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European Union aaryngend
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20 Nov 2020, 16:13

I remember in RE and FP days, that the dual rax xbow pike was the other go-to strat of the French, apart from the huss semis you always saw. Was especially good against Japan.
Why is it never used anymore? Xbows even got a lil' buff so that they don't miss anymore.

Did the game becoming more age-up orientated blow this strat out of the water? I know that xbows and pikes are actually crappy units which only get used because you can mass spam them even early in the game, but they don't translate well into the later ages.

Would be cool if someone could explain in detail :pop:
Austria Jerimuno
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20 Nov 2020, 16:21

people got better at defending and the introduction of EP maps meant more hunts in base which again makes defending much easier
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Switzerland sebnan12
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20 Nov 2020, 16:24

Dont pretend like ud know muno
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Italy Garja
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20 Nov 2020, 16:34

When you can use minutemen super effectively due to all resources being literally under the TC.
Same goes to some extent for cav semi and such.
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No Flag Squamiger
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20 Nov 2020, 17:19

the new DE meta
xbowpike.jpg
xbowpike.jpg (45.1 KiB) Viewed 631 times
all that is solid melts into air
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European Union aaryngend
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21 Nov 2020, 10:02

Garja wrote:When you can use minutemen super effectively due to all resources being literally under the TC.
Same goes to some extent for cav semi and such.
Wasn't that the case in the FP days too ? Maps which had a lot more hunts and we still saw the dual rax xbow/pike strat back then.
No Flag Astaroth
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21 Nov 2020, 11:25

Aside from the hunts, I feel people also got better at defending, counter attacking, timings etc.

If you go bow pike, you risk your opponent raiding you to death, suddenly trapping you with musk huss and MM.

But I believe it is also a question of style and fashion. Many top players now prefer a more greedy, defensive approach. IMO the tower rush shows that bow pike could still work reasonably well.
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Great Britain chris1089
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21 Nov 2020, 15:37

I still do it quite a bit. It's pretty effective at captain level because the timing on mm pops isn't quite there, and then when they do clean up or take a good trade, they often overextend allowing you to take a good trade back. Also the surprise factor, and that aggression in general is quite good at lower levels.
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Brazil macacoalbino
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24 Nov 2020, 05:39

There was a game between Samwise12 and Iamturk which was streamed by both sides recently that represents really well the answer to your question. I'll try to find the link and edit it here tomorrow

I suppose the main issue with this build is that most top japanese players don't just play passive kami stuff all the time anymore, they will ship 5 yumi twice, end relations with ports early in order to squeeze some extra units etc etc.

Only after the first harass has been dealt with they think about booming/aging when they play like this. So with the amount of units they get early you can't really idle/kill their vills as easily and the french are also cutting their eco to do the rush.
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Singapore Thrar
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24 Nov 2020, 06:23

I thought the idea was mostly to keep Japan contained, force them to make some units and restrict their shrines while taking the TP line and aging up behind. If they're forced to ship 5 yumi twice and end port relations early, I'd say that's the strategy achieving its intended result.
Crossbow pressure will fall off once enough Yumi are on the field, but by that time France should be age 3, with an even economy, and falcs rolling in soon after.
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No Flag Squamiger
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24 Nov 2020, 07:01

It just feels really hard as France to
1. make pikes to deny shrines while also keeping enough xbow to beat colonial ashi/yumi
2. remacro your economy in order to get the food/gold for age up while still making xbows to win fights or at least trading evenly
3. not get completely crushed by a nagi switch / ashi push on your forward base as soon as you spend the 1200/1000 to age

the problem is that Japan doesn't really need to boom that hard or age-- they can also just sit in colonial with you and build up an ashi/nagi mass that will just beat your xbow pike, and then crush you when you try to age
all that is solid melts into air
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Spain NekoBerk
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24 Nov 2020, 08:34

Squamiger wrote:It just feels really hard as France to
1. make pikes to deny shrines while also keeping enough xbow to beat colonial ashi/yumi
2. remacro your economy in order to get the food/gold for age up while still making xbows to win fights or at least trading evenly
3. not get completely crushed by a nagi switch / ashi push on your forward base as soon as you spend the 1200/1000 to age

the problem is that Japan doesn't really need to boom that hard or age-- they can also just sit in colonial with you and build up an ashi/nagi mass that will just beat your xbow pike, and then crush you when you try to age


I think that if you just focus in taking down the Toshogu Shrine with pikes meanwhile you're killing his vills with xbows you hurt him a lot more. Also after you spent your wood shipments you make the switch to huss/xbow with 7oog and finish the game. I always do this to Japan and no problems at the moment but with Sweden nothing works :? !
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Singapore Thrar
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24 Nov 2020, 10:28

Against a Japan player skilled at defending I think you'd be lucky to kill a single vil with crossbows. Likewise, I don't think it's usually realistic to kill the Toshogu, they should have too many yumi to push you back.

On the other hand, I don't think there is anything wrong with falling back and giving up your forward base. If you force them to send 5 yumi instead of 4 vils twice and keep them to below 100 shrine pop while you hit age 3 with stagecoach, I think that's worth eventually giving up 400w worth of barracks.
As France in this matchup I found that I usually lose if I try to prolong the age 2 for too long, e.g. by mixing in hussars. I think it's better to accept that you won't do game-ending damage in age 2 and be content to restrict their boom so you'll hit age 3 while at economic parity or even slightly ahead of them.

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