Controversial Opinion: Caracole Should Not Give +2 Range to LCs (Originally: Decrease LC Range to 10)

Again, thanks to everyone on the cordial discussions, especially on this controversial topic. Some responses based on the current discussions:

But is this not problematic from a game design perspective? Portuguese Musketeer is a Royal Guard unit buffed by at 3 Home City cards. Yet, few Portuguese player would make Musketeer once in Age 3. I think this says something about the utility of Dragoons.

I think this recent game sort of follows your idea: Dutch finally have Musketeers!!! Aiz shows the power of Dutch’s new card ‘Blue Guards’ - YouTube. However, I would say that until the South Africa (28:00) revolt added Imperial War Wagons, Blue Guard + Artillery generally performed worse than Dragoon + Longbow + Artillery.

Unless it is Sweden with their 15-Range 30%-RR Caroleans (or some other special cases), most Musketeers are often not useful late game. They die to artillery very fast and LIs (especially with Counter Infantry Rifling) fairly fast, and don’t have the mobility of LC. Comparatively, LCs are almost always useful when operating in a skirm-goon+art composition.

Good catch. Although, I would argue that it s easier to one-shot a dragoon with 12 skirms than 11 muskets, as the former have extra range, while the latter might bump into each other while trying to get in range.

If Musketeers can melee down 14-range Dragoons, something probably went very wrong for the Dragoon player micro-wise.

In any case, the problem is more 14-Range Dragoons groups two-shotting artilleries with ease. Here is my math:
Veteran Dragoon Attack Against Artillery
(22*1.2)*2 = 52.8

Dragoon Shots to Kill a Falconet
200 / (52.8 * 0.25) = 15.15 or 16 shots.

Musketeer Shots to Kill a Dragoon
Someone else in this forum did the math and concluded that 11 Musketeers can one-shot a Dragoon. This should be the same with Veteran Musketeer and Veteran Dragoons.

So let’s assume that there are 20 Musketeers + 2 Falconets against 10 Dragoons + 10 Skirmishers:

  • Given that 10 Dragoons reach the 12-range mark (Veteran Dragoons can tank 2 Falconet shots, so there shouldn’t be any losses), unless the 20 Musketeers + 2 Falconets can guarantee killing 2 Dragoons every 3 seconds, they will lose at least one Falconet in 6 seconds. This can be a close fight, although it depends on the Musketeer staying very close to the Falconets.

  • With 14-range Dragoons, they can likely fire on the Falconets first before the Musketeers can even return fire. So if the Musketeers cannot kill at least 4 Dragoons in the next 3 seconds (likely impossible), they will lose one Falconet. Unless the Dragoons directly charge into the Musketeer range, at best, only 2-3 Dragoons would be lost, so the trade is about even. However, this fight would strongly favor the goal of the Dragoon+Skirm player.

Now note that this does not consider what happens if:

  • Skirmishers also starts focus firing on the Falconet in coordination with the Dragoon.
  • The Dragoon+Skirm player decides to sacrifice most of the Dragoons to guarantee 2 Falconet kills, turning the fight into Musketeers vs Skirmishers.
  • With greater number of units from both players, Musketeers are more likely to overkill (shoot too many shots) on the same Dragoon than Dragoons overkilling on the Falconets.

Summarily, by itself, 14-range Dragoons are not too impressive against artillery. However, in the context of the overall counter system, two-shotting a Falconet tip the balance significantly in their favor.

If this scenario is still not convincing, consider the case of 20 Musketeers + 2 Falconets vs 10 Dragoons + 2 Falconets. This should make the advantage of Dragoons more apparent.

Musketeers and Hussars are the last units you want to use Z-move. (That is attack move, right?) For Musketeers, knowing when to switch between melee and range and what to attack determines battles. For Hussars, the snaring mechanics strongly punishes the loser of melee battles. This means simply using attack move is a good way to lose all your troops.

Early game (Age 2 or Early Age 3), I would agree that Hussar and Musketeers are better. Late game (Age 4 and onward), I don’t think that holds true. This is because:

  • In the late game, outlying hunts and gold mines are often depleted or heavily contested. Thus, most Settlers either work near TC/Outposts, or have certain sections walled-off. Dragoons can sometimes get a shot-off, whereas Hussars cannot catch the Settler.

  • Hussars are good raiders in Age 2 partly because there are no LCs. Once there are significant number of LCs, Hussar raids becomes a lot more risky. Having a faster-ranged-counter-unit chasing after your Hussars puts a damper on raids.

  • The tankiness of Musketeers does not do much against CIR Skirms and Falconets.

  • Villager HP generally do not increase over the ages, whereas military unit attacks does. This means that the Dragoon malus against Settlers does not matter as much after a Guard upgrade and a combat card or two.

Note that with raiding and probes, you are trying to draw the enemy in and force them to engage on your terms. Thus:

If the enemy pull back against your poking skirmishers, they are ceding ground and map control. Unless they plan to take back that ground back or recover it some other way, that is advantageous for you.

Snaring punishes the loser of melee fights. If your Hussars engaged with the enemy army while your main force cannot reinforce, then that is bad for you.

Agreed. HI have a number of issues in the late game.

  • Most importantly, anything Musketeers can do, Dragoons can do better (90% of the time). Thus, I think nerfing the LC range should help somewhat. Specifically, the player must pick between longer-ranged but slower defensive anti-cav and shorter-ranged but faster offensive anti-cav.
  • I think CIR (Counter Infantry Rifling) make Skirmishers too effective against Musketeers and HIs. I would recommend toning down the effects of CIR.

Ahh :smiley: but i appreciate your asking for what the Z-Move is, because this allone confirms a lot. I would appreciate as well if you could tell me what the gamemodes are which you are using right now and on which Elo you are playing?

Melee was the exemple when you decide to go into melee with goons, which is far better since it bypasses armor of the falcs, IF you have the opportunity, which you don’t against a normal player.

And two shotting, again realistically for the price of the 14 goons, there will be either skirms or musks there and the cannon can just as much shoot at them. So no, the trade will not be 14 shots and no retaliation, that is just not a realistic scenario that is happening.


Stop balancing things that don’t need balance.

Maybe devs should first look into Ottoman, Mexico, Usa, Spain, some revs, and some very apparent broken units before trying to balance a unit that is only ‘very good’ in late game and ‘avg’ in early.


That is very wrong. Ur argument assumes that that the falcs are at the same distance from the dragoons as they are from the muskets when the dragoon fires and that the dragoon are all able to fire at once at that distance, which is like a thing that never happens.

If you are drag boxing the units together then the cannons always goes last so even in a noob scenario this isnt what happens. At higher levels players are even better at microing cannons and keeping them defended by infantry masses so any LC or dragoons that tries to attack cannons will have to get very close to a mass of infantry

like as an example this is a the minimum distance at which just the first 5 dragoon there will be able to fire at the falc. This is dragoon with 12 range

At this range the entire 3 ranks of muskets can fire at any of the dragoons

If you want to have all 10 dragoons fire then you need to get closer

At this distance you are vulnerable to be meleed

This is even assuming the cannons are not already in firing mode and so have more range then your dragoons and will soften them up

even with caracole, the range at which the first line of dragoon fires at the falcs is the range at which 3 lines of musket will fire back at you and if you are getting closer you are allowing the musks to fire first

And if you want to consider that skirms can focus fire along with the dragoons, remember as well that the falcs have 26 range and basically will fire at the skirms before they fire a single shot.

No matter how you try this test, if you are trying to snipe the falcs, you will lose all or basically all of your dragoons and the opposiing side will have minimal lost in muskets.

Its a way for you to stop a 2 falc timing but you are having to sacrifice stuff

This also assumes that the musk player is only going pure musks, they can also mix in other light infantry to soften your goon.

There is a reason why jan abus is considered busted


The reason Portuguese never make Musks past early Age III has little to do with the quality of their Goons (which is admittedly high) but more with the fact that they can’t effectively pair their Musks with a good Heavy Cav unit (+15/+15 Hussars just doesn’t cut it). Also this is only a reality in 1v1, since, from what I’ve seen, Ports make Musks in treaty, since Goons are weaker in that game mode, probably due to their high requirement for heavy microing.

Your post explains perfectly. Also vs good players they’ll move their cannons back even further as soon as they see the dragoons and move the musk forward so making the distance even greater and dragoons can’t risk getting into melee.

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I agree this is probably not a priority. However, I also think the game devs can do multiple things at the same time.

Noted. But:

  • The scenario you are showing me is also the worst case scenario: Dragoon directly charging into the range of Musketeers. If you can show me that the Musketeers can reliably reposition when 14-range Dragoons approach from the back or flank (since they have better mobility), then I will be convinced.
  • For these scenarios, we will assume Dragoons will neve go into melee (because that is suicide). Rather, the question is whether Dragoons can effectively two-shot Falconet with acceptable losses.
  • Aside from Dragoon + Skirmishers, what about Dragoon + Falconets? Granted, this may be moving the goalpost a bit. However, Dragoon + Falconet is not an uncommon composition, with a large group of Dragoons blocking and killing HCs, while Falconet deals with the Musketeers. Given 20 Musketeers + 2 Falconets, how would they deal with 10 14-range Dragoons + 2 Falconets?

here there are 2 parts to the answer, the first is line of sight of the artillery which is a big tell if your opponent is trying to flank you for you to reposition, if your opponent is able to move around you without you noticing, they have outplayed you

The second is knowing how to keep your formation to face the enemy, one trick is drag boxing the formation if you need to do it in a pinch

or just having 2 separate control groups for the infantry and the artillery and keeping the infantry on the move to watch out for attacks.

aside from the short answer of culvs or other anti artillery, the answer to this depends on your own civ and will be somewhat of a trade.

It will normally be a HC + infantry with melee push since while dragoons can body block, they lack melee resist and are kinda of bad if they get caught so pushing the dragoon falc position is the asnwer since dragoons risk both being snared and being fired at so they will have to make a choice between kiting back of defend the falcs, which either means they all die of the falcs die to the hus

The stronger version of this build is dragoon heavy cannons since they are much tankier, have more range and can wipe infantry masses more efficiently (even stagger mode wont help the infantry). It was op back in the days when port dragoon had 20 range. if they have this then culvs is the only answer


Fair enough. Although I was thinking more along the line of the Falconets being already setup, the Musketeers does seem to be able to reposition fairly quickly as long as the player is fully attentive.

Sort of disagree. In actual games, I find that as long as I am fairly sure that the enemy does not focus heavily on HC (granted, I could be wrong), my Dragoons are often separate from my main army, either scouting, sniping stragglers, or raiding (not as good as Hussars, but it is a fast and ranged unit). This means that:

  • I don’t necessarily have to outplay the enemy to move around their force. By “accident”, my Dragoon could be operating on their flanks or rears.
  • Since a skirm-goon army is faster (Falconets need setting up), I can delay engagements (at least until the Musketeers+Falconets reach my base) until I feel that units are in the right place.

I can’t help but feel that this will turn into a mutual trade of the Falconets, since pushing Musketeers to shoot or melee Falconets mean that they cannot adequately defend against Dragoons moving to attack the Falconets. After the trade, I generally think the remaining Dragoons are more useful for gameplay compared to the remaining Musketeers (especially once CIR is researched).

And I did not consider culverins purely for fairness. Otherwise, both sides would create culverins and other units, which muddles the scenario considerably.

In general, this is a very informative discussion. I will probably keep these tricks in mind for the subsequent games. However, I still think that most late-game devolving into skirm-goon+art battles is a bit problematic, if only because Guard/Imperial Musketeer (HI) and Hussars (HC), or their civ-specific equivalents, are seldom seen. While I do think that removing the +2 range from Caracole is a valid nerf (and Dragoons will still kill HCs just fine), perhaps there are other ways of addressing these issues.

I mean you are not wrong to use them like that but the right play assuming the opponent is going musk falc is just to target ur base cause of the reasons you have listed.

The benefits of a skirm goon army is mobility and the benefit of a musk cannon comp is the ability to threaten the base, which skirm goon just cannot do

I think you misunderstand, the point of range infantry in the push is to clear the dragoons away, not necessarily to focus down the falcs with muskets.

And if you have your own falcs then there is no point to pushing with the HC and infantry, better to just snipe the artillery with artillery so it turns into an artillery micro duel and yeah they usually just trade.

In the situation where the dragoon has to run away, the thing to target down is the dragoon cause the falcs will be dead anyway and is better dealt with by the HCs

The reason for this often is not due to the goon but due to the skirms though since cav pathing gets worse with higher mass and skirms can begin to trade more efficiently.


@coffeeco01 appreciate your energy to explain all that, i couldnt ^^


If I could add here, Cassadors are probably part of the reason for this too.

You might logically ask: “Ports and British have musketeers of similar strength. Why doesn’t Portuguese use theirs?”

Longbowman are great at standing and shooting. They have low hp but very high dps. This makes musketeers a good unit to pair with LBs because standing and fighting works for them both. Of course LB + Goons works too, but probably not as well as Cassa + Goon because cassa hit and run better than LB.

Cassadors are made of paper. An age 2 pikeman will beat a Vet cassador in melee (at least cost wise before CIR). Point is cassa trade durability for speed, making them great at hit and run and generally less good at standing and fighting. Cassadors outrun musks, meaning pairing them almost defeats the point of cassadors. The logical result of this is Portugal must use dragoons instead (outside of treaty where things flip in favor of musketeers). It also helps a lot that Portugal has great Dragoons, but in my opinion (and I’m a port main so perhaps I’m biased) Portugal’s dragoons are fine at this point (when in the context of the civ as a whole). They are great, but with DE/EP they went 30%rr to 20%rr (universal nerf to goons that hurt ports the more than most), 20 max range to 18 max range, and more recently Dragoon Combat no longer helps Hussars (all of which is fine btw, they were too good).

Musketeer + Hussar is a great unit combination. Even if Skirmisher + Dragoon is better, it’s okay, good even, if a composition that requires better/hard micro is superior to one that is more forgiving. and with Skirmisher type units now doing less against HC it’s even more true.