First I know this is controversial. But please give me at least the chance to explain why I think this is the right now to re-establish scout rushes in the meta. And especially continouus Scout production in feudal.
It has one major drawback and I will bring it right away.
Scouts cost 80 food and are trained in 30 secs. That means you effectively need 8 feudal farmers to sustain continouus scout production or 14 farmers to sustain scout + vill production. That’s a lot of farmers just to sustain the production. Not even to get up to castle. This means in the common meta of 20-28 minute castle timings you basically can’t macro to castle behind scout production, you have to stop at some point. Archers as we all know can and probably also should be produced continouusly.
That means from the sheer strategic eco balance perspective the scout player will always be in a disadvantage in prolonged feudal battles as long as this 80 F cost is there. This isn’t possible to change by stat adjustments.
As we all know scouts in feudal have the timing advantage - if your opponent isn’t walled then they can seriously damage his eco. But they fall of after that cause once the opponent has his walls done and some own military you can’t do much with the scouts to damage him directly.
With the 1 extra range scouts would maintain that early agression potential but also become dangerous again if massed. As we all know how dangerous steppe lancers can be when they are massed. BUT with the low melee armor, low damage output and a serious tech investment for that stage of the game they will have problems against castle age units, especially knights with their 2 melee armor. The idea is to make scouts more viable to mass in feudal, not to make them the new steppe lancers.
So I propose the following changes to the scout line stats:
A) Scout Cavalry gets +1 range but only +1 (from +2) attack when hitting feudal age
B) Light Cavalry gets +1 range but 6 atk
C) Hussar gets +1 range but 6 atk, 2 ROF and 70 HP
D) Steppe lancers get +1 range, +5 HP but -1 atk
D) Elite Steppe lancers get +1 range, but -1 atk
This would effectively mean that the mini walls that can stop drushes and maa rushes wouldn’t be sufficient anymore to stop scouts. You need to be fully walled and you need to be done with it before they arrive, cause they can hit your walling vills through the palisades.
With the extra range scouts would become more efficient against palisades and houses in higher numbers. Despite having -1 atk, if you have high enough numbers of them they can outperform repair vills on houses quite easily and also break palisades kinda fast, so it will become really awkward to backwall for the opponent. The only way to then deal with scouts is to have some kind of defence up like towers, archers, maa or spears to force them away.
Especially the new negative house armor is really nice for scouts, especially massed scouts which then would become kinda counter to house walling. Not that house walling would become useless because of this, but the scouts would probably preferably target the houses then cause they would shred through them in a nice time and cost the opponent a lot of attention to not become housed and not allowing you to get in.
The extra range would also make scouts more viable vs archer play. Currently single stable play loses vs 2 ranges archers + fletching. One reason is that to make scouts work you need at least the armor upgrade and bloodlines. Before that you basically can’t engage vs the archers. The only “chance” you have is trying to pick up reinforcements which is not always possible and also a danger cause sometimes opponents send spears or collapse on you, or you can’t find the reinforcements but still take damage at home.
And if you have all the upgrades on your scouts but haven’t reduced the archer mass yet the opponent has so many he can get a good fight even despite you having all the upgrades.
With the extra range it would be much easier to get good engagements vs the archers in feudal. You would still need all the upgrades on your scouts, but it would probably be a more close fight after that.
Someone said that he thinks if this unit gets +1 range it has to go down to 1 PA. But I don’t think so. In my opinion the best compensation is the reduction in damage output. Steppe lancers were so dangerous because of that DPS, cause no other unit could dish out so much damage as them when they were stacked. By reducing the damage of the scout line I think i compensated quite nicely for the extra range. The HP reduction for the Hussar is essential though as in their Case they would be way too strong lategame unit if they would maintain their current HP. They will probably be at the same level as currently.
I have a lot of other thoughts about this but the Post is already long enough. Maybe we will get to the other points during the discussion. But ofc it’s possible I also missed some important counterarguments.