The Turks Fast Imp strategy was recently very well executed by Hera here:
It revolves around using the Turks’ free chemistry, and the units that only become available in Imperial, to avoid the upgrade cost and time of units such as Paladins. At pretty much bang on 22 minutes, his opponent has a bombard cannon and 4 x hand cannoneers outside his base, with reinforcement hand cannoneers arriving at a steady rate after that.
I saw this used not much later in a game at around 950 ELO. Okay, they were about 3 minutes slower than Hera to reach Imp, but it was still pretty much impossible for the other player to respond to.
What strategy can we use with other civs to have enough army to counter the BBC + HC combo at 22 minutes?
At around 950 elo it is most likely first player who attacked, will win the game. If enemy goes for FI, just go for all in castle age. Put on the pressure early. Go for a FC. Hit castle age around 16:00 and start pressuring him. He needs to respond and his FI will be delayed. Or if he just go for the FI, than you can just over run him with numbers.
If you hit castle age around 16:00 minutes, and he did FI and hit you around 25 minutes, that means you have around 10 minutes to attack. He probably has almost no defence during this time.
On open maps, very true. On arena Turks are fine. Not great in post-imp but very high potential for castle age aggression.
On paper, the best answer is cav archers. In practice you might not have enough time to switch into them and civs without thumb ring shouldn’t do that (the imp upgrades aren’t too important, so it’s also fine when you play, say, Persians or Malians). But if you see the fast imp coming early enough and you have thumb ring (especially when your civ has bonuses; even Korean, Vietnamese and Portuguese ones are really helpfull, here) go for it! Otherwise as @JoJo9942 said, mass xbows (although bbc can do significant damage to them, so I’d use the spread formation).
Also oftentimes it’s advisable to stop producing vills and adding farms. You most likely will already have a huge eco advantage and just have to survive the push. Once you do that, you usually have won the game. Also don’t hesitate to do (otherwise suboptimal) stuff like transferring vills from farms to wood/gold if necessary for unit production. To some degree defensive castles can work but know that it only buys little time because they get taken down by bbc quickly. Only do that if you need additional time to get (cav)archers rolling.
The other being fc straight into jannis, I guess? They are indeed the most common (on arena) but it’s also fine to go scouts for relics and boom against some civs, imo. There are some civs that can struggle vs gunpowder-heavy compositions in regular imp fights (e.g. celts, slavs).
Make Crossbows (or Cavalry Archers if your civ have decent ones).
Don’t try to mine stone too early and build a castle against Turks if you know your opponent is going fast imp because that castle will go down without an army to protect. Mini-boom with at least 2 TC’s and make xbows or CA.
I guess the one thing missing from the good replies so far is how to spot your opponent is going to go fast imp?
I’m not sure myself so many someone else knows. Obviously the earlier you know the earlier you can prepare a response to it. Presumably the build looks like a (slower?) fc up to a point. Maybe a lower score and watch out for score drops? Also presumably you won’t be able to see it but, just having a scout move around the enemies walls for any sign of buildings and or the gate for unit movement?
Then I guess there’s obviously the imp notification where there’s a small window of time before bombard cannons and hand cannons are produces and move out.
Yes. First thing is a slower feudal age timing. If it’s a pop 28 timing, chances for fast imp are pretty high. You can’t be super sure because that could also be a fc with straight castle drop but usually that would be a little faster. At the latest you should know when there isn’t a castle up in early castle age (if it’s defensive you should be able to spot it behind your opponent’s wall and even for the unlikely case you don’t see it there will be jannis on the field at some point if it’s not fast imp).
FC into Jans + Mangos, which is almost impossible to stop in the Castle Age, to be honest, since Jans can outrange Elite Skirms without Bracer, deal brutal damage even to Knights, and 5 Jans can one-shot a Mangonel on their own, before it gets in range to fire upon them.