A case for European Arquebusiers

It’s not, my starting point is that pike and shot tactics are cool and I’m putting forward an idea of how it could actually fit in the game for the nations that used it most.

It just so happens that the name of the unit was already taken by China. Renaming the Chinese unit would be the reasonable way to reconcile this since China doesn’t really have a strong claim to the name. Calling it the transliteration of 鳥銃手 would be fine. I also don’t think Shenjiying Gunner is as bad as you say. There are units like Black Brunswicker and Iron Troops that are named after very specific groups of soldiers and usually that’s how more generic names start off. The only issue with calling them Arquebusiers for now is that it does convey an impression of backwardness if China uses very primitive guns in the same role where the Europeans have advanced rifles.

What I’m saying is that the natives units should appear on many maps so that they’re seen often enough for players to become familiar with them. This has always been a standard they followed and has nothing to do with how fancy the unit is.

I went with 2 population for a few reasons.

  1. It really sets them apart from Crossbowmen and Skirmishers
  2. It lets Skirmishers firmly outclass them by being more population efficient but still allows them to be comparable to Skirmishers early on. Otherwise the only difference in upgradeablility is lacking CIR.
  3. It lets them be trained faster since you’d get the equivalent of ~2 Crossbowmen per Arquebusier.
  4. It pairs well with a Tercio army. At 2 pop, 2 Arquebusiers would be roughly equivalent to 4 Pikemen.

Spain and Portugal have a more archaic theming so I wouldn’t want to totally eliminate that by getting rid of their Crossbows. And limiting it to just a few civs would lessen the impact. Swedes, Dutch, and Spanish were also the ones that used them most so it’s not totally arbitrary who has access.

This is essentially just a Crossbowman but cheaper and better.

I don’t like giving them weird firing rates because it makes units really hard to compare. Even Abus Guns should just have a fire rate. If you want to slow them, there could be a short firing animation that could slightly slow them to something like a 3.05 rof.

They should also have at least a little bit of a niche role to justify occasionally using them even when you’ve got Skirmishers. Compared to Crossbowmen and Skirmishers they could be extra effective versus light cavalry with multipliers like x0.67 vs heavy cav and x2.5 vs light cav (overall x1.67 for Arquebusiers vs x1.5 for Skirmishers). This would pair well with Sweden who lacks any ranged counter to light cavalry, but already has Leather Cannons to take care of infantry.

This would be greatly preferable to all the weird health boosting auras from Daimyos, State Militia, Mansabdars, etc. It makes no sense that a unit has extra health when it’s near something but then loses it when it moves away. It’s makes more sense that it would boost their resistances. That would also make the auras more situational. If each Daimyo only boosted a single resistance it would make the decision of which one you pick much more impactful.

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I think it would feel unnatural for normal unit to cost 2 pops.
There are only very few Infantry units that cost 2 pop (that aren’t mercenaries) and they are usually pretty heavy looking (Samuari) or otherwise pretty unique (Soldado).

I’d rater have them be half as good, then they are still equally pop efficient.

Portugal doesn’t really have any theming right now, that’s probably one reason why they are unpopular.

I think Arquebus fit so well to Spain that it would be reasonable to replace the Crossbow and maybe even the Skirmisher for them.
But then they would need cards to make them better in late game.

The lower rate of fire mean less DPS and therefor worse against most units, even against heavy infantry (the only unit they have better modifiers against then Crossbows) they would only get a little more damage.
If the base damage is reduces to 15 (like Skirmisher) then they would have worse DPS against everything compared to Crossbows.

I based to costs of on your proposal but halved them because I halved the population.

Crossbows are already better against light cavalry then Skirmishers so if the Arquebus would replace the Crossbow it would make sense to reinforce that difference.

I feel the same way. I think this might be because until the African DLC units couldn’t have 2 different resistances at once. Now they can.

Refined concept

Base Stats

  • 40 Food 40 Coin
  • 80 HP
  • 20% Range Resistance

Ranged Attack

  • Damage 15 (1 lower then Crossbow)
  • Range 15 (1 lower then Crossbow)
  • RoF 3.0
  • 2.5x vs. Light Cavalry
  • 0.75 vs. Cavalry
  • 1.5x vs. Heavy Infantry


  • Half the Damage double the RoF, everything else the same.


  • Damage 9


  • Get 1% Melee resistance for each Pikeman nearby (up to 30%)
  • Grant 1% Range resistance to every Pikeman nearby (up to 30%)
  • Guard and Imperial Upgrades for all

They would still replace Crossbows. They are a little less versatile then Crossbows a little better against Heavy Infantry and Light Cavalry.
But now they would be be stronger against Light Cavalry then Skirmishers.
The lower HP make them more fragile and make mixing them with Pikeman an even better idea.

The exact stats are of course up to testing but the cost should stay like that. Making them less pop efficient then Skirmishers.



  • Replaces Crossbow.
  • Get HC hard that gives Arquebus +1.0x vs. Light Cavalry.


  • Replaces Crossbow and Skirmisher.
  • Get HC card that gives them something like +0.5 vs. Heavy Infantry, +10% Range resistance and maybe a little more range.
  • HC Card to double the Pikeman bonus and vice versa. Alternatively Include Musketeers in that bonus like later Terico formations did.
  • They have the worst Skirmishers anyway.


  • Replaces Crossbow.
  • Card to turn them into Cassadors.
  • Still get Consulate Crossbows from the Curch card.
  • This civilisations generally needs a rework anyway.


  • Replaces early Skirmisher.
  • Card to turn them into Skirmishers.
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