Skirms need a buff in Imperial age

in 200 pop slogs in late Imp on Arabia, Skirms are very underpowered unless it comes down to a FULL trash war.

They die to Hussar switch very hard, and even vs their intended targets, like CA or Arbalest, it’s very easy for the opponent to screen them with a meatshield of Skirms/Hussar/Cavalier/Halb which makes the Skirms auto-target the closest unit (trash meatshield). Microing such engagements is typically not worth it, as in late Imp you need to secure extra gold/stone spots, place Castles, re-seed farms, add production buildings, shuffle hotkeys if you need to change composition, requeue lost vills, secure relevant woodlines, it’s a fairly high APM phase of the game and you can’t focus on a single engagement for THAT long. You can shift click them onto the right unit, but that yields mixed results.

I propose a tech in the Archery Range available in the Imperial Age that either reduces their resources cost, or, even better, reduces their population to a fraction of 1 (maybe 0.8). Maybe even a combination of both. This way, you can justify adding a greater number of Skirms to Knights play, for example, whereas currently it’s not worth it because you prefer the “overrun” factor of going full Cavalier/Paladin and Skirms just make your Cavalier flood significantly weaker in a 200 pop scenario.


I think is ok that skirms downfall in imp. In that stage of game gold units should shine. Against arbs or HCA you should have your power unit ready to deal with it. Skirms only support. Maybe could change the imperial skirmisher upgrade to make it a generic upgrade but only for some civs.


The idea with imperial skirms for certain civs is not bad. It would be an interesting compensation for civs without bracee.

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I don’t think Skirms need to be improved against Arbs in imp.
Arbs are already extremely gold intensive. And we don’t have the issue of the countered units being much more pop efficient like with halbs v heavy cav or eles. Skirms falling off against the Arbs in imp is compensated just fine by Skirms being expendable trash units whilst Arbs are hard to replace.
But I can think of an improvement against the spear line with more bonus damage.
Maybe also a little bit more bonus vs CA, but that’s optional.

In general I would like to see skirms being less reliant on their armor but instead have higher damage output against the units they are suppoed to counter.

Atm if your skirms lack one armor upgrade means at all ages they take double (!) the damage from the archer line. This volatility is absurd and unprecented. No other common unit line is so dependent on a single upgrade type.

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No. Skirms are useful and common unit in that situation, at least in high level. Because skirm is one of the most micro-intensive unit and more effective in highest level.

Hmm. You are talking about in the situation of skirm vs other than ranged unit. It is fine to skirms being bad vs anything other than ranged unit. Just like Pike countered so badly vs ranged unit and building. Hussar is too versatile unit for trash unit but skirm is fine as is.

Just watch pro game. Skirms is one of the common unit in 200pop late game. Just see Final of Warlord tournament.

Look game number 2, Viper’s Samurai+ Skirm win against Hera’s Hussar + skirm. And game number 7, Viper Bengalis Skirm+monk+ seige win against behomians skirm+BBC.
Game number 1, 4, 5 ended in castle age. Game number 3 is water map. Game number 6, Hera already huge lead in Castle age and game end in early imp.

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great post to showcase that you understand nothing of how AoE2 is played and also can’t read properly what is written in the OP.

Interesting. In one hand you think Archer is weak. On the other hand you think archer counter is also weak. Isn’t it contradicting?

[Gotta admit archer+spear is more common army combo than knight+skirmisher. However, I don’t think it has anything to do with skirmishers stats. It is more likely the higher food cost of the army combo.]

Well if you don’t think Knights counter Archers we should maybe adjust Knights so it fits that perception?
I don’t think Knights are weak. Right the opposite.

I meant skirmisher, not knight.
Archer counter = skirmisher.

Easy fix, add Imperial Skirmisher as a general unit upgrade like halberdiers and hussar, as there no reason for them alone to lack an Imperial Age upgrade

And i’ll die on this hill


You tried to work with associations as if this one pure battle interaction would determine the strengths of the units.

You got countered, stop working with strawmans and we can discuss stuff again.

Didn’t get it at all. When did I strawman?

You said “Counter” but you meant Skirmisher. That’s a strawman.
Archers are countered by a lot of different things.

Knights/Cavalry are still a soft counter to archers. That’s why archer civs usually add spears and pikes against the cav civs.
ofc Skirms but also
Once FU also CA counter the archer line

But you try to associate the archer counters with Skirms only. Which is just wrong.

I even said that I wouldn’t actually buff skirms against the archer line but instead against other types of units. So your whole association process becomes really weirdly constructed. You basically imply I would argue to buff skirms agaisnt archers, but that’s exactly what I said that I don’t want to. I only proposed to change the way skirms counter archers a bit, so the counter mechanic isn’t so heavily dependent on one single tech.
If I hear about “counter” I usually associate this with inflicting higher losses to the mentioned unit type. But skirms actually have basically the same damage output against archers as archers to themselves. Meaning for me Skirms are actually not “actively” countering archers, they are just able to tank a lot of arrowfire. And I would like to see them being be more active in that counter role.

Btw the way skirms and archers currently interact is one of the reasons of the strong powerspikes archers get at the age-ups. Because xbows actually counter feudal skirms and Arbs castle age skirms due to the way higher damage output (3 x => 4 x higher damage).With skirms less depending on the armor we wouldn’t have these strong powerspikes that were targeted in the archer nerfs in the first place.
And btw that mechanic is also one of the reasons why skirms often suck. Oppoenen has skirms? No problem, just go up to the next age, get the upgrades and kill them before he can upgrade them.

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Sorry you just don’t want to arguing with what you propose.
But I want to ask what we want to achieve by buffing skirms. It will also weakening archer play in imp even more and I don’t think that is needed. Also some thought that skirms should be work same as going FULL pike vs Cavarly play which actually work. But game allow many other options for countering arb. Such as Seige, Cavarly (as soft counter), FU CA etc. Why we have to be skirms as ONLY unit to counter arb? It is not like Halb is the ONLY counter unit to cavarly in imp for civs don’t access to camel or their own good cavarly.

Also you have remember that there are actually better unit to hard counter Halb instead of skirms which is hand cannon and most knight civ access to that unit.

I agree with most of your post but Isn’t Feudal Spearman is also easily cleared by knight? It is fine that later age unit uncountable by previous age unit. Also if archer player invested bodkin, xbow upgrade but other player just sitting in feudal age and also can’t do other stuff to defend (Full war, placing tower ) it deserve to lose.

Actually Knights still lose this battle, it’s close but it’s usually in favor of the spearmen.
We just don’t see this happening as often anymore as for various reasons (I admit haven’t fully understood yet) full feudal has gotten out of favor. As it’s usually a race for castle age to get to Knights or XBows, there is usually not a lot to be spent in spearmen and the few leftovers can often be picked up by the Knights that have a ressource advantage in these battles. Caues 1v1 the knights actually get a favorable trade out of that battle, only if we have accordingly higher spear numbers (2:1 or higher) the spears can get the better trades.

But from the sheer matchup, feudal Spears still counter Knights. It’s just not a hard counter anymore.

The same can’t be said about Skirms v Archers of a higher age.

I personally think that the counter units of the previous ages should still somewhat counter the units they are supposed to. I mean it’s the one reason you make these trash counters.
What is you comeback plan if your whole counter army get’s overwhealmed by the units they are supposed to counter?
It’s one of the big reasons why the Vikings fimp (still 3 TC usually) Arbs are so hard to deal with, as even if you make the skrims to counter them, you can still get overwhealmed. If the Castle Age skirms would just be a bit better vs the Arbs, this issue wouldn’t have emerged in the first place.
I think it’s fine to have that option to close an already won game. But in some matchups you can win games this way without the opponent making big mistakes, actually playing the right counter strat: Making the counter unit, trying to match your eco, going up as fast as possible to match your timing. But just because your eco is a bit better suited for that meta strat you can kill him before he gets to the essential upgrades. This shouldn’t be a thing.

ok so my goal isn’t to be rude or dismiss different opinions, but at the same time I’m not gonna give the same weight to all opinions and from your post I understand you are a ~900 elo so I think you should improve before having balancing takes.

That Viper vs Hera game, Viper got a massive lead in Feudal, and even in Castle age, everything went according to plan while Hera struggled in building an economy while also building toward an effective army composition long-term. I don’t know if you know this, but Samurai is considered a “luxury unit”, meaning one that is slightly too expensive especially considering that you also need many Castles to mass produce it. At the same time, it’s only marginally better than Champions. The fact that Viper went for Samurai + Skirm just means that Viper was very ahead that game so he could pretty much win with anything.

There aren’t many bad UUs, but Samurai is definitely one of them, I don’t think people would make this unit if it was available in the BARRACKS in its current state, that speaks miles of how ahead Viper was in that game.

But again, I meant that Skirms are bad in 200-pop games, the game you posted was a game that was decided in Castle age, and in Imp they didn’t get to 200 pop.

my issue isn’t with Arbalest which if anything is a slightly too weak unit in Imperial age, my issue is with units like Cavalry Archer which are not countered by Skirmishers in Imp in 200-pop situations because a handful of Hussars is enough to counter the mass Skirms.

again my issue isn’t with Halbs but with Skirms countering the gold units they are intended to.

I think saying it in plural created all these confusions. (Counters vs counter). Edited.

Let me rephrase and ask you straight.

Option A = knight strong, archer weak, skirmish weak (because it needs armor upgrade).
Option B = knight strong, archer perfect, skirmisher weak.

Which one is your opinion?

I think of that a bit more differentiated…
In some cases archers are definetely too strong like against spears in early to mid game.
Also the mango dodges are probably problematic for the balance, mangos are important against big archer masses for the balance. I would like if it was harder to dodge them, potentially increasing the area of the mango line but reducing the damage or faster projectiles or so…

In other cases archers are actually kinda weak (against cav). But this is partially compensated by the pathfinding and micro abilities.

In general I think archers are atm more fine than Knights, though I don’t think they are “perfect”.
IDK if I even want “perfection” :wink: