What can China do against Royal Knight cheese?

Really can’t believe they left French Royal Knights spam alone in the last patch. Devs claim they want ‘diverse unit compositions’. Well OK how is RK cheese still a thing then?

Anyway… i digress. Legit wondering what China can do to stop RK rush in early game because besides going stone wall right off the bat (which only buys you a small amount of time) there is literally no unit we get until MING DYNASTY (LOL!) that can actually do anything against it. I’m all ears…

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I know China got nerfed hard and is weak right now. I’m a China main myself. But spears counter knights just as well as they did pre-patch. Build spears, and position them well to stop vilager harassment. If your reaction time is slow get an outpost for vision and get textiles. If they add archers, its your choice whether to go spear/archer or spear/horsemen, whatever is more confortable for you. I personally like spear-archer. In Castle, get crossbows.

Royal knights haven’t been OP since the spear buff. You just need to know the proper response.


The early function of French Royal Knights was to harass each other’s economy and let France accumulate advantages. In the middle and late stage, the defensive civilization faced, were a large number of archers and mangonels behind the French Royal Knights, which was terrible.

Make spearman and towers near your ressources, with IO supervising the barracks you should have enough to deal with the knights.
If he add archers just add horseman.

Spears are only good to fend off the first few from villagers while you scramble. Spears are slow and easily outrun so unless you have walls all around (which if wood, RK just plow through with torches anyway) you are done and already losing resources from protecting villagers. Later ages, ERK just demolish spearman. It’s actually quite comical how a unit that is supposed to counter them is so bad against them. Both spearman and xbow are useless.

Further, it’s a huge disadvantage for Chinese to be spamming spears early stages. Chinese strength is aging up and getting landmarks. Can’t do that when you’re spamming spears just to stay alive. Meanwhile, French can easily just keep massing RK as that is literally the entire strategy for the entire game. Barely need to even get lumber. Just spam spam spam RK. It’s a joke really.

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fast castle age, spears and lancers, boom. (im china main and this worked against france since chinese lancers are stronger, not fire lancers, regular lancers)

Chinese may have issues, but if you are loosing to pure royal knight spam then you need to start upping your games. One exception can be age3 where knights and mangonels are a pretty good comp on the current patch.the
No good player would go for royal knights only against Chinese because they know they will get wrecked. You can speed up your barracks production and get a ton of spearman quickly and age up behind that. You can’t just ask the devs to be able to get away with just sitting in your base and booming while building no defenses or units.
Spearman costs 60f and 20w while royal knights cost 140f and 100 making royal knights a much bigger investment and forcing france to do some damage or else.


Developers want unit diversity when it suits their own point of view.

Fact is this game nor any other RTS will not see any massive unit diversity. Each game will have 1-3 unit comps depending on game size and not more because there is no point of making and getting upgrades for every unit. Its not cost efficient.

Team games will always focus on 1-2 unit types and 1v1 something like 2-4 at max.

China can’t go lancers against french cuz their variant outright wins the fight with equal supply.
Spears and crossbows only work if french fights head on but this will never happen unless player is bad.

So what is left? Previously answer was bombard mixxed with crossbows / spears / handcannoneers and force a fight at french territory even this unit comp is super slow and you had force head on fight.

Now the response is way weaker and worse, but response is still similar. Heavy walling and try to force them fight head on which can be difficult depending on the map. Choke points based maps are only possibility to force a fight.

Another response is to go fast castle which I generally always used after pro scout nerf. Get to castle around 7-9min mark faster than opponent and get your lancers out and shutdown french economy but this is heavy pressure and player have to get economic dmg or game is lost especially now that imperial age is worthless for china unless for some reason player gets to grenadiers and can force head on fight.

Otherwise there is nothing else to do.

Horses are the strongest unit in game as of right now because the mobility of them and they can always freely disengage and engage and go around the map. Spears are the counter but whats the point of having counter that cant keep up with unit?

In my 2v2 when I used fast castle approach I almost went straight to lancers even if opponent had spears cuz all I had to run through opponent base without killing anything and it forced them to pull workers away which was already economic dmg.

China is the last civ getting harassed by knights. Chinese TC and barbarian of sun have cannon which can pierce armor. So being heavy unit doesn’t give advantage against china. I play french a lot and its very hard to raid china. In 2v2 we always target other player because you can’t eliminate china that easily. They will keep building more and more landmarks.

Also If you can gain siege advantage (which you can as china), Spears + Palace Guards are best composition against French. It doesn’t matter how much they spam knights. You composition is cheaper and you will get good trades. Also french I think is weakest civ when it comes to defending its own base. They don’t have access to MAA in Age 2. Their special units are knights which is countered by every other civ. Spears is most common unit to be made. Crossbows are good but you need to gain siege advantage first to use them. Its mostly not possible against china.

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French knights auto-healing is too OP imo.
Even as a nub with 12 hours of gameplay I can raid with 2-3 knights.

Someone tried this on me, I sent small detachments of spears to track them down, repeated as necessary.

I got to castle age with a strong economy and bulldozed his base with Nesto’bees and palace guards.

built just enough spears to chase around the knights, spears are cheap, didn’t care if I lost ‘em, not with the promise of 2tc Song into castle age economy and military.

Royal Knight rush is not a “cheese.” It’s basically the only viable feudal meta on land 1v1 maps. It is in fact one of the easiest tactics to hold off against… Because you KNOW it’s coming.

In fact, China has nothing inferior in its arsenal in dealing with Royal Knights. You have all the tools needed to defend it. It has spears, and it has walls. You also have Babrican. You also have faster tower build time.

I suggest playing French yourself and test the rush build out. A well-executed 8 food 4 gold build order will allow you to start building School of Cavalry at around 2:40 mark. Depending on how many villagers you commit to building it, expect the first knight to be at your base as early as 5:30 mark.

Build Babrican as your first landmark ALWAYS. Use 4, villagers to speed build it. You should be able to get it up at 5 minute mark at the absolute latest. And build it on the side of gold veins closer to enemy base.

Make wodden palisades. They will break through, sure, but if they do, you have a choke point to hold out against.

Use your scouts. If you see an archery range, make horseman. Horsemen + Spears is a more cost effective combination than Knight+archer in Feudal. Remember also that Royal Knight costs 100 gold. You get gold for free and can supervise gold mine.

I also suggest going Castle before going Song. This is because 1) nest of bees can help against mass archers, if French went for archers, and 2) you have access to crossbows, which counter knights as long as you have something to tank. You will also have lancers of your own.

Another Chinese weak weak weak thread.

Is their spearmen weaker? No.
Is their tower weaker? No.
Is China able to build wall and tower faster? Yes.
Does China having a better tower and defensive landmarks? Yes.
Is China able to double-time produce units? Yes.
Does China having 20% resources extra gain? Yes.

So why don’t you try other civ if you can’t even defend this with China? Will it be easier?

All they do is spamming Knights? Do you actually try counting how expensive is one Royal Knight?


Annoying? Yes

OP? No

Like others said, they can still be countered with spears well positioned and or towers.

Same with Chinese tower rush, sure it’s annoying but just move your whole eco and the Chinese have just spent a whole lot of resources to see you train out villagers, unless they somehow manage to build one directly in your TC line of fire, in which case you probably honestly deserve to take that L


While Royal Knights may be the pinnacle of early game harass, a mere set of palisade walls can change the game completely. Even on Dry Arabia.

Wide open maps might not be a favorable matchup, with a booming-civ against an aggressive civ, but it’s doable.

Some good play suggestions here.

Remember too the game would be boring if every civ was 100% equally matched to each other. Part of the strategy for me is to become skilled with multiple civs so I can choose better matchups. If on an open map with no choke points, maybe don’t choose China since open maps favor cavalry civs. That’s why I started learning Abbassid.

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Ya Abbasid is a super good counter to knight rush just make sure you separate your only two landmarks, super easy to landmark snipe Abbasid

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That’s definitely a big weakness for Abbassid, how does separating help tho? Do you mean in a team game placing the House of Wisdom in an allies town or something, where you wouldn’t get the golden age bonus?

actually i think spearmen for chinese should be just as armoured and strong as palace guard

I usually try to stay away from ally bases also Incase they get raided, I usually just pick someone far away usually in the corner where I put my market and just build all eco buildings around it so I still get the bonus

It’s funny when they go to my town and it’s just my starting TC, the enemy is always confused