Out of every civilisation in AoC, they probably left the fewest traces behind on this earth, but they’re the most popular folks to play with. You’re all barbarians!
- Do not need houses, but start with -100 wood
- Cavalry Archers cost -25% Castle, -30% Imperial Age
- Trebuchets +30% accuracy
- Unique Unit: Tarkan
- Unique Technology: Atheism
- Team Bonus: Stables work 20% faster
Analysis of bonuses
Do not need houses, but start with -100 wood
A daring assertion to kick off this article, but this might be the best economical bonus in the game. Not only do Huns save 30 wood per house, they don’t have to spend time on building the house either during which they can gather resources. So maybe you can say Huns save about 40 wood per house. Which is 1600 wood for a 200 pop game! Even though this number vanishes in long games the strength lays in the earliness of the bonus. When the game starts, everyone has to build houses, except the Hun, who can go straight to eating lamb chops.
However, this bonus comes with a downside too: -100 wood is a big punishment in nomad style games and you can’t use houses for defensive building either. Forcing Huns to rely on palisades or stone walls.
Cavalry Archers cost -25% Castle, -30% Imperial Age
This is the very bonus that makes Huns overpowered on Arabia nowadays, massed cavalry archers beat most castle age units and thanks to their low cost and fast massing, not a single unit can keep up on open, fast paced maps.
On the other hand, it makes Huns the only civ (alongside Mongols) to use cavalry archers, which is quite a shame really. A normal cavalry archer costs 40 wood and a whopping 70 gold. Huns get a huge discount and roll out a horseback riding archer for only 30 wood and 53 gold. To give you an idea: that means almost 2 extra trips saved for gold miners. That is 47 seconds of gold gathering saved per cavalry archer! Which only gets bigger in the imperial age with 28 wood and 49 gold. Making cavalry archers nearly as pricey as normal archers.
Or in other words: for an extra 3 wood and 4 gold you get a horse with your archer!
It’s hard to find interesting games with cavalry archers, unless you find the traditional hunswar the best piece of television since the dawn of day. So let’s take a stroll down the archives of Aocbox and dust off this little gem of a game between _DauT_ and JorDan_23: Fast Ca(stle/valry archers)
Let’s end this paragraph with a little fun fact: did you know there isn’t a single unit with more upgrades than the cavalry archer? Champions get 14 upgrades if you start to count from militia but cavalry archers do slightly better with 15 available upgrades! (although Huns only have access to 14 of them). This actually leads us to a thrilling recorded game between L_Clan_Chris and _WraTh_, in this 3 hour lasting epic showdown Chris forgets one of the very crucial upgrades to cavalry archers, giving him a really tough time.
Trebuchets +30% accuracy
Just like the housing bonus, this bonus is a bit double sided too: in treb wars, Huns win. End of story, no competition. But, trebs are often used to kill units too. When 2 big armies collide, and one has trebuchets opened up, he might use them to target enemy units too. Any normal unit dies by just 1 trebuchet bolt. But if you have 5 stones raining down at one spot, only 1 unit dies, whereas other civs might hit 5 units.
5 normal trebuchets always hit at least 4 different targets.
5 Hunnic trebuchets rarely hit 4 different targets.
Team Bonus: Stables work 20% faster
The compulsory bonus in the expansion pack after faster barracks (Goths), ranges (Britons), siege shops (Celts) and guns (Turks). It aids their scout rush and their knight pumping abilities (which are tOp already). And it’s a team bonus! Yummy.
On a more formal note: this greatly benefits team mates that rely a lot on cavalry, a nearly compulsory bonus in teamgames even.
- Cost: 60 food, 60 gold
- Attack: 7 (Elite: 11 )
- Armor: 1/2 (Elite: 1/3)
- HP: 90 (Elite: 150)
- Elite Upgrade: 1000 food, 500 gold
The prize for the least used unit in whole of AoC goes to…. the tarkan! Quite amazing that the most used civ delivers the least used unit, but it’s a sad truth. Tarkans are a bit like paladins, the only difference is that they are weaker and have a bonus attack against buildings. They’re a bit cheaper but must be massed from a castle. Even though the elite upgrade is researched very quick, it still doesn’t outweigh the bad sides. But every unit has its use, even tarkans!
Even though it must be said that it’s incredibly hard to find good recorded games involving tarkans. I managed to lay my hands on a recorded game between two high 19xx players. Enjoy this pure Tarkan based attack from Sblity against Mefisto_cz.
Good thing aocbox is currently improving because there is now a Tarkan Rush record up and running!
The least used unique unit and above that the least used unique tech. Atheism makes relic and wonder victories last 100 years longer and makes spies/treason 50% cheaper. If the latter were a team bonus, it might be relatively useful in deadlocked team games, but alas it’s not. It doesn’t make your own wonder victories shorter either!
I haven’t stumbled upon recorded games where the scales were tilted with this nice little technology but feel free to share!
Dominance through the Ages
An oversight about dominance through the ages can be found in this article.
Their economical bonus kicks in once other civs have to make houses, so on most maps that’s the dark age.
Rulers of the feudal age: no houses, faster stables and all the upgrades available. Byzantines make a tough opponent if they manage to overcome their economical disadvantage.
Enjoy your time in the castle age! Now you can pump out your might cavalry archers or switch to knights. Or obviously make a deadly combination of both! Cavalry archers need a little note though: they beat nearly every unit massed and in early castle age they have no competition, but some civs must be handled with care. If you allow a Briton to get a better economy than you, his archers might kick your cavalry archers around the house. If you allow a Mayan to get along, he’ll be a tough competitor with cheap crossbowmen, and heaven forbid he doesn’t get a castle up for plumed archers. Same stories for Goths: but if you deprive them from stone, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Also wary for a few well aimed mangonel shots!
Time for another recorded game, in my opinion one of the best hunswars out there, starring DreaIVIS and _DauT_, where one of the players did one of the most amazing comebacks I have ever seen on expert level.
Early Imperial Age
If you managed to get an advantage during the previous ages, you can now obtain the final upgrades for your cavalry archers and cavalry for the final push. If you couldn’t force an advantage, things don’t look so bright anymore. Elite eagles give cavalry archers a hard time and Huns suffer a bit against a good ram + halberdier combination. Even though they can field this combination themselves.
Allow me to share a little trick for rams and halberdiers though: if you garrison your halberdiers, they can get close to Hunnic cavalry archers without harm. Ungarrison and let the slaughter begin!
Time to struggle now: Huns technically have everything but they’ll suffer badly against some civs: an imperial Saracen, Goth or Mayan will leave you speechless. Siege heavy civs might surround their equipment with halberdiers and give you a hard time. Your bet lays with paladins, cavalry archers and halberdiers. And this is a very narrow tactical window. And because it’s so predictable, a smart enemy can take precautions.
Post Imperial Age (no trade)
Huns don’t die easily: their lack of housing gives them an easy time to spread around the map and rebuild destroyed parts of their economy. So Huns have a good chance to survive till gold runs out. And once this happens, they’re back in the game. Fully upgraded hussars and just one upgrade missing for halberdiers and skirmishers.
Post Imperial age (with trade)
Time to suffer again: Huns have their narrow set of of choices: paladins, cavalry archers and halberdiers. Some minimal siege to back up too but that’s it. Paladins are a strong unit and the combination with cavalry archers is strong and fast, but once you engage in a pushing warfare where you need to hold ground, Huns fall short. Do not hesitate, Huns are still strong, but don’t have anything other civs don’t have anymore. The contrary on the other hand, is a harsh reality.
Some good wood saving practices (cavalry archers and houses) so they’re downright good. Lacking crop rotation and stone shaft mining makes clear once more that Huns were designed as a nomadic civ. In the long run, the crop rotation also numbs out their early wood saving practice, making once more clear that Huns are meant to be an early powerhouse, rather than an imperial one.
Huns can be partially played as an infantry civ: halberdiers with siege rams is a nightmare to a lot of civs but they’re also one of the few civs lacking champions. Besides that, they never figured how to forge plate armor.
That doesn’t mean they can’t be used on high levels though, in this game between _Ra_ and wAkKo, _Ra_ needs to find a solution to wAkKo’s halberdier+onager combo and decides to toss in the Hunnic wannabe champions. With success!
Rock’n Roll! Huns have limited options, but the options they have are good. No guns, no arbalests but simply the best cavalry archers in the game. You don’t even bother that they miss the last armor upgrade, do you?
Huns are one of the ultimate cavalry civs. Stiff competition from Spanish and Persians but the latter have a slightly weaker economy. In short: they have faster stables and all upgrades for both heavy and light cavalry.
This is a total no-go for Huns. The obligatory siege ram is still the most used siege unit but an attack based on siege is very unlikely. Especially the lack of onagers hurts them against massed archers.
Their unique technology is atheism, so their monks are just a bunch of hypocrites! Joking of course, Huns have most technologies except redemption and block printing so even though they can’t go for an all out monkrush, they definitely have their uses. You might even remember this game where Hunnic monks turned the tide? The Art of Atheism!
Because of their good start and lack of housing, Huns are actually a good bet on water maps. Above that they have access to Hussars (raiding), siege rams (diversion and steam rolling an island) and an archery line that uses the same upgrades as your boats. Surprisingly, they have cannon galleons too. Late game, their navy is nothing special, but early on they’re once more a force to reckon.
Huns were nomads, they wandered the earth and plundered everything in their path. Their wonder is even just a destroyed Roman arch! Needless to say this shows of in their structures: they only have the masonry upgrade and that’s it. Not that they really need more: Huns are a civ for the early ages and this set is more than enough for them.
In fact, towers are a crucial part of the so called “China style” which means towering up heavily in the feudal age to protect your economy and thus render any attempt for raiding chanceless. Which brings us automatically to [JAH]Goodboy, a Chinese player who rose to fame with his skills in hunswars. _DauT_ took up the glove against him in the Masters of the Huns tournament and turned the whole game into “China style”. Tower galore!
Huns are simply the best civ on open maps, they have dominated the Arabia scene for years and this is most likely the same for the years to come. Unless a genius comes up with a killer tactic for another civ. I dare you!
There is no hunslaughter without laughter!