a lot more HP could make HCs considerably good vs light cav while struggling against heavy cav (+siege or skirms). With lower range and HP than currently (like 1-2 less range) they would be quite vulnerable to siege. Against archery you could and probably should try to bring in your skirms or heavy cav in so they can tank some of these shots.
This kind of design would fit a lot of lategame situations cav civs are in. But it wouldn’t be the “last killerblow” as the opponent still can add siege or try tojust outspam with a full trash comp where the skirms try to focus down your HCs.
You could possibly even argue to raise the gold ratio of HCs in this context to make sure nobody can just spam them like nothing but instead uses medium sized groups in addition to the already established composition. But I think the cost for the unit needs to be figured out by the feedback of the community and how they perform in the end.

So that would be one Idea how the unit could be designed in a way it would be fairly useful and a nice powerspike. But not OP, cause there would be some possible counterplays / transitions against it.
What it could hinder a bit would be a champ transition of the opponent. Which is a bit sad ofc as Devs put so much work in making Infantry more viable. But tbh I think even without useful HCs the Champ lines outside the inf powerhouses could still use some love. Even better if then there would be useful counters for most civs you can transition to if the line itself becomes stronger.

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But that is their first test, mostly outside of ranked. Too soon to call it a consensus, because they can change their opinion later

This remind me abour Viper switching opinions regarding elephant archer (indian UU) one year ago! Someone echoed the opinion of proplayers, and with the time we saw the true usefulness of elephant archers (their most famous battle was in a battle against tatars during a tournament)

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I really like this logic. I also wonder if swapping food for wood cost will also shift them in the correct axis.

HC were never meant to counter halb + ARB. It’s like complaining mangos aren’t good enough at killing cavalry, so they need a buff

You can’t just buff something for the sake of it. I would love to know where this repeated concept comes from. There would be something wrong with the game if HC actually countered that comp

As a kid I always thought gunpowder should naturally be better than FU arbs.

Late I do not je out the truth, I am sad this is only the case in aoe4


Ah that makes sense then. But that being said cost wise archers still counter HC in aoe4, with their attack bonus. But then they’re like skirms.

And as you said, HC eat xbows. But it feels like HC are just a much better generalist unit in aoe4, something closer to the janissaries in aoe2

Were they supposed to do ANYTHING? ^^
I don’t think many unit were designed in such a way we now discuss about them. I don’t think the devs ever thought about the current heavy cav + skirm comp.

Have I said they should counter that comp? Or my design would? I actually explicitely said my design is countered by archery.
The passage you citate is just about a general thought why HC can’t perform in the way they are probably intended, cause it looks like when there are still a lot of arbs out there they just can’t do their job currently.
I think there is a reason why people play most of the time skirms, as this unit counters halb + arbs. Why would you make a switch out of skirms if the unit you transition to is countered by one of the opponen units? That’s what I talk about.

Who said I buff HC? I try to adjust them so they have real situations the transition to them makes sense.

So there is something wrong with skirms?


Give them bonus vs Cavalry too, it will be historicaly accurate (it was gunpowder who ended age of heavy cav) and also give them additional purpose and usefullness. Also, training time need to be lowered, and RoF need to be better. Just a little.


I think we should not buff hc stats directly or they spiral out of control in fast imp.

Hc need more upgrades.
Attackspeed 20% tech for 450g, 200f from archery range.

You can either invest ress to massy early, or you van further upgrade, like with all other units.

Hc need to become closer to FU arbs

Then don’t give that tech to new Indians, spanish and Burgunduans, but all other civs with handcannons

But we talked about all this years ago.
Devs do what they like, not want we discuss imo.

One of such post of mone, but it has come up countless of time by many different people


hahaha yeah thats very true, considering how much has changed since the original civs

sorry i missed that then

no the skirm is specifically meant to counter those, whereas the HC is arguably specifically NOT meant to counter arbs. because it “should” already counter infantry, and it’s high dps, lends itself to counter cavalry, meaning it would be bad design if it now countered ranged units as well.

in the same way scorps are so much better at killing infantry, and mangos are so much better at siege

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Well, Hand Cannoneers do better against Cavalry than Archers do purely because of their high attack. A much smaller mass of Hand Cannoneers can one-shot Paladins than larger mass of Archers.

Even saw it happening in some test games with the new Hindustanis, the +2 range Hand Cannoneers were eating the camels like nothing.

All Hand-Cannoneer need is to have some univercity upgrades which is srong but very expensive.

+4 dmg (600f 800g) (+3 for Elite Jans & Conqs )
+1 range +%15 rof (1000f 650g)
+12 attack bonus against Cavarly (450f 750g)
These techs should be full open for Spanish,Turks,Teutons (having no arbalester) (Turkjs with discount will be nice finally they will be quiet a punch and playing Turks in late game could be interesting i guess)
Ports,Italians,Indians and Bzyntines will have only 2 of these techs
Tatars and Persians,Saracens will have only 1 of those while Goths,Japanese and others will have none of these but only HC itself.
I think kinda new stuff to Gunpowder units will be historically fitting.They were strong innovative but expensive.