Hand Cannoneers bad state confirmed

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)

They get demolished by Infantry from actual Infantry civs.
They do not, at all, accomplish their job.

Persians will never use HC over Trashbow, and Franks will always go for their FU Throwing Axeman, rather than even considering dropping an Archery Range.


17 attack is their only impressive stat, but then you see their double reload time than archers and even the attack doesn’t look impressive anymore. All their other stats are mediocre and also overpriced


That’s funny because I have used HC countless times vs infantry from actual infantry civs and I have succeed at it (and at top level when I make infantry unique unit I usually get countered by HC if the enemy is allowed to make them, as well).

If you get “demolished” then you are basically not microing your HCs at all while leaving them hanging on an open field without any meat shield. And no, franks will not always go for throwing axeman because they require quite a lot of upgrades whereas you just need chemistry and 3 archery ranges to quickly counter infantry from your opponent. Same with persians.

And just for the record, arbalest deal 1 damage to elite huskarls whereas a HC deals 17 :slight_smile:

Again, HC does not need any buff. They are a quick powerfull answer to infantry, thats their job and they are very good at it.


Any Imperial Melee unit except the Halberdier, will beat the Huskarl. You do not need HCs for that, at all.

I beat Infantry all the time as Franks, with TAs, since I have to research their Attack upgrades for the Knight line anyways, and Bearded Axe is not very expensive at all.
In fact, I can mass TAs far faster than Chemistry finishes researching, and that is from a civ with discounted Castles.


You’re certainly right in that both units overlap as counters to (most) infantry units but thinking of hc as a replacement for arb is a bit of a misconception imo. If you take a look at the civs with access to hc, most of them also have arb and actually are kind of archer civs. There are exceptions, of course, but again these have some other ranged options in castle age and early imp like Turks and Spanish have gunpowder UU from castle age, Persians have trashbows, Franks have axemen, some others have good cav archers… So even when hc generally don’'t perform that well atm, at least the idea is to have a ranged unit wich is even less mobile and microable than arb (or cav archers, or gunpowder UU) but has a higher dps against infantry which can be used for low mobility pushes (or defense from that).

Are you testing them out against each other? Because that’s also a pretty terrible test, HCs are meant to counter infantry and high-armor enemies like knights, not other archers.

Take a Paladin, for example. 3+4 pierce armor means an arb does 3 damage per shot, or 1.5 dps. By contrast, a HC does 2.85 dps. Even accounting for missing(and unrealistically assuming the HCs misses don’t hit anything else), you’re still looking at 1.85 DPS, substantially more than the archers, even assuming perfect accuracy. More realistically you’re talking more like 2 dps including missed shot splash, vs 1.4 dps from small amounts of misses from the archers from moving targets.

Against infantry it’s much worse, despite the lower pierce armor. A berserk has 5 pierce armor, so an arb does 2.5 dps. A HC does 6.37 DPS, 4.14 DPS after misses, more like 4.5 with missed shot splash.


I think they could increase their damage a little and the HP to +5.

Their role is to counter infantry while still being decent against cavalry when massed (due to the high damage).

They should never win against archers though…

I do tests for 20 Paladin vs 20 arbalests and 20 paladin vs 20 HC. Both perform poorly against paladin. No paladin die while all ranged units die. The remaining% HP of Paladins in the test against HC is more or less the same. I guess no one forget pikes but use HC/ arbalests against paladin or forget using melee units against high-pierce-armor units.

Dmg per second should also consider rate of fire and accuracy. Given full upgrades, arbalests is affected by thumb ring (+18% rate of fire ->1.7). Its atk is boosted by blacksmith arrow upgrades and chemistry(+4 atk) while HC receive no boost from them.

In theory,
expected dps= (atk- target’s pierce armor)*accuracy/rate of fire

Arbalest dps= (10-7)*100%/1.7= 1.76
HC dps = (17-7)*0.65/3.45= 1.88

Given arbalest has 1 more range and can accurately shoot when paladins are moving, expected dps should be even higher. But I don’t know how to take this into account and the result is similar.

On paper, HC should perform much better than arbalests against infantry. However, HC suffer from more serious overkill problem as they shoot slower and deal higher atk while infantry has low health in general. They are good vs infantry but not good enough when compared to arbalests esp vs moving infantry.

I did another test for 20 HC vs 20 champions and 20 arbalests vs 20 champions. both wins against champions. But 1 HC died while no arbalests die. The time for finishing all champions is similar. (arbalests finish 2 seconds sooner). HC is not bad at all but not good enough to fulfill the designated role.

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20 paladins cost a heck of a lot more then 20 arbs or 20 hc.


Because he is considering population efficiency

yeah but if my opponent is making paladins, i ain’t making either of those units against it.


I mean, any test where both parties get wiped out while none of the attackers die, is meaningless. There has to be enough survivors to be able to tell the difference. Against more reasonable numbers, the HCs do significantly better than the Arbs.

Furthermore, the fact HC’s aren’t benefited by those archery techs is actually good for them, not bad. It means you can save 2350 resources you’d otherwise spend on upgrades that HC’s don’t need.

Another consideration is that accuracy is only relevant at max range. Even at half range, the accuracy is significantly higher than coded.

Your test against champions is interesting. I did a similar test, but my Arbs were wiped out by the Champions while the HCs killed them all. Are you sure you didn’t accidentally choose a civ with a bonus for the Arbs? Either way, again, it seems your numbers are not sufficient to make for a meaningful test. You need enough that a significant portion of even the winning side die, or you can’t properly tell the difference between the two.