So I played this recent match as French + teammate HRE vs RUS + French. My teammate was playing very wierd. Not much scouting and making army in his base of all types. (Usually you go for unit that you need i.e cav for offensive etc) After watching this I knew I was alone. Maybe he might be able to block few pushes It won’t take long for opponents to defeat us.
Also opponents seemed really good. They aged up really quick, were using pro scouts and I panicked. I did few raids in Feudal age but decided to go all in, in castle age. I couldn’t expand because of the fear of getting raided. I was running out of gold so went full Horsemen and instead of attacking their army I decided to attack their base to keep them pinned or try to destroy landmarks.
First raid went, destroyed a french landmark and killed some villagers but they had somewhat good HA + Knights mass. So for second raid I distracted both players by sending minor raid on RUS and went full in to french base and was barely able to destroy all his landmarks. And my teammate was still doing his things. Felt good winning 1 v 2.
So I went and watched the replay to check how close was the match and I was disappointed. This wasn’t a close match. Felt like all of them were new players and felt like they watched a few build orders to age up quick and were following some sort of guide to learn game. They all were playing like farm villa. i.e making walls in dry arabia. A very forward castle that doesn’t do much. After looking through their side they were already at the edge after first raid. And even If my yolo wasn’t successful I would have won sooner or later.
And I felt bad for ruining the fun. I was playing very aggressive and trying to win by any means. I might have still won if I attacked their army directly. I had much larger mass and production rate so I could throw away those trash units. It would have made match much more enjoyable for them.
From an outsider’s perspective the way they were playing would have been the “correct” way to play. i.e building walls to defend your base. Making towers to prevent rushes. Making forward castle. But we know the cost of doing these action is far more than the benefit these things give. So they think they are playing right way. The way aoe 4 was advertised (i.e in trailers) and still end up losing in unexpected ways.
And this isn’t the only match. I felt same for past 3 or 4 matches. Sometimes the opponent seems very skilled but turns out to be a beginner and other times you feel like you are pushing too much and end up realizing they are far better than you expected.
I think ranked matches will fix this issue. You should be queued up with someone of same skill level.