in the last year I played a lot against gunpowder Civs on various closed maps like Hideout and Arena.
Especially, the fast Castle into Gunpowder Unique Unit (Spanish, Portuguese and Turks) is very popular.
This is due to the projectile speed was increased at one point giving them some kind of ballistics with a random distribution.
Also, the fact they need almost no upgrades and a potential forward castle drop opens the walls to safe time makes those very strong over all elo ratings.
Luckily, Conqus are not as strong as in the past since they receive more damage from skirmisher and with the new patch way more damage from xBow.
Furthermore, Organ Guns are getting nerfed in the next patch as well which was definetly necessary in my opinion since it could deal with all unit types in the castle age.
My point is that every unit should have a counter unit or a playstyle that prevents getting to that specific unit.
AgeII is still a strategy game, right?
However, turks and their janissaries are almost unbeatable on Arena style maps.
They used to be countered by Knights or/and xBow/Skirms.
Knights only work if have enough numbers which is hard to get since the turk player can easily zone you off half of your resources with his range.
And even if you got enough he can hide in choke points while killing your units.
So you need range units or rams for his castle as well … Good luck having all that.
xBow/Skirms do not work a bit without xBow + range upgrades + ballistics because the turk player has more range and the “kind of ballistics”.
So you have to invest 1425 resources (300 + 150 + 300 + 200 + 475) just to be some kind of equal to his units.
Just for him to build one mangonel and all your equal units are weak again.
So what do you do next? Building your own mangonel?
Better think twice. → Janissaries have 8 range and one-shot mangonels. Due to their large hitbox they never miss the mangonels.
So you need many knights or monks with redemption against his mangonel(s).
(And yes mangonels do not need any upgrades to reach full potential.)
I recommend lowering the range of the janissary (non-elite only) from 8 to 7 to see how this works out.
Then xBow and Skirms may not need ballistics to be on one level with the janissaries.
Furthermore, the janissaries cannot harass your eco to easily.
(My rating is currently 1900 due to playing more teamgames lately.)
Thank you for reading.