China/Strategic Overview

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Faction Overview Strategic Overview History


  • Strengths: Cheap, fast-producing infantry meant for human wave tactics, and enhanced research capabilities, large number of defensive structures which help fortify cities
  • Weaknesses: Inferior Imperial army, especially with regards to Cavalry.

The Chinese have one of the best unit production rates, allowing them to create large armies in small spaces of time and advance at a quicker rate with economy because of their ability to create economic units instantly. This allows the Chinese to spawn massive but powerful armies, making them a deadly foe. Beware that they are able to almost continuously spam their conscript soldiers (thanks to early access to Herbology) when they need to, so you will be almost continuously attacked by the Chinese if you invade their territory. For the player using China it would be a good idea to advance to the Castle age quickly. This in order to gain its special gunpowder unit, the fire lance, the earliest available gunpowder unit in Rise of Kings, and with faster knowledge accumulation and a superior economic unit production rate they are able to get to this age even faster then other factions.

China is mainly focused around an infantry army with inexpensive but extremely weak light infantry backed up by their advanced ranged units. Suicide Soldiers and conscripts are a rather straightforward approach — they are weak, but cheap and fast to produce and while both Japan and Mongolia can create them too, the Chinese have a bonus in creating them. Other units of note are the Shenbinu and Divine Machinist Divisions, which are repeating crossbowmen. These units have a poorer range than normal archers, but the best rate of fire for any archery unit, thus making them extremely dangerous in huge numbers. Backed up with mercenary Battle Wagon, along with China's brand of gunpowder units, being the Fire Lancers and the Divine Ordnance Division, and you have a powerful defensive force that can be used as a centre of gravity for your forces. Use these units to defend your light cavalry from enemy attack and to soften the blow from enemy heavy units, whilst at the same time engage your foe's siege weapons and archers with light cavalry, and you will be able to achieve a crushing victory over any and sundry who dare oppose you.

It is true that China doesn't possess good cavalry — all you get by the Imperial Era are mostly cavalry archers, with only the mercenary Tatars and the cost-inefficient Guard Cavalry of any note — but who cares when you have so many toys to play? the Chinese way of war is not the same as the Western way of war. And that is to use counter-cavalry units, most notably your archer and gunpowder units, to eliminate enemy heavy infantry so as to prepare them for a charge by your cavalry, whilst using your heavy infantry to deal with your opponent's own cavalry.

Therefore it is a good idea to not underestimate the Chinese as they have quick access to to all manner of units and technologies and are able to field massive armies, which although may be mostly made up of conscripts, can be easily supported by a fairly variegated army consisting of spear- and gunpowder-armed regulars alongside exotic mercenaries, such as the Gajnal Mahout. If you are fighting against China, always strike early before they can obtain their best units — a rush-based cavalry faction that spawns military units with buildings, such as the Mongols, Japanese or Norse are thus ideal for taking China out of the early game before they can respond with more powerful units later on.


Faction summary[edit]

  • Versatile faction leaning in on rushing and booming. And rushing again.
  • A Man's Castle is his Home — Get to the Castle Age as soon as possible in order to start using your unique units.
  • Dark Age Defence — in the Dark Age, strive to build as many cities as you can in strategic areas. Build a Pyramid too if you can as its attrition bonus will help your weaker light melee forces.
  • PsyOps — In the Imperial Era, accompany your suicide soldier rushes with more costly but more effective units such as the gajnal mahouts, the gunpowder units and your archers. You will be well advised to take a page from Sun Zi's Art of War: attack the enemy's plans.
  • Suicide Guys — China is adept at suicide soldier rushes, and China has several units to support them. Repeating crossbow archers can be employed to take out enemy heavy infantry, while fire lancers and Jiao's matchlocks can take out enemy cavalry, which are exceedingly powerful against suicide soldiers.
  • I Wonder As I Wander — In CtW/Skirmish games, get out the Confucian Academy before somebody does. Having the academy and China's unique abilities in research improves the power of your troops exponentially.
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Best age(s):

Dark and Imperial


Strategic Overview
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