Struggling with China on 1v1 ranked vs euro civs

Have gotten back into Aoe 3 DE and have been playing with China on ranked and have been using a decent strategy for the dozen or so matches. However im getting stuck around the 1000 elo rank, especially against European civs aside from Russia/Ottomans.

With Rus/Otto’s, you can play a counter rush strategy and do alright. Basically China does well absorbing rushes and counter rushing.

But if the player plays a european civ while playing tight and defensive, im finding it so so hard as China. All the european player really needs is around 5 huss and not suicide them at my tc for me to have bad time.

At first glance, China’s age 2 cards are strong. with the 700 wd, 8 chu’s, 7 steppe raiders, 9 pikemen, the standard army card and Mongolian scorge, you’ve got the springboard for a strong push.

But here is the problem - that’s 6 age 2 cards you’re waiting on all while having a slower start into age 2. What if the opponent just plays defensively while focusing on ff? 3-5 huss, a barracks/outpost ready within the TP range with MM on call can handle mostly anything short of those 7 cards + a few banner armies. Just get a 700 gold + musket or Huss card and you’re in a really hard spot for the China player to rush you.

Sure, at this moment the china player should be or already be trying to push into your base, but there is probably a 1 minute window for China to do all this in. I find the occasional I’ve won as China in age 3 is because the european player threw his army away in age 2

  • in other words it feels to win playing as China against European civs you’re relying on the other player making mistakes rather than you making the right ones. China is slow to get into age it has as an advantage against european civs (age II) while not having the ability to keep up with european civs after age 3. While China has great cards, it is really hard to get them out in time before the European civ is already at its strong point in the game.

Hussars are generally the way to go against China but 5 of them should be easy to deal with. You should have villages and the blockhouse from the consulate as garrison points near your resources even if they are far out. A Ming army should be enough to deal with a single batch of hussars.

China is extremely powerful in age 3 so I’m not sure where you’re getting this impression. Are you neglecting the consulate for it’s boosts? Maybe try to add 700 gold to your deck to FF and pick the Temple of Heaven for a second Town Center and out boom them.

China fast fortress is very strong and capable of defeating euro civs. China is one of the strongest civs atm.

Thank you for your reply. You are right that you can deal with 5 hussars, but as long as they aren’t attacking you head on with them and using them defensively while they focus on booming, it least 5 hussars + backup ready can stop an early age age 2 rush…

I just did a test in the scenario editor and 5 hussars completely wipe a Ming army - now you could be microing the keshiks but this is presuming they are not throwing them at your TP (maybe the scenario editor is different?)

Yes China is powerful in age 3, but if i am against a european civ who is likely also doing the same thing but can boom better than me it feels like you’re playing into their strength.

for my cards i normally go 2 V + consulate as first two cards, consulate for russian blockhouse, then consulate to german trickle. i normally go for the 700 wd since wd is slower to harvest and having a second barracks up along with a market/house and upgrades seem important to keep up. Maybe i can try play 700 gold into a straight ff with the temple of heaven to out-boom them and see how i go.

Okay thank you - is there any youtube link or video title with a recent high level tournament player using china in this way as a reference? i’ve followed wigies videos, but other ones from aussie d and others seem a bit old - although maybe nothing has changed?

China is best in age 3.

Build 2 villages, send the vill card, then send the new card for a consulate ally with russia and get the russian blockhouse built in base. Then 700 gold, 700 wood, straight into fortress with the confucian academy for the skirms, start building the age 3 banner army with changdao and the skirm and just ship all your unit shipments.

Okay thank you i will try this build order.

I noticed a lot of players build the TP + 1 house for China at the start - is this just done later?

One Ming Army is probably a bit too generous. But it should be enough to take on the hussars with the help of another army behind it.

Presumably by age 3 you’ve sent Mongolian Scourge and can raid the ■■■■ out of them to slow them down. That card basically makes Steppe Riders into Oprichniks.

This sounds like a pretty reasonable start. If you go for the greedy FF you could maybe send the consulate first and make an extra village before sending the Northern Refugees.

China has had some significant changes and buffs since Aussie Drongo was around, so his will be outdated.
For specific China games, I don’t know where to find one exactly. If you look through the recent United Empires tournament on Twitch there will be some.

If you want to see some semi-decent new china builds for age 2, you can see this game from a recent-ish tourney

its a china mirror but it does show off what a china age 2 looks like-sort of - its a super greed ver vs a russian version

I am not well versed in the tempo version, but I did write a guide for the greed version here

The greed version does require some practice since it has a very specific timing on the shipment and if you miss it you are very behind

here are a few notes about china the china win condition and like china play style that I think people need to take note about

  • Chinese unit (espeicially in age 2) are mostly always 1 pop unit(even the cav) so never take a a head on fight where its even numbers, the example you give of 5 huss beating a Ming army is true, because 5 hus is 10 pop vs the Ming army’s 5. The usage of the Ming army is to prevent the cav from just diving and idling the tc without them just risking death, its a scare not a counter

  • Chinese units are also glass cannons + cheap, so keeping your units alive is most of your job and your win condition is to take a take fight such that the opponent doesn’t have the resources to make units and respond

  • This can mean either one of two things
    a) you build up to critical mass and wipe the opponents army decisively (meaning your army remains intact while theirs die completely) - also known as the deathball method
    b) you constantly pressure with aggression to make them respond but never fully commit, keep trading off their units and drain their resources.

If you want to get to critical mass fast, then there are 2 options, one is eco boom, similar to the greed ver.

the other option is you need a TP is needed if you want to spam shipments with china

Thank you and others for the suggestions - I’ve had a streak of good games after practicing the the FF and semi FF more.

I’ve realised one thing that is still holding me back that i’ve looked over - is that china’s playing style is deceptively micro intensive.

The Chu Ko Nu’s needed to be guarded by pikes
the Keshiks need to be microed not just to keep on enemy cav but to avoid melee
the forbidden army cav while having anti-artillery multipyers is itself weak to heavy infantry and cav
while the hand mortars’ are strong in mass you need to babysit them to focus the enemy artillery

  • all while managing trying to manage the macro of your economy and harass the opponent with steppe raiders.

On the other hand, european civ’s heavy muskets are also anti cav while their hussar has high base damage. Your opponent has a lot more freedom to multi-task with his units - while you’re trying to manage 3 different groups of chu’s/pikes, keshiks, iron flai/hammer and mortars at the same time. Hopefully i’ll get better at the micro-ing with time.

I think that partly comes with the territory of not having musks, which is why the british consulate is often an invaluable part of china’s ff plays since it rounds out the composition alot.

I find that other civs that dont have musks also have this problem, like Hausa, aztec and to an extent germany, especially if you also dont have an instant fire goon type unit so you can go skirm goon like say dutch and port. The benefit you get often is that your unit are almost always hard counters to alot of the other units so once you win decisively, its often over.

And the micro does become alot easier I think once you have your critical mass since then its mostly a matter of making sure you make contact and win decisively

but yeah keep your chinese units alive and they will pay back manyfold

yeah - i like the british muskets for it least something early- anti-cav but i always feel like i need to rush the russian blockhouse for defense and the Germans for eco trickle.

BTW when you reach age 3 and you’re playing against france/US/Brit - what do you prioritize as your first 3 shipments?

if we are talking about fighting against the standard musk hus type of army - then I think its almost always

  • intervention (brit consulate)
  • skirms
  • changdaos

later on if you have the flexiblity, a merc shipment is always good, iron troops are one of the strongest mercs there is

I think the muskets are actually best as a mid game option, when you are in age 3 and can make a batch and send intervention, so you get like 15 nearly instantly

the blockhouse is mostly used for age 2 forwards and german consulate more for early booms, so it really depends on what kind of build you are going for, and you can always switch, though if you are swtiching alot, consider the 300 export card