How counters are nerfed since DE

Just wanted to mention this. Since the release of DE counter units have been continouusly indirectly be nerfed as they are made less and less efficient or easier to counter themselves.

A) Construction cost reductions of power units: Malay eles cost no -40 % in imp, Polish have an insane tech that reduces the gold cost of knights so heavily they already counter (!) camels. It’s not enough to counter pikes/halbs yet, but even monks are way less effective against poles cavalry, as each knight only costs 30 g, so a conversion only gives 60 g effectively to the opponent. Less than the monk costs.

B) Sicilians resistances. Anything to say about that? Directly nerfing all counters against that civ, leading to it being almost unstoppable once ahead by a considerable margin.

C) Ultra-strong UUs that actually do quite well against their supposed counters:
All of them do much better against halbs than the knight line. The coustilier is actually the worst of them as with the charge mechanic you can snipe low numbers of halbs with taking almost no damage yourself. Besides coustilier isn’t as strong against camels, the halb sniping property is close to reversing the effect of countering - if you just have high enough numbers of coustiliers the opponent can’t do anything against them.

D) Buffs to the militia line.
Anything to say about this? Don’t think so. Since DE the militia line has been buffed several times. But as the line is considered “trash counter” it actually counters the “counter units” even better than before. As the counters are now easier to counter themselves they are indirectly nerfed. It is now way easier to just make militia line to counter whatever trash the opponen throws at you - making counters less efficient in the aftermath as they have less time to counter before being countered themselves.

E) Trash-Counter UUs.
Serjeant and Obuch are even better trash counters than the militia line. Not that it would be necessary for these civs, but these UUs make life for trash even harder.

F) First Crusade + Flemish Revolution: Everything instantly is naturally bad for all kind of counter mechanics. How do you counter instant spawn of 140 military units? It’s basically impossible. You prepare for it knowing it will happen at some point. But that’s not countering, that’s guessing.

I think this is bad for the game if this slow process of nerfing the counter mechanics continues. I like the diversity of army compositions that comes from the counter mechanics. Nerfing counters indirectly reduces diversity and leads to more and more stale metaplay, like we see in the current TG meta.

I like how the bohemians got a bonus to their spearmen, actually increasing their counter mechanic. I think this is the way to go, giving more bonusses to counter mechanics instead of bonusses that mostly apply against countering the units.

Because of the last militia line buffs, I could imagine some small general buffs to the spear and especially the skirm lines, which is currently the least viable of the trash counters. Idk if scouts need a direct buff, but if it should be a more minor thing (as scouts have a different role than the other trash - it even does no counter damage). I would like if scouts could attack through unfinished walls eg. But that’s a controversial opinion.

Possibilities would be things like:
Spear line +1 atk, spear line + 5-10 hp or spear line + 5-10 % speed.
Skirms +2 melee armour and + 15 % faster firing.

Camels: Cost change to 65 F / 50 G (Imp camels receive a small nerf like 1 less atk as they would be extremely stong with this changes). => Camels already have too high gold cost for being a “counter” unit. Just changing the gold ratio a bit could help them being as effective as they are supposed to be against cav (especially light cav - making camels that cost gold to counter a trash unit is just weird).

And I would like to see more UUs that are designed to be interesting additions to the civs’ army comps by being very strong and also durable counters to the biggest threats for the goto lines of the civs. Like the throwing axeman is such a great UU for franks because it is so good in countering halbs. Or the kamayuk is so strong against cavalry. Or the cataphract that is the “killer blow” for the byzantines after they forced the opponent into infantry with their super cheap trash.
I like this kind of UUs that play a nice role in the civs army comp and matchplan, but are usually not the first “opener” because they are so strong. In general because how you get to the UUs they are way better in that role, as it takes so long to build up all the castles needed to have a big enough sustainable production.

I think with bohemians they already made a first step into that direction, as the hussite wagon is really strong against archers. Besides bohemians have good archers themselves there are other archer civs that have the edge in early castle because of their better eco. So without the hussite wagon bohemians would very likely lose easily to these civs. (But the hussite wagon shares the weakness to siege, so it is not the perfect addition unfortunately.) But I think this could be a direction to go, UUs that can compensate for some weaknesses in the civs tech tree are a great addition to every civ and improves the diversity and complexity of the game. And this without any gimmicks like insta spawning military.

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Nah, we don’t need power creep abd buff all trash.

Just nerf tge worst offenders.


I think counter unit is in a fine spot - they still counter the specific unit they target. Lets not make counter unit too universal, they are already used fairly well (skirms in mass number is scary, pike+siege push, camels are strong enough)


If the counters would be so good at their job, why do we prefer making walls over making the counter units?
Why do we have this stale archer/knight meta if the counters are so good at their job?


Militia line deals well with it.

Only inidian camels. The others are way too easy to counter by all different kind of non-cavalry units + defences.

You mean like nerfing sic bonus reduction, possibly also the bonus damage of coustilier (in exchange for either faster reload or higher base attack probably)?

I don’t think that’s enough though. I think it is also related to the raising skill of the players. The power units are just more revarding to care about (micro), whilst the trash units are expendable and go down very easily to many units and because of the lack of mobility also have a hard time escaping unfavorable battles.
It’s not only that the devs indirectly nerfed the counters, players getting better and better in using the power units more efficiently.

There’s a reason we currently have this stale meta - and the reason is for sure not that the counter units would be fine. It actually shows that they are quite weak atm.

And I think that’s mainly because they pose basically not threat to the opponent. If they would be just a bit stronger overall, that would change a bit and make them more viable.
But ofc the other way could also work: Increasing the counter mechanics with buffs like higher bonus damage. Then Players might be more tempted to use the counter units against the opponent rushes, as they would be more efficient in their purpose.

I think both can work, but currently the counters are trash, quite literally.

If the counters would be so good at their job, why do we prefer making walls over making the counter units?

Why do we have this stale archer/knight meta if the counters are so good at their job?

Counters cannot effectively kill vills, that is the main issue. They are not supposed to counter vills either - but they counter the target unit really well.
E.g. against one TC knight rush you can always go pikeman (counter unit), your eco can sustain the defence and outboom your enemy before any transition.
Also did you see not enough skirms at RBW?

I think both can work, but currently the counters are trash, quite literally.
Counter units are made in almost (literally but I am not bothered to check all games) every single game in RBW 5 (probably except when there was Sicilians), are you really sure they are underdeployed?

I would prefer counter unit to stay their identity - to kill vills. They don’t have to become the main composition of an army. An army of only knight is strong, An army of pike don’t HAVE to be that strong - otherwise pike will become the new knight.


Single mangonel cannot kill skrims. Multiple mangonels counter skrim but you can mix in knight.
Also Castle age skirms have same attack as Fedual age archers already.

Only inidian camels. The others are way too easy to counter by all different kind of non-cavalry units + defences.

Camels + mangonel / archers are used together often. In fact for cav wars, the civ with camels (e.g. Berbers) often has an advantage

Counter units are NOT underused, they are supposed to be defensive / outboom unit. I don’t think we should make all unit to be main army composition. I think the buff of militra is already stirring up the meta well.

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Counter units are not supposed to being your main army, in very many games we see skirm or pikes in combo kts + pikes, xbow + skirm, kts + monks and many others are VERY common.

If you make pure conters in many cases it’s bad idea because counters alone can just defend and from one type of unit, you cannot deal correctly with combo. However, making full one unit is not as good as you seems to think because of counter especially if you dont add tc with.

I can also said that lituanians trash is introduced in de as longsword buffs which is used as eagle counter mainly or the quite recently hc buff as well.

As for tg yes only kts + archer works.


It’s a good question. People tend to talk about walling as something annoying that should be avoided, but it also seems like absolute necessity in most games. You’re never going to make enough spears to protect both woodlines, mines, builders, berries, etc. And the speed advantage means scouts will find your weakness. You can build small walls or quick walls at resources, but that is suicide if the enemy makes archers (and towering every resource is not an option). Spamming skirmishers just means you’ll hurt your age time compared to the opponent using wood and gold.

Really the only time leaving eco exposed is a good idea is when you are stomping the enemy so hard you know they cannot send military your way (even then they could sneak a handful of knights and do a lot of damage).

I have no problem with the walling meta tbh. It can be combined with counter units, and a few MAA or rams can break through easily enough. I’m not sure why the majority of players seem to want open maps to be more open. New arabia just means walling takes longer and is more of a chore, it doesn’t mean you can skip walling. Closed or easily walled maps are more fun IMO because you uou can focus on other things.


Who said that counters should be main army? Righ, Nobody.

I’m just concerned about the game being puhsed more and more into uncounterable units. from the 8 DE civs 6 have hard to counter UUs, as they perform so much better against the counters than the standard line. 2 of them have insane discounts or resistance so counters are less effective against their knight line than they are supposed to.

I think it is such an important mechanic of the game and I don’t understand why devs did the decision to make units and uts that heavily nerf the counter mechanic. I think it’s the wrong approach. It reduces diversity and strategy of the game. And leads to the currently so stale meta.

I mean, walls are annoying. That’s true. But they just provide the thing the counters are supposed to but can’t: Protection for the eco. That’s so much more important than being able to kill the opponent’s army. Cause as wolf said: counters are terrible at raiding. So if you win the fight with your counters you don’t get much benefit from the leftovers, as you almost can’t raid with them.

So both of this can be adressed by the devs. Either make the counters a bit better in raiding (and also not as terrible against everything they shouldn’t counter), so you at least can use the leftovers for some annoyance. Or buff the counters against the units they are supposed to counter so the investment into the counters is less and people are more tempted to use counters instead of walls/defences against the opponent forces.

Both can work, but currently counters are (outside of the very lategame ofc) quite terrible to use - often only as expandable meatshield so your gold ratio is lower and you can sustain production longer.

I think we need to remember the basic counter mechanics the initial devs implemented in the game, otherwise the game slowly loses it’s identity. The counter mechanics are just such an important part of the game and counters with bad state are a clear indicator that there is something out of order in this regard.

You make some good points. I just can’t really picture how to make them a reality. Unless spears become as fast as kings they won’t be able to fully defend against scouts and walls will still be needed (maybe in fewer spots).

I could see spears and skirms maybe getting +1 base attack and losing 1 bonus damage to keep them the same against their intended counter, but better at picking off villagers.

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Your raiding example only applies to late game Hussar - Skirms do counter archer raid. Otherwise for open maps (unwallable maps) counter units are used so actively for defense - see the Holy war maps.

Honestly I think we should nerf walls instead if you want to encourage passive counter unit deployment

The other Idea I had was to increase the movement speed of spears just a bit, so they are just a bit better in chasing down the cavalry.

For skirms a slighty higher ROF helps for both, better countering and also being a bit better against all the other units and raiding. Also a small amount of melee armor would help them in trash wars, so they are better against halbs but especially go slower down against hussars. Currently halbs are the most important in trash wars, as they go down the slowest to their supposed counter, the skirms. So a small increase in firerate may fix this, so all trash units can be seen as “equally strong” in trash wars.

Don’t forget that skirms are also the worst against siege which is that kind of unit which you want to spend your remaining gold into, but halbs and especially hussars are much better to deal with siege.

Ofc there could be a nerfed imp skirm upgrade for all instead. I would also like that, as long as it doesn’t makes skirms the best trash unit then.

Probably walls are only meta because the counters don’t perform as strong as intended? Already thought about that interpretation?

Another way to put so is that walls are outperforming. Thats why we have unwallable tiles in tournaments.

And no, I think counter units are fine in combat / offensive situations (instead of raiding situtations). All counter units are cost effective vs the countered units, providing economic advantage in unit exchanges.

Then, if you buff the counter units, they will be overpowered in frontline, removing the necessary of main army (and becoming main army itself0

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Also I think offensive units should be stronger than defensive unit when they kill vills.

Just imagine if halb move as fast as hussar and kill hussar in one hit, but do 0 damage to other units. Then people will just put halbs in home and full boom every game, making the game more stale than currently is.

The stronger the defensive units are, the more “turtle”-style the game will become which hurts the playing / viewing experience

I speak of power lines and trash units. And no trash unit can beat power (gold) units in terms of killing vills. The best trash unit in this regard is of course the scout, but the scout line is significantly worse in raiding than the knigh line aswell.
And nobody wants to change this.

What a weird example, nobody wants this. It’s all about that trash units are currently nerfed compared to previous states of the game. And looking for an idea how to make them more viable.

More “turtling” than full wall? Really?
No, better working counters would instead lead to more diverse unit comps and more interesting battles. But ofc a bit less raiding - but also less turtling as both players would make more army.

Besides I admit it would probably lead to less engagements as no player would want to go to much risk for a bad engagement that could decide a game instantly. So it is more likely that we would see a lot of army skirmishing for the most part in the game until one player looks for the big engagement as he thinks he has a clear advantage. (This is more likely to happen then, but that doesn’t mean it would be the meta, only if the players “neutralize” each other in the early game.)

But I think this is more interesting to watch than if both players fully wall and boom, or (because that’s the current meta if the early game stabilizes)? At least there would be military and skirmishing all the time.

What a weird example, nobody wants this. It’s all about that trash units are currently nerfed compared to previous states of the game. And looking for an idea how to make them more viable.

It is an extreme example, but if you buff their defensive ability,

  1. You buff their combat ability as well, then trash army become main army

  2. You nerf their combat ability, now they can defend well and the game will end slower. I think most people prefer fast games (or the sponsors at least - it’s literally why Empire wars are used for RBW)

My point is that counter units are definitely not weak on combat (offensive) side, and don’t need to be buffed for defensive side to be on par with offensive units.

If you want more diverse games, I think we should diverse from Arabia instead - thats why I propose to remove Arabia from mappool, and we can play more Land madness / Socorta which is never stale. The addition of weird maps in Holy war tournaments produced a lot of weird games as well

(I understand that removing Arabia is another extreme example, but that’s another topic - after all, is “stale” meta really bad for general playerbase?)

there are too many uncounterable units

we have to play a bunch of garbage maps where people start with free stonewalls and then fight against war wagons or organ guns or some similar nonsense, and nothing even kills those. and then the devs did some dumb patches which made those units cheaper and gave them free armors and random stuff like that

letting people see the map before they pick a civ has been complete trash for the game balance

You claim that counter units sees less use than it should since DE so i try to search a reason why you think that.

Thats the total opposite for me in terms of unit diversity for me, back in aoc, unit diversity was very poor , eagles were full useless and even don t exist in feudal ca were useless outside of huns. Longsword see absolutely no use a lot of uu has been buffed and made them usable.
Outside of xbow kts and trash units and huns ca they were not really alternative.

And as i said a lot of counter units are in a better spot than before (longsword buff , genitour buff, hc buff saracens camel hp bonus, lituanians trash bohemians trash monks, turks light cav new mayan’s skirms etc the list can be very long outside of condo and cataphract which appear pre de i dont see uu which counter counter maybe konnik but thats not entirely true and serjeant but thats the sicilians bonus which does that not the unit itself but it still probably the only civ and byzantines where you almost never want to make counter units.


I don’t really see counter units being worse than usual, I think you’re a bit overestimating the impact of some changes

This is quite situational stuff and not expecially designed to bypass counter units.

Agree, sicilian counter bonus is not good design in my opinion

Making counter units that do better versus their usual counters is a thing since AoK, it’s one of the (few) ways to differentiate them from generic units. Examples are longbowmen or briton range bonus in general that allow to beat mangonels and hit and run skirms, cataphracts, mangudai that melt siege, chu-ko-nu that do better than archers vs skirms and rams, mamelukes that can hit and run pikes, janissaries that outrange mangonels and skirms in castle age, even longboats that win versus fine ships.

Not really too much on an issue in my opinion, if you go knights and get countered by pikes/camels or if you go archers and get countered by skirms, militia line transition is rarely the best option anyway.

Even this is something which has ever existed. If you check aok UUs, how many of them have a clear trash counter? Probably only war elephants, every other UU don’t have a trash counter or do better versus trash than their generic counterpart.

Even on this I agree, but again it’s not about changing trash, are those mechanics the ones that need to go.


Heaven forbid something is better then the knight line against something. Especially when said units require much more expensive buildings to make.

And despite being better against halbs then knights sre, halbs are still cost effective answers.

Also the bloody cataphract has existed since aok days as a counter to the counter.

Infantry units being the counter to trash is nothing new.

Most people aren’t a fan of these to begin with.


Since when keshiks or coustilliers want anything to do with halbs anyway. Leitis can be better than paladins against them but you don’t want to do it more than a handful of time Even using konniks against halbs is a huge waste, especially considering you could have used infantry instead. Also the OP should have noticed all four of these units are weaker than knights against other unit types (coust, konniks and leitis are worse against archers, keshiks are worse against anything that isn’t dealing pierce damage)

This just hits the spot so well. One can only wonder how things would be if Bulgarians or Tatars were AoK civs, and Mongols and Byzantine DE civs. Main difference would be that you could switch civ and unit names in complaint posts.