Small crossbow nerf?

Even Cav civs open Crossbow these days most of the times. Knights, or Knights + Skirms isn’t rly a viable strat just because how easy it is to wall + do Monk defense. I was thinking, if Crossbows got a small nerf, maybe +5g or +5w, it wouldn’t be so easy to mass them/spam them with small eco, especially given how you can mass them in Feudal already and from 2 ranges no less.

I was watching Hera’s tier list incidentally and nearly every top tier civ is an Archer-line civ, occasionally Archer into Cav Archer (like Tatars). I would like Crossbow and Knights to be equally balanced, currently I feel Knight civs are getting the short end of the stick and playing aggressive with a Knight civ is impossible, you can only try to boom to Imp and THERE Cavalier/Paladin/Hussar is good, but before, you can’t do damage imo.

The only case when I see full Knights is when it’s Knights v Knights civ or Knight vs Camel civ.


Increase the Crossbowman upgrade to 200 F and 85 G, also for Arbalest I would suggest the Arbalest upgrade to 450 F and 400 G, on AoeZone I ve heard 2k players saying the Archer line upgrades are way too cheap.
Also, the collision size shouldn’t be that small, being a bit bigger can make harder to put on small spaces.


the main problem with Crossbows isn’t the upgrade cost but the fact that you can start making them from Feudal with minimal eco (8 on gold and ~3-4 on wood for 2-range production).

Arbalest being more expensive is a good idea, fast Imp with minimal eco as Archer civ is a bit too strong also but I wanna fix mostly the Castle age power spike and I see the Imp thing as a legit strategy.

I would say both upgrades cost and unit’s cost should be increased, this unit is way overpowered due to his very low cost.
it’s way easier to play xbow than kts which are very expensive
xbow upgrade to 200f and 85 g and arbalest to 450f 400g is a first step which is a good way to make castle / imp timing a little less overpowered but still they are too cheap +5w or even +10w but -5g should be ok to me.


I am less worried about Imp strategy because that one has more counterplay. I’m more worried about many games being semi-decided by 5 Crossbow kills on Villagers when you enter early Castle age.

The thing that makes me think Crossbows are OP is the fact that most Knight civs open Crossbows these days and slowly transition into Knights if they live. In Feudal, most people do MAA → Archers or straight archers, Scouts are dead as a unit also unless it’s to counter full Skirms.

Scout rush are primary dead due to walling becoming much meta since de that’s not really the archer itself which is a problem for this opening
However yes, even if you are slavs teutons or franks most people want to open archer on 1 range going castle to click xbow +2 and starting to make some kts or more commonly just stay on xbow /skirm while adding economy, crossbow timing counter is the crossbow timing.

It’s not walling so much, it’s small walling. I think, if the devs decreased wall cost again, it could actually increase scout play, because it encourages people to go for larger walls, which are easier to break into. They could be weaker, take a bit longer to build (Palisades only), and have higher negative melee armor when being built, all of which makes scouts a bit more viable.

Honestly,Im against any big fast imp arbs nerfs since its one of the most unique strats of the game

Im in favour of archers/xbow nerfs though

yeah I don’t think fast imp Arb is a bad strat either, it’s legit and makes sense for it to be strong and for it to be “the window” for Archer civs to do damage.

Nearly every Archer civ is at a disadvantage in the ultra late game in a 200 pop vs 200 pop scenario generally because they often lack not only good Knight-line, but also often have no Hussars or really anything other than Arbalest blob.

mid 2022, and it still costs more to counter crossbows than it does to make crossbows

devs are asleep at the wheel

I also dont see a problem with archers in imp. There are enough counters for them in late, whole siege workshop and 2 trash units.

Archers have assets in early game, that gova bit far:

  • archers cost no food and therefore barely slow uptime to castle
  • xbow upgrade is fast and cheap
  • scouts as a counter cost loads of food and can be held of with 2-3 spearmen, that are cheap, built in a building you have anyway and dont need upgrades to serve their pupose
  • skirms as counter cost food and force nonarcher civs ro invest in an additional building in early feudal and an invest in fletching
  • tiny woodlines in open maps, that make archer aggression on vils damn easy
  • only 2-3 melee units have the space to attack a wall tile once, while archers don’t have that limit. In addition, they can kill vills, that repair behind the wall.

The easiest solutions would be to adress one of theese things (for instance make archers require an upgrade to be able to attack buildings and walls, or make or reduce spearlines anti cavalry bonus and make them regain the full value with researching the melee blacksmith upgrade) the moment, archer civs need some side investments like the other ones, the problem should dissappear.

Meanwhile Knights dominate the ladder on open land maps…
Really, archers just got “nerfed” with the attack move change.

And why it’s always archers of the both that shall be nerfed? Stacking, Pathing, Quickwalls…
Meanwhile Knights still dominate the ladder…


Knights dominate thr ladder because they are noob friendly units that dont need to be babysat as hard as other units, nor do they need the level of micro that archer units need.

For 90% of people on the ladder winning or losing is nothing to do with unit 1 or unit 2. It comes down to other stuff, like scouting or lack there of.

So how do you propose to nerf them for ladder purposes without screwing them up at the top level?


Try to play knigthts with this attitude and you probably won’t get past1000 elo.

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I said as hard as other units. They are bulky and wont dissapear to a few siege shots you didnt see coming, among other things (even running them into pikes wont make them dissapear as hard as archers do). Obviously you still need to mind your army.

But nice job ignoring the pertinent information. How do you nerf them without impacting high level balance too badly? Seeing as you know, archers still run rampant there despite the recent nerf

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Well I encounter xbows in at least 3 out of 4 games. It’s always the same. But instead of nerfing archers further I’d like to see improvements on melee pathing. It just feels horrible atm. I’m not sure if something happened with the latest patch but to me it feels xbows are even better despite atk move vs melee units right bow.


Doesn’t make that much difference because an archer player puts early Feudal vils on gold and wood, not food, and also usually delays Horse Collar til late Feudal. Fletching also costs food. Whereas scouts / knights players get instant Horse Collar and all vills will go straight to food until they need the gold for Castle Age, so the cavalry player has a better farm eco setup much earlier in the game and also hits Feudal age faster because they typically only need 20 vils vs. 21-22 vils for m@a + archers or straight archers play.

The point about scouts is that you can get them out much faster because of the faster up time, before the archer player has the chance to get fletching and build up numbers. Spears are only a problem if you have no micro skills. You can easily out micro a spear with 4 scouts. Just get him to target your lead scout then lead him around in circles while the other 3 scouts hit him. Or just use mobility and run away, jump in and out to snipe. If the archer player invests in more spears and spear upgrades, then that defeats your earlier point that “archer players don’t spend much food, so faster castle time”.

You don’t need fletching to defend with skirms. 1x range skirms + padded armour can defend against 2x range archers + fletching.

An upgrade to attack palisades? If you want to turn all open maps into fully walled prison auto FC maps then this would be the way to do it. Palisades would be so OP. You would have to increase their wood cost to compensate. Really don’t like this idea at all.


Me too (but it’s actually more like 50 % or so - itjust feels a lot). But that’s not about “xbows op” or whatever but the result of that archers are just the best units in feudal cause there is no Knight in Feudal. Archers/xbows into knights is also way better general strat than the reverse way of scouts into xbows from several aspects of the game it’s just better that way around.

Definetely not better than they were before the dlc.

The thing is what I figuredout that surprisingly the xbow/archer play is actually highly “technical”. You need to hit the right timings, you need to now when it’s the right time to move out and where to hit the opponent. You need to now when you need to merge them and how much pikes to add. When to retreat. When to add siege…

Weirdly enough the micro is actually the “easiest” to learn skills with archers. But also the one which has most likely the least actual impact unless you can make such fancy things like liereyy. The best micro with archers can’t save you if you try to fight +2 knights with feudal archers.

Knights are just more streamlined which doesn’t mean that they wood be noob units, it’s just that they revard the basic skills more . And it’s definetely not noobish to focus on the basic stuff first before learning all that technical stuff (which actually also comes juts naturally from playing against higher skilled players). You can learn all that technical stuff but it’s hardly useful until you have reached high elo where it becomes important.
And even in pro play the real reason why archers are so strong there is cause they learned to dodge mango shots. That’s really fancy stuff - and if we talk in this thread only about pro play than we should specifically target that one thing that makes the difference maker there.

Let’s don’t make the game disbalanced just because Pros can make fancy stuff with certain units.

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I consider myself more of a macro than micro player, as long as you have good macro, and don’t outright throw Knights into full Pikes (which is a bad technology according to most pros in Castle Age anyway, as it sets you too far behind), you can be very lax in your control of Knights in mid elos. I average 1500 ish and anything below that I’m 100% confident in saying you can flood Knights and powerplay your way into a win through the idle time + occasional villager kill you get (again, I’m assuming you do SOME control, but not a lot). You drop Stables and send everyone to gold and this is too much for your average player to deal with. I would say I go vs Knight players maybe 70% of the time, and maybe 90% of the time when I play in 1200- elo.

It’s true that Crossbows are “underpowered” in mid elos, but that’s because Crossbow as a unit requires good map awareness and sneaking them around the map to hit precise harass along with good macro to hit fast(er) Imp timing. The nerf I propose will likely change nothing in mid elos (5g for example makes basically no difference in mid elos as those elos can’t hit fast Imp Arbalest timing anyway), but would shake the meta in high elo.

An alternative would be to buff Mangonel projectiles speed by 20% so that they are harder to dodge.

Interesting, that’s actually exactly adressing what I spoke about what in my opinion makes xbow atm so strong at highest level.

Probably true. I several times made “semi-complain” posts about that explaining that just learning the basics can bring you to that elo and just streamlined knight play is probably the best “fitting” for that strat.
But to be clear, I don’t call that “noob”. I think it’s actually very important to get the basics right. I think it’s way noobier to think by analyzing wikipedia and fancy pro play you could get anywhere. Even if you exactly figured out at what point what transition, going up… all this technical stuff makes sense - if you don’t have the basics to get to the situation you can’t make it anyways. Plus a lot of this stuff comes at some point actually natural from experience.

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