Knight civs win rate against archer civs in Arabia (from DOI to August 2022, 1700+ elo)

As crossbow and arbalester upgrade cost has been increased by 50f/50g and 100f/100g respectively, I thought it will be good to keep a record how knight vs archer dynamic was performing before this change.

I have decided to exclude all OP knight and archer civs because most of the time they will have a net positive win rate.

My OP civs are - Burgandians, Britons, Chinese, Franks, Mayans and Vikings. I was about to include Burgandians because in Arabia, they are not really OP. But at the last moment I excluded them. All these civs are almost universally agreed upon to be in need of nerfs. I think they will have high win rate than others and skew the stats.

This left me following civs to consider:
Archer civs - Bohemians, Byzantines, Dravidians, Ethiopians, Italians, Japanese, Koreans, Malay, Saracens, Portuguese and Vietnamese.
Knight civs - Berbers, Bulgarians, Cumans, Huns, Khmer, Lithuanians, Magyars, Malians, Persians, Poles, Sicilians, Slavs and Teutons. I considered Tatars and Spanish for a while but they are not proper knight civ imo.

All stats are taken from
If you find any mistake, please inform me. I’ll fix and edit it. Also forgive me if my coloring is not good for your eyes. Will do my best to improve in the future if time permits.

Edit: I have no idea why the picture has such low resolution. I want to upload my excel file here so you can check it out by your own but file format is not supporting.

From stats we can see knight civs have a small 3% advantage over archer civs. Most of this coming from 2 reasons:

  1. Koreans is absolutely terrible against knight civs. Malay and Vietnamese are also very bad.
  2. Huns and Khmer are too strong against archer civs. Berbers is very close to them.

Note: I’m not proposing any balance change yet. I’m just keeping the record. And will see how much new patch change these stats.

Note2: Also notice that how Magyars is slightly underperforming against archer civs. So my personal conclusion is - It is not knight is an OP unit. But once Mayans, Chinese and Viking are out of the picture, almost all good eco bonus are inside knight civs pocket. (Pun intended)


Huns have a pretty high winrate

Most of these civs go archer into xbow in high level games. It’s not an issue of cav civ vs archer civs, it’s an issue of the xbow power spike being too big.

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Good track of records. But I think all your OP civ except Mayans, Chinese should be included. Mayans also play eagle, and Chinese playstyle is versatile and not only playing archer. I don’t see reason to exclude civ like Burgundians, Britons, Franks which playstyle is mostly archer or Knight.

Also highly doubt whether civ like Byzantines or Bohemians can be considered as archer civ. Byzantines don’t have bonus on their archer line and they also often play Camel. Castle age HC is more favorable play for Bohemians.

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The stats here just proves you wrong. If you were right the civs you quoted should have net negative win rate against the civs that you didn’t quote.

Archer power spike is (was?) bigger than most if not all power spike in the game. But the civs you quoted are stronger than rest is not because they use this power spike better or more frequently.

My point is they will have 55%+ win rate almost against every match up, and very close to 50% against each other. For example Franks vs Mayans is 111-110, that’s how close they are. Now Mayans have 67% win rate against Magyars and Franks have almost 68% win rate against Koreans. Both will balance out each other but both are very big outlier.

Also all those civs that I excluded are almost universally agreed upon to be in need of nerfs. It is predictable that they will have high win rate than others and skew the stats.

[I checked some (not all), and the prediction is actually true]

No they don’t. When Tuetons, Franks, etc all routinely xbow before switching to very powerful knights. Then you have cheap units massed in fuedal, cheaply upgraded, and easily kept alive that happen to be the perfect counter to anything that would counter your knight switch. So maybe the issue is it’s too cheap and easy to go archer → xbow → knight.

My comment was 2 sentences long and you only read one of them?
Are you assuming that a cav civ would never go xbow?
Can guarantee me that the civs OP classified as “cav” rarely go xbow and therefore have that win rate?

Cav civs might need a nerf too, or infantry might need a buff against them. But that’s all separate from the xbow power spike being a too cheap so it got a nerf.

Okay let me reply to every single sentence.

Okay. I’m not denying that.

Same with the 11 civs that you didn’t quote. Are Japanese, Malay, Koreans going scout → knight and then losing?


Depends on what you consider “rarely”.

Okay. I agree with the most part.

I don’t necessarily thinks so but feel free to disagree.

If you followed the forum, you would know I supported the change. Maybe you’re the one that didn’t read my full thread?

Let me finish with this question - Teutons players are going archer → xbow → knight. Ethiopians player going archer → xbow → pike. Ethiopians still losing most of the time. Are you implying

  1. Pike is not doing their job properly?
  2. Knight civs eco and other aspects are stronger most of the time of the case.
  3. Knight is too strong once the power spike of xbow is gone.
  4. Other.

That actually surprised me. I never thought they can be this good against archer. Is tarkan too strong?

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Fair responses.

I read your post as arguing against the change so my bad.

If you are arguing the change is good but something needs to be done with the knight dominance at all elos then i can agree.

I think in some ways this change might help in that itll make it harder to have the scenario where a player masses archer in fuedal, keeps them alive, upgrades them to xbow then switches to knight which is brutal to counter. At least this change will make it harder for knight civs to go xbow knight.

As far as nerfing knights id like to see militia line get some bonus damage agaisnt them and maybe make militia a touch faster. I think that would help longsowrds be more useful and nerf knights. But thats just my opinion, i dont feel strongly.

All good.

My argument is something needs to be done with the knight civs dominance in mid to high elo.

I hope so. But then again, usually knight civs have better eco when we r not considering Chinese, Vikings and Mayans. Affording xbow with eco behind is probably more comfortable than bad archer civs.

I’ll buff individual civs first like Koreans and Malay. Then maybe a little buff for Spear-line? We can discuss things later once we get new stats.

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Huns in a way are like Franks, good in high level and easy to play. They have a super strong win rate in general

What if we slightly increase the faster firing of Thumb Ring?
That was already a suggestion before the nerf. That wouldn’t impact the powerspikes of xbow and arb but generally boost the archer line just a bit.

While I appreciate the effort, isnt the classification of “cav” vs “archer” too random?

Like -
Cuman can go knight or UU, it is an extremely niche civ that has its own style as well (2TC), why is it considered generic cav civ?

Huns definitely go CA more often than cav, why is it a cav civ?

Why is Italian archer civ? In fact cav is also equally viable imo (scout into knight using the cheap age upgrade bonus)

There are many differences in civs that changes dramatically how a civ is played, I dont think a simple “cav” vs “archer” civ comparsion can capture any of the specific elements (in particular, how xbow and knights are used) of the civs.

If I remember correctly someone used that exact classification to argue for a nerf against archers at that time…

I’ll appreciate if you provide your list. I have the format/template ready. It won’t take much time to add or subtract 1 or 2 more. So shall I just remove Cumans, Italians and Huns?

Edit: Just did it. Here it is. Didn’t change the result at all tbh.

Are you serious? I’d see some point for Bohemians. But Italians is just a straight archer civ with an open tech tree.

Pretty sure that was not me. I used almost same list (but provided 3 different lists). I’m supporting archer power spike nerf.

Crossbow with Thumb Ring can kite Knight and Eagle Warrior. Thumb Ring is strong enough but tech is really expensive. I would make 250f 150w. 300f 250w is too expensive for a Castle Age tech.

Italians archers has no bonus other than Castle Age tech. It can be defined as archer civ in Imperial Age but before that, it is not an archer civ. Similarly, Malians isn’t also Knight civ until Imperial Age +5 attack tech. Malians can play archer just like Knights. -15% wood bonus and 30% gold bonus support archer play more than Knight play in Castle Age. In Imperial Age, of course Malians are forced to switch into full Knights due to lacking thumb ring.

With this change you basically bring back the old upgrade cost for xbows in castle age just differently distributed. I don’t think this is really such a good idea.

I also don’t think that further decreasing the rof of xbows would make them that much stronger in micro situations cause with the comparably long attack animation xbows kiting ability is limited. Just take ethiopians as example. Only the best players can really take advantage of their faster firing when microing.
But at lower level with less micro a better rof could have a bigger effect. Though I have to admit that I don’t really know how good low to mid elo players are with micro right now. But from my experience I think that better rof is better for lower elos than for higher ones. And I think that’s exactly the kind of tweak we should look for.

Pro player abuses Ethiopian bonus and Thumb Ring pretty harsh. In Red Bull Wololo 5, Quarter Final, Jordan in last match, countered Eagle Warriors with Tatars Crossbows.

Therefore, it is better to make Thumb Ring cheaper instead of buffing it. It is also good nerf to Britons and Vikings. These 2 civs aren’t effected by lacking Thumb Ring because opponents can’t research Thumb due to huge cost (it is more expensive (300f 250w) than Bloodlines (150f 100g) and Husbandry (150f) combined).

Making everyone closer to Ethiopians will be a mad move imho. Surely that will help archer line against knight line, camel and other melee units. But TG will be even more archer centric. TG is already criticized for too much archer dominance. Other than Franks, and maybe Burgundians in closed map, no pure knight civ is dominant in TG. You can pick knight/camel/BE/other cav UU from pocket but archer is a must from flank.

I think in general, we don’t need to buff archer, nor nerf knight. I want to nerf/buff individual civs.

It’s always have been archer/knight. Don’t forget that. It’s not just archer. And it’s a more complex issue that has to be adressed at some point individually. There is no way around that.
So please leave TG out of that analysis, it’s a different topic.

Well, considering that we litterally jsut nerfed archers though for 99 + % of the playerbase cavalry seems to be statistically better (I don’t even have found the evidence that archer civs would dominate on pro level, just some civs with insane eco bonusses) - I am not surprised by these claims anymore.

I disagree. The problem is that archers are better at higher level. When we would now buff the archer civs individually this would come mainly from tweaks to their eco bonusses which also higher level players can abuse more.
So by individually adressing the civs like this you will have big problems in achieving the desired result of making archers easier to use for lower ranked players and basically hold them at their power at higher level.

I also could imagine that just a little tweak to the spear line (faster movement) could solve that issue even better than any direct tweaks to archer or knights.
It’s no secret we all have become way better in unit control and the spear line has a really tough time catching the cavalry.
The weird thing is, why is nobody complaining about that? It’s so obvious even at mid elo level but nobody talks about it. Instead we talk all the time about “oppressive archers” at imaginary pro level.
I could even think about lowering the atk bonus of halbs vs cav in the exchange to make up for it in the lategame.