Currently the horse archers has taken the place of the spring meta.
The idea of the versatile unit is a good thing IMO however the unit is too CHEAP and efficient.
My suggested ways to balance the unit.
Option 1: Cut the base hp in half which will make them useless vs archers.
Option 2: increase the cost by 70% which will slow down the massing of this unit and make losing them more devastating.
Option 3: make them much much slower such that they CANNOT run away from melee cavalry and be forced to fight and trade (probably the best of the ideas). I’m talking a 1.4 speed so they stay faster than infantry and seige and elephants but knights and horsemen (which need a buff) can counter.
Horse archers use horse warbows, Rus or Mongol or Apache.
Horsebows are shorter and feature a double recurve shape, sometimes strengthened with fiberglass (or older composite). It uses a shorter shape because a traditional longbow is too tall for quickly aiming left and right with a horse between your legs. Therefore, shorter bows have weaker draw weight.
A traditional English war longbow could range from ~80 to ~240 pounds and take a lifetime of practice starting at 6yo to handle.
A war horsebow could range from ~40-~100 at the very maximum. It takes a lot of efforts to draw a bow and even more while riding a horse and being accurate. Longbows are optimized for range and power to pierce metal armor.
Horsebows are designed to fire very quick arrows that remain stable while fired on the move, and it is fired at shorter range to combat loss of accuracy and power with a charge leaning in the shot on top, taking advantage of horse mobility and effect of surprise to attack unarmored opponents.
It’s not just a matter of bow vs bow. There are so many factors, the shape, the wood, whether it’s composite, what composite materials, the length of bow, the type of string, the length and weight of arrows, etc, etc…
Well, instead of nerfing the horse archer maybe buffing the horseman is a better option since they are supposed to be their counter, but they are so bad right now that nobody uses them anymore.
Horseman can do really well in mass against horse archers as they are faster, specially once they have all blacksmith upgrades, but they become cardboard units once the rus player mix any other unit.
Maybe a good option is to increase the damage they do against archers, make it a x3 damage and add a x2 against religious units too. That will definitely add an option for civs to deal with the Rus FC without having to nerf them.
it’s not about historical accuracy its about logic i was just proving that the bows are different. Horse archers tactics revolve around ambushes and fast rushes. That should be their only use, they shouldn’t compete on range with longbows or even footed archers. Balance isn’t about stats, stats should balance around logic.
Longbows are inefficient cheap bows.
It offers little power and wastes a lot of energy.
It only relies on its sheer size to generate enough energy to shoot an arrow.
On the other hand, composite recurve bows use energy much more efficiently due to unique built using various materials and design.
It is not all about drawing weight when it comes to Mongolian or any other composite recurve bows.
Historically, the Mongol horse archers were so superb that European archers couldn’t hit due to lack of range and were turned into a massacre.
Currently, the world’s longest shot between longbow and the composite recurve bow is done by the “Composite Recurve Bow”.
With the sheer number of bugs in this game it is hard to have an exact understanding of balance in this game.
The few exceptions IMO are:
Scout hp is way too high
Professional scout is extremely efficient and has virtually zero counter
Bombards are very very very strong (especially chinese)
Horsemen got significantly weaker vs all high dmg range unit and all elite range units.
IMO if these were addressed along side all the bugs, we’d have a better understanding of what units are balanced or not.