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The Cumans are an aggressive, rush-oriented civilization that focuses on their mobile cavalry, but also have a potential in team games, due to their unique technologies. Due to their unconventional way to set up their economy in the early game with the secondary Town Center and their offensive options with rams, this civilization is better suited for expert players than beginners or less experienced ones.


One of the biggest strengths of the Cumans is their cavalry. The Cumans have access to every single unit upgrade and tech for their Stable units and cavalry, such as Hussar, Steppe Lancer, and Paladin (except Heavy Camel Rider, despite having access to the Camel Rider unit). In particular, their cavalry have increased movement speed by 5% per age, making Cumans' cavalry the most mobile cavalry in the game.

In addition, the Cumans are the most unique civilization when it comes to their Feudal Age, as they are allowed to build an extra Town Center. This can give Cumans a significant early-game economic bonus, as one Town Center can advance to the next age while the other still creates Villagers. The Cumans can build Siege Workshop and Battering Ram in the Feudal Age. This allow the Cumans to threaten enemy towns in the early game by having access to siege an age earlier than other players. This combination allows the Cumans to perform a "douche" strategy similar to the Persian Douche strategy where an extra Town Center is built forward near the enemy's Town Center, but can support the forward rush strategy with a Siege Workshop to threaten the enemy Town Center.

Finally, their biggest appeal is their cavalry archers and light cavalry. Their unique unit, Kipchak, is a multi-shot, cavalry archer that can shred through multiple units due to low frame delay if microed properly. Combined with the increased movement speed of their cavalry archers and access to cess to the Imperial Skirmisher, and Hindustanis will provide +2 bonus attack to the Light Cavalry ( which is cheapParthian Tactics, this makes the Kipchak a cheap and cost-effective cavalry archer in most late-game situations. In addition, their cavalry archers and light cavalry are trained faster with their Castle Age unique technology, Steppe Husbandry, allowing the Cumans to spam their light cavalry and cavalry archers en masse. The Cumans offer some team utility as well, as their Imperial Age unique technology, Cuman Mercenaries, allows allied players to train 5 Elite Kipchaks per each allied Castle for free.

The Cumans also have access to fully upgraded infantry, which helps supplement their ability to build Battering Rams in the Feudal Age.


One of their greatest weaknesses is their defense. To begin with, they lack Stone Walls, Gates, and Guard Towers. Even with their team bonus, their Palisade Walls and Palisade Gates are not as durable as the stone counterparts. They have Hussars, Paladins and Elite Steppe Lancers, but their Camel Riders are mediocre, as they lack the Heavy Camel Rider upgrades, making their Camel Rider utility very limited in the Imperial Age.

Their navy is also very weak, since they lack Heavy Demolition Ship, Dry Dock, Shipwright and Cannon Galleon.

While their cavalry archers are very mobile due to their civilization bonus, they lack Bracer. They also lack the Arbalester and Hand Cannoneer, meaning Cavalry Archers are their only viable ranged option. The latter are also slightly complicated with the option of Kipchaks.

While the Cumans have access to the Siege Onager and Siege Ram, their siege is average at best, since they lack the Heavy Scorpion, Bombard Cannon and Siege Engineers, making the Siege Workshop unit line which started with the initial letter "S" instead (Siege Onager, Siege Ram, Scorpion, Siege Tower).

Their Monks are also reasonable in the Castle Age, having access to several important Castle Age Monastery tech. But they lack Block Printing, Illumination, and Theocracy, meaning their Monk utility is very limited in the Imperial Age.


When playing Cumans, probably "Rush" is the name of the game and for various reasons. They have a very solid early game, especially in the Feudal Age, but they must end the game fast, since their late-game may be rather weak.

First and foremost, as cited in the Strengths section previously, they are able to perform a Town Center "douche" strategy, as they can make a secondary Town Center. Cumans can perform several variants of this tactic because of that bonus and the fact they can train Battering Rams in the Feudal Age: Double Town center Douche, Single Town center Douche with economic support, Town Center-Ram Douche, Town Center Douche supported with Scout Cavalry, and combinations of these tactics. In any case the player must age up in 22 population as normal (considering they do not have any real Dark Age bonuses aside from their team bonus), then giving enough focus on the wood in order to create the second Town Center (and if wanting to support their rush with Battering Rams, give even more focus on wood and a little focus on gold), find its opponent and send at least half of the villagers (all or almost all of them if they want to Double Douche their opponent) to the opponents' location in order to create their Second Town center at a certain distance of key resources of their opponent, then start spamming villagers in that location and gather them inside when needed for firing arrows.

If the player wants to double douche an enemy, the player must also delete their initial Town Center and place it near the opponent, ideally at a certain distance to the secondary Town Center, in order to make the two buildings providing cover-fire for each other; additional wood would be needed to make this (they do not really need to gather stone, as the initial 200 is enough for placing two Town Centers). If they want to support their douche with either Scout Cavalry or Rams, they must first have enough wood for the required buildings (Barracks and Stable for scouts, Blacksmith and Siege Workshop for their Battering Rams) and then have enough food if going for Scout Cavalry, or wood and gold for Battering Rams.

Even if the player does not make a Town Center Rush, Cumans are also able to perform well if the player instead decides to go for a regular Feudal Age Scout Rush, since their cavalry moves faster. This tactic can be followed in the Castle Age by a Knight, Steppe Lancer, Kipchak, or Cavalry Archer rush, which for them works better at the middle stage of the game, as they can produce faster Cavalry Archers and Light Cavalry, thanks to the Steppe Husbandry technology. These can also be supplemented by Rams in the Feudal Age, which can also force an opponent to resign early if they do not have a chance to rebuild their Town Center elsewhere.

If the Cuman player is forced in the early game to defend, they are also well equipped for that. Their stronger palisades can make a steady and quick defense to their settlement, and in this case they can also use their second Town Center for defense by placing them within the range of their first Town Center to provide cover-fire in the case of an opponent raid.

Another interesting option the Cumans have in the early game is an early economic boom, and for that they must advance to Feudal Age as soon as possible, then place their second Town Center near a spot rich on resources and start spamming villagers as fast as they can. Also, as they can research the Town Center technologies and the age advancement in just one of the buildings, their villager production since that point becomes continuous. This economic boom then can be followed by cavalry raids.

Sadly for Cuman players, as the game progresses into the Imperial Age, they get fewer and fewer advantages, since their defenses, aside from their palisade walls, are lacking, and as long as their opponents reach the Castle Age, having a second Town Center and access to siege units is no longer an advantage. A way any opponent have to defeat Cumans is trying to turtle early in the game, in order to defend against a douche or a raid, and perform a fast Castle; that way, any civilization can also create more Town Centers and Rams. Still, Cumans in the Imperial Age can keep raiding with cavalry, as they have almost all upgrades for them (except Heavy Camel Riders) and supplement them with fully upgraded infantry and Siege Rams (the latter of which lacks Siege Engineers, but are handy as a transport for infantry, and still a good option for taking down buildings). Cumans can also research Cuman Mercenaries, and the technology not only gives their allies the ability to train 10 free Elite Kipchaks, Cumans themselves can also do that; but maybe they must leave this technology alone in several situations in 1 vs 1 games or free for all games, as its gold cost is superior than the gold cost of 10 straightforward trained Elite Kipchaks (Cuman Mercenaries costs is 650 food 400 gold, and 10 regular trained Kipchaks cost 600 wood 350 gold), unless they really need their Elite Kipchaks at the ready (not the regular ones) and have not already researched the Elite upgrade. On the other hand, they also have weak Camel Riders (an anti-cavalry unit), and their units are very prone to the other camel civilizations with access to Heavy Camel Riders, thus encouraging the player to rely on Hussars, Paladins, and Elite Steppe Lancers.

Regarding naval warfare, they do not have any bonuses for their navy. Performing a Cuman early economic boom on island maps may help them gather wood and gold faster and perform early galley rushes, but their late game navy is pretty lacking.

Patch changes[]

In update 36202, the Cumans' middle and late game game was improved. Now, they can improve the Battering Rams to Capped Rams in the Castle Age, which significantly improves their sieging potential at that stage of the game. Their Steppe Lancers now benefit from Steppe Husbandry, making this unit more easy to mass, but the technology effect was reduced to 50%. And Kipchaks now fire 3 (4 elite) arrows like at release, increasing their raiding potential.

The Cumans lose access to Supplies in update 37650, which is meant to balance out their strong Feudal Age rushing potential and add a clear late-game weakness.

The Kipchak attack animation was increased in update 42848 by 0.5 (Same as Mangudai) in order to prevent them from being so smooth at micromanaging.

Strategy changes in Dawn of the Dukes[]

The Cumans gain a civilization bonus where their Archery Ranges and Stables cost -75 wood. This synergizes well with their ability to build Siege Workshop and Battering Rams in the Feudal Age, as it allows the Cumans to save more wood for their Battering Rams instead for their rushes. Alternatively, the cheaper Stables and Archery Ranges can also help with their second Town Center boom in the Feudal Age and fulfilling the two building requirements to advance to the Castle Age. The cheaper Stables and Archery Ranges can also be utilized to initiate their Scout and Archer rushes sooner than their opponents if the player chooses to do so. Finally, their Steppe Lancers gain a small buff where they attack faster, thus making their Steppe Lancers a more appealing unit.

Strategy Changes in Dynasties of India []

The Cuman Mercenaries technology has been reworked and now enables 5 free Elite Kipchaks per allied Castle, instead of just ten Elite Kipchaks once. This change is highly significant, since it means that the players on the team can perpetually create more Mercenary Elite Kipchaks as long as they can build more Castles. The effect applies to both future Castles and Castles already built. Now, this technology is much more useful outside team games, as there are some situations in which a Cuman player may have a good number of Castles from which they can spam 5 free Elite Kipchaks, each resulting in a higher number of free Kipchaks than in previous patches. This change also greatly impacts team games, especially if the allies have bonuses for Cavalry Archers.


Cumans are a very special civilization when playing on a team game, and it falls in the same category as the, Hindustanis, Vietnamese and Berbers, since Cumans technically have more than one team bonus. Indeed, having Hindustanis, Vietnamese, Cumans, and Berbers on the same team is an interesting case. In a team like this, Berbers provide Genitours, which move faster for Cumans and are bulkier for Vietnamese. Berbers can also research Kasbah, which makes all unique technologies (Including Cuman Mercenaries) be researched faster, while also enabling their unique units (and the 5 free Elite Kipchaks per each Castle Cumans grant to allies after researching Cuman Mercenaries) to be trained faster. Vietnamese can show their allies Cumans, Hindustanis and Berbers where to attack and perform raids. In the early game, bulkier Palisade Walls provided by the Cuman official team bonus improves their defense. In addition, every player has access to the Imperial Skirmisher, and Hindustanis will provide +2 bonus attack to the Light Cavalry (which is cheaper for Berbers and faster for Cumans) and Camel Riders, and can create Caravanserais for their Trade Carts.

Their extra Town Center in the Feudal Age is also helpful in team games, since this quirk may enable the Cuman player to send few Villagers near a weak ally, then create their additional Town Center and make this settlement a support for their ally, as they don't need to move more Villagers around the allied town in order to make military structures and aid them in an emergency.

Cumans can synergize well if playing in a team entirely composed by Cumans. Their unique technology, Cuman Mercenaries, stacks up for every player that researches it which means that if there are four Cuman players each Castle each player have can train 20 free Elite Kipchaks. Their additional Town Centers may enable a team like that to perform really out-of-the-box combined strategies like a Feudal Age Triple or Quadruple Town Center Douche.

Their team bonus gives palisade walls 33% more HP, which is a pretty useful bonus for most civilizations and can make a significant difference in the early game, especially for civilizations like the Goths, who entirely lack Stone Walls, so they may use Palisade Walls as a replacement; or for civilizations that have other bonuses for this building, like the Chinese (the unique technology Great Wall improvess HP for walls, including the Palisade), Spanish (builders work faster), Byzantines (buildings have +10%/+20%/+30%/+40% HP in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age), and Malians (Buildings cost 15% less wood). This bonus can be combined with the Mayan team bonus (walls, including palisades, cost 50% less) in order to make early defense more accessible for the whole team.

Their shared unique technology Cuman Mercenaries is very useful, especially for civilizations that have buffs for the Kipchak, as it counts as a Cavalry Archer. Kipchaks are also great raiding units. Some of the other civilizations will have even better Kipchacks than the Cumans themselves, since most of them have access to Bracer. Unfortunately, the Hunnic version doesn't have a further specialty, because the Elite Kipchaks are enabled at the Castle, not the Archery Range, and are free so discounts do not apply. Here is a list of civilizations that can further improve their free Elite Kipchaks.

  • Mongols: Their Elite Kipchaks will fire 25% faster, and they also have Bracer, unlike the Cumans.
  • Turks: The Sipahi technology increases the HP of their Cavalry Archers, including the Elite Kipchaks, and they have all upgrades for them. Also, as Turks may rely on gold-hungry units and have poor trash line, having a unit that does not cost any resource for them is very helpful.
  • Franks: Their Elite Kipchaks will have +20% more HP by default. Also their Castles are really cheap so they can create more Castles for +5 more Free Kipchaks each.
  • Magyars: Their Elite Kipchaks will have +1 range and attack out of Recurve Bow and all range and attack improvements at the Blacksmith (which means a Magyar Elite Kipchak has 2 more range and attack than their Cuman counterpart).
  • Berbers: As mentioned previously, Kasbah enhances the research speed of the Cuman Mercenaries technology for its Cuman ally, as well as increasing the creation speed of their 10 Elite Kipchaks.
  • Tatars: Their team bonus adds +2 line of sight for Cavalry Archers, including the free Elite Kipchaks from the Cuman Mercenaries technology. They also have free Parthian Tactics, and Silk Armor increases Kipchaks' pierce armor by 1 (up to 7 total).
  • Sicilians: Not precisely a cavalry archer civilization, but at least their Elite Kipchaks will be less vulnerable against bonus damage from their normal counters.
  • Gurjaras: Their Elite Kipchaks deal +50% bonus damage, i.e. more attack power against Spearmen, also a capable supplement for their cavalry without horse archers, albeit in limited numbers.

As Cumans are a cavalry oriented civilization, they can capitalize on team bonuses that increase their cavalry abilities, like the Hun team bonus (Stables work faster; this stacks with Steppe Husbandry), Frank and Persian team bonuses (as those adds +2 LOS and bonus damage against archers, respectively), Mongol and Polish team bonus (Light Cavalry +2 LOS and +1 attack vs archers respectively). They have Camel Riders, but lack the Heavy Camel Rider upgrade, so the Hindustanis team bonus is not as relevant as other cavalry bonuses.

Cumans have also good Cavalry Archers, so the Briton team bonus (better work-rate for Archery Ranges) is very helpful and stacks with Steppe Husbandry. The same goes for the Tatar team bonus (+2 LOS for Cavalry Archers) and Berber team bonus (Genitours available) as mentioned previously. Since they can create Siege Workshops and train Rams in the Feudal Age and can upgrade to Capped Rams in the Castle Age (the latter since update 36202), the Celt team bonus (Siege Workshops work faster) and Slav team bonus (military buildings have population space) can help the Cumans perform much better at their Ram rushes by winning decisive seconds for spamming the rams and saving some wood.

Compared advantages and disadvantages[]

Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • The Kipchak, being a cavalry archer that fires multiple arrows and the secondary ones deal 0 melee damage in addition to the pierce damage, is a great counter against slow non-ranged units (like infantry, elephants, and Rams), as they can hit-and-run them. Even the infantry of prominent infantry civilizations (such as Aztecs, Bulgarians, and Celts) will have trouble against Kipchaks (Goth Huskarls and Malian infantry being an exception). Well-rounded units like the Slavic Boyar, the Persian War Elephant, the Indian Elephant Archer, Rams, and Battle Elephants will have trouble as well against Kipchaks.
  • The Cumans are one of the few civilizations that can go for a cavalry archer rush, since their cavalry archers move faster and are created faster after Steppe Husbandry is researched (other civilizations that can go for this strategy include the Huns, Mongols, Magyars, and Vietnamese). As such, the Cumans can effectively counter slow-moving units such as Champions, the Slavic Boyar, the Persian War Elephant, the Southeast Asian Battle Elephant, the Teutonic Knight, etc. by hit-and-running them.
  • Being a civilization with good early and mid-game and able to raid with the use of Scout Cavalry, Steppe Lancers and Cavalry Archers, they can defeat civilizations that fare otherwise in open maps like Arabia, especially if starting in the Dark and Feudal Age. These civilizations include, Turks, Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer.
  • Their better palisades and extra Town Center in the Feudal Age gives Cumans a good defense in the early game, being able to defend against civilizations that may rely on raids and rushes, such as Huns, Lithuanians, Mongols, Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans. Their secondary Town Center as well as their access to rams in the Feudal Age gives more power against civilizations with bad early game.
  • As their Light Cavalry line is created faster after Steppe Husbandry is researched, as well as moving faster, Cumans have an advantage at trash wars, especially against civilizations that lack the Halberdier upgrade or more buffs for the Pikemen. These include Turks, Italians, Malians and Saracens. With their fast creating Light Cavalry, Cumans can overcome other civilizations with good Light cavalry such as Bulgarians, Mongols, Magyars and Tatars.
  • As the Steppe Lancer is the cheapest non-trash cavalry unit, it can be considered a "mounted trash buster", so civilizations that rely on masses of trash units will have trouble against Cumans.
  • With access to Siege Onagers and Siege Rams, Cumans also have advantage against Magyar Capped Rams, Onagers and Heavy Scorpions.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • Since they do not get access to gunpowder (aside from Petards and Demolition Ships), they have a disadvantage to civilizations that get access to it (like Turks, Portuguese, and Spanish), especially if the game starts in the Imperial Age onwards. This is of course before the game enters into the trash wars.
  • Malians can be a very unpleasant rival for the Cuman archers, as their infantry bonus can negate at least in part the Kipchak and Cavalry Archer attacks against them, making the Malian Pikemen more threatening to their core units (Hussars, Paladins, Camel Riders, Steppe Lancers, Cavalry Archers and Kipchaks). Aptly, Malians' unique technology Farimba, which causes the Light Cavalry, Cavalier and Heavy Camel Rider to receive a +5 attack bonus, which outclasses Cumans' cavalry (Hussar, Paladin, Camel Rider, Elite Steppe Lancer). The Malian unique unit Gbeto can counter the Cuman Kipchaks with high damage. Similarly, Goths can counter the contingents of Cuman Cavalry Archers by swarming Huskarls, as they have an attack bonus vs Archers and high pierce armor. This, combined with disposable and fast created Halberdiers, will make the Cumans have a hard time.
  • Mayans, Incas and Aztecs have Eagle Warriors that can effectively counter both Siege units and to some extent Cavalry Archers (Eagle Warriors deal bonus damage to both archers and cavalry), so they can overturn a Cuman rush even in the Feudal Age. Among the Native American civilizations, the Incas are probably the best counterpick against Cumans, since they have the Kamayuk as their unique unit, which is basically a Halberdier with range, so this unit negates the range advantage the Steppe Lancers have.
  • Vietnamese Rattan Archers and Imperial Skirmishers can counter a Cuman Cavalry archer army perfectly. Other prominent civilizations with good skirmishers that can also do this are the Aztecs (with the Atlatl technology), Lithuanians (faster Skirmishers with +2 pierce armor out of the Tower Shields technology) and the Britons (whose Skirmishers are created faster and get +1 range out of the Yeomen technology).
  • As the Cuman Cavalry advantage relies on their mobility and creation speed, not in raw force, they may fall apart against other prominent cavalry civilizations like Tatars, Mongols, Persians, Lithuanians, Malians and Franks. In this case, Malian Light Cavalry, Cavaliers, and Heavy Camel Riders with Farimba can outnumber the Cuman Hussars, Paladins, Camel Riders, and Elite Steppe Lancers.
  • The Berbers have several tricks that can be unpleasant for a civilization like the Cumans: both of their unique units (Genitours and Camel Archers) can counter their Cavalry Archers and Kipchaks, and they get cheaper Camel Riders that can counter their Light Cavalry and Steppe Lancers. Other prominent camel civilizations (such as Saracens, Malians and Indians) can also effectively counter the Cuman cavalry, as Cuman Camel Riders are prone to the Malian Heavy Camel Riders with Farimba which could counter them, due to the Cumans having no access to the Heavy Camel Rider.
  • Magyars can outnumber them with their cheaper Hussars and Magyar Huszars.
  • Since their late game is bad (as they don't have Stone Walls, can't upgrade their Towers, lack gunpowder, and lack several other technologies), civilizations with good late game (such as Turks, Spanish, Portuguese, and Byzantines) can overturn them if they manage to survive until the Imperial Age. Their lack of good defenses puts them at a disadvantage against prominent siege civilizations such as Ethiopians, Celts, Khmer and Koreans. The Ethiopian Siege Rams, Siege Onagers and Heavy Scorpions with Siege Engineers and Torsion Engines can overrun the ordinary Cuman Siege Rams, Siege Onagers and Scorpions due to Cumans having no access to Siege Engineers.
  • They have the worst navy in the game, as they lack all the late game improvements and do not have any naval bonus, so even civilizations like the Aztecs can defeat them in water.

Situational advantages[]

  • It is much better to play as Cumans if starting in the Dark or Feudal Age than in games that start in the Castle Age onwards. Picking Cumans in Post-Imperial Age is not recommended.
  • The extra Town Center bonus does not apply in Sudden death mode. In Budapest, as every player have two Town Centers, the Cumans do not have their Town Center advantage, so it is not recommended to pick Cumans in these circumstances. They can still perform a Double Douche rush in the Feudal Age on the Budapest map, but it will require them to delete both initial Town Centers.
  • As their Palisades are stronger, they get a substantial advantage in maps with pre-deployed palisades, such as Hideout and Hill Forts. In maps with pre-deployed Stone Walls, such as Arena and Fortress, they technically overcome one of their weaknesses, since they can't create Stone Walls.
  • Cumans are a very flexible civilization in the early game, which makes them a good pick on open maps like Arabia, as well as being a good pick in closed maps like Black Forest.
  • In the Capture the Relic game mode, as their Light Cavalry are faster and are created faster after Steppe Husbandry is researched, they can prevent enemy Monks from getting the Relic.
  • Their second Town Center in the Feudal Age puts them at a distinctive advantage in maps like Gold Rush, as they may use it to take over the center of the map, which has huge deposits of gold. Their coronary Town Center in the Feudal Age can also be helpful in the "Wonder Race" game mode, since it helps cut time for producing Villagers and aging up to the Castle Age. Their second Town Center also allows for a very potent boom strategy on the Yucatan map (since this map has double the initial set of natural resources).