Nerf all range units

Its been stated before by the devs that critical mass is a problem in this game especially with range units. I propose a drastic solution that doesnt completely destroy the current counter system.

Archer units will lose 10hp, lose 2 base damage, gain +2 vs villagers, +2 vs calvary archers and adjust spearman bonus damage from 5 to 10.

This would keep archers static vs villagers and cav archers but be a HUGE nerf vs standard cav and heavy units and vs archers. BUT A HUGE BUFF against spearman critical mass. The HP nerf would help with effective splash damage from siege too.

Here is the math for the difference:

  1. Archer would die to spearman strike by 1 less strike but the match up is still clearly archer favored due to focus fire and kiting and it would now requires 7 arrows to kill a spear instead of 8 (also +1 range attack allows an archer to kill a spearman in 6 shots!!!)
  2. Archer would die to standard horsemen still in 4 strikes BUT +1 melee attack would FINALLY result in a bonus for std horsemen vs archer by allowing horsemen to kill in 1 less strike. (THIS ALONE IS A HUGE DEAL)
  3. This next one is just as big as the last. Standard archer would require 120 shots to kill a standard horsemen which virtually means the horsemen would become impervious to archers AS THEY SHOULD BE IN A COUNTER SYSTEM!!! however +1 range would effectively double archer’s power vs horsemen which is also good for blacksmith functionality in the game (blacksmith upgrades deserves it own thread…)
  4. Archer mass vs archer mass also gets nerfed as it now takes 43% more dps to kill an archer with an archer and that further discourages brain-dead archer balls meta play.

Apply the same Nerfs and buffs to longbows and javelin throwers. Zhuge Nu should get the hp nerf however their damage mechanic should be dealt with by fixing the armor system. When armor equals or exceeds attack the resulting damage should be fractional–this would properly fix zhuge nu and again BUFF BLACKSMITH functionality.

Veteran and elite upgrades should be done in such a way that std cavalry (without BSM) remain impervious to standard archers. Which means only increase archer base damage by 1 each upgrade but increase bonus damage by 3- 4 damage.

Now for Crossbows

crossbows are supposed to be a generic all purpose unit that also counter heavy units so to some extent it is okay fo crossbows to deal a reasonable amount of damage to cav and spearman but IMO at a cost NEUTRAL or cost deficit. So nerf crossbow HP by 10Hp AND give standard veteran horsemen plus +12 bonus vs range instead of 11 (this is for a BLACKSMITH breakpoint purpose). Next nerf crossbows base damage by 4, so a base of 8 damage but a bonus of 4 damage vs infantry, bonus 4 damage vs villagers, bonus of 4 damage vs cav archers and a bonus of 13 damage vs heavy. (Note: this results in a nerf to MAA again…sorry… a way around this is if they just straight implemented negative dps bonuses like the camel debuff)

This would result in a nerf of crossbows vs horseman only and virtually* be the same unit vs everything else.

Leave janissary, HC, streltsy* and grenadiers untouched.

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At decent to high level play, diamond plus, cavalry is regulated to raids and flanking and squelching smaller reinforcement. Cavalry can effectively be used in the main fight if the enemy has mostly range units with very very little melee counter/meatshield.

The suggested changes above would reinvigorate cavalry’s function to the main army and flanking would feel like flanking!!!

And because range units would become STRONGER vs melee infantry, kiting would increase in its effectiveness vs said melee; so the nerfs would not break the range units at all

Why nobody talks about the mega-effectiveness that spearman are?, with equal resources, 9 hardened spearmans (Feudal), defeat 3 castle age heavy cavalry units.
I also think that because the victory by destruction of landmarks is unfeasible and the victory by holy places is also unfeasible (except for Delih), there is nothing left but to kill villagers and all the units are inefficient in that, therefore archers is your best alternative.

Regarding distance units, what I would do is nerf the microattack; that their attack time is reset, when they move.

Nerf kiting will really upset high level players bc that the mini game they love the most!!!

And my changes would nerf spearman by making archer even stronger vs spearman?!

Spearman SHOULD heavily counter cavalry. Cavalry have the unique advantage of picking their engagements and given that high mobility they SHOULD be punished harshly for taking a bad engagements esp vs a slower COUNTER unit. Also this is th exact reasoning Eric the lead game balance design (back in the day?) Said why spearman counter all cavalry so strongly.

Back to spearman mass. And not just spearman but all melee suffer very harshly from body blocking and that’s exactly where bunched up ranged units excel. So when you combined body blocking and kiting… range units will always have those 2 things in their favor mechanically, mass vs mass. Hence why i suggested nerfing their HP and greatly reducing their NONBONUS damage output.

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The reason ranged units get to be a critical mass is cause they never miss. The solution is to buff cavalry against archers. Xbows shouldn’t counter them. This is basically how aoe3 fixes the issue. Ranged units typically have a high hit rate there as well, not quite 100% but close, but cavalry takes very little damage from them. There should absolutely be no archer counter to cavalry.

You’re thinking aoe2? Bc aoe3, yes technically archaic xbox (equivalent to aoe4 archers) do have a chance to miss but requires the utmost percise dodge? So its not something done like that even at the highest level except to maybe dodge the last volley while running away.

Ppl here in aoe4 have mixed feeling on the MISS mechanic. For example the mangonels missing i know personally and have heard frustrates ppl how EASILY it can be forced to miss. Meanwhile the treb missing is better received. Likewise archer ship slash/miss mechanic also is better received for the veey high skill level necessary to dodge shot after shot.

Imo that’s still waaaayy too much work to make cavalry do to counter a unit THEY SHOULD DESTROY resource for resource in a straight up mass vs mass fight.

Meanwhile longbows have something else to say about that, so do zhuge nu and mali archers among many other mass range comps.

My suggested changed would heavily nerf the standard range infantry vs calvary.

A rigid counter system, as you propose (in AoE4 there are both harder and softer counters), could make the game less exciting and appealing for a variety of playstyles and strategies. This could lead to less interesting and dynamic matches, as opposed to using somewhat more flexible counters in some cases (like the current system) and not restricting units.

The idea that an 80-resource unit has to shoot 120 times at a 120-resource unit doesn’t make any sense, no matter how much of a counter that 120-resource unit might be.

I don’t see issues with that balance, except perhaps that the spearman should maybe take one more arrow to die, but that’s a separate discussion.

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That balance is what the dev’s and players have consistently complained about? The idea is never to equate resources; with that logic a group of spearman worth more in cost than a small group of archers should defeat the archers? Or at least trade cost-effectively no?? While the truth of the matter is a group of 15 spears can get kited and cleaned up by a small group of 6-8 archers EASILY. That’s the counter system at work.

except it doesnt work with range units vs cavalry; You can already have a small group of longbows abuse their kiting ability vs a respectable size of horsemen and have the longbow win out or at min trade extremely well! That’s not a soft counter; that’s a BROKEN.

The idea of archers NOT being able to kill the horseman forces the counter system to be used; specifically for cavalry vs range? NOthing else is changed, so again how RIGID can these ideas be by changing the dynamic of 1 unit type?

it’s balanced to you that a set 40-50 veteran mali archer’s with poison arrows can delete everything they face to include siege? How about 40-50 composite bow veteran Abbasid archers? Or 40-50 Zhuge Nu in feudal/early castle?? IMO; critical mass is not strategic game dynamic; its often a WIN condition.

This debate was valid a year and a half ago when the horsemen didn’t have armor. Now, I don’t know any players who complain much about archers (maybe the Zhuge Nu sparks some polarized debate, not so much the longbowman).

40-50 veteran Mali archers with poison arrows don’t kill 30 Ottoman Sipahis or 35 veteran horsemen even with basic micro, and if there’s a very large mass, there’s also Castle Age siege to support.

Why are you “cheating” by comparing unique units (known to be stronger than regular units and can be somewhat contentious) against regular units? Do 15 Donsos or 15 Musofadi Warriors “easily lose” against a group of 6-8 regular archers?

The “issue” is that unique units have always been “somewhat contentious,” not that the horseman or knight is a bad unit.


You don’t know any players, but most of the pro players and near pro players have complained about CRITICAL MASS range units; Also the forum has several RECENT (less than 1 year old and since horseman got range armor) threads about horseman vs range.

This isn’t a critical mass question; but the answer is OVERWHELMINGLY YESS; easily 6-8 archers will DELETE 15 donso or Musofadi b/c of focus fire and kiting; the musofadi due to speed might get 1 or 2 kills but the donso are done-zo, EASILY!.

Your conflating ideas? Suggestions a solution to critical Mass range via a nerf doesn’t equate to saying horsemen/knights are bad units? I’m saying and have been saying range units once they hit a certain number (critical mass) become comparatively too strong even vs their alleged counter unit; and that it becomes woefully inefficient for the counter unit to deal with them; and you further extenuate this countering by not going FULL critical mass range but sprinkle a very small anti cav/body blocking melee unit and it becomes virtually unstoppable (cost-effective wise).

Why nobody talks about the mega-effectiveness that spearman are?, with equal resources, 9 hardened spearmans (Feudal), defeat 3 castle age heavy cavalry units.

Surely that is because spearmen are the rock/paper/scissors counter to cavalry? Or where you being sarcastic and I am dense? If so, sorry!

In regards to the OP, I am sure that the points you made may have relevancy in 1v1 but for team games we are already neck deep in a cavalry spam meta and I would not wish to further encourage it. While it may allow for more spearman usage it ultimately nerfs indirect too much for it to be worth it.

I’m not familiar with playing teams; but I can agree a 1 size fits all balance will never work between team balance and 1v1 balance and they need to come up with a way to keep them separate ANDD the Dev has said in the past that they would figure something out for team balance as it pertains to Wonders; also they did the team landmark completely destroyed fix; so there is hope that more separate balancing can continue to occur.

What you can’t expect is to mix unique archer units or archers with unique technologies against simple cavalry units like regular horsemen. We need to be serious about this matter. It’s logical that a critical mass of Zhuge Nu, Longbowmen, Malian archers with upgrades, or Abbasids with composite bows would pose more problems than other archers, but siege weapons would also come into play for support.

Regarding the claim that 15 Musofadi or Donsos against 8 archers would only kill 2-3 archers, I’m open to testing that, and if I’m mistaken, I’ll gladly correct myself.

And be aware that my suggestion would be to make archers slightly less of a hard counter to spearmen (they would need one more hit, maybe +4 in Feudal Age instead of +5, making it more in line with the Donsos) for other reasons. Cavalry is perfectly fine and serves its purpose.

By the way, I talk with professional players every day.

Can you quote the pro players that concede to your suggestions here? Bc on stream you can find beastyqt marinelord szalami SAS bee WAM either griping about range units mass or heralding the importance of having your main army composition be NON cav (aka cav isnt optimize for main army outside the enemy being purely range)–ML; or saying “if range units had legit seige damage i would go purely archers”-3dbee?

The ideal is that seige aka mangonels SHOULD be a proper response to these range mass; however at high levels these mangos are dodged and sniped and slow. 1.25 walk speed is actually pretty fast and can zoom across the map with EZ as long as you have decent vision. Also there is no siege options in feudal but critical mass can be reached in feudal?

Second point concerning the last quote; all factions have a bonus or 2 that benefits range units and or have unique range units; so if we’re taking it seriously? How do we come up with an answer to a critical mass of everyone’s strong range units ?

I don’t understand what we mean here? What’s thus +4 and +5 thing? Also are you admitting archer critical mass can counter lancers?? Maybe i dont understand this too or? But if i understood correctly i do not thing archers should ever counter, let alone strongly counter, lancers nor horsemen?

That may be something of a consideration when making sweeping balance suggestions. 1v1 is popular and has its ‘pro’ scene but the majority of the player base must be taken into balance considerations.

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No “lancers” sry, i wanted to write you “spearmen” (lanceros in Spanish). +5 is the archer bonus vs spearmen.

Siege, in a correct number, does work. We’ll see what happens in the tournament.

I also invite you to test whatever you want with me in the game.

You want me to take your remark…and your apparent liker seriously when you qoute what i said but cant understand what i said?

It literally says to keep the balance separate?? Literally…

We’ve got a billion tournament games already on the books to draw from?? But yes we will continue to see something in tournament, that much i can agree.

I think you’re suggesting making archer less potent vs spears in an attempt to weaken the archer/cav comp vs the spearman/cav combo. But that doesnt address the original OP. Critical mass of archers? Archers have no bonus vs cavalry yet enoigh of them can delete a more than cost effective size of cavalry.

When i get the time i can show you a clip of beastyqt HRE vs puppypaw english on mountain clearing, horsemen archer vs straight up longbow and a tower with kiting. Was a horrible trade for the cav archer vs the longbow

seriously, I see no problems with archers or longbows, maybe the abba archer with the age 3 update is a problem, but everything else …

every critical mass is dealy like mass knights, mass mangonels for ranged units, mass rams for buildings, mass MAA, even fire lancer can be dealy at a landmark snipe… so you wanna nerf them all?

your problem is the word “critical mass”


Puppypaw had a greater number of longbowmen than Beasty’s units (they are better than regular archers), with the tower and garrisoned villagers, doing a hit and run with the English bonus to his base (a short path, it would have been a favorable trade for Beasty on a different map) against a mixed composition. There was a lack of cavalry, and Puppy was able to defend his position well due to the map and the tower. Is that the game?