Should Zhuge Nu get reworked?

I think Zhuge Nu have the faster attack speed, not the Archers. Archers fire once every 1.5 seconds, while Zhuge Nu every 1.25 seconds.


Holy ■■■■ I think you’re right. I’m sorry, I assumed the ATK speed was the same as in other games like DOTA or LOL. I.e. Higher is better.

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Someone put in the work and collected unit stats. See this link here:

Here is a quick comparison between the Zhuge Nu aswell as the normal Archer and Longbow:


Image 1: Stats for Archer and Longbow.

Image 2: Stats for Zhuge Nu.

Right here we see proof for what we said several times already.

Zhuge Nu has not only less range than Archers, it also has less speed than Archers.

This makes it impossible to ever hit Archers unless your opponent is sleeping and not controlling his units properly.

There is no reason to ever build Zhuge Nu in this game.

First of all, Zhuge Nu needs more range and more movement speed. And then it should receive an upgrade in age 3 to add additional damage vs armored targets.


You’re missing some important context.

If you’re only counting the +1 damage, you’re correct, it does 1x3 more damage.
If you’re up against another player, they probably get the +1 ranged armor, so it nullifies the +1 damage.
Essentially, it’s not relevant in counting +1 bonuses, unless you’re presuming your opponent is playing bad.
in fact, ranged armor is significantly better because of this.

additionally, Zhuge nu do not break even against horsemen in any real scenario except urban warfare were you prevent the horsemen from getting the surround. They trade better vs horsemen than archers, but considering horsemen directly counter archers, this isn’t surprising.

One more thing, against spearmen, the archers dps per resource spent is slightly higher. This isn’t counting the increased trouble of getting song dynasty.

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I don’t agree with this. They break even if you do the math, and it’s much easier for a blob of archers to land multiple hits than it is for melee units to surround. What do you base your conclusion on?

Essentially, shows that these units are not equivalent, and the zhuge nu will be outpaced.
I recognize the issues with this application, and would do a real world example test given the opportunity, but I’m fairly certain that based on my experience with them and, given equal upgrades and resources spent, they do not trade effectively unless you’re balling up a significant amount or fighting an inferior horsemen force (leaving yourself open to a mangonel shot or 2), or the horsemen ai is bugging out. However, attack moving a non formation group of zhuge nu in an open, no buildings placed field, should work well and give relatively similar results up to the 50+ mark, as after that the ball kinda has enough mass to counteract the surround fast enough to potentially imbalance the match.

even archers can trade well v horsemen if it’s a tight, low surface area position they are in, but that’s disingenuous to then say they trade well with or even counter horsemen.

Going mathematically using Turnspender's Aoe4 Data Sheet - Patch 7989 (2021/11/15-) - Google Sheets as a source for stats, we can take the relevant stats. equal cost, meaning a 1 to 1 ratio of units, and 155 HP and 11.12 DPS for horsemen (remember, they are getting their ranged damage bonus as zhuge nu are ranged) and the Zhuge nu’s 90 HP and 9.6 DPS.

This brings up two values of survival - Horsemen will survive for ~16.1 seconds. Zhuge nu will survive for ~8.01.
Given Lanchester’s laws surrounding forces from the line infantry days, I believe the Zhuge nu will need, assuming again an open field, almost 50% more units out to match the horsemen, which is backed up by the simulator. this means they do not trade effectively without being able to minimize surface area to an absurd degree.

The one calculation I can’t be sure of, given the games current state, is that horsemen actually do bonus damage vs them. If they don’t, then it’s a bit more equal. However, they logically should given, you know, they are ranged units. There’s also the problem with potential AI hiccups, as the horsemen could just circle each other, lowering their dps.

In real world Zhuge nu use poison to increase its damage, so it’s a good idea that Zhuge nu can reduce damage or movement of its target.

I think that the other factor we need to count in is the dynasty cost to produce Zhuge nu.

Take 2 players, like chineese vs abassid for example, let’s make a guess that both player will just spam archer and get very aggressive feudal with 1 TC.

If you get your dynasty (400f 200g invested) to produce Zhuge nu, you will have less money to pay for blacksmith upgrades or units. Add to the fact that faster villager means more food consumption, you will never be able to field a critical mass before being overrun by your opponent.

I really think that, the way zhunge nu should be is a in between archer/crossbow. Giving them 80/90% of the DPS of a crossbow and either give china a good early eco bonus or a discount on the 2nd landmark (especially for the 2 last dynasty, paying 2x1200f 600g and 2x 2400f 1200g in a game is nuts and almost impossible.

Giving this ability to zunghe nu could give china a good answer to early knight and early MAA, since their early game is such a struggle.


As I see it you are paying 50% more resources than an archer for a unit which is worse versus basically everything except archers and horsemen. Theoretically you do twice as much damage to those two unit types - which could perhaps compensate for being slower, having a shorter range and only 28% more hit points making you worse per resource spent versus everything else.

But in practice, the archer player can likely micro their way to at least a draw - and in the case of Longbows, quite a convincing win by not just attack moving into you and waiting until everything is dead.

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I don’t understand why Microsoft design games are so fond of zhugenu. This kind of weapon is rarely used by the Chinese. Zhugenu is of little use. Chinese usually uses bows, arrows and crossbows. At present, there is no balance in this game, so the French can have knights in the feudal era and the Mongols can have riders in the dark era. Then the Chinese civilization can delete zhugenu and let the Tang Dynasty have crossbows. In this way, the Chinese civilization can become strong and can deal with heavy armor units in the early stage of the game, Then there is no need to modify other things of Chinese civilization.


imo zhuge nu should keep their low damage but maybe add +1 dmg per bolt vs armoured units, and not become regular crossbows as the actual weapon was not very powerful, it just fired quickly

if anything the unit must be cheaper (start with -5 f and - 5 g) and tweak from there, especially if the dynasties are made cheaper) and considering that zhuge nu already cost and pop effectively beat archers, and perform better v light cav

the 2nd landmark per age for china should also be cheaper, as it is currently too punishing to activate a new dynasty (possibly in the region of 10%-20% cheaper) and generally gives too little for the cost, but to prevent over powering china when it reaches its new dynasty my preference is to simply reduce the cost instead, meaning you shouldnt over buff the unit

but then i think fire lancers should be buffed slightly as well, preferably higher hp(start with +20hp and tweak from there).

and nest of bees should possibly fire an additional number of rockets (maybe start off with 2 and tweak from there)


What’s Next for Age of Empires IV? - Age of Empires

Winter 2021

  • Significantly reducing the cost of the Chinese civilization’s Repeater crossbow.

No mention of a nest of bees buff, though

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They must increase its range and speed to be equal to Archers though. Being a little cheaper doesn’t mean anything if the unit doesn’t get to hit your opponent because they can kite it easily.


Being cheaper totally matters. There is some cost and production speed at which it is balanced against other archers without changing any stats.

Beeing able to mass them easier could be a really good approach to balance it out.
Paired with the Impo supervise, economy is the limiting factor and not production speed.

China really needs a unit to play with against fudal all ins, and making the unit more accessible is certainly a way to tackle this issue.

The AOE4 roadmap specifically mentioned they will make zhuge nu cheaper which will be a nice buff and their biggest flaw imo.

Running quick calculation for curiosity 5 spears and 5 zhuge nu’s beat 10 horseman easily but it takes 5 spears and 10 archers to barely win and the fight takes much much longer.

Allins like those using Men At Arms + Rams for example? Zhuge Nu are terrible against armored units which is why Chinese struggles in Age 2 just like Delhi. They are getting outscaled by HRE economy boost, Abbasid Fresh Foodstuffs, French producing faster vills and without Men At Arms or Knights they have no good answer against armored units.

You are telling me that after wasting 400 food and 200 coin to unlock Zhuge Nu, Chinese is suddenly going to do better against all ins? Explain this logic please.


I am not saying it’s gonna be balanced but that it’s going in the right direction.

The entire game is an absolute bugfest and I’d like tosee those tackled first before making any fundamental balance change.
After that, small incremental changes are the way to go.

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