Hand Cannoneers bad state confirmed

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.

I just select the generic one. Japanese arbalest and Japanese Hand Cannoneer vs Italian Champions and Spanish Paladin. I dont know why the result is so different.

The few with common sense. HC aren’t designed to substitue arbalest in mass. They are designed so you don’t have to make the switch against infantry units while performing almost the same depending on various cases and especially performing better than arbalest vs halbs. A buff isn’t needed at all as they aren’t suppose to counter arbalest or perform as good as arbalest when these are massed against normal infantry as that is archers role. I wouldn’t mind +5 hp but with those high damage they might become overpowered.

Hcs were designed to outperform the Arbalest against Infantry, basically a specialized version that is better against one target, and worse against everything else.

Trouble is, they do not at all counter Infantry better than the Arbalest, and as such, it is moot to have them.

As a Goths player, I would much prefer having Arbs rather than HCs.
Even Portuguese player go for Arbs over HCs, and so would Turks players if they had Arbs.


Where does it say they were designed to ‘outperform’ arbalest? Given that archers are designed by aoe nature to counter infantry?

Hand Cannoneer
Powerful close attack; inaccurate at range. Keeps non-ranged units from
closing on other units. Requires Chemistry.
Created at Archery Range
Strong vs. Barracks units, Monks, Teutonic Knights
Weak vs. archers, mangonels
Upgrades Armor — Padded Archer Armor, Leather Archer Armor, Ring
Archer Armor (Blacksmith)
Unit creation speed — Conscription (Castle)
Your units resistant to other Monks — Faith (Monastery)
Following the development of cannons, small hand-operated gunpowder weapons began appearing in Europe
in the fourteenth century. These early firearms were small iron tubes mounted on a wooden stock. They were
inaccurate and slow to load. In the early fifteenth century the hand cannon was made smaller, the stock was redesigned so it could be held against the chest, and a mechanism was added for inserting the slow-burning
match into the chamber. This weapon was effective only in volleys at close range. In the middle of the fifteenth
century the first recognizably modern firearm, the arquebus, was developed. This employed a wheel lock to
bring the slow match in contact with a powder pan connected by a tube to the chamber. Lead and cast iron
balls fired from the arquebus were lethal. Firearms of the Middle Ages had an inferior range and rate of fire in
comparison to the best bows and crossbows. Firearms improved gradually, however, and became more and
more popular, despite their high cost. They became status symbols. Important lords engaged in an arms race,
attempting to field more firearms of more modern design than their competitors.

Here is their description in Aoe the age of kings.

The only thing they were supposed and designed to counter are BARRACKS units, in particular halbs to not let them come near your cavs.

Unfortunately this was before the conqs introduced eagle warriors and EL DORADO

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The fact that they get bonus damage vs infantry where as arbs do not.


They are a specialist unit that is supposed to counter Infantry better than Arbalests and have a +10 (+11 to Spearmen) bonus damage against them.
If they cannot outperform Arbalests at their specialized role, then they just suck, and are pointless.

In practice this never happens, only the Arbalest and the Cav Archer have the tools to keep Melee at bay.

Arbalest is better than them at all these target, so we might aswell as ask for the removal of HCs, and for all civs to just get Arbs.

Weak vs EVERYTHING. Even the Infantry they are supposed to counter.
I suppose they counter Halbs, however… As long as it is not Lithuanian, Slav or Japanese Halbs…

Conqs have been heavily nerfed, HC was never good, at all.
It was always better to get Arbs or Heavy cav Archers, if you have those, and those also benefirt from Chemistry, instead of needing it to just unlock.


Lulz and as this thread is discussing it they are worse vs some infantry despite having such a huge bonus. Why? Must be devs error and this unit needs a huge buff obviously. or maybe… maybe eh… they aren’t supposed to be better than arbalest at all vs those infantry.

yes because we haven’t seen other units buffed and nerfed over the past 20 years.