Since there’s not much else to discuss yet, how about some strategy and balance theory-crafting…
Men-at-arms seem like the most OP unit in the game so far. Especially combined with the armour stacking research and building rams in the field. England gets them first but can’t build rams until age 2. HRE can do this rush from the 2nd age. What counters this?
Age 2 lancers (Mongols) and Knights (France) could work.
Camel archers and a lot of kiting could work for Abbasid.
What does China do? Fast castle and pray?
For other men-at-arms pushes, they’re age 3 and so crossbows would be the natural counter.
I’d guess if you start harassing with horsemen earlier, that would also force a response and really impair the MAA mass from getting going. Most of the tournament games I caught from the stress test weekend seemed to play out that way.

If you haven’t seen it already, this guy created a really impressive combat simulator to test out some battles: Aoe4 Combat Simulator by TurnSpender
Lots of caveats for how the outcomes would vary in a real game of course, but still helpful…

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Heavy cav seem a way more op based on the closed beta. In late game, full knight is your best compo as you can just right clic every wonder with 100 knight and nothing can realy stop you.

This game lake a counter of knight, pik seem not good enough in late game

Cost-wise, you can have 3 spearmen for every 1 knight and spears win pretty handily there but yeah, if we’re talking late-game and 100 knights focusing down landmarks, they’ll probably snipe them down before dying. I doubt they could kill off all landmarks plus the 7000 health TC before dying though. Too many other factors and variables in a game to know for sure.

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Hand cannoneers wreck everything from what I’ve seen. Just a really good all rounder so you don’t have to care much about specific counters, though not as mobile as knights obviously,

I’ve noticed a lot of people float stone instead of using it honestly.

If you have a decent wall constructed you can fend off a MAA rush until castle age.

Judging from a lot of streams and videos showing people playing the open beta most people surprisingly doesn’t use the Stone Walls enough or at all and I feel they will play a big role in this game, much bigger than in previous AoE titles.

Using that with offensive strategies it will be the key to defend against certain units that are a bit OP on open fields.

According to the sim, horsemen seem ok? They are more mobile than MAA so they get to pick the engagements, and they can be used to harass

According to the sim, 7 Chinese horsemen beats 5 HRE MAA?
I’m not sure about that, the sim might not be correct, or I’m doing something wrong, but…

500 food
100 gold
5 pop space

700 food
140 wood
7 pop space

Chinese win
Remaining: 148 food, 30 wood

You may need more houses, though, depending on the numbers, keep that in mind.

It’s also popular opinion that the Chinese are weaker early game, and a lot of people have said they need a buff.

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Yeah that’s a good call - HRE can easily start to mix in spears but then you just make archers, although this would need 2 buildings. But the mobility of the light cav to counter-harass makes them a good choice.

Consider Chinese first TC and outpost shot with firearms, which is nearly 3 times the damage than other civs. MAA threat to Chinese is not as big as to other civs.


I reckon the French would allow for decent turtle games with their guild hall. Just generate stone from the beginning as there would be ample of every other rss, and then wall and tower in castle age. Then you post arbalestiers on the wall which make for a solid defence and rush Royal knights against siege.

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Yeah i generally think walls/fortifications will play a bigger role in this game.

Even walling forward Keeps seems like a good tactic (they block projectiles from the outside).

In some ways its more historical, I look forward to trying this layout out.

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There are many people who see this as a negative to the game but I really love this part. I always wished to see stone walls in AOE II games but they always built random palisades with houses and barracks. Far from a realistic historic game.

But seeing people actually using walls, and stone walls at that, makes the game so much more historical and pleasing to watch!

And I’m so glad to see that average units can’t just run down your defenses and actually requires siege to come into play.


French siege is good as well…

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Yeah it definitely makes sieging an enemy an important part of the game.
Really feels like a medieval battle!

I recall pounding on the enemy’s walls with trebuchets while my army stood by to defend them, it felt really cool.

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Even while having your walls pounded, knowing you had enemy about to rush through those walls, you had men all lined up behind the walls to counter their charge. All anticipating the walls to go down and the units to rush in.

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Defending a hole in the wall is one of the few scenarios I can think of where the organ gun could be very effective. Protected from being picked off.

The AOE4 Combat simulator from TurnSpender is a lot of fun to use.

But pay attention, I observed that who strikes first makes a huge difference.

The units you put on the screen first will strike first and it gives them a big advantage. It is a good thing to test all fights twice, each side taking turn at striking first.

By the way, it also shows the importance of having a greater range. Range is not implemented in this simulator, but striking first, in a certain way, shows what happens when you have a better range.

Chinese civ useless for aoe4?
bad design gameplay for Chinese useless age 2?