What cause China weak in the early game? A: Northern Refugees. (balance suggestion)

Northern Refugees is a weird villager card for China. Unlike normal villager cards provide free villagers directly. Northern Refugees’ effect basically depends on the village amount, and makes its value lower than normal villager cards.

Northern Refugees current effect is:
Each village and tc do a one-time muster of 1 villager.

The condition of village and tc’s amount restricts Northern Refugees itself, and also restricts China’s development in the early game. That’s because in current meta, this card forces Chinese players to gather extra wood and build villages for additional villagers from it. If they want to get 3 villagers by sending Northern Refugees, they need to build 2 villages. If they want to start with tp, they build 1 village, and only get 2 villagers after sending this card. Northern Refugees is just like a card that players need to pay 180 wood for each additional villager, while normal villager cards don’t. Chinese players pay extra resource and only get a normal feedback (3 villagers) from this card. This is kind of unreasonable.

Northern Refugees restricts China’s early strategy, and makes China age up late. Without a worth treasure, China won’t age up before 4:30 stably. This disadvantage combines with Chinese weak military make China very hard to deal with the fast rush from Aztecs, Iros and India.

Compare with other Asian civs (Japan and India), China only has a simple eco advantage ─ a goat, while India has free market wood tech, 70 wood house, free villager with shipment, exp trickle from livestock, and Japan have shrine, Portuguese consulate to boost eco and reduce age up cost. Also, unlike European civs, Chinese players are difficult to start with market, tp, or docks, if they do so, it means they have to sacrifice 1 villager from Northern Refugees.

In view of this, I think we need to adjust Northern Refugees’ effect like this:
Each village do a one-time muster of 1 villager, and tc do a one-time muster of 2 villagers.

This change make China get a reasonable feedback from Northern Refugees. Let Chinese players can choose to have 4 villagers with 2 village, or 3 villagers with 1 tp and 1 village to age up faster in ideal time. It may also make Chinese players have more variable choice to start with tp and send the cards such as Trade Empire or Good Faith Agreements, because this change makes China have enough villagers to support the early eco and age up stably. Most importantly, it helps China have better eco to train their cheap but weak army, and deal with the rush in age 2.

How do u think, guys? Please leave ur opinions. :smiley:


There is no unit in Commerce Age in China that can withstand the damage of opponents.
Chinese spearmen, Steppe rider, Keshik, none of them can do anything.
After fighting with the opponent, you will find the accumulation of Chinese crossbowmen and occupy a limited population.
The rules for training soldiers cannot be trained alone. Once Chinese crossbowmen encounter cavalry, China may lose.
And “FF” has many benefits, Iron Flail and Changdao are both in this era.
I recommend

  1. Age 2 send 2 flamethrower
  2. The cost of “Mandarin Duck Squad” was replaced with an export commodity and the number of flamethrowers was increased to 2 to reduce the number of Chinese crossbowmen.
  3. Cheap recruit outlaws-unit.

Actually I said it many times, they just don’t care.


These re some very good suggestions, I like 1 and 2, and two can be very good for helping them with more reliable anticav.

Letting the summer palace train batches of one unit type could also help china mass a specific type of unit as required. It will be a slow method to mass anticav only and shouldn’t make them OP.

Flamethrowers could get -10 wood and gold cost reduction.

Also, china civ bonus could be cheaper castle.


Add 2 flamethrowers card in age 2 is a nice idea. It will be a strong defense and siege unit, much better than changing New Army’s effect.


I think china is perfectly balanced and they don’t need any more buffs to age 1. Flamethrowers could be adjusted little.

1 Like

The best solution I’ve heard for Age 1 China is to give chinese TC’s 15 population, so that chinese players have the option to skip building a village and shipping Northern Refugees until later, ship something else that usually falls short of a 2 vill shipment (like 300w, good faith agreements, sumptuary laws, furrier, exotic hardwoods), and age up much faster without being required to chop wood.


I agreed!Chinese need more strengthen buff!!!


Chinese weakness in the early game is basically down to

  1. slow age up due to needing to chop
  2. chinese units need mass to fight and are hard due to the banner system are hard to mass.

To me allowing china to fight in age 2 means allowing china to defend itself (or gain map control) while massing units so that the specialist nature of their units can shine.

So I my buff would be to give china a castle wagon as one of the age up options, like how Euro civs get a tower age up. Maybe do this for the temple of heaven age up. In age 2 that would be a 3 vil + castle wagon age up so 600 resources worth, which is pretty good.

The castle allows china to be flexible in either being defensive or be aggressive with map control. Since they can train cav from that and receive shipments it allows china to pressure early and build up mass on the frontline quickly as well or build up in base to break out or age up in safety.

edit: not to mention temple of heaven heal allows a pretty meme monk tank and also heals chinese units on the brink


China’s age-up is slow (primarily at mid and low ELOs), but their real issue is that they lack options. Age 2 play is practically all-in for china, because they seriously lack economic options in the second age. If they lose their mass one time, the game is over. So most players opt to FF, which is fine, but it’s predictable. The ability to skip northern refugees in age 1 (15 pop TCs) would also give the potential for a 7 vill shipment in age 2, which would definitely support elongated age 2 play.

A castle wagon + 3 vills might be too strong for the FF. the safety provided by the castle would definitely compensate for the summer palace’s 400f, and the 3 vills helps you get to age 3 as well. It would be pretty unpunishable. Although, seeing as how FF is the only strategy that’s taken seriously on a competitive level, maybe it should be unpunishable in age 2.

Then we can nerf it to 2 vils, the important thing in the option will be the castle wagon. Also I think the lack of the 400f is a big enough detriment that it will slow the age up that even an opponent can just age up themselves and potentially even FI.

China do have eco options in age 2 but they are all hard to fit. French consulates provide extra crates, german consulate give about 3 vils worth of food trickle(maybe unlock the wood one as well and decrease the cost) and reduce food costs.The real problem imo is that its very difficult to get to the deathball mass in age 2 with the shipments since they are worth less. You have to keep the army alive until you have the deathball. Thats why I prefer the defensive buffs tbh.

That would just buff their ff which is already really strong.

I’ve never seen you propose anything in this forum other than shutting down other people’s ideas. This is not a counter argument (didn’t even read what you were responding to), just an observation.

Well, this is a forum for a discussion isnt it, that is what forums are for. So I am just speaking my mind.
If you don’t like it too bad for you, that is not my problem! I am not here to agree with anyone!

Not negating that China is slow and not the Best civ right now, but perhaps we are looking at this from the wrong perspective.

NORTHERN VILLAGES can be worth more than 2 or 3 vils, if it is not sent as the 1st card. Perhaps 300w can make TP and 3 vilages and you send nrothern vilages as the second card to make 4/5 vils.

The issue here is the XP as china does not get lots of shipments in the early game. So this shipment of 300w would delay the 700g which is bad for a FF.

I would suggest to increase the XP of VILLAGES, and give them a small attack (the card that gives them the attack would work like colonial militia and buff the attack more) this way bulding VILLAGES would actually benefit the FF or the colonial battle.

Haudes also have the age up with the chieff for 3 vills+ travois for a war hut which is essentially fuctions as a castle. So it woulde be fair to have similar age up, because it is already implemented in the game.

Hauds have a much weaker Economy, since tehy are very dependant on Wood even in the Industrial and Imperial Ages, have weaker Cavalry, and lack Factories, which Chinese have 2 of (Wonder and Russian Consulate Factory shipment).

It is not like Hauds have any other option besides Rushing, and the 3 Vills + Warhut are there precisely to enable them to do it.
Chinese have awsome lategame, and can Mass Handmortars with Old Han or Territorial Armies quickly.

The Castle is also stronger than the Warhut.

my solution to china and give 5% more fruit and animal collection at the beginning of the game, plus 1 village, and add a new musketeer unit for them

Now that castle armies are good, giving China cheaper castles should help them in age 2, and not overbuff them for later.

1 Like

I think Chinese need more buff too