Help with Mongols vs English ram rush

I feel I have tried everything to counter the ram rush. I really like the Mongols and I seem to have a decent fight against every other civ. However, when it comes to English, I lose 100% unless by some miracle they do not ram rush

I have found Beastyqt’s video quite helpful in general:

I have lost also couple of games against English rushes with mongols, where my main problem is the lack of micro skills… Mongols could defend in theory quite good I believe, but when my horsemen run into spears because of misclick and all vills are idle or being killed while I destroy ram… All while enemy is booming behind.
Without good micro/execution skill it feels hard to defend against ram rush (protected by longbows and spears) or I loose so much in the process that I auto loose 10 minutes later.

I find annoying that TC always focuses on ram, while 10 longbows standing next to it, killing vills, and I have to target click it after every kill. Towers I think similar. So a lot to manage there. If anyone has tipps how to get better with this, I am also grateful for tipps.

I’ve played Mongols quite a lot in co-op games against hardest AI. It doesn’t attack with a longbow/spear/ram rush, so I’ve never had to deal with it, but I think I would probably still do the same thing I normally do. I haven’t watched beastyqt’s video because it’s 36 mins long, and also I quite enjoy working out my own ways to play games. The following is what I did before getting bored of doing the same thing every game:

  1. Ideally I placed my TC so it was right next to both gold and wood. If that wasn’t possible, I placed it touching a large forest such that it was as close as it could be to gold while touching a large forest. I sent my starting villagers to gold and just had them walk to and from the TC for 2 collections so I then have 220 gold, then I move them to sheep at the TC. I got an Ovoo straight away as well.

  2. Because you can’t wall, I kept my base super compact, making pastures fairly early rather than risking taking anything away from the TC.

  3. Soon after starting building the landmark for feudal I started double producing spears until I had 12 spears. This seemed to always be enough to defend against any AI attack. I also got a blacksmith and all upgrades, apart from that I wanted to get to castle age ASAP. So in terms of the ram rush, the question is would 12 spears kill the ram(s) fast enough for the TC to then defend against the attacking units and you not have a problem with the default targeting? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think they might. If they don’t, you can always make more and accept a slower castle age. With double production, not having spent the wood on rams, and not needing the siege tech in feudal, you should be able to have a lot more military than the attacking opponent.

  4. When I got to castle age I switched to maa, got the next set of upgrades including the +5 torch attack, and went to attack when I had a mass, either killing the buildings directly with the maa, or adding trebs and springalds made by them near the enemy bases. In some games I had taken out every AI opponent before any other teammate had even attacked any of them. Outposts with springalds can also be handy once you’ve reached castle age.

I have also done feudal ram rushes, but in co-op games with randoms they’re risky because the AI can work together to defend them and it might well fail if you’re the only one attacking. While co-op games against AI obviously aren’t the pinnacle of AoE 4 skill, what I described above is a pretty early way to wipe out an enemy base compared to what I’ve seen from my teammates.

Thanks for your reply.

I think the 12 spear could kill the ram, but the longbows will kill all the spears before able to do so (is their hard counter unit). That’s the hard part of dealing with the ram rushes, that typically there is an archer mass associated with it (with mixed in spears, so your horsemen are harder to micro).

If only there were an easy way to set the scenario up to test it!

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I bought an extra copy of the game to be able to test scenarios using 2 PCs. It wasn’t that expensive from cdkeys, two copies has cost me less than the full price of the deluxe edition.

Can you give me an example timing and army composition you’ve seen in a ranked game? For example, so far I’ve had 15 longbows and 2 rams at 9 minutes playing as English (that’s the number that has reached the enemy base rather than just made by that time), with the longbows having +1 attack upgrade, and as Mongols I’ve had 15 horsemen with +1 ranged armour upgrade and the upgrade from early horsemen at 9 minutes. I haven’t tried making those two armies fight each other, as the horsemen would surely win, so I think I need to know what sort of mix of longbows/spears/rams you’re seeing in actual games. Even so, it might not be possible for me to test it satisfactorily, as it might require both sides to do significant micro, but I’d like to try it to some extent.

I did not have the exact number, but you can imagine like the following:

  • age up with English around 4:30-5:00
  • start producing longbows and rally them toward enemy base - initial reaction when spotted the longbows was to make stable and horsemen (using mongol double production, but still quite a large food cost)
  • with the longbows one or two villagers are going to build towers (adds bonus to English troops to fight under tower)
  • at the first opportunity English makes a barracks and sends out spears (3-5 is typically enough)

At this point English is trying to deny my wood line with their longbows and towers… not easy for them since TC sits there. Ovoo with stable is further away, I produce double horsemen there. When I have 6-8 I try to attack the longbows. But with the spears around you need good micro, retreat, move around - one mistake is enough to loose couple of horses… And with longbows they still cause some damage, which adds up over time. English player continues to stream in Longbows and occasionally spears. After they could research the tech, they drop a ram, and go for the Ovoo, since only protected by one tower and vills not nearby. Due to this, production is halted for short until stable moves to TC. Their numbers still going up. My vills are on sheep, and wood. A little later, double rams coming towards TC. Plenty of vills there, but also you pay the price for attacking ram, since longbows hurt them pretty bad. I typically loose remaining horseman here due to micro mistakes around spears… :smiley: (ok my fault)

I could so far typically defuse the attack most of the time, after destroying 4-5 rams, and cleaning up longbows and co… But the price I pay for it is typically high enough. Just as I cleaned up their forces, they aged up, and I only now start gathering gold. My army is still not big, just big enough to have cleaned up - but also mostly means not full HP units.
So basically, English player has villager lead, has aged up, so has now 2 TCs. So is mostly downhill from here. Until I age up to have lancers, they have crossbows and knights themselves, more than I can afford.

I don’t say, it’s impossible - I only say it’s hard to come out on top, if opponent knows what they do. Probably one needs better scouting, so it does not come as a surprise, and better micro skills and APM. Then you can simply deny this probably in the early stages.

Build stable then archery range, produce horsemen and archers, and in blacksmith investigate the arrow defense.

When fighting, try to made archers shoot your horsemen and spears pursuit your horsemen while you aim the enemy spears with the archers.

If you are confident enough, engage the archers with the horsemen.

Don’t forget that spears are counter of horsemen, but if you got 8 horses against 2 spears because you killed the other ones with the archers don’t be afraid of engage.

Also, horsemen has extra damage versus siege, so you will kill faster the rams with the horsemen.

Another strategy you can try, is to start building an stable and raiding the english till the start. This will give you time in dark age and will delay english to get into feudal if you deny the gold.

The english ram would be less eficient if you got 40 villagers instead of 20, and you can redistribute the villagers among the resources you need to defend.

Ahh… And don’t forget you can move your buildings. If things are getting bad, don’t let the rams destroy the TC or the stables/archery range.


I can’t test anything as dynamic as that while playing both sides. What I did test is just making spears as Mongols, so I played each side separately for 9 mins, and had 17 longbows and 2 rams as English and 25 spears as Mongols (3 barracks). The 25 spears were able to beat the 17 longbows, so while the longbows counter them, it’s not a hard enough counter to overcome the extra numbers from double production and not having spent the resources on rams. I’m not saying it’s the best counter strat, I just thought it was interesting that making nothing but spears wins that scenario, and they’d do even better if the English player had fewer longbows and made a barracks and some spears to mix in.

This is not a real test. Spears can only kill longbows if you let them fight without interaction, but in a real game you will be kiting (getting distance then shoot), and there is no way spears can kill longbows.

I’ve written two books in reply already. Both just get too technical. Here’s the TLDR

  1. Never listen to what a popular streamer says you should do. Learn to listen to their actual gameplay. What they do. It’s a well-known and longstanding marketed fallacy to miscorrelate a streamer success with details that simply arn’t huge factors in why they are successful. “Buy this gaming chair cause so and so has it and he’s best”, “Buy this mouse cause so and so…”, “Download Vipers keybindings cause he’s a top ranked player and blah blah”. End of the day, Beasty has no incentive to make a proper guide. It can be generic, and he’ll still get a ton of clicks, simply because he’s the top ranked player. “Have good TC placement” means nothing if you don’t explain what and why TC placement matters. How different under TC starts effect Mongol play.

  2. English Lowbow/Ram is painful for Mongols because its a rare matchup that we will lose FA map control. Mongols normally can easily control the Map until late Castle or Imp. Some matchups are more Castle, others more Imp. To beat this, you need to identify it’s happening ASAP. Prepare defensive positions. And focus on surviving long enough to age into Castle ASAP. Buy time. There is not enough economic flex by FA to critical HM or Spearman against a prebaked Longbow build.

  3. Mongol stables is generally a safe early production building. Learn how to use Cavalry effectively. Until critical, their purpose is to harass not dive and die. They keep your opponent honest, forcing the opp to build units/defensive buildings or have to worker pull. They also provide scouting, which should be detecting the buildings/unit creation of this impending Longbow/Ram rush. DeMuslim’s a good player to watch for understanding how to use Cavalry well. His French and Mongo Cav play specifically.

  4. Once you’ve identified the desire for the rush. Build defensive towers at likely engagement points. Backline trees (they will forcast with an english tower normally, you will eventually lose this fight, dont dive on it, just buy time), and exposed Gold or Ovoo depending on start. Both have their downsides. If it’s exposed gold, you need to either heavy defend there with additional towers (not side by side, make the rams travel) or mine out the necessary gold for Castle ASAP.

  5. Focus on killing rams only. Do not dive into longbow ball. Allow your towers to keep their longbows back, and dive only on Rams that get close. This may cause the English player to cut into Longbow production with spearman. Thats good.

  6. You should also be in FA by now, at which point, use defensive archers only to snipe at forward spearman that are with the rams. Do not go into longbow range. Critical Archer can trade with Longbow, but it requires more micro work from the Mongol player and a good trade tends to be both groups dying. Which is not ideal.

In short, keep Longbows back with Towers and TC placements, snipe Spearman that leave the Longbow ball with defensive Archers, and dive on Rams when they are fully extended from the Longbow Ball. Reset English until you get MAA/Lancer which can easily dive on forward ram and hard counters. Once in Castle it gets way more dangerous for English to stay forward on the field against Mongol and is generally when they lose their ball of Longbows to critical numbers or hard counters.

This has been working. Tower rushing them has now usually been buying me enough time to get into castle.


I understand that, but I still thought it was interesting. I could try attack moving the spears and manually controlling the longbows, but my kiting skills will be worse than those of a good player. Of course, if the longbows kite the spears, that allows villagers to kill the rams.

I just tried making mangudai with Mongols. By the 9 minute mark I had 14 mangudai with the ranged attack upgrade to fight against the 17 longbows I had with the English, having also made 2 rams. The mangudai win that fight.

I expect that possibly the hardest part of dealing with what WiseCouncil describes isn’t so much what happens by 9 minutes, but dealing with the very first few longbows. I always feel Mongols are a bit slower to get started, as you have to identify where to put the TC and unpack it, and the need to build the Ovoo early combined with the high cost of a Ger means that a bad map spawn can make it a struggle early on.

Usually when ramming a TC, you don’t let your ram alone while killing the spears, or whatever it comes to you.

It’s better to faint, and try to kill the spears before engage the TC with rams, because if you engage the TC with the ram with the spears alive, and you have to kite them, you will lose the ram due to the enemy villagers.

In any way, if you lose the ram, you will be losing 300 resources, but if the enemy loses a lot of spears, it’s worth.

This game is a lot of times a mathematic problem, if you can lose 300 resources, but make the enemy lose 1000, you have won this battle. Win a few more like that and you will win the war.

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There was a game with this exact matchup in the latest road to ranked video, with Eliot playing English against Mongols. I think it shouldn’t really be called a ram rush, as it’s more of a longbow rush, and the rams are only added once the attacker has established military superiority. The question is how to deal with those first few longbows. One thing I noticed in Eliot’s game is they weren’t really good enough at scouting, so both sides are probably preparing blind rather than responding to knowing what their opponent is doing.

Trying it myself, I had 3 longbows at the enemy base at 5:30. Trying a blind counter Mongols build of a stable next to the Ovoo to make horsemen in feudal age, I had my first 2 horsemen out at 5:50. I’m sure a better player would do both builds faster, but I think it’s a reasonable reflection of the difference between the two civs if both are played by equally skilled players. So I agree it’s going to be hard for Mongols to deal with the longbows at that time, as they’re always going to be a bit slower to get to that stage.

I think it’s a realistic option for the Mongols player to delay feudal to have early horsemen. Doing that I was able to have 5 early horsemen by 5:30, which will easily beat the 3 longbows arriving at that time.