Tips for playing Chinese

Hello guys,

for a while now I have some struggles to play as Chinese, which is a shame since I really like this civ.
As I understand it, Chinese basically have one viable strat, which includes hitting Song Dynasty and building a second TC to outproduce your opponent in villagers.

Now what I wonder, how do you successfully defend this boom?
My army usually doesn’t trade well with at this state, what is your composition? I usually build a lot of zhuge nu and spearmen for feudal. This usually also is the time I start to fall behind in military strength.

Do you ever drop your barbican defensively? Or do you try to cover chokepoints?

I am not going to lie, the last game I played, I’ve got beaten by an Abbasid player, who just managed their economy better.
It always feels as if the economy outgrows my capability to manage it.

Anyway, if anyone would have some general pointers as to how to maybe respond to the flow of the game better, I would be very grateful as I would love to finally get a grasp of this civ.

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Being rushed was not the problem, the biggest problem was, this civ could never catched HRE, the only way you could choice was TR (while England suffered similar embarrassment).

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“Viable” depends solely on your ranking. If you’re playing at highest level this might be true but for those who play at lower levels it not just only viable way to play.

Also remember 2TC + Song = 3 TC’s. Chinese boom is not that special when compared to some other civs that get cost reduction on vills, economic techs or something else.

Also when going to 2TC + Song, you spent 450 food on every minute to make villagers and each villager gathers around 40 resources per minute and villager costs 50 food it takes over 1 minute to villager turn into profit. This is very important, because more TC’s you make, less resources you will have at your disposal for short period of time which translates less tech, less army and so on. This is one of the reasons why Abbasid boom is one of the best in game and why Chinese boom is not special it becomes better the more you build TC’s but its not really advisable to go more than 2TC + Song.

Song dynasty gets vastly better the more TC’s you build so essentially your only advantage over someone who goes 3 TC’s is 150 resources and little bit extra (100 resource difference between TC and Song + Mining camp + villager travel time)

What you should try is to play around the china and see what works for you. 1TC + Song and later 2nd TC in castle, 2TC + Song or 2 TC and later Song. Try find your own style.

When it comes down to defending early boom its important to understand layout of map. Some maps its easier to wall of than others but tactical walls to limit the movement of opponent is also big factor. When your match starts up and you start scouting around etc, try to think how you can wall yourself in most effectively and how to limit opponents movement.

Another thing is (I start always with 2 scouts and because I play 2v2 there is more sheep) I place my initial mill under TC while leaving 1 tile between TC and Mill. This way I have safe food source under TC which is completely protected from everything and insta delivery for taxes. Usually my mill is between gold and TC so so this way I can place imperial academy always on 2 most important resources and have insta delivery for one of them also to be frank its easier to get 3 resources or even 4 this way under influence of IA.

Also almost always use barbican defensively. Its my style. It protects my gold, food and most likely woodline too. I don’t see much of point dropping BBQ on middle of map and wasting all the time for villagers to travel there. Sometimes I do drop BBQ on middle like on danube river where I can cover up 2 boars and berry bushes this way I got lot of food at my disposal, but again I try to reach castle as fast as possible with prof scout and song dynasty.

Also consider which landmark to go with first. For example against booming type off play always go with IA, but more aggressive civs it can be better to make BBQ first, but its very situational.


Hi !
What league level are you playing in ?
I am myself in platinium and my usual strategy is to go 1 tc song with archery range to make zuge nu if needed for defense against rushes. I also make a barrack for spearmen if my opponent is going for knights rush.
I stay on 1 tc all game long usually. Going for castle age as fast as I can, according to rushes incoming or not. In castle, I make a stable and supervise it to make 2 lancers that I send to raid opponent’s eco and mostly distract him and make his multitasking fail. So keeping these 2 knights alive as long as possible is very important. More than getting a kill or two of vills.
Then I start building my trade eco and go for late game, defending with mostly palace guards and nest of bees adding spearmen/horsemen/crossbowmen depending on enemy’s composition.
In late game Ming dinasty, I aim for a composition of palace guards, handcanons, Zuge nu for ming bonus, NoB, springalds, bombards and finish the game. I skip Yuan dinasty by the way.
Edit : from castle to end game, I try to also raid with palace guards on multiple locations as much as possible.

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Almost embarassed to admit that I usually always go for bbq first, only because I am so hell bent on making sure I can defend early on. IA as the first landmark should open some more flexibility on spending my gold early on.

I currently play at gold II level, which gives me the opportunity to try some creative ways of playing China I suppose. I always get overwhelmed by a bigger army that approaches around the 20 minute mark.
I am considering if I should eventually skip some dynasties to advance quicker.

So would you recommend mining stone early on so I can build walls in feudal?

Gold 2, just recently placed!

How many production buildings would you build? Do you use the supervise ability right out of the gate?

Do you recruit grenadiers at all?
When do you usually transition into castle age? Do you go for song dynasty first?

Yes, you should make stone walls at some point. But there is no exact moment to do this unfortunately. You do it when you ‘feel’ like it is necessary.
Just one archery and one barrack or stable during feudal age. I supervise if I scouted that the opponent is going to push so scouting constantly what enemy is doing is ultra important.
I sometimes make grenadiers yes but a bit later and it is usually not decisive.
Of course yes I go for Song dynasty. As I said, I go for one TC Song. When to transition to castle depends too much on what is happening during feudal age. There is no usual timing to do so but I go for castle age once I know that my opponent is not pushing, which is, when I see that he is not pumping a lot of units, so scouting is very important.
Knowing when to save resources to go for imperial age is the most critical thing. Similarly to knowing when to go for castle, you have to make sure that your opponent does not plan to go all in attacking you. But at your level, you can go for imperial once you are about 160-180 population after having made a bunch of palace guards, NoB and other stuff depending on enemy composition. You then need 3 or 4 barracks that constantly make units until 160-180 population. This is why constantly harassing enemy’s economy with lancers or palace guards is important. It makes sure that opponent is so busy defending that he can’t attack. Many games end in castle age because they can’t defend multiple locations raids. But be careful that they will all attack after they realized they can’t defend your raids.
When you are reaching imperial age (landmark is being built), you need to keep making units to have a big enough army to defend since you’ve just spent a lot of ressource to age up. Once you’re in imperial, first thing to do is to upgrade your palace guards (2 upgrades in barrack and 1 in university). With these upgrades, they become super tanky. You then need to make handcanons and upgrade their range. Once you are safe to defend, then you go for Ming dinasty where your power will come mostly from the healing and the attack speed boost. Grenadiers can be useful there, but they are not as powerful as before. But remember that you absolutely need to have either grenadiers or zuge nu to activate the healing/attack speed boost.

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Thank you very much for your tips.
I will try some different approaches than before, I also like the idea to more or less use dynasty units to proc the healing and attack buff.

And yes, I will try to wall more often. I just seem to always fall behind in scouting once I am walled in.
Got to work on that surely.
Let’s see if I can put this info to good use.

You’re welcome. But remember that the most important point in my strategy of one town center Song dynasty is based on constantly harassing enemy’s villagers with lancers/palace guards. Multitasking is important then here. But you do not need to focus too much on your harassing units. You just need to focus on your first 2 knights to keep them alive as much as possible, while still making your eco (constant villagers production). Then when you constantly harass with palace guards, just send them in small groups. Try to have 2 groups (of 4 palace guards each), hitting at the same time at 2 different locations. For example one on the wood and one on the gold. Upgrading range armor is very useful to have your palace guard last longer but that may be for later since you have a lot of things to do already.

Last thing : since I play on one TC only, my late game eco is relying on my trading. I aim for more or less 85 villagers and 35 traders.

Take note on how much production u got. For example if you get overwhelmed then there is few explanations for this. For example do you have sufficient production? If your production buildings got full queue or multiple units queued and you get overwhelmed then it means your production was inferior to your opponent. Just watch replay and see how much production opponent had vs yours and if they had sufficient resources to produce from those production buildings. If you wonder why u lost just go back to your replay and watch it

Other explanation would be not having enough resources to fully utilize production you got. No point of making 10 barracks to spam spearmen if you only can produce out of 2 with constant rate.

This can help you understand how many vills you need on each resources with how many production buildings. Don’t take it as 100% accurate, because all depends on your economic upgrades and source of food etc, but can give you general sense.

For example when I enter castle which is around 8:30-9min mark with song dynasty. I got 6 on gold and 20 on food. This lets me basically constantly produce lancers out of supervised stables. Its not 100% accurate ratio, but at that point just focus getting more wood and adding 2nd TC while raiding with lancers.

No. Stone walls can be added at some point of game, but adding them too early is just death wish. It wont stop rams. Palisade is more than sufficient enough. There is no reason to start investing on stone walls at feudal it just sets you behind. Stone is rarest resource in game so don’t jut mindlessly go stone walling entire map in feudal in hopes of winning games. It can work but in long run its not good choice. Let me correct one thing. If you can completely stone wall yourself in with 50-100 stone then go for it lol. But most cases not possible

May I ask you what league you play in ? Just for information :slight_smile:

I play only 2v2 and Im at 1650 elo (highest 1780 ever) also another thing is I play with random ally

This tip you can use for every civ: always scout to check what the enemy is doing!!

If you check Abba player is doing an army, then build the counter of what he’s producing, but if you see that he’s booming, you just have 2 options:

  • make army and harass/rush
  • boom like a hell

In particular zhu ge nu is very effective against any unit Abba can produce in feudal except horsemen, but you can build spears and all boils up to micro then.

Same applies for every other civ, always scout to adapt your strategy. For example I lost a recently game where I spotted HRE going for burgrave and I tried to harass him in feudal, but I came late and he got to castle, and I tried to get into castle ASAP but I was late about 2 minutes, and what’s over for me.

As chineese best strategies in feudal are bbq in the face and 2TC + Song. Be careful with the BBQ because is easy to spot and you will have 7 villagers idle for so long.

Oh I see… 2v2 is a completely different game though.

Indeed. Its not 1:1 translation between 1v1 and 2v2, but walling off with stone wall in feudal is not worth in 2v2 or 1v1. It can be done if its cheap but better use resources and villagers on something more useful.

Somethings apply both and some dont or are you gonna say that stone walling in feudal in 1v1 is worth? <.<

They can be useful yes. Depends how long the opponent forces you to stay in feudal. Depends on how open the map is. Depends on many factors so definitely, stone wall can be super useful in feudal.

Like I mentioned. If you can wall of yourself in cheaply then sure, but in general sense its better to have better tech, army than waste stone on walls. Long build time and high cost 3x more than palisade. Also palisade can already be placed during dark age