Obsoleting hand cavalry isn’t really the issue. The issue is the units typically beat anything at melee range. If you make it too easy to achieve this, they decimate everything short of extreme microed range cavalry. I said this right off the bat, increasing speed seems the obvious answer but it isn’t the answer.
I can’t help but feel most people didn’t see how broken Dutch halbs were back when they had that speed boost card without any penalties. Ironically the same problem that plagued heavy inf back then is the same one now and that’s what they were trying to fix with that card. This was before TAD so it’s a long time ago but the lessons were learned…
I agree however that muskets are too strong out the gates but it’s just not going to change. Not unless you give civs with muskets only a good alternative.
Again, the Dutch halbs scenario could be avoided with a timed charge ability that gives them temporary boost to their speed and not permanent.
One of the alternative is also giving a small ranged armor to melee heavy infantry depending on their type and characteristics. :
They are expensive Fortress age melee infantry who are completely overshadowed by ranged attack units that come up in that age.
That would give them a “breath of life” but I know it wouldn’t be enough to “fix” the issue.
musketeers are meant to counter melee infantry, thats part of their role along side killing cavalry.
musketeers hard counter melee cav and soft counters melee infantry and ranged cavalry.
They could also reduce their training time more than other infantry units in case their purpose is to attack cavalry. Since it is a more situational unit (Siege and cavalry). Because? To defend against sporadic cavalry attacks on the economic base.
There are mele units that have bonuses against infantry, such as ‘Zapotec Lightning Warrior’ and ‘Tiger Claw’. They could give them a charge ability or have a bit more speed by default.
What I mean is that mele units are in different categories and tasks, and not all of them are terrible, but they could be a little better:
Those who intend to attack heavy infantry such as musketeers, swordsmen or pikemen, must have good mele armor and a little more speed.
Those who intend to attack cavalry could be created faster as pikemen or swordsmen.
Those who intend to attack cannons and guerrillas such as the ‘rat shields’ and ‘coyote runners’, in addition to the base attack, could have some improvement in the mid-late game that gives them a bonus against them.
In the case of the ‘Lakota beater’ it could be given good speed. I think it’s the worst mele unit in the game.
The upgrade ‘infantry breastplate’, in addition to its current buff, could give mele + 10% armor and also + 10% ranged armor.
Since musketeers can also be considered a mele unit, I think the bayonet upgrade should give them the charge ability.