Hand Cannoneers bad state confirmed

Here we have another confirmation that Hand Cannoneers are worse at their intended role than Arbalesters.

AgeArena posted this video yesterday:

As you can see with equal number of ressources the Arbalesters win against Berserks with 32% HP left while the Anti-Infantry unit Hand Cannoneer wins only with 17% HP left even with the +10 vs infantry bonus. This is after 5 tries to even out some weird random.

I think that shows once more that a buff to the unit is deserved.
Their low HP combined with bad accuracy, lack of ballistics affecting them, slower projectile speed , higher price and very low rate of fire make them worse than Arbalesters in most situations.

My suggestion for a buff:

  • +5 HP
  • Affected by ballistics
  • Projectile speed 7 like archers
  • Rate of fire down to 3

I would also like to see + 5% accuracy but I think these changes would first need to be tested before granting them more accuracy.


The fact that there was no micro completely invalidate your test


What do you mean? Both Hand Cannoneer and Arbalesters have the same movement speed but Arbalesters have a frame delay of 5 while Hand Cannoneers have a 3 times slower frame delay of 15.
So with micro the Hand Cannoneers would still be worse than Arbalesters in this fight. And probably the Berserks could more easily abuse the lack on ballistics on Hand Cannoneers with some micro - another point for the Arbalesters.


In comparing them, you have to consider the cost of becoming able to produce arbalesters vs hand cannoneers, plus the time to complete the research.


yeah hand cannons need love. no doubt there.


Which if anything makes the arbs even better… Since we can start massing them before “the end of the game”

Having a weak unit that can’t be upgraded doesn’t make the strong unit any weaker… The arb still performs much better in more situations, on top of doing better vs infantry in raw dps, as well as doing better vs infantry that is actually being micro’d, as well as doing better in situations where the infantry is using rams to distract the ranged units.

Due to the higher ROF and lower frame delay, arbs are inherently better than HC when there are rams forcing the arb player to control the arbs to fire at the infantry.

Imo there is almost no situation where a FU arb is worse than a HC. Even if the HC dealt better raw dps it would still be a worse unit due to all these ancillary issues mentioned…


Hand Cannoneers are paired with a support unit for just the reasons shown in the video, usually Halberdiers. I wouldn’t take the results of the video shown as the final say on the weaknesses of the Hand Cannoneer, as the results are not built around what actually happens in competitive games. “No micro.” alone is enough to show that, among many unanswerable “What if?” questions. I can be shown all the math there is in an endless amount of controlled tests, and I’m already sure the math would be correct. But situations like the video rarely, if ever, happening in competitive games is also true.

HCs are still in a bad state, much worse at killing Infantry than a unit which is not even specialized at it.
There is a reason why Goths struggle against Champion civs, even if they have HC: HC is just bad at what it does.

It should at least have the same HP as the Arbalest.


Besides rate of fire and accuracy, Hand cannoneer cost food instead of wood like other archer. This makes it harder to mass to support melee units.

Hand cannon is a kind of missile. It is a weird logic ballistic doesn’t affect HC. If this is because of Portuguese tech, just boost the accuracy of Portuguese HC further.


HC needs an increase of fire rate. That is too slow. 3 would be good. Same speed as skirms.


what logic is that? arbs can use meatshield and support units too. The facts that arbs are cheaper, more accessible and produced faster and killed the Berserks more efficiently without any bonus shows how much worse HCs are


Usually that is the correct response to these kinds of videos and, of course, you can argue that the set up distorts actual game scenarios. But here, as others already said, it only aggravates the point about hc being pretty weak atm. Since they have low firing rate and high frame delay you would expect them to perform better in these articifical scenarios compared to an actual game.

Yup! Although there a few exceptions like fighting vs eagles or huskarls in which hc are still better by quite a large margin. But I guess it tells a lot about the “power” of hc if a unit that about half of the civs get access to makes only sense to produce vs 2 units that only a couple of civs can make.


Kind of a terrible test tbh. Comparing 31 HCs to 42 Arbs? HCs only exist at the lategame, where population efficiency is extremely important. Sure the arbs will do better with equal resources, but with equal numbers, which is much more realistic because you’ll be pop capped, the HCs win by a mile.

Especially since archers are never meant to facetank like this, and doing so is the result of very bad tactical decisions.


Are you sure? I just do a test in scenario. Arbalesters win HC in equal numbers.
In late game, arbalesters can get Full blacksmith upgrades and chemistry.
Range: 5+3
Rate of fire: 2.0
Accuracy: 100% (with thumb ring), affected by ballistics

While HC only get archer armor but the atk/range upgrades not available for them. Only half of the firing speed compared to Arbalesters. the dps of HC is definitely lower than arbalesters.
Atk: 17
Range: 7
Rate of fire: 3.45
Accuracy: 65%, unaffected by ballistics

Arbalesters have a better population efficiency and easier to mass together with melee units.


Yeah. And this comparison doesn’t even take into account the 27 to 34 training time.

And ROF should be 1.7 with thumb ring.


I think, it makes sense, that arbs are doing good vs infantery. They are designed to do so, too and you have invested a lot of time and ress to get to them.

If you already have fully upgraded arbs, you should stick with them. But if you have no upgrades at all, HC will be a valid option.


Arbalests are not designed as an anti-Infantry unit. Hand Cannoneers are.

HCs are never a valid option. No one uses them successfully except Italians (20% cheaper) and Turks (stronger and immediately available), and even then Italians will rather use Arbalests.


HC have 17 base damage + 10 bonus vs infantry. They are the main counter to powerful infantry units when you lack arbalest (for example franks, persians, and a long etc.)

This unit does not need ANY buff. They are excellent at their role.


31 HC cost 1550G
42 Arbs cost 1890G
33 berserks cost 825G

Looking at a 1F = 1W = 1G ratio isn’t relevant. Gold is a finite ressource, unlike Food and Wood. That is the point of trash units : you can create a near-endless amount of it.


Real Nicov? (20 characters)