The big issue is the mangonel, and scaffolds response. Many top tier foot units (longbows, streltsy, man at arms) are only really counterable with mangonels. Which can be whiped out with scaffolds. ONLY knights and other heavy cav can break this rock paper scissor, however streltsky beat knights, so the rus are rather unbeatable for now. China on the other hand is just very very slow, and should be beatable at all stages in the game until the imperial age. (even then longbow men have china’s number)
Nerfing it makes going imperial essentially useless, as there would be no new units for you to get there.
Since the devs stated that they aimed for a later timeframe than AOE2, it is only logical to witness the early advantages of gunpowder.
If they didn’t just copy AOE2 I would have suggested to add another age that goes full napoleonic warfare.
I just had a match when a dude massing only Mangonel and whipped out my Knights. I have to bring Springald to fight him. Heavy cavalry aren’t even a good option against mass sieges. It’s funny I used to think Mangonel is weak because of the Nest of Bees.
Rus lategame is far from unstoppable. Their most annoying unit isnt even their bombards or Streltsy but their extra range Springalds. If your civ doesnt have access to culverin, you just die to the springalds. Imperial is around the 1500s timeframe which is exactly where gunpowder started to pick up. Even in AoE 2 some civs just spam gunpowder units anyways.
Agreed springalds are cancerous to the game in many ways. They should only be a viable anti siege unit and barely do damage to infantry. However giving 1 civ the longest range springalds in the game breaks the balance pretty hard and makes lategame cancerous.
Siege in general is pretty terribly balanced except Rams and Mangos. Streltsy are also pretty OP compared to other UU except french knights (surprise)
Culverins 100% counter regular springalds. Springalds have to pack/unpack and have same range. Culverins also one shot them. For Rus Springalds, its different. Culverins still a counter but you need to bring up 8 vills. They repair siege instantly. Still, springald spam is definitely annoying.
For Streltsy, they are strong but they have the same stats as any other generic HC. Their difference is their static bonus which is lost when moving. Longbows are a very good counter, but even generic archers and of course mangos are a very hard counter. Chinese HCs with increased HP, range should be the one you’re looking out for, but then again if China gets to fight post-imp then you’ve probably lost.