How to nerf Knights?

No, arbalest and bracer upgrades give +2 attack total, plate armor gives +2 armor that can cancel out each other.
Archers will deal 4 damage to the knights without plate armor which is imbalanced. Bracer should be nerfed too if you want to nerf plate armor.

I think changing the gold cost ratio of Knights from 55% to 45 % is more than enough to compensate for that little bit extra upgrade cost in the lategame tbh. It’s not that you are really short on food at this stage 11

In addtition to that, where was that argument when the Arbalest upgrade cost was raised?

And lastly. If you compare it this way it sounds as it would be “fair” if Plate Barding Armor would cost the same as Arbalest and Bracer combined. Which is 750 F, 600 G.
Atm Plate Barding Armor Costs 350 F, 200 G. Which isn’t even half the combined costs of the techs you compare it to.

What I try to say atm the Knight line with the exception of Paladin is (probably intentionally) way cheaper to upgrade than the Archer line in imp (You forgot to mention Chemistry). This somewhat compensates for the mentioned Heavy Cavalry fallof when Golds become scarce. As my proposed change reduces the Gold Ratio, the Cav doesn’t need to have that cheaper upgrade cost in imp anymore to stay viable.

While I think a Pike TT decrease is a possibility, it would be excessive to equalize TT on a resources per second basis, given that pikes destroy knights ~3x faster on a cost basis. We can call it VDPS (Value Damaged Per Second), where Pikes with all the CA upgrades destroy 10.8 res/sec worth of knights, while knights only destroy 3.333 res/sec of pikes. Granted, that’s the equilibrium dynamic, and obviously doesn’t factor in the mobility/versatility of knights, but stacking it with a greatly improved transition dynamic would improve the counter potential too much overall. As with anything, I’d start pretty small, maybe with a 15% TT reduction for pikes (and maybe LS while we’re at it).

But yeah, generally I favor tweaking transition dynamics first (like the Xbow/Arb cost nerf), since that’s usually the least disruptive way of solving a problem. I find some of the ideas here interesting, but reworking the costs of units is pretty disruptive, and IMO should be the last resort.

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This makes me recall old Indians Imperial Camel. They had 5 PA and they were beast in team games. Slaying knight while not weak to archers could be headache. Thats why they got PA nerf and Old Indians lacked a unit to fight archer for a year due to the nerf. I dont think it is wise to recreate this problem again. Leave camel alone.

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I increased the cost and reduced the speed of camels in the exchange.
The camels can’t force a fight vs the cavalry anymore.

Yes I thought about TGs aswell, the changes are well targeted ;).

But keep asking, i want to know if there is something I didn’t took into account.

Knights as unit don’t need nerfs, perhaps increased food cost (60f to 70f) so they aren’t that easy to mass in castle age.

Though I just wondered, what if the Paladin upgrade was cheaper and a bit faster to get (from 1300f and 750g to 1175f and 675G, and 150 seconds) but instead gives +20 HP boost from +40 HP. So Paladins can be used more often in 1v1 but they aren’t that unit must have in every TG, and then gives civs with strong cavaliers more chances to compete in TGs, as well Battle elephants. Franks then will need a rebalance (+20%HP in Castle age and 30%HP in Imperial Age).


What about reduce their armor -1/-1

You absolutely want an equilibrium w.r.t. win probability over certain periods of the game. Generally this means theres a stable rotation of units which, if it occurs b/w equally skilled opponents, leads to a cycle. This is basically just a more formal way to express that a rock paper scissors dynamic exists with arbitrary cycles and army compositions. Just like rock paper scissors has an equilibrium strategy of 33% of each, you want AoE2 to have something similar except more complicated.

However if there are periods where a unit can overwhelm its counter that equilibrium breaks. In particular it means if something like a straight knight rush can overwhelm opponents of similar skill thats a problem.

Now if you ignore switching costs, information asymmetry, etc. then knights vs pikes are mostly fine. However in real games its clear that this balance is significantly more delicate (i.e. unstable) in early castle age.

Now given how weak pikes are to literally anything else in the game and how bad at raiding they are, it doesnt make a lot of sense to have the unit’s status as a counter be unstable at any point in the game.

By this logic you would be in favor of drastically increasing the training time of skirmishers relative to archers as well as things like cataphracts, genoese xbow, etc. After all these units have crazy high relative dps against their intented targets and dont have excessively slow training time relative to their intended counters. Like why would pikes need to have the relationship you expressed for the game to be balanced when it doesnt exist for tons of other pairings?

Also regarding “starting small” that implicitly assumes theres some huge risk to overshooting. But given that this risk equates to granting pike players 1 extra barracks per 2 existing barracks only if youre making pikes/infantry we can quantify it in terms of the equivalent amount of wood or cheaper barracks or other things. Goths alone kind of prove that extremly strong pike spam isnt exactly a game breaker. Ive never seen sentiment along the lines of “Goth castle age infantry spam is oppressive”.

Plus the status quo bias test of “should we increase the training time of pikes?” is probably associated with a very emphatic ‘NO’. Given how strong that response is likely to be it indicates that the optimal point is reasonably far away. 15% would almost certainly be too small but it could be a starting point.

Like I’m open to analyzing potential bad side effects but pikes are just so easy to counter i cant think of any significant problems. Whats the worst case scenario? Franks/Lithuanians/Burgundians start incorporating scorpions or poorly upgraded xbow? Burmese/Poles/Slavs use infantry slightly more?

Hey, that’s not cheating, that’s doing actual research. Kudos to you, that’s based.

They are viable with a good front line. Especially if your opponent goes heavy cav, because EA+halbs are fantastic against heavy cav + any of the trash units.
The problem is if your opponent goes archers+trash. EAs will lose against that combo almost every single time.

What you are saying is true, but that the problem with any melee unit. It’s not exclusive to heavy cav, it’s the same with camels, battle eles, and infantry.
On the other hand though, you can lose your entire army of cav archers with a few onager shots. Even bombards will destroy cav archers in large numbers if you have 3-4 of them.

It is true that you’ll get a lot of value out of cav archers if you manage to keep enough of them alive. But keeping them alive is pretty hard considering they only have 60 base HP (Heavy CA).

If you lower the price of cavalier (gold price) to that of CA, you’ll be buffing cav civs by a lot. I would be okay if you lowered it by 5 gold to 70 in exchange for nerfing all their techs. But lowering it by 15 gold (which is a 20% reduction) is not acceptable imo.

Love the camel line changes especially the bonus damage part, except for the speed. They have to be faster than knights, otherwise knights will always outrun the camels and continue to do damage. Increasing the bonus damage for castle age Camels against knights will become nearly useless if speed is reduced. They can only be used as a protection for crossbows and will have a tough time against knight, lancer or light cav raids. Also if you reduce speed and increase p.armor, that wouldn’t make them a better generic unit either. It makes them significantly stronger in the late post imp when the fight happens but much worse until then especially against CA civs.
Cost change also doesn’t make much sense IF knight’s cost is revised to 75f, 60g. 50f, 70g cost change is good if knights keep their current cost. Overall with these changes, knight is ONLY nerfed in the early castle age like around 20-25 mins after that with the reduced gold cost and slower camels, its actually quite a big buff to the knight line. So this just makes the risky 1 tc all-in knights strategy more difficult to pull off.

Think about what part of knight you feel is overwhelming. If its being strong right from the start and able to clear out all military, a simple suggestion would be to reduce their base attack by -1 or -2 and give an upgrade that gives them +1 or +2 against archers, so that they are specifically good against “archer armor” class units but are considerably weaker against infantry and camels. Or give that upgrade to have a generic +2 attack against all units but make it more expensive, like thumb ring is for ranged units. This way they’ll stay weak against early xbows or upgraded feudal units but by mid castle age will become the aggressive unit they’re supposed to be.

If you think mid game numbers is the problem, probably a good thing to do is increasing training time by 5 or 6 seconds. That would force the necessity of more stables and the knight player will be forced to be more cautious while engaging monks or raiding early game.

I don’t think the unit’s upgraded versions in imp are as much of a problem as the castle age ones are because of the super high bonus damage from the super cheap halbs. But if you think that’s also an issue, perhaps the cavalier upgrade cost could be raised by 100f and 100g. And the paladin upgrade time could be further increased or Paladin base hp dropped to 150. (I don’t think those are actually good changes especially considering how expensive and time consuming those upgrades are)

Personally I don’t think knight lines are in a problematic state. Its rather the strong eco and bonuses of some all-in knight civs like Franks, Poles which probably make it look like knights are broken.


as much as I hate Knights since they are a low APM unit, this would give Xbow and especially TCs an overwhelming advantage vs Knights. You could 3 TC boom always vs Knights all in with such a change.


Sorry to dissapoint you, but on high level all-ins (except for some clownery on maps like arena) just aren’t viable anymore.
This could potetially be changed with giving better defensive tools, but at moment your eco is just too vulnerable whilst your opponent can use his TCs and building setup to drag out your push.
Do I like that? Not necessarily. But atm I don’t have really ideas how this could be solved.
The gameplay has changed so much after DE came out, some strats are just completely outdated by the implicite meta.
If you want to change that you have to do different things like making TCs more expensive but buffing towers as protection tool… I already considered proposing this at some point, but it’s really hard to formulate these things in a proper way.
And it’s even harder to find a good angle to tackle this.

And I also think that the current food/gold ratio of Knights is a part of the current meta, as it allows for a way bettter balanced eco with the typical 3 TC + Knight Production. By having a higher fodd ratio this eco wouldn’t be balanced as well anymore. Maybe better with 2 TC + Knight, which is actually more agressive.

If you want to make it so that you need higher Knight masses to deal eco damage (currently 3 Knights are basically as good for raiding as 10 Knights), then you probably would need to add a new tech that makes Vills less vulnerable.
Basically a 2nd Loom but probably only with more HP and melee armor.

This would then make it more necessary to have more Knights at one spot to deal eco damage, giving all-ins more relative damage potential than the current metaplay.

But not sure if this is enough to change the meta.

Edit: There was also once an idea to give villagers the ability to become spearmen. This would lead to a higher mass of knights needed to inflict economical damage as the knights would need to overwhealm at least a few of them as otherwise the defending player could potentially stop the whole raid with just coverting a few vills instead of all of them at one spot.
But I’m not totally sure about this change, as it would also apply a lot of other cavalry units and potentially also be too volatile in result. I would prefer something that is more align with already established fallback strategies and less snowbally.
But maybe someone has a clever idea how this could be managed in a non-volatile way. EG there could be restrictions in how many vills you can convert to spearmen in a given timespan or you need to charge up this by producing “spears” (not spearmen) in a building before you can then use these spears on the vills.

That is a very interesting idea. The increased food cost would make it harder to spam knights while trying to boom in early castle age, while the reduced gold cost would help keep heavy cavalry around in late game 1v1.

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Two other Ideas I heard (and also adapted on proposals on different threads):

A) Pitfalls: A defensive tool that can be built by Villagers. Pitfalls can kill one enemy unit stepping over it immediately. They are invisible to the opponent until used or destroyed. And your own units can walk over them. Pitfalls could be countered by Mangonels, Villagers (converting them to your own like Farms), Rams, BBC and (when hitting them by chance) Trebuchets.
(It’s debatable if a single Pitfall should be able to kill an entire Elephant or if it needs more)
Pitfalls would then be especially effective against Knights due to the high pop efficiency of the Knights.
But it would still be an interesting interaction as if you have sonciderably higher amount of Knights some of them survive and then can be able to raid the most likely oterwise unprotected Villagers.

B) A better or entirely new Power Infantry Unit in the Castle Age. A unit that soft-counters Knights (but also has some resilience vs Archer fire). I for myself would like to have an entirely new unit as the current militia line design is just too far off from being able to do this. I also think to make this approach acceptable for the community, the new infantry unit must have some interesting properties, especially something that can be used to give you an edge (eg micro potential).
In my design I intentionally increased the cost to get these “Guards” rolling so the Knights have some time to deal damage before these things are out. Preserving the initial early castle age Knight powerspike.

How are vilagers gonna convert them If they’re invisible?


Not completely sure about that yet. Either vills can reveal them when they come close, or if vills step on them they automatically convert the pitfalls (probably get stuck on that conversion for a time).

That would be my ideas, but there are surely more/better ideas out there how to make this.

I don’t think the Knight itself and the anti-Knight units themselves need any major changes.

I’d probably prefer to try and make the Knight come later. For example, extending the training time. Or adding a tech at the Stable, and the Stable units other than the Scout can be accessed only after this tech is researched.

I mean its probably out of question but what if knights are something you tech into like light cav as a tech in the stable?

It’s quite clear that this would reduce the early castle age Knight powerspile.
IDK which influence this has on scout openings as one of the major advantages of the scout opening is that you try to get the faster castle age timing (and potentially already have some upgrades for your knights aswell.

I personally would rather prefer a change that leaves that initial powerspike but reduce the followup prowess of Knights a bit, ### that’s just my personal preference on that topic.

(Censor removed the rectum word with a missing t… If it haden’t done this I wouldn’t need to beautify it in this fashionable way…)