Opinion: the Nests of Bees should not get a buff in S5

(pup notes: +2 additional Rocket Arrows per volley)

IMO It would be overtuned and does at the moment not require a buff.

As soon as a player posses a specific number of Nest of Bees they are able to delete incoming units before these units cannot even reach the Nests of Bees. I saw a case where the nests were basically unkillable: attacked by Springalds (they could reach the nests obviously were however countered with Fire Lancers), masses of Donsos and W-Scouts simultaneously. Malian Archers obviously do nothing against them. This is pre-buff.

Whereas I like the rock paper scissors principle: invested units should not just be completely countered by one type of unit even if it costs a lot of gold. My mangonels were not that effective in comparison. IMO this needs balance. Futhermore, upon Age III the Chinese can immediatley produce Nest of Bees and on top of that get the health bonus from the Landmark. I believe that this could be proven problematic for certain civs facing China (those who are not so strong in late game) and basically completely nullify several unit types in late game if the nests get a buff in S5.

What are your thoughts?

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A couple of comments, if the PUP changes go live they would be based on the latest version of the PUP, in which the tech was nerfed.

  • Additional Barrels technology now gives 1 additional rocket to Nest of Bees instead of 2. Increased cost from 150 wood / 350 gold to 200 wood / 500gold.

And on the other side, that tech is replacing an existing tech which reduces the price of nest of bees by 25%. Now this is important to note because the change is not just buffing nest of bees on a vacuum, it is giving them 25% more damage (2 extra rockets) instead of the 25% reduced cost. With the nerf to 1 rocket (+12.5% damage) and the 200 resources cost increase then nest of bees are kinda getting nerfed if just considering those values. Of course the value of having more population efficient units is there and depending on how the rocket actually works does affect how they could be used (does it give more aoe? or does it land inside the regular area?).

I don’t see this much of an issue.

The NoB’s are getting a damage buff, but they also get a cost-increase.
Meaning it’s gonna be way more expensive to “reach critical mass”.

Best way to deal with NoB and they rarely are any more issue than a Mangonel critical mass, is to use springalds/culverins.

And you can still reach them with horsemen quite easily if they are undefended.
You don’t need a huge number of horsemen to quickly kill siege, as long as you have 4 horse menn thats able to hit the siege, they’ll go down pretty fast.






Thanks for the update concerning pup. Still I am not really sold (good arguments though!) yet changing my mind: the problem might be other units effectivity towards the Nest of Bees but not the Nest of Bee itself. At the moment: I believe that this change is more of a correction and should not be called nerf because that is not ultimately taking place…

As elaboration: let us calculate:

A Nest of Bee costs currently:
300 W / 300 G
which I find affordable

with the current effect of the research “Reusable Barrels” a Nest of Bee costs only:
225 W / 225 G

The direct counter to it, the Springald costs:
250 W / 250 G

meaning to most effectively counter it you have to spend more than it actually cost for your opponent.
Relevant also is that a springald does not have as much health (even before clocktower and Springalds being more vulnerable [you may have to produce more than your opponent has to create nest of bees]). Now they get an additional volley but do not get the discount. Meaning that Springalds could be fine to counter Nest of Bees in the future (thus why I think it is more a correction).

Having said that, what I find problematic is that this 12.5% increase will split up the gap to other units so that they are basically completely in vain to field against Nest of Bees. Scouts and Horseman f. ex. (I wonder what is the point of having bonus damage against siege?). Also Musafadi Warriors were shot downn with ease (bc. low health). I understand that you can field Lancers/Knights etc against them but what if you are a little low on gold? Then it looks really bad.

This is why I think a buff is not necessary. It has currently balance issues towards certain unit types. Obviously it should be strong against infantry but when a bunch of them delete incoming Horseman and W-Scouts with every upgrade then IMO something is wrong. In my opinion, this willl show and happen in late game during S5 even more, because of the damage increase.

Sorry to be so upfront but please let us remain constructive. First of all there is no pattern because this is literally my first post and second this is not a AoE4-China bash thread. Also to make the impression that China’s general lower winning rate justifies a game inbalance in favour to China is not the right or fair approach to improve the game nor is it subject in this thread.

From my experience playing China: it is one of the if not the strongest late game civ in AoE4 and has simultaneously the ability to rush and overwhelm the opponent in mid/late Feudal. On top of that it has one of the best economy AND scalings while offering many affordable and effective units at the same time. China is very strong but very difficult to understand and play. If I recall correctly: rank no. 1 in S3 never lost a game playing China on ladder. To never lose with one specific civilazation on the top of the pros does not make the impression that China is weak to me given that these are the players who play most optimally. The current rank no. 1 Vortix (different person) in S4 on ladder has also 100% win rate with China (on both of his accounts) until now and the Season is about to end.

You call for buffs to China. IMO China would benefit from a rework (yet strength is not a problem) maybe more accessability but that is a completely different topic. You may create a separate thread with your ideas to improve that and include your ideas about Japan. Pertaining to China your prayers have been heard and it receives buffs in S5 so I hope you are happy.

This Thread is about the Nest of Bees and the inbalance between certain unit types in trade offs, which I find problematic in the current state and even more so due to its anounced buff for S5.

To the other commentator:
The Nest of Bees do not get more expensive but they do not get a 25% discount anymore. 300 W / 300 G is a very fair price for such a unit that scales far better than others.
To stop 4 Horsemen is generally easy-peasy especially in late game (accumulated cost 400 F / 80 W) and 3-4 Nests can kill probably 1-2 Horsemen alone (through AoE) before they are even able to do any damage. Malians f. ex. don’t even have Horseman and their W-Scouts in Age 4 don’t make a good impression fighting siege at all. They are easily countered and die quickly as soon as they engage other units (lowest cav. health, progressively weaker at fighting their cheap counter, Scouts health regen have no impact in late game fights) To me it looks as if only Sofas are an option given that the Scouts die without impact and this should not be the case IMO. I find it contradictory that counter siege units are not able to (effectively) counter the Nests of Bees or are basically rendered useless.Trade offs are about ressource equivalents.To create a strong attack one requirement should or can well be gold but not for defending.IMO.

If you are looking at aoe4world stats it only shows the matches playes in the current patch (april 4) so there aren’t that much matches (10+7 china games in both accounts). Also another very important piece of information is that he has extremely good win rates with all civs.

Regarding balance of NoBs, they get an improvement in the imperial age as mangonels and springalds do, and some civs (like malians) even get the culv But i think this is a similar problem to zhuge nus, where people claim that zhuge nus can kill mangonels. And they can do if they outnumber it 50 to 1 but that is nowhere even near resource equivalent. Nest of bees are super strong in the correct setting but they are never uncounterable unless you are heavily behind on eco/army (or maybe a perfectly closed map spawn), either you outrange them with springals/culvs or you exploit their speed and kill them with horse units.

I have to disagree that horseman are not good at countering siege, considering an equivalent resource investment and no other unit types they win easily. If you consider spearman protecting the siege then you have to use a mixed unit comp too. And springalds/culverins do outrange them so you are able to attack and then kite.

I personally think the nest of bees are a problem when the chinese player either has a very easy to defend map or at the point where his economy is just too far ahead (and could just spam any unit at that point). That is my experience when using then and when fighting against them, i feel that they are strong but not unbalanced. Feel free to disagree though.


I agree with you regarding eco advantage spam and defense. I’d like to add that the Nests can be strong for a push too and then it may not be easy to kite with Culvs and Springalds.

Looking into Vortix game history: he is overall more successfull with China than with other civs (not his best civ but a good one). Match count is higher: more than 30 games with China in total (3 accs). From what I have heard he is specialized in certain civs. I found one loss with China. His game history is relevant as he is playing against the most competitive opponents. When looking at the top 10 players China does not seem to fall of compared to other civs like Dehli or Abbasid. Meaning it is overall competitive. That does not mean that nothing should be changed.

Zhuge Nus are not supposed to counter Siege and yet they are still able to kill everything in masses. In your example you say the resource equivalent cannot be compared - agreed. Yet, Zhuge Nus somehow lose a part of their vulnerabillity as soon as they are massed given that they are ranged and harmonize well with spears. They have good stats and on top of that are super cheap to produce.

The scouts/ w-scouts and the Horseman are meant to counter siege and I can say that the scouts have extreme difficulty to do that in Age 4 as soon as there is a small number of Nests of Bees.

culv cost now almost 3 times the gold of a Nest of Bee in future 2 times and cost 50% more wood for one. Culvs are produced in most cases reactively as they only really serve to counter siege. The opponent can build 2 Nests from that amount of gold whereas his contractant can build only one Culv with wood to spare. IMO the potential harm a Nest can do is higher than a Culv as you can use it more widely and actively compared to a Culverin. How many shots does a Culverin need to destroy a normal Nest of Bees? 1? If so it is a good counter.

Still, should it require so much gold to counter an affordable unit? With 600 Gold you can build 6 knights and harrass or produce 10 Sofas and play actively.

Please do not get the impression that Horseman are useless against Nests in the following paragraph. Your point is understood…

I don’t find it good that when going Horseman or Scouts to counter siege the player has to think of and produce at the same time the counter to their counter, which again is countered by the Nest of Bees. In such a case the unit production for the counter to the cavalry counter has to be included in the the cost equation to fight against the Nest of Bees given that the losses if this is not done are higher. Adapting to produce archers against the spears fills the production line. The enemy usually attacks with several unit types to which production has to be adapted. Generally speaking, when fighting against other types of units you can rely on the counters for that unit.

This is not enough the case for Nests of Bees IMO

Please correct me if I am wrong (full techs no civ bonuses):

Spears vs Horseman: 5.15 strikes to die + spearwall stun/ first strike
Horseman vs Spear: 12 strikes to die

Horseman vs. Nest of Bees: 6.47 strikes to die
Scouts vs. Nest of Bees: 7
Warrior Scout vs. Nest of Bees: 7

Nest of Bees vs Archers : 1.49 strikes to die (all projectiles) + AoE damage (multi target possible)
Nest of Bees vs… Spears: 2.44 strikes to die (all projectiles) + AoE damage (multi target possible)
Nest of Bees vs. Horsemen: 3.38 stikres to die (all projectiles) + AoE damge (multi target possible)
Nest of Bees vs. Scouts: 2.9 strikes to die (all projectiles) + AoE damge (multi target possible)
Nest of Bees vs Warrior Scouts: 2.9 strikes to die (all projectiles) + AoE damge (multi target possible)

Looking at these numbers I do not have the impression that the Horseman & Scouts counter the Nest of Bees. This comparison is before considering clocktower nest of bees and S5 buff. So basically with a minimum of 3 Nest of Bees they are handling the counter by themselves theoretically and this is also what I have seen while their actual counter needs 7 strikes to destroy one of them (that is probably why you said 4 horseman → 2 strikes) provided you get through. And this is the problem: 4-6 Stables can turn out to be insufficient in such a case given that the scouts and Horseman get stopped before. In addition, Dps is getting less relevant from 4 nests upwards as all these cavalry unit types get one-shot.

I am not saying Nest of Bees are unhandable but I hope you see that they are strongly favored and can create balance issues as soon somebody is short on gold. In a clash of masses the Nests of Bees are able to reduce 2 of their direct counters to absurdity.

This is why I do not understand or support this buff.

I understand your point too, and you are right about culvs being a lot more expensive and well the balance of NoBs is a whole other topic and not really the point of your post, i apologize for derailing it.

As for the purpose of the change i would imagine is to promote a more aggresive imperial transition instead of a more prolonged (cheaper) NoB spam. Especially due to china having amazing tools for very long games (taxes, granaries, pagodas and dynasties). I don’t think anyone asked for this but it is kinda weird that the unit doesn’t change from age 3 to 4, and chemistry being unlocked in age 1 has always been strange to me as it only benefits NoBs until age 4.

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It is always funny to me seeing players complain about China.

China is probably the best designed civilization out there, yet every patch is trying to prune it as players can’t handle one civilization being designed better.

In reality, they should be designing other civilizations to be more interesting instead of pruning China at every turn.




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I agree with you nest of bees hitting every unit like the mangonels hitting the archers i mean damage vise.If you have good number of them you can delete the enemy army.They also cost same resources with mangonel.Why is it getting buffed i dont understand they were fine.