Longbowmen Changes

Longbowmen were an iconic part of medieval English armies but they are rarely seen in this game at a high level and do not function quite as I think they should for several reasons:

  1. They are very hard to mass:

It seems odd to me that a class of soldier that was essentially exclusive to the commoners can only be made from the castle. This makes them really hard to mass even though historically they made up the bulk of medieval English armies due to laws banned all sports on Sundays except for archery practice which was required by law for all able bodied males.

  1. They shoot too slowly:

While I realize that having 12 range with thumb ring would be over-powered, it is also odd that a weapon that has been referred to as the “machine gun of the middle ages” fires slower than the crossbows/arbs of almost every other civilization due to the lack of thumb ring.

  1. They shoot too far:

I understand that medieval longbows had impressive range but an additional 3 range for both longbows and the archer/crossbow/arb line (+1 for reaching castle age, +1 from yeomen and +1 for reaching imperial age) compared to other civs seems like a bit much.

In order to correct these issues, my suggestion is to change the Briton’s unique castle age technology “yeomen” so that instead of giving +1 foot archer range and +2 tower attack, it would do the following:

  1. Yeomen would now allow longbowmen to be created at the archery range rather than just the castle:

In order to not make Birtons the equivalent of Goths but with archers instead of infantry, I would increase the training time of longbowmen to 30 seconds (24 with the Britons faster archery ranges). That way, they would take a little more time to train than crossbows/arbs but could still be massed much more quickly than they are now.

  1. Yeomen would also make longbowmen shoot 15% faster:

Note that this would not give longbowmen the accuracy buff that comes along with the thumb ring ring technology and that the speed boost would NOT apply to the crossbows/arb line.

I’m not actually sure if this would be a nerf of a buff overall for the Britons, but it would give them a little more unique flavor. Losing 1 range would likely make the Briton’s archer line and longbows a little less over-powered in archer wars, but would probably also make them a little more effective against non ranged units due to the increased fire rate. The ability to create them out of the archery range would make it so there is very little reason, other than not wanting to spend the resources to research yeomen in the first place, to use the archer line over them. In my opinion this would be a good thing as many of the civilizations in this game feel too similar, especially because the UUs of many civilizations get very little use as is. I know that it is unlikely that this change will happen and I don’t even know if anyone will read this but feel free to let me know what you think if you do.


This is just me bumping the thread to see if there is any feedback.

Seems you love longbowmen very much like me. Britons is my favourite civ in the game and I love using longbowmen. First, I admire that you want to modify the game with actual history.

For your dissatisfaction:

[They are very hard to mass]
I think it is the problem of all UU except Goths’ and Huns’ (They have the castle technology) and that is a challenge that the players should faced with. However, the training time of longbowmen is already 2/3 of crossbowmen and I think it is at a suitable spot. You can compare with other UUs and you will discover that most of the archer and cavalry UU are 2/3 training time to the regular units. And also, longbowmen have already much more easy to group as they are ranged units. The infantry UU are dead easily!!! So I don’t think this is a problem. Players should treasure the UU as they can only come from castle. When a thing is rare, it becomes precious.

[They shoot too slowly]
I have no opinion on this. In fact, longbowmen have the right strength in the game. Most of the unit in the game with attack speed 2.03 include longbowmen and crossbowmen. The characteristic of longbow in history are “long range”, “powerful” and “fast shooting”. Now, you focus on “fast shooting” and so you want them shoot faster to match the history. However, if you want longbowmen have higher shooting rate, for balance, they should have lower attack values, right? Then someone focus on “powerful” may open a topic and argue that “longbowman should have higher attack as they are powerful in actual history!”. BTW, I against the idea that “keep them powerful, just increase the shooting rate, and use higher cost to be the balancing method”. I hate “super units”.

[They shoot too far]
I think shooting too far will never become a problem… You can move closer to the enemies and so you can attack them more accurately, right?

For your changing suggestions:

[Yeomen would now allow longbowmen to be created at the archery range rather than just the castle]
I totally disagree with this. Although I know longbowmen are very common in British, now it fortunate to becomes the UU of this civ and so it should follow the rule of the game: they can only be created in the castle. So I also against the [Anarchy] and [Marauders] in Goths and Huns. These make unfair to other UUs as Huskarl and Tarkan can be mass produced in other buildings.

[Yeomen would also make longbowmen shoot 15% faster]
As I mentioned above, I have no opinions that increase the shooting rate but lower the attack. It is just a problem that which of the characteristic of longbow you are focus on. However, A technology that only improve a single unit is really not a good design. It is very difficult to balance. So I also against the [El Dorado] in Mayans. It makes the eagle worrier become very terrible (100 HP! What a imbalance unit!). However, it goes nothing if you are not using eagle worrier. I also have the same question with [Obsidian Arrow]. Why this technology is not apply to plumed archer? If you agree that plumed archer +6 attack to buildings is too powerful then that is the problem of plumed archer. In the same way, I also don’t understand why the + 20% HP of foot archers is not applied to Rattan Archer. So the increasing shooting rate for longbowmen only is not a good idea except it also apply to regular crossbowmen.

Buff longbowmen please!

Hey iranleung, thanks for the reply!

My goal is not to make them broken, I think steppe lancers are enough broken units for this game. However, I did suggest a few nerfs to go along with this, one was by replacing yeomen they would be losing 1 from their maximum range. This would also be a slight nerf to their crossbows as well. However if necessary they could lower their attack by 1 or lower their armor for balance. I also mentioned changing the training time so that they would be slower to produce than crossbows/arbs. (also very realistic). I threw out the time of 30 seconds but considering the archery range bonus it might need to be slightly higher. I do think goth huskarls might train a little too fast and would still be used if they trained a little slower as their pierce armor makes them a very useful unit, just as the strength and speed of plumed archers makes them extremely strong and would be broken with that technology. I think that if any changes were made they would need to make the unit useful, and even an upgrade over a standard unit in some situations but not completely over powered.

I guess what I would like unique unit to mean “exclusive to a certain civ but also common to it”. I think you are mostly concerned with balance, which is of course very valid, but I don’t want balance at the cost of the individuality of the civs. I think it gets a bit boring if they are all too similar. I would love to the the UUs of other civs that are rarely use get changed so that they become more useful in certain situations, rather than making the civs more similar. I know these changes are very unlikely to happen but I think it is at least fun to discuss/throw ideas out there.

Thanks for the reply!

I agree that longbowmen need some love, but I don’t know that the changes you suggest would improve them much. Nerfing the range removes the Britons most iconic bonus, and compensating with a faster fire rate and archery range training basically just turns the Briton UU into the Ethiopian Xbow/Arb line. Given how far Longbowmen are from being overpowered though, I think a slight fire rate increase would be justified. Their range is nice, but under most circumstances it’s hard to take advantage of it.
I’ve always thought it would be interesting if the Yeoman tech also gave Briton villagers +3 range and bows (basically what hunters have), since they practiced with their bows weekly, and it would give them a modest but not overpowered defensive bonus in Castle Age.

Yeah I think it would mostly make them more accessible rather than making them significantly stronger. 11 range is still pretty good and a faster fire rate would make them slightly less helpless against rams etc. I mean personally I would love them to have both haha but I don’t want to suggest something too strong.

I actually love your idea of villagers with range, that would be fun but I doubt they would ever do it. Cool idea though haha, thanks for the reply!

Give Briton bloodline pl, i think it will help Briton against Goths, turks, korean… better, it 's better buff longbowmen.
Just give them bloodline upgrade.
They don’t have hussar, i think it will be fair.

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It’s a bit of a different topic but yeah I think this would be a good change for them overall. It wouldn’t be a huge buff it would let them be a little less predictable by having better knights and would make their light cavalry more useful late game which would help patch up their weakness to siege a little. Overall, the lack of paladins and hussars would still make them an underwhelming cavalry civ but it would be much more viable. Sounds like a reasonable change considering how much more complete some of the newer civs seem to be compared to older ones.


Now bloodlines, this I agree with. Brits are definitely a civ that is good with archers, but not to the point of it being their sole focus. Lacking good siege or cavalry, it is very difficult for Brits to deal with Siege Rams, the bane of many an archer civ. Bloodlines would make their light cav/cavaliers a little more able to do that.


Making ranged pierce attack units automatically ignore rams when choosing targets would be a big buff for the britons :smiley:

A way to set your troops attacking priorities in general (prioritizing buildings or military) might be good.

Just saw this clever strategy in Discord for using longbows:
“this game is so broken
if someone is lagging the game melee units dont attack
they just stand and die
you can literally mess up your wifi as britons to gain an advantage and just snipe standing units with your longbows”