I am fairly new to Aoe2 . I just started playing multi-player game mode with my friend and he always takes me out in imperial age with Elite mangudai and a Paladin combo. He also micro-manages these units so they constantly work together against my forces. I don't have a favorite civilization, so anything that gives me an upper hand against this combo will be useful.
- Turn off all tech. Problem solved :P
- Exactly what the guy above said about using spearmen+skirmishers, but add in a handful of onagers to do splash damage to the whole bunch of them (needs careful micro not to damage your own troops)
- Play Saracen against him (if you know he'll do it)
Here's why Saracen:
Unique is a pimped up camel (Mameluke) - bonus vs cavalry and mounted units. Also - they have access to siege onager, which is just amazing.
Both those units are quite expensive, so fill in the rest of your army with lots of Elite Skirmishers (or spears to help against cav), which are v cheap in comparison. Even a handful of Hussars (only food) to draw the fire - I think that was mentioned already.
Simple, Pikeman and Skirmishers. Skirmishers will beat any type of archers as long as you have them fully upgraded. Pikeman easily takes out any kind of calvary. Control both unit at the same time. If he sends Paly's first, then put your pikemen at the front. It'll be most beneficial if you can blend both your pikemen and skirmishers together, that way your skirms will be able to protect your pikemen from his Mangudais. While your pikemen will protect your skirmishers from his paladins.
Use Byzantine cataphracts for a couple o reasons:
Byzantines reach Imperial Age faster than anybody . That means that you can rush Castles and upgrade your elite unit (Cataphracts) way faster than paladins.
Cataphracts has overall better stats and AoE damage via upgrades.
Pick up a mob of upgraded cataphracts, rush their units and enjoy the ravage.
I would have to disagree with using Byzantine cataphracts against Paladins and Mangudai. Cataphracts have no bonuses that help them against these units, and a fully upgraded Elite Cataphract actually loses 1v1 to a Paladin, and a properly micro-managed Mangudai will beat a Cataphract 1v1 as well. I completely agree with the top answer; play as Saracens. Saracen camels and mamelukes are perfect counters to Paladins and Mangudai, especially if you have Zealotry researched to give them +30 HP. In this scenario, if you create an army of camels and/or mamelukes the same size as the Mongol army of Paladins and Mangudai, you should win. I'm going to test it out in AoE II now...
Just tested it. Yes, I was right, the Saracen army cleared up the Mongol army very easily. Mamelukes are expensive though, so you may not have as many, however camels are cheaper than paladins and mangudai, so it should be fine.