Malian Javelin Thrower out ranges longbow?

Javelin Thrower range: 10
Longbow range: 7

Now I’m not here to talk about realism although I think the idea of a javelin outranging a longbow is silly.

Longbow men are the only unique unit the English have, and do +1 extra damage to light melee infantry.

I can’t find any actual stats rn for the Malians as they dropped today and can’t find them on Google anywhere

Now I understand men at arms are for sure viable in this situation against the Malians and not I’m not even sure if the range difference is unbalanced. I was wondering more about the choice of extending beyond the previous celling of 7 for range for ranged infantry.

I’m not sure how I feel about the balance this introduced overall, as I’m excited for new civs and metas I hope a massive overhaul comes to existing civs to make for more unique matchups.

Has anyone had any issues with the Malians balance?


Definitively it shouldn’t be like that, is allready good having armor and just range atack with regular archer range is just ok, now lets have a look to Donzo op range atack with anti cab projectile… lol giving the bonus they melt down havy cav just insane.

What upgrade gives javelin throwers 10 range??? Are you sure you’re not reading the 10 range DAMAGE? Kekw


it doesn’t make any sense…

The malians are OP, they have a feudal counter for everything. Yesterday beastyqt complained about the Javelin Thrower, speed = 1.25 tiles/second, range = 6 tiles, Pierce armor = 3. Not even towers stop them. Beasty had to go to castles and take out mangonels

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I’m just curious who started the “javelin (or projectile weapons) counters archers” tradition that gets copied almost every historical RTS game…maybe AOE2 or 1 (slingers). It makes no sense.


A javelin throwing unit intuitively makes sense in the crossbow role as something that would be good against heavily armored units. They throw a hefty projectile that has enough oomph to make it through armour.

Being an anti-ranged unit is completely illogical. A dude with a spear can’t throw it further than a war bow can shoot. One of the few improvements AoE4 made over AoE2 was getting rid of the silly skirmisher unit, but they seem to be determined to bring back that nonsense with this unit.


AoE1 Slingers have the same role but they are not a Javelin unit, obviously.
There have been many Ancient reports that claim that well trained Slingers have a higher range then Archers. Test showed that that might have been true.
We are talking about Slingers using iron bullets.

Medieval bows are better then ancient ones so Slingers lost their advantage.

Javelins on the other hand. There is little historical reason to make them counter Archers. In AoE3 they counter cavalry. Pretty much the opposite.

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Yeah so I added “generic projectile weapons”.

Intuitively javelins should be more of an armour piercing weapon. Romans use javelins to force the opponent to discard shields because javelins stuck on shields are very heavy.

Or never mind there aren’t many real “counters” in real life. As a hail of javelins can even take down massive cavalry so they could also counter cavalry.

But that’s exactly the role crossbowmen already have in the game. They’re good against MAA and knights which is the units that it would intuitively make sense for javelins to be good against. There’s already a logical role for javelin throwers to fit into but for some reason they want to resurrect the stupidity of AoE2 skirmishers.

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They are just so afraid that AOE2 players cannot recognize units.

…but they already made the “huge mistake” (according to some biiig youtuber) of “guns with different roles”. Oh no.

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Archers being a different role from crossbowmen is already way more confusing than bayonets/javelins being different from riflemen/archers in AoE3. Especially when China’s unique crossbowman is in the archer role.

That being said, this distinction makes logical sense in AoE4. Making javelin throwers fit into the crossbowman role would only further clarify this distinction since there would be a very visually distinct unit in the anti-armour role instead of only one that’s visually similar to archers.

That is completely logical and historical.
Crossbows are pretty different from bows. They can have a lot more kinetic energy but they don’t have as much range and lower rate of fire.

The repeating crossbow functions like a bow because it has low ########### because only little force is needed to load it.

The Rifles vs. Muskets thing is also historical and logical but harder to see because the important detail is inside of the gun barrel.
Giving those two unit types the same role would completely wrong.

Yet a lot of games portray crossbows as “advanced bows” so that is a very well-established intuition (though a wrong one) for many people.


Yes, I agree 100%. Zunge nu and archers are functionally very different from crossbowmen and the roles they were given make sense. Longbowmen blur the lines a little because they functioned more similar to a crossbowman but are obviously an Archer.

My point is that it is not necessarily intuitive and definitely not visible at a glance. A group of zunge nu and crossbowmen mixed together is very hard to tell apart.

This isn’t insurmountable, but it’s something you need to relearn when coming from other AoE games that don’t make the distinction.

In AoE3, you’ll very quickly learn the difference in roles between musketeers and riflemen even if they are superficially similar. The information is clearly visible to the player by details like bayonets only being present on musketeer units (they also have different hats to further emphasize).

There distinction also goes beyond units with guns. It’s basically “Line Infantry” (musketeers and thrown weapons) versus “Light Infantry” (riflemen and archers). An AoE4 javelin thrower in the anti-armour role would actually help emphasize the distinction because it would be so visually different, and would help players intuitively understand crossbowmen.

I think the general idea behind it is Javalins are “1 handed” throwing weapons.
Allowing the wielder to have a shield to protect themselves against arrows.

Henche, they become innately “anti archer” because they are more resistant towards arrows by having a shield to protect them.
As well the javelin is pretty deadly against any light to medium armored targets.

But I do not think they ever were intended as “anti-archer specialised” units. Due to the limitations of how many Javelins one could throw effectivly, and bringing with them.

Javelins were mainly to weaken enemies before engaging in melee combat, being able to pierce shields and armor much more effectivly than an arrow.

Basicly, the Mali Donzo is technically how Javelins were used.
Throw a few Javelins before charging the enemie and engaging them in melee combat.

While you also did have Ranged javelin specific formations, which was often seen in native american armies.
They didn’t really differ to much compared to archers, fulfilling somewhat the role of a Crossbow.
Easy to train, easy to use and produce range weapons, that can function better in melee combat than a bow and arrow.

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Javelin thrower should be an age3 unit.
Having an anti range ranged unit in age 2 in combination with best spearman in the game means malians by far are going to be the best feudal civ. The only counter to that composition would be to add maa, but then they can just add mussofadi warrior.

I disagree. In live patch who are the best feudal factions? Rus and french and delhi (for reasons); now you can add to that list mali!!!

It’s sometimes ok to reuse stereotypes if it’s necessary for balance.
But you should never decide against the more historically use of a unit because of stereotypes, especially if the historic use is better for balance.
The Archer kinda has the role of the AoE2 skirmisher because it counters the Crossbow.

In Empire Earth the crossbow was the other extreme, it had the role of a sharpshooter or sniper. Long reload but 1 shooting most infantry.

Crossbows are still kinda wrong in AoE4 because they are more expensive then Archers. In reality crossbows needed little training an therefor equipping armies with them was much cheaper.

That is a very AoE4 specific problem. They could simply give both units different clothes. They just look too similar, even archers look very similar.

Mali is going to be much better than all of them, and its not because of having a stronger cav than most civs, but because they will have the best spearman in the game combined with an anti-range, ranged unit in age2, all they need in feudal will be these 2 units. Even having knights won’t improve chances by much since javelin will melt archers before they can even get to the spearman.
Only option against mali is to rush castle