User avatar
Sweden Gendarme
Gendarme
Donator 03
Posts: 5120
ESO: Gendarme

28 Nov 2017, 19:13

This post aims to cover the unit counter system of Age of Empires 3 once and for all. There has always been, and still is, confusion in this regard, sometimes even among good players to some extent. A lot of the seasoned players have merely memorized which units counter which without really understanding why. This can cause trouble in uncommon situations where memory is of no use, so this post is certainly not only aimed towards new players.

A lot of the confusion comes from the difference between the counter system in vanilla and the expansions. The counter system of vanilla is explained first.

Vanilla:

There are two parts to the counter system: damage multipliers and plain old unit statistics.

Damage multipliers:

All units have tags that define what types they are (a unit can be more than one type), and some units have damage multipliers for specific types which either increase or decrease their damage against that type of unit, depending on whether the multiplier is larger or smaller than 1. For example, hussars are of the type "heavy cavalry" and pikemen have a multiplier of 5 against heavy cavalry, which means that instead of doing their normal 8 damage, they do 40 damage (8 * 5 = 40) against hussars. Knowing the types and multipliers of each unit is very important, and it is fortunately a lot easier than memorizing them one by one. More on this later.

Unit statistics:

All units have a cost, and the cost-efficiency of the units also plays a large part in the counter system. Some units sacrifice statistics for other benefits, such as high multipliers, which makes them more specialized units and worse all round units. Two contrasting units in this regard are hussars and skirmishers. Skirmishers are extremely good at what they specialize in—killing heavy infantry and light cavalry—due to their long range, high ranged attack with high multipliers, and ranged resistance. However, they sacrifice melee damage, melee resistance, and hitpoints, which make hussars a strong counter to skirmishers despite hussars not having any multipliers at all. Some units are simply very cost-inefficient even against the type of unit they are supposed to counter, and if that unit is an exceptionally cost-efficient one they may outright win that fight. An example of this is crossbowmen against janissaries.

Lastly, on the topic of unit statistics, there are three types of damage: ranged, melee, and siege. All units have either ranged resistance or melee resistance, and this is represented by a number between 0 and 1 which reduces damage taken of that type by a percentage 100 times the number (e.g. ranged resistance of 0.30 reduces ranged damage taken by 30%). Note that there is no siege resistance.


Fortunately units of the same type generally share the same purpose, which means that there is no need to memorize all of the multipliers. There are four main types of units:

    Heavy cavalry: commonly referred to as "hand cavalry". This unit type generally has high speed, hitpoints, and damage, but with no multipliers and no ranged attack. This unit type is generally an all round good unit, which means that it is generally strong against any unit that is not specifically designed to counter it.

    Strong against: light infantry, artillery

    Examples: hussar, cossack


    Light cavalry: commonly referred to as "ranged cavalry". This unit type generally has high speed and high ranged damage, especially against heavy cavalry. This unit type generally specializes in killing heavy cavalry.

    Strong against: heavy cavalry

    Examples: dragoon, cavalry archer


    Heavy infantry: This unit type generally has a melee damage multiplier against all cavalry, but naturally has trouble getting into melee combat against light cavalry. This unit generally also has high siege damage.

    Strong against: heavy cavalry, buildings

    Examples: pikeman, musketeer


    Light infantry: This unit type generally has a long range attack with multipliers against heavy infantry and light cavalry.

    Strong against: heavy infantry, light cavalry

    Examples: skirmisher, cassador
Artillery is disregarded other than the fact that they are all weak against heavy cavalry.


Expansions:

Note that there is no multiplier for light infantry in vanilla. This means that there is no need for units such as skirmishers and cassadors to have this additional tag; just the type "infantry" is sufficient. Since the game developers wanted to introduce a new type of infantry to the game, they decided to remove the "light infantry" tag from skirmisher-type units, and give it to their new category of infantry. Units such as the skirmisher and cassador that were light infantry in vanilla are now—by convention—referred to as "ranged infantry", which is unfortunate since there is a "ranged infantry" tag refers to all infantry with ranged attacks, including units such as musketeers. You can however disregard this in-game "ranged infantry" tag as its only purpose is for an uncommon upgrade that you get from Zen temples. Whenever someone says "ranged infantry" they are referring to skirmisher-type, crossbow-type, or longbow-type units.

The unit type that was introduced in The Warchiefs is infantry that plays the role of heavy cavalry, now called light infantry. These units play the same role as heavy cavalry and are almost countered the same way. Heavy infantry does have a high multiplier against light infantry, albeit significantly lower than the one against heavy cavalry, but light cavalry doesn't. Light cavalry instead has a multiplier against specific light infantry-units, but not all of them! Examples of light infantry are coyote runners and tiger claws. The term "light infantry" is appropriate because they clearly don't wear heavy armor since they can run so quickly.

This is the only difference between vanilla and the expansions regarding the counter system. What was known as light infantry before is now simply nothing but infantry but commonly referred to as "ranged infantry", and a new unit type has been introduced that is of the type "light infantry".


Although the type of the unit very often correlates with their role in the counter system, there are plenty of exceptions. Not all heavy cavalry-units are strong against skirmishers, and not all heavy infantry-units are strong against heavy cavalry. Here's a list of some notable units:

    Rifle rider: This unit is tagged as both heavy cavalry and light cavalry which means that it is weak to both light cavalry (since they counter heavy cavalry) and ranged infantry (since they counter light cavalry). This unit has a very quick ranged, albeit short, attack with high multipliers against both heavy cavalry and heavy infantry.

    Urumi swordsman: This unit is tagged as infantry only, just as skirmisher-type units, their main purpose is to counter heavy infantry, also similar to skirmisher-type units, and they have a ranged attack just as skirmisher-type units do. However, they have a range of 2, meaning that they need to be in melee range to do their ranged damage, and they have an area attack. Their ranged resistance is also through the roof.

    Rattan shield: This unit is tagged as light infantry and plays the part of heavy cavalry as one would expect. However, light cavalry has no multiplier against rattan shields, making them very hard to counter.

    Cuirassier: This unit is a normal heavy cavalry-unit, but with incredible statistics and an area attack. The area attack is very strong against clustered enemies, which happens naturally when armies are large, especially if the enemy units are small. For this reason cuirassiers fare very well against pikemen and musketeers despite supposedly being countered by them. I'll admit that the cuirassier is included in this list partly due to personal bias.


Now I need to submit this post, so I'm hitting that button.
Capitalization matters.https://pastebin.com/KEuaQCrR
Bolivia tedere12
Jaeger
Posts: 3304
ESO: Tedere12
Location: Greece

28 Nov 2017, 20:11

Gendarmes
counter:all
get countered by: -
Image
User avatar
United States of America Darwin_
Howdah
Posts: 1340
ESO: Anonymous_01
Location: United States

06 Dec 2017, 04:32

ERK are countered by skirms, as well as cannons.
somppukunkku wrote:This is not a fucking discogame.
User avatar
Kiribati SirCallen
Gendarme
Posts: 8011
ESO: SirCallen
Location: Midwest best west

06 Dec 2017, 08:07

Stretlets counter spurs
and the giving famishes the craving
sweet thames, run softly, til I end my song

The shepherd's staff's tantalus around my neck

let the water
touch the tongue
User avatar
France Kaiserklein
Gendarme
NWC LAN 4th place
Posts: 7360
Location: Paris
GameRanger ID: 5529322

06 Dec 2017, 10:50

Darwin_ wrote:ERK are countered by skirms, as well as cannons.

Cannons don't counter them

Gendarme wrote:Eagle runner knight: This unit is tagged as light infantry, but plays the role of light cavalry with its ranged attack and high multiplier against heavy cavalry. Light infantry is the hardest unit type to counter since only melee attacks from heavy infantry have multipliers for light infantry, and eagle runner knights are quick and have a ranged attack, making them virtually impossible to hard-counter.

Skirms have a x2 multiplier vs erk. So they actually deal more damage to erk than to regular goons (only x1.5 multiplier).
Goons have a multiplier against light infantry btw. In the same fashion as for heavy infantry, the multiplier against cav has been slightly decreased, and applied to light infantry. For example, I think goons have x2.25 against coyotes, and x3 against cav. Obviously, goons don't have a multiplier against erk. Also a couple bugged units like rattan shields are missing a tag and don't get countered by goons.
sirmusket: https://imgur.com/phZoCw6
sirmusket: compare that to ur piece of shit face/height
LoOk_tOm wrote:I have something in particular against Kaisar (GERMANY NOOB mercenary LAMME FOREVER) And the other people (noobs) like suck kaiser ... just this ..
User avatar
Sweden Gendarme
Gendarme
Donator 03
Posts: 5120
ESO: Gendarme

06 Dec 2017, 12:21

@Kaiserklein Dragoons have a multiplier against coyotes explicitly; not LI in general. More specifically, the multiplier is against AbstractCoyoteMan which applies to Aztec coyote runners and Chinese disciples (and perhaps another unit I am not aware of). I wouldn't say it is a bug.
Capitalization matters.https://pastebin.com/KEuaQCrR
United States of America Inst
Skirmisher
Posts: 130
ESO: Inst

06 Dec 2017, 12:55

Actually, the 1.5x multiplier vs light cavalry is a composite: skirms and similar units have a 2x multiplier vs light cavalry, but they also have a .75x multiplier against cavalry units in general. When these stack, damage drops to 1.5x.
User avatar
France Kaiserklein
Gendarme
NWC LAN 4th place
Posts: 7360
Location: Paris
GameRanger ID: 5529322

06 Dec 2017, 13:04

Gendarme wrote:@Kaiserklein Dragoons have a multiplier against coyotes explicitly; not LI in general. More specifically, the multiplier is against AbstractCoyoteMan which applies to Aztec coyote runners and Chinese disciples (and perhaps another unit I am not aware of). I wouldn't say it is a bug.

They just probably named this tag when they made twc, and the only light infantry unit back then was the coyote runner. Then they decided to apply this same tag to other light infantry units when they made tad, but they probably just forgot rattan shields. It's anyway obviously a bug, basically no unit counters rattan shields, except HI.
sirmusket: https://imgur.com/phZoCw6
sirmusket: compare that to ur piece of shit face/height
LoOk_tOm wrote:I have something in particular against Kaisar (GERMANY NOOB mercenary LAMME FOREVER) And the other people (noobs) like suck kaiser ... just this ..
User avatar
United States of America Darwin_
Howdah
Posts: 1340
ESO: Anonymous_01
Location: United States

06 Dec 2017, 13:05

Kaiserklein wrote:
Darwin_ wrote:ERK are countered by skirms, as well as cannons.

Cannons don't counter them

Are you sure? I thought there was a bug...
somppukunkku wrote:This is not a fucking discogame.
User avatar
France Kaiserklein
Gendarme
NWC LAN 4th place
Posts: 7360
Location: Paris
GameRanger ID: 5529322

06 Dec 2017, 13:06

You're probably thinking of arrow knights
sirmusket: https://imgur.com/phZoCw6
sirmusket: compare that to ur piece of shit face/height
LoOk_tOm wrote:I have something in particular against Kaisar (GERMANY NOOB mercenary LAMME FOREVER) And the other people (noobs) like suck kaiser ... just this ..
United States of America Inst
Skirmisher
Posts: 130
ESO: Inst

06 Dec 2017, 13:07

IIRC, Rattan Shields count as abstract coyote runners. Or should I be more aggressive about seizing and spamming Ratt shields on maps with Shaolin Temples, now that musketeers get no bonus against them?
User avatar
Sweden Gendarme
Gendarme
Donator 03
Posts: 5120
ESO: Gendarme

06 Dec 2017, 13:12

I think heavy infantry has bonus against all LI, not just AbstractCoyoteMan.
Capitalization matters.https://pastebin.com/KEuaQCrR
User avatar
Switzerland glorious_
Dragoon
Posts: 237
ESO: Starkkvul
Location: Zurich

06 Dec 2017, 13:44

Inst wrote:IIRC, Rattan Shields count as abstract coyote runners. Or should I be more aggressive about seizing and spamming Ratt shields on maps with Shaolin Temples, now that musketeers get no bonus against them?


heavy inf counter them, light cav not
Germany richard
Skirmisher
Posts: 173
ESO: KingRichardIIII
Location: Germany

06 Dec 2017, 14:09

Hey Gendarme,

thanks for your initial post,

for begginners who do not already know about it, i would propose to explain the AoE counter system (for TWC/TAD) in the following easy way:


In short words:

There are 4 groups of unit-types (without regarding artillery):

Type 1) heavy infantry

Type 2) non-heavy infantry (these are units with the infantry tag but without the heavy infantry tag.)

Type 3) hand cavalry and light infantry (note: light infantry does not have the infantry tag and therefore does not belong to Type 2)

Type 4) light cavalry


Counter system:

Type 1 counters Type 3
Type 4 counters Type 3
Type 2 counters Type 1
Type 2 counters Type 4
Type 3 counters Type 2
Type 1 counters Type 4 if in range


Some further explanations to remove confusions:

- light cavalry often is referred to as 'ranged cavalry' or as 'goons'

- non-heavy infantry often is referred to as 'ranged infantry' or as 'skirms'

- hand cavalry often is referred to as 'cav'
User avatar
Great Britain Interjection
Lancer
Donator 04
Posts: 969
ESO: Interjection
Location: United Kingdom

06 Dec 2017, 14:43

This would make an interesting video topic :flowers:

Perhaps a video about each type of unit with clips showcasing them
User avatar
Sweden Gendarme
Gendarme
Donator 03
Posts: 5120
ESO: Gendarme

06 Dec 2017, 16:03

I was under the impression that ERKs were strong due to not being countered by skirms. I suppose they are strong simply due to stats, then.

Updated original post: Removed Eagle Runner Knights from the list of notable units, and fixed the mistake of stating that Urumis have 0 range when they actually have 2.
Capitalization matters.https://pastebin.com/KEuaQCrR
User avatar
France Kaiserklein
Gendarme
NWC LAN 4th place
Posts: 7360
Location: Paris
GameRanger ID: 5529322

06 Dec 2017, 17:32

Yeah, erk have just insane stats (high attack and ROF, decent hp, good RR). But skirms having *2 vs both and erk and goons, and *0.75 vs all cav (which makes it *1.5 vs goons and still *2 vs erk), means they deal more damage to erk.
I think the devs thought that erk have a low speed (6 speed is really slow for a ranged cav unit) + high ROF and rather slow shooting animation (making it really hard to hit and run), so they compensated this lack of mobility by giving better stats. But in the end the stats are so strong that the unit is broken.
sirmusket: https://imgur.com/phZoCw6
sirmusket: compare that to ur piece of shit face/height
LoOk_tOm wrote:I have something in particular against Kaisar (GERMANY NOOB mercenary LAMME FOREVER) And the other people (noobs) like suck kaiser ... just this ..
User avatar
China fei123456
Jaeger
Posts: 2498
ESO: fei123456
Location: Alderaan

06 Dec 2017, 18:18

but, if ERK stats can be called as insane, how do you describe sioux bow riders?

BOW RIDER:
100F 75G 2pop
250HP (220 in EP) 20ATK 2.25*cav 2*cannon
30% melee res
6.75 speed (7.76 with aura)

ERK:
75F 75G 1pop
180HP 15ATK 3*cav
30% range res
6 speed

ERK has +30% hp +30% atk shipments, +4 range shipment and firepit bonus.
Bow rider has +30% hp +30% atk shipments too, 10% hp from farm, 10% atk and +2 range from "new ways", and even a 10% attack aura from warchief (age IV shipment). and sioux have firepit too.
User avatar
Sweden Gendarme
Gendarme
Donator 03
Posts: 5120
ESO: Gendarme

06 Dec 2017, 18:24

ERKs have more ranged HP, same anti-cav attack, cost less, and take less pop space. However, they are worse against non-cav units, slower, and weaker in melee—but that's a sacrifice I'd be willing to make in a skirm/goon comp. But yeah, bow riders are strong as well.
Capitalization matters.https://pastebin.com/KEuaQCrR
User avatar
Netherlands dietschlander
Lancer
Posts: 896
Location: Dietschland

06 Dec 2017, 18:36

I thought hussars are light cav? And cav archers heavy cav.
Great topic btw!
Theres going to be a dam, the great dam and we'll let the beavers pay for it - Edeholland 2016
Anyway, nuancing isn't your forte, so I'll agree with you like I would with a 8 year old: violence is bad, don't do hard drugs and stay in school Benj98
User avatar
Sweden Gendarme
Gendarme
Donator 03
Posts: 5120
ESO: Gendarme

06 Dec 2017, 18:37

dietschlander wrote:I thought hussars are light cav? And cav archers heavy cav.
Great topic btw!
Hussars are light cavalry in Age of Empires 2, and there is also a unit called Heavy Cavalry Archer there. However, that is a completely different game.
Capitalization matters.https://pastebin.com/KEuaQCrR
Bolivia tedere12
Jaeger
Posts: 3304
ESO: Tedere12
Location: Greece

06 Dec 2017, 18:39

well it also has to do with mace being very good ranged inf so they compliment eachother well. Wakinis and bowriders are just a joke of a goon/skirm combo
Image
User avatar
France Kaiserklein
Gendarme
NWC LAN 4th place
Posts: 7360
Location: Paris
GameRanger ID: 5529322

06 Dec 2017, 18:57

fei123456 wrote:but, if ERK stats can be called as insane, how do you describe sioux bow riders?.

Who would ever say that BR aren't insane?
sirmusket: https://imgur.com/phZoCw6
sirmusket: compare that to ur piece of shit face/height
LoOk_tOm wrote:I have something in particular against Kaisar (GERMANY NOOB mercenary LAMME FOREVER) And the other people (noobs) like suck kaiser ... just this ..
User avatar
United States of America musketeer925
ESOC Dev Team
Donator 01
Posts: 2025
ESO: musketeer925
GameRanger ID: 451878

06 Dec 2017, 19:41

Some kind of visual counter map would be a cool tool to help clarify all of these little exceptions.
User avatar
Singapore Thrar
ESOC Dev Team
Posts: 64
ESO: Thrar

08 Dec 2017, 07:10

Gendarme wrote:Some units are simply very cost-inefficient even against the type of unit they are supposed to counter, and if that unit is an exceptionally cost-efficient one they may outright win that fight. An example of this is crossbowmen against janissaries.


It would be interesting to have a list of such exceptions, at least as far as regular units (not mercenaries, not minor natives) are concerned.

Aside from the janissary vs crossbow pair you mention, what others are there? In terms of cost-effectiveness and assuming not much micro, would this example be about even, slightly in favor of the jans, or strongly in their favor?

Forum Info

Return to “Strategy”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests