The Mongols


I followed AoE4 so closely for a year of its development, played all the open betas and watched all the youtube content I could find about the game.

On release, I played the game extensively for a month, racking up over 100 hours.

I quit after that month, absolutely disappointed.

I came into the game, wanting to play nothing but The Mongols. I know the history of Mongolia and the history of the khans, especially in regards to Military strategy, tactics and doctrine. The buildings looked amazing, the sound design, everything.

In gameplay, the mongols became an infantry/tower civilization, the underlying “double produce” mechanic seemed interesting, especially as a homage to the “Zerg” style of play in SC2, which is my most played RTS by far where I main the Zerg faction. In execution, it was incredibly poorly done and caused many balance issues.

The Rus are the predominant horse archer civ in game, with cavalry rarely being built by the mongol players. The whole design philosophy of the mongols has fallen flat, mangudai are overpriced and useless and their light/heavy cav play is boring/non-existant.

The entire Mongol faction needs to be redesigned, either to use a similar “larvae” system to the zerg or to allow them to actually play as a cavalry/raiding civilization.

I have shelved the game until this faction actually becomes playable in a reasonable way, not relying on tower rushes and infantry spam to cheese the opponent to death, which is fun for neither player.

I welcome any input on how this could be achieved.


I believe that, for your dream to become true, a few things must happen.

1- Mongols are being tweaked, in order to fix the tower rush. This has been done in yesterday’s patch, and up to this point, albeit early to say, I dare point that the changes were good.
2- The meta gotta develop in two fronts: army compositions and battlefield design. People are, to this day, thinking a lot about “which unit I’m massing”, instead of “what army composition I’m massing”. The best example I can give you is people massing Horse Archers, with mongols countering them with Lancers + Mangudai. With pure Lancers or pure Mangudai, the Rus would crush them. With the two together, Horse Archers have a heck tough time to properly battle. The reason is simple: Horse Archers don’t attack while moving, but if they stop to attack, the Lancers wreck them. If they run, Mangudai wreck them. Note that this ties up perfectly to the other point of Battlefield Design: with the correct composition, you can force the battle to happen in a mobile matter, thus leveraging your mobility not only to get faster to places and choose which battles to fight, but HOW to fight them, and that’s just ridiculously powerful, specially no other civ can do that on land (only some boats can do that).

Oh, and Horse Archers were bug fixed AND nerfed last patch, so now they have less attack speed and also not receiveing some undeserved bonuses from Fire Arrows tech.

And as a last point, I must add: Mongols will never be a 100% cavarly civ. They did employ heavy infantry, light infantry, archers and what not. They were knows by their cavarly, but they most certainly had options at their disposal.

Army composition is a must.

Mongols have no units with which to vary their composition, Mangudai are some of the most expensive units in the game, with terrible scaling and their only use is raiding, too slow to even execute the famous mongol tactic of the feigned retreat, with damage so low they are a threat to nothing but villagers.

Their lancers are the second worst cav in the game, with HRE being the worst. Historically, HRE was the only nation to defeat mongol cavalry with Knights.

You mentioned the rus, they are only one civ the mongols have to contend with. The strategy you refer to, may work, but is not equal in terms of the apm used. Mongols to achieve this strategy, must play perfectly. The rus can A-move and forget it. Also, every mangudai, even double produced costs FAR MORE than a superior horse archer. Name one ranked game where mangudai were used successfully.

Mongol players do not choose to win using the strategies in the game currently, They are just the ONLY option. Tower rushing and infantry spam.

As far as historicity of the mongol army composition, look no further than:

  • Battle of Legnica
  • Battle of the Kalka River
  • Battle of Mohi
  • Battle of Voronezh River
  • Battle of Opole
  • Battle of the Sit River

All used forces that were 100% mounted and fought 100% mounted. I could go on naming just Subutai’s conquests all day without even referring to the descendants of Ghengis and their tactics. If you wish, I can continue.

Mongol armies were very often comprised of 100% cavalry, especially during the invasions of the Rus and later the rest of Europe. The Tumens fought very well dismounted, but rarely did so, all of their battlefield doctrine revolved around superior cavalry forces with superior organisation on tactical and strategic levels. The only regularly dismounted troops the mongols used were non-mongol turkic auxilliaries. This is obvious when you realise how integral the horse is to mongol culture and mongol people of the time, a mongol didn’t feel complete without a horse.

Giving mongol infantry new titles as auxilliaries but making them much weaker and double produced could bring them closer to the zerg, but honestly, mongol cavalry are just disappointing to play and use, the mongols are an unfun civilisation for all involved.

Rus most certainly can’t A-move. Horse archers are actually fragile, with only 85 base hp and no armor (105 with boyar’s fortitude, but that’s still not that much). Specially against a composition of lancers and mangudai, the Rus mooooost certainly can’t A-move. Do your tests: ask for the help of a friend, build equal resources armies and put them to clash in A-move fashion. And then repeat the test with the Rus microing and mongols A-moving. See for yourself.

Besides, Abbassid are actually the ones with the worst Cav, as they really have no way of getting any buffs on them, as HRE can have Inspired Warriors in imperial. Mongols’ main advantage is the free resources you can get from the Ovoo, White Stupa and stone from trade (imperial age, market tech) to outmass your opponent. If you want quantity AND quality, then that’s way to much for anyone.

About unique units, HRE have Landsknecht. And that’s that. A unit that can be good, too, but usually isn’t. The root of the problem is the same: people don’t know when or how to use it, as a lot of game elements haven’t been propery understood, yet.

About history: You’re welcome to continue, just remember to get proper sources to say that the armies were 100% cavalry. I can easily see them being mostly cavalry, but 100% is surely too much. And oh… even if you post your sources, it doesn’t mean I’ll read your comments. Because I remember that this is a game, not a history lesson. It has some similarities with reality, of course (like the Rus having a lot of cultural interchanges with the Golden Horde, which justifies their ways of using Horse Archers) but it’s ultimately just a game.

Can you clarify this?

The “Ovoo and Yam Networks” need to benefit the mounted units and should be stronger. Light Cavs kinda need a bonus HP or an additional upgrade for the civ bonus.

In ladder, most of the Mongol players just spam infantry because it costs less stone and can be massed easily to pressure the opponent. Moreover, the blacksmith has a special upgrade for the infantry that increases its attack and hitpoints by 30%. This makes the Mongols one of the best or probably the best infantry civilization with all other bonuses such as 2x production and speed bonus. I hate to play the Mongols as infantry civ. It has never been infantry civ. Never had an army that was made of infantry (only auxiliary).

Indeed the Mongols need to be a cavalry civ as stated on civ powers.
Mangudai’s are the worst mounted archer in the game.
The Mongols kinda need heavy horse archer or Mangudai needs to deal bonus damage against some kind of unit or extra range upgrade etc.

“Mangudai’s are the worst mounted archer in the game.” - you forgot also, they are the most expensive and also least versatile. Losing in cost to every unit except spears and villagers and every unit is a cost effective counter to mangudai. :cry:

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Except that mandygai fire while moving, making them a powerhouse for players that excel with micro. That’s like me saying “Mutalisk doesn’t trade well with any unit in sc2 and are so expensive so I won’t play sc2 anymore.”
But that is not the point of Mutalisks, they are one of the best mid/late economy harassment units available, just like mandugai.

@ wilsonac2
Mutas are good and not cost ineffective. Muta play is highly rewarding, 17-20 mutas can be highly punishing for an opponent and overwhelm light AA even, especially against unprepared protoss players who have no answer and haven’t gone straight skytoss.

Mangudai are not a good comparison. They are far more expensive in relative terms, trading well with nothing except spear units, whilst costing around 120g each. They are outranged by all ranged units, and lose to light cavalry and heavy cavalry and are completely negated by a wooden wall, they lose to archers that cost 1/4 their price and are quicker and easier to mass. They can shoot swordsmen all day.

Do you think if mangudai were viable, players would still be ignoring mongol cavalry and using towers? Its not that ALL mongol players love cheese. It’s that poor game design leaves mongol players literally no other options. You have double produce spearmen or archers as your only option, with inferior navy, inferior cavalry inferior of all tech except for the imp age 30% infantry boost. Id be happy with mongol inf being called auxiliary and producing half strength, but in batches like zerglings.

What all mongol players want, is to dust off the horses and become the supreme cavalrymen they were intended to be.

“Except that mandygai fire while moving, making them a powerhouse for players that excel with micro”

  • you dont even have to a-move mangudai through an unwalled town, just right click. mangudai are not affected at all by micro, its not hard to single right click towards or away from your opponent. they’re literally the easiest, most boring unit to micro in the game that has all risk(due to price) and no reward(due to squishiness and low damage). They’re only a threat at max pop, and are outranged by homing arrows and homing rocks from onagers. So micro cannot even preserve them, because there IS NO MICRO, they run in and die in droves, whilst costing an arm and a leg. The only micro they’re effected by is the khans arrow, which if you think that constitutes micro, have a shot at SC2, you’ll be amazed to see people with over 30 apm, which is the max required for AoE4. Zerg in SC2 required 300+ to stand a chance against the hardest AI, which most players can handily beat.
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Horse archers are expendable, they have no gold cost, superior range to mangudai. If your dirt cheap horse archers are getting return fire from mangudai, you’re playing wrong.

Why are mangudai never used in mongol games at a high level, literally ever?

As far as history goes, all you have to do is a little research into the tumen system and mongol organisation.
-Start here

  1. Mongol Wars. obo in Military History. doi: 10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0129
    Büntgen, U., & Di Cosmo, N. (2016).
  2. . The Cambridge history of Inner Asia. The Chinggisid Age / Ed. by N. di Cosmo,
    A.J. Frank, P.B. Golden. Cambridge, 2009. 488 p.
  3. Reid, R. W. (1993). [Review of The Mongol Warlords: Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan, Hülegü, Tamerlane, by D. Nicolle & R. Hook]. Mongolian Studies, 16, 93–95.
  5. Djuveini. The History of the World-conqueror / Trad. J.A. Boyle. Manchester, 1959. Vol. 1–2.

@RadiatingBlade edit: Be respectful towards other forum users per the code of conduct.

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All Knights/Lancers have the same baseline stats. All other factions can through various mechanics improve their knights/lancers, mongols are the closest to “Generic” due to to ability to double produce and lacking other late game cavalry buffs. However, mongols have the strongest or second strongest infantry buffs in the game.

They are outranged by all ranged units, and lose to light cavalry and heavy cavalry and are completely negated by a wooden wall

I think to you should learn the kitting concept. The only viable counter to mangudai are archer because you can’t kit an archer. If you think to your magudai are countered by horseman you should just run with them…

Kiting (n): The act of kiting , is a combat tactic of a player keeping a mob or another player at a certain distance, usually out of melee distance but within ranged attack, and luring the pursuer toward their direction while dealing damage at the same time.
The kiting requires a superior or equal range to be successful. Horsemen are faster.

You try to kite archers with mangudai, you lose mangudai on the approach and retreat, moving them has zero use outside of completely avoiding all non-villager engagements.

Perhaps you should learn what kiting is. As apparently you think you can kite archers with mangudai, showing that you have never played mongols or are just a completely witless braindead moron, unable to understand how kiting actually works. (See I can be insulting too!)


  • They are expensive
  • They trade cost inefficiently with every single unit in the game bar villagers.
  • Micro does nothing to improve their survivability against archers or onagers, thus what is the point of them?
  • Raiding can be achieved with higher reward and less investment and less risk with mongol scouts.
  • Mangudai have no place in the game.

The best use for mongol cavalry is to spam scouts, if 10 scouts can burn down 4 houses, you have made massive profit, they do this quicker than mangudai and you can throw the scouts away completely. 30 scouts are produced way faster and can quickly burn down 4 landmarks before an opponent can respond, securing victory, or disabling the opponents economy and forcing them home while massively boosting the mongol players economy. Why ever train mangudai? Mangudai are so expensive and also bring literally nothing to the table for their enormous cost.

A yeah totaly true!
NO it’s not

horseman 1.88 tiles/second

magudai 1.62 tiles/second if you kit properly horseman vs magudai your horseman will hit one time each 5 seconds and you will hit him 4 time during this time…

And because mongol are not broken you have tower boost and the khan.

just micro dude just do it.


  • horseman 1.88 tiles/second
  • magudai 1.62 tiles/second

Your own figures say mangudai are slower.

-1.88 tiles per second is FASTER than 1.62.

I am positive you don’t know what micro means.

Back to pre-school arithmetic with you, try working on counting with your fingers maybe. Then perhaps try to conceptualise the idea of a “Cost-Effective” trade.

Basic counting dude, just do it.

if you like arythmetic. Calculate how many damage an horseman do to your magudai each 5 second …
And how many damage do you deal on the horseman on the same period…

You don’t wanna understand to your wrong. but maybe math will explain to you more …

I don’t know what arythmetic is.

Mangudai do not enough damage to make Mangudai trade cost effectively against any unit. How is this evident the smarter readers will ask? Nobody uses mangudai ever, unless its their 1st time playing mongols.

English, Abbasid, HRE, and china have no research specifically for the Lancer, while Mongol can have an improved biology bringing them above these 4 factions. Meaning that the Mongol is actually above average, without considering using the double production.

HRE have Inspire, Abbasid have camel buffs, China have FIRE LANCERS, English, thought they had additional armour, not in front of pc atm, but will check later.

If your statement stands true, why, in your opinion do no Mongol players ever build cavalry?

If you run 4 mandugai behind a gold mine, you pick up a vill, if they send spears, you kill a spearman, if they respond with horsemen, you kill a horseman and retreat, how do you lose mandugai? By A moving them carelessly.
Mangonel shots are not homing.
Archers are avoidable, towers don’t do enough damage that you’d lose a mandugai before doing the damage you wanted to do. It’s an excellent hit and run unit. Firing while retreating, running circles around your engaged forces, supporting with arrows while on the move, Not built for direct combat. The comparison works, I do play SC2, I’m not a pro, I am tired of all the whiners trashing a great game

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