It’s kind of crazy how almost every time there was a new, OP strategy in DE, it was somehow related to the fact that civ designers decided to make a “speedy” infantry unit, which subsequently had its speed reduced after backlash. I don’t understand what the obsession is with this. I think it needs to be emphasized just how strong speed is for infantry units, especially skirmisher type units. The ability to rapidly advance and retreat just exponentially multiplies a ranged unit’s effectiveness, in ways that I don’t feel are ever fully taken into consideration.
Speed lets infantry escape from fights they should get caught in, and hunt down units that should be able to flee. It lets them dodge artillery shots more easily, and kite cavalry more easily. Kiting is possibly the strongest micro tactic in the game. It can shift a fight 180 degrees, from an easy clean up to a devastating loss if the person kites well. Speed makes kiting far easier and even more effective. Speedy skirmishers are so devastating because they have so much DPS, but their only weakness, fragility, is massively offset by the ability to kite and retreat well.
Here’s a list, help me add any that I’ve missed:
- Initial Caroleans who ran faster all the time in melee mode - completely broken, quickly changed
- Inca unit speed upgrades, which I think have been nerfed, but maybe I am wrong? I recall early Inca pikes and bowmen being very fast
- Early USA state militia were quite speedy. They were strelet sprinters. Nerfed.
- Gascenya were faster than normal muskets on release of Africa civs. Nerfed.
- Salteadores were faster than normal skirmishers on release of Mexico as well. Nerfed.
- Now we arrive at Italy, where Bersaglieres are faster than normal skirmishers, and what do you know, they are completely, absolutely, 100% broken, especially since they shadowtech to Age 4 and go hand-in-hand with an unstoppable, strong eco FI.
- I think there are also some native units that are speedy now currently, but I am not sure.
This design idea goes back to TAD, it’s not entirely the DE team’s invention. Ashigarus were the first “speedy” infantry apart from Fusiliers. They also had their speed nerfed at some point during TAD I believe.
Why are “speedy” infantry units constantly being added in new content? It seems like by now there is a clear pattern: 1. speedy infantry unit is introduced, 2. the civ with the speedy infantry unit takes over the ladder and makes the civ completely broken, and 3. the speedy unit is nerfed
Civ designers should take a lesson from this pattern and stop proposing and making speedy infantry units. Save yourself some time, and the trouble of inevitably nerfing the unit later on. They are seriously the worst and most annoying part of DE, which is otherwise a great game.
Just let infantry be infantry; it’s supposed to be a medium speed unit (artillery=slow, cav = fast). If you reallllly want fast infantry, the way to do it is like with Fusiliers-- they are extremely expensive and fun occasionally, but never something that is the core of a composition.