I absolutely love playing this game with my brother, but as we climb the ELO (instead of ranks…) we face more and more strategies that are diverse and interesting. But I’ll tell you what’s not… 80% of the maps we end up playing are maps with little to no openings that lead to the opponents’ side of the map. These “choke points” maps could be interesting in themselves but since stone walls are available in the second age, it nullifies all our attempts to cause early damage… The only option we find is to try and boom better than the opponents, but since it was their decision to play defensively, they already have the lead on this aspect, maybe by getting some economic landmarks or by opening 3 tc and 4 markets, I don’t know.
We tried our fair share of trying to stay in age 2 by building rams and a big ball of units to try and punish the greed of the opponents. It ends up taking too long to actually destroy the walls and get to the other side of the map… it seems like 2v2 specifically have huge maps for what is really needed. Map size in team games being another topic, it doesn’t help in trying to stop the early walls that cost close to no ressource (150 stone on some maps) to stop an entire 1000+ ressource army for at least 3 minutes, time to build a forge in response, research siege engineering, taking wood to build a ram, build the actual ram, and ram out the hp of the X layers of walls that are up. The sheer time it takes to break through, the opponent has time to muster up a better army while having the defenders bonus of close by military buildings and TCs / outposts…
We also try to do a “timing push” of some sort in the castle age, get veteran units, good siege like 2-3 mangonels, trebuchets, rams… even with this, the walls don’t come undone unless you do some heavy hitting, and don’t even get me started on the number of units you can lose when stone tower walls are up too…
and the timing push comes with great ressource investments that are not geared towards a favorable end game, so you NEED to be decisive with the push, but usually, after breaking the X layers of walls, we face the situation that the opponents have a slightly weaker army, we push back some, and then after trading back and forth troops, the opponents are better off since we couldn’t get to the economy assets in time.
I don’t know what I want… but right now stone walls feel so wrong, the other day I tried to get to the opponent’s wonder, they had walled off the middle of the map on mountain pass. We got rid a the wall but there we’re 100 grenadiers on top of and 50 handcanonneers, you can’t deal with them realistically since they take 0 damage on top of walls while having a range boost. So I passed as much knights as I could through the wall, when I tried to get to the wonder, 4 vills were walling it in… props to the player he rushed the prebuilding of all the foundations before my knights could get in. But since the villager hit his magical hammer on the ground, this invisible, intangible wall prevents my knights from accomplishing anything… The same thing applies when trying to prevent the early walls, you can’t reasonably stop a villager from hitting his hammer on the ground 5 times… All of these arguments leading to the fact that stone walls are a cheap and easy defensive structure that pays off so fast you don’t even have to question their use.
I would strongly advocate for a nerf on stone walls, I like what they represent and are really useful, but I feel like the fact they can’t get hit by regular units make them too polarising. I would like either for them to be hittable by any units or make them available in age 3.
Note that my 1vs1 experience is lacking, maybe this nerf wouldn’t be needed in the 1vs1 maps size… But since the actual rules of N4C prevented their use and outright banned the stone tower walls, I feel like the games we saw were very interesting and more dynamic than what I see on a day to day basis.
All this being heavy in my heart since I’d like to love the game as it is, but the fact is that in its current state, I can’t bear it, at all. Please let me know your point of view, where I am wrong, what can I do differently. I just don’t want to play the game for an half hour to play out an endgame that is very boring and repetitive.