British Sharpshooters

The addition of Mexico has unequivocally moved the game’s timeline well into the 19th century yet the British who were the most advanced and powerful empire of the age use Longbows

Problems with Longbows
  • Longbows are laughably anachronistic since 1642 is the last time they were ever used in battle sans one crazy guy in WW2
  • It ruins the sense of progression that almost every other civilization has when they transition from crossbows to skirmishers
  • Longbows miss out on most arsenal upgrades and cost wood, making them a poor late game option


To bring them up to date, the British should be able to train Sharpshooters starting in Age 3

Sharpshooter are more similar to Longbows than Skirmishers so gameplay would be minimally impacted
  • They have the same range, similar health and resistance
  • Sharing units among more civs would allow people to encounter them more often and become familiar. It would also give the British another semi-unique unit
  • The Imperial Longbow upgrade should again be locked behind the Yeoman card. Longbowmen would still be viable in many situations with the right cards and native Upgrades. Sharpshooters only actually outperform Longbowmen against heavy infantry and when wood runs low in the very late game
  • The Roger’s Rangers upgrade could still ship Skirmishers to keep it unique
They are very historically accurate
  • They were hugely important in the Napoleonic Wars and played a decisive role in the battle of Waterloo
  • Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own) - Wikipedia
  • Fought around the world in the Napoleonic Wars (including in the Americas, Crimean War, Anglo-Afghan War, and Boer Wars
They would look very slick
  • In Age 3 they could be styled as how they would have looked in their Napoleonic uniforms
  • By Age 4 or 5 they could have more modern uniforms like what was worn in the Anglo-Zulu War
  • Models for this look are already in the game for the “Colonial Oppressor” treasure guardian
    Screenshot (68)

Green Jackets version from Napoleonic Wars

Anglo-Zulu War uniform for the late game


Not really Sharpshooters in these ones but they show the uniforms


I’m not suggesting this as a buff for the British. They are strong enough, even too strong. Changes regarding balancing them should probably focus on the Manor boom (possibly reducing build experience). Late game stuff like this can be easily balanced.

For those who still think this is unbalanced, I’ll add my response here:


Much like Prussia and Austria not being seperate factions, instead we have the german faction.

British having skirmishers should have been in the game from the very beginning but somebody at ES was too nostaglic for aoe2 longbowman.

The 95th rifles (which later became the royal green jackets) and the baker rifle they used were more famous than the french vortiguers.


British already have a very good early game economy. That’s quite well-established. Giving them a viable skirm-goon would be too strong.

I’d suggest making skirmishers trainable and upgradable at the fort after sending rogers rangers, or give them some limited cards that send an elite rifle unit like spahi.
Or make them age 4 units.


As it stands, Rogers Rangers is, I think, enough for giving the British rifle-armed units. 26 units is a very generous package, especially as I think it costs only wood, and should be enough to maintain a composition with them for the remainder of the game. Otherwise, the British will have to count on natives or Jaegers, which is good for encouraging strategic divergence.

Otherwise, having the ability to recruit a gunpower rifle unit would disrupt the British, even if they were somehow made statistically akin to archers. I suppose they’d be like Japanese Yumi in your case?

As others have noted, the British don’t have Skirms or an equivalent for gameplay, and partially too based on the fallacy that the British were hesitant to adopt light infantry warfare, all based on nasty ambushes they suffered in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. Of course, people who know more about the British at this time also know that it isn’t true, and that the British had very skilled light infantry, and by the Napoleonic Wars were fielding some of the finest riflemen in the world. Nonetheless, even these considerations need to be sidelined for the sake of balance.


The timeline was already well into the 19th century before Mexico was added. Actually it was the Lakota/Sioux that moved the timeline further (Battle of Little Bighorn 1876).


give him a F35 phantom and SAS units, why not?

1 Like

British are fine as they are. But I’d be in favor of giving them those cool looking skirmishes. If you don’t want to effect balance just give the them the same stats as longbows, even if their stats were a little different it wouldn’t really effect balance anyway

I think it’d be good to give them a skirmisher and the longbow can remain their archaic unit like other civs have crossbows. I’d be happy with the sharpshooter the US has.

1 Like

i dont think it would actually solve anything giving britain a skirmisher.

is it more historical? yeah

would it hurt balance and uniqueness? without a doubt.

for the sake of the game britain should be left alone.

1 Like

Yes they do, it’s longbows and it’s horribly anachronistic.

No, I’m suggesting the exact same Sharpshooter as the Americans get. They’re roughly equivalent to Longbowmen in nearly every aspect. The only difference is that Longbowmen perform much better against skirmishers/archers and require the Yeomen card to stay on par with them. Sharpshooters only pull ahead with the Paper Cartridge upgrade and the fact that they wouldn’t need to send a card to get to that level (but they do need to spend more resources on the Counter Infantry Rifling upgrade to keep on par with longbows). On maps with Seminole, Longbows could actually be slightly better due to the Seminole Bowyers upgrade.

Just google image searth 95th rifles uniform…and guess what in game unit they look like…

I was using the term Skirmisher to refer to a gunpowder unit with rifles, rather than the simple role of light infantry which includes rifle units and archers. I agree on the anachronism of longbows, so when I play Brits, I try to get Jaegers and the Ranger shipment in Fortress and Industrial respectively. As far as the Yumi reference, I had thought that this proposal would extend the viability of the unit type (Longbow to proposed Sharpshooter) into the late game, but as you had mentioned Brits have cards which already do that.

If anything, to include a gunpowder skirmisher for the British and keep it within balance with the rest of the British Eco, you’d have to make it so that getting skirmishers is rather inconvenient, such as unlocking via shipment.

The Portuguese Cazadores were supplied with British-made equipment and operated closely with the British Rifles during the Peninsular War, hence the similar uniforms. The only real main difference was that the Cazadores wore a tannish brown uniform, whereas the Rifles of course wore Rifle Green.

1 Like

They could have card to unlock Gurkhas/Green Jackets or something in the 3rd or 4th age. But yes the longbowman is AOE2 nostalgia bait it would be like giving the French Knights for their heavy cav rather than Currasiers.

Britain having some relevant light infantry would be great even if they have to wait until the 4th age for it for balance reasons that is fine.

A rifleman with 1.5 rof would be very weird…
There was the fast-firing breech-loading ferguson rifle, but not widely used due to its unreliability (but we already have the short-lived nizam infantry as a super unit, so who cares).

For any of such changes to old civs, use the Ottoman Nizam reform as a great model:

  • Useful
  • Not going to affect the well-established Ottoman play style. You’ll need to do some extra investments to get them.
  • Not going to change the Ottoman unit composition drastically because the units are limited.
  • Opens up an entirely new build order

A shipment of strong gurkhas would be good. Maybe like consulate level so with 10% extra stats like the units you can train from forts as the US.

I think it would actually make them less of a “skirm”-goon civ. Longbows perform better against other light infantry and the counters to light infantry than Sharpshooters do. Sharpshooters only pull ahead when all their arsenal upgrades are researched, and even then, that mostly just makes them better versus heavy infantry and light cavalry. I think Longbows still deal more damage to heavy cavalry, artillery, and light infantry fully upgraded. With Sharpshooters you actually need a more varied composition, and strong British Musketeers and Hussars play into that.

The difference between Longbowmen and Sharpshooters is very marginal. The only real advantage to giving British Sharpshooters is to free up an extra card since Longbowmen need the Yeomen card to reach their full potential, but Sharpshooters only need Advanced Arsenal which you probably want in your deck anyways as British.

First of all, adding a new semi-unique unit to their roster would increase uniqueness.

In regards to balance, Sharpshooters only actually perform better than Longbows against light cavalry and heavy infantry. That means you would need a more varied unit composition to back up Sharpshooters compared to Longbowmen. The only way it buffs British is that they would no longer need to send the Yeoman card to have a competent “skirmisher” unit, and could use that card slot for something else. On maps where you can access techs like Seminole Bowyers, Longbows would actually still be better than Sharpshooters when fully upgraded.

1 Like

ROF and aiming animation is different. Longbow has a long windup so that they cannot HR well. I believe sharpshooter is now tweaked to be closer to skirmishers.

And the yeoman card looks very conservative now.
The “new” style yeoman card would be:

  • Longbows +2 range
  • Longbows gain “pailing” ability, giving them 2x melee bonus against cavalry when active

Edit: boy this is a joke showing how stupid some new cards are and I never expect people to start really arguing about this XD

1 Like

Sharpshooters are anti heavy infantry with a 3.5 multiplier, that is the main balance issue.