Please balance (don't nerf) Horsemen

I seriously hope that is the case. Otherwise I cannot help but to interpret that most of dev team is completely detached from actual reality of how this game plays out.

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they don’t play their game, they just wanna finish the 8hr job and yeet back home. They are indeed completely detached.

Yeah, I ran this math too before posting.

93% so far, pretty much what I’d expect.

So you then confirm horsemen are STRONGER versus the units THEY ARE ACTUALLY SUPPOSED to counter??? But at the same time they got WEAKER to every other units which now makes horsemen more niche? aka Raid/explicitly range counter (this should be ok by around???).

The old horseman at 155hp vs feudal age 24 attack pikes could BEAT a pike 1 on 1 AND that was often the case when a small horseman group would encounter a comparable archer/pike mass; the horseman would NOT have to micro around the spears but instead could trade decent enough then clean up the bows after!!

The current iteration of horseman forces the horseman to more readily be supported by archers to handle spears and micro to flank the spears while archers pick them off.

No they are not stronger. 31 versus 31.25 attacks is in a huge vacuum, that isn’t reasonably relevant in gameplay. Focus fire, overkill damage, all of those things simply make basic math not work. (As Eric pointed out in that last dev video when discussing the unique Chinese archer, how basic adjustments weren’t altering their performance.)

Basic math.

Horsemen cost 100 Food, 20 Wood. (120 total) - now 125 health / 1 ranged armor compared to 155 / 0 - 9 damage.

Compared to Archers - 30 Food, 50 Wood (80 total). 5 base damage, 70 health

Again ignoring slightly abstract things, some things are clear 9+9 = 18, so 72 is 4 attacks ( > 70 health)

Archers as you say now take 31.25 (32) versus 31.

How is this a nerf? It’s obvious when you take equal resources, closing gap time, clumpage, overfire / focus fire / overkill, attack speed (average time to kill).

If they did this health decrease and increased pierce armor say by +2 then archers require 42 attacks. Which is actually significant to make a difference. Yet as you clearly state make them weaker versus everything else. Which again very few people would even claim they should be.

I personally think Horsemen should cleanly counter Archers as cleanly as Archers counter Spearmen, and NOW spearmen counter cavalry. Archers have been working, Spearmen now work, however this is a clear step in the opposite direction for Horsemen.

Horsemen’s role is a bit vague right? Regardless it needs to do 1 of it’s “roles” correctly
If it isn’t a frontline unit at all (which is what this nerf clearly tries to achieve - which actually really upsets any chance of countering Man at arms even as a -1 counter (meaning for many civilizations their “best bet”)

Man at arms 100 Food, 20 Gold,. 120 Health, 3/3 armor, 10 damage.

So Horsemen require 20 (edit forgot -3 from armor) attacks to kill a Man at arms.

Man at arms now only require 13 down from 16!!! That is an astronomical difference!

Spearmen - (not hardened) 70 - 6+15 (21) require only 6 attacks now down from 8 (if there wasn’t a horsemen nerf)

Hardened Spearmen 90 - 8 + 20 (28) requires only 5 down from 6.

Crossbows are a tier 3 unit. which is very significant for the balance wheel (for all current factions) so they obviously aren’t an option.

Clearly in real game play mixing of units, horsemen suffer drastically. Archers have safety of range which is also lost in a basic math abstraction.

Long story short.

The first two knee jerk reactions are -

  • Horsemen back to 155 Health, Keep 1 Range armor 31 → 39 Archer attacks to kill
  • Horsemen still new 125 Health, up to 2 Range armor, 32 → 42 Archer attacks to kill

0 voters

Not to spoil the poll but my personal opinion is option 1.


I think the issue is Horsemen were performing too well against knights. That’s fine - debuff horsemen vs other cavalry. Don’t freaking nerf their HP.

What they need to do is buff horsemen to be a more effective against blobs of archers and siege and less effective against other cavalry. The update significantly screws up 2 things:

  1. Horsemen are even worse against early man-at-arms, which was already a problem for the civs that don’t get early MAA or early knights.

  2. Horsemen are even worse countering archer/siege blobs in late game.

What needs to happen is horsemen should get keep their pierce armor buff, have their hp nerf reverted, get a damage and/or armor nerf against other cavalry so they aren’t competitive against knights (let’s be honest, armored knights should wreck unarmored horsemen in melee, and I think you could combine a damage and armor nerf such that they’re worse against heavy cavalry but still have the same fight dynamics against each other), and get a damage and/or armor buff against siege.

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Pretty sure Horsemen doing “okay” against Knights also isn’t an issue.

I personally feel going Spearmen + Horsemen should be a decent counter to Knights. As Horsemen don’t really damage Knights well, but can take a few more attacks than Spearmen, plus afford the option to harass.

Option 1 in the Horsemen option poll is basically - same as was versus non archers, but better versus archers.

Or Option 2 -
Worse versus everything else, but better against archers.

Current Patch

Same versus archers (in nearly any application), drastically worse versus everything else.

MAA has armor and u didn’t include in the stats in the fight vs horseman.

P.S: Horsemen, in proportion, continue to lose against MAA and knights although they do not do so badly (neither is it intended that MAA and knights clearly counter the horseman as the pikeman does).

Thanks, so 9-3 is 6 so 20 attacks, much appreciated!

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They’ve been made weaker vs ranged in almost every scenario.

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I’m also baffled by this change. It’s so clumsy. So basic. Nobody wanted this.

Hopefully everyone sees this complete damage breakdown because I see a lot of misinformation about how they’re stronger vs ranged which, demonstrably, is untrue (only slightly better vs normal archers in feudal only).

But I think a major issue at play with the games balance in general is that the feudal triangle is not balanced. Even looking at relics official counters chart, archers counter spears +3, spears counter horsemen +3 and horsemen counter archers +2. I don’t think this is inaccurate or illogical, but when horsemens primary target to counter is crossbowmen they’re going to struggle to find a role, because crossbows only appear in the castle age, and crossbows primarily counter other castle age units (knights and MaA). Essentially archers are overtuned in the feudal age, so why would someone go crossbows (weak to archers) until they’re already well into castle. Horsemen feel like their role is that of a late castle/imperial unit, but by that point siege is dominant and +1 pierce and -40 hp means horsemen can’t even perform an anti-siege role very well.

Maybe horsemen taking 1 more shot in feudal will help curb feudal archers a little (VERY doubtful) but the downsides of this strategy are massive regardless. They really should have just given them the +1 pierce armor. Combined with the spear buff the feudal age may actually have felt balanced.

Why do we need horsemen to fight knights? Why should you need to go spearmen + horsemen vs knights? Why not just spears counter knights end of story? You are throwing away resources using horsemen as meatshields against knights. You would be better off just making more spears.

Horsemen for raiding while spears defend makes sense. Horsemen for attacking archers and mangonels that want to kill your spearmen makes sense. Horsemen for direct engagements with knights makes no sense.

I can see not wanting knights to kill Horsemen too quickly (so the Horsemen can live long enough to damage archers and siege), but I don’t think Horsemen should do much damage to knights. They should be at a clear disadvantage.


Because Horsemen have mobility to put pressure elsewhere, exert map control. It isn’t 90% horsemen, mostly 30-40%ish.

The game design has been to encourage unit / army diversification. Unit combinations are what should be balanced around. Not 10 of A versus 10 of B, the game is not in a vacuum.

Horsemen should have a clearly defined role. Knights should have a clearly defined role.

Horsemen should be a pretty decent raider, but they are not. Archers should not be a better unit in killing villagers than horsemen. It isn’t even close. AoE 2 it was close, each had their benefits.

If Horsemen aren’t good against ranged units, soft targets (villagers) and taking TC (all arrow fire) they don’t really have a role in the game.

Currently the counter to archers is more archers, or mangonels. Mangonels aren’t in the balance triangle! Horsemen are!

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That’s why I said keep horsemen armor buff, revert their hp, and give them a buff vs siege. I just don’t think they should damage heavy cavalry well. If you’re going horsemen against heavy cavalry (and actually fighting the cavalry, not raiding or focusing on archers/siege) you should get whooped.

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the current horseman would perform BETTER than the previous horseman facing EXCLUSIVELY ARCHERS! PERIOD…

Now if you wanted to say the spearman buff PLUS the horseman hp nerf NOW makes the current horseman WORSE in a bow/spear combo vs archer/horseman THEN you’d have a great point given pike kill horseman 2 strikes sooner (spears are now very very efficient vs horseman). However this only force higher micro since TYPICALLY a ton of spears get SNIPPED while encroaching charging cav.

In general all you’ll have to do is CHARGE with cav; then STOP COMMAND short of meeting the pike, meanwhile your archers shoot over top to snipe the pike, then take your horseman and flank and constantly flank until the pikes are low enough to fight with your horseman, THEN finish off the archers.

31->32 is insanely insignificant, and if you’ve played any number of games you would know that.

It isn’t a 3-4 different it is a 31->32 difference which is a 3.22 % difference. Again, all of the game play randomness is far greather than 3.22%, aka focus fire, etc.

You CANNOT vacuum the data. Army compositions get mixed as well. The game isn’t pick only 1 unit and make it!

They aren’t damaging Knights well, 6 just as they do to Man at Arms. (same armor). which is terribly inefficient.

It’s the same role of having something in front of your archers. to absorb attacks. Especially with their counter based system being +damage only. It isn’t + defense. If it was +defense, spearmen would be by far the frontline unit of choice. + damage means your spearmen are your “backline” and horsemen (since they have more health, mobility etc) are your front line.

By your logic is taking an additional shot to die is INSIGNIFICANT than all +1 blacksmith ATTACK upgrades are ALSO insignificant… because they OFFER even less benefit than this “insignificant 1 extra strike to die thing”???

So why bother getting blacksmith attack upgrades until you can get all 3 attacks tiers??? Or even at all??