Although the core of Age of Mythology are the mythological creatures, they’re nothing if they’re not surrounded by myriads of mortals to crush. The Chinese will feature 10 unique human units for your Myth units to play around with. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
The war academy will feature 2 units, that will undoubtedly form the backbone of the Chinese army. Fans of Age of Empires II and III will recognize these units already so their uses will be instantly recognizable. The Chu Ko Nu and Halberdier. Where the Halberdiers are the Chinese’ primary (but not only) answer to enemy cavalry, the Chu Ko Nu are a beefed archer unit and probably a contender for being the best ranged unit in the game. Fans of the series will not be surprised to see them fire multiple arrows in a single volley.
A vast country like China must of course have a good mounted force at its disposal to quickly deploy reinforcements to remote areas of the Empire. Therefor, the Chinese can create 3 units from their stable. Although the units might ring a bell initially, they’re designed a little different to add a fresh twist to the counter system.
Chinese players will always start with 2 Scout Cavalry units. These units can later be trained and upgraded at the stable. They’re cheap raiding units with no particular strengths, other than their cheapness. It’s up to you whether you use your starting scouts straight away to harass your opponent or save them to combine them with your first rushing units…
Originating from the Iranian Steppes, Cataphracts (literally meaning, “fully armored”) are another fan-favourite unit returning to the Age-series. Although commonly associated with the Romans (and Byzantines in Age of Empires II), Cataphracts were introduced in Ancient China way before the Roman empire even existed. Chinese Cataphracts are not only heavily armored, they also do a bonus attack against infantry units, defying their normal counter units. This extra bonus comes at a cost of being a bit weaker to archers and they’re an expensive unit overall.
The unit is available starting from the Heroic age, so you’ll have to advance far enough before throwing off enemy infantry with hordes of horsemen.
Last but not least we cannot head East without a nod at the fine mounted archery skills of the soldiers in the region. And if Cataphracts are allowed to counter their counter unit, so are these men! The Mounted Archer will have a bonus against cavalry units. Although this sounds extreme, they’ll also have their weaknesses. First of all, these units come at a cost, but secondly, they’ll still fall easily against the normal archery counters. So Peltasts, Slingers, Turmas and Huskarls will have a field day when meeting Mounted Archers.
Last but not least, we have the Castle. The oriental answer to the Greek Fortress, Egyptian Migdol Stronghold, Norse Hill Fort and Atlantean Palace. It will feature 2 siege units and a General. This General can be combined with your existing armies to give them a boost. Exactly how the siege units will work, and what they look like, we’ll reveal in other sneaky screenshots in later dev blogs 😉