What's your stance on hard counter civilizations?

What’s your stance on hard counter civilizations? For example let me just make an extreme bonus that would completely nullify the Franks, and pretty much any cavalry civ. Infantry receive 50% less damage from cavalry, and do 50% more damage to cavalry. This would completely shatter the Frank’s meta knight/scout build, any cavalry unit they make now is completely useless vs this civilization. This will force the Franks not to make cavalry units.

Obviously not to this extreme, but do you think this game should encourage certain civilizations having an advantage over certain ones? And in some cases an overwhelming advantage?

Currently, we have like teutons vs mongols. One-sided civ win seem unfun to play

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Celts or Slavs vs Mongols seem more one sided to me.

Lopsided matchups are inevitable, but minimising them is probably ideal.

It’s alright for one player to be on a timer at the start and forced to go aggressive to prevent his loss in late game.

It isn’t alright for any game to be decided right from the start.

That’s a decent (if vague) metric in my opinion.


I think this is fine. Civs are allowed to have horrible matchups, as long as they are balanced with good matchups.

But a civ having such an upper hand over all cavalry should have glaring weaknesses as well. Like dying to onagers

And then it is not such an impossible matchup anymore. Because Franks still have decent crossbows and skirms for castle age and hand cannoners, FU champions, FU halberdiers, SE onagers in imperial to deal with infantry. Plus a early to mid game economy. So as long as do do brain dead go full scount into full hussars, they are fine until they run out of gold.

Goths vs Mayans feels worse, because Huskarls counter pretty much anything Mayans has to offer late game. And Mayans may need to make a weird heavy scorpions (without SE) based composition to stand a chance in late game. But again, Mayans have the better eco and army until mid castle age to early imperial where they can hope to win.

Something I want to insist on is that a player should not only go to his best option when taken in a vaccum. For example, Burgundians DO NOT HAVE TO go full cavalier in castle age. They are allowed to make xbows, pikes, monks, etc. If devs never wanted them to go xbows, they would remove xbows from the tech tree, like they did to spanish and bulgarians.

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The Spanish and Bulgarians have some of the weirdest HCA transitions in the game. Albeit the Bulgarians can mix that with Stirrup support units, and Spanish players can go Conq instead.

In late-game there are plenty of hard counter civilizations, but the game isn’t all about late game. Teutons vs Mongols for example might be a nightmare post-imp, but maybe you can make something work before the game reaches that point.

Italians counter pretty much all Cavalry civilizations with Genoese Crossbowmen, but those are very hard to mass up. So for example Franks, who don’t really have any options, can just win Italians before the game gets to the point. Incas have very few answers to Cataphracts (and the answers you do have die hard to whatever Byzantines can do), they need to mass them up and you can probably win the game before that point as well.

I don’t really have an opinion on those matchups, as these are part of the game and have been for ages.

Civ design doesnt should be focus on hard counter specific civs.

The Sicilians used to hard counter the Byzantine Romans.

Mayans are hard countered by Goths or Hindustanis in late game but it is not a problem because not every game goes to late game.

Actually, from the stats on aoestats.io
the only remaining hard-counter matchup overall on ranked is celts vs dravidians.
WHich kinda makes sense as dravidians stil lack good tools against siege and celts have the best siege in the game. Also no answer to woads.

Maybe the others are known because the matchup feels unwinnable from a certain stage of the game for one side, but the stats still give teutons like 40 % vs mongols. Which is imo not “hard counter”.

As I said in May 2022, T90’s “Please no siege” song should be the civ music theme for Dravidians. 11

Would be better than the generic stock music they have now.

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God damn, the Dravidians already have their own 1100 replies thread on how they suck.