How to counter Gurjaras?

As topic.

I have limited success to counter Gurjaras. I think Gurjaras are a bit OP, but maybe I also did something wrong.

I will explain the strategies I tried:

  • MAA / Militra - feels too slow to deal damage when your opponent 19pop into archers unless you are some of the civs that can do 19p/20p MAA
  • Archer - Trades ok in fedual age, but if you don’t have enough mass of it you die to the shrivamsha riders all-in, which leads to:
  • Archer + pikes + (monks)- A bit terrible against sieges, also difficult to deal damage unless you also have siege, also your economy will fall behind (pikes are expensive to upgrade), also lack of mobility
  • Knights - just dies to camel too hard
  • Knights + pikes - same issue with archer + pikes
  • Full wall, Arena into lategame - seems Gurjaras are always ahead of economy and I die to a mix of elite shrivamsha riders and camels
  • Sometimes Gurjaras player like to tower rush, and it’s really difficult to outfarm Gurjaras in this situation.

Any suggestions? any skill level is welcomed to discussion (but I will point out if some strategies are not appliable to my elo (~2k)

(Btw, all strategies I tried cost me one ranked game at least for each, you can see I am really frustrated about Gurjaras :frowning: )


Maybe a mix of Skirms, Knights and Monks? Gurjaras tend to open Crossbow in Castle age, and then transition into either Shrivamsha, or Camels depending on what unit they see. In general, I tend to think that they are one of those civs where it’s total brutal Castle age battle on both sides (e.g. Malians vs Franks).

In general, I like to assess how many resources a civ gets by ~min 30 in a game. Civs like Huns, in this sense, are toward the top, because they save ~1000w kind of thing over a 30-min game. Civs like Teutons are also toward top tier, because again if you calculate how much wood you save by planting ~40 farms, it’s in the ballpark of ~1000w. These are what I call “Castle age civs” in terms of eco bonus. Their eco bonus manifests in the Castle age.

Gurjaras, in this sense, are a Castle age civ. They can generate ~1000f by min 30 in the game through their mill. The problem is that “sacrificing sheep” doesn’t rly impact their BO too much in the Dark Age, because you can push Deer and you get 350f under TC for free. Together with the small trickle generating 50-100f in the Dark Age, it essentially means there is no opportunity cost to garrisoning the Sheep inside the mill: garrisoning 8 sheep is always the correct play and there is no “today vs tomorrow” trade-off.

This makes them what I call a “Feudal civ”, too, i.e. a civ that shines in Feudal, and through an eco bonus of some sort, is able to create an advantage in the Feudal age. Such civs are, Franks, Khmer, Mongols, Lithuanians, etc.

For this reason, taking out their mill is a bigger deal than you’d think. Their eco bonus is comparable to Teutons in the Castle age and that extra food rly matters in the long run.

I don’t rly want Gurjaras to get nerfed, because I like how they play and they are both very unique in terms of BO and in terms of the kind of army you have to make in Castle/Imperial.

I do think however that the trickle of food from the mill is a bigger deal than we think. The devs need to commit to it being either a Castle age bonus (in which case they should perhaps tie it to Farm upgrades, so that it’s strong when you have, say, 2 Farm upgrades), or a Feudal bonus (enabling 19 pop Arch etc.). In the latter case, I’d like them to buff their Imperial Age slightly because right now Gurjaras dominate Imperial age mostly because it’s so easy to get ahead with them. On even terms, their units are actually fairly underwhelming in 1v1s and one way to buff them would be to perhaps give them Blast Furnace (with adequate nerf to Chakram Throwers so that their damage doesn’t become too high). Possibly giving them Blast Furnace would allow to consider Camel bonus dmg nerfs too.


Skirms + Knights are really big commitment, and I am afraid it falls into knight+pike category (too heavy in investment and difficult to do damage, thus getting economic behind). Skirms + knights need two complete set of upgrades.

I was thinking you do Bodkin, +1 armor Skirms, +1 armor Knights (no bloodlines, no attack upgrade), and Monks. Not everything full upgrades, basically you play like you would in those small 10 vs 10 battles, I feel Gurjaras are quite weak at this stage because they can’t mix in Knights early on and Shrivamshas die hard to 2-3 Knights mixed in.

So only true “tech commitment” here is Elite Skirms and Bodkin. Anyway to elaborate on why you feel like early Castle age you are behind, apparently Gurjaras have ~800 extra food by min 20 in the game. This is EXTRA resources, that don’t have a trade-off in terms of idle villagers in Dark age, etc. If we consider a bonus like Lithuanians of +150f as “what every civ should get” and thus we set this as our “zero”, Gurjaras play with 650 additional food in early Castle age. This is, after a very loose calculation, something like 4 extra free Knights. And in early Castle age, 4 extra Knights is massive.

One thing is for sure, if they get to Kshatriyas, together with the Mill bonus, it’s more or less game over.

Just Alt+F4 against all DLC civs. I am not playing pay to win civs at all.

just kidding :clown_face:

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Well thats for sure, I feel really hard to keep up with Gurjaras in general (I think that is the main issue), their units, if not with the bonus, are medicore at best, but their economy is really good so they can flood units that his really hard when Gurjara outnumber their opponent.

Regarding your strategy:

Well the issue is that they can mix in some camels as well, and Gurjaras camels destroy knights.

The more serious / annoying issue is that it’s really hard to get 10 vs 10 battles against Gurjaras. More often than not, you are facing 15 units when you have 10 units (or, 10 vs 10 but he is 3TC booming while you are not).

This is significant esp. when you get tower rushed by Gurjaras, their mill can provide a steady income of food while you have to play tower defence game and have no food income.

I haven’t read the comments section yet but I think most of the comments won’t be applicable to 1v1 ~2k level.

I know that you 2k+ guys go random quite often but try to keep that as optional random and pick a strong civ yourself. Have you tried the standard knight/camel-crossbow or the eagle-pike or eagle-crossbow meta that players at your level usually do along with some monks.

Well I have been using a lot of strong civs (Chinese, Mayans, Franks…) with no success, thats part of reason why I asked the question. I dont really have an idea of how to play (except if I also play Gurjaras)

For the 2k, I just want to emphasize that my opponents are usually competent, so some cheese strategy (direct Castle drop) may not work as well.

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Finally a post about how to play vs them instead of complaints! :smiley:
Against Gurjaras (and also Hindustanis) the following compositions work pretty well:

  1. Crossbow + Knight
  2. Crossbow + Camel
  3. Longswords (both civs have mostly units that get countered by them and archer line isn’t viable long term. If you apply pressure early this is very effective)
  4. Cav Archers (both civs are surprisingly vulnerable to 1 tc cav archers, because their anit archer options don’t work against high attack and mobility units)

Maybe I should ask: Gurjaras pickers, what are your worst nightmare to deal with?

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If you have the DLC why not pick Gurjaras and learn what you lose to? :slight_smile: That is certainly something that usually hepls me if I don’t know how to counter a certain strategy or playstyle

Edit: Byzantines should give you a pretty good chance at beating the new civs

Well… I have a really good winrate with Gurjaras in general lol, also dont want to civ-pick it, as if it is nerfed I will have a really inflated elo (I am trying to train generic skills first, like timing and unit compositions)

Good thing they are the most picked civs so you will have a lot of chance to train against them haha!

Imo drushes are the best way to “counter” gurjarase. Especially pre-mill drushes.

Also Trushes, but you need to scout cause you definetely want to hit their mill. You probably even want to send some extra vills to make sure gurjaras can’t countertower.

In general your best “unit” choice against gurjaras is infantry. It forces them to go either heaviliy into archers which they haven’t strong ones or the shakrams. When they go into shakrams it delays them usually and you have time to add some siege.

Lastly you NEED to be fully walled against the gurjaras cause when they get in with their shrivamshas you are basically dead. Unless you have already prepared a well positioned pike defense.

The biggest danger that comes from gurjaras is from their timings. So pressuring them to make it awkward is definetely something you should consider. Though it may be a bit difficult to do this against a civ that has this kind of eco.

Open on straight archers, in castle play on crossbows and boom with pikes, in imp mass halb.

I guess you played your fair bit of them yourself then but if you didn’t I’d recommend to do that as that’s probably the best way to figure out their weaknesses.

My two cents: There is quite a lot of approaches that work here. First of all to makke their eco work they usually stay at home very long with their scout and push dear. The fact that they won’t really sheep scout their base also contributes to that. So imo it’s best to scout them early. Pre mill drush can be really good opening as that can disrupt their somewhat awkward dark age.

If they have forward berries maa towers is also a really good approach as you might force them to ungarrison mill. Straight archers might counter maa but if you get towers up that’s a really good response oftentimes vs the 19 pop range opening.

Shrivamshas are great vs archers but not as castle age opening. They are too food intensive for that to work well. They usually open xbow and/or skirm if you play archers so you can pressure with xbow and mango for example. At some point you need to transition of out archers but that you still got time to make dmg before.

Works well until they got castle up. But indeed it can be risky to fall behind in eco. But tbh I think you need to play aggressive vs them because most civs just die to their comp if you let them boom.

Apart from that one tc xbows into full knights can really work well. As long as you keep xbow numbers high enough to not let them go full full camel this position is really strong vs gurjaras as shrivamshas are horrible vs knights and they can’t make their own knights.

So, I’ve talked with some 2k1+ players and more or less there’s an agreement on:

  • lame them hard. Steal sheeps, boars, whatever you can to slow down that 19 pop age up. Follow this with the fastest man @ arms possible, archers and or/1 tower on the mill to deny the repair. Basically, avoid the mill bonus to fully kick in
  • since the above does not function always, the other option is to go for full aggression in castle and pray you can kill them fast enough before the can mass the counter to whatever you are making. Siege forward, couple of monks, a lot of pikes and the ball of xbows you massed in feudal

Basically, play like you are facing chinese (full lame) and channel your inner Hoang (siege fwd).

They feel way too oppressive at the moment

It is really difficult to execute, if Gurjaras found your MAA, their archer will pop out before you reach their base, making your MAA useless and tower infinitely harder to get (19pop archers), so it’s really difficult unless you can have faster-than-21pop MAA.

Well usually Gurjaras get to castle first, so they have the timing to transist into small number of archers - I think the issue is not the Shrivamshas but how fast they can get before I mass up xbows

Unfortunately I think economy is the really big issue as I mentioned before - the hidden part vs Gurjaras is how to play when you are (kinda automatically) behind in economy.

Agree on this one - I have some success with laming, unfortunately it’s not always possible and reliable :frowning: I seldom push deer vs Gurjaras because of that, seems its much better to just annoy their camel scout.

It is really difficult to overwhelm them imo, I hate to say that, but seems like if I have to all-in from beginning, I fall behind from beginning.

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Have you considered a full castle age pike+siege (both mangonels and scorpions) push?
Maybe with the fastest dark age rush you could pull off?

I didnt have chance to try that - will try later

I have tried full pikeman actually, but Gurjaras often out-farm me and I die to UU+skirms.
(Just to add, I think pikemans really handles Gurjaras well enough, seems like it is a must to me).

Difficult - you can check my session on archers