What is the new Chinese start with PUP? Buff or nerf?

Previous: 3 vills extra, start game clicking loom and followed by about 25 secs of idle TC, which is essentially 1 vill lead, becomes 2 vill lead when opponent does loom.

Now start with 2 vill lead, but has food to queue a villager at beginning. After first vill, we have 2 options, idle TC for about 10 to 15 seconds and make the next vill, which is 1.5 vill lead for the rest of game. It becomes similar to Mayan or Goths start (I know these 2 don’t get vill lead until opponent does loom)

Or we do loom after 1st vill, no TC idle time, just 1 vill lead, becomes 2 vill when opponent does loom. Which is the better option? I’m leaning towards loom after 1st vill, will make the game smoother without changing the vill count compared to current build.


It#s just a nerf, but one that probably hurts higher elso a bit more.
Hera said he isn’t a fan as it would make them “easier”.
But I actually disagree. Imo with this change it makes them actually even harder, cause you will get more idle time and it will make even more difference on higher levels how good your execution at the start is.


If you get loom after 1st vill there is no idle time.

Don’t think so.Unless you have like literally perfect execution you will get idle time with it.
And I don’t see many poeple able to pull that off and pull that off consstingly.

What is your elo? I would say It is much easier for us low level players. It is not difficult. Previous build is difficult.

If you queue loom after 1st vill. By the time loom finish you should have 70 food in bank, so it is enough to queue a vill immediately. Then you have 6 vills working for the next 25 secs, which will collect the next 30 food easily. Should still need to put at least 7 vills on sheep and push deer though.

It’s way more complicated.
Shepherds collect at pretty much exaclty 20 F / minute. Which means they work 30 seconds before they naturally drop of food. For most other civs this is no issue cause they start with enough in the bank to keep the numbers high enough at all time this discrepancy doesn’t come into play with standard starts.
So with chinese you are forced to constantly drop off food with your vills in the beginning to get that 50 food, which requires a lot of attention, timing and execution as it will also cause some “idle” time. That also means that Chines don’t need 6 on sheep to support the vill production, but instead at least 7. And you only get 6 after the first.

Chinese start was always tough and will actually be even more tough now at highest level, cause this change actually means you lose 25 vill seconds which translate effectively to a “loss” of 10 F at the beginning, which are equal to 5 seconds of TC Idle time.

Also don’t forget chinese also have to build a house at some point and it’s too late with the 8th vill. Though it might be a “creative” idea to make the house on the corner of the TC with the 8th will plus one of the shepherds.This might prevent you from extra idle time at that stage. The house would block a farm later, but imo having like 3 seconds less of idle time totally compensates for that.


This kind of change will make professional players very happy, but for 80% of players, this is a serious nerf, so that people will not choose Chinese anymore, because it is too difficult to play.

Honestly I don’t really think (old) Chinese start are that difficult at (at least) 2k+ level. It is really consistent (as opposed to true difficult BOs, which is not even consistent and relies on deer push skills)

(For those who are struggling, just do an easy variation - build house when 8/10 pop, which is possible with new/old Chinese, then you just need to submit food on time.)

I just tried the new Chinese start and I got ~10F buffer after researching loom.


I would rather keep +3 villagers but with -200food and some wood penalty. +3 villagers can lead to more unique playstyle imo.

How do you get 10 F buffer with 5 vills?

I see why a lot of people think it would be easier. But I disagree. imo with the new changes you need to have super sharp execution to really make that work. I think we won’t see any pro games with no TC idle time for chinese for at least 3 months after the changes. And I think some of them will damn the devs to hell for making it so tough.

Just send all 5 vills to collect food, and right after loom I got 60F.

I dont really think it is that hard to get no idle time for TCs, why is it really difficult? It is not even tight (the 10f buffer only grows afterwards). Like you can even make some minor error and still be fine.

In fact I dont think it is harder than e.g. 2 wood lumbercamp builds, which are popular in TG and super tight.


Do you play with 20 % handicap?
That doesn’t count 11

For pros its a very minor nerf for some maps like Frigid lake where you can get away with less than 25 seconds idle tc. But on most standard maps like Arabia its neither a buff nor a nerf imo. Even the highest level players like Hera, Liereyy, Viper got 25-30 seconds idle tc in dark age in recent tournaments. In theory its possible to get a 2+ vill lead, however in practice it always ends up being a 2 vill or lower lead even at pro levels.

For mid and lower elos, its a good buff because it gets easier to adjust to the unorthodox build without focusing too much on submitting food to queue up the next villager.

With -150food, you queue up a vill first and then get the loom. So in the new build, loom actually completes after 1 villager and end of loom is 50 seconds as opposed to 25 in the older build. So by 50th second, its not hard to have 50+ food. Assuming 15-20 seconds for sheep to move to tc, 30+ seconds of 5 villagers working on the sheep gives you more than 50 food.
I guess for experienced players its not very hard to time the villager queuing optimally with -200f but quite difficult for the lesser experienced players.

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I think it is a plain nerf, as it replaces a villager already there with a villager to produce.

It just decreases the civ ceiling and will make low elo players feel they master the civ better by removing most of idle time

There is no reason why it would impact the poor civ winrate at lower elo but it will impact the civ winrate at high elo.


I agree that it probably might not impact the winrate at lower elo by much but I don’t think it will reduce the high win rate at pro level either on Arabia or standard open maps. Almost everytime pros get 25 seconds or more idle tc time, so its effectively an identical situation in terms of villager count. 1 less villager working for 15 seconds in the first 25 seconds when compared to the old build is too little to have any impact. Its like 5 food lower overall.

Its a significant nerf for Regicide settings, Warlords style 9 villager start and maps that spawn shore fish under the tc at start like Frigid lake, El dorado.

Okay, I didnt know that, I thought maybe they often went down to 10s to 15s idle time. Especially as I got hinted in the “booming civs ranking” topic that they could have up to a 1.8 villagers lead before loom (of other non Mayan civs), so only 5s idle time:

But if everyone on what I would call classical maps get 25s idle time, then yeah, nothing will change beside my (and some other players) insatisfaction of having an iconic civ specificity changed.

1.8 vill lead or in other words 5 seconds of idle tc time in dark age is impossible on Arabia, Arena or any other map where there’s no hunt or shore fish right next to the tc with the ####### ###### # vill start. Sheep take at least 10 seconds to get to tc, 26-27 seconds for vills to submit enough food for the next villager. In the most ideal scenario, you can get 12 or 13 seconds. Lowest I’ve ever seen in tournaments other than Warlords in standard maps is 17 seconds from Valas.
For 1.8 vill lead, sheep and all 6 vills have to spawn right under the tc.

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Yeah, that is what I felt, as I replied:

I don’t know how good the Chinese start can get.

But side note, now that I think about it, what about a 3v3 or 4v4 team game with Chinese and Incas as Flanks ? The Llama wilk start under the TC, maybe the old/current chinese would have propelled them to a consistent 2.5 villagers lead, and that is the reason of the change ?

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Well the start is a bit easyer now for new players but still a bit wonky, but it’s something any diligent player could learn even before. Now it’s a bit easier, so in theory It should impact lower level players, as Hera also sayd.

I think what’s problematic for many players (and for me as well in some way) is that this start is so iconic and unique that i would personally not have changed it, It makes the civ look too similar to maya start with just 1 vill difference

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I agree.

I still don’t understand why it would improve the early game at low elo.

Before change:

  • rush villagers and sheep under TC. start a house if the sheep will be late.
  • research loom
  • Try to force drop food and make a villager. Yay, you only got 27s idle time.

After change:

  • queue a vil then loom
    sheep will be late.
  • Try to force drop food and make a villager. Yay, you only got 2s idle time if you make the villager at the same time as before change.

So the 2 differences are for me:

  • You wont go below the 25s pre patch idle time (which are then 0s), which should make no difference at lower level
  • You 6th vil is only out after 25s, so you waste like 20s of this villager gathering sheep, which delays your first vil.

So it should only feel easier for lower elo because they get less TC idle time (which makes them feel better as it becomes easier to get a “perfect start”), even though it wont improve the creation time of their first villager, and should have a worse economy than before.