The Chinese are a civilization that focus on economy and the fast production of large groups of units.
Strengths EditAlthough their worker unit, the Peasant, gathers slightly slower than the Greek Villager, the Chinese have one of the strongest economies in the game. This is mainly due to their ability to build Gardens, which can grant a trickle of Food, Wood, Gold or Favor depending on what’s needed. This makes their economy difficult to disrupt as they can continue to receive necessary resources even when Peasants are forced to escape a raid. Additionally, all three major gods, Fu Xi, Nü Wa and Shennong, provide benefits that lower the cost of buildings, human units and wall upgrades respectively and technologies that further improve their already strong economy. Their military is primarily composed of cavalry units, including the Scout Cavalry which is arguably one of the best raiders in the game. They are very cheap, fast and deal a large bonus damage against worker units, making it easy for Chinese players to disrupt the economy of others. Chinese units in general have a low population cost with most of them only taking up two (the aforementioned Scout Cavalry only takes one), including their hero units the Immortals and Monks. This also applies to their Myth Units, with nine out of eleven of them taking up four population or less. This makes it possible for the Chinese to create considerably larger armies of soldiers or multiple small ones to overwhelm enemies. To add to this formidable list of strengths, they have access to numerous tower and wall technologies, including Earthen Wall in the Archaic Age, making them very durable if playing on the defensive.
The Chinese are forced to rely on their economy in order to afford their costly soldiers. Aside of the Halberdier, most of their true military units cost more than or the same as the Greek soldiers, meaning their resources will be depleted if their income is insufficient. Nü Wa does lower the cost of human soldiers, which makes this slightly less problematic for her worshipers. As mentioned above, the Peasant gathers slower that the worker units of other cultures (except the Egyptians), so investment in economic technologies is crucial in order to keep up. Any civilization will suffer if their economy is disrupted, but for the Chinese, it would be a crushing blow.
Their soldiers also lack versatility, being only good against specific units. If faced against their counters, Chinese soldiers will not be able to stand their ground and will be forced to retreat. The Chinese gods also provide an overabundance of technologies that strengthen their economy and only a limited number that strengthen their soldiers, so a Chinese army, pound for pound, will not be as powerful as one from another culture. It is worth noting that the Chinese early on are vulnerable to enemy armies made primarily of archers as they do not get their first true counter-archer unit the Heroic Age, while they are vulnerable to counter-cavalry later in their game as their military is made up almost entirely of cavalry units.