How to deal with feudal MAA


I’m struggling to deal with feudal MAA (esp British), I like playing Abbasid and Mongols and usually go archers (and a few horseman as Mongols) against English. But if they open longbow and transition into MAA I don’t know what to do except hope I’m castle before them because feudal MAA feel like such arrow sponges eating 60! arrows. I could try fc but English pressure is also so strong… What would you do if you scout English adding barracks?

Only way to beat that is to ram rush them before they do it to you

Yeah maybe I should work on an all in ram push but if they want they can get out MAA soo fast. I feel like my investment of siege engineers + 2 rams (775 res) equals racks + MAA upgrade + 4 MAA. From there on they can just spam…

I feel the practical answer is to just keep on churning out those archers like there is no tomorrow even if it starts to feel kind of ugly. Get that archer deathball big enough that even though it takes 60 shots, that’s only 2-3 volleys - while the MAA are waddling around doing nothing. Make sure you get +1 ranged damage early, as if your opponent doesn’t get ranged armour/(or rather until he does) it makes a big difference.

Not sure it should be the case - but MAA love chopping up horsemen and spears, so you kind of don’t have any other options.

At this point the English player will tend to feel they either needs to make a somewhat all-in attack with rams, where you really just have to out-micro, or they’ll back off and go to the Castle Age. In which case you can just follow them up.

Thanks for your reply, that is what I thought as well but the problem is that the English player is of course also building up his deathball of objectively stronger archers. I guess I should play some games as the English to see how it feels to play with from the other end and watch some high level games of these matchups because I don’t think the high level players think this matchup is one sided (not that I think it is one sided per se, just when you end up forced to go feudal against MAA).

Feudal MAA is a pretty expensive investment and horseman actually trade fine vs them in feudal (16 hits for horseman to die vs 20 for maa to die) and 20 wood is generally easier to come by than 20 gold and horseman get to pick fights. Granted they matchup worse against regular maa in castle age but then you have crossbows and/or springalds.

I don’t think Horsemen trade well at all. (Cynically, if you are ever thinking the answer is horsemen to almost any question in AoE 4 the better answer is something else.) 16 vs 20 would be bad enough - but it takes 33 seconds to make those 20 horseman swings. By contrast the MAA is done with their 16 in 20 seconds. If you just run them into each other its very one sided as a result. You get some injured MAA and a lot of dead horsemen.

For Seagoing - yeah, I think its always best to try playing the matchup from the other side to feel the weakness. My suspicion is you’ll find MAA don’t feel great (or much more fragile than you might imagine). Obviously if you can win the early rounds of archery wars, snipe some villagers and get a significant macro lead they can provide the killing blow - but I feel MAA alone aren’t the carrying factor. Its that they got a bunch of extra resources, made 2 rams, and then you couldn’t deal with rams and MAA at once.

I think for some civs there is no real counter to longbowmen + maa rush. We will hope that they will balance the civs in the next update.

English have the best feudal archers, and maa isn’t affected from arrows and spears much. Only, maa is very expensive for feudal standarts.

I mentioned horseman as a decent counter because they dont lose too terribly to maa and. At least to the point that if the english player spends 6-900 resources for a blacksmith tech and a ram or 2, the extra 6-9 horseman should mean you can hold that push. Not to mention your unit can raid while the maa can only really just protect longbows. It’s not ideal but at least it isn’t you just lose kind of matchup. At the least archer horseman can fend off longbow maa well enough that they shouldn’t be able to afford ram pushing.

In my example I was the one making the rams. I just watched over the replay of the game that was the reason for me to make this post. And i think i identified where i went wrong. It was Mongols vs English and I won the early archer fight with horseman and archers and pushed him all the way back to his base. I actually saw the barracks but i thought he was just adding spearman to deal with the horseman witch i was not planning to add any more of so i didnt feel an immediate need to press my advantage. During the fight siege engineering completed so i fell back to regroup with reinforcements and build rams. When i attacked with the rams he had a bunch of MAA and i had just invested a significant amount of res into siege so i suddenly i had the inferior army.

Next time I’ll delay the rams a bit and try to do damage without them. For some reason I always think they are required to do damage. I think because fighting close to the council hall eventually leads to your opponent regaining army superiority.

Also I definitely think horseman are a bad idea against MAA because you not only have to think about the matchup between them but also how they do in a fight between two archer heavy armies and horsemen die pretty quickly to archer fire.

As a Chinese player, the feudal MMA and Rams are more threatening to me than the French feudal knights. Riders can indeed have a certain degree of threat to MMA, but it is difficult to deal with MMA, longbowman and RAM at the same time. The best way I found is to upgrade to the castle age before that, and then madly produce MMA to fight back.

Well the thing with horseman is most civs dont have a better unit than them vs feudal units, but ya as shown in Genesis, if you don’t do massive damage with a ram push it basically loses you the game.

At least horseman survive vs both units much longer than spears and going full archers is not very viable vs maa. The horseman will destroy longbows if they get on top of them so the maa have to defend so the fight largely comes down to microing archers to kill enemy archers.


I haven’t changed my mind since the stress test, the only thing that you can do against fast MAA + rams is fast castle for a couple of civs (crossbows are the only effective counter imo). It felt strong then against the chinese, it feels strong now.

I did a lot of only MAA+rams+spear pushes as HRE recently.

Essentially, MAA pushes require a lot of resources to be devoted to it. It’s literally an all in at 120 resources per unit.

Ironically, archers with +1 damage actually do fairly well vs it. You can nearly infinitely kite the MAA and keep picking them off 1 at a time, while leading them away from your base if they are chasing the archers. The key is if they devote it entirely to MAA using a 8 stack prelate group, they have enough gold to supply many racks. on water maps, they can normally keep this going without interruption up to about 5-6 racks easily, such as black forest or nagari.
on land only maps, sustaining it proves to be challenging if your opponent is active on the map. I continuously had food troubles without hunting a boar or deer, and as such needed to slow down production accordingly.

I had a lot of trouble with a regular archer player who forced me to my side of the map, and I found that I couldn’t push out without them killing the spears, or using the kiting to catch the maa.
For the french, the knight archer combo directly counters the MAA spears combo, since the MAA+spears get caught by the archer kiting, and the knights can charge and retreat safely. This should work for the rus as well, to a lesser extent. Horsemen also do a little charge, so horsemen archers could do some level of this counter as well.
I think a big part of this is not letting them go across the map without harassment from regular archers, and if you’re english, not stopping longbow production or forgetting your +1 damage.

The improvements I want to add to the build is going 3 racks 1 stable, or 3 racks 1 range, and using the horsemen to counteract the archers solely as an anti-kiting squad, essentially body blocking them, or using the 10% faster archers as a kite punishment squad.

Again, foods the hard thing to come by, so this works well on safe water maps, or maps like mongolian heights with a lot of sheep, but is a bit harder on maps like arabia, lipany, and hill n dale.

Have you tried this rush with the english?

No. I really only preferred it with the HRE, as I was trying to take advantage of their prelates more so, which would have defeated the point, but the same issues apply till castle; at castle, HRE gain more damaging MAA that win vs MAA, and english gain superior defense vs archers… One interesting thing that viper did in one of his games was go aachen chapel and steal deer hunts, which seems interesting from an economy perspective twist on the build I had, so I’ll have to try that.

I play with Mongols as my main. I think the best way to counter English MAA + Archer rush is as Mongol to defend as hard as you can with outposts, and a few horsemen + archer to counter the longbowman, and try to deal with the MAA with the towers. If rams arrive then try to rush them with the horseman.

Ofc the most important is to scout constantly because you have to know how your enemy progress. If it’s a full all in you have to be quite focused on the towers. Rams with MAA + longbow are extremely expensive, if you can survive it, you are in a very good position.

As with abbasyd, i don’t know, it’s a tough job. With abbasyd i think you have to make a lot of villagers to counter the rams, after that you can defend very well with outposts and TC.