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China Flamethrowers? For real??

Written by Kenoky

Game mode
1 vs 1



"Some people just want to watch the world burn.."

Yes! The title is not lying to you, today we are going to abuse China most hated unit : the Flamethrower! Thanks to the new Mongolian Army, we can pair said Flamethrowers with a lot of cavalry. We are going to complete or reinforce this composition with our strong unit shipments, while building up a strong economy.

This leads to a pretty versatile strategy, that can range from rush to turtling or contain with a surprisingly good Commercial Age army composition. Also thanks to the recently buffed Beiyang Army card and Mongolian Scourge, this composition transition very nicely into Fortress Age!

  • Cavalry heavy composition
  • Early siege and harassment
  • Solid defensively
  • Excellent early economy
  • Good transition towards later ages
  • Cavalry heavy composition
  • Flamethrowers are tricky to use
  • Commit in Commercial Age for a while

Why does this strategy work?

One of China biggest issue in Commercial Age is spending coin efficiently. With the way Banner Armies work, you can’t spend coin on a versatile unit like the Musketeer. You are in fact forced, if you start with a War Academy, to spend that coin on the Standart Army. The problem being : Standart Army alone gets demolished by Cavalry + Musketeers composition or Pike + Crossbow composition.

This makes gathering coin in the first place risky : if i gather that coin, i can only spend it on an army that needs extra support to function, or age up. Problem is, if i want to support said Standart Army, i will need wood. If i need wood, i will slow my age up. So either you don’t gather coin and focus on wood and food, for a more efficient composition in Commercial Age, or you skip on military production in Commercial Age. There is no in between, no middle ground that really feels good.

That’s where the Castle comes in! By allowing you to spend your coin on both Mongolian Army and Flamethrowers, you can actually have a composition able to deal with any threat. Gathering coin isn’t risky, cause you can invest it into multiple ways to defend yourself in Commercial Age. The Castle itself is also a strong defensive building! The entire idea scales / transitions very nicely into the later Ages thanks to multiple cards and a really strong economy!

Click on the blue boxes below for more details!

Age 1

  • Gather your crates, build your first Village and put all your villagers on food
  • Try to find a wood treasure as you first 2 villagers are training. If you don’t find any, swap 4 villagers to wood and build your 2nd Village
  • Send Northern Refugees
  • Make sure to eat your Goat while training your 16th villager
  • Age up at 16 villagers with 2 villagers to build your Porcelain Tower, for a Resource Trickle


  • Put 7 villagers on coin, rest stay on food
  • Send 300 wood, gather it immediatly with 3 villagers. Use 3 villagers to build a Castle (foward or not, your choice)

Age 2

  • Put your Porcelain Tower on wood, for the equivalent of 5 villagers on wood!
  • Send 9 Qiang Pikemen and train constant Mongolian Army
  • As the Pikemen arrive and your second batch completes, pressure your opponent
  • Build your 3rd Village, preferably on distant mines / hunts
  • Send Duck Squad, for 8 Chu Ko Nu and a Flamethrower. As it arrive you are on a strong timing, push your opponent but try to keep your mass alive
  • Build a Market and start to get your upgrades as you float some resources
  • Send 700 wood, transfer up to 15 villagers to coin, we go swap back to 7-10 after training the Flamethrowers. We will train 3 Flamethrowers and build the 4th Village, preferably on distant mines / hunts
  • This will give enough XP for Mongolian Scourge. Make sure to push your opponent as the upgrade arrives
  • Keep adding Villages or upgrade them as you need population space
  • Add a War Academy and start training Standart Army for a longer Commercial Age, or build it during your transition to Fortress Age

This should be a game ending push. If not, you will want to transition towards Fortress Age. If needed, make use of the French Consulate with 300 export card.

If you feel safe in early Fortress Age, go for the Summer Palace and try to go fast Industrial Age directly for Old Dynasty Reforms with the Confucian Academy! Use Beiyang Army after you started aging up for the upgrades.

If you will have to fight in Fortress Age, age up with the Confucian Academy. Make sure to send Beiyang Army as you age up while training Imperial Armies. Prefer the British Consulate and saving for 2 British Expeditionary Force for a very strong timing. In that case, go Industrial Age with the Summer Palace, and send Ever Victorious Army as you do, for a very strong timing!


    • Kenoky

      This build is less about one big timing and more about pressuring your opponent constantly. It’s important to know your strong moments tho, when flamethrowers pop basically. Your should be up around 5 minutes and your castle up close after, with your Pikes coming around 6 minutes, the Duck Squad around 7:30 pretty much!

  1. Anonymous

    What do you think of:
    1 village age 1
    chop for consulate > immediately select russia
    1st shipment sumptuary laws
    2nd shipment good faith agreements

    age with porcelain tower
    upon aging, immediately buy blockhouse wagon from consulate

    Now you have 2 options:
    3rd shipment diplomatic intrigue > cancel russian relations > select germany
    start sending unit shipment and keep 10% faster vill train time

    This has the following benefits:
    1. Northern refugees can be used for large vill shipment
    2. Blockhouse can train ALL banner armies (both from castle and war academy)
    3. Blockhouse provides 10 housing
    4. As you sent GFA, this build scales better into late game compared to 300w

  2. Anonymous

    Very good strategy! I started to win for first time with china xD the deathball never worked for me. One change that I did was send the flamethrower+castle rickshaw instead of the 300 wood crate. It is slower but we got an extra flamethrower

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