How to use Cuman Boom?

Cumans can build a 2nd TC in Feudal, which is supposed to be useful, but…

On most maps, if I try it I’ll die to FastCastle knights / xbows
On Areana, you lose all of the relics, which doesn’t seem worth it, especially as the straight 3TC boom is almost as good as 2TC -> 3TC.
On Islands, you lose all the fish which doesn’t seem worth it
If I try to use scouts to keep my opponent in Feudal, how can I afford the TC & vills?
Even building the TC after clicking up doesn’t seem worth it because it will cost a lot of vill worker time (due to the TC taking twice as long to build in Feudal) and that will delay my military or my 3rd TC.

Can the Cuman boom still be used? If so, how?

You neee to read the game. You can go for a fast second TC but need to build military and defend your base. With Skirms and speerman. You have better Eco but need more military than your enemy. It’s quite hard if the enemy try to push your base and you need to stay in feudal.

If I play against Cumans I try to put forward castle in front of his TC. You have lower Eco and need to push otherwise you will lose the game. And the enemy need do defend well. Not recommended on open maps.

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I suggest you prioritize military in Feudal, so that you can force the opponent to stay in Feudal as well. The longer you are both in Feudal the greater vil advantage you get. In case the opponent goes straight fast Castle into boom he won’t be able to create too much military and punish your Cuman boom (provided you make some military of your own), which is superior to fast Castle 3 TCs. But even in this case you need some military presence on the map to prevent forward castles. The worst thing for you is probably fast Castle into 1 TC agression.

Never pick them on Islands. If u get them while going random, maybe try to land on ur opponent and build ur 2nd tc opposite his and try to win that way (mostly wont work but could be better than regular gush vs a good water civ).
On closed land maps if u do 2 tc boom and ur opponent doesn’t mangonel push on u, dont add 3rd tc and boom more…rather build a sneaky siege workshop, do capped ram+kipchaks or lancers+knights push in mid castle. Your opponent might not have the buildings ready and u can kill him.
You’re right that this is a very risky strategy and will pay off only when u have a good map or u somehow manage to delay ur opponent with scouts or towers and not take much damage before hitting castle age.
Ever since lancers were nerfed and the 2nd tc build time was increased a lot, Cumans are not a top tier civ. Just a mediocre mid-tier civ, very situational.

On arena teamgame, you can try up as 20 or 21pop, boom on the 2tcs, you will reach castle age around 19ish minutes, and you can flood knights + capped rams, while some ally of yours supports you with crossbows, or maybe a turks fast imp with handcanoneers. Good synergy.

Alternatively, instead of knight flood, you can send a few vills to stone during your boom, and make a castle for kipchaks.

Are we talking about 1vs1 or team games?

my primary interest is 1v1

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It’s very powerfull but as you said it can be tricky to defend with that so it’s important to pick the right strategies pre or after boom.

If your opponent goes fc into immediate pressure it’s very likely that you need several towers to defend before you reach castle age. If it’s an all in pressure (which isn’t unlikely) a defensive castle in early castle age helps. Towers protect you for some time but against a lot of mangonels they will fall at some point. Also you can build your siegeshop in feudal so maybe you want to do that and instantly queue mangonels upon reaching castle age.

Also if you know early enough that your opponent goes fc you can go for feudal rams along with archers instead of feudal boom. It’s super hard to counter while going fc.

I don’t see why anyone would pick cumans on islands. Maybe there are some unexplored strategies here but usually on islands you want to have early fish and map control, both of which won’t really happen with the feudal boom. Also cumans don’t get bracer which is pretty bad, here.

You simply don’t do it at the same time. If you want to go 2nd tc and scouts you either open scouts like a regular civ and at some later point you add your tc or you go for the straight boom and instead of going up you start producing scouts and extend your vil lead.

The feudal boom is still superior to most civs that go 3 tc boom. Also you have quite some flexibility in deciding how to approach this case. If you want to simply outboom your opponent and you don’t expect early castle aggression you can just go for the 4 tc boom without problems. Alternatively you can stay on 2 tcs and either go aggressive or quickly go to imp. Remember that even when the total vil count isn’t that different you had more vills for quite some time while not investing much in early castle eco so you will have way better resources which gives you an opportunity to punish greedy boom strategies from civs like Khmer.

And you don’t automatically lose the relics. For instance, you can produce scouts while going up to castle or go for kipchaks in early castle and secure at least some relics. Sometimes, it can even be pretty good if your opponent invests into relic control instead of using the res to pressure you while you are still in feudal.